Leadership Lessons From FRIENDS – I’m Going to Yemen!

Today’s Leadership Lessons From FRIENDS blog features partner Amber Fogarty, who has seen every episode of friends at least five times and is amazed by the number of leadership lessons in the long-standing series. 

In The One with All the Rugby, Chandler invents a story about his company transferring him to Yemen. Although Janice believes him, he’s not home free yet…she won’t leave his side until he’s on the plane and taking off. So what does Chandler do? He buys an expensive plane ticket and gets on a flight to Yemen. Why? Because he doesn’t want to have a difficult conversation. He doesn’t want to tell Janice the truth. 

What does this have to do with leadership? Leaders have the tough conversations. Being a leader takes courage, and they tap into this courage when a difficult message needs to be communicated. They take the time to learn about and understand the other person’s communication style, so that they can be most effective in their communication interactions. Leaders consider the other person’s feelings and do their best to communicate directly, yet gently, when they know that the person will have a hard time accepting the news. 

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
~ James Humes

I strongly believe that communication is one of the greatest leadership challenges. It’s especially difficult because each of us has our own unique communication style. We tend to communicate from that style, which doesn’t always work out the way we hope it will. First and foremost, the best leaders invest time and energy in understanding themselves. The call to leadership also involves learning about the communication styles of others, especially those you care about and interact with most. 

Think about a time when you struggled to have a tough conversation. What was holding you back? How could you have handled the situation in a way that exhibited strong leadership?

Are you answering the call to leadership as a strong communicator or are you having a lot of “I’m going to Yemen” moments? 

This is our final blog in our “Leadership Lessons from FRIENDS” blog series! To view all of the blogs from the Leadership Lessons from FRIENDS series, click here!

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