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Becoming a Great Leader

Becoming a Great Leader
Leader

    A series on becoming a more successful leader.

    There’s no doubt about it. Being in a leadership position is a very difficult job. We are required to do so much and to be all things to so many people. The advice we get is often great in theory, but falls short of the mark in practice. We need practical strategies that will help us, and those around us become, or continue being successful.

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    There seems to be a myth that having been a successful leader once, we know all there is to know about leadership. All we need to do to dispel this myth is spend one day when things don’t go as planned. Just as coworkers, customers, and clients come in all shapes and sizes so do they come with all sorts of attitudes, temperaments, personalities and experiences.

    One thing is certain. Unless parameters for successful operations are in place, no progress is made. You can have a dynamic business plan, an awe inspiring mission statement, an a precise instrument for measuring success, but without proper parameters and a procedural system in place, you are spinning your wheels.

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    Here are a few givens.

    • Most behavior is learned.
    • The cause and effect relationship of behavior usually determine if the behavior will continue.
    • That which is learned can be relearned correctly.

    There are some things we can do as leaders to help prevent problems from arising.

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    • Maintain a full agenda of activities. This will limit down time and inefficiency in your operation.
    • Be consistent in your delivery and expectations.
    • Have a contingency plan in place before the next day of business.
    • Communicate with language that is positive, yet firm.
    • Create a pleasant, safe working environment.
    • Communicate with customers, coworkers and clients on a regular basis.
    • Intervene early when difficulties arise.
    • Teach your coworkers problem solving techniques.
    • Communicate and coordinate with peers, even those in other organizations.
    • Determine staff ability levels.
    • Identify appropriate motivational tools.
    • Constantly reevaluate your procedures for appropriateness and possible improvement.
    • Maintain high supervisory mobility within the workplace.
    • Use shaping and fading strategies to gradually change non-productive staff behaviors.
    • Involve your staff as much as possible, in day to day decisions and long term planning.

    This guide is not intended as a panacea for all staff and work related problems. It is intended to be a place to start so that as leaders we can continue to facilitate positive change within our organizations, thus allows us and those around us to continue to succeed.

    Keep in mind that your customers and clients should be foremost in your mind and not every strategy will work with every individual every time. It is important to pick and choose techniques that might work with that individual at that given place and time. By applying these principals you will help to create a productive, creative, and positive environment for all involved.

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    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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