L2L Infographic: Millennials and Business Leadership

What They Really Think

Millennials and Business Leadership

Infographic Courtesy of Brighton School of Business and Management

 

L2L Weekender: Tips for Small Business Online Leaders

Tools to Set Up Your Online Store to Grow Your Business

Online Shopping Cart

Many small business start-up leaders in the online sales space often do not know the best ways to insure that they have the right tools in their toolbox to insure a successful launch.

Without the right tools and procedures in place, money, opportunity and exposure can be left behind.

Today’s Tip: Your Online Store

Creating an Online Store

Do not waste any time. Create an online store to sell your products. You could be losing out. Start stocking your inventory online. It is a natural process. The setup does not require you to know HTML or technical codes.

Here are 4 aspects to help you set-up your online store:

Add-A-Store

Use a reputable e-commerce web design to assist you in setting up a store. You do not even have to start from scratch. You can turn your already existing blog into an online store. The plug-in works well with WordPress blogs. It is also compatible with Tumblr or Joomla. It allows you to sell up to 100 items.

The plug-in comes with a shopping cart feature that floats around allowing customers to add multiple products directly from your website. The built-in dashboard allows you to customize images, pricing options, and descriptions. Additionally, the checkout feature is secured with PCI.

Your Product Catalog

The online catalog allows you to display your products using multimedia images. You can feature up to 300,000 products varying in colors, shapes, and sizes. The number of photos for each product is unlimited. You will also get customizable templates.

The catalog also allows you to adjust bulk product pricing. You can use monograms to personalize products for each customer. Additionally, you can sell downloadable products such as software. You can control your inventory in real-time. Each time you make changes, it is automatically updated.

Your Storefront Design

You can create the front of your store to make it look appealing. The template has a checklist that shows you step-by-step how to set up the store. You can also make changes from any computer using the administrative tools as long as you have an internet connection. You do not have to download any plug-ins.

You will have access to editing tools such as DreamWeaver or FrontPage. They come with full CSS support. Various preformatted templates are available for use. You can modify the templates by changing colors, fonts, or the page layout. Do this from the admin panel. It also allows you to save multiple design themes.

You can also integrate codes into your HTML for your shopping cart in that you can organize how the information gets displayed to the customer. You can organize your own product display layout. Do so by inserting name, price, image, description, or whatever else needs to get added.

Your Marketing Tools

These tools for social media, comparison shopping, and SEO are built-in. You can run reports to see how well your site is performing with the SEO tool. Set up your post to automatically connect to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Your customers can also post your products on social media with the click of a button.

In conclusion, anyone can create an online store. The steps are relatively easy. All the tools that you need to get the store up and to run are readily available. Some of the tools that you will have include Add-A-Store, Online Product Catalog, Storefront design, and Marketing Tools.

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The Leadership Yawwwn-Fest

by Karen Dietz

Yawning Lion

Are you inspiring others to action with your captivating stories that delight your audience?Or you guilty of just providing a leadership yawn-fest?

Your Best Tool For Inspiring Others

I was at a board meeting the other day where an outside organization was presenting its latest project. The vision was in creating a sustainable vision for the future of the region.  The idea provided the perfect opportunity to enroll people in their grand vision!

All they needed was the perfect vision pitch from an inspiring leader.

But what a big “yawner” this presentation turned out to be. What a lost opportunity!

So what was the problem?  It wasn’t for lack of commitment, enthusiasm, or interest.  It wasn’t because a young inexperienced executive was before us.  In fact, the presenter had a lifetime of success under his belt. It wasn’t even an experience of death by PowerPoint.

It was simply because the presentation was dry as a mouthful of sand. In addition, it was without a compelling story to engage people.  The result?  Nice project.  No inspiration.  No enrollment in taking action.

Telling Compelling Stories

Being able to tell a compelling story is an essential leadership skill that bears paying attention to, no matter how experienced or successful you are.

As Howard Gardner says, “Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”

Just imagine how many missed opportunities that this successful executive has created over his career because he wasn’t sharing stories, much less in ways that inspire others to action.

Brain research (Story Proof, Influencer) has shown time and again how sharing stories immediately engages people and their imaginations.  It is the most efficient method for transmitting knowledge, and is a powerful tool for enrolling others moving them to action.

