Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Being an Effective COACH

"A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning." 
~ Chuck Noll
Charles Henry "Chuck" Noll was a professional American football player, assistant coach and head coach. His sole head coaching position was for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League from 1969 to 1991. 
 (1932 - 2014)

Coaching is not just something that takes place on a field, or in a partnership like I have with my valued clients, rather being a coach is a skill that is demonstrated best with a process and approach that is consistent...whether coaching to change behavior, to ensure repeat performance, or even for an accolade.

A guideline I have developed and share in workshops and one-on-one, is that of COACH.  Quite directly, COACH stands for:

Have a plan

In the Connect portion, strive to make a personal interaction with a sincere energy and genuine question, if you chose to ask one.  Ownership comes from accountability on both parts...yours and the other person's.  Assessment is that of the situation or result for reviewing and focusing forward.  Collaboration means what part you will handle (if any) and what agreement you are in with the other person.  Have a plan comes from the one being coached...not you...allow and even insist on the coachee devising a plan.

Let's imaging a coaching with a child, student or team member where there is a problem with the result:

Connect with a meeting and an agenda (even if it is just verbal) and ask how the person thought the report/meeting/interaction went...then, listen fully.  Ownership follows when each party becomes accountable by stating what s/he did to get the result.  Assessment is the exploration of how things could have gone more smoothly.  Collaboration is reaching agreement after sharing ideas on what to do differently.  Have a plan is the child, student or team member relaying what s/he specifically learned and will do moving forward.

Now, let's move to the desire to have behaviors/performance/results repeated:

Connect with a meeting and an agenda (even if it is just verbal) and ask how the person thought the report/meeting/interaction went...then, listen fully.  Ownership follows when each party becomes accountable by stating what s/he did to get the result.  Assessment is the exploration of how things did not go wrong and what kept them on track.  Collaboration is reaching agreement after sharing ideas on what to do in similar and different situations to yield the same results.  Have a plan is the child, student or team member relaying what s/he specifically was recognized for doing correctly and assuring that a similar fashion will be habit to yield the appropriate results.

Finally, it is imperative we coach when providing praise and recognition!  Please picture and engage in the COACH approach when sharing an accolade:

Connect with a meeting and an agenda (even if it is just verbal) and ask how the person thought the report/meeting/interaction went.  Then, listen fully.
Ownership follows when each party becomes accountable by stating what s/he did to get the result.  Assessment is the exploration of how things went well and giving credit to that person for his/her ideas/efforts/results.  Collaboration is reaching agreement after sharing ideas on what to do to maintain that level of effort and even ask for ideas on how to do it yourself. Have a plan is the child, student or team member relaying what s/he specifically heard from you and any other ideas based on the sincere praise.

While we would all like to be in the latter of the situations often, the more we recognize those times to offer appreciation, the less likely we will be in the first category with the same people over and over.

So, please remember that while you may not have a clipboard in your hand and/or hat on your head, you have the tools to be a great COACH!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aspire to What You Desire-Don't Fake It 'til You Make It!

It's not uncommon for someone to cheer another on with "fake it 'til you make it" when attempting to grow, change or seek an advancement in life or work.  From that, we typically laugh, nod and move forward.  Seems innocent, right?

Yet faking it in life and business is anything but innocent.  It is, in fact, insincere and deceptive.  It's highly doubted that people strive to be insincere and deceptive, so what's the fix?

Consider the idea of "aspire to what you desire".  This is a take on dress to impress, and present in the role for which you want to be considered.  This is a recognition of something that is currently out of your reach followed by action and ownership to earn the right to be at that level.  This is both a sincere and true approach to growth.

So, skip the faking it, and work toward making it on aspiration, action and getting what you desire!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Taking Charge of Change

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
~ Andy Warhol
1928 - 1987
American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. 

Change can happen by chance, or change can happen by charge. Chance change is not known, and comes as a surprise when not paying attention or when someone is in denial. Charge change is shared and delivered with enthusiasm, and therefore, it is clear in the path and direction.

