Have you experienced this?
Your company’s exciting innovation is almost ready to introduce to your clients. You and your team are totally jazzed about the benefits it offers. You know it will be a home run and anticipate the rollout announcement any moment! Or, so you thought.
Just down the hall, another team is agonizing over extensive process definition and associated documentation to cover every possible circumstance that might arise before launching the product or service. “It has to be perfect!!” they say. Maddening, Right?!
On which side of this common conundrum do you most often land? While in leadership with global organizations, frustration over the tedious bureaucracy and paperwork required to take a project to the finish line was a regular occurrence.
It is now evident that sitting on the other side of that equation is an instinctive fit for me. I have an innate tendency to ask lots of “What if...” and “If, then…” questions, especially about the impact of decisions on the stakeholders of stakeholders of stakeholders. My business partner, Shari Strong would tell you, quite accurately, that I am not truly satisfied that “it is perfect”, until the level of impact includes world peace and all the documentation and pretty fliers to prove it.
“Perfection”, like “Paralysis by Analysis”, can impede progress toward business growth. How many times do we get caught up in the minutia of details that wouldn’t be a blip on most anyone else’s radar screen? I am fortunate to have a business partner who balances my propensity to dot every “I” and cross every “t” before moving forward and is also equipped with a natural compulsion to complete things. Because we have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what comes as naturally as breathing to each of us, we more quickly come to consensus on an approach that honors both of our Unique Genius.
When it comes to the product/service rollout scenario, we are easily able to arrive on the aspects of the product or service that will most serve our clients and move swiftly to get that in their hands. We then engage our clients in the refinement process. This approach allows both of us to play to our strengths while leveraging each other’s.
1. The investment made in identifying, accessing and applying my Top 5 Talent Themes via the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment produces an ever-increasing ROI.
2. My Top 5 serve me flawlessly most of the time, however, there are circumstances when they can impede progress and frustrate others.
3. Leveraging the strengths of a partner, colleague or family member’s can amplify success.
Celebrating Your Unique Genius,
Lori Weir, CEO
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Chief Executive Officer of Strong Communities®
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Happy 2019 StrengthsGenius family!
As you took stock of 2018 and created your New Year Resolutions, we hope that you took a few moments to reflect on all the things that are oh so right with you and recognized your inherent value as a Unique Genius.
Which of your strengths came into play for you over the past year? Which ones would you like to see show up for you in 2019? Looking for some extra motivation this year? Register for our exclusive webinar : Beyond Talents: The 7 Motivations (more details below).
At StrengthsGenius.coach, we’ve resolved to practice better communication in 2019. By now, you already know that we are not shy about communicating – we LOVE to talk, present, inform, and hear your stories. But, we recognize that there is always room for improvement, and we have determined to be more intentional about the quality of communication we engage in with our various stakeholders. We invite you to join us in developing your communication skills throughout the year. Here are some of our considerations and strategies that you can use moving forward.
#1. Active Listening
Have you ever been in a conversation and completely tuned out what the other person was saying? Perhaps you can easily recall examples of when you were speaking and felt unheard or ignored. Active listening can help us make sure that we are paying attention to the messages that are said as well as the underlying messages that may not be explicitly stated.
Active listening involves:
Active listening helps to ensure that the way we interpret a message aligns with the speaker’s intentions and goals for that message. When practiced well, active listening helps to establish rapport between communicators, aids in problem solving, and allows us to build trust.
#2. Responding Instead of Reacting
When faced with high-stress (or frankly low-stress) interactions, we sometimes have the tendency to react emotionally to a stimulus. Think of the last time your felt scared, embarrassed, or threatened. What was your reaction? Did you scream, curse, cry, shut down, gossip, run away, or fall to your knees? When our emotions are triggered, it’s easy to take them as absolute truth and sometimes act dramatically to express our frustration, humiliation, or fear.
To respond instead of reacting to an uncomfortable situation requires us to pause and notice the feelings that we are having. It is helpful in these moments to take a breath, take our time, and assess the situation for what is really going on.
Perhaps a coworker offended you with a callous remark. Rather than internalizing the remark as true, going off on your colleague, or talking down about them to other coworkers, practice the following:
In assessing your immediate reaction to the comment, you can better understand how to respond. You might:
Responding rather than reacting allows us to build more compassionate communication, which can help minimize emotional roadblocks that stand between us and meeting our goals.
Communication is our most powerful tool. Let’s agree to sharpen it, shall we? We hope you join us in being more effective communicators in 2019. Let us know how you’re doing; we’d love to hear from you!
