Being judged even when you don't say a word.
Your staff, your colleagues, your customers, your potential customers, even your family are all forming a view of you -- even when you haven't spoken. Because you're still communicating.
I call this The Language of Silence
No words, but you speak volumes. Put simply, if you're around others, you're communicating. If you manage a team, you have the power to set the whole tone for the way your department runs - without saying (or writing down) anything to any of them!
Do the right thing and you're capable of inspiring those around you to great things. Do it wrong and you'll drain away all their enthusiasm and motivation to do anything!
Silent leadership. The art of leading and inspiring others through any means other than words! I've come across some brilliant examples over the years and I'm sure you have too. And I've also witnessed a distinct lack of silent leadership at times -- and I'm sure you're with me on that too?
So I thought I'd share my -- and others' - quick thoughts on what makes a fabulous silent leader, whether that be a leader of a team, a company, of colleagues, or leading a project, or leading a customer.
All very simple and straightforward -- and very effective too. Here we go...
Leading without saying a word
Smile! If a leader is trying to project positivity, humility, graciousness, optimism, openness, and a general good nature, smiling would be a good place to start.
Think posture. Body language can speak volumes. Slumped shoulders and rounded backs are never good ways to project authority and control.
Arrive on time! Consistent punctuality sends a strong message to everyone --a critical part of 'leading by example'.
Pay attention! Nothing says "I'm paying attention to YOU" better than actually looking someone in the eye. Looking at the floor, the wall, or worse yet, at your Blackberry or smart phone, sends a message of complete disinterest.
Be available. Much has been said about the benefits of an 'open door' policy. But it's one thing to talk about it, and another to actually keep your door open. Better yet, why even have a door at all?
Wander. Get your own coffee. Make your own copies now and again. Join in those office celebrations. Get to know what's really going on. Join a team meeting you weren't expected to attend. Just 'be there'.
All very simple. All easily achievable. All will shift and lift positivity levels around you. Quick wins. Zero cost. Big impact.
I'm not decrying the myriad of courses, books, DVD's and programmes that explore the concept of leadership. I just think that these basic ideas would be a good place to start. There's always room for personal development.
What do you think?
Until next time...