“Talk About Emotions But Don’t Be Emotional.”

Talk about emotions but don’t be emotional.” This is one of the things I discuss in my Difficult Conversation training workshops.

When I do talk about emotions people often squirm in their seats. I know – emotions are scary… especially:

  • At work
  • When we are feeling vulnerable already
  • If we are a leader

But, what do I mean when I say, “Talk about emotions but don’t be emotional“?

Example:  Lets say you are a leader and your employee named Peter let you down. Here are two options on how your first sentence can go.

Option A: Sitting down and saying (not shouting), “Peter, I’m disappointed you missed your deadline – this has put the whole team behind schedule.

Versus

Option B: Standing, shouting and looking red-in-the-face, “Peter, you missed your deadline and put the whole team behind schedule.

What do you think the results of those two scenarios are? I suggest:

Option A:

  • Keeps communication open.
  • Keeps Peter focused on how he let you and the team down – does not distract him with your anger.
  • Gives Peter time and space to feel remorse… immediately.
  • Can be transitioned to solution.
  • Keeps your reputation as a level-headed strategic leader.

Option B:

  • Shuts down communication.
  • Lets Peter feel scared of you… and perhaps gives him a reason to visit HR.
  • Peter will be distracted from the real issue.
  • Is difficult to transition to a solution.
  • Establishes you as a hot-head, out of control reactionary boss

And… let’s face it, if you are a woman leader and if you ever started shouting you would be labeled as – well – I do not want to discuss that ridiculous double standard.

I promise, if you calmly but seriously / confidently tell an employee you are disappointed in them missing their deadline and that they let down the team, they will feel every ounce of pressure you are putting on them. I bet you will see their behaviour change for the good – very quickly. And, if you don’t experience better results you have a very good (and I hope well documented), history YOU can share with HR.

Emotions are still tough to talk about

I know – emotions are still a bit uncomfortable to discuss, but I promise they do not show weakness – they show honesty. When you are confident you can talk about emotion and you don’t have to be worried about being seen as “soft”.

Leadership takes courage – it takes courage to discuss uncomfortable situations. Leadership is not about being a boss or a bully or about instilling fear. The strongest leaders are comfortable talking about emotions and positioning themselves as strategic thinkers and inspiring / motivational mentors.

One last thing

If you have to have a difficult conversation, don’t put it off too long. The further you get away from the undesirable behaviour, the weaker your position becomes and the more you are rewarding their undesirable behaviour by them… and by the rest of your team who see them getting away with it.

Happy communicating, leading and mentoring.

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How Busy Professionals Improve Work-life Balance: Time Management Tips for home and work

The sacrifice is worth it” says many professionals who take pride in being dedicated workaholics. They even take their smart phone on vacation with them. And then they suddenly realize they’ve put on 50lbs, haven’t seen their partner or best friends in a year, don’t know their children’s favourite colour, book, food or sports team and likely can’t even remember the last time they socialized in a meaningful way (weddings and funerals don’t count). In short, their work-life balance is out of balance.

I’m not knocking working hard. As an entrepreneur I love what I do and don’t expect to retire; I hope I’m still delivering keynote presentations and communication skills training when I’m 65. I also totally agree there are crunch times when sacrifices must be made. But, when sacrifices go on for most of a year or two or more, many people who study organizational behaviour and productivity believe long-running sacrifices rarely benefit us personally, financially or professionally – or from a healthy living perspective.

Really? Perhaps you think “If I work hard I’ll make more money and be more successful?” For a sort time, yes… that is often the case. But, if we work all the time and are chronically exhausted, we are likely:

  • Not going to make the best strategic decisions
  • Going to make some mistakes we would not otherwise have made
  • Short tempered – perhaps hurt important relationships
  • Building a work environment that Reacts not Responds to client needs or business opportunities
  • Putting our mental and physical health at risk
  • Growing apart from our family and/or friends
  • Creating an invisible barrier called unfamiliarity with the people that should be close to us
  • Causing resentment in our family and/or friends
  • Losing our family and friends trust that you care… and will be there for them when needed
  • Missing important dates / occasions causing resentment, disappointment and further emotional distance

Question 1:
“How does a busy professional find work-life balance that involves all aspects of their lives?”