One more thing...
Ever wonder why we do the things we do? Our exclusive webinar Beyond Talents: The Seven Motivations explores the seven motivators of human behavior and provides tips and tricks to unlocking the key to your personal motivation. Help ensure that you’ll meet your 2019 resolutions by signing up now and attending this Members Only Free course!
Date: January 25th, 2019
Time: 12:30 ET/ 11:30 CT
Duration: 90 min
One of the biggest growth opportunities we see for professionals in our corporate leadership workshops is with those who want to be effective team leaders but haven’t quite figured out the formula. Being a leader is tough. You’re not only managing organizational goals, but you’re also managing people, which means that you sometimes have to get creative in keeping your team on track while keeping your teams happy.
One area team leaders get bogged down with is decision-making. Making decisions for ourselves is tough enough, but when we are responsible for other people’s lives and our organization’s successes, the stakes are even higher. Effective leaders learn to make decisions with more ease over time. Here’s how.
Effective Leadership Skills: A Decision-Making Starter Map
One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they know how and when to make decisions. To this end, the following are three things you can do to help you make the right decisions – quicker:
Note: Of course, “right” is subjective; what we mean by "right" in this case is making the best decision with the tools/information you have available at the time.
1. Weigh Your Options: For example, let’s say that one of the decisions facing you as a team leader is whether or not take a territory from one sales rep and give it to another. In this case, you have two options, (i) let Sales Rep A keep the territory; or (ii) give it to Sales Rep B.
So, how do you decide what to do? This question brings us to the next step, which is to . . .
2. Predict the Outcome: This step causes confusion for many because an obvious question may be, “Can you really predict an outcome?” The short answer is -- that’s not important.
Well, look at it this way, the fact that you’re even considering taking a territory away from Sales Rep A to give to Sales Rep B means that you’ve come to some kind of conclusion about how that territory is being handled; otherwise, it wouldn’t even be on your radar, right?
So the secret to success at this stage is to ask yourself some hard questions, such as,
Why am I considering this doing this?
What are the consequences of doing so?
Am I willing to move forward once I’ve made the decision?
3. Evaluate the Risk. Risk is what keeps many of us paralyzed – even when we’ve evaluated the pros and cons of a given situation and we have accumulated all of the data, it can be hard to make the leap and actually make your decision known.
While they may be afraid of risk, effective leaders realize that it’s part of the job and they move forward anyway. These leaders are able to gauge what they have, what they need, and how badly they want to achieve the desired outcome. They can be resolute in the decision that they’ve made because they are acting from a place of strength and can back up their rationale.
The key to success at this stage is to know your strengths, your talents, what motivates you and use them to overcome obstacles.
In short, when you know and trust yourself – your gut instincts – you’ll become more confident with decision-making and a stronger leader.
Making better decisions is a skill that can be developed, much like being an effective team leader. Of course, there are many nuances that you’ll need to develop in order to do this. These three steps are a point from which to start.
Join us this Friday, July 20, for a StrengthsGenius.coach complimentary webinar: How To Make Successful Decisions with Ease and Confidence
The competitive landscape of business today is constantly changing. Technology and globalization allows for exponentially more progress to be made, but it also means that our tasks and goals are constantly changing. Besides making short-term tactical decisions, one must be able to comfortably and confidently execute tasks requiring long-term, strategic decision-making.
Make Successful Decisions With Ease and Confidence is designed to help you understand what is at the heart of all decisions and why we have difficulty making them.
You will understand the decision-making process from start to finish and learn:
· The beginning process of problem solving
· How to stop second guessing your decisions
· 2 other reasons why decision making can be difficult
Simple Registration Here
(There will not be anything "sold" on this call).
Lori and Shari
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE.
"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud, and one sees the stars."- Frederick Langbridge, A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts
Let’s say that you placed second in a writing contest. How would you respond? Would you jump for joy and get excited about the possibility of even better results the next time? Or, would you be discouraged and contemplate excuses to not participate in the future?
Life is filled with choices. Every day, we have a variety of opportunities in which to choose our reaction and the resulting thoughts around the conditions and circumstances of being human. Unfortunately, habitual pessimism puts us at risk of living a self-defeating life. By consciously choosing optimism, we open doors for a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
So why shift your perspective?
Well, optimism has been linked to positive moods and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Not a bad return on investment for developing our “Glass half full” muscle, right?
On the other end of the spectrum, the rates of depression and pessimism continue to climb, affecting people of all ages. The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that difficult events are their own fault and will undermine their happiness for a long time to come.
