By continually learning, you grow and open yourself up to new experiences and ideas.
Acquiring good learning skills builds up your confidence and your willingness to explore.
Wondering what are the essential learning skills that every leader should know?
What are learning skills?
Learning skills are thinking skills and habits that you acquire in your childhood to help you learn and that you can perfect in adulthood.
Furthermore, learning skills is all about processing useful information, acquiring knowledge, self-regulating and making a sound decision.
Learning include reading, listening, focusing, remembering, confronting your understanding, practicing what you have learned, using the right tools and using time effectively.
1. Critical Thinking Skills
Learning is acquiring knowledge but not all knowledge is useful or will have a positive impact.
Therefore, leaders must develop critical thinking, become attentive to details, be selective of the knowledge that you acquire and store in your brain.
They must be able to think critically, make their own opinion and think independently, create their own experiences and increase self-awareness. They must also be able to classify and track their thoughts and ideas.
Furthermore, leaders must be able to break down, analyze, compare and understand a situation, an event or concept in order to reach a conclusion and take a measured decision.
2. Creative Thinking Skills
Creative thinking is the ability to be creative and to generate ideas.
With a sense of creativity, leaders are authentic, curious, open-minded, adapt easily and are capable of expressing themselves.
They are able to innovate, brainstorm with others, creatively assess a problem and come up with new and out of the box solutions.
3. Communication Skills
There are several ways to convey a message. Some leaders enjoy public speaking, some one on one conversations and others prefer reading or writing down their thoughts.
Leaders must be able to describe, share, argue, persuade, clarify, defend an idea, explain themselves and reach a solid conclusion. That way, they confront their own ideas and understanding.
They are also able to actively listen, evaluate an idea and engage with it.
4. Organizational skills
Organizational skills include time management, goal setting, schedule and event planning, productivity tracking, and progress measurement.
When leaders are organized, they tend to favor a clean and tidy workspace.
Being organized helps them alleviate the mental load, organize their thoughts, focus on the tasks at hand and meet their deadlines.
Organized leaders run the day and don’t let the day run them.
Last Words Of Advice!
Everybody learns differently.
It becomes useful to identify your preferred learning style as soon as possible.
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.
If you are like me, then you have a serious case of the “Foot In Mouth Syndrome” which consists of saying things that inadvertently offend or embarrass people or yourself.
It is basically the art of saying things that you regret.
It is a real disease that plagues some of us, whether you are talkative or not, introverted or extroverted, thoughtful or not, mature or not.
To overcome this issue, we have to develop communication skills and tactfulness.
We just have to be extra careful to who we talk to, how we talk and what we say.
We just have to constantly monitor ourselves, filter ourselves more than usual, be more quiet than necessary, educate ourselves on our audience at all times.
We spend time fixing things and explaining what we meant.
We spend time avoiding expressions, topics and certain people.
In the workplace, there are a few phrases that are tactless and unforgivable and that you must avoid at all cost.
1. Silence as a cure
Staying silent doesn’t help circumvent the issue.
I have learnt this the hard way.
When you are too quiet, people will usually fill in the blanks with negative thoughts. Nobody will say: Tim is quiet because he is shy, introverted or cares a lot about the words that come out his mouth. Instead, they will say: Tim doesn’t speak to us because he doesn’t like us or because he thinks he is better than us.
Moreover, when you are too quiet, people will soon disregard you and forget that you exist.
It is better to minimize or actively filter the words you say than to stay silent.
People make mistakes all the time. You will just apologize if you have to.
2. Unintelligible speech
Fear of saying something unforgivable can make us do crazy things like speaking unintelligibly.
Fear can make us do crazy things. Period.
Speaking unintelligibly constitutes an attitude of avoidance. By doing this, you are straining your interlocutor and creating misunderstandings.
Very soon, nobody will want to talk to you. It becomes imperative that you build up some confidence, articulate and speak at a respectable volume.
3. Offensive speech
When we find ourselves in a stressful situations, it feels convenient and relieving to swear.
Studies show that the people who swear the most are very honest (very honest about their feelings, I’d say).
However, in the workplace, not everybody is comfortable with offensive language and you wouldn’t want to damage your self-image.
