13 Leadership Tips For Your First Day On The Job

Congratulations. You have just been hired, after an incessant job search and multiple job interviews. Now, the real work has just started!

Wondering how to build a positive professional image as soon as you arrive on the job and to sustain it throughout your whole career?

13 Leadership Tips for Your First Day on the Job #work #career #careeradvice #job #leadership #success

From your first day on the job, your colleagues will definitely be judging you and your capabilities as a leader, as a team member or as a threat to their current position.

Meanwhile your employer will evaluate your abilities to integrate the organization and to quickly adapt, to learn the job skills.

You have to be ready to handle the pressure and to measure up to the job. And unfortunately, I learnt that there aren’t any do-overs when it comes to making a first impression of your professional image.

On the first day on my first job, I showed up on the first day with a negative attitude: I was anxious, unconsciously rejecting the fact that I had to work corporate and work for someone else.

Therefore, in the long haul, I started involuntarily rebuffing the idea of getting along with people, learning new skills and focusing on my job.

As a result, I integrated an unfavorable perception of my environment and I certainly believe that I left a negative impression of myself in the workplace. 

This stuck to me for a while until I quit the job and was able to start over elsewhere with a better knowledge of both corporate and leadership.

At the same time, to survive, I did what my elders told me: “work hard and keep your head down!”.  But this brought on additional issues. Why? Because, according to Daniel Goleman, in Working With Emotional Intelligence,  the “rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.[…] These rules have little to do with what we were told was important in school; academic abilities are largely irrelevant to this standard.”.

 

In order for you to steer clear from the same issues that I have experienced, to develop a leadership image from the start, follow the tips below:

1. Arrive to work early and leave late on your first day

Arriving early to work demonstrate your motivation, your eagerness to learn and gives you more credit as a professional.

In addition, arriving early will allow you to get a general feel of your new colleagues’ arrival time, schedules, morning procedures.

It will also give you a time to which you will be expected to show up at work.

On your first day, at least, make sure to leave the office after a few coworkers have left the office and not before everyone else does.

2. Dress appropriately and to look your best

Undeniably, your coworkers will make snap decisions about you without getting to know or understanding your core values.

Subsequently, they will judge your book by its cover, no matter how you feel or what you say.

Dressing appropriately, without drawing attention to yourself,  gives the perception that you fit in, that you are the right person for the job, and that you care about yourself and others.

At your job interview, you had the time to consider the company culture and to take notes on the proper attire to fit in. Even on casual Fridays, groom yourself, do your best to look the part, and to dress for  the job you want and not for the one you have.

3. Be confident, positive and prepared for a full-blown interview from your colleagues

After the job interview, take heed of the coworkers interviews.

Most likely, they will ask about your education, your professional experience, your professional competencies for the job, a description of your current position, and the members of your team.

Prepare a short presentation of yourself to introduce yourself confidently.

4. Assume also that some of your coworkers won’t bother to get to know you

So, you will have to take initiative and make the first steps.

Extend a firm handshake, smile and proactively introduce yourself by using the short presentation about yourself and to control the message regarding yourself.

Also, prepare a set of probing questions for your coworkers.

5. Observe your coworkers in return, their behavior towards one another, towards their boss

Don’t be fooled, on your first day, most of your coworkers will be on their best behavior around you and will try their best for you to like them.

Withal, you can discreetly notice the clicks and the areas and subjects that bring tension.

6. Pay attention to company culture

Who gives orders, who is the unofficial leader, who arrives early and who arrives late, who takes coffee breaks and how often, who start the lunch process, where lunch takes place and for how long…does everyone work out? Should you go to the after works? 

Take a moment to understand the rules, on your own, without referring to any coworker just yet.

7. Remember the names of the people you meet

I am not a name person but you should not ask for names that were already given.

Wait a few days and someone will throw a name out there.

8. Cultivate emotional intelligence

Even though your coworkers will be on their best behavior for the first few days, there is ALWAYS someone to come around and test you for fun.

Your reaction to his or her obnoxious behavior will market your capabilities and your personal qualities, for future career success.

9. Communicate effectively, listen more than you speak and observe your body language

Listen actively and with intention of asking probing questions.

Ask for people opinions before you give yours.

10. Show interest in your new tasks

The responsibilities that you are given on your first days are boring and minimal: you will most likely be reading job regulations, technical documents and implementing basic tasks.

Nonetheless, ask pertinent questions, take notes, commit to the task at hand and don’t expect your boss or your coworkers to hold your hand.

