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  • feedwordpress 16:21:06 on 2019/11/18 Permalink
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    Asking someone ‘How are you?’ doesn’t go far enough 


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    I’ve often wondered the true meaning of the words “how are you”? When someone says, “how are you”, do they really care how you are or are they just being polite?

    For example, I received an email from an acquaintance that started with “how are you”, then went right into her request. I don’t think she really cares how I am.

    As a contrast, I ran into someone in the supermarket who asked me how I was. Then she followed up with questions about work, summer plans, and made me promise to give regards to my family. I think she actually cares about how I am.

    The phrase “how are you” was first recorded in the late 18th century, when it was used to mean ‘something very small and insignificant’. According to Psychology Today, whether or not you are actually interested in someone depends on a number of factors:

    • How well do you know this person?
    • Does the individual seem ill or have a history of being ill?
    • Are you aware that something has been troubling this person?

    As an example, every day I grab a cup of coffee at a local shop. Over the past year, I noticed the normally chatty checkout woman seemed unhappy. Her typical contagious smile was replaced with a silent frown. I didn’t know her well enough to ask if something was wrong.

    Fast forward about a year, her personality changed back again. She also looked different; lighter, happier and was sporting a new hair style. So, I said “you look great, I love your hair. How have you been?” I was truly interested.

    That’s when she told me she had been ill but was doing much better now. The hair wasn’t hers, but she was glad I liked it.

    Many people are private. Some don’t want to burden you with their problems. Others don’t follow up with questions to indicate that they are truly interested in what you’re saying.

    I wondered how this translates to our work lives and two very different situations came to mind.

    Situation One: We were providing leadership communications coaching at an automotive company where the sales director felt disrespected. He said he was tired of playing therapist and didn’t want employees coming to him with their personal problems. Sales were down and he blamed his subordinates. During role-playing which was videotaped, he was gruff, failed to make eye contact and was often multi-tasking instead of listening. When he spoke, he barked orders and rarely asked questions. He didn’t appear to value the opinions of others and told me, he was the boss so they should do what he says and not question his authority. Wow.

    What was apparent to me, but not to him, is that his employees didn’t like him. More importantly, they didn’t trust him. Trust and communication are centerpieces of all relationships whether professional or personal. If employees don’t trust leadership, it affects productivity and morale. When communication is one-sided, employees are less engaged which typically leads to poor performance and job dissatisfaction.

    Situation Two: I work with a global CEO I greatly admire. He’s a people person. He says all business is personal and the more interest he takes in his employees, the more committed and productive they are. Even though he can’t personally interact with 600 employees, he tries to meet with as many as possible. He said their opinions drive innovation and change. He makes it a point to have lunch in the employee cafeterias when visiting different job sites and invites employees to join him. His company boasts very low employee turnover.

    Back to the sales director. After the role-playing, I played back the tape. At first, he was defensive. Defensiveness turned into embarrassment. He said he knew he cut people off, but never realized how negative he looked and sounded. He asked how he could improve. These are the tips I shared with him.

    Tip #1: Be empathetic. It’s important to recognize that employees have personal lives and personal problems can spill over to the workplace. If it’s serious like a health condition, divorce or death of a loved one, cut them some slack and choose your words carefully. Ask them if they help, a temporary schedule adjustment or time off.

    Tip #2: Listen to understand. If someone disagrees with you, instead of shutting them down, ask questions to better understand their perspective. Perhaps they were passed over for a promotion or they’re upset over the way a project is being managed. You don’t have to change your decision but listening signals respect. You may also gain insight that could be helpful moving forward.

    Tip #3: Be present. While your responsibilities may prevent you from being present in person, the more visible you are, the more connected people will feel to you. Technology such as video conferencing has made interacting remotely easier than ever. Look for ways to engage your employees face-to-face.

    So, the next time you’re about ask someone “how are you”, think about what those words really mean. If you genuinely care, then be fully present and listen to their response. If it’s simply a nicety or expression, perhaps a simple hello will do.

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  • feedwordpress 12:15:05 on 2019/11/05 Permalink
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    Quick Tip #93: Moving With Purpose 


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    Moving with purpose is important when speaking and presenting. When done correctly, it can spell the difference between engaging and distracting listeners. The next time you have to give an important talk, try these simple tips.

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  • feedwordpress 08:00:51 on 2019/10/10 Permalink
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    The One Skill That Will Make You a Successful Leader 


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    He was a smart leader, but he wasn’t respected by many people in his organization. I was brought in to coach him and found him to be reluctant and aggressive. Our first couple of conversations were not merely unpleasant but downright hostile.

    I knew if I was going to connect with this man I would have to be very straightforward. I told him, “You think you don’t need me, and I hear you—but if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll be out of a job within six months.”

    He was silent. I continued, “A leader needs followers, and right now no one wants to work for you or with you.”

