What they see is what they hear

Copyright: 123rf

Copyright: 123rf

Stop! Did you hear what you just said? Not with your words, silly. But with your body language.

As a leader, you will be more effective if you convey a non-verbal message that matches what you say.  That means checking your body language when you are about to offer feedback, run a meeting, or ask for their input.

Here's your 6-point checklist:

  • Head - holding your head straight up means confidence, tilted means listening
  • Eyes - look at individuals in the triangle of their face: eyes up to forehead
  • Smile - please do!  (Unless it's bad news, then be authentically concerned)
  • Shoulders - down and relaxed sends a confident, calm message
  • Hands - no crossed arms please!  Open arms is more collaborative
  • Feet - stop walking and turn toward your audience

This week, right before you talk to one person or the whole group, take a moment and do the 6-point body-check.

And then check out our Program of the Month: Presenting with Impact.

What's your language?

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We hear with our ears, but believe with our eyes.

What they see is important. As a leader, you will be more effective if you can convey a non-verbal message that matches your verbal message. Check your body language when you are about to offer feedback, run a meeting, or ask for their input.

Here's your 6-point checklist:
1. Head - Is it held straight with confidence or tilted to show listening? - Check!
2. Eyes - Are you focused on the triangle of their face (eyes up to forehead)? - Check!
3. Expression - Smile for good news. If it's not, a frown is best to show concern. - Check!
4. Shoulders - They should be down and relaxed, exuding calmness. - Check!
5. Hands - Use uncrossed arms and open gestures. - Check!
6. Feet - Planted? - Check!

Super! You look the part. Now, what are you going to say?

Well, I heard...

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Have you ever been on a team and a new person joined that you knew nothing about?

Have you ever been been assigned a new boss or project leader that you didn't know?

What did you do?  

Chances are you made up a story and sometimes that story can undermine that person's credibility.  

If you're a new manager or new to the team, here are some ideas on how to fill in the information gap so that you can start off on the right foot. 

  1. Encourage the person above you to send out a note which highlights your accomplishments.
  2. Make time to meet with each person on your team.  Have a conversation about your goals and theirs.  This is especially important if you have been promoted over a colleague who also wanted that role. Meet with that person and appreciate their contributions. Offer them important work. Give trust to earn trust. 
  3. Pay it forward.  Be sure that when you bring new people onboard, that you share WHY they have been chosen.

Sharing the WHAT and the WHY every time you communicate with your team makes for better results.  

H-E-B & Harvey

Company culture is the personality of a company. It’s the environment employees work in and it has a huge impact on productivity and profitability.

Employees at H-E-B know that their company made helping those impacted by Harvey a priority. H-E-B sent disaster relief units, including pharmacy and ATM operations, and mobile kitchens to serve hot meals to the community and first responders. One kitchen can whip up 6,000 meals every day!

If you worked at H-E-B, how would you feel?

As a leader, manager, or supervisor you set the tone for your team.  What tone are you setting today?

Since moving our HQ to Texas, we’ve had the pleasure of shopping at H-E-B and we are fans! To learn more about HEB click here

Don't Mess With Texas


Stress Hack

Are you stressed?  Probably. 

Bad weather, politics, traffic, a new boss, life changes or just running out of coffee beans - whatever the reason, chances are you are dealing with pressure. And pressure turns into stress.

Is it inevitable?  No.

Pressure is pressure, which is out of your control. What is in your control is how you deal with it. Here’s the good news: you’ve done it before.

Step 1: Make a list of 3-5 stressful events that have happened in your life. 

Step 2: Take note of what you did (that was in your control) to solve the problem.

Step 3: Store that success strategy in your brain. (Did you write about it, laugh about it, analyze it, create an excel spreadsheet plan for it, or call a friend? How did you move on?)

Step 4: When stress happens and you feel your pulse begin to race and your breathing quicken, remind yourself how you moved forward last time. Do that.  

Make that strategy your new habit. With practice, you can change your response to stress and pressure.

Respond, don’t react.

Flexibility is the key...

Q: How many times a day does something unpredictable or unexpected happen? 
A: All the time!
A key leadership skill is flexibility - the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
This skill is the most challenging for anyone who values structure and predictability because for those people, unexpected change is probably a big source of stress.
To improve flexibility, consider your language.  Re-label tasks as ‘preferences’ rather than ‘must-haves’ and change your own expectations by removing the absolutes.  This can give you some room to flex.
For example:
I must have a perfectly clean kitchen when I leave for work.
Rewrite: I prefer to have a clean kitchen when I leave for work.
I must have all the answers when a customer or team member comes to me.
Rewrite: I prefer to have the answers, but know that I can be helpful in any situation.
I must have zero defects.
Rewrite:  I prefer zero defects but appreciate hard work and effort.

Well, maybe this one time...

One of the biggest complaints employees have about Management is...drum roll...inconsistency.

I've heard comments like, "I don't know who is going to show up - happy, charming boss or cranky, intense boss."

I've also heard that "some people get away with things" that others don't.

Consistency and fairness builds loyalty and engagement.  That sounds good.  How can you do it?

Keep your tone and personality consistent.  That might mean taking a moment before you walk into the office to breathe and smile.

Make the rules clear and follow-through with each person.  Change the communication style to match the employee not the message.

If you are having trouble with one person and you sense it's because of your long standing (good or bad) relationship with them, role play conversations with a fellow manager.  Ask them to help you take the bias out of the conversation.


On another note...

Have you called your office lately? How's the greeting? We've running a short, interactive and effective webinar Oct 1st and the topic is great greetings.  

For more information or to join us  click here.