Boost your leadership with a personal SWOT analysis

Leadership is about peacemaking, not peacekeeping | practice (split each time) | Boost your leadership with a personal SWOT analysis
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February 13, 2024
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading the Way
Leadership is about peacemaking, not peacekeeping
Leaders can inadvertently create a toxic culture when they seek to keep the peace -- by avoiding hard conversations or necessary confrontations -- instead of being a peacemaker, writes Erik Dees, a partner with Milestone Leadership. Peacemaking leaders allow others to express their emotions, then focus on the behavior, not the person, to uncover core issues that need to be resolved, Dees writes.
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Put it into practice: Peacemaking leaders can initiate hard conversations by being clear on their purpose, addressing the issue privately, allowing the other person to express themselves, summarizing for clarity and following up on any needed changes, Dees writes. "While peacekeeping engenders avoidance, peacemaking thoughtfully embraces conflict."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
Boost your leadership with a personal SWOT analysis
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Turning a traditional SWOT analysis inward to focus on Self-understanding, what's going on in the World around you, the quality of relationships with Others and where your Time and Treasure lie can help you be more strategic as a leader, says brand expert Denise Lee Yohn. "Armed with this thorough analysis, you will be in a better position to identify changes you should make so that you live the life you want and achieve your goals," Yohn notes.
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Put it into practice: The value of a personal SWOT analysis is that it focuses both internally on yourself and how you spend your time and treasure but also looks externally at how you're reacting to your world and building connections with others, Yohn notes. "Each category of this SWOT helps you understand yourself from a different perspective."
Read more from Denise Lee Yohn on SmartBrief on Leadership
Top workplace trends to watch
In 2024, employers who want to succeed need to prioritize their organization's most important asset: its people. To help in strategic planning efforts and get you to the heart of what will matter most to workplaces, we conducted a global survey of 300+ respondents to uncover this year's five most influential workplace trends. Download the Report.
Smarter Communication
If you feel like your skills and talents are being overlooked, speak up for yourself by asking others to meet with you and share ideas, offer your thoughts in meetings and look for ways to connect with colleagues, write Karin Hurt and David Dye. "Getting to know your coworkers at a personal level can go a long way in making work interesting and fun, not to mention building a network of resources you can reach out to for help," they write.
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Put it into practice: Identify the skills you want others to recognize by completing this sentence: "I wish people would know how much I ____," Hurt and Dye write. Then, approach your boss and ask for time to talk about how you can bring those skills to the table and more deeply connect with the team, they recommend.
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In Their Own Words
La June Montgomery Tabron, the president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is the ninth of ten children whose father worked the third shift at the Chrysler factory to provide for his family, and she says knowing and sharing your history is essential for leaders to make connections. "It's hard to build a relationship with someone else if you're not confident and comfortable with your own story, your own identity," Montgomery Tabron says.
Full Story: Axios (2/8) 
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Daily Diversion
Yes, hold music is annoying -- and now you know why
Hold music -- or worse yet, marketing messages -- while you wait is a necessary evil so you know you're still connected, but repetitive loops and low sound quality can leave customers frustrated and angry, says Leigh VanHandel, a professor at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. "Companies should spend less time overthinking their hold music and more time hiring and training customer service representatives," says VanHandel.
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
African-American tennis great Althea Gibson won Wimbledon in 1957. When she played that event in 1951, how far did she go?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
I admit that I included Erik Dees' advice about being a peacemaking leader instead of a peacekeeping leader as a reminder to myself. I don't like confrontation and have spent most of my life being that peacekeeping leader.

Most of my direct leadership experience is in overseeing a spiritual community, which can have different nuances than office settings, but whenever humans are involved in groups, conflicts will arise. I've seen the damage that my own peacekeeping can do. I've had tough congregational meetings where people walked out because I tried to make everyone happy, which made no one happy.

As I progressed in my career, I realized Dees was right -- peacekeeping is a short-term solution. If you want to build trust, cohesion and harmony in a team -- or a congregation -- you must be able to confront issues head-on and address the conflicting feelings and desires within the group.

Once I began to do that, fewer people would leave in a huff, and still, not everyone got what they wanted -- but there was more peace and connection created when we took time to understand each other.

How do you handle conflict in your leadership role? Have you seen a difference when you switch from peacekeeping to peacemaking? Tell me about it.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Rita Dove,
poet, writer, Pulitzer Prize winner
February is Black History Month
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