Goals 2014: 3 Questions To Inspire Your #PersonalDevelopment Actions

You Can Act Without Perfect Preparation

You Can Act Without Perfect Preparation

I’ve had this Arthur Ashe quote in my head since I heard it in the acceptance speech  the US football player Michael Sam gave recently, when receiving an award for courage.  The quote suggests you can take action right now, if you believe you can.

How can you use the relationship between confidence and action when achieving authenticity?

When is your right time to confidently take the action to experience your life more authentically?

I think authenticity, confidence / courage and action inter-relate.  This inter-relationship even came up when friends and I were speaking over Sunday lunch recently about pursuing professional or personal goals.

The view around the lunch table was that confident people take steps to move forward, so that there is more of a smooth flow to their professional and personal lives.   We recognised that at times in the past we hadn’t necessarily taken action for a number of reasons, including:

  • Competing pressures on our time
  • Needing to feel more confident or courageous before we could succeed
  • Surrendering to external resistance keeping us from changing

Do any of those factors ring bells with you?  The questions below may be helpful if so.  This is territory I started to explore in a post I wrote in June 2012.  There I was asking about the results you would get if you asked for what you wanted.

Bottom line.  You have to feel confident to ask for what you want.  In the same way you need confidence to know that you will succeed before you take meaningful action.  The outcome of your action – the reward for your courage – is greater authenticity.

3 Questions to inspire you to take personal development action

Here are the 3 questions you might want to work on and use as inspiration tomorrow, when you take action:

  • How much better will your life be in 12 months’ time if you start to take action to address your main personal improvement goal tomorrow?
  • How much easier will your actions seem if you have the on-going support of your spouse / boss / best friend?
  • What will you feel like in 12 months’ time if you have done nothing to tackle the goal you know in your heart is your number 1 priority?

Over to you

By all means have a conversation with family / colleagues / friends about the actions you will take to get what you want.  I’d love to hear what you have planned.  You can let me know how you get on via the Contact form, or you can find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile and learn more there.

Goals 2014: 3 Steps Towards Successful #Presentations

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A Definition of Success Courtesy of Julian Hall

A month ago I offered you my opinion on the benefits of volunteering.  If you found that post useful you might be interested in the 3 steps below.

I followed these steps before giving a well-received presentation in late July.  They will help you should your goal involve giving successful presentations, or learning to do so.  Success might seem a long way away, but small manageable steps can get you there.

One: Know your audience

You will offer your audience maximum value if you spend time preparing to meet (or even exceed) their expectations.  Your confidence level will also rise, once you know how to plan your engagement with the audience members.

At the very least find out if they are:

  • curious about your topic, and only want a simple overview
  • knowledge-hungry and expect an expert analysis to stir them into action
  • a mix of supporters and doubters, who may respond differently to the message you are communicating

Two: Practice your presentation

There’s more work to do once you have created your presentation plan and your notes, plus supporting visual material.

Take time to look at presenters you admire or have heard good things about (at work, on television, via Youtube) to see which elements of their work you can build into your own presentation.

Practice your presentation in front of a mirror.  Then practice in front of a colleague, or friend, whose opinion you trust.  Use the feedback you receive to fine tune your work.

Three: Have confidence you can excel

Once you are confident you have your structure in place you have the potential to excel.  Should the unexpected happen you will be fine (even if you are promoted to the opening slot when another speaker cancels!).

The key points for you to remember are:

  • Outline what you are going to say – then say it with passion – then summarise what you said
  • Use memorable stories to connect authentically with your audience
  • Speak at your usual pace – remember to smile

What is your presentation success strategy?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues and share your success strategy with others.  I’m interested to know what you think, so post a reply here, or find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can learn more by clicking View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: How Does Your #MentalBaggage Make You Feel?

What Are You Carrying That You Do Not Need

What Baggage Are You Carrying?

Pretty soon you and your loved ones will be heading away from work for a few weeks rest and relaxation.  This is your time to take a breath; pack your bags and then get away from the stresses of the 9 to 5.

Here’s a question to work on as you go through your pre-departure check-list.  Aside from the sunscreen, sandals and spending money, what will your mental baggage weigh?

What Does Your Mental Baggage Do To You?

Although you are preparing to get away from it all, do the negatives which you will carry with you actually feel like a burden, which will affect your leadership and management goals when you get home?  Those burdens or limiting beliefs might include:

  • Your inability to fix your problematic relationship with a key colleague
  • Your belief that your career and your values are out of step
  • Your self-criticism which means you aren’t good enough to try something new

Might you have more success and be unburdened if your skills, values and actions were in alignment?

