10 Reasons Empathy Matters In Leadership

Most people believe that the best leaders have the highest IQ, are emotionless and analytical.

Indeed, empathy is seen as a weakness in the workplace. The less you have, the more you will succeed.

The truth is the best leaders are empathetic, compassionate, highly sensitive and have high level of emotional intelligence.

Wondering why empathetic people make the best leaders?

10 Reasons Empathy Matters In Leadership

Empathy is a strong leadership skill that helps leaders to connect with people.

Empathy builds compassionate leaders which consequently improves the health of workplaces.

Empathetic leaders understand what others need, are feeling emotionally and physically.

They rather listen than speak, they don’t need to communicate verbally because they pick up on verbal and non verbal cues.

#1. Empathetic leaders pick up on the emotions of others

Empathetic leaders are self-aware.

They understand themselves, pay attention to people’s non verbal cues and are able to perceive the emotions of others. As a result, they are able to easily relate to people.

#2. Empathetic leaders are a great judge of character

Empathetic leaders are true to themselves and notice inauthentic people.

They can easily distinguish a lie from the truth, which makes them highly ethical.

#3. Empathetic leaders are people persons

They put people first and use servant leadership style.

For the main part, they direct their attention on people and not on results.

They understand people and the motivations behind their behaviors. This also gives them an ability to build good relationships and avoid bad ones.

#4. Empathetic leaders are present

Empathetic leaders live in the present.

When someone is talking to them, they give them their full attention in order to sense their feelings and to access their emotions.

#5. Empathetic leaders are peace makers

Empathetic leaders enjoy their peace of mind. They want to get rid of conflicts or negative situation at all costs.

They cannot stand chaos or conflicts. So whenever a negative situation arises or whenever they sense negative emotions, they take it upon yourself to restore peace.

#6. Empathetic leaders create a healthy workplace

Being an empathetic leader is critical to the workplace.

Empathetic leaders have a tendency to calm people down and to build trust.

They set up their environment so that everyone can succeed.

Their behavior induces greater collaboration, increase performance and creates a healthier workplace.

#7. You are ethical

They have strong core values.

They follow ethics and work for the greater good.

#8. Empathetic leaders give good advice

Because empathetic leaders understand the origin of problems so well, because they know how to listen, people come to them for advice.

They usually are wise, solution-oriented, and possess the answer to most problems.

#9. Empathetic leaders lead with their intuition

Empathetic leaders lead with intuition to make important decisions. You sense where to go and what to do.

They have strong gut feelings and their gut is always right.

#10. Empathetic leaders know how to influence and how to motivate

They are attuned to what your team secretly needs and wants to succeed.

They know how to persuade and motivate people.

As much as they can step in other people’s shoes, they can change your point of view and influence you towards the same goals.

Last Words Of Advice!

Some empathetic leaders have roles that require their full attention and that challenge their empathy.

For that reason, most empathetic leaders evolve towards liberal and helping professions.

It is important for them to learn how to navigate people and negative situations.

  1. Spend time a few hours a day alone.
  2. Discipline your emotions.
  3. Observe the company culture and see how you can employ your empathetic leadership style.

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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11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you are successful, how much you wish to be happy or to have peace of mind, life has a way of placing you in the same stressful situations?

That is because, until you have learnt to deal with these stressful situations, they will keep showing up.

For example, if you try to avoid someone who stresses you out, you will constantly run into that same person until you deal with your feelings about that person.

It is therefore important to learn how to cope with these situations and find the right methods to address your stress.

Wondering how to cope and effectively fight workplace stress?

11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

Why are leaders stressed in the workplace?

Stress is inherently part of life and stressed leaders have seemed to become the norm. Leaders are mostly stressed at work due to:

  • interpersonal conflicts,
  • poor time management,
  • poor work performance,
  • a lack of financial freedom,
  • drastic and sudden changes,
  • excess meetings, policies and procedures.

Stress has a direct impact on the corporate culture, on the leader’s leadership style, performance, and health.

People express stress differently: some people get angry, some get exhausted and withdrawn, and others go into fight or flight mode.

11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

There are several ways to remain calm under pressure, manage your stress and use it to your advantage.

#1. Be more self-aware & develop your emotional discipline

It becomes critical to always take a step back from a situation, seek deeper insights in your thoughts and behaviors to identify stress triggers, weigh out the outcomes of the situation. How important is this situation for you?

