Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership – different leadership styles are required across the life cycle of any group activity.

  1. Telling – at the start an activity, task or project, the individual, team or group usually know little about what is required of them and they can be confused and uncoordinated! Generally, they lack the specific skills required for this particular piece of work and they may not know each other. Lacking knowledge and confidence, they are anxious and unwilling to take responsibility for the task. The leader needs to go into “Telling” mode. This means being more directive; focusing on the task, promoting ownership by the individual team member and promoting their confidence. This Telling stage is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task.
  2. Selling – as the group develops, the leader focuses on coaching to get them into the delivery stage! They agree how they will behave to complete the task! But in doing this there may be conflict and a leader may need a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. They are still not able to take on responsibility; but, they are willing to work at the task. While the leader is still providing the direction and focusing on the task, he or she is now focusing as well on individuals using two-way communication – listening as well as giving instruction. The leader provides the coaching and support needed to help the individual or group buy into the process.
  3. Participating – as the individual or team becomes more confident and self managed the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style! The team are experienced and able to do the task but may still lack the confidence to take on full responsibility. There is now shared decision-making about how the task will be accomplished and the leader generally provides far less instruction, concentrating instead on strengthening bonds and commitment within the group.
  4. Delegating – when the group is fully mature, the leader is still involved in decisions; but responsibility for how the task will be accomplished has been passed to the group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. But the group are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing not only to do the task, but to take responsibility for its completion.

I have described the stages in terms of group behaviour but the same cycle is seen in the development of individuals when they take on a new role.

No one style is right for any leader all the time. Good leaders need the confidence to be flexible, and to adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Active Listening and Good Communication

Active Listening and Good Communication

Building relationships at work and at home depends upon good communication. This includes the ability to really “hear” what the other person Active Listening and good communicationis trying to say. if you practice the skill of active listening, you will be able to communicate better.

In coaching we spend a lot of time thinking about active listening – for us it is a core skill. Active listening is hearing with engagement. In active listening you work to not just to hear the words, but to understand exactly what the other person is trying to say.

Active listening helps the other person to feel appreciated and respected. It helps them to have trust.

Active listening is a skill that requires practice but here are some tips to help you on your way.

  1. Position – be somewhere where you can see and be seen by your hearer for important messages. Talking one to one, or in small groups, sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through body language.
  2. Maintain comfortable eye contact. Again one to one and in a small group, you need to judge the night degree of eye contact. Give good warm “face”,  and don’t stare them down or threaten with your glare. Remember, acceptable eye contact changes with culture. In some cultures it is very rude indeed to look straight into someone’s eyes.
  3. Minimize external distractions. Reduce external noise. Turn off the TV in the corner of the room. Ask people to stop what else they are doing and switch off your mobile phone. If someone comes to talk to you in your office at work, it is better to ask them to wait outside than to go on writing whilst they are in the room.  Writing on looks arrogant and it sends a clear message about what you think of their status relative to yours.
  4. Respond appropriately – when someone is talking to you show that you understand. You can murmur (“uh-huh” and “um-hmm”) and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as “Really” and “Interesting,” as well as more direct prompts: “What did you do then?” and “What did she say?” All these things show that you are interested and encourage the other person to keep talking.
  5. Focus solely on what the speaker is saying. If you concentrate properly on what someone is saying to you, your response will usually come naturally. If there is a silence – it usually means something. Silences often follow important statements, they give us breathing and thinking time. Don’t spend thinking time on what to say, spend it on reflection about what has been said. Then you will find the conversation usually flows.
  6. Be aware of what is happening inside you. You may find your own thoughts intruding as you try to listen. This can happen particularly if what is being said touches your own emotions. But let your thoughts go and keep refocusing back on the speaker, Time afterwards to reflect on what this meant for you.
  7. Suspend judgement. Wait until the speaker has finished before forming your opinion, even if they are complaining. In fact, it is even more important,if you think you are likely to disagree with what they are saying . Take the time to take in all that they have said before you give an opinion.
  8. Don’t jump to tell them what you did last time. People don’t want to be thought of as just another number, case or employee. Treat each person you speak to as an individual meriting individual consideration. There will be a time to use past examples but judge their use with care – packaged solutions do not blend well with feelings.
  9. Be engaged Ask questions for clarification. Once again, wait until the speaker has finished. Don’t interrupt their train of thought. After you ask questions, paraphrase their point to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. You could start with: “So you’re saying…” This shows that you are really listening.

