Reading for Leading #23: Building and strengthening connections through random coffee chats

Building and strengthening connections through random coffee chats

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

How well do you know your colleagues in your organisation? Are you aware of what they’re working on right now, and also future projects they may be starting to think about? How do you learn about new tools, techniques or other interesting ideas in your field – and identify people to collaborate with?

Often at conferences, we get extended opportunities to chat about these topics over a drink or meal together between the programmed activities. And it’s from these human, face-to-face connections that trust is built and somewhat serendipitous sharing of knowledge occurs.

But what do you do for the rest of the year in terms of developing your network and broader awareness about your field? Maybe a cup of coffee could help…

Coffee and communication – why miss out on either when you can schedule them both together!
Image credit: author’s own

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Reading for Leading #22: Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

We often mistakenly believe that the leadership style shown by an individual is a result of her personality, rather than a choice that can be strategically changed depending on the project, team or organisation. Daniel Goleman, author of several books on emotional and social intelligence, describes 6 leadership styles revealed by a study of almost 4,000 senior executives.

One of these styles has the clearest overall benefit on organisational climate (defined by a range of factors including how flexible employees feel they are to get work done and how committed they are to doing so) while two of the styles have a negative overall effect.

6 leadership styles discussed by Daniel Goleman
Image credit: unknown (multiple sources)

 

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Reading for Leading #21: Exploring the identity we construct around our work

Exploring the identity we construct around our work

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

Recently I’ve been taking a fascinating evening class that’s looking at our beliefs about identity – what it means to be who we are and how that causes us to successfully relate (or fail to connect) to others. One of the most striking exercises in the course so far asked us to look at the identity that we choose to construct for ourselves and explore how we feel when we examine those roles, choices and beliefs in more detail.

“Mum said that if the wind changes I’ll stay this way!”
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/phild41/6209957186/

 

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Rewiring the Attention Economy – from attention to intention

What if how you direct your attention is one of the most important decisions you will make again and again multiple times every single day for your entire life? What if you seldom knowingly make that decision? And what if instead multiple actions occurring around you are actively circumventing any ability you might have to stay focused?

At first glance that might read like the book jacket for a dystopian sci fi novel about a civilisation that loses its way, but these are the very real challenges at the heart of living with the online attention economy – where sites jostle to attract and retain our eyeballs so that they can continue to generate advertising revenue.

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Reading for Leading #20: Writing your own instructions manual

Writing your own instructions manual

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

“He’s really pushing my buttons” is a strange phrase that implies both that someone else is dictating our behaviour and that we have a clear set of visible controls that determine that behaviour. 

“Surprise! You’re in charge – but there are no labels and no instructions…” Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceann/5513395919/

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Community Manager musings: Are community managers also social entrepreneurs?

Community manager musings is a series of occasional posts looking at the roles and skills of community managers – usually within science. 

Is this the street you’re walking down?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dweekly/63702022/

I love this post by Seth Godin that outlines 4 traits of entrepreneurs:

1. They make decisions.

2. They invest in activities and assets that aren’t a sure thing.

3. They persuade others to support a mission with a non-guaranteed outcome.

4. This one is the most amorphous, the most difficult to pin down and thus the juiciest: They embrace (instead of run from) the work of doing things that might not work.

 

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Reading for Leading #19: Zoning in on the work you enjoy

Zoning in on the work you enjoy

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

What was the last thing at work that made you feel like this?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paucal/15736898433/

Everyone likely has something(s) about their job that they adore – tasks that give you energy, make you smile and make it all feel worthwhile. Likewise, most of us probably also have tasks that we believe we need to do, but that can feel depleting and unfulfilling. What if you could pinpoint the energy-giving tasks and reorient your role to include more of them?

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