To be more self-aware and develop emotional disciplined:

  • Confront your painful situation and identify your triggers.
  • Identify your strength, weaknesses and limitations.
  • Be aware of the first physical symptoms of stress. Observe how your body responds to stress. During stressful times, some people are tense, can’t sleep, can’t eat.
  • Control your emotional reaction to the situation.
  • Write down the things that bother you.
  • Put a name to your emotions.

#2. Change your mindset

Your mind has everything to do with your behavior. To change your mindset:

  • See stress as a motivation.
  • Influence your brain to accurately interpret a high pressured situation. We have a tendency to distort situations through our lenses and either make them grander than they are.
  • Assume strictly positive outcomes of the stressful situation and speak positivity into reality.
  • Be open to new opportunities and new experiences.
  • Stay calm and positive. Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. - Hans Selye Click To Tweet

#3. Be grateful

No matter how hard it gets, you are still breathing. This means that you have one more day to change your situation and to create a better life.

To dispel stress:

  • Be grateful for your day to day.
  • Make a gratitude list to remind yourself of what you are thankful for.
  • Appreciate where you are in life, even where it’s not where you want to be.

#4. Prioritize & stick to the essentials

When deadlines are set and cannot be moved, when we are late we tend to stress out.

Prioritizing is all about honing your decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more. To do so:

  • Understand that it’s OK to miss out on things.
  • Learn how to say no and to set boundaries.
  • Learn to prioritize. When you have your priorities in check, you are able to know what is essential, what you are able to handle in your work day and who you are able to see.
  • Apply the 80/20 principle.
  • Don’t try to be perfect.

#5. Create a better work-life balance

Your professional and your personal lives are tightly intertwined. Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life.

However, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.

To create a better work-life balance:

  • Don’t stay too long at work.
  • Don’t take your stress at home.
  • Take long drives before getting home.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.
  • Figure out if you can work from home.
  • Create a morning routine to kick off your day on the right foot.
  • Take care of yourself first and boost your leadership self-esteem.
  • Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.

#6. Learn how to delegate 

Most leaders want to control people, do everything themselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.

However, to remove stress due to work overload, it is important to learn how to delegate and automate some of your activities.

Delegating will allow you to take all the load off your shoulders. To delegate:

  • Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in your team.
  • Select experts in their field, clarify their roles, give them the authority to do their jobs, allow them to fail and to grow.
  • Create clear progress measurement tools and milestones.
  • Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.

#7. Learn to communicate

Great communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.

They will also drive change and increase team motivation.

To decrease your stress level:

  • Learn to effectively communicate your grievances.
  • Remember that everyone is different and won’t communicate the way you do.

#8. Emotionally detach yourself from your job.

Obsessing about work is problematic and unhealthy. Most of the time, being emotionally attached leads to being sensitive to feedback and to being unable to see the bigger picture.

Unfortunately, most people who succeed are those who put in work and yet are detached from their work.

#9. Filter out your entourage

Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.

So, if your relationships brings you more stress than necessary:

  • Surround yourself with people you can trust. Build real connections and learn to discern the authentic relationships by observing their actions.
  • Confide in your mentor and ask for advice.
  • If you can, get rid of toxic coworkers or relationships.
  • Isolate yourself if needed. Sometimes, it is good  to remove yourself from society, to contemplate solitude in order to enjoy yourself, your thoughts.
  • If you are unable to avoid negative interactions, isolate the information that you need from the interaction. Write down that information and do not rely on memory or distorted thoughts.
  • Do not compete with people and stay focused on your job.

#10. Exercise and take regular breaks

Exercise and regular breaks will allow you to break your routine and mindless actions.

  • Plan your breaks.
  • Take time off to disconnect and enjoy your holidays.
  • Listen more than you speak to give your brain a break.
  • Make sure that your habits and exercise routine fit your lifestyle.
  • Do activities that you enjoy in the middle of the work day and on weekends.
  • Unplug from the internet and from your phone on your breaks and on the weekends.

#11. Let go & let God

At some point in life, you must:

  • Understand that you cannot control everything.
  • Control the controllable factors (like your reactions to the situation) and release what you cannot control. Worrying about people or events beyond your control is a waste of energy.
  • Know that your situation is temporary and that you will come through the other side. Meanwhile, be kind to somebody and help someone.

