Tag Archive for Leadership Articles
Don McMillan’s Hilarious Video on Power Point Blunders – Take Note.
Okay, I’m excited (and just a tad anxious) about the launch of my Say It to Sell It Now! Seminar tomorrow morning.
I want to honor each student that is joining me by saying how much I appreciate what it took for them to jump on board. First a decision had to be made. Then the commitment will need to be kept in order for each of them to get what they hope to take away from the program. That takes inner leadership.
Sounds simple but it’s not always so easy to accomplish.
Showing up often means rearranging schedules, disappointing someone, dealing with a less than supportive person, possibly getting up earlier than you normally might on a Saturday, or other obstacles that need to be overcome.
Yet, after the decision is made an inner change happens. Making the decision (providing you made it from your heart, from a knowing place rather than from a thinking place) frees you up to consider the possibility that comes from making that decision.
Making the decision creates a place for giant leaps to happen. It is that energy that allows you to stick to your commitment. When you are stuck in the should I or shouldn’t I place…you energetically become stuck in every place in your life.
Think about that. Every unmade decision is like a roadblock to your moving forward. It doesn’t matter if the decision is ultimately yes or no what is important is making it quickly and moving forward.
“Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely know what they want and generally get it. This is a common trait of all leaders in every walk of life.” ~ Napoleon Hill
We’ve heard it said before but a parked car can’t get you anywhere. Only after you move the car out of the driveway and down the road will you be on your way….and you have the option then to change direction once you get moving…but not until you are moving does that option present itself.
So thank you, my students of life, you now have opened up the possibility of being a leader in life.
Thank you for saying YES to yourself and your possibilities.
Learn more about the Say It to Sell It Now! Free-training Tutorials.
As a manager you must have faced resistance to new ideas, initiatives and change to procedures at some point in time. Good managers learn to deal with these minor push-backs and move ahead. Better ones, however, turn that into an opportunity and gain in strength from it – they create a persona for themselves and turn it to their advantage. Some simple managerial and conversational recommendations that make managers turn into leaders, in spite of resistance from a group of people, are discussed below. They would assist a good manager turn into a better leader.
State your Aim Clearly. For a task to be done well, it needs to be clearly stated. Be direct but be positive and use plain tones. State facts as facts and mention requirements in an unambiguous manner. Clear instructions, without an iota of threat works wonders in any situation. Above all, keep a neutral tone and add no negative emotion to the conversation. Half your job is done.
Let People Gripe – Its their Birthright. You have to appear as a very patient listener. You need to listen to the protests people have, but limit it to a logical time span. It need not be unending and you need to make them understand that though occasional bouts of complaints might work – noncompliance does not. Limit the gripe time.
Understand the Real Concern. Often the real cause of the resistance to a new idea is Read more
Resistance to change is a common workplace challenge. Poor communication contributes to the push-back that comes with rolling out new procedures, a change in status, a physical move or launching a new project.
The dissension can come from a single voice or the collective whole.
Try these 5 steps for gaining cooperation:
1. Spell out and communicate both orally and in writing, exactly what the changes are and how they will affect individual positions.
2. If you choose to entertain objections set a time frame and stick to it. A never ending gripe session serves no one.
3. Listen to the emotions and the underlying fears that are often couched in vague complaints such as “this will take too much time.” The fear may be that the employee will have to stay later and miss picking up their child on time.
4. Check your interpretation of the complaints by reflecting back what you have heard.
5. Consider suggestions and set a follow-up date for the outcome. Not all changes have that kind of flexibility but you might be surprised at what can be adjusted for better buy-in.
Employees simply want to be a part of something bigger. Use this opportunity to communicate honestly and create a deeper connection and the odds for cooperation will increase.
Find more tips for communicating effectively at work in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work – What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Buy it at Amazon.com
Motivating employees, especially during economic downturns, requires an empathic approach. Or, as I prefer to call it—the “connecting your heart-to-your-head approach.” The pressure of too-much-work-to-be-done with too few people often causes a low level response to the threat of job loss as a stimulus for more production. Simply, their emotional well is dry and any increase in productivity is short-lived. Threats don’t work.
Managers expect employees to be self-motivated and to a degree that should be the case. Self-motivation is the ability to get things done without being directed by others. But, this does not absolve a manager from providing Read more
Sometimes giving positive feedback is as challenging as giving negative feedback. The difficulty is sounding positive and specific not just enthusiastic and generic. Everyone is in the position to offer “gift-giving phrases”–boss to employee, co-worker to co-worker, salesperson to customer, parent to child, spouses, partners and so on.
