Daily Quote: Secret On Increasing Employee Engagement

 

Daily Quote: When people know we truly care about them—and not just about what we can get out of them—they tend to go the extra mile.

Reflection: Recently, I was pondering the lack of engagement and dis-satisfaction of employees at their workplaces. According to a 2014 Aon Hewitt survey, only 61% of worldwide workers said they feel engaged at their jobs. Why aren’t the numbers higher? Boredom, authoritarian management styles and lack of respect and trust are the usual culprits for these negative attitudes.

Self-Coaching: Over the next week checkout how your employees are feeling about their jobs and make a plan based on their input how to put mor joy and fun into the workplace. This effort would be appreciated and I promise will improve everyone’s “quality of worklife.

Click through to this insightful article on workplace satisfaction.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3047366/hit-the-ground-running/why-you-should-treat-your-employees-like-your-most-loyal-customers

 

 

Updating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Creating More Effective Social Marketing Campaign

Instinctively, we all know how important it is to secure basic needs of rest, water, food, shelter, and warmth are to survival.

The three steps in between the basic physiological needs and the fulfillment needs are where marketing and advertising most directly applies.

This was the essence the Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, shows the advancing scale of how our needs lay out on the path to developing our full potential, meaning, fulfillment, creativity, and the pursuit of what is our passion in life. The version of the pyramid you see below was developed by the Doorway Project and clarifies Maslow’s five different levels of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs.

  • Safety
  • Belonging
  • Esteem

In Maslow’s pyramid, the descriptions for these needs don’t hit the “sweet spot” for creating a powerful and “sticky” message or a 1-1 strategic marketing perspective to them, so it requires design thinking and creativity to see how you can tailor your message to fit these needs. Christine Comaford, an author and expert on the subject of messaging and persuasion, has found safety, belonging, and esteem to have incredible value for living our everyday work and family lives more creatively, and on purpose.

Ms. Comaford says: “ Without these three essential keys a person cannot perform, innovate, be emotionally engaged, agree, or move forward…The more we have of (these three elements) the greater the success of the company, the relationship, the family, the team, the individual.

Her experience has helped her hone three phrases that are essential for influence and persuasion and for creating this sense of safety, belonging, and meaning that we all need and desire in our lives.

Here are some concrete verbal phrasing that gets at the  basic survival and psychological belonging needs that have been proven successful :

  1. “What if.” This phrase removes ego from the discussion and creates a safe environment for curiosity and brainstorming.
  2. “I need your help.” This statement tips the roles of status from dominant and subordinate, to equality and engaging the other person and provides a sense of shared power and more of an ownership perspective for idea or plan.
  3. “Would it be helpful if.” This phrase shifts the focus from the problem to a cooperative and in some cases a collaborative solution.

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge: Coping with Life Difficulties and Losses

A Self-Coaching “Smart-Step” approach to Coping with anxiety and difficult times

Daily Quote: ” When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”.–Viktor Frankl 

Through out life we will encounter good and bad times. With the rapid pace of living  we all experience change as a way of life. Some of us learn to roll with the punches and find ways to get through our daily ups and downs. Others get “stuck” and have a difficult time functioning at an acceptable level. And still others find themselves anxious or increasingly depressed over a problem, concern, or worry for a long time. So we all react differently to change and try to find individual ways to cope. In my experience with clients, I have found some ways that are more effective than others to cope and push try to relief. Below I will provide two Self-Coaching tools that provide a practical framework and a mental set for dealing with these personal obstacles to live a life of constructive action. I suggest you write them down in your personal journal or on a 3x 5 index card so that when you find yourself on the edge or overwhelmed with worry and  insecure thinking, you read these tips to get you through the difficult situations you find yourself in. If necessary, read them over and over again, mantra like.

