Career Kuel Thought Leader: Gayle Petrillo
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
A recent article caught my eye as I was considering my next blog topic. It started with the above quote. I’ve referred to this quote often over my career.
Ask Open-Ended Questions:
Much like coaching, leading includes asking the right questions and then having the ability to listen, actively.
Open-ended questions are powerful questions. When you ask “why”, “what”, or “how”, the receiver of the message doesn’t feel judged or critiqued. The power is on their side, allowing them to be creative and freer with their responses, providing the leader with the opportunity to inquire further, as to the what and how. This empowers the responder to make and explain decisions, increases confidence and results in resilient, accountable team members.
“Tone and pitch of voice will also play an important role in listening.”
Strong, Confident Leaders:
Being an active listener, requires an individual to stay engaged in the conversation, listening with curiosity and asking pertinent follow up questions, and making comments that embrace the speaker’s points. People not only speak with their voices; body language also is extremely important to be aware of as well because it can change a conversation if either person neglects to pick up on the body language of the other.
Tone and pitch of voice will also play an important role in listening. Listening intently will ferret out when someone is nervous or unsure. Many times while we know the right answer, we don’t have the confidence to share it out loud. Active listeners are better able to support their team members and help them become strong, confident leaders in their own right.
Avoid Making Assumptions:
Another important tool for a coach-like leader to possess is the ability to avoid making assumptions. In organizations that lead from the top down, there is often a lack of transparency and clear communications both up and down the management structure. This can create the opportunity to make assumptions that cause misunderstanding and disengagement.
The coach-like leader who uses open-ended questions, strong listening skills, and communications skills to mentor will build leaders who will be inspired, creative, and more engaged. And who will carry that legacy into the next generation of like leaders. These few tips on how to be a strong, confident leader are worth incorporating into your life.
About the Author:
Gayle Petrillo is President of First Impressions, Image Consulting. Gayle is an image consultant working with both businesses and individuals. Her services include: customer service training; team building skills; secret shopper services; gossip avoidance techniques; closet analysis; wardrobe transformations, personal shopping; employment coaching; and presentation skills.