Last Words Of Advice!

Remember that, as a leader, people are closely monitoring your behavior.

They will be looking to you for inspiration and for a sense of calm in challenging situations.

Finally, make sure that your passion for your job outweigh your level of stress on the job. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to quit.

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.

Acquiring Impressive Problem-Solving Skills In 6 Steps

Leaders are often faced with recurring issues in their personal and in their professional lives.

On a daily basis, they fight to retain talent, to keep their businesses alive, to keep up with the market, to increase their return on investment, to deal with clients, to evolve and to encourage growth.

Problems arise when there is a discrepancy between reality and expectations, when leaders are unable to successfully reach their goals.

Their ability to anticipate and to solve problems will determine their success and will increase their chances for promotion.

Wondering how to acquire problem-solving skills?

Acquiring Impressive Problem-Solving Skills In 6 Steps

What is problem-solving?

Problem-solving is a cognitive skill that is useful in challenging, problematic and uncertain situations that require resolution.

Problem-solving is uncomfortable, takes time, requires practice and need constant monitoring. This intuitive skill is also sharpened by mistakes and failures.

Furthermore, problems encourage growth and change in us. That is why problem-solving requires facing inner demons.

It also helps us acquire innovative skills, people skills, communication skills, data gathering, conflict management and analytical skills.

How to actually solve problems?

Problem-solving gives leaders the opportunity to deal with change, to handle conflict, to delegate, to humbly ask for help.

Leaders who are unable to effectively solve problems lack knowledge in their respective fields, don’t establish practical methods, don’t commit to one solution, fail to implement their vision or to understand the problem all together.

STEP #1 Work on your character

You cannot control most of the situations that you will face in life. However, you can control how you react to them. It is therefore necessary to work on your character and to:

  1. Know yourself, trust your intuition and understand that your ideas are valuable.
  2. Be mindful that problems arise every day and that you cannot solve everything all at once.
  3. Write down all the rules and core values that guide you so you can remember them in time of need.
  4. Be open-minded, explore other fields than your own and to frequent people from other industries.
  5. Educate yourself on your business. Read books and articles on your field.
  6. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Challenge your assumptions before you restrict your opportunities
  7. Be patient but take action before it’s too late and before the opportunity expires.
  8. Pay attention to other people’s opinion but don’t worry too much about the naysayers.
  9. Admit if you have made a mistake. Great leaders are able to face issues without shifting blame and shifting values.
  10. Embrace change and avoid criticizing new ideas.
  11. Welcome failure. Don’t beat yourself up or don’t blame yourself for failure. Most successes or most innovations have broken through from failures.

STEP #2 Defining & Understanding the problem

Problems are synonymous with difficulty, issue, trouble, worry, complication, obstacle or setback. Problems trigger fight or flight response when handling a problematic situations.

There is no need to immediately appear decisive or to impress people. You must first define and understand the problem:

  1. Get the information about the problem.
  2. Identify the complexity, the symptoms, effects and root causes of the problem.
  3. Take time to reflect on your situation and to observe.
  4. Talk to the people implicated in the situation.
  5. Look for patterns and for trends.
  6. Find analogies to your situation that can help spark ideas.
  7. Reverse the problem: find the opposite problem or envision a worse problem.

STEP #3 Solutioning

Anticipating problems is the best option. But, the key is to staying focused or finding a solution. You must be able to study all the possible solutions of the problem:

  1. Explore all ideas even if you think that they won’t work.
  2. Suggest solutions that would make the problem worse.
  3. Think about your past experiences when you have been put in sticky situations. It can be a conflict with your coworkers, It can be a discussion with your clients or situations with your family.
  4. Look at what is being done by experts and evaluate the opposite solution.
  5. Ask for help from people around you. You can use brainstorming, mind mapping or road mapping techniques.
  6. Remove yourself from the situation to clear your mind and gain a different perspective.
  7. Break down the situation into simpler components.
  8. Write down pros and cons of the solutions.
  9. Clarify the criteria that your solution must meet.
  10. Test the feasibility of the solution.
  11. Organize your thoughts and pick the solution that will maximize your return.

STEP #4 Making a decision

When you have evaluated all the solutions, it’s time to make a decision. One decision is better than none.

