THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP CONTINUED!

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP CONTINUTED

Image: Logicofenglish.com

Image: Logicofenglish.com

The Vowels

OK, so you thought we had finished with The Language of Leadership!

So did I, however, I realised that we had five remaining days of October and coincidentally, there are five important letters to highlight .. our vowels.

A.E.I.O.U.

When I learnt to speak Japanese, the first lesson was about our pronunciation of our vowels. Almost every word in Japanese ends in a vowel (similar to Italian), so it was extremely important (and still is) to quickly sound like a Japanese person, speaking Japanese!

Japanese For Busy People - 1982 - My first Japanese text book.

Japanese For Busy People - 1982 - My first Japanese text book.

As an Australian, this was a challenge as our twang and pronunciation is strangely different to other English speaking countries; which meant the vowels became more important than the consonants! The vowel was king.

Given the elevation of these five vowels, let’s review these five letters and the words we use to express our leadership.

Today we’ll focus on our first vowel in the queue. A.

Action, Attitude, Assumption and Affirmations were four A words offered at the beginning of the month. Then, other words were offered via social media, including:

·       Assertiveness, opposed to aggressiveness

·       Appreciation and the importance of apologizing

·       Adaptive and being agile.

A’ is a significant letter in our language of leadership. The question is, did we forget any other important ‘A’ words?

Tomorrow we’ll revisit and explore the vowel ‘E’.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu (Thank you very much.)

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - X

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - X

Identifying one word in my leadership vernacular, beginning with X, is an absolute challenge.

There are words, yet, I can’t honestly say, I use them.

Image: The X Factor Facebook

Image: The X Factor Facebook

I thought of X-factor – some people do have the leadership X-factor which I admire – they have all the elements which we talk about being required as a leader.

Then there’s the word X-ray. Some leaders use their hindsight, have foresight and insight to cut through the BS of what’s going on in the workplace, culture and climate and make a call of what’s really going on! They start the conversation to make corrections or unearth the unspoken rules which don’t add value to the workplace.

Today, I am really keen to seek your input.

What’s your X word?

And while you’re thinking about how you express your leadership, think of your Y & Z contributions.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - T

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - T

Image: Trust Restaurant, San Diego, CA USA

Image: Trust Restaurant, San Diego, CA USA

I’m sharing one word today.

It’s worthy of this prestige, it’s position is at the top of the Ts.

As we travel the leadership alphabet in my game, The Language of Leadership, we have landed at ‘the’ word, which I hear myself discuss and use every day.

The word is TRUST.

Trust is a beautiful word. The mere mention of the word releases hormones, creates a chemical reaction in our body which drops the shoulders, loosens the facial muscles and helps us smile.

However, our communication builds or busts trust.

The words chosen in conversations will prime the brain for trust, partnerships and mutual success. Judith Glaser wrote Conversational Intelligence (2013) which I devoured. With an understanding of how our brains operate we learn the importance to empathise with others, to discover more about others by being curious, asking questions and to be open to be influenced by others to get to trust.

When a leader trusts their team members, they’ve enabled them to do their work and the leader can focus elsewhere.

When parents and teachers trust their kids, they are enabling them to be accountable, growing with the experience.

When a neighbour trusts a neighbour, they can relax on holiday knowing that their home will be taken care of, with a constant eye on what’s occurring in their absence.

When you have trust in your relationships, you can be yourself, knowing that you’re accepted for what you do, say and believe in.

Leaders who trust their leaders, will go that extra mile to perform additional tasks or ensure that the quality of the product or service is beyond expectation.

I recently read that to be an agile leader, you ‘give trust to your team’ opposed to their need to earn trust. I reread this a few times and the reasoning was based on the need to be fast and that it was part of the process to potentially fail fast, learn and move forward.

This reminds me of the switch from saying “No” to my kids, to saying “Yes”, for the majority of the time. I gained their buy-in, their trust, to the requirements of the “Yes” almost every time. For example, I used to say, “Yes you can go for a swim after you tidy the toy room and finish eating your lunch!”

When we give trust to adults we are saying that you are an adult and I have your back.

Relationships + Respect = Trust.

In every relationship, there is a choice to respect each other. That respect shows up in fulfilling agreements. If I offer you my hand to shake and you respond with a firm shake while looking into my eyes, my brain will trust you.

As leaders, we can encourage people to have a go rather than earn the right. For over 20 years, I was encouraged to have a go, to trust myself because my managers and leaders trusted me. I never let them down because I knew that it was OK to do my best even if it wasn’t enough.

What about you? What does your trust look like?