Authenticity

Every leader who is able to link their own personal stories into specific initiatives will score big on the engagement meter.

Q: Why?

A: Because they are viewed as authentic — one of the core qualities of an effective leader.

Over one thousand studies during the last fifty years have attempted to define successful leadership styles or qualities.  Yet none of this research has produced a clear profile of an ideal leader.  That’s because leadership has many voices and the key to being a successful leader lies in your ability to be you – authentic, passionate, and disciplined.

Leaders are defined by their unique life stories. They are defined by how those stories illuminate their passions and leadership purpose, and by the way they frame those stories for others.  Every leader, whether young or old, has inspiring stories to tell.  Most however, don’t recognized the power in their own stories, much less know how to tell them in ways without sounding arrogant or self-serving.

By being willing to explore, reframe and tell their life stories, leaders set free their passions and the ability to inspire others.

Training is required though.  Just because we can speak doesn’t mean that we don’t need to go to Toastmasters.  Even though we can all tell a story at some level, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to identify our stories and learn to tell them in ways that inspire others.

Core Stories

What stories do you need to tell?  There can be many. And every leader needs to master a set of core stories to get started.

These stories are:

  1. About the founding of your organization and the challenges it is addressing
  2. People and results stories – About customers/clients and the results they’ve experienced, along with stories about people within your organization and the difference they have made
  3. Recovery stories – Those about mistakes that have been made, and the recovery / lessons learned from those experiences
  4. The story about the future you are creating – Why should we invest in you?  How will the future be different through our engagement together?
  5. The My Commitment story – That story of what gets you up in the morning, what inspires and moves you, why you are doing the work you are.

Successful leadership takes deliberate development and necessitates being true to your stories.  You are never too old or too young to share your stories and lead authentically.

Don’t wait.  Don’t miss the incredible opportunities waiting for you when you become a proficient story teller.  It’s all low-hanging fruit.  Spending time on developing your stories now will allow you to leverage them for years to come.

So, how many yawn-fests have you suffered through in your career? How many time have you seen wonderful ideas fail due to a lack of polish on the communicator’s story line? Have you ever been guilty of leaving your audience or team members flat because you could not engage them in personal stories that inspired them? Come on… tell the truth! I’d love to hear your STORIES!

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——————–
Karen (Creuziger) Dietz

Karen Dietz is a Principal at Polaris Associates Consulting, Inc.
She helps clients tell their most inspiring stories as an essential influence skill
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: karen.dietz

Image Source: grassshackroad.com

 

Leadership and The Ugly Four-Letter Word: Fear

by Kristi Royse

Fear Face

We all have different ideas of what fear looks like.  Some people fear taking risks, others fear conflict or confrontation, and still others fear rejection by peers, just to name a few.

So what is fear?  

My Fear of Failure

Personally, I struggle with fear of failure.  I am a perfectionist by nature, as are many of us in the corporate world.  As children we are taught making mistakes equates to failure, and accumulated failure makes it impossible to become successful.

Further, failing can sometimes feel like a knock on who I am as a person-I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not driven enough, etc.  It has taken me many years to unlearn the lies I was fed as a child, however this fear still holds me captive from time to time.

“Everybody has their own Mt. Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” ~Hugh Macleod

The Four-Letter Word

The point is that we all have fear in our lives.  If we all face fear, though, why isn’t it more readily discussed in the workplace?

“Fear” is often viewed as an unmentionable four-letter word.

  • Uttering it is received with feelings of discomfort and disdain.
  • To admit fear is to accept defeat.
  • Society at large views fear as a sign of weakness.
  • We are expected to be big, bad, courageous trailblazers.
  • Overlooking the presence of fear, though, gives it power.
  • Inability to face our fears allows them to grow and fester until they paralyze us.

Thus, the first step to ridding oneself of fear is admitting that it exists.  From there, one can begin to understand the fear that holds him/her hostage and create a plan of action to confront and overcome that fear.

“The key to release, rest, and inner freedom is not the elimination of all external difficulties.  It is letting go of our pattern of reactions to those difficulties.” ~Hugh Prather

Facing Uncomfortable Circumstances

Freedom from fear does not involve changing or avoiding our circumstances.  Rather, freedom is found when we face our fear-invoking circumstances head on.  This confrontation helps to release us from our bondage to fear.

