Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘leadership communication skill’

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway

45 year old Judy revealed in an anger management class that she was constantly angry at her husband.  When asked why, she revealed that the fact that she has a home based business that she is building has always conflicted with her on whether to spend time with her husband or to create a better quality of  life for the family.

She loved her husband but she also enjoyed what she was doing to contribute to the family. She felt he was create a better quality of life, more money and more time. However she resented her husband becoming more demanding and upset when she spent needed time with her business instead of being with him.

Judy revealed that she dealt with the situation by ignoring her husband when he expressed displeasure – with disastrous results. These included constant bickering and tension in the home as well as emotional distance from each other.

How much better the outcome would have been had Judy used basic skills of assertive communication.

What is assertive communication?

It is a way to communicate to your friends, your team and to your family your rights, feelings and needs- but in a good way. It is a method of letting peopel know where you stand on things and what your limits and boundaries are.

Assertive communication allows you to clarify communication and stand up for yourself without making things worse or getting a negative result or response from your team and loved ones.

Four Steps to Assertive Communication:

Step 1- Send clear messages

Turns out Judy had never clearly told her husband how she felt when he put pressure on her to spend time with him instead of her buisness. When she did discuss it, she hemmed, hawed and stammered with almost no eye contact.

As a result her husband was not getting a clear message. To communicate clearly, look at your posture and your facial expressions, as well as your hand and arm movements. Pay special attention to your tone of voice which can say volumes beyond your words. Research shows that Only 7% is conveyed in the words we use. 38% is conveyed in the voice, it’s quality, use of tone and inflections and 55% of communication is conveyed by the body language we use, i.e.; Use of eye contact, gestures and facial expressions.

Step 2 – Learn how to listen

Assertive people have developed their listening skills. While hearing is done with your ears, true listening is done with your heart. To be a better communicator, start by becoming a better listener. God has created us with one mouth but 2 ears and 2 eyes. That is what i calla clue! it is better to listen and see then it is to talk. Listen with your heart feel the emotions of others.

Much silence makes a powerful noise. proverb

Step 3 – Start the conversation with “I feel” rather than “you should.”

Words have tremendous power to determine how other people experience us, and how they respond to an issue. For this reason, people with good assertive communication skills focus on the problem behavior (and not the character of the person), stick to the point, don’t use labels, and make “I” statements rather than “you” statements.

Judy tried this with her husband and it worked very well.  Here is what she said: “Honey, I love you and want to be with you, but I also want to work to help contribute to the family. Could you get along without me for a hour or two a night? I’ll try to always be done by 8:30 PM.”

The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust. Josh Billings

Step 4 – Acknowledge your part in the conflict or issue

Anger is often an escalating process, involving two people who create a negative feeling in each other, sometimes instantly and sometimes over a long period of time.

It is natural to blame another family member entirely for the problem, especially when we are angry or in a defensive mode.

But, once we return to normal, the assertive communicator is able to accept some of the responsibility for the conflict. This acceptance and acknowledgement of your contribution to the problem is an indication of emotional maturity and can create an entirely different atmosphere between conflicting issues.

Try saying the following things to promote communication:

– My reactions were too extreme. I’m sorry. – Even though I still feel I was right about the issue, my reaction wasn’t right and I apologize. – I never thought of things that way. – Let me start again in a different way. – I can see my part in all this.

To Judy’s delight, when she practiced saying some of these things to her husband in a loving way, he began changing too. Almost immediately, he became less demanding, more understanding, and more aligned with her so both of them could work the buisness together.

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. J. Isham

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Your journey to unleashing your leadership potential begins with a great understanding of self. Discover your personality traits and how they relate to leadership.

An Exceptional Leader is one that recognizes the value of harnessing the qualities, skills and abilities of themselves and team members. When we know ourselves, we can maximize our positive traits, and become aware of our weaker areas, which help us to achieve our leadership potential. Once you understand and know yourself, next you must hone your skills. Only then can one lead their teams toward greatness.

Remember a leader is not a title and leadership is not something you are born into. Leadership is something you develop.

