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Creating Successful Leaders

Category Archives: Communication

In an era when it’s increasingly common to talk with others through a screen, people are becoming more and more nasty to each other. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of scrolling through social media before you encounter harsh words, name-calling, and general bullying.

Though messages of hope DO exist in social media feeds, it’s easy to be distracted or pulled down by the negative ones.

This online rudeness, unfortunately, seems to be bleeding over to the “real world” a bit. We see it in neighbors who light firecrackers until one in the morning, not bothering to think about those with PTSD or terrified pets or children. We find it in people who shout at or ignore those who have differing opinions, instead of engaging them in a thoughtful dialogue.

Much of this nastiness could be eliminated if we practice a little empathy and follow the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like done unto themselves.

The Golden Rule is fine (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you), but not everyone wants to be treated as YOU want to be treated. Different people have different needs, sensitivities, and enjoyments. People do not come in a one-size-fits-all package, and that’s what makes life so interesting and colorful.

The Platinum Rule also forces you to go deeper–to consider what it would be like to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. It makes you shift perspectives, ask questions, and do some thoughtful reflection. It shows you truly care.

So, as you step forward into this sometimes difficult world, do your best to be kind. Choose your words and actions carefully, knowing that they could either help or harm another human. Your efforts can make a difference. They can create positive change.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
NOW LIVE: CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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Woman at desk

We have to turn a profit!

We need to grow and improve!

We have to serve our customers as best we can!

We have to improve our marketing and reach more people!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in big-picture company goals. These are the objectives that drive the day-to-day. They are provide direction for you and your team. However, they are NOT everything.

Even though company objectives are certainly worthy (your organization wouldn’t get very far without them), they don’t always consider the engine that’s driving change: the employees.

Those who work within the company walls, fill out paperwork, brainstorm, attend meetings…they are the ones who make the world go ‘round. They are the force behind any company movement. If you get right down to it, nothing can be accomplished without people power.

So…why do so many companies seem to put their people last?

I argue that employees—team members—should be prioritized. Instead of treating your people as an afterthought, start engaging with them. Find out what makes them tick, what motivates and excites them. Discover what new and out-of-the-box ideas they might have—ideas that could drive change and innovation.

On the flip side, it’s crucial to understand what does not work for your employees. What are their sticking points? What do they believe needs improvement? What is slowly down or impeding their performance?

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure your team feels:

  • Listened to (keep an open line of communication, get to know them, and make sure all voices are heard)
  • Supported (with both people and resources)
  • Motivated
  • Worthy and Important to the overall company mission

People should not be afraid of approaching leadership with concerns or fresh ideas. They shouldn’t be scared of taking sensible risks. They also shouldn’t feel like their leadership is distant and unapproachable.

It’s time to start listening to and empowering employees. They are the backbone of your organization, and if they are motivated and working within a fully-supportive environment, they will thrive.

Want to talk more about improving relationships with and among your team members? I am an Insights Licensed Practitioner and have helped countless teams improve their communication and team dynamics. Let’s talk!


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
NOW LIVE: CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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NOW 50% off: MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

By now, I know my fellow extroverts are going half-mad from being cooped up in quarantine. If you’re like me, you thrive on human interactions. Talking to others gives you energy and motivates you. It carries you through the day.

If we’re talking about this from the Insights Discovery lens, extroverted folks typically lead with Yellow Energy. Translation: their normal state of being is energetic, sociable, and dynamic. They typically enjoy brainstorming ideas or doing activities with other people. In an office setting, they’re the one with the candy dish on their desk.

Enter quarantine…

Most of that energy has been zapped from us extroverts. Yes, we might have family members around, but it’s just not the same. We might feel rudderless and sad. We might dive into social media for just a taste of human interaction. This COVID quarantine is taking its toll on extroverts, both mentally and emotionally.

If you have extroverted friends, make an effort to reach out. Schedule a video chat happy hour, send them a good old-fashioned letter, meet in an open park and have a conversation six feet away from each other (with masks on!).

Better yet, get a group of people in on the action. Form an online book club or do a weekly video check-in. You might even play a game or watch the same movie together.

These small gestures can and WILL help. Your extroverted friend might put on a happy face and pretend that they’re ok, but chances are, they’re lonely and need a little boost. You can be that boost. A few minutes of your time could make a world of difference.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
NOW 50% off: MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

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