11. Be open to correction, advice and guidance

Even though you have some experience under your belt, stay humble instead of showing off your knowledge, listen to what your coworkers have to tell you

Thank people for their help and own up to your mistakes.

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know. Let me find out and get back to you.”.

12. Accept invitations for coffee, to smoke or to lunch with your coworkers

Mind you, I don’t drink coffee, I don’t smoke and I only take lunch breaks alone during my working hours.

But those breaks are essential to show that you are social and willing to integrate and share their habits.

Use those breaks to your advantage to get to know your coworkers.

13. Don’t indulge in office politics and gossip on your first day or ever

Avoid people who partake in gossip and employ aggressive methods of office politics.

To not be implicated in the rumor mill, don’t expose your personal life.

According to Daniel Goleman, pay attention to “what to say, what not to say, and what to call it” throughout your entire career.

Last Words Of Advice!

Building a strong professional image and leader brand, as soon as you step into your new position, is detrimental to career success.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

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The Importance Of Forgiveness In Leadership

When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.

Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.

Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.

Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.

Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?

The Importance Of Forgiveness In Leadership #leader #leadership #forgiveness #peaceofmind #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment #selfawareness #serenity #JourneyToLeadership

The benefits of forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.

Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.

It allows you to reach a state of inner calm to put negative memories at rest and get rid of negative emotions. Indeed, after forgiving, you feel re-energized, empowered, free and present.

In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.

Forgiving leaders encourage risk taking, authenticity, collaboration and dissenting voices in the workplace.

Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.

How to forgive?

People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:

  • Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.

  • Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
  • Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
  •  Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
  • In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.

  • See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.

  • Understand that all situations can be resolvedDo what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.

  • Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
  • As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.

  • Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
  • Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.

  • Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
  • Be grateful for that experience.

Last Words Of Advice!

The hardest thing is self forgiveness. Our inner voice is most critical of our decisions, actions and thoughts.

If you are the one who has hurt someone else:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Remember that what goes around comes around.
  • Think of how you would want to be treated in that moment and if you would have wanted a second chance.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

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14 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

You do not have to be famous, be a millionaire or own a company in the Fortune 500 to be a successful leader.

A successful leader runs a successful business with a healthy return on investment with the help of a successful team.

A successful leader is able to mentally, emotionally, physically and financially provide for his or her team.
Wondering what are the main traits a successful leader?

14 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

To become a successful leader, there are a few traits that you need to develop.

The traits of succesful leaders can be acquired anytime in life.

However, it is up to you to maintain them. It will also require a lot of self-discipline, self-motivation and self-awareness.

Trait #1. Successful leaders lead a healthy lifestyle

First and foremost, successful leaders are morning people.

They get a good night sleep.

They wake up early in the morning.

They choose to rise with the sun because it gives them time to think, to meditate, to plan their day.

Furthermore, they eat well and on time.

them, they exercise early in the morning to maintain their physical health, and to get rid of lingering negativity.

Trait #2. Successful leaders have strong conviction

They have the conviction that they are successful and that they will succeed no matter what.

Their conviction comes from their self-awareness, drive, purpose and their strong core values.

They have integrity and hold on to their principles.

They know that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind to.

They rely on their intuition, make their own opinion and don’t follow anyone.

Trait #3. Successful leaders manage their time effectively

They know how to manage their time and prioritize their tasks.

They are willing to handle the most difficult, most important and the most urgent first.

They say no to things that don’t matter to them or to things that don’t fit into the bigger picture.

Trait #4. Successful leaders value solitude

They regularly spend time alone to reflect and to get work done.

Trait #5. Successful leaders own up to their mistake

Indeed, they make mistakes.

They can admit when they have done wrong and can apologize for it.

They reward themselves for their successes and above all learn from their failures.

Trait #6. Successful leaders take calculated risks

They take risks, get out of their comfort zones, recognize what works and what doesn’t.

Trait #7. Successful leaders ask for feedback

They ask for feedback, actively listen to it, and if the feedback is sound, seek to apply it.

Trait #8. Successful leaders set boundaries

They have set clear boundaries in their mind early on.

They know what they need, want, wish for.

They also know what they will not allow or stand for.

They know how to say no and stand their ground.

Trait #9. Successful leaders obsess positively

Leaders spend their time obsessing positively.

By “obsessing positively”, I mean they are passionate and they can focus their attention on their goals for a prolonged amount of time.

Basically, they eat, drink, sleep, think their goals.

