Which 4 Letter Word Keeps You Moving Forward?

Sunset Framed By Hands

What Will Motivate You Tomorrow? – Picture From Unsplash.com From Mayur Gala

The biopic documenting the life of Apple Founder Steve Jobs will be on screens soon. There are plenty of lessons to take from his innovative approach to life. I like the ones which flow from the memorable commencement speech he gave at Stanford University 10 years ago. That speech included these lines:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I think there are a couple of key ideas in this section of the speech

  • Your inner voice reflects your history, so it is best to pay attention to what it says
  • If you set boundaries for yourself you tune out noisy and unhelpful opinions
  • Caring about your self and others helps you move forward toward your goals

There is an extra bit of pathos in those words, since Steve Jobs knew his time was limited. He was living with cancer as he spoke (he died in October 2011).

Which 4 Letter Word Is More Important For You?

Is it Need? (meaning your wisdom and inner voice tell you something is necessary)?

  • You are driven to take action because your bills need to be paid
  • You need a more senior role in your organisation

Is it Love? (your overwhelming interest and pleasure in something)?

  • Your achievements come from rising to a fresh challenge
  • You are happiest producing an outcome that exceeds expectations

Will Need Or Love Drive You Forward Next Year?

Sometimes we can get so busy with life we lose sight of our driving force.

As far as I can tell Steve Jobs was driven by his love of a challenge and a desire to innovate. What’s true for you?

The people I have coached enjoy reconnecting with their motivation to be happier in themselves as well as more productive team players. Handy attributes to have, especially during tough economic times, when they focus is producing more, quicker and with less resources.

So, which principle – need or love – will help you with your goals next year? Use the Reply space to share your thinking with this community.

Extra Help On Offer

Would you appreciate some extra help working out which of your priorities to pay attention to? Then there is a free download available via this link (just fill in your name and email details then hit the blue button on the left hand side of the page)

https://experienceyourlife.coachesconsole.com/

 

4 Steps Toward Workplace Inclusion And Emotional Intelligence In #NIW2015

Human Nature: Bringing Empathy To Work - Picture From Dantada From Morguefile.com

Human Nature: Bringing Empathy To Work – Picture From Dantada From Morguefile.com

According to recent research into artificial intelligence (AI)* by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in future there will be many jobs which will be destroyed, or at least done better, because machines have become smarter.

Emotional Not Artificial Intelligence

Luckily National Inclusion Week started today. That programme of developmental events highlights EI (Emotional Intelligence) rather than AI.

Therefore us human beings have a little more time to focus on the way we work with each other. Our goals can remain becoming more successful in delivering results and growing more skilled, innovative and service-focused at work.

Benefits of NIW2015

#NIW2015 highlights the business benefits on offer when people feel more valued, respected and listened to. Those factors help us challenge the status quo.

The benefits to organisations include:

  • More successful results for customers, provided by staff whose values are respected
  • Productive teams, where colleagues work well together towards shared goals
  • High morale, as people are engaged on work which makes good use of their skills

4 Ways To Boost Inclusion And EI

  • Ask staff what systems work well and which could be adjusted to create better results
  • Ensure that each team member has a goal which contributes to organisational goals
  • Prioritise personal development goals, which help staff grow more confident
  • Make sure that equality and diversity good practice is carried out, so that staff can flourish

Have Your Say About Workplace Culture

What is the culture like where you work? Are you able to speak up and suggest change? If you are a leader, what will you do this week to make your workplace feel a bit more human?  Use the Comment section to have your say.

Sharing This Discussion

Thanks for reading this post about National Inclusion Week. If you found it useful feel free to share it with a friend and Like it as well.

*Follow the link for information about Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Cannot Replace
http://bit.ly/Brynjolfsson_And_McAfee_The_Jobs_Which_AI_Cannot_Replace

Are You OK Mate? 3 Ways In Which Receiving Support Lifts Your Mood

Road Signs Showing Men Working

Men At Work From Morguefile.com

Here is a sobering statistic.

This year 75% of people in the UK taking their own life will be men.

That is 3 men for every 1 woman.

Strong And Silent

Generally men in mid-life say ‘Yes’ if you ask ‘Are you OK?’

It is best to be strong and silent. Man up. Keep working. Or get wasted. Or withdraw.

Tears are best kept for football. That’s a crying shame.

Those 40 somethings are the ones at greater risk.

Potential To Grow

I am lucky enough to have supported some men working through their personal development goals (and received support myself).

It seems obvious that men’s actual inner state can be weighing them down while outwardly there are no signs of distress.

Behind the facade there can be turmoil. Turmoil does not lead directly to self harm. It doesn’t help though.

Life is better with fewer obstacles to growth. It is hard to believe that you can grow if you don’t feel like you can exercise leadership in your own life.