1.) I will let life be what it is. I won’t “make stuff up” too upset my balance and positive outlook. Sure there are obstacles and inconveniences but no awfulness and shoulds’ in life. Try using positive self-talk like the following: This too shall pass…it could have been much worst…this is inconvenient and unexpected so consciously  STOP. Take a deep BREATH. SMILE and Move ON. 
Sometimes, when the phone rings and the voice or message at the other end knocks you for a loop, you may feel shock, out of control or overwhelmed with what life has just delivered you. And yet you need to keep going on because sometimes there are no solutions or answers to life’s difficulties. Rather than reading these events as “awful” and “unsolvable”, a more constructive approach to terrible news is to notice and accept how you are feeling, if sad, be sad; if you start to cry just cry; if angry; be angry and then redirect your attention to something more useful. For example, find a tissue to wipe your tears, if you are standing sit-down, go for a long slow walk etc. Redirection physically can be a powerful constructive act.  Just remember this event as just a moment in life–not good or bad, just life.  Mentally reject the inner voice that tells you this is awful and you can’ go on. Don’t fight the fear or focus on it;  just notice it and accept it. Acknowledge these events are real, unwanted and  inconvenient obstacles that just need to be handled the best way you know how. With heighten emotions and unclear thinking about loss and fear driven thinking your insecurity and confusion will rise and you may find yourself slowed downed–but this is event is not the end of life or awful! What feels to be hopeless and overwhelming is only an emotional flooding created by this unexpected circumstance. Keep in mind your tool to STOP. Breath. Smile. Keep Moving and trust yourself to handle this situation.

2. Not every problem has a solution, and sometimes you have to just keep going and accept that maybe or maybe not an answer or understanding will appear. 
In time, some problems can be solved or understood. On the other hand, some problems will never be solved and you need to learn to live with this uncertainty and ambiguity of not knowing. Unfortunately, this is not easy to do, but begins with clear and positive thinking (3-1 rule of positivity) not with doubts, fears and negative thoughts. It is your irrational demand for answers and certainty in dealing with life’s problems and ambiguities that generate irrational thoughts, fretting behavior and other unhealthy symptoms such as nervousness, losing control, anxiety and feeling sick.

As you practice these new mental sets,  it helps to remind yourself of the countless problems and worries that have come and gone in your life. How many problems have you solved? One thousand? Ten thousand? or Hundred thousand? Many times you have faced problems and figured-out, how to survive these difficulties  by re-framing, re-strategizing, or over just letting time take its course. Right? Trust yourself and be more gentle and self compassionate because life difficulties eventually become part of your biography and you move on. Remember you have more fuel in the tank than you think you do.

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: 6 Steps for Continuous Personal Change

Daily Quote and Reflection:

First Law of Self-Directed Coaching: ” To achieve personal growth and full potential first requires “self-awareness and acceptance”. Carl Rogers, Father of Client-Center Therapy 

Reflection: I agree with Dr.Rogers statement because if you do not know your self and are reluctant to examine and learn both your strengths and areas needing improvement life is just one activity after another. In addition, acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can’t change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good but I like to focus on things I can control, thus making my life more exciting and fun.  Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don’t fully accept the reality of a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty getting going to change it . Moreover, if you don’t fully accept the situation, you will never really know if the situation needs changing. In the Self-Coaching Challenge I am going to provide a model for you to get going on personal changes.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Creating Your Future in next 30 days: 6 Steps for Continuous Personal Change 

CONTINUOUS CHANGE AND PERSONAL GROWTH MODEL

1. Ask yourself WHY you want to make this personal change

2. ASSESS?  Where your are NOW ( Point A)

3. WHAT? Describe in realistic and specific detail your end goal ( Point B )?

4. HOW? Creating the future (Development Plan)

5. ACTION PLAN: WHO, WHERE, BY WHEN

6. CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND FEEDBACK LOOP: Use a metric to assess your changes. Ask others how you are doing in regard to a specific change goal, like listening. Do they see the changes? Are they experiencing you in new way? What suggestions do they have for you to change even more?  Thank the for the feedback.   

Lessons form Super Bowl…Executing a Philosophy of Winning Be Loosey-Goosey, In the Moment, Caring and Fun Loving

Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit”.

