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Creating Successful Leaders

Have you ever been in a room with someone who commanded respect? They spoke in a self-assured way, and held themselves with confidence. When this person said something, people listened and took their ideas seriously. They seemed to be the very embodiment of confidence.

That self-assured person was probably able to command the respect of others because they respected themselves. When you show yourself a bit of self-love and appreciation, you demonstrate that you’re worthy of respect.

In short, respect starts with YOU. Before you can earn respect from other people, you need to learn to respect yourself. Respect is about understanding your own worth and appreciating your own values. This doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Everyone has flaws, but the way you handle those flaws clearly demonstrates whether you respect yourself or not.

An insecure or anxious person will dwell on their personal faults, but a person who respects themselves will simply acknowledge their shortcomings (if necessary) and move on.

To start building personal respect, try any or all of the following 6 steps:

1. Start improving your self-esteem.

Take some time to recognize your good qualities and accomplishments. Think of how capable you are of achieving your goals, and how you can use your strengths to benefit yourself and others.

Once you’ve built up your self-respect, you can work on expressing it outwardly. Speak positively about yourself and show gratitude for the successes and accomplishments you’ve achieved. Be proud of who you are!

2. Know your limits.

Respect yourself by recognizing your limitations and being honest about your capabilities. If you know you don’t have the time or capacity to take on a project, say “no.” If you’re tired of answering emails after hours, draw a line in the sand and stick to your policy. (Read more about setting healthy boundaries.)

3. Seek meaningful relationships.

Prioritize relationships that are supportive, positive, and beneficial. Respect yourself by rejecting interactions that don’t serve you emotionally.

4. Find your own happiness.

People who respect themselves don’t rely on the approval of others. Instead, they seek out their own sources of happiness and satisfaction. Define your own values and work to live according to them.

5. Make healthy choices.

Respect yourself by making choices that are in your best interest. You don’t always have to say “yes” to be liked, and you don’t have to please everyone. Reject things that aren’t in alignment with your objectives, values, or vision.

6. Forgive your mistakes.

Nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay! Respect yourself by not getting too bogged down by mistakes or failures. An essential part of respecting yourself is being kind to your mistakes and being willing to learn from them.

In conclusion, respect starts with YOU. Show yourself respect, and others will follow suit. Learn to accept yourself, practice self-love, and set boundaries that protect your own well-being. When you start to respect yourself, others will take notice and show you the same respect in turn.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea? Or thought of something you needed to do as soon as you stepped into the shower? Or had a poignant thought in the middle of a Zoom meeting, but didn’t want to interrupt the flow?

And then…the thought left your head. No matter how hard you tried to recall your brilliant idea, you could not.

This happens to me, and I’m guessing we’ve all experienced something similar. One way to capture these fleeting ideas is through note-taking apps.

That may sound simple (and it is), but the trick is getting into a note-taking habit. If this isn’t something you’ve done, you’ll have to train yourself to recognize when you’ve had a poignant thought, pause, and jot down the note. Tiago Forte, author of Building a Second Brain, says that it helps to view ourselves as “givers of notes to our future selves.” In a three-minute interview by Daniel Pink, Forte describes the benefits of note-taking apps and suggests a number of different apps to try, including:

Another advantage of note-taking apps is that they can keep all your thoughts organized in a single place. Instead of sifting through folders, documents, emails and tabs to find information, everything can be collected into one central hub. Plus, you can use the search feature to quickly identify what you’re looking for.

In a nutshell: using note-taking apps can help capture ideas and keep you organized. It’s a great way to grab ahold of those momentary flashes of brilliance and record them. You never know when your next big idea will strike!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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One of the wonderful things about humanity is that we’re all so different, and we embody many different traits. Our distinct personalities can lead to powerful innovations, creative solutions, and out-of-the-box thinking. But it can also lead to conflicts, clashing, and misunderstandings. Have you ever tried to assign a highly collaborative leadership task to an extreme introvert? Or asked a “numbers person” to lead a creative brainstorming session.

It can be beneficial, of course, to stretch our abilities and challenge ourselves to reach outside our comfort zones. However, everyone has their limits. A social person who thrives on interpersonal interactions and teamwork can only take solo data entry work for so long. Soon, they’ll be miserable and, possibly, looking for an exit.

As a leader, it’s smart to identify your team members’ strengths and capitalize on them. Develop an understanding of their strengths by doing the following:

1. Ask them directly what they excel at, what they enjoy doing, and what their goals are. You might be surprised by how quickly people open up when talking about these topics.

2. Turn to a trustworthy assessment test for guidance. As an LP of Insights Discovery, I’m a big proponent of the Insights program. Rooted in social science, Insights Discovery identifies four key personality types (Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green) and outlines their inherent strengths and weaknesses. This can be used as a starting point to understand each individual’s potential. For more information, see my past blog post on Insights.

3. Observe each person on the job. What tasks do they excel at? How do they respond to different situations? Do they seem energized or drained after certain tasks? Taking note of these cues can help you better understand how to delegate tasks for maximum efficiency.

4. Listen to your team members’ feedback. They may have ideas on how they can best contribute to the team’s goals. They may be frustrated with processes or tasks they feel they are over- or under-qualified for. Address these issues and strive to create an environment in which everyone can utilize their strengths.

Once you’ve determined each team member’s strengths, you can start assigning tasks and roles that challenge and inspire. Letting team members play to their strengths can lead to greater satisfaction, higher morale, and better team performance. As a leader, it’s vitally important to recognize everyone’s unique gifts, and use them to drive the team forward and foster a more motivated, happier team.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 

HER NEW EBOOK IS CALLED A QUICK GUIDE TO COURAGE.

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