5 Relationship Breakers

We know that establishing good relationships are essential to a team’s overall success. It’s how we develop trust and influence. It’s what makes our work more enjoyable. So why does it sometimes seem so hard to develop solid relationships with our leaders or our teammates? Here are five of the most common relationship breakers we should all take care to avoid.

1. Limited connectivity

I hate it when I’m working in a Wi-Fi hot spot and I see a pop up on my laptop warn me that there’s “limited connectivity” because then I know I’m going to have a hard time getting online, which means I’m probably going to have a hard time getting my work done. The same is true in our work relationships! (more…)

I’ve had the opportunity to coach many teams and leaders over the past several years, and one coaching conversation that I’ve found to be the most relevant and beneficial is the importance of flexing our communication style using the head and the heart.

One common mistake we make when working with others is that we try to connect with them using the style we prefer. Head leaders usually communicate by talking about processes, structure and strategy, and ROI because that’s what appeals to them. Heart leaders talk about care, inspiration, and compassion because that’s what motivates them.   (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…)

I’ve enjoyed discussing and living out leadership principals with you this past year. As we head toward the new near, I think it is wise for us to think about the conditions that we’ll be doing business in next year. For example, do you expect to experience a severe decline or incline in sales, or do you expect to just maintain your current sales momentum?  Will you experience change? Will you add new team members or reorganize? And based on those conditions, what expectations do you have for your team, and are they prepared for 2011?

And most importantly, as the leader, are you ready to lead to the conditions that 2011 will bring? (more…)