Russell Wilson Special example of Pete Carroll’s Winning Forever Philosophy– These words describe his core– Belief in Self and Others, Open Communication, Commonsense, Calm demeanor, Caring, Trust and Respect and Great Judgment, 18-25 completions and two touchdowns, not flashy just a solid leader…

Pete Carroll–“To accomplish the grand, you have to focus on the small. To exist in the eternal perspective, you have to live in the moment.” Well said! Ate heart of

 is competition and 24/7 responsibility and accountability, be authentic , caring and competition.

WOW, WOW, WOW………………………Talk about the domination of the Seahawks. The one-sided victory showed the power of the Pete Carroll Philosophy of Caring  and Playing in the Moment. This philosophy will definitely have an impact of the rest of the NFL. If you listened carefully to the interviews after the game you heard and saw the humility and pride of teamwork.  Let me  summarize, the “Winning Forever”  philosophy of Pete Carroll. The four words that capture the essence of the team culture are: Fundamentals, Man for Others, Caring and Respect. This means that “soft skills” as a leadership philosophy is on the ascent to building teams and producing results.  The Seahawks according to all the interviews is a “team of misfits” . What does that mean? It means that most of these players were not given the recognition they thought they deserved. The team is mostly made up of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th round draft picks and free agents. No stars just players who were committed to do  the best they could with their strengths and determination to reach their potential. Now let’s break down the philosophy:

1. Fundamentals — Know you X’s and O’s…, competition, play to strengths, plan do what you need to do, practice, practice, practice the details, stay focused, alert and execute in the moment.

2. Man for Others–A tenant of Jesuit Teaching –play for others, don’t let your team members down. You need me I am here for you.

3. Caring-Respect–be there for others and take care of them. Build the trust needed to fulfill your dream. Communicate openly and honestly. Let us be who we are, take care of one another and play to our strengths. Constantly learn the lessons present to you.

4. Fun–Enjoy and embrace the moment, celebrate your victories.

Want to Improve Team Effectiveness: Learn about Team Emotional Intelligence

Daily Quote: “Emotional Intelligence has had a real impact on individual growth and performance but the only problem is that so far emotional intelligence has not focused its research on team competency or effectiveness. The reality is that most work in organizations is done by teams. And if managers have one pressing need today, it’s to find ways to make teams work better”. Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff

“EXCELLENT” Meetings. Meetings are what bosses “do.” Meetings are de facto Leadership Opportunity #1. Act accordingly.  Dr. Tom Peters

How to make meetings more satisfying, productive and work more effectively? “Begin with the end in mind” or the vision thing. By setting a vision of what the team wants to accomplish and what a successful meeting looks like the changes of increasing engagement and having more satisfying outcomes increase dramatically .

We generally ignore priority setting or vision thinking in most meetings. For some reason there is pressure to get down to work quickly. This thinking goes like this “we can’t waste time on all this petty stuff we have important things to do”. So what happens is that most team leaders and members avoid or ignore answering these important questions: What is the most important thing to work on and accomplish while we are together this morning? Why are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve? Where are we trying to get to?’ What does success look like? How do we handle side issues that might come up? How do we get everyone involved, engaged and committed to what’s important to discuss and decide on today? What the leader and team fail to understand is how important it is to answer these questions not just to motivate thinking and members engagement but to guide how to use our valuable time together. Both “structure and processes” are key elements for increasing energy and productivity in meetings.  So my advice to those who are bored or frustrated by meetings is to –STOP, CLARIFY and GET AGREEMENT on what is important to focus on today.

Another important idea is presented by Druskat and Wolff in their Harvard Business Review’s article that the real source of a great team’s success lies in the fundamental understanding of group emotional intelligence. This understanding allows effective task processes to emerge like setting decision-making and communication norms and that cause members to commit to the shared established by the team. Their research says there are three conditions are essential to a group’s effectiveness: trust among members, a sense of group identity, and a sense of group efficacy.”

