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This Phrase IS Just Plain Wrong, Stop Saying It…

Time for me to rant.

There are two phrases that drive me crazy and people have to stop saying them as if they’re gospel.

The first one is “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got!”

It has a nice ring to it.

And, it is not accurate, in so many ways!

Will a car dealer in business since the 1980s selling cars the way he/she always sold cars, get what they always got in terms of sales?

NO!

The Internet has changed the car sales game!

I’m 54 years old.

If I “always eat and drink what I’ve always eaten and drunken, will I get what I always got” back in my 20s?

NO, I’d be a fat big!

These types of phrases, I have another coming up for you in a few days, are called “Universals,” or “Globalizations.”

It means they are phrased in a way that makes them true in all circumstances, 100% of the time.

The last 20 years has seen this phrase, and it’s sister I’ll rant about in a few days, come into our lexicon as universal truths.

They are not!

People recite these phrases as gospel trying to get other people to change their ways.

Try this, instead of blindly accepting universals and globalizations start questioning them.

Test them for accuracy across different contexts.

I’m not saying the statement isn’t true in many circumstances. It is.

Just not in every circumstance and especially in the circumstances they’re being used in.

This phrase, and it’s sister phrase you’ll read about next time, is now part of my “UnPower Communication Series.”

If you have any words or phrases you detest and believe are “UnPower Communication” I want to hear about them.

Email me at Skip@WorkplaceCommunicationExpert.com and I’ll write about them, if appropriate.

’til next time make it a great weekend & Communicate With Power!

Best Regards,

Skip

P.S.- To have 52 Power Words sent to you weekly for the next year, go to www.52PowerWords.com to subscribe today!


Do You Play the “This=That” Game in Your Small Business Workplace?

My apologies for taking two weeks to follow up on my last blog post where I introduced the concept of “this=that,” and promised a deeper explanation on the concept. Here’s where it came from:

Two weeks ago a client asked me for help with an employee she thought was acting passive-aggressively towards her.

In reviewing the email exchange upon which this small business owner’s claim was made, it was easy for me to determine she was jumping to conclusions and blaming her employee for acting in a passive-aggressive way.

She jumped to this conclusion because this employee has a history of passive-aggressive behavior.

In this instance, it was not the case.

I pointed out to my small business owner client my reasons why I didn’t see this as passive-aggressive behavior, but as a reasonable response to a situation outlined in an email from their boss.

Because of past behavior, this client was playing the game “this=that.”

“This=That” causes a lot of stress, mis-perceptions, mis-understandings, hurt feelings and numerous other issues, and possibly conflicts, in the workplace.

“This=That” is a short cut that the human brain uses to make connections more easy to explain what happens in our world.

This brain shortcut is usually effective. Often you can easily make a realistic cause/effect connection, such as, touching a hot stove burner will cause a burned hand, which is just like stepping barefoot on a loose hot charcoal in the backyard from a barbecue grill.

This is how we learn and works well when we’re growing up and when we’re learning a new skill.

It doesn’t work so well when we’re trying to understand human behavior.

When we apply ‘this=that” to human behavior, especially in the workplace, we are making assumptions, causing us to label and blame others.

Labeling and blaming others in the workplace can only cause problems and conflicts between co-workers, and between employees and their small business bosses.

Do you play “this=that” with your employees and team members?

Have you ever been the victim of someone playing “this=that,” making wrong assumptions as to why you’ve done something?

Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or experiences regarding the concept of “this=that.”

’til next time, Communicate with Power,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Remove Your L.I.D. to Improve Your Results

There are two contexts of communication you need to be concerned with as you go through your day.

Yet, most of us are only concerned with one.

We think we’re only consciously aware of one.

But, I know we’re not.

We are consciously aware of both.

It seems, though, we just ignore one of them.

And, it’s more than just a shame.

It’s negatively impacting our lives, and the results we can achieve for ourselves, our family and our business.

The one context we focus on is our external communication.

You know, the stuff that comes out of your mouth intended (or sometimes not intended, oops!) for others.

The other context we don’t pay enough attention to is our internal communication.

You know, the little man or little woman inside of you that you talk to ALL THE TIME!

Most of what is called our self-talk is not supporting us in the best way, you know?

Most of our self-talk, or what I call our “internal dialogue” is just endless loop conversations that never move us forward.

