Leaders' Newsletter - Leading From the Field: November 2015
Exceptional Leaders See People as People + Developing Soft Skills and More!
Leaders' Newsletter November 2015
Welcome to this month's issue of "Leading from the Field."
Hi Greetings!,

Welcome to the November 2015 issue of "Leading from the Field." 

In this issue:
  • Leadership from the Field - Exceptional Leaders See People as People
  • How to Develop Soft Skills for Leaders of Change
  • What I am Reading: Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead by Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett
  • 2016 First Quarter Speaking Engagements
  • Solutions for Your Most Challenging Issues @jeanannlarson.org
  • Jean Ann Larson's Author Page
Also, please check out my website and browse through my blog posts, and leave your comments and replies! 

Thank you,
Dr. Jean Ann Larson
Managing Partner
Jean Ann Larson & Associates

Leadership from the field 

 Exceptional Leaders See People as People
This might sound strange, but sometimes we catch ourselves not seeing people as people. The most personal and ever-present example is when we are stressed in traffic. Do you, like many, objectify other drivers, not really seeing them as people, as human beings like you, who are just trying to get through this world as best they can?
Anytime we find ourselves being critical or judgmental, we can shift into this "thing" mindset and lose touch with ours and others' humanity. When we do this, only negative and unintended outcomes can arise. In the course of leading, particularly when we are under stress, we can see others just as instruments to get things done, rather than what they really are-people.

 You can be a strong and effective leader, including being critical and demanding, when you have a compassionate mindset. So it is not our behavior so much that makes the difference in this case, but our state of mind. When we come from a compassionate way of being, we can create the culture we want and accomplish great things. We must be continually self-aware of our mindset to ensure that we don't slip into this objectifying, and very ineffective, state of being.

Thought Provoker
  • Do you find that others communicate with you in ways that diminish your humanity? How do you feel at those times? How connected are you to them?
  • Do you sometimes see others as objects?
  • Can you separate the person from? the action
  • Do you see everyone as human, or only those who you love?
The exceptional leader is continually in touch with his or her own and others' humanity. We are all doing the best we can and we are unaware of the burdens that others may be carrying in their lives.

We would love to hear your comments. Contact us today!
Jean Ann Larson & Associates
Email ~ Website
Copyright protected by author Bruce M. Anderson. Reprinted with permission.  Thinking Partners Inc.713-882-5285  
How to Develop Soft Skills for Leaders of Change
In our disconnected culture, it is no wonder that people have a hard time with soft skills. We are accustomed to quick texts and short emails. These types of interactions do not always allow us to get to know our coworkers and build relationships with them. In general, we just want information and we want it now. There is no time for small talk or to find out how someone's day is going.

Recently, I presented this topic to healthcare leaders with a colleague.  And, we've been invited to present it again to another healthcare professional group. This is a topic that is gaining more traction and interest in the workplace.  If you are a leader of change in your organization, soft skills are very valuable for your success and the success of your organization. When a boss or coworker is cold and harsh, employees are less likely to be engaged and give their very best at work. It takes those personal connections for your team to feel excited about the job. Also, soft skills and good working relationships are what get you through tight stressful deadlines and help you collectively become more productive.

How to Develop Soft Skills for the Workplace
If you have not spent much time developing your soft skills, then you might have to change your mindset to undo some of the bad habits you may have formed. Also, you will have to be intentional in your communication and actions. Here are some of the top ways to develop soft skills that you need to be successful. 
  • Have face-to-face conversations. Those who have grown up with texting, chatting, and email as their main source of communication may not appreciate the value of actual conversations. There is a flow that happens in a conversation that is happening real time and face-to-face. In order to develop soft skills, you must learn to talk with others. And though you think you don't have time for conversations, you'll soon learn that when you want to be more productive, it pays to slow down and get to know people upfront.  Once you've established the relationship, future projects and work together will seem much quicker and easier.
  • Develop a listening ear. There is more to a conversation than just saying what is on your mind. You have to truly listen to the other person. Try to identify with what they are saying during the conversation. This is an invaluable skill when it comes to handling customer service complaints or team member issues.
  • Engage in intentional conversations. Communication takes place instantly these days. When you have something on your mind, you shoot a text, post a status update, or share your thoughts in a quick burst. It is important that you put an emphasis on engaging in intentional conversations where you ask the other person about their ideas, thoughts, and day. Become sensitive to what is going on with someone else.
  • Take on a positive attitude. Many people are in the habit of sharing their negative feelings about life in the form of rants on social media outlets. Those negative comments we make and read have harmed our attitude. Instead of staying negative, turn to the positive. Be positive about your job and other areas of your life. 
These are a few of the things that you can do to work on building your own soft skills and helping your staff develop their skills in this area. Next month's book review will be Bridging the Soft Skills Gap by Bruce Tulgan, bestselling author of It's Ok to Be the Boss.  So more to come on this topic!

