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6 Things That Make You Human

Or are you a robot after all (or an alien)?

Have you noticed that:

  • You find it difficult to show who you really are?
  • Those around you think of you as “Know-It-All”?
  • At times, you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin?
  • You don’t want to lose control (over anything)?

I hate to break it to you, but trying to be a robot will terminate any human connection.

“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”
~ George Orwell

Being human is not a sign of weakness, but much rather a mark of strong leadership qualities. Emotional display of leaders has a larger impact on employees than the content of the message. When a leader shows that he or she is human, it takes the focus away from them and puts it on the problem at hand. Being human brings people together and creates a strong, winning team.

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  • Admit your flaws. Show me a person who says they are without fault, and I show you a liar. Although it is important not to flinch every time you are out of your depth, it is similarly important to acknowledge the fact that all human beings are naturally flawed. Everyone has at least one obvious weakness (or two); accept your short-comings so people can relate to you.
  • Be vulnerable. It can be both terrifying and exhilarating to admit that you don’t ‘know it all’, and for many of us it implies that we are weak or defenceless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Accepting vulnerability as strength makes you a better leader, because you stop wasting energy protecting yourself from what you think other people shouldn’t see.
  • Show emotions. It is incredibly powerful for your team to know that you can occasionally get frustrated, happy or concerned. It reduces their self-doubt and increases their ability to reach out, collaborate and become better professionals and human beings. If it is happening on a regular basis, though, you might risk depriving them of stability. The strength lies in a good balance.
  • Build relationships. Being friendly with your staff doesn’t mean they will not respect you or that they won’t take you seriously. It allows them to see that you’re human and that you’re just trying to do a job too. When employees are distant from their managers there is less of a commitment to the organisation and the role. Furthermore, if they have friends at work, they are more excited to come in.
  • Share your successes and failures. Stories don’t tell people what to do; they ignite imaginations and emotions. If you tell stories from your own experiences, it will show your team what they can become or do. Be willing to share your failures as well as your successes. If you share mistakes you made and lessons you learned, others will relate to you.  They’ll understand that they’re not the only ones with challenges.
  • Share your influences. What sources of inspiration have guided you through the most important decisions in your life? What has made a huge impact on who you are as a person? Share your experiences and wisdom from your unique point of view. Share the influences that shaped who you are so others can be inspired and also benefit; you may be the only one who can touch someone with your inspiring message.
Time for action

  • What is a good success story you could share with your team?
  • What failure story could you share?
  • Which of your bad habits are obvious to others, but you have been reluctant to own up to?

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