It’s what I call your L.I.D. or your “Limiting Internal Dialogue.”

This concept and title recently came to me while coaching my clients in the Communication Power for Leaders virtual training, in which we spent more than 3-hours discussing how to lift their L.I.D.

Think now about your L.I.D.

How is your L.I.D. limiting your personal and professional results.

Your L.I.D. is keeping a lid on the results you could be achieving.

I’ll write more about this soon, for now, this is just a quick note to get you thinking about how your L.I.D. may be limiting your personal and professional results.

Leave your comments below as I’d love to hear about your biggest challenges regarding your L.I.D. and offer you some strategies for removing it.

’til next time, Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Workplace Trust, What Is It & How to Get It

It’s been almost two months since I’ve written a piece here as I’ve been focused on developing deep content for, and now delivering my newly launched  Communication Power for Leaders group coaching program.

I under estimated how much time and energy it was going to take.

My apologies for leaving you over the least 7 weeks or so, and want you to know what I’m learning in the work I’ve been doing will be to your benefit.

One of those things is the work I’ve been doing to help the organizational leaders in the Communication Power for Leaders learn how by applying “The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication” it can help build high-levels of trust between individuals and teams.

When the subject of “trust’ comes up, I get all sorts of questions about what it is and how to know if you have it and in what contexts.

Trust is a nebulous concept, isn’t it?

One thing I know is that the one thing that influences trust in the workplace more than any other is the level and quality of leadership and workplace communication.

When we think we have it someone’s behavior causes us to question it.

When we think we don’t have it, someone’s behavior surprises us.

For that reason I’ve tried to quantify it for my audiences and my clients.

Trust can be defined in many ways depending on the situation and context.

For workplace trust, I’ve defined it this way:
“The absolute belief that when communicating with someone, both sides have the other’s best interest in mind and the best interest of the team/organization they serve, and that the other individual will follow through to do what they say they are going to do.”

Clients and seminar attendees also often ask how they can assess the level of trust with those in their sphere of influence.

To answer those concerns I’ve identified three workplace behavior and performance contexts that must be taken into account when assessing one’s level of trust:

  • Relationship – do you have the same values, beliefs, commitment to a common vision and what specifically within those components of your relationship are “musts” and deal breakers, what are the “shoulds” you can live with if not in sync, where can you “agree to disagree” to work together at the highest level.
  • Competency – can the person effectively fulfill their role at the level necessary to be successful. There may be people you have a great relationship with but you may not trust them in their competency to do the job (for example, I have a high-trust relationship with my wife and trust her with my life but if I needed heart surgery she does not have the competency in that context that I would trust her to do the job).
  • Follow Through – will the person, based on past experience, do what they say they’re going to do and follow through on their commitments in the time they commit to do it. Do they stay in touch and communicate proactively along the way keeping you engaged and in the loop without you having to chase them for updates.

That’s one powerful way to assess trust in your workplace and if it’s not at the level it needs to be, you need look no further than the quality of communication by the leaders in your workplace and the tone they set for communication across their work environments.

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


No Time for Leaders to Rehash Old Failed Ideas, Employees Bring to Them As New? Think Again!

Had an interesting conversation with the president/ceo of a 65-employee company yesterday.

He told me that after attending my seminar on “The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins” he realized that after 20-years of leading his company he had become lazy in his communication with employees.

He admitted embarrassment that he, and other senior company leaders, were committing most of my seven communication sins.

I was impressed by his humility and commitment to improve communication at his company.

Specifically, he mentioned how he now knew he was stifling ideas from employees.

This is typical.

Many long-term business leaders shut down employees’ ideas because of their “experience” with similar ideas failing, or being inappropriate, in the past.

Typically, he would say, “thanks for the idea but we’ve tried things like that before and it won’t work,” or something to that effect.

Like most organizational leaders, he didn’t believe he had the time to rehash the reasons these ideas employees brought him wouldn’t work.

Yet, he realized that type of employee interaction was killing the motivation, morale and engagement he needed for his company to thrive.

Since the workshop last fall he said, “now, when someone brings me an idea that didn’t work in the past, I explain what happened and give them the history behind the situation so they understand our experience.”

“I then, tell them to take that information and use it to create a strategy to address those issues and come back to me with some options to see if it’s worth revisiting.

He said, “this new approach gives people perspective on the history, helps them understand my answer while communicating that I’m open to revisiting the idea if we can overcome things that prevented it from working last time.”