  1. Look up the “unwritten rules that you are about to break before making a decision.
  2. Weigh in the consequences of your decisions. Rapid decisions can have serious implications, especially if you are a leader. So, be aware of the economic, social, political challenges of your decisions.
  3. Luckily, the leader does not have to resolve every problem on their own. To make better decisions, involve your team in the decision-making process. However, the final decisions is up to you.
  4. Seek to solve the problem long-term.
  5. Take the necessary time to make the right decision. You don’t need to impress or to act fast, you need to act right.

STEP #5 Executing the decision

After finding the perfect solution and making your decision, start implementing it:

  1. Set goals and deadlines that align with your goals.
  2. Keep your goals in mind.
  3. Focus on the outcomes of the solution and visualize the best scenario.

STEP #6 Measuring your progress & Monitoring the problem

Unfortunately, problems don’t solve themselves and can grow as time passes by. If the roots of the problem still persist:

  1. Assess the impact of your current decision.
  2. Reward yourself if your solution is bringing positive results.
  3. If your plan doesn’t work, cut the losses and get back up.
  4. Ask for additional help. 
  5. Execute your plan B if you have one. Revisit the problem, start over the solving process otherwise.
  6. Take a break before moving on to the next problem.

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.

Are You Successfully Managing A Healthy Work-Life Balance? — 26 Tips For Preventing Burnout

The workplace can help us realize your potential but it can also trigger fight or flight responses in us, bring out our innermost insecurities. At work, as leaders so many things threaten our career goals, our promotions, our desires for success, our relationships and most importantly our sanity.

Leaders constantly feel the pressures of keeping up, of always being on top of everything. It is even a requirement that leaders project confidence, demonstrate optimism, or remain stoic in the face of events.

However, sooner or later, we end up sacrificing what we value most, solely keeping up with appearances, looking busy but being unproductive, spreading ourselves thin, doing sloppy work and not caring about people.

Wondering what strategies to use to improve your well-being and work-life balance?

Healthy Work-Life Balance Preventing Burnout

What is work-life balance?

Work is part of life: we spend most of our waking hours at work more than anything else. Needless to say, work and life are not opposite nor are they inseparable: lack of work-life balance has direct repercussions on our health, finances and families, creates fatigue, poor judgement, poor performance, high emotions.

Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life. But, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.

A healthy work-life balance can be motivated by life changing events or by a desire to do better. Work-life balance involves wise time management, self-discipline, and creates a better quantity to quality ratio.

Balancing work and life is hard but achievable because time is limited and we want to maximize our time the best we know how.

Benefits of a healthy work-life balance

A healthy work-life balance is an issue that mostly plagues millennials. To them, work should be enjoyable, emotionally and financially rewarding.

In many ways, it forces us to redefine success, our career and our relationships. It also helps us fulfill our needs, give us a profound sense of satisfaction, and become the best version of ourselves.

It allows you to create intention: you move with a clearly defined purpose. It is essential to manage your time and resources, level of commitment, to invest most of them in yourself and not in someone else’s dream.

It has the ability to increase job satisfaction, well-being, sense of self, self-awareness, effectiveness, adaptability, resilience, and creativity. It provides the tools to improve work performance, to revamp health, to maintain relationships, to appropriately deal with stress, and to avoid burnout.

How to create the best work-life balance?

Sometimes we are unable to distance ourselves from work because we feel indispensable to the organization, we feel threatened, or replaceable. Furthermore, achieving work-life balance is hard: some people, mostly high achievers, can feel guilty for taking time off and not investing it in their work.

However, an unhealthy work-life balance can lead to burn out, can trigger unexpected emotional outburst, heavily strain your physical and emotional well-being.

Burnout is hard to recover from. It hits you unexpectedly but is actually a slow burning process. Burnout is caused by overworking yourself, by a lack of recognition, by a lack of validation and chronic stress. It translates itself into feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, dissatisfaction, despair, depressions, low self-esteem, feelings of being stuck and of failure.

