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Our Blog Posts will help you reach your full potential in becoming a confident conversationalist. New topics each week.

Learn from a Leader: Negotiating and Communicating

This is the time of year NFL free-agent deals make headlines. It's easy to look at those dollar amounts and think you'll never been in those kinds of conversations - except negotiating is a skill leaders use every day.

Creating buy-in is a form of persuasion and negotiation. Without it you won't foster the type of teamwork needed to be successful. Being a successful negotiator comes down to a few basic communication skills.

Sports agent Kelli Masters joined Learn from a Leader and shared her overall strategy for negotiating NFL contracts and it isn't about the numbers - it starts with knowing your stuff and being able to see different points of view. 

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner negotiating his own contract in 2019. Most players prefer to let their agent handle the details and have the tough conversations. Those conversations could include the employer (the team) telling an an employee (the player) he isn't as valuable or important as he thinks he is. Who wants to hear...

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Learn from a Leader: Believe in Yourself

The statement is simple, but it can be the hardest to grasp.

It can be equally difficult to differentiate between feedback and validation. Having a sounding board and getting feedback on your ideas, execution and concepts is important, but if you’re initiating those conversations to get validation you’re undermining your impact, expertise and capabilities. It’s part of the conversation I had with Elaina Herber, President and CEO of the Ascend Hospitality Group, during her Learn from a Leader session in February 2021.

That attitude of knowing what you’re capable of was on full display during the two weeks I spent at Mariners Spring Training. Not a single athlete I talked to or interviewed will entertain a conversation about their shortcomings getting in their way of their success. Every single one of them knows what they’re capable of and that’s their focus.

It doesn’t mean they’re not coachable. It doesn’t mean they’re not...

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5 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills During the Holidays

Overwhelm and gratitude. The two seem to be competing emotions this time of year.

And it's no surprise when you think about the 11 months of deadlines, projects, revenue goals, performance reviews you've dealt with. Not to mention, preparing for everything that comes with the holiday season. 

Here’s a suggestion: Hit pause on the crazy schedule but not on being a leader.

It’s okay to scale back your activity level and it’s possible to continue honing your leadership skills at the same time.

5 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills During the Holidays

Delegate. You don’t have to prepare every meal from scratch, or wrap every single present or complete the holiday errands all by yourself. The best leaders know how to delegate. Practice with your family and friends. 
 
Listen. If you’re usually driving conversations and meetings at work, take a backseat in some of the family conversations. Give yourself space to just listen without feeling...

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