How Does #Assertion Help Improve Your Day?

Ready To Take Assertive Action? (Picture credit jzlomek at morguefile.com)

Ready To Take Assertive Action? (Picture credit jzlomek at morguefile.com)

The quietly confident smile on Nick’s face said it all.

Nick was a middle-management colleague of mine. He led a team at work and he was a good sportsman too. He knew a lot about getting the best out of others.

When I saw Nick smiling I guessed the ‘quick word’ he had held with our senior manager had gone well.

Why was that quick word necessary?

That morning our senior manager (Sue) had chosen to brutally criticise Nick during a staff meeting. Nick’s team had been around the table.

Nick’s face had registered shock. The rest of us were embarrassed. It was one of those I’m-glad-that-wasn’t-aimed-at-me moments.

After the meeting broke up Nick sat quietly, writing a few words in his diary and looking  in the direction of our boss’s door.

Once he had fixed his goal in mind he’d walked up to the door, knocked and gone in.

What Did Nick Do To Be Assertive?

When I had the chance I asked Nick the obvious question. Making the decision to act was one thing, what had he said to Sue about the meeting? His answer?

I let her know how I felt after what she said this morning ….I told her I never spoke to my team like that and I don’t accept it either …there’s better ways to work together…she said she saw my point of view.

Nick influenced a positive change in Sue’s behaviour towards him, judging by his upbeat mood.

Assertion Means Talking About Your Feelings When You Negotiate

Nick’s real-life example shows the value of bringing emotion into assertive situations.

Use the range of evidence at your fingertips, including your feelings. Involve the other party in a conversation.

Your theme is how to make your relationship more productive. Give them an incentive to change their behaviour so it benefits others.

If they join in with that conversation and then change their approach that’s a great outcome. You have both benefitted from your honesty.

If the other person refuses to engage with the conversation you have learned something.

That knowledge means you can choose your future options wisely. Those options might include downplaying or even ending the relationship.

Want To Continue This Conversation?

Thank you for reading this post. Feel free to Comment below and share the post with others who can get something from it.

I am sharing more information that will make your day easier in my June newsletter. If you would like to get on to the mailing list for further information first head over to

www.experienceenterprisesltd.co.uk

Then fill in your email address in the field on the right hand side of the page and finally press the red Send button.

I’m looking forward to sharing more ideas with you in the weeks to come.

 

How To Shape Your Future With The Support of A #Coach

A Step Towards Greater Job Satisfaction

A Step Towards Greater Job Satisfaction

The numbers speak for themselves. If the commuters in the picture are UK workers then 2014 survey results* showed 6 out of 10 are motivated and engaged with their jobs.

The remaining 4 out of 10 aren’t producing the same quality of results for their clients; are having strained relationships with colleagues and are feeling overwhelmed when they are at home.

Where Do You Show Up In Those Statistics?

Interested in finding out how coaching support could make you even more productive and engaged with your work (or really help you out of the 4 in 10 bracket)?

Then you might want to invest 30 minutes in a Google Hangout on Tuesday 14 April at 8pm in which the spotlight will fall on the effectiveness of coaching.

The Hangout takes place here on https://plus.google.com/+ExperienceyourlifeMe

It will also be available on the related YouTube channel.

Any Questions?

Please use the Comment section here to raise specific questions about the Hangout’s theme, or Tweet me @RogerD_Said with your queries. I’ll do my best to include your feedback in the Hangout or to use it in future blog posts.

*(the survey results I mentioned are shown in this link http://bit.ly/HR_Magazine_ORC_Employee_Engagement )

 

3 Steps To A Happier Christmas And A More Authentic New Year

Statue with head in hand

Christmas Needn’t Be A Headache

It’s less than a month away, but the Christmas To Do lists are already getting longer.

Have you ended up – again – with the Christmas Project role of organising the office meal / after work party / big family get together? You got bounced into your extra duties didn’t you?

Not to worry, we’ve all been there.

If you want to, you can change others’ perception of you as the go-to Good Girl / Nice Guy who makes everyone else’s life easier. There is scope to turn the head-in-hands sinking feeling of organising diaries / menus / Secret Santa into a positive task. One you are authentically able to deliver well, in a way that uses the support of the people around you.

What Is The Impact Of Not Asserting Yourself?

Remember, if you are grinning through gritted teeth there may be a consequence in strained nerves in later in December. The UK’s National Health Service even talks about the impact of Christmas on Divorce rates in January  It is better to assert yourself to help ensure you get more of what you want in the coming weeks.

Ready To Try A Little Assertion For Christmas?

This can seem a difficult step to take if you are not used to politely, but consistently, stating what you want from a situation. However it is a necessary step if you want to feel more authentically tuned in to your own agenda next year (i.e. able to choose what you want to do next, rather than feel you have to please others time and again at the cost of moving forward towards your own goals).