In addition, it is detrimental to understand that living to work or sacrificing health and energy is not the way to succeed. To successfully create a healthy work-life balance:

  1. Take care of yourself first and boost your leadership self-esteem from time to time. It is cliché but it is true: when you fly on airplane, you must put your mask on first before assisting others.
  2. Be clear about your purpose. Identify the reasons why you are working, establish a personal mission statement or elevator speech.
  3. Take back control of your time, your energy, thoughts and happiness. Strangely enough, we choose the life we want to live. We chose yesterday the life we are living today.
  4. Be present and get out of autopilot mode. This will help you appreciate moments in your life and to think on your feet.
  5. Assess your strengths and weaknesses to figure out where and how to apply them, to know when and how to say no and to get the most out of work.
  6. Identify stressors, the things that fulfill you the most and those that don’t. What activities engage you the most? If your aren’t applying your strengths and interests at work, find areas outside of work to do so.
  7. Prioritize what matters most, avoid multitasking, pay attention to the vital few, keep your life simple and don’t be afraid of missing out.
  8. Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.
  9. Set specific goals for yourself to increase motivation, to build up confidence and to stay focused.
  10. Be more disciplined. In order to make your life worthwhile, avoid distractions. This means that you have to shut down your phones, your television and avoid checking your emails outside of work.
  11. Be open to new opportunities, new experiences.
  12. Build real connections and learn to discern the authentic relationships by observing their actions.
  13. During the day, clear out at least one hour to relax and empty out your mind. Try meditation and a new sport. If it is not working, give yourself the space and the time to explore new things.
  14. Reduce your commuting time or avoid commuting during peak hours if possible.
  15. Dedicate more hours to sleep. Sleep is a cure for many diseases. It helps to eliminate bad toxins, to increase your focus and your job performance.
  16. Challenge your core habits and deal with change one at a time. Implementing a successful work-life balance can be overwhelming at first but it makes sense in the long run.
  17. Promote well-being in the workplace. Dedicate a specific space for work only, decorate your office with things you enjoy, be playful without being frivolous, show your employees that you take vacations and encourage them to do the same.
  18. Learn to delegate, to clearly communicate your requirements and to set boundaries. Setting boundaries help you gain respect from your employees.
  19. Stop focusing on analytics, metrics, meetings and deadlines to measure your self-worth.
  20. After work, reward yourself, leave work for the workplace and concentrate on your family and friends when you are with them.
  21. Help your employees understand that their health, well-being is more important to their productivity. That being said, monitor the most ambitious and driven employees to make sure they don’t burnout or literally work themselves to death.
  22. Value your employees and show your appreciation for their hard work.
  23. Don’t burden your employees with heavy workload and unreachable deadlines.
  24. Allow flexible hours and other activities in the workplace.
  25. Put the power of internet to good use and allow people to work from home. Employees working from home are more productive, have reduced commuting time, have less stress, are not constantly bothered by events in the office. It also allows the organization to save money on energy consumption and office space.
  26. Seek external help if needed.

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.

The Importance Of Public Speaking In Leadership

Public speaking is one of my favorite activities at work, whether it is selling a product or negotiating a contract. It allows me to gather information, to win over an audience and increase my leadership influence. It is the ability to be eloquent and to persuade which gives me an edge over the competition.

Public speaking skills are useful on a daily basis. They can be learnt, they are required in different social situations, from professionals to students.

However, public speaking requires a certain level of confidence, preparation, technique, voice control, clear ideas, arguments, objectives, good knowledge of the audience.

It also generates severe anxiety in most people. And, keeping your composure in stressful situations will demonstrate your leadership skills.

Wondering how to deliver your best speech and overcome fear of public speaking?

Public Speaking In Leadership

The importance of public speaking

Avoiding public speaking can be detrimental to your career, to your relationships and to your personal growth. This skill is called upon for celebratory events, meetings.

Public speaking enables you to transform people, influence some people, persuade others, help people work toward a personal or common goal, inspire emotions and provide value, convey a vision, drive change and positive actions, introduce new information, innovative ideas to a crowd.

It allows you to gain trust, to solidify your credibility, to become more confident, to find your voice, to address difficult conversations and find solutions.

Coping with the fear of public speaking

Public speaking can make some people anxious because the speaker is at the complete mercy of the audience. The good news is that fears are learnt behavior and can be unlearned. To get rid of your debilitating fear:

  • Keep in mind that the audience is generally supportive, even though they can make or break you.
  • Change your perspective and think of your speech as a conversation. To help you do so, practice in front of family and friends.
  • Start your speech with questions to get your audience more engaged.
  • Stay present, stop over-analyzing the situations and stop trying to be perfect.
  • Visualize a positive outcome.
  • Avoid trying to completely remove your anxiety. Instead, channel it otherwise, distract yourself from these emotions by exercising or listening to music.

