10 virtues of a successful leader — no 1. Clarity
“ When you do everything yourself, you’re just a technician. When you get things done through others, that’s when you become a leader.”
Old times managers needed to give directions, make decisions, and keep an eye on the wheel turning. In most cases, the black and white picture looked like that, life seemed more white and black. I think it’s because there was less competition, fewer requirements, the world didn’t rush as much as now. Today we face a bit different reality. Missing old times or complaining would be as walking in the desired direction with your eyes firmly set on what’s behind you.
Today a successful leader is also a coach. Coaching is showing people what should be done, why it should be done, and supporting them as they figure out how they need to do it.
Clarity in goal setting
The what and why part requires clarity.
Don’t assume that people know what you think or expect from them. Be as clear and precise as you can get. When talking, mostly operate with short sentences. Apart from that, you also need to appeal to all senses or as many as you can incorporate. Visualize, use expressions referring to hearing sense, feeling, and smell. Don’t get abstract — provide examples that are close to the other person’s experience. And don’t let the purpose of your message out of your sight.
When you think you got your message through make sure you’re right. Use the below questions to check:
What part of my message is not completely clear to you?
What conclusion do you see in my message?
What next steps should we take?
What is most crucial in what I say in your opinion?
Clarity in feedback
Feedback can never be overestimated. To give proper feedback you need to follow 3 short steps:
- Base your feedback on concrete events or behavior. Be precise, don’t generalize.
- Tell how it looked from your or somebody else’s perspective — don’t judge or give a you-always/never… message.
- Tell about the impact of that event or behavior.
Don’t beat around the bush. Honest SBI feedback will be best for both sides.
Clarity in communication
Make sure you send your ego to the North Pole when you talk to others.
Observe yourself while you are talking to another person. Are you really listening and diving deep into what you hear to see the message as it is? Or are you already building a response to the message which, you think, you got? Another case of not a good way of listening is being so immersed in your background or what you want to hear that you miss what the message was really about.
When your report tells you: “ I have tons of other priorities to do so it won’t be easy to finish this project on time, but I’ll do my best.” Do you feel assured that the project will be finished on time? How likely is it that you’ll ask about the risk assessment or if there’s a need for your support (with changing priorities or something else)?
Clarity is a great time saver. Pay attention to it, practice it, and see it for yourself.
With love, clarity, and purpose
Originally published at http://qualityonearth.com on December 2, 2020.