Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tsunamic

Organizational life can be overwhelming.  It sometimes feels like a tsunami washes in over the top of us at the beginning of each day, only to subside as the day ends - and a new one arrives tomorrow.

The most effective leaders I know are not the ones who don't experience those figurative tsunamis, but rather, the ones who have learned how to manage the flood.

Those leaders manage to stay focused on the most important things - the "main thing" as the late Stephen Covey used to phrase it.  The most important things are the big goals that define the success of our organizations, or life.  

Those excellent leaders tend to weather the daily tsunami of "stuff" with a sense of calm and purpose and laser-like focus.  

One of the most excellent down-stream effects of that kind of focus is that it helps the rest of us weather the inevitable tsunamis in similar fashion.

So thankful to have served under some leaders who did not let the tsunamis distract them.

Monday, April 1, 2019

ListeningLevels

Among all the communications tools we have at our disposal, LISTENING is the most powerful.  Listening can occur on several levels.

For your consideration (and, yes, I'm just makin' this stuff up):

  1. Distracted Listening - only hearing parts and pieces of what the other is saying (like when you have bad cell phone signal)
  2. Rebuttal Listening - listening just well enough and long enough to fashion and deliver counterpoints
  3. Cascade Listening - when we hear, then add to, hear again, then amend, hear some more, then extend (lots of "ands" and minimal "buts" - the work of getting stuff done)
  4. Info Listening - done to build our knowledge base, because informed opinions really are of more value than just opinions
  5. Connectional Listening - listening to deeply understand the other's perspective, contexts, positions, interests, motivations, aspirations... (what I often call "listening a hole in 'em")

Others subconsciously gauge our level of listening, and attribute to us a commensurate level of caring (probably with great accuracy).

The best leaders I know are superb listeners, which means they spend the preponderance of their listening time in levels 3, 4, and 5 above.

LEAD (I mean listen) ON!