In North America leadership has traditionally been viewed as a thing that you do. It has long been considered the responsibility and job of the person ‘in charge,’ and as such the burden of leadership falls to those who have title, authority, rank or position. The problem with this view of leadership is that it leaves the vast majority of people – those without the traditional trappings of leadership – sitting back when we should be encouraging them to step up. Organizations are full of people waiting for their turn to lead, but not doing it because they don’t believe it is their place. I believe that this results in an incredible amount of wasted capacity within organizations, and to tap into that capacity we need to change the way we think about and view leadership. This requires a fundamental paradigm shift. If we are successful, however, if we are able to shift our thinking to view leadership not as a thing that you do but rather as a way of being, we will empower people to lead from wherever they are. All of a sudden, leadership becomes everyone’s job, whether you are at the bottom, middle or top of an organization. Imagine the possibility when everyone steps up together!Leadership Seminars
Communication is the primary activity between human beings, and our ability to communicate effectively will directly impact both the strength of our relationships and the degree of influence we have over others. Communication does not happen in isolation, but is a dynamic process that occurs in relationship.
The vast majority of communication in an average North American workplace these days is electronic. We present by PowerPoint, send memos to share information, and email one another rather than walk across the hall. I understand how we got here – we are a society that values activity and involvement, and many of us are simply juggling too many commitments. In our workplaces we are chronically over-tasked and under-staffed, and in the interest of saving time we have developed what we believe to be more efficient ways of communicating. Unfortunately, in our efforts to improve communication, I believe that we have sabotaged ourselves. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that many of us have actually forgotten how to have effective face-to-face interactions. As a result, misunderstandings and frustration have led to a dramatic increase in conflict, stress and difficult behaviors.
Without question there are benefits to streamlined and electronic communication processes when used appropriately, but they must not replace dialogue. It is my belief that we need to get back to having real, honest and meaningful conversations.Communication Seminars
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Pennylynn Heffner, RPII