What Could Men Learn From Women?

As a rule women will look for and find support. Women talk about their stuff, where guys will keep their hurt to themselves.

Maybe part of masculinity is being open to help?

Benefits Of Being Listened To

Today seems like a good day to start talking about the benefits of receiving help if you are carrying a heavy burden.

In my experience being listened to deeply can be an intense experience. It changes things. It is a big victory for some guys to take action on their goals.

Here Are 3 Ways Guys Initially Benefit From Support

They experience

  • caring help as they set priorities
  • more confidence as they tackle priorities and move past long standing blockages
  • fewer burdens and more happiness

After their confidence increases it becomes easier to keep moving forward. Doors keep opening once they practice their action-based skills.

Share This Information

Thanks for reading this post. Comment below if these ideas have struck a chord with you. Use Twitter @RogerD_Said if you perfer.

If you are sharing the post with your followers on Twitter you can use the hashtag #RUOK to be included in the wider conversation.

Finally, follow this link for more information on 10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day

 

http://www.samaritans.org/wspd

Does Your #SocialMediaPresence Deserve A Thumbs Up?

 

How Well Does Your Use Of Social Media Connect You To Your Community? Picture From Gabor From Hungary From Morguefile.com

How Well Does Your Use Of Social Media Connect You To Your Community? Picture From Gabor From Hungary From Morguefile.com

You are not alone if you visit social media sites to get information to help you with a problem.

According to http://internetlivestats.com Google now processes over 40,000 search engine queries every second on average.

Imagine getting a thumbs up from someone in your community for posting something which precisely answers one of those queries and makes their problem go away.

If you make someone that happy they could potentially become one of your passionate customers.

How Does Your Content Solve Specific Problems?

Two weeks ago I spoke about tackling social media goals to an audience of startups and micro business people. One of the questions which came was how to create content which generates more engagement.

Audience members were frustrated having written an attention grabbing headline and great content, only to have no one comment on it.

Some entrepreneurs in the audience felt like giving up when their carefully written posts seemed to have no impact.

I thought there could be one missing element in those posts: a call to action.

What’s The Purpose Of Calling People To Action?

The audience and I talked about what kind of posts had impact and why.

We also discussed what could be done with less impactful posts to get people to engage.

We agreed that their social media content probably solved the problem which the questioner was facing.

What could be done to take that conversation further? Calling the audience to take action.

We recognised that content which stands out from the flood of posts calls the questioner to take action. Those posts invite people to engage with the content creator. The engagement benefits both the person with the enquiry and the content supplier.

Benefits Of Calling Your Community To Action

For the person with the problem it is useful to stay in touch with a reliable source of information. Who knows what further insight that source could offer in future?

For the supplier expanding their community has several benefits.

  • Their expert profile increases as more people come to know them.
  • They can experience word of mouth recommendation, as their audience likes what they do.
  • They can prove so trustworthy that people respond to their products, services or projects.      

3 Ways To Add Value With Your Social Media Presence

  • Deliver information which helps to resolve a problem for a specific community member
  • Keep your presentation as simple and straight-forward as possible
  • Prompt your reader to take an action by leaving their comment, sharing your post, hitting the Like button, or trusting you with their email address so you can offer them future service

Here’s How To Continue This Conversation

Thanks for reading this post. I hope it has got you thinking about your use of social media. What will you now do to better connect with your community?

I’ll be exploring these themes in more detail in a workshop on 12 September (more information in future posts). Meanwhile here are some questions you can feedback on:

  • Who wrote the most effective post you have engaged with this year?
  • What made you comment having read it?
  • What else did it inspire you to do?
  • Who did you share it with?


Use the comment space below to add your voice to the discussion. If you Tweet your reply to @RogerD_Said please include the hashtag #SocialMediaPresence to make it easy to follow the conversation.

How Does Your Community Benefit When You Act Like A #GoodWolf ?

How Does Your Good Wolf Inspire Others?

How Does Your Good Wolf Inspire Others? – picture credit to Brigwer from Morguefile.com

How often do you ‘click’ with someone and find a way to support them in their goals?

I am lucky to be connected to several professional development networks. That means I have the chance to support others quite often. It feels good to pay it forward.

You have to be in the right frame of mind yourself to help someone else out. It is easier in some ways to be focused on your own agenda. Easier isn’t always best though.

Here’s a story about helping someone focus, inspired by Cherokee Nation culture.

 

The One You Feed

A grandfather and grandson are seated in Nature, deep in conversation.

The young man is troubled.

He tells his grandfather about the feelings of anger, envy and self-pity he has.

His grandfather tells him about the two wolves we all have within us.

The wolves are always circling each other, battling for supremacy.

One wolf is mournful, holding on to bad feelings from the past.

The other wolf is bright, joyful, loving and empathic.

