Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sound of Leadership

Do you have a tone?

Does your leader have a tone?
Is there a voice that your mom or dad used to use that would stop you in your tracks?
That's the one I am talking about.
The voice that is condescending, belittling or simply full of annoyance.

How do you handle the leader with this voice?

Well, people are simply blessed with the voices they have been given. They are influenced by their environment - where they grew up, the language and tone used in their homes, their experiences with others....what works or doesn't. So it is not really the voice, but more of the TONE and inflection.

Approaching the person with the 'voice' is not as easy as it seems. Although, the approach is a simple one - 'hey, this is how you said what you said', or 'you said this, this is how I heard it, is that really what you meant?' Let them know's not easy from either end of the conversation but it will set ground rules for how you like to get your communication and you may be pointing out something that needs to be worked on by that individual...and they never knew it because of the fear they have mongered due to their tone.

Here is an exercise....listen to your tone. I have had mine pointed out to me before and while it is not fun, it is a new awareness that I now have that makes how I communicate different now than in the past.

Once you pay attention to your tone, you will automatically change the tone of the other person.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Control Freak

Have you met one of these?  Or are you one of these?
The Control Freak

Everything has to be done your way.
Everyone has to act the way you want them to act.
Everyone needs to follow your rules, even though sometimes they do not apply to you.
You manipulate with faces, feeling, outbursts, inattention even harsh words - you bully.
You want what you want and there is no changing your mind because you are right and there is no room for other opinions or ideas.


This is not you...but it is someone you work with/for or with whom you have a relationship.
Tough nut to crack.

What do you do?  Let them know, in no uncertain terms, that you will not change your beliefs simply because they want you to.  You will not put their bullying tactics, but continue to work (or live your life) in accordance with what works for you.  If that requires less time or interaction with them, then that is how it will be.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Big Rollback

The big rollback...not really poor leadership, but could have been.

Morale is at an all time low I am told, due to the economy. This leader is beside themselves trying to figure out how to fix it. They want surveys, 360degree surveys, benchmarks for the industry, roundtable discussions with other industry leaders to see if they are experiencing the same thing. It's sheer madness he says, they cannot get out of the funk.

So, here comes the coach. My first question is....what is your mood? What is your attitude? Are you perpetuating the ' poor me' or are you pushing past it and asking...why not me? What can I do about it? What can I change?

The leader paused for a moment...well, longer than a moment, for which I give him great credit....and then he one has ever asked me that before. No one has challenged me to change my perspective instead of finding excuses for the perspective I have.

I could not tell at the moment if he was happy or grateful for the challenge or not. Time will tell if he picks it up and moves forward with it. By the end of our session he was willing to consider that he could be the game changer by moving forward instead of looking for excuses for everyone.

What could have turned into a complete business debacle ( a poor leadership adventure spiralling out of control) turned into a good coaching session, where my client learned a skill to take back to his team.

Changing perspectives is not easy, sometimes you need the prompt.