The best option is to stay from curse words all together or replace them with better language.
4. “It’s not fair”
Life is hard. Everybody has their personal challenges and unfair moments.
If you have put in the work and have not been recognized or recompensed, it’s OK. Your prince will come someday.
Sometimes, you have been doing something wrong that you are not fully aware of and you may want to discuss your performance with your trusted circle.
If you have been on the receiving end of continual unfair treatment, it’s time to move on to another job where you can put your skills to work.
5. “I didn’t double check that”
Unless you are the most perfect being walking the face of the earth, you will want to double check your work.
This comment makes you seem full of yourself and you open yourself up to criticism.
Everybody is susceptible to mistakes and need to pay attention to details.
6. “I’m busy” or “I don’t have time for this”
In the workplace, you should be able to prioritize your tasks and manage your own time.
By saying this, you are stating your incompetence, your lack of organizational skills, lack of patience or your laziness.
You can find ways to communicate your business without being rude or ask to reschedule.
That being said, some toxic leaders give their employees more work load than a regular person can handle. If you have a toxic leader, just make it clear that the task is not feasible in the time demanded.
7. “I’m bored” or “I have nothing else to do”
If you are bored at work, then you are in the wrong job or you are not being challenged enough.
To get out your boredom, you can either ask for more responsibilities, show some initiative or just be quiet about it.
8. “I’ll try”
This phrase implies the possibility of failure.
It is better to say “I will” or “I’ll do my best” because you make yourself accountable for your actions and means that you will put your best foot forward to succeed.
The worst that can happen is that you fail to deliver. But, you did your best, you will learn from your mistakes and grow as a person.
9. “That’s impossible” or “There’s nothing I can do”
That is a self-defeating and limiting phrase.
It means that you are not solution oriented and that you don’t even want to try.
10. “But we’ve always done it that way”
Well, this phrase might sound familiar to a lot of people.
It has been said by a lot of people, especially if they are experts, have been in the same position for the longest while or are resistant to change.
Truth is, not because you have been doing it one way that it is the only or that it is the right way.
Instead, it is best to state the reasons why you may want to keep doing it that way.
11. “I know that”
No, you don’t know. Stop.
If you did, you would be working for yourself and conversing with yourself. You wouldn’t need to exchange information with somebody. You would be the greatest and surest source of information of the universe.
Even if you really did know something, you should discipline your ego and your need to demonstrate your intellect.
Chances are the person sharing information with you will not want to share again.
Chances are when you will want information, people will assume that you already know.
Chances are when you will want information, you will feel embarrassed to come forward.
12. Strong No
There is an unwritten rule in the workplace which is to never openly use the word no.
If you are a straightforward person, you might be tempted to use it. You may think that you are decisive and that you know what you want or don’t want.
However, you will look harsh and it would be very hard to come back on the no without looking indecisive.
There are different ways that you can say no without employing the word in itself.
You can simply give the real reason why you are implicitly saying no or say something to effect of “I have prior engagement” or “I’ll think about it”.
13. Unwilling yes
Saying yes especially when you don’t want to oblige may be just as bad as saying no.
It is better to grow a backbone, stop people pleasing (easier said than done) and learn different ways to say no.
14. “Sorry but…”
You can apologize sincerely (once) if you have made a mistake but sorry is rarely enough and you will have to put in the work to fix things.
There is no need to beg for forgiveness because the best apology is changed behavior.
15. “That’s not my problem”, “That’s not in my job description” or “I don’t get paid enough for this”
I understand this approach or why someone would use these phrases.
Sometimes, we want to mind our business, don’t want to step on people’s toes and get out the scope of our job descriptions. Meddling in others activities can be a huge source of conflict or seeming to eager to please can lead you to be overworked and underpaid.
However, these specific phrases give off the vibe that you don’t care, that you hate your job or that you don’t want more responsibilities. If there is an opportunity to evolve, you will not be chosen.
Instead, you can recommend someone for this task, express that you will take care of this as soon as you finish your more urgent and adequate tasks (which may take a while).
Appreciate the situation for what it is and take the opportunity to try new things and get out of your comfort zone.
16. “I don’t need help”
Employers value people who are autonomous, who don’t expect hand-holding or for other people to do their job.