Trait #10. Successful leaders have a healthy work life balance

Even though they can obsess over their professional goals, they make time for a personal life.

They make sure to maintain a healthy work life balance.

Trait #11. Successful leaders are optimistic

They are grateful for what they have but are not complacent.

They do not dwell on negativity and CHOOSE to focus on positivity.

They don’t overthink or overanalyze everything.

They don’t play the victim and take responsibility for their actions.

They handle change, failures and pressure gracefully.

They see challenges as an opportunity to learn and they maintain a positive attitude in adversity.

Trait #12. Successful leaders are whole

Their self-esteem does not depend on what others think of them.

They don’t compare their lives with the ones of other people.

They don’t judge but empathize with other people.

They don’t insult but compliment people.

They don’t abuse their authority or power.

They don’t hug the spotlight but give credit when credit is due.

They do not need to harm someone else to feel superior or to feel whole.

They know who, how and when to forgive.

Moreover, they want to see others succeed. They encourage others to grow, to succeed and reach their full potential.

Trait #13. Successful leaders are wise beyond their years

They have a deep understanding of life and of themselves.

They can assess a situation and its outcome before engaging in it.

They have identified their purpose early in life and every decision that they make can be justified.

Trait #14. Successful leaders are learning machines

They are open-minded.

They are always learning, always evolving and always growing.

They understand that learning is a never-ending process, no matter their age or status.

On the flip side, they constantly want to share their knowledge with the world.

Last Words Of Advice!

Successful people inspire and act as role models for others and for their own organization.

Therefore, be mindful of your actions and of your words.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Unfortunately, we have all experienced toxic leadership at some point in our career.

Toxic workplaces and toxic leadership foster because the leader is either encouraging it, participating in it or ignoring it.

Toxic leaders are corrosive on the long run. They erode their employees confidence, motivation, productivity, trust, loyalty and respect.

Wondering if you are a toxic leader or are in the presence of one?

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

#1. Toxic leaders retain useful information

Knowledge is power and toxic leaders know that.

The longer they can keep you in the dark, the longer they have control over you and the longer they stay in power.

In fact, leaders who retain information are insecure and are afraid of being replaced.

#2. Toxic leaders abuse their power and authority

Any chance that they get, toxic leaders need to remind you that they are in power and that they have leverage (financial leverage most of the time) over you.

This type of leaders have huge egos, consider that their employees are subordinates, and do not care who they have to step over to get what they want.

#3. Toxic leaders micromanage their employees

They don’t give people the time or the space to do their job. Instead, they breath down people’s neck.

In fact, micromanaging leaders are counterproductive and create a stressful work environment.

Which, in turn, slows down team work and efficiency.

#4. Toxic leaders condone poor behavior

They accept poor behavior from their team as long as the team produces results.

For example, they would tolerate workplace bullying if it would bring their team closer together.

In turn, they use fear and diverse punishments to incentivize their team.

#5. Toxic leaders manipulate and play aggressive office politics

They play mind games, use information about you against you, love to manipulate and gas light their own team just to stay in power and to advance their career.

#6. Toxic leaders shift responsibility

They talk about accountability but when push comes to shoves they avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Besides, when things are great, they take credit for your success. When things go bad, they question your abilities and your failures.

#7. Toxic leaders give orders and don’t expect feedback

For them, it is their way or the high way.

They expect you to follow orders whether that order is right or wrong, whether that order benefits them or not.

The truth is they think that they know best but they actually don’t.

#8. Toxic leaders lie for no reason

They backtrack, bend the rules, adjust procedures, make up stories and rumors to for their needs.

They do not care about the impact of their words and create a culture of distrust.

#9. Toxic leaders protect the status quo

They deeply believe in hierarchy.

They don’t promote change or push innovative ideas.

In addition, they are locked in a particular era, in a particular setting. They don’t wish to modernize or adapt to change.

#10. Toxic leaders are overly emotional

They dramatize everything, have a temper and haven’t got a hold of it.

Their mood usually fluctuates throughout the day.

As a result, their behavior makes people walk on eggshells around them.

#11. Toxic leaders are passive aggressive

Either they play nice to your face and stab you in the back.

Or, they hold their feelings in and act it out instead.

Passive aggressiveness is very difficult to deal with as they don’t offer you any type of resolve.

#12. Toxic leaders lack core values

These leaders are entitled and self-serving.

They do not care about people and put their own interest first, no matter what.

Last Words Of Advice!

Toxic leaders often scare away their best employees.