Here are a few gift-giving phrases: (be specific with the details)
- You really made a difference by ___( sharing your expertise, pitching in to help…)
- I’m impressed with your____( ability to handle angry customers, insight into this project…)
- You got my attention with___( your interpretation of the research…)
- You can be proud of yourself for___(handling that misunderstanding with diplomacy….)
- One of the things I enjoy most about you is___(your ability to make others feel good…)
Share your own gift-giving phrases below.
Want more communication tips you can use immediately? First, put your name and email in the boxes in the upper right and get your Free 6 part audio series on communication. Second, pick up a copy of Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work-What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Lastly, give someone a gift today by using one of the phrases above. You’ll make the world a better place.
A common complaint from managers revolves around unmet expectations from direct reports and their teams. Similarly, workers complain that expectations are not clear and leave too much room for misunderstandings and assumptions.
Here is a look at some root problems and solutions:
Problem: Failure to clarify the desired results assuming the outcome is understood.
Management is often working within a larger framework with information that has not been made available to their direct reports. Think of this information as the missing pieces that complete the puzzle picture. The manager’s expected result is to reproduce the picture with all the parts as he sees it. Misunderstandings arise when the picture in the manager’s head does not match the picture they have painted for their direct reports.
1. Clarify the expectations. Paint a picture in as many ways as possible-visually, verbally and vocally. Give a comparison to a known entity, if possible. “It should look like X with this adjustment.”
2. Clearly state the required details-the non-negotiable conditions.
3. Confirm interpretation and actions. Ask what was heard. Ask what that means. Ask what actions will be taken. Allow creativity and leeway to do the job as long as the end result is the same.
Problem: Systems and tools don’t function as needed and departments don’t work together.
Solution: Read more
Trust in the workplace, trust in leadership and connecting with others were the key phrases I found in a recent search for the best selling business books. It’s a sign of the times. A lack of leadership and trustworthiness in the workplace appears to be the norm.
Leadership is something everyone in the workplace can practice—not just CEOs and business owners. Communicating trustworthiness starts with honest intention and self-awareness. Additionally, you cannot be an effective communicator or leader if you do not provoke trust in others.
Here are 5 strategies for developing leadership and establishing trust:
1. Tell the truth. Easy to say—difficult to practice. Yet truth is what your customers, co-workers, employees, shareholders and vendors want from you. If a product is going to be delivered late, if a report is not completed, if quality is a problem, if earnings are down tell the truth about it. Most people CAN handle the truth. And, it prompts others to be honest. Truth requires no managing or memorization. Tell the truth—it’s easier.
2. Take action. Leadership means evaluating the available information and moving forward. The best leaders make difficult and timely decisions with about 70-80% of the information. You may never get all the details and waiting to act may result in tragedy. Evaluate and be proactive.
3. Do what you say you are going to do. Okay, this may be a combination of the first two strategies but it bears its own heading. Both actions and in-actions influence others. If you promise to return a call, handle a matter, or show up on time—follow through.
4. Be consistent. Leadership requires consistency in behavior, mood and communication both at home and at work. Nothing kills trust like in-congruency between what you do and say to one person and what you do and say to another.
5. Model what you expect from others. Don’t ask others to do something you wouldn’t do. Trust is developed when you live to ethics.
Communicating leadership requires an inner confidence and an outer personality that can convey that confidence to others both verbally and non-verbally. Many leaders possess the self-confidence to perform tasks and reach goals but lack the ability to connect with people. Trustworthiness is earned through communication not just results.
If you’re serious about developing your leadership qualities start by assessing your communication skills by filling in your name and email address in the boxes on your upper right and grabbing your FREE 6 part audio on the Power of Effective Communication . You’ll be surprised by your answers–try it it’s fun!
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my book, Misunderstood! the Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.
It goes without saying that the broad category of communication skills is a quality I believe every leader needs to succeed so I’ve chosen not to put it on my list. I consider communication skills to include speaking, presenting, selling and persuading. I did, however, include listening on my list simply because some things require emphasis.
Here’s my list:
1. Active Listening Skills--and being able to ask “is there anything more?”
2. Empathy–and having a deep understanding of priorities (using the 10,10,10 method)
3. Inspirational–being able to create an environment that supports motivated people
4. Courage–and the conviction to carry out intentions and tough decisions when it really counts
5. Clarity of intention–and the insight to question your motives
6. Servant Leadership–and the wisdom to know what that means
7. Humor–and humility, they often travel hand-in-hand
8. Vision–and the ability to enroll your team in the journey
9. Vitality–even the physically incapacitated can possess the extraordinary mental vigor to lead
10.Confidence–not arrogance but faith in your abilities to lead
and 10+ Trustworthiness and Moral Fortitude