Planning and detail thinking are both about “how” to implement your vision, with planning being more at the 30,000 level and big picture thinking, and detail discussions are more ground level dealing with specific actions and commitments.   “This kind of ‘how’ to execute or work together is very difficult if you don’t have a  clear why these activities are a priority and important to the individuals, team and organizational imperatives.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Learning how to conduct effective meetings can’t be learned over night. To break the habits of poor meetings will take experimentation and practice. In the beginning instituting new group maintenance procedures or processes will feel unnatural or uncomfortable. So as a team leader it is important from a learning and mental stand point to stick with changes long enough to see if they can make a difference in your team’s productivity. Remember that ” A team can have everything going for it the brightest and most qualified people, access to resources–a clear mission and still fail because it lacks group emotional intelligence and understanding of group dynamics”.

So over the next month your challenge as team leader is to explore ways to improve your meetings through feedback and speaking-up. Start first by reaching out to team members on two questions:

1. How do they feel about the effectiveness of our present meetings.

2. Ask for suggestions on what needs to change in order to make them more productive?

 

Part1: New Year Resolutions–What does Evidence -Based Research Reveal About Secrets of Willpower

The start of a New Year is always special. For me there is always a feeling of renewal as we look to a new year, a reflection back to the year that has passed and a new beginning. I have a sense of excitement for keeping things that are working, making changes or adopting new habits to make the year even better than the last year. However, do you ever find yourself making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals only to abandon them as the New Year tick docks away.

So I decided to check the research and selected the nationwide survey done in 2013 by Opinion Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey which I found to be very interesting and insightful on this topic of setting and completing resolutions. The bottom line is that 3 out of 4 people are not successful in completing their resolutions In addition, according to this research study, if you are happy you probably don’t set any resolutions. Unhappy people set resolutions more than happy especially in regard to money goals, 59% to 41%. So if you do not complete your goals for the New Year you are not alone.

So the question becomes what are some of the secrets and ways to set and fulfill your New Year Resolutions?

Studies now show that self-control is a limited resource that may be strengthened by the foods we eat. Laughter and conjuring up powerful memories may also help boost a person’s self-control. And, some research suggests, we can improve self-control through practice, testing ourselves on small tasks in order to strengthen our willpower for bigger challenges.

Learning to bring your behavior under control even with arbitrary rules does build character in that it makes you better able to achieve the things you want to achieve later on,” said Dr. Baumeister. “Self-control is a limited resource and is depleted more you use it.. People make all these different New Year’s resolutions, but they are all pulling off from the same pool of your willpower. It’s better to make one resolution and stick to it than make five.”

In Part 2 on New Year Resolutions we will discuss techniques and tools to support your goal of personal change for 2014. Stay tune. Coach Mark

Daily Quote and Reflection–What works best: More Data and Rational Thinking or Better use of Heart or Gut

 Daily Quote: “A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if

that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately.

Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . .

Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”

— Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan 

Reflection: Carlos Castaneda is arguing for us to have more patience and persistence when purpose our purpose in life. Then, he is challenging us to be smart about how long we need to pursue a “path” that isn’t working for us. The burden of his insightful quote and message is for us to know our strengths and direction for living a purposeful life. In others have some measures to indicate whether our direction is working. The petty of his quote is that he does not mention data or knowledge as the most important measurement. His advice is to use our “heart” as the way to evaluate if our direction is working. If by “heart” he means measuring and staying in touch with our passion, intuition and “gut feelings” I agree fully with him.

Everyone has intuitive experiences but few know how to use intuition effectively because we tend to talk about intuition as a single ability where, in fact, there are several levels of intuitive abilities.  They are not the same and not useful in the same ways.  For example, the most common intuitive experience is the common “gut feeling”.  A gut feeling is an intuitive reaction to something either positively or negatively.  When we experience a gut feeling it is an indicator that we are on the right track or that something is wrong. The big question you need to be aware of when a decision based on your “heart” or “gut” is whether we can trust our feelings more than our rational thinking to make a decision? I suggest that we listen to our gut feeling and use it as an indicator but not necessarily they ultimate decision maker. Stop and listen to you uncomfortable feelings. Then step back and take a break which allows you to be more aware of other possible alternatives and weigh the consequences of our pending decision. Ask yourself what you are or not seeing on your chosen path? Get clarity on what is working or not working for you?  What is blocking or interfering with you reaching your goals?