Answer: We must all make time for each (not some), of the following:

  • Work responsibilities
  • Home / living responsibilities
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Personal interests

Question 2:
“Why should bosses care about work-life balance for their employees?”

Answer: When we feel valued, respected and supported in our work life and our family life we feel more loyalty to our boss and to the company. When we feel our contribution and our time are respected we also care more about the quality of work we do (and we make fewer mistakes because we are not chronically exhausted).

When our personal and professional lives are in balance we are happier, more positive, more creative, more collaborative (I can go on), in both our work and family lives. This balance also enables us to pursue our professional goals which is again, benefits the company and our family.

Question 3:
“How do we make time?”

Answer: We also have to take more responsibility for our schedule than most of us currently do. We also need to recognize we all do better when we follow routines. Not only do routines help us manage our expectations and the expectations of others, they help us build memorable experiences with important people. Routines also help us save time by letting us prepare in advance and put hardware, software and support systems in place to help us with our routines. So:

  • Have a routine in the morning
  • Have a predictable routine at work
  • Have a routine in the evening
  • Have a routine for Saturday
  • Have a routine for Sunday

One ‘event’ many professionals feel helps balance work and family promises is committing to family dinners. Breakfasts might be out of the questions if you leave early for work, but a 6:30PM family dinner should be manageable for most professionals most of the time; especially if you get to work early in the morning.

Dinners with your partner and/or family are amazing for many different time management and relationship building reasons. One significant time benefit from a pre-scheduled meal routine is it makes grocery shopping efficient. It can also save you money because you know what to stock up on when they are on sale. Other benefits include:

  • You are not wasting time dashing out for last-minute items or making bad ‘fast food’ choices.
  • You may be able to make extra and freeze left-overs saving you time and effort in the future
  • You can bring left-overs for lunch giving you a healthy and cost saving alternative to food courts

Family dinners enable you to involve your children in all aspects of meal planning including meal choice, shopping, cooking and cleaning up. Not only does this teach children how to cook, involving your children teaches them responsibility, social skills and how to confidently care for themselves.

For example, a family end-of-day meal schedule children can participate in is:

  • Slow Cooker Stew Mondays
  • Homemade Veggie Pizza Tuesdays
  • Burger Wednesdays
  • Mexican Chicken Veggie Stir-fry Thursdays
  • Spaghetti Fridays
  • Surprise Saturdays (you might even go out)
  • Roast Sundays

Three More Things:
Three more things busy professionals with a family can do to improve time management both at home and at work:

  • Prioritize your to do list – plan your week not your day. Possible solution, spend 5 minutes planning at night and then 5 more minutes first thing in the morning.
  • Have discussions at work and at home about expectations, values and responsibilities.
  • Embrace delegation – share responsibility – and accept responsibility with your coworkers and family. When you delegate, use it as a mentoring, learning experience.

Conclusion:
One of the best ways to start your day is to get a good night sleep – that means get to bed at a decent hour. This helps you wake up refreshed in the morning.

Some of the most successful professionals believe it’s critical to have a good morning routine that includes some exercise and a healthy breakfast. For example, Sir Richard Branson says, “I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness,” says Branson to FourHourBodyPress. Branson continues,“I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit”. Mark Zuckerberg (who usually exercises first thing when he wakes up) says, “It keeps the brain functioning well”.

Every morning might be slightly different but routine helps you, your children and your co-workers manage expectations, increase productivity and experience work-life balance. The following is a sample morning schedule.

Time Management Morning Schedule for Professionals

Routine is critical as well as calendar management. Let either of these out of your control and you can kiss productivity away.

Final Note:
Have a weekend schedule: For example, on Sunday:

  • Sleep in
  • Family pitches in together to streamline:
    • Everybody helps clean the Kitchen, Family room, Bedroom & Bathroom
    • 50% of you do Laundry
    • 50% of you go Grocery Shopping
    • Everybody helps on Pre-Meal Preparation
    • Reward Brunch in a restaurant with the kids and friends
    • Sunday night – no plans
    • Schedule some downtime
    • Schedule 30 minutes to get acquainted with the next week.