It's up to each of us whether we end up in chance change or charge change. When we pursue charge change, we are more likely to find the outcomes and experiences likable, rather than when we find ourselves in chance change, and feel as though the experience, and even the person delivering the message is "like a bull"!

Four tips for for embracing change positively include:
1. Consider perspective by asking and learning:
From where does it come?
For what reason?
What lead to it?
Where is it going?
In what way can I?
2. RACE for successful change by using the following words when asking and answering questions, as these words will lessen defensiveness and encourage conversation:
R - Respecting
A - Appreciating
C - Considering
E - Expecting
3. Ask rather than Assume, and implement a new rule
Ask people how they like to engage
Ask people the best format for communication
Ask people how they like to be treated, and then, instead of "The Golden Rule" of treating people the way you want to be treated, implement the rule of treating people the way THEY want to be treated.
4. Resist saying, feeling &/or believing “change is hard”, and in place of letting people continue to believe/say “this is tough”, remind them that they are tough!

In order to take charge of change, use "We" and "Let's, and consider the possibilities of positive outcomes as the result of the charge change...and this way, you won't leave it to chance!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Communication in Difficulty

Since difficult conversations are a part of life, and some people are defensive, or suspicious, ensure you don't contribute to the defensiveness or uncertainty by using the following language and skipping the other:

By focusing on the useful words, you just may skip some of the disagreements and difficulty!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Being Your VOICE

"We speak in order to be heard and need to be heard in order to be understood."
~ R. Jakobson and L. Waugh
The Sound Shape of Language

The desire to be heard lives in most of us. The way to be heard is to share. Some of us want our desires or ideas to be known, and yet those wishes may seem unknown, or simply unheard.

It is important we are true to ourselves and share our thoughts in a way that we can feel validated and think we have done our best.

A way to be that is to focus on, and live toward being your VOICE, meaning:
V - Verbalization
O - Ownership
I - Inclusion
C - Communication
E - Execution
VERBALIZING concepts to others and to ourselves is imperative. We must say things in order to have a chance to be heard. Asking questions in "What?" and "How?" format over "Why?" is a start at making a huge difference in the long run. Remaining positive about  your own capabilities, having believe in self talk, is a way to continue that verbalization that empowers.
How you OWN your opportunities and mistakes matters in sharing your voice. Excuses get you distanced from others, where ownership and acknowledgement of missteps shows transparency and vulnerability. We all make mistakes. The way to truly own those mistakes is to face them, learn from them, and not make that same mistake again.
INCLUSION is tricky, in that selecting those with whom you can talk openly can seem inclusive at first, and yet it can be exclusionary in the long run. Cliques don't garder others hearing you, rather the inclusion of people, groups and any others impacted by your message, approach, or decision, means openness and transparency...along with allowing people to know they are being considered. People listen to others who have compassion for them.
Being a COMMUNICATOR in words, body language, attitude and desired outcomes all play into being heard. Your voice is what is said (covered mostly in verbalization) as well as what is not said. People will heard what is spoken and interpret what is unspoken. You communicate all day in may ways. Be worth listening to.
In order to EXECUTE all of the above-mentioned approaches, they cannot be theoretical, rather you will want to combine them not for the sake of completion, but for the sake of having a true voice in mind, spirit and delivery.

