Tag Archives: communication

11 Leadership Improvements to do Today

Simon Bolivar

Image by dbking via Flickr

Leaders can integrate these 11 improvements to their leadership skills today. Being the best leader that you can be should be constantly in the back of your mind. Taking the time for even fifteen minutes a day about how to improve on a leadership skill will be time well spent. Leaders hold a heavy weight on their shoulders but are in a strong position to lighten the load by improving their skills. Take a look at these 11 improvements from Margaret Buj and make it a priority to start working to improve today. 

In one leadership study, qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence and conscientiousness were cited as the most important. Research clearly shows that transformational leaders – leaders who are positive, inspiring, and who empower and develop followers – are better leaders. They are more valued by followers and have higher performing teams.

As a result, it would only make sense that you strive to improve your leadership skills and get the most out of life for everyone in your sphere.

Consider some of the following tips for how to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life.

1. Have a clear vision

Take the time to share your vision, your mission and your goals with your team. Your job as a leader is to provide a clear path that your team can follow. Your team also must understand why the goals you have set are valuable to them. Take the time to explain to them, in detail, why and how your vision will not only improve the business, but how it will benefit them in return. Include your team in your strategic planning sessions, ask for feedback and get them to “buy into” your vision for the future of the company.

…More at Top Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills | Career Rocketeer

Leaders should take their role seriously and work on this list over time. There are eleven great improvements to make today, tomorrow and every day. If we practice a skill it becomes a habit and these natural leadership abilities will become ingrained in your persona and make you a more efficient, likeable, and intelligent leader. Leaders can incorporate these 11 improvements to their leadership skills today. 

Share

10 High Performance Team Traits

watery view (unedited)

Image by kyeniz via Flickr

There are certain traits that high performance teams exhibit and leaders need to recognize and emphasize to improve the success of their teams. Leaders can encourage high performance out of their teams but it is important to know traits that are exhibited by teams to help nudge team members in the right direction. A high performance team is a unit that acts as one entity while performing tasks with ease and a seamless quality. A team that exhibits such behavior can be said to be in “flow” or in the “zone”. This is commonly witnessed in sports where a player can perform incredible feats that have never before been accomplished. Read the ten traits of high performance teams given by the folks at Talent Dynamics. 

1. Leadership. Instead of ‘I tell, you do’ the team members participate in the leadership of the team.  Each team member reflects the purpose and values of the team.  The team members use their skills and experience to solve problems.

2. Decision making. We make decisions in two ways, reason and intuition.  Both have strengths and weaknesses.  Reason is detailed and slow.  Intuition is sketchy and fast.  Different circumstances require different decision making processes.  High performance teams not only display a balance of both but they also know when each is needed.

3. Communication. Team communication needs to be open and transparent.  The goals of the team are regularly reflected upon, progress is fed back and problems addressed quickly.  High performance teams recognise that each member communicates differently and use the best communication channel for the information AND the team member.

4. Diversity. High performance teams embrace the diversity and difference in the team’s collective background and experience.  This leads to many viewpoints and a greater understanding of problems.  High performance teams use this diversity to make better decisions and create solutions faster.

…More at Traits of High Performance Teams | Talent Dynamics

Leaders can use this list to their advantage and start improving their success today. A high performance team is one that “clicks” and can be very difficult to attain. People are inherently different and diversity is a positive advantage when team members understand their role and responsibility but ego and a whole host of other emotions can impede the achievement of developing a “flow”. Leaders need to recognize when a spirit of competition rather than cooperation crops up and take action to alleviate this tension before it affects output. A team cannot achieve high performance without an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Leaders can recognize these ten high performance team traits and emphasize improvement in key areas to increase their own success. 

Share

Leadership Skill: Asking Not Telling

 

sensitive noise / obvious 2

Image by milos milosevic via Flickr

Leaders need to ask not tell. Ideas and collaboration are greatly hindered when a relationship switches from being a partnership to master and subordinate. In order to fully tap into your resources you must be able to phrase any requests in the form of a question rather than as an order. Marvin Marshall tells us more about asking vs. telling. 

No one likes to be TOLD what to do. Think of a time when someone told you what to do or told you that you had to do something. Notice how it conjures up a negative feeling.

I grew up with a friend who, when told what to do by a parent, would find an excuse NOT to do it. Even if it was something he wanted to do, such as going outside to play, he would find an excuse to stay indoors just because he was TOLD.

Depending upon the other person’s mental frame at the time, when we tell a person what to do—regardless of how admirable our intentions—the message is often PERCEIVED either as an attempt to control or as a criticism that what the person is doing is not good enough.

