Three Must-Have Leadership Skills

If you do a Google search for the top ten traits of great leaders more than likely you will find having the ability to make quality decisions, able to pass work on to others and being exceptional communicators on that list. Managing and leading others is a learned behavior. For my money, if I had to pick my top three must-have leadership skills they would be communication, decision making and delegation. Of those three, which one do you need to get better at?

Worth Remembering … “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

Communicator: If the essence of communication is to send the message and have it received the way it was intended, then you must keep in mind that you are not the most important person in the conversation. If you can’t communicate in a style that others will understand, then what ever you say will mean absolutely nothing. You must be able to communicate your vision in such a way that others will want to go there.

Decision Maker: Autocratic vs. Democratic. Inclusion not exclusion is the only way to truly get buy-in. Success is a team effort. If they’re not buying what you are selling you are going to look pretty silly trying to do everything by yourself. If you want to get the buy-in you must allow others to be part of the process. It must be Our plan – not just Your plan.

Delegator: Great leaders give up control to get control. If you are not delegating some of your responsibilities to others on your team then you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Great leaders develop more leaders not more followers. Great leaders don’t spend their precious time doing tasks that others are more than capable of doing.

Worth Remembering … “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or email: brian@briansmithpld.com

Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com

Are You Asking The Right Type of Question?

Are you looking for answers? Not getting the answers you are looking for? Maybe it’s because you aren’t asking the right type of question. If you learn to ask the right type of questions and listen, really listen to the answers, chances are others will tell you everything you need to hear.

Worth Remembering ... “I listen to understand – not necessarily to agree” – Dale Carnegie

Depending on what you want to know, you have four basic types of questions that you can ask.

Open Ended Questions – If you are wanting to promote dialoge then you need to ask an open ended question. Ask a question that requires more than a one word answer from the other person. – Example: “What kind of options are you looking for?”

Closed Questions – When a one word answer will do. A closed question gives the person limited options as to how to respond to your question. – Example: “What colour?”

Clarifying Questions – A non-judgemental question when you want to verify what was said. – Example: “So if I heard you correctly you said …..”

Problem Solving Questions – Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese Industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique. If you are looking to solve a problem try asking “Why”until you discover what problem, or problems need to be solved before you get the desired results. Some solutions may be simple, while others may be more complex. You might uncover more problems then you think you had. – Example: “The shipment didn’t get delivered on time – Why?”

Worth Remembering … “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Robert McCloskey

Are you asking the right type of question?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Avoidance Is Not Conflict Resolution

You can’t ignore a conflict in hopes that it will go away. Avoidance is not conflict resolution. Conflict and disagreements are unavoidable. Whenever you have more than one person in the room you’re going to have some type of conflict or disagreement. Two people can’t be expected to agree on everything. When dealt with in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for both parties to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Problem solving is a having the ability to directly and positively face and resolve difficult situations.”

If you are going to resolve it, you must first understand what caused it. Was it competitive feelings, personal jealousy or resentment, the desire to sabotage someone else’s idea, dissension caused by poor listening skills, lack of good communication skills or a lack of trust? Remember – avoidance is not conflict resolution. It is not going to go away by walking away. You need to deal with it.

Here are five things you can do to resolve conflict.

1 – Provide more information to make discussions productive rather than contentious. Lack of information or not the right information could be the reason behind the conflict.

2 – Ask for solutions. I would never let anyone come to me with a problem and not ask them what would they do to resolve it. If their solution sounds reasonable, and is doable, then go with it.

3 – Establish common goals, In the big scheme of things the differences may not be too far apart. You may discover you both want much of the same thing.

4 – Managing your emotions and keeping your ego in check is key to resolving conflict. Make saving the relationship your number one priority.

5 – Do not force a consensus. Develop a plan of action that is right for both parties. Something that you can both live with. Learn to pick your battles. Sometimes the conflict is not worth damaging or destroying a relationship.

Worth Remembering … ” An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My final thought on resolving conflict. We are emotional beings, and sometimes we say things in the heat of the conflict that we wish we could take back. Words are powerful. They can leave an invisible scar. We can use them to build people up or tear them down. Choose your words wisely.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com