Building Team ‘Awesome’ – Where Are Your Strengths?

Focusing on building the right team to get the job done often makes us forget one thing … ‘change’ happens!

Focusing on building an ‘awesome’ team to deliver solutions to solve problems embraces the most important thing to remember … ‘change’ happens!

team

Introducing Team ‘Awesome’

  • Team ‘awesome’ is agile enough to be able to be responsive and proactive to change.
  • Team ‘awesome’ is able to recognise and resolve problems by making smart and informed decisions.
  • Team ‘awesome’ delivers relevant and real solutions for customers rather than delivering products and services to customers

How to Start to Build Team ‘Awesome’

Focusing on the behaviours you see, and the problems they present, instead of focusing on what strengths team members may have that are unseen, underutilized or untapped is where the secret to building and ‘awesome’ team lies.

Do you recognize any of these behaviours in your team?

The Procrastinator

Do you have team members who are indecisive and never seem to finish what they start?

  • Are these team members lacking confidence in the tasks they are expected to complete? If so, ask them why they feel this way and how you can help them to believe in themselves, particularly if the expectations in their role have changed.
  • Are these team members expected to complete tasks that they are under-skilled for?  Have you assessed your employee’s capacity and capability before having an expectation of them? If not, they may procrastinate to avoid being seen as incompetent.
  • Are these team members lost in the detail and cannot concentrate long enough to tick all the boxes to get the job done?  Find out if this person needs lots of information to commit or decide, and if so, how can you support this need?
  • Have you spent enough time explaining what you expect from these team members and the timeline you want them to complete tasks within?

The Antagonist

Do you have team members who create havoc and are sometimes a thorn in the side of other members of your team?

  • When this team member behaves this way are they aware of the impact on other team members?  Determine if this is a subconscious behaviour or one that is deliberate, and if so why?
  • Have these team members always behaved this way or has something changed that made their behaviour change, and if so why?
  • Are your antagonist team members bored and creating situations where they are the hero to challenge themselves?  How can you challenge them to refocus their attention?
  • What is the reward that these team members get by behaving this way?  How else can you reward them for other behaviours that are more appropriate, and in ways that will deliver higher productivity and is conducive to a healthy work culture?
  • Are other team members encouraging these behaviours by submitting or even enabling these team members?  Is being seen as having influence and authority the driver for these team members?

The People Pleaser

Nothing is too hard for these team members.  Give them any task and they will do their absolute best to see it through.

  • Are the team members that you identify as people pleasers capable of the tasks they attempt? How can you make these people feel that their contribution is valued while ensuring they are performing the tasks fit with their skill set and experience?
  • What are these team members looking for in your workplace?  Approval, a sense of belonging, popularity, or other drivers compel people pleasers to behave the way they do.  Identifying what the motivation is for the individual is key to ensuring that the potential of that employee is not lost in the effort and whether their behaviour may be more for personal gain than business productivity.
  • People pleasers often behave the way they do through fear and insecurity in the possibility of losing their role. By pleasing others they may feel that they will be liked and needed by the business, protecting them from their role being compromised.
  • If you channelled the energy that people pleasers spend on pleasing, into tasks that enable them to work to their strengths and give them a sense an opportunity to build a reputation on what they accomplish rather than what they do and say, what difference would that make to your business?

The ‘Accidental’ Leader

Have you got team members who have become accidental leaders? The role they are engaged in is not a leadership role but due to the team dynamics, they have had to stand up and take the lead, or maybe they were appointed into a leadership role but it is not their strength?

  • How can you identify who you natural leaders are, and when you do, how can you create an environment where they can lead, creating a more efficient and effective workplace?
  • Role misalignment can see accidental leaders thrust into an environment with an expectation that they are not engaged to perform.  How do you recognize natural leaders and appointed leaders who are misaligned?  When you do, how do you approach the dynamic of the workplace to take advantage of these leaders skills? Consider that working with these leaders strengths may alter or enhance culture with increased productivity and profitability.

The Quiet Achiever

The quiet achiever comes in, puts their head down and gets on with the task at hand.  Often this silent force pushes through workloads that others avoid, without complaint.

  • Is your visibility of the quiet achiever low?  Are you aware of what they have to offer, and if you are not what is your business missing out on?
  • Are your quiet achievers working to their capacity or just pushing through a workload?  Think about how you can start to introduce incentivization for these people to encourage them to challenge themselves and how you will do this.
  • Do your quiet achievers pick up the slack for other team members who may be taking advantage of their goodwill?  If you change how you measure the performance of your team and focus on their strengths to introduce key performance indicators, will this identify gaps in performance and open up opportunities?

The Whinger

Have you got team members who are never satisfied, never happy and always complaining no matter what you do for them?

  • People often whinge because whining about something is often easier than working to fix problems.  You need to discover why this behaviour keeps occurring to be able to establish a new purpose for these employees and to give them a reason why they would want to change their behaviour.
  • Is there a real reason for the whining that is being caused by the work environment that can be addressed rather than being dismissed?
  • Are their triggers that set off the whining, and if so what are that triggers, and what chain of reactions do these triggers put into motion?  Often taking the time to understand why people believe they need to behave a certain way is a great investment in discovering what motivates and what demotivates individuals and your team.

