Proactive Problem Solving

Have a plan, don't give up.
Use a mind map to explore many options before choosing a direction.

Pencil and paper. Use the mind map format as your doodle during a presentation or meeting. Each time an idea or option occurs to you, draw a branch and show any alternatives, each with its own branch, so you can add your thoughts a keyword at a time.

Leadership Communication Skills

What are Leadership Communication Skills?

 

Many see the word communication and think only about speaking.  Communication includes both sides, speaking and listening.  And good communicators listen effectively.  They listen more than they speak.  They listen to understand the meaning of what someone is saying—not just the words.  They pay attention to other clues to the meaning, body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

We are all capable of remembering the words someone says, especially if it was short, but that may not be enough to understand and remember the meaning. Pay close attention to the other person.  Check that you understood by paraphrasing and then asking, ‘Did I understand what you meant?’

In my next blog I will list some important attributes of being an understood speaker.

Are You a Visual Thinker?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do your memories often consist of a picture in your mind?  Where were you?  Who else was there? What did the scene look like?

 Maybe you can even feel the warmth or coolness of the air around you.  Maybe you remember how you reacted.

If you are a visual thinker it would be natural to use drawings or mind maps to visualize a topic, a plan, or a presentation.  If you don’t think you are a natural visual thinker, it is worth learning to use drawings , diagrams, stick figures, and mind maps to visualize and to help your brain.

Mind Maps are easy to draw and use to organize a topic.  You can learn more about them from my Ted talk (https://youtu.be/5nTuScU70As). You can also suggest how I can help you with this topic by commenting or sending me your questions. 

How Effectively Do You Communicate?

Communication

Communication, good communication, means expressing your ideas and opinions as best you can including the fact that they are your thoughts and opinions…after being open and listening to others’ opinions.

Communication is both expressing yourself and listening effectively.

Communication includes the three V’s, verbal (the words), vocal (the sound, tone, expressiveness), and visual (the body language).

All three V’s are important and in many, perhaps most, cases the vocal and visual say more than the words.

Listening as well as speaking

By the famous artist, Will Bullas

From my newsletter:

How do you learn?  How do you link your new learning with your memory?  How do you take in any information?  Of course, it comes in as data through one of your senses.  The obvious ones are sight and hearing but they are not the only ones at work.  You may have touched something, or it may have touched you.  You may have tasted a new food.  You may have noticed an unusual odor.  There is also a 6th sense which means we take note of a feeling though may not be sure how or why it happened.  All your senses are receptors bringing in information that your brain will record, maybe store, maybe making it easy for you to remember later.

When we pay more attention we will help our brain execute  that process called memory: receive, store, be able to retrieve.  It also helps to get that information through multiple senses, hence, drawing, diagraming, and writing notes, can all improve the memory.

Let’s continue to explore this set of ideas about learning and memory through this newsletter.  Please comment, add ideas, and ask questions.

Stay Curious

Bill Nye said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don’t.”  

Stay interested and curious about what others are saying or doing so you have the opportunity to learn something new every day.  Ask open ended questions because closed questions will only get you an answer that you already thought of.  When you ask open questions the other person will carry the conversation into new, maybe unexpected directions.  That can be so much more fun.  Then you have the unequaled opportunity to learn and share what you learned with someone else.  Pass it on.

Power Brainstorming

Never stop being curious

Enlightened Leadership

Being a leader means you can’t avoid difficult conversations, even when addressing conflict makes you uncomfortable, Marlene Chism writes. One of her four suggestions for inviting discomfort is to avoid interrupting during triggering conversations, instead encouraging the speaker to express themselves.

” from SmartBrief on Leadership

Rather than avoidance, engage to understand.  Rather than terminating or firing the speaker, encourage the offering of alternative ideas, options to explore.
Attract people to your inner circle who are willing to disagree with you and who bring alternative viewpoints.
As the leader it is your responsibility to make the final decisions but listening and learning first will allow you to make better decisions.  You don’t want your assumptions to get in the way of deep and exploratory thinking about a subject.

Take Notes and Make Notes Using Mind Maps

Take Notes and Make Notes using Mind Maps

Unless you have a perfect memory for everything you hear and everything you read, you will need to make notes of important points you DO want to remember.  By that I mean not writing everything down because you don’t know what you will want later, but instead just noting the keywords and ideas.  Learning to focus and to listen to understand and parse is a worthwhile skill.

Connecting the important ideas and writing down only key words and phrases can most easily be done by taking notes as a mind map.  The mind map allows you to add keywords or phrases to the topic branches as they come up.

It is also much easier to review your notes in a mind map than to reread whole paragraphs or outlines.

You will find that making notes about a topic you want to write or speak about in a mind map form allows you to organize your disparate ideas into logical branches before proceeding.  You may find that if the purpose is to give a short informal talk, you can follow the mind map and give the whole talk without writing out a speech.  Your talk will sound much more natural and you will appear well versed in your topic versus looking like you are reading from a document or note cards.

To learn more about how to take notes and make notes using mind maps, see my TEDx talk or contact me.

HOW TO BRING IN A VIRTUAL COACH

USE A VIRTUAL COACH

Do You Have a Virtual Coach?

What makes a great coach?  Everyone needs a coach.  Even the best players in sports use coaches. Coaches may not be physically better than the recipient of the coaching but they are observant and great at asking questions that make the recipient more aware.  They help the recipient learn and improve.

We may need someone to remind, to listen, to be a better alter ego, to catch us when we fall, to pick us back up and encourage.

We can’t always see our own faults.  Sometimes we need the coach to be a magnifying mirror.

Think about how you learned to ride a bike. Your coach, probably your Mom or Dad or a neighbor, held the back of the seat to steady the bike as you got a feel for balancing. They ran along, picked you and the bike up if you fell, maybe disinfected and bandaged the scrapes, and let go at the appropriate time.

During this difficult time I do all my coaching virtually, but I forecast that virtual will continue even when we can get back together so that distance doesn’t become a problem.  You will be able to choose a coach from anywhere in the world, you may even decide to choose me.

Emotional Intelligence

At one time it was thought your IQ was innate.

Do you remember taking an IQ test in school?  The results were shared with your parents but not you.  Having a high IQ apparently didn’t mean you were smart enough to handle the information. Some schools even divided students into the smart classes and the not smart classes.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Pictured

The Faces of Emotional Intelligence
Research proved that what teachers were told about how smart (high IQ) a student was impacted how well that student did in class.  It affected the teacher’s expectations which then affected what they did and said to the student. In the end it affected how well that student did in school.

Now we understand that IQ is not completely fixed. We can grow in the areas tested as IQ.

And now we also understand that success in life is even more affected by your EQ, emotional intelligence.  How you understand and handle yourself, your own emotions.  And how you understand and interact with other personalities. This, too, is something you can learn and improve.

Let me know if you would like to know more about this subject.