Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
This time of year we are bombarded with messages about gratitude. Thanksgiving reminds us to literally “give thanks” for the blessings we enjoy. But I wonder how many of us really “dig in” and go beyond a quick list of people, possessions and experiences we have in our lives.
How much more grateful would you feel if you went deeper into your list? Here’s an exercise to try:
These statements can spur creative and expansive thinking that will enrich your relationships with a deeper appreciation. You can modify the items to fit the situation, but let’s look at some examples to get you started.
I give thanks to my mom for teaching me how to cook. Because of this blessing I have learned that I can prepare...
Everyone struggles with a lack of confidence at times. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population experiences low self-esteem and consequently, low self-confidence at some point in their life.
We all know the feeling of inadequacy and incompetence. It can happen when you face a new job, new relationship, or an unknown situation. There is some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, but you don’t want to get stuck in low self-confidence because it can impact every aspect of your life. It can be at the root of disappointing friendships and love relationships, lower long-term earning potential and missed opportunities for high quality jobs and promotions. There is also strong correlation between low self-confidence and substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other destructive conditions and behaviors.
People with low self-confidence are more likely to have trouble starting and maintaining quality...
For most people, getting married and establishing a life with that special someone is one of our greatest desires. And it’s not surprising, considering that we are social beings with a need for secure attachment. Being securely attached to someone in a committed relationship is a vital source of stability, safety and contentment – or at least that’s what we want!
Unfortunately, we can be blinded by those desires and overlook some important red flags. I recently created this list that will help you understand when you should get “spooked” about getting married and slow down… or even run!
Marriage, in its original design, is a sacred commitment that promises fulfillment, stability, partnership and purpose. But it only works well if it is based on a firm foundation. Be very cautious, or avoid the altar altogether if…
1. Your partner doesn’t share your strongly held faith...
To feel successful and be satisfied in life, a person needs a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Let’s look at what these qualities are and how they work together.
“Esteem” in Latin means to appraise, value, rate, weigh, or estimate. Simply stated, your self-esteem reflects what you believe about yourself – positive, negative, or neutral. Your beliefs in turn influence the quality of your emotions. And, in many cases, it is the quality of both your beliefs and emotions that strongly influences and shapes your behavior.
Self-esteem generally covers two primary types of belief. The first involves beliefs related to self-efficacy. This fancy word means the degree to which you believe you can succeed at something or accomplish a certain task. For example, if you have a strong sense of self-efficacy and your boss assigns you a difficult project you may think, “Wow, this won’t be easy, but I can get it done.” Weak...
Leading is challenging enough without becoming your own worst enemy and having to deal with the potential negative fallout associated with the 10 common leadership mistakes listed below. Take a moment and ask yourself if you might fall prey to one or more of these mistakes. If so, identify some action steps that will help you avoid these potential pitfalls in the future.
Workers appreciate a visible leader – someone who takes a personal interest in the work that’s being done by making it a priority to get to know those who are doing it. Make sure you always have an open door policy that is more than just talk or a print you hang on the wall.
Good leaders make it a priority to keep the vision of the organization fresh and focused. The consistent presence of a well-defined vision provides motivation, enthusiasm and purpose for those responsible for carrying it out. Live your vision, don’t just talk about...
In last week’s blog I shared the first five of ten keys to confronting well. Have you had an opportunity to practice those principles in a confrontation? If so, let us know in the comments below!
Confrontation can be a scary proposition, but when you learn to do it well it can be the key to resolving differences and strengthening trust in your relationships. Here are the last five keys to confronting well.
Expressing what you feel openly and honestly at the outset of a difficult conversation will help to reduce anxiety and diffuse pent up emotion that might otherwise escalate during the discussion. For example, stating, “I am angry” will actually help prevent anger from controlling your responses.
Although the person you are confronting may not like what you have to say, if you appropriately communicate your concerns, they are much more likely to...
Many people struggle with confronting well. The thought of speaking up, especially during a conflict or uncomfortable situation, can be almost paralyzing. However, the ability to effectively confront tough issues by clearly stating what you think, feel, and want can be one of the most valuable interpersonal skills a person can possess.
This week we will look at the first five of the ten keys to confronting well so you can be prepared for those difficult conversations.
Stick to the facts only when describing your concern or complaint. If you begin by talking about the other person’s motives or intentions, you’re likely to trigger a defensive or angry reaction.
Address the action or behavior without attacking the person with criticism, name calling or blame. Negative personal comments can damage your relationship, even into the future.
Reserve the lectures for the...
Patience is a virtue, they say. If your patience is being tested and tried, it can be hard to see what value you receive from your situation. Being “good for goodness’ sake” may seem like a low return on your investment of frustration, but in reality you gain significant value by exercising patience.
People often confuse patience with apathy or being a wimp, so I looked it up in a thesaurus and found an impressive variety of synonyms – words like composure, endurance, perseverance, poise, tolerance and self-control. None of those words suggest weakness or indifference – and in fact, those two words are actually listed in the thesaurus as antonyms (opposites) of patience!
A misunderstanding of patience can lead to the notion that when a challenge arises, you should simply not respond, but that can cause more problems – unresolved issues, resentment, bitterness, and the expectation that things will never get better. Patience is better...
Labor Day got me thinking about how the concept of work has changed over the years. I respect and applaud men and women who work with their hands in trades and services, especially because so much of the work being done today is in an office environment. That is where our focus is today, but even if you are a craftsman or laborer, you will find some benefit in these recommendations.
Do you want to improve your performance and get more done at work? If you’re an honest, hard-working employee, manager or executive your answer is probably “yes”. In my consultations with executive coaching clients, working smarter, streamlining efficiency and increasing productivity are nearly always included in their primary goals. So one tool we use regularly is a list of time killers at the office. This list is comprised of activities that on the surface seem harmless or even important, but in reality can greatly undermine the quality and quantity of work we...
During a recent executive coaching session the topic of employee turnover came up. My client shared what has been an ongoing problem in his company: losing star performers. Recognizing the tremendous expense associated with recruiting, hiring and training as well as losses in production and efficiency, he wanted to know what his company could do keep their best employees.
In addition to the obvious factors of competitive benefits and salaries, here are some of the key strategies to help you keep your best employees:
1. Regularly acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions.
2. Make sure they stay positively challenged and stretched.
3. Frequently revisit your vision and mission with genuine enthusiasm and passion.
4. Groom them for greater responsibility.
5. Give them regular feedback along with clear suggestions for improvement.
6. Empower them and then stay out of their way. When Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the Union armies in...