The Clock Watcher

The clock watcher’s timesheets are regimented and this is reflected in when they arrive at work and when they leave on time every day.  The clock watchers in your team may also be the ones who come in on time and then proceed to make their breakfast or socialize, procrastinating before they start work.

  • Why is your clock watcher disengaged? If they are bored and unhappy is it because their role does not challenge them, or are they only there to collect the weekly pay?
  • Clock watching is not only negative for the business but also impacts on the employee and the team collectively, with productivity suffering and everyone is affected. How can you help these employees to re-engage and take ownership of what they contribute?
  • Enriching the clock watchers job and time managing the activities may shine a light on their strengths and weaknesses, helping you support these employees and improve and enable their level of job satisfaction and value of the contribution they make to the business.

The ‘Big Picture’ Person

When it comes to getting things done it may be a challenge for the ‘big picture’ employee. They can see what needs to happen and inspire others to help them understand how this will happen but they may struggle to focus on making it happen.

  • The big picture person is important to encourage the team to work to achieve long-term goals and projects incrementally.  If you have a balance on your team with members who enjoy detail and process, these people will align well with the big picture person.  Who is on your team and is the mix right?
  • How can you embrace the vision of the big picture person to know where the business direction is going at an operational level? If you do this how will this make the employee feel, and what difference will that make to their level of engagement?
  • Often the big picture person is seen as a dreamer and not a doer. Finding the right vehicles for the big picture person to dream and deliver may help your business continue to gain momentum.  Is this important to help your business remain relevant and provide more insight for other employees?

The Manipulator

The manipulator is often the employee who feels that they have to position other team members by any means to make them look good.  This can be harmless or they can be very destructive.

  • If you have identified a manipulator the default is often to discipline them or spend time putting out fires they have started.  What if you looked at how they are manipulating to identify what they are trying to achieve by doing this?
  • If the manipulator is trying to make themselves look like a hero, how can you give them ownership of a task or project or offer them professional learning to teach them how to do this without creating collateral damage.
  • Often the manipulator’s behaviour is a cry for help.  They are feeling insecure or incompetent and this makes them fearful of their longevity and value to the business.  They often do not understand that they are being destructive or causing the behaviour that they do and may be horrified to think that this is what they are known for.  Showing the manipulator how to demonstrate value, how that is measured and rewarded is a learning process that can realign what once was a challenging employee into a champion employee.

The Follower

The follower just wants to be told what to do, how to do it and get on with doing it.

A follower can become stuck in a rut with little thought or attention to detail when they go through the motions to get the job done.  What if you changed some of the tasks or the ways they were to be done and supported this with training and guidance?

  • Often followers are motivated by basic safety needs and not by incentives and rewards.  Reframing their roles to expand what they do may challenge this. If you leverage the strengths and apply them to new job duties they may respond positively because they see themselves as team players. This will only work if they believe you are not trying to take them away from where they know they are capable. This process, if successful, reinforces their roles rather than changes them in their eyes.
  • How often do you see too many followers and inadequate leadership in teams?  When this happens you have a ‘pack mentality’ that is not conducive to productivity or profitability. If you identify the strengths of all your team members could this help you to change this dynamic?
  • Followers need guidelines or they operate by habit.  Is your business structured to facilitate this or do your team members just operate as they see best?

The Bully

These team members are your human resource nightmare.  This type of employee has the potential to create staff complaint or churn.

  • The typical reaction to a bully is negative and often this may just reinforce the bully to keep doing what they are doing. Likewise, calling them on that behaviour could also create a challenge.  Find out why this behaviour is happening in a non-confrontational way and you might find what pieces are missing that is causing this so you can remediate.
  • A bully often behaves this way because they feel inadequate and they are trying to compensate for what they are lacking.  Find out what is lacking and you may be on the way to defusing that behaviour,
  • Bullies often push to get their own way to validate how they think and how they behave.  Creating a collaborative work environment that is KPI’d on both individual and group efforts may help the bully to conform to achieve outcomes or be seen as the problem if they don’t.

The Innovator

Every team needs innovators to shift thinking from delivering services and products to delivering solutions.

  • Innovators are only an asset to a team when they are given the space and opportunity to discover and innovate.  How will you support this?
  • Innovators need to be measured to ensure that they focus on what the business needs to achieve.  How will you measure your innovators’ input and contribution to solutions and team performance?
  • Innovation can detract from the core business.  How can you structure your team aims and objectives to keep that focus while embracing innovation to remain relevant and competitive?

The Attention Seeker

Everyone likes attention but some employees seek it more than others.  These people can consume time and resource if left unchecked.

  • Why is your attention seekers attention seeking?  Are they looking for acknowledgement or recognition, and if so, why?
  • When you identify what the attention seeker’s motivation is you are able to understand what they need to perform effectively without feeling the need to find reassurance and reinforcement.
  • Rewarding autonomy and initiative may assist to reaffirm worth and value for the attention seeker.  This may work so long as that recognition is visible, and positions them as important in the team environment.

The Social Butterfly

Some employees see the workplace as a social environment.  Although it is good to create healthy relationships in the workplace balance is key.

