Self-Awareness Workshops

Leadership Training Blog Carnival August 2011

Welcome to the August 2011 edition of the Leadership Training blog carnival.  Thank you to the marvelous experts who have taken the time to share their leadership wisdom and insights this month. Here are their thoughtful articles.

Kristin Widun presents Who Are Your Customers? posted at Lead in the Moment, saying, “Many organizations have spent time and resources to determine what motivates the consumer. However, very little time has been spent trying to identify the needs of an organization’s employees. Providing employees with excellent service is a pre-requisite for excellence in service to guests, and should be an important consideration of management.”

Charles Chua C K presents Are you Living Your Life Effectively like Managing a Business posted at All About Living with Life.

Roz Greefield presents Looking For Lasting Results From Your Training Programs? Virtual Training Re-Introduces: Incremental Learning | Training in the 21st Century posted at Training in the 21st Century.

Sharlyn Lauby presents The Messenger Really Matters posted at hr bartender, saying, “The right message delivered by the wrong person is a recipe for disaster.”

Neal Burgis PhD presents Power of Leadership Influence posted at Practical Solutions.

Andy Klein presents Is trust earned or given? There should be no debate posted at Fortune Group Blog, saying, “”Is trust earned or given?” Some of the best minds in leadership see the question as a true dilemma, as if there is no right answer. But to us, there is a right answer.”

Kathy C presents Why Do Organizational Change Efforts Often Fail? posted at The Thriving Small Business, saying, “Organizations reorganize internal structures and processes to better align with changing conditions and business demands or because of a crisis that affects the organization.”

Anna Farmery presents 6 Tips to Reinvent your Next Meeting posted at The Engaging Brand.

Jailan Marie presents There are no great companies, just great people, who happen to work there. posted at Innovative Solutions For Positive Change, saying, “John Chappelear wrote: When you focus on making your people great, the result is a great organization.”

Jim Logan presents Popular marketing-speak that doesn’t say anything posted at B2B Rainmaker, saying, “Until you define words like world-class, they don’t hold meaning. And without meaning, they’re discounted, misinterpreted or simply ignored. You may have the best offer in the world, but if you don’t shine light on the things that are great about it, it might unnecessarily be overlooked, hidden behind a weak description such as full service.”

I look forward to hearing from you for the next edition which will come out September 15th.  Submit your blog article by September 10th for the next edition using the carnival submission form.

Take care,

Guy

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4 Tips to Become a Better Leader

When I work with leaders we frequently talk about the concept of leading more by doing less.  It’s a different way of thinking about leadership because it asks us to give more power to our employees so that we will eventually lead well.  Here are four ideas to help you start moving toward inspiring your staff.

Let Go of Power and Control

The idea that we have to be on top of people or dominate them in some way pervades our leadership practices.  I’ve found that inspirational leaders let go of the need to be the “expert” or “top dog” and move toward a model that gives more power and control to their staff.  The whole point of doing this is to give your people the ability to function well on their own.  This will make you look great in the end even if it feels counter-intuitive at first.

Be a Resource Instead of a Supervisor

Instead of micromanaging or riding your employees set yourself up as a resource.  This allows you to breathe and be there for your employees when they need it.  Make yourself available for any questions or feedback but please refrain from giving advice at every possible moment.  People will ask you for help when they believe that you’re there to help them rather than judge or correct them.

Encourage People to be Independent and Grow

One of the best ways to retain employees is to get out of the way and let them shine.  This means that we learn to identify our employees’ talents and abilities and then let them use them in the workplace.  This helps people feel invested and valued in the organization.  Employees are far more likely to want to excel and do more if we allow them to use their interests.

Leadership Is Up To You

Leaders frequently ask me, “But how do we do this stuff in a work environment that doesn’t support it?”  The answer is that you get to lead in any way you choose even within the parameters of any situation.  In other words, you choose whether you take action to inspire your employees.

Try these ideas as you move toward being a leader who truly inspires his or her employees.

Take care,

Guy


Leadership and Welcoming Change

Leaders are often faced with the choice of changing or doing what they’ve always done. Those who welcome change create new opportunities for growth while those who resist it quickly find themselves falling behind. Here are some ideas to help you practice self-awareness and deal with anything that comes your way:

Shift Your Perspective

If you perceive something as scary or negative you’ll tend to react based on those feelings. When you focus on how difficult times are or how worried you are about the future, your organization will reflect that perspective. You get to decide whether change scares you or inspires you to take action and build a stronger organization.

