Category Archives: #PersonalDevelopment
No matter how long you have been a leader, there is always room to grow.
There is an old but true saying:
If you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe, you rot.
Leaders who fail to become better by thinking they have arrived or they don’t need any further teaching or training are in eminent danger of losing their credibility, effectiveness and even imploding in their professional and personal lives.
The most stable, successful and credible leaders have a plan in place for their growth. In spite of their busy schedules, they make time and take time to develop themselves. And quite frankly, so can the rest of us.
So here are five easy ways we can all be better leaders starting today.
Be Truly Self-Aware. Absolutely no one can improve unless they know what thy need to work on. This involves admission of who you are, a desire to improve and the willingness to accept any criticism about yourself. Knowing your shortcomings, flaws, and tendencies is the first rung on the ladder to continued improvement and the most important. Then resolve to fix them one step at a time.
Truly Listen. There are leaders who tell their employees to work harder when they bring up that processes are broken, and there are leaders who will delve into finding the process failures to help their employees work more efficiently and not harder. Listening is truly listening, accepting that everyone has value and their input is meaningful. Helping and seeking to understand others is a characteristic we can always continue to work on.
Read in Context. One of the most challenging areas in communication is doing a quick read of an email, document, or even a text and not understanding the context of what’s read. In those cases, misdirection, wrong counsel, or wasted time in emails and call to clarify could have been prevented if we stopped to process the information. In this current climate of email barrage and limited attention spans, it’s more crucial than ever to master the art of understanding context in order to be a more effective leader.
Be Curious. A dynamic leader is one who learns the world around themselves. Whether it’s industry information, knowledge outside their industry, or learning about other people and their experiences will deepen your relatability, help you be more conversational, and will increase your storytelling in speaking and personal situations. Always find an opportunity to grow your knowledge beyond what you’re focuses are. Ask questions to grow yourself and others.
Speak to Edify. An easy way to boost your impactfulness and get people to trust you is to never talk ill of others. Leaders that defer a critique of someone, and speak their highlights rather than take an opportunity to make a dig are rare. Those that edify allies and enemies in their speech will never have their people wonder what is being said about them – they know their leader speaks highly of them. A quick pause to reflect on what you’re about to say will greatly aid in your leadership development.
No matter where you are in your career, these steps can enhance your growth and create a better dynamic among your teams and organization.
Work on these areas this week and leave a comment below as to how you’ve seen improvements in your leadership!
Projects that cascade down.
Texts and calls.
Other peoples urgencies overriding yours.
You’re busy and just trying to keep up in a daily survival to accomplish the most basic of tasks. No time to get anything else done.
But did you take any time to learn anything?
Did you learn to think for 2 minutes while driving about how you could have handled a situation better? Take the time to be more self-aware about how you come across?
Do you find time while travelling by plane, car, rideshare to listen to a short podcast, read a quick few pages, peruse an industry article?
Take 120 seconds to let your brain rest before charging into the next meeting? Breathe and feel your energy and calmness restored? Learn that a quick recharge is beneficial to your body and well being?
Can you watch others interact and learn how to better engage others? Or hear what they’re talking about and notice trends in the market or workplace?
The opportunity to learn and be able to bring value to others – and ourselves – is all around us for the taking.
We just need to be aware of it and take just a couple of minutes – not too long – to be attentive to learning and soak it it.
You’ll be amazed at your conversations, your knowledge base and your confidence when you do.
The ability to understand how your behavior impacts others. A conscious knowledge of your own character, feelings, motives and desires.
The ability to understand others needs and concerns. Also called social awareness.
Notice how both of these definitions imply the impact you make on others around you.
Why would self-awareness be defined if it didn’t recognize the cause and effect our own actions make on other people? Because all leaders make an continued impact, benevolent or malign, on others.
The stark reality is that, according to a recent Forbes article, about 15% of people are truly self-aware. That means a high probability that many of us are not truly self-aware.
Someone truly self-aware will examine themselves and how their actions and presence make others feel and react.
You measure yourself by how much character you exhibited at that meeting, and how you were able to keep silent while others spoke, or at least asked questions to engage a deeper conversation.
Self awareness allows us to critique ourselves against what the meta is for human interaction and positive influence.
And the irony is, that you can’t be truly self aware unless you have enough EQ to be others aware.
When you know the implications of your motives comparative to others, the you can safely say you have self awareness.
But it doesn’t begin and end with ourselves. It begins with others and ends with others. We just have to be open minded to know how we as the conduit transmit vision, goals and actions.
Self awareness is about others in the end game.
And that is the great paradox.
Are we willing to be self-aware enough to impact others better than we did yesterday?