When you verbalize, own, include, communicate, and execute your VOICE, then, with confidence, conviction and impact, your VOICE can be heard!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sharing Sympathy & Condolences

People lose jobs, pets, relative and more. Sympathy is compassionate. Sympathy is natural. Condolences can be awkward and uncomfortable. Over the years, many people have expressed to me that while they want to offer condolences, they are not sure how to act, or what to say. Sympathy and condolences are not wrong. They come from the right place. There is no time limit on when to express sorrow. A way to sincerely and thoughtful approach is to:

  • Resist asking "How are you?"
  • Watch the sympathy look of pity or discomfort
  • Send a card that you write a note about the loss, if you know the situation or person personally, and if you do not, and do not start with "I" in order to ensure it is about the other person/people
  • Call, text and/or tell the person know you are available (and be available), and don't push for conversation or time, answers or explanations
  • Know it is okay to say something like "While words escape me, please know you are on my mind and in my heart", as it's okay to not know what to say
  • Resist sharing your stories of similar, or seemingly similar stories, unless the other person wants to hear them
  • Don't say "I understand", as their situation is different
  • Do something for the person without asking "What can I do?"

Be sympathetic and offer condolences. Be there, and not too intrusive. Be available, and not disappointed if there is no response. Be compassionate without being overly communicative. Check in, make a difference, and then treat the person or people with respect and interest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Being Okay with Being Okay

"I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay."
~ Dave Matthews
South African-born American singer-songwriter, musician and actor,[1] best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band. 
(b. 1967)

In a world where we are inundated with people telling us to smile and look happy, and upbeat posts on social media with a constant count on number of likes and shares, it can lead to the perception that we are each supposed to be on top of the world at all times and even perfect...or at least appear to be!

Perfect seems ideal. Perfect is personal. And, perfect is fleeting. Perfect is perfectly ridiculous! There are times when the idea of perfect may be desirable, and yet with people, circumstances and timing, things are not, and will not, be perfect. And, that's okay.

Sometimes okay is where you are. And that is okay. Forgiving and not forgetting is okay. Having a not-so-great day is okay. Having a not-so-horrible day is okay. This is not about lowering the bar, or lessening desires, rather being okay with being okay is about knowing that there are moments, hours, and even days in life where things are just alright. We may not post about them, take photos of them, or talk much about them, and yet they are there, and they are okay.

When we admit that things can be okay, and then recognize them, we can be okay with being okay. From there, sure, we can shift to things being better, good, great, and terrific! Let's start with okay, and let go of perfect in order to make being okay with being okay something we embrace rather than something we resist!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cancellation Etiquette

While most of us would like to not ever have to cancel on plans, it is going to happen that life, other people, timing and priorities may keep you from being able to attend something for which you originally sent a yes RSVP.

In those instances, consider the planner, organizer and/or host, and please do all of the following:
1) Call the person before the event to ask for forgiveness for changing plans, and wish the planner, organizer and/or host the best on the event (without sharing your drama).
2) Email and/or text the person before the event to ask for forgiveness for changing plans, and wish the planner, organizer and/or host the best on the event (without sharing your drama).
3) Call the person after the event to check in and find out how the event went. Thank the planner, organizer and/or host for the invitation to the event (without sharing your drama).
4) Text or email the person after the event to check in and find out how the event went. Thank the planner, organizer and/or host for the invitation to the event (without sharing your drama).

Move on, and ensure the conversation and focus is on appreciation and not complaint. (And then, make every effort not to have to cancel again!)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Letting Go of Familiarity

"It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it."
~ Henry A. Kissinger
American diplomat and political scientist. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as United States Secretary of State in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. 
(b. 1923)

With the start of a new year, there are a few choices to make about planning for, and anticipating, the next twelve months. Okay, there are often many choices to make as we anticipate hanging a new calendar with hope!

Often a choice we ignore or simply do not consider, is one of deciding what familiar habits, people, processes, and feelings do we want to continue to embrace, and what familiar habits, people, processes, and feelings do we want to exit from our lives, or minimally eliminate the expectations around them.

