Today we dispatched the November edition of our Leadership That Works newsletter, a curated digest of captivating leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s captivating leadership links: Shut up and WAIT, create a leadership narrative, be a coach, and more. As always, we’re sharing the articles from our newsletter here in case you’re not subscribed to our mailing list. If you like what you see, you can sign up to receive our newsletter here.
“A coaching mindset is a people-first mindset,” says this wise OfficeVibe post on a “coaching leadership style.” In a time where more and more employees are driven by opportunities to develop and grow, a coaching approach to leadership is uniquely effective because it requires that you really get to know people, to learn what drives and motivates them, and to help them feel like they are making an impact. While coaching takes “a lot of trust building” and “honest conversations” it can help you create high-performing teams and more productive relationships. The best part? You don’t have to start from scratch. You already have a template for what effective coaching looks like. All you have to do is tap into your memories of the people who had a positive effect on your life, a “boss, a teacher, or mentor,” who “empowered you to think differently, find your own solutions and take on new challenges.” Learn how to master the coaching style in the full post here.
**For more on tapping into your experiences to empower others, explore our post on How to Be a Leadership Hero
There is wide consensus among leaders that collaboration is essential to organization success. But the same leaders report that most efforts to increase collaboration are not effective. Why? The problem is that “leaders think about collaboration too narrowly: as a value to cultivate but not a skill to teach,” writes Francesca Gino in this comprehensive Harvard Business Review article on cracking the collaboration code. The way to cultivate the collaboration skill does not lie in heavy-handed initiatives intended to coax and force a more collaborative workplace. Instead, research shows the key is a psychological approach, one that cultivates “an outward focus . . . challenging the tendency we all have to fixate on ourselves.” Gino has identified six training techniques that demonstrably help people work together better and you can find them all here.
While some meetings are essential to making important decisions and advancing the agenda, superfluous meetings perceived by employees as unnecessary time wasters are so commonplace that they are causing an increase in a phenomenon organizational psychologists are calling “Meeting Recovery Syndrome” or “MRS.” MRS is explained as “time spent cooling off and regaining focus after a useless meeting,” in this fascinating BBC article on the topic. The syndrome causes a “slow replenishment of finite mental and physical resources” because “when an employee sits through an ineffective meeting their brain power is essentially being drained away.” In an effort to combat this insidious plague on the workplace, researchers are exploring ways to improve meetings which you can read all about here.
**For more on making meetings more productive, read our CEO Manifesto for Better Meetings
When Adam Bryant poses the question “Do you feel like your boss listens to you?” to executive education students, only a third of them tend to raise their hands. It’s a grim reminder that despite the ubiquity of popular leadership advice touting the importance of listening, there is still a dearth of leaders who actually know how to listen. This is bad news considering, as Bryant writes in this strategy+business post, “listening is not just a nice-to-have skill for senior executives; it is essential for effective leadership.” How can leaders do better? They can start by considering the helpful WAIT acronym which stands for “Why Am I Talking?” This creates the space for others to contribute and helps the manager “be brutally honest with themselves about their motives for speaking when they do chime in.” Learn more about developing better listening skills in the full article here.
**For more on better listening, check out our post on How to Listen Like a Leader
There are always benefits to increasing the gratefulness we feel and express in our work and life but in the holiday season our attention becomes even more finely tuned towards giving and experiencing thanks. To help focus and optimize this thankfulness calibration, Daryl Chen has curated five powerful practices that can increase your appreciativeness in this actionable TED post. None of them are too daunting and they can all be started right away. Want to double the power of the exercises? Chen recommends enlisting a “gratitude buddy” to do them with you.
** For more gratitude exercises, explore our 10 Powerful Ways to Give Thanks with Your Leadership
Gallup research covered in this helpful post reports that only 15% of U.S. employees say the leadership of their organization makes them feel enthusiastic about the future and only 34% are engaged in their work. A powerful leadership narrative can help combat these pervasive feelings of pessimism and nihilism; it can “inspire, enthuse, and move people to action,” and help people connect their jobs to “the greater purpose of your company.” How can you get started on creating and communicating an effective narrative? This post has usable tips to help you get started.
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