Run meetings exactly like this

September 17, 2018

By Romy Newman via theladders.com  Article

Successful bosses run their most effective meetings exactly like this

“1. HAVE A CLEAR MEETING OBJECTIVE …

2. WRITE AN AGENDA – AND KEEP IT SIMPLE …

3. KEEP IT SHORT …

4. BOOK A COMFORTABLE ROOM

… with chairs at the table for everyone. Seriously. If people feel uncomfortable or are marginalized to ‘back row seats,’ …

5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SEAT

If it’s a meeting that’s around a long table, as the leader, you should sit in the middle, not at the head. …

6. BRING BRIBES—EHM, SNACKS …

7. PHONES DOWN, HEADS UP …

8. MAKE SURE ALL KEY STAKEHOLDERS CAN AND WILL ATTEND

… Confirm RSVPs for everyone, and send a meeting reminder the day before.

9. KEEP THE TONE PURPOSEFUL BUT LIGHT …

10. STAY ON TRACK

If someone tries to take the meeting in another direction (and they always do), say, ‘That’s a great thought. Let’s schedule a separate meeting to discuss it.’

11. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS HEARD

Pay attention to people’s reactions to the discussion. … If someone is being drowned out, call attention to them and give them the floor.

12. ELICIT PARTICIPATION FROM EVERYONE …

13. TAKE GROUP NOTES ON A WHITEBOARD

If you jot down people’s thoughts, it gives them weight—and it also helps bring participants along to a conclusion or solution with you.

14. BLATANTLY WRAP IT UP

Recap key findings and next steps. Reiterate how the group has successfully accomplished the task at hand. …

15. THANK EVERYONE FOR THEIR TIME …

16. END FIVE MINUTES EARLY

If you can wrap up the meeting 5 minutes before the scheduled time, people will LOVE you. …

17. SEND A MEETING RECAP, NOTES, AND FOLLOW-UP

That day or the next day at the very latest. Make sure it is clear who is responsible for what follow-up and by when. And if you need a follow-up meeting, send the invite for it immediately. It gives people a sense that the project is progressing.”

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Bare your neck

September 17, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via leadershipfreak.blog  Article

How To Bare Your Neck Like A Leader

“People build walls of self-protection because they are afraid.

‘… if you are humble, if you make people realize that you are no threat to them, then they will  embrace you.’ Nelson Mandela

Low vulnerability:

Vulnerability takes courage. Insecurity motivates wall-building. People watch for indications that it’s safe to lower their guard. ….

7 ways to bare your neck:

Others won’t bare their necks until leaders expose theirs. …

  1. Tell stories of how you learned from mistakes.
  2. Laugh at yourself. Chest thumping lets others know you’re not safe.
  3. Ask for what you really want.  Any leader who can’t say what they really want won’t get what they really need.
    • I want our team to trust each other.
    • I want you to enjoy work.
    • I want you to love coming to work.
    • I want to lead well.
  4. Give second and third chances.
  5. Share what you’re learning. Don’t pretend you know more than you know.
  6. Stand with team members when they screw up.
  7. Shine the spotlight on others – ALL THE TIME.

….

Empathy:

…. Work to understand and respect team members.

  1. Show interest in others. Know the stories of your team members.
  2. Get excited when others are excited.
  3. Honor simple accomplishments. People aren’t looking for you to out-do them when they tell you what they’ve accomplished.
  4. Make ‘You must feel’ statements.
    • This must be frustrating…
    • You must feel concerned…
    • You seem excited…”

Being likable and emotionally intelligent

September 17, 2018

By Thomas Koulopoulos via inc.com  Article

Harvard Study Reveals One Word Is The Secret To Being Likable And Emotionally Intelligent

So, where’d you learn to question? 

Learning how to ask questions is not something that most people are taught, not unless you’re a lawyer, in law enforcement, a doctor, or a journalist. That’s not to say any of those professions has a universally applicable formula for how to best ask questions, only that in each case it’s critical to shift the focus of the conversation onto the other person in order to build the rapport and transparency needed to make the relationship an effective one. …

… Brooks and John present these guidelines, from their research, for how to best ask questions that form a solid foundation of bonding, trust, empathy, transparency, and emotionally intelligent intimacy.

Favor follow-up questions.

According to Brooks and John, there are ‘four types of questions: introductory questions (‘How are you?’), mirror questions (‘I’m fine. How are you?’), full-switch questions (ones that change the topic entirely), and follow-up questions (ones that solicit more information).’

All of these are fair game and have their place, but follow-up questions are especially important because they signal an interest in the person you are talking to. The opposite is also true. If you ignore follow-up questions and simply stick to an agenda of pre-scripted questions, the conversation turns into an inquisition at worst and a disinterested, awkward exchange at best. Also, keep in mind that when someone answers a question they are often opening the door a little wider in the hopes of revealing information that they want to share more of.

Know when to keep questions open-ended.

We’ve all heard that open-ended questions are better than simple yes/no or multiple choice questions, since they result in richer and more revealing answers. That’s true, however, what we often ignore is the risk of closed-ended questions that introduce bias and a sense of manipulation.

We’ve all been on the giving or receiving end of questions that are subtly trying to drive to an already anticipated conclusion with the use of closed-ended questions. I have one good friend who’s notorious for both asking and answering closed-ended questions in a way that almost makes it appear as though my being there is optional! When you ask a question stop, wait, and allow the person to digest and respond. Don’t try to just fill the silence or move away from what appears to be a dead end. For example, one of the best ways to do this is by following-up a closed-ended answer, such as yes or no, with the question, ‘Can you tell me why you answered yes (or no)?'”