  • What does the social butterfly want from the workplace?  Are they lonely, have low self-esteem or see their workmates as their friends first and foremost?  Workplaces can satisfy the need to belong, but it is important to nurture a culture where an employee feels they belong and are accepted, but are focussed on delivering what the business needs.  How will you elevate the social butterfly from someone who is perceived as someone who spends too much time around the water cooler, to one who is recognized as a productive and valued team member?
  • Harness the social butterflies talents!  Maybe they can run the social club or coordinate events?
  • Tightening the parameters around time management with performance measurement is another option, shining the light on what is really getting done.

The Reclusive

When an employee feels confronted or intimidated they may become reclusive and go within themselves.

Finding out why your team member is reclusive is the first step to understanding how to change that circumstance.

Being reclusive does not have to mean being unproductive, however, you need to be able to have transparency as to what these team members are actually doing.  If this assessment shows a strong work ethic it may not indicate any overarching challenges that exist but may indicate a person who prefers to work this way.

Respecting the reclusive team member is important, regardless of why they are reclusive, as this suggests that this is their natural default behaviour or by circumstance, they behave this way.  Tread carefully to encourage these team members to have a voice and you may learn a lot from what they have to say.

The Imposter

These team members often get promoted or secure a role without really having the qualifications or experience to perform in that role.

  • Imposters spend their time trying not to get found out.  Symptoms of this are poor performance, delegation and micromanagement.  Treating those symptoms may mean professional learning and mentoring or realignment of their roles. Be careful not to treat only the symptoms.  Focus on true change management.
  • The longer an imposter goes unchecked the more they are likely to impact the productivity of the team performance.  Regular team health checks are important.
  • An imposter will have more impact the higher their level of responsibility.  When you look at your team do you see an imposter impeding decision making and actions?  If so, how will you address this?

Team ‘awesome’ is a work in progress!

Profiling your people and making them feel supported as you go through this process will build trust and confidence and allay fears.

This is not about changing the job description but rather changing the job design. Emphasise and measure the strength and offset the impact of weaknesses by enabling other team members who demonstrate that those weaknesses are their strengths to align the team dynamic to compliment.

 

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10+ Leadership Language Styles: What Are You Communicating As A Leader?

The leadership language styles you choose to adopt set the tone and expectation for your employees to follow.

leadership

 

How are you communicating and what impact is your leadership language style having on the employees you lead?

Where do you sit on the Leadership Performance Spectrum, and how can you improve the language you use as a leader to communicate?

10+ Leadership Language Styles to Explore

Verbal

‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.’

Not always true…

As a leader, you are often judged by what you say and if your words are misunderstood or misinterpreted they may become ‘mud’ that inevitably has a way of sticking.

How you choose to articulate your leadership has the ability to define or destroy you as a leader.

Think before you speak, and speak only after careful deliberation, and with a full understanding of the meaning and impact of your words.

Visual

The visual language you communicate, as a leader, sets a precedent for not only what your employees believe now, but also what they will continue to expect from you as a leader.

What your employees see, establishes a strong association with what they believe.

Virtual

The language you communicate virtually, through various channels, and on different platforms, tells the story of your leadership approach and gives insight into your emotional intelligence.

Your virtual footprint as a leader, gives you a voice to narrate and  accentuate how you want to be seen as a leader

How you choose to position yourself will leave an impression and will impact how you are perceived as a leader, whether that be real or imagined.

Written

The way you craft your words can have different meanings for different employees.

Investing your time to understand how to harness the power of the written word as a leadership language tool can only enhance the power and potential of your leadership and its reach.

Recognizing and realizing what you write as a successful leadership language tool may create an opportunity to establish influence and authority, by demonstrating knowledge and experience.

Contextual

The way you speak, your tone, words and the messages you are delivering, should be contextual with your goals, objectives, and actions.

The employees you lead and the market you operate in, will become confused and disillusioned if the way you behave and the actions you take do not align with what you say you are going to do.

Collaborative

Adopting collaboration as a native leadership language enables you, as a leader, to align yourself with others who have strengths that you do not possess.

This allows you to focus on what you do best.

Collaboration gives you an opportunity to showcase your strengths as a leader, rather than your weaknesses.

Body

Your body talks louder than your subconscious self is aware. The story your body language tells others is often more revealing than any words you say.

Becoming aware of your body language as a leader is an important tool to present yourself as an open and transparent leader who listens, and encourages engagement and interaction.

Your body language can mean the difference between you, as a leader, being seen as approachable or unapproachable.

Tactile

In today’s world, it may seem strange to suggest being tactile as a leadership language tool.  The interpretation of the term may appear to be politically incorrect, however, in the context of the task that the employee undertakes, rather than the employee themselves, being tactile takes on a completely different meaning and context.

A leader who engages in a task that an employee is expected to do demonstrates that he, or she, is prepared to be a hands-on, involved leader who wants to understand and relate to what they expect from their employee.

Behavioural

Consistency and calmness communicate strength and decisiveness as a leader.

Your behavioural leadership language style has the power to communicate in a way that is conducive to creating trust and sincerity.

This positions you, as a leader, to gain consensus to accelerate progress, momentum, and productivity.

Knowledge

Demonstrating that you, as a leader, have deep knowledge and what you are asking for, or expecting from your employees is understood, establishes a belief system in your employees.

As a leader, if you want your employees to follow you it helps the employee if they can see you understand, can influence, and have authority when you communicate.