…More at Telling vs. Asking

Nobody enjoys being commanded to do things. Being told to do something often feels belittling which puts us in a defensive position. Leaders need to understand this frame of reference when they approach any topic, but especially sensitive ones, with their followers so that they can avoid putting people on the defensive. A spirit of cohesion that can be brought about when people feel a part of a team where everyone works as equals can go a long way in keeping employees happy. Special care should be taken to ensure that you are phrasing your requests as questions rather than commands to make the most of your relationships with your team. Just remember: ask not tell.

Share

Leadership Needs Workers With Emotional Intelligence

[ Tell Me Your Secrets ] Blue Telephone : Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport : France

Image by || UggBoy♥UggGirl || PHOTO || WORLD || TRAVEL || via Flickr

Workers with emotional intelligence are an asset for any leadership team. Emotional Intelligence is a buzz word heard flying around these days in the offices of hiring managers, sales leaders, and many others. People with high emotional intelligence are in great demand due to their ability to communicate effectively with those around them. Emotional intelligence can be described as the way a person perceives and interprets the emotions behind what someone they come in contact with says in order to respond appropriately and effectively. Harry Urschel tells us why employers want emotional intelligence in their work force.

For some people it’s innate. It may be a natural part of their personality, or something they’ve learned through their upbringing and their family dynamics. However, it is something that can be learned and developed whether you already have it or not.

It primarily comes down to effective listening and observation!

Too often, people don’t really listen to the people they are conversing with. They are more preoccupied with what they are going to say next, rather than paying close attention to what the other person is saying, or how they are expressing themselves with their body language. Listening, not only to their words, but also to their voice inflections, their boldness or uncertainty, their comfort or irritation, or other aspects of their tone. Observing, not only their lips, but their stance and posture, evidence of stress or anxiousness, looks of concern, joy, curiosity, anger, caring, or boredom. Paying attention to all these things and more can give clues about the persons interest, concern, or other aspects of the conversation.

…More at Employers Want “Emotional Intelligence” | Career Rocketeer

Emotional Intelligence is becoming more important to us as human beings as we transfer to a plugged-in world where it is increasingly the norm for people who work together never to speak face-to-face. It becomes very important to have a highly developed emotional intelligence to be able to reliably read auditory clues that can give hint to a person's emotions. Great leaders typically have a high emotional intelligence for people to be willing to follow them. Leadership development should focus on emotional intelligence as a learned skill if it is not naturally part of a leader's repertoire. People with emotional intelligence are more apt to succeed because leadership relies on these people to help them connect their teams.

Share

Conversation Skills in Leadership

texting

Image by suzi54241 via Flickr

Are conversation skills in leadership declining? Communication, particularly, conversation has changed a great deal over time. While face-to-face and handwritten communication may have been the bread and butter of earlier generations, today is guided through e-mail, text, and other electronic formats. Generation Y joins the workforce with more electronic than face-to-face or fully written text. So how can leaders help?

Mary Ann Allison, an assistant professor of media studies at Hofstra University, has her students keep a log of their own communication habits.

“By paying attention to it, they say, `Wow, it’s a really different conversation when you’re talking with someone and listening to them,” Allison says. They key in on body language, facial expressions and tone of voice – all cues that you lose when you can’t see or hear someone, or when you’re distracted, even in person, by a gadget.

Sternberg, at Fordham, asks her students to give up one form of electronic communication to see what kind of difference it makes in their lives.

She also has them practice simple tasks such as standing up in a room full of people and introducing themselves. Many of them hate the drill, she says, but later tell her how useful it was, especially in the workplace.

Interestingly, Anna’s mom, Joanna Schiferl, is more worried about the effect that texting is having on her daughter’s writing skills than her social skills. Anna tends to rush her writing and pays less attention to grammar, or uses abbreviations she’d use in a text. It is a common observation among parents….More at Text Messaging: Is Texting Ruining The Art Of Conversation?

Schiferi is correct – the effect on writing skills may be the biggest concern. Prime example is a young man I worked with that wanted to move into a leadership role. He had the knowledge, the passion, and the vision needed to lead. Unfortunately he couldn’t get past the abbreviated texting and tweeting format and informality for his  communications, written or verbal. He lacked the art of business conversation as he spent the majority of his time texting and tweeting.

Comunication – effective communication is key to leaderships role in conveying the vision and knowledge  to inspire and mentor others. A key in this is conversation skills in leadership.

More Reading

Share