I feel as though these 10 words describe me as a person and as a leader the most. Reflecting on this assignment, I found it interesting that when, in general, people are asked to list qualities that describe them, they only list the positive ones, even though that was never specified. Having flaws and recognizing those flaws is something that people are not fond of. I believe that someone who can normalize that and can recognize their flaws, is someone who can make for a great leader.
Some skills I would most like to learn would be negotiation and managing my work-school-life balance. I chose these because I feel it is where I lack the most. I am the type of person that is constantly needing to do something. Because of this I consider myself to be a work-aholic. Sometimes I get carried away and I find myself missing out on some much needed “me time”. When I was a full time student during the school year I often found myself picking up one shift too many at the restaurant that I worked at. It really impacted my grades. For the negotiation aspect, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, I tend to shy away from arguments. The same applies to negotiation. I always second guess myself and tend to overthink things. When it comes to negotiating I always wonder am I approaching this too aggressively or not aggressive enough?
Oddly enough, I found that going to the local markets on my trip to Israel provided for great practice for negotiating. However, I don’t have one specific leader that I would want to learn from about negotiation.
For work-life balance, I look up to Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo not only is a famous actor, but he also is able to keep up and help maintain a family as well as extensive political activism (he even has his own foundation). He proves that it is possible to do anything, as long as you dedicate time to everything you are a part of.
While reading Humphrey, I find myself going back to the same theme as the other readings. This would be that it is never about yourself, its about others- employees, coworkers, friends, etc. It is how you can represent their values, how you can make them feel important, and more. When i got to reading about the different types of transactional leadership, it reminded me of learning about the different types of parenting from my developmental psychology class. It can be related to types of leaders as well. There are three types of parental styles: authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive. Authoritarian is when the parent has high demand and expectations of the child, and low responsiveness. In addition, the parent displays minimal, if any, nurturing towards the child. In contrast, permissive parenting is when a parent does not demand or have any expectation from their child. Outcomes for children brought up by these two types of parenting are not ideal. Authoritative is the middle ground of parenting styles, with parents responding to the child’s needs as well as having high expectations of them. The same can be applied to the work space. You will want to make sure you are meeting the needs of your coworkers while also asserting a certain level of expectations. You want to show your employees that you are there for them but not hovering over them. These qualities, I believe, make for a great leader.
When I first started reading this section, I must admit, I wanted to disagree. Why let someone think they are wrong, when you are fully certain of it? Isn’t that the rational thought? As I continued reading, it started to make more sense, and maybe it’s not even about what is rational. It is about the other person. Naturally, I consider myself to be an extrovert, however, I hate arguments. I avoid them at all costs, and I have been criticized about it before. Although after reading this section, I am thinking maybe it’s better that I avoid them. At the same time, however, if someone claims your work as theirs do you argue back and say it is your work? Or do you let it be? Maybe there are exceptions to this principle. Either way, I feel stuck at a crossroad with understanding and accepting this concept. However, in the workplace I do plan to avoid any and all argumentation at all costs. Someone who tends to get into arguments is considered by others as “does not get along well with others” which is a trait that is not associated with great leaders.
One recurring theme I am seeing throughout this book is the desire and the craving to feel important. My experience with leadership positions goes back to 8th grade. I started assistant teaching at Sunday school where I go to temple. In high school I served on the exec board, at the chapter level, for the international youth group I was a part of. I also coached volleyball for a few years. In college, I taught at Sunday school, so it’s easy to say I have dealt a lot with children. This upcoming school year I plan on teaching again at Sunday school. I hope that I will be able to use these tactics, explained in this week’s reading by Carnegie.
Upon reading the first chapter in this section, it talks a lot about getting to know the people you are conducting business with. One specific example, is of C.M. Knaphle Jr. who sold fuel. He tried selling to one chain company, with no success. He took the suggestion from his professor to approach the company in a different manner. He asked for a minute of the owner’s time to hear advice for a debate. They ended up sitting down and talking for nearly an hour and a half and at the end, the owner ended up ordering fuel from Knaphle. This makes me think of how small businesses are so successful, because they take the time to get to know their customers, and have a much warmer and more welcoming presence than a chain. I work at a family owned restaurant as a server and it is very similar- If you want their business and a good tip, you must approach them in a way that they feel important and valued. If you show interest in them as humans and not just as customers, they open up and it allows you to form a relationship with them. I hope to take this skill with me when I work in an office setting.
The second principle, smile, is something I am so very familiar with. I have been in the customer service industry since I graduated high school. I once was having a conversation with someone about the topic and she mentioned that a smile is so powerful, you can hear it over the phone. This is something I will take with me wherever I go and for whatever I do, because it is so true. Smiling at someone who might be having a bad day might spark a little bit of joy in their day, and that is something they will remember.
As I mentioned in the last post, a lot of people noticed I was reading this book and commented about it. One man came in and asked if I got to the part where it talks about a person’s favorite word- their name. Thus proving the author’s point- if a person’s favorite word is their name, that is the one thing they might take away from this book. Because they will have thought of their own name and remembered that part of the book.
Having what may be considered to some, a difficult name, I understand the disappointment when people say or spell it wrongly. The satisfaction I get when someone says or spells it correctly is immeasurable. It makes me so happy, so I can definitely relate to this chapter.
One thing I think I could benefit the most out of this section is when it talks about how to make people like you instantly. It seems that I struggle with that sometimes, as I strive for everyone to like me- which is both a flaw and a strength. A flaw because I take it personally if and when someone does not like me. This chapter helped me understand what I might have been doing wrong, and how to fix it.