Daily Quote, Reflection: Belief in Self…Yes, I can.

Daily Quote: “If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection: Support and stability are the corner-stones of self-belief.  Think about the people you know who seem to bring out the best in you whenever you talk to them: You feel comfortable talking to them and could go on talking forever. They could be old friends or someone you just met, but the conversation just seems to flow smoothly and naturally.

If you wish you had the natural ability or strengths to perform at a higher level of excellence, don’t despair. Having meaningful and successful performances is something that can be learned, and with focus and deliberative practice, like the Smart-Steps process you can become better at it. The key is belief in your self to perform in difficult situations.

According to Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations.” In other words, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Bandura described these beliefs as determinants of how people think, behave, and feel (1994).

Self-Coaching Challenge:  The right fit at the right time.

Negative Self-Fulfilling Prophecy– don’t get stuck in a negative environment or pigeon whole as such and such like you are negative person or not strong in task implementation or follow-up through or what ever the negative characteristic that has been put on you by others. The key question is whether you want to try to change that prevailing perception…  Everyone has an opinion, and some of them matter and some are inaccurate. And the moment you start believing and worrying about what other people think about your strengths or potential, you’ll be too caught up in defending yourself to find your strengths and positive energy for being successful and reaching your potential. Of course there is value in feedback and constructive criticism but if the overriding view of you is negative and you start to believe it, then failure is almost guaranteed

Unless someone is giving you feedback that’s going to help you grow, ignore it. Some people give “advice” with the result of causing you to stop believing in yourself this can cause harm and almost impossible obstacles to overcome, whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally. You maybe battling an uphill battle of miss-perceptions. Pick and choose who you listen to very carefully, then create a personal development plan for change in the next thirty days.

 

Avoid Derailing your Career: Pay attention to Blindspots and Other People’s Perceptions.

How other people see us impacts our identity, reputation and sense of worth. It can also derail a promising career. Here are some examples from my Leadership Coaching experience–Some people may see you as a “softie” because of your hypersensitivity to any comments that you perceive as criticism. This leads to less feedback because they are afraid of offending you and this leads to less feedback and others avoiding being straight with you. Others may see you as hot, impulsive, explosive, to quick to react emotionally or overwhelm them with your arguments. This leads to people seeing you as a bully or intimidating  because you are experienced as having always to  win with your idea or point of view. This type of style can be improved by being more open to other points of view and actively listening to understand people’s position and feelings.  Also, some withhold feedback because you are seen as to strong, rude or very opinionated; not getting feedback in any of these situations leaves you with many “blinspots” that can stall your career and raise undue tension and conflict in your management team.

These blindspots are not to be considered personality flaws but only areas for more training and development of your interpersonal communication skills. Blindspots generally signal a need for more self-understanding because people are experiencing you in a way that is not productive for you or your organization. A blindspot  area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding information from you and this might lead to your inability to manage and lead the team.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  To reduce the blind spots that may de-rail your career or interpersonal relationships you need to seek more input and information from others. To do this you need to model and support more listening and less judgmental feedback. Modeling openness and support for  more individual disclosure, reduces fear and therefore encourages honest feedback to flourish.  The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others – care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedback relates to the process of ‘self-development and growth as a leader.

If you are committed to seek more feedback the question becomes– how do you go about getting it?

Sometimes people describe blind spots as perception disconnects – when the people around us don’t perceive our words and behaviors in the way we intended. We might believe that our calm, composed demeanor is a serious advantage in a high-stress workplace. Unfortunately, our co-workers perceive us as robotic, uncaring and even bully. Our goal might be to appear decisive and candid, but others actually think we’re abrupt and insensitive. Are we energetic and driven? Or relentless and annoying?  Are we methodical and systematic? Or inflexible and overly cautious? Sometimes there’s a very fine line there. But, at the end of the day, perceptions trump intentions. Despite our goals and the impressions we intend to make, our career success is determined by our reputations and the perceptions of us held by others.

Over the next three weeks take time to inform others that you want more feedback. Ask a close associate to observe and provide feedback on your blind spots– Be careful to be concrete in your request–by saying something like this– during the next few staffing meetings would you mind observing and documenting my ability and manner of listening or not  with team members and after the meeting we can talk about what worked, what didn’t work and how I might improve my listening skills.

Remember in trying to get feedback and uncover your blind spots you need to be supportive when this person provides their feedback on areas for improvement. Good Luck and be sure and share with us how it your personal development goes.

For your next “big” Presentation Test your Message for “stickiness”?

