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 - M

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - M

Louise knees up dress and really smiling.jpg

The Language of Leadership

Today we explore the letter - M. M stands for being a Mum - it’s a different style of leadership.

I became a Mum 14 years ago today. I had been a Step-Mum for a few years (and still am) and becoming a Mum presented a new type of leadership. We learnt very quickly that children watch and listen to everything you do and say. We started an experiment 14 years ago and choose specifically the words we would use and not use in front of our children e.g. not to swear, raise our voice or have a fight.

This experiment has paid off and our kids never swear, they are calm and know how to communicate. Parenting is a choice, and I chose to be a mother who was going to be a positive, confident and proactive role-model.

The key M words I identified are:

·       Movement 

·       Motivation 

·       Mastery

·       Mindfulness 

·       Memory

Image: N2Growth via Google

Image: N2Growth via Google

 

What about you? What M words show up for you when you think of, speak about and practise leadership?

So let me tell you about these words I use:

Movement – great leadership creates a movement, a cause is followed and people want to be part of it and what it stands for

Motivation – knowing what motivates you and your people is the key to leading relationships

Mastery –  learning, improving, changing, experimenting and attempting to master our leadership

Mindfulness – its what cuts through the complexity of personality, projects and processes – learn to breath and be in the moment

Memory – listen intently with no distraction and you should be able to remember what is said, who said it, what their name is and if and what action is required

I will enjoy being a Mum for the remainder of today. It’s life’s greatest gift and I need to ensure that I help my kids be the future leaders of tomorrow.

We’re almost half way through the leadership alphabet. You can catch up on A-L on my website – check out my Thoughts page.

And, I need your help to hear and learn your perspective as it helps me broaden my understanding of leadership.

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.

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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 - 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?!

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - H

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - H

Found this at Easy Health Options

Found this at Easy Health Options

We are travelling the alphabet exploring the language used to express our leadership.

Today is the letter H.

Which H letter words immediately come to mind?

I was surprised how quickly I came up with my H letter words. I hear myself using these three words on a daily basis: Hope, Honesty and Happiness.

Let’s begin with HOPE.

Viktor E. Frankl wrote ‘Mans Search for Meaning’, way back in the 40s and people are still reading it, including me and attributing their success as a leader to his lesson of hope.

Our ability to choose how we respond to people and situations (our behaviour) is attributed to knowing your purpose in life and the hope you have in fulfilling that purpose.

In leadership, we create the culture of the working environment which helps people fulfil their purpose; giving them hope to achieve their goals, whether that be intrinsic or extrinsic motivated.

When I work with people, as their leadership intelligence mentor, I hope that it will have a greater impact than they expected. I give them hope that they can be a better leader given our conversations and the advice provided.

This leads to HAPPINESS.

I ask this question when I host my Personality Intelligence workshops: What makes you happy?

If you immediately know what makes you happy, fabulous. Knowing what happiness looks like for your colleagues, boss and in particular, your team members (your staff) then you have the equation to create meaning and purpose in their working life. On top of that if you know this information, you can adjust your communication to talk leadership in their language.

Finally, HONESTY.

Too often I uncover in my conversations with people that they haven’t had an honest conversation with someone. Generally a team member or their boss, who hasn’t been given the honest feedback on the impact they are having on the team, the business or even the customer.

I struggle with performance management frameworks which leads to the belief that you only give feedback annually. C’mon, let get better with being honest with ourselves as a leader and honest with the people who we can influence and inspire to be better humans!

I hope you have a happy day and provide some honest feedback to the important humans in your life!

We’ve already visited A-G on the leadership alphabet. Keep reading my blogs to help you consider the words you express 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 - F

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - F

psychology.com

psychology.com

It's the F day!

We're playing The Language of Leadership.  

Think of the F words which you hear yourself say when communicating your leadership.  

I'll offer a few and I'll be interested to hear your Fs!

Feedback is over talked and underused. When you give the gift of feedback, whether that is to reinforce the positive or to identify what needs to be corrected, you are being courteous and courageous, all at the same time.

Too often we walk past or overhear language or activity which is unacceptable. We are more than likely to acknowledge great customer service and become closed lipped when someone is being rude or intimidating. This can be due to a lack of skill, lack of confidence or it may not be safe to do so.

In the workplace, feedback as a daily practice, would build a trusting, strong and ethical environment.

In all the work I do, I would help people build the skill of providing feedback, more than any other skill. What does this say about our confidence, pro activeness and accountability? I believe we have a lot more work to do in this area of communication.

This is a simple statement. Some people love facts.

It’s a great asset to have and it’s advantageous when we’re giving feedback. Facts are favorable when providing feedback. Let’s not rely on hearsay … we know what happens when we play ‘Chinese Whispers’.

Facts are useful when you’re doing your work, when applying your expertise. On the other hand, your feelings are also important. The challenge is, realising that facts and feelings are both important.

Facilitation is a skill. I’ve been working on my practice of facilitation for almost 30 years (yikes!) When you facilitate a team meeting, the outcome is illuminating. Engaging everyone in the room, setting and expecting pre-work to be completed, giving back the work and ensuring everyone has a role in the meeting (why else would they be there?) makes on time attendance the norm.

Facilitation is also about acknowledging that the answer is in the room – adults generally have the answer or know where to locate the information.

Leaders facilitate conversations – they ask questions rather than tell. They listen to responses and respond with where to find or how to develop the solution.

Do you facilitate?

It's been great to have you join the conversation sharing, your language of leadership. 

 

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My use of words beginning with E, in my Leadership Intelligence Mentoring practice, is endless! I think of the enthusiasm we need to bring change alive and the effort required to adapt our approach and style of leadership if our default style isn’t effective or appropriate.

Emotional Intelligence takes the lead of the Es! The term has its roots in 80’s psychology, and today we are still experimenting with the exercise of connecting with our emotions in addition to our thinking.

Taking an extra moment to consider why people respond a way and listening to their language lifts the heavy weight of recognizing what’s going on in someone’s world. As Dale Carnegie said, when dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

What differentiates people are those who can connect on an emotional level – those who can gauge the feelings people are experiencing and how this impacts their work and relationships. And even more importantly, it’s the ability to self-correct – to change your course of action mid-stream as you sense you’re not achieving the outcome being expected.

Experimentation is one of the most frequently used words I use. I encourage my clients to change their behaviour, to apply their learning and give it a go. We too often sit in meetings, seminars and workshops, we’re asked to change yet we don’t take it to the practice ground. Experimentation is normal, it’s expected, and it reeks accountability and leadership. Tell people that you are experimenting and seek their feedback. Maybe it doesn’t work and maybe it’s the missing link you’ve been searching for as a leader.

What can you experiment with today? Is it saying “No”, is it giving constructive feedback or is it ‘giving the work back’? Go on, experiment with a change in your leadership approach. And, report back on how you evaluate the outcome.

Evaluation is just as important as experimentation. If we don’t know how we’re progressing with our changes, adaptations and experimentation, then we don’t know how effective we are being.

Too often leadership and associated skills are the ‘soft skills. They have a lack luster following because we don’t show the impact, the difference that our personal and professional leadership does to grow business.

Self-Assessments, audits, 360-degree feedback and evaluations are all accessible and useful to lift your leadership to a new level which will have an impact on others, will help you inspire more followers and help you influence change.

What's your go to leadership word beginning with E?

You can catch up on my previous blogs on the The Language of Leadership - on this page.