“The circumstances of our lives have as much power as we choose to give them.” ~David McNally

A Choice to Be Made

So, then, at the root of fear is a choice:

  • Do I allow my circumstances to define me? 

OR

  • Am I willing and able to overcome my circumstances?

In Maximum Leadership, John C. Maxwell poses the question, “Which emotion will [you] allow to be stronger?” (2012) Choosing faith over fear is a moment-by-moment decision.

  • Will I choose to face my fears or will I let myself be overcome by them?
  • Do I have faith enough in my abilities and belief in what I am pursuing to overcome my fears?

These questions, and others, are what define who we are as leaders and team members.

The Solution

So once we face fear, what is the next proactive step to keep it away?

Learning to trust.

In Oestreich and Ryan’s book, Driving Fear Out Of The Workplace, the authors discuss the benefits of creating a high-trust workplace environment.  The authors interviewed 260 people at 22 organizations about fear and how each workplace handles the fear they face.

In the book, “fear” is defined as “the belief that speaking up about on-the-job concerns may result in adverse repercussions.”  An overwhelming 70% labeled this situation as one that provokes anxiety.

Why does this matter?

The workplace can be full of change and uncertainty.  Fear affects us all as both individuals as well as a corporate body.

On Anxiety, Trust and Fear

Anxiety and fear in the workplace creates:

  • Insecurity in workers
  • Fear of honesty, vulnerability, and openness
  • Anger as a result of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and ego defense
  • Lower levels of creativity
  • Lack of concern for the company

Trust has the power to eliminate fear.

Trust creates an environment that fosters positive vulnerability among coworkers.

When trust is present, people:

  • do not fear they will be rejected as a result of speaking up
  • feel comfortable and are willing to take more risks
  • are willing to be more open and honest with coworkers and company leaders
  • push themselves further, knowing they will have the support of their coworkers/leaders
  • have greater commitment to work at hand and the company as a whole because the ability to trust at work creates loyalty to coworkers/the company itself

Anxiety inhibits, trust relaxes and releases. 

For more information on trust, check out my trust blog entry here.

Continuing On In Freedom From Fear

Over the course of the next four months we will be discussing different types of fears that inhibit growth for leaders and teams as well as the steps necessary to overcome these fears.

We will also be discussing Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team as it relates to overcoming fear in the workplace.  The five dysfunctions include:

  • Inattention to Results
  • Avoidance of Accountability
  • Lack of Commitment
  • Fear of Conflict
  • Absence of Trust

“Striving to create a functional, cohesive team is one of the few remaining competitive advantages available to any organization looking for a powerful point of differentiation.” ~Patrick Lencioni

My hope is these tools for overcoming fear will create more cohesive teams and more effective leadership within your company.  I hope you will join me in reading the upcoming blog focused on exploring the fear of conflict.

What fears in the workplace hold you captive? What tips do you have for dealing with these fears? Do you tend embrace fear or run from it? Do you believe trusting relationships can truly combat fear? Do you have another way of handling fear in your life/at the office?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Kristi Royse

Kristi Royse is CEO of KLR Consulting
She inspires success in leaders and teams with coaching and staff development

Email | LinkedIn | TwitterWeb | Blog | Articles | Services | (650) 578-9626

Image Sources: promobiledj.com

 

EntrepreLeadership: Tips for Self-Leadership in Your Own Startup

3 Important Steps to Launch Your Online Business

Leadership Keyboard

Working in organizations and leading teams certainly has its up and downs; its joys and challenges.

The right organization and the right people in the right places is often very satisfying for everyone involved.

Some of the good things about working in an organization are:

  • Availability to work with others
  • Enjoying personal and professional growth for you and others
  • Being at a place that provides a certain level of resources and a bit of job security

However, leaving the financial security and resources that come with working at an organization to start your own business can be a scary thing to do.

Self-Leadership on Your Own

One way modern entrepreneurs are jumping into the brave new world of self-leadership is to start their own online business. Online businesses often provide relatively low barriers of entry and much more freedom to experiment with different ideas and approaches.

But taking this role requires a massive amount of self-leadership.

