As more and more opportunities come our way, being able to delegate effectively will be vital if we want to meet our objectives.
The reality is we can’t “do it all” because not only is it exhausting mentally, emotionally and physically, it also may not be the best use of our time.
It doesn’t matter who we are, whether we’re a stay-at-home parent, employee, or business owner, being able to free up time to focus on high-value activities is critical to getting things done on time and achieving the success we want.
Examples of high-value activities include:
- If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, it may be focusing on innovation and revenue-generating strategies.
- If you’re a parent, it may be spending quality time with your children.
- If you’re an employee, it may be moving a major project forward in order to meet your deadlines.
The better we’re able to delegate low-value activities, the more time we will free up so that we can focus on what’s most important.
Our ability to communicate well and explain things simply is a critical skill to have if we want to lead with confidence and have the impact we’d like to.
Throughout history, great communicators have left a lasting legacy because of their ability to influence the thoughts and actions of audiences through the power of words.
If we want to make a bigger difference in our families, communities, our work, or in the world, we must develop the ability to speak confidently and explain things more effectively.
Whenever we’re speaking, there are always two things we have to do well, which are:
- Figuring out what to say, and
- Knowing how to say it.
Having structures or frameworks can help us understand things better, which will also help us explain things better. Structures help us say things more effectively and avoid confusion.
Whenever there’s confusion, there may be different interpretations of what’s being said, which can result in wrong actions being taken.
If we want to be known for our communication abilities, having structures we can use at any time, is highly beneficial.
There is something admirable about people who are resilient and keep going no matter what obstacles they face.
Stories of struggle often become lessons in how to stay strong, be persistent and solve problems in order to achieve goals. The term “resilient” is often used to describe someone who has been through difficult challenges and has been able to overcome them.
What is Resilience?
In it’s simplest definition, resilience is someone’s capacity to deal with, adapt and overcome challenges in life.
These challenges can be everyday stresses, trauma, tragedy or any significant emotional event that will require someone to use their mental and emotional strength to get through them.
Why is Resilience Important?
There are many benefits to having a higher level of resiliency and these include:
- It will develop our mental strength.
- It will increase our self-confidence.
- It will cause us to learn more and develop more of ourselves.
- It will help us develop more patience.
- It will help us clarify our priorities.
The more we can develop our ability to be resilient, the greater the likelihood we will overcome our challenges with more ease and a lot less stress.
Even though we’re all unique, we often find ourselves imitating others or trying to be someone we’re not.
The idea of being our true selves is of greater importance if we’re in any type of leadership role because our words, behaviours and actions will influence and impact others, either in a positive or negative way.
While it’s valuable to learn from others so that we can improve our leadership abilities, what will help make us stand out from other leaders, is our ability to be unique.
It’s important to remember that we should never pretend to be someone we’re not, but we can adopt qualities, traits or behaviours from leaders we admire and incorporate them into our leadership style, while staying true to who we are.
A number of years ago, I did some training work for a company, where I was part of a team of training consultants focused on introducing a new way of training employees. While the training methodology had been around for many years, it was a very new concept in the company.
The words we use has a huge impact on how we feel and what we experience on a daily basis.
If we use more positive words, whether it’s in written form or spoken, we’ll tend to be more optimistic, cheerful and confident. On the other hand, if we use more negative words, we’ll tend to be more pessimistic, focused on what’s going wrong and not be as self-assured or self-confident as we’d like to be.
As a result of our early programming and the external environments we’re exposed to, most people know and use more negative words instead of positive words.
It’s a matter of perspective whether using positive words is better than using negative words and the context in which they’re used, however it’s useful to know the effect the words we use are having on us and those we interact with.
Certain words we use on a regular basis may be causing us to have low confidence, therefore it’s extremely valuable to know what they are so we can consciously choose to use more empowering words.
Many years ago in my manufacturing career, I had just started a new role as a site manager for a company. During the first two months, I was trying to find my feet and better understand the way things operated.
The ability to persuade or influence others is a valuable skill to have.
