3 Steps To Overcome Overwhelm By Embracing #Assertion #Leadership #Responsibility

American Football

Overcoming Setbacks Is Part Of Life (Picture from GaborfromHungary from morguefile.com)

Any job can kick your butt.

If you get knocked down often enough you lose sight of your goals. Your results can nose dive. Your team spirit vanishes. You hate Sunday night (it reminds you of Monday morning). Welcome to survival mode.

If the situation continues for long enough it can have serious health implications too.

Next stop burn-out.

How Many Stressed Out People Are There In Great Britain?

You are far from alone if you have ever been so stressed out you needed time-off from work. According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data (1):

The total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2013/14 was 487 000 (39%) out of a total of 1 241 000 cases for all work-related illnesses.

From personal experience I know the costs behind the HSE’s numbers. Those costs are measured in disruption to personal and family life; the impact on team outputs; the downturn in customer satisfaction.

It is the difference between enjoying life in 3D and enduring it in 2D. So what are the elements that help you start to overcome overwhelm?

Effective Leadership

Skilled and confident senior staff help to balance workloads and they practice realism when goal setting for their teams. They are people who value people just as much as spreadsheets.

These leaders create the safe space in which team members produce excellent results; manage risks and speak up about issues that affect results.

That communication is a regular part of the flow within the team. No one wants an unexpected and stress-filled adult-to-adult conversation to kick off; leaving a manager angry and their team member acting like an upset child.

Personal Responsibility

Responsibility starts with self-awareness. How does the team / organisation feel to you? How is it serving customers? How are your values represented? Is the work flowing freely or piling up on your desk?

I’ve found that people know when a situation ‘feels’ wrong. They are the ones having sleepless nights and stress-filled days.

Your self-awareness check will tell you whether: colleague relationships are also suffering; customer feedback shows that they aren’t getting what they expected; it is time to speak out.

Responsibility involves speaking out when these factors are present and reducing the flow of ideas and energy within the team. You can suggest how a change will improve relationships and boost customer satisfaction. Why keep good ideas to yourself?

Remember to have empathy for senior managers. They are always being pushed to produce more outputs, more quickly with less resources in their teams.

Assertive Communication

From experience, research and work with coaching clients there is value in communicating assertively.

Communicate your feelings positively. Don’t turn any negative feelings in on yourself.

After all, teams with good communication and engagement channels produce better results. That is a key part of the virtuous circle: research shows that being heard and valued is a core component of engagement, which is an important part of producing great results.

Workshop Ideas

I am leading a workshop in 7 days drawing on many of the ideas above.  The event takes place in a week on 5 July (2) and before then I will share some further insights.

As a start, take the opportunity to read Rebecca Knight’s Harvard Business Review article (3). It is worth your time.

What Is Your Solution To Overcoming Overwhelm And Combatting Workplace Stress?

Add your voice to this conversation in the comments below. Your views will help another leader or staff member dealing with these issues.

Please share this post with others, where that will help someone improve customer satisfaction; create a more supportive team and experience greater job satisfaction.

Resources

(1)

http://bit.ly/HSE_Stress_Related_Disorders_GB_2014

(2)

http://bit.ly/An_Assertiveness_And_Success_Workshop

(3)

http://bit.ly/HBR_Rebecca_Knight_How_To_Handle_Difficult_Workplace_Conversations

 

 

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.

 

Performance Improvement: What’s Empathy Got To Do With It?

Empathy Beats Confrontation In Performance Management - picture credit Pexels.com

Empathy Beats Confrontation In Performance Management – picture credit Pexels.com

Spring is the season for reporting on performance. It seems to me empathy is the key to influencing others to help us with our performance goals during the coming year.

Drawing on an existing stock of empathy could make the difference to you, if you break out in a sweat at the thought of approaching a good team member who is suddenly producing sub-par work.

Leaders Set The Tone For Their Team

If you have already established an empathic / supportive relationship with your team you have an advantage. The door is already partly open to difficult conversations.

You can now use the stock of trust you have built up to go into potentially uncomfortable territory when speaking with team members (you might want to start being more empathic if you are starting from a low base).

3 Useful Performance Questions

From personal experience performance conversations involve being a bit vulnerable yourself. You aren’t looking to beat anyone up. You are helping yourself by accepting your feelings of discomfort and focusing on helping someone perform better.