So for the brave, industrious, and inspired entrepreneurs who jump into this easy-to-enter world of an online business, self-leadership requires that they do their homework on the very fundamental aspects of launching their new venture.

Getting Up and Running

So if you are ready to go, you will need to follow some good advice and take a realistic few of what to do. This requires an open mind complemented with a healthy dose of discipline.

Think about this advice:

You are probably very anxious to finally get your site up and running so you can start earning some money. It is very understandable that you would feel this way. It is an exciting thing to start a new business.

However, you must remain patient and not get carried away.

Stay calm and do not neglect any essential tasks that you need to complete before the official launch of your site. Important details that you neglect now will most likely come back to haunt you at a later time.

3 Important Steps to Launch Your Online Business

Here are some of the most essential things to do before your site goes live.

1. Decide on a merchant service provider

You will need to sign up with a company that provides merchant services if you are going to be accepting payments on your site. This company will process all of the credit card payments on your site and keep a small percentage of each payment as their payment.

It is very important to shop around and compare the fees being charged by all of the various merchant service providers. You might be surprised by the disparity in the fees they charge. It will not cost you anything to contact all of these companies and see how much you will need to pay for their service.

You should also find out if they will require you to sign a contract. Ideally, you do not want to be involved with any company that will require you to be locked into a contract.

2. Test all facets of the site

Any good web site design company will be testing your site while they are designing it. However, the real test will begin once all of the designing has been completed. You would be wise to spend as much time as possible testing everything on your site to make sure that it works exactly how it is supposed to.

Many business owners who are about to launch a new site will hire people to test out the site and report any problems they find. They will also provide valuable feedback regarding the speed and maneuverability of the site.

The input of these people can be an extremely valuable tool in your quest to design a site that will capture the imagination of the general public. Your site needs to be working flawlessly by the time you go live.

3. Have your budget in place

You will have expenses once your site goes live. You need to be sure that you have enough money to cover them. This is why you need to create a budget for your business.

This will keep you aware of how much everything costs so you can adjust your spending properly. The daily operations of a website can become very costly if you are not careful. This is not even counting the money you will need to spend to promote it. Stick to the budget you have created as best you can.

However, you should always have some spare cash available for emergencies.

So, have you decided that you may want to jump into the world of being an online entrepreneur?  Or have you already gone down this path? What might be some other perspectives that you would add to this list? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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——————-

 

On Leadership and Overcoming a Crisis

By Jack Davis

Lemonade

Make no mistake about it, there will be moments when a crisis strikes. Life has a way of making sure that plenty of lemons come our way.

And it seem that none of us can escape this truth.

Leaders often have to manage through crisis. This can only be done with good information. Because of a crisis, you may feel like your life has been a waste. But don’t worry… there are plenty of chances to turn those lemons into something good.

Mistakes are Inevitable

In my experience, no one is always happy, excited, or hopeful. We may not always see progress. At times we see things slipping backwards. Sometimes through no fault of our own, yet often through our own mistakes as well. Everyone makes mistakes, the mistake is not the important part, the lesson is.

Here is a key truth to overcoming our mistakes:

Admitting your mistake quickly positions you to extract wisdom from it

That’s right. You learn when you admit your mistakes openly and transparently.

Laugh them off, brush them off, learn the lesson, and move on to your next (even greater) accomplishment!

You see, pain births a willingness to change. No matter what has to change around you, the first thing to change is YOU. Renew your mind to what a crisis is to you.

These steps may help:

Understand that your feelings are created by your focus

What you are focusing on determines how you feel. Here are a few ways to change your feelings:

  • Through focus
  • Through music
  • Through the people around you
  • Through praise

And if you are so inclined…

  • Through worship

Understand that your feelings can change as quickly as they arrived

Did you suddenly get upset at something? Then you are able to suddenly get happy again! It’s all a matter of what you decide to focus on. That will get your joy back.

Nothing is ever as bad as it first appears

What you see as a loss is actually an investment – if you perceive it through new eyes. Bad times can activate great relationships. Think about it, when the bad time hit, your fair weather friends left, didn’t they? But your true friends stuck with you. Your relationship with them is now cemented even better than before. What a wonderful gift to receive! Absolutely priceless in my book.