Framework for “Sticky Messages”

” Remember that to create a “sticky idea”  it needs to be understood, remembered, and it changes something”. Heath Brothers

There are a number of tests to check that you have created a memorable and believable message. The main test of success in delivering a key message is that you commit it to memory. This will increase the perception by audience members of your credibility. Do this your main task is to be able to communicate your message with passion and clarity without your notes. Test yourself.

Then say it to a colleague – see if they can say it back to you. You may find that they say it back to you in a way which is easier to grasp. In which case change it.

An hour later, ask members of your presentation review team to listen and give you feedback on how memorable and relevant your key message is to the overall topic being discussed.  Ask the team the next day if they remember the “sticky” message. If they can still remember it a day later, well done – you have got yourself a memorable sticky, relevant and believable message.

Check your message against these two standards–the RATER developed by Dr. Hardwick and SUCCESs model developed by Heath brothers in their book–Made to Stick

Exploring the Luck Factor in Life–6 Principles for Increasing Your Luck

Daily Quote: Being relaxed and open allows lucky people to see what’s around them and to maximize what’s around them. Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), …Lucky people look at events differently than others. They are more observant and typically have a different mindset than unlucky folks”.  

Dr. Tom Peter’s once said: Luck was the main reason for selling over 5 million books called in Search of Excellence. Most business books of genre   generally 5,000 copies. When I heard this from Peters in one of his lectures I was amazed and stunted. I thought how could I bottle this thing called luck for selling the next breakthrough management book or the “pet rock” phenomena. I searched the internet and now can share with you that according to some researchers there are specific reasons why some people are lucky and others are not.

“It’s better to be lucky than smart.” “You make your own luck in life.” “Some folks are just born lucky.” In an environment marked by rising

Dr. Richard Wiseman, is head of a psychology research department at the University of Hertfordshire in England.  He thinks most of us  could use a little luck — at our companies, in our careers, with our investments. Richard Wiseman thinks that he can help you find and create more luck in your life. For the past eight years, he and his colleagues have studied what makes some people lucky and others not. After conducting thousands of interviews and hundreds of experiments, Wiseman says he has cracked the LUCK CODE.  In an article in Fast Company he hypothesis that luck is not due to kismet, karma, or coincidence, he says. Instead, lucky folks — without even knowing it — think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives. In his new book,The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), Wiseman reveals four approaches to life that turn certain people into luck magnets. Wiseman’s research has uncovered four principles to create more good fortune in your life and career. And I have added a few more ideas from my reading on the subject of LUCK.

1. MAXIMIZE CHANCE OPPORTUNITIES

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT AND LISTEN TO LUCKY HUNCHES

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities — for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT LIFE AND THE FUTURE

Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. TURN BAD LUCK INTO GOOD. LEMONADE STORY.

Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don’t dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

5. Resilience, not luck, is the signature of greatness.  

Nietzsche wrote, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” We all get bad luck. The question is how to use it to turn it into “one of the best things that ever happened,” to not let it become a psychological prison.

6. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive. If you stay in the game long enough, good luck tends to return, but if you get knocked out, you’ll never have the chance to be lucky again. Luck favors the persistent, but you can persist only if you survive.

Part l: New Style of Leadership–Stop Negative workplace Virus and Bad Attitudes

“Little known fact 71% of workers think about quitting their jobs every day. What do we do to change this apparent virus sweeping our work place environments”?  

 We must become willing to admit that our way of leading and creating “quality of work” environments are simply not working. We are not creating the results or the quality of life that we would like for ourselves, associates and customers, These hectic and wired times are calling out for a new type of leader in organizations. This type of leadership is not based on position or status.  It is truly based on equality, respect and positive regard for everyone in the organization. At its core leadership is shared by everyone in the organization.     In this new leadership style we need everyone aligned with the vision and understand why we are in business–this is called the mission. The leaders must be willing to challenge the “status quo”, accept change as a natural state and realize that the so-called soft side of business is really the hard side. Mental maps of risk taking must be continually updated and failures must become learning experiences. This may sound foolish or a bit naive and yet many of the new and innovative companies accept and operate in this revolutionary way.

One thing is at the cornerstone of this leadership revolution—Constant growth and development through feedback. Most people are not consciously withholding feedback because they want to create a negative work place culture or reduce company morale. Often, they withhold feedback because they don’t know how or when and in what way to skillfully use the soft power of open and two-way communication tool called– feedback.. Also, many people are just uncomfortable confronting others on their “screw-ups, or failings. In other words, they lack the know-how and skills to conduct productive feedback sessions. There are some ways to take some of the suffering out of giving and receiving feedback.