Some people, some experiences, some things in which we participate, are so familiar to us that we do not even realize the impact they have on us - positively or negatively. By making time now, right now, to do the following, there are ways to assess, address, and let go:
1) Review your last year's calendar and make a list of the people, the events, the organizations, the habits that take the most time and/or energy.
2) Consider a five-point scale for satisfaction (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, with no partial points) with person, event, organization, habit without regard for others or what you believe you "should" do or what is expected of you.
3) Put all the 1s and 2s on a list. Put all the 4s and 5s on a different list. Put all the 3s on a list.
4) For the 4s and 5s, make time to call, email, or text whomever is affiliated, and thank someone what's transpired, and reiterate your commitment/relationship.
5) For the 1s and 2s, make time to call, email, or text whomever is affiliated, and thank someone what's transpired, and share your time and interests have changed, and that you will not be as engaged moving forward (yes, even with, and especially with, people). This is not about ignoring people or situations, rather addressing them kindly and professionally. An example is: "Hi Tod, this is Debbie. Hope all is going well. Is this a good time to talk for a couple minutes about some things we've been involved in recently?"..."Thanks so much for being a friend for happy hours and the movies last year. We had some enjoyable times, didn't we?"...With my focus on school and fitness this year, please know I will likely attend few happy hours or movies."..."When we see each other out, or on social media, I'll be sending positive energy, and wish you the best!"..."Thanks again! Here's to a great quarter!"
6) For the 3s, make time to determine what would push it to a 4 or 5, and commit to doing that.
7) Schedule time in/on your calendar for 3s, 4s, and 5s, in order to move the 3s to 4s or 5s, and maintain the 4s and 5s.

While this may seem like a task, think of the results you will get! By investing time and energy now, you'll look forward to the familiar things you want to keep in your life, and not dread or avoid those familiar things you don't seek more of this year.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Replace Cocky with COOL

With the year of the Rooster upon us, it's a time to be like the rooster, a sign of of fidelity and punctuality. Sadly, when we miss these things, we can be perceived as cocky. Instead of being the cocky rooster, let's go for being the cool bird through:

C - Confidence - Be confident in yourself, and confident in others. Without confidence in others, people can seem cocky. Believing others have abilities can be cool.
O - Offer - Offer a positive comment or compliment to someone you meet. Be sincere. Without sincerity, offers can seem overstated and cocky. With admiration of others, you can be cool.
O - Open - Open your mind, your eyes, and your body language to others. Without staying willing to consider other things, people and ideas, your presence can seem cocky. Cool people are open people.
L - Listen - Listen to others and surroundings. People who talk a lot...too much, can seem cocky, where those who listen to learn are welcoming and cool.

When you are aware of not being cocky, you can be COOL...cool in your demeanor, cool in your approach, cool in your approachability, and cool in your loyalty and timeliness!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year Impact Vs. Intent

"All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." 
~ Earl Nightingale
American radio personality, writer, speaker, and author, dealing mostly on the subjects of human character development, motivation, excellence and meaningful existence; so named as the "Dean of Personal Development." 
(1921 - 1989)

As the year comes to a close, we often resolve to make changes, start fresh and begin anew! That's exciting and challenging all at the same time, as often these resolutions are well intended and yet have little impact, and go away more quickly than they take to verbalize.

While there are still a few days in 2016 to consider what you intend to do, there is an entire year ahead to make impact.

What will be different this coming year? Nothing, if nothing is different for you, from you, about you, through you. Many things if you decide to be different in your language, plan and measurement!

For your language, consider removing words such as "I should, I need to, I better, I have to" and replace them with "I want, I will, I am, I do". Using this language will show others, and importantly, you, that you are in process due to desire, and not due to obligation or pressure.

For your plan, consider being optimistic with a healthy dose of being realistic. Be aspirational with inspiration. In the plan, ensure you have have expectations, boundaries, and accountability required to keep you on task and moving forward with growth and challenge. Plan to have an impact partner.

For your measurements, consider setting daily efforts, weekly reviews, monthly updates, and quarterly assessments. Measure effort, actions, responses, and results. Look at progress and set backs. Measure what went well and what can be improved. Measure your language, your plan and be as objective as possible with your review of the measurements. Ask your impact partner to hold you to what you commit to do, and what you may not have done. In effect, the impact partner is also a measurement partner.

