The above quote has been around in one form or another. I fell upon this quote again recently and it made me think how relevant it is in these current times of crisis, and that the time for any leader to step up is now.
Leadership does not come just from a title or be reserved solely for the masters of business or politics. Leaders come from all walks of life be it teachers, soccer coaches or traffic wardens. A leader’s ability to inspire will really derive from how well they can articulate their vision and communicate it with others.
By adopting the following communication skills this can help you become a better leader;
Knowing when to praise – I once had a former boss who taught me that if people do well, they should be praised in public and if they aren’t up to the task then criticized in private. Generally, people thrive on praise so if you can, do it in public.
Look at things from your colleagues’ point of view – it has been said that it can be lonely at the top and that often leaders are out of touch, therefore it is really important to see an issue from your colleagues’ point of view. This could be something as simple as how the photocopier is replenished, whilst this may be unimportant for your job, it could be the most important thing for your colleague, so try to give it the respect it deserves.
Show Empathy – to show empathy is not a sign of weakness, it just shows that you feel for their situation. In a situation where say a hundred people had to be made redundant, this is a never going to be a pleasant situation, however if empathy is shown, then the corporate message may be received in a more positive manner.
Have a sense of humour – If you can, a good sense of humour and laugh at yourself when the need arises and tell anecdotal stories, it can go a really long way to building up rapport and camaraderie with staff.
Listen to you colleagues – to truly listen to your colleagues can often take more focus and concentration than to speak, therefore this is an action that should be practiced as it indicates a genuine interest and makes your colleague feel valued. If we care we listen. We should listen to understand rather than formulate a response.
While titles may bring position, they may not earn loyalty or trust – it is behavior that does this, and communication is one of the best behavioral traits to cultivate when developing our leadership skills.
WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
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We’re on a mission to disprove the myth that a typical accountant is boring. So, each week we interview one member of our team and it’s up to you to decide what you think. We hope you’ll realise how fascinating accountants truly are!
We keep our Up Close and Personal With an Accountant Series light-hearted, but we also ask each person one serious question. We don’t want to go too crazy as at the end of the day we’re still accountants…
On Friday of last week (18th), Cooney Carey held our strategic away day, where we discussed plans and opportunities in the upcoming 12 months. As a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, we had input from 12 members of our senior management team. It was an extremely productive day and many discussion points arose throughout the day.
Afterwards, I reflected
on the day and specifically the importance of holding a successful meeting. I
estimate that in a normal working week, I attend an average of 10 – 15 meetings
a week (client and internal meets), which when I think about, over 30+ years of
experience is upwards of 15,000 meetings.
Each person has
different strengths and qualities in their professional armoury but when it
comes to holding a successful meeting, there are a few fundamentals that have
stood me in good stead down through my advisory career. This list is not an
exhaustive, but merely a list of the take-away points that have resonated with
me over the course of my career to date:
Always come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
Be prompt in arriving and return from any breaks held during meeting.
Understand why everyone is in attendance.
Define purpose from the outset.
Come prepared to a meeting and never try to wing it.
Speak one at a time and try to wait for the right moment to interject.
Make sure your point adds or creates value. Reiterating a point already made doesn’t add value but prolongs the meeting.
Try not to tuck into the boardroom sweet jar, halfway through the meeting.
Listen – we were blessed with two ears and one mouth for a reason – particularly important in respect of client meetings.
Keep the flow – deal with one topic at a time and move on once finished.
Don’t revisit old topics.
Keep good notes.
Humour can often lighten the tension – Be careful to ensure appropriateness and to whom it may be directed.
Ensure action points are identified, agreed and recorded.
Respect other’s ideas – there is no such thing as a “bad” idea, but there may often be a better one.
Summarise the action points at the end and try to end meeting on time.
I hope these tips will help you make the most of the meetings you hold and attend.
What questions do you have?
We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Tony Carey, Business and Financial Advisory Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, connect with him on LinkedIn.