Toxic leaders are simply fooling themselves because they live in constant fear.

They are afraid of losing control, of losing power, of seeming inferior, of being replaceable…

Furthermore, they let their fear control them and influence their behavior.

It is not necessary for you to play into their hands:

  • Learn from your experiences, about yourself and your limits. You can always extract lessons from a negative experience.
  • Emotionally and physically discipline yourself. Don’t lose your cool. By loosing your cool, you are giving them power over you.
  • Don’t take things personally and don’t let their problems become yours. It’s not about you but it’s all about them.
  • Find emotional support outside of work.
  • Keep your dignity. Don’t let other people actions define your character.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

New leaders get into leadership positions by demonstrating greater skills, higher levels of emotional intelligence, better expertise than the teams they were in.

However, for new leaders, mistakes are common and quasi inevitable.

Mistakes show you what you are made of, what you need to succeed, what you need to redirect your career, what you are missing to improve your character.

Wondering what are the common mistakes to avoid as a new leader?

Mistakes don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when they come to light rather than going unnoticed.

When mistakes are made, it makes sense for us to focus on what we have done right, on our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

#1. New leaders ego-trip

Some new leaders want to bring attention to themselves, to demonstrate their self-importance and their superiority.

They usually overstep their boundaries, put down their “subordinates” and come off as arrogant. It is safe to say that:

  • They lack self-confidence and self-awareness.
  • Their ego is fragile. They surround themselves with yes men and people who strike their ego.
  • They are entitled to their position and don’t understand that the position requires work and humility.

#2. New leaders power-trip

Leaders who power-trip lack humility and self-discipline.

They use their new position to impose their authority, to remind their “subordinates” that they have power over them and to exact revenge on coworkers that they didn’t like.

Needless to say, power tripping can damage trust and workplace morale.

#3. New leaders don’t deal with their imposter syndrome

New leaders let their imposter syndrome sabotage their efforts.

Leaders with imposter syndrome don’t believe that they are due to their position, don’t believe that they have succeeded thanks to their gifts.

Some of them are insecure, tend to feel like frauds and are afraid of being unmasked.

Some are overzealous. They want to do things their way, be the catalysts of change, challenge the status quo almost immediately.

Some overwork, they show off their skills and try to prove themselves.

Others expect perfection and not excellence.

#4. New leaders don’t know who they are

New leaders are generally unaware of who they are, how they are seen, how they should contribute and of what they now represent.

That is because new leaders:

#5. New leaders don’t update their mindset

Becoming a leader is a long and never-ending process.

However, new leaders have to quickly update their mindset to keep up with their teams.

They have to change their focus from frontliner to strategist, to doing from ordering, to performing a task to planning meetings.

Firstly, they must make a pact with themselves to grow and to improve.

Secondly, they must constantly monitor their words, attitudes and actions.

#6. New leaders don’t understand the requirements of their position

Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. New to their roles, most leaders:

  • Don’t grasp that being a boss, being a manager and being a leader are different.
  • Think “position” automatically implies “authority”.
  • Don’t understand their job description.
  • Don’t fully understand or commit to their role.
  • Fail to see the bigger picture.
  • Get overwhelmed by their positions.

Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

#7. New leaders stop learning

Even though new leaders think that they can handle their position with their old skills and their old knowledge, most of them don’t have the necessary skills to be a leader.

New leaders face new responsibilities that they don’t have the skills for and :

  • Are too afraid to ask questions and to ask for help.
  • Take too long before initiating leadership training.
  • Have to learn new skills quickly, autonomously, and most importantly apply them.

#8. New leaders stick to traditional leadership styles

Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.

People are more comfortable and are able to perform at their best with a democratic leadership style.

Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured.

They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.

#9. New leaders don’t cater to their past and present relationships

Some leaders stop valuing people, start ignoring their teams and their past relationships. Instead, they tend to:

  • Disconnect from their teams. For instance, they don’t listen to their team and don’t measure their words.
  • Avoid conversations, small talk and nurturing new relationships.
  • Avoid collaboration and do everything themselves.
  • Focus on the results.

Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive.

Dismissing relationships can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your intentions, speech or behavior.

#10. New leaders run away from conflicts

New leaders aim to please at first. They sugarcoat, don’t address awkward dynamics, avoid conflicts, run away from difficult conversations, want to be liked and not respected.

They don’t speak up when they have to. For example, they don’t communicate expectations don’t correct employee mistakes when they have to, are no longer transparent because they are afraid of judgement and of losing their position.

