Category Archives: Personal effectiveness

5 Top Tips for Getting What You Want

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTIONS-large570At the beginning of the year, many people make New Year’s resolutions, vowing to bring some new quality into their lives.

Progress is always a good thing. And the DECISION to make progress is the first step.

Unfortunately, if not done properly, setting goals doesn’t always get you to your destination. Whether it’s a promise made at the stroke of midnight or a commitment made at some other time, there are important aspects to those desires that help ensure they will be made manifest.
Here are my 5 tips for getting what you want:

1. Be clear
Know what you want. When you know where you’re heading, the path to get there becomes more apparent. Desire is one of the key secret ingredients to a better live. Avoid focusing on where you DON’T want to be and keep your attention on your desired outcome.

2. Be explicit
In addition to being clear, be explicit, meaning make that picture crystal clear. If you can put a number with it (15 pounds), all the better. Articulate in as much detail as you can muster. The Universe may reward you with something slightly different, but the process of you getting so clear that you CAN be explicit will help you ferret out what’s really important to you.

3. Be expressive
Expressiveness has two aspects. One reflects a deep emotion related to the object of your desire like joy, accomplishment, security. It’s important to FEEL the way you’ll feel once the goal is in hand BEFORE it’s in your hand. That feeling attracts the thing to you.

The second aspect is an outward expression of your desire. Go public with your goal. It’s amazing how much more likely you’ll be to take action if the world knows what you’re up to than if you’re dealing with it in secrecy. Ask for support and help. Tell people why it’s important to you and even how it’s realization will benefit THEM. That What’s-in-it-for-me? aspect will really get them in your corner.

4. Be persistent
While the goal may get reached quickly, it’s likely to take some time. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble or lack of progress. Persist. Believe in yourself. Belief in your goal. If you need the help of others, believe in them. If they seem to have lost interest, re-engage them. It’s YOUR goal, not theirs necessarily. They may have forgotten. Remind them why it’s important. Be polite but relentlessly persistent.

5. Be-lieve
The number one factor that makes the prior four possible is to believe. When you believe, you can be clear, explicit, expressive and persistent. Goals do not always get completely quickly. Sometimes when goals/dreams are first born, the circumstances surrounding the beholder might make the goal seem completely unrealistic. Never look to your circumstances to validate your dreams. Clearly, you need to be aware of your circumstances and the point from which you are starting. But belief has overcome many a hurdle while lack of it has stopped many dead in their tracks.

See it. Say it. Believe it. Be it!

 

3 Keys for Unveiling and Leveraging Your Brand

brand-elements2I attended a fascinating conference for corporate women last week. One of the presenters spoke about the importance of understanding your personal and business brand. I also had an insightful conversation with a visibility expert who reiterated the same thing.

As an employee or small business owner with a limited budget, you may be thinking “I don’t need a brand”, “I don’t have a brand” or even “I can’t afford a brand”.

But you’d be wrong. You have a brand whether or not you’ve actively constructed one. Your brand is how OTHERS perceive you and the value (or lack there of) that you provide.

It’s critical that you take an active role in creating the impression you WANT
to have in the public domain.

There are 3 factors that will help you articulate your brand. Once you know them, you can leverage them by CONSCIOUSLY articulating them in your marketing materials, resumes and cover letters, service offerings, emails you
send, interviews and sales meetings.

Here are 3 factors and the very simple ways to get at them that Deb Miller,
Chief Marketing Officer of Adreima shared.

The 3 factors are:
1) Your Essence Factor
2) Your Authority Factor
3) Your Superstar Factor

Your Essence Factor the core of you. You can access it by completing the sentence, “I know I’m in my element when I’m …” When you work in your essence, work is a joy instead of a drudge. You are doing what comes naturally and it therefore seems easy.  Life is good. You feel in harmony with the world, with your calling, with your purpose.

Your Authority Factor is based on your knowledge and skills. It’s what makes you credible in your profession. You can access it by completing the sentence, “People recognize my expertise in…”

Your Superstar Factor addresses, as you might imagine, your ‘secret sauce’, that quality, skill or ability that makes you a unique standout.  The way to
think about this one is to finish the sentence “People comment on my ability
to…”

Once you’ve identified these 3 factors for yourself, do some market research and ask others how they would answer the same questions. Compare the responses. Again, your brand is largely how others see you.

So decide if what you hear from others is actually how you want to be perceived. If not, you’ll have to get active in changing your behavior, image and/or service delivery so that it reflects more closely the you you want to be known as.

