“To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.” Although Joe Namath clearly meant to say “where ‘she” is going” I can forgive him and agree with him to some extent. Those lackadaisical managers I mentioned in my last management blog, “From Temporarily 101 to Management 101…That’s How I Roll,” drive me batty. They always seem unsure and indecisive, therefore giving the rest of us gals a bad rap in the management ring. Stop hanging your head and apologizing for having a good idea rooted in facts just because someone else shoots it down. If it is really a good idea someone else will get on board if you present it right. Stop using that delicate baby voice to speak to me and everyone else while twirling your hair in a professional meeting. I chose to come to work, not a tea party with your stuffed unicorns, so speak up! Stop leaning across the table and yelling your idea at me in such a forceful manner that I can’t help but immediately feel defensive when you begin speaking. You’re tone and volume doesn’t change your actual idea so how about you back up a step and try again so that maybe I felt as if we were on the same team and not at war.
It seems to me that the gals in the above instances have forgotten that being a good manager involves knowing how to effectively communicate with others. When you speak to someone else only 7% of what is received by the other person is the actual words you are saying. 38% of what the other person receives is the tone of voice/volume you are using to say it and 55% is the body language you are using while making your statement. The content of the message comes from the words chosen, but the intent behind that message comes from your style of communication. Be confident in what you are saying. Look as if you believe what you are saying whether you’re sure about it or not. If you’re worried that someone is going to laugh at your idea or talk about it later then I think it is time that I let you know they are already doing that due to the way you are presenting your ideas. As I tell those who work for me, go big or go home. Commit to your choices. After all, I rather see someone screw up really big but with dedication then watch someone doubting their every move and never even finishing a task.
Just because you got a nice new management job doesn’t mean that you’re going to automatically gain respect from your employees and colleagues just because you now have a new title. Your new title didn’t just elect you as a new dictator, so learn how to communicate to those around you. We all know that gal who everyone is talking about behind her back because she can only be described as I would my female dog if I was in the American Kennel Club show ring. People are going to be more inspired by what you do then what you say. You don’t receive trust, you earn it, so learn how to play nicely with others and fast. If you have the motivation, the desire to do more and to go forward, then you have it in you to be an amazing leader. It’s just a matter of honing your skills to be the best you can be.