In addition, they comply too often because they are not confident about their abilities.

Even if it is sometimes wise to avoid conflict, this strategy is not sustainable.

#11. New leaders shut down dissenting voices

New leaders must get comfortable with people who cause dissent even though the latter are natural catalysts, and easily take risks.

Dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation.

They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.

#12. New leaders don’t delegate

At entry level, we want to control people, do everything ourselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.

Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that they:

  • Give instructions to their employees.
  • Have faith in the workers, be comfortable depending on others and believe that the work will be up to standards.
  • Have confidence in their personal abilities and do not be afraid of being upstaged.
  • Do not feel guilty that they are giving too much work to their employees because they were once in their place.

#13. New Leaders fail to navigate office politics

They don’t fully understand the politics at work and don’t take time to grasp it.

It is important that they:

  • Address internal conflicts and discontinue previous leadership issues.
  • Stay aware of the new power struggles. Indeed, they will be compared to previous leaders and compare themselves to previous leaders, have to deal with jealousy and insubordination at first, have to face judgement and backlash from their coworkers.
  • Avoid talking negatively about the previous leader, gossiping about their coworkers with the coworkers.
  • Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.

#14. New leaders don’t take accountability for their actions

They don’t take accountability for their own actions.

Instead, they tend to shift blame, find a scapegoat, are afraid of the words “I don’t know”.

Furthermore, they take credit and don’t shine light on their high performing employees.

Last Words Of Advice!

Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and for:

  • Humbling us and discovering our authentic selves.
  • Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
  • Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
  • Removing us from our comfort zones.
  • Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
  • Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves, how to explore and experiment in life, how to learn and change.
  • Making us more resourceful, more resilient, more self-disciplined and building our problem solving skills.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

Annual Performance Reviews are often dreaded by most employees.

It is the time of the year where we often get offended, where leaders realize that they don’t really understand what is going on in their organization.

In addition, most employees believe that their performance review is inaccurate and biased. It has been shown that it doesn’t help employees improve their performance reach their greatest potential, or grow personally.

That is because, performance reviews:

  • Are given annually which is insufficient. Indeed, mistakes have time to fester for a whole year.
  • Don’t provide enough details. The annual performance review tracks a few of our skills and take snapshots of our behaviors.
  • Take into account only one person’s point of view.
  • Cross-examines someone with different sets of sills with defective criteria.

Wondering how to adequately give and receive feedback?

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

The ability to give and to receive feedback is essential to success and to being a great leader. It is a personal development tool and a skill that can be learnt.

What is constructive feedback?

Feedback is the general way you perceive people, is a shared appreciation of a person and of a situation.

Furthermore, feedback is constructive criticism, challenges the way you think about yourself and aims to see people improve and become their best selves. It is the desire for employees to perform well and to find satisfaction in their job.

In fact, giving feedback is similar to coaching, mentoring or teaching.

Feedback is different from micromanagement, negative criticism or emitting judgement. It can be wrong but it is unfortunately necessary for our growth.

Benefits of the feedback process

We perpetually need evaluation to assess our current situation, our ego and our work performance.

The feedback process, if done the right way, will:

However, giving or receiving feedback is difficult: it relies on false assumptions, it consumes time and energy, is often met with avoidance or with resistance.

Nevertheless, being closed off from feedback unequivocally leads to conflicts, to setbacks, to communication issues, to an inability to find a solution.

How to receive feedback?

Receiving feedback as a leader will set the example and encourage people to listen to what you have to say.

Receiving feedback doesn’t mean automatically acting on the advice or immediately starting the changing process. It means that you must:

  1. Understand that there is always room for improvement. 
  2. Be open to feedback in general and therefore to understanding someone’s perception of you.
  3. Listen to what people you trust are saying about you and give the thoughts some consideration.
  4. Consolidate your confidence and set apart your identity from the perceptions people have about you.
  5. Understand that you have the option to choose to apply the feedback.
  6. Identify your triggers and fortify your emotional intelligence. You must therefore be willing to ask the right questions, to objectively talk about issues regarding you and to separate the person giving you feedback from the actual message.
  7. Learn from your mistakes and give yourself time to apply what you have learnt.

How to give feedback?