Puzzled, the young man asks.

 

“If they are always there within us, which wolf wins the battle?

 

The grandfather paused.

His reply?

 

“It depends on the one you feed.

 

Contributing To Your Community

I know from my own experience that feeding the wrong wolf makes life miserable.

Spending too much time looking at set-backs leaves you stuck. It makes you self-centred. It weighs you down. It means you aren’t aware of others’ needs and don’t meet them.

I first experienced coaching (as a client) in the early 2000s. I had ended up overwhelmed by a project I was involved with. The experience of being coached made the process of returning to normal (being part of a team, producing great results) much easier.

 

What did I learn from the experience?

Being connected to your community is good. Being of service to that community is better. Taking positive action to help the community move forward is best.

 

How Can You Help The Communities To Which You Belong?

Tapping into your good wolf mind-set means you are better placed to help others. Your optimism inspires others to work optimistically because you understand others’ lives.

That kind of Empathy comes easily to good wolves. You can find out more about Empathy by clicking the link below.

http://bit.ly/BBC_Can_Empathy_Be_Taught_Roman_Krznaric

 

Want To Keep This Conversation Going?

Thank you for dropping by, reading this post, following, sharing and taking action that helps you experience a more fulfilling life.

I’d love to know how you change your thoughts when they get stuck in the negative zone. What’s your secret? How do you motivate your team / community to act positively and produce better results?

Leave your comments below. Your feedback is bound to be valuable to others in the community.

Don’t forget to share this post with the wolves you know.

 

 

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

 

 

Tackle Your #CoachingGoals – Top 5 Ideas For Engaging With Potential Clients

Support Personal Development And Spread Happiness

Support Personal Development And Spread Happiness

It is always good to spend time continuing professional development. Gaining more skills means you provide a better service to others, while living out your values. What could be better than helping to solve someone’s problem so they get their smile back?

Do You Know Someone Losing Sleep Over Their Problems?

Obviously I am proud to know so many people in professions which help others. All those others need, is a willingness to take action. Anything is possible if they are ready to put an end to their sleepless nights.

Which is why it is handy to have real / virtual access to the community of helpful people. People who coach; people who are NLP practitioners; women and men who are therapists.

How Do You Start Conversations Which Help Solve Problems?

Any time I get together with these helpers the conversation returns to the basic theme. What approaches work well when building powerful and authentic problem-solving connections?

In the last 7 days I have gained a bunch of insight from others’ marketing wisdom. Some of it has been completely new. Some insights put a fresh perspective on information I already had.

Here are some headlines you might find useful if your profession helps others perform better.

Top 5 Ideas For Engaging With Potential Clients

  • Allow your outreach plan to signpost your next step. That’s the step which makes more potential clients aware of the benefits they gain by knowing more about your work
  • The simple step after just knowing about you? Keep providing service. Go deeper so people really like and trust the benefits you offer
  • Use the client’s language so they savour the sound / sight / taste / feel / smell of their exciting future
  • When you offer to help solve their problem pause. That creates a space for the other person to decide how to respond
  • Practice self-care. Be mindful about making the best impression you can while building the relationship and offering service. Accept that the other person could still say ‘No’. Don’t take it to heart if they do (you might be able to signpost them to someone else, which is still a good service)

Caring But Not Too Much

The last point is the tricky one.

Obviously you care about explaining the benefits of your service to the other person. You want them to connect the dots, so it is obvious that you can solve their problem.

Don’t do what I did after attending one corporate meeting. I thought it would be plain sailing once I sat down with the decision makers (and submitted a follow up proposal).

When I did not receive a response I emailed the decision makers. I waited.

No response.

Finally I called their virtual assistant.

She took a message and promised to pass it on. The silence which followed triggered a light bulb above my head.

The organisation was not into my proposal. They used a passive silence to get that message cross.

Lesson learned, I moved on.

Giving Credit For These Insights

  • Hat tip to Clive Maxheath of the Men’s Action Project (full disclosure I Co-organises a MeetUp group for coaches with Clive) you can follow @Coachpreneurs on Twitter too. Details of Clive’s MAP work are available via the following link http://www.meetup.com/TheMAP/
  • I also enjoyed learning more about marketing from a great a range of speakers led by Carole Bozkurt and Ann Marie Mayling at the Blueprint Practice – you can visit them here http://blueprintpractice.com/

What is your favourite strategy for engaging clients?

Go ahead and use the comment section to share your favourite strategy. How do you build your presence in an authentic way? How assertive do you need to be when you engage with clients (I’m leading a workshop on assertion on 5 July so the issue is very topical)?

I’m looking forward to reading your replies. The community reading your comments will be grateful for your wisdom too.

Finally, remember to share this post if you have found it useful, so others can benefit from reading it.