First, we’ve got to start taking accountability for our individual roles in creating environments where “feedback” is not seen as a dirty word.  How can you help?  Try practicing a few of the following behaviors of the new leadership style:

The revolution begins with a few change agents practicing Reality-Based Feedback. Reality based feedback expands on the ideas of William Glasser M.D.  from the therapy couch to workplace interactions and conversations

1. A reality based leader or coach is one who is self-aware, open, flexible and authentic. DWYSYWD is the foundation of their leadership and management philosophy. They are able to quickly read others and accept the reality of a situation. These new leaders are sensitive and understand others needs ( high on empathy) by confronting in a caring way reality and truth. This directness preserves valuable time and energy trying to fix blame or uncover the truth behind excuses for not doing things right or choosing the wrong things to work on. It conserves precious team energy, and uses that energy instead to be more productive and efficient in working on priorities and creating a better quality of work life (QWL).

2.  Better yet, a Reality-based Leader anticipates the upcoming changes and capitalizes on the opportunity inherent in the situation without drama or defense.

3. This new type of leader uses feedback to address pinches in expectations and issues early and often.

Besides poor communication I think the lack of feedback is the root cause of many employee’s attitude issues.  Sharing feedback early and often takes some of the pain out of the situation that year performance reviews rarely do.  Timely feedback is a critical component of achieving success on an individual, team and organization levels.

Understand that giving feedback does not mean being ugly, mean, or an“I gotcha you asshole” attitude.  Under the mask of being “nice” leaders, teams and organizations all over the country are missing opportunities to increase responsibility for decisions and actions by withholding caring feedback and covering-up emotional pinches.  Feedback is a critical component for growth, development, and individual satisfaction with their job. The lack of feedback is also impacting the organizational culture and growth by causing interpersonal conflict and many “soap opera” dramas. Thus, an unhealthy climate on a cost-benefit analysis basis could be costing a decrease in motivation, loss of valuable time, energy and profits for your organization.

You want great business results?  Regular performance conversations are a part of that equation.  If you are not getting good feedback, ask for it.  Occasionally, ask people what things you should stop doing, start doing or continue doing.  If you are one of the vast majorities of people who dislike giving feedback, stop withholding this valuable information and learn how to give and receive it. If you are defensive when someone shares feedback with you, grow up and be a professional.  Feedback is simply another persons’ opinion of your work habits and performance.  Try not to take it personally. And as always stop judging and start listening for ways to be supportive and helpful. If these things are tried I guarantee the quality of work and the attitudes toward jobs will significantly improve.

Want more on the topic of Motivation checkout the history of motivation and job satisfaction. While on this site do not miss one of my favored models of motivation and job enrichment design developed by Hackman and Oldham’s. Their Job Characteristics Model looks at some very important factors of autonomy, skill development, and clear goal-setting as a way of increasing positive motivation for doing a job an outstanding way. Their model also identifies several other aspects of job design – such as feedback and feeling that one’s work is meaningful –  which could also affect workers’ level of satisfaction.

Plus One Technique: Showing Appreciation the MMFI Rule

Daily Quote: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, Make Me Feel Important. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” Mary Kay Ash

Reflection:
I think that this Plus One technique of Making Others Feel Important (MMFI)is a very powerful way to provide a climate for excellence in performance. Many employees tell me that they seldom or hardly ever receive any appreciation for a job well done from their managers. Appreciation or acknowledgement are at the heart of creating a positive climate at work. Noticing the effort and commitment of employees can be one of the strongest motivators for reinforcing and encourage the highest quality of work. Positive feedback which is delivered immediately after the action takes place sends a strong message that a person’s has been noticed and appreciated. The message from many managers who ignore the good works of employees is that you are expected to perform at high levels and the only time you will hear from a manager is when you screw-up. This “management by exception” method leaves employees in the dark and feels like they are only going to be recognized when things have gone wrong.In my experience this management approach is demoralizing and creates a”cover your ass” culture.

Self-Coaching Challenge: How will you make someone feel important today? Who is it you are going to make the effort to MAKE THEM FEEL IMPORTANT? Remember to be specific in your statement of appreciation and genuine. To see more on the use of the MMFI Rule see my past post http://wp.me/pnKb1-1Vn. This post will provide more specifics on this powerful management concept.
Over the next week keep track of the MMFI you handout and capture the events in your Personal Leadership Journal. Making this type of behavior a part of who you are will not only lift the spirits of employees but also make you feel good.

Dealing with Interpersonal Conflict–A Framework for effective communication.

Framework for Resolving Interpersonal Conflict 

1. Challenge your assumptions about the person’s intentions and shortcomings, gather data and information on both sides of an issue. Thus, avoiding the “confirmation bias” the villain that undermines open and direct communication  Be matter of fact in presenting information and ask open-ended questions to find-out other person’s concerns and story about a situation.

2.    Explore Differences and Perceptions about what happened or isn’t happening. Before moving on —Identify Problem to be discussed in this session.