Honing your public speaking skills

When speaking publicly you want to be understood, to guide them to your ideas. Public speaking doesn’t need to be your full-time job to be useful. To hone your public speaking skills:

  • Understand your audience. Your audience comes from different backgrounds, have diverse interests and needs. To forejudge their responses to your speech, analyze your audience, their culture, their current situation. Then, identify the points that you need to emphasize and those you need to remove.
  • Decide and format your content. It is important to know what you will be talking about. Furthermore, the format of your content will depend on the event.
    • Detail your speech, arrange your arguments in order of importance and organize your content to increase retention.
    • Employ different tools for your presentation like PowerPoint.
    • Give your audience practical advice.
    • Keep it simple, use short sentences, get to the point.
    • Introduction and conclusion are key and have to be most prepared.
  • Ensure that you passionate about the topic beforehand. Your passion will motivate the audience.
  • Determine your objective. Understand the need you have to impact your audience, the need to speak at this event and the decision to explore this specific topic.
  • Determine your communication style and rhetoric. It is important to mind your verbal and nonverbal delivery, to pay attention to your delivery, your tone and your voice more than you do to the content of your speech.
    • Captivate the audience and interact with them within the 10 first seconds.
    • Use action verbs, personal pronouns, present tense, tangible language, proper grammar, appropriate logic and conventional language. Adapt your message and language to your audience.
    • Use your own words to convey your personality and keep the audience engaged.
    • Learn to tell stories, to use relatable examples, your personal experiences and interests. This is why it is important to know your audience.
    • Ask provocative questions, embody the story and act out the anecdotes.
  • Before you start speaking, take a moment, breathe, master your fear, control yourself and your thoughts.
  • Keep your energy up from beginning to end.
  • Stand up straight, shoulders backward and arms open. Look at people in the eye and smile to put people at ease.
  • Walk around on stage before the speech to get an idea of the space available. This will allow you to feel at home on stage or in public and to move your body at will.
  • Act natural. There is nothing more off-putting and distracting than someone acting theatrical.
  • Look the part but don’t let your clothes distract your audience from the message.
  • Keep in mind that your audience wants to see you win. Stay focused: don’t be distracted by the audience, by naysayers and hecklers.
  • Treat your speech like an opportunity to have a conversation with friends.
  • Incorporate humor in your set if you are brave enough. Humor is risky but self-deprecating humor is always the best option.
  • Observe your competition, listen to other speakers and take notes. 
  • Rehearse your speech relentlessly and don’t let it show. Rehearsing will help you deliver your speech with confidence, avoid searching for words, avoid skipping important points. Practice will also make you a leader in your field and increase your credibility.
  • Solidify your credibility. There is nothing
    • Become an expert on the subject, create your own content and connect the dots properly.
    • Be transparent, trustworthy, fair and respectful. Conduct yourself morally.
    • Care for your audience and share valid information that will progress them
    • Agree to disagree with your audience, respect their values, avoid attacking them and don’t make them feel stupid.
    • Stay away from hate speech, offensive, untruthful, distorted and slanderish speech
  • Keep sharpening your public speaking skills and take some classes.

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.

Bridging The Generational Gap: From Boomers to Millennials

In today’s workplace, leaders of organizations must hire millennials and boomers to keep business running. For the sake of their organization, leaders must have them collaborating, handling constructive conflicts and effectively dealing with change.

However, conflicts in the workplace, involving different generations, are old as time, are common, are inevitable and ought to be handled quickly before they get out of hand.

Conflicts usually arise when one generation is leading or managing another. These days, boomers are passed over for promotions, millennials are put in leadership roles and tend to manage boomers because they have a researched set of skills that are beneficial to the company.

Bridging the generational gap helps in making better decisions, reducing employee turnover, strengthening team cohesion and in building innovative products.

Wondering how to bridge the generation gap and build a more collaborative workplace?

Bridging The Generational Gap: From Boomers to Millennials

A generation is a period of time when people perceived the world differently. In one generation, people are shaped by social trends, are programmed with thoughts, values, moral ethics, models, examples of success and the guidelines to succeed.

Three generations rub shoulders in corporate: the baby-boomers (1946-1964), the generation X (1965-1980) and the millennials (1980-2000). Needless to say, each generation has their own set of strengths, weaknesses and of requirements in order to give their best at work.