Here are 3 discussion openers which might help you get your colleague engaged in finding solutions, as part of a constructive performance improvement conversation

  • It has been a while since our last review, how are things with you workwise?
  • I’ve noticed that X seems to be happening with your work, that’s not like you. Can you say what’s happening there?
  • What more can I do to help you produce different results?

Open questions prompt the listener to think of a full response, since a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer doesn’t fit. Empathy, Thought and Action should feed into your conversation and the ones which follow to help your colleague improve their results.

Feel Free To Continue This Conversation And Share It With Friends

Why not use the Comment section to share the approaches have you used to successfully support performance improvement.

How did you help your member of staff produce good or excellent results, after a temporary downturn?

If you were the one being helped how did your boss’s approach help you move forward? Did they offer to help you, or take a confrontational approach?

For an overview of the effects on performance of feeling overwhelmed at work please follow this link

 

http://www.experienceenterprisesltd.co.uk/

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 Benefits You Get From Inspiring And Motivating #Content

Progress Involves Setting Goals Taking Action And Achieving Great Results

Progress Involves Setting Goals Taking Action And Achieving Great Results

It was great to start a conversation about goals, actions and achievements at a workshop last week.

Speaking with a roomful of people – on 28 January – about how to #SetGoalsAndTakeAction caused me to think about the benefits you get from pursuing your dreams.

If you are in the right frame of mind to change your life you can have a brilliant year. Positive thinking will open your mind to the key messages from inspiring live speakers, or writers appearing across social media.

If you are on the lookout for inspiring, motivating and action-oriented content you might want to search out material offering these outcomes:

Effective Content Offers These 3 Outcomes

  • It Solves Your Specific Problem – How does the story being told connect directly to your situation? People like to learn how to resolve their situation by following the example of someone who has been there already. How can you apply the lessons on offer?

 

  • It Suggests An Alternative View – Does the material give evidence that challenges your views? It might be worth considering what is being said, since it could influence you to take a fresh look at a familiar topic. Your creativity may be triggered, highlighting a new way forward.

 

  • It Stirs You To Take Action – Does the speech get you fired up so that you want to move forward beyond your limiting beliefs? If it is persuasive you might feel compelled to take a beneficial action straightaway.

What Can You Do To Promote Useful Content?

If you see a presentation or a post which combines those 3 elements you will probably want to add your comment, or share your experience with other people in your network, so they can benefit from it too.

Your commentary or authentic word of mouth recommendation is very valuable and can make an idea get the attention it deserves.

In other words your Facebook ‘Like’ or Twitter ReTweet can spread the word far and wide.

What Is Your Next Step?

Thank you for reading this post. Would you like to help continue this conversation?

What is the most effective content you have encountered recently? What made it work so well for you? Say a few words in the Comment section below or Tweet @RogerD_Said

If you found this post useful feel free to share it with others. I’m on YouTube so you can suggest topics for me to comment on http://bit.ly/Experience_Your_Life_Intro  Either way keep an eye out for future posts that help you achieve a more successful 2015.

3 Ways You Can Do More Than You Thought Possible By Setting Goals And Taking Action

 

Where Will Your Next Step Take You? - Photo Credit smswigart via Morguefile.com

Where Will Your Next Step Take You? – Photo Credit smswigart via Morguefile.com

If you read billboards, or advertising on public transport, you will already know this is your year to:

  • Meet someone amazing
  • Achieve your ambition
  • See the difference you make

No pressure then if your work or life goals are smaller in scale. How often does the big vision you have of a personal project stay in your head? Taking the first steps towards turning your mental vision into the real-world outcome you want can be hard.

If your vision is a bit more modest you could take inspiration from the historic achievement of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson who scaled El Capitan this week. They have been working toward that outcome for years. Naturally they believe Teamwork and Persistence pay off in the end.

Here’s a link http://bit.ly/Inspiratonal_El_Capitan to the BBC coverage of the story. For me this is Kevin’s killer quote

He said the experience of scaling a peak by a route no one had taken before

“recalibrates your perception of what you can do and what’s possible”

3 Ways People Can Do More Than They Thought Possible

In the real world people get by with what they can achieve. With a little inspiration they can achieve more.

Understand the nature of the person whose problem you are trying to solve – I was on the receiving end of an email a while ago from someone with whom I was collaborating on a project.