3.   Sharpen the Difference or Agreement–establish priorities for change

4.    Identifying and Exploring– making the relationship a personal win solution for other person

5.   Get Commitment – Identify Action Plan – Follow-Up by Plus 1 and Smart-steps for change framework

6.   Follow-up with Continuous Improvement checkpoints and Feedback Loops to support change and open communication.

Try this structure for your next interpersonal conflict situation, I promise it will provide a powerful and effective way to create a positive climate for communicating and promote behavior change.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Seeing yourself as others see you.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us .” – Robert Burns

Reflection: How other people see us impacts our identity and sense of worth. Some people may see you as a “softie” because of your hypersensitivity to any comments that you perceive as criticism. This leads to less feedback and others avoiding being straight with you. Others may see you as impulsive and explosive, to quick to react in difficult or complex  situations and so you are left with little information when trying to resolve key personnel or investment issues.  Also, some withhold feedback because you are seen as to strong, rude or very opinionated; not getting feedback in these situations leaves you with many “blinspots” and an inaccurate picture of what your strengths are or how you might be overusing them.

This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or an ineffective way to delude yourself . A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person. We all know how difficult it is to work well when kept in the dark. No-one works well when being subject to ‘mushroom management’. People who are ‘thick-skinned’ tend to have a large ‘blindspots.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  To reduce the blind spots that may de-rail your career or interpersonal relationships you need to seek more input and information from others. To do this you need to model and support more listening and less judgmental feedback. Modeling openness and support for  more individual disclosure, reduces fear and therefore encourages honest feedback to flourish.  The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others – care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedback relates to the process of ‘self-development and growth as a leader.

If you are committed to seek more feedback the question becomes– how do you go about getting it?  

Sometimes people describe blind spots as perception disconnects – when the people around us don’t perceive our words and behaviors in the way we intended. We might believe that our calm, composed demeanor is a serious advantage in a high-stress workplace. Unfortunately, our co-workers perceive us as robotic and uncaring. Our goal might be to appear decisive and candid, but others actually think we’re abrupt and insensitive. Are we energetic and driven? Or relentless and annoying?  Are we methodical and systematic? Or inflexible and overly cautious? Sometimes there’s a very fine line there. But, at the end of the day, perceptions trump intentions. Despite our goals and the impressions we intend to make, our business success is determined by our reputations and the perceptions of us held by others. 

Over the next three weeks take time to inform others that you want more feedback. Ask a close associate to observe and provide feedback on your blind spots– Be careful to be concrete in your request–by saying something like this– during the next few staffing meetings would you mind observing and documenting my ability and manner of listening or not  with team members and after the meeting we can talk about what worked, what didn’t work and how I might improve my listening skills. 

Remember in trying to get feedback and uncover your blind spots you need to be supportive when this person provides their feedback feedback on areas for improvement. Good Luck and be sure and share with us how it your personal development goes. 

 

 

Using Stage Fright and Anxiety to Improve Presentations.

 

Alignment of substance and style

But I… never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it”. ~Mark Twain

It is natural to feel apprehension before speaking in front of a group, this is called “stage fright” . At the root anxiety and fright is all about some kind of irrational thinking, such as “perfectionism” or fear of failure”   which triggers your anxiety. Perfectionism can drive insecurity. And on the other hand if you adjust your thinking about the need to be “perfect” you can be energize and inspire your self up to a point, but too much concern can lead to a drop in performance.

A certain level of anxiety is actually necessary for you to perform your best. The key is to use this anxiety to your advantage, harnessing it to make your style more dynamic and animated. The physical symptoms of anxiety are very similar to that of excitement. If you can train yourself to interpret your symptoms as excitement, instead of being nervous, you are well on your way to using the anxiety to your advantage. So, how do you do this?

Controlling Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety
1. Avoid negative self-talk. For example, do not use phrases like, “They won’t listen. They’ll be hostile.” Talk like this is not only self-defeating, but it is self-fulfilling. Tell yourself instead that you will succeed. Tell yourself, “I’ve done my research. I’m prepared. I am well practiced.” These kind of statements are also self-fulfilling–in a positive way.

2. Don’t exceed your time limits for a topic. Know how much time you have been allotted and then keep to the schedule. Carefully preparing your material will allow you to cover the topic well, but also selectively customize it for your audience needs. It takes longer to say something than it does to read something. The best way to make sure you do not run over time is to follow the suggestions in step 3.

3. Practice and prepare. Practice and prepare. Once your presentation material is prepared, it is time for you to prepare. Practice is the key to feeling confident. There are several ways to do this.