When Will You Take Action On Your Goal?

If you chose to start tackling your goal, with coaching support, you could be experiencing a more authentic and satisfying life in weeks.  That’s true whether ‘home’ for you is the UK, the US, the EU or further afield.

Why not get in touch, via the Contact option above, and start a new journey towards a more authentic life.  All you have to lose is your baggage.

Want To Share Your Thoughts On Personal Development?

Start a discussion about the themes in the post by all means.  I’d love to hear what you and your colleagues think on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more comment-worthy ideas, relating to your work and life goals, in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: What Is The Two Word Secret To More #JobSatisfaction ?

What Is The Value Of Positive Feedback?

What Is The Value Of Positive Feedback?

Thank you to everyone who is following me on social media; discussing the ideas I’m putting out there for discussion; or simply reading these words.

I was thinking about the value of those two words a few days ago.  I received some great customer care and told the assistant how much I appreciated the time she had taken to resolve my query and hand me the paper work for my records.

What Is The Value Of Saying Thank You?

How often do you offer authentic, positive, feedback when you experience great customer care?  Organisational leaders are recognising that employee recognition matters.  In areas like customer care ‘good news’ stories are morale boosting opportunities to highlight business values in action

How Will You Make It Clear You Are Good At What You Do?

Some people are comfortable quietly getting on with their work.  They are never going to blow their own trumpet.  Would you be content to have that low a profile?

If your answer is ‘No’, would you consider setting yourself a goal concerning your customer service?

  • Could you ask your customers to send a quick email to your manager, if you provide outstanding service?
  • Perhaps they could comment favourably on your company website?
  • Is there another way that would allow your manager to see how much of an asset you are to the team?

When Will You Make Time To Take Action?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues.  When will you make the first step to action this goal?   I’d be interested to know what your plans are.  You can find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: How Can You Boost Your #Skills By #Volunteering ?

Are You Developing Your Skills By Volunteering?

Are You Developing Your Skills By Volunteering?

I have blogged previously about the benefits of volunteering – within an organisation or in the community – as a way to boost your skills. Well I had the chance last week to add to Joel Kremer’s Linkedin discussion about the value of volunteering, and I thought it would be useful to you if I gave you the highlights of that post here.  These ideas should be valid in the UK, the US, the EU or elsewhere around the world.

What Leadership Or Management Skills Do You Want To Develop?

According to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills there are plenty of managers who could improve their proficiency in several key areas, one of which matches your five point list: UKCES highlights that 32% of managers and professionals could be more proficient in Problem Solving (PS). What are the comparable figures where you are?

Taking action to volunteer could address a PS personal development goal.  It could definitely benefit someone in a key organisational role, at the same time as benefitting the project’s customers.

How Can You Ensure Your Services Are Not Being Unfairly Exploited?

There’s a health warning though. Given the climate of limited resources and ‘more for less’ volunteers should not be used as cheap substitutes for paid staff. An organisation’s volunteering strategy should provide an authentic example of doing good for all concerned. It should provide positive benefits to customers whilst developing the volunteers’ skills and confidence (whatever their job title). If a volunteer feels their actions are being exploited they have to speak up.

What Support Could You Expect To Receive As A Volunteer?

In the example I gave above, good benefits could be achieved by the PS volunteer, as long as it was absolutely clear where the boundaries of that person’s volunteer responsibility lay. The volunteer’s learning would have to be fully supported by their project leader and her colleagues. Once their PS skills and confidence were good, or outstanding, they could continue to develop in different areas. Still offering really good service to the project’s customers as their learning continues.

How Are You Going To Learn By Volunteering?

Please use the Contact form above, if you would like to discuss coaching support to make the most of your volunteering plans.

Feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: What Is Your Gut Feeling About The #Management & #Leadership You Receive?

How Do You Feel About The Way You Are Managed?

How Do You Feel About The Way You Are Managed?

Here’s a question for you to ponder over the next couple of days.  How much protection does your manager offer you?  Do you feel Outstandingly nurtured?  Would you term their efforts Average? Does they need to improve?

(If you are a leader or manager how many marks out of 10 would your colleagues give you for the authenticity of your professional relationship with them)?

It Is A Good Time To Talk About Management

I think this is a good time to talk about management.  Many people are looking forward to their summer break, away from the sinking feeling they experience at work.  Some people will have reached the point where they are weighing up their options.  Others will have made up their minds and will be preparing for a job hunt when they get back to work.  If that is the case it may be because they are deeply unhappy with their management situation.