Optimists Tend to Expect the Best
As you might suspect, we happen to be eternal optimists. Trust us, we have both been confronted with some hard knocks. What differs is the way we (optimists) perceive difficulties. We decide that the circumstance is a temporary setback. We even believe that these “contrasts” in our otherwise joy-filled experience will somehow serve us through learning and growth. This is also referred to as positive re-framing.
It would be a rare occurrence to hear an optimist proclaim, “Things will never get better,” or “I’ll never get it right”. Instead, when the going gets tough, optimists actually get tougher. They persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience. Inching their way a step closer to that goal or what some might perceive as an elusive dream.
People respond positively to optimists:
Optimists tend to be proactive and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or manipulate people. They usually draw people towards them. Their optimistic view of the world can be contagious and influence those they are with.
Our world, so divided in these times, could benefit from a healthy dose of optimism. Our experience is teaching us that this an especially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic and hysteria are often not well received.
What would happen if we started a movement focused on What Is OH SO RIGHT with people, teams, organizations, towns, counties, cities and so on? Want to join these 2 cock-eyed optimists and an amazing tribe in focusing on possibilities?
PS: If you do want to learn from these two optimists, join us on July 20! As a member of the StrengthsGenius.coach community, you receive access to a monthly community webinar- simple registration here- Make Successful Decisions with Ease and Confidence.
This is for you if you 1) ever have "buyer's remorse" after you have made a decision, 2) feel guilty after you have made a decision or 3) just need validation for the process of how you make your decisions. Simple Registration HERE Make Successful Decisions With Ease and Confidence
As a member of StrengthsGenius.coach you have unlimited public access to all materials, webinars, and self-development opportunities and we hope you can join us-
As we sat down to write this article, we initially chatted about sharing a variety of ideas that are likely very familiar to you already. You know, things like: defining success is different for each person; that some define it as a balance between life and work (a.k.a. spending more time with family and friends); and that yet others define it around some professional achievement, or some juxtaposition of money, fame, power, influence, material goods, etc.
Then we got clear that the message we really want to get across is that real success begins with knowing who you are, what your strengths are and what you really want out of life; in short, what makes you happy. Most of us have pursued success, at lease at some point in our life, based on a pre-determined definition of success. We never stop to ask – and answer – the question, “What does success mean to me?” The last two words in that sentence are critical.
You see, over the years, we’ve noticed that there are few things that tend to stump people when it comes to answering this question. As you define what success means to you, keep these in mind. You can absolutely break through the barriers that can keep you from reaching your full potential.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Defining Success
I. Know What Motivates You: Many of us go through life without ever knowing what really motivates us. This is an integral part of defining success because it strikes at the heart of aligning our passion and our purpose.
Take a moment to complete the following seven motivators. Some would say they are the “real” reasons why we do what we do. They include: (i) social motivation; (ii) recognition motivation; (iii) money motivation; (iv) influence motivation; (v) achievement motivation; (vi) power motivation; and (vii) purpose motivation.
If you don’t know which of these principles motivate you, it’s like driving without a map. Yes, you’ll get there...but will it be where you want to go?
II. You CAN Have It All: Many of us buy into the limiting notion that we can’t have it all. In truth, you absolutely can – if you first clarify the "ALL" as what you really want.
In our experience as coaches, one of the reasons people think they can’t have it all is because they are pursuing goals that are not in alignment with their authentic self.
III. What Scares You? Author Judy Blume said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives.”
You see, the reason most of us have such a hard time defining “successful” on our own terms is that we’re afraid.
“Afraid of what?” you may be thinking. What we hear most often include: what others may think; how it will impact our families; that we’ll lose “x;” that we won’t gain “y” and so on. Instead of confronting our fears, we keep living up to someone else's definition of success. How many people do you know who stay in a job they hate – that pays a lot of money – because everyone would think they're “crazy” to leave it?
Success Defined: Conclusion
The bottom line...success is as individual as each human being. Once you grasp this fact and do the work of finding out what it really means to and for you, then you’ll have taken the most important step to achieving it.
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE.
Have you ever yearned for more fulfillment in your career than your existing role offers? Maybe you even have a sense of what that role might look like, or better yet, have your sights already set on a position within your current organization or another. If you are ready to embark on the journey from day-dream to dream job, you must first realize that SUCCESS STARTS WITH YOU.
In this moment, are you crystal clear about why you are ready for the next position? Are there skills or behaviors required for the position that require sharpening? Have you considered who could mentor you in the best approach for securing this position?