This is a true “open door” policy.

I know most of you are saying, “I don’t have time to do this.”

Maybe, maybe not.

I bet you are already investing too much time in fire fighting and dealing with the drama of the moment, though.

I promise investing a little more time on the front end like this will begin to reduce the need for fire fighting and dealing with the daily drama.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Or, better yet, request one of my complimentary 60-minute Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions so we can explore ways you can create a more empowered and engaged workforce.

If you’d like to learn more I encourage you to request one of my 5 FREE, private Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions for May.

You can learn more and request your strategy session at www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com .

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


The Risk That Almost Cost Me My Career

The biggest risk I ever took almost ended my career before it started.

My risk was that I rejected the only college internship offer that came my way.

I took this risk even though without an internship I couldn’t earn my degree, and getting my foot in the door would be very difficult.

Making matters worse, I pissed off the director of our college’s Masters Program because I turned down a Major League Baseball team.

He said to me, “Mr. Weisman, we don’t turn down offers from Major League Baseball teams.”

He could have sabotaged other opportunities. But, he didn’t have to.

It was late in the year, just weeks before professional baseball internships began, so there were no other offers before we left school for winter break.

I took this risk because I knew what I was looking for and this Major League offer wasn’t it.

Two weeks into winter break a phone call came from my ideal internship opportunity. I grabbed it, starting my 20-year baseball career.

“You don’t need self-confidence to take risks, you need to take risks to gain self-confidence.”

That’s a quote from coaching colleague Rhonda Sparks I heard her say at a training we jointly attended last year.

I thought it was brilliant!

There’s a simple 4-step model I recommend when it comes to building higher levels of self-confidence that leads to higher self-esteem –

  1. Take Risk
  2. Learn from the Experience (with failure or success)
  3. Apply Learning’s
  4. Repeat

This is a path to high levels of self-esteem.

You read last week about my own challenges with self-esteem.

Depending on the situation those old demons still pop up from time to time.

When those old demons pop up, I always refer back to this model.

It works, I promise! Give it a try.

If you want help, request one of my 5 free Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions coming up in March.

You can do so at this link: www.RevolutionaryLeadershipStrategySession.com/freestrategysession

Best Regards,
skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

P.S. – We’re still 10-days away and those 5 FREE Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions fill up fast so grab yours today at:
www.RevolutionaryLeadershipStrategySession.com/freestrategysession

 


An Employee Transformation at the Right Time in this Small Business

An employee gave his boss, an unexpected holiday gift last week.

It came from one of the employees at a company with whom I’ve been working.

When I began working with this client, the company owner believed this employee of 14 years was just going through the motions, had an entitlement mentality and only cared about the paycheck.

Last week, in front of this small business owner and all his teammates, this employee said, “I know that if I want a better role with this company I need to help build the platform to make that happen.”

I was blown away.

More importantly, my client, the company owner, was ecstatic and beaming ear to ear.

It’s going to be great for this company starting a new year, with a newly re-energized veteran employee ready to “build a platform for the company to grow on.”

There are employees on your team looking for a reason to contribute at higher levels and don’t know how.

The strategies this client used will work for you, your employees and your company, too.

If you’d like to learn how, let’s schedule a private, 1:1 Revolutionary

Leadership Strategy Session and we’ll explore how to apply it to your company

As a New Year’s gift I’m offering all the small business owners reading this an opportunity for one of 5 Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions this month.

To request yours, go to www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com/freestrategysession

At the end of your strategy session you will launch into this year knowing what you need to do to create greater initiative and ownership in the workplace.

Make it a great New Year!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Conscious Communicator Tip #41The 4 A’s of Managing Performance

This morning in yoga class the instructor opened the class discussing what she called the 4 A’s of self-care.

Immediately, I saw a connection to managing the performance of employees.

The 4 A’s are:

  • Attention
  • Appreciation
  • Affection
  • Acceptance

Due to potential harassment issues you’ll probably agree we should replace “affection” with something else.

Since a leaders’ responsibility is to develop their people, I’d like to suggest replacing it with “acceleration.”

Let’s take a quick look at these 4 “A’s:”

Attention:
After eight years leading my organizations with the attitude that “if you’re meeting expectations you won’t hear from me. If you’re not, you will,” one of my key team members told me that approach “wasn’t good enough for him” and he needed more attention from me. It was the best advice I’ve ever received. Your people need attention.

