I have a leadership crush an Kat Cole and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sure, I’m old enough to be her much older sister, or aunt, but I love following her on Facebook (we’re friends … not that she’s ever commented on any of my witty posts) and first connections on LinkedIn. I use her as an example when I am mentoring young men and women, especially when it comes to just saying yes. And I love reading anything she writes, and most things that are written about her. I was first introduced to Kat when she was the keynote speaker at the 2014 LMA annual conference. I wish there was a link to her presentation, needless to say, Catherine and Gina were mesmerized. I need to find out who Kat’s presentation coach is because this woman can communicate, and communicate well. Which brings me to the 12 Communication Habits Made This Former Hooters Hostess a Billion Dollar Brand President at 32. Read the article for the full list, examples, and details, but here are the ones I wanted to highlight:
Focus on trust first, then results.
If there is no trust, there is no foundation. NOTHING will ever take place, there will be no movement, there will be no change. Every leadership book I have read emphasizes this fact: There is no leadership without trust.
Go to the front lines!
Leaders cannot hide. They need to walk the halls. They need to meet with all members of the team. They need to know names. They need to build relationships. They need to ask questions, and get honest responses … which they cannot do if there is no trust.
Assume positive intent.
Written on the glass partition between me and my team is written “Assume Right Motives.” If we are coming from a position of trust, then we have to assume positive intents and right motives. That doesn’t mean we live in a Pollyanna state of mind, or we don’t question, but we cannot begin and live our days questioning and peering over our shoulders. Comes back to … you got it. Trust.
Speak the truth.
This is about giving honest performance feedback. Ugh. It’s really tough. I don’t want to criticize anyone, but if we need to talk about something, we need to talk about it. I publicly praise and privately criticize, which is hard sometimes when my office has a HUGE glass window. So those talks take place when someone’s at lunch, or hasn’t arrived yet, or has left for the day. I also found DeborahTannen’s Talking from 9 to 5 Women and Men at Work a must read communication book for women in the workforce. I could provide feedback of each of the 12 communication habits Kat talks about in this piece, but then you wouldn’t read it and come to your own conclusions. So share your thoughts below in the comments. Which communication point’s truth spoke to you and why? Photo Credit: FOCUS Brands