At some point in your life, you’ve come up with an idea. For many of us, the idea isn’t the hard part – it’s sharing it with others.
Leaders understand this. When they hear an idea, rather than immediately dismissing it, transformational and visionary leaders will often nod their acknowledgment, then say “Yes, and…” followed by something to build upon the idea.
This does not mean they agree with your idea. It shows that they have taken it in, and are taking elements from it that they find valuable to create something new. Perhaps it is only one small element. Perhaps it is the whole thing.
No matter what, it is a sign of respect from a leader, letting you know that you have been heard and that you are now part of something greater.
The beauty of these simple words is that we’re all used to hearing the word “No.” The words “but” and “sorry” are thrown around so often that many of us don’t even recognize when we’re saying them. However, when we say the word “Yes,” immediately the mind opens up to new possibilities. Rather than being a verbal eraser, it is like a verbal Lego set.
By implementing this one simple technique we gain a few new skills:
In order to be able to build upon someone else’s idea effectively, you have to have been paying attention to it. No more thinking about what’s for dinner, sports scores or Kim Kardashian’s latest fashion faux pas while Jim from Legal is running the latest information past you.
Take time to actually connect with the person, their motivation for bringing this to you specifically, and you’ll be better able to find something of value to add to the mix.
This should be an easy one for all the consultants like me out there, but once you get out of kindergarten we start to lose our sense of “play.” Brainstorming sessions are an awesome way to simply blurt out anything that comes top of mind based on whatever someone else says – There are no wrong answers, which makes it fun.
When you start doing this, your inclination is to be critical. You’ll want to say “no.” You’ll want to think practically and tell people all the reasons you know their idea is terrible and won’t work. However, all of that is coming from inside of you and your personal experience and resources – which isn’t relevant because you aren’t them, and you don’t have their experience or resources.
Learning how to practice non-judgment is probably the most valuable step of all because you’ll open yourself up to being surprised and delighted rather than “proven wrong.”
The sooner you implement this, the sooner you’ll see positive changes around you!
You may realize thatsleep is key toproductivity, but research also points to its importance for leaders.
Your sleep routine may be downright essential to your work and the success of your business. Eti Ben Simon, a neuroscientist and postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science, points to several studies that track sleep’s impact on productivity, including one by Christopher M. Barnes and Nathaniel F. Watsonpublished in February 2019that looked at how sleep can help maximize employee effectiveness.
Team leaders’ lack of sleepcould even diminish their perceived charisma in the eyes of their employees, according to another study by Barnes, along with Cristiano L. Guarana, Shazia Nauman, and Dejun Tony Kong,published in May 2016.
“A good night’s sleep is important for every system in our bodies from our brains to how we’re motivated, to how we deal with stress, all the way down to our immune response–which is very relevant right now,” says Ben Simon.
Sleep “istied to optimal functioning,” saysAric Prather, an associate professor at UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, who has studied the subject for 15 years. Sleep plays arole in emotional health and physical health andis critical for a strong immune system, he says.
So, how can you get your best sleep? The experts have some suggestions:
Prather and Ben Simon each cite the importance of a more or less fixed sleep schedule, sevendays a week. That means going to bed at the same time every night, especially when your body begins to signal that you’re tired,and waking at the same time every morning.
To ensure you have a good transition into sleep, create a wind-down routine,Prather suggests. “Cue your body that night is here,” he says.That may mean turning off your devices, stopping your intake of news and information, and taking a shower or bath to ramp up your parasympathetic nervous system and bring on sleep.
“The goal is to let your body let go of all the engaging and angsty things that happened throughout the day,” he says.
“It’s important to keep regularity in the hours you go to sleep and wake up,” says Ben Simon. “When sleep corresponds to a rhythm, I like to give the analogy of riding your bike with the wind at your back: When you’re in sync with your rhythm, the quality of sleep is better.”
Waking up in the night is normal–especially when worries may intrude on good sleep–but tossing and turning in bed as you try to fall back to sleep hinders restfulness.
“If you’re not able to sleep, and you’re awake for 20 or 30 minutes, you want to get out of bed,” says Prather. Tossing and turning have the potential to counter the conditioned arousal that lets your brain and body associate your bed with sleep. To reset yourself, Prather suggests getting out of your bed. “Try to wind yourself down again. Read, watch a little TV. Something until you begin to feel sleepy again and then get back in bed,” he says.
And try not to worry too much. Anxiety and sleep are bidirectional,Ben Simon notes.”If you’ve had a bad night, you’re likely to have a worse day,” she says. “If you have a bad day, you’re likely to have bad sleep. If you get better sleep, that’s enough to reduce anxiety the next day.”
This is a big one for founders and company leaders to keep in mind: The way you help structure your employees’days can set the tone for their nights.
“I would recommend that employers let employees know sleep is valued here,” says Ben Simon. She suggests not sending your team emails late in the evening with the expectation that they will respond immediately and not setting meeting times so early in the morningthat they might cause your team to losesleep. “The most important thing is to prioritize sleep,” she says.
Supporting your team’s ability to get good sleep canhave a huge impact on your company’s culture and bottom line.
“I do a lot of work on sleep and the immune system, and we really have shown fairly conclusively that when people get, say, less than less than six hours of sleep per night on average, they are significantly more likely to get a cold,” Prather says. “It’s very, very clear that sleep is a crucial piece to protecting you from infectious disease.”
That has been important for long time, but now it’s even more essential–and potentially lifesaving.
Want to keep up to date with all the latest news and events?