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Be a Better Leader Through Kindness and Active Listening

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On this week's episode of Motivational Mondays we're joined by Brian Biro, one of the nation's most influential speakers and teachers of leadership, team building, and thriving through change. Brian has helped the nation's most popular brands like Starbucks, Microsoft, Pizza Hut, and Lockheed Martin, transform their corporate cultures. 

In our discussion, Brian shares his perspective on the power of leading with kindness and the importance of actively listening to others.

EVERYONE IS BORN A LEADER

As one of the top motivational speakers in the world, Brian is often asked if leadership is an attainable goal for everyone or if not every person was "born" to lead. His response? Everyone is a leader by nature. Every day, we make decisions that impact our present and future. According to Brian, if you break down the essence of leadership, it simply comes down to making decisions.

As we navigate through our own lives making these everyday decisions, we become the CEOs of our own lives. He further explains, "In other words, how do you show up every day? That's a big part of your leadership. How do you deal with it? We've all had to deal with enormous change and uncertainty, and challenge in the last year. How do you deal with that?"

As you interact with people and situations in your daily life, you’re constantly communicating, sharing your points of view, thoughts, feelings, and personal philosophies. All of these elements are reflective of your leadership. The best part is that we can improve our leadership skills by identifying areas to improve to be more effective — but the foundation is already there.

Most importantly, Brian stresses that leadership depends significantly on the impact you have on people. Ask yourself, "Do I lift others and inspire them to strive and achieve their very best?" If the answer is yes, then you are already an effective leader!

 

"CONTROLLING OUR CONTROLLABLE"

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get back all the time we've spent worrying about things that were beyond our control? Unfortunately, we never will, so as Brian encourages, our time is far more productively spent focusing on what we can control. 

We all become the best leaders we can be when we focus on "controlling our controllable." Unfortunately, this concept is something so many of us don't recognize. Brian points out, "We so often get lost in thinking about what we can't control, that we lose focus on what we actually do control." 

"Controlling our controllable" is one of Brian's most valuable lessons, and gets people to ask themselves "How do we feel when we're trying to control those things which we don't control?" Typically, this leads to frustration, fear, doubt, and uncertainty. 

On the other hand, when we focus on what is in our control; we have a sense of productivity, momentum, and an energized sense of purpose. 

BE PRESENT AND TRULY LISTEN

When was the last time you actively listened to someone while they were speaking? So many of us become focused on our response, that we actually miss out on most of the conversation. 

Brian expresses the importance of genuinely listening to people when they share because it is only then that you are fully present in the moment.  

What is our most underused sense? "I definitely believe it's hearing, listening. Because 98% of the time when we're in a conversation, when somebody else is talking, what are we actually doing? We're not listening, we're thinking about what we're going to say. And therefore we're missing maybe the most important parts of what they are actually trying to communicate.” 

“When you truly listen to people, it's transformative.”

Listen to the bonus episode to gain insight on how to push through self-doubt, and how the way we look at people changes the way they see themselves.

LISTEN TO THE BONUS EPISODE


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