The Self-Awareness Guy

self-awareness in the workplace

101 Effective Communication Tips

101 Effective Communication Tips

Effective communication skills are vital for building a well-functioning workplace yet many of us interact with each other using a style we learned at home or through our friends or co-workers. Here are 101 effective communication tips to help you build a healthier, happier workplace:

1. Listen to your employees.
2. Don’t interrupt.
3. Don’t offer advice.
4. Refrain from trying to fix things.
5. Don’t give your opinion if not solicited.
6. Stop yourself from jumping in.
7. Don’t react or get upset.
8. Listen for key terms.
9. Set basic ground rules.
10. Repeat information back to the person.
11. Paraphrase what the person has said.
12. Ask the person open-ended questions.
13. Talk in a quiet environment.
14. Talk at a time that isn’t busy.
15. Be friendly.
16. Be courteous.
17. Don’t sit behind a desk.
18. Set up a comfortable atmosphere.
19. Let the other person lead the conversation.
20. No retribution for anything said.
21. Keep confidentiality.
22. Work with the person to find solutions.
23. Be open to more conversations.
24. Be gentle.
25. Talk at the other person’s pace.
26. Be kind.
27. Be caring.
28. Act like you’re interested.
29. Face the person.
30. Look at the person.
31. Nod and say “uh huh.”
32. Invite the person to keep talking.
33. It’s OK to have silences.
34. Try not to guide the conversation.
35. Let the other person set the agenda.
36. Meet at a time the other person determines.
37. Be open to ideas.
38. Be open to changing your mind.
39. Don’t react out of emotion, especially anger.
40. Empathize with the other person.
41. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
42. Be helpful.
43. Act like the other person matters.
44. Allow enough time for the conversation.
45. Leave your ego at the door.
46. Leave personal beefs behind.
47. Leave negative opinions out of the meeting.
48. Talk only when the other person asks you to do so.
49. Let the other person talk most of the time.
50. Resist the temptation to rebut.
51. This isn’t the time to be right.
52. Don’t try to prove a point.
53. No arguing allowed.
54. No convincing the other person of your point of view.
55. Don’t cross your arms.
56. Thank the person for meeting with you.
57. Don’t pull rank.
58. Don’t mention policies or procedures.
59. Don’t reference the employee manual.
60. This isn’t the time to punish.
61. Encourage the other person’s thoughts.
62. Build rapport.
63. Show an interest in the other person.
64. Learn about the other person.
65. Appreciate the information they are giving you.
66. Focus on the other person.
67. Don’t think of the next thing you want to say.
68. Smile.
69. Try not to crack jokes at the other person’s expense.
70. Don’t diminish or minimize what the person is saying.
71. Don’t negate what the other person is saying.
72. This isn’t about right and wrong, it’s about talking.
73. Don’t teach.
74. Don’t try to dominate.
75. Don’t try to control the situation.
76. Turn your phone off.
77. All ideas are welcome.
78. One person talks at a time.
79. Act like a grownup.
80. Avoid confrontation.
81. Don’t take things personally.
82. The other person’s opinion is incredibly valuable.
83. Think in terms of building a relationship.
84. Use conversation to build a stronger team.
85. Let people find their own answers.
86. Answer questions only when asked.
87. Treat the other person like a human being.
88. The other person isn’t an enemy.
89. Treat the other person like an ally.
90. This isn’t a competition, it’s a conversation.
91. Encourage different points of view.
92. Praise the other person.
93. Try not to predict what the other person will say.
94. Don’t work out your family stuff at this time.
95. Speak clearly.
96. Speak openly.
97. Speak in a calm tone.
98. Don’t raise your voice.
99. Be positive.
100. Ask for help if you need it.
101. Be courageous.

Effective communication doesn’t just happen, it takes practice over time. Many people get discouraged because it takes time and energy to become an expert communicator. The good news is that anyone can do it if they commit to practicing over time. Effective communication is about techniques but also about our mindset, you can create amazing, dynamic and caring workplaces if you decide to interact positively with others.

