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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If It Ain’t Broke … Innovate It ~ 15 Reasons Why You Should

The old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was a famous catch cry of yesteryear. Unfortunately many still live by it.  What if they were to replace ‘don’t fix it’ with ‘innovate it’?

Innovate

Change is often seen as difficult, confronting and easier to avoid, rather than embrace

15 Reasons Why You Should Innovate

Competitiveness

The world as we know it is becoming increasingly more competitive. The way people are now looking at solving problems and the way they are delivering solutions is becoming more attractive for customers to try different options.

If your business is not in a position to compete, you may not lead, win, place or even be in the running for your customer’s loyalty or dollar.

Training your people and business to be competitive is like training an athlete for a marathon.  You must plan how you will run the course, develop a strategy to overcome obstacles, and understand your competitors to know how to position yourself to take advantage, and gain market share as you run the race.

Relevancy

Do you remember when you used to buy something that you now refer to as a ‘so yesterday’ way of doing something?  At the time you probably thought you would never do without it, and it was the only way to solve your problem.  That was until someone came up with a smarter way of solving your problem and now you would never do it the old way again.

Can your business afford to be seen as irrelevant in the way you solve one or more problems? How can you think differently to solve other problems, or solve the current problem you are already solving differently, for existing and new consumers?

Opportunity

If you open your eyes and assess the market you play in, and consider other markets that have adopted innovative approaches that may bring opportunity for your market, what do you see?

Being aware and open to change and the opportunity it can bring seems to be common sense, however, many still choose complacency and fear that opening the door to opportunity may create more problems than it solves.

What are you doing in your business to discover opportunity, and when you do discover it, what are you doing with that knowledge, how are you applying it, and where can it lead your business?

Viability

At first glance the word viability might seem odd when referring to an established business, however, it is a crucial word to consider.  Your business’ viability is only as robust as your business mindset.  If you encourage or allow complacency or cost-cutting as your primary option to remain viable, you are setting your business up for performance to decline.

Is your business mindset one that focusses on growth and expansion rather than cost-cutting and contraction to solve challenges caused by the changing market you operate in?  Balance is important, but it is how you think about this question that determines the direction of your business.

Diversification

Do you have only one revenue stream that powers your business? One speed revenue models can limit business potential and will create vulnerability in operational capability, capacity and stability.

If that revenue stream diminishes or dries up how will your business survive?  How can you diversify what you offer to solve your existing, and new customer problems?

If you tap into how you can innovate your products and services to diversify what you offer your customers, how will this create an opportunity for your business?

Collaboration

You know you can’t do everything yourself, but despite this, more often than not, we continue to try to deliver solutions that are better done by someone else.

  • How does your business collaborate with other businesses, individuals and organisations?
  • What have you learnt, and continue to learn, from these relationships?
  • What value does your network offer, and how does this benefit your business and those you work with?
  • How do you collaborate to accentuate the strengths of both parties to innovate and create?

Redundancy

The fear factor of the possibility of redundancy of a business in a marketplace is often hidden under a blanket of ignorance.  Ignorance to the fact that unless the business chooses to evolve and innovate, it will rapidly lose worth in the eyes of the customer, and risk becoming redundant.

What do you do in your business to ensure that you will not become an ‘industry dinosaur’?

Scalability

To be able to scale, your business needs a strategy to guide you.  That strategy must be agile and intuitive to change and embrace innovation to enable success.

Understanding your customer, who they are, what they want, how they want to be communicated with, and where they want to engage and interact, must underpin your business strategy.

Are you building a customer-centric business strategy that demonstrates your plan to scale? If so, what framework and benchmarks are in place to measure that journey and accelerate that growth in a timely manner?

Responsiveness

Customers like to be seen, heard and feel important.  We should now consider replacing the old saying ‘Content is King’ with a new saying, ‘Customer is King’.

The reality is that without your customers you do not have a business

If your customers do not feel like you are hearing them, or they feel like they are invisible to your business, they will react by not engaging with your business.