Appreciation:

The type of attention your people need is usually more positive than constructive. Yet, most of the attention people receive is constructive feedback and leaders are surprised when their people don’t accept it well.  It was said a long time ago that managers need to “catch people doing things right.”

Acceleration:

Managers must look for ways to accelerate the development of those under them. In the small businesses I work with there aren’t enough discussions around accelerating a person’s career or position within the organization. Sometimes this is because there isn’t much room for someone to grow into a higher-level position, so the issue is ignored. This is a mistake.

Acceptance:

For business leader to apply these 4 A’s genuinely and effectively, the work environment has to be in the right place.

If past experience with your performance conversations has resulted in a lot of drama and defensiveness you are going to want to grab my newest free report, How to Transform Your Workplace from Drama & Defensiveness to Initiative & Ownership.

Grab a free copy here, www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com

‘til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Conscious Communicator Tip #33:These Power Phrases Will Allow You To Communicate to Influence

Power Words also come in phrases and can be used to influence.

Our lazy communication habits undermine our ability to influence in ways we don’t even realize.

You have the power to influence stakeholders at every level in your sphere and you don’t even realize how simple it can be.

All you need to do is change your lazy language in the following manner:

  •  “I need this as soon as possible,” becomes “I need this before 5 pm Friday.”
  • “Get back to me on this when you can,” becomes “Please get back to me on this before noon Thursday.”

Communicating this way articulates expectations at the time of making the request to give both parties certainty and a framework for accountability. The fulfillment of the request becomes a building block towards a trusting relationship.

On the flip side, when others make a request of you, change these common phrases this way:

  • “I’ll try to get to it this week,” becomes “I’ll do it and I can get it to you by noon Wednesday.”
  • “I’ll get back to you as soon as possible,” becomes, “I promise to get back to you before 5pm  today.”

Communicating like this does two things:

  1. sets clear expectations on the front end so both sides know what is expected of each other.
  2. sets a standard you have committed to and need to live up to maintain your integrity.

One of my clients had a senior team member admit in a meeting I was facilitating that he couldn’t communicate this way because he didn’t trust himself to be able to live up to the higher level standard.

If you want to be a person of influence, with a reputation for getting things done and following through on commitments, its time to raise the bar by using more power phrases like this in your communication.

To build more power communication skills and habits, check out Communicate to Influence Up, Down & All Around 2.0, my newest tele-class training that launches soon, learn more and get a significant early registration discount at www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/influence

‘til next time, communicate with power!

 

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. – For a list of all Power Words in the Conscious Communicator Series click here


Conscious Communicator Tip #28 A Culture of Directness & Candor Has to Start at the Top of Organizations(< 315 words)

A number of comments to last week’s initial blog article on A Lack of Directness & Candor communication sin led me right into today’s.

So many organizations suffer unnecessarily from under-performing employees in the workplace because of this communication sin. It occurs at all levels of organization, even at senior leadership.

I had a conversation on Friday with a prospect who continually repeated the need for greater accountability and better performance from two significant revenue generating departments. He wanted me to create a “motivational” program to improve performance.

After listening for about 20 minutes I told him it sounded more like a problem with senior leadership needing to get on the same page strategically for the organization. I told him I thought they needed to engage in direct and candid discussions among themselves on setting a new strategic course for their company.

We’re meeting again to have that discussion next week.

Virtually every performance problem in an organization is related to a lack of directness and candor.

Few organizational leaders have the communication skills to promptly, directly & respectfully confront performance issues, and fewer can candidly address behavior issues effectively.

Failing to address both performance and behavior issues directly and candidly kills organizations. It becomes a cancer that rots organizations from the inside out, creating toxic work environments.

Its one thing for co-workers to talk behind each others’ backs, or to tattle-tale on co-workers for job security in stressful situations, but when the management allows it to occur, perpetuating the negativity, it is doubly damaging.

There are a few strategies that can solve this issue and after identifying some other ways a “Lack of Directness & Candor” manifest in organizations next week, I’ll discuss those turn around strategies.

Please leave a comment below to add your experience around the issue of a lack of directness and candor in the organizations in which you’ve worked.

’til next time,
skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. – For a list of all Power Words in the Conscious Communicator Series click here


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