Are You Making Others Feel Small?

Last week I was having a conversation with my assistant about another person. She paused for a moment and said, “Can I be honest?” I said, “Of course.” Then she said, “Every time I have interacted with him, I feel like he has somewhere more important to be. He makes me feel like I don’t matter, like he is having the conversation because he has to and not because he wants to and he is ready to move on as quickly as possible.” Have you ever felt that from someone else? I’m sure we all have at one time or another but the more poignant question is – Have you ever done that to someone else? My friend Kevin Hall wrote a great book called Aspire. In the book he dissects the meaning of words and in the first chapter he introduces an Indian word – Genshai. Genshai means that
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How Leaders Should Handle Mistakes

As leaders we will have to deal with our people making mistakes along with the mistakes that we make as well.  There will be problems, failures, setbacks and stupid decisions. That is inevitable. So how do you deal with it? I would suggest that as we deal with mistakes, leaders should be more curious than critical. Curiosity causes you to ask questions. Criticism causes you to reprimand. Curiosity seeks understanding Criticism seeks blame Curiosity builds trust and rapport Criticism builds resentment and defensiveness Curiosity focuses on the person Criticism focuses on the problem Curiosity creates partnerships Criticism creates divisions Curiosity leads to solutions Criticism leads to making others feel small and less confident Leaders who are curious are solution thinkers. They recognize mistakes and then seek to understand them, learn from them and create a better future for everyone involved. A mistake is just that – making a wrong judgment
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Leaders Need to Embody the Three A’s

I believe that every leader chooses the level of influence they have based on the approach to leadership that they take. If you choose to lead based on title and position – your influence will be situational and small. Some would argue that your influence would be non-existent. On the other hand, if you choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value – your influence will be lasting and unlimited. Leaders today who choose to lead based on relationships and by adding value need to embody The Three A’s: Accessibility Approachability Authenticity Accessibility: As a leader are you accessible to your people? Do you take the time to be with them and available? The Marines call this eye ball leadership, being face to face, belly to belly with your people. If you want to build genuine relationships, you need to spend time with them, get to know them
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Value Precedes Influence

In the 1940’s a small boutique financial services firm was just beginning to finally see a bit of success.  They had started out when two people came together with the hopes to create something great.  They decided at this point to add someone to their marketing department.  They found a guy named Charles Engle – a journalist by background who at the time was working as an editor of a magazine, that had just started to have some experience in advertising and marketing and he found that he really loved that much more than he loved journalism.  So when this job opportunity came up he was just the perfect fit for them.  He did not have much experience and they did not have much money – Perfect Fit. He begins his job and starts to look at what they are doing when it comes to marketing.  Now at that time
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