The Baby-Boomers Generation

Boomers are the most famous generation and have a different set of values. They trust the system, understand hierarchy, follow rules and obey orders.

They believe in seniority and meritocracy. Indeed, they stay at a job for the longest time and wait for an opportunity for advancement.

Strengths

Employees from the baby-boomer generation:

  • Define their identity through their jobs.
  • Have a strong work ethic. They are hardworking even workaholics.
  • Are concerned about the quality of their contributions at work.
  • Are loyal to their organization and expect loyalty in return.
  • Have good people skills and build healthy relationships.
  • Are capable of team work.

Weaknesses

Employees from the baby-boomer generation:

  • Respect hierarchy and don’t challenge the status quo.
  • Depend on seniority for career advancement.
  • Unable to welcome change. They don’t understand that the world is changing and are unable to quickly evolve with it.
  • Have a poor work life balance. They are not flexible with their time, burn out easily and are willing to sacrifice their work life balance.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, employees from the baby-boomer generation require:

  • Appreciation, respect, fairness and equity of treatment.
  • Involvement on the job.
  • Job satisfaction.
  • Health care and retirement package.

The Generation X

This generation no longer trust the system and believe that corporations don’t have their best interest at heart.

Strengths

Employees from the generation X:

  • Are innovative and creative.
  • Are authentic. They feel the need to know and be themselves in every situation.
  • Are autonomous, independent, loyal to self and self-reliant.
  • Are flexible, task oriented and multi-taskers.
  • Take initiative and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Weaknesses

Employees from the generation X:

  • Lack clear purpose.
  • Are insubordinate. They no longer comply to authority and are defiant.
  • Are easily bored. They need to be kept on challenging or high-profile projects.
  • Are individualistic. They put themselves and the well-being of their family first.
  • Lack commitment to an organization.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, employees from the generation X require:

  • Automatic respect.
  • That their leaders apply a laissez-faire or a democratic leadership style.
  • Short termed challenging projects.
  • To understand the reasons of a task before undertaking said task.
  • A healthy work life balance: they put family first, no matter what.
  • Unique, fun and informal organization with flexible hours.
  • Career advancement or a constant interest in their assignment. If they don’t get what they want or need, they jump ship.
  • High salaries and rewards proportional to their contributions at work.

The Millennials

Millennials are idealist and have a more democratic way of viewing the world. They intend to make work fun and purposeful, to innovate and to invest themselves.

They have high expectations for their jobs, are now able to blow the whistle easily, seek fairness and integrity in their leaders.

Strengths

Millennial employees:

  • Have an ability to connect with the world and to quickly share information.
  • Use online communication effectively.
  • Are positive and are culturally sensitive.
  • Are ambitious, innovative and drive change.
  • Seek learning opportunities and desire accomplishments.
  • Have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Are capable of team work.

Weaknesses

Millennial employees:

  • Lack interpersonal skills.
  • Have poor decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Need constant guidance and feedback.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, millennial employees require:

Bridging the generational gap

The collaboration of generations is essential to develop any organization. To bridge the generational gap and to retain more employees:

  1. Get to know your employees personally.
  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.
  3. Customize your leadership style to your employees.
  4. Keep a respectful tone, stay professional and use formal language, especially with boomers.
  5. Give people a reason to work for your organization.
  6. Transfer knowledge between generations.
  7. Put people in the right positions.
  8. Remind all parties involved that they have more commonalities than differences.
  9. Disintegrate stereotypes about people from different generations. For example, boomers can learn how to handle technology and millennials are not lazy.
  10. Promote the benefits of diversity and cultural sensitivity.
  11. Adapt your employees working hours to the organization and exemplify a healthy work life balance.
  12. Help people gain new skills by putting them on different projects.
  13. Upgrade your employees interpersonal skills.
  14. Provide technological trainings.
  15. Suggest mentoring program.
  16. Recognize and reward your employees for their contributions.
  17. Give positive feedback, especially to millennials.
  18. Have an open door policy to hear employee complaints and ideas.
  19. Set high expectations for your employees and expect the best from them.
  20. Welcome initiative, innovation and creativity.

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.

The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

Leaders receive a multitude of information on a daily basis. They make hard decisions every day and expect that their employees will directly understand and precisely apply them.

