Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for June, 2009

Emotions are louder than words

Feeling angry, upset, or frustrated about an issue or interaction at work? Thinking about addressing it directly? Great idea—but you may want to exercise a bit of caution.

Your body language, facial expressions (however subtle) and tone are telling factors if you’re feeling emotional. And if your goal is to be heard, you may want to consider that emotions are louder than words.

When you’re upset while delivering your message—regardless of how valid or worthy of consideration your message might be—you run the risk of the receiver focusing on your reactions, instead of what you’re saying.

So if you decide to address that concern, you may want to do your best to shed the emotion first. Although not easy, focusing on the business impact of your concerns, versus the emotions you’re experiencing in reaction to them, will maximize your impact.

Is perception reality?

Fully understanding the power of perception is an essential step towards effective leadership.

Perceptions may not always be based on accurate assumptions but it’s important to remember that perception is reality to the perceiver. And it is that reality that we, as professionals, may find crucial to consider when identifying our own strengths and/or development opportunities.

The positive and/or negative perceptions of others have an impact on our ability to be successful. More important, is our ability to understand how we are helping to create those perceptions.

Social Media—finding the time!

Are you Linked In? Do you Tweet? Are you on Facebook? Well, if you are or aren’t, there are plenty of places to learn more about the benefits of social media these days. A flurry of instructional and resourceful seminars are available. Tons of information are available on line. Or, you can simply connect with your current colleagues and ask around about the mechanics and benefits of on-line networking. And you’d better hurry. The wave of technology-based networking is moving at warp speed.

I’m active on LinkedIn for professional connections, Facebook primarily for family and extended family contacts, and although I am a member of Twitter, I’ve not yet been tweeting. The primary challenges for me are the time it takes to learn, navigate and make the most of the sites, and the time it takes to connect with past colleagues and friends. And I’m struggling a bit with the increasingly blurred line between my professional and personal networking and disclosure (fodder for a separate blog entry, I’m sure.) I’m not the only one, right?

For all of its challenges though, social media provides an incredible opportunity to connect with others and market yourself and/or your business exponentially. And if you want to thrive in the current business environment, you’ll want to get on board.

As for the time challenge, perhaps we simply need to reconsider the value of time well spent.