Earlier this year, a colleague recommended me to the Masters Leadership Program of San Antonio (MLPSA). This is different from a graduate-level degree at a university.
Instead, a cohort of about 53 students participate in 12 full-day events related to various industries such as Education, Biomedical & Healthcare, Arts & Environment, Military Impact, and Technology.
The end is celebrated with a graduation in April 2023!
I was a bit disappointed this summer when I received the letter stating that while my qualifications were strong, I had failed to make the cut.
However, unaware I was placed on a wait list, I received a call in August stating that a spot had opened, and I accepted!
During one of the MLPSA sessions, one speaker stated the following: “With my employees and colleagues, I make it a point to give as many micro-affirmations as possible.”
Here are some examples of how someone can leverage micro-affirmations:
- When a colleague is delivering a presentation, we listen intently and nod appropriately.
- When a customer walks into the store, we smile and ask politely how we can be of assistance.
- When a friend shares a difficult situation, we show them a kind and caring heart.
- When a stranger is abrupt with us, we maintain a calm attitude and do our best to understand.
The Zoom Anti-Affirmation
A friend recently shared about a difficult situation while attending a Zoom call for a volunteer event. She was asked for her recommendations regarding fundraising ideas. She anticipated this question would arise, so she was prepared to share her thoughts.
As she began describing her top three fundraising recommendations, one participant was shaking her head, suggesting she did not like the ideas.
As you can imagine, this is a negative affirmation. However, my friend pressed ahead, and eventually one of her recommendations was accepted.
However, even today, my friend remembers this uncomfortable situation. It still bothers her that someone would behave in such an unprofessional manner.
Over the years, I’ve read and heard many professional development books, including Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
When using any of the skills and techniques from my readings, I must be careful I am still myself.
For example, when I affirm others, it is important I am real and genuine. If not, others will quickly decipher that I am merely going through the motions.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to pretend to be someone I am not. I felt uncomfortable in this role, and I could tell others were unsure about my motives.
However, today the Lord has given me the confidence and humility to lead with myself. There are times when I am direct, and there are just as many times when I am vulnerable.
I’ve noticed I am more effective today when I focus on positively and genuinely affirming others and worry less about what I want.