Leaders who are able to effectively receive feedback are able to give them as well, must exhibit exemplary behavior. To give effective feedback:

  1. Build trust and respect in your employees.
  2. Help people feel good about themselves and motivate them to grow.
  3. Develop an adequate communication style.
  4. Find out why you are implementing the feedback process.
  5. Specifically identify the issues you need to deal with, the reasons and the solutions for them.
  6. Understand that everybody processes information differently, has their personal systems of belief and their own truths. This makes the interpretation of feedback difficult.
  7. Before starting the process, collect enough information to form an accurate opinion. Prepare examples to back up your claims. Do not assume things about people and do not classify them.
  8. Don’t project, force people to change, force people to be something that they are not or treat them like a project that needs to be fixed.
  9. Mind your intent and be genuine in your delivery. Inauthentic feedback breeds distrust and generates negative emotional responses.
  10. Be empathetic. Think about what you are going to say and do before meeting with the person. Show appreciation, choose your words and timing carefully.
  11. Discuss people’s work performance but not their personality nor core values.
  12. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
  13. Avoid definite terms such as “never”, “always”, “must”, “should”, and make “I’ statements.
  14. Encourage positive behavior. Work is not always fair and not everyone plays by the same rules.
  15. Acknowledge that there are consequences to every action.
  16. Give frequent feedback outside the annual performance review, in private, as soon as possible.

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

Last Word Of Advice!

Human beings are very sensitive and most people are not confrontational. So, treat people like you would like to be treated. Don’t seek to offend or to blame, and don’t talk down to them.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Henri Junttila

MEET THE AUTHOR

Henri Junttila is the founder of Wake Up Cloud which helps people find and follow their passion. Henri Junttila is also the author of Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself.

Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

I always wished someone had thought me what I know now, so I didn’t need to learn life and office politics the hard way.

Needless to say, mentors are hard to come by and it is difficult for women and minorities to find mentors in powerful positions.

However, achieving success without a mentor is possible but having one will definitively make your life easier.

Wondering how to score the perfect mentor or perfect mentee?

Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

What is mentorship?

Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership. It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.

To simplify, mentorship is basically an often exclusive work relationship between two people who are willing to learn from each other and to grow with each other.

Furthermore, mentorship is built on reciprocity and commitment. It requires trust, loyalty, personal empowerment, respect, effective time management, and resistance to social pressures.

Most mentorship are informal and naturally happen in the workplace. However, they can take place in your personal life.

If you are looking for a mentor…

You have to be able to effectively manage yourself, to handle all responsibilities and to not self-sabotage.

Are you ready for mentorship?

To prepare yourself for mentorship and to make yourself attractive to a mentor, you must develop your skills and your character on your own:

  • Keep a positive attitude and be open to learn.
  • Have goals and ambition.
  • Learn to build relationships, to handle office politics, pressures and failures.
  • Humble demonstrate your character and your smarts.
  • Take calculated risks.

Benefits to having a mentor

Mentorship provides the mentee, the learner or the protégé with:

  • Insights into the corporate culture, sound advice and ongoing feedback.
  • Leadership skills and increased job performance.
  • An ability to adapt to change.
  • More independence, more experiences, more challenges, more success and opportunities for evolution.
  • Appropriate jobs and roles in regards to your strengths.
  • Increased visibility, access to responsibilities and high positions.
  • Higher pay.
  • Emotional support, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, higher self-esteem, better focus, stronger confidence.

How to find a mentor?

You must not wait to be chosen by a mentor: you should make the first move. To find a mentor:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your goals and make sure that they align with those of your future mentor.
  • Handle your career on your own, manage your own reputation, gain pertinent skills, work on yourself and on your goals first before seeking help.
  • Verify the role and status of the person of interest. The person must not necessarily be your supervisor, must not work at the same company or have the same position. Make sure that your mentor has exceptional skills, is well read, is self-aware and is always on the path of self-improvement.
  • Observe your mentor’s behavior and character to ensure that you will get along with them and look up to.
  • Test your mentor’s ability to handle work then ask for help.
  • Get to know your mentor on a personal level and keep in touch from time to time.
  • Seek understanding and accept mentorship influence.
  • Learn to keep secrets.

If you looking to be a mentor…

You must be willing to share your experiences, to be authentic, protective, fair, positive, patient and confident.

Mentors are motivators, are able to create strong relationships, are part of a powerful network, demonstrate exemplary leadership behavior, have influence, dedicate themselves to people, take risks, give sound advice, and give credit when it’s due.

Benefits to being a mentor

Being a mentor is rewarding and is an illustrious position. In a mentorship relationship, everyone benefits from each other’s success and brings equal goods to the table.