Happy communicating and training… and taking responsibility for your schedule and work-life balance.

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Are You Racially Bias? How To See Bias Within Ourselves.

There is a surge of discussion in the news about cognitive bias, and more specifically, unconscious bias. Much of this discussion is because of an incident on April 15, 2018 in a Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested after simply asking to use the restroom while they waited for a business associate to arrive.

Following this incident, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the officers “did absolutely nothing wrong.” On the flip side, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson called the incident “reprehensible” and quickly apologized. Johnson also began making plans to “help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again [at Starbucks]”.

How did Starbuck do this? In no small gesture, Starbuck’s closed all of its 8,000 US corporate stores and offices for the afternoon on May 29 to provide employees racial bias training. Anti-bias training in Canada was on June 11.

What are cognitive biases and how do they impact our behaviour?

Cognitive biases act like short-cuts our brain uses to make decisions instead of analysing every piece of information. Many times throughout our day, cognitive biases like unconscious bias speed up our decision making at work or keep us safe in unfamiliar places. However, it’s true that these short-cuts can lead to ill- informed decisions and/or negative judgements and therefore misguided behaviour.

Another important fact about biases is that once we make a decision about someone or something, our biases will begin to find information and other examples to support our belief. In short, we will begin to see what we want to see. So, if we were to unfortunately learn to ‘discriminate’ against a person, a body type or a culture as in racial bias, it’s highly likely we won’t see our judgement or behaviour being negative or being driven by an unconscious bias.

Where do we learn biases?

We learn biases everywhere and all the time. We learn by absorbing messages from our family and co- workers, suppliers, the media, from society, from our social network, the books we read, the movies we watch and the history we study. A huge challenge comes when we limit our access to information. For example, if we only watch one news channel, don’t read much and don’t engage in open dialogue with people who challenge us, imagine how our beliefs and behaviours… our biases might slowly become skewed.

Also, because our brains try to create shortcuts every chance it gets, sometimes biases are formed based on only one piece of data; this is called a halo bias. Examples of halo biases are:

  • If I believe someone to be honest – I will see honesty throughout their character. I may even ignore, downplay or justify dishonesty.
  • If I believe someone to be greedy and incompetent I will see greed and incompetence.
  • When we find someone physically attractive, our biases often inflate our trust, respect and honesty of this person.

Two other types of bias are:

  • Confirmation Bias: This is when we favour information that confirms to our existing opinions and beliefs. In addition, confirmation bias may even urge our unconscious to discount evidence that does not conform to our existing opinions and beliefs.
  • Self-Serving Bias: This is when we blame external influences when bad things happen and give ourselves credit for being smart or creative when good things happen (as an example).

Can we learn to control our biases including our negative judgements?

Psychologists and lead bias researchers Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald seem to think the answer is mostly yes, we can control our biases and our negative judgements / prejudices. The key to any transformative process begins with awareness.

One approach to learn to control biases is to study Mindfulness. Why Mindfulness?

Awareness of why and how we do and/or say things is a serious characteristic of Mindfulness. Because of this direct connection Mindfulness has effectively helped people become aware of their biases and learn to control and/or change them.

Conclusion

Biases help us react quickly and when we are faced with imminent danger this is good. But, when our biases (like discrimination), risk our long and short-term success it’s time to take action. For Starbucks taking action meant helping their employees to learn to recognize when they may be discriminating and to learn to respond with controlled, mindful, thoughtful intent. Can we expect that change will happen after one half- day training program? Likely no… but every change event has to begin somewhere.

In many ways our biases inform our expectations of ourselves and other people. When any of us study our own cognitive biases‚ especially when we begin to discover our unconscious biases it will help us:

  • Recognize the behaviours we expect to see in other people.
  • See how we treat people and even better, it helps us evaluate ‘Why’ we treat people the way we do.
  • Take better control over our actions and responses.
  • Change. Become better partners, employees and better community partners.

My belief is that until we learn about our own personal and professional biases we are all at risk of doing or saying something we may regret later. This is especially true when we are stressed, tired or multitasking.

