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John J. Pershing, a US Army general in World War I, once said, “A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary a poor leader can demoralize the best of troops.”

Most teams and organizations are only as capable as their leaders—and that makes it important to help transform all the all the poor leaders around you into good ones. Here are some ways to recognize the weak leaders around you and help put them transform.

Poor leaders fail to lead by example. They often ask others to do things they don’t want to do themselves. It may even be unintended, but the result is a loss of respect. Demonstrate for them how the best leaders roll up their sleeves and lead by example, always in with their team, always walking their talk.

Poor leaders communicate ineffectively. Just as most people think they’re good drivers when many are not, most leaders like to think of themselves as good communicators. If you know a leader who likes to pat themselves on the back for their communication skills, show them how great leaders assess whether their message is getting through and work constantly to develop their ability to communicate effectively and meaningfully.

Poor leaders are secretive and slow to share information. They’re stingy with the things they know and reluctant to help others benefit from their expertise. Their teams are closed off groups that treat information as power over others. Show these people that good leadership is open and transparent, communicating frequently and clearly and working to share their knowledge and expertise as widely as possible.

Poor leaders encourage competition over cooperation. They enjoy pitting one person against another, saying that competition is good for the team. And it’s true to  a point—competition is good for the team, when makes them more productive and effective. But when it undermines the team itself, it’s an example of truly terrible leadership. Show them that success occurs when collaboration and cooperation, rather than competition, are at the forefront of a team’s dynamics.

Poor leaders have low expectations. Some leaders try to fake success by minimizing challenges and setting a low bar for their team. This behavior often has its origin in a deep fear of failure. Show them how to challenge people to do better and be more, and that you get more when you expect more.

Poor leaders are unable to empower their people. The core of leadership is being able to motivate or inspire a team, and if they can’t do that, they’re truly failing to lead. Show them how to bring out the best in others by helping them believe in themselves and their abilities, by providing encouragement, support and assistance when it’s needed, and by letting your team know you’re invested in their success.

Poor leaders are always looking around, never ahead. It’s easy for weak leaders to become so preoccupied with day-to-day challenges that they neglect to prepare for what’s coming at them. Show them how to stop and look at the bigger picture so they can see potential problems sooner, focusing more on strategy and less on tactics.

Lead from within: Even the worst, weakest leader has the potential to become not just a good leader but a great one.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post How to Transform Poor Leaders into Good Leaders appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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We’re all ridiculously busy these days. Nearly every leader I talk to feels overloaded and overwhelmed. As crazy as it may seem to add something else to your to-do list, there’s no better time to invest some energy in thinking about how you work and finding ways to be more productive and effective, because the payoff will start immediately.

Improving productivity has a lot to do with dealing more effectively with barriers, distractions and anything that interferes with your momentum. Here are some of the principles I use to help my clients get the right things done effectively. It can be helpful to think of them in terms of differences you can learn to recognize:

The difference between being busy and being productive. A lot of people think they’re the same. But busy-ness is easy to fall into and productivity is hard work that requires clarity, focus and strategic thinking as part of a larger plan.

The difference between something that’s important and something that’s urgent. Lots of things seem important in the moment, but in reality they’re urgent—which lends them an air of false importance. It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower—a master of time management—who pointed out that the most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones. When you’re stressing over an issue or engaged in making long-term strategic plans, keep this distinction in mind.

The difference between procrastination and focus. Procrastination is easy, while true motivation requires focus, hard work, and following through. As much as possible, avoid setting down something unfinished to work on something new.

The difference between working hard and working smart. Hard work involves both physical and mental effort, while smart work is all mental and logical. Working hard keeps you on the path toward meeting  a goal, but working smart usually knows some good shortcuts.

The difference between a bad and good habit. The first step in truly understanding this distinction is to identify your habit loops. Then you’re ready to evaluate them and, where you need to, make a change. Old habits, as they say, die hard. They may have already reprogrammed your brain. But you can  create new habits to replace the old ones that keep you from being effective or productive.