You gotta practice

Practice your active listening skill, particularly handling silence. Learn to use it to better understand what is being said to you. As your listening skills develop, so will your speaking skills and your ability to hold a conversation. You will be surprised how active listening draws people to you. People warm to those who take the trouble to really listen to them.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Energy Drainers

Energy Drainers

Making a change – those who drain your energy

Energy drainers – if you are involved with any kind of change you will find it drains your energy. Energy will drain as you come to terms with new situations. energy drainersand deal with confusion. You will have to deal as well with anxiety – your own, and other people’s.  You will find yourself giving out lots of your energy in support of others.  But some people seem to take just a little too much – more than you can afford to give if you are going to stay fit for the task ahead.

We all feel insecure in the middle of change but energy drainers are usually people who are insecure and negative in their everyday life. Quite often they find it difficult to tolerate their own company. You may find people like this start to depend upon you to help them make all kinds of relatively simple life decisions.  They may phone or text you several times a day on any pretext – they can eat you as well as your time and sap your life force!

Energy drainers don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive

Very often these sad people are stuck in “Survival Mode.”  They don’t know how to tap into their personal energy reserves to survive. Like children, they haven’t accepted responsibility for their own lives. But they find many ways, including emotional blackmail,  to persuade you to give them the emotional support  and the reassurance they need.  Life is frightening and they are very scared indeed!

We all know people like this. They might be old friends, family or work colleagues. You want to help but their needs are overwhelming.

So, what do you do?

Keep in mind that you may need to conserve your energy to manage a complex change.  If they are part of the change, you are certainly not going to be in a position to cut them out of your life.  Anyway, at the end of the day, most of us would actually like to be in a place to help.

The stance you take depends upon your relationship with the person and the level of your energy reserves. However, your first responsibility is to yourself. You, too, may have to adopt a “Survival Mode” attitude.

It is certainly much easier to deal with someone who is an acquaintance or a work colleague. You have no personal commitment to them and you have every right to say goodbye when you finish work.

Dealing with energy drainers

Always try to stay in a neutral space when talking to them.  Give neutral responses and try not to get drawn into their, or your, emotions.  When you deal with them, imagine you are wearing a breastplate to defend your energy – withhold your energy behind your breastplate. Deliver a neutral, and deliberately, low energy response. Offer no more and no less than is necessary to carry out the transaction.

As a personal survival technique, this approach is also applicable for family and old friends. However, you may choose to take a more compassionate and supportive stance by demonstrating “tough love.” Your goal here is to move them on from negative to positive. You want to move them back into using their own energy resources. In this way, you can help them to become self-sufficient.  Get them to think through their own options – to make choices and plan.  When they do so give them lots of quiet praise – move them on from whining to thinking about concrete ways they can help themselves!

Dealing with emotional blackmail

Be aware, though, that energy drainers will resort to many forms of subtle emotional blackmail to get access to your energy. Don’t let them! Let them know, through your actions, that your energy is no longer accessible to them. Encourage them to make decisions on their own and to enjoy their own company by simply not being available: physically or emotionally.

It will not be easy for you or them. You are breaking established patterns of behaviour and setting a new precedent. But eventually a new dynamic should be established. They should begin to take responsibility for their own life and their own decisions.

You may have to support them through a change as part of your role but do so in a managed way! With friends and family, if they will not take action, success will be impossible. So recognise when you have banged your head once too often against that proverbial brick. It may be the wisest step is simply to “let go.”

If you need help dealing with your energy drainer, please get in touch

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Confidence tips

Confidence tips

Confidence tips

Five Tips to Help You Feel More Confident

Confidence tips – having a healthy amount of self-esteem and self-confidence is good for us. It helps to make life happier and more successful. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way. This is whether you’re facing a tough decision, adapting to a new situation or facing major change. Here are some confidence tips to help build your self-esteem.

Acknowledge your humanity

Remember no one is perfect and no one can do everything. And to be less than perfect is to be human. You are you and you are good enough as you are! It may not always seem this way, but it’s true. So if you are not the chief executive or a millionaire – that’ is OK! You have a personality and a perspective on the world that’s all your own and completely valuable. That doesn’t mean though that you stop wanting to grow and develop as a human being!

Stop criticising yourself.

This is one of the things that stop us achieving our goals and feeling good about ourselves. You are a mixture of strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. Concentrate on the good bits! If you don’t do well at a particular project or task the first time (or even the second time), it doesn’t mean that you never will. Perhaps you weren’t prepared or the time simply wasn’t right. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or that you’ll never succeed. It is natural to feel disappointed but don’t get hooked on it. Let it go and move on. You’ll be that much closer to achieving what you want if you do.

