Dangers of Assumptions

This is part 3 of a 4 part series on an amazing book I have read multiple times “The Four Agreements”.

Part 1 was about how to keep our word impeccable and Part 2 discussed how we need to not take things personally.

If you haven’t checked it out yet I encourage you to do so as I strongly believe it has the power to change lives.

Are your assumptions hurting you and your team?

Assumptions are made so often during the day that I don’t think we could keep track of them. Throughout our daily lives we make assumptions that we sometimes mistake as fact. It’s important to understand the consequences of assumptions and how it can affect our leadership in both our professional and personal lives.

Facts on Assumptions:

The dictionary defines the word assumption as “A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof:”

A few Synonyms of the word assumptions: Belief, Speculation, Guess

How assumptions play an important role in our lives:

Assumptions are the opinions that we have about the person based on our beliefs. Our beliefs are based on past experiences and the opinions of others. We guess/speculate on the facts and we move on with this information without checking if our assumptions are truth.

People then take the assumptions and start gossiping about it. There is nothing positive that can come from gossiping about assumptions. To be clear any type of gossip is destructive to all parties.

As a leader we should never gossip in the workplace and should never allow it to spread in our team. If you think of the world and how people interact with each other you will easily come to the conclusion that gossip is the main source of communication in the world. Think of social media and the speed that news is delivered on a daily basis. Do you believe all of this information is fact? How many fake news/stories/rumours/gossip is started through these outlets?

In the information age that we live in it is easy to camouflage assumptions with the image of fact. This is a very sad truth but one that we have to accept so that we the leaders can influence others to understand the destruction that gossip can bring.

How can we eliminate assumptions?

The biggest advice I would give to try and reduce the assumptions that we make is to ask questions. Being courageous and asking important and difficult questions is the key to opening the chest of truth. Once the answers are found you now have the treasure of facts. Actions can now be taken with confidence. We should also filter the opinions of others and ensure that we always verify the information we receive.

Doing the correct action is usually always the hardest option. This is true for assumptions. Assuming something does not require much effort or time commitment. We use what knowledge and information we already have in our mind usually partnered with our emotions and move forward with our actions. Gathering the facts takes time, energy and courage but this investment will pay huge dividends in our leadership roles.

Let’s keep our guesses for the casino and let’s deal with facts.

Let’s kill gossip!

Reflection Questions

How do you see assumptions in your life?

How do you control yourself in regards to assumptions?

Do you have any experiences to share regarding past assumptions that you have made?

I would love to hear your thoughts and on other ideas on how to eliminate assumptions from our lives.

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What is High Performance Coaching?

Forest Path

I am very excited to be starting my third course at Athabasca University named “Coaching for High Performance”.   I hope to be able to share some of the insights that I learn during this course with all of you.

The book we are using during our studies is “The heart of coaching” by Thomas G. Crane.  Check out the book here:

The description of the course is as follows:

“New pressures on leaders today compel them to create conditions that engender high performance. To this end, leaders are expected to display attributes such as courage, character, and commitment from the “inside out,” and they are expected to create cultures of high performance that move well beyond the command and control style. Coaching is part of this movement. However, effective coaching requires specific skills to help improve the performance of oneself and others. Coaching begins on the inside, as a coach must harness his or her own motivations, sense of purpose, belief in possibilities, sense of meaning, and ability to change. Leaders who coach others build supportive relationships, communicate, and provide feedback that coachees can hear and apply. The end goal is to enable others to become more effective.” – Athabasca University Website

Why should we learn to coach?

In our day and age we are all working at a high pace and rarely take the time to build strong relationships by truly listening to others.  If we want to empower others to grow and become better at what they do we need to learn to support them along the journey.  Coaching is not about telling people how to do things.  It is all about asking the right questions and having the patience to listen and support them while they find their own answers.

We often expect a training session to do the trick when it comes to learning something new.  Without coaching after the training occurs the benefits of that training will become futile.

