Leadership: The 8 lessons you need
Leadership: Connection disaster
I work with many leaders to help them shape and refine their Leadership style and approach. Some I meet are already part way there and need only polish and pizazz. Others have further to travel and, on first meeting, a part of me wonders how they manage to connect with anyone. Ever. They are distant, they mumble, they are lifeless and they put me into trance. Sometimes I will check their pulse to make sure they are actually alive!!
Give it a go
As a speaker, it is important that I take time to look at how I speak in public – whether that is to a large group or 1:1. My experience tells me that if I transfer the skills I have across into other contexts within my life, I can establish and nurture even stronger relationships with others. So, I have created the 8 lessons. These are less about working with large groups and far more about how you ensure your leadership approach connects with smaller groups and in less formal settings. Test these out for yourself and see what bounces back:
- . Establish a connection with your listeners by schmoozing about the easy stuff before leaping into a difficult idea that makes you (and others) nervous. If you can make people laugh early on, so much the better.
- . Make clear that the subject at hand does matter to you, but do keep in mind that, talking about a serious subject doesn’t require you to convey your message in heavy, morose tones. You can still keep it sounding light.
- . Let others draw their own conclusions. If you address people in such a way that suggests that if they don’t agree with you they’re deeply misguided and may go straight to hell……you’ll lose them! You’ll also lose them if you go on for too long.
- . Figure out when you can be spontaneous and wing it, and when to do your homework, prepare, and even rehearse.
- . Meet people wherever they are. Yes, you can make the exact same point to your sister who is the director of the West London Gay and Lesbian Coalition and your friend who heads the Christian Association for Family Values, but you can’t make that point in exactly the same way. It doesn’t mean that you need to be a wishy-washy, accommodating chameleon and if you want to be heard, you must help others feel at ease.
- . Treat every question and comment with respect. It never helps to shame people or make them feel stupid, even when they’re trying their best to wrong foot you!
- . Don’t pretend to have all the answers. It’s fine to say, “That’s an interesting idea. I’ll think about that one.” People actually like it when you indicate that you’re human.
- . You can’t make anybody hear you. Your daughter may be hanging on to your every word, or she may be fully absorbed in contemplating the magnolia walls or entertaining her own private thoughts. Your primary focus should be on what you want to say and how to best say it, rather than on needing a particular response from the other party.
Have fun with these. Test them out! Enjoy becoming a communication gymnast; flexible and agile.
You may like to speak with us about how we could help you and your team to develop. There is much more to read at our Buildingateam site on Leadership, Leadership Training and Culture Change. If you are interested in reading more blogs about Leadership and Leadership Training then do so via my blog here. You can hear me talking more about my views on Leadership on our Youtube channel