This article is about business leaders, team leaders, coaches, teachers, consultants, healers, parents; in truth anyone that works to guide, support, teach and educate people.
How we lead is more about the people we lead than it ever is about us.
Familiar with these?
We can have all the knowledge in the world, think that we are an influencer, a game changer and at the top of the heap; but without genuine connection to those we seek to influence, and an ability to adapt to each individual and their learning style what we achieve is limited.
I know, the truth of this reality is tough because it means that leading comes with a responsibility to be a people person, to learn about body language and communication skills and how to connect with people on a meaningful level for us to successfully impart the skills, education, or information on to those we lead.
It means that we must be more than just smart, that we must hold more than just a vision, and that we must know more than just the goals and destination that we desire to get to. We must be able to inspire, inform, empower, educate and motivate people; tough job eh!
For example, have you ever had someone tell you so many negatives about the way that you do things that you just want to curl up and die, literally feeling the motivation leach from your body?
When learning something have you felt frustrated at over-instruction or lack of instruction?
Have you ever had someone tell you to do something in mumbo jumbo language leaving you feeling daft?
Has someone of more power over you left you feeling small and meaningless?
Have you felt the desperation of never feeling heard?
The frustrating of not feeling understood when you have important insights?
See, those we lead want to have a voice also, as much as they seek to learn.
Our current world is full of experts, people full of talk, and so little action.
Leading people and youngsters whether you are a CEO, team leader, coach, teacher or parent takes talking, acting, listening and observing.
Ask yourself the next time you have an interaction:
- Am I getting the message through?
- How can I best get the message through; what is their learning style? E.g. visual or verbal.
- Does this person understand what I am trying to communicate? How do I know?
- Am I aware of their body language?
- Do they need a tough ass or a gentle approach?
- How much information can they take on board at once?
- How can I make is simpler? Do they need to know why and how, or just why, or just how?
- How do I keep motivation levels high and interest levels strong in the task at hand?
- What environment best suits the learning skills of the person in question?
- How can I push those I lead to become more, to have breakthroughs and encourage innovation and creativity?
- and finally what can I learn from this?
It’s easy to call yourself a leader; not so easy to be seen as one.