As I often mention, I work with amazing people. Just recently I had the opportunity to work with six nurses for just over an hour. If my math is right there was over 150 years of nursing experience in the room. To see the interplay of experience from C-suite to director to nurse manager to charge nurse was fascinating.
Was there agreement between all the parties? Absolutely not! Was there discussion between the parties? Absolutely yes! What was so magnificent to watch was how the leaders in the room knew when to press a topic and when to leave it for another day. While I would hope that such skills can be taught, what I saw this morning was natural talent in that area.
One of the most invigorating aspects of meetings such as this is when opinions are allowed to be openly expressed and heard. At no time, even though some of the discussion could have been considered critical, was there pushback – just listening and processing. Such an example of self-confident leadership! Did any groundbreaking decision come out of the hour? No. Was the base set for a lot of future groundbreaking decisions? YES!
Out of some of my experience has come the acronym ACT – Appreciation – Communication – Trust.
I am convinced that the stronger the leader, such as the ones in this meeting, the better the ability to use this simple acronym as a base for daily leadership measurement. Some key questions for you to consider on each of them (and please remember as you read them the great comment by Steven M.R. Covey “that common sense is not common practice”).
- Do each of my direct reports know something specifically that I appreciate about them?
- How do they know that?
- How recently have I told them?
- Do I fall into the trap of thinking that since I don’t need to be told I do good work in order to be motivated, other’s don’t need that?
- If there was a survey taken of my direct reports, on a scale of 1-10, where would I rank as a leader who shows appreciation?
- Where do I think my most significant gap is in this area?
- How can I address that?
- What are my most effective means of communication with my direct reports?
- How organized am I with my communication?
- In the spirit of George Bernard Shaw’s comment of ‘the biggest single mistake regarding communication is the illusion that it has occurred’, how do you assure that what you said is what was understood?
- What are your best talents in that regard? How can you capitalize on those?
- What are your biggest challenges in that regard? How can you address those?
- How do I define integrity?
- Are there gaps in my definition?
- Do I make excuses for my performance?
- If there was a survey taken of my direct reports, on a scale of 1-10, where would I rank as a person of integrity?
- Does the answer to number four concern you?
- Are you willing to take that survey?
A simple acronym, yet easily enough material to consider for the next few weeks. As always, do feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on the above at 503-381-8705 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.