Self-Awareness Workshops

Are You a Proactive or Reactive Leader?

When I am working with leaders the question frequently arises about why organizations and people get stuck doing certain things the same way over and over.  I usually start a conversation with them about how people and businesses fall into patterns that don’t always lead in the direction they want or yield the results they hope for.  As humans, we are creatures of habit who tend to get comfortable with the way things are going, regardless of their efficacy.

It usually comes down to the leadership philosophy of the company.  Are they proactive or reactive?  Take a moment to gauge where you are and think about how this approach affects your organization.

Characteristics of Being Reactive

  • Putting out fires constantly
  • Go from one crisis to another.
  • Controlled chaos.
  • Clear plan not in place.
  • Winging it.

Characteristics of Being Proactive

  • Clear plan in place to anticipate crises.
  • Work on steps based on priority and urgency.
  • Rarely experiences chaos.
  • Takes time to plan for contingencies.
  • Systems in place to diminish crisis.

Proactive leaders and businesses practice self-awareness by taking the time to plan beforehand instead of putting out fires after the fact. The benefit of being proactive is that you avoid many of the headaches that are common in the “winging it” type of workplace. What will you do to be a more proactive leader?

Take care,


Leadership Rainmakers

A rainmaker is an outstanding person at the top of his or her field who consistently produces excellent results and makes things happen.  This kind of successful leader has a deep understanding of how to create success for himself (or herself) and others.  Are you one?

Some of the important qualities of rainmakers include:

  • Ongoing drive for success.
  • Understanding what you’re good at and following it.
  • Loving what you do.
  • Surrounding yourself with people who will help you move forward.
  • Letting people know about what you do.
  • Confidence, projecting a positive image.
  • Understanding people and their needs.
  • Excellent communicator including being a superior listener.
  • Genuine.
  • High degree of self-awareness.
  • Able to give to others.

Leaders who are rainmakers practice behaviors that lead to success.  It is the ongoing commitment to practice effective behaviors that eventually draws others toward them and makes them more effective in the workplace.  They practice positive skills until they reach a point where they have mastered themselves and their skills.

Anyone can achieve this leadership level it just takes consistent and sustained effort.  You will also find that the best rainmakers actually enjoy what they are doing so success comes naturally to them.

Take care,


Why Even Consider Soft Skills Training at Your Company?

Many leaders would never dream of building a home without a foundation but they build their businesses in a haphazard manner.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with managing a business on the fly but you can get even better results in various areas by planning and providing training opportunities for your employees and for yourself.  Think of the following training ideas as you move forward with your enterprise.

Soft Skills Training Builds Key Skills

Imagine hiring people who fit the skills your company needs or training leaders who inspire employees.  Savvy business owners and executives realize the benefit of investing in their employees up front to get better returns in the long run.  You can look into any number of trainings that will help your employees build  self-awareness and function more effectively in areas like team building, effective communication, leadership, diversity, management, problem solving or conflict resolution.

Improve Morale and Commitment

When you invest in employees you show them that you care about their success.  As you build their skills they understand that they are part of a team and their efforts contribute to the organization.  When your employees enjoy positive morale they tend to have a higher level of commitment to the company and to their work.

Be Proactive Instead of Reactive

We’ve all met the leaders and managers who run around all day putting out fires.  Imagine what your business would look like if you had a plan in place that included training to help you and your staff manage proactively.  Preventive training can prevent crisis and put in place systems to help you deal with any situation.

Benefit from Your Employee’s Talents

Many employers overlook key talents and skills that their employees bring to the table because they don’t have a system in place to recognize these assets.  Training can help managers and leaders identify the skills of their employees and put them to good use.  It can also help new ideas come forth to help the company innovate and develop new products and processes.

Why Even Consider Soft Skills Training at Your Company?

Training isn’t about a one time shot that gets people excited or teaches them one skill.  It’s an ongoing process that helps you build the most prepared and flexible staff possible.  This kind of workforce can help you in times of crisis or success because they have the foundation necessary to succeed in any environment.  Your investment yields dividends that pay off for a long time.

What will you do to introduce soft skills training in your workplace?

Take care,


7 Effective Communication Ideas to Increase Your Business Success

Your communication style tells other businesses a lot about your level of self-awareness, your professionalism and what they can expect when they deal with you.  A theme that frequently arises when I coach leaders is how to communicate in a manner that invites other companies to want to do business with us.  The following tips will help you put your best foot forward and communicate confidently.

  1. Listen actively.  It’s amazing what you learn when you’re not talking.
  2. Say it briefly.  Go with the approach that less is more in communication.
  3. Keep it professional.  Business communication is not the appropriate time to vent about personal problems or delve into people’s private lives.
  4. Keep your temper in check.  If you fly off the handle it not only shuts down communication but also reduces the likelihood that the other company will give you an opportunity in the future.
  5. Remind yourself that communication glitches aren’t a personal slight against you, they are just part of doing business.
  6. Practice excellent conflict resolution skills.  Brainstorm with the other person to get some ideas on how to deal with the issue at hand and agree on a solution that works for both of you.
  7. Train everyone, starting with top leadership, on how to communicate effectively.

Other businesses judge us in much the same way our clients do.  How we communicate says a lot to the outside world about the way we conduct business.  Keep these tips in mind as you interact with other companies and you’ll be on your way to increasing your success exponentially.



Employee Layoffs: What You Can Do to Help

Many companies have seen themselves having to lay off valuable employees. This not only impacts those being let go but also affects the group left behind. The people remaining at the company go through a number of reactions to saying goodbye to their co-workers, from sadness at seeing them go to fear of the same happening to them.

As leaders or managers we can make these situations easier by doing some basic things. Try these ideas if your company is going through this type of transition.

  • Don’t pretend it’s not happening. Make sure you talk with people openly and often about what’s going on.
  • Try not to surprise people. Let people know what’s happening as you go along to avoid the dreaded blindside.
  • Deliberately set up opportunities to talk. Set up forums that encourage employees to vent and talk about what’s on their mind. These work best when two-way communication occurs rather than just an information session.
  • Empathize with people. Sure it’s just business but these are real lives being affected.
  • Don’t burn bridges. The same talent you let go today could help you in the future.
  • It’s about your reputation. Word travels fast about how your company treats its employees.
  • Continue investing in your current employees. Running lean doesn’t mean we need to ignore treating our remaining employees well.
  • Plan for the future. Take some time to reevaluate your business plan and make adjustments that will help you function effectively even in difficult times.
  • Try to keep the hysteria down. Bad news travels fast and builds up to unbearable levels quite easily. Communicate continuously so you don’t find yourself with a firestorm of misunderstanding and fear.
  • Connect with people meaningfully. Let people know you’re human too and remember to be there for them on an ongoing basis.
  • Practice self-awareness. Be cognizant of how your thoughts and behaviors affect you and the people around you.

These ideas will help you create a workplace that weathers even the toughest economic challenges. Consider developing a plan that will allow you to meet any future conditions head on in a proactive mode. A little preparation and planning will help you keep your workplace functioning not just well but healthily.

Take care,