How Will You Respond To Your Concerns About The Management You Receive?

When you look at the set of goals you drew up for yourself in January did improving your job satisfaction feature on the list?  If so you will be conscious that effective management is a big factor in job satisfaction and engagement.

Now that you are taking stock at the mid-point in the year how are things looking jobwise?  What action will you take in response to your gut feeling?  Whose support will you draw on as you work out your options?

Implications Of Ineffective Management and Leadership

If inspiring leadership boosts followership then ineffective leaders and managers contribute to disengaged workers.

The quote from Kurt Barling comes from a larger article larger article relating to the concerns some black and minority ethnic staff at the BBC have in the management they receive.  The article is worth a look if you are interested in productive workplaces; engaging staff; improving team performance; equality and diversity; and leadership or management.

What Action Will You Take Now?

There is a universal point however: if one of your workplace goals is to feel positive and engaged you will feel better taking action, with support, to improve your situation rather than enduring the discomfort.  Please do get in touch (use the Contact page above) if you would like to discuss the difference coaching can make to your working life.

Do You Want Support To Develop Other Areas In Your Life?

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: What Is Your Work Place #SuccessGoal ?

Setting A Goal Does Not Take Long

Setting A Goal Does Not Take Long

What are you like when you are not pursuing success at work?  Is the authentic ‘you’ happiest making weekend plans and organising your family life; or does the idea of taking some ‘me’ time away from 9 to 5 problems appeal?

How Does Effective Team Work Produce Results?

I learned yesterday* that for Netball players, team working is a key part of their time together.  Players develop their individual skills and learn how to complement other’s skills successfully, when they work together.  Everyone gets to play a part in the team achieving its goals (it sounds like a low ego sport).  That principle feeds back into their successful professional lives too, by all accounts.

What Is The Key To Improving Workplace Success?

Effective team work lies at the heart of workplace success.  The UK Government is making policy decisions to draw on positive behaviours and improve the range of enterprises which are successful.

In their 2013 report ‘Management Matters’, The UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that 166,000 managers are deemed to be not fully proficient in their job… The skills most lacking are:

  • strategic management
  • planning and organisation
  • team working
  • problem solving
  • oral communication

You can visit UKCES website here and learn more about that issue and new proposals to address those development areas.

How Will You Set A Goal To Tackle Your Needs?

Whether you are in the UK, the US, the EU or further afield did you recognise a development area in your own leadership or management practice in the bullet point list?  If so you can relax.  These are common issues that crop up in coaching conversations.  A discussion with a coach will be a worthwhile first step, if you are ready to improve your performance.  If so, I’m happy to discuss your development needs with you and support your actions as you move forward.

Who Will You Share Your Progress With?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues.  I’d be interested to know what you think.  You can contact me regarding your own needs via the Contact form and more generally on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Thank You

*I am grateful to Kat – whom I met at an Enterprise Nation event – for the inspiration to discuss teamworking beyond the workplace.  Kat is an avid Netballer and in charge of Toursprite  – a startup offering fancy dress services to groups.  Enterprise Nation helps people turn their passions into great businesses.

Goals 2014: What #Changes Will You Deal With Tomorrow?

What Does Change Mean To You?

What Does Change Mean To You?

What is your work goal tomorrow?  Is it to stay the same and hope that doing so produces adequate results (assuming your performance exceeds or meets organisational expectations)?  Or are you authentically open to change (especially if you know you must improve to meet those expectations)?

Whether you are a leader, follower, manager, or employee what would it feel like to move towards something different and better in the week ahead?

What Lessons Can You Take From The UK Civil Service?

Large organisations, like the UK Civil Service are undertaking change processes, so that its 420,000 plus employees can produce more results with less resources (click on the link to find out more about their leaderships vision; communication; change delivery; and staff engagement).  If yours is a smaller organisation, what lessons could you take from the civil service example?

How Immune To Change Are You?

Individuals, just like organisations have different responses to change.  Even the mention of change can cause some people to become resistant.  Their immunity to change (ITC) depends on the big assumptions they hold.  Will colleagues still like me if I change?  What will I feel like if I become a more authentic version of myself?

I’m really excited to have learned a lot about the world of change by completing recently a MOOC (massive open online course) on ITC, courtesy of Harvard University.  You can listen here to a 15 minute podcast with Robert Kegan who led the course with Lisa Lahey and sample some of the course materials if you register to do so.