The reality is we all need help from time to time whether we want to admit it or not.
Permanently locking yourself off is simply an ego move and asking for help sometimes is OK.
Furthermore, people will like you more if you ask them for favors or for help.
17. “You are wrong”, “You make no sense”, and “You misunderstood”
Even if this is true and even if the situation is heated, there is no need play the blame game.
The blame game never results in resolve but in more blame shifting.
When in conflict, you either want to convince the other person of your point of view or put an end to all exchange.
The easiest way out is to ask for further clarification or clarify your point of view and move on.
18. “You should have…” or “You could have…”
These phrases are confidence killers whether you say them to yourself or to someone else. Relax, mistakes happen all the time and eventually you have to keep swimming.
The most important part is to take responsibility for your mistakes and quickly find solutions to the problem.
19. “I may be wrong, but…” or “I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction, but…”
These phrases denote your lack of confidence.
The truth is that you dismiss yourself before others do.
To boost your confidence, just state what you are thinking. If your statement is wrong, then it is wrong. There is no need for a full disclaimer.
20. “It’s not my fault” and “I am only following orders”
Well that’s an easy way out!
Some people refrain from taking initiative or making decision just so they can shift blame.
Shifting blame is the fastest to create tension in the workplace. Even if you have nothing to do with the mistake, find different ways to fix the situation.
21. “At my last job…”
This statement immediately puts people in defense mode whether you or talking about people or work processes because you start gossiping, comparing and criticizing.
It implies that you feel like you have been better places and you are not able or willing to adapt to your new environment.
Making nonconstructive or judgmental statements can ruin a career.
22. “I quit”
Sometimes, you are just going through a phase where you want to quit and give up.
There is no need to speak your mind out loud and let everybody know that you are on the brink of quitting.
Instead, take a break from what you are doing and if you are about to quit, move in silence.
Last Words Of Advice!
Communicating with tact is a skill that you can acquire with time.
Everybody puts their feet in their mouth from time to time.
So, don’t beat yourself up.
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.
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?
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.
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:
Know yourself, trust your intuition and understand that your ideas are valuable.
Be mindful that problems arise every day and that you cannot solve everything all at once.
Write down all the rules and core values that guide you so you can remember them in time of need.
Be open-minded, explore other fields than your own and to frequent people from other industries.
Educate yourself on your business. Read books and articles on your field.
Avoid jumping to conclusions. Challenge your assumptions before you restrict your opportunities
Be patient but take action before it’s too late and before the opportunity expires.
Pay attention to other people’s opinion but don’t worry too much about the naysayers.
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:
Get the information about the problem.
Identify the complexity, the symptoms, effects and root causes of the problem.
Take time to reflect on your situation and to observe.
Talk to the people implicated in the situation.
Look for patterns and for trends.
Find analogies to your situation that can help spark ideas.
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:
Explore all ideas even if you think that they won’t work.
Suggest solutions that would make the problem worse.
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.
Look at what is being done by experts and evaluate the opposite solution.
Ask for help from people around you. You can use brainstorming, mind mapping or road mapping techniques.
Remove yourself from the situation to clear your mind and gain a different perspective.
Break down the situation into simpler components.
Write down pros and cons of the solutions.
Clarify the criteria that your solution must meet.
Test the feasibility of the solution.
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.
Look up the “unwritten rules“ that you are about to break before making a decision.
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.
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.
Seek to solve the problem long-term.
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:
Keeping a job for a lifetime at the same company is no longer a concern for employees. Nowadays, most employees are looking to explore, to evolve professionally, to grow personally and do not depend on one company to do so.
With the amount of layoffs in the last generation, employees have learnt to mistrust leaders and corporations. They no longer feel empowered, committed, engaged, aligned with their organization or no longer think that leaders have their best interest at heart.
However, good employees are needed to reach company goals. Leaders should be concerned when several good employees leave in a matter of weeks, when employees start performing poorly, act disengaged, take too many sick leaves, skip meetings, arrive late, are unmotivated, are overworked, unproductive or underpaid.
Wondering what are the strategies and tactics to empower your team, to maintain a trust climate, increase employee alignment and retain talent?
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowermentis a loosely used term.