The difference between when to say yes and when to say no. Knowing when and how to say no frees you to say yes only to proposals that meet your personal criteria and projects you’re genuinely excited about. The more you say no, the better you’ll be able to focus on your most important work.

The difference between overwhelming and manageable projects. It’s as simple as breaking things down into smaller tasks. When you do, you’re forced to think through each step up front. Remember, small things done consistently create major impact.

Once you really understand and absorb these principles, you’ll be prepared to handle any situation. And, as if that weren’t enough, you’ll be more relaxed and confident. You’ll get more done with less effort, more effectiveness and no down side.

Lead from within: Productivity doesn’t happen on its own, it’s a task you must do every day to get the right work done effectively.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post How to Effectively Get the Right Work Done appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Over the course of your career, you’ll probably end up working with all kinds of
people—some you love, some you could live without, some you learn from. But
the worst kind of people to work with are those who are toxic.

Working with a toxic person causes all kinds of problems. They arrive with drama and demands and (eventually) leave you in their cloud of negativity, feeling exhausted and mistrustful. But the worst thing about toxic people is the stress they create for everyone around them.

We know that stress can have a lasting negative impact both physically and mentally. That makes it important to know how to handle toxic people to minimize your own involvement and danger.

Handling a toxic person is a process and it takes time. There will good days and bad days, and you’ll need to call upon all your smarts and emotional intelligence. Here are some tips:

Create clear boundaries. When you are talking to a toxic person, establish a boundary, making sure you do so proactively and deliberately. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly entangled in toxic conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you will engage with a toxic person, you stay in control.

When they go low, you go high. Toxic people are notorious to for hitting below the belt, for being cruel and disruptive. Whatever they do, don’t give in to the temptation to meet them at their level.

Scan your own emotions. Learn how to scan your own emotions. If you feel yourself getting upset—and sooner or later it’s likely that you will—respond to your own emptions rather than any external force. A thoughtful response is far better than a knee-jerk reaction. When you respond, you stay in control.

Be a problem solver, not a problem contributor. When you fixate on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. But when you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal advantage that produces positive emotions and reduces stress. Toxic people may maintain a single-minded fixation on their own problems, but you really do have a choice.

Check your surroundings. When you find yourself around someone who’s endangering your thinking and stability, it’s time to regroup—and maybe even remove yourself physically—so you can move forward in the best way. Always be aware of your surroundings.

When you cannot change the situation, you can only change yourself. When you feel that you’re stuck in a toxic situation or that those you work with are difficult, it’s time to take back your control. The situation may be bad, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose control.Regardless of your situation, you can always be in control of yourself.

Construct a support system. It’s tempting to think you can handle toxic people on your own, but in truth it’s important to design your own support system to gain perspective and give us insight when we need it most. A successful coach or a qualified mentor may be able to see a solution you can’t, probably because they’re not as emotionally invested.

Lead From Within: The only way to handle a toxic person is to be smart about how you approach them.
 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

The post This Is the Smart Way to Handle Toxic People appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Every leader will face struggles, but some struggles are common enough that you can learn from the bad experiences of others and avoid the trouble and risk of taking them on yourself.

Here are six top struggles leaders are guaranteed to face work to avoid them.

Not doing the right thing. If you don’t lead with character, struggle is practically guaranteed. Character in leadership means consistently doing the right thing and the best thing. It plays a major role in your ability to lead and influence. Great character is molded into great leadership.

Leading through demands and control. Leaders lose respect when they have to rely on demands and control—and losing respect is fatal to leadership. Leaders may try to demand respect and control outcomes. But respect is earned, not demanded, and outcomes are outside your control. Let go; learn to lead with vision and trust that the outcomes will be positive the long run.

Relying on unclear messages. If you aren’t a good communicator, serious struggle is more likely to occur. Just as most people think they’re good drivers, most leaders think of themselves as great communicators—but as an executive leadership coach I often see leaders who think they are communicating brilliantly when no one around them has a clue what they’re trying to say. Work on your communication skills to make sure you keep your messages clear and compelling.

