How Many Times Have You Had This Happen?

This scenario happens all too often. You have prepared for giving a presentation on something that you have been working on for quite sometime. Maybe it is a status update with a critical decision to be made. You have worked very hard to get the presentation right for the attendees and especially the overall organization’s leader. You get to the room early, to make sure that everything is just right. No hiccups with the equipment! Presentation is up on the screen ready to go.. Everyone comes in to listen to you present your update. Everyone is on-time, but the organization’s leader. Presentation is going along and you are watching the faces in the room. You start to get to the very touchy part of the presentation and notice that a few of the people are busy using their electronic devices.  Thankfully, a question comes in from the person at the top… They asked a question that you answered a slide back. When you get to the part about that tough decision that needs to be made, you put it out their for feedback. The decision maker, the organization’s leader, looks at you with a very puzzled look and says, “what do you recommend?” Well, that was two slides back… You answer that question with your recommendation. The leader says, “thanks, but I think we need to do xyz. Get it done.” Meeting is over and everyone leaves. You feel like crap. You wonder what happened.

I know this is a short scenario, but I think you can pick out the leader mistakes:

  • Listening… Definitely a few demonstrations of not listening. I think the worse is the giving the appearance of listening with the head nod or “yes.”  You can really know when a leader is listening. They can easily replay what you said.
  • Multi-tasking… I know we all are busy and have way too much to do. Today’s technology keeps us connected. Getting stuff done probably played a large part in getting you to the leadership position in the first place. Do you as the leader want to demonstrate that you divide your time when around your team? Make sure that you are “in the moment” only.
  • Decision-making… As leaders, we all like to thing that decision-making is one of our strengths. The problem is sometimes we lose sight of the process and make some snap decisions. The scenario demonstrated that the leader did not listen to the options, data and recommendation. They just went ahead and said what came to their mind. Maybe it would be good, but the team probably would think      otherwise. Take the time necessary to make a good decision!

As a leader, make sure to be listening while being in the moment. You probably will learn something. Every moment or situation has learning possibilities. You could learn more about the work that is getting done. The people that work on your team. Maybe even get clarity on some hidden unknowns that have been eating at you (and you don’t know why). Just remember that your actions are being watched by all. Put on a great show!

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