Ten Drama-Busting Leadership Tips For The New Year
Nearly every day I get an e-mail, call, post on LinkedIn, or other message about how our book, Beyond Drama, is helping people transcend the negative energy of drama. Here are my top ten tips from the book to promote a drama-free new year and propel you to higher levels of leadership effectiveness.
Failing forward is a major driver of innovation.
Fear of failure is one of the most significant roadblocks to success. This year, take a risk, try something new, push yourself enough to fail. Get comfortable with failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. As my friend Jim Korroch so elegantly says, “The great thing about trying is that there are only two outcomes; you can succeed or you can learn.”
Letting go of myths is one of the most powerful things a human being can do.
Myths are those false beliefs we have about who is responsible for our feelings and OK-ness. Nobody can make you feel good or bad. Neither can you make anyone feel good or bad. This year, set a goal to own your feelings and eradicate myths from your life. Start by replacing statements like, “You make me so angry.” with “I feel angry because…” Replace “How did that make you feel?” with “How are you feeling now?”
The size of your policy manual is proportional to the amount of drama in your organization.
Is writing, refining, and enforcing policies an energy vampire for you and your organization? This year, spend more time engaging in compassionate conflict with your peers and employees having real conversations, and less time hiding behind company policies. Here’s an article I wrote on this topic.
Nobody wants to be alone in the drama triangle.
Drama invites drama. Energy vampires seek out other vampires with whom to commiserate and stir up more trouble. This year, avoid drama allies who support your drama role, and reject drama adversaries who want nothing more than to drag you down.
Empowerment is not about what we do to people, but about our attitude and approach with them.
By definition, you cannot empower another person as that would mean you were the source of their power. However, you can adopt an attitude that each human being is worth of owning their power, being treated with dignity, given a chance, and affirmed for their unique value. This year, look for ways to affirm and support the capability of each person in your life.
When process and content work together in harmony, greater levels of effectiveness can be achieved.
Often it’s not what you say, but how you say it, that makes all the difference. The more important your message, the more critical that it is heard and received by the recipient. This year, pay as much attention to how you deliver your message as the message itself. It will pay off many times over.
Do unto others as they’d have you do unto them.
This is the Platinum Rule, and I think it’s what was actually intended by the Golden Rule. This year, stop projecting your needs and wants onto others and start learning about how they would like to be treated instead.
Expectations are a resentment waiting to happen.
An expectation is great when it’s focused purely on a goal or task and isn’t personal. Otherwise, expectations are a double-edged sword. This year, stop expecting others to think, believe, feel, or act in a certain way. Instead, identify what you really want, disclose it, ask for it, and work together to accomplish it. Here are ten permissions to help get you started.
Surround yourself with advocates.
Advocates are people who accept you the way you are, hold you accountable without attacking or blaming you, and struggle alongside you to support your success. This year, seek out and build relationships with advocates.
There is nothing selfish about being self-ful.
Self-fulness means taking care of your basic physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs every day so that you can face the world with a full tank of gas. Failing to do so is irresponsible and sets you up for energy-sucking relationships, and that’s selfish. This year, find out what fills your tank and make a daily habit of taking care of you so that you can better serve others.
Here’s wishing you a drama-free and successful new year!
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