What Kind of Leader Are You at Home?

Good food for thought from one of our emerging leaders!

At work, I’m known as the go to person for helping communicate what needs to be shared – both the good and the bad – with fellow employees, customers, and just about any other audience. Such was the case a few weeks ago when a teammate asked me to review an email she had drafted to share her frustration with another teammate. I made the usual tweaks so that the intended message was clear and direct without being harsh and offensive.

When I sent the newly revised email back over, I jokingly remarked that I needed to learn to take this same diplomatic approach with my husband! She replied that if I ever got that mastered, to coach her on that as well. We both laughed.

But our short exchange made me wonder, why don’t I approach all my relationships with the same patience, understanding, and thoughtfulness that I apply at work? (more…)

We discussed in Monday’s post on 3 Tips for Leading with Charisma that one of the things charismatic leaders do well is make others feel comfortable. After all, if the people you lead are uncomfortable in your presence, you’ll have a hard time forming relationships with them, and they’ll have a hard time leading up and speaking freely.

Just as we can intentionally lead with charisma, we can also unintentionally intimidate by allowing subtle or not-so-subtle barriers to remain in place that prevent us from impacting others. Here are five common barriers to connecting that we must work to minimize or remove if we’re going to connect with others:

The How’s-The-Weather-Down-There Barrier

If you’re tall like me, your height can automatically intimidate others who are shorter than you. Avoid looking down at people when speaking to them, especially if you’re having a disagreement or a critical conversation. Instead, invite the other person to sit down with you so you can eliminate the height barrier, make better eye contact, and talk on the same level. (more…)

Charisma. Is it about self-assurance, or swagger? Is it about how you present yourself, or how you interact with others? How do you view charisma, and is charisma an important characteristic in a leader?

Several of my teammates and I have been discussing the idea of “charisma” over the past few weeks in regards to what we think it is, what it looks like, and how leaders live it out. A few colleagues who say they struggle with exhibiting charisma wanted me to share what charisma means to me and some ways that I intentionally try to convey it. Connecting with all kinds of people is something that comes rather easily to me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t purposefully make an effort at it.

Here are some ways that my teammates define charisma:

  • The ability to lighten a room or situation. A charismatic leader can think on her feet and see the positive in every situation.
  • When things get tense, charisma allows a leader to turn a situation into a positive, often with humor.
  • Appearing confident without coming across as arrogant.
  • Making other people feel validated so that they’re glad they offered their input or perspective.
  • Lowering others’ defenses and making people feel comfortable in your presence and that you are “for” them. (more…)