Make it safe for everyone to speak during meetings

If you're a "go it alone" kind of leader, failure looms | practice (split each time) | Make it safe for everyone to speak during meetings
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May 21, 2024
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading the Way
If you're a "go it alone" kind of leader, failure looms
Lone wolf leaders are often highly creative and results-oriented, but their downfall is that they expect their team to follow them without first earning their respect by building relationships, being a good collaborator and putting their team's needs first, writes Get Lighthouse CEO Jason Evanish. Leaders with such tendencies can overcome them by choosing team members they can trust, building soft skills and realizing how their behavior affects others, Evanish recommends.
Full Story: Lighthouse (5/18) 
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Put it into practice: Be smart before promoting a lone wolf team member into a leadership position by taking time to reveal their blind spots to them and finding out if they're willing to change their ways, Evanish recommends. "You need to embrace your role as a leader to coach them so they have a chance to develop."
Most private equity managers rely on three common approaches to valuation: publicly traded comps, transaction comps, and discounted cash flow models. Find out more.
Smarter Communication
Make it safe for everyone to speak during meetings
Unequal power dynamics, language barriers or other factors may be hampering your team from participating in meetings, writes executive coach Luis Velasquez, who notes that leaders must create a psychologically safe environment that welcomes participation. "As leaders, we must cultivate teams where every member's contributions are not only heard but eagerly anticipated, and where every member feels safe to voice their opinion, even contrarian ones," Velasquez writes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (5/20) 
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Put it into practice: Build psychological safety in meetings by introducing rituals that make everyone feel welcome, making the agenda clear so everyone can prepare and rotating who facilitates meetings, writes Velasquez. "Giving those who are typically less vocal a structured role can help empower them to speak."
When your boss makes a decision you disagree with, find time to meet with them in private, come prepared with alternate solutions, use a diplomatic tone and listen closely to their response to find common ground, writes Lolly Daskal. "Disagreeing with your boss is not inherently negative; when approached with tact, respect, and a solution-oriented mindset, disagreements can be opportunities for growth and collaboration," Daskal notes.
Full Story: Lolly Daskal (5/20) 
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Put it into practice: Whenever you're discussing points of disagreement with your boss, remain professional, even if challenged, and focus instead on listening for points of agreement, Daskal notes. "Listening demonstrates your openness to different ideas and can lead to a more productive conversation."
Uncover the hidden force impacting performance
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How much stress do you experience related to your personal finances?
None. I have absolutely no worries
Some. Occasionally there are financial concerns
A lot. Financial issues regularly stress me out
Constantly. It's an ever-present source of stress
How financially stressed are your people? Twenty-five percent of you expressed having significant amounts of stress related to your personal finances.

More likely than not, you make more money than the members of your team. If that many of you are facing financial challenges, how do you think your lower-paid team members are doing? If they're doing great work, be sure they're getting paid appropriately for it. Fight for raises they deserve. Give them spot bonuses. Create promotion opportunities. Put them in touch with financial resources like counselors you may have available to your associates.

If you can remove some of their financial stress, they'll be healthier, happier and loyal. Take care of the things that are on their mind so they can focus on more important things like their work, their families and their health.

-- 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
Why Reese Witherspoon wants you to read more books
Witherspoon (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Ever since actor Reese Witherspoon got her first library card, she's been an advocate for reading, founding Reese's Book Club in 2017 as part of her Hello Sunshine company, and with her 100th book selection coming in September, Witherspoon's company is partnering with Apple for audio versions. "I want people to stop saying, 'I didn't really read it, I just listened,'" Witherspoon said. "Stop that. If you listened, you read it. There's no right way to absorb a book."
Full Story: The New York Times (5/18) 
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Daily Diversion
Eurasian jays may recall details to solve problems
(Education Images/Getty Images)
Eurasian jays appear to be capable of remembering specific experiences, including seemingly irrelevant details, and changing their behavior accordingly, according to a study in PLOS ONE. Eurasian jays have shown the ability to plan for the future, and researchers found they were able to solve new memory tests 70% of the time using incidental information.
Full Story: PhysOrg/Public Library of Science (5/15),  Earth (5/16) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
David Misell, who received a US patent for the flashlight in 1898, originally invented it for what purpose?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew

With apologies to William Shakespeare, I have found that some people are born leaders, others achieve leadership and others have leadership thrust upon them. I fall in that last category. I never planned to lead anything, but when you found a spiritual community, suddenly, everyone thinks you're a leader.

I became one of those "lone wolf" leaders that Get Lighthouse CEO Jason Evanish writes about. I tried to do it all myself -- from setting up chairs before the celebration to tearing it all down, to handling the finances, the marketing ... I tried doing everything. It's not that others didn't want to help. It's just that this truly was my first rodeo, and delegating wasn't my strong suit.

I had all the "lone wolf" tendencies of independence (knowing that if I did it, it would be done "right"), results-oriented, self-reliant, anti-authority and socially disengaged. I discovered what Evanish calls the difference between a leader and a lone wolf: "When a leader turns around, there's a group following them. When a lone wolf turns around, they're alone."

It's worth taking stock of your leadership style. Where are you within these characteristics of a lone wolf leader? If you can check off two or more of these traits, it may be time to get some coaching or do some serious self-reflection before you turn around and find that you're alone.

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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Forget regret / Or life is yours to miss / No other road / No other way / No day but today
Jonathan Larson,
composer, lyricist, playwright
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