It mostly designates the way people feel about themselves at work, the ease with which they are able to use their strengths, to freely demonstrate their talents, to achieve their purpose, to find meaning and satisfaction in their jobs.
It also stems from their ability to feel productive, confident and in control in the workplace.
Furthermore, employee empowerment is a leadership style.Leaders must feel empowered in order to empower. Indeed, they must be able to maintain self-confidence, to manage their time, to gain influence, to effectively communicate, to listen, to reach their goals and to be open to learn.
In addition, an empowered employee doesn’t need permission to do his or her work, to create an appropriate process, to control the outcomes of his or her work, to develop a personal scope.
On the other hand, employees who are disempowered don’t openly critique the organization, don’t make open suggestions, don’t challenge the status quo, don’t know what is expected of them, and are often blindsided. When employees don’t feel empowered, they tend to leave.
What are the challenges of employee empowerment?
Deciding to quit is a long process that can be triggered by various traumatic, memorable and emotional events:
Lack of empowerment, of recognition, validation or compensation.
Career disillusionment. Employees feel like their career path is not as they believed it to be.
Workplace toxicity and leader’s unethical behavior.Workplace toxicity comes from the fact that core values and trust have not been instilled. This can result in being influenced, in spreading toxic behavior, in feelings of being marginalized or harassed.
Retaining young employees is the most difficult because they need more care, more validation and more training.
To increase employee engagement and to compete for talents, most organizations resort to quick fixes that provide short them results. It is essential to:
Accept that employees are going to leave no matter what.
Accept that employees who are leaving are sure about their decision.
Accept that the decision to leave is potentially connected to your behavior, to the company’s policy and culture.
Hire appropriate employees for the job in the first place by directly asking them about their needs.
Conduct an employee exit interview and ask your employees why they want to leave. Doing so will help you fix recurring problems within the organization and reduce employee turnover.
How to empower employees and prevent them from leaving?
To decrease employee turnover, leaders must change their mindset and rethink the company culture. Empowerment can lead to higher levels of commitment, innovation, motivation, more productivity and better relationships.
Determine your core values. Have enough integrity to share and demonstrate your values.
Be an example, demonstrate the benefits of empowerment, act ethically and a teacher to your team.
Learn to cope with change. Don’t expect immediate change and the change you envisioned.
Build an environment that promotes inclusiveness and unity.For example, remove the traditional organizational structures to improve communication among workers.
Value your employees and their expertise.
Listen to your employees.Ask them for advice, let them speak freely and truly consider their responses.
Share your vision and your story with your teamin order to motivate them towards a unique goal and to check if they align with it.
Set high but achievable expectations for your team. Let them know about it.
Clearly define everyone’s activities so they don’t step on other people’s toes.
Help your employees identify their purpose, even if their calling is not in the organization. It would be more rewarding for them and more effective for you to remove them from the team and give them some indication of an ideal career path.
Increase your employees awareness.Share information about organizational policies, processes, structures, standards, decisions.
Learn to delegate. There is nothing more frustrating than a leader who micromanages, who needs to approve every stage of the process, who doesn’t think that their team can have the workload without them.
Encourage people to take initiative and to solve their own problems.
Give your employees autonomy and more ownership of their work.Give them the freedom to reach the company’s objectives.
Welcoming innovation and creating an overall innovation culture at work is not easy but necessary.
Most company cultures have very limiting unwritten rules when it comes to innovation. For the most part, innovators in corporate culture are seen as irresponsible, unmindful, nonconformist and disruptive. For instance, some organizations will not hesitate to shut down dissident voices and to punish rules breakers.
Furthermore, the longer you have been in a leadership position, the more you become complacent, the more you get stuck in your ways, the more you start believing in erroneous paradigms, the less you are willing to take risks, to change your processes and to innovate.
Wondering how to avoid complacency and to enable the innovation process?
What is innovation?
Innovation is a natural or acquired process that is present as a core value in most organization and that can make all the difference. It is the ability to deliver new positive data, value, concepts and systems. Somewhat, innovation implies creativity but not the other way around.
Furthermore, innovation is a mindset but not everyone is able to trigger innovation. Innovative leaders are capable of:
Performing at a higher level, effectively restructuring organization, implementing a vision and appropriately using their resources.