–Practice with an audio or video tape. Play it back to catch mistakes you might have made. This will help you catch distracting idiosyncrasies such as touching your hair, playing with your rings, standing with your hands in your pockets, or using fill-speech like saying “you know” or  “um” over and over again.

–Practice in front of a mirror. Remember to practice what you do with your hands and arms. If you use gestures when you speak, make sure they are natural and not overdone.

–After you have practiced on your own, it is good to get an “audience” to watch your presentation and provide concrete feedback on what is good, what needs to be drop or where you need improvement. An audience can be just one other person, but the more feedback you get from different perspectives the higher the likelihood of connecting and engaging your future audience. Getting constructive feedback usually results in changes that will improve your delivery and content.

–If you are trying to persuade your audience to your viewpoint, ask a friend to give you some opposing viewpoints to get a sense of what your audience may be thinking as they hear your presentation. Understanding opposing viewpoints is especially important if you allow questions after the presentation.

4. Know and read your audience. Your presentation must correlate to your audience’s interests or you will lose them. Knowing your audience will also give you a positive, confident attitude about speaking with them and provide opportunities to improvise the content to make it more relevant to audience members.   Be quick on your feet and don’t get locked in to just what you want to say by being an active listener.

5. Visualize yourself succeeding. Do not just tell yourself that you will do well; picture yourself doing well! Take a deep breath, close your eyes and imagine yourself walking to the front of the audience with your shoulders back and a smile on your face. See yourself speaking while the audience nods with approval, laughs at your spontaneous humor and applauds when you finish. Carry that successful mental image with you when it is time for you to present.

6. Fake it until you make it. Your audience will not know how nervous you are. They will only know what you show or tell them. Regardless of how you feel inside, act confident. Acting confident can actually make you feel confident.

7. Don’t stress over what “could have been” or “should have been. Leave the presentation behind once you have finished. Allow yourself five minutes to review the “smiley” sheets and reflect on what you could have done differently, then move on. Plan constructively for your next project. Set some goals and take what you learned to make the next one even better. A good evaluation tool for yourself is to talk with members of the audience after the presentation and ask for feedback on worked and what you could do better the next time.  After all, it was for them you did the presentation.

 

Part I: Meaningful Life principle #2 –Learn to be a Great Communicator and Presenter

Author’s note: On this post I will flush out in more detail the number #2 principle from the Handbook for Creating and Living a Meaningful Life: 30+ Rules of the Road .

Meaningful Life Principle #2: Learn to become a “dynamic” communicator.   

Relevant thought trigger and quotes : Not only is there an art in knowing a thing, but also a certain art in communicating and teaching it. Cicero 

“The problem with communication… is the ILLUSION that it has been accomplished.”—George Bernard Shaw

A Presentation is a Performance Act. You are an Actor. Tom Peters

To be a great a communicator requires high performance (self3) behaviors  and takes “Truth Telling” which begins with clear thinking, courage and belief in yourself and the ideas you are trying to get across. Learn to be an active listener when preparing for the presentation, so you can identify your audience needs ( something you didn’t learn in school)–So if you want to come across to others as authentic and be perceived as “star presenter” practice the mental set, attitude, and actions listed in my “ten rules for excellence in communicating” they will speak volumes of who you really are and transform how you think about interpersonal communications and how you connect with others when presenting.

Dr. Mark’s 10 Tips Becoming a passionate communicator and public speaker:                                               1. Be clear and concise, confident and compelling about your purpose and goals for the interaction or presentation. Don’t present anything you would not want to hear if you were on the other side of the desk or in the meeting room.

2. Learn that “Connecting with Others” is the most important factor to consider when communicating and delivering you message. Do you believe in what you are talking or spouting off about? How comfortable are you in presenting ideas and information to others? Are you open to other points of view? Can you communicate in conversational tones and gestures? Can you manage your nervous energy?

3. Believe in your self—Know your strengths and become a high performer by using them when communicating 1 to 1 or to an audience of 1000 people. This will allow you the freedom to overcome nervousness and self-doubts.

4. You must become a serious and formal student of communication and listening. Yes, the likes of presenting, conversing,  talking and listening can be studied and practiced with the same thoroughness with which you studied mathematics or science that is the bedrock for becoming a physicist or medical doctor.  There’s no more need to be casual about developing these soft skills of interpersonal communication than there is concerning mastering the job of doctor or lawyer. Granted formal schooling for the hard stuff is more available to aspiring professional presenters and students. Yet it can be done—and as I said before, the benefits of undertaking professional study in the art of communicating and presenting and listening is critical to your success in business and life.

5. Give as many speeches as you can—of all shapes and sizes. “Hey, Coach Mark, how did you get to where you are with your presentation skills?” “I’m a lot better after 2500 speeches than I was after 2 or 3.” Meetings are a great training ground for both watching and learning about performing; for example, observe how people react to this or that approach taken by a speaker.

