What Is A Real Leader?

Real Leaders recognize leadership is a relationship between you and your employees. You have to value their well being, their effort, their successes like you would your family.
 
Leadership is being a coach and mentor just like you would coach your grandchildren – sharing respect and security; feeding their desire to grow… knowing there is always a learning curve.
 
Leadership is knowing that even though you may be an expert, we live in a culture of change and there is always something new to learn…. or you risk falling behind.
 
Real leadership is communicating with people as they are… not as if they were you – with your goals, your knowledge, your stresses. Leaders recognize people are individuals and do not wish to be mini-clones of you.
 
Leadership recognizes everyone has emotions – they do not freeze when they (or you) walk through the door. Leaders also recognizes the relationships you need to nourish and respect are based on emotions. Trust is an emotion; so is Motivation and so is Respect… and the list continues.
 
Leaders build relationships that last… and the foundation of a leaders legacy… the foundation of a leaders personal and professional brand is their ability to build trusting, respectful relationships while motivating the people around them to achieve their greatest potential.
 
Real leaders are not perfect… but they try and are transparent of their shortfalls as well as their efforts and their successes. Leaders know their vulnerability only builds greater loyalty from others.
 
Real leaders want to make a positive lasting impact in the lives of their employees as well as their suppliers, customers and shareholders.
 
Real leaders never want to make a positive lasting impact at the expense of their employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders.
 
Bruce….

What we do every day of our lives is what matters.

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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How To Communicate: Communication Skills At Work

When we communicate with customers and co-workers we have to manage an almost endless list of conflicting feelings – for example: Hope and Excitement… or perhaps Boredom and Irritation. And then we’re asked to do something impossible; to leave our feelings at home in the name of productivity and organizational goals.

A clear sign of our feelings being alive and well at work is when we are speaking with a co-worker or customer and they begin the conversation with “I need….“. The “I need….” language style often translates into feelings of “more for you – less for me” which rarely evokes a desire to be creative or helpful. Does the following chart feel familiar?

Nobody wants to work with someone who makes demands. And because our feelings are not being considered guess what happens… productivity goes down because we’re not as helpful, creative, and compassionate with our co-workers and customers as we would prefer to be. We’re too busy being guarded and protecting ourselves… and this takes a lot of time and energy which is expensive in lost productivity and lost innovation.

Instead, if we considered and respected each others feelings we would all give 110% (or more), and our projects would be more likely to:

  • Succeed
  • Develop increased trust and respect
  • Create greater communication harmony
  • Be accomplished quickly and with greater creativity
  • Have fewer errors – which saves time and money

Transform Our Conversations

How do we unlearn our current habits? Lets start by learning a few new behaviours so that we can transition our conversations into positive, supportive experiences with customers and co-workers.The first step is a really easy solution that still honours and respects organizational goals.

  1. Take the opportunity to establish mutually beneficial goals.  Wow – could it be that easy?
  2. Show respect by asking people to participate – don’t take their time and effort for granted. Take a cooperative approach to our conversations / negotiations. We have to retire our (likely learned behavior), to use aggression to get what we want.
  3. Consider our customers and co-workers points of view and respect their feelings and experience.
  4. Describe in as much detail as we can our desired outcome – what will the end product look like? Include “What’s in it for them” (if possible) as well as “What’s in it for you“. This will:
    • Reduce misunderstandings
    • Establish partnerships
    • Show our communication partner how they can participate
  5. Use language that’s in line with their own knowledge. Never talk over someone, make them feel foolish or inadequate.

Imagine two people pushing against each other vs. working together. We can accomplish so much more when we work together.

When we respect our co-workers and customers they will respect us back – and cooperate more.

Listen

Learn to listen – really listen. This helps us find solutions that meet more of everyone’s needs.

One step to be a better listener means we validate what we think we hear instead of using our own knowledge and experiences to jump to conclusions about what our partner is saying (and what is needed to solve it). By turning off our ‘communication filters‘ communication becomes easier and more accurate.

When we listen we learn what’s important to each of us. We also:

  • Get clarity about our next steps
  • Inspire each other
  • Are able to collaborate on projects

Conclusion

Find out what others feel / want. Listening and asking a few open-ended questions can go a long way.

In the short-term, cooperative communication may take more effort to get what we want and when work get busy we might forget to use some of the skills we’re practicing. Don’t worry – keep practicing. In the long-term forceful behaviour damages our reputation and the willingness of people to support us. Who wants to help a bully? Nobody.

Change takes time and practice. This is one area where you will immediately start to see progress – and that progress will continue to develop the more you focus on open, cooperative communication. Do this and you will build a reputation as a great communicator.

Happy communicating.

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Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

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