Enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily call for a loud rah-rah project cheerleader, but one can definitely capture the importance of the effort by one’s emotional commitment,says Mike Thompson in ‘The Organizational Champion’ (www.tatamcgrawhill.com). He finds that leaders who significantly lack energy and passion underperform in their roles compared to energised and passionate leaders.

“Research shows that those leaders who are constantly suppressing their emotions are rarely able to move critical projects forward successfully until they’re forced to do so by their superior… The nonchampion’s lack of passion or enthusiasm affects many throughout the execution of the project.”

We lose energy when we lose emotions, and we lose the drive when we lose the drama, the author reasons. He is anguished that our organisations and leaders often lecture us that our emotions get in the way of smart decisions and they cloud our judgment. “We’re asked to be detached and, therefore, we have become passionless and emotionless for the sake of safety or tradition, or for the sake of not embarrassing ourselves or our organisations.”

So, keep looking for those who raise ideas with passion, without fearing that they will be seen as being overly emotional and therefore not rational. That’s the mark of champions, says Thompson. “They refuse to keep silent for the sake of being seen as a ‘team player,’ someone who goes along without attracting too much attention, who abides by the system. They aren’t afraid to raise too big a fuss that just might raise the eyebrows – or even the ire – of an upper-level manager.”

Interestingly, champions aren’t dependent on others for energy and enablement, the author notes. “While others depend on relationships to drive their commitment, reactions, and attitudes, champions don’t need such support. They have the ability to elevate themselves beyond the negative moods and transcend the energy drains from others and are able to maintain focus and drive.”

Compelling insights.

Communicate more effectively

Reframing, future pacing, installing, and positive presupposition are four easy methods anyone can master in order to communicate more effectively and therefore create better connections in all kinds of everyday situations, says Michael Losier in ‘Law of Connection’ (www.hodder.co.uk).

The first method is about looking at something from a different point of view. Reframing is a way to turn what might be viewed as a negative scenario into a positive one, explains Losier. “When you change the meaning of an event you can change a potentially negative communication into a positive one, which means that you will be creating a better connection with the other person.”

Future pacing, the second method, is a way to communicate to another person that whatever he or she may have been anticipating as a negative experience or outcome could very well turn out to be a positive one. And, the author cheers that when you create an opportunity for someone else to view the future in a more positive light you are, in effect, the bearer of good tidings.

A book that deserves installing in your reading list.

The ‘sound’ connection

Lines that grab attention and turbocharge people’s memory banks are usually spoken aloud with skilful inflection, says Steve Cone in ‘Powerlines: Words that sell brands, grip fans, & sometimes change history’ (www.vivagroupindia.com). “We instinctively pay attention when the message has a cadence, when the words rhyme, or are repeated in the same sequence.”

An example in the book is about savvy car manufacturers who know that one of the biggest selling features of their luxury models is the sound of the car door opening and closing. “Some smart auto executives have whole teams that focus exclusively on the sounds their cars make, including the doors, windows, knobs, shifts, and even seat cushions. And, of course, there are car engine sounds”

Similarly, there have been studies on the relationship between the pace and tempo of background music in shops/restaurants and the sales. “Basically, the slower the music tempo, the more people shop and the slower they eat. The slower people eat, the more high-profit beverages they drink.”

In Las Vegas, too, the ‘sound’ connection came to be discovered by casino owners who wanted to experiment with electronic machines where coins are unnecessary. Patrons, though, wanted to “pull the one-armed bandit and insert coins, hear them drop, and listen to the sound of a payout as coins jingle and cascade into the tray.”

Recommended for a ‘power’ study.

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