” By Mark Deterding of Leadchange”
If your life was a silent film, could the people in the audience discern your influence?
” By Greg Wartes, of Managed Services”
My firm performs a lot of services really well, and we know where our strengths are – simple right? Not reality though. Because I am in sales, I meet people for a living – prospects, networking, saying hello to people in line at the grocery store, business owners and the folks in “the channel.” The thing that always amazes me is that when I meet a business owner that tells me they are good at A through Z, not skipping anything in between; really? You excel at everything?
“By Michael Lee Stallard, of SmartBrief”
Do you have “still face” managers in your organization? By “still face” managers I mean supervisors whose lack of emotion makes it difficult for them to connect and to get people fired up. They seem unable to express appropriate emotion when interacting with others. The disconnection the other person experiences can be confusing, discouraging or lead to reaching a wrong conclusion.
“By Dan Price, Business Guru Club contributor”
Sarah was not just a top performer—she always exceeded her quota. She was like a sister to me. Then her daughter became sick, and doctors couldn’t figure out why. Sarah no longer went on sales calls. She stopped hitting her quota. Others were forced to pick up her slack. Month after month, she had to be there for her daughter. I was at a crossroads. How could I keep paying someone who wasn’t working? Gravity Payments, my company, couldn’t afford it.
“By Becky Robinson, of BeckyRobinson.com”
On a cool summer morning, a person I’d never met before dropped by for coffee. Introduced by a friend (virtually), she followed up to meet me in person. I liked her instantly, and we connected easily. Part of my trust in her came from my friend’s introduction. Because he trusts her, I trust her. But my experience in meeting her increased my trust.
“By Zeynep Ilgaz, of SwitchandShift.com”
You and your longtime employees have gone through a lot together. You’ve developed a special bond as the company evolved, and you might even hang out together on the weekends. What if one of these individuals began underperforming or acting dishonestly? Would you feel uncomfortable confronting him or her about it? As evidenced by Wells Fargo’s recent scandal, company leaders of all types struggle to address this scenario. In fact, more than one-third of managers admit to shrinking away from giving direct feedback to employees when they anticipate a negative reaction. Despite a potentially awkward confrontation, the consequences of letting a longtime employee underperform can be severe. To keep their companies moving in a positive direction, entrepreneurs must learn to address this situation before it turns into something worse.
“By J.T. O’donnell, of WorkItDaily.com”
New Employee Is Making My Old Employee Bad, Now What?
Employee POV: I’ve been a loyal employee for 10+ years. I helped the company through some tough years. Recently, my boss hired a much younger employee to help with additional workload. The new guy is definitely more tech-savvy than me, works a lot of overtime, and is getting a lot of attention for how well he is producing. Meanwhile, I’m sensing a cold shoulder from my boss. He’s been more critical of my work and less chatty with me. Should I worry about losing my job? I can’t imagine they’d let me go, I’ve got a lot of company knowledge.
” Jennifer V. Miller, http://smartblogs.com”
Most people want to work for a caring boss. Not only is it more enjoyable, it’s good for your health, according to research by Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. Compassion is certainly a hallmark of leadership effectiveness.
But can a leader care too much? Shelley Row, a professional engineer and former transportation executive, believes that caring for one’s employees, while admirable, does have its drawbacks. It can stunt your team members’ professional and personal growth. Moreover, misplaced concern and worry can overload leaders.
Row’s book, “Think Less, Live More: Lessons from a Recovering Over-Thinker,” explores the ways in which leaders might “over-function,” meaning they assume more control or responsibility over a situation than is required. Over-functioning and micromanagement share a common element: the refusal to release control. Strangely enough, the act of “caring,” when taken too far, is a control issue.
For example, when a leader avoids making difficult decisions because he is concerned about an employee’s reaction, he has crossed the line from compassion into over-functioning. It’s as if the leader has assumed responsibility for an employee’s reaction to the situation, thereby transferring who “owns” (or controls) the emotion from the employee to the manager.
According to Row, it all comes down to understanding interpersonal boundaries: the space where your responsibility as a leader ends and your team members’ begins. “[Some leaders] invest a lot of energy trying to make sure that they don’t do anything to hurt people’s feelings. But people get to have their feelings; we don’t have control over that,” explains Row.
For example, in a difficult conversation in which you need to address an employee’s lack of performance, as a leader your responsibility is to hold a fair, compassionate and respectful discussion with the employee. That’s where your responsibility ends.
Understandably, you might be concerned about the employee’s reaction, especially if the two of you have a history of contentious conversations. Your employee’s reaction is not your responsibility.
The employee gets to choose his or her reaction. Too much worrying about “how Stan will take this” or “If I fire Melanie it will devastate her” takes its toll on you. You have no control over how your employees will react. So leave that decision in the employee’s hands.
There’s another element to caring too much: stifling employees’ growth. Painful as it might be to see an employee struggle through a difficult task, there’s a learning opportunity available within those challenging times. Leaders who try to “fix” everything so their team members face continual smooth sailing are actually robbing people of life’s best teacher: failure.
In the process, you risk sending a defeating message: your team isn’t capable of tackling tough tasks. “The highest compliment that you can pay people is to have confidence in their ability to express their own needs,” writes Row.
Caring too much, when it leads to lack of decision-making, is a form of leadership over-functioning. Leaders who leave others’ reactions and choices up to those best suited to decide for themselves reap an added benefit — release from the worry and frustration of attempting to manage others’ emotions.
“by Drew Hendricks, http://www.inc.com”
Life is stressful enough for most of us. Allowing a toxic individual to ravage your immediate environment can cause havoc in your mental well-being, which can lead to physical challenges.
A bad state of mind not only affects your physical well-being but makes it difficult for you to respond calmly under pressure. Ninety percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions, so your ability to perform effectively can be affected if you do not adopt strategies that will allow you to deal with toxic people.
