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Posts tagged ‘Esteem’

Doing the Right Thing

To lead your team with character and integrity, you must set an example. Your team looks to you. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization’s values.

For example, the global technology giant 3M is well-known for its company values. Why? Because the entire team – from top executives all the way down to the mailroom – live and breathe the principles of honesty and integrity every day. 3M communicates clearly that it wants its staff to keep promises, have personal accountability, and respect others in the workforce. Every leader in the company knows this, so they work by these rules. Hopefully, your company has clear rules about how it wants team members to act. As a leader, it’s up to you to know these rules and codes of conduct – and to make sure you live them.

Your personal values are also important. Good leaders follow their personal values as well as organizational values.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What standards of behavior are really important to me, to my company?
  • What specific values do I admire in certain leaders? Do I identify with those values?
  • Would I still live by those values, even if they put me at a competitive disadvantage?

At times, you’ll make a decision but still wonder if you did the right thing. You may be uncomfortable, but these situations can teach you to trust yourself and your instincts. If you calm your anxiety and look logically at the situation, your instincts will often guide you in the right direction.

Ethical living – and leading – takes courage and conviction. It means doing the right thing, even when the right thing isn’t popular or easy. But when you make decisions based on your core values, then you tell the world that you can’t be bought – and you lead your team by example.

Once you identify your company’s core values as well as your own, you can start to set the tone with your team and your organization. Actions always speak louder than words, so make sure you do as you would wish others to do.

Until next time, Examine the values and do the right thing,


You Can Read Along

In today’s blog I find myself writing to myself, but you can read along with me and see if you find something to help you as you travel along your journey.

What has become of all I dreamed of doing? I have  achieved some of the dreams I had when I was younger, but not nearly all.  Now, is it worth it to continue dreaming and think that others will come true??

Indeed! I must dream on! Without dreams, passions, or desires, my life will be dim in color, less exciting, and less interesting. Although life would rather push me down and try to discourage me, I must dream on!

Even though we all have unfulfilled dreams, desires and goals within us, should we allow those unfulfilled dreams to stop us from continuing to dream ? No!

Some dare to dream and make those dreams happen. We call them, Leaders.  Others leave those dreams behind, choosing instead to ignore what could be within their reach – and they often become frustrated or give up, thinking “If only…” or “What if…” Worse yet, they spend life constantly looking at what is not “fair” that is happening to them. Leaders recognize that things will not always go their way, in fact, they seldom do; but Leaders dream on!

There’s a wonderful little book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” an allegorical story about a seagull who dares to dream of a better life – and then does everything he can to make it happen. The author, Richard Bach, says, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it however.” Leaders recognize this and learn to work smarter, not necessarily harder. They empower their Team and enable greatness to rise out of great synergy. Thus they forge ahead to their dreams. and the organization’s dreams.

How could my life and my Leadership be better today, if I would believe and adopt the above statement ? If I were prepared today to take action and make my dreams a reality, what would that give me? What would it give to those around me?

Ponder this with me and until next time, DREAM ON and DON’T GIVE UP!


Say What? Part 1

Nothing irritates me more than someone not listening to what is said or the information given. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

Given all this listening we are supposed to be doing in a day, you would think we’d be good at it! However, most of us are not. Depending on the study being quoted, we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation. This is dismal! Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren’t hearing the whole message either. You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50%, but what if they’re not?

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, you’ll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!

Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others. The Extended DISC Profile is key to this. Contact Ascend Business Strategies for information on this economical way to turn your workplace around!!

The way to become a better listener is to practice “active listening”. This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent. In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.

You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you’ll make when the other person stops speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying. To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it’s something you want to avoid.

Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.” You aren’t necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander.

You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need. While nodding and “uh huhing” says you’re interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well.

As important as active listening is, read tomorrow’s blog to find out how to become an awesome active listener!

Until then, Listen Up!


Grounding Beliefs

Grounding Beliefs

People’s beliefs affect their work when those beliefs hold them back. Grounding beliefs, or mental blocks, are thoughts that are not true and that damage our effectiveness. These tend to be based on ideas and norms we’ve acquired from our culture, upbringing, or peer group. We can have thousands of thoughts each day, and very many of these thoughts are repeating. That’s why, over time, we can start to believe our own version how the world is.Always remember, how we see things determines the actions we take that will result in the results we get. This is called a Paradigm. It is imperative we have the right mindset/paradigm so that we do not become a self-fulfilling prophecy at work or life.

