“Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.”
-Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic
Image from www.stuckindc.com
A fundamental conversation I have with each new coaching client involves the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders.
The characteristics describing effective leaders include: visionary, passionate, inspiring, empowering, service-oriented, having integrity, and being approachable. The words these leaders use to speak about their views of a better future are like the rain to a flower. They help people and organizations grow.
Alternatively, we have all seen the “Thundering Taskmaster” types who repress and suppress those around them and often create environments of fear, intimidation, and retribution.
What can you do to be the kind of leader that attracts followers by raising your words rather than your voice?
“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.”
One of my favorite and most recommended books on effective communications is titled “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott.
The word “fierce” can be defined as robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, and unbridled – all of which point to the impact the conversation can make if held with positive intent and mastery.
The problem on many occasions is that most of us avoid such conversations due to the fear that often accompanies high-stakes situations.
Where is it necessary in either your personal or professional life to summon the courage to have more fierce conversations?
Consider reading and studying Scott’s book to tackle tough challenges, tap into your deep aspirations, and enrich the relationships that matter most in your life.
“Be a voice, not an echo.”
-attributed to Albert Einstein
Image from Flickr by Shawn Harquail
For many years I have been a fan of TED talks. The subtitle for these 15-20 minute presentations is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” In recent years, this format has expanded worldwide through the TEDx format. Most major cities have held numerous conferences where local leaders and influencers give voice to their best ideas.
In a world of social media and sound bites, many of us often find ourselves reposting and retweeting, echoing ideas from others that certainly inform and entertain.
Where and in what ways can you better capture your voice and share your best ideas with others in your professional and personal communities?
If you were asked to give your own TED talk, what topic would you choose?
“Although we are responsible for our own happiness, having a friend who opens more doors than we close is truly one of life’s greatest blessings.”
photo from ilicoreleadership.org
If you happen to believe the adage, “No man is an island,” today’s quote is for you. In virtually no area of human achievement do you see any great, overwhelming examples of the “Lone Ranger Approach” succeeding in the long run. And come to think of it, even the Lone Ranger had Tonto by his side.
How can you further your own happiness journey by fostering better, deeper, and more satisfying personal and professional friendships? Where can you be an even more valuable friend and blessing to others?
“Surround yourself with people who make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.”
Photo from lovetoknow.com
Over the years I have repeatedly heard that each of us is a close reflection of the five people with whom we spend the most time.
If this is true—or at least somewhat accurate—examine your five most prominent personal and professional relationships to see how they make you hunger for life, touch your heart, and nourish your soul.
One way to progress in this area is to give the same support back to those five people, simply because you can. By making such an investment in others, I hope you will discover the wondrous gift of reciprocity that will leave you with even more than when you began.
Share this quote with at least one person in your personal and/or professional life. Please share with them your sincere desire to contribute to their life. Be prepared to let them know how to best support you when they ask.
“There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you.”
No subjects come up more often in my work as a coach as relationships and interpersonal communication. I always encourage my clients to be sincerely interested in others, listen fully, and of course, allow others to fully express their ideas and opinions.
When the focus on others and being a “giver” is not reciprocated, when we cross oceans for those who won’t even jump a puddle for us, a one-sided, often toxic relationship ensues, leaving us feeling empty, frustrated, and many times, resentful.
Examine your personal and professional life to see if any of your relationships are one-sided. If so, consider whether it is time to start or stop crossing oceans.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
– Stephen Covey, American self-help author
image from Flicker by Sam Catch
Trust is not something built with a quick-fix technique. It is developed through consistent habits in your personal and organizational interactions.
On a 1to 10 scale (1 = low 10 = high), how well do you exhibit the following behavior patterns, gluing your relationships together?
1. You avoid hidden agendas and are seen as open and transparent in your interactions.
2. You are sincere, honest, and demonstrate integrity through your words and actions.
3. You focus on giving versus getting, with the best interest of others in mind.
4. You invest your time in others and make their interests your interests.
5. You treat others with respect, dignity, and honor.
6. You take responsibility for mistakes (without making excuses) and clean things up quickly.
7. You are open and receptive to the feedback and contributions that others offer to you.
To dig a bit further into the issue of trust, consider taking my “Trust-o-Meter” assessment