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Leadership Coaching

Leadership Coaching
July 01
11:00 2017

Caryn Walsh coaches the 2016 Australian CEO of the Year. She is an International Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker. She is in Fiji four times a year.                                                                                     

Leadership research is conducted in many countries, with the most common focus being on how to be an effective (exemplary) leader.

What skills or attributes do leaders at all levels need to motivate and inspire others, pushing them to achieve more and helping the team/Department or Organisation overall reach its goals?

Throughout the findings, a key outcome is the importance that effective communication skills play in uniting the troops, providing direction to them and creating a working environment (culture) that makes people want to do their very best at work.


Communication Skills – The Life Blood of exemplary Leadershipshiv

Defined as ‘the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviours to express or exchange information or express ideas, thoughts and feelings to someone else’ the model of communication may seem simple enough, but why do we so often get it wrong?

The reasons are many, and some include:

  • A lack of clarity
  • Not enough time to spend with your people communicating with them
  • A negative attitude of the Leader
  • Poor communication skills, where a leader is not technically competent in relating well with their troops
  • Assumptions that others ‘should know what I mean’


The Importance of a Positive Attitude in Leadership

By definition, an attitude (good or bad) is ‘a settled way of thinking or feeling about something’.


A leader’s attitude is critical to a team or Organisation’s culture – and can make the significant difference between people liking or hating their job, their workplace and the leaders whom they follow.

It is the leaders in an Organisation who determine its culture – the ‘feel’ an Organisation has.  According to Organisational Researcher Roger Harrison, the four types of culture in a Company include Power, Role, Achievement and Support.

Whilst every Organisation must have a little of all four, the dominant Organisational culture modern day leaders are after is a combination of achievement (of goals) and support (of each other).

Leaders set and achieve a particular culture within which people work.

A Leader chooses their attitude

We are not born with ‘an attitude.’ We learn attitudes from others around us, particularly in our younger years.

For example, if you grow up in a family where the belief is that ‘women belong at home and not in the workplace’ there is a chance of you adopting and following that same value as you become older.

Three helpful values (that drives attitudes) of modern day leaders are pride, passion and belief (in yourself and the Organisation.)

Pride means caring enough about what you do to do the very best you can time and time again.  Passion means intense enthusiasm for your work and lastly, belief means that you believe in you as a leader to do a top job consistently.




Communication Skills critical for modern day Leaders

  1. Connect with your people. Spend time with them ‘on the job’, have lunch with them in the canteen and go out on the road with them.  By spending time and showing interest in your people, you build solid relationships with them
  2. Listen to your people. Listen with your ears and your eyes.  Body language makes up 75 per cent of human communication, so watch what your people do, listen to what they are saying by spending time asking them questions and trying to understand what message they are trying to give you
  3. Show empathy. It is not only the function of HR to help your people move through life’s difficulties. Be there for them.  Tell them you realise they are struggling.  Ask them how you can help them.
  4. Be positive, approachable and ‘up-beat’. The best leaders are those who are optimistic, approachable and supportive of their troops.
  5. Be Assertive. Firm and fair but never aggressive or disinterested.  If you think an employee needs to improve in an area then tell them respectfully, focussing on tasks they do well and areas for improvement
  6. Used open ended questions to get information. These are questions that start with words like ‘Describe to me….’ or ‘Tell me a little more about…… ‘Open-ended questions build rapport and enhance communication, developing relationships at all levels.
  7. Praise your people regularly. Research says we should praise people around us 7 times a day.  We all want to feel accepted and valued, and praising our people should be part of what leaders do every day
  8. Learn how to be emotionally intelligent. Manage your emotions well so that they work for you, not against you.

The best leader is one who is emotionally stable, consistent in their positive approach and who is calm when angry


Conclusion:  Probably the most important skill in leadership, effective communication is the life-blood of motivating and influencing others.

When leaders don’t communicate well and have a bad attitude, the productivity and happiness of an entire team, department and Organisation is affected.

To be an exemplary Leader, become a Master of Communication.

Then watch your people thrive.


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