Experience

Innovation and ideation can often be seen as interruption if your employees believe you do not have the experience to make things happen.

Experience echoes in your language and the way you choose to communicate can amplify this in what you communicate.

If that message fails to convince, confirm or convey your experience the consequences can negatively impact what you are trying to achieve.

 

Your leadership language style of choice can easily become your leadership DNA by default.

What is your leadership language style, what story are you telling, and is that a true reflection of you, as a leader?

 

 

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3 Things You Need To Eliminate To Create The Best Version Of ‘YOU’

Do you want to be happy, successful and feel fulfilled, but you feel that you keep falling short of achieving this?  If this sounds familiar you are not alone.  The good news is that you can create the best version of ‘you’.  The choice is yours.

create

If you want to create the best version of yourself you need to ask yourself how you are spending your time and where you are focused.

Are you always busy?

busyness

This is a no-brainer, right?  You are probably always busy because you have so much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Have you considered that the problem you may create for yourself by being busy, is that your busyness may actually be distracting you away from focusing on what you really want to become?

Are you a copycat?

copycat

When you search for role models and mentors to help you determine where you want to go, who you want to become and how you are going to get there, who are you focusing on and why?

Have you considered that the problem you may create for yourself by looking at others for inspiration and motivation is that by trying to emulate what you see as attractive in others, you may be missing what your strengths are?

Are you an imposter?

imposter

Being seen to be capable and confident in how you conduct yourself is often desirable as it is seen as a reflection how you want to be perceived as a better version of yourself by others.  The question that you need to ask yourself is what you are projecting surface deep or the real you?  If it is the former you will always live in the fear of being found out.

Have you considered that the problem you may create for yourself by behaving this way is giving the world a version of you that is not real and could indeed be highlighting your weaknesses and not your strengths?

Becoming consciously purposeful is the key to becoming the best version of ‘you’ that you can be.

Becoming purposeful simply means that in everything you think, say and do you have a purpose.  That purpose needs to be focused on becoming the best version of you.

To become purposeful you need to let go of your fears.   

10 fears that may be holding you back

  • fear of failure
  • fear of criticism
  • fear of rejection
  • fear of loss of control
  • fear of loss of security
  • fear of success
  • fear of judgment
  • fear of being alone
  • fear of what you may be risking
  • fear of change

How do you know if these fears are getting in the way… 

  • Do you procrastinate?
  • Do you have a failure to launch?
  • Are you a people pleaser?
  • Do you always say yes?
  • Do you focus only where you know that you have a high chance of succeeding?
  • Do you perform in an arena where you know that you will shine?
  • Do you talk about what you know and not about what you want to know?
  • Do you listen to reply rather than listen to hear?
  • Do you tell yourself that tomorrow you will begin?
  • Do you spend your time trying to be like others that you think are successful or fit your model of social acceptance?

To grow you need to invest in ‘you’.

Find a good mentor or engage counsel because they can help you work on ‘you’.  They can help you to discover your strengths and help you acknowledge your weaknesses.

Imagine if you could discover your unique value proposition and identify with what would that really means to ‘you’?

What would happen if you identified what you are prepared to invest to reach your potential (time, resource, money)?

What if you took the time to understand how you can better articulate what benefits you will enjoy?

If you realize what you can achieve and visualize what your expectation and experience will be what difference will this make to your life?

You have the choice to seize the opportunity and shine, or languish in the ‘ordinary’ and live a ‘groundhog day’ existence.

Everybody has unique potential.

What is yours?

 

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How To Become Emotionally FIT

Your emotions are just like your muscles, they need to be trained to get the best out of them.  Becoming emotionally fit requires discipline and dedication, however, the reward is undeniable.

Having the ability to control your emotions, rather than letting your emotions control you, is when you become truly empowered.

emotionally fit

3 Steps To Becoming Emotionally FIT?

Feelings

‘F’ stands for feelings.  We all have them, and we all deal with them in different ways.  Often we dwell on them and let them control us. This is where we can come unstuck.

Take the time to feel the emotion, but don’t indulge yourself by dwelling on it or overthinking it.  Where is it coming from, why are you feeling it and what does it feel like?

Impact

‘I’ is for impact.  Examine what the impact of that emotion you are feeling really has.  Our perception of how the emotion feels often overshadows the reality of what it means or how it affects us.

worry

  • Is the emotion you are feeling triggered by something or someone?
  • Is a pattern emerging and this is a recurring scenario?
  • Is this a ’cause’ and ‘effect’ situation that will never happen again?

Understanding the ‘impact’ is an important step to understanding how the ‘feeling’ actually changes or doesn’t change your reality, rather than letting the emotion create a perception of what that change may or may not mean.

Takeaway

‘T’ is for Takeaway.  After you have felt the emotion and understood its ‘impact’, the next step is to determine what the learning is so that you are able to realize it as a ‘takeaway’.  This is critical to making the most of the process.  What you learn will help you to not repeat the process, and instead grow from the experience.

The FIT process is best undertaken with a journal or notepad.  When you write down your ‘feelings’, their ‘impact’ and your ‘takeaways’ on paper you are documenting the experience in a form that you can keep, re-read and reference. This will help you to keep your eye on and address patterns or repeat behaviours.

