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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3 Reasons Motivation Does Not Work

Motivation is something you have been told is the key to success and the way you get stuff done. The truth is motivation can help, but if you depend on it to deliver your success you are setting yourself up to fail.

motivation

3 Reasons Motivation Does Not Work

Life keeps happening

It doesn’t matter how much you try to motivate yourself life keeps happening.  Life does not always support motivation. When things get tough we often tend to behave the way we have always behaved, rather than to stay focused and motivated.

Sometimes you just have to get out of bed and put both feet on the ground and then take put one foot after the other to get things done.

Habits are hard to break

A psychology study was conducted and published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.  

This study concluded that it can take up to 66 days or more to establish a new habit.  When establishing a new habit you are inevitably replacing an old habit. The timeline to achieve this is a dual dynamic that runs on a parallel timeline.

Expecting yourself to stay motivated while breaking an old habit and forming a replacement habit will take an extraordinary effort and will test your fortitude.

Mindset matters more

How you choose to think will either expand or contract your visibility and ability to reach your potential.

Motivation reflects the way you ‘feel’ … Mindset reflects the way you ‘think’

Both impact the way you act, however, your ‘thinking’ has more impetus and momentum than the way you ‘feel’ in the moment.  This directly affects the viability and sustainability of your initiatives, wherever you seek to change or want to achieve.

There is no doubt that motivation can empower you to achieve success.

Motivation can be a powerful accelerant for enthusiasm and commitment.

motivation

The question you need to ask yourself is…

When the ‘motivation’ light that shone so brightly, in the beginning, begins to dim, will you still have the determination to push through or will you lose focus on what you set out to achieve?

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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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Be honest with yourself to reach your potential

Be honest with yourself and discover the real you.

Lets get started now!

Firstly you need to look at your strengths, weaknesses, interests and focus in the following four quadrants:

Be honest with yourself

 

Are you being honest with yourself and owning who you really are?

Reflection:

Reflect on how you see yourself and own your strengths and weaknesses honestly and without judgement.

Projection:

Assess how you project who you are to others.  Do you own your persona or present the strengths you think others want you to be?  What weaknesses and vulnerabilities does this approach create?

Interests:

What are your passions and how do they determine your purpose? Explore the potential of following what you want to be rather than what you think you are expected to be.

Focus:

Where do you spend your time and energies? Do you invest in your passions and is your purpose in life your focus?

Interested to learn more about authenticity?

On Being Authentic (Thinking in Action) by Charles Guignon

‘To thine own self be true.’ From Polonius’s words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the ‘real’ me, or something greater than me, even God? And should we welcome what we find?

How To Be Yourself – Become Your Authentic Self Right Now by Actualized.org

How To Be Yourself – Stop being a people-pleaser and start living your life true to who are.

When you choose to live an authentic life you will be able to realize your true potential. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t realize this and never accomplish what they are truly capable of.  You get to choose authenticity or ordinary!

 

Originally posted 2016-02-02 13:31:53.

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Engage With Your Authentic Self

Choosing to own who you really are, to celebrate and engage with your authentic self, is a giant leap towards self-actualization. When you embark on this journey you are able to tap into your natural talent, resource and realize your potential.

engage

Do you, at times, behave and act how you believe others perceive you should or will?

If you do you may evoke self-fulfilling prophecy, which may result in you suffering from imposter’s syndrome. This is when you take on the expectations of others and emulate what you believe they expect from you.

Have you really taken the time to get to know who you are and discover what you are capable of, or has your time been spent being what you believe everybody else wants you to be?

“Now is your time to seize that moment, re-write your narrative and reconnect with your authentic self”

Pick up a pen and paper or open a blank word document…
Write or type your answers and don’t hold back…

Engage with your authentic self

If money and time were no objects what would you do with your life?

Everybody has an excuse…I can’t afford that or that is not doable.

This is your inner negative voice giving you a reason not to step outside of your comfort zone.

Try to visualize your life without any roadblocks and let yourself see what your life could be.

