Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Three Letter 'Four Letter' Word

Before I get into my post, I wanted to give you a brief update of where Perspectives Blog is going. New face (or blogskin for those who know the Blogger lingo) and new content layout as well. Each post I will share with you some of my thoughts and insights as before but will also share a blog I’ve discovered that is particularly noteworthy, share a book I’ve discovered, ask a question or two and ask for you to dialogue with me so we can perhaps both evolve in some way in the process. As always I invite you to comment, question and add your three cents. If you’d like to me to write on a specific topic suggest that too.

Check out the sidebar as I’ll be adding to it as well as a link for you to subscribe to my newsletter which will launch within the next couple of weeks or so (a 2 minute on the go read) and as always, make yourself welcome!

The Three Letter 'Four Letter' Word

‘but’. Don’t you just love hearing that word in a sentence? I watch people be built up with praise only until they hear that word of death that kills all the good feelings they felt moments before. It’s watching as if a balloon was being blown up into its beautiful, colourful shape only to have someone let go of the end and all the air just fly out in seconds.

But. That tiny word has a huge impact. It’s saying to someone “You were GREAT at doing this but (just not good enough)”, I think you’re really a good fit for this job, but (not right now…or someone else is better)”, I’d go to this event with you if…..but (I have something better I want to do.) What I put in brackets are reactions of the recipients of those ‘buts’.

Oh those three letters can kill a relationship in one fell swoop because if the recipients hear it a couple of times, they’ll anticipate it all the time and turn into a those who won’t give their all because what’s the point? They’ll be demolished anyway. And so it begins…breakdown of morale, self esteem and overall joy in the day, job, or relationship, whatever it is.

Words can build and evolve or demolish….words we take for granted…simple every day words and sentence structures. Languaging is an important aspect of leadership. Languaging is a vital part of life.

I remember Shadowing a client into an executive committee meeting with the President and all the VPs and one of the up and comings did a presentation for a project he was working on. To put it mildly it wasn’t the best of presentations (in other words he crashed and burned) and the questions that followed from the committee made it evident that this person didn’t in any way shape or form impress them in the least. You could see the presenter was demolished by what unfolded. His boss on the other hand, one of the VPs, could have nailed the coffin shut so to speak as he would have been reflecting what his colleagues felt but instead he picked out the one shining moment in the presentation, shared with his staffer how brilliant that was and told him to build on it.

What could have been the most demoralizing experience in this person’s work life to date turned into a moment of resolve, revelation and absolute loyalty and motivation to shine. No buts no ifs, no howevers. Just an acknowledgement that he had the potential, his boss saw it, appreciated it and would be there to help him fly. Now that’s a leader!

Donna Karlin

Blog that caught my eye:
In Phil Dourado's Leadership blog post from March 29th, 2007 he makes two statements that really resonated with me.

Real leaders get ordinary people to realise they can do extraordinary things then allow them to work in a trust-based, open environment to achieve those things.

Real leaders identify and REALIZE talent. They don't go to war over it. They cultivate it. They don't have to hunt it out. They know they've already got it; it just needs releasing. For the rest, click here

A great book we reviewed in our execuBooks Blog was See, Feel, Think, Do: The Power of Instinct in Business, by Andy Milligan and Shaun Smith. This book challenges executives to get back to the basics, using the oldest conceptual model in business, using their gut, their instinct and to really listen to what people want....and give it to them. Every library should have a copy!

No comments: