Do you go into a meeting saying what you think everyone should do? Do you say your piece and then, when others are speaking, check your phone or start working on something else while saying “uh-huh” to fail to convince the other person that you are not splitting your attention away from listening?

This is the path to failure as a leader.

I’ve been guilty of this more times than I care to say, and our own emotions are tough things to control. Practising speaking last can help you to give others a chance and also give yourself a chance to get more information before saying your piece. In the end, you will appear wiser, and people will be more likely to respect your opinion.

Instead of pointing out others mistakes, as I have done a lot and try to stop myself from doing, try asking questions instead. Getting people to confront their opinions and beliefs, as it turns out, is a much more effective way to get the results you want.

Principles are important in a wide variety of situations, but you have to see the wood for the trees. How important is it to you to stand up for this exact thing, and what will it do to your relationships to make a mountain of a molehill. It’s not always worth it, and you may end up looking like a dickhead.