Understand your strengths

Everybody’s good at something, and many people are good at quite a few things. Even if you don’t have a talent or strength that you’re aware of, you probably have some interests you can develop into strengths. Make a list of a few things you’re good at! Add a few things you’re interested in and would like to be better at. Share this list with someone you like and trust. This is a good exercise to do with a partner who also wants to work on their confidence. They can probably help you find other things you’re good at, too. You can help each other plan for developing skills and interests.

Celebrate the good things

Notice all the good things you do in a day even the small things. Everything – the favour you do for a friend – the help you give a relative – it’s all good. Notice it and give yourself a big pat on the back. Get hooked on feeling good about what you achieve. In time it will become a habit. You could always keep a celebration journal to reflect on when you are feeling down. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself when you do something good.

Above all, stay relaxed

Staying relaxed in general can help you see the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff. It is a good frame of mind to be in when taking a close look at the things you’re not so good at.  There are lots of simple relaxation techniques around that can help – simple breathing exercises are easy to learn and really do help. Try this link. Learn a technique and use it whenever you are faced with any kind of threat to your confidence.

I hope you have enjoyed these confidence tips and that you will find them useful. I  work with many clients to raise their confidence and become happier people at work and at home. I would be very happy to talk to you about how I can help.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

High performance culture

High performance culture – how do you generate one?

High performance culture

Improving business performance

High performance culture – performance is key to your organisation’s survival.  You cannot afford to under perform.  But how do you generate a high performance culture? 

Here are some tips!

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organisation must be committed to a high performance culture. If necessary, they must be prepared to change to ensure this. The performance management framework  must operate throughout the organization from top to bottom. Those at the top need to model the desired behaviour.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning should be positive. But it must also must be realistic if a high performance culture is going to exist . Be clear about what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications. If you invest in training, how will that effect your business plan? Once plans and priorities have been established, they need pervade the organisation. Your plans need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans. These need to be throughout the organisation. Can you see the the organisation’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated. This should be to all staff and contractors supporting the organisation. Think about what really matters. And focus on measuring the essentials. Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures? Follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.  You need to understand the effect of changes in levels of performance on the services delivered to your customers or users.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organisation’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and individual performance objectives. This will usually be by using your existing performance appraisal and staff development processes. Individual plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART. That means;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

Is the existing performance management system for your staff  up to the job? If not, take some advice and change it. See Paragraph 7 below.

6. Develop an internal communications’ approach

Effective messages should target your intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you. So, develop a plan for how you will use different media to target various communities within the organisation using for example:

  • Email
  • Intranet (inside the organisation)
  • Internet
  • Newsletter/house magazine
  • Notice board
  • Team briefs
  • Video and in-house TV (you can even use YouTube.)

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to tell you what they think. This can be on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to

  • Set objectives,
  • Identify support needs and
  • Measure progress against objectives.

For it to work effectively, the system must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires:

  • Managers have access to guidance. And the training needed to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • All employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to help them engage fully in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important. They set the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs) should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Sometimes performance will not meet the required standard. You will need to identify what is getting in the way. Don’t assume anyone chooses to perform poorly. Put in place a plan to deliver improvement and give support. The principle is the same at both the team and individual level. So you need to have clear procedures for dealing with poor performance.

10. Recognise and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognised and rewarded. Recognising performance should include sharing success stories. And share the knowledge gained across the organisation. Highlight how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

Working with an executive coach really can help you get your organisation to perform well. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organizational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Anchor the Change

Anchor the Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Anchor the Change is the eighth and last step in the Kotter model. Real changeanchor the change runs deep, takes time and needs to be embedded. It has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

This post is last part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in this paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance , Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins and Step Seven Building on Change

Step Eight: Anchor the Change in Corporate Culture

This is the last step. To make any change stick, it has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done. So the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

You should make continuous efforts to ensure the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organisation’s culture.

It’s important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and any new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you could end up back where you started.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear. Give everyone a clear picture!
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognise key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remembers their contributions.
  • Publicly reward people who demonstrate the change in their behaviour – even if it is just a word in the office at their desks.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Building on Change

Building on Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Building on Change is the seventh step in the Kotter model. Real change runs Building on Changedeep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance and Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins

Step Seven: Build on the Change

Kotter argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

Launching one new product using a new system is great. But you may need  launch 10 products to ensure that the new system is well embedded and really working. To reach that 10th success, you need to keep looking for improvements.