Sometimes, what we believe is wrong. Perhaps we’ve interpreted someone’s actions or words incorrectly. Or perhaps we’ve learned the wrong lesson from a mistake in life, and, as a result, we’ve been unable or too fearful to pursue a similar action again.

Here are some examples of grounding beliefs:

  • Success is not possible. I don’t deserve to succeed.
  • I will fail.
  • Nobody likes me. Nobody cares.
  • It is impossible.
  • It’s my way or the highway.

The Leader’s job is to work with the Team to uncover and deal with self-limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of the Team Member’s job performance. The Team may be unaware of the real cause of these blocks, but may be aware of symptoms – such as lacking ambition, lacking hope, or lacking direction.

There are, of course, some deep beliefs that require assistance beyond coaching. But generally, once people recognize that one of their thoughts isn’t true and that it’s holding them back, they start to make progress and overcome the issue. A good technique for coaches to use to help deal with mental blocks is to explore the Team Member’s beliefs and thoughts, and identify the positive beliefs that are helping them progress, and the negative beliefs that are holding them back.

A Look at Self-Motivation

Motivation is direction or focus toward a goal or mission that is fueled by energy and enthusiasm. It is the key to success in any venture. Motivation is like the motor in a car. The car is not moving unless the motor is running. Unless, of course, the car is coasting or being towed! True motivation comes when your own internal motor is driving you toward your goals, not when you are coasting or being pulled along by another’s direction. Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of personal motivation.

Motivation and Personal Leadership
True motivation comes from within. The highest levels of motivation come when we are in tune with our sense of mission. This is personal leadership. Our mission statement defines what we love and our purpose for being on this planet. When we are in touch with this true calling, we are maximizing our motivation and functioning at our highest capacity. Without this true sense of purpose or mission, one cannot be fully motivated. The answer to motivational problems is personal leadership, or the deep belief in a vision of who you are.

Maximum Production
Being in touch with your true calling unleashes a tremendous amount of energy that, when combined with focused direction, results in the highest level of motivation. Three of the most important qualities of a highly motivated person are clarity, focus and persistence. The more clear the focus, the greater the energy toward your goals. Motivation is visualizing success and moving toward it.

Motivation in the Workplace
Very few people are highly motivated at work. Most people work at only a small fraction of their actual capabilities. Imagine a workplace where everyone worked at even 80% of his or her potential. The key to being motivated at work is in understanding that it is not the responsibility of your employer to motivate you. He or she can only create a motivational environment. It is up to you to motivate yourself even if the environment you work in isn’t the most motivational. Look to why you are working. Is it for the money (see below why money is not the best motivator), your family, no matter the reason you are there, you can use that to help motivate yourself to do well. 

Self-improvement and Motivation
Self-improvement is one of the best motivators. Increasing your knowledge and learning new material pushes you beyond boundaries and brings greater rewards. Work to improve yourself every day and your motivation will increase. Allow yourself to expand beyond your personal comfort zones. 

The Personal Barometer
We all have a personal barometer that guides our comfort zone in response to our levels of success. Why do some people successful and others not? It has to do with how they see themselves. Any disharmony in this area will motivate actions to get back in balance. Motivate yourself by raising your own personal barometer. Expect more from yourself!

Positive Environment
It is very important to create an environment that motivates you. You should get a charge from where you work, not a drain. Also, the people with whom you interact affect your motivation tremendously. Spend time with those who build you up, support you and avoid negative people. If you don’t receive positive feedback, do a personal assessment; there may be a reason for it.

Money Does Not Motivate
Beware of false motivation, such as money. Money, as a motivator, is a very tricky proposition. People adapt to the amount of money they are making; as a result, motivation is short- lived. People work up to what they expect to be paid, based on their personal barometer of what they are worth. When they reach that level, fixed pay adds no additional motivational value. Be careful that you do not place too much emphasis on money. Your mission comes first and then the money will follow, sooner or later,  in direct proportion to the service you have provided. The key is to provide the service that is your true calling.

Self-motivation is personal leadership via your own vision, goals, values and your own unique definition of success. A commitment to personal leadership with a high level of motivation is a long-term process. It will take time for behavior to change and be sustained, and longer for the rewards to come. However, when the rewards do come, it will have been well worth it. The key to this process is: It is an everyday process. You must do an everyday mental tune-up to allow yourself to be the very best that you can be. Realize that you are worth the very best in life, not just in the pursuit of material items, but in the wholeness of you!

Take time today to see if you are following the suggestions above to motivate yourself to be your very best!!!


*Parts of the above article have been adapted from Motivational Speaker Thomas Young.