We would love to hear your comments. Contact us today!
Jean Ann Larson & Associates
Email ~ Website

Copyright protected worldwide.
When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.
- Tecumseh

What I Am Reading 

Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead
by Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett 

This book shakes up the focus on patients in health care and encourages us as leaders to first take care of our employees and see them as people with real lives and true value for our organizations, our communities, and the patients we serve.  Both Mr. Spiegelman and Dr. Berrett have extensive experience leading customer-focused or patient-focused organizations.  The book includes practical stories and suggestions for engaging employees from top CEOs in healthcare. Bob Kelly from New York - Presbyterian Hospital offers one apt analogy that explains the title of the book - "Focusing on employee engagement is akin to being on an airplane and putting your oxygen mask on first, before attending to your kids.  How can our people help their patients if they, too, are suffering?" 

 So how do we change the way we lead?
  1. Rethink the leader's role - be a transforming leader who champions and inspires followers.
  2. Engage employees with a higher purpose - don't just tell people "what to do," connect them with the "why" [See Simon Sinek's book or Ted Talk, Start with Why.] 
  3. Embrace your organization's mission, vision and values - Why are we here? What do we aspire to? And what are the rules we live by?
At the end of the book, the authors have provide a 10 question culture IQ self-assessment.  Share it at your next leadership team meeting and see where the conversation takes you.

 We would love to hear your comments. Please email us at jeanann@jalarson.net.
Just Announced: 2016 Speaking Engagements
Let me know if you'd like more information about these topics or events - 800-823-4330.

Reducing Workplace Stress through Developing Emotional IntelligenceFebruary 17, 2015Houston, Texas at the   Annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Soft Skills for Leaders of Change in Healthcare with Chris FarnhamFebruary 19, 2015Houston, Texas at the annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Change Fatigue: Winning at the Game of Change with Julie RenneckerFebruary 19, 2015Houston, Texas at the annual Society for Health Systems Conference
Change Management: Increasing Your Odds for Success with Larry DuxMarch 4, 2015Las Vegas, Nevada at the annual HIMSS conference and exhibition
Leadership from the Field: Lessons Learned from the Best and the Brightest with Derk ProngerMarch 16 and 17, 2015Chicago, Illinois at the American College of Healthcare Executives annual Congress
Navigating the Changing Dynamics of the Intergenerational Workforce: Staffing Strategies for the Highly Productive Health Care Organization with Santosh MohanApril 29, 2015Chicago, Illinois for Becker's 2016 Annual Leadership Conference

Solutions for your Most Challenging Issues
  • Need leadership development? Jean Ann Larson & Associates provide executive team development, executive coaching and leadership retreats.  Click here 
  • Want to maximize your team's results and enhance business strategy? Let Jean Ann and her team do an organizational audit and business process review to align you, your work teams and employees for maximum engagement.  Click here
  • Want to deal more effectively with your major change initiatives? Let us work with your team on a change readiness assessment refresh and boot camp to improve your effectiveness at leading change Click here
  • Want a road map and proven method to truly transforming your organization's people, processes, methods and mindsets? Hire Jean Ann Larson & Associates for an Organizational Reengineering Engagement. Click here
  • Need an inspiring keynote for a corporate event or professional association? Jean Ann Larson is an acclaimed keynote speaker and facilitator.  She also does customized programs and workshops for high potential leaders and other key people in your organization. 
 We would love to hear your comments. Please email us at jeanann@jalarson.net.
Abundance is not something we acquire.
It is something we tune into.  - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer


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Jean Ann


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