How do you talk to your customers and where do you engage and interact with them?  Is this by your design or theirs?

When you deliver your products or services to your customer they will judge you on how responsive you are to them, and how you make them feel.  Investing in finding out how your customer thinks, and responding accordingly, tells your customer you are putting them first.

Intuitivity

When your business plans how you deliver your products or services do you do you think like your customers think?

This question is an important one to ask if you haven’t done so already.  Creating an intuitive customer journey for each of your customer types communicates to your customers that you have recognized, acknowledged and are delivering what they want.  When done well this creates ‘customer utopia’.

Investment

Do you have an exit strategy and why is this important?  An exit or/and an acquisition strategy helps communicate growth and innovation for investment.  Cash injection through investment is a necessary tool to innovate and scale, to establish an attractive investment opportunity to make acquisitions, to diversify or expand or to innovate, nurture and grow to scale and exit.

How attractive is your business to investors?  What does the evolution of your business look like and how are you planning to make this happen?

Capability

What are your capability gaps?  Like your regular doctor check-ups, analysing your business capabilities gives your business a health check and insight into where your business needs attention and where your offering is not being optimized for your customers.

This process also identifies where you can identify trends and innovate to increase not only capability but also capacity, to solve problems that you may not have realised needed solving.

When did your business last make an appointment for a business check-up to discover how healthy your business really is?

Culture

Culture can make or break a business’ ability to reach its potential.  The challenge is always to bring your people along on the journey with you.

Traditionally we create top-down hierarchies which may only serve to create divisions and disconnect.  Consider flatter hierarchies based on operational competencies and strengths that are measurable. This can enable you to innovate with agility.

Do you structure your work environment to create open communication, transparency, collaboration, engagement and ownership of tasks and processes?  What yardsticks do you use to measure performance based on responsibility and accountability?

By structuring your teams to become empowered, and not just to engage, you are able to create an environment that is collaborative and conducive to setting goals and achieving outcomes.

Appeal

We live in a world of lots of bright and shiny things that capture people’s attention and imagination.

How do you inspire, excite, shock and delight your customers?

If you are creating an experience that your customers will enjoy, remember and share, then you are building brand engagement and evangelism.

To continue to enjoy this relationship with your customers you must innovate.  Immediacy demands innovation, to not only get the attention of existing and new customers but to convert that attention into a relationship that is reciprocal, and satisfies the needs of both your customer and your business.

Sustainability

Business is facing becoming more transient than it ever has before.  To remain in the game your business needs to determine how to sustain existing customer patronage and understand how to entice new customers to come on board to grow your business.

To do this you need to have a business strategy that has sustainability at its core.  This simply means that you need to build a foundation that is true and pivot off this proactively to innovate and behave in an agile manner, to take advantage of change, trends and opportunity.

If it ain’t broke… break it and put it back together differently.

Chances are what you will find is that doing business in different ways may bring better and more measurable results than the way you have always done business before.

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People Are The Fuel That Makes Success Happen

As a business owner you spend a lot of time working under the bonnet of your business. Time and resource is allocated to plan, strategize and to put processes in place that will help you to make smart choices that deliver smart outcomes. However, it is the fuel that you put into the business to drive it, the people you employ, align yourself with and the customers you serve that determines if your business breaks down or runs smoothly.

fuel

5 Smart People Choices To Fuel Your Business

  • Employing or surrounding yourself with people that are not like you.  This will help give you different perspective and encourage you to look at things differently.
  • Employing or surrounding yourself with people that will challenge you to evolve. It is very easy to do things the way you do because you always have.  What if there is a better way?
  • Employing or surrounding yourself with people who have different strengths to you.  This is what truly brings about strong teams when the balance of skill sets is complimentary.
  • Employing or surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you.  If you choose not to see this as threatening the benefits are enormous. First and foremost smart people make you look good if you lead them well.
  • Employing or surrounding yourself with people that can problem solve and innovate. This is when you truly start to discover opportunity.