Most people default to what they want in this process rather than what they can achieve.

Dig a little deeper. What could you ‘do’ with your life. What could be the reason you get up in the morning?

This way of thinking helps you to better understand what is important to you, what makes you feel happy and fulfilled. This helps you start to get in touch with who you really are.

This is the beginning of the discovery process you need to follow to engage with your authentic self.

When you give your time to others why do you do this?

Are you guilty of choosing to put other people’s needs before our own?

The challenge is to determine what others are expecting from you and what their motivation is. Often, sadly, people take advantage of your selfless actions to better their own position.

Take a moment…

  1. Evaluate where and how you spend your time doing things for others and determine why you are doing this.  What is your motivation and expectation in each circumstance?
  2. Examine if you stopped doing what you do for others what would be the impact for you and the person you are supporting or assisting?

What do you enjoy doing and why?

Is what you enjoy doing where you are focusing your attention?

Focusing your attention pursuing what you enjoy grows your confidence and helps you to become a better person. This empowers you to be able to give to others because you have first given to yourself. This is much more valuable to them and yourself.

Make it real …

Write down what you enjoy doing. This list may have very different line items, but what you are likely to find is that some line items have a relationship to each other.  When you see this you are able to establish a starting point to better understand and engage with your authentic self.

What are you interested in learning more about and why?

You should never stop learning, nor should you believe that you cannot continue to learn new things. Everything you learn can be applied to ideas that you have and want to evolve, complimented by your experience and skill.  Together, learning, skill, and experience deliver you the toolkit you need to grow and evolve.

You do not need to have formal qualifications as a prerequisite to success. You can learn by reading blogs on topics that you want to know more about, pinning your passion on Pinterest or a vision board, attending webinars or watching YouTube as a supplement to your learning process.

What have you been passionate about but for whatever reason left behind?

Do you remember when you were a child or less inhibited? You weren’t afraid to explore life and be open to what you discovered?

  • What were you passionate about?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Why did you stop doing it?

The answers to these questions may help you rediscover that person again. You may have got lost in the busyness of your life, or maybe you did not take your passion seriously.

After all, it was just something you did that sometimes got in the way of what you were supposed to be doing right?

Are you starting to see where I am going with this now?

Where are you procrastinating in your life and why are you doing this?

What is the real reason you have started something and not finished it?

We all procrastinate at times in our life. The challenge is to find out why you procrastinate and where you are procrastinating.

A fear of failure, or lack of confidence and belief in yourself, may make it easier not to tackle something rather than risk the change of it not happening the way you hoped it would.

This could be a significant roadblock to discovering your authentic self.

  • What are your excuses for procrastinating?
  • Do you see a pattern with what you procrastinate with?
  • Are you spending your time on things that don’t matter to avoid what does matter?

Look at yourself in the mirror and describe what you see. Explore why and how you could change that?

This is not about what you look like. Self-image starts from the inside. If you feel good about yourself people will see that when they look at you.

This is about stripping yourself bare when you look into your own eyes.

  • What do you see is happening in there?
  • Is there self-doubt, is there determination. or do you find it hard to focus and see what is there?

It is very difficult to take a long hard look at ourselves.

People often put so much investment into others because they are afraid to put the same investment into themselves

Be honest and force yourself to self-assess. Only you will have the results that will jumpstart change. What you learn can help you shift your mindset.

Look objectively at your family, friends, and networks and look at who has ‘got your back’?

Ask yourself who would be there personally, professionally or both, unequivocally?

Social media has led a lot of us to believe we have more ‘friends’ than we really do. When you look at the true definition of what a ‘friend’ is and then look at your Facebook friends…who would you describe as authentic and who is not?

Connections are only valuable if you can gain and give benefits by networking with that person. Other than that they are just a number.

Read what others are really saying about you in references and recommendations. Look for keywords that flow through all. Sometimes what you see when you do this can help guide you to better understand how far away or close you are to being able to engage with your authentic self.

