(I will be out of the office on the day this is scheduled to post. I learned a lesson while typing the first version: click the Scheduling button first, to make sure I don’t post prematurely! –LS)
Imagine sitting in the audience of your company’s regional event.
Which speakers inspire you?
And more importantly, which well-meaning speakers demotivate you… and why?
As leaders (or leaders-in-development) in our profession, it can be easy to lose perspective on what it was like to be “the newbie.”
When you grow in fame, so does the number of people who surround you with smiles, always telling you Yes.
But even if they laugh at your jokes you might be inadvertently de-motivating them.
Here are some questions to consider.
Regarding humor and praise:
When you use humor in a speech, does it arise naturally from the situation you are describing? Or are you frequently throwing one-liners into your talk, just to get the laugh (like the proverbial “class clown”)? Also beware the pitfalls discussed in last week’s post.
When a distributor shares an accomplishment… it might have been “no big deal” for you to accomplish the same thing, but it may have required huge courage for them. And they’re describing that accomplishment BECAUSE it is important to them! PLEASE don’t belittle it whether due to its size or the length of time it took to manifest. You might think you are urging them to work faster, but instead you are implying “you are not good enough.”
Regarding private social media discussion groups for your company’s distributors:
When you post an article, do you skim through the group’s posts to see if anyone posted it already?
Remember that your “celebrity” magnifies your voice & influence, and it can easily drown out the same post from a lesser-known distributor. It’s as if they are speaking with their natural unaided voice, while your voice is automatically boosted by the public address system.
Maybe it’s the academic in me… I make a point to give credit wherever I can, in any communication. It’s a fabulous way to use larger influence and lift other people with it. My typical process includes skimming through the group to make sure no one else posted the same article, then I post it and include a “Thanks to __(tagged name)____ for bringing this to my attention.” If I want to re-post, I always tag the person in the body of the post, to give them clear credit for posting the idea first.
Giving credit boosts your trustworthiness with your entire team, and it encourages more members to share great ideas.
For example my mentor is in the top rank of my company, and he could have easily “outshouted” me in May. Last month I saw a positive-press article in my Facebook newsfeed. I skimmed through the private distributor discussion group and did not see another post of that article, so I posted. Typically my mentor clicks Like within an hour after I post, and 5 hours had passed without that acknowledgement. I sent him the link in a private message, and he responded within 2 minutes. “That’s really incredible LYnn!! I wonder if Corporate knows? Nothing has been announced! We need to get this out! Do you want to post?”
Notice how he asked me FIRST. That is classy. In response I told him I already posted and it’s fine to re-post. And yes his post received double the Likes and comments, and that’s fine with me.
Regarding social media in general:
In a social media discussion, do you post your opinion and then yield the floor?
If you add comments to an ongoing social media discussion, are they Replies to other people’s comments in order to support or clarify their opinion? Or are you adding more comments “just to hear yourself talk”?
The One Thing: Leaders listen more than they “talk.”
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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