Up until now it has been assumed that an intelligent leader is a good leader. But new research into IQ and leadership suggests that being too intelligent in relation to your employees could have negative effects on how they perceive you.
Most of us have a range of different conversations throughout an average working day. These can look like anything from department meetings and phonecalls with clients; to grabbing a coffee with a colleague or catching up with a friend. These conversations can be very important, as a positive conversation can have very successful outcomes. However in a world where the face to face conversation seems to have been slowly replaced by online interactions, in the words of Jim Brown, ‘technology is creating a society with relationships a mile wide but an inch deep’.
Conversation is the key to building deeper relationships, so try our 5 tips to help you achieve more fruitful conversations:
Give conversations your full attention in that moment, as allowing ourselves to be distracted when someone is speaking to us is the ultimate no-no. However good you think you are at multi-tasking, you will never be able to give your full focus to someone if you are simultaneously looking at your phone or computer screen.
Meaningful conversations don’t have to be reserved only for the times when you have hours to spare. Even when you only have a few minutes to spare you can still make the time count by giving the conversation. Ken Blanchard famously suggested that managers should spend just 60 seconds setting goals, giving praise or coaching individual team members in the One Minute Manager.
Consider your phrasing
The key to encouraging people to open up is to avoid simply asking ‘How are you?’ in a way that allows them to answer ‘I’m fine, how are you?’ Try using different phrasing and altering the emphasis of certain words, as this can help to encourage a more thoughtful response which then opens the door to a deeper conversation.
Forget advice about using eye contact, open body language and nodding to show you are listening, and don’t stress about showing you have heard them by repeating their words back to them. Focusing on these techniques could distract you from actually hearing what is being said. If you are genuinely listening with sincerity and curiosity then the speaker will know that they have your full attention.
Use open questions
If you want to keep the conversation going then try to always ask ‘why?’ rather than ‘what?’ or ‘how?’. Open questions often lead to the best answers and encourage people to open up.
Feedback is crucial for teams to be able to thrive. However many of us will find ourselves avoiding taking the time to commit to regular check-in sessions with team members, even though as managers we know the benefits this would bring.
The best leaders have one-to-ones with their team members every week, whether over lunch, whilst taking a walk or even travelling to a meeting. One-on-ones don’t need to be formal but they should be clear to those involved, so that you can make productive use of your time.
However regularly you communicate with your team members, taking the time to sit down together and go a bit deeper with a dedicated one on one is worth doing. Whether it is once a month, quarterly or even just 6 monthly, it can be a really valuable thing to do. To make the most of your one to ones, follow our dos and don’ts.
Show your interest in the career goals of your team member, beyond their current role.
Provide a welcoming space for any complaints or issues.
Be receptive to feedback about yourself too; a one to one is an opportunity to hold one another to account.
Create an action list to follow up on after the meeting.
Postpone one to ones or deprioritise them. This sends a negative message to your staff.
Clock-watch- allow as much time as is required depth of conversation.
Hold one-to-ones back to back in the same room on the same day- dedicate the proper time to get the most out of each session.
Spend the whole meeting talking- while feedback is helpful, you also need to listen.
Often in business people stick with tried and tested methods, or follow certain processes not because it is the most efficient way; but because historically that is just how things have been done. Continue reading
Everyone likes to think of themselves as a good boss, but leading a team can have its challenges. Try this test to measure your manager, or if you dare to quantify your own leadership qualities.
Getting enough sleep is important not just for our health, but in order to function as a good leader. This, combined with a positive team, honesty and much more is the perfect recipe for great leadership. Follow these 10 tips closely and you yourself could be on the way to becoming a great team leader which can improve the efficiency of both your colleagues and your business.
When thinking about leadership in the workplace we often concentrate on lessons learned from our bosses. But our children could be teaching us more about leadership than we actually realise.
If we pay attention to our children we can learn these 3 lessons from them, and apply this to leadership in the office:
Wonder and Curiosity. Children have an avid thirst for learning new things, sometimes too much, but to them, everything is exciting and new which creates a sense of wonder. Children also have an impressive ability to let their minds wander, allowing them to tackle each new activity with great enthusiasm. If you can replicate this behaviour and apply it to a task or project that you are working on you may be able to become more productive than before. Continue reading
Making mistakes is often forgiven when the outcome is small but when bad decisions are made by leaders, the outcomes can be far, far worse. Here are the top 3 leadership fails:
Social Media – Social media has grown 10-fold over the last decade and although it gives people and companies a licence to share news and events with the public, some people are using it in the wrong way. Continue reading
As a leader in the workplace it’s easy to become overwhelmed with a full inbox and busy meeting schedule. Here are some daily habits that every leader should adopt in order to be more productive and bring them success.
- Work without distractions – Most great novelists create their best work when they are in their sacred place with no distractions. Very few claim they were able to create a masterpiece whilst in an open-space office.
- Take a break or two – Dickens was known to take a 3-hour walk every afternoon to let his observations feed his literature. Having breaks can clear your mind and can save you time later in the day so you can be more productive. Continue reading
London remembers what it was like to host the world’s biggest sporting event in the summer of 2012, but Sochi has been in the spotlight this year hosting the Winter Olympic and Paralympic games. But, there is a great deal that leaders can learn from the teams from this event.
We have three things these leaders and teams can learn:
After achieving two medals in the Curling at the Winter Olympics – a silver and a bronze from the men and women respectively – both teams in this sport have placed a reason for their success on having fun together. Already being great at what they do, there is little else they can do to improve their performances, other than having fun. Two medals for the Curling teams show that this works! Continue reading