As leaders we would like to be empathic and have compassion for our people, and yet we too are human. We do our best to listen and ask. Still, we can’t “get it right” 100% of the time. We have not walked in their shoes.
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.
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?
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.
Discovering new things not only make us feel good, it allows us to grow and stretch from where we are today. Now that we are able to once again meet in person, take the chance to start that conversation with someone who is not in your circle of friends or colleagues already. Having that exchange, whatever the outcome, you both win. Denying yourself the opportunity to learn and grow from interactions with people different from ourselves, keeps you from experiencing a “yay” and what could follow it.
Manners matter in a workplace that favors respect for everyone. Manners convey recognition and consideration. When certain manners are practiced in an organization and you follow them, you fit with the company culture. And, whether you accept it or not, you are communicating a lot about yourself and how you view yourself in the organization when you use manners or don’t use them with the people you work with. Yet, manners can be tricky because they are not the same from country to country or region to region even within the U.S. and they are constantly evolving and updating according to general practice of the times. With all these differences, how can you possibly figure out how to act in a respectful way in a workplace? Here are some tips…
Have you ever felt you like you were giving your all to the organization and you were being appreciated for that?
You understand how motivating that is.
Colleagues of mine who are career and leadership coaches were having conversations with African-American clients about African-American women not receiving recognition in leadership and therefore making a pivotal decision: leave their jobs and organizations mid-career or at least consider leaving. My mentor, who helped launch my leadership business, thought this was such a common experience she encouraged me to write about it.
I took her suggestion to heart and wondered – how common is this self-conversation and pivotal choice? Was it different from the conversations other women were having with themselves at the same point in their career?
We’re all trying to find the right balance personally and professionally through this pandemic, and we’ll keep at it because sometimes we’re successful even if it’s fleeting. If you are a leader, consider the welfare of your young talent, providing them with the resources they need from their perspective is a win-win for everyone. People benefit from being thought of holistically and not just professional roles or titles. And you do, too. Find your right balance for work and life, mix or combo.
What actually is standing in the way of reaching a breakthrough with your team? What are team members not responding to in your culture, system, or in working with you? If they have all the technical tools and resources, why isn’t the team more productive, effective or profitable? If you are going to solve these problems, like me, you can see pure brain power and drive alone are not enough.