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Entries from May 2018

You can’t build a space ship on your own – it requires collaboration

25th May 2018


We live in a world where the pace of change continues to grow and technology moves on before we’ve even had the chance to become familiar with it.

The role of a leader has become more complex as organisational goals and issues rely on greater cross-functional working. No longer is there one single decision maker. Decisions are made based on consultation and collaboration with the best information available at the time. No one single person has the answer.

This requires great social and analytical skills and sadly most leaders are promoted for their analytical skills. According to Mathew Lieberman less than 1% of leaders are good at both!

Are you one of the 1%?

Social skills as a leader are more than being able to communicate with others. It’s about your ability to empathise with others, to read others before they have even spoken and engage with them at their level. It is more than email, text or any other digital method. It’s about face-to-face; that is how you read people moment to moment.

To see how good you are at this take this test. How many of these emotions did you get right?

Why does it matter?

We all have mind reading abilities. A part of our brain views the world socially and it kicks in when we are not doing analytical thinking. We see the world socially and social connection is a better prediction of happiness and well being than how much money we earn.

As humans we are social beings and we’re constantly looking for connection and safety. Organisationally this connection is linked to the type of work you want to do, the type of project you want to be involved in as well as the type of organisation you want to work for.

An environment of collaboration

With this in mind, your role as a leader is to orchestrate an environment that enables people to work together productively. This is an environment beyond your own team. An environment that allows individuals to cross-fertilise ideas, problem solve, challenge and manage conflict to get the best results possible.

It is your social skills that enable you to do this. Using your social skills to read the mood of individuals and groups.

Emotions affect the way we think and therefore our motivation and productivity. Next time you are with a group consider these questions

  1. What is the mood here?
  2. What information is this giving you?
  3. What needs to happen to move forward?
  4. What can you do to create the environment that allows others to be better at reading others?

We all have the ability to read the mood of a room and it’s easier when we’re not being analytical.

If you’re really not sure how you are doing initiate a 360 feedback process and develop a learning agreement with yourself. If you need help feel free to email me to set up a free discovery call and we can explore what might work best for you.

We live in a connected world digitally. What can you do to make it a more social world?

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe












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