Although you may not think so, people around you have you under the microscope all the time they are judging your every move! Although your lips may be moving they may not be hearing what you are saying because your actions are dominating all conversations. Only once your actions start reinforcing what you are saying will people start listening to your words.
Stop-doing lists are arguably more important than any to-do list, especially when you are in a position of authority. If you want to ensure that you are being meaningfully heard, take very careful note of these six things that consistently trip up the vast majority of people, managers, and leaders. Write them out and paste the list in a place of prominence where it will be in your face as a constant reminder. Only take the list down when every point on it has been burned into the frontal lobe of your brain!
- Stop punishing the messenger: Punishing the messenger is not merely unjust retaliatory action we take against a whistle-blower, or someone of lesser influence or standing than ourselves. It is an angry tirade we heap on people who tell us something we dont want to hear or dont enjoy hearing. Sometimes its takes on a more subtle note evidenced by those small responses we make throughout the day whenever we are inconvenienced or disappointed.
Its expressed in that meaningless exclamation you neglect to omit in a meeting when a subordinate announces a deal that fell apart. If you had calming asked, What went wrong? no damage would be done the subordinate would explain and everyone in the room would be wiser for it.
However, that flash of temper sends a completely different signal. It says: If you really want to get back at the boss, surprise him/her with bad news. To stop this from happening, all you need to do in response to bad news is say Thank you.
- Stop playing favourites: If we arent careful, we can easily end up treating people like dogs rewarding those who heap unthinking, unconditional admiration on us.
The net result is obvious: Youre encouraging behaviour that serves you, but not necessarily the best interests of the company. If everyone is so busy fawning over the boss, whos getting the work done? Worse, it tilts the field against honest, principled employees who wont play along. This is a double hit of bad news youre not only playing favourites, but youre favouring the wrong people!
- Stop withholding information: In this age of the knowledge worker, information is power. Intentionally withholding information is the opposite of adding value, yet it has the same purpose it bestows power. How did you feel when the following things happened to you:
§ You werent told about a meeting.
§ You werent copied in on a relevant memo or e-mail.
§ You were the last person to hear about something important.
Not sharing information achieves the desired effect of giving you that temporary upper hand, but in order to achieve meaningful power you need to inspire loyalty rather than fear and suspicion. Very often it is not our intention to withholding information. This can happen accidentally in a number of ways:
§ Being too busy to get back to someone with valuable information.
§ Forgetting to include someone in your discussions or meetings.
§ Delegating a task to a subordinate, but not taking the time to show them how to get it done.
So how do you go about making sure you do not fall into the trap of withholding information? Start with sharing it!
- Stop ignoring people: If you dont recognise people you are actually ignoring them! Failing to give recognition is the bedfellow of withholding information. In withholding recognition of another persons contribution to a teams success, you are not only sowing injustice and therefore treating people unfairly, you are depriving people of the emotional payoff that comes with success they feel forgotten, ignored, and pushed aside.
Positive recognition is a powerful technique employed by the best of the best leaders. Here is a rank-ordered list of four things they do:
1. They make a list of all the important groups of people in their lives.
2. They write down the names of every important person in each group.
3. Twice a week, they review the list of names and ask Did someone on this list do something that I should recognise?
4. If the answer is yes, they give quick recognition by phone, e-mail, voice mail or a note. If the answer is no they do nothing.
If you practiced this technique your reputation for providing positive recognition will improve from poor to excellent within a very short space of time.
- Stop those destructive comments: These are those cutting, sarcastic remarks that stem from a thoughtless jab at a meeting to comments about how someone looks Nice shirt (with a smirk) to elaborately planned critiques of peoples past performances that everyone but you have forgotten Do you remember the time that you .
Before opening your mouth to speak, ask yourself five simple questions:
1. Will this comment portray the truth?
2. Will this comment help our customers?
3. Will this comment help our company?
4. Will this comment help the person Im talking to?
5. Will this comment help the person Im talking about?
- Stop the But or However qualifications: No matter how friendly your tone is, or how many appeasing phrases you throw in to avoid hurting a persons feelings, if you start a sentence with either of these words, or a variation thereof, the message to the person you are addressing is clear -You are wrong!
Stop trying to defend your position. Start monitoring how many times you begin your sentences with any of the words: No; But; However. Pay special attention to moments when you use these words in a sentence whose primary purpose is to agree with what the other person is saying, for example, Thats true, however meaning you dont think its true. The other common opener is Yes, but is interpreted by the other person as Im about to be contradicted.
Every one of these points come across loud and clear in your body language. When you interact with people they pick your body language up long before any words come out of your mouth. Watch your words and your body language the two will only be in harmony if you truly believe that by adhering to the stop-doing list you will get more cooperation from everyone around you.
Remember that internal misjudgements are six times more likely to cause business failure than external factors. The message is clear keep objective help close at hand at all times, and if you dont have it, get it without delay. Contact us we are more than qualified to help you.
Success in business, as in life, is all about getting the fundamentals right and the actions you take!
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The superior man does not mind being in office; all he minds about is whether he has qualities that entitle him to office. He does not mind failing to get recognition; he is too busy doing the things that entitle him to recognition.