Archives for 18 Apr,2018

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3 WAYS TO FOCUS YOUR ETHICAL COMPASS AS A LEADER

Corporate culture functions in an atmosphere of rivalry. Every line worker competes to become a manager, every manager competes to become an executive, and every executive competes to dominate their industry. Cash is king in this vicious cycle of survival, and it stands as an unspoken rule that the only sacred virtue in business is the bottom line. In the face of these conditions, it should surprise no one that leaders are often susceptible to unethical business practices in the workplace. Ruthless corporate culture has an ironic way of financially rewarding productivity even when it happens at the expense of virtue.

It’s Never Worth It

It doesn’t matter what the context or the stakes are, violating ethics for the sake of business is always accompanied by one universal risk – injury to others. This injury could be emotional, it could be financial, or it could even be physical. Nonetheless, if a decision to pursue a specific course of action intentionally compromises the health and well-being of another person, no amount of profit can possibly justify it. This is why ethical leadership matters. Humanity’s duty to do right by one another is defined and illustrated by leaders. Furthermore this duty supersedes any possible justification for financial gain from corruption. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The time is always right, to do what is right.” And doing what is right, especially as a leader, should be instinctive, not selective. Here are three central concepts of ethical leadership.

 

1.       Walk the Walk

Ethical leaders understand one fundamental truth; that is, actions speak louder than words. Ethical leadership begins with sincere intent and ends with deliberate follow-through. Because leaders are expected to set an example for others, when a leader is seen and understood to be ethical, the example said leader sets for their followers is that of Integrity. Don’t be the type of leader who just says what is right. Be the type of leader who does what is right.

 

2.       Practice Accountability

When a leader is only answerable to themselves, there is nothing to stop them from crossing ethical lines aside from fleeting personal scruples. The more responsibility a leader has, the more imperative it becomes for them to have checks and balances against their capacity to make influential decisions. Being accountable means being able to justify judgment as a leader if, and when, the need should arise. Ethical leaders should always exercise legitimate transparency with the people whom they serve.

 

3.       Stay Grounded

One of the easiest things to do in professional environments is lose sight of the fact that business is fundamentally about people. Just think about how many euphemisms are used to refer to people in this context. Business habitually labels people as: Clients, Consumers, Users, Employees, Customers, Buyers, Staff, Personnel, Workers, Recruits, Interns, Laborers, Patrons, Shoppers, and the list goes on. Allowing the formality of business to dehumanize those you interact with makes it easier to make decisions that either work against their interests or directly cause them harm. A leader who never forgets the humanity of their colleagues or subordinates is a leader who is more likely to treat others ethically.

Ethical leadership is all about exercising will. It demands fully embracing a continuous initiative to achieve the greatest possible good for the greatest number of people. Ethical leaders understand that their judgement should be of benefit to those they serve not just substantially, but in the long-term as well. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a ca! ll at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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6 SIMPLE HABITS TO TAME AND CONTROL ANGER

Anger is one of the most universal human experiences. Regardless of culture or background, we all know how it feels to simmer, or even boil over, with fury. Anger is defined as an emotional state characterized by intense feelings of displeasure, frustration and annoyance. When we get angry, we get hostile and develop a compelling desire to express our mood through verbal and physical aggression. As normal as it is to experience anger, people also have an ethical duty not to act offensively in the name of venting anger. If anger is allowed to manifest to the point of verbal cruelty or violence, unnecessary and excessive damages could end up being inflicted on people who don’t deserve to suffer.

 

Leaders Never Lose their Cool

Being in leadership particularly demands strong anger-management skills. Considering how many difficult decisions leaders frequently make, having little or no ability to remain composed in the face of provocation is a recipe for disaster. This is mainly because anger causes impulsiveness. Left unchecked, it has the capacity to manipulate people into contradicting every instinct of good leadership they possess. The key to healthy expression of anger isn’t absolute suppression. Nor is it unconstrained expression. Rather, it’s about lifestyle. It’s about routinely practicing habits, in the absence of anger, that actually serve to neutralize aggression at the moment anger begins to build up. Here are 6 healthy habits that significantly help people prevent destructive expression of anger:

 

 

1.       Take up a Hobby:

Especially for people who deal with anger on a repeated basis, fixation happens to be one of the behaviors that deepens anger. Without some form of regular escape, people experiencing frustration have no choice but to think obsessively about their problems and conflicts. Doing something as simple as a hobby not only offers the opportunity to escape psychologically, it also helps regain perspective about how justifiable anger actually is in a given situation.