6. The One Big Secret I have learned over and over again in my 40+ years in public speaking and giving presentations is that they are personal and open conversation whether it is a 1 to 1, face 2 face conversation, small staff meeting, conference key-note to 500 people. Make it personal and create closeness by being self-disclosing and truthful–tell stories… Remember an effective speech to 1,000 people is an intimate, 1-on-1 conversation so engage them and surprise them so they are interested and curious about what you have to say.

7. Speak with passion–be energized and excited that you get the privilege of presenting  what you know that can help the audience members live a more fulfilling life.

8. Stay focused but flexible on interests and needs of the other person. Be ready to change topis or re-focus speech if you get feedback or body language that the audience is not with you. Don’t be bound or married to your agenda, always remain audience-centered.

9. Don’t worry about what is going to happen next or be preparing to respond stay in the moment observe, respond and focus on the process of conveying your message and connecting.

10. Close with a bang. Let the audience tell you what they learned. Check for audience AHA’s,  discoveries and learning. Check on commitment for action and personal change.

Bonus Idea for getting ready to speak– Use “relaxation and release” tools to start in a great state of mind and energy…   be open to whatever arises, and be confident you can handle whatever comes-up.

Remember as JFK said,“The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.”

Self-Coaching Module: Blindspots and Feedback – Finding out the Real You

Daily Quote:”Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us .” – Robert Burns

Psychologists have all sorts of models to explain us to ourselves. One of the more interesting ones is a simple four-pane grid known as the Johari Window (named after two real characters, Joe and Harry). It divides our self-awareness into four parts, based on what is known and unknown about us to other people and what is known and unknown about us to ourselves.

Turns out that Johari Windows were created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham back in 1955 to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. The window is divided into four panes — or rooms — as follows: See more at http://work.com/blog/2009/10/gazing-through-my-johari-window/

The Johari Window model is a simple and useful tool for illustrating and improving self-awareness, and mutual understanding between individuals within a group by using feedback and self-disclosure. The Johari Window model can also be used to assess and improve a group’s relationship with other groups. The Johari Window model was devised by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955, while researching group dynamics at the University of California Los Angeles. The model was first published in the Proceedings of the Western Training Laboratory in Group Development by UCLA Extension Office in 1955, and was later expanded by Joseph Luft. Today the Johari Window model is especially relevant due to modern emphasis on, and influence of, ‘soft’ skills, team development, empathy, cooperation, and interpersonal development.

Over the years, alternative Johari Window terminology has been developed and adapted by other people – particularly leading to different descriptions of the four regions, hence the use of different terms in this explanation. Don’t let it all confuse you – the Johari Window model is really very straight forward:

johari window four regions

  1. What is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others, called the – open area and free arena 
  2. What is unknown by the person about him/herself but which others know – blindspot
  3. What the person knows about him/herself that others do not know – hidden area, hidden self, or ‘facade’
  4. what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others – unknown area or unknown self–How would you react in a car accident or a kid-napping 

Johari Window is like a window with four ‘panes’. Here’s how the Johari Window is normally shown, with its four regions. http://www.businessballs.com/johariwindowmodel.htm

Johari region 2 the blindspot is what is known about a person by others in the group, but is unknown by the person him/herself. By seeking or soliciting feedback from others, the aim should be to reduce this area and thereby to increase the open area and increase self-awareness.

This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or issues in which one is deluded. A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person. We all know how difficult it is to work well when kept in the dark. No-one works well when subject to ‘mushroom management’. People who are ‘thick-skinned’ tend to have a large ‘blind area’.

Group members and managers can take some responsibility for helping an individual to reduce their blind area – in turn increasing the open area – by giving sensitive feedback and encouraging disclosure. Managers should promote a climate of non-judgmental feedback, and group response to individual disclosure, which reduces fear and therefore encourages both processes to happen. The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others – care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedback relates to the process of ‘self-development and growth as a leader.

Sometimes people describe blind spots as perception disconnects – when the people around us don’t perceive our words and behaviors in the way we intended. We might believe that our calm, composed demeanor is a serious advantage in a high-stress workplace. Unfortunately, our co-workers perceive us as robotic and uncaring. Our goal might be to appear decisive and candid, but others actually think we’re abrupt and insensitive. Are we energetic and driven? Or relentless and annoying?  Are we methodical and systematic? Or inflexible and overly cautious? Sometimes there’s a very fine line there. But, at the end of the day, perceptions trump intentions. Despite our goals and the impressions we intend to make, our business success is determined by our reputations and the perceptions of us held by our supervisors and colleagues.