Be Proactive

Being proactive is the opposite of panicking because of lack of vision or planning. Think in terms of what you can do to welcome change rather than letting it surprise you. Savvy leaders and organizations think ahead and put policies and procedures in place that welcome change and anticipate future events.

Change Your Habits

It’s normal to be comfortable with your habits but it can easily lead to stagnation. Some leaders have a nervous breakdown when something unexpected comes their way rather than using it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Think of ways of letting go of the old habits that don’t work and replacing them with positive behaviors that yield better results.

Evolve

Change is a constant regardless of whether you choose to accept it or pretend it’s not happening. Healthy leaders constantly evolve by fine-tuning their leadership style. They relish new ideas and approaches rather than pining for the good old days. Look for ways to continue updating your thinking and behaviors so that you don’t become a dinosaur.

You get to decide whether change frightens you or whether you use it to improve your leadership skills. If you’re ready to go beyond hanging on for dear life and hoping you make it through difficult situations, then change can help you become a stronger and more nimble leader. What will you do to welcome change?

Take care,

Guy

Team Building and the Importance of Everyone Being on the Same Page

A frequently overlooked detail of team building is that it is most effective when everyone is on the same page.  If you’ve ever tried to build a team and had it go off course due to one or two individuals you can be quite certain it’s because not everyone is on the same page and practicing the same behaviors.  For example: You’ve worked diligently to create a great team and then someone else joins the group who throws everything off-balance.  Perhaps the person has a strong personality or different vision, he or she can make the whole team unravel.

The effect on teams of having even one person who isn’t fully on board with the process is that your team is only as strong as that person.  This happens a lot in organizations where much of the decision making is done by one leader and not by a team.  In workplaces like that you get teams that function based on the perspective of one person rather than the input of many.

The challenge in team building is to create an environment where everyone has an important voice and is an equal part of the group instead of having one or two people making decisions for everyone else.  A positive way to help your team members get on the same page is to set some basic guidelines for participation.  Train everyone so that they understand that everyone’s voice is equal and that no one person is more valuable than the next.  Make sure you have a  in your meetings who understands how to get rid of power differentials and the interactions that sidetrack successful team meetings.  If a new person joins the group, bring them into the process and train them on the guidelines as well as encouraging team members to model positive behaviors.  If someone insists on derailing the process keep reiterating the group guidelines and practicing the positive behaviors.  Team building isn’t a one-shot process, it takes time and deliberate effort to make it work.

The idea with team building is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels included, valued, important and comfortable participating.  This allows leaders to build teams that aren’t derailed by a strong personality or power differentials and, instead, move toward groups where everyone is highly motivated to participate.  When everyone on the team is invited and encouraged to provide input you and your organization can achieve greater success because everyone will feel like contributing.  What will you do to create stronger teams?

Take care,

Guy

The Secret to Developing Self-Awareness

Developing self-awareness means moving from living unconsciously to thinking, feeling and behaving intentionally. Countless people live their lives stuck in their comfort zones, repeating behaviors that don’t make them happy and not realizing they have other options. Here are five ideas to help you develop your self-awareness and improve the quality of your life:

  1. Be willing to look at yourself. You can’t live deliberately if you don’t take a look at and understand who you are as a person. Make it a habit to continuously assess what you do well and what areas need some strengthening.
  1. Examine your thoughts. Which of your thoughts help you succeed or make you happy? Which ones hold you back or keep you from living authentically? Evaluate how your thinking affects your life, keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t.
  1. Examine your emotions. Learn how to acknowledge and feel all of your emotions, not just the ones you’re comfortable with. Heal and bring closure to challenging issues or past hurts in your life. The more you learn how to feel and appropriately manage your emotions, the healthier and more balanced you’ll be.
  1. Examine your behaviors. There are things you currently do that yield excellent results and some that keep you from working on your dreams. Keep the behaviors that help you live meaningfully and let go of the ones that lead you off course.
  1. Be willing to make changes. It’s very difficult to grow in any way if you don’t believe change is possible or vital to your personal development. There is always something you can fine tune so you can become stronger and better able to live a fulfilling life.

Self-awareness matters because, when you understand yourself deeply, you’re able to live consciously instead of haphazardly. It’s the difference between stumbling through life repeating the same patterns and creating your own destiny. What will you do to keep developing your self-awareness?

Take care,

Guy