Self-Coaching Challenge: In your coaching process use your journal to explore whether your purpose or path is working for you and what you need to do or change if it isn’t working. Learning to make non-emotional decisions based on life experiences and some relaxation exercises and mediation have proven best for me. The key to the ability to use your unconscious and intuitive skills is practice and awareness that it is trying to tell you something. Just learn to listen, then decide and act with 100% commitment. 

Self-Coaching: Power of Questioning for Connecting

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think…true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. Socrates

Have you ever experienced the Socratic way of learning–and self-discovery? You begin by asking your inner-self questions to challenge your present thinking and behaving. This produces more self-awareness and understanding of who you are and what you want to become in living a life of making difference. It also can support your teaching and presentation style by challenging learners to think and discover questions that can then make your communication or presentation more relevant to their life.

This method of Socratic questioning illuminates the importance of questioning in self-awareness and clear thinking.  Socrates stated that questioning was the only defensible form of teaching. It illuminates the difference between systematic and fragmented thinking. It teaches us to dig beneath the surface of our ideas and not just memorize stuff for a presentation or interpersonal communication. It teaches us the value of developing questioning minds to cultivate deep learning. The Art of Socratic questioning is intimately connected with learning because  questioning is important to the excellence of thought.

The word “Socratic” adds to the art of questioning because it signals depth and interest in assessing the truth or information about our self and others in the situations they are confronting. Many people are afraid that by asking questions they will look weak, ignorant, or unsure. They like to give the impression that they are decisive and in command of the relevant issues. They fear that asking questions might introduce uncertainty or show them as uninformed or incompetent. They like being perceived as the expert. In fact, asking questions is a sign of strength and intelligence – not a sign of weakness or uncertainty. Great leaders constantly ask questions of themselves and many different people to show they are aware of different points of view and that they do not have all the answers. Some people are in such a hurry to get things done that they do not stop to ask questions because it might slow them down. They risk rushing headlong into making poor decisions and then taking the wrong actions in complex situations.

As politicians, peers, friends, family members, colleagues, or managers how do we avoid making these split second  decisions? One technique is to stop and check assumptions, weigh the alternatives and potential consequences by first asking questions. Start with very basic, broad questions then move to more specific areas to clarify your understanding. Open questions are excellent – they give the other people a chance to weigh-in and open up the discussion, so as to arrive at a better decision. Examples, of open questions are: • What obstacles keep the government from bailing out home owners? •  What are the factors that caused our recent economic melt down? • How can we reduce a further melt down of the economy? • Where does an individual or bank’s authority and responsibility end and government authority through regulation begin to override risky individual choices• Tell me more about your personal experiences in securing a business loan? Questions for a meaningful conversation need not be scripted because as we actively listen and tune-in to responses we can spontaneously formulate more in-depth or probing questions. Be patient in your responses and never interrupt the speaker. The desire to state our ideas, insights, points of view and wisdom is hard to resist. The method of asking questions to deepen our understanding and provides more clarity of the issues before identifying the root issue in making critical decisions and taking action.

Asking questions is a very effective method to build trust and shows your interest in getting other people’s viewpoint of the problem and finding the best alternative for constructive action. A word of caution-questions maybe be perceived as an interrogation and threatening rather than as a friendly way to connect unless you show interest in the responses. Try to pose each question in a calm way so that the learning climate is experienced as positive by all those involved in the discussion. Be especially cognizant of your non-verbal symbols such as, finger pointing or  jab your index finger like the “critical parent”. Try to speak and use positive and welcoming hand jesters, such as open palms.

