You probably know people who are always negative and reactive. It seems to be part of their personality. Being positive and pro-active seems an impossibility for them. They don’t seem to know how. While that may not be you, we all do tend to lapse into negative and reactive thinking at times, often when we are stressed, meeting deadlines, coping with difficult people or just having a bad day. We can get stuck there, or we can quickly lift ourselves out of it. Once we used to think that we had little capacity to change that. It was the way we were and we attributed it to our parenting, our socialisation or so many other external circumstances, too numerous to mention. With our recent understanding of neuroscience and how the brain works, we now know that if we want to we can change all that. We can move from being negative to being positive, from being reactive to being pro-active. We can develop a positive and pro-active explanatory style. It will change your life.Read More
How to engage with the new world of work is my Monday Motivational message for you. I used to send these a few years ago. They were well received and I’m going to begin again because in the last few months I’ve talked with a number of colleagues who are very disengaged from their work. Many don’t know what they can do about it, are resigned to it being their lot and lack the motivation to do anything about it.
So if you are jaded and disengaged at work, this is for you.
I was talking with a colleague recently. I asked the usual question: “How’s everything going with you?” She replied: “Same old, same old. Do you know I’ve been with XX company now for 15 years and I’ve realised I’m here to stay”. She is 45.
Every part of her being displayed flatness and jadedness – the way she was dressed and groomed, the lack of light in her eyes, the dullness of her skin, her overweight body. It all epitomised her lack of physical and psychological energy. And as she implies, she is there to stay working in that space until she is 70, another 25 years! Who will she be then? What will she have become?
In fact, my colleague won’t be there for another 25 years unless she changes her attitude drastically. She’ll be made redundant by the exponential change that sees people like her moved on while those with high energy and drive move up. Her professional sector is being highly transformed by digital technology. Those in her sector who will thrive are those who enthusiastically embrace those changes, who become a learner, who commit to developing the skills that technology cannot replicate and who engage pro-actively with this new world of work.
I recently re-visited Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In : Women, Work and the Will To Lead”. I had 3 women approach me for mentoring in the one week. I remembered she has some excellent advice on Mentoring. While this is normal part of my work, it is always helpful to step back now and again and reflect on what I am doing as a mentor and why I am doing it.
There was one part of her Chapter 5 on “Are You My Mentor?” that really got me thinking about my initial conversations with these 3 new mentees. She believes that many women coming for mentoring want a dependency relationship with their mentor which she says is not at all helpful for women. So what she said provoked me to think about how I wanted to engage with my 3 new mentees so that the relationship was an empowering one for them. I share my 7 insights here with my readers.Read More
Mike sent me an email that went like this:
I employed a 22 year old new graduate for a position in my organisation. She presented well at interview and I was very impressed with her attitude. I wanted someone with more experience but here (in the regional centre where he is based) it is very difficult to get people with the experience I want. So as everybody says: “Hire for attitude and train for skills”, I hired her.
Her 3 month probation period is almost due and I can’t see how I can keep her on. I fear I have to dismiss her. I’m quite anxious about it and the impact it will have on her. I feel responsible because I hired her knowing that she didn’t have the skills I wanted. I thought that with her enthusiasm and my support she would develop them. Now I realise that the job is way above her and it’s not just about developing skills, but having experience.
What did Mike do that was a win/win outcome?
With everything changing so rapidly and with so much new information, ideas and opinions being available on a daily basis, there’s not a lot I want to read twice. There’s even less that I want to watch more than once. But Simon Sinek’s original TED talk from 2009 on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is a video I have watched at least twice a year ever since. In fact in the first few years after he presented, I would have watched it three to four times each year.
It was his book Start With Why that captured people’s imagination and saw us all begin to see the importance of knowing what our WHY was. He called on leaders who wanted to become great to find your Why because that was what would inspire their action.
I now notice that 34,288,830 people have watched it on video. Yes, more than 34 million! Pretty incredible isn’t it? He had a message that has stood the test of time. You can watch his 18 minute video here.
Managing our time is one of our greatest challenges whether at work or outside of work. How do we find the time to do the things that are important to us? Why do we feel so often that we spend our days doing things that really do not make a difference to our lives?
Stop and think for a minute because if you are like many people the main reason you spend your time on trivialities is because you procrastinate about doing the things of value that really make a difference. Why would you do that? Why would you not do what is in your own best interests to do? Because they are usually the hardest things to do. They demand much of you. They require self-discipline. They call on you to dig deep and to get out of your comfort zone. So instead of doing them you procrastinate. You put them off. Have you noticed how very stressful procrastinating is?
Brian Tracy’s classic book “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” has plenty of ways you can beat that thief that steals your time – procrastination.
How much significance do you give to the recruitment and training of your receptionist? Of course, you pay great attention to the appointment of your professional service staff. Their importance to the organisation is obvious because they are providing the service to your clients and customers that will determine whether you gain their business and more importantly maintain it. However your receptionist is the face of your organisation, your director of first impressions. That person is the first person your clients and customers speak to or meet when they make contact with your organisation. The way she or he speaks and acts, dresses, is groomed, will either enhance their impressions of your organisation or have them not wanting to come back and looking for an alternative.Read More
How many of you who are not able to afford to buy a house today wish you had saved more money along the way? How many of you wished you’d known how to save money? You might be on the back foot at the moment, but you can make the decision not to let…Read More
Make it a priority to focus on strengths with all the people you interact with.
Acknowledge their strengths. Draw their attention to them.
Challenge them to use their strengths to achieve their goals, to be successful.
Follow them up next week, and next month. Continue to encourage and support them.
It’s their strengths that help them to manage, overcome or counterbalance their weaknesses, what challenges them.
If the focus is always on their inadequacies, what is wrong with them, what they need to change and improve, many give up. They do not know how to do it. They do not recognise they have the resources within – strengths – to do it. So focus on strengths, not weaknesses.
Be the catalyst to help them recognise their untapped talents and potential.
Be the person to change their life.
How often have you waited for the time to be right and in retrospect missed out on a great opportunity?
How many years have you actually been waiting for the time to be right to do what you really want to do, knowing it will change your life, that action changes things?
As Napoleon Hill has said: Don’t wait! The time will never be right.
You want to go back to do your MBA but you wonder if you should wait until the children are older.
You’re a professional woman who wants to start a family and you wonder if you should do it now you are 29 years old or wait another 6 or 7 years until your career is more established.
You want to leave corporate life and start your own business but you wonder whether the economy will support you at this time.
You’ve been heading your department now for 12 months and believe you need to restructure if you are going to achieve the goals you have set, but you are concerned whether this is the right time
You want to talk with your CEO about your future in the organisation and what she can offer you for your career development. You’ve been delaying doing it for 6 months now, waiting for the right time.
You’ve been thinking and pondering for some time now, but you keep your foot on the brake.
How do you decide the right time?