Three ways to be a Masterful Communicator

Just like personal relationships, professional relationships work best when there is effective collaboration and communication from both sides. Stewart Levine is an expert on masterful communication and has studied the ways in which you can better lead in the workplace.

We tend to ignore emotion in the business sphere, but emotions can be highly valuable for guiding us to take the right steps.

On the other hand, hurt and damaged emotions can hinder performance and success. This is why it is essential for you, O’ Brilliant One, to become a masterful communicator and make the most out of your business relationships. To do so, you must learn some valuable skills, and apply them, incorporating a paradigm shift into how you interact with your teammates on a day-to-day basis.

Everyone has a story

Before you cut someone off and try to get your points in, remember that each person experiences everything differently from you, and they have their version of events, or their own unique ideas.

Listen to everyone, and fully consider what they have to say.

Communication goes both ways, and while it is important to effectively get what have to say across to the other person, you can do so once you have heard their side. Use the opportunity to learn more about your partner, and actively engage by asking questions and showing that you are interested. It is a delicate balance between listening and talking; a graceful dance where both partners engage in responses.

Dial back criticism

If you are being overly critical, people are less likely to respond positively.

Appreciate and acknowledge your peers, and as a leader, learn to validate.

If you just cannot accept something about someone, and it is very hard for you let go of your hostility, ask them about it, and try to understand why they are that way.

If you cannot, let it go, because you are simply adding to your own stress.

An easy way to avoid being critical is to use “I” instead of “you”; for example, instead of saying “you are stressing me out” you can say “I am feeling very stressed by all of this”. This will convey your feelings without criticizing the other person.

Think about civic engagement

We often forget the basic niceties we learned in preschool, and tend to engage with others in an aggressive or impersonal manner.

Always be considerate of others, and let them know that you think of them as important individuals.

When you are a pleasant and affable person, even the worst news doesn’t sound as bad coming from your mouth.

Remember that just because you are in a leadership position, it does not give you the right to treat your employees as lesser individuals, and always remember to treat others, not as you would treat yourself, but rather, as they would treat themselves.

To learn more about Stewart Levine’s work, you can read his groundbreaking book, Getting to Resolution: Turning Conflict Into Collaboration or visit this link to access free audio samples of his findings. As a leader, you may find that you often forget to communicate and work towards success on an individual level. Hone your ability to masterfully communicate with your team and guide them effectively.

Simon’s Sidebar – Mark your calendar for 7:30 PM EST on August 27th to join me for a free virtual experience where you will learn how to Shift Your Brilliance and Harness the Power of You, Inc.

 

Shift

Overcoming Failure and Emerging as a Leader

Failure is inevitable. Even when one has had consecutive successes throughout their life, there will come a time when a certain strategy fails and plans backfire.

Success is never guaranteed. As a leader, your team will look to you for support, and stability.

A leader must be the epitome of resilience, encouraging others to rise from the ashes of disaster, and soar like a phoenix.

However, the phoenix must have both wings to fly, and if you are encouraging others to remain optimistic, you must have an inherent supply of positivity yourself. A one-winged bird cannot remain airborne.

Here is how you can cultivate resilience, and always bounce back from failure:

1. Separate Yourself from the Failure

Don’t internalize the feeling, it was the plan or project that failed, not you. Once you learn to separate your identity and self-esteem from the situation, you will find that it is much easier to bounce back. Detach your ego from the project; you cannot let the failure affect you in a way that causes you to shrink away from challenges later on. Leaders tend to blame themselves, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, you ought to display fortitude and strength. This project may have failed, but have enough faith in your ideas to know that the next one will not.

2. Take an Analytical Approach

When you look at the failed situation analytically, you start to see it from another perspective, and in the process, alleviate feelings of frustration and regret. This will help you study the situation and indeed, learn from it. Once you have garnered enough information, you are ready to apply and incorporate the newfound insight into the next project you initiate. Broaden your mind, and use cool logic to approach any inconvenience, this will always ensure that emotion and reason are kept apart, allowing you to rationally work out a solution.

3. View Failure as Feedback

Instead of fearing failure, relish it. Understand that failed projects are signposts, guiding you along the right way. Until the incorrect method is pointed out and separated, one cannot determine what the correct method is. Failure is never final, it is simply feedback, helping you recognize where you had erred, and teaching you to reconcile your past mistakes.  Good leaders are indefatigable and a small dose of failure can never keep them from moving ahead with speed, precision, and clarity. Learn from your mistake, and adapt to new experiences.

You stand out because of your ability to move past minor setbacks, and because you are able to see failure for what it really is: an enabler, a motivator and a teacher. You are already aware of this, it dwells in your sub-conscious, but you must draw out and hone the ability to adapt and grow, and only then can you truly rise above.