Cheers,
Guy



Leadership that Limits Success

Leadership that Limits Success

There are countless smart, well-intentioned people in leadership positions who limit their organization's success without even knowing it because they behave in ways that hinder growth and progress. What they may not yet realize is that leaders can consciously choose to behave in ways that increase success rather than impede it, let's look at some examples of both approaches:

Behaviors that Limit Success

Need to control everything and project authority.
Inflexibility.
Only one vision.
Resistance to change.
Inability to listen.
Personal insecurity.

Behaviors that Increase Success

Let go of the need for power and control.
Entertain new ideas.
See things from more than one perspective.
Be willing to change.
Listen to people actively and often.
Work on being a secure, balanced individual.

A big part of self-awareness is understanding how your behaviors impact how you and your employees function. Even if your organization is already highly successful, you can practice positive behaviors to make things run even more smoothly. It all starts with being willing to evaluate your own leadership behaviors. What will you do to lead in a way that encourages success?

Cheers,

Guy



How to Stop Ignoring Diversity

How to Stop Ignoring Diversity

Many leaders try to ignore workplace diversity because they think it means losing power or giving up control to unfamiliar people. What often gets overlooked is that diversity means being able to use the various talents and abilities of your employees and celebrating their ideas and perspectives. Here are some ideas to help you stop ignoring diversity:

  • People may seem different but we all care about our children and want to build a satisfying career.
  • Practice self-awareness by understanding that other people may not have the motives you attribute to them.
  • Different ideas and perspectives add to the knowledge pool in your organization and give you more options.
  • Other people may know things you don't and help you become wiser.
  • One person can only handle so much. Challenges become less daunting when you have many people with many different brains and talents backing you up.
  • In general, people aren't out to get you or take your job, so its OK to see them as allies.
  • You seem different to others but they're willing to work with you.
  • Diversity isn't threatening unless you decide it is.
  • Listen to people and enjoy learning about them and how they would like to help your organization succeed.

It's easy to think that diversity is some annoyance that forces you to do things you don't want to do but it's a useful tool in any workplace. Every organization is made up of a huge variety of people and leadership decides whether it takes advantage of the available brainpower or keeps people in boxes. Proactive leaders understand that a wide range of perspectives and ideas can build a stronger, more nimble organization. What will you do to celebrate diversity in your workplace?

Cheers,

Guy



How to Be a Happy Leader

How to Be a Happy Leader

When I train leaders they often tell me they have difficulty experiencing happiness at work.  Happiness is a wonderful concept which I define as experiencing bliss and contentment.  Happiness is also complex in that you could not experience it if you didn’t also experience pain.  A life of perpetual happiness would soon feel uneventful, so you need the ups and downs that come with everyday experience.

How do you define happiness at work?  Happiness can be that moment at which you feel complete satisfaction and fulfillment.  It can be using your talents and abilities at work to grow and feel worthwhile.  Happiness is what you experience when you work through challenges and let go of the things that hold you back.  Here’s what some smart people have to say about the matter:

Helen Keller:

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves

Pearl S. Buck:

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Audre Lorde:

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

Kahlil Gibran:

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

Finding happiness at work means looking deep inside yourself and using your talents and abilities to benefit yourself and your workplace.  How will you find happiness at work?

Cheers,
Guy

Fighting with Family

Fighting with Family

Conflict can be especially painful when it involves family. My clients often ask me what to do about a family member who they can’t get along with. It can be tricky to deal with family because there are often rules we are expected to follow in our families.

We feel a sense of duty toward family but that doesn’t give people some free pass to hurt each other. Ideally we treat everyone with the same dignity and respect whether they are family or not.

Here’s a couple of things to think about:

1. Respect your needs and beliefs first.
2. Inform your family about what you want. Set limits and boundaries.
3. Inform your family you are available to work things out.
4. Work with them to resolve the conflict.
5. Set the example for how you want to be treated.
6. Take some time away if things get heated.
7. Expect resistance.

You are your own unique person regardless of what your family says. It’s ultimately healthiest to pay attention to the things that bring you joy and happiness than to try to mold yourself into someone else’s vision. Trust yourself and teach your family who you are. Do it with kindness and patience and eventually they will understand who you are.

Cheers,

Guy