Articles tagged with: Advanced People Skills

The Singer Has No Passion

Written by Michelle Braden, CEO Posted in Blog, All Posts

My husband and I are in NYC with friends for a bike trip. We all went to a restaurant last night where the servers sing and dance. We discovered this place at Christmas. It is amazing. We met up with a group of 5 other people and went in to be entertained. About half way through our meal, one of the singers got up, like all the others, this singer had an amazing voice BUT something was not there. The friend next to me said, “Something is missing… he is not connecting with the audience.” I then realized the talent was there, but there was no connection or passion. He was singing, but his heart was someplace else.

It is amazing the difference in how you feel as a listener. Others, who sang, did not have the voice quality he did but, did have passion and connection. In the overall experience, they were the ones we wanted to hear again. They were the ones who made us feel important, like they were there for us.

The conversation turned to the aspect of what we are looking for as humans. I of course, with my affection and dedication to compare everything to leadership did just that. I reflected on how people want a leader who connects with them, they want a leader who they feel is devoted and passionate. Just like the singers, it was the ones we felt “linked” to through their stage relationship to us as an audience that won our affection. So it is with leaders, people are lot looking for you to be perfect. No one is perfect. They are looking for a leader who is real, passionate, dedicated and engaged.

How about you, what are you looking for in a leader?

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TMI… How Much is TOO Much Information?

Written by Stasia Rice Posted in Blog, All Posts

As a leader of a team or an organization creating a culture of transparency can be a powerful tool to build trust and organizational cohesion.

But what should we share, and when?  How much is too much?

One thing to consider the type of information, is it tactical or strategic?  Is it key to executing the next steps on the path, or is it helping to make sure we are on the right path?  The level of information and the way it is presented will depend on what its purpose is.

Tactical: How can you tell if you are giving too much information a leader about day-to-day operations or a specific project?   How much of the details of what you are doing (behind the scenes) or reasons for your decisions do you make should you share?

Ask yourself:

  • How much information does your team really need to do their job effectively?
  • Will they be more engaged if you explain the details – or check-out from boredom?
  • What does this do to your credibility as a leader?  Will explaining this allow them to see more clearly how you think and act or is it just your ego wanting attention?

When it comes to transactional information – its important to keep people in the loop – but more often than not, it should be at a higher level.  Just as you aren’t always interested in HOW the job got done, just that it did and satisfactorily, by keeping status updates and decisions made at the summary level, it allows them to make informed decisions and act on their own with a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of their decision.

Too many details will make your meetings long and expects your team to be able to connect the dot and understand their impact to their work at the same time.   Make it easier for them by giving the highlights and the outcomes and offer offline explanations to anyone interested.

Strategic More often than not, we need to share the strategic vision and mission of our organizations and projects.  This helps to make sure everyone’s activities are in alignment with the overall expected outcomes.

Most of us communicate the “What” and the “How” of our activities pretty well, but it is also important to share "Why" we are doing them.  Good things come from including why we are doing things like:

  • Connection the “what and how”
  • Creating dialogue
  • Encouraging innovation and creativity
  • Providing clarity
  • Identifying errors/flaws/misunderstandings
  • Ensuring safety
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Generating buy-in

Always Share:

  • Strategic vision and mission of the organization
  • The challenges to achieving the vision and mission
  • The strategies and tactics to overcome the challenges
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Decisions that affect people, policies, methodologies, products, and services
  • The rationale or decision-making processes for difficult situations

Dangerous Territory:

  • Too much Personal Information – Use your personal relationship with the recipient as a barometer – but understand all things you share will become part of how people view you.  It is always important to be authentic, but you don’t also have to air your dirty laundry– and it can be a damaging habit to confide too much.
  • Ideas not fully vetted or thought out  (outside of a brainstorming activity) – or that are seriously couched
  • Sharing Frustration or overwhelm.  Be a real person, but buffer appropriately if the recipients can’t actually help.  Stress is contagious and drama is never productive.
  • Concerns about other leaders in organization
  • Admitting Flaws or Mistakes is often a great way to help other people learn from your own experiences.  However, not all that goes on behind the wizard’s curtain is required to be shared… just like I don’t tell my guests about the laundry baskets full of toys and papers shoved in the closet when they come over!

When in Doubt:

  • Consider Size and culture of your organization; share when sharing is promoted and accepted
  • Consider Role of the Recipient and their ability to act on the information – or will they just feel overwhelmed by the stress of the information?
  • Recipient’s ability to assimilate the level of detail shared with out disrupting their ability to function.  Not everyone is good at being in the weeds!
  • Before sharing – ask what your team wants, what level of information they need to do great work and make good decisions
  • Ask yourself:
    • What is my intention for sharing this information?  If the intent is pure, and you deliver it in a careful way, the outcome will often be good.
    • Is this stimulating the passion and commitment in the team members? Remember to also ask for their thoughts and ideas in order to get buy in and commitment!
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Leaders who Coach

Posted in Webinars, All Posts

LEADERS WEAR MANY DIFFERENT “HATS” TO ACCOMPLISH WHATEVER TASK IS BEFORE THEM. As leaders we are constantly looking for (or we should be) more effective, efficient and productive ways to motivate and challenge those we lead. This webinar will invite you to try on the coaching hat.

Meet the MSBCoach team.

Our team consists of passionate and experienced people,
who love what they do and always look forward to face new challenges.

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