Thoughtful planning does not always require a multi-page strategy, however; taking focused action is well supported by a road-map for achieving your goal. We find the 3 x 3 MethodTM an invaluable tool in setting the course for smooth sailing towards that goal:
1. What are my top 3 reasons why I am ready to go for my next position?
2. What are the top 3 things I need to learn to get to be a great candidate for the next position?
3. Who are the top 3 people that have the position I want, and when can I schedule a lunch or phone call with them?
When you take time to understand where you are now and what you can do to get what you want, it becomes easier to make a plan to get it and make the decision to work for it. Attached is a worksheet you can use to help you get started.
3x3 Method Worksheet.pdf
Of course, we highly recommend you rely on your natural talents and strengths to help complete this.
Thinking positive can get a person a long way in this world, for success. But why is it so important in a role where we deal with others on a consistent basis?
Because we are around people all the time, doesn’t mean that it is always fun, or all people are fun! …or nice! You know what I mean? It can get lonely out there and tough to stay positive on some days.
What can happen? Whatever we hear, our mind picks them up and finds a way to deal with them. Our subconscious mind is like a guide. It only knows how to find a path to something. So, if we think (or hear) negative thoughts, it will find a path to make that thought a reality.
Here is an example: If a person is trying to lose weight and keeps saying to themselves, “I am so fat” (Consciously), the subconscious will guide the person to continue being fat.
It’s the same when we hear things around us. The old cliché, “You are who you hang around” is really true. Our subconscious mind is where our behaviors are driven from.
In order to keep a positive mindset, we need to DECIDE what the goal will be, with those less than positive people, prior to any interaction.
Is it to just communicate information?
Win a debate?
Give encouraging words?
Once you decide, before the conversation, your “reactions” will be less negative, as you had already decided how to control your own behavior.
Don’t let negative or difficult customers or team members’ rain on your parade! Take control, practice self-management, and gain confidence. It starts with you and your mindset first!
PS. Using your top 5 Strengths to reframe how you think, is one of the best places to start. What are your top 5? Find out HERE.
One of the most consistent observations we make during our corporate StrengthsGenius seminars, is the sincere desire of professionals to become effective team leaders that haven’t quite landed on a formula for success. After all, getting diverse personalities and perspectives aligned to accomplish a goal can be a challenging landscape to navigate.
The angst of making errors in critical decisions can bog a team leader down. Understandably, there may be a lot riding on it including the possibility of a career shortening event should things go wrong.
One of the hallmarks of successful people is that they know how and when to make decisions. Lean in to the following three suggestions to moving your decision making forward by making the best decision with tools and information available at the time.
1. Weigh Your Options: Let’s say that one of the decisions facing you as a team leader is whether to transition a given territory from one sales rep to another. Clearly, there are two options in this case:
(i) let Sales Rep A keep the territory; or (ii) give it to Sales Rep B.
2. Predict the Outcome: This step causes confusion for many because one might ask, “Can you really predict an outcome?” The truth is that you can predict a variety of outcomes. We call it the possibility game.
First consider the fact that something led you to the conclusion that a territory change might produce a better outcome, otherwise it wouldn’t be on your radar screen. What are the positive and negative possibilities associated with both sides of the equation, either moving the territory from Sales Rep A to Sales Rep B, or not.
The secret to success at this stage is to exhaust all the potential outcomes you can predict and get clear about the purpose of the move. Ask yourself why you are considering doing this and if you are willing to move forward once the decision is made.
3. Evaluate the Risk. Risk is what keeps many of us paralyzed – even when we’ve evaluated the pros and cons, and gotten all types of data and input from others. And, this is what separates effective team leaders from others.
While they may be afraid of risk, they realize that it’s part of being a leader – and move forward anyway.
The reason this stage stumps so many is because it goes to the heart of their situation, ie, what you have, what you want, and how bad to you want the outcome. The key to success at this stage is to know your strengths, your talents, what motivates you and how to overcome obstacles.
In short, when you know and trust yourself – your gut instincts – you will become more confident in making decisions – and be a more effective manager as well.
Making better decisions is a skill that can be developed, much like becoming an effective team leader. Of course, there are many nuances you will develop on the journey. These three steps give you a point from which to start.
To discover your Top 5 Strengths click HERE that can help you make decisions quicker.