When you have landed on the right combination of Essence, Authority and Superstar Factors, fashion them into a sentence like one of the following:

  • I use my ____(skill) for ___ (outcome)
  • Using ____(trait), I ____( result)
  • Through my ___ (quality), I ____ (thing you do/produce) when I serve ____ (your client)

An example might be, “Using my creativity, I spark innovation in others”.

When you’re clear about who you are, what you do and the market sees and values you similarly, you’ll be well on your way to capitalizing on your skills and living in harmony with your gifts and your purpose.

7 Key Steps to Achieving Mastery

balance-masteryAccording to Merriam-Webster, “mastery” is defined as: 1) knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well, 2) complete control of something, 3) possession or display of great skill or technique.
Here a 7 key steps to achieving mastery…

1. Decide.
I’m becoming more and more aware of the power of the decisions we make in our lives. Without a decision to do something, life moves on somewhat aimlessly, resigned to dealing with the outside incidents and internal states through at us.
Decisions however, alter the course of your future. Once you make a decision to do something, to master something, the path to achieving it becomes more clear. You may not know all of the steps, but deciding is the first one.

2. Focus.
You have to concentrate your energy in the direction of the area you want to master. This might start with taking a class or practicing, but the key component is the focus. You may need to re-prioritize your activities and how you spend your time. Mastery, unless you’re already, naturally, extremely gifted in that area, doesn’t happen overnight.

3. Delegate
Get rid of the other things that steal your time, drain your energy and suck your soul right out of you. Life must continue, but for you to focus, you’ll likely need other people taking care of some of the tasks that don’t require your talents or that have slipped to a lower priority status now that you’ve decide to master something.

4. Take risks.
Mastery won’t happen inside your comfort zone. You’ll need to press the edges of what you know and step outside of them frequently. You won’t discover new horizons if you stay in territory you’re already familiar with.

5. Evaluate.
As you progress, regularly take time to step back and ask questions like
“What can I do better?”
“Is there a more efficient way to get this done?”
“If I weren’t attached to doing it the way I currently am, what else might I try?”
“If I were a master at this already, what would I do?”

6. Improve.
Incorporate the insights gained from your consistent questioning of your process, progress, skill level, mindset shifts about what’s possible. Do it one more time. Do it a different way. Do it more quickly. Reach for your goal.

7. “Rinse and repeat”.
Mastery is a continuous process. Even once you think you’ve achieved mastery, you’ll see there is farther to go. I’m reminded of the process of cleaning or weeding. You get started and work to remove what shouldn’t be there. You think you’re almost done, but now that the area is more ‘clean’ you notice dirt and weeds that had previously been obscured by the massive about of dirt and weeks that were there when you first started.

Mastery is like that. The better you get, the more you’ll see how you can improve. Rejoice in that process.

Enhanced by ZemantaIn case you want to see mastery in action, watch this YouTube video

3 Ways to Blow Your Mind and Grow Your Biz

BrainElectrifiedOliver Wendell Holmes once said, “The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.”

The challenge for many business owners and sales professionals is that they’re so absorbed in doing their business and hitting their sales goals that they don’t believe they have the time to think. Yet, Napoleon Hill wrote a world-famous book, “Think and Grow Rich” which implied that thought is the first step in growing rich.

so, what does it take to use thought to grow rich. I’ve identified 3 keys for  blowing your mind and then growing your business.

1) The first key is re-wiring your mindset.

Without the proper mindset, you won’t see opportunities that are right in front of you. You’ll talk yourself out of doing even simple things that could make a world of difference because you won’t believe they’ll work for you. Even if you do try, things likely won’t work to their full potential. Have you ever noticed that you do all the stuff that gurus say to do, but you still aren’t enjoying the results they promise?

The key here is to start retraining your subconscious mind by sending it new messages to replace the fight-or-flight tendencies it is organized around. It’s role is to ‘protect’ us from harm. But ‘harm’ to the subconscious mind means a ‘change’ of any sort. So when you get the bright idea to try something new, if it’s too far outside your comfort zone, your subconscious mind decides ‘that’s a bad idea’ and does whatever it can to convince you not to do it. It makes you feel doubtful, hesitant and fearful in order to encourage you to ‘leave well enough alone’ and stay where you are.

To retrain your subconscious, you must become the master of it. Set big goals, don’t succumb to the fear, feed yourself with empowering thoughts from books, audios, personal development courses, associate with people who are up to the same courageous growth trajectory.

