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  • feedwordpress 11:57:57 on 2018/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , communication, , , , ,   

    9 Communication Habits That All Successful Leaders Have 

    The way you communicate as a leader is important. The right tone, the right voice, the right body language–these elements are as important as the words you say, sometimes more.

    Having a leader who understands the principles of great communication can make the difference between a collaborative team and one that goes in circles.

    If we can get our communication right, we can build strong teams, be persuasive with clients and generally accelerate our business.

    Here are some principles to remember.

    1. Customize your communication.

    Consistency is important, but that doesn’t mean you should speak the same way to everyone. Customize your messages in light of what you know about the listener. Some people like details, some like the big picture, and some people want to hear only about the bottom line. Pay attention to their cues and tailor your communication accordingly.

    2. Actively listen.

    Good listening is among the most important, and overlooked, principles of great communication. Don’t zone out when someone else is speaking, and make sure that your own body language indicates your interest. Maintain eye contact and respond with small gestures that show you are listening and receiving the message. If you have any doubts about what you’re hearing, try paraphrasing or repeating back what you have heard.

    3. Let others finish.

    If you’re anxiously waiting for an opening so you can jump and speak, you are not really listening. Train yourself not to think about interrupting other speakers but instead to make sure they have had their say before you begin speaking.

    4. Ask simple questions.

    You learn the most when you keep your questions simple and open-ended. Why, what, when, where, and how are still the gold standard. If you ask the right questions you will always find the right answers.

    5. Be polite.

    Don’t check your phone or look at your watch when someone else is speaking. Give the respect of your undivided attention.

    6. Use the power of “I” statements.

    Communication becomes more productive when you avoid stating your thoughts as facts. For example, instead of saying, “This project is a failure,” you might say, “I am very concerned about the sustainability of this project.” Try to avoid “you” statements (“You haven’t done anything”) that set up a cycle of judgment and defensiveness. Instead, say, “I can see there’s still a lot to be done.”

    7. Pay attention to what your body’s saying.

    Some researchers find that body language makes up more than half of what you’re communicating. Is your posture open and confident, or closed off?

    8. Watch your tone.

    Make sure your tone matches what you’re saying if you want your message to be clear.

    9. Avoid sarcasm.

    It has a high failure rate–and even when it works, it mostly serves to build walls and destroy strong connections.

    There are few things you can do that will benefit your leadership and organization more than working to improve your communication skills.

    Make sure you and those on your team communicate clearly and with purpose, and your odds of success grow astronomically.


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


    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: Getty Images

    The post 9 Communication Habits That All Successful Leaders Have appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 08:00:11 on 2018/06/05 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, Effective Teams, , , , ,   

    Overcome These Obstacles and Build an Effective Team 

    After decades of observing teams as an executive leadership coach, I’ve come to realize two things.

    First, every team has issues to overcome before they can function effectively.

    Second, every team has the ability to navigate those issues and do great work together. There aren’t any shortcuts, but you can make it happen with determination and hard work.

    Here are some of the most common obstacles I see in teams. Think about the teams you’re involved with as you read through and see if you recognize any patterns:

    Weak leadership. When a team isn’t meeting expectations, the problem often lies not with the team but with the leader. If the leader isn’t up to it, someone else on the team needs to step up, even unofficially. Once the ineffective leader sees how it’s done, they may begin to serve more effectively. If not, the bases are covered. Bottom line: in the absence of leadership, it is the responsibility of the team to step up and lead the way. The solution is to establish sound leadership.

    Lack of connection. When a team can’t connect, the real issue is usually communication. And that’s critical, because communication is the one of the most important factors in successful teamwork. Fostering communication means being open to suggestions and concerns, asking questions and offering help. The solution is to establish cohesive communication among your team members.

    Only a few members are engaged. If you’ve ever attended a meeting where two or three people are doing all the discussion, you understand this issue. Fairness aside, it’s not sustainable. Sooner or later, the rock stars will quit carrying the others, and the entire team will go down. Everyone member needs a role that fits their abilities, and accountability for carrying it out. The solution is to find a way for everyone to be of value.

    Trust is lacking. This one’s simple, although it may be the most important of all. If you can’t trust your teammates, you don’t have a team. Trust is the foundation of any effective team. The solution is to model and foster trust, trustworthiness, and trusting relationships.

    Self-serving attitudes. When a team member’s in it only for themselves, they do real damage. They withhold information, fail to communicate and can’t be trusted. It doesn’t take them long to erode the team’s fiber. The solution is to build a culture based on working together, connecting together and winning together.

    Death by consensus. Consensus is great, but it often takes a bad turn. Months can pass with the same topic unresolved because people are absent or disengaged. If no one’s interested, don’t make it important. Give a deadline for opinions and then make a decision. The solution is to set objectives, solve problems and plan for action.

    Lead From Within: Creating an effective team is ongoing process that takes leadership and partnership. It can be challenging work, but it’s well worth the effort.


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


    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: Getty Images

    The post Overcome These Obstacles and Build an Effective Team appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 03:07:05 on 2018/06/04 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , ,   

    Quick Tip #78: Less is More 

    To learn how to structure and become a more efficient communicator watch this video.

