THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - J

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - J

The many journals which I’ve used to record my thoughts, ideas, reflections etc …

The many journals which I’ve used to record my thoughts, ideas, reflections etc …

We’ve arrived at one of the tough letters. The letter J.

We’re playing The Language of Leadership and I’m asking you to share your words which you use to express leadership. Each day we travel the alphabet and it’s J, today.

I was initially stumped with the letter ‘J’ and then it hit me as I was putting the final touches to the running sheet of a team leadership workshop. I ask leaders to journal their thoughts about being a leader.

Journaling is a reflective practice which helps leaders empty their mind of their thoughts of what they’ve achieved during the day and how they feel about a situation which occurred and how they reacted and responded.

Journaling sets us up for a positive day as it fine tunes our mindset. It’s an exercise to ground us, to be mindful and get us into the present. Too often, our C suite swinging leaders are doing what they do well, steering the organisation into the future, however they leave their selves and people in the past.

I regularly recommend journaling, however, I don’t always practise what I preach! And then when I do, it’s amazing to have the clarity needed to make decisions and to focus solidly on an important piece of project work. It’s also great to build by resilience. It helps put my day’s activities, thoughts and feelings into perspective.

A little J offering is judging. Most of us judge a person or situation way too quickly. We don’t mine enough data to make a sound judgement. Today, pause before you talk, respond or make a decision.  

This morning I was up way too early, getting in my mornings work before the house erupted. My daughter Jenn needed a parent to take her to a divisional level of athletics. Given I work for myself, I have mastered Juggling my day, every day. I often struggle with the juggle, however I continue to practise the skill of juggling, knowing what to prioritise, identifying what’s really important and in particular what to drop e.g. say “No” too.

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How many balls can you juggle?

Juggling two priorities is manageable, and adding a third becomes a skill. (Can you see the person juggling the many balls in one hand?) It takes practice to be a leader of people, a parent, a committee member, a carer etc … this is what you’re juggling. I admire those that know their values and confidently allow these values to navigate and drive these choices and make juggling look so easy!

Finally, I want to add a final J word. I don’t tend to hear myself using the word, however I believe it’s a sign of an authentic leader. I admire people who avoid using jargon.

What about you? What do you admire in leaders …. Beginning with J?!

ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

 

ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

If you are achieving extraordinary results, I suspect you trust and are trusted by others. No matter what you are doing in life.

If you have the interest and agility to increase your results, consider the conversations you’ve had today; yesterday and the day before. If you deconstruct these conversations, what would you uncover about yourself? And, if you placed the results on a dashboard would the dial point to connected, productive or creative? Or would the dial move to the opposite side of this gauge – pointing to sceptic or resistor?

Judith E. Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence – How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, advises her readership and clients over the past 30 years that we’re probably speaking to and from the wrong brain – the Primitive Brain. (Who would have known?!)

By using your Executive brain, you’ll notice that this connection will alter everything: the way you phrase your greeting, ask your questions and how you offer or make comments. Rather than create distrust, this newish brain will build trust. And trust is the anchor in your relationships to weather all situations.

Whilst some of us might think our conversations are powerful, we may be failing to see the impact these interactions have on others. We need to heighten our awareness and increase our use of the Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) skill which connects intentions with impact.

Judith’s goal is to help you move from operating at C-IQ ‘Level I – transactional’ (how to exchange data and information) and make the quantum leap to the learnable C-IQ ‘Level III – transformational’ (how to co-create conversations for mutual success). Put simply, change to a listener rather than a teller.

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

The new language is co-create – working together, cutting through bureaucracy, hierarchical levels, removing the need to be right all the time, in an effort to build a successful culture. This is done by influencing each other’s neurochemistry, while we express our inner thoughts and feelings to strengthen relationships while making sense of the world. Too easy!

Which brain do you operate from?

We have five brains according to the research which Judith shares liberally – each brain having an influence on our conversational ability. The Primitive brain, which hosts the fear mongering Amygdala, operates differently to our Prefrontal Cortex (Executive brain) which is activated when we feel we can trust others.