What causes these blind spots? Many times, these inadvertent behaviors stem from the way we are naturally “wired” or from limiting beliefs that we formed during childhood. If I have always been rewarded for my enthusiasm, I might think that adding more is always the secret to success. Like blind spots in the car, we simply don’t have the perspective to see when that once-positive trait morphs into an irritating idiosyncrasy. No wonder we’re confused when a less-qualified co-worker gets tapped for the corner office.

Another thing I have learned about blind spots:  no one is immune.  We all have them. However, highly successful people recognize these blind spots and develop strategies to overcome them. First of all, top leaders work hard to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Through self-awareness, they can strike the right balance of confidence and humility in their professional relationships. Second, they perfect the art of “reputation management” by monitoring the way others see them. They actively seek feedback from the people around them to determine if they are being perceived as they intended. And if they uncover any disconnects, they quickly take action to make behavioral improvements.

For those who feel like their careers are stuck or simply not progressing as quickly as they expected, these strategies can have an enormously positive impact. Are you reaching your full career potential? Take the steps to improve your professional reputation by identifying and correcting the blinds spots that could be undermining your progress. Once you harness the power of knowing and managing your reputation, you’ll have the key to accelerating your career in exciting new ways.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Take time to observe and seek feedback on your blind spots–

Have you ever sought to uncover your blind spots?

How do you react when people try to provide feedback on areas for improvement?

What methods do you use to correct or eliminate these blind spots?

 

Self-Coaching Tip: Be an Anthropologist by Being Present and Observant

” If you think self-belief and being more aware and observant  in life cannot make a difference in your life, think again” Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.  

The greatest thing I’ve got going for me is my ability to be observant and believe in other people’s talents. I am a feedback mirror because I hear and see people doing things they can’t hear or see themselves doing. Every great communicator needs that kind of feedback or they will not be stimulated to change or grow. Blindspots will trip them up on their path to success. Having confidence in yourself is important, but it helps to have someone who believes in you, too, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, a teacher, or even a coach. These important teachers and mentors can keep you from tripping-up in life by providing honest feedback and reality checks.

Challenge Assignment: 

1. List 5 people in your life who could serve as a reality and feedback coach?

2. Contact them in the next 24 hours and ask them to be your coach.

3. Be specific and concrete about what you want from them.

Hate Performance Reviews? Here is a Process that works.

The Boss has an Issue: Framework for an Effective Coaching Session.

1. Challenge your assumptions about the person’s ability and shortcomings, gather data and information on both sides of an issue. Thus, avoiding the “confirmation bias” villain that undermines open communication  Be matter of fact in presenting information and ask open-ended questions to find-out other person’s concerns and story about a situation.

2.    Explore Differences and Perceptions about what happened or isn’t happening. Before moving on —Identify Problem to be discussed in this session.

3.   Sharpen the Difference or Agreement–establish priorities for change

4.    Identifying and Exploring– making the relationship a personal win solution for other person

5.   Get Commitment – Identify Action Plan – Follow-Up by using Smart-steps for change

6.   Follow-up with Continuous Improvement checkpoints and Feedback Loops to support change and open communication.

Try this structure for your next difficult performance review, I promise it will provide a powerful and effective way to create a positive climate and promote behavior change.

Unforgotten Technique for Increasing “Sticky Message” and Learners Attention: Case Studies

Sticky Message: Use Case Study interaction that support discovery learning theory and Adult Learning Principles:

  1. Make the learning points and objectives clear, concise and compelling. Be open to audience and discussion teams coming -up with new solutions.
  2. Bury problems in the case to facilitate problem solving and discovery learning.
  3. Create surprises –forcing participants to use reflection- in- action processes (asking for ideas of other participants or making new assumptions) and after outcome/results are gathered learners reflect-on- action taken and new knowledge to broaden their zone of master.
  4. Ask challenging and ” reflective on action” type of questions–The best presenters don’t structure their presentations by thinking, “What’s the next slide or point I should make?” Instead, they decide, “What’s the next question I want them to discuss and wrestle with so as to better understand the critical role physician assistant’s play in a patient’s recovery.
  5. Unpack discussion and discuss learning points before moving on to next topic.

Principles of Case Study Discussions

Principles of case study facilitation form a bridge between values, strategies and techniques. Principles are those things we do that enable us to live in sync with our values.  I have identified the following:  Principles of Case Study Facilitation for your review. Briefly they are:

Plan before doing, but be flexible in execution:Design the session using the Presentation Design Template)and prepare for potential obstacles and questions before the event, not during.

Remain in the present and be neutral and unbiased: focus on group process, maintenance, and critical messages.

Be pragmatic and results focused: Plan and engage participants to accomplish targeted message of the case and desired learning outcomes.