Their email was a bit of a rant over several topics on the edge of our project. Luckily I read and remembered something from Dale Carnegie’s classic book How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Carnegie quotes what the founder of the car making company Henry Ford said about understanding others:

“If there is any one secret of success it lies in the ability to ‘get’ the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

With that thought as my inspiration I made time to make a phone call. I really listened to what my friend was saying. I understood that the rant was actually about fears that their voice was generally going unheard.

A phone call and some deep listening took the heat out of the situation. By understanding what was underneath the rant I was able to move the relationship forward. Good news for the project too, since there were no serious disagreements festering under the surface.

Practice to improve your skills – most people don’t have special powers. Initially we make do with our natural abilities. Then we grow. There are ways to work with what you have got to improve.

The late Arthur Ashe is someone I quote often. He was action oriented. The quote I will use in a goal-setting workshop later in January goes like this:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.

When was the last time everything was 100% perfect in your life? All of the elements are not perfect in the project I just mentioned. But they can be made to work together with some effort. Is waiting for the perfect moment keeping you from achieving more success?

Collaborate with others who can help you improve your performance

Henry Ford also believed that

“The accumulation of great fortunes calls for POWER and POWER is acquired through highly organised and intelligently directed specialist knowledge. But that knowledge does not necessarily have to be in the possession of the man who accumulates the fortune”.

In other words, you can spend time trying to be a specialist in several areas. Or you can offer your skills to a group of people who have other skills you can draw on. Who will you work with this week?

What Will You Do This Week To Redefine The Word ‘Possible’?

Hopefully you are inspired to start making a difference in your own life. The Pareto Principle suggests 80% of your results can come from just 20% of your efforts. It is surprising where small initial steps, in line with your values, can take you. What ‘impossible’ outcome will you achieve this month?

As I mentioned above, I will discuss these ideas with people coming to my goal setting workshop on 28 January – details here http://bit.ly/Set_Goals_Take_Action – so expect to hear more about the benefits of taking action over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile I would love to hear about what you are going to accomplish in 2015. Share your plans here in the comment section, on Twitter @RogerD_Said or have your say on LinkedIn if you would prefer.

Top 5 Tips If Your #Goal Is Job Hunting In Your 40s And 50s

Setting And Reviewing Goals Does Not Take Long

Taking Action To Set And Review Your Goal Does Not Take Long

How is January working out for you? Is your goal a New Job to go with the New Year? You are in good company as many people make a fresh start in the Winter.

What are the key elements in the strategy you have chosen? Will you be:

  • Letting people in your network know you are in the market for a new role?
  • Making time to research the types of organisations you would like to work for?
  • Reviewing which of your skills need to be refreshed?

All of these elements could form part of a positive strategy. For women and men with 20 to 30 years’ experience in the workplace a few extra elements might be useful too.

Older Wiser More Experienced

If you have spent a generation at work you will be in your 40s or 50s. Was your focus achieving results and raising your family? If so you are older, wiser and more experienced.

You are now competing with people in their 20s and 30s. That means you may need extra support to find a workable strategy. Should that be the case, help is at hand.

Your Top 5 Tips

The Guardian newspaper recently asked experts to answer questions from readers about searching for jobs. Here is the link http://bit.ly/Job_You_Love to that conversation. There is some good thinking on offer and the whole discussion is worth a read. If you just want some pointers please see the bullets below.

I asked their panel of experts for advice specific to people in their 40s and 50s. Here are 5 Tips from their comments (what would you add to the list?):

  • “Someone in their 40’s and 50’s can bring a wealth of experience – the important thing is to make sure that your CV highlights that which is most recent and relevant to the job you are applying for. You can summarise earlier experience in a few lines or a short paragraph and give the space to bullet pointed achievements where you have added value to your organisation”.

 

  • “Make sure you show technology savvy, your success in working as a team member, and that the language used in your CV is current”.

 

  • “Don’t use job descriptions on your work experience, use bulleted lists. This will help your experience stand out”.

 

  • “The last 10 years in detail is probably sufficient, with an “Earlier Career History” section (without dates) for the earlier stuff”.

 

  • “Make sure you are present at the key social networks for job search, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter with updated professional profile”.

 

How Will You Make Use Of This Information?

I hope this information adds value to your search for work that you love.

Feel free to share this information with others who would find it helpful. You can comment here – on Twitter @rogerd_said – on Facebook or continue the conversation on LinkedIn.