Archive for Leadership Articles

Taking Decisive Actions and Creating Possibilities to Become a Leader in Your Life

Okay, I’m excited (and just a tad anxious) about the launch of my Say It to Sell It Now! Seminar tomorrow morning.

I want to honor each student that is joining me by saying how much I appreciate what it took for them to jump on board.  First a decision had to be made.  Then the commitment will need to be kept in order for each of them to get what they hope to take away from the program. That takes inner leadership.

Sounds simple but it’s not always so easy to accomplish.

Showing up often means rearranging schedules, disappointing someone, dealing with a less than supportive person, possibly getting up earlier than you normally might on a Saturday, or other obstacles that need to be overcome.

Yet, after the decision is made an inner change happens. Making the decision (providing you made it from your heart, from a knowing place rather than from a thinking place) frees you up to consider the possibility that comes from making that decision.

Making the decision creates a place for giant leaps to happen. It is that energy that allows you to stick to your commitment. When you are stuck in the should I or shouldn’t I place…you energetically become stuck in every place in your life.

Think about that. Every unmade decision is like a roadblock to your moving forward. It doesn’t matter if the decision is ultimately yes or no what is important is making it quickly and moving forward.

Those who reach decisions promptly and definitely know what they want and generally get it. This is a common trait of all leaders in every walk of life.” ~ Napoleon Hill

We’ve heard it said before but a parked car can’t get you anywhere. Only after you move the car out of the driveway and down the road will you be on your way….and you have the option then to change direction once you get moving…but not until you are moving does that option present itself.

So thank you, my students of life, you now have opened up the possibility of being a leader in life.

Thank you for saying YES to yourself and your possibilities.

Learn more about the Say It to Sell It Now! Free-training Tutorials.

 

Workplace Communication – Workplace Illusion?

It’s time to replay a video I posted a year ago.

Let me know your comments below.

Misunderstandings at Work–Will Your Conversation Matter a Month from Now?

Learning to respond to emotionally charged conversations or misunderstandings in the  workplace takes practice, patience and perspective. The key is to balance your assertiveness with constraint so you can walk away feeling good about yourself , while not leaving the other party feeling devastated.

Ask yourself the following questions before blurting out an emotional reaction during  a challenging conversation. You just might gain a new perspective.

  • What’s the long term impact if you say everything you want to say?
  • What consequence or result will occur moments after your conversation if you do respond emotionally?
  • Will the result last more that those few moments?
  • What about the impact in a few hours, days, months or years from now?
  • Will this conversation matter at all or will it change the course of a relationship for better or worse?

If you ask yourself these questions before blundering ahead, you’ll discover that some conversations won’t need to happen at all, but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do need to happen.

Thinking about the long term impact allows you to put things into perspective. Perspective goes a long way towards guiding your tone and words,  and perhaps changing your intention from hurtful to respectful.

A small shift in your behavior now can go a long way into the future…in a good way.

What’s your thoughts? You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.

Improve Communication at Work – How to Agree to Disagree

Sounds a little crazy I know, but knowing how to walk away from a contentious situation while still being able to agree is a necessary communication skill in business.

What exactly do I mean? Well, if you find yourself in a conversation in which you have consciously applied good communication skills including being an active listener and still find you cannot agree on any point, or you simply do not see eye-to-eye, then it just might be time to agree to disagree.

The consequences of taking a stand for yourself and your principles may be far reaching so be sure you know what you are doing. Communicating your opposing view while maintaining your composure takes fortitude and conviction.

I had a boss once who calmly walked into my office and simply announced that he (the president) had agreed to disagree with the CEO. Not quite sure what that meant, I gave him a questioning look and asked for an explanation.

Apparently, a major request or change of direction, or a shift in command  resulted in a situation where neither  he nor the CEO were willing to compromise. So they agreed to disagree.

It was civil conversation but the result of agreeing to disagree  meant my boss opted to leave his position. Yet, I have no doubt that he slept well that night. He honored his integrity.

You may find yourself in this position some day and you may not be in the financial position to simply walk away as my boss did.  The situation you are disagreeing with may be more than simply a blow to your ego, it may involve something unethical.

If you can agree to disagree and continue working without interruption then go for it.  But if you find the situation puts you at risk for a lawsuit or worse and you decide to stay ask yourself this–is the cost to your peace-of-mind, to your integrity,  to your family, to your self-worth and your health worth it?

What challenging communication situations have you dealt with at work?

Find more answers to these questions in Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.  Buy it at Amazon.com

People Just Want to be Acknowledged and Appreciated

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. ~ William James

It’s true that the number one motivator for employees is appreciation.  Whether you are motivating employees, students, co-workers or your children practice giving motivation that suits his or her’s learning style–auditory, visual and kinesthetic.

Take the time to “tell” the auditory person what you appreciate about them rather than sending an email, writing a note or even giving a gift. Hearing the words live and in-person really connects with the auditory. So get up and tell them in person. Or pass out fortune cookies stuffed with words of praise and have them read their good fortunes aloud.

Visuals love notes, plaques and anything they can both see and display for others to see. Keep those cards and letters coming. I used colorful, post notes to write short boldly colored words of thanks for my visual staff. They displayed them on their cupboards like a display of “first place” blue ribbons.

A pat on the back goes a long way for the kinesthetic people. They want to feel the love. A hug, handshake or high-five tugs at the heartstrings of these feeling folks.

