Happy Friday, Brew Nation !
Grab your favorite coffee cup, sit back, relax, and get ready to sip on some enriching and thought-provoking content that will equip you to thrive in all areas of your life:
- Network Well – #nounsolicitedadvice – For over a year, I have been a part of a mastermind group that has instilled in me the importance of a particular mantra: “No Unsolicited Advice.” As a leaders, one of my first instincts is often to offer advice, but as a consultant, coach, husband, and father, I have come to realize that this can sometimes be unwelcome, as evidenced by the humorous video “It’s not about the nail” (which I highly recommend watching!). This week, I came across a post by a new colleague, Alice Penn, MD, and her wise words resonated with me. (She also appeared as a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast, which I encourage you to listen to here.) So, I wanted to share her insights with you:
We love to give advice. We absolutely love it. We simply cannot help ourselves but jump at the opportunity to ‘add value’ wherever we go. However, if this is your default leadership or management style, it could be a serious shortcoming. I am reading an excellent book called “The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious and Change the Way You Lead Forever.” by Michael Bungay Stanier.According to Stanier we all give advice that works less well, more frequently than we would like to think. I hear you, I felt the same! This is true for a few reasons, but namely because we are mostly solving the wrong problem (we jump in so quickly to ‘help’ we are often solving for the first challenge that presents, rather than the actual thing that needs solving.)Falling into the “Advice Trap” can be damaging to the work environment. If you are a leader, managing teams of people or just want to get more out of your interactions with others, take a read to these damages that may be caused by unsolicited advice:
- It demotivates those receiving the advice – if you are always on the receiving end of advice with no option to share your own ideas, your mastery and purpose goes into decline and you lose motivation to bring your best self to work.It overwhelms the advice giver – if you are dishing out advice that is not as good as you think (yes I also snorted out loud at this one!) and demotivating others in the process, then not only are you doing your job but you are probably doing the job of others too. You end up not having time for the work that really matters and makes a difference.It limits organizational change – organizations are always going through change. Therefore, leaders need to be agile and spend their time where it matters most – NOT embroiling themselves in an advice-giving habit!
So, take the advice of Alice and my mastermind, colleagues: #NoUnsolicitedAdvice !
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- ‘Exercise’ Daily – Are you looking to have a fulfilling day? Ben Newman, a motivational speaker, recently shared on a podcast I listened to, his concept of a “Prize fighter day”. To have a prize fighter day, challenge yourself to make progress in three key areas: personal development, professional growth, and service to others. For instance, aim to exercise, read a book, and eat healthily for personal development; make those sales calls you’ve been putting off for professional growth; and try doing something kind for someone else for service. At the end of the day, reflect on your progress in each of these areas by asking yourself: Did I grow personally? Did I grow professionally? Did I serve someone else? If the answer is yes to all three questions, you’ve likely had a fulfilling day!
- Read More –So, I am truly enjoying John Maxwell’s newest book, The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication – Apply Them and Make the Most of Your Message. Each week, I will travel with you through a chapter of this book. This week we review Law # 6 of 16:
Law # 6 – The Law of Content
When You Have Something Worth Saying, People Start Listening
“A message is like a puzzle.” The goal for you as a communicator is to display a picture, making it easier for your audience to see it and understand it. Once again, John pokes me right in the eye when he says: “You can’t give people a thousand-piece puzzle in a one-hundred-piece time slot.” So true. I often find myself having to pair down the message. I tend to overestimate what I am able to accomplish with my message in the time allotted. John has some suggestions how to overcome this:
1) Start with your audience – Put on the audience’s shoes for a while. While you may be the subject matter expert, it is important for the audience to know you were once in their shoes. One of the most powerful quotes I have heard in a long time was from Rory Vaden of the Brand Builders Group, who said, “You are most powerfully positioned to help the person you used to be.” Don’t forget it!
2) Stay in your strength zone – For me, Leadership Development and Process Improvement are two areas I am most effective, and I try to stay in these lanes when I teach
3) Develop your thesis – What is your main thought you are trying to convey in one sentence? If you can’t narrow it down into one sentence, your message will not come across as clear.
4) Do your research – Pull together stories, quotes, thoughts, ideas and illustrations that support your thesis.
5) Write your outline – The outline is the bones of the speech. They provide a skeleton to hang the content on as you build the presentation. Have fun with the outline. Make it an acronym, or a play on words, or a list “The 5 ways to influence others”. Make it memorable.
6) Hang the body on the skeleton – Add stories from your own life. Add items from step 4 that accentuate each point.
7) Create runways to your ideas – When you finish, Tell them what you told them, give them a plan to get started, and call them to action to get started now!
8) Plan your transitions – This one feels, to me, like the toughest one to master. One of the tricks Maxwell uses in his speeches is to number your points so it makes the transition a bit more obvious. As an engineer by background, this approach comes a little easier to me, but it is still tough.
9) Use phrasing that creates echoes – The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and lightning! One of the most memorable lines that became portable was Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Study great speakers and find phrasing that has taken on life
Quote of the week:
“You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” – Tom Rath
What You Need to Do:
Call to Action: Do you find yourself giving unsolicited advice? If so, be intentional this week about pausing before doing that. Ask permission from who you are with and be empathetic.
It’s an honor to be your trusted “Friday Coffee Guy”. Each week, I’m excited to provide yet another round of curated content that I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, or thinking over. The purpose of the Champions Brew is to inspire, equip and encourage you to become the uncommon leader you were designed to be. I am so grateful for your decision to invest a few moments with me! I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Champions Brew. If you did, I would appreciate it if you would share it with someone who might enjoy it as well and ask them to subscribe! I will make sure they automatically get this email every week.
Until next time, Work Hard, Love Always, Read More, and Grow Champions!
P.S. – Are you a podcast fan? Maybe the Uncommon Leader podcast is for you. Are you interested in being a guest on the Uncommon Leader Podcast? Do you have a story to tell? Email me email@example.com and let’s have a chat and set something up!!