Trying to persuade without inspiring. No matter how strong your vision is, if you lack the ability to inspire and motivate others you’re not going to connect. The difference between motivation and inspiration is that motivation must constantly be renewed, while inspiration lasts a lifetime. Great leaders instill both.

Refusing to delegate. Most leaders—if not all—think they can always do everything better themselves, and as a result they have a hard time delegating. But refusing to delegate turns you into a micromanager and erodes trust in your leadership, which leads to constant struggle. Learn how to delegate the right task to the right person and then maintain the right level of involvement.

Giving in to self-doubt. They may or may not ever express it, but from time to time every leader asks themselves, “Am I measuring up?” If the answer is no, it’s likely a matter of self-doubt or lost confidence. Comparisons to others is a quick way to derail leadership. Refuse to measure yourself against anything but your own goals and expectations.

Lead From Within: Avoid struggle when you can, and learn to face the unavoidable struggles with confidence. The lessons we learn from struggles—our own or those of others—lead to true progress and growth.

N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

The post 6 Struggles Every Leader is Guaranteed to Face appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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For anyone who works within an organization, meetings are a fact of life. And there are few things in corporate life worse than badly run meetings—the ones that don’t start on time and don’t stay on track but circle around and around in endless discussion with no direction, leaving everyone to wonder who’s in charge.

It doesn’t have to be that way. A meeting that’s structured and run well can be an effective and even productive use of everyone’s time. As a leadership and executive coach, I’ve helped hundreds of chief executives learn how to run effective meetings.

Based on that experience, here are the strategies that work best:

Provide an agenda in advance. An effective meeting needs prep work, and that  means putting together an agenda. An agenda is a great tool for making sure your meetings stay on track and on time. It can help you set expectations up front, organize the subjects you want to cover into a workable structure, and avoid wasted time.

Send the agenda and any important background material 24 hours in advance. Once you’ve prepared your agenda, send it to participants for input. There may be something important that another participant wants to talk about, or something you’ve forgotten to add—or there may be some points you’ve listed that are already resolved. By sending the agenda and other meeting materials in advance, you give people a chance to prepare and make the most of their time.

Highlight important agenda items. Make a list of the highest-priority items, the ones that are the most important or urgent. Get through those before you tackle the lower-priority items so if something takes longer than planned you don’t have to let the meeting run late.

Determine whether each agenda item requires a decision or is open only for discussion. Then include both lists as part of the agenda. If possible, assign and enforce time limits for all speakers on each agenda item.

Prepare yourself. For every meeting on your calendar, schedule a 15-minute block of prep time. Use that time to think of ways you can add value to the meeting. Good preparation will allow you to lend your expertise to the meeting.

Start on time. If you don’t start your meetings on time, chances are you won’t end on time. Then the next meeting starts late. Before you know it, the entire day is off schedule. This strict time rule needs to happen at every level of the organization, starting from the very top.

Gather the right people. Give some thought to the list of people who should be there because of their expertise, their great ideas, or their need to know. At the same time, don’t waste the time of people who don’t have a reason to be there.

Stay away from rabbit holes. Every meeting has a tendency to stray off topic. If the subject begins to wander, quickly move back to the agenda. Don’t be afraid to intervene and bring the conversation back to the topic.

Have a parking lot. When a meeting goes off topic but the discussion is a good one to talk about, park the idea with a commitment to revisit it at a later meeting. Then make sure you really do revisit it.

End on time.  If you’re good about setting an agenda with clear outcomes, you will know when a meeting needs to end. People have short attention spans. By keeping meetings short and timely, you have a better chance of holding their attention. Time is a precious resource, and no one wants their time wasted. Streamline meetings as much as possible.

Summarize each agenda item when you’ve finished discussing it. At the close of the meeting, summarize the next steps that the group has decided to take. This will ensure that everyone is clear on the tasks that have been assigned to them and the actions they need to take next.

Capture decisions and discuss next steps. You may have had a wildly productive meeting, but if the decisions weren’t captured, it could be as if it never happened. End every meeting with clear agreements and make notes on final decisions. Make sure you capture any immediate actions and assign them to the appropriate people. Send out your meeting notes promptly to everyone who attended to provide people with something to refer back to.