 

2.       Reject Pessimism:

Positive thinking is powerful. It has the capacity to inspire people into exceptional achievement. When it comes to anger, it has the capacity to prevent people from overrating the true severity of their triggers. Rejecting pessimism doesn’t mean ignorantly viewing the world through rose-colored glasses. It means choosing to have an attitude that isn’t easily swayed towards negative emotion by negligible concerns.

 

3.       Accept that You Can’t Control Everything:

As is the case with fixation, frustration and anger go hand in hand. When people get frustrated, it’s usually because events are transpiring in an unpredictable or uncontrollable way. One of the most futile things a person can ever do therefore is try to gain control of circumstances that simply cannot be dictated. If a problem is too big to solve, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking or acting on it pointlessly.

 

4.       Learn What Commonly Triggers Your Anger:

Some sources of anger are spontaneous. Most of them however are actually recurring. Instead of drifting through life reacting to the obstacles that trigger anger after the fact, take some proactive initiative to analyze when, how much, and why you actually experience anger. Becoming self-aware helps reveal whether your anger is superficial, or whether it’s caused by deeper issues that require therapy.

 

5.       Communicate:

Angry outbursts are usually the culmination of a breakdown in communication. They represent an attempt to forcefully impose a person’s will as a result of misunderstanding or disagreement. Learning how to communicate with others might sound unrelated to anger, but it is actually at the heart of warding off the likelihood of confrontation. Simple conversation can completely eliminate the very misunderstanding and disagreement that otherwise prompts anger.

 

6.       Pick Your Battles:

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you happen to be the type of person that has to win every argument, the sheer volume of conflict that becomes a part of your life will inevitably consume you. Before giving in to bad temper, make a habit of asking what you stand to gain from becoming angry about a problem. If the answer is nothing, then let it go. It may surprise you to discover that many annoyances in life actually resolve themselves without your reaction or involvement.

Anger isn’t an emotion to be dealt with in the moment. In order to gain control of anger it’s healthier to preempt it with habits that cognitively reset your attitude and perspective about how to react to the issues that trigger anger. With the right balance of meditation, self-awareness, and practicality, you’ll find that most of what causes anger hardly warrants outbursts and confrontation. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823- 7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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HOW TO USE APPROACHABILITY TO STAND OUT AS A LEADER

One of the most important components of leadership is inspiration. Leaders have a responsibility to galvanize their followers and motivate them into consistent, energized action – especially in situations of pressure. Most people assume that leadership is predominantly about decision-making and delegation. However, the human component of being in charge of people means that the more approachable a leader is, the easier it becomes to persuade and inspire devotion from followers. This is because people instinctively relax about obeying someone with whom they clearly share history, interests, perspective or worldview. Approachability helps establish common ground that not only unites leaders and followers, but also enhances the reputation of a leader beyond the boundaries of professional performance. If practicing approachability happens to be a challenge for you, here are a few pointers to guide you towards connecting with others in an accessible way:

 

1. Have an Open-Door Policy

Approachability starts with the basic initiative to make oneself available to others. When it comes to management, this can be achieved successfully by establishing an open-door policy. It may sound cliché, but simply making it known that the leadership of a company is prepared to listen to employees without any restrictions creates an atmosphere of transparency that endears leaders to their followers. An open door policy isn’t just about literally listening to employees speak however. It’s also about responding efficiently and comprehensively to all forms of communication whether in real-time or not. Every memo, email, text message, voicemail, fax, phone call, video conference, letter and so on should be treated as a priority that deserves attentive feedback. It takes effort and commitment, but it is worth it to emphasize the message ! that reaching out to you won’t result in rejection or indifference.

 

2. Give Praise Generously

Professional environments place a lot of expectations on employees. Everyone has deadlines, quotas and targets to satisfy, not to mention the fact that all of this happens under foreboding supervision. Experiencing such conditions constantly in the absence of any validation is enough to waver any reasonable person’s confidence. This is especially why proactive acknowledgment of good employee performance is crucial, not just for approachable leadership, but for effective leadership in general. The more praise a leader gives to employees who deserve it, the more excited and encouraged employees become to give their best efforts. Positive reinforcement yields gratification in people that directly amplifies their productivity which is a why any good leader should never hesitate to congratulate someone for a job-well-done.