In order to be a great leader, one must possess various qualities, skills and abilities that will attract followers. The following qualities are just of few of the many qualities that are vital for effective leadership:

1. Charisma- charismatic leaders have the gift to touch people through their choice of words. Charismatic leaders are alluring, charming and can encourage followers to support a grand vision or idea.

2. Positive Attitude – A leader who has a positive attitude will influence his/her followers to carry that same attitude. A good example of a leader with a positive attitude could be a parent or teacher.

Mothers, fathers, or elementary teachers appear and are viewed as role models to the young children they are teaching and nurturing.

These role models are the first leaders they encounter in life. Children become very dependent of leaders because they are their vehicles to the outside world and provide much needed help and assistance.
If a parent is nurturing and loving to their child, they will thrive under this encouragement.

If a school teacher provides a positive learning experience to the child, they will succeed and that success will become contagious… In any circumstance, a leader’s positive attitude will have greater impact and influence on their followers.

3. Motivation – In an athletic world, a motivating leader could be a coach, trainer or even a fellow teammate. While the talent of players is a good determinant of a winning team, their coach is also an important factor.

If a coach can not produce a winning team, his job is at stake. A coach’s motivation involves infusing his players with high standards, and setting challenging but attainable goals as they perform well. Thus, his/her ability to motivate his players will enhance their performances.

Motivation also correlates with having a positive attitude. When a coach has a positive attitude and provides a positive environment for his players, then the team will most likely be motivated to move in his/her direction where ultimate success can be found.

4. Assertiveness – A leader has the responsibility to guide the direction of his or her company. When a leader is firm and assertive in delegating tasks to his subordinates, they will hold a greater respect to follow through on their assignments.

An assertive leader has the ability to convey enforcement without being too autocratic or threatening to their subordinates.

Furthermore, an assertive leader should not make his subordinates feel like they’re in a hostile environment. Instead, an assertive leader should respect his people, and require proper accountability at the same time. A leader’s assertiveness and confidence earns respect. With that respect, people are much more likely to follow, help, and emulate their leader to achieve success.

5. Communication –
This is  not limited to your public speaking skills either. This includes your writing style and your body language. Your ability to communicate effectively enhances your ability to improve interpersonal relationships.

6. Teaching and learning behaviors – This important skill is to learn how to learn. Examine different teaching methods and learning styles to identify how you and those you may lead learn best. This skill will greatly enhance your ability to make decisions and give clear instructions.

7. Self-improvement – Constent self-improvement is part of being a great leader. Self improvement and success go hand in hand to being a great leader. One must constantly strive to improve themselves and teach others to do the same. The reality is that throughout our lives we are all constantly growing and developing. Circumstances make us grow and develop, even if we do not make the conscious decision to do so.  I have never met someone with great wealth or great leadership that did not have some type of outstanding library in self-development.

Some believe that if only they had more money they could have whatever they want and be on their way to self improvement.  The reality is unless you are ready for leadership and great wealth you will not be able to handled it. A great example of this is looking at everyone that has won the lottery. All of them have acquired great wealth by chance  however over 90% of them are dead broke and have claimed bankruptcy.

If we are to learn anything from experience this is at the top of the list “Self Improvement” Teach your team the importance of self-improvement and how important it is to there success.

I believe that the qualities, skills and abilities above are a must to be a great “Do It First Leader“.

So I want to end with this, a quote which i believe says it all. This quote is by Dr. Ken Blanchard, from his book “The Heart of A Leader” ;

“If you want to know why your people are not performing well, step up to the mirror and take a peek.”

Read Full Post »

For decades, every summer, welcoming his scholarship players, Alabama coaching legend, Paul “Bear” Bryant, asked: “Have you called your folks to thank them?  No one ever got to this level of excellence in football without the help of others.”

conversationsBryant didn’t just appreciate the importance of other people in the development of a young athlete; he wanted the athletes to appreciate it too.  Such appreciation is also a lesson in leadership.  Nobody becomes a successful leader unless others want you to be; you need help; and part of your growth as a leader is to recognize and show appreciation for that help. 

But you’ll give your leadership and ultimately your career a real boost by extending your appreciation not just to the people you like and who are on your side but also to the people you may dislike: the difficult people in your life, those people who for right or wrong reasons cause you grief. 