When you know how to lead great meetings, your team will have less wasted time, less frustration, and more time and energy for everyone to do the work that matters most.

Lead From Within: Meetings are good if they are productive, if they waste your time, get rid of them, because actions speak louder than words.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post How to Make Your Management Meetings More Productive  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Many of the leaders I work with are anxious to hear tips on time management. But after working with business leaders and executives for over three decades, I’ve come to realize that the most effective and successful leaders treat time management as a secondary concern. For them, it’s energy management that produces real results.

Most of my clients—and most leaders in general—have a lot to accomplish. When it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you need to do, it’s all too easy to push yourself beyond your limits. As a result, you can become burned out long before you accomplish your goals.

When I coach my clients on using their time effectively, the first step is to work on managing their energy. It can be challenging in our overscheduled and hurried world, but here are some of the fundamental principles:

It’s about getting the rest you need. People try to get everything done in an all-nighter, but in fact the longer you stay up the less productive you become. It’s best to get a good night’s sleep and start fresh.

It’s about quality, not quantity. I don’t know any business leaders who don’t have too much to do. It’s not about how much you can get done but how you get it done. Quality always wins out over quantity. It may even give you the zest to do more—it is a powerful feeling when you get things done with excellence.

It’s about being present without being distracted. The best way to manage your energy and time is to be fully present with whatever, or whoever, needs your attention. When you have true focus, you can accomplish tasks twice as fast with more energy left over.

It’s about taking small breaks. Multiple studies have found that you have more energy for the day’s tasks, especially work-related tasks, if you take short breaks throughout the day. Those can be as simple as five to 10 minutes of stepping away from your work space and getting into a different mental zone — for instance, taking a short walk, completing an unrelated task, listening to a favorite song or reading something else. Research suggests that distracting yourself briefly once an hour gives you more energy to work during the day productively.

It’s about working out. You’ve likely heard it a thousand times already: exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and being happy gives you energy. When you feel like you don’t have the energy to exercise and you drag yourself to the gym, you’ll leave feeling more energized. Numerous studies point to regular exercise as having a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue.

Lead from within: If you are truly mindful of your energy and you manage it well, you’re likely to become far more productive—and, as a result, a more effective leader.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post How Successful Leader Manage Their Energy Not Their Time appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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What if you suddenly found yourself sharing an elevator or seated at an event with somebody you admire, someone like, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk or Bill Gates? Would you stammer an introduction and look awkwardly at your feet, or would you be able to make the most of the encounter with a set of smart, concise questions?

It’s unlikely you’ll ever meet any of those people, but you probably encounter other admirable people on a regular basis. Whether it’s a national leader in your field or the senior manager who works down the hall, here are some questions you can ask from the leaders you admire to learn from their success:

1. What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
Success is different for everyone, but it’s always interesting to learn how people arrived where they are. Their stories may point you in a new direction, give you an answer you’ve been looking for, or motivate you to push through the tough times. Responses also give you insight into their values and priorities.

2. What are your success habits?
Asking successful people about their daily habits can give you ideas for your own routines. The answers are rarely esoteric; generally, they’re actions anyone can take. As the old saying goes, we are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not a quality but a habit, and successful people are simply those with successful habits.

3. What mistakes have you made along the way?
This question is one of the most important things you can ask anyone, because it allows you to learn from their experience. If you ask it often and listen carefully to the answers you hear, you will make fewer mistakes yourself. You’ll have insight into how to do things in a way that doesn’t lead to miscalculations or blunders.

4. What was the hardest decision you ever had to make?
Most successful people have had to make at least a few genuinely difficult between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place decisions. Learning what they chose, and why, gives you a close look at their thought processes and priorities, helping you prepare for the tough decisions that lie down the road for you. At the end of the day, it’s in your moments of decisions that your success is shaped.

5. What is the best advice you can give?
Some people respond better than others to such an open-ended question, but when it connects, it can cut right to the important stuff. Compile the responses you get to this question and keep them where you can read through them all from time to time.