Decisions become erroneous when leader fail to listen. The execution process falls short when leaders fail to communicate and clarify their vision. Subsequently, they also fail to solve problems and reach their goals.

Wondering how to hone your communication skills and create a better working environment? 

The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

What is communication?

Communication is a complex and dynamic process, used to collect information. It is also a form of human interaction that always involves at least 2 people, that depends on the character of the people involved and that relies on trust.

While communicating, we receive and/or emit information through silence, facial expressions, writing, reading, talking or listening. We use these skills practically everywhere at work, for every situations.

In addition, a noisy environment, stereotypes, cultural differences, lexical differences, company culture are barriers to communication. These barriers distort what is being said and what is being received. However, being aware if them is the first step to reprogramming communication.

Why is it important?

Communication skill is the ability to effectively interact with people to influence, to convince, to mobilize people towards one goal, to unify teams.

Developing communication skills will bring success at every level, help convey a better understanding of your standards and requirements, build positive healthy relationships, avoid or work through conflicts.

Great communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level. They will also drive change and increase team motivation.

Furthermore, poor communication skills can prevent you from understanding your coworkers, getting hired or getting promoted, saving time or sharing request in meetings. communication failure leads to resentment.

How to improve your communication skills?

At work, some people struggle to share their thoughts, ideas. To improve your communication skills and get ahead at work:

  1. Be self-aware and stay authentic to your principles.
  2. Demonstrate empathy. Empathy will allow you to reach people, to perceive their feelings and perspectives, to build a team that you understand. For example, start by learning your employee’s name to show that you care.
  3. Demonstrate that you can be trusted by keeping secrets, by following through on promises and commitments, by being consistent, and by not withholding useful information
  4. Even though you don’t believe it, you are a brand and must treat yourself as such. You must learn to present, to market yourself, to quantify and value your assets.
  5. Find a purpose for every interaction. Your purpose gives your communication direction.
  6. Remember that everyone is different and won’t communicate the way you do.
  7. Always think win-win. According to Stephen Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it is better to seek mutual benefits in all human interactions, believe that life is a cooperation and not a competition.
  8. Understand the corporate culture to adapt your communication style. Your communication style will influence the way others react to you. Numerous communication styles have been developed throughout the years and most often, have been equated to leadership style. Needless to say, everyone doesn’t communicate the same way.
  9. Bear in mind that appearances are important, even detrimental to success. Maintain professional decorum at all times, dress appropriately, groom yourself, be hygienic, keep your composure according to the company’s culture.
  10. Take care of your own body language by standing straight, by eliminating over the top behavior, standing still, staying focused on your interlocutor, maintaining eye contact and restraining your facial expression.
  11. Actively listen and speak less. While listening, monitor body language, evaluate the emotional intensity of the conversation, stay open-minded, and choose your words carefully not to offend. This also means that you don’t need to emit judgement during the process, that you must avoid listening to reply or to seek ulterior motives in someone, and that you must allow people to talk without interruption, even if I disagree with them.
  12. When writing and speaking, keep it succinct, specific, clear, coherent and compelling for others. Avoid using ambiguous words.
  13. Treat people as you want to be treated. Stay polite and treat people with the respect that they deserve and with regards to their culture.
  14. Have an open door policy and be approachable.
  15. Analyze your audience. Take time and analyze the full situation and pay attention to non verbal communication.
  16. When in conversation, observe what is being said and paraphrase to confirm that you have properly understood, ask probing questions to get all the information and avoid daydreaming, tuning out or jumping to conclusions. If nervous, introverted or shy, practice your conversations before.
  17. Avoid using stereotypes to categorize someone or the info that they share.
  18. Use humor to defuse negative situations to elevate any subject, to put your audience at ease. Using humor is risky but is worth-while.
  19. Reward positive behavior and hold people accountable for negative behavior.

Last Words Of Advice!

To effectively improve communication, there are also a few unspoken rules to follow. One must avoid:

  • Discounting information on the account of discrediting the source.
  • Comparing the information you are getting with your own experience.
  • Calling attention to yourself or your situation.
  • Gossiping, openly criticizing or making fun of others and their interests. Find solutions and help resolve problem instead of creating them.
  • Noisy environment to have conversations.
  • Respect silence. Silence is golden in some cultures.
  1. Finally, don’t take anything personal.

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.