Here’s a challenge for you: when you next meet someone new, rather than judge them, be curious and discover more about the person by asking lots of questions; let them do the talking. In doing this, your brain will release Oxytocin – the bonding chemical which wants you to reach out and trust them.

So, we’ve traveled from A - T. You can catch up on my previous blogs on my Thoughts page.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - R

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - R

Image: B2b Interactive Marketing

Image: B2b Interactive Marketing


I have an affinity with leadership words beginning with R.

My mouth and fingers flow with R words, and the most frequently used are:

Respect,

Relationships, and

Response.

An equation I use in my leadership workshops include two of these three words:

Respect + Trust = Relationship

Respect in leadership is an agreement established about how people engage. This is based on spoken and unspoken rules. The more we adhere to these agreed rules the greater the opportunity a relationship will be established. Trust occurs with consistency of adherence to the rules

For example, you may be asked “I’d appreciate you respect my privacy” or when someone is using headphones at their desk, we know that they are working and don’t want to be interrupted.

Respect shows up in leading inclusive workplaces and it’s an ingredient of creating relationships. It’s not possible to have a relationship with someone, if you don’t respect each other.

Relationships are natural, we’re social beings which means, people need people. Yet, people are different and complex. So, it takes some effort to establish and maintain a relationship.

Response is always about a choice We always have a choice in how we respond to what is thrown in our direction. We can be a glass half empty or a glass half full type of person and of course you know the difference in these responses.

We can have a thought, an emotional reaction, a neural reaction and then we have a minuscule amount of time to choose how we respond. Your leadership can have a magnificent impact if you use this time wisely.

Leaders who respect others and respond thoughtfully will build effective relationships.

So, you can see that I am passionate about my R words. I’d love to hear yours.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - N

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - N

OK, so I set myself this challenge in October write about my exploration of the language of leadership and today I am stuck.

It’s the day of N in the alphabet. I am struggling at identifying more than one word which I use in leadership. I need your help!

My one word is an activity which I am passionate about. I know many people who don’t do it or don’t enjoy it or I believe, don’t do it very well!

I’m an advocate for networking. I even started up my own local networking group to encourage women to get together to discuss their opportunities and challenges. I recall when we first met and discovered we all suffered from procrastination!

We forget to tap into the people and groups we know or lack confidence to meet new groups of people. And it’s more than likely we’re all experiencing the same dilemmas in their own businesses and organisations!

Genuine networking is paying it forward and connecting people. It’s listening to people and hearing for opportunities to help them or introduce them to people who have the solution to their problem.

I’ve learnt the importance of keeping in contact with people and letting them know what I’m working on. In this busy world, it’s easy to forget who we know and how they can add value to our life and business.

It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s who knows you.
— Bill Potter - Business Maverick NZ

There’s this great saying by a cool dude in NZ: It’s not what you know, or who you know … it’s who knows you. That’s networking!

I will throw in one more important N. When I mentor leaders who are progressing into a new role, I advise that the first task is to learn everyone’s name. Yep, it’s critical. There are some great tricks I use to do this quickly which I’m happy to help you out with!!!

When people hear their name used, they are more likely to listen and they’ll quickly respect you for remembering their name. It’s what you want to achieve quickly in your practice of leadership.

Today, in particular, I need your help with your leadership language - what’s your N word?

The image above is a network map from a fabulous book, Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier. We use this map on our Driving Your Life programs.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - L

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - L

Some of the books which have influenced my practice of Leadership.

Some of the books which have influenced my practice of Leadership.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - L

How we choose to communicate magnifies our leadership.

Language sets the tone of our leadership.

Every word we say is supported by our body language; and we are being observed every moment to determine if our languages are consistent. Consistency helps people learn if we can be trusted.

Creating a trustworthy organisation is what successful leaders focus on; they know that their culture, climate and environment is what their people love to return to, every day. They know that when their people feel trusted to do their job, they are the best advocates for the organisation.

800px_COLOURBOX8618930 L floral.jpg

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP

Play our game, identify the words you use to express your leadership.

Image:

I am often confronted with people who appear to ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’. Whilst this might sound contradictory, many people have found their calling, and are living the work which they love. Are you living the life which you love?

I have a learning mindset. I love learning. I learn from my clients; who learn from me.  And the best way to learn is to have a good laugh. Humour has an amazing affect in the way we learn and recall what we learn.

When people work with me, we face challenges and opportunities together. Their lack or loss of confidence is fixed as we test the unspoken stuff in their head and heart which possibly occurred when they traveled the Ladder of Inference. One of my self-awareness models.