Remember this is a marathon that you are training for, not a sprint.  Skills you learn to tone your emotional fitness will serve you throughout your life as you grow and evolve as a person.

feeling

Flex your emotional muscle.  You may surprise yourself by discovering how emotionally unfit you really are and how, by tweaking how you behave, you can improve and strengthen your emotional fitness to be the best version of yourself.

Want to learn more?

Complete this quick assessment to gain insight into how emotionally intelligent you are.  This can help you to gain even more insight into how you think and behave and to learn where and how you can improve.

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Are you a social magnet?

To be a social magnet you need to be socially in tune with others. So what does ’emotional intelligence’ look like socially?

Social Magnet

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

Do you have what it takes to be a social magnet?

Consideration of Feelings

Change the way you speak to people. Be aware of how they are behaving. Identify how they are feeling and frame your conversation to create a safe and friendly social setting where they feel relaxed and open.

Showing Empathy

Recognizing how people are feeling and understand why they are feeling that way and then responding appropriately will create a non-threatening and trust environment.

Engaging

People will be more open with you when you appear to understand them and aren’t dismissive of what they see as important. Put their needs first!

Listening and learning

Discover what people perceive and what they see as real and how that impacts their behaviour and performance. This is helpful to learn how to support and work with that person to empower them to reach their potential.

Sharing

Respect is earnt by sharing ‘your’ experiences: both failures and successes. This shows you are human and you understand where the other person is coming from, what they need to do to grow and overcome the barriers that are holding them back

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

To evolve as a person you need to constantly work on improving your emotional intelligence.  The benefits are far reaching.  Your life will be enriched both personally and professionally. The investment in yourself is one that will continue to pay dividends.

Good luck and remember a strength only becomes and stays a strength if you work on it.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 13:11:31.

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Stand out and learn how to lead from the front!

To stand out from the crowd as a leader is not difficult if you understand how to develop your emotional intelligence.  Your IQ alone is not what will make you a superstar. High emotional intelligence as well as embracing your authenticity will set you apart from other leaders.

“Emotional aptitude is a “meta-ability”, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have , including raw intellect .”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than

What makes you stand out from the crowd

Leaders who stand out from the crowd:

• are approachable and are open at all times to input, ideas and suggestions.
• leave their ego at the front door and lead by example.
• better understand who they are as leaders and how to work with their team to get results that are both desirable and sustainable.
recognize their own and their team’s strengths and weaknesses and use these to nurture a healthy team environment and develop a resilient company culture.
• have the insight and ability to collaborate, align and manage resourceand deliver outcomes for all stakeholders.

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and  feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

There are 5 questions you need to ask yourself to improve your Emotional Intelligence to start your journey. This will help you to learn how to develop and nurture your Emotional Intelligence and to recognize and reach your potential.

  • Are you paying attention…to yourself?
  • Do you keep your emotions in check?
  • Are you able to walk in other people’s shoes?
  • Where is your focus: Short term or long term goals?
  • Are you a social magnet?

“A high degree of self regulation is one of the vital parts of EQ.”

says Dr Carolyn MacCann PhD, Psychology lecturer at The Univerity of Sydney.

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about your emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but maybe used as a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

The growth of your emotional intelligence is an ongoing process and an evolution of you as both a leader and a person.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 12:09:36.

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Become an emotionally intelligent leader in 5 steps

So your IQ doesn’t indicate you are a genius……..don’t worry!  If you are emotionally intelligent that can help make you a superstar!

become emotionally intelligent in 5 steps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turns out your emotional intelligence is what can really set you apart from your peers. If you want to be successful you have to be prepared to embrace change and how you go about getting there.

“Emotional aptitude is a “meta-ability”, determining how well we can use whatever other skills we have , including raw intellect .”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

The 5 steps to improve your Emotional Intelligence is a starting point. This will help you to learn how to develop and nurture your Emotional Intelligence and to recognize and reach your potential.

1. Are you paying attention…to yourself?

If you are pretending to be someone you are not to be accepted, to fit in, or to get ahead you will always fail. Sometimes it is a challenge to be authentic when you aren’t confident in who you are.
Being self-aware should be a priority. Keeping yourself ‘in the moment’ is always a good grounding exercise. If you choose to be confident, how people see you will also change.

Your ‘me’ checklist:

  • Do you love who you are warts and all?
  • Have you ever been caught out pretending to be someone you are not?
  • Do you consciously communicate honestly and openly at all times?
  • Are you willing to change your default behaviour from what you think others want to see to being your authentic self. (this will take some discipline)
  • Are you able to give yourself a break or does your inner voice challenge you? Always forgive yourself and remember that you are a ‘work in progress’.
    If you answered ‘no’ or even a ‘sometimes’ to any of these checklist points you are not paying enough attention to being the best person you can possibly be.

2. Do you keep your emotions in check?

Letting your emotions play a part in your decision making is dangerous and exhausting.

“A high degree of self regulation is one of the vital parts of EQ.”

says Dr Carolyn MacCann PhD, Psychology lecturer at The Univerity of Sydney.

Managing your emotions will empower you to have better outcomes as you will avoid losing perspective and surrendering to what you can’t control by making impulsive decisions to fix a problem.