6. If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
Successful people tend to be self-aware, and it’s likely that they’ve already given this question some thought. You might expect to hear about preventing some mistake or failure, but successful people know that mistakes and failure are among our greatest teachers. Many focus instead on wishing they had taken more chances and been bolder.

7. What’s one change I should make right now to help me get closer to my success?
This question is appropriate to ask of someone who’s already familiar with you and your work. Improvement requires change, and sometimes the hardest part is knowing what needs to change.

Most successful people are grateful for what they’ve achieved, and many are happy to share their knowledge and experience. It’s too good a resource to waste, so be prepared to make the most out of every encounter, especially with those you admire.

Lead From Within: Just remember, we tend to become those we admire.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 7 Important Questions to Ask People You Admire   appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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A study conducted at Harvard Business School found that a daily 15-minute habit can increase your productivity and effectiveness. The daily habit is as simple as they come—making time every day for reflection will help boost your leadership.

There are at least three different ways you can practice daily self-reflection:

1. Shut everything out and sit down for a time of quiet contemplation. In my work as an executive leadership coach, I try to introduce some kind of meditation into each of my clients’ routines. I’ve seen the benefits of meditation firsthand: it can help you settle down after a long day, it can make you sharper and smarter, and it can counteract the information overload that’s become part of everyday life. When truly successful individuals begin to meditate, they become even more productive and creative leaders.

Research on mindfulness suggests that meditation sharpens skills like attention, memory and emotional intelligence. That’s a great return on an investment of just 15 minutes a day. And if you’re thinking you already have too much on your plate and don’t need yet another thing to do, rethink that proposition. After all, meditation is literally the act of doing nothing.

2. You can write down your day. Journaling for 15 minutes at the end of the day has always been a useful tool for keeping track of your activities and thoughts. The act of writing things down helps you understand them more clearly and keep a clear perspective. The simple process of committing your thoughts and ideas to paper pays great dividends and gives you a clear articulation of your thinking. And science is finding that the act of writing accesses your analytic and rational left brain, freeing your right brain to create and intuit. Writing unlocks all kinds of capabilities and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

Successful leaders throughout history have kept journals. Presidents have maintained them for posterity; other famous figures keep them for their own purposes. The 19th-century playwright Oscar Wilde said, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”

3. You can summarize your thoughts and rehearse your actions. Taking the time to think things through engages you in a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-correcting process. It allows you to think clearly and rationally and solve problems systematically, boosting the critical thinking skills that have become so important in the new knowledge economy. Mentally summarize the events of the day, think about the actions you want to take tomorrow and rehearse them in your head in a way that gives you the best outcome.

Whichever method you choose, this 15 minutes is likely to become the most important part of your day. With just 15 minutes of reflection a day, you can boost your career, your productivity and your effectiveness. Try it and see how it changes your life.

Lead From Within: From quiet self-reflection will come even more effective action.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post The 15-Minute-A-Day Habit That Can Boost Your Leadership appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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If you’re in a position of leadership—whether you’re a CEO, manager, or community volunteer—it’s likely that you put a great deal of care into the words you use. But if your
body language doesn’t sync with those words, you may be giving a terrible impression without even knowing it.

It is said that people form impressions of others in seven to 30 seconds. That’s pretty quick.
If you don’t have the right body language, you may be leaving a negative impression
before you even have a chance to speak.

Body language goes far beyond a handshake and smile. But in my decades of executive leadership coaching, I’ve found that executives don’t pay nearly enough attention to its importance.

Here are some of the most common body language mistakes to avoid if you want
to make the great impression as a leader.

1. Clashing body cues and spoken words. If you’re saying “Let’s all work together
and make this work” while your hands are crossed against your chest, you’re likely
coming across as confusing. People tend to trust nonverbal messages over verbal
ones when the two are at odds. If you want people to believe your conciliatory words,
uncross your arms and appear friendly and approachable and open.

