The Best Leaders Tip #6 – Get Smart: Effective listening is not passive

This is my 6th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #6          Listening isn’t passive.  Effective listening is active, in which the listener participates by asking questions, summarizing what they’ve heard, and clarifying.  At the same time, they refrain from assuming, interrupting, cutting the speaker off, arguing, and making it about them.  How do you know if you’re listening enough?  After your next meeting, ask yourself what specific points of information you gained. If it’s fewer than three items, chances are you’ve spent most of that meeting talking, not listening.  A bonus:  Listening shows you’re interested in people.  And the best leaders are all about their people.

The Best Leaders Tip #5 -Get Smart: Listen more than you talk!

This is my 5th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.

GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #5          To be smart, you must listen more than you talk.  However, somewhere along the line and especially in our Western culture, talking a lot, being outgoing, loud, and demanding attention became synonymous with leadership.   We talk about qualities like listening, collaboration, and inclusion, but these are not yet seen as the dominant leader traits.  (Maybe because they are less obvious.) No matter what is popular. Listening provides information and insight.  Information is power.  You can’t listen if you’re talking.  So, as they say, close your mouth and open your ears – and your eyes – so you can take in all the important nonverbal communication cues, as well.

The Best Leaders Tip #1 – Have a soul: Be the Golden Rule

This is my 1st of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback. This is my 2nd of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


HAVE A SOUL

Best Leader Tip #1          Be the golden rule.  What you hold inside you is what you’ll see manifested in your external world.  If you treat people with kindness, generosity, honesty, caring, and accountability, you will see those qualities returned to you many time over.  It’s the best, and most important, ROI in the world of leadership.  First, be a person of quality – tend to your soul and clean out any darkness there.  Then, lead with your soul shining out to your work and your people.  You’ll know you’re doing it right when you generate respect, love, recognition, and wealth.

Honoring a human rights advocate, a loving uncle, the epitome of leadership

“…life is not fair, but unending in its capacity to change us; …compassion is fair and feeling is just;…we are not responsible for all that befalls us, only for how we receive it and for how we hold each other up along the way.”   Mark Nepo

KOILPILLAI, Robinson
Aged 92, of Edmonton, Alberta passed away peacefully at Saint Vincent’s Nursing Home, Halifax on April 27, 2016.
Born in Prakasapuram, India, Robinson’s first introduction to North America was in 1954 when he studied in the US under a Fulbright Scholarship. He came to his beloved Canada in 1960 and, with his wife Helen and their three children, made a home first in Athabasca, Alberta and then in Edmonton. As a stalwart in education he had an exemplary career, which took him from being a teacher to vice- principal, and then finally to the position of principal with the Edmonton school board. But teaching was not his only passion. Robinson will always be remembered for his commitment to community, multiculturalism and human rights. He held positions as a member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and chairman of numerous organizations including the Edmonton Taxi Cab Commission, Edmonton Race Relations Council, Alberta Heritage Council, Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation and the National Association of Canadians of Origin in India. He used his fundraising skills to provide funding for the Anantha Ashram Orphanage and Clinic in India, for a women’s shelter in Nepal and a fund for children in South Africa. For these and other efforts he received numerous awards culminating with the Order of Canada in 1996.
He was a great believer in the importance of family. He and Helen endured the untimely death of their children Michael and Susan in 1989 and 2001 respectively. They hosted grand get-togethers of extended family and eagerly attended other family gatherings.
Robinson will be missed and fondly remembered by Helen, son Chris, daughter- in-law Anuradha, granddaughters Priya, Renuka and Kiran, Fayanne Perry, mother of Kiran, all members of his extended family and many dear friends.


 

Communication inspiration from MLK Jr

people art“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Inspiration from MLK Jr

staircase

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Designing Leadership – Thought of the Week


Committed to designing effective organizations and courageous leaders, this Thought of the Week series provides tips for reflection and your use.

Be Compassionate.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ”
― George Washington Carver

the nation remembers

Compassion, helping others, courage, perseverance… the lessons of 9-11 came at a price. Our hearts are with those who paid it today, 12 years after.
lv_nyc_911memorial_130910.video-260x195NBCnews.com

In honor of MLK, Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech…

Touched by An Angel
by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

 

mlk jr

To lead organizations and to lead your life, everyone needs to lean in

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell, 2013

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell, 2013

I was attracted to the book title because my dear executive coach, Sukari Pinnock,  said over and over that I should “lean in” to the emotional and logistical discomfort of challenges associated with my leadership status at a company where I worked recently- lean in and own my strength rather than run away, which is what I so wanted to do!  Once I started reading Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book, I couldn’t put it down and absolutely devoured its advice about “women, work, and the will to lead.”

It’s easy to read because of the stories and the famous names straight from today’s headlines and because we get to peek behind the scenes of this powerful leader’s work and home life.  And it breaks your heart.  Because… why have women made so few leadership gains – physically and emotionally – in so many decades? Why do men get liked more as they succeed, and women less?  Why does it still require more sacrifice for a woman to take on demanding professional roles than for men?  And, most painful for me, why do many women in power still refuse to help those at lower levels, too afraid their hard-fought gains will be wiped out with any new talent?

And then you find the hope in the book, with practical advice about how to keep navigating, keep believing, keep making your own authentic choices and just going for them no matter what, keep having courage, keep asking, keep speaking up, keep your hand raised, keep showing up… and keep leaning in – as the path to 50/50 – a world where there are as many female CEOs as male, where home responsibilities are shared 50/50 among men and women, and where there will be no female leaders… just leaders.

At the heart of the book is the premise that even while organizations and political systems are changing to empower women in leadership roles (and they have to speed it up!), women can acknowledge and remove their internal beliefs and resulting behaviors that could be blocking their own success.  Changing from the inside out… that’s something I absolutely resonate with.  The book – which I believe men and women should read and discuss together – is sparking many a debate.  Sandberg welcomes this and offers ways to continue the dialogue, through her Lean In organization; on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Hear more:

Jon Stewart interviews Sheryl Sandberg about Lean In

Huffington Post interview with Sheryl Sandberg about being known as “nice” vs. “competent” – why does have to be one or the other?

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