Find Gold in Others…

When you are interacting with people, what we generally do is judge them and start looking at pitfalls, and problems in them, we have a bit of a negative approach.

But it should be the opposite when we go digging into the people, we should look for gold, not dirt because everyone has gold buried within them, it just needs some policing and shining.

And if we start looking at gold in others, we will also find gold within ourselves.

Develop Your Active Listening Skills…

Are you an active listener at work? Listening actively means you’re not just hearing what the person is saying, but also tuning in to their thoughts and feelings. Nodding along and repeating back your conversation partner’s main points is a good start, but it’s not enough to make them feel heard.

To become a better active listener, start by understanding your default listening style. Reflect and ask yourself, “How do I usually listen?” Are you task-oriented, focused on efficiency? Do you seek connection, picking up on the emotional elements of what your counterpart is saying? Or do you tend to be more critical? Be honest with yourself about your default mindset when you listen to others.

Then make an active, conscious choice about how to best listen in a particular situation. First determine the goal of the conversation. Then decide which listening mode is most appropriate: Are you and your counterpart trying to come up with an action plan? Or to better understand a particular situation or subject? Are you hoping to deepen your relationship? Or are you being asked to provide an honest critical assessment? True active listening entails listening with a clear intention in mind.

Mentorship Doesn’t Have to Burn You Out…

While being a mentor is rewarding, mentoring several people can be a draining undertaking. How can you structure your mentorships in a way that feels sustainable? Here are three strategies that can help.

Divide your mentees into teams. Creating mentee teams enables them to operate semi-autonomously. If you have more than a couple of mentees, try organizing them into subgroups of three to four, giving the mentee with the greatest expertise the opportunity to lead the group. The team can then meet on its own time; junior employees will learn from more senior ones, and senior ones will learn how to be mentors themselves.

Set expectations early. Communicate what you expect in terms of email response times, meeting frequency, and specific areas that are “off limits” for discussion. If a mentee doesn’t commit to following through, it’s time to let them go. This tactic ensures that you’re only spending time on mentees who earn your attention.

Use technology to your advantage. Online scheduling tools can reduce the back-and-forth of finding a time to meet. You might also consider setting up weekly office hours (in person or virtual) during which any of your mentees can drop in.

4 Leadership Characteristics to Develop…

Leadership isn’t a quality you either innately possess or lack; it’s the sum of eight skills you can develop over time. Here are four of the characteristics that will help you become recognized as a leader.

Authenticity. Work to build self-awareness, and put yourself in positions to highlight your strengths and improve on your weaknesses.

Curiosity. Ask questions about what you don’t know. Think expansively and ambitiously. Present as someone who constantly wants to learn, explore, and innovate.

Analytical thinking. Leadership requires the ability to break down complex problems, identify their root causes, and come up with fresh solutions. Develop your analytical skills by focusing on cause-and-effect relationships and being attentive to patterns and trends.

Adaptability. Take on assignments and seek out experiences that demand flexibility. Push yourself to work in new environments with different kinds of people.

The Quiet Strength: Less Talk, More Power…

In the world of power and influence, sometimes saying less can mean more. It’s like a secret trick in the game of looking powerful. When you choose your words carefully and speak only what’s essential, you create an aura of mystery and control around yourself. This doesn’t mean staying silent all the time, but rather knowing when to speak and when to hold back.

Imagine you’re in a meeting or a discussion. While everyone else is eager to put their thoughts out there, you listen, observe, and only chime in when you have something impactful to say. This approach can make your words carry more weight. People start to pay more attention to what you say because you don’t waste words on trivial matters.

By speaking less, you also avoid the risk of saying something wrong or unnecessary that could weaken your position. It’s like playing a strategic game where every move counts. You become like a wise chess player who thinks several moves ahead, speaks through actions and keeps their strategies close to their chest.

Moreover, when you’re not rushing to fill the silence, you give others the space to reveal more about themselves. This can be a powerful tool, as it allows you to gather information and understand the dynamics at play without giving away your stance or intentions.

In essence, embracing the power of speaking less is about exuding confidence and wisdom. It’s about knowing that you don’t need to prove your power with a flood of words because true strength often lies in thoughtful silence and well-chosen words. So, the next time you’re in a situation where you feel the urge to speak up, take a moment to consider if this is a moment to listen and let your silence speak volumes.

How Manipulators Get You to Buy into Bad Ideas…

Have you ever had a bad feeling about a pitch for a product, idea, investment, or course of action? There are five manipulation tactics people use to get you to buy into a bad idea or dubious partnership. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Stealing credibility. Manipulators inauthentically build their credibility by invoking big-name brands or high-profile people they’ve worked with in the past. Always do a little research to make sure their work backs up flashy claims on their resume or website.
  • Exploiting shared threats to win trust. Look out for people who always try to bond with you over shared negative opinions. Carefully consider any pitch that relies on shared enemies or common threats to build rapport.
  • Faking market validation. Before hiring or entering a business partnership with someone, be sure they haven’t exaggerated (or worse, fabricated) their performance in whatever marketplace they belong to.
  • Discrediting the competition. There’s nothing untoward about critiquing a competitor’s quality. But trying to discredit them by painting them as tainted, illegitimate, or taboo is a manipulative strategy that makes people fear stigma by association if they make the “wrong” choice.
  • Dividing and conquering. If you find yourself pressured to adopt a consensus view that you’re unsure of, investigate whether it has genuine support across your team or organization—or just compliance. Ask colleagues what they like about the idea, and take note of the sincerity of their responses.

5 Tips for Giving a Persuasive Presentation…

When you need to sell an idea at work or in a presentation, how do you do it? Five rhetorical devices can help — Aristotle identified them 2,000 years ago, and masters of persuasion still use them today:

  • Ethos. Start your talk by establishing your credibility and character. Show your audience that you are committed to the welfare of others, and you will gain their trust.
  • Logos. Use data, evidence, and facts to support your pitch.
  • Pathos. People are moved to action by how a speaker makes them feel. Wrap your big idea in a story that will elicit an emotional reaction.
  • Metaphor. Compare your idea to something that is familiar to your audience. It will help you clarify your argument by making the abstract concrete.
  • Brevity. Explain your idea in as few words as possible. People have a limited attention span, so talk about your strongest points first.