7 tips to make you a lucky leader this Chinese New Year

08 Feb 2016

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2016 is the year of the Monkey, but what’s this mean for you as a leader and communicator? Well apparently if you were born in 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004 you will be intelligent, enthusiastic, sociable and apparently wealthy.

You will also be in great company as Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, George Gordon Byron, and even Celine Dion share the Zodiac sign with you.

However, before you get too excited there are a few downsides, tradition portrays those born in the year of the Monkey as jealous, suspicious, cunning, selfish and a tad arrogant – which is why this is said to be one of the least lucky years in the Chinese calendar.

So to balance things out a bit here are seven top tips to try out this year, and these work whether you are a Rat, Snake, Ox or Monkey:

  • CommsQuest main boardsDrive change – Your flexibility and adaptability to changing environments is a strength for this sign and important for any leader. So if you have plans to re-shape the destination of your business make sure your people understand the journey you are taking them on and what you need them to do along the way. But please make it interesting – sketching a visual rather than delivering a dull PowerPoint presentation is a much more engaging alternative.
  • Tell stories – Maximise your ‘magnetic’ personality and use stories or humour to bring key messages to life. And if the thought of speaking in front of a crowd gets your tail in a twist, prepare well and make sure you have good quality supporting media to hand to reinforce your messages and engage your audience. Please avoid a ‘Michael Bay’ moment, when the Director Producer fled the stage at a Samsung conference as his autocue failed and he forgot his lines 

  • Know your communication style – If you’re lively, flexible and quick-witted, it’s likely that you have a spirited communication style and think ‘big picture’. As a leader, you should quickly identify the three other styles (direct, considerate, systematic) in others and adapt yours to communicate effectively. Invest some time in understanding the different communication styles in your team, so everyone has better understanding of how to work together effectively.
  • Try new things – Use your creative streak and put your own stamp on things, challenge old ways of working to improve or build upon what’s gone before. And above all else trust the team around you, and never give up on a good idea. The CommsQuest team were very proud when our ‘Comms in a box’ idea for a global FMCG won an industry award. Initially it took time to convince our client that this new approach would drive change, but now they’re glad they took the risk.
  • Celebrate others success – For Monkeys this can be a weakness due to their ‘jealous streak’. So try to take a moment and say thanks to your colleagues and customers for a job well done. Always publically recognise people who demonstrate your desired behaviours. It could be a mention in a meeting, email, intranet announcement or a full-blown awards ceremony – whatever it is, people will remember the gesture and the way you made them feel.
  • Wear white – It’s not often we give fashion tips! But seeing as white is a lucky colour for Monkeys, we’ll break our rule this one time. Occasionally swap your colourful shirts for a more traditional look. We worked with an executive at a global bank who only wore classic white shirts. The trend was catching – every time this chap visited an office or branch, teams made a special effort to wear a crisp white shirt for the meeting!
  • If you are curious, give us a call – We don’t want to be cheeky but the CommsQuest team have helped hundreds of leaders and thousands of communicators get their messages clear, delivered and understood. If you’d like more information on any of the tips above why not get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.