Tag Archives: quiet leader

Turn that Yes into a No

I Just Can’t Say No!

I Just Can’t Say No!

I was listening to the radio today and the presenter played a snapshot of Seth Godin’s comment on ‘saying no’.  It totally stopped me in my tracks!

He said that when you don’t say NO, but you should, then you are acting as a “cost-free unprioritised contribution to other people’s work.” 

OMG!!!  He is so right!

So many people I work with are suffering from one of the following because they can’t ‘Say No’. Do any apply to you too? 

  • Too much to do.
  • Feel guilty.
  • Don’t want to let people down.
  • Think I “should” or “must”.
  • Know it “won’t get done if I don’t do it”

However, Seth is right. We have it wrong if we think we are doing anyone a good turn by always saying yes.  And the person we are doing the most harm to is our self.

It could be you are ‘over parenting’.  You know you do it, right?  At work AND at home. Perhaps you are short of time, and so you do whatever needs to be done because you “don’t have time” to show someone how.  Perhaps you do it because you equate doing everything for them to showing them you care. 

But here’s the thing.  If you are doing everything for them you are not enabling them, you are Dis-Abling them.  You are preventing people (including your actual kids) from growing up in the role and in life. 

You think you are doing a good thing, being kind, not putting too much on anyone.  But actually, you are just treating like kids (yes I know your actual kids ARE actually kids, but they will stay kids forever this way!).  

This behaviour just teaches them to keep asking you.

Some might think they are getting a good deal because they can push stuff onto you instead of taking responsibility for it.  But they need to either do it themselves and grow or find the right person to delegate that too.  But that should not be YOU!  

There will be others, who might not say anything, but who are probably frustrated that they are not trusted and they are not growing.  They might end up leaving.  They will certainly end up unmotivated and therefore less productive.  You also are probably frustrated as your own stuff needs doing and what you want to do as a leader doesn’t get done.

So, saying no is a good thing.

You don’t need to be “ranty” about it.  Saying no in the right way helps people to understand why and what the benefit is to them. Pre-framing will help.  Telling them why before it happens. And getting agreement on their understanding before you do it.

This approach quickly retrains their thinking and will help them enjoy taking responsibility.

And that is what is real leadership is. 

That is something we talk about a lot in the Quiet Leaders Launchpad, as it is a part of the role that those who consider themselves “Quiet Leaders” often struggle with.  And once they have this skill under their belt – boy does it make them feel good! 

But more importantly than that, it makes them a more effective leader, and their teams more productive and happier. 

Lots of good reasons to master the ability to ‘Say No’. Drop me an email if you need any help with this crucial skill! julie@thinkbedoleadership.com

Lead like a Lion

Talk Like A Leader – Think Like A Leader

Talk Like a Leader – Think Like a Leader

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?  In terms of the age-old context of evolution, I’m not sure anyone can say for sure. 

But in terms of leadership – the answer is sometimes the chicken and sometimes the egg. 

What do I mean by that?

Well – in the context of thinking like a leader and talking (or behaving) like a leader – there is no one answer.  Of course, if you can think differently (and you need to as a leader), then that will lead you to do things differently – and then you will end up be-ing different as a leader.

Here’s the thing.  You can start this cycle anywhere.  If you start to do different things, then you will become more skilled or behave differently which will affect your thoughts.  It works both ways.  And sometimes the ‘thinking’ bit is the most difficult aspect to change by just…well….thinking about it.

If the problem with your leadership skills or styles is in some part down to how you think, then it isn’t easy to think your way out of that.

Think back to the first time you were given a  bit of responsibility you didn’t think you were ready for.  It could have been your first team leader or management role.  It could have been stepping in for your boss at short notice due to sickness or emergency.  It could just have been the first time your Mum left you in charge of your siblings.

The point is you survived that – even though you didn’t think you were ready. 

Sometimes in order to believe you can do something – you just have to DO it.  Getting on with stuff, talking like a leader, for example, builds in you the confidence that you can do it.  And trying different things can be the quickest way to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Specifically, when we are considering how to talk as a leader, you won’t know what works until you do it.  However, there are some general considerations.  Language is very important. 

Some key points about talking like a leader.

Great leaders do not use ‘superlatives’ frequently. 

Unless you are American, “awesome” is something that leaves you in awe.  Like seeing the first moon landing.  Most things just are NOT awesome.  And your team knows that.  So they would rather hear you say they had put in extra effort, or the data on the project was very accurate, than have you say it was ‘awesome’, ‘great’ or any of the other meaningless through overuse, words.

Sound like you mean it. 

If you are empathising – you need to SOUND like it.  Otherwise, it is a platitude.  If you are enthusiastic – SHOW that you are enthusiastic in your voice, otherwise it sounds fake. 

Many leaders worry too much about the content they are delivering and not the delivery.  Public speaking skills are very helpful here and well worth investing in.

Authenticity is important. 

If you say X one day and Y the next you better be prepared to explain your reasoning.  It is fine to change your mind based on data, or circumstance.  But explaining and communicating that are critical.

Having the tough discussions and calling a spade a spade.

I am not talking about being unkind here.  I am talking about being clear.  If you are not happy with a teams performance, you need to explain why, what specifically needs to be improved, by when and how you will support the team to make the changes.   Bosses who expect their teams to infer what you mean by how you behave, are often disappointed, and then blame the team or individual for poor performance, instead of themselves for poor communication.

When you talk like a leader (even if you don’t yet feel like one) people listen to you.  When you convey your values, and vision clearly, then people start to see you are a leader.  And when other people start seeing you as a leader it increases your confidence and belief in yourself as the leader you want to be.

When you haven’t experienced something before it can be really hard to think about it logically, influenced as we are by our entrenched beliefs. Talking like a leader will help you think like a leader and vice versa. 

If you want this year to be your best year yet as a leader in your business or organisation, then come along to our free Kickstarter event and Unleash Your Quiet Leader Brilliance. 

Register Here – the date is Monday 18th January.  See you there!