7 Things a Leader Might Do

Everyone is a leader, but not always in the way you think. Here are some things a leader might do, and why it matters.

  1. Have a one-on-one meeting while taking a walk around a local park or your office parking lot. Because a change in setting might allow an opening for a new conversation.
  2. In a dialog, let the other person talk; be curious; listen with the intent to understand instead of thinking about what you are going to say next. Because you might hear something that surprises you, or alters your assumptions.
  3. Water the plants in the office. Because it reminds you that people, like plants, need nourishment and attention. Or maybe just because it feels good and for a moment you set aside a thing that is stressing you.
  4. Focus on the outcome that will be achieved if your audience accepts what you are presenting. Because that's more forward-looking than worrying about them judging your presentation skills.
  5. Acknowledge and validate another person's perspective before sharing your own. Because you really have to listen, and it helps build trust between you.
  6. Take a brief 5-10 minute "time-out" when upset, then think about what's the best way to respond. Because it shifts your attention away from the negative emotion into finding a constructive outcome.
  7. When asked to do an onerous task, come up with something enjoyable you can do afterward. Because it shows you can choose to go with the flow.

Notice that each of these examples engages a positive energy: to build rapport, to get a result, to create an opening.