I hope this article helps you explore your own cognitive biases including your unconscious biases at home and at work.

Happy communicating, mentoring, listening and learning.

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How impressive is your employee retention when you hire Millennials?

Millennials have just become largest population in our workspaces with approximately 42% of the labour population. Next in line at work are:

  • Gen Xers – about 33% of the labour population
  • Boomers – about 25% of the labour population
  • Generation Z – just coming online

How do you attract quality Millennial employees (and soon to be Gen Z), who will stay more than 1 year, work hard and work conscientiously?

Generational Breakdown

  1. Give Millennials leadership responsibilities, give them leadership training and mentor them to become great leaders.
  2. Beyond leadership, they want to be changing – constantly. Professional growth is very important for most Millennials.
  3. Let them know their work is important by sharing WHYit is important. If possible, let them see / experience the difference they are making.
  4. Respect them. Say thank you. Take notice when they plan ahead and solve a problem before it became a problem. And let them know you appreciate their initiative.
  5. They want Work-life balance… preferably tied to flexible work schedules.
  6. They want work to be friendly – to make friends with the people they work with… and even with your clients.
  7. For the most part, they like to collaborate – to work in teams. This is a bit different from Gen Xers who generally are OK working alone and Boomers who prefer to work alone.
  8. They want to work ethically / environmentally / for the society… for their community and they want the company to do the same behave ethically.

How well do you do (as a leader), and how well does your company stack up?

If you can answer ‘YES’ to most (or all), of the above then you are a great leader and likely, your organization is a great company to work for. If you answer ‘YES’, then I expect recruitment is reasonably easy for you and retention is a bit higher than your peers, and your team are committed to your clients… you… the company… and to the work they are doing.

Happy communicating, hiring and mentoring as you create a remote / flexible workplace culture .

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How well do you support Emotional Intelligence at work?

In the 80’s and 90’s employers used to tell employees to leave their emotions at home. Today, we can’t afford employees to be so cold and by-the-book.

If we ask employees to ignore their feelings we are asking them to ignore a wealth of valuable information that will help them build trusting relationships with each other and with customers. When we trust and respect each other we make our work easier, more successful, more enjoyable and more fulfilling. When our customers trust us they are more loyal, less price sensitive and more forgiving.

In the 80’s and 90’s it seemed counter intuitive to ‘waste time paying attention to emotions’ but consider this:

  • A person who is appreciated and respected will always go the extra mile.
  • An employee will almost always work harder, more proudly and give their best when they feel appreciated and when they feel their work makes a difference.
  • A customer who feels their needs were understood and the company tried to help as best they could (a display of empathy & compassion), will always feel better about the solution (even if they are not 100% satisfied), and have greater loyalty to the service provider.

Soft skills create loyalty, dedication, commitment. And usually demonstrating soft skills costs little or nothing.

Happy communicating… and paying attention to your emotional intelligence.

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Judgement: How it can damage your success and relationships.

When we judge someone we are most likely creating a cognitive bias or reacting to an existing cognitive bias we already have created.

What do I mean?

A cognitive bias acts like a short-cut our brain uses to make quick, reaction based decisions. These unconcious decisions are often helpful – keeping us safe as we walk through high-traffic areas for example. However, it’s true these short-cuts can also lead to ill-informed decisions like when we quickly judge someone we don’t know based on only one piece of superficial information.

For example, perhaps you experience a driver of a BMW cutting in front of you and other cars. You may quickly pass judgement creating an unconscious bias the person is reckless, irresponsible, entitled and self-centered. You may even create an unconscious bias so that every time you see a BMW driver you treat them as if they are reckless, irresponsible, entitled and self-centered. But what if in that same moment you also learned there was a sick person in the car and the driver was rushing to the hospital? Exactly… in this case a very positive, cognitive bias would form.

What researchers suggest is that once we have judged someone, it’s difficult to fully clear that judgement. Our unconscious mind keeps track of the initial assumption (the initial short-cut). In many cases our biases will even selectively notice certain behaviour or selectively ignore or discount certain other behavior in an attempt to unconsciously reinforce the bias. Yikes – can you imagine? In short, our mind begins to see what it wants to see – we stay stuck with the unconscious bias we made (because of our initial judgement), whether or not the circumstances change.