You will always face situations you can’t control. What you do have control over is how you respond. A considered response is always a responsible one. How you invest your time and energy is vital to your productivity ….and your sanity.

3. Are you able to walk in other people’s shoes?

One of the most challenging things you need to master is to be able to ‘walk in the other person’s shoes’. Empathy is what makes an ordinary manager an extraordinary leader. Recognizing other people’s moods and emotions though their body language, facial expressions and behaviour gives you an EQ tool kit that will enable you to develop positive and strong relationships both at work and at home.

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

4. Where is your focus: Short term or long term goals?

An emotionally intelligent leader has the discipline and focus to set and work toward achieving long term goals. Short term goals are usually stepping stones for emotionally intelligent leaders with snack size tasks that rewards themselves and their teams to consistently create a culture that supports a high morale and motivation environment.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are:

• Leaders who are approachable and open at all times to input, ideas and suggestions
• Leaders who leave their ego at the front door and teach others to follow so the same
• Leaders who better understand who they are as leaders and how to work with their team to get results that are both desirable and sustainable
• Leaders who recognize their own and their team’s strengths and weaknesses and use this to nurture a healthy team environment and resilient company culture
• Leaders who have the insight and ability to collaborate, align and manage resources to deliver outcomes for all stakeholders.

5. Are you a social magnet?

To be a social magnet you need to be socially in tune with others. So what does ‘being emotionally intelligent’ look like socially?

Feelings – Change the way you speak to people. Be aware of how they are behaving, identify how they are feeling and frame your conversation to create a safe and friendly social settings where they feel relaxed and open.

Empathy – Recognizing how people are feeling and understanding why they are feeling that way and then responding appropriately will create a non-threatening and trust environment.

Engage – People will be more open with you when you appear to understand them and aren’t dismissive of what they see as important. Put their needs first!

Listen and learn – Discover what people perceive and what they see as real and how that impacts their behaviour and performance. This is helpful to learn how to support and work with that person to empower them to reach their potential.

Share – Respect is earnt by sharing ‘your’ experiences: both failures and successes. This shows you are human and you understand where the other person is coming from, what they need to do to help them grow and overcome the barriers that are holding them back.

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 10:35:45.

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23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation Without Even Knowing It!

How often have you wondered why people behave in different ways when they meet with you, haven’t seen you in a while, or you both know the same person? Often it is your reputation that precedes you.

reputation

23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation

1. Dismissing people

  • Do you find that you are always busy and often people become just another source of ‘noise’?
  • Is it easier to prioritize the people that will have an immediate impact on what you, and dismiss others?
  • Are you guilty of reacting to people who become your ‘squeaky wheel’ and ignoring others?

You need to ask yourself what message this is conveying.

2. Giving people ‘lip service’

Are you telling people what you think they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear?

Often we are guilty of doing this, however, this is often because it is an easier way of keeping the momentum going and not getting bogged down in discussions that we may see as unnecessary, or that we feel we do not have enough time for.  

You need to ask yourself if your message is speaking the language your audience understands or are you speaking to them in a language that they need to have interpreted?  

If this is the case your reputation may suggest to people that you are out of touch. 

3. Talking trash

 Have you ever caught yourself listening to what you are saying to others as you are speaking, and said to yourself  …Wow!, that sounded great?

You need to ask yourself that if you felt it sounded great are you framing what you are saying to make yourself look good or are you communicating in a way that will make your audience look or feel good?  

This will leave a lasting impression as to whether your audience feels you are credible.

4. Believing your opinion matters more than others

You know your stuff right!  It is an expectation that you express your educated opinion because that is what you are employed to do isn’t it?

This is a dangerous assumption because you are more than likely to come across as expecting others to conform to the way you think, giving them the impression that their opinions are less important than yours, or worse still that you feel they are irrelevant.

You need to ask yourself what perception you are projecting and how people are interacting with you.  This will give you a good indicator of what your reputation is with the people you interact and engage with.

5. Needing to be right

We all like to think we are right, but the truth is, that more often than not, we may be trying to solve problems with solutions that are ’cause and effect’ only.

This may stem the flow of the problem initially but you will only be treating the symptom and not the disease.

Being ready, willing and able to contemplate, consider and collaborate. This is when your reputation will open doors for you.

You need to ask yourself honestly, does your need to be right means you are sabotaging you and your team’s success? 

6. Making yourself look good

This is often a fear driven behavior.  If we do not look good then people may not believe that we are doing a good job, are capable of being promoted, or of being of significant value to the business or others.

You need to ask yourself are you trying to promote yourself at the expense of others?

Are you excluding others because you feel that if you include them it will take the gloss off you?  

This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ultimately your ‘gloss’ will become tarnished because you cannot be everything to everyone. All you are doing if you are behaving this way is providing an opportunity to showcase your weaknesses.

7. Promising but not delivering

Words are cheap.

Actions speak louder than words.

We have all heard these phrases, but often we don’t pay them enough attention to them and this can be to our detriment.

You need to ask yourself when you suggest, direct or intimate something in conversation do you follow through even if the outcome is not favorable for the person you have spoken to?

 If you don’t, what is the impression you are giving to that person and how do you know that person will not become pivotal in your future direction?

The truth is you don’t know, but you can be assured that they will remember the way you treated them.

