Self-Aware leaders are able to bring their best selves to work while also bringing out the best in others. Self-conscious leaders are more absorbed with themselves and less effective as leaders.
A relative of mine who is a teacher went all year without hearing any affirmation from her boss. At the end of the year she asked her supervisor if she had done anything positive. “Sure, lots,” was the response. Why did the boss withhold this information all year?
2020 will be a year of great challenge and great opportunity. Division and drama are at an all time high. Globally 85% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Yet everywhere we travel around the world, leaders tell us they are craving positive connections and authentic relationships. They are tired of the drain and want their energy back! They are looking for a better way.
Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019.
Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019
The drama mavens would prefer that you to believe these fake narratives because they keep you small and afraid and willing to accept anything.
- Overnight success is just a click away
- Power builds safety
- Difference is the enemy
- There’s not enough to go around
- My beliefs are better
- Vulnerability is weak
- Life is a competition
- You don’t need anyone else
- Other people can make you feel good or bad
- A better phone camera will make you more popular
The Struggle Is Real
Struggle is not a bad thing. Conflict is not something to be avoided or used as a weapon. Diversity is not the enemy. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and fit into neat categories.
Compassion Headlines You Can Believe
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion fosters connection, innovation, and purpose. Here are some news stories you can believe.
- There’s a positive purpose for diversity
- Conflict is natural and produces energy
- The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy
- Connection, not division, is the key to our strength and survival
- Vulnerability requires courage and builds trust
- Leadership is about leveraging diverse gifts towards shared goals
- There is plenty to go around when you adopt an abundance mindset
- There are no shortcuts
- You are 100% responsible for your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- A better phone camera will reveal more of your imperfections
What if you embraced these true compassion stories for 2020. How could your life and your relationships change? How much better could you become as a leader?
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
With The Compassion Mindset Course you can stop the drain of negative workplace interactions turn that energy into greater connection, engagement, and productivity.
This year I launched my new podcast, OnCompassion with Dr. Nate. Learning leadership lessons from my guests has been so rewarding.
At the end of each episode I consolidate and share my top three takeaways. Here are several leadership lessons I thought were particularly rich.
The Action Is In The Interaction – Doug Conant
Leaders have 200-400 interactions per day of less than 2-min. Your legacy as a leader will be dependent on how you handle those interactions. Life is too fragmented and dynamic to rely on traditional approaches to communication – tomorrow’s leaders have to be fluid in the small moments.
Compassion Requires Boundaries – Laura Cole
Laura’s horse, Watson, has a habit of nibbling shirts. Yet successful executives at the top of their game allow him to bite holes in their shirts because they don’t want to be mean or don’t know how to stop it. Lack of boundaries isn’t nice. It deprives others of a more healthy way to interact with us and form a meaningful relationship. And, it invites us to form negative opinions of others who seem to disrespect our wants and needs.
Vulnerability Is A Secret Weapon – Jody Horner
With help from an executive coach, coupled with her desire to make more meaningful, positive connections with people, Jody went from believing that she needed to make sure there were no chinks in her armor – being professional to a fault – to showing more of her real self at work. What she experienced was that her credibility as a leader went through the roof.
Will you help me raise awareness of OnCompassion With Dr. Nate? Subscribe, rate on iTunes, and share with your tribe. New episodes will launch every month. Thanks for your help!
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
Last week I really messed up an opportunity to listen. My teenage daughter was asking me and my wife for ideas on places to go for a special date night with her boyfriend. I was working on my computer and heard her request in my periphery so I popped off a few of my half-baked ideas on novel locations. She was not impressed and let me know it. I made a snarky comment about how she shouldn’t have asked me if she didn’t want my ideas, and went back to my work.
An hour later I was in bed and I realized I had missed an opportunity to listen. My daughter wasn’t asking for ideas, she was sending out feelers to see if anyone cared about what mattered to her.
I often feel indignant when people don’t give me the benefit of the doubt, or question my intentions. I know my intentions are good, even if I didn’t say it quite right or made a mistake in how I handled something. “After all we’ve been through, are you seriously questioning me?”
Here’s the hard reality.
Trust should never be assumed, and it must be earned in every interaction.
The danger of expecting that people will trust me is that I get complacent about making trust money deposits, and careless about withdrawals.
Trust Money Deposits
- Declaring my intentions, every time
- Listening to understand
- Validating someone else’s experience
- Getting curious
- Caring about the person as much as the task
- Following through on commitments
- Apologizing for mistakes
Trust money deposits help support me when I do make a mistake or behave in an unexpected way.
But trust money withdrawals are very costly. Trust money takes a long time to earn, and a very short time to spend.
Trust Money Withdrawals
- Focusing more on the task than the person
- Discounting or redefining someone else’s experience
- Making excuses
- Blaming others
- Turning conversations into competitions
- Breaking promises
- Minimizing your own mistakes
- Making it personal when it doesn’t need to be
How To Keep A Positive Trust Money Account
- Never expect someone to give you the benefit of the doubt, so leave them no doubt about your intentions.
- Make trust money deposits in every interaction.
- Minimize trust money withdrawals.
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion builds trust.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
December 2-9 ONLY
I recently interviewed Dr. Stephen Trzeciak for my podcast. Steve is the Chief of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care and author of Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence The Caring Makes a Difference.
I asked Steve if there is a difference between Empathy and Compassion, since it seems a lot of people think they are the same. He answered with a quote from his co-author, Anthony Marrazzelli.
I do a lot of keynote presentations. I get between 45-75 minutes to engage and audience, inspire them to try something new, and give them practical nuggets they can use immediately. I’ve learned through experience that the best keynotes don’t try to cover too much material; one main message and one or two key takeaways.
I’m a guest on a lot of podcasts. Although we might cover a lot of content in 30-45 minutes, one of the most common wrap-up questions I get asked is, “What is one thing our listeners can do right away to bring more compassion to their lives?”
Here’s my answer, my one nugget that will make the biggest difference.
If you apply just one thing from my presentation or interview, do this: Disclose your emotional end-game.
Most of us want to feel happy, secure, safe, confident, connected, respected, competent, or valued. This is the emotional end-game, our emotional motives. These are OK. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel happy or connected or competent.
Much of what we do every day is in service of these motives. When they are threatened, we step up our efforts.
Very rarely, though, do we tell anyone about them. We argue in meetings, inexplicably advocate for certain outcomes, maneuver relationships, and engage in all sorts of passive-aggressive or passive-avoidant behaviors in service of our emotional motives. All while keeping the end-game secret from others.
Why we hide our emotional end-game
- Afraid that others won’t care about it
- Worry that others will reject us for it
- Don’t believe we deserve to get it
- We’ve trained ourselves to avoid emotions
Why it’s the right, best thing to do
- It’s the truth, so be honest
- It lets others help you
- It builds trust and connection
- It leads to better decision-making
- It cleans up communication
- It stops passive-aggressive and passive-avoidant behavior
Compassion means treating yourself and others as valuable, capable, and responsible. Disclosing your emotional end-game is the compassionate thing to do.