Now what if we wrongly create negative biases about people we work with, clients and sadly… about friends and family? Imagine how judgements can damage our success and relationships.

Our brain is about efficiency. It wants to make decisions as quickly as possible and this is one way it accomplishes its goal. Sometimes it works for the best and sometimes it hurts us.

So my recommendation is to be careful making any judgements. As best you can try to:

  1. Be Self-Aware – Know your personal moods and emotions. Also be aware of what sets-off your positive and negative triggers.
  2. Self-Manage  – Manage your personal preferences & actions and how you react… and respond.
  3. Be Socially-Aware – Try to ‘see’ other people’s feelings, needs and concerns. Take note of your surroundings and what is important to others.

Our judgements can keep us from ever trusting someone who may be important to us now… or in the future. When we judge someone, we may be throwing away an opportunity to learn about ourselves, about them and about the world around us.

And… never forget, “Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.” (Wilson Kanadi)

Happy communicating… and be careful of the cognitive biases you may be creating.

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How to motivate and inspire employees in difficult times and through change.

Today’s business world moves quickly and new technology is being launched at an amazing pace. And which change is inevitable and sometimes exhausting, our basic human needs are still the same. You and I want to be valued and respected and, we respond well when we are.

As leaders in this fast paced world we sometimes forget to pay attention to ourselves… and the people we depend on (and who depend on us). We forget to be kind, honest, respectful and to honour the uniqueness of our team members.

So, here is a friendly reminder about how to motivate and inspire employees in difficult times and through change.

  1. Be honest. Share everything including exactly what you need and how long it’s expected to take.
  2. Tap into their values and their goals. Also remind them of the values and goals of the company.
  3. Tell your employees why change is important. Note: this is very different to ‘what you need’ in point #1. Be sure you share why it’s important to you / the company AND why it is important to them… how will it impact and / or improve them?
  4. Help them feel proud. If they have a special skill or talent let them know you appreciate it. People lean in when they feel respected and when their uniqueness is celebrated.
  5. If the work will be difficult say it will be difficult. Also, share how proud you are about what you can accomplish together. Show emotions but do not be emotional.
  6. Be a visible part of the team. Let them see you doing your part. Let them see you using your special skill or talent. Let them see you working hard / sacrificing / learning just like them.
  7. If you can, give them a challenge. Most people love to be challenged. Especially in their growth years Millennials and Gen Z love to know they are learning something and gaining new experiences. People are not very motivated to do the same thing over and over… especially if anyone could do it.

Conclusion

As their leader, always encourage your team members to continue building their experience as well as their personal and professional brands. Provide employees with the individual opportunities, recognition and visibility to gain or fine-tune new experiences.

When we help people grow and be proud they will be inspired – in good times and in difficult times. And, they will be more loyal to you and to the company.

In good times and in difficult times always be sure you create and sustain strong lines of communication with the people who you count on most… every one of your employees. Keep reminding them they are an essential part of the success of the company, and ultimately… their own futures.

Happy communicating.

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Should We Embrace A Remote or Flexible Workplace Culture?

The answer to, “Should we embrace a remote or flexible workplace culture?” is YES!

Actually, I believe two BIG questions all businesses should be asking is:

“How can we be a company that equally supports remote employees and on-site employees?” And, “What do we have to do to learn, change and grow so that we are a leader in our market?”

These are two important questions that examine the future of workplace flexibility as a serious, strategic cultural decision.remote or flexible workplace culture

That said, I find the more common question is:

“How can we help employees who want to work remotely or on a flexible schedule?”

This question is lovely but lets face it, it’s one step away from doing nothing. It’s a reactionary position not a proactive position. The company is making change because it has to, not because leaders see it as an opportunity to be market leaders. They are making a change because existing employees are asking and they want to slow down attrition and, they are making change because most of the people they are interviewing for new positions are asking. When company leaders are asking this question (and only this question), they may not realize they are not embracing all of the advantages of flexible and remote options. It’s like going to a restaurant and only allowing yourself to order off the first page of the menu. After making all the effort to get to the restaurant, not only do you miss all of the entrees, you also miss the desserts – by choice.