8. Not surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you

Have you ever been guilty of not employing someone because you felt that they might show you up?

Do you ever have that niggling feeling that you might be caught out as an ‘imposter’ in an area that you do not believe you perform as well as you should?

You need to ask yourself if you are missing an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and team performances all because of lack of confidence in your own individual abilities?

9. Believing that there is an ‘i’ in team

We all joke about this statement because we have all heard it said at training sessions and in motivational speaking forums.

The  ‘i’ is really an ‘e’ and that ‘e’ stands for ego.

You need to ask yourself if you are putting you first when you lead, or the team first and if you are jeopardizing your reputation?

 

Your team will follow if you lead from the front, but will leave you, if you push them from behind.

10. Pretending you know what you are doing when you really don’t

Faking it till you make it may work in some cases but in the long run you will always get caught out and this usually happens when you least expect it.

You need to ask yourself if you are always waiting for that ball to drop, how many others are able to see your vulnerability, exploit you, or pass judgment?

11. Not asking for help when you really should

Flying solo may look attractive but everyone has weaknesses and things that they are not really good at.

You need to ask yourself what will happen when those holes in your armor appear and your team realizes you are only human.  

What message you are sending to the people who are following you? 

12. Fear of failure means you avoid trying new things

Being change-averse and risk-averse means you are stuck.

Being stuck means that others will pass you by and overtake you.

You need to ask yourself if you can afford to be left behind and seen as someone who was not forward thinking. Do you want this to be your legacy?

13. Always doing things the same way as you always have

Habit is a comfortable word.

It is so much easier to repeat the same processes than to learn something new, and often this is why we default to this, often subconsciously.

You need to ask yourself if you are guilty of complacency and recognize that people could see this as your ‘Achilles Heel’ and take advantage.

14. Worried about what others think when you determine how you act

As humans, we are very vulnerable to how we are perceived.

For some of us, this controls our behavior and can, when escalated, paralyze us to act according to what others deem as appropriate and not trust our own instincts and experience.

You need to ask yourself are you allowing your actions to be determined by others, or are you taking responsibility and setting an example.

Do you have a reputation as a leader or one who is being led?

15. Overanalyzing everything

Thinking too much can cause you to overthink and over analyze.

This can lead to doubt and indecision.

You need to ask yourself how you approach your decision making?  

Are you reticent to make any decision and procrastinate because you can’t? 

What impact does this have on your performance and reputation?

16. Communicating what you say will happen, and when it will happen, and then not delivering on that

This is often seen described as time management.

Don’t focus on where you aren’t going to proceed or get outcomes.

However, this approach often means that you, in good faith, promise to come back to someone, follow up, confirm a quote or offer or give them an update within a time frame with some sense of surety and optimism that this will happen.

You need to ask yourself when circumstance and timelines change are you guilty of blowing people off, forgetting to get back to them, dropping them down the priority order or just ignoring them because getting back to them is no longer as important?  

If so what if you need or want something from that person in the future and that is not something you can foresee.  

Will they be there for you?

17. Making decisions on what others say you should do

Following the crowd or winning the popular vote may make you a hero in the short term but when the consequences of decisions that are made, motivated by others opinions, inevitably, you could be the one with egg on your face.

You need to ask yourself are you band-aiding a problem with a solution that you didn’t give consensus on?

18. Making yourself a minority in your mind:  Creating the Victims Syndrome

Society likes to create minority groups, even where they weren’t in existence before.

Why then do we move into the shadow and allow ourselves to be a minority?

You need to ask yourself…

Are you a leader with conviction or a leader without a voice?

You need to be prepared to stand up for your team, be responsible and accountable, to gain their respect and the respect of your peers.

19. Looking at the problem, not the solution

This is more common than most of us want to acknowledge.

It feels so normal to complain about the problem, how it is impacting us and if you give your team a chance they will run with this approach every time.

You need to ask yourself if you are determined to draw a line in the sand.

Expect that your team comes to you with a solution for the problem and never comes to you with the problem for you to solve. 

The solution they offer does not have to be the right one, but it will start them thinking the right way. In time, more often than not, they will be on the right track and be thinking more laterally, than literally.

20. Assuming that the problem cannot ever be part of the solution

Believing that the problem is part of the solution almost sounds like a contradiction for most people, and often it is hard to understand and process.

You need to ask yourself how you can illustrate to your team, and peers, that the problem is a symptom.

To determine the solution, the symptom or symptoms of the problem,  if reverse engineered, could provide valuable insights into the solution or solutions.

The ‘problem’ needs to stop being the barrier between you and the ‘solution’.

21. Doing what you think other people think you should do

Guesswork is about as accurate as being blindfolded and asked to perform a task that requires sight to be successful.  It is not going to end well.

You need to ask yourself if you are prepared to risk your reputation by assuming what you think others think you should do, or be bold enough to find out what should be done and show initiative.  

Travelling with the herd may feel safer but when predators move in you are likely to be trapped.

22. Not investing in yourself as a unique value proposition

Do you pay enough attention to yourself?

If you value what you bring to the table you need to invest in yourself to get the best returns.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

You would do that with any depreciating asset, wouldn’t you?

You need to ask yourself what your strategy is for continual improvement to be at the top of your game or your reputation in your chosen field may suffer.

