Build Relatioships - say "Bonjour!"

Saying "Bonjour" helps build relationships, makes you smile & is polite.

Bonjour ...

I've just finished reading French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman - it's a novel, come parent's handbook, come life-lessons journal.

I had a love-hate relationship with the book: loved the little lessons and loathed the fact that I'm profiled as an Anglophone parent (hovering mother) - which isn't great to the French!

However, some of the life lessons are great reminders of how we can be more effective human beings: 

  • Saying Bonjour (Hello!) with everyone you encounter helps you smile, build relationships and is genuinely polite.
  • Exert authority in your voice, yet don't be an authoritarian. Useful for the Australian twang.
  • Practise being Sage (Sah-je) - Be wise and stay calm: don't stress, be in control of life's dillemmas!
  • Focus on having Equilibre (Eh-key-lee-bre) - Balance: Don't let one part of life overwhelm other parts.
  • Set a Cadre (kah-druh) -  firm limits for *children* but giving them tremendous freedom within those limits (*adults*!)

Being more conscious of these five lessons can only help us be more aware of our effectiveness and presence in society.

Au revoir!

The ABCDE of Leadership

I'm designing a presentation for a Leadership Conference and the subject is simply 'the essential ingredients for leadership success'. 

As simple as it sounds, I keep changing the ingredients for my magical mixture. There are great books which expose the Top Skills, there is plenty of research pouring through my Twitter feed, during meetings and workshops which I facilitate I get to listen and observe leaders talk about their leadership journey and then there's my experience!

So, you can understand that to identify just a few ingredients is my big challenge for this morning!

Anyhow, my 'current' penciled recipe ingredients include: 

Agility - taking time out to think creatively and engage diverse stakeholders to solve problems

Building Relationships - meeting new people and involving them in the purpose of the organisation

Culture Creator - shaping the culture by role-modelling continuously the behaviours talked about

Digitally Connected - communicating with people horizontally rather than vertically

Emotionally Intelligent - being self aware of how feelings influence thoughts and decisions

Its a coincidence that the alphabet came into play and now, in my research, I keep finding other deserving leadership ingredients which begin with the same letters. Should I replace any of these with: Being Bold, Decisive, Engaging and Assertive?

 What would you include on your ingredients's list?

Whilst context is important to understand when you're engaging with a group (my audience are 'women in local government'), I find that this list could cut across any industry sector. What do you think?