How To Have Real Conversations

Knowing how to have real conversations has value beyond the corporate world. While knowing how to have real conversations as a leader is important, you also need to know how to bring this skill to your everyday life. Without the ability to carry on conversations, your world will be a much smaller place.

Man and woman sitting, having a conversation

Photo by Mael Balland

The problem is most people don’t know how to carry on a conversation well. They’ll bring up small talk like the weather or what they do for a living (the boring jist of it).

Small talk can derail conversations real quick.

People use small talk to get the conversation going. Too often, people will get stuck in the small talk and not branch out to more important matters.

If you can get conversations down, you will go far. In leadership… and in life.

Rethinking What You Believe

I began my leadership journey due to bad leadership. I had watched bad leader after bad leader continue to do things that harmed the organization and the people who worked for the organization.

It was bad.

I remember seeing one manager hiding away in a warehouse to catch a few minutes of sleep. In another instance, I remember seeing and hearing the owner of an organization berate a team member for something he had no control over.

Man looking at reflection in window

Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider

These are the moments that made me realize things needed to change in leadership. I began a journey to change the way I viewed leadership. I also began a journey to help others change the way they see leadership.

Ideas Evolve Over Time

When I started to learn about leadership, I was green behind the ears. I hadn’t had any true leadership experience. I just knew something had to change.

Quotes And Leadership Lessons From The Peanut Butter Falcon

A Reel Leadership Article

I missed one of the best movies of 2019. My guess is you probably did as well.

This movie flew under the radar. There wasn’t a lot of hype or advertising for it. However, the movie was stunning in its beauty and portrayals.

That movie is The Peanut Butter Falcon.

The Peanut Butter Falcon follows 22-year old Zak (Zack Gottsagen). Zak has Down Syndrome and has been placed in the Bethanyven Nursing Home. He’s frustrated and knows he doesn’t belong there. He plans and executes a breakout so he can attend Salt Water Redneck’s (Thomas Haden Church) wrestling school.

Along the way, he meets low-life Tyler (Shia LeBeouf). Zak’s nurse, Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), soon finds them and joins their cause.

Shia LeBeouf, Dakota Johnson, and Zack Gottsagen walking along a beach in The Peanut Butter Falcon

They eventually discover Salt Water Redneck’s school. It wasn’t what they expected. Yet Zak got to have his day in the ring.

How To Lead Upward

If you’re leading in an organization, there’s a good chance you’re not the top dog. Even then, you still have someone to answer to. This is why every leader needs to know how to lead upward.

Leading upward is all about helping your boss or leader become better. They play a part in your development. You can play a part in theirs.

Man standing on yellow line in road

Photo by Komal Brar

Leading upward can be difficult. Scary even. It’s hard to look at your leader and think of ways to lead them.

The good news is that you can lead your leaders. The way you lead others looks different than the way they lead you or the way you may lead others.

How To Lead Upward

John Maxwell suggests you lead upward by becoming a go-to player. To become a go-to player, you need to perform your tasks with excellence and integrity. You have to be a person your leader wants to go to when he needs someone to step in during his absence.

Lead With A Positive Attitude

When you think of yourself, do you think of yourself as a positive leader? Or do you relate more to Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh?

Eeyore is a lovable but pessimistic and gloomy friend of Winnie The Pooh.

Nothing seems to go right for him. He’s always seeing the downside of life. And, his thought-life continues to bring himself and those around him down, down, down.

Woman sitting on a rock looking at the mountains

Photo by Denys Neoczhai

You might hear Eeyore say:

But Pooh… the Hundred Acre Woods are always changing. I just can’t keep up. Huff…

Eeyore brings negativity to everything. Even the beauty of nature. He can’t seem to break out of the funk.

Sadly, many leaders are like Eeyore. They bring a constant sense of negativity to their office and their team.