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Your three most important tools
July 01, 2014

Answer to your most common question

First of all – thank you VERY much for your participation. Since I published the last Leader Newsletter issue last month, you – my loyal readership – have been asking me a LOT of questions.

And the most common question I have been receiving from you is …

“What do YOU think are the three most important tools that a manager – any manager – should have inside her managerial toolkit?”

Many people think that the most important tools are in the realm of strategy, innovation, and the like.

Strategy, innovation, finance, etc., are important indeed.

But it is very difficult if not impossible to innovate and to flawlessly execute your strategy if you have a closed communication environment, if you don’t have a committed workforce, or if you don’t know how to build creativity out of conflict.

Strategy, innovation, finance, operations, engineering, sales, etc., are all tasks.

In order to achieve high quality tasks, first, you must build high quality human relationships – and not the other way around.

When I say “human relationships” – I don’t mean friendship – I mean effectiveness. The quality of “human relationships” within an organization is NOT about love – it is about results.

The quality of your work-related human relationships has a direct impact on the quality of your tasks and results – and NOT the other way around.

Hence – the most important tools inside your managerial toolkit must consistently improve the quality of your human relationships.

Anyway – there are many critical tools that you must always have inside your managerial toolkit.

But since I have to choose only three – the three tools that I finally chose ...

  • Improve communication quality at the team and organization level
  • Enhance your performance conversations
  • Create open communication environments
  • Cultivate trust between you and your employees
  • Grow motivation, commitment and engagement
  • Build positive work climates and strong cultures
  • Help you in problem-solving, conflict-management and decision-making
  • Strengthen your team’s performance
  • Boost execution effectiveness
  • They are simple to use
  • Etc. – I could go on and on …

    In one word – these three tools have an obvious impact on the bottom line.

    So – my answer is …

    The three most important tools that you should always have inside your managerial toolkit are:

    One – Positive feedback
    Two – Constructive feedback
    Three – Paraphrasing

    Positive feedback increases desired behavior.

    Constructive feedback increases desired behavior AND decreases undesired behavior.

    And paraphrasing extinguishes miscommunication – one of the main causes of huge time waste, poor performance and money down the drain.

    Fact: Feedback is widely underused – and when used – it is usually misused.

    Hence – I ask you to click on the links above to carefully read each article.


    To be a good leader is not complicated. To be a good leader is simple.

    I am NOT saying that to be a good leader is easy – I said “simple.”

    Engineering is complicated, chemistry is complicated, nanotechnology is complicated.

    But leadership is simple – not easy – but simple.

    Why is it not easy?

    It takes courage and discipline to be a good leader – courage and discipline to use the right tools (Positive Feedback, Constructive Feedback and Paraphrasing among others) at the right time. Consistency is key.

    Tell me ...

    Do you have the courage and discipline to give positive feedback to your employees? Or do you prefer to simply say nothing when your employees do their work properly?

    Do you have the courage and discipline to give constructive feedback to your employees? Or do you prefer to avoid “the confrontation” hoping that your employee will eventually improve her performance?

    Do you have the courage and discipline to paraphrase? Or do you prefer to communicate quickly because of time pressure?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the above questions – hit the “Reply” button and tell me why.

    Tell me why you don’t have the courage and discipline to consistently use the three most important tools inside your managerial toolkit.

    I challenge to do so – you might learn an invaluable lesson by hitting the “Reply” button and telling me why.

    This newsletter is much more practical, useful, and applicable to you if we establish a mutual conversation – rather than just a monologue from me.

    Please click here to see the entire "Leader Newsletter" Archive.

    Questions? Feedback? Reply to this Newsletter and tell me what you would like future issues to be about.

    Feel free to re-send this "Leader Newsletter" to your colleagues.

    Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:

    You must know the answer to this simple question
    What organization do you want to build and lead?
    A simple “hello” and the bottom line
    Are these two assumptions costing you money?
    Do you have a difficult employee?
    Are you alert by choice - or stressed by default?
    Do you want to get rid of stress?
    Can’t you improve your team’s performance?
    Misunderstandings cost you money
    Your Goals on Steroids
    Do you "control" your public-speaking nervousness?
    Friendship with your Direct Reports

    See you next month!
    Joseluis Romero - Publisher
    July 1, 2013. Copyright: All rights reserved
    I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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