Summary:

1. Stories and relevant examples of key concepts or points are the foundation of a memorable and “sticky” presentation.

If you use only one tip, this is the one. The #1 mistake I’ve observed in presentations—and there is no close second—is that the message in many presentations is generally too abstract or theoretical. The presenter offers concepts and conclusions but not evidence and specific examples of how to apply the concept. He talks at a high level about the big picture, but gives no concrete details that might make the big picture understandable and relevant to listeners. Most people communicate with, say, 3 concepts to 1 part example. That’s exactly backwards. In a compelling presentation, examples are the glue to understanding complex concepts.

A presentation is a sequence of concrete examples and stories are glued together to form a compelling argument or idea. For instance, think of the examples that Al Gore used in his movie An Inconvenient Truth: The before and after photos of Mt. Kilimanjaro, showing the vanishing snow caps. The Cupcake Story you just reviewed. Let be get a tangible feel or sense for the product. Tap into their senses.

I realize that in a technical or scientific presentation data , charts and analysis are a necessity. Data can be experienced as esoteric and abstract unless we make it more relevant through emotional or powerful stories that are easier to identify with, understand and remember.  But because data is pretty abstract, you should resist the pattern that many speakers use — by leading with the data/numbers or to trying to let the data stand alone as a learning tool. Which is more compelling? Saying that there are “150,000 poor adults with AIDS in West Virginia and we need your help to start solving the problem.” Or telling a story about the struggles of a 25-year-old ex-marine and signal mom, and then saying, “Our research suggests that there are 20,000 stories like this, in Parkersburg WV. alone, and we need your help to start solving the problem.” Data are just summaries of thousands of stories—tell a few high powered stories to help make the data come alive and be relevant to your audience.

Want to Keep Assholes at a Distance? Try the Caring Resilience Model

Defending Yourself from Asshole Behavior

                                                  

When you impulsively call someone an “asshole” what is really going on with you and between you and the other person?

 Maybe you feel insulted, ignored, angry at inappropriate behavior or just feed-up at the lack concern and respect shown toward you.

So what can we do be more constructive with this other person? We can’t keep shutting it out or ignoring it by but if this asshole behavior is such a powerful trigger, what are we supposed to do about it? One answer is to develop “thicker skin” which is okay in the short-term and yet does nothing to change the behavior or mollify your feelings. Over the long haul your frustration and anger just build up to a boiling point so that these pinches turn into a “crunch” or blow-up with this person and cause worse consequences. Another method is to develop “asshole resilience “, and it is based on cognitive and emotional assertiveness and a simple communication tool I call “caring resilience”. What does this resilience look like in action? It means developing the ability to share in a “matter of fact” way your feelings and make a request to the Asshole. It focuses on how this person impacts you and why it is important to stop this type of behavior and stay away from you. ‘If we can share our feelings and make a non-emotional request with a person like this we can survive.’

Here is the Caring Resilience Tool–Use this Smart-Step approach to level with Assholes:

When you…

I feel…

Because…

And my request is…

New Research on Negative and Targeted Methods for Increasing Feedback Effectiveness

A balanced Feedback approach uses both positive and negative comments to encourage change and growth. The trick to this balanced method is to assess whether the person you are giving feedback to is an experienced pro or novice just starting out. Don’t miss this article by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson–I am promoting and summarizing it below because I totally agree with Dr. Heidi.

Heidi begins by saying how frustrated she feels because of the new wave”strengths” psychology books and posts about how it is a no..no to provide  “critical” or “negative” feedback to an employee or colleague (or, for that matter, your significant other).  It’s incredibly frustrating to hear coaches say “here is an area for improvement rather than directly saying here is a weakness you need to fix or your going to jeopardize your shot at being a partner…  Positive advice called the 3 to 1 ratio by Dr. Fredrickson or the 5 to1 relationship cure by Dr. Gottman are fine and yet missed the point that to change a behavior people need to clearly hear and understanding where they are messing-up and the impact it is having on others and how these choices are supporting their values and goals in life or making life more difficult than it needs to be. This kind of advice is surely well-meant, and it intuitively sounds like the right thing to do…  After all, you probably don’t want to tell someone else what they are doing wrong or need to make improvements on or face bad consequences.
She goes on to say, ” But avoiding negative feedback is both wrong-headed and dangerous.  Wrong-headed because, when delivered the right way, at the right time, criticism is in fact highly motivating and appreciated.  Dangerous because without awareness of the mistakes he or she is making, no one can possibly improve or might do things that unwittingly hurt themselves or others.  Staying “positive” when doling out feedback will only get you so far.” Continue reading “New Research on Negative and Targeted Methods for Increasing Feedback Effectiveness”