So, while intent is great, ensure your impact in 2017 is large, lasting, and long on what you want it to be!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

E-RACE the Racing Life

Since it often seems like we are racing through life, through events and work, driving, and even conversations, please look to E-RACE the racing through:

E - Exchanging - Exchange your perspective of racing to one of being engaged.
R - Releasing - Release the desire to be in a state of hurried and "needed"
A - Actualizing - Actualize the thoughts and feelings to a state of being
C - Clarifying - Clarify the change for purpose and positioning - the what and the how
E - Expecting - Expect there to be a different output from you even if at first there is no change of input from others

When you are not racing around, you can E-RACE the distractions, the diversions, and the difficulty in having a lot you want to do in the time you have to do it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Embracing Thanksgiving All Year Long

"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. " 
~  Henry David Thoreau
American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. 
(1817 - 1862)

Thanksgiving is a day.
Thanksgiving is an attitude.
Thanksgiving is an approach to life.

While we may be celebrating this month, and many eating, drinking, and sharing in thankfulness outwardly and openly this Thursday, there is no need to keep that attitude of gratitude silent for the rest of the year. Thanksgiving is a way to live life, and keeping it going depends on thoughts, words and actions.

To be thankful also means not being hateful. Thinking about how to assist others, and how to encourage, support, and even wish well, whether you are included in that celebration formally or not, is a form of thanksgiving. This includes thinking ahead to how you impact others, and being mindful of what to do, and not do in order to get your intent (thankfulness) aligned with your results (gratitude).

Verbalizing your appreciation is a form of thanksgiving. Sharing ideas with others in a way that is inclusive, pleasant, and even humble shows thanksgiving. Offering what others do well, bragging about them on their behalf, and hoping, wishing and wanting what is good for them, are all ways to be thankful.

Doing things for others without their asking, taking an extra step, and even doing those things without others even knowing, allow for thanksgiving...all days of the year. Remembering that when you are thankful in life, you are not doing favors, rather you are doing what's right for your thanksgiving. Your actions are without motive other than to express thanks, and your actions flow freely with a loving heart.

By thinking thank you, saying "thank you", and meaning thank you will move you from Thanksgiving Day to a thanksgiving way (of life)...and those simple thoughts, words and actions, will surely lead to more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Drive the Diffusion CAR in Disagreements

Arguments drive people to do and say things they often wish they had not. If you want to stop arguing and start collaborating, or at least speaking versus yelling or telling, instead of driving each other batty, or driving yourself to defend things, please consider "driving the CAR of diffusion", where you begin statements in the following way, sincerely, in an effort to communicate rather than overtake:

C - Considering - Let the person know you are considering his or her point of view or perspective. "Considering you have a lot of experience with this, you make many valid points, AND..."
A - Appreciating - Stating that you recognize and acknowledge something that is different without judgement means you can, and likely will, be reasonable. "Appreciating the work you do is important to you, you likely have a lot of ideas to share AND..."
R - Respecting - Anticipating someone may not think you are listening, share that you respect the situation and circumstances. "Respecting you are impacted more than others, and you have spoken with your colleagues, WHAT/HOW..."

Notice "and" is there and not "but", and "what" is there and not "Why". And and What or How keep conversations going without defensiveness from "but" or "why".

When you are driving the CAR, drive it to diffusion and inclusion rather than attack or confusion!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Tricky Tips for Time Treats

"Lost time is never found again." 
~  Benjamin Franklin
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist
(1706 - 1790)

Often at this time of year, people hear, and even say "Where did the time go?". The time goes the same direction each year, and it doesn't fly faster as we age, we often get in habits that don't serve our full engagement and enjoyment. Time is not un-renewable, free, and one of our most precious and desired resources. Make the most of your time with these 21 tips:

1. Turn most productive tasks/results into habits with intent, focus, and consistency
2. Learn to say "No" and "Yes, and...", "What?" and "How?" (not "Why?")
3. Sleep your necessary hours (what works for you) and get an early start
4. Be focused on the results for the task at hand (by not allowing interruptions to take you away)
5. Use the 4 reasons to think through how time is spent (know, know how, have capacity, and want to, and then address them with information, coaching, assessing fairly, and an attitude check - first on you, and then on others)
6. Don't allow unimportant details to get your attention (cannot solve everyone's issues)
7. Complete worst tasks first (eat that frog!)
8. Be conscientious of time-wasters such as social media or TV(not that al is a waste, rather be aware)
9. Set a time limit for task completion (consider time-chunking in 20-minute increments)
10. Leave some time between activities for bio breaks, notes, sending messages (watch schedule overload)
11. Watch to-do list totality overwhelm (put things in priority and put results in the calendar for completion)
12. Give your body exercise, stretches and nourishment that "feeds your body" healthily
13. Do less when there is not a way to do more (instead of getting only so far on everything)
14. Utilize weekends, just a little bit (to plan for the week to give you a plan)
15. Create organizing systems (and use them)
16. Do something during waiting time (this may be down time or productive - simply choose)
17. Lock yourself in (alone to accomplish)
18. Commit to your plan to do something, and share with others that you are doing it (for accountability)
19. Do things that are similar at the same time, and go to places in order of distance
20. Find time for stillness (downtime and aloneness can be reflective and very rewarding from a re-charge perspective)
21. Eliminate the use of "I'm busy", "Are you busy?", "How are you?" (if you are not in a position to sincerely listen), and any versions of busy (consider full, productive, enjoyable and other descriptors in order to keep control and purpose in your perspective of your time)

With these tips in place, and even habits being formed (see number 1), watch how your time comes into focus as a tool and not a challenge!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

GEAR up for Plans

If you want to get something accomplished, and who doesn't, then here's a quick tip approach to GEAR up for your plans to come to fruition:

G - Goal - Have, set and share a goal.
E - Expectations - State expectations for yourself and others involved.
A - Anticipate - Anticipate challenges and obstacles and ways to overcome them...even if those are people and attitudes!
R - Reality - Have a real view of your results and potential results. Be real, stay real, and really appreciate what you have.

When you GEAR up, you get up to speed, and ready to succeed!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Winners & Losers Vs. Congratulations

"Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken." 
~  Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra was an American professional baseball catcher, manager, and coach who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, and an 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player. 
(1925 - 2015)

While this is not a pitch for 12th place ribbons, nor is it a suggestion that participation is the same as an endeavor that ends with a victory, this is an article regarding perspective. Rarely do I share personal stories, specifically in these newsletter updates, for, out of respect for you, the reader looking for tips and tools, the goal is to provide those while being mindful of your time. The plan is to do both of those things AND share a personal account, as that is what inspired this topic.

As a finalist for the business services category of the Tampa Bay Business Journal's BusinessWoman of the Year, it was such fun to get to be a part of the impressive group of recognized leaders. With over 350 nominations in all, there were 5 finalists in the Business Services Category, and it was an honor to be nominated, and a thrill to be a finalist...until I was not announced as the category "winner", and people started messaging me and coming up at the beautiful gala saying "Too bad you lost". I wasn't a loser, did not feel like a loser, and found it interesting to hear so many people throughout the weekend perceive that terrific experience as a loss. It told me a lot about them, and a lot about me. I still felt, and still do feel like I won, as the experience was outstanding. I hope to be nominated again. I hope to be a finalist again. And, believe me, I appreciate that people likely meant to be supportive, and yet their words, their approach, did not convey that well. Words matter, as they create a perspective, an energy, and a dynamic.

And then it was wonderful again, as what was also telling was how many people that night, and still now, are texting and calling and messaging me with a note of "Congratulations for being a finalist". They got it. Even with the well-deserved category and overall BusinessWoman of the Year recipients announced, people chose happy, positive words to show their acknowledgement and support.