23. Not believing you can because it is easier to give up

We all get tired living in the human rat race, competing to stay on top of the pack, and to remain relevant.

Sometimes it just seems easier to concede, rather than compete.

You need to ask yourself what the impact will be on your reputation if you choose the easy way out each time.  

You might cruise along for awhile but sure enough, you will hit the rocks if you continue without a rudder to guide you in your strategic decision making.

Your business card is your boarding pass but your reputation is your passport.  If you want to reach the right destinations you need to make sure your journey doesn’t hit turbulence.

 

 

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Why Purpose Is Necessary To Improve Productivity

Do you feel you are more motivated and your productivity is heightened when you have a sense of purpose?

Being purposeful is something that gives us all a sense of value and worth and is integral to what we do and why we do it.

purpose

Being purposeful has a significant impact on how productive your business is, given that it is people that make or break the success of your business.

5 Steps To Create Purposeful Employees

  1. Inclusivity –  This is an important first initial step to ensure that your employees feel part of the journey from the outset. Employees that feel like decisions are being made without their consultation will immediately become defensive and resistant to adopting change. 
  2. Brainstorming –  This is a pivotal step that kick starts the planning process with a no barriers or borders. Employees feel they have a forum to be heard and to contribute.
  3. Ownership – This gives the employee a feeling of being an integral part of the journey to solve the problem, help create and deliver the solution.
  4. Responsibility – This empowers the employee to feel that the journey is incomplete without them as they hold responsibility for outcomes that are critical to the success of the solution when it is delivered.
  5. Accountability –  This is the final step that ensures the employee feels ‘stickiness’ to solving the problem successfully as they will be held accountable, and therefore must be involved and engaged to ensure the outcome reflects positively on their involvement.

An employee who is not engaged is considered to be an ‘active job seeker’.  source

Your Top 10 ‘ Benefits of Having Purpose’ Checklist

  1. Your ‘purpose’ is a key motivator and gives you a tangible reason to plan and execute.
  2. Your ‘purpose’ enables you to set goals you want to achieve.
  3. Your ‘purpose’ ensures you are focused on solutions, not problems.
  4. Your ‘purpose’ gives you confidence that you will achieve what your objectives are and experience success.
  5. You can easily communicate what your ‘purpose’ is when asked.
  6. You talk about your ‘purpose’ with enthusiasm and joy that is infectious.
  7. Others want to become part of the solution because they can relate to your ‘purpose’.
  8. Your ‘purpose’ delivers a value that is contextual to the investment you must make to reap benefits.
  9. Your ‘purpose’ gives you clarity in your ability to collaborate, plan and execute.
  10. Your ‘purpose’ can be expressed as a value proposition to deliver multiple solutions because it helps you to think laterally.

The first question every business needs to ask is …what is the cost to your business for having employees who are not purposeful?

The defining question is… can you afford not to make the investment in your employees to ensure they are on the journey with you?

 

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3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

I am sure that you, like so many others, are all too familiar with the impact and damage a workplace bully can have on your business.

How do you deal with workplace bullies and how do you stem the ripple effect that workplace bullies can have on your business morale and productivity?

bully

3 Tips To Transform Your Workplace Bully

1. Give them responsibility for a project where they need to initially work solo (so they are not impacting others). This sets an expectation for them to demonstrate what value they can bring to the planning stage and why what they believe is the right approach is valuable.

When they have done this they need to be able to communicate that value in a tangible way to the team to gain consensus.  The bully then needs to articulate what resources are needed to develop and deploy the project, and which people need to be convinced by them that they should be on their team.

Next step is to identify the strengths that those team members will bring to the project to help the bully better understand the collaborative efforts needed to make the project come together.

This process encourages the bully to think before they act and recognize that they need to prove that what they believe is the right way is understood and embraced by others.  This process puts the bully in the spotlight and exposes them, with nowhere to hide!

2. Make them accountable for a project’s successful outcome.  Sometimes a person that cannot see that they are creating challenges needs to be given one that they have to be accountable for.  If they fail it is a great learning curve and humbling experience and can help rehabilitate them.  Be warned this can be confrontational. You should do this on a small scale to avoid collateral damage, however, if a bully is not made aware that they are infallible their behaviour will continue unabated.

3. Discover their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses and the impact they are having on the morale and motivation in your workplace.

If you continue to focus on the problem you will never find the solution.

The bully can sometimes be part of the solution if you can harness their strengths for good, and position them to advantage the workplace, rather than let them try and control the workplace.

An example of this might be that this person reacts when they feel that someone is threatening their authority or role itself. This behaviour suggests that this person has doubts in their ability, regardless of how confident or in control they act.  Often this person is suffering from ‘imposter syndrome’ and when business practices change this only serves to inflame these feelings.

Giving this person an opportunity to learn as a reward or promotion seems contradictory, however, when done the right way, is an opportunity for that person to address this without the feeling of inadequacy that makes them look like they have been exposed as a fraud in front of their peers.

In short, your bully gets to save face and with that their behaviour often becomes more compliant and this has a positive flow on effect through the business.

Every situation is unique and often once the bully has been identified the damage has been done.  Being proactive towards bullying in the workplace is the only way to detect the symptoms before the disease is diagnosed.

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