5 Not-So- Smart People Choices That May Stall Your Business

  • Employing and surrounding yourself with people just because they went to the right school or have the right qualifications.
  • Employing and surrounding yourself with people who are recommended to you or as a favour for a friend without first making sure that they are the right fit.
  • Employing and surrounding yourself with people who make decisions on your behalf without conferring with you.
  • Employing and surrounding yourself with people who are change-phobic.
  • Employing and surrounding yourself with people who are there for the money and the perks but don’t have the passion.

3 Questions you need to ask yourself when making decisions about people

  1. Are the right people in the right roles in your business?
  2. Are you identifying who your customers really are and if so how are you doing that?
  3. Are you aligning your business with the right partners and affiliates to advantage both parties?

 

Originally posted 2017-01-12 16:21:11.

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5 ways you ‘talk the talk’ that determines how you ‘walk the walk’

How we talk to ourselves and others defines who we are, how we are seen and what we will become.  When you think about it you are creating your own a self fulfilling prophecy.  What does yours look like? Ask yourself the following questions.

  • What are you projecting?
  • Who are you attracting?
  • How are you influencing?

talk the talk

5 ways that your talk could be limiting your success

 1. Authority

Authority, where we position conversations both with ourselves and others to set ourselves apart from being accountable, is an approach that we are all guilty of at times. This is where we make statements that exonerate us from responsibility and relinquish us from risk. We do this with an air of positive assertion and authority that suggests we have experience and knowledge as to why this would be a negative thing to do.  In reality we may be sidestepping something that we are not brave enough to try to overcome ourselves and would prefer others to make the mistakes for us.

Have you heard yourself say things like…

  • I will never do that because….
  • That is a stupid thing to do because…
  • If you do that you will regret it because…

2. Judging yourself and others

Passing judgement is intrinsic to the human condition and we, as humans, indulge in the pastime by engaging in gossip and taking the stance that we are offering advice. More often than not we are actually positioning ourselves to take the higher ground or make someone else the scapegoat to draw attention away from our own shortcomings.  We all know the old saying about throwing stones and glass houses.

Have you heard yourself say things like…

  • I would have done it that way because …
  • That is not the right choice because….
  • That was never going to work because…

3. Excuses

Excuses are the best aren’t they?  They allow us to not do what we might find to be uncomfortable or not want to do. We may also make excuses to cover our tracks or where we might be shown up to not being as good at something we have been telling everyone we were an expert in.  The question is when not will you get found out but when will you get found out?

Have you heard yourself say things like…

  • I can’t possibly do that because…
  • I am too busy to do that because…
  • I think it would be good for you to do it because…

4. Playing it safe

Sometimes we set the bar at a height that is very achievable for a reason.  If we reach that mark we have achieved and we can pat ourselves on the back and feel good about what we have done.  There is nothing wrong with that is there?  What if you are setting the bar at a level that is never going to push you out of your comfort zone and you are telling yourself that it is better to work in the safe zone?  Are you self-limiting what is possible?

Have you heard yourself say things like…

  • I can’t do any more because…
  • I do a great job. No-one can ever say I don’t because…
  • I can only achieve this outcome because…

5. Pretending

When we are not happy with ourselves it is not unusual to create a way of thinking and talking to ourselves and others to paint a picture that makes us sound a lot better than where we are now and draws a picture that is misleading. This creates limitations because from the inside you believe that if everybody else thinks you have made it you don’t have to do much except keep up the pretense.   Fake it till you make it. Sound familiar?

Have you heard yourself say things like…

  • I only achieved what I did because….
  • I am the best at what I do because….
  • I don’t need any help doing that because…

Of course sometimes the 5 ways you talk to yourself and others listed above are appropriate in some circumstances. The real question you have to ask  yourself is that if you are honest with yourself  how often do you default to talking to yourself and others with a because that puts limitations on what is possible.

What is your because?

Originally posted 2016-12-12 13:14:51.

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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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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.

If you liked this blog please like, comment and share:)

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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