What are the differences between leading from your head, your gut and your heart?

What Got You Here

Many of my clients are technically oriented leaders in operations, finance, accounting and IT. They were trained to trust their intellect and have typically been rewarded for doing so. Somewhere along the career path, they were advised to “trust their gut.” It takes a great deal of confidence for an intellectual to make that leap, but it is part of progressing to the executive level. Senior executives must analyze information at a high level and make decisions that have major impact on the business and employees.

Won’t Get You There

I invite you to consider that the next evolution at the executive level is trusting your heart. You can rely on your intellect and your gut only to a point, and then you have to tap into the emotional realm. If you ignore that feeling of regret or sadness when you have to cut staff, it makes you less human. True leaders acknowledge their feelings while making the tough decisions. Trusting your heart will also enable you to know what motivates your team. More than money and title, they likely want to have a purpose, feel valued and contribute to the greater good.

How will you go beyond leading from your head and your gut to leading from your heart?

Does this sound familiar?  The team is brainstorming with the boss and she says, “That’s a great idea but…”  She can’t resist adding her 2 cents.  I see it happen in team building sessions and it completely changes the direction of the discussion. The team learns that the boss doesn’t value their ideas so they won’t waste time coming up with any.  They also aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about implementing her ideas as they would be their own.

It’s Not About You

I have a client who is almost always the smartest person in the room.  It is really difficult for him to wait for his team members to figure things out on their own.  Once he realized that giving them the answer inhibited their learning and development, he took a different approach.  He practiced asking questions that helped them see different perspectives and possibilities and allowed them to learn from their mistakes.  Without jeopardizing the business, he gave them the freedom they needed to come up with their own ideas.

Try This Instead

The more senior you are in the organization, the more important it is to help others be successful.  How can you be sure you’re doing that?

• Stop before you speak – is your 2 cents really going to add more than detract?
• Encourage your team to come up with their own ideas – and to try a few
• Practice patience – know that they aren’t going to get it right every time

If you are struggling with holding on to your 2 cents, let’s talk about how coaching can help. Contact me cheryl@csbryan.com

 

 

A recent 360 feedback process for several technically accomplished individuals confirmed that these clients need to be like chameleons adapting to different environments.  Although they are most comfortable with a detailed, analytical communication style, they must improve their ability to provide a high level overview to senior executive audiences and a more general approach for non-technical colleagues.

Adapt to Your Audience

Adapting your style to your environment enhances the way your audience sees and hears you. These key steps will ensure that your message is well-received in both formal and informal settings:

• Learn as much as possible about your audience, whether it’s one person or a group
• Ask someone who knows them for advice on what is most effective
• Review your presentation with a trusted advisor who can give you valuable feedback
• Adjust the level of detail accordingly
• Follow up to confirm that your message was understood

Try something different in your next discussion or presentation, notice how it is received and make changes for next time.

After listening to a friend explain why she wasn’t pursuing a job opportunity that would enhance her career, I commented, “If you’re willing to settle for less than what you deserve, that’s all you will get.”  A look of resignation crossed her face and she said, “You’re right.”  She committed to resisting the temptation to make a move just to escape her current situation.

What about you?  Are you settling for less than what you deserve in your career?

  • Do you need to reevaluate your priorities and dedicate yourself to getting what you want instead of settling for what you can get?
  • Are you clear about what you want?
  • What resources do you need and how will you get them?
  • What are the potential obstacles you might encounter and how will you handle them?
  • Who will support you in this process?

I encourage you to commit to getting what you deserve.  To explore this further, contact me cheryl@csbryan.com.

 

 

How do you let go of things that cause tension and get in the way of your career success?

Have you ever been in the dentist’s office, wondering if you could avoid a tension headache by releasing your grip on the arms of the chair?  It works!  Here are some steps to letting go of things like frustration, unrealistic expectations, or resentment that cause tension and prevent career success:

1. Identify the source of tension
2. Ask yourself what you’re getting from holding on
3. Specify the benefits of letting go
4. Make the changes necessary to reap those benefits

Contact me cheryl@csbryan.com if you need help removing barriers to your career success.