What's your leadership style? There's a chat for that

What's your leadership style? There's a chat for that | practice (split each time) | When your inner critic won't shut up
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March 12, 2024
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Leading the Way
What's your leadership style? There's a chat for that
(Laurence Dutton/Getty Images)
Everyone has their own leadership style, but unearthing it can take some doing, writes executive coach Rachel Wells, who recommends using the power of AI, and ChatGPT specifically, to help you figure it out. Wells suggests 23 prompts you can use to get started, including: "What are some strategies I can employ to assess which leadership style to use in a unique scenario?" and "List some common characteristics of effective leaders and what leadership styles they exhibit."
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Put it into practice: If you use some of the AI prompts to identify your leadership style, remember that the answers are never set in stone because, as Wells writes, "you need to be adaptive to the evolving needs of your team and organization, so your style should change from time to time."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
When your inner critic won't shut up
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Negative self-talk can become a defeatist feedback loop that impacts "our confidence and [limits] our development," leadership author and educator Paul Thornton writes. Learning to become aware of each thought and dissect them for accuracy can get you closer to positive self-talk, Thornton says.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (3/11) 
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Put it into practice: Reframing negative thoughts and keeping a journal of positive things others have said about you can help you break the bonds of negativity, Thornton writes. For stubborn negative self-talk, you may need to explore whether a difficult experience has been resolved.
Read more from Paul Thornton on SmartBrief on Leadership
Smarter Communication
Sentences using passive voice "just sit there" and let life happen to them, while active voice gets things done, writes Allison Carter, editor-in-chief of PR Daily, who explains why using a passive voice can be bad for business. For example, sentences like "layoffs are being carried out" or "a wheelchair was broken in transit" are clunky and avoid responsibility, Carter asserts.
Full Story: PR Daily (3/7) 
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Put it into practice: It's not nerdy to want to speak more clearly and concisely, and active voice tends to use fewer words and sound less clunky or pedantic. "[W]henever possible, stop and ask yourself: can this sentence be active? What would that mean, not just for the quality of my writing, but for the people reading it?" Carter writes.
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SmartPulse
When someone on your team is having trouble seeing the bigger picture and they only focus on the details, what do you do?
I explain things until I'm sure they fully understand the bigger picture
 53.34%
I try to explain things for a reasonable time and after that it's up to them
 42.91%
I explain it once and if they don't get it, I let them stay in the details
 3.75%
Patience… to a point. Seeing the big picture is important for team members so they know where their efforts fit into the larger organization. Sometimes it's hard to understand that bigger picture. It's easy to get mired in day-to-day activities and the big picture requires team members to stretch their thinking and engage in concepts, departments and with people they're unfamiliar with.

The majority of you report being willing to help them fully understand that bigger picture no matter how much effort it takes. Another large group of respondents, though, do have a point where they say enough is enough and leave it up to the team member after they've tried explaining things in sufficient detail.

If you're getting tired of explaining the big picture to team members who don't get it, consider having one of their peers explain it to them. It might feel less intimidating and that peer knows the details of the day-to-day and they may have an easier time explaining how it connects to the big picture.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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In Their Own Words
Former Amazon executive and author John Rossman says his leadership style is to solve problems "in a durable manner, not just putting a Band-Aid on," which requires understanding the root cause of problems to build lasting solutions. "That's the mindset and technique that is appropriate in most cases in established companies of any size: Think big, but figure out how to de-risk it, how to bet small, until it's no longer a bet," Rossman says.
Full Story: CIO (3/7) 
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Daily Diversion
Bees, chimps learn from peers, studies show
(Pixabay)
Separate studies show bumblebees and chimpanzees can learn skills by watching peers, and, in the case of the bees, it's the first time invertebrates have shown cumulative culture. Neither the bees nor the chimps could figure out how to get hidden treats on their own, but once researchers trained some animals, others watched and learned to open the boxes, according to two separate studies in Nature and Nature Human Behaviour.
Full Story: Earth (3/10) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Manon Rheaume was the first woman to try out and eventually play in a preseason game in 1992 for what NHL team?
VoteBoston Bruins
VoteMontreal Canadiens
VoteLos Angeles Kings
VoteTampa Bay Lightning
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
I played around with some of Rachel Wells' suggested prompts for ChatGPT about leadership styles. It's a good way to start thinking about some of the questions and ideas she suggests, but as the ChatGPT disclaimer says, "ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information."

Your leadership style is "important information" to have, and while AI can make mistakes, humans can as well. Don't just adopt a style out of the box -- or out of the AI. Everything is subject to the context in which it occurs. AI -- and even some human coaches -- can give us advice that might not work in a given situation.

Taking advice from AI is tricky at best. Even if its advice sounds good, measure it against the natural human emotions, needs and challenges at hand. You can never go wrong whenever you're taking another's feelings and values into consideration.

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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Be ready for your chance, even if you can't see your way today.
Eleanor Collins,
singer, television host, "Canada's first lady of jazz"
1919-2024
March is Women's History Month
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