2. Raising your chin when you speak. While you definitely want to be proud of
what you’re saying, a raised chin is a sign that you feel superior to the person
you’re speaking with. Show respect by lowering your chin and staying evenly
face-to-face.

3. Putting one foot out the door. If you want to see where a person’s interest truly lies,
look at their shoulders and feet. One of the first indicators that someone is trying to
leave a conversation is when they turn a shoulder or a toe away. To show engagement
and interest, keep your body directed at the person in front of you.

4. Lack of eye contact. When you fail to maintain eye contact with someone
who’s speaking, you’re signaling a complete lack of interest. Lack of eye contact
will shut down even the most enthusiastic speaker. Establish the habit of thoughtful
eye contact to show your interest.

5. Constant fidgeting. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who couldn’t
stop moving? Feet bobbing up and down, swaying back and forth, making little motions
with their arms—fidgeting sends a message of stress bordering on anxiety, and it’s both unnerving and extremely distracting. When you have something to say, relax your body
and try to be still as possible so your words come out strong and your body doesn’t give away cues of your stress.

6. Not giving enough space. This one is especially important: give people enough space. People who lean right into you and speak inches away from your face seem to be taking advantage of their power. Nobody likes to feel their space has been invaded. Unless
you’re signaled an invitation to come closer, the best body language is to stay at least
an arm’s length away. Don’t back up too far, though, or you’ll come across as
unapproachable or uninterested. Stand just close enough to show you’re engaged,
and don’t lean in or out too much.

7. Looking at your watch. Have you ever been distracted in a meeting or conversation
when the person you’re trying to connect with keeps looking at their watch? We all know
that means they’re checked out, uninterested or indifferent to what is being said. Stop
looking at your watch—that goes for your phone, too—and don’t let your body language signal boredom.

Everyone wants to make a good impression, no matter what their position or title. But
when your body is saying one thing and your words another, there’s a better-than-average chance you’re making a poor impression. Review these common mistakes from time to
time and make sure you’re not guilty of any of them and if you are avoid them or correct them.

Lead From Within: As a leader, your body language will speak volumes, make sure
you are mindful and paying attention to the message you are sending.

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The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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The post 7 Body Language Mistakes You Need to Avoid appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Good leaders, like professional athletes, make everything they do look easy. But in reality, many of them have to work hard to manage or compensate for potentially career-limiting traits.

I’ve worked with many executives as a business leadership coach, and I’ve come to understand that becoming a better leader requires a strategy and suggestions on how to improve. With that principle in mind, here are five ways you can become a better leader immediately.

Practice self-awareness. Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra—focused on helping every person on your team perform at their best. To be effective in this work, you need to understand your own strengths as well as your weaknesses and leadership gaps. Understanding yourself helps you leverage your strengths and your gaps. And at the end of the day, we all need to understand what challenges us and allow that awareness to become better leaders. What we understand, we own—and what we own doesn’t own us.

Learn how to coach your people. The greatest and strongest leaders know they’re only as good as the teams around them, so they put tremendous emphasis on coaching and supporting their people, helping them grow. It’s important to give each person the attention and feedback that will motivate them to make meaningful contributions.

Be willing to talk about difficult subjects. It’s always nice when you can act as a cheerleader for your organization, but the more important task is to help your team navigate the uncertain times. Business is messy, leadership isn’t easy and the way ahead may be far from clear. Communicate with your team about the issues facing your organization and industry—things like risks, variables, volatile markets. When you do, you not only build trust but also quash speculation and rumor mills.

Ask for help when you need it. Most leaders consider themselves highly capable, which makes it even harder when they need to ask for support. But requesting help from others will always be one of the best ways to become a better leader. If you’re feeling stuck, seek out a mentor or hire a coach.

Serve as a model. When you act as a model of integrity and hard work—when you talk the talk and walk the walk—people will admire your leadership and work to emulate your behavior. If you want to become a better leader, work on modeling the qualities you’d like to see in your team and in others.

Lead from within: The best leaders know they can be even better leaders and they do everything they can to improve.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now
 

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 5 Ways to Be A Better Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

Read Full Article

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