Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
Step One: Give them responsibility without authority – Many of us have had this experience: You find an item in a store that’s marked down to a sale price. The clerk scans the bar code and the regular price pops up on the screen. You point out that the item is marked with a lower price and get “the look”. It’s the look that means, “There is nothing I can do about this. I have to go by what the register says, or I get in trouble. And, before you ask, my manager is at lunch.” While you are rightfully annoyed by the snafu in your purchase, stop for a minute to put yourself in the shoes of an employee who is perfectly able to see the problem – i.e. the clearly marked sale price – and has no authority to do the right thing because the machine hasn’t been updated. There they stand, helpless, frustrated and directly in the crosshairs of your glare.
Employees who are well trained and given the authority to take...
Most couples who come for marriage counseling initially report experiencing very low levels of marital satisfaction. One couple I worked with told me at their first session that they had already planned to divorce, but thought they owed it to their children to try counseling.
The couple admitted that the majority of their conversations were filled with sarcasm, criticism, and other negative forms of communication and neither one could stand the hurt and anger any longer.
I suggested a challenge: Refrain from all negative comments and interactions for two weeks. The plan was that if they started to argue or fight, one or both needed to call a time, respectfully step out of the conflict, and focus on cooling down emotionally.
Two weeks later both reported they had reduced their negative comments and conflict by at least 75 percent. They were pleased with the change – especially for their children – but they didn’t really feel...
Unlike pieces of hardware that weren’t made to bend or flex, humans were designed with this capacity… and for good reason. We are bombarded daily with challenges and demands that can place pressure on us, especially in our relationships. If we want to be strong and resilient when the stresses of life come our way, we need to know whether we are likely to bend or break.
Some of the common pressures in the workplace involve changing deadlines, increased responsibilities, cancelled meetings, uncontrollable market or economic trends, long hours, demanding supervisors, negative co-workers and the list goes on.
Successful people don’t snap under these pressures because they have learned to be more flexible. This doesn’t mean they don’t care and it doesn’t minimize the significance of the stress. It means they are able to put their circumstances in perspective, which allows them to think, feel and behave in ways that will keep...
In my last blog I shared the first four of seven practical tips for managing your anger well. They were:
1. Understand what anger is
2. Control your initial response
3. Acknowledge your anger and its source
4. Tell yourself the truth
Those are the critical first steps to balancing the inner issues (thought processes) that set you up for either success or failure in anger management. Now let’s look at some external actions and choices you can make to help you put a stop to unhealthy reactions to anger.
5. Limit Your Exposure to the Things That Trigger Your Anger
Repeated exposure to stressful images, thoughts and situations can intensify your emotional response. If you find that your anger escalates when you watch the news, read the newspaper, or talk about an offense or injustice with a friend or co-worker, then you may need to significantly reduce or eliminate these activities. This could mean hiding posts from certain Facebook friends or other social media...
One of the major roadblocks to strong relationships, both at home and at work, is the inability to effectively manage one’s emotions. Of all the emotional, psychological and physical responses we experience in life, anger is perhaps the most challenging to process and control on a consistent basis.
How you choose to respond to your anger will make a difference in the quality of your relationships, your physical and emotional well-being, and your effectiveness in bringing about positive and constructive change in your life.
Today we will look at the first four of seven practical tips you can use to help manage your anger more effectively.
1. Understand What Anger Is
Anger is a natural, God-designed emotional and physiological response to negative or threatening circumstances in life. When you believe that you have been treated unfairly or harshly, or when you experience frustration associated with an unmet need or goal, your mind and body prepare for action. It is this...
By far, the number one problem identified by married couples is that they can't communicate effectively. It's actually somewhat hard to believe that this problem is so pervasive in homes today when you consider that these same couples often claim to not have difficulty communicating with friends and co-workers. What's up with this?
One of the main reasons couples have such a difficult time communicating at home is because their conversations involve "high stake" relationships along with "high stake" issues that are often highly emotionally charged.
I have found that one of the best ways to guarantee better communication when engaged in these difficult conversations is to learn how to be a skilled listener. I'm confident that if you consistently practice the tips below for the next thirty days you will see the quality of your communication improve significantly. Start putting these tips to work for your relationships today!
1. Listen twice as much as you talk
"It is far better...
I frequently hear women express concerns about their husbands not communicating affection or what they think and feel about many topics – especially about them, personally, and their marriage. The husband usually responds with comments like, “You know I’m not a talker” or “I can’t communicate as well as you can.”
Although most men do have the ability to effectively communicate with their wives they often don’t, and there are many different reasons that we won’t go into now.
Before we go farther, let me clarify that there are some couples in which it’s the wife who has the greater challenge with communication, but since the majority of “non-talkers” are men, we will assume this in order to keep it simple. If you are/have a quiet wife, feel free to apply the information as it suits your situation.
When I’m working with couples who are frustrated about one-sided communication, I often recommend a...
If it’s your job to lead a team of employees or volunteers, it can be a bit unnerving to know that the buck stops on your desk, but the group members are the ones who make you successful – or not. One of the leader’s most important functions is to inspire their team so everyone succeeds. Here are five principles to keep people motivated to do their best.
Create consensus & unity in purpose – People enjoy being part of something good, strong, and purposeful. Be sure your team meets together early on as you begin any project, so everyone hears the vision at the same time and has the opportunity to discuss ideas and ask questions. This ensures no team member is going into their assignment without adequate knowledge of what goal needs to be met or with a “lone ranger” attitude.
Celebrate diversity & unique contribution – The strength of a team lies in the combination of multiple sets of skills, talent, and experience working...
As the new year begins, we often give a lot more thought to things we want to do differently, better, or not at all. Many of us evaluate our calendars and priorities, and I was reminded that several years ago I came across an illustration in a newsletter that I have never forgotten. Karen Ann Bland had submitted this thought-provoking item:
“Imagine you had a bank that each morning credited your account with fourteen hundred forty dollars – under one condition: Whatever amount you failed to spend each day would be removed from your account, and no balance would be carried over.
What would you do? You’d probably withdraw every cent every day and use each one to your best advantage.
Well, you do have such a bank and its name is TIME. Every morning, this bank credits you with fourteen hundred forty minutes. And it writes off as forever lost whatever portion you’ve failed to invest to good purpose. Use your credit wisely!”
Wow! It is a simple, yet profound...
If you’re reading this blog in the days before Christmas, maybe you have found a quiet moment either before or after a flurry of activity, family gatherings, celebrating and opening gifts. Or maybe your day doesn’t include any of that because you’re not close to your family – whether that’s by physical distance or emotional separation.
Quiet moments are rare for some of us and “the usual” for others, but either way, they give us opportunity to reflect on the important things in life. In your quiet times, do you think about what you may be missing, or wish you had more – or less – of? Life is meant to be a balance of work and leisure, happiness, and sorrow, expressing and listening, giving, and receiving. Christmas and other holidays tend to magnify these aspects of life – the highs are higher, and the lows are lower. Sometimes people are overwhelmed with difficult emotions like regret, grief, and loneliness. It is not...
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