Have you ever had that boss or friend who you swear loves to talk. Talk about anything and everything. And when you try to get a word in they jump right in with another story or something about them? In Steven Covey’s book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” one thing you can do to win friends and influence people is listen. Not just listen but listen with a clear mind. Understand and remember what the person is talking about.
To become that great leader. That Level 5 leader that John Maxwell talks about in his books. That leader that everyone looks up to and respects at work. You will need to become a great listener. Become the best listener you know. It’s not hard. I have been told that I am a leader who cares about my people. That understands my people. That takes an interest in my people. That wants to help my people. I have been told this by colleagues, management, and my team members. I attribute this to becoming a great listener. When you listen and understand people something triggers. They can trust you more than most.
I have not always been a great listener… Just ask my mom. I had to learn to become a great listener. For me there are just 5 simple rules to becoming a great leader.
The 5 key strategies to becoming a better listener are:
Last week we reviewed what a SWOT Analysis is. This week we start to build a SWOT Analysis for you or your business. This is a very good exercise to perform 2 – 3 times a year and revisit the results each time.
Strengths are what drive us in hard times. Strengths are what brings us joy in our hobbies, family, and business. It’s important for us as individuals or businesses to understand our strengths. These are traits that make us strong, smarter, and wiser in our life and in our businesses.
When you plant a seed of assumption in the soil of ignorance you harvest a field of confusion. Don’t make assumptions, use knowledge to make your decisions in order to be productive.
A SWOT Analysis is one of the simplest tools to help take business and lives to the next level. A SWOT analysis is a simple tool that should be completed once or twice a year. A SWOT analysis will get you thinking about what areas you are good at and how you need to improve. A SWOT is a simple tool to highlight to you the areas you should be focusing on for opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis can be done as a team or even with a group of advisors. If your looking to improve you can fill one out for yourself. You could also have other people fill one out for you. This will help you understand how others perceive you. A SWOT can be for individuals or a company / Team as a whole. People or businesses can have many SWOT’s.
Here are the simple steps to fill out your SWOT. Once you are done you can build goals or plan around any action items that are the result of doing a SWOT Analysis.
Strengths – Write down the strengths you or your organization have. These are strengths you will want to improve and keep building them stronger.
It’s getting close to the new year. You know what that means… Time for new years resolutions? We also know new years resolutions don’t work. Often they are last minute thoughts. Not something we put much thought or planning into. Or maybe we are just doing it because everyone else is doing it. I have never been much for new years resolutions but I have set annual goals every year. I have been setting goals for myself for over 30 years. I have found the best time to plan for annual goals (January – December) is in November of each year.
Each November I sit down and use a spreadsheet I have developed to plan out my annual goals. I am happy to say that I have been success most of the time at all these goals.
Setting Goals In November are 10 Times More Successful Than Those Set in January.
3 reasons I have found planning your next years goals in November are:
When I help others improve and grow in their career and life I grow and improve my career and life. When you serve others you grow as a leader and you accomplish more through what you learn.
So many people struggle to get more friends, to get more business relations. If you want to get more friends and get more business relations the formula is easy. Maybe you want to be better friends with the ones you already have. Maybe you want to have better business relations with the ones you already have.
The secret formula is this:
You will aquire more friends in 2 months being interested in them than you will aquire in two years wanting people to be interested in you.
How many times when people tell you about their weekend or a business deal you respond with relating it to something you did? It might seem simple to do that because it’s natural. We want to tell people about things that happen to us. It’s not natural for as many to listen to people and respond with happiness for them or saying how great it is. People are drawn to those that they feel want to hear about them. Not to those that always have an opinion.
We all have many aspects of our lives. Family, Work, Church, our extra curricular activities, friends, and so many different other areas that give us the chance to be somebody different in every given situation. I know people that are the cursing tyrant type of person at work and then come home and are a loving caring person with the family. I know people that treat the people at work better then they treat their own family. You have the person who is terrible at home, terrible at work, and then is a saint when attending church.
Why do people spend so much time living to please people in different ways? This adds stress and inconsistency that the person even becomes confused who they are. People can be different around certain people that even their own spouse or mother wouldn’t recognize them. Why do you think the phrase “Do you kiss your momma with that mouth?” is so popular. People will say things in one situation they would never say in another. They would say one thing to somebody they would never say to another. We won’t bring up email or text messages. That can bring on a different type of person all together.
What is your Leadership to Management Ratio?
Balancing your Leadership to Management Ratio is an important factor when becoming a better Leader. What makes it very difficult is when you don’t know the difference between the two. Just to clarify the difference lets briefly describe some of the key traits of each:
Leadership: Interest in the Individual, Good Listener, Forward Looking, Visionary, Honest, Mission Driven, Say Thank You, Gives Compliments, Understanding, Goal Oriented, Competent, Influences Teamwork, A Can Do Attitude, Gives Credit Where Credit is Due, Asks Questions Without Giving an Opinion, Provides Motivation, Shares Authority, etc.
Make people feel important. Communicate! You need people who are committed. You will not have commitment without connection and you will not have connection without communication. Talk to people daily!