Your First Step

A first step to managing your stress levels is establishing your boundaries. Make it clear you are not taking this challenge forward on your own. Identify the development needs which can be met across the team if others’ time is freed up for specific tasks which will add to their skill set and get the Christmas project delivered on time.

Once you have your allies do the best you can with the support that is available to you and document the process for the benefit of whoever does the role next time (there are 3 further steps below)

Here Are Your Next 3 Good Practice Steps

If you do nothing else a bit of informal Christmas project planning helps you manage the various parts of your December life better and help others’ see you as more than the go-to person in their life:

  • Capture everything you need to achieve on your Christmas project plan, including the fun tasks (so that you can see the progress being made towards your outcome, which combats the sense of overwhelm)
  • Delegate as much as you can to your partner / family members / colleagues (so everyone can play their part using their skills and building new ones)
  • Schedule plenty of ‘you’ time (so you can unplug from the craziness for a while)

How Will You Use And Share This Information?

If this post has been helpful please feel free to use the Comment section to add your secrets to thriving at Christmas, so others can benefit from them. You can share your ideas on Twitter too @RogerD_Said so the conversation helps more stressed Christmas planners.

#GEW – What’s Your Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Speakers At The 2014 Work & Family Show

What Is Your Secret To Public Speaking?

Are you getting connected with the no-cost and low-cost events in the UK during Global Entrepreneurship Week ?

Hopefully your goal is to sample some of the Networking Sessions; Webinars and Presentations scheduled from now until 23 November. You will definitely be able to hear some inspiring ideas from some talented speakers in the next few days.

Any one of those learning opportunities might be the right one to give you clarity. They will help you see past the fog of options that you might pursue and focus on your next development goal.

What’s The Secret To Confident Public Speaking?

Have you ever wondered how some speakers seem to effortlessly get their points across?

Whether you are in the UK, US, the EU, or further afield I think the speakers you listen to will have 3 points in mind as they clear their throats and start speaking. They will be mindful of the need to:

  • Focus on meeting the information needs of you, the audience member
  • Present their message in a simple and straight forward way
  • Give you a summary and a call to action before they finish speaking

How Do These 3 Strategies Help Speakers Get Their Message Across?

  • Addressing the audience on their terms means the content is relevant and accessible, rather than too academic
  • Simplicity means you are more likely to remember the key message or stat the speaker referenced
  • Summarising the content underlines its importance and signals that there is more information on the key topic than the presentation could contain

These 3 strategies also naturally lead you and the rest of the audience to read an article online, subscribe to a Newsletter, or book onto a follow-up session if that is the final point the speaker mentions.

How Will You Share The Information You Gain During #GEW ?

Feel free to comment below – or on Twitter @RogerD_Said – on the learning you have undertaken and how you will apply inside or outside work. I’ll be sharing my GEW takeaways here and across social media during the week. Why not join the conversation?

 

Goals 2014: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your #MidYearReview

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

What Makes Your Mid-Year Review A Positive Experience?

If your staff report year began in April your mid ear review is due about now. You and your Supervisor / Team Leader / Manager will be preparing for a conversation which will cover: your performance against your goals; the competencies you are using and those you can develop; plus support you can tap into from coaches, mentors or formal training providers.

If you are a UK civil servant this process might raise wider issues, some of which are discussed in a feature on morale this week in the Guardian newspaper   The article is worth a read if you have an interest in staff engagement, or the delivery of public services.

5 Ways To Get The Best Out Of Your Mid-Year Review

Whether you are working in the private, or public sector your review is your chance to share the evidence of your good work so far this year with your Supervisor.

If you are a Supervisor chairing the session it is your chance to have an empathic conversation, which uses evidence to highlight the good work your junior colleague has produced. You can propose any development areas that need attention and leave the session on a positive note overall.

The Review is also the spring board to the second part of the year. You can create momentum from this session. Enough momentum to carry you toward whatever achievements you want under your belt by next Spring.

Here are your 5 pointers to make the most of your mid-year review

  • Bring your evidence (customer feedback; stats showing what you have accomplished; learning log highlights).
  • Listen intently to what is being said, so you can note down positive and interesting feedback.
  • Check you understand any adverse feedback and ask for evidence where necessary.
  • Clarify next steps and timings at, or shortly after, the review (especially if you have to follow a timetable to record your difference of opinion over something which has been said).
  • Create a development goal, in line with your values, which you can work on this month. Make sure it also moves you forward towards a personal goal. This will give you an immediate lift, should you need one and give you confidence you can use at work too.