One of the most effective ways of dealing with them is to appreciate them.  I mean truly appreciate them.  When you do, you may find that you are dealing with them in surprisingly productive ways. 

The word “appreciation” comes from a Latin root meaning “to apprehend the value.”  In other words, your appreciation of difficult people must be centered on your genuine understanding of the value they offer  you and your organization.

You are not just understanding their point of view.  You are actually appreciating it; and you are using that appreciation as a tool to get more results, more results than if the difficult people had not entered your life. Otherwise, your appreciation, at least as far as leadership is concerned, is a waste of time.

Here’s a four step process to make appreciation a results-generator.

(1) Team up.  To get appreciation rolling, know that you must be a team, you and the difficult person, in the development of it.  Mind you, you’re not trying to get the difficult person to appreciate you. You have little control over the other’s appreciation.  You do, however, have control over yours.  So, focus on cultivating yours.  That cultivation happens only in a relationship — a team relationship with the other person, not necessarily a personal relationship.  In a team-relationship, you don’t have to like the other person.  You simply have to work with them — actively and wholeheartedly, irrespective of personal feelings.  And the goal of your team is to forge out of the difficulties you’re having with one another a leadership process that achieves results.  

(2) Identify.  When you’re dealing with a difficult person, you’re often entangled in strong emotions.  The first thing to do is, with the person’s help in a face-to-face meeting, get at the precise causes of the difficulties.  Try to remove yourself from your emotional entanglements. “Break down” what’s happening the way football coaches break down the plays of opposing teams studying game films.  This breaking down is a collaborative process, and it should go like this: First, have the person describe the exact moments when you were having trouble with each other.  It’s important to keep focused simply on the physical facts of those moments. What were the specific actions and words that triggered the emotions? When the person gives h/her side of the story then and only then can you give yours.  Only when both of you are clear as to those moments and agree on what took place can you start to talk with each other about your feelings connected to those moments of physical action.

For instance, that person may contend you are not listening to what h/she says to you.  Have the person describe the exact moment when you were not listening.  Where were you?  What was being said?  Precisely, what gave that person that impression?   

(3) Agree.  You and the person must agree on what is important in regard to the difficulties you are having.  A gap between what you think is important and what the other person thinks must be closed.  The test in closing it is results.  Does the difficulty you are having with the person go right to the heart of the results you need to achieve?

The person says you don’t listen.  Do you agree?  Is that person’s perception important?  Until you can come to agreement as to whether you were or were not listening and the importance of that, you’ll continue to have difficulties.  Which means you won’t be able to go to the next, and most important, step.

(4)Transform.  Transform the specific into a results process, a process that will get you increases in results. Without such a process, the previous steps are useless.  For instance, let’s say you both come to an agreement that you need to be more attentive when the person is speaking.  Then, you might develop a “listening process.”  Such a process may involve applying “continuers.” This is a process taught in medical schools to help overbearing doctors be more empathetic with their patients.  When interacting with patients, the doctors are taught to say, “uh huh” three times when the other person is talking before saying a word.  

Of course, “continuers” are one of many listening processes you can draw on. And clearly, “not listening” is one of many problems one might have with the people you lead.  Whatever process you come upon in whatever difficulty you are having with people, that process must achieve specific increases in results — more results than if you had not used the process. 

As for the “not listening” example: You may pick out one actionable item from what was being said that can lead to results increases. I worked with a leader who did this.  Several people he led accused him of ignoring them, and consequently those people were bucking his leadership.  They all sat down around a conference table and went through this four-step process.  They developed a process to actively and systematically listen to one another and come to agreement on what was spoken and what was heard.  Then they selected actionable particulars that came out of their communication.  They made sure they followed through on implementing those particulars to achieve increases in hard, measured results.

Like the poor, the people who cause us difficulties will always be with us. No matter how experienced and successful you are as a leader, difficult people will always be lined up outside your door, wanting into your life.  Moreover, there are probably a lot of them inside the door too, trying to cut you down to size, thwart your plans, besmirch your reputation.

Instead of clashing with them or avoiding them, try appreciating them.  When you use this process, you may find that they’re not liabilities but assets.

Read Full Post »