Will You Rise To The Change Challenge?

When you set goals for yourself at the start of the year you will have known circumstances might crop up that pushed you off course.  As you undertake your mid -year review, what areas do you need to adjust to stay on track?

Perhaps your circumstances have changed so much since January that major adjustments are necessary: in January no one would have foreseen that retail challenges would affect managers at Morrisons for instance; or that in the banking sector, Barclay’s job losses would be followed by those at Natwest

So, whether you are in the UK, US, EU or the world beyond what will you do tomorrow to meet the small or large challenges flagged up by the word ‘change’?

What Else Will You Do To Embrace Change?

Feel free to have a conversation about this topic with your colleagues.  I’m always interested to know what you think.  You can find me on Twitter @RogerD_said

There are more ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here and on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: Who Do You Thank When You Are Being #Mindful?

Saying Thank You

Mindfulness And The Value Of Saying Thank You

It is a busy world and you are bombarded by emails, texts, meeting requests and dozens of people claiming your time. It can be hard to make time to stop and think about the people who make your day a bit easier.  In fact when someone goes out of their way to make your goals easier to accomplish, their efforts can slip by unrecognised.

However, being mindful* and celebrating that assistance can trigger leadership action on your part, which helps to establish a virtuous cycle: good team work leads to positive client feedback; your leadership is shown to reflect an authentic understanding of what good work by colleagues looks like; your clients keep getting more examples of that good work.

(*Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s practical guide to ‘Mindfulness’, published in 2011, might be one for you to look at, if you want to learn more).

What Are Your Options For Showing Your Appreciation?

If you do recognise others’ contribution to your success there are so many options available to you, to show your appreciation, that choosing the right one can be a challenge.

  • In the world beyond work I’m sure that a Father’s Day gift, or call, would go down well today.
  • If you know someone who has made a contribution to civil society in the UK you can recommend them for an award in the Queen’s Birthday, or New Year’s Honours List.
  • Simply remembering someone’s birthday or anniversary can make their day too. So can an unexpected card showing your appreciation for something they did (like the one in the illustration above, which I just got from a client. It definitely put a smile on my face).

Here Are Some Questions For Your Consideration

If making time for reflection, and being more mindful, is one of your health goals here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • How often in your busy schedule do you pause, and think of ways to show your appreciation of others’ efforts?
  • How far do you go beyond saying ‘thank you’ when you do so?
  • How will you show your appreciation for outstanding service to a colleague, friend or family member in the next 7 days?

Good luck with the week ahead of you. Let me know how you get on (and do respond today or tomorrow to my recent post on equality and diversity).

Feel free to look at the further ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile

Goals 2014: Are You Making The Progress You Want To On Your #GoalsInLife?

How Are You Feeling About Your 2014 Goals?

How Are You Feeling About Your 2014 Goals?

Your anticipation has been building for months.  Your heart beat a little faster as each week zipped by.  Now, finally, it is time for you to focus on goals (your own personal goals that is).

How Practical Did Your Goals Seem In January?

Obviously your team will measure how successful it is being during the FIFA World Cup.  Isn’t this a good time to measure your own success?

Perhaps back in early January everything looked straight forward.  You had 12 months in which to make progress on your goals relating to your: authentic leadership skills; management style; career path; work-life balance; health priorities.  Everything seemed possible.  Maybe you agreed specific goals with yourself, to make 2014 the year you:

  • pursued your next career milestone to get you into a more fulfilling job this autumn
  • created the ideal balance between your work and life, in line with your core values
  • actively competed at a sport to raise your confidence and energy levels

Well, here you are at the half way line.  Are you ready to kick off a discussion about your progress?

What Is The One Key Question You Can Ask Yourself About Your Progress?

There is probably only one key question to ask yourself, about the actions you have taken to further your aspirations to change.  Take a moment and answer honestly:

  • How happy are you with the outcomes of your actions and your rate of progress toward your goals?

What Is Your Next Action?

Hopefully you can say you are happy with your progress across the range of goals you selected six months ago.  In that case keep doing what you are doing, since it is obviously working for you.

What if you need coaching support to refocus your strategy for taking action to tackle your goals?  Then use the Contact form above, or connect with me on Twitter @RogerD_said

If you need to try a fresh approach I look forward to hearing from you.  Don’t forget, you should feel free to look at the other ideas relating to your work and life goals in the Archive section here, on Facebook and Google+ too.  Or if you are a Linkedin user you can visit View Roger Dennison’s profile too.