Give acknowledgements, not compliments. An acknowledgement speaks to who the person "is" and who they're "being", whereas a compliment speaks primarily to what they "did". "Good job George on getting us ready for that client meeting, you did an awesome job leading it."—is nice... But, "George, I really saw your dedication, courage, and care for the client and what we're all up to and it made a big difference on everyone's experience, ultimately landing us that work."—is way better.
Make powerful requests, not demands. A true request is only a request if the person has the option to say "no" without being doused with guilt. If you make a request but you have an expectation of the answer, and it better be yes, it's not really a request—it's a demand camouflaged as a request. Even if your person doesn't know what's going on, they'll sense it on some level and resist. Make the request, let it unfold. (It's super important? I get it, let them know, AND be unattached so they have space to make a true decision.) By the way, often if someone says no, they're responding to a lack of information, a lack of time, your energy in the requesting, or something is just out of alignment with their core values. If you can pre-think this one before you head into the request, you can be even more helpful to them in getting a true "yes" or a solid "no".
Serve, don't be brilliant. When you're in a room with your people, where's your attention? Especially if the stakes are high? Is it on serving the issue at hand? Showing up well for the people in the room? Contribution? Or is about looking good, being the smartest guy in the room, making sure you say something brilliant? It's easy to fall into the second set, but the first set is where the power (and the best results) are at. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do in a room is just be present, hold space, and have your intuition do its thing so that you know when to say something. Bonus: You'll likely end up looking brilliant anyway, and no one will even know why, they'll just know having you in that room made them feel better. After all, your presence IS your impact.
Show Up. Happy Monday!
Originally posted on Inc.com July 13, 2015