Growth and development are instrumental toward the success of any program. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a Leadership and Teambuilding conference hosted by SkillPath Seminars this week. This blog post series will highlight three key concepts (Leadership Qualities, Delegation and Feedback) that were discussed during this one day seminar.
“Everything rises and falls on Leadership – and Leadership is Influence” was the underlying theme of the seminar. What does it mean? Simple, the ups and downs that occur in any organization or team are a direct result of the leader. This leader is influencing his followers to rise and succeed or fall and fail. Ideally we want to influence our followers and be successful; however the falls can be important to the growth of the team. Remember, failure is beneficial when reflection occurs and change happens.
The first session discussed the 3 Qualities of a Successful Leader – Trust, Communication, and Relationships.
Do your followers trust you? If they do, they are easy to lead. If they do not, success will not be attained. The question then is, how do we know if we are trusted?
- Observe: How do your followers act and react in situations under your leadership? Do they look to somebody else, somebody they trust or are they influenced by you?
- Evaluate: Determine what trust looks like? Why is it important? What can you do to lose trust?
- Develop: Use the concepts you have come up with during the observation and evaluation piece and work to improve your trust
93% of all communication is non-verbal. How do you communicate with those you lead? An even more important question may be, how are they decoding your communication?
Evaluate your tone, expressions, and body language. Here are a few suggestions to look at how you communicate. For more information go to http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/nonverbal-communication.htm or listen to Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk at https://www.ted.com/speakers/amy_cuddy .
Do your words say one thing but your facial expressions say another? Take a selfie and see if people can determine what expression or emotion you are trying to show.
How do you stand when leading a group? Try to keep your hands by you side so that you don’t seem intimidating or standoffish.
Which way do your feet face when talking to somebody? If not facing directly at the individual it may seem as if you’re disengaged in the conversation.
When communicating, the 7% of verbal communication is also important. When leading are you passive, aggressive, or assertive? Optimal leadership is assertive. They are sensitive to the feelings of the team yet effective when leading. Passive or Aggressive communicators do not lead well and cannot reach optimal levels of success.
Relationships are the emotional connections that your followers have with you, the leader. We cannot confuse relationships with friendships. There needs to be a clear divide between the two for optimal leadership effectiveness. Friendships create leadership challenges. They can bring trust into play with others not in the friendship circle. Leaders need to develop relationships with their followers. They must connect emotionally to them.
How can you connect emotionally with your team?
A. Listen – Be an active listener. Do not passively listen so that you can say what you want to say regardless of the discussion. Reflect feeling back.
- Test to assess listening and comprehension: Have somebody read the following passage and answer the question:
You are driving a yellow school bus on a cloudy day in February. At the 1st stop you pick up 4 kids. 2 are wearing a blue coat, 1 a yellow coat, and 1 a pink coat. At the 2nd stop, you pick up 3 kids who are wearing black, brown and grey pants respectively. At the final stop you pick up only 3 kids in which none are wearing coats
Question: What color are the eyes of the bus driver
- Not enough info given
- None of the Above
Answer – Your eye color, you are the driver!
B. Understand the emotional needs of those you lead
- Feeling Understood & Cared About
C. Figure out who you are by assessing your personality. Emotions are contagious and people often take on traits of those people in which surround them.
In the next blog post we will look at Feedback and Delegation and the role they play in leadership and team building. I hope you enjoyed this post and continue to improve your knowledge to become the best leader you are capable of becoming any way possible. There are some tremendous resources out there and will definitely recommend attending a SkillPath Seminar.