Richard Leider, a leading authority and author of numerous books on how to find your purpose in life wrote in The Power of Purpose:
If our purpose is genuine enough, it involves us deeply and orders all areas of our life. We begin to eliminate what is irrelevant and what is so much clutter. A simplification takes place, and we achieve a clarity as to what we're about. We don't need to pretend to be what we're not. What is of real importance stands out more clearly.
As success coaches, we hear a lot of stories of from those who take this advice to heart. Here’s one we want to share with you to illustrate you how once you answer the question “What is my purpose?”, the steps you need to take to achieve it becomes very clear. As Leider so eloquently said, we begin to eliminate what is irrelevant.
How It Changed Everything for This Successful Business Owner
This entrepreneur owned a successful real estate business. Though she loved her profession, it wasn’t a burning desire. What she really wanted to do was write; she’d known that since she was a small child. Realizing that she’d always loved the ocean, she wanted to live someplace where she could see it day in and day out. Her third goal was to travel.
However, everything she was doing in life was taking her away from what her real passions. For example, living in a land-locked, cosmopolitan city with no ocean near and owning investment properties, left very little time to escape to an ocean view retreat, much less the flexibility to travel for months at a time.
The Value of Having a Plan
One day, she sat down and wrote out her life plan. Upon seeing in black and white that she was working against herself on almost every level, she decided to make some drastic changes.
She sold her real estate holdings, started an online business that gave her the flexibility to work from anywhere and settled on a small Caribbean island where she wrote every day.
Now, this didn’t happen overnight. She decided to live a “lower standard” of living than she had before. While her friends and family thought she’d lost her mind on some level, she had never been happier.
Stress: The Silent Killer
It’s worth noting that one dangerous drawback of not “living your life on purpose” is stress, also known as the silent killer. It is a major contributing factor – directly and/or indirectly – to a whole host of diseases. Among them are coronary artery disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, as well as, the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S, suicide.
Our entrepreneur lost 30 pounds without really trying and felt more content as a result of reducing stress.
She not only asked the question, “what is my purpose in life,” she answered it and took definitive action. This is what Leider meant when he said when you know your purpose -- a simplification takes place . . . what is of real importance stands out more clearly.
Success: The Easy Part of Living Your Life on Purpose
We can tell you from experience, success will become much more likely when you live your life on purpose. When you own passions fuel your very spirit, your heart, your soul, your being, the energy required to do what you may have previously thought impossible, is self-perpetuating!
So, spend some time shining a light inside you to reveal your purpose in life – and get busy pursuing it. It’s a choice you’ll never regret. Our entrepreneur’s story is one of many we have witnessed many times in our work. We would love to hear about yours!
Celebrating Your Unique Genius!
PS. A great place to start is to discover your Top 5 Strengths! click HERE.
3 Things You Can Do Today To Gain Confidence!
As consultants, one of our observations with clients early on, was that each one sites different reasons for why they haven’t achieved their goals. Inevitably, the underlying reasons for failure to achieve, almost always stem from some form of self-doubt. Therefore, many of our sessions revolve around giving participants the tools they need to learn how to gain confidence to break through their limiting beliefs, so that they can get on the road to living the life they really want.
To this end, following are three things you can start doing - TODAY.
1. Identify It: Dr. Phil is famous for saying, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” Hence, the first exercise in learning how to gain confidence is to get out a pad and pencil and literally write down what you’re afraid of, along with any potential causes that lead to your insecurities.
For example, do you think you can’t quit your job and start a business because everyone will think you’re crazy to leave your high-paying jo? Or, should the venture fail, will they site your lack of entrepreneurial experience and perceive you as a failure?
Tip for Completing this Exercise: While laptops and tablets and pads are great, there’s something powerful in sitting with good ole paper and pencil and physically writing this info down. It’s as if your fears flow through the pencil onto the page – physically freeing you from their existence. So try it this way, ok?
2. What’s the Worst That Could Happen: One of the keys in in learning how to gain confidence is to think logically through the fear process. Using the scenario in #1 above, if you did quit your high-paying job to pursue a business you love, what’s the worst thing that could happen if it failed?
Ironically, what most realize when they answer this question is that it’s not nearly as bad as they thought.
3. Create a Plan: One of the oldest idiomatic expressions when it comes to business is, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” As it so happens, this applies to life as well.
One of the best ways to face fears of failure is to plan for success. Overcoming fear gets you on the road to developing self-esteem and improving self-confidence.
Once you learn how to gain confidence, you move through life with a different view of the world. It doesn’t mean that you never experience self-doubt or have brushes with low self-esteem again. What it does mean is that you’re better equipped to deal with them – and not let them keep you from pursuing your dreams.