Adapting to different circumstances, taking action despite the circumstances and reinventing themselves.
Taking charge of their behavior and their emotions.
Adequately handling failure and success.
Leaders feel pressure to adapt to the market, to create new products, to maintain a stable work environment, stable results and still welcome innovation. Jump starting the innovation process within your organization will help you and your organization:
Gain a competitive advantage.
Remember that what worked in the past, will not necessarily work right now.
Demonstrates your effectiveness, adaptability, capacity to handle issues and to overcome challenges.
Pay close attention to the customers.
How to trigger and maintain an innovation culture?
Every organization has their own culture and every leader has their own norms. So, in order to avoid complacency and to trigger an innovative spirit:
Keep an open mind, focus on the positive, give yourself the time and the opportunity to explore, always ask questions and always be open to learn. Pursue truth and knowledge.
Challenge your own knowledge, your assumptions and your preconceived notions.
Avoid using your life and work experiences to drive innovation. Question and learn from everything: read, observe and explore more than usual. You can even look at other innovative ideas and see if they fir your situation.
Get out of your comfort zone, challenge conventional wisdom and the status quo.
Create a personal mission statementthat measure your progress, that helps you follow through on your commitments and that incorporates your willingness to innovate.
Rephrase a same issue multiple times to gain more clarification.
Don’t hesitate to break societal rules to get where you want to go.
Demonstrate that innovation is necessary.Incorporate it in your core values and in your actions.
Listen to different ideas and appreciate other people point of views, especially if they are not related to the issue. However, this doesn’t mean that you will need to apply their point of view.
Write down every idea that comes to you even if you don’t have the opportunity to use them.
Learn to take calculated risks, to handle failure as well as success, to plan for the unknown and for failures, to celebrate success.Failure and success can inhibit your ability to innovate because you are constantly thinking of what could go wrong. It is therefore important to see failure as an opportunity to grow and to get closer to success.
Analyze the time and the cost needed to implement your innovative idea.
Identify the passionate people and change agents on your team.Besides, expecting people to be passionate, demonstrate your own passion and convey it to your team.
Identify the people who are blocking your ideas in the organization. It would be wise to share your vision with them and try to convince them.
Ask for constant feedback and give feedback yourself.
Empower your team at all levels,trust them, allow them to speak their minds, to find different alternatives to a problem and help them achieve their goals.
Encourage dissenting voices who can challenge in new ideas and analyze their every aspect, who can identify areas in the organization that need optimization.
Welcome brainstorming activities and filter out ideas with potential.
Getting a promotion is a long and complex process that can trigger your innermost insecurities. Therefore, it requires a lot of internal and external work.
Furthermore, getting promoted involves being willing to take risks, changing your bad habits, increasing self-awareness, improving your behavior, being able to compete for a position, being committed to a goal and to an organization.
Wondering how to take control of your career, get a pay raise, get promoted, or move on to a new successful career?
To be promoted, you have to make yourself valuable and bring success to your organization. Promotion comes from a need to:
Take on new responsibilities.
Gain more influence, more authority, more respect and more credibility.
Get a pay raise.
Learn new skills.
Have greater impact on your organization.
Acquire a higher sense of achievement, of job satisfaction.
You must pursue a promotion for the right reasons.
Indeed, if you decide to go after a proportion for the money, for a feeling of superiority, for an ego boost, for revenge purposes, you will not last long in the position.
Be mindful of the impact of your promotion. Measure the changes that the promotion will brig and if you will be able to handle them, if your time and health will be jeopardized, if your priorities will be rearranged, your relationships repurposed, your commitments denied, if there will be more power plays and more politics. Establishing the pros and cons of the promotions will clarify the reasons why you are pursuing a promotion.
Identify your ideal position, ideal boss, career path and compare it to the promotion.
Do your homework on the promotion, identify the required standards of your promotion then demonstrate that you meet the requirements for the new position.
How to get promoted?
To get promoted, you must get noticed for the right reasons. It is necessary to build your brand from day one. As soon as you leave your house, you have to be mindful of your behavior, your appearance, your words and your brand.
