#ThursdayThought – Self-Awareness, Always Be Learning

One of the toughest things for us as hunmans is to objectively learn at every opportunity.

We tend to be defensive when things don’t go our way. Our pride tells us “I’m fine, it’s everyone/everything else”.

When things are going well, we think we’re in a good place, and fail to find out how to be better.

At every instance, we should always be learning.

We should learn where new opportunities are, what is trending, and how to be more effective.

We should learn where to make the biggest impact and how to connect with others on a deeper level.

But the most important thing we should always be learning about it ourselves and how we can improve.

Most of the challenges we face are how we respond to situations, and how our action feed into them before they occur.

If we spent our time learning the art of self-awareness and always be learning about ourselves, we will gain mastery of the most elusive part of leadership – our own EQ.

Always learn about the world around you, but more critically, learn about the world that is within your own heart and mind.

(image: pixabay)

Start Your Week By Driving Culture

Do you start your week off with a sense of dread of how you’ll get your teams motivated and inspired this week? Or do you get overwhelmed as to how to you can make culture deeper but, wow, there’s just so much work to do?

Having a clearly defined expectation of your organization’s culture is always the foremost step, but it’s the consistent application of culture throughout the week that will enhance employee engagement and make your teams synergize with purpose.

So to give you a starting point for success, here is a simple Monday checklist to get you started driving culture this week:

  1. Read your company’s culture and mission statement.
  2. Make sure culture and mission are posted in work and employee areas highlighted often to prevent the “wallpaper effect”.
  3. Start your leadership team off with a “temperature check” of how culture is and a commitment to make culture Job #1 this week.
  4. Through intercoms, team meetings, line checks, calls, personal interactions, make sure to promote your culture at every interaction.
  5. Thread culture through every project, strategic plan, financial forecast, training sessions, and every other project in an effort to bring cohesive engagement.
  6. Pick 5 employees (1 per day) and find a “temperature check” time to ask about cutlure and empower them to build it.
  7. Schedule time for yourself midway through the week to stop and asses how YOU are impacting culture.
  8. Wrap up your work week with a reflection or a “plus-minus” of how your team enhanced culture and what next week’s steps are.

I kept this checklist simple because we have a tendency to over-complicate the important in our lives. By keeping this list before you and reviewing it every morning, you will see consistent, then amazing, growth in your culture and how your people will fully lock-in to promoting the mission and vision of the organization as well.

Feel free to adapt and tailor this checklist to your individual and corporate needs. I attached two links to previous posts I’ve written to help you in your staff 1-to-1’s and reviewing your days and weeks. These strategies will help this checklist become a living organism in your company.

Keeping it simple is key, but keeping it a priority is vital. Make culture happen this week!

(image: pixabay)

6 Ways To Enhance Your Communication Effectiveness

One of the indicators of an effective leader is how well they communicate.

Great communication is the sharing, imparting and teaching of information, methods and vision among your people to enable them to perform better in their work.

If you want to be more consistent and effective in enabling your team to perform, then consider these ways to enhance your communication.

Stop and Take Time. Never be in a rush to communicate. Being busy is one thing, allowing your workload to dictate what you say makes everyone a victim of circumstance in where you have ultimate control of the message. Don’t communicate in passing or hurriedly, but take the time to think and express your thoughts.

Be Engaged In The Conversation. Are you unfocused because of all the items vying for your attention? Do you look your people in the eyes when you talk with them? Do you let others passing by, or emails or phone calls, interrupt your talk? Not being truly engaged tells your people that they are not really important, and you don’t have time to help them understand. Don’t let them figure it out because you’re not connected. Be There, both in person and in thought.

Be Clear. Our world needs leaders to impart higher clarity. Give specific expectations on what needs to be done and how. Have the recipient repeat what was told and expected. Make sure you have set the stage properly because you have as much of the blame for failure as well as success.

Give Context. Talk details, backdrop and prior work leading up to this point. “Need to know” is not always good policy, as most times talking more about context will not only enable the free flow of ideas but will also help your people grow and develop which in turn makes your organization stronger.

Ask Before Finding Fault. When your desired results are not met, the first step is always to ask for the other person’s input and understanding. Questioning, and thus assuming, about someone’s work when they were not told the context or what they should and should not do will increase disengagement and your credibility. Don’t correct before you ask, seek to gain understanding so you can better understand what parts of the process need to be addressed.

Look To Improve Yourself First. I’ve seen many times where a manager will reprimand their employee only to have the employee, and many times other employee witnesses, inform their boss that they were unclear or omitted that information. Very few leaders take responsibility to learn how to craft a more effective message. Be willing to seek and improve yourself first and this will prevent anxiety and mistrust among your people.

Great communication comes from yourself first. Having a clear message that can be understood by others and enables them to perform at their best will be the difference maker in your organization. Always be cognizant of how you communicate and what you say.

You always get what you ask for, or don’t ask for.

(images: pixabay, pixabay/canva)

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