Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
An integral part of being successful is continual growth. In order to succeed in your personal life and your professional life you have to stretch, learn and grow. Intellectually and emotionally. And in order to remain successful you have to keep stretching, learning and growing. You are either developing and enhancing your abilities, or you are slipping backwards. There is no status quo in life. It is always moving, things are always changing.
This need for constant growth can either motivate you or it can stop you in your tracks. The reason people get stopped is fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure. When you push forward you may stumble, but that stumble is part of the learning process. Successful people are constantly pushing themselves to get better. They realize it is the experiences they go through in life that teach them the most. I am an avid reader – but I know that book learning is only a part of my overall development. Just like you, I need to get out of the chair and embrace challenges.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to face your fear. When faced head on you will find that the reality is much less a problem than what you imagined in your mind. Your mind exploits and expands upon a fear. There is a part of your primitive brain that works very hard to keep you out of dangerous situations. You need to be aware of this and understand that a large portion of your fear is just your subconscious doing what it is programmed to do. Most of the fear is unfounded.
You can help move past this fear by doing a few things.
First – do the prep work. Athletes practice for months and years to compete at a high level. Investors research business fundamentals before laying there cash down. If you need to make a presentation (one of the most common fears of all) learn your subject forward and backward and then practice. In all these cases, by having done the background work you know you are well prepared.
Second – give yourself permission to fail. I know this sounds a little nuts, but by giving yourself permission you lessen the fear of it happening. The fear of embarrassment and of failure can lead physical and mental paralysis. When you tell yourself that it is okay to stumble you lessen the chance you will freeze if you do. Everyone makes mistakes – but the most successful people just keep on moving forward. They know it can happen but they do not let it dictate where they are going.
Third – Say yes to new experiences. Don’t let an automatic “no” come out of you mouth. If you are invited to an event that in the past you would not have attended - attend.
If you are asked to make a presentation that you normally would decline – accept it.
If you are asked to participate in a group activity – go for it.
Acknowledge the fact that your primitive brain is trying to keep your out of danger, but that these are not “dangerous” situations.
Through these new experiences you will retrain your mind as to what is possible and you will find that a whole new world of opportunities opens up to you. Don’t let your primitive brain hold you back. You have too much to offer and share with the world. Let everyone around you benefit from their interaction with you.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This Month’s Tip:
Get out of your office. Management By Walking Around (MBWA) does work. You make yourself more approachable. You get information first-hand. You find out what's really happening.
5 Step Problem Solving Plan
When we look at many aspects of our lives, our instinctive reaction is to pay attention to the deficits of the situation, to what’s wrong. When you ask people, “what is the most effective way to solve the problem?” 83 percent choose “find out what is wrong and fix it.” I call this Deficit Attention Disorder, and I suggest that it merely serves to amplify problems rather than solve them. A more productive and positive approach looks like this:
1) Define the problem as objectively as possible. Leave out any judgments. Simply state the facts as if a video camera were replaying the issue to you.
2) Know that attention amplifies everything, so detach yourself from what you perceive as being the source of the problem. Your focus on it will only exacerbate it. You are not fixing the problem. The problem is simply showing you something.
3) Change follows the line of your questioning, so ask, “What does it look like when it’s working?”
4) Define three steps you can take to shift the situation toward the imagined future that your question helped you create. This is the best use of your energy. Ensure that the steps allow you to use identified strengths or will help your create strong-moments.
5) Look for evidence that your steps are having the intended result. Keep asking “what’s working?” and focus on further expanding the success of your intent. The problem will shrivel.
When problems do occur, don’t analyze them, or break them down and ruminate over their meaning. They don’t mean anything. They just are. Shift your focus to what working looks and feels like, and then dedicate your energy to manifesting that. Problems don’t magically disappear, but they do transform when your attention is on generating a positive vision.
Reprinted from the Inside Strengths Newsletter from the Marcus Buckingham Company
High-Fiving Your Way to a ChampionshipWith the NBA playoffs in full bloom, I’m looking for something a little different as I try to assess who might win this year’s title. I’m looking for high fives, butt pats and chest bumps.
During last year’s championships, The Wall Street Journal wrote about a study done by researchers at Cal-Berkeley. The VERY academic title of the paper was “Tactile Communication, Cooperation and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA.” (Trust me when I tell you the Journal piece was much easier to read than the white paper!) The basic premise: The team that shares the most “physical contact” with each other is an odds-on bet to win it all. The Cal researchers watched every game from an NBA season and reported that the teams that “touched” most often were more trusting, cooler in tough times, played better and won more games.
In last year’s NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks were 82 percent more likely to high-five their teammates than the Heat were, according to the Journal’s review of games. The Mavericks won four games to two, despite the fact they were serious underdogs to the “star-studded” Miami team.
The greatest coach of all time, John Wooden, made it a requirement that whenever his players at UCLA scored a basket that they acknowledge the player who passed them the ball. It could be as simple as a nod or a slap on the behind on the way by, but each player HAD to recognize his teammate. Once, Coach Wooden told me, a player asked: “Coach, what if my teammate isn’t looking when I say thanks.”
Coach Wooden’s response: “Trust me, when you recognize your teammate, he’ll notice.”
There is no doubt that taking time to deliver a high five to a teammate has an impact.
Reprinted from blog.success.com, written by Don Yeager