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To live, to learn, to laugh, to lead …

My mantra for many years.

Join me on the alphabet journey of leadership – let’s explore the Ls in your Leadership.

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - G

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - G

One of the greatest books of its time (2001) - my copy proudly sits in my office library.

One of the greatest books of its time (2001) - my copy proudly sits in my office library.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for spending one minute of your precious time to contemplate the G words in your ‘Language of Leadership’.

At the conclusion of the workshops which I facilitate, I ask everyone to individually offer words of gratitude (and sometimes a gift of chocolate) to one person who also participated. This is done  publicly and sometimes there is a pregnant pause as people grapple with the courage to kick off the exercise. However, once the group feel the warmth and sincerity of the gratitude, I can’t stop them!

We are void of gratitude and we need to take the lead to stop and say thank you, with context, to acknowledge the people who show up in your life.

The phrase, Good to Great, is a book title. It’s notoriety is synonymous with its internal terms, ‘Hedgehog Concept’ and ‘The Flywheel and the Doom Loop’. We used this language through the ‘noughties’ in the corporate world in our bid to have: a one big thing which we did globally well and an attempt to build momentum to achieve a transformation (on numerous occasions).

What has me sharing Good to Great, ever so regularly, is the statistic of the Good to Great CEO’s (13 of them) – as their uniqueness was their humility. Most of them were introverts and all but one was appointed from within the company. The key message is, leadership isn’t about bravado and ego, it’s about the company, the customer and the employee.

Our use of good to great is applying and experimenting with the practices that we know work. They are tried and tested and it’s about the will to make it work for you.

Gut. Yep, Gut. That’s my third G word!

Do you ever hear yourself say, I can feel it in my gut or others say, “trust your gut feeling”.

In my readings of neuroscience, I learnt that almost 100 years ago, neurons from the brain were discovered in the stomach – and we are still grappling with this aspect of intuition. When you can’t observe behaviour, it is difficult to believe that this can be proven. However, so many of us can honestly say that intuition guides us in our decision making!

The importance of the gut is that it links to other brains in our body (yet, there’s more than one) which we can train to help us communicate more effectively. I continue to work with, explore and learn about the power we have at our disposal and challenge you to consider your gut and how it helps you make decisions.  This research is worth investigating - Conversational Intelligence helps us communicate as leaderships should - to move from good communicators to great communicators!

What are your G words?

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - C

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP

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Which C words come to mind?

The Language of Leadership

Conversations, Climate, Conflict & Confidence

There are so many C’s in my Leadership Language: conversations, climate, conflict and confidence are at the tip of my tongue!

What are the C’s in your leadership vernacular?

I’m playing a game to facilitate ideas, thoughts and beliefs on leadership. And, I’m curious to hear what people hear themselves saying about leadership or how others describe their leadership.

I’m sure many will say communication – it’s a gorgeous broad term and I carve it into so many components.  To begin with, I believe leadership is all about Conversations.

Conversations bring people together; they formulate relationships and craft futures. Conversations come in various forms; they can be brief (feedback) and endure for hours (meetings, mentoring, coaching).

The more time you spend having conversations with people, the more opportunity you have to gain respect which then creates trust. For some, conversations come naturally whilst others it’s a challenge. My tip do your research on people and be curious to explore what you’ve discovered – ask great questions as the conversation is all about getting to understand the people.

Climate is the vibe I feel when I walk into a workplace. It’s the gut feeling I have when I have conversations with people. It tells me more than the culture as it’s the unspoken words – it’s the litmus test for the words on the wall in the reception area. A mission and vision statement might try and sell me what an organisation does whereas the climate will tell me if the people feel happy and respected where they work. Take the temperature of your office today!

Conflict tells us what is important to people. Leaders need the capability to know when to intervene and help people move out of conflict or better still, know people so well that they know what drives them to conflict – the triggers, the situations and the behaviours.

We all experience threats to our self-worth, it’s characteristic of the cause of conflict. And this threat can be real or perceived. Managing conflict is a critical capability (double C!) to lead teams to success.

Confidence is what I hope all people can grow in their lives. Leaders need confidence to successfully do their role and leaders need to foster confidence in their people. Confidence is like climate – you can’t quite put your finger on it. I am reminded by family friends of how shy I was when I was younger, and it took effort and energy to focus on manipulating this confidence. I still work on it and sometimes I am too confident – so it’s always an area I am shaping and developing.

What C’s have I missed? What C’s are important in your life; in your role of leadership?

Have you read my two recent posts - catch up on the A’'s & B’'s of Leadership? You’ll find these under the THOUGHTS section of my website.

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