Each success provides an opportunity to build on what went right and identify what you can improve.

Building on Change – What you can do:

  • After every win, analyse what went right and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Learn about the idea of continuous improvement
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership! The team behaviour theories of  Tuckman and leadership theories of Hersey and Blanchard plus Adair can be brought together to into a simple model. This will show how different Leadership styles are required across the life cycle of an activity as illustrated in the diagram below.

The Cycle

Life cycle leadership
  • At the start an activity, task or project , the individual, team or group can be confused and uncoordinated! 
  • The leader needs to be more directive; focusing on the task at hand. They promote ownership by the individual or team member and encourage their confidence. 
  • As the team develops, the leader focuses on coaching. This to to get the group into agreeing how they will behave to complete the task! They sort out how they will work together
  • There may be conflict. If so the leader uses a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. 
  • As the individual or team becomes more confident and self-managed, the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style!
All this leaves most leaders with a challenge. ‘How do I develop the competence and confidence to use a wide range of leadership styles?’
Well, you could start by following our series of posts on the team development work of Dr Tuckman. Here is a link to the first post;  Forming the Team: Tuckman Part 1 

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Delivering Short-Term Wins

Delivering Short-Term Wins

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Delivering short-term wins is the sixth step in the Kotter model. And nothing delivering short-term winsmotivates and gives people confidence more than success. So, achieving short-term wins gives them a real feeling that success is possible.

This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision and Step Five: Handling Resistance.

People resist change because they fear loss. Delivering short-term gains reassures them that the losing something is worthwhile!

Step Six: Creating and Delivering Short-term Wins

Nothing motivates and gives people confidence more than success. So, give your company and your team a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time-frame (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you’ll want to have results that your top team and staff can see. And, without these, critics, negative thinkers and cynics might hurt your progress.

Create short-term targets which build up to your long- term goal rather than just one long-term goal. You want each smaller target to be achievable, with little room for failure. Your change team may have to work very hard to come up with these targets, but each “win” that you produce can further motivate and inspire  the entire organisation.

What you can do:

  • Look for sure-fire projects that you can implement relatively quickly and without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don’t choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.
  • Thoroughly analyse the potential pros and cons of your targets and make sure you really understand what is required. If you don’t succeed with an early goal, it can hurt your entire change initiative.
  • Reward the people who come up with ideas
  • Reward people who help you meet the targets.
  • Publicise what you have done.
  • Show people how one achievement can lead to the next.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Communication; what matters most!

Communication; what matters most!

Communication – what do you think matters most in your conversations with communicationothers? Are  your words clear? Is your tone authentic? What about body language? Do you show you like them? Yes, it all matters. But what is the balance between these different elements?

Are you like me? Have you spent many happy hours at seminars and training courses where the 3V (Verbal, Vocal, Visual) rule was quoted. And, you were told that words count for 10% or less of any face to face conversation! Well, guess what, that isn’t always true! No, it isn’t even what the 3V rule actually says!

The rule is based on the work of Professor Albert Mehrabian who carried out two studies in the 1960s.  Those studies were about feelings and communicating emotion. He found that our liking for the person who was communicating their feelings to us consisted of 7% Verbal Liking , 36% Vocal Liking and 55% Facial (Visual) Liking. In other words, if you want someone to like you then make sure your words are consistent with your tone, keep your eye contact but make sure your smile.

7% Verbal, 36% Vocal and 55% Visual was such a simple concept. And, it was so easy to articulate. That meant it drifted into communications’ theology and became received wisdom!

In reality, other studies have been quite inconsistent!  And the balance between the 3Vs varies in context.  For example, it is fairly obvious that if you are giving a lecture on a technical subject your words, and the precise way you use them, becomes rather more important than whether you smile.

Communication; but smiling does help!

All communication is a two-way process and people are more likely to listen to you if they like you!

So, if you want to get your message across, you can’t ignore Professor Mehrabian’s work on conveying genuine emotion and his 3Vs.

In one to one encounters, show genuine interest in the other person and listen closely to what they say. Smile, be warm, enthusiastic and responsive. And show you care about your subject, nothing is more attractive! But don’t overwhelm them and don’t fake it!

Find something to like in your audience!  So, work on finding out about them. If you work hard enough, you are very likely to find something to like.

Professor Mehrabian’s findings may not be what we first thought they were. But they are still enormously valuable. You can find his website at this link.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link