Lead Brilliantly,

Simon T. Bailey

 

 

leadership

Lead with a Behavioral Economics Mindset

Behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, social, and emotional factors on an individual’s economic decisions.

Although the idea has been around since the eighteenth century, it wasn’t until 1979 that the term really took root, when psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky discussed it in their paper, Prospect theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk.

Since then, a lot more work has been done on the subject, and studies are still being carried out so that we may be able to better understand it. What we do know is that when making a decision, people unwittingly allow their emotions, prejudices and biases to guide them.

As a a brilliant leader with a bright future, it is your duty to be aware of these, and to understand how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

What Can Leaders Learn From Behavioral Economics?

Keep the short-term in mind

Often, leaders are taught to think of things in the long-term, but if we are to follow the findings of behavioral economics, we must understand that decisions are made impulsively at times, and are based on current emotions. Therefore, it is important to give immediate feedback, rewards, and penalties. This will have a great impact on the future decisions and behavior of your employees. It is important to remember that short-term action can impact the long-term benefits.

Provide appropriate decision-making framework

People make decisions based on how the information is presented to them. When there is too little information, people are not ready to accept or trust the source; when there is an information overload, however, they may walk away. A leader’s job is to process the information, break it down, present it in the appropriate context, and frame it in a way that balances both the familiar and the novel in an equal way. Do not confuse your team, allow the information to be transparent, and let them work out the costs and benefits of each decision.

Recognize risk avoidance

In most cases, people tend to avoid any risky behavior and do not make decisions that may cause them losses. In fact, studies have shown that even there is a chance of doubling your profits, a person walks away in case they incur losses. As a leader, it is important to recognize when your teammates engage in this type of behavior, and foster in them a risk-taking attitude. It is your job to navigate your followers along the right way, and help them understand the difference between a dynamic move, and a pointless gamble.

Advertisers have been using behavioral economics to help sell products for decades; did you know that Alka-Seltzer’s famous slogan “Plink Plink Fizz” was written by the help of a psychologist? He claimed that if the social norm dictated using two tablets, sales would double. He wasn’t wrong. It’s time to take a leaf out of their books, and apply the findings of behavioral economists into the everyday world of emerging leaders.

 

good boss, leadership, Personal Accountability

Why Engagement leads to Productivity

The first definition of the term Employee Engagement was given by William Kahn in 1990 in his paper, Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. He defined it as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances.” What a guy, Kahn- must be fun at parties.

What is Employee Engagement?

Psychologists and Sociologists are still arguing about the proper definition of the term, but they all agree on one basic idea: an engaged employee is fully absorbed and satisfied, and enthusiastically furthers the organization’s reputation and aims through positive action. As an emerging leader, you are probably a walking example of an engaged employee, and you can see how it affects your productivity.

What is the link between Engagement and Productivity?

Gallup, Inc. has been conducting an ongoing study of international workplaces, and monitoring how their levels of employee engagement have affected their output and performance. The study claims that if each organization were to double its customers, they could potentially save their countries’ economies. The study spans over 140 countries, and has been conducted over the past five years. If this is true, then there may be a way to improve both focus and output in your team.

Improving Employee Engagement

What can you do to be engaged, drive productivity and better performance as an brilliant change agent?

Here are a few steps to help you create a perfect environment:

1. Positive Leadership

The right kind of management and encouragement can do wonders for engagement. An employee interacts with their direct supervisor, who should offer feedback, and advice; always telling them what they did right along with gently rebuking them for mistakes. This doesn’t mean leniency, it just means taking a positive approach, and encouraging employees to be actively engaged in their work and organization. If the supervisor also passes down a message from a higher position, such as “the CEO was very impressed with your latest report”, it can go a long way to improve the employee’s work ethic and productivity.

 2. Leveraging Strengths

You must learn to incorporate a certain paradigm shift into your managing strategy: instead of fixing employee weaknesses, you must focus on employee strengths. When constantly telling them what they can’t do, you are hurting the employee’s ego, and making them dislike their work, and office environment, leading to disengagement. If you focus on their strengths, it will buoy them up and they will feel that they add value to the organization. Feeling both appreciated and valued will increase engagement, and ensure that your team shines in its performance.

3. Enhance Well-Being

Gallup’s study found that engaged employees are in better health than those who are actively disengaged. Whether health allows better engagement, or engagement has a good impact on health, one cannot determine. What employers and leaders can do, however, is invest in wellness programs for employees to participate in. Making a conscious effort to enhance the well-being of all your employees will better your chances at doubling your customers. Studies also show that once employees are engaged, they require much less in terms of medical benefits, so you will actually be saving healthcare cost.