2) Transform your relationship with money
Most people, whether they grew up in wealth, poverty or somewhere in-between, also grew up with misinformed or even warped beliefs, concepts and ideas about money. Those ideas shape what’s possible for you. They influence your career choices, your relationships, your spending and saving habits. Without close examination, the beliefs will continue to run the show.

I could write an entire article, or series of articles, on this subject alone. So I’ll have to just skim the surface today. Most people focus on the ‘negative’ energy of money…bills, shortfalls, worrying it will run out some day or they avoid thinking about it altogether.

Money is energy and demands attention. So instead, focus on the more positive aspects of it. Focus on the money that comes INTO your life. Show gratitude for money. Recognize that it has a spiritual aspect to it. As my coach often says, “Imagine that making fabulous money is part of your spiritual path.” Hmmm.

3) Have a marketing plan
Most people I know DO marketing activities (e.g. networking), but they don’t have a plan. They flit from activity to activity with not much thought to whether or not it’s the right activity. You need to know where your business is in its evolution and have a plan specifically designed to move you from where you are to the next level of success. If you do marketing activities that are designed for a business in a different phase than you are in, those activities won’t have the same positive outcomes for you. You’ll be wasting your time, energy and money and miss out on the success that could be just around the corner.

When you implement these three concepts, you’ll be well on your way to growing your business

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9 Communication Skills to Master for Leadership Effectiveness

WEBCS

Whether you are a parent, spouse, friend, manager or coach, there are skills that, once mastered, are exceedingly helpful in building constructive relationships, leading more effective lives and helping others do the same.

Nine ‘masteries’ have been defined by the International Association of Coaching that, when woven together help you guide others through challenges and make progress in their lives.

1.    Establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust.
Trust is at the foundation of human relationships. Trust arises when the following things are present: candid communication, support in the form of help, advice, coaching or endorsement, respect, fairness, reliability and technical, professional or personal competence. When these items are missing, the people around you may feel like they’re walking on eggshells or are ‘on their own’ to make things happen.

2.    Perceiving, affirming and expanding the person’s potential.
People grow when they feel that someone else believes in them. So often in life, people are criticized. When you take the time to notice what someone is good at and tell them, they will not only feel appreciated but will grow in confidence and become better in other areas. Everyone has a gift. Notice them. Mention them and watch the person blossom.

3.    Engaged listening
Think of a time when you were talking about an important project at work or baring your soul to someone close to you and it seemed like they weren’t paying attention. How frustrating was that? Did it ‘take the wind out of your sail’? Did you get mad or feel like ending the conversation?

Engaged listening involves eye contact, verbal confirmations, occasional questions, demonstrated empathy for what they might be feeling. Giving your full attention to them allows an amazing thing to occur. When someone is listened to, they often talk themselves through to their own solution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened intently to someone with an issue who in the middle of the ‘conversation’ declares, “Oh! That’s it! That’s what I’ll do. Thanks for listening!”

4.    Processing in the present
When you’re talking with someone who is in the middle of a crisis, it’s possible that you may experience emotions that arise out of the conversation. Be aware of your own thoughts and body sensations. Silently name and observe them.

5.    Expressing
Be clear that your reactions are yours. Don’t blame the other person for them. Having said that, putting words to your thoughts, feelings and sensations can provide valuable feedback to the other person, particularly if they are struggling with how to communicate a tough message to another person. Your response can help them strategize on other ways to deliver their message.

6.    Clarifying
Part of your role in this process is helping the other person think through their issue and potential solutions. Their initial thought process may not be clear. Reflect back what you hear from them. Ask questions to help them explore alternatives and potential consequences.

7.    Helping the person set and keep clear intentions
There are two aspects to this mastery. One, clarifying the intention for the conversation you’re having with them and two, uncovering the ultimate outcome they want from the actual issue they’re discussing.

8.    Inviting possibility
People in a conundrum are often blinded from seeing all of the options that exist. They may be feeling trapped and helpless or angry and resentful. Those emotions arise from a set of beliefs and perceptions that may not be true. By respectfully challenging their perceptions, beliefs, and motives they may have ascribed to others, new options and possibilities can arise.

9.    Create and use supportive systems and structures
Decision-making tools can be helpful in these situations. A simple pros/cons list is a good start. Supportive systems might include daily check-in conversations. Group brainstorming sessions can generate creative ideas and potential solutions. The important thing here is to provide support for the person dealing with the situation so they can unleash their inner creativity.

Master these skills and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an empowering force for the people in your life.