There are many personality style assessments available. Some people enjoy going through those assessments greatly. Some people feel that those assessments are a waste of time and effort. Whether you like them or hate them, the value of a personality assessment is not in the assessment itself, but rather in what you do with the information you get from an assessment.
One of the most valuable things that you can learn from a personality assessment is the way you communicate. Directly or indirectly, communication problems often make the top ten lists of problems in the workplace.
Those who study communication know that it is never perfect. There is never 100% of the information conveyed from one person to the other. Understanding your personality style and style of the person you are communicating with can help you to increase the amount of information being transferred. Let’s take two examples to illustrate this point (please realize that the descriptors below are common generalizations for each type and different assessments may give slightly different characteristics). Continue reading
Ask yourself this question, “Who would you like to work for a Boss or a Coach?” What’s the difference? An article in the latest Training and Development magazine about the idea of changing culture in management may help explain the difference. It started with the author’s niece wanting more from her boss who response was something to the effect of, “If I’m not yelling at you, than you’re doing fine.” We have all had bosses like that. Perhaps we have even been a boss like that ourselves. Scary thought! While we should be out to win a popularity contest, there are some very good reasons to be concerned about what our people think about us. While some of these may seem self-serving, they can benefit everyone – you, your people, and your company.
What was your Model
First, set aside how you worked your way up through the ranks and what was expected 10 or 20 years ago. How would you have like to be treated and talked to? I’ll give you that adversity can make you stronger and help you grow in ways that you expect, but if adversity included you guessing what is right and what is wrong that doesn’t help you grow. It just makes you afraid. Challenging your people (with proper guidance) is the best way to help people become better at their job and more valuable to your organization. Continue reading
One of the things you learn that as a leader, is that you are not always in control. Especially if you want others to take an active role in your organization, you need to be able to give them some ownership. While it may seem to be counter-intuitive, giving ownership to others actually increases your ability to control situations and organizations.
One of the organizations that I oversee is a martial art school. One of the problems that we have in the school is that students will reach a certain level and then lose interest. One lesson it took a great deal of time for me to learn was if I give ownership to students and to the instructors in the school, they will have a greater interest and involvement in the school and its activities. Continue reading
“Seek first to understand and then be understood.” Great advice from Dr. Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If we are to “seek first to understand”, the key component to effective communication is to listen. Not always easy to do but it is a must do!
Focus on the Person
We tend to ask a question, take a breath or two and get ready to talk again. We start planning our response rather than truly listen to what the person is saying. What we need to do is to stop thinking of a response and simply listen. We need to stop thinking and just listen. Seek out the meaning of what the person is trying to tell us. It may not be what they first say and we need to dig deeper. Focus on the person to get to the real issue.
Listen to Hear, Not Respond
Easier said than done for sure. Human nature prefers to talk rather than listen. Solve the problem with the least amount of effort mainly because we are busy. If we stop and listen, ask questions to dig deeper to what is really going on, we will be better equipped to offer solid advice or gain a clearer understanding. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I went to a local fast food restaurant to pick up a quick dinner. While I don’t usually use many coupons, my wife does all the time. So of course I was to use a coupon to reduce the cost of the meal. Part of why I dislike using coupons is the hassle that always seems to happen when you redeem them. When I try to use a coupon the code isn’t readable, I didn’t grab the right size or type for the coupon or I didn’t pay attention to the expiration date. This trip was no exception to my luck with coupons. What was the different about this experience was the way that the restaurant handled my mistake. Continue reading
Heart-led leadership? What in the world does she mean by this? If someone would have told me this early on in my career, I would have looked at them like they lost their mind. While this concept isn’t new, it is often hard to find in people who hold power positions.
History shows us that leaders often led with a firm hand, gave directions with an expectation they would be followed no questions asked. If you asked a question or challenged a process, you risked being fired. It was a “my way or the highway” mentality. I was even guilty of this when I started out managing retail stores back in the 80’s. I realized early on a couple of things. First, it wasn’t a style that worked well for me. I had a lot of inner turmoil being the bad guy all the time. Secondly, it didn’t work. My employees left the building and I needed to hire new ones which created massive chaos. Working the store by myself every day of the week, just wasn’t a great plan. Plans change and so do great leaders. Continue reading
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Tasha with Starshine Cupcakes. She started making cupcakes as a way to fund her summer camp expense. Tasha is 9 years old and makes the BEST cupcakes. I was very impressed with her talent but also with the fact that at her age she is smart, creative and has a vision for her future. Being able to encourage, support and mentor someone of her age increases our chances of creating a new generation of successful entrepreneurs. There are 3 important reasons to mentor young entrepreneurs.
Knowledge and Experience
As business leaders we have a great opportunity to share our knowledge and experience when we come alongside a young entrepreneur. Can you imagine where you would be in your career if someone had done the same for you? Knowledge and experience are best shared. Think about what you could offer a young person looking for a way to start a business. Continue reading
Common courtesy seems to be like Elvis and has left the building. The days of hearing and maybe even saying “please” and “thank you” seem to be part of a bygone era. Yet, these are two of the most powerful words in the English language. They can change someone’s day if delivered in a meaningful way. As leaders, reviving common courtesy is paramount to set the standard of expectation and behavior.
Growing up in my household, if you didn’t say please when you asked for something, my parents would come back with “what do you say?”. Proper manners in my house was not optional, it was required. Because of that, I raised my child the same way. These days, it seems that please is optional and rarely used. In my experience, it seems to be a dying art. Continue reading