Quitting does not improve your life

WOW, WOW, WOW! This one hit me strongly the first time I read it. It just never occurred to me that QUITTING HAS NO REWARD. What does quitting give you? Regret, guilt, shame, more fear, less faith. Nope, I don’t want any of those, I’ve had enough of feeling those things. So I have decided today that I’m not quitting. How about you?

Endurance is a bridge

Everyone walks through a wilderness experience. Everyone walks through the rough places. Everyone experiences crisis, even those who seem to “have it all together.” Get real. They don’t. If you could see deeper into their lives, you would see that they don’t have it all together.

Instead, see that your endurance will increase access to someone – a friend, someone to help you, someone to encourage you, someone to help you solve the problem.

Your endurance is a testimony of encouragement to others

Someone is watching your life. Someone is learning from what you are doing. Someone is secretly rooting for you to win. People love to see the underdog win. So if you are feeling like that underdog today, take courage in knowing that when you do win, it will be a heroic and inspirational story! You will encourage others with it! So today, allow encouragement to sink in. You will win if you do not give up.

Always know that I am here to help put things in perspective and to be your friend and encourager!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————-
Jack Davis

Jack Davis is a John Maxwell Certified Success Coach and Speaker
He serves as Coach, YouthMax Speaker & Board Member Team Xtreme Ministries
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: 4.bp.blogspot.com

 

L2L Weekender: Leading Socially Responsible Investing

Is Socially Responsible Investing A Realistic Strategy To Follow?

Socially Responsible Investing

Is your leadership going above and beyond what you do as a boss? Are you thinking beyond your day job or your specific corporate role and looking into how your decisions affect a bigger picture?

And are you considering how your influence on a personal level can impact local, regional, national, or international concerns that can benefit society as a whole?

To be sure, anyone in a position of leadership has learned specific skills that are felt in the immediate realm. The question becomes can you lead in a different way that utilizes your skills and helps promote wise investments in a much longer-term way?

Investing Your Influence

If you have been recently surfing the web and browsing through sites such as the ones owned by Fisher Investments and other companies in search of investment information, you may have come across a term that baffled you.

While sources, such as the Fisher site, may contain a capsule definition of the term “Socially Responsible Investing,” you may still be wondering what this term actually amounts to in practice.

You may also be wondering if such a strategy is even possible to adopt, or if it is the right one for you to employ in the course of your own investment activity.

What Is Meant By “Socially Responsible Investing?”

A concise definition of “Socially Responsible Investing” might run as follows: Investment activity by people who wish to support or reward companies for engaging in activity that they feel is beneficial to the international community.

For example, a person who follows the Socially Responsible Investing strategy might choose to invest in companies whose activities coincide with their own deeply held political, economic, or ecological beliefs.

They may make use of the technique of shareholder advocacy. This is the technique by which they use their power as a shareholder to influence the policies of the company they invest in.

For example, they may use this technique to influence the company into adopting better safety standards, abandoning dangerous industrial practices, or giving better pay and representation to female or minority employees.

A Practical Use Of Socially Responsible Investing Techniques

People who make practical use of their socially responsible investing principles tend to screen the companies they are willing to invest in according to three general principles.

The first principle is known as the “Negative Screen.”

The negative screen basically boils down to a practical refusal to invest in any company that sells products or engages in activities that the investor personally views as harmful or immoral.

This could translate into a refusal to invest in a tobacco company, or an oil company that is prone to oil spills and other activities that affect the environment in a negative way.

What Is The “Positive Screen” Technique?

The “Positive Screen” technique involves the investor giving their support to a company that they feel not only earns its profits in an ethical manner, but also uses these profits to support causes that the investor also approves of.

This could mean anything from a company that supports wildlife conservation to a business that engages directly in the construction and distribution of environmentally friendly solar panels.

Keep in mind that the definition of “Positive” is a highly subjective one, and will differ greatly depending on the mindset of the person who makes use of such criteria.

What Is The “Restricted Screen” Technique?

The final screening technique is usually known as the “Restricted Screen.” This means that the company in question may engage in activities that the investor may highly approve of, but may also be involved in other activities which raise a red flag of caution in their mind.

The dilemma is normally resolved when the investor weighs the effects of the company’s “positive” activity against the “negative,” and makes up their own mind whether to go ahead and invest in this company or not.

