Effective Leadership

To advance your career it is important to learn new skills. You cannot have quality service without trained and motivated people. Leadership is blending the tough and tender sides to take people and the business to new heights. Leadership is balancing the demanding and the caring.

Know Yourself. Effective leaders know their innate talents, strengths and weaknesses. They capitalize on strengths while encouraging growth in others. They work on their weaknesses while offsetting the disparity with co-workers who excel in that area. They pursue personal growth; address fears head on, eliminate negative emotions and continually set forward goals.

Establish trust through relationship. Correction fears or evaluation dreads disappear as you develop relationship. Everyone wants constructive input from a friend.

Provide a learning atmosphere. Learn and improve by holding ‘group think’ sessions. My definition of synergy is “all of us are smarter than any of us.” Put egos aside. Allow each person to give positive points as well as improvement points. Brain storm together to determine effective communication, customer service, or whatever the issue may be.

Handle losses with grace and maturity. Everybody has difficulties; it is how you handle them that set you apart from the pack.

Grade on the curve. Give the benefit of the doubt while holding to accountability.

“What” verses “Why”. Asking “Why” comes off as accusing and encourages excuses and arouses negative emotions. Looking at “What” promotes accountability and problem solving. “Why” looks at the here and now; “What” looks at the present and future.

Play “What If”. Not for doom and gloom and do not get bogged down in worst case scenarios, but evaluate the possible outcome and what fail safes need to be put in place.

Assign tasks and accountability. Name a specific individual to a specific task. Giving general directions such as “someone needs to ..” leads to no follow through because of lack of delegation. When ambiguous orders are given, staff assumes another will do the task and your problems are compounded by personality conflicts.

Assess if your message is getting through. According to Management Resources, a person’s body language indicates confusion. A confused person will do one of the following six things: 1) Avoid eye contact; 2) Tilt their head; 3) Squint the eyes; 4) Close their mouth and keep it closed; 5) Lower their eye brows; 6) Cross their arms and/or legs.

Take Action. The best laid plan will never work without action. Use the 48-hour rule. The longer the delay in starting a project, increases the waning of enthusiasm for solving issues and the more the problems are compound. Set project deadlines as well as incremental action steps for accomplishment.

Baby steps are okay as long as you are going in the right direction. Several small leaps prepares you for the big jump when it comes.


Letting Go of Anger, Part 2

Here are more suggestions for letting go of anger.

Slow your response time.  Most conflicts can be avoided if you do not act in haste.   The other person may be wrong but his value as a human being remains intact.  You may not agree with the other person and by being objective you are able to disagree without being disagreeable.  By being objective you are open to others insights and greatly avoid engendering strife.  I have found that by being objective the other person is more willing to listen to my point of view.  Where there are no logs, the fire goes out. 

A soft answers turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.  Proverbs 15:1
A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he that is slow to anger appeases strife.  Proverbs 15:18

Take personal responsibility for your part.  Each person is self-determining.  To say the other person made you mad is to admit you are a puppet and he is pulling your strings.  How much were you a part of the problem?  What attitudes were you projecting?  What facial expressions and body language did you use?  What was your tone of voice?  How were you selfishly seeing only your unmet needs?  Psychologist Carl Jung says others are mirrors reflecting us back to ourselves.  How much do you see your own faults in others and, rather than correcting your shortcomings, you angrily demanding they shape up?  

He that quickly becomes angry is foolish, and a man of wicked devises is hated.  Proverbs 14:17

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his own spirit is
better than he that conquers a city.  Proverbs 16:32

Move past it.   An unclean physical wound is easily infected and made worse.  The same is true with emotional wounds.  When not cleaned, they aggregate and spread from being angry with one person to being angry with a whole group of people, to being angry with the world.  Perhaps one plaid person did you wrong.  When nursed, cursed and rehearsed, the insult spreads to being angry with all plaid people.  If you choose (and it is a choice) to hold on to wrongs, harbor grudges, wallow in self-pity and devalue the offender, you become a bitter person who is unpleasant to be around.  Anger toward anyone collects in your system and colors your interaction with everyone. 

Choosing to get over the offense is a great liberator no matter how severe it is.  To pass over irritations requires great strength of character.  It sets you up for true peace.  It sets you up to be less stressful.  It sets you up to develop a healthier self-image.  It sets you up to appropriately appreciate others. We set our selves up for continued resentment, when we fail to get over the minor things or to confront the major issues.  I find one of the ironies of life is the human propensity to ignore genuine offenses and to explode over irrelevant ones. 

Be angry and sin not.  Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.  Ephesians 4:26

My translation of Ephesians 4:26 is, “There are reasons to become angry, but in doing so do not miss the mark and destroy the relationship.  Whether the issue is resolved or not, move past it before sundown. For the sun that goes down on anger rises on anger."  

Learn to care-front.  There are times when hurts and misconduct need to be confronted.  Choose your battles and do not make every conflict a major confrontation.  Care enough about the situation and about the individuals involved that you confront the issue in love (care-front).