Effective leadership isn’t for wimps (neither is parenting, but that’s a different blog)! As leaders, we need to become masterful in engaging in those seemingly daunting tough conversations that spark growth and unleash potential within our teams. The most important lessons lie in the mastery of empathy and respect.
The question is: how well do you use these skills? (feel free rate yourself 1-10, 10 being best and revisit this list – recurring opportunities to improve await)
- Active Listening: Channel your inner ninja by mastering the art of active listening. Learn to silence the distractions and hear the unsaid, you’ll increase curiosity and trust will result. 4:1 is the optimal question to statement ratio – how are you doing?
- Tone: Tame your tone. Begin with authentic praise, setting a positive stage for any transformative conversation that awaits. Rule of thumb is 5 positive statements for every corrective statement over time. Do you praise enough?
- The “I” In Win: “I” is for influence. Speak your truth gently, ask questions and present facts, don’t blame. The intended result is dialog and collaboration for the greater good of all. Are you accountable? How are you doing with this? If accountability is lacking, begin by looking in the mirror.
- Facts and Figures: Gear up with facts and figures, steering clear of opinion landmines. Objective waters are safe to navigate, even during stormy discussions. You need 3 examples for every behavioral correction you’re suggesting. Have you done your homework?
As you assess your skills, consider what needs to change and take one action today. Don’t wait, we’ve got more for you tomorrow and the time to improve is now. One habitual change every day makes a difference, the best time to start is today. A year from now you’ll be glad you did.