Rob Northfield runs a successful leadership programme called 2Inspire and each week for the last 6 weeks I have been attending the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate alongside 11 other people; Julie, Sarah, Chris, Dan, Lee, Sarah, Sharon, Brett, Adam, Natalie and Colin. You might ask the question why have I listed all the names above? Well it’s because I have learnt a person’s name is the most important word in the world, at least to them. This would explain why politicians such as Nick Clegg use people’s names all the time to make the other person feel important and hence become more likeable to the voting public. The trick to remembering people’s names is to think of their name as an object or symbol. If you forget a person’s name just say “I’m sorry I didn’t quite catch your name?” and then repeat this back to the person.
Rob Northfield grew up in the East End of London with Jewish roots his family was very poor and his career as a professional footballer for Leyton Orient was cut short due to injury. Rob then went on to be the youngest Managing Director of Beecham’s before running Dale Carnegie training in the UK.
Attending the course has been great and our reading list included “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie talks about a set of principles to create stronger relationships with people. We must make the other person feel important by using their name and showing a real interest in what they have to say by listening intently. Dale goes on to explain how criticism of other gets you nowhere and it’s much better to ask quality questions rather than argue for sake of argument. We must talk about another person’s interests, it’s about them not you and as human beings we tend to talk and focus on ourselves far too often. Smiling and eye contact when listening also helps!
Rob talks about leadership being made up of skill, knowledge and attitude and that you need to have all of these to properly lead. The most important of these is your attitude. Of course your attitude is a state of mind and Rob and his co-presenter David Ross have taught us about the importance of giving to other people to energies others and indeed yourself. Sometimes giving to others is reciprocated and this in turn takes your daily energy to another level.
Plan to flip the trip on a slow coach always on time listening to songs of praise. The former sentence helps me remember my new personal values to help me improve how I interact with people and lead them at Webanywhere. I need to learn to listen more to people and their point of view. Sometimes when I get negative thoughts I need to flip these and take the other person’s perspective. Slowing down in my daily life instead of rushing from one meeting to the next and one task to the next will make me more reflective. Coaching other people to become leaders themselves is something I must work hard on. I need to be on time for internal meetings! For some reason I attend client meetings on time but this doesn’t happen in our business. And finally, song of praise reminds me to praise staff not just when they accomplish their goals but on the successful small steps they take towards their objectives.
In business technical skill and knowledge only gets you so far. What takes you to the next level and beyond is leadership and leadership needs you to have a great positive mental attitude. It’s about attitude not aptitude!