Leaders Make Lists

If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll notice that this blog is loaded with lists. That’s because hard-working people respond well to quick and actionable ideas and tools.

Something else that you may have noticed is that I’m usually generic regarding list content. I want the lists and list information I post to have a wide application. So everyone and anyone can modify and use the lists to fit their specific needs. Sometimes, I create my own custom lists, and I encourage you to do the same. For fun extra credit, turn them into an attractive job aid with your own branding. This works great for employee motivation and reference.

Recently I worked with a group who helps companies execute memorable promotions. There are topics they talk about over and over in meetings, and there are other topics they never touch. Because their work is specialized, we created a specific list that answers these questions:

  1. What words or phrases get used around here that help generate more discussion and productive conflict?
  2. What words or phrases make you shut down?

Because the phrases are specific to a particular group of people, the process can be painful. Someone might share a phrase that the person sitting next to them used in the past—or maybe even earlier that day! Even though only phrases, not names, are shared, the knowledge you have used a phrase that shut down a conversation can sting. The process alone, though, builds trust.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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