Tag Archives: leadership skills

Leadership Skills # 3: Establishing Trust

Often times you would encounter that your safe environment changes as there are changes to the teams you work with. It is important for us to keep the following points in mind approaching such changes to give a good chance for new equations to have trust and respect:-

  • Never label people. It is good in a positive sense but not in a negative tone
  • Respect the seat if not the person
  • Do not bring emotions into your communication style
  • Remain open-minded and give the relationship a chance to prove itself over a period of time
  • Construct bullets points if doing write-first, and then bring that together into a story
  • Move from self to larger purpose when focussing on such conversations

Leadership Skills # 2: Mind the Gap

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom”

Viktor Frankl

Instant reactions to situations always yield a different kind of result. The width of the gap between stimulus and response and our subsequent power to choose is dependent on our conscious awareness of it. How we respond, what we do, and how we behave then get governed by how wider that perceived gap is for us.

Create a ‘pause’

It is always great to slow down a bit and make decisions coming from a place of little more thought and awareness. It is necessary to detach oneself from impulsive thoughts and poorly thought-out actions.

One needs to STOP, BREATHE and NOTICE what you are experiencing in a non-judgemental way. For non-critical things, go back to them when you are ready. If something is stressful, give it time and space than you would have.

Honest Reflection

Start learning to recognize this space between stimulus and response. Learn to utilize his pause and to recognize what is really going on, as opposed to what you think is going on or perhaps becoming aware of something you had previously not even noticed. Increased awareness supports a decrease in stress.

It will be inevitable to avoid knee-jerk reactions but an honest reflection is more important. We can ask ourselves: What was going on for me at that moment? What did I do to contribute to that? What can I do now to improve the situation?

The more we’re willing to take an honest look at the circumstances, events, and conflicts in our lives, the greater our ability to widen the gap in the future. We need to empower ourselves to do that!

Leadership Skills # 1: Active Listening

  1. Understand the secrets of active listening
    1. Identify Key Points
    2. Consider the Source
    3. Slow Down
    4. Keep Yourself Honest
  2. What is not active listening
    1. Being Silent
    2. Demeaning self-esteem
    3. Listening is a Competition
    4. Not being Suggestive
  3. Active Listening Visual Cue Card

Understand the secrets of active listening

Identify Key Points

When in a conversation, it would be a good idea to create a mind map of notes by capturing detailed notes that can be used to ask questions. In addition to this note down key sights and issues via short-hand notes.

The approach compromises listening intently and focussing on follow-up questions on points that really matter. The direction of travel is to convey a probing, clarifying, and shaping of thoughts.

Consider the Source

This point is important when working with peers, in and across teams. The essence is in capturing the frame of reference and context [ where are they coming from ]. Try to truly understand the other person to drive productive solutions. the end outcome may not turn out to be from any one of the tabled options. A conversational environment will lead to more acceptable solutions.

Slow Down

It is important to slow down, and not act upon the information one already has. Replay thoughts back and ensure that both parties are clear on what was said.

Keep Yourself Honest

Try to find a mirror to reflect on your behavior, and find a colleague that can provide you with honest feedback. Importantly one needs to reflect on whether one understands what was said, the person’s point of view, the context, and emotion as well. Did you ensure that the person was heard and understood?

What is not active listening

Being Silent

Active listening is not being about silent but it is about periodically asking the right questions and gently challenging old assumptions. It is a two-way dialog rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer” interaction.

Demeaning self-esteem

Do not through your conversations make people feel unsupported or perceived as having a negative experience. One needs to create a safe environment for things to be discussed openly.

Listening is a Competition

Poor listeners are seen as competitive and listen to identify errors in reasoning or logic. We are not looking for an excellent debater but to be perceived as a listener who is trying to help and not wanting to win an argument.

Not being Suggestive

It is important to be suggestive and identify the people who are active listeners as well as see how their suggestions can be put into action. Open alternative paths through conversations.

Active Listening Visual Cue Card