The kiss of death

September 17, 2018

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me  Article

The Value of Being Interested in Others

“It’s the kiss of death in sales, and it’s the kiss of death in networking. It is pretty much the kiss of death whenever we are trying to build a relationship. It’s when we talk too much.

Often, in our desire to tell everything we know, we go on and on without letting the other person participate in the discussion. The truth is, if you’re doing most of the talking, you’re not as successful as you could be in your sales career. Your likely not as successful as you could be in life either.

Here’s an idea to try. This week pay particular attention to the amount of time you spend talking versus the amount of time you spend listening. It makes no difference if your conversation is in person or on the phone. It makes no difference if it’s a work conversation or you’re talking with a friend. After each conversation make note of the percentage of time you spoke — and the percentage of the time the other person spoke. This is just for you so be brutally honest.

If you find yourself dominating the discussion, make a conscious effort to listen more and talk less. In a sales conversation you should be letting your customer do about 70% of the talking. In a personal conversation aim for at least a 50-50 split.

In either case remember that when you’re talking you’re only repeating what you already know. When you’re listening you have the chance to learn something new.

As a salesperson when you let others speak, you’ll discover your customer’s wants and needs. Your sales presentations will be more on target and others will feel that you are knowledgeable and competent. Most important, you’ll make more sales.

Dale Carnegie said that we can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than we can in two years by trying to get people interested in us.

One of the fastest ways to demonstrate your interest in other people is to listen to them. Really, really listen. Put down the phone, focus on them, make them feel that they are the most important person in the world. After all, in the moment they are talking with you, they are.”


Who is the leader serving?

September 10, 2018

By  via forbes.com  Article

Who Is The Servant Leader Really Serving?

“Most of our understanding of leadership is connected to ideas of hierarchy, power, orders, instructions and following, so it seems somewhat paradoxical to suggest one can lead and serve at the same time. …

Servant leadership is about serving a higher purpose and if that higher purpose is recognized by everybody in the organization then, in effect, everybody is actually a servant to that purpose. …

What does it look like when you are working with a servant leader? It will be interesting to see at Starbucks, whether the purpose transcends any individual, because, essentially, the purpose should be what unites people, the purpose is not located within one individual. It is the culture and the very fabric of the organization, it is what lies between people and the collective understanding of the direction, mission and values of the organization.

So servant leaders are not only servants of the people they lead. Servant leadership is not only about trying to help people do, and be, the best they can. It is also, critically, about enabling everyone to contribute to that higher purpose. Posing the question: ‘How can I help you?’ rather than ‘This is what I want you to do’ is not the sole descriptor of the servant leader, whereas ‘How can I help you to achieve our vision?’ certainly is.

This broader definition must also apply in our dealings with all our stakeholders. Leadership is such a complex web of connections and relationships and expectations. If these connections and relationships are to be successful and sustainable, this same sense of purpose needs to be shared.

Servant leadership, with its associations of hierarchy and unequal power dynamics, is a slightly unsatisfactory descriptor of the concept. It is an inadequate way of describing the need to put the greater good that we all serve – the reason why we come to work and the belief that we make a difference – at the heart of the relationship between leaders and our teams.”


Wearing a tie

September 10, 2018

By Ned Dymoke via bigthink.com  Article

Wearing a tie cuts circulation to your brain

“Ties: they’re what the majority of the men in the western working world wear day in, day out around their necks. Some wear them way too long. Others wear them comically short. Some have bows, some wear bolos. But one widely-circulating study is making one thing certain: they restrict circulation of blood to your brain.

The study, which appeared in the journal Neuroradiology, took place at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany with 30 participants, half of whom had the blood flow to their heads observed while wearing a tie, while the other half went tie-free. The ties actually squeezed the veins that allowed the blood to reach the brain. It cuts off circulation by 7.5%. You might not be acutely aware of this, but it’s a sizable percentage; enough to make a potentially fatal difference if you already have high blood pressure (I did some research on this: you’d have to have REALLY high blood pressure to have a tight tie be the catalyst for your demise).

Wearing a tie can also add unneeded pressure to your eyes, which could lead to an early onset of glaucoma. And if you’re still of the mindset that wearing a tie makes a difference in professionalism: according to a 2015 study, it only really makes a difference to the person wearing the tie.”


What’s really going on?

September 10, 2018

By Steve Keating via stevekeating.me  Article

“So, how about you, do you really know what’s going on in your organization?

Can you list at least five challenges your front-line employees currently face, and what’s being done to resolve them? If you can’t it might be a sign that you’re not in touch with the people in your organization who really know what’s going on. The good news is that an easy fix exists for that situation… get out from behind your desk and go and talk to them. Skip the org charts, bypass their boss and their bosses’ boss, go directly to the source. Ask them!

Can you think of three recent examples of someone below you in the organization disagreeing with you? If not then they may not have the courage to speak up. That could be because of you or it could be because of them. Either way you need to find a way to encourage them to speak up. If you can’t then you may never know what is really going on in your organization.

If you were asked could you share several examples of how your thinking has changed due to employee feedback. No can do? Then it’s likely there’s a gap between what you say about the importance of employee feedback and what you actually do to encourage it. If you’re not receiving feedback from a very wide variety of people in your organization then it’s very likely that you don’t really know what’s happening in your organization.

Every leader has an occasional lapse in awareness. You can minimize yours by frequently using these checkpoints to keep yourself plugged into reality. You will never know what’s really going on in your organization if you’re only communicating with your other top leaders. They may be just as unaware as you.”