Tag: Communication Skill

How Will You Grow?

As you seek to learn and grow as a leader, let me give you some advice about improve urselfhow to approach the process. After more than three decades of dedi­cated, continual effort to learn and grow, I offer the following suggestions:

Invest in Yourself First

Most leaders want to grow their business or organization. What is the thing more than any other that will determine the growth of that organization? The growth of the people in the organization. And what determines the people’s growth? The growth of the leader! As long as people are following you, they will be able to go only as far as you go. If you’re not growing, they won’t be growing either that or they will leave and go somewhere else where they can grow.

Investing in yourself first may look selfish to some of the people around you. They may even criticize you for it. But if they do, they don’t really understand how growth works. When airline  flight attendants explaining emergency procedures tell passengers to put their own oxygen mask on first before putting masks on their children, is that instruction selfish? Of course not! The children’s safety and well-being is dependent upon their parent being able to help them. As a leader, you are responsible for your people. They are depending on you! If you’re in no shape to lead well, where does that leave them?
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How Will You Grow?
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Listening Problem-Solving

Listening Can Keep Problems from Escalating

A Cherokee proverb says, “Listen to the whispers and you won’t have to heartrust the screams.” Good leaders are attentive to small issues. They pay attention to their intuition. And they also pay close attention to what isn’t being said. That requires more than just good listening skills. It requires a good understanding of people, and it also means being secure enough to ask for honest communication from others and to not become defensive when receiving it. To be an effective leader, you need to let others tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines, took this idea step further when he advised, “Make sure you only hire people who will be willing to kick the   door open if you lose direction and close it.  You may be able to ignore somebody’s opinion if you don’t like it, but if the person has the data to back it up, your intellect should be able to overwhelm your vanity.

A common fault that occurs in people as they gain more authority is impatience with those who work for them. Leaders like results. Unfortunately, that action orientation sometimes causes them to stop listening. But a deaf ear is the first symptom of a closed mind, and having a closed mind is a surefire way to hurt your leadership. Continue reading “Listening Problem-Solving”

Listening Problem-Solving
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Defining Your Moments As Leader

Leaders become better leaders when they experience a defining moment and respond to it correctly. Anytime they experience a breakthrough, it allows the people who follow them to also benefit. The difficulty with defining moments is that you don’t get to choose them. You can’t sit down with your calendar and say, “I’m going to schedule a defining moment for next Tuesday at eight o’clock.” You cannot control when they will come. However, you can choose how you will handle them when they come, and you can take steps to prepare for them. Here’s how:

Reflect on Defining Moments from the Past

It’s said that those who do not study history are destined to repeat its pastmistakes. That statement applies not only in a broad sense to a nation or culture but also to individuals and their personal histories. The best teacher for a leader is evaluated experience. To predict how you will han­dle defining moments in the future, look at the ones from your past. Continue reading “Defining Your Moments As Leader”

Defining Your Moments As Leader
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How Will Experience Mark You?

We all begin our lives as empty notebooks. Every day we have an opportunity to record new experiences on our pages. With the turning of each page, we gain more knowledge and understanding. Ideally, as we progress our notebook becomes filled with notations and observations. The problem is that not all people make the best use of their notebooks.

Some people seem to leave the notebook closed most of their lives. They rarely jot down anything at all. Others fill their pages, but they never take the time to reflect on them and gain greater wisdom and understanding. But a few not= only make a record of what they experience; they linger over it and ponder its meaning. They reread what is written and reflect on it. Reflection turns experience into insight, so they not only live the experience but learn from it. They understand that time is on their side if they use their notebook as a learning tool, not just as a calen­dar. They have come to understand a secret. Experience teaches nothing, but evaluated experience teaches everything. Continue reading “How Will Experience Mark You?”

How Will Experience Mark You?
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Why Listeners Are More Effectives Leaders

Understanding People Precedes Leading Them

Leadership finds its source in understanding. To be worthy of the responsibility of leadership, a person must have insight into the human heart. Sensitivity toward the hopes and dreams of people on your team is essential it connecting with them and motivating them.

According famous author John C. Maxwell, Law of Connection, which states, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand”. You cannot connect with someone if you don’t try to listen to and understand them. Not only is it not fair to ask for the help of someone with whom you haven’t connected, it is also ineffective. If you want to be more effective = connecting with people, make it your goal to understand them.

Listening Is the Best Way to Learn

It is no accident that we have one mouth and two ears. When we fail to listen we shut off much of our learning potential. You’ve probably heard the phrase “seeing is believing’ Well, so is listening. Talk show host Larry King, said, “I remind myself every morning: nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So, if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

Why Listeners Are More Effectives Leaders
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The Best Leader Are Listeners

Steven Sample, in his book The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership, writes, “The average person suffers from three delusions:  that he is a good liver, that he has a good sense of humor, and that he is a good listener.” Plus, Steven Sample says, “Many leaders are terrible listeners; they actually think talking is more important than listening. But contrarian leaders know it is better to listen first and talk later and when they listen, they d so artfully.

The positive benefits of being a good listener are much more valuable than we often recognize. According to Jim Lange in his book Bleedership:

A couple of rednecks are out in the woods hunting when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

He frantically tells the operator, “Bubba is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm, soothing voice says, “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is silence, and then a shot is heard.

The guy’s voice comes back on the line and says, “Okay, now what?”

As this story about rednecks illustrates—we can hear what is said without really listening to what is being communicated. The hunter above heard what the operator told him and technically did make sure that his hunting companion was dead. But had he really been listening, I don’t think he would have shot his partner.

The story may seem silly, but it contains an important truth. When we hear without really listening, our leadership is hound to suffer—and so will our followers. This study that stated proved that we hear half of what is being said, listen to half of what we hear, understand half of it, believe half of that, and remember only half of that. If you translate those assumptions into an eight-hour work day, here is what it would mean:

You spend half your day—about four hours—in listening activities. • You hear about two hours’ worth of what is said.

You actually listen to an hour of it.

• You understand only thirty minutes of that hour.

• You believe only fifteen minutes’ worth.

• And you remember less than eight minutes of all that is said.

The Best Leader Are Listeners
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