Coaching is not easy and requires a lot of energy but it is energy that is very well spent.

The definition of transformational coaching is:

“The art of assisting people enhance their effectiveness, in a way they feel helped” -Thomas G. Crane.

Traditional Supervising vs Coaching:

Traditional supervising and managing consists mostly of telling people what to do, checking in on them to ensure they are working on what they are supposed to and letting them know what could have been done better.

Coaching on the other hand is trusting that the majority of people have good intentions, want to succeed, does their best and wants to be valued.  There is a big difference in communication between coaching and supervising.  It’s all about helping the individual feel valued and empowered.  It’s being there during the journey to support them.

Who should we coach?

We should only coach people that we care about and want to see succeed.  As a leader I truly care for everyone that is part of my team and if they succeed it will only help everyone in the department find success.  We need to also ask the individuals if they are open to coaching.  If they are not ready and open to this it will be a failure.  Being clear about the purpose and what the coachee can expect is critical before beginning the coaching relationship.

“An authoritative leader states the end but generally gives people plenty of leeway to devise their own means. Authoritative leaders give people the freedom to innovate, experiment, and take calculated risks.” -Daniel Goodman

Have you had experience in coaching?  I would love to hear about it, please comment below.

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10 Tips To Keep Your Word Impeccable

If you have never read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I would highly recommend it. It really challenges how we see the world we live in. The big lesson for me in this book was the fact that we can only control our actions, emotions and thinking. We can’t control others or what they think about us, so why do so many of us spend our energy on this? Let’s spend our limited amount of daily energy on what we can control in our lives!

Check out the book here:

This is a four part series covering the four agreements and how those can be applied in our leadership journey.

Part 1:  The First Agreement:  Being Impeccable with our word.

How much power does our word have on others?

Our world is not a magical one where spells are cast on each other. The world we live in revolves around communication between humans around the world. With the power of internet our word can be spread easily and has more power then any other time in history. Our word is the most powerful tool we have that falls short of wizardry spells.

Being impeccable with our word is a leadership muscle that all leaders should grow. It is critical for a leader to be trusted by his peers to have success in his/her leadership role. Our word is the best tool to gain this trust. Don’t get me wrong, the word is nothing without action but it is the first step to building strong lasting relationships in both our personal and professional lives.

The words we speak are very powerful instruments that we all use on a daily basis. In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz he describes the word as magic illustrating that it has allot more power over others then people can imagine. He also describes the word as either “bad magic” or “good magic”. Bad magic is described as poison that an individual sends to another individuals using his word. Good magic in turn is the positive words that we send to others.

Here are my top ten tips to ensure that our word is used to build and not destroy:

  1. Take the time to reflect before speaking. This sounds so simple but we can all improve in doing this better.
  2. It’s ok to say “No” when you are not 100% confident that you can follow through on the answer.
  3. “Let me look into it and get back to you” is a phrase that no one should be afraid to use. If you are not sure then don’t answer until you are.
  4. Consult with others if needed to ensure you give the correct answer.
  5. Ask questions until all is clear and don’t be shy to take the time needed to clarify the facts. Don’t make assumptions! Deal only with facts.
  6. Gossiping is a poison. We should not spread this poison. We should keep our word positive and keep negative talk about others and rumours in our mind where no one can enter. We can’t always control our thoughts but we can control our tongue.
  7. Always be respectful and approach all discussions with care for the other individual. People will not follow a leader that “bashes” others with their word. (Hint:  Your leadership muscles are not meant for this purpose!)
  8. Try to keep negative emotions out of the conversation as much as possible.
  9. Once you commit with your word ensure to follow through with your actions and your word will be trusted and respected.
  10. Sometimes it’s best not to say anything. Listen and ask the right open ended questions and people will feel like you really do care for them.

Reflecting on major world leaders in history you can usually always find their words quoted in stories written about them. Great speeches live on forever. The magic of their words lives on for years, decades and centuries.