Now, my personal preference is to try to look at the advantages of doing something, (you know… glass half full), but in this case I’d like to explore some of the disadvantages a company will be missing if its leaders choose to not fully embrace a remote and/or flexible workplace culture.

Disadvantage 1. The company will not be as attractive to most workers… of all ages. Boomers and Gen Xers want more flexibility and choice to enjoy life and/or deal with parents and children that need support. Millennials and Gen Z want more flexibility and choice because flexibility and choice are second nature to them.

This is both an attraction challenge and a retention challenge for companies (or an opportunity… your choice).

Disadvantage 2. The company will only be able to hire people who are geographically close to the office. The alternative is that a remote or flexible workplace culture empowers leaders to hire the best people no matter where those people are.

Again, this is both an attraction challenge and a retention challenge (or an opportunity… your choice).

Disadvantage 3. The company culture will be fragmented and employees may be confused on what they should do. People will wonder things like, “Do we work this way or that way? What should I do? Is there a political gain to work one way versus the other?”

In reality I hope every company and every leader wants to create a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and part of the team no matter where or when they work.

Again, I see this as both an attraction challenge and a retention challenge (or an opportunity… your choice).

Disadvantage 4. If leaders don’t fully embrace remote, flexible and on-site employees equally it is most common that there will only be a partial investment in the IT (technology) solutions needed for all of their employees to communicate and collaborate effectively. And, for the IT solutions that are installed, it is common that many employees, especially employees who choose to keep working within the traditional work structure will not fully embrace the new technology which only makes the communication and collaboration challenge worse. In short, all employees are disadvantaged.

So one last time we see how company leaders respond turns into an attraction challenge and a retention challenge (or opportunity).

How is IT an attraction challenge and a retention challenge? Because staying current and marketable is important, especially for Millennials and Gen Zers. Most quality potential employees will check your technology out before accepting a job proposal, and if they see your IT as insufficient or non-existent they will think twice before joining your team. And, existing employees that get frustrated trying to do their work with insufficient technology will be some of the first to start looking for other places to share their experience and talents.

Conclusion
Creating a culture that fully embraces a remote / flexible culture takes work and takes commitment but it is worth it. When leaders embrace a remote or flexible workplace culture it quickly begins to pay off by driving significant improvements in employee attraction, employee retention, productivity and profitability. And, in many cases, when done well a remote / flexible culture reduces costs, from recruiting to compensation to the hard costs of real estate.

Happy communicating, hiring and mentoring as you create a remote / flexible workplace culture .

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Measure Your Attitude Toward Your Career… And Your Future.

When investing in your career or your business, what traits do you have lots of… or few of? Where might you need to get some help by either hiring talent… or hiring a coach?

Being successful isn’t easy. You can’t do it on your own or by always being in your comfort zone.

To be successful you have to use all your strengths. To be successful you also have to keep developing those strengths… working outside your comfort zone and being OK with that. Your attitude toward your career has to help you overcome what is difficult… because difficulty helps you grow, difficulty helps you do what needs to get done.

So, which of the following 4 traits do you have lots of… or little of? Knowing yourself is important! Rate your comfort between 1 and 6 for each.

Diligence… #1

Steadily applying yourself, not letting yourself off the hook… no excuses for not doing what you said you would… your plan, your priorities. You are usually best off when you are diligent about talents of yours in which you can say, “These are my core competencies. I am either using them or improving upon them.” The good thing is this can take you off the hook from doing laundry, book keeping or mowing the lawn.

Diligence Measurement

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Conviction… #2

Another word for conviction is confidence. Do you believe in yourself and what you are offering? Do you know your unique value proposition? Do you trust your suppliers (if you have them) to deliver at or above your quality standards?

