5 Simple Rules for the Day

Treat yourself with more respect than a squirrel. Stop chasing the next nut.

Squirrels wake up thinking about nuts. If you love jumping from one thing to the next, rise above distraction. Choose five simple rules for the day.

You’re a nut when chasing the next nut dominates your mind.

Simple rules. Don't interrupt. Don't finish sentences for others.... Image of a curious squirrel.

#1. Don’t interrupt.

Listening is hard work for you, but it feels like respect to others.

Many leadership struggles vanish when people feel heard. Every time you interrupt someone you make leadership more difficult.

#2. Don’t finish sentences for others.

Smart people need patience to listen. You know what someone is going to say before they say it. Or at least you think you do.

You don’t look smart when you finish someone’s sentences. You actually seem disinterested and impatient.

#3. Ask a question before you make a statement.

Change the reason you listen. Most listen to respond. Listen to ask a question that moves the conversation forward.

  1. Gentle curiosity proves you’re interested in people. When you’re interested in others you become interesting to others.
  2. Listening to ask a question forces you to pay attention.
  3. Curiosity is a platform for powerful responses.

#4. Confirm you understand by summarizing and restating.

Do things that help people feel heard. When people feel heard they feel…

  1. Respected.
  2. Understood.
  3. Supported.
  4. Motivated.

People feel good about themselves AND you when you pay attention. You seem smart when people feel you hear them.

#5. Smile, breathe, and notice the person standing in front of you.

Emotions are contagious. When you relax the people around you tend to relax.

Tip: Introverts look way too serious when they think. Try to lighten up a bit. Perhaps smile once in awhile. Nod. Raise your eyebrows.

Warning: A listener who is too relaxed seems disinterested and overconfident.

Which simple rules seem most important to you?

What simple rules might you add?

Still curious:

4 Steps to Manage a Manager Who Can’t Communicate

Leadership Communication: 10 Reasons to Shut Your Mouth Before it’s too Late

I am a guest on The Remarkable Leadership Podcast, hosted by my friend and best-selling author, Kevin Eikenberry.

This podcast features guests who share inspirational advice and stories that help leaders see the world differently, lead more confidently, and make a bigger difference.

You can listen to the episode right now by visiting http://remarkablepodcast.com/episode402.

I enjoyed this opportunity to share my thoughts on leadership and I would love to hear your thoughts after you’ve had a chance to listen.