Tag Archives: creativity

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

Great leaders are heard, and understood. They get the results they want. Here’s how.

When you clearly communicate your vision and objectives to your team, you have certain expectations about the outcome of that communication. Yet, I commonly hear entrepreneurs express concern and confusion over their employees’ inability to carry out a plan to the point of meeting, or exceeding, expectations. If this frustration is familiar to you, it may not be because you’ve chosen the wrong employees, but the wrong approach in communicating with them.

In his recently released book If I Can, You Can: Transformation Made Easy, business coach David Zelman talks about how to communicate so that you are heard–and understood.

“Everyone possesses a unique set of internal conversations,” says Zelman. “Outcomes aren’t based on what your employees are being told, but what they are telling themselves.” In his 40 years of leadership coaching Zelman has learned that everyone’s actions are a perfect match to their inner dialogue and correlated to what they are telling themselves, not what others are telling them. 

If you tell your team that you are slashing the price of an existing product, each person hears something different. Your sales team hears, “Great. More demand, but I’ll have to sell more units to make my financial commitment.” Customer service hears, “Better staff up for additional client base.” And production hears, “How are we going to meet the demand? We are already running at capacity.”

“When another person is speaking, we often don’t do a good job of distinguishing what the other person is saying versus our interpretation of what they’re saying,” says Zelman. “In fact, it is uncommon for us to simply hear what is being said. The point is, if you say something to five people, you are most likely having five different conversations.”

It is possible to create a shared vision within your organization, and to inspire your team to contribute meaningfully. Here are Zelman’s top five suggestions on how to help others transform their inner dialogue and dramatically alter the chance of success.

1.  Have conversations that are focused on the future, not the past.

Getting people aligned on a vision or common purpose is one of the primary roles of a leader. Too many conversations revolve around explaining or justifying why something did or did not get done. This is a waste of time and energy. The past is behind us. Build a practice of focusing on the future, of what needs to happen to achieve the vision and goals. And always establish timeframes in which goals will be achieved.

2.   Instead of issuing directives, have a dialog.

By having employees participate in a dialog that creates goals, strategy, and timeframes, you are encouraging them to have a higher level of ownership of the corporate objectives. Create a collaborative culture and people will assume responsibility willingly.

3.   Don’t assume you have been heard.

Communication requires both speaking and listening. The excuse, “It’s not my fault; I told them what I wanted,” just doesn’t cut it. Unless you ask for feedback, such as, “What’s your interpretation of what I just said?” there is too much room for misunderstanding.

4.   Create a culture of authentic communication.

While transparency and inclusiveness are important variables in establishing effective communication, maintaining integrity in communications is even more so. Organizations must build a culture where people are authentically committed to what they say. A promise is a promise. A commitment is a commitment.

5.   Acknowledge and appreciate good work.

When people are recognized and acknowledged for their contribution, they are more likely to continue to create value in the organization. If you stop acknowledging people, they lose their sense of belonging and making a difference.

Leaders who succeed in sustaining effective communication throughout their organization build high-performing teams and thriving companies. How do you achieve your best results?

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6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

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I’m Ms. Choice and I’m here to provide information and assist in promoting and implementing wellness and healthier snacking at work sites and schools. INC has collected 6 unusual habits of exceptionally creative people, see below:

6 Unusual Habits of Exceptionally Creative People

I expend a huge amount of my time and energy writing books and articles and working to keep my company innovative. I’ve developed an obsession with some of history’s most creative minds in the hope that I might learn some tricks to expand my creative productivity.

Some of the things I’ve learned are more useful than others, and some are simply too weird to try.

Steve Jobs, for example, routinely sat on toilets, and would dangle his bare feet in the water, while he came up with new ideas, and Yoshiro Nakamatsu (inventor of the floppy disk) would dive deep underwater until his brain was deprived of oxygen, and then write his ideas on an underwater sticky pad.

Weird ideas aside, I’ve developed a pretty good understanding of the habits of some of history’s most creative minds. There’s enough commonality between different people that I’ve distilled their habits into strategies that anyone can follow.

Six of these strategies stand out because they have the power to change the way you think about creativity. Give them a try, and you’ll reach new levels of creative productivity.

1. Wake Up Early

Not all creative minds are morning people. Franz Kafka routinely stayed up all night writing, and William Styron (author of Sophie’s Choice, among other bestsellers) woke up at noon every day and considered his “morning” routine to be staying in bed for another hour to think.

However, early risers make up the clear majority of creative thinkers. The list of creative early risers ranges from Benjamin Franklin to Howard Schultz to Ernest Hemingway, though they didn’t all wake up early for the same reasons. Franklin woke up early to plan out his day, while Schultz uses the time to send motivational emails to his employees. For many creative people, waking up early is a way to avoid distractions. Hemingway woke up at 5 a.m. every day to begin writing. He said, “There is no one to disturb you, and it is cool and cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”

The trick to making getting up early stick is to do it every day and avoid naps–no matter how tired you feel. Eventually, you will start going to bed earlier to make up for the lost sleep. This can make for a couple of groggy days at first, but you’ll adjust quickly, and before you know it, you’ll join the ranks of creative early risers.

2. Exercise Frequently

There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercise for creativity. Feeling good physically gets you in the right mood to focus and be productive. Exercise also forces you to have disconnected time (it’s tough to text or email while working out), and this allows you to reflect on whatever it is you’re working on. In a Stanford study, 90 percent of people were more creative after they exercised.

It’s no surprise that so many creative and successful people built exercise into their daily routines. Kurt Vonnegut took walks into the nearby town, swam laps, and did pushups and sit-ups, Richard Branson runs every morning, and composers Beethoven and Tchaikovsky both walked daily.

3. Stick to a Strict Schedule

It’s a common misconception that in order to be creative, one must live life on a whim with no structure and no sense of need to do anything, but the habits of highly successful and creative people suggest otherwise. In fact, most creative minds schedule their days rigorously. Psychologist William James described the impact of a schedule on creativity, saying that only by having a schedule can we “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”

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