Conviction Measurement

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 7.07.39 PMCourage… #3

You may be an introvert… but to succeed you sometimes have to show you are courageous. It means doing what needs to get done… not what feels comfortable in the next 5 minutes (or 5 days). It means knowing what procrastination looks like… for you, and when you recognize you are procrastinating you stop and you do what needs to get done. It means being bold, be brave (even when you are not brave), and most especially, it means being proud of what you are doing… especially when doing something that means pushing your boundaries.

Courage Measurement

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 7.07.39 PMKnowledge… #4

Knowledge is power. It just means something different today than it did 20 or more years ago. Today, the ‘boss’ needs to know about vision, quality, motivating a team who are networking, managing contract talent. Today, knowledge is about knowing enough to spot challenges but not needing to be a specialist. Today, great leaders are self-aware and realize leadership is also a specialty and are confident in their abilities to be supported by specialist… by people who may know more than they do in a certain topic.

Knowledge Measurement

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Where are your strengths? What comes easy to you… and where do you need to pay attention to ensure you don’t step back from the success you know you are capable of?

Do what it takes to make your dreams come true.
Choose actions that are in your own best interest.
The solution is already within you.
Don’t stop yourself from getting what you dream.

Go…. enjoy. Knowledge is power. Experience is the best teacher.

Bruce

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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How to lose someone’s trust.

Before we get into how to lose trust, please note, trust is also regained by addressing these same points, although getting it back is much more difficult. 

Trust is lost by one or more of the following four triggers:

  • Somebody’s behavior… which may either explicitly or overtly demonstrate values / beliefs / needs. For example:
    • I did not hold up my end of our deal.
    • I do not appear to have the skill / competence needed to do what we agreed to.
    • My intentions appear to be different… or worse… opposite to your intentions.
    • Something I did hurt you morally or physically (was against your values / beliefs / needs).
  • I may lose your trust if the company I work for or the board I sit on behaves in a one or more of the ways mentioned above.
  • You may lose trust in me if I appear to trigger your insecurities / past experience:
    • I did something or represent something that negatively triggers you.
  • I may lose your trust if I appear to be in opposition to your values / beliefs / needs:
    • I did something or represent something that negatively impacts you.
  • You may lose trust in me if I use my power to make my point or force a decision… especially if it is contrary to our values, goals, beliefs or the common good.

Trust is one of the strongest bonds between people and/or between people and formal organizations / companies.Losing Trust

Loss of trust is why many political parties get voted out… even if their opponent may be morally bankrupt. An opponent may win not because they are popular… but because they are a different choice other than the political party that lost voters trust.

With trust comes support, allowances, compromise… and even forgiveness for mistakes. When we trust each other’s competence and intentions it generally increases creativity and speeds up the decision-making process. Doors open, opportunities happen, recommendations are made. When we trust each other stress also often goes down loyalty goes up.

When we’ve been hurt… when we have lost trust, it is a natural reaction to put up barriers… to walk away… to protect ourself and perhaps our company. Putting up barriers is a fair reaction. Unfortunately it isn’t a very productive one because nothing gets resolved. But what we should not do is walk away without confronting the challenge… to have those difficult conversations.

If we don’t confront the challenge we may be throwing out an important relationship (personal or professional), based on behaviour that was unintentional… or based on our expectation that may not have been clearly shared. I believe having difficult conversations is an investment into myself and the relationship.  Also, if we don’t confront the challenge we won’t learn anything – like did we play a part in the experience and how we can avoid this from happening again.

Conclusion

There are many ways we can lose trust… and many ways we can rebuild trust. And rebuilding trust is both difficult and a slow process.

If we don’t confront the challenge we may create a defensive wall so high that it permanently hurts our ability to trust others in the future. This is not good. But, if we do confront the challenge we will definitely learn somethings. Perhaps, we will still agree to part ways… but at least this will be an informed decision. Hopefully, it will often allow you to begin a repair – rebuilding trust.

In my experience, when trust is rebuilt it has resulted in an even better – even stronger relationship where we both understand each other better AND trust each other more. And know… part of that new trust is to be able to call each other out in a professional manner knowing it is not going to become personal or feel like we are being attacked.

Bruce

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Generational Differences, Business Writing, Email Etiquette, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

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