Try to practice asking more opened questions in conversations will make a person feel understood and indicate that you care what they have to say. Instead of telling someone what you think or immediately providing advise – ask them a question and you will be perceived as caring, open, and engaging person.

Questions help us to teach as well as to learn. If you are open too new thinking and renewal the lesson’s life offers will enhance your ability to develop and grow your decision-making processes and effectiveness. If it is obvious that asking questions is such a powerful way of learning why do we stop and asking questions? For some people the reason is that they think that they have learned all there is to know on a subject–the “know-it-all style or they see it as a WAY OF SUCCEEDING STATUS TO OTHERS THUS TAKING AWAY THEIR INFLUENCE OR CONTROL OF THE SITUATION. Others like to hear themselves talk or thinking leading is dominating the conversation. Some people become bored, lazy or worn down by fighting the same battles for change year in and year out. They want to maintain their comfort level by holding onto old and tried and true “mental maps”, assumptions and solution or ideas which they believe are correct and unchanging. For example, cutting taxes leads to a strong economy. They try old solutions that might or might not fit the new circumstances.This approach leads them to be stuck in the past. And many times they end up failing by trying to maintain the status quo and their comfort level.

Self-Coaching Challenge: This week spend time with your team in reviewing the importance of questioning and practicing it when discussing an important issue. Ask yourself about how this changed the discussion? What went differently? Did asking questions improve your team’s collaborative behavior? Was the outcome of the decision-making process better or about the same before you institutes and rewarded more questioning?  Remember–Being able to ask yourself or your team tough questions and then to forge an answer everyone can live with increases self-awareness, personal growth and team effectiveness.

 

Introducing the Self-Coaching Plus One Model for Self-Development

Plus 1 Self-Coaching for Self-Development

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to life for.” Viktor Frankl

Those individuals who are truly growing and happy in their lives are on a quest to discover their purpose for living.  Our self-coaching, person-centered development model, supports the journey for finding and creating a more fulfilling purpose in life. Fulfilling our purpose for being is a natural condition of living and is critical for living a more satisfying life by finding our strengths and gifts to make a positive contribution and difference in this complex and vexing world.

The Plus-One “process with structure” approach is unique in the world of coaching. We have investigated and researched the “best-in-class” ways to create a positive learning approach for personal change. At the core of our philosophy are proven methods to motivate and inspire our client’s to discover  and change their thinking and behavior through perseverance, patience and practice. We encourage clients to uncover and focus on their responsibility to make their own choices in life. The self-coaching activities are designed to emphasize the individual’s inherent right to choose and support their own development focused on their purpose, worth and dignity. 

Unlike traditional one-one coaching the plus-one process  is based on self-direction using the process of discovery and client choice. The individual is his own coach and counselor. The “process with structure” framework support the individual through guided exercises on self-awareness, strengths identification, goal setting and self-development challenges. It encourages individuals to choose what changes they want to make in order to fulfill their needs and reach their full potential. The “process with structure” activities are designed to uncover information and support reflective thinking to establish Smart-Steps and Plus 1 practices to bring about the personal changes and new behavior desired.

Once you understand the Smart-Step Process you are on the road to significant personal change and getting unstuck.  Specific change goals replace other people’s expectations and help you focus on what is really your purpose and important priorities in your life. Being and living in the moment is critical to developing confidence. It means learning to trust and believe in your ability to accept the challenge. Developing this change posture means that you must accept more vulnerability and take more risk. Trust is directly related to your ability to be open and for you to be experienced as authentic by others. Specific approaches are designed in the “process with structure” approach to challenge your present mental maps and behaviors so as to lead you to do what you set out to do to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

Improving Meaningless Meetings- Learn to Establish Norms and Improve Collaborative Skills

Part I Team Development–Unlocking The Power of Team Norms and Collaborative Communication Skills To eliminate Toxic meetings 

Team norms represent the behavior expectations that support the core concepts of trust, sharing, belonging and respect and cooperation. Collaborative skills are the specific ways in which team members are expected to behave in order to achieve accepted norms and ways to productively work together. After team norms have been developed, collaborative skills are assessed, prioritized and taught.