These are the three key factors to improving engagement and productivity, but as an emerging leader, you surely have other ideas about how to manage your teams. Incorporate these concepts into your other mindful and innovative strategies to help your organization excel.

 

customer experience, good boss, leadership

Use this tool to Motivate You

Stale…stuck…spiritless. That is what an organization becomes when it loses its mojo.

Simply launching a new product in this hypersensitive, over-communicative society isn’t enough anymore. Opening a new building and hanging a sign out front is old and tired. Marketing to people through the “three screens” — television, computer, mobile phone—has lost its impact because people now have the power to immediately TiVo or delete you out of their space.

According to Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, “You’ve got three seconds to impress me (the customer), three seconds to connect with me, to make me fall in love with your product.” That’s all you have, O Brilliant One — three seconds.

The moment customers interact with your organization, they will instantly judge if it is an authentic experience or the same old dry, dull, disjointed encounter. In their minds, it’s been there, done that.

Getting everyone on board

In my travels, I observe organizations that spend untold hundreds of millions of dollars reinvigorating themselves. Often, after launching the new television/Internet commercial, shifting their collateral material from paper to online, and announcing to the world that they are “new and improved,” customers experience and know the truth: it’s old wine in new skin.

Meanwhile, everyone inside the organization is waiting for sparks to fly and be launched into the stratosphere. Yet in a few months’ time, reality sets in and the brand “star” comes crashing back to earth. Why does this happen? Because too many organizations and leaders believe that reinvigorating with a new vision is a top-down rather than a bottom-up proposition.

Cllick here to read the rest - Use this tool to Motivate You

customer experience, Personal & Career Prosperity, Shift

Virtual Fist Bump – A must read book

Good morning O’ Brilliant Ones,

I just finished reading Drucker & Me – What a Texas Entrepenuer Learned From the Father of Modern Management by Bob Buford.

I learned so much about the brilliance of Peter Drucker. WOW…he was truly one of a kind. I also really enjoyed Bob’s journey and transformation as a result of Peter’s mentorship.

Click here to get your copy - http://ow.ly/yUcro

I really believe that you will enjoy it.

Live, Love, and Lead,

Simon T. Bailey

leadership, Personal Accountability

Why Introverts Make Effective Leaders

Have you ever thought that your naturally introverted tendencies may impede your growth in the business sphere?

You see extroverts around you who get what they want, and are actively socializing enough to forge connections, which is something you find difficult, and it probably makes you think that you can never get to the top if you go on like this. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Some of the greatest leaders are introverts; take two of the wealthiest and most respected entrepreneurs, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who started out with just like you, and have managed to use their quiet natures to make huge fortunes for themselves. Other great leaders like Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa are thought to have been introverts, as is Barack Obama. In fact, Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler has carried out a long study detailing how introverts are more effective leaders than extroverts. Still not convinced? We’ll give you three reasons why this is so.

They listen more than they speak

Introverts are prone to reflection, and in everyday conversation, they listen, consider what has been said, and then speak. This is helpful in business meetings where everybody is pitching in their two cents, the introvert ponders over what everyone has said, and usually provides thoughtful and well-reasoned comment that stands out amid the cacophony and helps the meeting move forward. Listening also allows the leader to consider what everyone has to say, and they don’t go into a meeting prepared to be the loudest in order to drown out other people’s ideas. An introvert’s economy of words also means that when they do speak, everyone listens since they know it will be important.

They are prepared

Unlike an extrovert, an introvert does not leap and act impulsively. They are prone to preparation and so, they always appear to exude quiet power. No matter what the situation is, they have a placid exterior, and project a reassuring confidence. Nobody else knows how nervous or shy they may be, because their extensive preparation allows them to get through anything. Before meetings, speeches, or any important decisions, they usually list down all their points and questions, rehearse multiple times, and speak softly and slowly, which gives them an advantage in a frenzied situation. People look to them for reassurance, and that is the number criteria for an effective leader.

They Require Solitude

A well known feature of introverts is that they cannot be around people for too long, and need to spend some time alone in order to recharge. You may think that this is a bad thing in a world that functions on connections and socializing, but it is actually a great advantage. Because of social exhaustion, an introvert must spend some time mulling over what has been said and done, and in doing so, often unlocks an idea or strategy that nobody else could have. These regular breaks help fuel their creativity and innovation, allowing them to take well-reasoned approaches.

Think of Don Draper from Mad Men, and how his quiet demeanor allows him to succeed and excel in a way that is unmatchable by others around him. Think of the aforementioned list of introverted leaders, and then understand that one day, you too can be included in that list. For more information, you can read Dr. Kahnweiler’s book, The Introverted Leader or follow this link for a free audio sample of her teachings. As an emerging leader, you should be aware that you have certain qualities that set you apart, and it is your job to identify and play on these strengths.

leadership, Personal Accountability

Four Ways Cheetahs can Save Your Business

I’ve been thinking about cheetahs and hippos recently.

