“Be yourself” is horrible advice for someone going on a job interview.
That’s because you are literally auditioning for a new role. Take the time to craft your “job interview character” by making a list of the qualities a successful candidate should convey. And then rehearse. For example, if you tend to be shy, expand your range of expression (and what you’re comfortable doing) by practicing what might feel like an exaggerated performance, using hand gestures and passion. And try to reframe your perspective. Instead of performing as a person who is trying really hard to get the job, perform as someone who wants to have a great conversation with the interviewer.
Ask open-ended questions and be prepared to tell stories.
Curated by Trevor Lee
As you move up in an organization, people increasingly look to you for answers.
But the best leaders don’t provide all of the solutions — they inspire curiosity, creativity, and deeper thinking in their employees. And that starts with asking the right questions.
Encourage your employees to slow down and explain what they’re proposing in more detail by saying something simple and to-the-point, like “Wait, what?” You could also use phrases like “I wonder why…” to encourage curiosity. And then follow up with “I wonder if things could be done differently.”
Another question to try: “How can I help?” – this question forces your colleague to define the problem, which is the first step toward owning and solving it.
Curated by Trevor Lee
You can gauge the health of a virtual team by measuring the average lag time between when team members identify a problem and when they discuss it.
If you and your colleagues don’t trust one another, issues will go unaddressed for much longer than they should.
That’s why it is critical for members of a virtual team to establish trust and a sense of safety up front.
Trusting people is hard when you don’t work with them face-to-face, but even the smallest of gestures can help: Be generous with information.
If someone is struggling with a project or task, be the first to offer help. And when someone on the team has even a minor success, send a congratulatory email.
A little kindness goes a long way in encouraging others to give you the benefit of the doubt
when stresses inevitably arise.
Having emotional intelligence, often referred to as EI, is an important part of being a stronger, more effective leader.
But too many people assume that it’s all about being sweet and chipper. Sure, some EI competencies are related to sociability, sensitivity, and likeability, but others are connected to leadership skills like achievement, influence, and conflict management.
The key is to have a balance.
If you’re strong in some of the softer, emotional skills, then focus on honing skills like giving unpleasant feedback. For example, rather than using your EI to smooth over interactions with a co-worker who is overbearing and abrasive, work on bringing up the issue to your colleague directly, drawing on conflict management to give direct feedback and on emotional self-control to keep your reactivity at bay.
By which I mean …
Do you demonstrate and deliver on these five key leadership traits:
W = Warmth: Simple human kindness
E = Empathy: The ability to sense what another person is feeling
T = Teamwork: The bias against ‘I can do it all by myself’ toward:
‘Let’s work together to make this happen’.
C = Conscientiousness: Detail orientation, including an ability and willingness to follow through to completion.
O = Optimism: The ability to bounce back and internalise challenges.
And not just leaders. These traits are human qualities and essential to ‘making a difference’ in your workplace and society at large.
Use Empathy to Improve Your Next Meeting
Improving meetings isn’t just about inviting the right people and being prepared. You also need to employ empathy, an emotional intelligence competency that can help you better manage discussions.
Empathy allows you to read people: Who is supporting whom? Who is coasting? Where is the resistance?
Carefully reading people will also help you understand the conflicts in the group so that you can manage the power dynamics. You may think these sorts of politics are unimportant, but power matters — and it plays out in meetings. Learning to read how the flow of power is moving and shifting can help you lead the group.
It’s your job to make sure people leave your meeting feeling good about what happened, their contributions, and you as the leader.