Leading Outside of Self

When a leader takes on a much larger role in which to influence decisions and uses those skills to better society, they are able to create a legacy that goes beyond their corporate role or day job.

Investing in areas that bring about a better planet is a great way to be able to look into the mirror and feel confidence and maturity about using your skills and talents toward something big.

So how are you doing in developing your personal professional skills in your career? And better yet, how can you take those skills and make a personal commitment to use those skills and talents to leave a large footprint on your leadership legacy? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Send Them to a Movie, Don’t Train Them!

by A.D. Roberts

Movie

People love training when it’s entertaining and they enjoy themselves.

They like it when the training gives them information that provides hope. Hope that their life will get easier, that the organization will be more successful, that their job security is enhanced, etc.

It’s good when you leave a training session fired up and ready to go use the techniques that you’ve learned. It’s good when you feel you’ve learned all the information you need to solve your workplace problems.

What’s bad is—thinking the training session alone will change anything!

Do What You’re Told!

People do not learn from being told or exposed to the information one time. Research shows we need an average of six exposures to the information with reinforcement (using the information you were exposed to) between the exposures to retain the information.

Of course the complexity of the task and each individual’s previous life experiences are just a couple of the factors that will determine how many exposures to the information being trained the individual will need.

Do the Math

I’ve done training programs costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with multiple sessions of in-depth information. I always advise management that in order for a training session to have a positive effect, the participants must have multiple exposures to the information.

Since I am only paid to deliver the information once, the organization (with my help) must use other methods to ensure that everyone gets their multiple exposures. It can be structured and timed e-mails that require a response to all participants. Or it can be a strategically placed sign with key elements of the training. Or even supporting audio materials playing in the break room, etc.

I offer clients a number of different ways to give their participants multiple exposures at no additional cost. Even when it’s easy and inexpensive, many clients do not provide follow-up activities and methods for multiple exposures.

The truth is, if you are not going to provide the necessary multiple exposures then, “SEND THEM TO A MOVIE, DON’T TRAIN THEM!” It will only be an entertaining waste of money that way.

Square Peg, Square Hole

Square PegAnother critical aspect of training retention is adjusting organizational policy and procedures to fit the new requested methods of behavior. Once individuals are trained to perform through new and different procedures and techniques, their evaluation and performance procedures and policies must be altered to support the new behaviors, If they are not, then they are forced to return to the old behaviors.

People cannot do something differently if they are forced down an opposing path.

One of the reasons I have observed to explain this phenomena is a lack of participation from the decision-makers (management) in the training. If management does not fully understand the information being delivered, they cannot adjust the policies and procedures to fit the requested behaviors and procedures.

If you aren’t going to change the policies and procedures to support the purchased training, “SEND THEM TO A MOVIE, DON’T TRAIN THEM!”

Big Picture

As a professional trainer, coach, and consultant, my mission is to share information that makes my clients more profitable, gives them a better work environment, increases customer satisfaction, and builds individual and organization success.

Entertaining people is fun; however, educating them so they can achieve their goals and aspirations in life is much better! Make training count! Give your team the information but also the supporting elements that ensure their retention of that information and organizational success.

So please take this REAL advice:

DON’T TAKE THEM TO A MOVIE, TRAIN THEM RIGHT!

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——————–
Tony Roberts
A. D. Roberts is President/CEO of A. D. Roberts Consulting, Inc. in North Augusta, SC
He helps with Leadership & Interpersonal Communication Consulting & Training

Email | LinkedIn | TwitterWeb | Book | Blog

Image Sources: hmydesignjournal.files.wordpress.com, creditmanagementassociation.org

 

Eliciting Excellence (BookBaby, 2016)

Eliciting excellence is the essence of exceptional leadership.

Everyone accepts that good leadership is important, but rarely is the question raised as to why and how good leadership makes a difference.

Although developing good strategies and making smart decisions are important, bringing out the best in people is the most important ability a leader needs in order to produce great results.