Coworkers and clients will shift their attitude and raise morale. Everyone benefits.

Find more tips on communicating with your team in Allie’s book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Buy it now at Amazon.

Communicating at Work – 5 Steps for Managing Resistance to Change

Resistance to change is  a common workplace challenge. Poor communication contributes to the push-back that comes with rolling out new procedures,  a change in status,  a physical move or launching a new project.

The dissension can come from a single voice or the collective whole.

Try these 5 steps for gaining cooperation:

1. Spell out and communicate both orally and in writing, exactly what the changes are and how they will affect individual positions.

2. If you choose to entertain objections set a time frame and stick to it.  A never ending gripe session serves no one.

3. Listen to the emotions and the underlying fears that are often couched in vague complaints such as “this will take too much time.”  The fear may be that the employee will have to stay later and miss picking up their child on time.

4. Check your interpretation of the complaints by reflecting back what you have heard.

5. Consider suggestions and set a follow-up date for the outcome. Not all changes have that kind of flexibility but you might be surprised at what can be adjusted for better buy-in.

Employees simply want to be a part of something bigger. Use this opportunity to communicate honestly and create a deeper  connection and the odds for cooperation will increase.

Find more tips for communicating effectively at work in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work – What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.  Buy it at Amazon.com


Management’s Role in Motivating Employees- How to Connect Them to Something Bigger

Motivating employees, especially during economic downturns, requires an empathic approach. Or, as I prefer to call it—the “connecting your heart-to-your-head approach.” The pressure of too-much-work-to-be-done with too few people often causes a low level response to the threat of job loss as a stimulus for more production. Simply, their emotional well is dry and any increase in productivity is short-lived. Threats don’t work.

Managers expect employees to be self-motivated and to a degree that should be the case. Self-motivation is the ability to get things done without being directed by others. But, this does not absolve a manager from providing Read more

Communication, Inspiration, Motivation, Admiration, Gratitude

Presence, Engagement, Connection, Confidence, Interaction, Credibility, Attitude, Success

Leave me your thoughts below.

Communication Mistakes – Listening or Making Assumptions?

Active and attentive listening is not always easy to do-but it is critical to success.  Poor listeners can damage their reputation and hurt their careers. Today I want to talk a bit about making assumptions vs. really listening.

You might be making assumptions if you answer yes or sometimes to the following questions: Do you frequently finish other people’s sentences? Do you use phrases such as “I already know that” before your have heard a complete sentence?

If you do the message you send is, “I know more than you do, so let me help you out.” This is not only rude (and arrogant) but it will brand you as a know-it-all.

Instead listen patiently, ask clarifying questions, and paraphrase the speaker’s words to ensure you really do comprehend what they are saying and intending. Seek to understand the speaker before making suppositions. This positive behavior will brand you as an excellent communicator.

What do think?

Excerpt from the book Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Pick up your copy at Amazon today.

Workplace Communication—7 Steps to Turn Resistance into Cooperation and Gain Respect

Employee resistance to change in the workplace is nothing new. Leaders and managers accept the pushback that comes when rolling out new procedures, changes in operations, shifts in hours, status, or even the loss of a prime parking space. How you deal with resistance makes the difference between gaining cooperation and respect and being viewed as an uninvolved, autocratic administrator.

Whether the resistance comes from a single dissenter or an entire department, use the following steps to gain cooperation:

Step1. Clearly state what you want, when you want it and how it will affect individual jobs. Use a firm but neutral or positive tone of voice. Refrain from conveying disappointment, anger or defeat. Your particular situation or location will dictate the appropriate vocal expression.

Step2. Decide beforehand how much time you will allot to objections, groaning and griping. Inform the person or team you are addressing about the time limit. Let them vent.

Step 3. Listen to understand concerns. What underlying emotions are behind the complaints? What are the real fears behind the protests? Often the real fears will not be voiced in the initial session and until further questioning your understanding may be based on false assumptions.

Step 4. Check your perceptions by reflecting back your understanding of the concerns. Do not allow another round of protests, rather simply check for confirmation.

Step 5. If appropriate, ask for suggestions. Not every circumstance will allow for this but to the degree that employees feel engaged in the process the quicker the cooperation. Once again, do not allow suggestions to go on forever and keep the conversation on suggestions only—not grousing. Be involved. Listen and list possibilities without judging. Put it all down. Be open to viable proposals.

Step 6. Suggest a review or an opportunity to revisit the impact of the change after a test run or implementation. This is a good practice to put into place whenever a new procedure or shift has taken place, regardless of the initial response. Small changes made at this re-visit may prevent a complete breakdown if left unchecked. This is also an excellent opportunity to increase face-time, engage employees and learn something new.

Step 7. If these steps fail, explain the costs of noncooperation. Change is what makes an organization stay competitive, robust and profitable. Dissenters may be in the wrong position or job so act accordingly.

Cooperation comes when people know and feel they are part of something bigger. Employees know that changes occur but welcome the opportunity to influence the outcome and success. However, just because you communicate openly and involve employees by asking for suggestions, does not mean they make the final decision. Be a leader—listen, learn and them implement.

Now get your FREE 6-Part Audio Series – The Power of Effective Communication.  For more tips like the ones above pick up a copy of my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. People love the insights and easy to apply techniques.