Watching What We Say

While it is improbable to think one will go through life without ever offending someone, here are some faux-paus to actively avoid and the reasons why one should avoid them.

Don’t every tell a peer that they “look tired”. The imagery evoked by this comment is not flattering. Tired persons have darkened rings about the eyes, unkempt hair and maybe disheveled clothes. They cannot concentrate and are probably grumpy. If you are concerned about a peer just ask if they are OK. While asking if someone looks tired is usually meant to be helpful, it can often be misunderstood as a slight. Likewise, saying someone has lost a ton of weight implies they were fat to begin with, instead just tell your peer the look good without commenting on their previous appearance.

Sometimes slight rephrasings of comments meant in support of a colleague can totally change the interpreted meaning. If someone ends a romantic relationship, don’t ever tell your peer they were to good for them. This may be misconstrued as meaning the peer has poor taste in romantic partners. “Their loss” implies no criticism.

If you do need to criticize someone—hopefully in a helpful way—don’t ever tell a person that they “always” or “never” do something. In the real-world absolutes aren’t really factual. No person always or never does something. Often or frequently or another synonym implies a habit and habits can be changed where as absolutes feel written in stone.

Hopefully these tips will get you thinking about other common sayings and phrasings that might get misinterpreted.

Some Thoughts on Trust

When it comes to leadership, it is hard to think of something more important than trust. One could be talented, with an impressive CV. One could say the quote unquote “right things” but if one doesn’t have his colleagues trust, they have nothing.

Trust is difficult because it isn’t something one can do. It isn’t a bullet point on a resume. It’s pathos—an emotional connection with your peers. And it has two roots. It requires a strong belief on the part of you peers that you have their best interests in mind. Second, it requires a strong belief that you have the ability and knowledge to act on that vested interest.

So how does one plant the seed that will grow roots and flower with trust? Asking people for their advice and listening to them. People need to be heard. One needs to take an interest in what is important to their peers. This makes people feel they have validation. One must always be genuine. There is no middle ground when it comes to “playing politics.” One either has agendas or they don’t.

This influence is key for any leader, but it can also help anyone who would like to exert positive influence over the peers even if they are not a leader.

Good Leaders Ask for Help

In the American culture we have traditionally viewed great leaders as almost super-human in their strength. But of course, this strength is not often thought of as purely physical. Society has viewed great leaders as emotionally strong to the point of stoicism. Or we might think of it as mental of physical stamina.

Whatever the case may be, all leaders are human, and humans are vulnerable. Good leaders should view showing their vulnerability from time to time, by asking for help, an asset. A good leader should not think in terms of showing any vulnerability as a weakness.
There are two clear reasons why trying to be more than human isn’t a good plan. First, it is unsustainable. Life will eventually find a way to put a weakness, flaw or fault in our path and we will need help to overcome it.

Second, it isn’t good leadership. If we all can agree that leadership is about connection we can agree on this second point. We know that people will only work hard, create and risk for you if they feel connected. How can one create this level of trust by only putting our strengths on display? When the time comes for a leader to face one of their weakness they may come of as dishonest or at worst an outright fraud.

The best thing to remember is that our struggles define us in equal measure as our successes. Being able to be honest about needing help is an essential trait of a great leader.

Leadership is a Practice

It is reasonable to state that the contention about whether leaders are conceived or created has been settled. The fortune spent consistently by organizations on different types of education for leaders is proof enough for the possibility that, while certain leadership abilities might be hereditary, a lot of the stuff needed to be a leader can be learned.

The appropriate response, for most HR offices, has been courses, with a lot of classroom learning. The issue is that the classroom learning gives members information yet not the abilities required to do the things that will make them viable pioneers. Unified to this is an absence of acknowledgment of the significance of propensities to human conduct. It is on the grounds that we are animals of propensity that – notwithstanding when enlivened by courses when we are on them and first come back from them – we once in a while change how we approach our function in the more drawn out term, with the outcome that the association neglects to see the enhancement in business it was anticipating.

It is just by transforming book learning into abilities, that is, making them regular practices in our lives, that an individual can truly change and on account of a real or hopeful leader procure the stuff to be compelling. The essential thought is that giving only a couple of minutes daily to building up these key abilities can change how people carry on thus make them progressive and powerful.

Leadership is More Than Motivation

At the point when team members aren’t just drawn in, but are roused and full of energy, that is when organizations see genuine leaps forward. Roused workers are themselves unquestionably beneficial and, thus, motivate people around them to take a stab at more difficult achievements.

A few people concur that their leaders were moving towards or were creating inspiration in workers. Indeed, even less felt that their leaders encouraged commitment or responsibility and displayed the way of life and values of the organization.

Things being what they are, motivation alone isn’t sufficient. Similarly, as pioneers who convey just execution may do as such at a cost that the association is reluctant to manage, the individuals who center just around motivation may find that they inspire the troops yet are undermined by fair results. Rather, moving pioneers are the individuals who utilize their one of a kind mix of qualities to spur people and groups to go up against strong missions – and consider them responsible for results. What’s more, they open higher execution through strengthening, not order and control.

The Power of “Thank You”

If you want people on your “team”—whatever that means to you: in business, as a partner, an employee or even just a reference thanking them more than once might be the strategy to win them over to your side as one to call upon.

It is as simple as it sounds. You simply find occasion on which to thank them more than once. Obviously, the gesture needs to be sincere to work. You’ll want to thank them for any time or resources they lend to your cause. This is essential if you want them to help you again and again. While it may sound unfair, a single thank you, while being plenty of a verbal return on their investment in you on a singular occasion, will not stick in most people’s minds. Find ways to so sincere gratitude clearly and often. You should try to go beyond words if you can. Something like flowers, a bottle of wine or some other similar gesture is a great way to go for the second or third “thank you”.

For example, if you were offered a graduate assistantship because of a recommendation from someone in your network an immediate thank you is expected and needed immediately. Very few people would find occasion to thank the person again. After you start that assistantship find a way to say thank again and give them some context about how much the assistantship has helped your career.

After a year into the assistantship, perhaps on the anniversary of its beginning, it is time for another “thank you.” Share your results with them, show this person how much you have learned and grown and thank them again for the opportunity they helped you achieve.
Now, this person in your network will have a clear memory of how appreciative you are and would likely help you again if asked. Really the message here is sincere gratitude. Everyone says “thank you” once. Demonstrate the strength of your conviction by showing this person over a period of time that you are still grateful for their service to you.