In Eliciting Excellence, Michael Beck explains why bringing out the best in people matters and shares with the reader how to do just that. More Here

More About the Author Here

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——————–
Michael Beck
Michael J. Beck is President of Michael Beck International, Inc
He helps leaders improve their personal effectiveness and productivity
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Blog | Skype: xleaders | 503-928-7685

 

 

On Leadership, Humility and Excellent Communication Skills

5 Tips to Significantly Impact Your Interpersonal Effectiveness

A college professor of communication was once asked by the students why the skills that they teach in the college were so important.

This professor taught the interpersonal skills that were related to the daily life of college students. Additionally he trained them in coursework that helped them prepare for a long professional career that included interpersonal skills.

Doing Some Research

So to answer the question as to why interpersonal skills were so important to them, he gave the class an assignment to examine and study the job postings found in the newspaper or at the online job portals and come back the next day with their observations.

The answer to their question was just simple:

The one common thing that each and every student observed with every job requirement was to possess a definite skill set of having outstanding interpersonal communication skills.

And these requirements are magnified for any leader to really be a person of influence.

Wow, who’da thunk?

Fundamental Communication Skills

So, what are those interpersonal skills and how do they influence our daily life as a leader?

It is clear that the interpersonal communication skills are an important part of everyday life on both the personal and professional fronts. Before we start learning how to develop the interpersonal skills, first let us understand fundamental principles of effective communication. It’s a three level communication approach that includes- ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • The ethos symbolizes ethics
  • The pathos symbolizes empathy
  • The logos stands for logic

All three above factors help you in communicating effectively by developing credibility, understandability of your listener and then coherently presenting the thoughts.

On Macro and Micro Communication

Often people in leadership roles assume that they are effective communicators. Since they often are effective at speaking to people in groups, at events, and at important meetings, the assumption can be that that this skill set transfers to the interpersonal level.

However, when it comes to a one-on-one communication skills, those macro skills often are the worst ways to be effective.

Leaders need to dial it back a bit and take a look at what is the most effective way to proceed on the micro level. What can frequently be found is that some of the things that are missing are there because of blind spots that everyone has.

And what can complicate things for leaders is that they see the remedy to increase their influence and effectiveness is seen as trivial or sophomoric. Consequently people in roles of influence continue to lose out on opportunities to better themselves and their operations because of pride, disbelief, laziness, embarrassment, or apathy.

But for leaders who want to improve themselves and the results they get through their teams, all it takes is just a few steps in humility and desire and the results can be dramatic.

5 Tips for Better Interpersonal Effectiveness

Although these steps may seem simplistic, the power of recalibrating one’s basic approach to interpersonal communication skills can be dramatic.

To get results quickly, here are some of the best ways that can help in improving one’s interpersonal communication skills and become much more effective.

1) Opting for a Speech Course

If you are interested in improving your interpersonal skills, especially related to communication, then it is advisable to take a speech course. A good speech course would help in building confidence in yourself while teaching you to communicate coherently. This could be considered as one of the best ways for improving your skills.

2) Rehearsing with a Recording Tool

In order to communicate effectively, it is important to understand the way you communicate. As you record yourself, you will have a great opportunity to listening as well as watching yourself talk. With this, you can observe your body language, have proper language command, appropriate tone of voice, confidence level and many other things. This will help you to become an effective communicator by improving yourself through the observations made.

3) Look Out for the Opportunities to Lead

We already know that great leaders are the great communicators. So, you must look out for some great opportunities for taking leadership roles along with enhancing your interpersonal skills. Being a leader means you need to be proactive and ready to take the initiative. Also, in a corporate scenario, it could mean voluntarily bringing down the co-workers for solving a problem or developing a concept.

4) Develop Good Writing Practices

Writing could help you in expressing yourself clearly. It helps you thinking twice before you speak. It has been observed that the internal communication precedes the interpersonal communication, so it helps you to personally communicate to yourself. The ultimate solution for this is developing good writing practice in order to improve your interpersonal skills.

5) Enroll in an Acting Class

Acting gives you an opportunity to relate to different kinds of people. This helps in boosting your confidence and the language command as well. As acting lets you communicate on stage in a way that the audience should understand you, it can prove to be a great platform to develop your communication skills.

Final thought:

You must have met the leaders in every sphere of human life and one thing that makes them more influential is their interpersonal communication. As a result, if you want to rock your world, you can follow above-stated some of the best tips that can help in improving yourself with excellent communication skills.

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Image Sources: Daniel Clark