 

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As leaders, we unconsciously drip-feed our teams with ‘conversational cocktails’; resulting in the team being drunk with happiness, excitement and enthusiasm, or, all too often, they start acting like angry animals.  The ‘cocktail’ is a mixture of biochemicals triggered by what you do and say. The chemicals, oxytocin (bonding), dopamine (when you’re right) and serotonin (happiness) are released if your conversation is at ‘Level III’ – when you and the team are working to achieve a mutually successful outcome.

When what we say, what we hear, and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies.

So, when what we say, what we hear and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies. We make “movies” and generally fail to connect.

If you were to replay ‘the movie’ of a recent staff meeting, what would you see and hear? Would you see the same people sitting in the same spots, hear the same people speak and see the agenda following a similar pattern? To make a change, Judith recommends commencing with a ‘Rules of Engagement’ activity which talks to the Amygdala, calming it down to be more fully engaged with the meeting intent. Similarly, when we host a workshop or conference – we break the ice with this style of activity to build trust in the group – we talk to the Amygdala!

The term ‘intelligence’ was brought alive with the advance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ); which is differentiated by Judith: “Emotional Intelligence is about self-regulation whereas conversational intelligence is about co-regulation”. I get this and it will be the EQ leader who will ease into becoming a C-IQ leader. One who will masterfully observe their inner world of desires whilst observing the impact of their actions on others.

I am currently reading Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s my 30th book. I’m a little behind with reviews as I found writing about Conversational Intelligence a challenge. I’m not totally sure why, the content isn’t new to me – it’s probably deciding what to share with you and what not to include!

Please take the opportunity to read this book. It’s a definite ‘must read’ to learn how to train your brain and ultimately achieve extraordinary results in your endeavours.

I have been inundated with questions about my reading project, in particular, my ability to read so many books. Well, I do read, I don’t listen to the books and I know that I am a disciplined person who enjoys learning what others are learning. I believe you must keep ahead of the amazing information and practices which others are successfully applying in their Leadership Practices.

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

Service Intelligence

I think I expect too much when I'm exchanging money for service. A greeting, some gestures and gratitude are the basics I would think necessary to call yourself a 'service provider'  however I find that when these three acts occur in one service event I feel compelled to be overly thankful.

Sadly, I believe we're being conditioned to not expect too much from our service encounters!

Recently, whilst I was speed shopping, a young staff member approached me in an aisle and offered me a basket - it was very evident that my quick shop for two things had turned into 12 items which I was juggling in my arms; I felt overwhelmed with this proactive service.

The thing is ... should I? 

Service isn't too challenging - or is it?

I wonder if it's us painful customers who make it difficult with our differing expectations, quirky personalities and selfish requests. But ... if you serve so many folk in one day, repeated over a week and let's say over a whole month you would gather enough BIG DATA about us crazy consumer cashed up customers to know what we expect.

BIG DATA = INTELLIGENCE. 

Observing people is the role of the 'service' provider person. Taking three seconds to interpret my facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, body stance, all magnify messages to the DATA control centre (your brain) and tell you: if I am in a rush, not wishing to be interrupted or that I have forgotten something after waiting in the five minute queue.

So, is the prospect of SERVICE INTELLIGENCE challenging your business and your leadership?

How would you and your people rate against this SERVICE INTELLIGENCE model?

1.Self-Awareness - knowing your own motives, what drives you, enabling a better understanding of what drives you to be customer focused. 

2.Emotional Intelligence - being aware of others' emotions during service delivery.

3.Responsibility - taking personal responsibility aka accountability - it's up to you to serve.

4.Value Focused - offering more value than the price paid.

5.Impact - understanding that your choice of behaviour has a predictable consequence.

6.Change - being prepared to adapt to keep relevant and ahead of your customers' needs.

7.Evaluate - mindfully reflect, review and improve self performance and the customer experience.

Customer Service has changed. People expect more. I definitely expect more. There's no excuse when Service Intelligence is available to be learnt.

What about you? Do you expect awesome or average service?

When your people are transacting a product or service ... including government and no-fee exchanges, it's paramount that they see you role-modelling these skills, actions and behaviours. You must take the lead.

The only way to increase the performance of your service team is to increase your leadership performance.

Let's connect to explore my SERVICE INTELLIGENCE model.