What are your favourite strategies to make sure you conduct effective reviews with your staff? What factors tell you that your Supervisor has made your review a positive experience? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below, or send me a tweet @RogerD_Said

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Goals 2014: How To Keep From Being A Victim Of A #BadBoss

Can You Spot The Bad Boss? Picture credit seemann at Morguefile

Can You Spot The Bad Boss? Picture credit seemann at Morguefile

Is your leadership making your colleagues sick? Probably not, if you are reading a web post about how to improve your performance. That means concepts like ‘authenticity’ and ‘values’ ring bells with you. Your goals are based in empathy. Your colleagues will be grateful for that.

Having an authentic set of core values means you communicate in a consistent way with your team and clients. You don’t fake it. Your actions show you treat others as you would be treated yourself. Maybe you can influence a Bad Boss you know to help raise productivity, by treating his / her colleagues better?

What Does It Feel Like To Have A Bad Boss?

Years back I experienced BBS (Bad Boss Syndrome) courtesy of a supervisor who used sarcasm, blame shifting and setting team members against one another as a management strategy.

Working for that colleague made Friday evenings a time to celebrate. It also made Sunday evenings a time for regret. I wasn’t the only team member whose job-satisfaction and productivity dropped. Morale wasn’t a metric that interested the Boss. Luckily I was able to move to another job when a reorganisation took place. Some people, sadly, get stuck in situations like this.

How Do You Keep From Being A Victim Of Bad Bosses?

Stay rested; Stay connected to your network; stay optimistic. A good night’s sleep helps maintain your energy levels. Your professional network helps you maintain perspective about your situation. Optimism reminds you that you are located in a situation caused by your Boss, not by you.

I just read about some workplace research in the Washington Post that describes the symptoms caused by the bad boss. I also found an item posted on LinkedIn outlining possible ways to manage the feelings caused by BBS. Good to know that if your boss could be making you sick there is light at the end of the tunnel, since you can learn How successful people handle toxic people . Both articles are worth a few minutes of your time.

Which Questions Help You Start To Combat BBS?

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself if the symptoms of BBS are starting to ring bells with you:

  • How do you wish to be treated by your supervisor in the workplace (if you are a supervisor how do colleagues rate your style)?
  • What is the effect on your productivity of the treatment you receive right now?
  • What action will you take this week to improve the treatment you receive and to become more productive?

Want To Share Your Story With Others?

I’d be very interested to know what actions people have taken, in the past, to improve their situation where their supervisor was harming their productivity. Feel free to share your stories in the comment section, or on Twitter @RogerD_Said

Goals 2014: How Will You Keep Developing Your #Leadership Skills Next Week?

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

What Connections Do Leaders And Managers Inspire?

Are you content to leave tackling your leadership goals until the New Year? Or are you ready to spend 5 minutes today planning your next step towards self-development?

What Happens When Leaders Build On Their Strengths?

If you are motivated to take action to achieve improvement here are some interesting trends from a US study of leaders’ self-improvement results:

  • Leaders can measure their performance gains, when they take action on the goal of developing their strengths.

 

  • More than 70% of those leaders who focused on building strengths felt they had improved their overall effectiveness

 

  • Nearly 60% of those strength builders feeling their improvement positively impacted their organisation

The article from which I’ve taken these data was written by Behavioural Statistician Joseph Folkman and is published online by Forbes magazine.

What More Could Leaders Do?

I think it would also be valuable to see how the people who directly report to those leaders view the ‘After’ picture. Also other stakeholders might have valuable views on what the leader’s post-improvement results look like. Do those groups feel more connected to their leadership figure after they have developed, compared to before the change occurred?

The biggest ask would involve leaders applying themselves consistently to the areas in which they are not strong. After all, it is relatively straightforward to take action to build on your strengths. Taking these actions involves going with the flow and doing the things that feel nice and rewarding.

How Challenging Is It To Go Against The Flow?

The real challenge – which involves working against the flow – means acting on goals which involve deep, authentic, growth work. These are the areas where resistance is strongest. These areas touch deep seated fears and are the ones where the knot in the gut usually gets in the way.

That hard work pays off, over time. There are real rewards in overcoming that resistance. Rewards for self, colleagues, and clients. There is a sweetness to those development gains too.

What Does A Mix Of Goals Look Like?

It is a challenge to go full on after hard to reach self-development gains. I remember one of my coaching clients felt much better tackling a mix of goals when she decided where she wanted to be in 12 months, then:

  • Focused on developing her empathic skills (to serve her colleagues and clients better meantimes)

and

  • Prioritised being more assertive (so that she could have a more effective working relationship with her supervisor during her personal development phase).

She was understandably pleased with the results she achieved, over time, by combining straightforward and hard to reach goals.

Which Strength Building and Challenge Goals Will You Act On?

Please use the Comment section here to share your stories of pursuing your goals. Let your colleagues and friends know that goal setting isn’t time consuming and that effective support makes the difference, whether you are in the US, UK, EU or further afield.  Your success will inspire plenty of people who need a nudge to get going.

(Tweet me @RogerD_Said and I will continue the conversation there too).