Do you know your proxemics? Yup, there’s a word for it – the amount of distance you are comfortable with between yourself and others. The personal space necessary for you to feel at ease. Depending on culture, personal history, where you live, and age you may have a different perspective. You may not have given any thought to this, yet, this is important in making a comfortable work environment for everybody.
Let’s rewind a little, have you ever sent or done something as a show of gratitude to someone who had never actually asked you for anything? When I show appreciation, I get personal. For instance, I sent soup because I was aware the person would greatly appreciate a good bowl more than perhaps anything else. And it was important and satisfying for me to let them know I cared about them and all they had done for me, and had been paying attention to what made them happy. People will remember a show of consideration far longer than a spoken or emailed “thank you.” And the recognition for your consideration in return is often respect, loyalty and more and better efforts.
Are you prepared for fire? You’re a business leader. So, some of your fires, in addition to actual flames with heat, could include threats of violence or harassment within or outside the business, cybersecurity breaches or product defects. These could possibly happen any time so while you may not 100% prepared, you can be ready. As you will read, like me, you can do this. Here are some tips.
Perhaps like me, you’ve had people who have tried to discourage you in your career. Or, you have had second thoughts about your career path. Despite that, if you are reading this, you persevered. The depth of coverage on the recent passing of monumental females left me feeling particularly curious about the timing behind a current Elle magazine article shaming women who dare to have ambition and dreams. The Elle article invited me to write a response; a piece that challenges this fashionable trend and celebrates ambition and dreams. Does groundbreaker describe your dream?
When you hear or read, do you spend more energy on how to understand or how to label the content? One way of determining if you are a leader is whether you listen more to learn or to judge. When your mind is trying to understand, it is open to all kinds of possibilities. You are trying to make connections with the new information to the information you already hold in your brain. This allows for many new pathways for the information to go. It’s the route of knowledge. If you are labeling, you are making a decision, often quickly, to dismiss new information or hold onto it. You are not processing for further use. While one is an open-door approach, the other is a closed-door approach. Which would you rather be – a leader or a judge?
Actions that bring good things often become habits. For instance morning affirmations, meditation or physical stretching. Habits that aren’t bringing you the good stuff, you try to let go of because they get in the way of your work success, better health and more fulfillment. How about group habits? Have you thought about ways of working at your company that have become an ingrained group practice but are getting in the way of the good stuff? One of those habits may be superficial thinking. Here’s an explanation and example of superficial thinking, and what you can do about it at your organization.
Although not an exclusive issue among young leaders, I’ve noticed a growing trend among younger professionals who make a conscious choice when reading, watching or hearing, to limit their view of information to a single moment, an emoji, or a phrase which forms a self-contained bubble. Skimming the surface, they then rush to make a judgement about it. Good, bad, right or wrong. And it becomes personal. Whoever said, wrote or did are good, bad, right or wrong. These young professionals are missing the big picture, perspective, and details. It is an incomplete view which potentially hurts their decision making, their team/department, and themselves. Does this sound familiar? Has this been impacting you, your company or team?
Do you see a thread here? A thread of opportunities, like mine, where you were elected, promoted, or saw a chance to inspire a group of people around a goal or cause. It was obvious to everyone else that you had definite leadership qualities and the presence of a leader, yet you may not have seen it or felt it for a long time. You never laid claim to having leadership skills. It was just something you did.
Surprised when those you share so much with disagree with your point? People you work with may not always be on your same wavelength. If you can apply your curiosity skills, you can ask and listen to their views about why your vision or opinion is not shared. And if you discover, they’re uncertain, you can be comfortable with uncertainty which is a great outcome because it means they are not stuck in an opinion.
Do you acknowledge and honor when you’ve had or reached “enough”? Or, do you ignore that message and let others decide for you?
Understanding what is enough for you, admitting it, and standing your ground regarding when that level has been reached is a sign of strength and self-respect. By your taking a stand for what’s best for you, you can demonstrate to others that they can do the same. And it gives you the space to move on to something different that is more energizing and productive.