A recently published article by Randy Hall, Founder and CEO of Leadership Gym, makes some simple but valuable points about the battle leaders often face between “choice and impulse.”
As a personal example, Hall recounts a moment when he yelled at one of his children… a moment about which he is not proud, and a moment during which he failed to exhibit the kind of leadership behavior he knows would have been a more effective choice. He acknowledges that “yelling” did not solve any problems and only made things worse.
“There are some things we can do to make most of our interactions happen as our best self,” Hall writes. He goes on to list four good habits that can help leaders make better choices and avoid impulsive, often counter-productive behaviors:
- Plan our conversations. It is much easier to let our impulses guide our decisions when we weren’t ready for a discussion, hadn’t thought about it ahead of time, and started it off in a way that had no chance of success.
- Use questions more than statements. They keep us and the other person in our executive brain more than our emotional brain and that helps.
- Practice. We need to practice our preparation and our questions so that they are habits, because in the moment we will often retrieve habits more readily than intentions.
- Follow up. When we do crash and burn, we have an opportunity to repair or even deepen the relationship by genuinely apologizing, not justifying, and calling ourselves out for being less than our best in that discussion.
Read the full article…