What others say, is often how you have positioned yourself. You need to ask yourself why, and whether this is a good thing or something that you have projected because you thought it was what was expected of you.

Are you an imposter or true to who you really are?

Ask people that you know to be brutally honest and tell you what they see as your key strengths.

You may be surprised to learn what you are portraying as it may be very different from how you see yourself. If the message you are sending out to the world is different to the message you are telling yourself then you can start to see how you may be creating a roadblock to realizing your success.

Is the narrative that you are creating representative of your authentic self?

To take it to the next level you can create an ‘Owning who you are’ SWOT analysis to give you a clear vision of what you need to emphasize and what you need to explore.

Your quadrant headers should include

Strengths and weaknesses

Reflection – how you see yourself (your strengths and weaknesses)
Projection – how others see you (their perception of your strengths and weaknesses)

Passion and Purpose

Interests – your interests now and what you were passionate about earlier in your life but no longer pursue
Focus – how you would spend your time if you had no roadblocks and how you spend your time now. What would your priorities be?

You can use the “Owning Who You Are’ template to help you with this!

Firstly take a look at how you see yourself….your honest self-assessment. I am sure that you didn’t find out too much that was new about yourself, but if you do a ‘warts and all’ assessment you may have to acknowledge the less attractive things about yourself. Although this can be quite confronting it is necessary to recalibrate how and why you look at yourself the way you do.

If you don’t see value in yourself how do you expect others to?

Next, compare this with how others see you.

  • What is the same and what is different?
  • What is real and what is not?

This is your leveler to help you discover your authentic self. In this process, you will get a really good insight into the person you have painted for the world to see versus the person you really are.  If they are in conflict, success will always be out of your reach because you are living your life superficially.

Now you have aligned your true character strengths and weaknesses look at how your interests have changed and why. Is there a common thread that indicates what would make you happy and fulfilled if you were to follow that path now? If so then this is where your focus needs to be.

The final step is all about time management

You have decided where your interests lie and how you can realize them and live as your authentic self.  (even if that narrative is not yet as specific as you might like).

  • How are you spending your time now and how should you be prioritizing your time?
  • How can you prioritize your time to make time for what you need to focus on?

A lot of what you do is likely to be you being busy, and not as productive as it could be. How you spend your time needs to be an enabler for your authentic self.

How could you re-prioritize your time to do this?

Don’t create limitations on how you think you could approach this. Negative self-talk will derail you before you begin your journey to discover and engage with your authentic self.  Self-talk is often flawed and based on perception.

Here’s to you success, however that might look.

Learn more about how to engage with your authentic self?

On Being Authentic (Thinking in Action) by Charles Guignon

‘To thine own self be true.’ From Polonius’s words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being able to engage with your authentic self the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the ‘real’ me, or something greater than me, even God? And should we welcome what we find?

How To Be Yourself – Become Your Authentic Self Right Now by Actualized.org

How To Be Yourself – Stop being a people-pleaser and start living your life true to who are. Engage with your authentic self.

Learn more about reaching your potential and leading from the front!

Originally posted 2016-01-31 10:29:42.

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Discover the real you – Be who you are meant to be!

To discover the real you one must first be prepared to be honest with what yourself and own who you really are ‘warts and all’. Only then can you start to focus on your strengths and discover what is possible.

Discover the real you

To ‘Owning Who You Are’ SWOT Analysis

To take this to the next level you can also create an ‘Owning who you are’ SWOT analysis to give you a clear vision of what you need to emphasize and what you need to explore

Your quadrant headers to help discover your authenticity should include:

Strengths and weaknesses

Reflection – how you see yourself (your strengths and weaknesses)
Projection – how others see you (their perception of your strengths and weaknesses)

Passion and Purpose

Interests – your interests now and what you were passionate about earlier in your life but no longer pursue
Focus – how you would spend your time if you had no roadblocks and how you spend your time now) What would your priorities be?

You can use the “Owning Who You Are’ template to help you with this!