On one hand, mentors are able to share their life experiences, to share great work tips, to provide different perspectives, to retain the best employees and to improve the workplace. They can delegate work to a trusted employee, bridge the generational gap, get to work with different people and get more free time to themselves.

On another hand, without being part of your organization, mentees are able to positively impact the mentor’s image, reputation, forces them to sharpen their skills and to improve their work-life balance. Mentees keep their mentors in touch with their organization, up to date with their technical skills

Finally, mentorship is fulfilling because mentors are able to leave a legacy, to make their mark.

How to select a mentee?

The perfect mentee does not exist.

  • Be open to mentorship proposals early in life and early in your career
  • Observe if they have potential
  • Verify the mentee is curious, eager to learn and open to change
  • Verify that they are willing to put in the work

How to be a mentor?

To be the best mentor you can be:

  • Be a role-model.
  • Find out what you and your mentee want to achieve.
  • Set realistic expectations about the job and help them clarify their goals.
  • Find your most convenient mentorship and leadership style.
  • Know how to navigate most challenging situations.
  • Give support whenever you can, have an open door policy, respond to the needs and goals of your mentee.
  • Show appreciation and show that their opinions matter.
  • Give your mentee time to grow, time to commit and time to develop their skills.
  • Open up your network to the mentee and give direct access to success.
  • Don’t mold the mentee in your image and understand that they are their own person.
  • Incorporate mentoring programs in your organization if you can.
  • Let go of the mentee if your goals don’t align anymore and if the mentee has outgrown you.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

There are laws and principles that govern the workplace. We can either ignore them, acknowledge them or abide by them.

These laws and principles are the most visible when someone has been promoted, is moving forward or a new boss is in town. Some appear to be jealous, some try to quickly affiliate with the winner, to show their allegiance. Others are quick to sabotage and to compete.

I am not one to willingly participate in office politics. However, in my opinion, because knowledge is power, the best way to avoid politics is to know the rules. I like to know what is happening, how to read a room, to always be aware of my behavior, and to prepare myself for what is coming.

This advice is also valuable for minorities who encounters western group think in the office, who need to be realistic about their situations and want to understand how to advance themselves, how to protect themselves.

Wondering how to navigate office politics and whether or not you should be interested in it?

7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

What is office politics?

Office politics is a human concept and is inevitable. It is also very necessary and will go on whether your participate in it or not.

In office politics people seek power, leadership, influence and/or control of other people, more responsibility on their job.

Office politics is a particular hard skill because it requires that you control your primitive, impulsive responses to different situations and that you stay in high alert at all times.

The Perks Of Office Politics

Political animals in the office usually get what they want, to evade conflicts and sometimes create them between different individuals. Political animals:

  • Have influence. They build healthy relationships, even with toxic individuals.
  • Recognize the agendas and powers at play in any relationships.
  • Get the best projects, get promoted, get pay raise and other rewards.
  • Are trusted for their opinions.
  • Get credit for their hard work.
  • Get their career on a positive track.
  • Have the ability and the tools to deal with opposition and usually wins in a conflict.
  • Conserve their energy and focus it on worthwhile issues.
  • Avoid being blindsided or facing unpleasant outcomes.

What We Hate About Office Politics

Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, be viewed as being calculated and manipulative.

Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.

It is often used to sabotage, to manipulate, to deflect or to create a conflict between people.

Therefore, it is not for the faint of heart. Before starting, you must make sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.

Furthermore, keep in mind that abusing power on the long run does not lead to success.

Principle #1: Defining your purpose

Having greater goals in life will help you sustain and overcome opposition, avoid being pushed around by people or events. Your ultimate goals can be:

  • staying at a company and getting your pay check to ensure your lifestyle and to guarantee financial stability.
  • staying at a company, evolving, building healthy relationships
  • Living the company and finding better

Either way, set realistic goals, expectations for yourself. Next, stay focus on your goals, use your goals to guide your decisions and your behavior.

Principle #2: Know your strengths, weaknesses and limits

Politics and power will challenge your weaknesses.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you assess your worth, appreciate your contributions at work and determine whether or not you can run with horses. This will also help you identify them in others, understand them, maximize their potential and forgive their weaknesses.

To be effective at office politics, don’t directly demonstrate or enunciate your strengths or weaknesses. It is best to wait for the right moment to do so.

In addition, you must seek to enhance your performance, your productivity, to develop competencies that are hard to acquire or hard to replace. and to deliver great results. Then, discreetly promote your results.

