Leadership Effectiveness

The Power of Communications, Motivation, and Emotions

 

 

Effective leaders see more in other people than people see in themselves, and one of your objectives as a leader is to bring their talents to the surface.

 

Understanding the three fundamental elements that affect performance will build team loyalty and cohesiveness. These elements are communication, motivation, and emotions.

 

Communication

You've probably heard that people tend to follow three basic communication styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Each of us is a mix of all three, and our dominant style usually dictates how we communicate. If the person with whom you are talking has a different style, the message may be misunderstood. You certainly don't want that. Let me give you a few traits that identify the three styles.

  • Visual Communicators speak and read quickly. They would rather read than be read to. They remember what they see, rather than what they hear. When you give them instructions, make sure they're written, because they may forget verbal information. They need an overall view and purpose, and are cautious until mentally clear about an issue or project. They are good long-range planners and organizers. They are neat, orderly, and appearance-oriented, in both dress and presentation.
     
  • Auditory Communicators need to hear something to learn it. They may experience difficulties with written instructions, preferring to hear them. They may also find writing to be a challenge, and are better at communicating verbally. They learn by listening, and they remember what was discussed rather than what was seen. They are frequently eloquent speakers, are talkative, and love discussions. They prefer to learn by taking teleclasses and listening to audio lessons.

     

  • Kinesthetic Communicators perform best in an experiential environment. They need to touch, feel, and experience things in order to understand. They speak slowly, use action words, and want to act things out. They may have messy handwriting, and they learn more effectively when physically active. They cannot sit still for long periods of time. In schools, kinesthetic learners are often labeled hyperactive. This may be your team member who volunteers to do the demonstrations.

When you give presentations, whether to your team or the public, keep in mind that your audience is made up of all three styles. Usually, the visual and auditory learners are satisfied with a person talking and using visual aids, but what about the kinesthetic learners? Include exercises, or simply get people to stand up, find a partner and debrief what was just presented. People with dissimilar learning styles will grasp different parts of your presentation, and sharing enhances the learning experience for everyone.

 

Motivation

All leaders want to motivate their troops, and you're no exception, right? Would it help you to have a better understanding of some of the triggers that encourage people to take action? Here are the top five, in no particular order.

1. A drive to achieve and succeed

2. A desire to be appreciated and needed

3. A requirement to have things just right and orderly

4. A necessity for autonomy and self-reliance

5. A constraint to be safe and secure

Of course there are more, but these will give you a good start.

 

So, where do these triggers originate? They are components of the belief systems that begin to develop at a very young age. Our neurological systems are all wired differently, and we all have different nurturing experiences. As the saying goes, "You are unique, just like everyone else." Now, how can you capitalize on this knowledge? It's a two-step plan. First, get to know your people and discover their "hot buttons" - their triggers. Then, help them set goals that satisfy both your organization's fiscal requirements, and their own personal needs, taking into account their triggers. Benchmarks and timelines, along with measurable targets, will keep the focus on outcome and not just process.

 

Emotions

A person's ability to effectively act and think is intimately linked with his or her physical and emotional well-being. Long-term exposure to threat, conflict, or humiliation will damage self-esteem, and may result in a vortex of negative emotions, self-limiting beliefs, apathy, anxiety, fear, mistrust, immature coping behaviors, and a diminished interest and ability to process information. As a team leader, you have the responsibility of being a guide, an information provider, and a role model. Unreasonable demands to achieve a quota may work in the short term, but it will backfire later in the form of resentment and distrust.

 

So, what do you do if one of your team displays such characteristics? Well, first of all, your role as mentor, guide, and team leader does not include psychotherapy. All of us go through periods of having the blues, and these are just normal cycles. In these instances, just be understanding and supportive. If symptoms persist or escalate, you may have a problem. Is this your problem? As a business professor of mine used to say, "It depends." Has this person ever been a productive team player? How long has this person been with you? Aside from recommending professional help, you may be playing a greater role in their life than you think. You and your team may be the only meaningful family that he or she has. Think of that before you make any decisions. An environment of unconditional love may be just what this person has been missing all along. J. C. Penney advised, "A company with internal dissension is drained of energy before it has a chance to devote itself to its proper purpose." High self-esteem and self-confidence boost effectiveness on the job, and create team loyalty.

 

Summary

As a leader, you want to be as effective as possible. How you relate with and inspire your staff has a direct consequence on your bottom line. Understanding what makes your team members tick will place you in a better position to influence their attitude and foster their success.

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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