The purpose for sharing this? I am grateful for all encouragement and well-wishes, and even though those awkward moments about my "losing" made me shift in my shoes, smile and attempt to direct the conversation in a positive way, this is not a criticism or condemning of those attempts to engage, rather, a hopeful account from a perspective to encourage each of us to think about where we are and how others may perceive our words. If we congratulate those for how far they got, rather than solely looking at a win or a loss, perhaps we'd celebrate progress...not just perceived "perfection"!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Personal Pep Talk

People often ask about mantras or words of encouragement, and a personal pep talk can be invaluable for small and large opportunities!

How the personal pep talk works is by saying to yourself:
"I want. 
I want.
I will.
I am."

And then following each line with:
Your goal.
Your action. 
Your character word(s).

For example, if you are challenged to get an assignment completed, consider something like "I want to successfully complete the assignment. I want to successfully complete the assignment. I will schedule time each day to make progress on the work...because I am a dedicated, competent Project Manager."

You state your want (the goal) twice to capture the focus and align yourself with it, followed by something specific (your action to get yourself on the path to accomplishment), and support both by your character words to remind yourself of your positive approach and value. This quick pep talk is effective for getting through a workout, presenting something effectively, completing a project, attempting something new, getting through a difficult situation, and more! Give yourself a pep talk, and get yourself going!

Monday, August 22, 2016

WISER Meetings

When it is a meeting with a potential customer, client or a colleague, there are many ways to handle how it goes. 

Please consider hosting WISER meetings, meaning you cover the following:

W-Well...what's gone well recently
I-Improve...what would you like to improve
S-See...what do you see as the gap
E-Expectations...what do you expect of each other
R-Reality Check/Relevance/Resources...can things happen in time frame with what is available

By covering those five things, you will uncover interests, be able to address desires, and get to issues and opportunities, with options and solutions!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The I-I-L-L (Not the “I’ll”) of Leadership

"We must develop knowledge optimization initiatives to leverage our key learnings." 
~ Scott Adams

Often people say or think something like “When I’m the leader, I’ll…” as they look forward to changing things! Sure that is enjoyable to anticipate, and even fantasize about…the “I’ll”, and yet for all of us, regardless of size of business, age, or position, there is a way to look at leadership as the I-I-L-L factor(s) instead of the “I’ll”.
“I-I-L-L”, you ask? Yes, the I-I-L-L stands for:

Impact is the fact that what you say or do can have an immediate jolt on someone. It can be something bold or subtle, and either way, it changes the perspective or outlook of others immediately, and perhaps only for a short time. That impact is felt and acknowledged. Impact gets attention of others.

Influence is something that happens over time. It is a style and presence that someone, either unintentionally or intentionally asserts and/or shares with others. Influence stems from consistency, desire to be similar or near, and typically last longer than an impact. Influence gets awareness and respect of others.

Loyalty is when someone is true to another. A leader demonstrates loyalty by sharing openly wins and losses, support and concern. Loyalty is developed for a leader from a steadfast, consistent approach that is trustworthy toward people and in situations. That leader’s views and actions present aligned with others or what others seek to be aligned with. Loyalty is long lasting unless trust is broken.

Leverage is being able to call on others…those you have impacted, influenced, and shown loyalty towards. Leverage is a form of leadership that is to call on others directly for support and positioning. Having leverage means acting in the best interests of others and the situation while calling on those who can impact, have influence, and have loyal colleagues, in order to broaden the reach and scope of the message or action one is attempting to lead.

As it works, there is typically an impact or two before true influence is established. Likewise, influence typically has the potential to become loyalty. Likewise, there is little leverage (true leverage, not manipulation) that takes place without loyalty. So, instead of thinking “I’ll do XYZ”, consider thinking about the I-I-L-L of leadership, assessing where you are, and where you want to be, to ensure your I-I-L-L can get you to that XYZ…whatever it may be!