Vanessa Van Edwards has spent the last several years studying hundreds of leaders searching for patterns. Turns out, the traits common among leaders can easily be implemented into anyone’s life with a little bit of focus. Here are six strategies she outlines that make leaders so successful.
1. Start going for the small yes
If you ask someone a big favor right off the bat they are much more inclined to say no. But a small request breaks down barriers and makes people more likely to say yes to bigger requests in the future.
2. Hand out genuine praise freely
Not only do social rewards rank on the same level as monetary rewards, but when you praise someone for doing something well then they are more likely to continue living up to that praise. And it pays to be surrounded by people who are living up to their best selves.
3. Stop wasting mental energy
Being too tired to be productive, bored, or just too guilty to take a proper break lead to activities Van Edwards calls “empty calorie time.” Commit to taking breaks and fill that time doing something that boosts brain activity, like creative activities, meditation, or exercise.
4. Make sure you have big f***ing goals
People who set highly ambitious goals have been shown to enjoy a higher level of happiness and satisfaction than those with low expectations. It’s simple, really. Bigger goals equal bigger rewards. And even if you fall a bit short, you can feel great knowing you gave it your best.
5. Never make decisions out of revenge
Making life or business decisions out of revenge will only end up going south. If you’re feeling wronged, try taming vindictive feelings by writing out your anger and focusing on the big picture. Besides, everyone knows that success is the best form of revenge.
6. Implement instructional self-talk
Next time you’ve got a bit project, clearly establish the end goal, map your plan of attack, then start mentally walking yourself through the steps. This type of instructional self-talk is believed to keep distractions at bay and keep our brains thinking logically.