  • feedwordpress 14:32:56 on 2018/05/30 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , ,   

    Leadership Lessons for Loudmouth Jerks 

    I was in line to board the plane home when I heard a man about four people behind me speaking loudly into his phone.

    “Yes, we got this deal Jim. I really put a good one together. I did this, and I did that and let me tell you more about me.”

    Well, those were not his exact words, but you get the picture. As we trekked into plane, people kept looking at him as he kept talking loud enough for anyone in line to hear him, but he didn’t seem to notice.

    I was in row 10, aisle seat when, still barking into his phone, he motioned for me to get up, so he could get through as he was also in row 10, window seat. Lucky me.

    Still talking for most seatmates to hear, he informed Jim that he had “not for publication” information. He said his company was cancelling the sales training due to financial reasons and then broadcast how much would be saved.

    The woman across the aisle looked at him, then looked at me and rolled her eyes.

    Again, he warned Jim, this is “top secret” information that only he knows. All I had to do was kick his carry on over and I could see who he worked for.  But, it’s top secret so I left his bag alone.

    As we were about to take off and he was temporarily silenced, I started to watch a movie on my iPad. Because the window shade next to loudmouth was up, it was casting a glare on my screen and I couldn’t see.

    So, I tapped him on the arm and asked if he could lower the shade just a bit. He stared at me for a second, then looked away and completely ignored me. For a moment I thought about giving him a piece of my mind but didn’t want to end up being one of those nasty airline passenger stories that makes the news.

    I waited, thinking once we got above the clouds, the sun glare wouldn’t be an issue. I was wrong.

    About fifteen minutes later, as he buried his head in his computer, I tapped him again. Nicely, I explained why I couldn’t see my screen and again asked if he would lower the shade just a little.

    “I really like looking out the window, he said. Maybe later in the flight.”

    Then he returned to his computer screen.

    Maybe. Maybe this is a guy who gets inspiration from the clouds. Perhaps the serenity of the sky helps him crystalize his vision and strategize ways to inspire others. Maybe, but not likely.

    The woman on the aisle across from me had watched the scene unfold. To make sure others could hear, she bellowed “I hate people like him”.

    Then she invited me to sit with her. She gave up her aisle seat for me and moved to the window where she slammed the shade shut. Loudmouth pretended not to notice.

    For the next two hours as I comfortably watched my movie, I glanced at him from time to time. Not once, did I see him look out the window.

    Most of us would just classify this man as a rude jerk and leave it at that. However, I believe there are some significant leadership lessons to be learned from jerks.

    Here’s a guy who is intoxicated by the sound of his own voice. He’s self-important, condescending and likely talks over others in meetings. My guess is he puts others down if he thinks it will make him look good. Like gesturing his finger at me to move over because he’s way too busy to speak, it’s doubtful he values the importance of communication.

    Leaders like this can infect entire organizations. They have little interest in what others think or say. Typically, they are so arrogant and controlling, that they don’t comprehend how toxic their behavior can be to others. Like a bad flu season that infects even the healthiest people, patronizing superior conduct can contaminate even the most positive employees.

    Research conducted by UC San Diego’s James Fowler and Harvard’s Nicholas Christakis suggests that behavior is contagious. For example, if you are friendly with someone happy, the probability that you will be happy increases by 25%. The researchers say if you have overweight friends, you are more likely to be overweight.

    In a Harvard Business Review article, writers examined how this affects leaders and found significant correlations between the behavior of managers and their direct reports. They found if you’re a good boss, you probably work for a good boss.

    After two decades of coaching and consulting leaders, I have my own take on what contributes to the success or failure of a leader. While there are multiple behaviors and circumstances, truly successful leaders have one thing in common. To them, leadership is a philosophy. They understand that leadership isn’t about being in charge; it’s about behavior.

    It’s about looking people in the eye. It’s about truly listening when someone is speaking to you. It’s about making others feel valued. It’s about providing positive reinforcement. It’s about welcoming input from others. It’s about developing people skills. Strong leaders appreciate diverse personalities and use their people skills to bring out the best in each person to maximize productivity and results.

    During some of our communication programs, we create scenarios intended to put people on the defensive. It’s an excellent exercise to assess how individuals communicate when under pressure. Typically, when challenged, they react defensively. When you push them, they often speak in negatives instead of focusing on positives. They talk about what isn’t happening, instead of what is. We teach them how to communicate more effectively to resolve problems and use the right words to avoid confusion and misinterpretation.

    As our flight came in for a landing, I thought about saying something to loudmouth, but clearly, he wouldn’t be interested in what I had to say and there was no point in wasting my energy except for my personal satisfaction of telling him off. Besides, as exited my seat, he was already on his phone loudly discussing important business that for all to hear. He was a man in charge.

    Even when coming down from the clouds, his head appeared to remain there; out of touch, in a bubble and unaware of those around him.

    Strong leaders keep their feet on the ground to cultivate relationships, seize opportunities and enlist the support of others. When you only consider yourself, you’re probably not as great as you think you are.

  • feedwordpress 13:13:24 on 2018/05/02 Permalink
    Tags: , communication, , , ,   

    Quick Tip #77: The One Thing 

    If the fire alarm went off in the room and you could only tell your listener one thing, what would it be? Watch this video to learn how to make sure what you say is what they hear.

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