    My frankness surprised him. And then he surprised me by quietly asking, “What do I have to do to become a leader that people follow?”

    We started with the one leadership skill that’s often overlooked but fundamental to success. It’s a simple principle, especially when it comes to leadership—to be open no matter what. Here’s what it looks like in action:

    When people speak to you, listen to understand. Everyone worries about being well spoken, but few people truly listen. Learn how to focus in and listen.

    When people say something, express curiosity. Approached with a new idea, most leaders are quick to give their thoughts or opinions. But great leaders pause and want to know more. They’re curious enough to always be open to something new.

    When people make statements, ask questions. Move in a level deeper and ask lots of questions. You’ll be more informed and build stronger connections.

    When people share ideas, show interest. It’s amazing how much people will value you for the simple act of being interested and attentive to their ideas.

    When people say something you disagree with, don’t judge. We all have biases. If you catch yourself judging something out of hand, stop and open up enough to examine what’s really being said and what lies beneath it.

    When others are prideful, be humble. We all know people who are egotistical and prideful of what they do, who seek attention wherever they go. Let them be who they are, but remember for yourself that humility and modesty demonstrate respect for others and will take you far.

    When people feel discouraged, empower them. Instead of further demoralizing your team when they’re down, give them back their power. Make them feel they are capable of doing the impossible and let them know you believe in them.

    When people go the extra mile, recognize them. Sometimes even extraordinary effort goes unnoticed. Make sure you recognize not only successes but also perseverance and imagination and courage.

    When people work hard, be appreciative. Most people genuinely want to please their leaders, and there are many who work quietly but do more than their colleagues standing closer to the spotlight. Public appreciation and praise will go far toward keeping anyone motivated.

    If you want to succeed, you must put this skill to work. For my client, that meant challenging himself and turning it into a habit, so for the next 30 days he worked on making sure that every interaction led people to feel good about themselves.

    Thirty days later he was a leader with a purpose, committed to staying open, because he saw a change in himself and in how others treated him.

    He had become a leader with followers—followers who were now learning to respect him

    Lead from within: There are many leadership skills, but there is one that can lead you to be the leader you want to become. Staying open can have a huge impact, not only on yourself but also on those you lead.

     


     

    #1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

     

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockphoto

    The post The One Skill That Will Make You a Successful Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:13:50 on 2019/10/06 Permalink
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    Quick Tip #92: How to Hit the Headline 


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    In the first minute of your conversation, can you engage, command attention and drive home your key points. Learn how so people listen when you speak.

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  • feedwordpress 08:00:05 on 2019/09/03 Permalink
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    What Great Leaders Do to Be Successful 


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    What makes a great leader?

    What do they do that’s different?

    What is there about them that allows them to succeed at the highest levels?

    While every leader is different, there are specific traits that great leaders tend to share. And they aren’t things people have to be lucky enough to be born with, but skills that anyone can learn and develop and implement. Here are some of the most important leadership principles to work on:

    Great leaders lead by example. Truly successful leaders understand that those they lead are watching them and often looking to emulate their behavior. What they see is the model they’ll follow, so it’s important to lead by example. Set the tone for what you want to see in your team and where the organization needs to go.

    Great leaders embody self-confidence. When you’re comfortable with yourself—and you know whether you are or aren’t—you’re able to do the things you need to do with confidence and conviction. People work hardest for leaders they respect, and that respect begins with your self-confidence.

    Great leaders inspire self-confidence in others. Your confidence as a leader will inspire others to be confident in themselves and in the team.

    Great leaders are not self-serving. The best leaders are not focused on what’s in it for them; they’re all about serving others. They are invested in making the lives of people around them better. The most successful leaders work to serve their people and make their team and their organization more successful.

    Great leaders know how to take advice. No one gets to the top alone, and successful leaders understand the importance of coaching and mentoring. They’re never shy about asking for help and questioning what they know. For themselves and their organization, they make sure any support that’s needed is in place.

    Great leaders possess the fortitude to move ahead, even in tough times. The best are not only bold about taking risks, they’re also fearless about overcoming obstacles. They realize that success requires them to keep things moving forward even through challenges, because that’s part of their responsibility as a leader. Once they know where they need to go, they rise to the occasion and do whatever it takes to get there.

    Great leaders lead by following. Too many leaders think they should know it all, do it all, and always be in charge. But that isn’t what real leadership looks like, because to be a good leader, you have to first be a good follower. Great leaders not only accept this fact but embrace it.

    Think of two leaders you admire and respect. Go through eachof these traits listed above and think about how they carry it out so you can use them as a model of success in your own leadership.

    Lead from within: At every stage of your career, it’s important to focus on developing the traits that will help you achieve and maintain a high level of successful leadership.

     


    #1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post What Great Leaders Do to Be Successful appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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