ancient mythologies charis, more commonly known as grace,
invoked beauty, kindness, delight, compassion, and caring. Interestingly,
this is the root of the word charisma. While the contemporary
concept of charisma can bring to mind the magnetic charm of a movie
actor or politician, in today’s high tech/high speed economy,
being a charismatic business leader is more critical and more
challenging than ever before.
leader of a company, division, board, or organization needs to compel
people to follow. Adding true grace to charisma in business
leadership will get extraordinary results. The keys to leadership
success include being an extraordinary person full of compassion,
kindness, and delight (full of grace), and rewarding employees or
co-workers for the same qualities. This will inspire attention,
increase employee retention, improve customer loyalty, and create
a more profitable bottom-line.
business leader must move through the work environment—no, let’s
make it even bigger—life in a different more graceful way.
question is, “How do I do that? How can I be extraordinary and make
others feel that way, too?” The answer is as simple as 1-2-3:
Use grace in
verbal and non-verbal communication.
you treat others with grace, you say, “I respect you” and that is
a tremendous foundation on which to build any relationship. The
following are a few ideas of how being graceful in our communications
and interactions with others can have a deep impact.
As you walk through the door, look the receptionist directly in
the eye, connect with her or him (non-verbally) by nodding your
head, smiling and (verbally) warmly saying, “Good morning.” When
you set the example of how to warmly greet another, you have modeled
the way you’d like every company visitor and employee to be greeted.
Whether you are at a business-networking event or sitting around
the dinner table with your family, truly listen to the conversation.
You can listen with your whole body: physically face the person,
watch them with your eyes as they speak, nod your head as you follow
the conversation, and be totally present with them while you are
in dialogue. There is nothing as ungraceful and counterproductive
as a person only pretending to be interested in what you are saying.
If you can’t “be there” no matter what the reason, excuse yourself.
Simply say, “Please excuse me, I have so much on my mind…could we
have this conversation at another time?”
may think moving slower is impossible (or even a crazy idea) for
it seems to go directly against all the pushes and pulls being made
on you. But, consider the fact that moving slower will set you apart
from the crowd and will actually attract people and business to
you. The following ideas may help to bring this idea into clearer
Arrive ten minutes early for every appointment. You’ll be at the
restaurant with a table ready for your guest. Your demeanor will
be calm and relaxed, exuding an air of success and “I’ve got my
life/business together.” You will have time to ponder what you want
to accomplish at the meeting. You are in control. On the flip side,
picture yourself, ten minutes late, making excuses and apologizing.
Who would you rather do business with? This graceful approach is
a powerful magnet.
Create space so you can move slower by eliminating energy drains.
Look over the list of things you are committed to doing and eliminate
at least a third. You say, “Impossible!” Let me ask you this question:
“Are you doing things well and up to your high standards or, are
you falling further behind?” Simplifying will create the space you
need to move slowly, deliberately, and gracefully through life.
Remember, you get no prizes for doing things in a mediocre fashion.
Another outcome of creating this space in your life is opening space
for creative ideas to bubble up and get noticed.” These new ideas
will create more success with ease.
Be an extraordinary
person doing extraordinary
think that little things no longer matter, but they couldn’t be
more wrong. By paying attention to little details, you send a big
message… and the message you’re sending is, “You are important.”
And everybody likes to feel important!
Take five minutes each day and send someone a hand-written note.
Buy yourself a roll of stamps and several boxes of professional
thank-you note cards; put one box in your desk, one in your briefcase,
and one in your car. During a wait at the light, or delay in meeting
time, or waiting at the dentist’s office, make use of the time.
Each day acknowledge someone; it could be a client, co-worker, child,
or parent. Consider this: if you did this each day for a year, you
would have made 365 people feel special. And how are they going
to feel about you? My guess is that they’re thinking you’re pretty
special, too! And don’t tell me that you don’t have five minutes.
a moment and think what it would be like to be the receptionist
at your company and receive the following note.
day when I walk through the front door, you smile and greet
me. Even when I have a lot on my mind and might appear grumpy,
you cheerfully start my workday. I can only imagine what a
positive impact you are having on our customers.
you for making this a better place to come to work each day
and a company that people want to support!
|With one small
graceful gesture, Terry has just made an impact that is going
to pay the company dividends for years to come. Terry’s job
with these thank-you notes is to “catch” people doing things
right and to acknowledge them for their good works. Don’t make
things up; be honest and sincere in your notes. You just have
to notice. Another note could be as simple as…
ran a wonderful sales meeting yesterday. Thank you for modeling
the way a meeting can be efficiently conducted.
how long did that take to write? Thirty seconds? And, what impact
could that thirty-second note have on this business relationship?
It is impossible to measure, and I’d venture a guess that the impact
could be profound. Worth the effort? You bet!
yourself with beauty. It may seem trivial, but having beautiful
things within eye and earshot can lift the spirit and mood. Try
this test: Add something that you find beautiful to your office;
it could be a vase of fresh flowers, an impressionist painting,
added color to an otherwise dreary room, listening to music from
a portable CD player, opening your blinds so you can drink in the
outdoors. This expression of beauty will lift your spirit as you
experience it during your workday. Encourage your employees to participate
in the same exercise of incorporating beauty into their work
environment. Notice the change in attitude of employees, clients,
and vendors. By adding beauty and grace to the workplace you are
sending the message, “We are a different kind of company, the kind
you want to work for and do business with!”
is a simple quality that can be easily and inexpensively incorporated
into your life. Your charismatic and graceful leadership can have
immediate impact on both productivity and the attitudes of your
employees and customers. When people, both customers and employees,
feel honored they naturally want to give more. More can mean an
increase in customer loyalty or a more genuine effort to accomplish
the company’s goals. Over the long term, as these factors manifest
in your business, they will result in higher employee retention
and more business; both positively impact the bottom-line. Even
more important than the increased revenue, adding grace will influence
the way you feel about you.
Melinda Vilas is an author, workshop leader, and public
speaker helping individuals and organizations incorporate grace
into their workplace and life. She is also founder of www.teencoach.com. Reach
her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.melindavilas.com.
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