3 Steps To Owning Who You Are

  1. Firstly take a look at how you see yourself….your honest self-assessment. I am sure that you didn’t find out too much that was new about yourself, however,  if you did a warts and all assessment you would have had to acknowledge what you usually would not about yourself. Although this can be quite confronting it is necessary to recalibrate how and why you look at yourself. If you don’t see value in yourself how do you expect others to?
  2. Next compare this with how others see you. What is the same and what is different? What is real and what is not? This is your leveller to help you discover your authenticity. In this process you will get a really good insight into the person you have painted for the world to see versus the person that lies within.  If they are in conflict success will always be out of your reach because you are living your life superficially and fraudulently.
  3. Now you have aligned your true character strengths and weaknesses look at how you interests have changed and why. Is there a common thread that indicates what you would make you happy and fulfilled if you were to follow that path now? If so then this is where your focus needs to be.

The final step is all about time management.

You have decided where your interests lie and how you can realize and live your authenticity.  (even if that narrative is not yet as specific as you might like).

How are you spending your time now and should that be a priority?

How can you change that to make time for what you need to focus on?

A lot of what we do is busyness may also not be as productive as it could be.

How could you re-prioritize your time to do this?

Don’t let negative self-talk derail you before you begin the journey to discover your authenticity!

Furthermore don’t allow any inhibitions about what limitations you think you should put on this. This is hypothetical and is for the purpose of clarifying how you think. Refining this as an action is not part of this process. That comes next!

I hope this blog and template has helped you work through a process to discover your authenticity and how truly special you really are

Here’s to you success, however that might look.

Interested to learn more about authenticity?

On Being Authentic (Thinking in Action) by Charles Guignon

‘To thine own self be true.’ From Polonius’s words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the ‘real’ me, or something greater than me, even God? And should we welcome what we find?

How To Be Yourself – Become Your Authentic Self Right Now by Actualized.org

How To Be Yourself – Stop being a people-pleaser and start living your life true to who you are.

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Originally posted 2016-01-31 10:26:32.

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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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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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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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Set yourself up for success – Put data in the driver seat!

Data is a 4 letter word that spells ‘success’

In business you need to set yourself up for success because this just won’t happen on its own.  Data is a powerful strategy tool that guides, enlightens and empowers your business to position it for success. Data is indicative and also prescriptive. This allows you to project and measure performance and informs decision making.

personal development success

There may be only 4 letters in the word ‘data’ but the size of the word does not by any means reflect the impact it can have on your business when it is used effectively.

What does data do?

  • Determines behaviours and also impacts trends.
  • Answers questions with clarity and therefore leaves less doubt and ambuguity.
  • Transforms business direction in addition to informing a business ‘current state’.
  • Most noteworthy data actualizes outcomes.

What are some of the benefits data brings to business?

  • It empowers business to stay ahead  of their competitors.
  • It gives clear direction for strategy planning and will therefore set the agenda for the short and long term business goals.
  • Data enables business to set benchmarks which is especially relevant to justify decision making.
  • Business projections and reporting are supported because data enable smart decisions and communications.

Want to learn more to get started…

A 4 part Data for Dummies Series by Marc Compeau (www.forbes.com)

1  What does your small business need – Data for Dummies

2  How will your small business collect data – Data for Dummies

3  Small business data analysis strategies – Data for Dummies

4  Making big data small – Data for Dummies

‘Big data’ therefore, is big business because of its impact on everything we do – 

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large.

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die by Eric Siegel

Transform data into action –  Microsoft for business

With the proliferation of data in today’s connected world, you need a way to put data to work for your business. The Microsoft Cloud helps you unlock key insights to fuel innovation and speed-to-market.

Furthermore, the data you capture, analyse and make decisions from can make or break your business.  How, where, why and when you capture data either enhances your capabilities or detracts from them. Of most importance is the quality of the data you capture. The old saying rubbish in, rubbish out is probably the best analogy to describe the outcome of bad data.

 

Originally posted 2016-01-04 16:14:00.

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