To maximize your potential, to build your brand and to finally get that promotion:
Stay prepared for success.Stay focused and competent at your job, meet your goals and deadlines, remember that experience will build up your credibility.
Present yourself in the best light possible. Mind your image and your grooming. Your style says a lot about you and is your first representative.
Decide what yo want to be known for and guard your reputation with your life.Remain professional at all times when at work, stay away from drama, don’t gossip and mind what you say to others.
Understand that you must establish your identity and your self-worth outside of your career and your job description.
Lead by example and establish a code of conduct for yourself.
Learn to be patient and to slowly reap what you sow.
Find out what matters most to you, keep commitments to yourself and to others, create a vision board, repeat positive affirmations if you have to, set goals and review them daily.
Temper your desire to speak out, to speak first and to speak the loudest. Keep your message brief all the time. Avoid talking just to fill the silence and avoid small talk if you are incapable of handling it.
Speak clearly, control your voice tone, pitch, pace, diction and intonations. Also, be careful of the words that are coming out of your mouth. Stay positive in your delivery and never use the word “no”.
Listen not with the intent to reply but the desire to understand, with the desire to read between the lines, to take real interest in what people are saying and to be empathetic.
Pay attention to the unspoken language, gestures.Remember that talk is cheap, that actions speak louder than words. On your side, make sure that you keep eye contact during conversation.
Learn torely on your gut, on your instincts, on your common sense.
Be confident in your abilities, know your strengths and weaknesses, be open to learn. Confidence will help you develop your presence and command respect. Besides, don’t allow your strengths that have gotten you noticed so far be the reasons of your demise, of your career derailment.
Keep your integrity throughout the process.Don’t do things that you don’t want to do or you don’t think are right to do.
Be a problem solver, taking into account the company culture and requirements. To every problem you bring to the forefront, find a solution to it. Anticipate issues, gain perspective, be responsive, adapt to different circumstances and learn to solve them before they show up. This will make you more reliable, more empathetic, will leave you two steps ahead. This will also get higher-ups to trust and respect you.
Be flexible and organized.
Show initiative and keep your motivation.
Show that you can effectively manage conflicts and face challenge. Furthermore, learn to control your emotions to control your behavior, keep your composure in difficult times, stay optimistic and see pressure points as opportunities.
Keep the communication line open with your boss, inform him or her of your latest achievements and seek feedback. During performance reviews, mention your career goals, directly ask for a promotion or for more responsibilities for example.
Take risks and don’t be afraid of failure.If you fail, turn a negative into a positive, learn from your mistakes, avoid dwelling on your past, avoid beating yourself up or blowing events out of proportion.
Be accountable, correct past mistakes and avoid shifting blame.
Understand the company culture, learn to deal with office politics.
Be loyal to your employer, have the best interest of your organization at heart and demonstrate your intentions.
Take every opportunity to network and to build a list of contacts who can help you. To do so, master your people skills, discover how to sell yourself, treat every encounter like gold, do more favors than you ask for. Talk about your own achievements, your interests and motivations without overbearing your audience. However, don’t toot your own horn, don’t be desperate to make contact, don’t nag people, don’t focus too much on yourself or else you will damage your relationships.
Enter a mentorship program or find a mentor in your organization who can give you some advice and take your career to the next level.
Volunteer for additional and interesting work outside of your position, for a position that you wish you had inside your organization.
The workplace can help us realize our 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?
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:
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.
Be clear about your purpose. Identify the reasons why you are working, establish a personal mission statement or elevator speech.
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.
Be present and get out of autopilot mode. This will help you appreciate moments in your life and to think on your feet.
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.
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.
Prioritize what matters most, avoid multitasking, pay attention to the vital few, keep your life simple and don’t be afraid of missing out.
Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.
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.
Reduce your commuting time or avoid commuting during peak hours if possible.
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.
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.
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.
Stop focusing on analytics, metrics, meetings and deadlines to measure your self-worth.
After work, reward yourself, leave work for the workplace and concentrate on your family and friends when you are with them.
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.
Value your employees and show your appreciation for their hard work.
Don’t burden your employees with heavy workload and unreachable deadlines.
Allow flexible hours and other activities in the workplace.
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.
Seek external help if needed.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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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?
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 topicbeforehand. 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.
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.