 

3. Project Optimism

In a perfect world, life would never present any problems. The reality is however that everyone, and by extension every organization, goes through ups and downs over time. In the face of unpredictability, people naturally look to leadership to provide a sense of stability and direction. One of the most meaningful ways to fulfill this expectation is to offer reassurance to others when things are either difficult or going wrong. Making an effort to be optimistic is uplifting. It is encouraging. Done the right way, it enables people to step out of their self-absorbed paranoia and refocus their energy on success rather than failure. When optimism is expressed by a leader, it translates into compassion that draws adoration from followers.

 

4. Socialize

The burden of responsibility often compels leaders to distance themselves from followers in order to maintain formality. Whereas some detachment is prudent, having zero casual interaction with the people being led only corners leaders into a position of alienation. It serves well for leaders to humanize themselves with a measure of personal disclosure. Finding a way to engage with employees that isn’t hinged on professionalism creates the opportunity to form social bonds that make it easier for employees to dedicate sincere loyalty to their leadership.

Even the smallest effort to be approachable is like planting a seed. It may seem small and insignificant in the present, but following through with it stands to produce flourishing benefits that bear good fruit in the long run. Even if leading others is difficult, just being able to do so in a context of openness and transparency eliminates countless variables of hostility that would otherwise make conflict much likelier. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give u! s a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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6 ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS EVERY LEADE SHOULD HAVE

One of life’s greatest ironies is the fact that change is an absolute part of the human experience. From the moment we’re born, we change through growth. Not only do we change as individuals, but our environments change, our relationships change, and the overall expectations we are subjected to change and evolve. All these changes we go through have implications on every facet of our existence, including business. Considering that change introduces unknown challenges and circumstances to cope with, the only way an organization can survive change is with leadership that understands how to receive and adapt to it.

You Can’t Lead Without Communicating

Strong interpersonal communication is a skill that is fundamental to cope with change, especially with regard to those in leadership. When leaders understand how to communicate well with others, it positions them strategically to reduce uncertainty that is instigated by change. When people are transparent and interactive with one another in situations of change, it allows them to share information in ways that prevents misunderstanding and conflict. This is why when leaders have strong communication skills, not only can they mediate constructive interaction amongst employees, they can also set agendas that inform how employees perceive and respond to the unknown. Some of the basic benefits of effective leadership communication skills include:

· Keeping leaders grounded and in tune with employees’ needs.

· Building trust with peers and subordinates.

· Motivating employees.

· Maintaining long-term mutual understanding with employees.

The only way leaders can build fruitful relationships with relevant stakeholders in their business is by practicing deliberate, conscientious communication. More specifically, leaders should possess the following crucial communication skills:

1. Public Speaking:

Being in charge of a group of people demands an ability to address them all simultaneously. It could be to issue instructions, or it could be to connect with them regarding other issues. Either way, public speaking skills are part and parcel of interaction with employees.

2. Storytelling:

Compelling leaders don’t just communicate with others in technical ways. They understand how to appeal to an audience through anecdotal narration. Being a good story-teller is endearing. It is a technique that can be used to motivate and inspire people without resorting to tangible incentives.

3. Composure:

There are moments in which leadership and unpopularity go hand-in-hand. Leaders often have to make difficult decisions that subject them to hostility from others. Being able to keep one’s cool is an invaluable quality under such circumstances. The more composure a leader can exercise in stressful situations, the more stability they project towards the people counting on them.

4. Negotiation:

Leadership is seldom ever a process of routine administration. At some point or another, every leader is saddled with the responsibility of having to achieve compromise regarding a critical dilemma. Being able to negotiate increases the likelihood of beneficial decision-making should such conditions arise.

5. Active Listening:

Listening is one of the most habitually neglected components of communication. People tend to be so focused on self-expression that they end up ignoring just how important it is to hear and comprehend other people’s speech. Leaders who know how to listen not only convey an image of compassion, they gain the opportunity to discover insights into what their employees actually think and feel.

6. Versatility:

Versatile communication means understanding how to interact with others through a variety of channels. For instance some people favor face-to-face interaction exclusively. Others lean towards using written messages by way of email or texting. Instead of being pigeon-holed into one preference, leaders who can adapt to any method or platform of communication stand to connect more closely with the people they encounter.

Communication can seem like a complex ritual, but it’s just a matter of practice. The ultimate goal is to be sincere about understanding the perspective and experiences of the people you communicate with. The more you focus on listening and appreciating the needs of your audience, the better the outcomes of your communication will be. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your! daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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