Do you know the Christmas story of three wise men from the east who followed a star to find the baby Jesus? The star they saw guided them to their destination. They were determined to get there because they had important gifts to present to Jesus. They wanted to make the journey. They followed a certain star, and delivered their gifts! Leaders also have very important gifts to deliver: gifts of good leadership to colleagues and followers who depend on that leadership to guide, support, and encourage them. The model of determination, commitment, and generosity that the wise men displayed is a motivating example for leaders to emulate year-round.
Why do you approach your work a certain way? Why do co-workers approach work in ways that seem counter-productive to you? Our approach to work is guided by our personal priorities. Each person has priorities that rise to the forefront in thinking and behavior.
We find it easier to work with co-workers who share our priorities. After all, “they get it!” We may find it challenging and sometimes unpleasant to work with colleagues whose priorities differ from our own: “They just don’t get it!” If we had a way to better communicate our priorities to others and to better respond to the priorities of our co-workers, it would make our workplaces better! Communication would flow more freely and helpfully, productivity would increase, and people would be more fulfilled in their work. All of this would most certainly lead to a better financial bottom line. So let’s take a look at how to communicate better so that our workplaces and work outcomes are improved.
How many messages are in your inbox? Do you sort, file, delete and respond daily? Many aspects of life and work are dealt with via email; what about leadership? When leaders need to communicate to give direction, make decisions, or in other ways to relate to colleagues, is email appropriate? Maybe you have received email from a supervisor or colleague that made your day—or, just the opposite, crushed you. Conversely, you may have sent the same. Leadership by email? Yes, it can work!
Say it with Commitment
Your strategy to accomplish great results personally, at home and at work has the best chance of success if you invest in it, live it out, and communicate it widely. How often do you hear of plans that are promised but never even attempted? Those are strategies with no life; they are not authentic. Remember, all those implicated in a strategic plan and its actions ought to know it, have the opportunity to embrace it, and promote it. As business expert Henry Mintzberg says, “Strategies take on value only as committed people infuse them with energy.” So you see, authentic strategy can be powerful! It can motivate, direct, and eventually yield results—but people have to know it. Communication is an indispensable key in unlocking the momentum of personal investment and action.
How many messages are in your inbox? Do you sort, file, delete and respond daily? Many aspects of life and work are dealt with via email; what about leadership? When leaders need to communicate to give direction, make decisions, or in other ways to relate to colleagues, is email appropriate? Maybe you have received email from a supervisor or colleague that made your day—or, just the opposite, crushed you. Conversely, you may have sent those same types of emails!
Email Can Be a Useful Tool for Leaders
Email in the context of leadership is useful when it’s carefully crafted in style, vocabulary, length, and purpose. Create a direct subject line, greet the recipient by name; take time to choose accurate and respectful words, keep it under 200 words, and make sure the purpose is clear. Check out a basic email etiquette resource, such as www.businessinsider.com. Here are principles to remember.
This is the scenario: the unbelievable, appalling, ridiculous, annoying, humiliating, shocking, or otherwise parameter-breaking “thing” has happened between you and another person, and there is a question that must be asked. “Really?” This is followed by “Are you serious? Did this just happen?” Getting zapped happens more frequently than we know, because there are all of those subtle “digs” that may be imperceptible to the casual observer. But you know. And you feel it. The key to mastering successful outcomes in these difficult situations is not placating challenging people, but being prepared to shape your own response in order to ameliorate the state of affairs. Continue reading
Have you noticed? In our current economic climate, some people are confident about the direction for their business or organization. Even facing many of the same challenges you do, they seem to move ahead undaunted by obstacles. Maybe you would like to possess that kind of focus on a preferable future. Do you have a vision for yourself, your organization, or your business? A compelling picture of your future; an “ultimate destination”? Continue reading
It’s an old trick: someone talked about you when you weren’t around! Therefore, people have the wrong idea about you. You didn’t have a chance to correct the wrong information, and now you have a mess on your hands. It’s up to you to dispel the rumors. What an unfortunate situation! What a disappointment that someone chose to do it. How should leaders respond when speculation, rumors, and gossip seem to edge out real facts and truth? Continue reading