No, I didn’t visit the zoo. I listened to an online presentation given by distinguished Ghanaian economist George Ayittey (pronounced I-yit-tey) who is a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. In his Ted.com presentation (http://ow.ly/yPa02), Ayittey stated that the future of Africa rests on the shoulders of the emerging Cheetah Generation rather than the current Hippo Generation.

He then went on to describe the Cheetahs as a new breed of Africans who take their future into their own hands and don’t wait to be empowered by government. The Hippos, in Ayittey’s opinion, have ruined postcolonial Africa. He describes them as stuck, lazy, slow, ornery, complacent and greedy.

Well, as you can imagine, I was intrigued by Ayittey’s passionate and inspired description of an emerging generation that will forever change the face of Africa. Something leaped inside of me as I thought about my country, The United States of America. I wondered, how many people – in both the current and emerging generations – see themselves as Cheetahs?

By now, I’m sure you’re wondering why the reference to cheetahs. What makes them so fantastic?

The cheetah is indeed a truly amazing animal. According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the cheetah is the swiftest land mammal on the planet and can reach speeds of 70 mph in mere seconds. It covers 20 to 25 feet in a single stride, with only one foot touching the ground at a time. In fact, at two points in the stride, none of its feet touch the ground!

However, what most fascinates me about this protected species that lives primarily in Africa are its unique physical characteristics:

¨        Flexible spine;

¨        Oversized liver;

¨        Enlarged heart;

¨        Wide nostrils;

¨        Increased lung capacity;

¨        Black “tear” marks under its eyes.

For just a moment, reflect on these characteristics of the cheetah, and how they relate to humans:

  • Flexibility is the key quality of all globalization and Life 2.0. As you encounter and experience change personally and professionally, can you mimic the cheetah? Can you contract, expand, bend and turn in any direction? Increase your personal productivity in business by being flexible in your decision making and moving swiftly to meet the needs of your external and internal customers. If you don’t, they will find someone else to do it for them.
  • The liver has an almost miraculous ability to biochemically transform virtually any chemical it is exposed to. It not only breaks down, stores and eliminates toxins, but also produces beneficial chemicals the body needs in order to function. The cheetah’s oversized liver is a crucial component in its highly efficient and effective physiological system. What about you? Is transformation a part of your daily language and consciousness? Are you able to transform yourself so that you can efficiently and effectively adapt to any given situation? Never be satisfied with the status quo. Instead, be a seeker of the unknown and commit to ongoing transformation.
  • While the cheetah’s enlarged heart pumps more blood to give it additional speed and power, an enlarged human heart overflows with abundance. It seeks to give rather than receive, to serve rather than be served. Enlarge your heart and infuse those around you with your spirit of optimism. Infuse your community with a spirit of service. Infuse your business culture with a “can do” attitude.
  • How big is your nose? Smile! Having wide nostrils is in vogue. Why? It means that you can pick up on the scent of opportunity and the smell of possibility. You must sense where things are heading and make split-second course corrections that will take you into the future. Improvise and innovate. Stop waiting for someone to give you the green light. You have to make something happen for yourself.
  • The cheetah strategically stalks its prey. It carefully maneuvers into a position to pounce and then gives chase with a burst of blinding speed made possible by its increased lung capacity. Do you methodically stalk what you want? Are you expanding your capacity so that when the time is right, you can muster the speed and the skill to give chase and capture your dreams? Expand your capacity by improving yourself one day at a time. Identify the cheetahs in your life and learn from them. Do what is in front of you with all your might. Take on what you have rejected in the past for what you will become in the process.
  • You may be wondering about the black “tear” marks which run from the inside corner of the cheetah’s eyes, down the sides of the nose to the outside of its mouth. Their purpose is to keep the sun out of the cheetah’s eyes to aide in hunting. How do you keep the sun – i.e., distractions – out of your eyes so that you can stay focused on your heart’s desire? Ignore the naysayers and Brilliance Blockers. Rid yourself of all excuses that prevent you from stepping into your brilliance. Accept personal responsibility for where you are and how you think.

The Cheetahs are coming – into your organization, your community, your social circle – and they are hungry, focused and willing to step up. Will you be one of them?

If you’re not one already, decide today to become a cheetah in your thinking. Move it…Move it…Get to it! If you don’t, you will forever stare at the rear end of a Hippo!

Live, Love, and Lead

Simon T. Bailey

www.shiftyourbrilliance.com

Personal Accountability, Shift
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