How do we want our words to be remembered? Will we use bad or good magic?

How do you ensure that your word is impeccable? What tips would you add to my list? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

I will be expanding on the tips above in future posts so please like my Facebook page to ensure you don’t miss out on future posts.

Check out Part 2 Here.

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Welcome to Roots Of A Leader!

About Me:

My name is Steven Tremblay.  I am a father of two amazing boys.  Daniel is now 11 and Justin is 9.  I am happily married to an amazing wife.  Karen and I have been married for 12 years.  I am extremely blessed to have such an amazing family.

I graduated college in 2005 from the Electrical Technologist program.  Shortly after I started my own corporation where I offered my Project management and electrical design services to multiple mining and engineering companies.  I enjoyed this stage of my career but always knew that it would only be a stepping stone to the next challenge.

I recently took a new direction in my career from the technical side of the mining industry to the leadership/management side.   I am currently a General Supervisor for Agnico Eagle Mines in Nunavut leading a department of approximately 100 employees. It has been an amazing experience so far and I have really enjoyed the new challenges that comes with this position.  I am also part of the training staff for a new leadership program that the company has recently launched.

I am also currently a student at Athabasca University working towards a Post Baccalaureate in Leadership & Management.

During my “down time” I spend most of my time at my cottage with my family and parents.  Hunting and fishing are some of my favourite hobbies but we also have a small farm that keeps us very busy.  Currently we are raising:  a single meat calf, pigs, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, laying chickens and meat chickens.  We are also beekeepers with six bee hives.

My mission:

“I am a leader that teaches, coaches and empowers individuals develop and nourish their leadership roots in order for them to grow and be successful in all aspects of their lives and in turn share their knowledge with others.”

– Steven Tremblay

Why should this blog be of interest to you?

I believe everyone can be a leader in their own personal and/or professional lives.  Being a leader is a way of life where the needs of others come before ours.  Leaders are found in schools, homes, workplaces, hospitals and in many other places.  This world needs as many positive leaders as possible.  Becoming a great leader is a life long journey.  Join me in my journey and let’s learn together.

This blog will explore the characteristics of what makes a great leader. I strongly believe that a leader is not born but is made. There are natural leaders in the world and those individuals certainly have a strong foundation when they begin their leadership journey, however just because a person is not born with the natural instincts/characteristics of a leader it does not mean that it’s impossible for them to be successful as one.

The purpose of this blog is to share the knowledge and lessons learned as I take my journey in my leadership life. Yes, I said life and not career as a leader should be a leader in all aspects of their life both personally and professionally.

Why the name Roots of a Leader?

It’s important to define the name of this blog to understand it’s purpose. Wikipedia defines the word root as “The organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil”.

Roots are the foundation and the non visible parts of a plant. Leaders need to grow their foundation strong so that when the wind blows and the storms come they will stand strong as a solid leader respected and appreciated by their peers. I find this critical as a leader will be spending much more energy than they will receive. A leader needs to give without needing to receive anything in return.

If we are serious in growing as leaders we will never stop growing our roots. Roots are not what people see when they look at us, it is what is inside of us that no one can take away. What people see are the fruits that we produce as leaders. I will call these fruits “Actions”.

Knowledge and experience is the food for our foundation.

Wikipedia defines the word leadership as “Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.”

The words in this definition that stands out to me are research and practical skill. Research is what we will explore here on this blog. It will be up to us to grow in our practical skills by putting into action what we have learned in our research.

My Vision:

“It is my hope that this blog becomes a community for great discussions where we can all learn from each other. We will all have failures and successes and if we share these with each other we can build each other up. I am sure that you will all agree that the world we live in needs positive inspiring leaders that will help build the confidence, skills and knowledge of others.”

I hope you will join me in my journey as I take action in sharing all that I can with anyone that is interested in learning with me.

Let’s grow our roots together,

Steven Tremblay

Founder of RootsOfALeader.com

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