Principle #3: Maintaining your leadership capabilities

It is important to learn to keep your peace and your composure at all times by seriously controlling your emotions. This demands a lot of discipline and will help you grow as a person.

Furthermore, lead by example and take care or yourself first. Great leaders have power but stay humble and don’t abuse it.

Seek understanding

To help you manage people, conflicts, to adopt the right behavior, to estimate your position and status:

  • Understand the company culture, values and principles.
  • Understand the people who you work with, estimate their boundaries and assess their attitudes.
  • Believe that hierarchy exist and is gladly enforced in the workplace. This means that you must, at some point, show deference to your “superiors”.This doesn’t mean that your “superiors” have greater character, greater skill sets or greater vision. However, no matter who you are, you won’t be able to freely speak your mind, to make your own decisions, to control your assignments.

Discipline your words and your thoughts

  • Stay away from gossip and rumors.
  • Watch what you say and how you say it.
  • Give substance to your speech.
  • Monitor your behavior at all times.

Discipline your emotions

  • Get rid of your ego and nurture your sense of humor. If you don’t know something, say so and don’t fake knowledge.
  • Don’t waste your time and energy on useless matters.
  • Keep your wits about you.
  • When someone slights you, don’t give them an emotional reaction.

Principle #4: Behave ethically

  • Remain true to your core values.
  • Don’t expect to be treated fairly.
  • Upgrade your character in order to be unimpeachable from the start. People with low or no ethics are unsuccessful in the long run.

Poor character leads to abusive, aggressive, masochistic, sadist behavior and office politics.

When I was working for a long corporation, one person in the office was being bullied. I was asked, as a team member, to participate in the bullying and to force the person to quit.

Most of my team members, for fun or for fear of retribution, would engage in toxic behavior towards this one person, put down false complaints and manufacture false rumors as well.

Without doing the same, I realized that sadistically beating down on someone, engaging in toxic behavior were not aligning with my core values and wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly at night.

To solve the solution, I simply listened to the request, spoke positively about the person, suggested to them that they had to find a better position and found a better place to work myself.

What was your ethically questionable experience?

Principle #5: Building your network and gaining influence

Networking is an important process, especially if your are shy and introverted. Who you know will determine how far you will get.

Here are some tips below that will help you be unbothered, to gain influence and build positive relationships:

  • Protect your reputation at all cost. For instance, if you make promises, live up to them.
  • Have a positive attitude. Avoid being mean or offending people for sport.
  • Act or be confident. It is important to fake it until you make it, to dress confidently and dress for success.
  • Give your best on your job and put your best foot forward. You can even become an expert in your field.
  • Empathetic ally listen to your coworkers. This way, you will get invaluable information about the environment, be solution oriented and build strong relationships.
  • Look to be respected and not to be liked.
  • Seek to integrate the group before you seek to lead it.
  • Target people who can help you achieve your goals and let them know what you bring to the table.
  • Don’t worry what people say about you, don’t gossip or spread false rumors.
  • Avoid too much flattery. You will appear weak to  your peers, will erode their respect and the respect of the higher-ups.
  • Involve people in your decision-making process.

Principle #6: Friend or Foe?

It is detrimental to discern your friends from your enemies, your confidant from your comrade, your constituents from your compatriots.

Keep in mind that:

  • Not everybody is your friend and don’t expect your “friends” to have your back.
  • It is better to have allies than to have enemies.
  • Your enemies won’t stop at anything to block you from achieving your purpose.

In conflicts or challenging situations:

  • Always seek to diffuse tension.
  • Avoid taking sides, power struggles but don’t give in to enemies or attempt to please them.
  • Mind your business and don’t take anything personally.
  • Identify the toxic behavior and the solution for it.
  • Don’t stoop to the level of the perpetrator or please the naysayers.
  • Don’t play the victim or suffer unfair treatment.
  • Ask questions rather than giving answers or have a private chat with an enemy and try to bring them to your side.
  • If you are not in position of power or are not favored at your job, accept it and move on, especially if you don’t know how to maneuver the situation.
  • If excluded from a group, don’t attempt to fit in, just join a new one or leave the place.
  • If you are being openly criticized or insulted, don’t let that affect your self-worth or your work. Agree with the perpetrator without demonstrating emotion.

Principle #7: Change

To handle office politics, one must learn to appreciate change and adapt to it.

  • Stay present, stay resilient and robust to conflicts and change, to your own emotions, to the emotions of others.
  • Learn to deal with change and quickly recover from your blows.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.