1. Successful People Establish Boundaries
There is a fine line between being friendly and allowing somebody to lead you down a path that jeopardizes your ability to remain effective. Successful people understand this and do not allow the toxic among them to take charge, but rather choose to set effective boundaries.
2. No One Limits Their Joy
How much do the words of those around you affect your state of mind? Successful people have mastered the ability to ensure that the negative remarks of others do not affect their strong sense of accomplishment. Toxic people like to break you down with rude, hurtful comments, and gain satisfaction from watching you fall apart.
Learn to react less to the opinions of others, especially those you know do not have your well-being at heart.
3. They Have Mastered the Art of Rising Above
I learned this from John Rampton from Due when he was on stage at TC Disrupt. “By mastering the act of rising above, successful people are able to remain rational and calm in the presence of the irrational and chaotic. They master rising above the rest, no matter what the circumstance,” Rampton said.
4. They Are Solution Focused
Do you spend more time focused on the negative person and how they affect your life than on achieving your goals? If so, then you have a problem. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on your goals.
5. They Understand the Importance of Support
Reach out to your mentors, chances are, they have experienced what you are going through. There is a good chance that co-workers, team members, even family and friends have useful tips to help you get by. The emotionally intelligent understand how to tap into their resources to get through the challenges of working with toxic people.
6. They Are Aware
Self-awareness is important, because it involves knowing what it takes to push your buttons in order to prevent it from happening. Lack of emotional control is a great way to empower the toxic people in your life.
Being forgiving comes with being emotionally intelligent. It allows you to remain unburdened by the mistakes of others and to have peace of mind. But being forgiving does not mean forgetting whom you can and cannot trust. It just means you stop wasting mental energy on those you cannot trust.
8. They Store Their Energy for Better Opportunities
As I have mentioned several times, the toxic thrive on chaos, and will do anything to have the ability to take you down to their level. Learning to understand your limits will help you to stay away from dangerous situations. Choose your battles wisely, and conserve your energy for bigger and better things.
Those we look up to as being the “bigger person” or as being able to conduct themselves in the most challenging of situations do not have a magic solution in their back pockets, but they have worked hard to become emotionally intelligent people. What are some of the challenges you have experienced with toxic people?
“by Paul Sohn, http://paulsohn.org/”
All my life, I’ve began asking myself, “Whom can I connect?” I am naturally hard-wired to see the world as a web of relationships and I get excited by the prospect of connecting people within my web. Not because they will like each other, but rather because of what they will create together. The mantra I operate in is “1 + 1 makes 3. Or 30. Or 300. ”
Entering a new career transition as an entrepreneur and leadership coach/consultant, I am constantly finding ways to build connections and find ways on how I can be for them and against them.
I came across five types of questions that have helped me to improve my emotional connectivity with people. I hope you’ll find the following helpful in building your relational intelligence.
1. Find Common Ground
Are you able to quickly identify things in which you have in common? Whether that is, your blood type, month you were born, ethnic background, alma mater, organization you work for, hobbies, mutual friends, my number one objective is to start a conversation based something we share in common. This ignites our conversation and helps to take it to the next level. Finding common ground is the lubricator of the relationship engine.
Simply, start looking around. What do you notice in the other person in which you can ask questions to create resonance and commonality? Here’s some examples.
2. Ask Questions the Other Person Wants to Hear
Here’s a normal response from an average questioner:
Now, here’s a normal response from an exceptional questioner:
Did you catch the difference? In the second scenario, Person B intuitively knew that Person A brought up the question because Person A wants to share his/her experience. That’s why Person B gave a general reply and quickly turned around with the same question to Person A. If you really think about it, a lot of the questions people asked are questions they want to be asked.
Here’s more examples:
In the first question, the person’t isn’t confirming whether you know that Jim went to Hawaii. The question implies a desire, “I want to go to Hawaii too.” In the second question, “the person isn’t really asking for which clubs you’re involved in college, but rather this person wants to share about his/her student club experience during college.” Same logic for the third question. The person is more interested in sharing his thoughts on the best books he is reading. Exceptional connectors intuitively know this because they are always others-focused.
3. When You ask, Use “Half Open-ended Questions
Generally, there’s two type of questions. A closed-ended question and an open-ended question. Here’s an example of these two type of questions:
We ask these questions all the time. When we meet people for the first time and ask closed-ended questions, the conversation may abruptly halt and create awkward moments. When you use open-ended questions, the question is so big and abstract that the person responding may have difficulty sharing “how much” information.
Instead, employ the “half open-ended question” method. This is when you create more specificity into the open-ended question method. Here’s a few example:
A small thing like adding a bit more specificity can make all the difference.
4. Use Questions to Elicit Interesting Episodes
Master connectors learn from one of the most commonly used interview strategies today: behavioral interviews. Instead of asking “general questions” such as ”
A lot of times, these questions are often responded with quite abstract terms. Rather, behavioral interviews focused on specific, concrete examples of the past that demonstrate certain qualities. Here’s a few examples:
One caveat is ensuring that you focus on both tact and tone. These questions can often sound intimidating. So, it’s important to sound genuine and interested, not like an interrogator. When you use this method here’s a few examples of what it might sound like in a conversation:
5. Leverage the Power of Research
We live in a world where transparency is the currency of relationship and information is free on the internet. Whether it’s a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, this creates an opportunity for master connectors to do pre-work to ask the right questions when you meet the person for the first time.
Whether you are preparing for an interview, going out on a date, or preparing for a networking session, I always spend 30 minutes to an hour to really research the person. I immediately think about what do I share in common? Also, I might follow the person beforehand and read their tweets to see what kind of information this person is interested in.
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