We’re constantly being persuaded in our daily lives through advertising messages, conversations we have or things we’re required to get done. The more persuasive we are, the quicker and easier we can accomplish what we want.
What does it mean to be a persuasive person?
Being a persuasive person means being able to positively affect the thoughts, emotions and actions of another person to accomplish a desired outcome, that’s beneficial to both.
A persuasive person is able to build a picture of a better result or future in the mind’s eye of another person and cause that person to willingly take action to make that result or future a reality.
Some of the characteristics of persuasive people include:
- They’re goal-oriented.
- They’re future or possibility thinkers.
- They tend to show leadership qualities.
- They focused and effective.
- They like getting things done.
The more persuasive we become, the better results we’ll achieve for ourselves and others.
We experience competition in our daily interactions. Being competitive has both benefits and disadvantages.
On the negative side, being competitive can be viewed as being self-centred, aggressive, inflexible and self-absorbed. Those who are competitive because they have to win at all costs often create more stress for themselves and those they interact with.
The origin of the word competition means “to enter or be put in rivalry with.” Competition is part of our lives from sports competition to educational and career competition.
Like most things in life, we can use being competitive to our advantage. We can harness it in a way that will assist us making faster progress towards the outcomes we want.
When I was in my early twenties as a university student, I was extremely competitive at sports. I hated losing and oftentimes, if I believed I could not win at a sport, I would not even participate. To me, winning was the reason why I played sport competitively.
Looking back, that was a very limited way of thinking and wasn’t healthy.
We all go through difficult times in life and how we deal with them often defines who we are and who we become.
The better we can handle tough times, the better our chances of not letting those experiences slow us down or stop us from making progress towards what we want. As the saying goes, “Tough people are built for tough times.”
The challenge we face is that if we don’t handle the difficult times in our lives well, it can:
- Create unnecessary mental anguish.
- Cause us to have mental or emotional breakdowns.
- Place additional strain on our relationships.
- Cause us physical pain or trigger other symptoms in our bodies.
- Lower our motivation to do the things we want to.
Having reminders whenever we go through a difficult time will help us cope better and also overcome it easier and faster.
Our ability to influence people determines how much of an impact we can make.
If we want to make a bigger impact in the world, we have to become better at influencing other people. The dictionary defines influence as “the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour and opinions of others.”
Influencing someone can often be mistaken as trying to manipulate a person but there is a significant difference. Manipulation is getting someone to do something in an unfair or forceful manner, whereas influence is getting someone to buy into something that can be a benefit to everyone involved.
When done correctly, a person who has been influenced to take a particular action, should feel they’re taking that action because they want to, and not because they were forced or manipulated into doing it.
Some of the benefits of becoming a more influential person includes:
- Expanding other people’s vision of what’s possible.
- Leveraging resources, knowledge and skills to reach outcomes quicker.
- Guiding others to look at things from different perspectives.
- Becoming a more confident and powerful person.
- Assisting others to achieve what they want in life.
Having strong influence skills can make a huge difference in our lives. On the other hand, if we make common influence mistakes, it’ll be challenging to achieve what we want, which will also affect others getting what they want.
We’re always receiving feedback in the form of our results. Whenever we’re not creating the results we want, we know we have to do things differently.
Similarly, we can learn to give feedback to others if they’re not making progress or meeting deadlines. Being able to provide feedback without destroying a person’s self-confidence is really valuable, especially if we’re in any type of leadership or managerial role.
I remember when I had a corporate career, performance management sessions was something I dreaded, both as a receiver and as the giver of feedback. There was always a level of discomfort going through the process because as human beings, being challenged or questioned by another person can be uncomfortable.
The good news was I always survived those sessions and they always helped me improve and I was also able to help my team members improve.
We tend to prefer positive feedback. Receiving negative feedback can be awkward at times.
How Most People Deal With Negative Feedback
- They either reject or ignore the feedback.
- They may get angry at the person providing the feedback.
- They may feel discouraged by the feedback and choose not to improve.
The whole purpose of giving or receiving feedback is to improve and continually move forward towards agreed objectives. In order to prevent someone from feeling discouraged as a result of negative feedback, there are specific things we can do.