Collaboration Team Communication Skills and Norms 

Team norms represent the behavior expectations that support the core concepts of trust, sharing, belonging and respect and cooperation. Collaborative skills are the specific ways in which team members are expected to behave in order to achieve accepted norms and ways to productively work together. After team norms have been developed, collaborative skills are assessed, prioritized and learned the team is better equipped to discuss, share, problem solve and brainstorm opportunities for taking the next steps forward through constructive action. 

Over my 30 +  years of facilitation and team projects and discussions, I have developed a growing and non-exhaustive list of collaborative skills that are supportive of effective and productive team interaction, efficiency and effectiveness.

Here is the list of behavior and possible norms to review:

Ask questions, Actively listen for understanding-Start a conversation-Ask for help-Ask a favor – Cooperate by joining-in an activity Be engaged Pay attention-Accept feedback Accept criticism Apologize-Give a compliment-Make others feel important-Follow suggestions or directions Say Thank you Acknowledge others effort-Say Yes-Say No Accept situations Give-up control- Say you don’t know- Clarify Summarize-Restate- Reflect other people’s feelings State and own your feelings and emotions Show empathy-Know and recognize feelings- Be observant Be open to negotiate-Express sympathy and sadness for others –Own your feelings and actions-Take time-outs to cool down- Ignore distractions- Take turns speaking and listening- Take responsibility and accountability for actions-Remind others to be flex and open to other view points- Play devil’s advocate-Influence and convince others with strong factual arguments-Deal with Other’s overreactions and anger – Deal with fear and anxiety – Stand-up for your rights- Be assertive- Respond and accept teasing or sarcastic put-downs- Deal with failures and embarrassments- Learn to problem solve and complete in-completions- Don’t run away from unresolved conflicts- Set priorities for action. 

Potential Uses for using the list for Team Development:

1. To assess a team’s readiness for problem solving and opportunity finding.

2. To evaluate a team meeting session from the point of view of satisfaction with the interaction

3. To measure a team’s group stage for effectiveness.

4. For identifying skill areas for team training and development in collaborative and supportive behaviors.

5. Efficiency of team’s ability to maximize time management.

 

Self-Directed Coaching Challenge: Goal Setting–One method to help manage time and energy

Self- Directed Coaching Challenge–Goal Setting: One method to help manage time and energy.

 Although I have been doing coaching and career counseling for more than 35 years, the leadership lessons I have learned have come from both experience on the job, and more importantly have come from observing and asking questions from other professionals and friends. These “tips” and wisdom from others have usually shorten my learning curve in most situation as a manager, CEO and business consultant. These lessons learned remain pivotal to my life as a life long-learner. Adult learners prefer to learn from their own experiences, and this largely explains why your kids and other less experienced people need to make decisions and then live with the consequences of those decisions. Your hope is that they learn the lessons from these experiences and if one doesn’t work they put it put on the out bound slide in their brain.

Today I am going to share some of the lessons I have learned and hope if they fit your situation you will find the helpful, if they don’t fit just move-on and learn for yourself better ways to be productivity or solve the issues facing you now.  

1. Set constructive, clear and concise goals for your professional development. In setting your development goals establish priorities by setting no more than three goals per quarter. Never work on more than three things. Doing this goal setting is crucial to your success and helps reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed every time you look at your things to do list that has 10-20 things weighing down your mind and draining your energy reserves.   Here is my formula for goal setting —

Directions:  

  1. Do a private brain storm and create a list of every goal or task that you are now facing. Pair the list down by establishing which ones are the most important ones to do right now.
  2. Prioritize this list down to the three most important goals to accomplish over the next quarter.
  3. Right a detail plan of action and list the steps or activities that will support completion of these goals by the end of this quarter. Write these goals down and make a commitment to getting started today.
  4. Once you have your top three goals put the rest of the list into a drawer and forget about it until next quarter.

Self-Coaching Session–#1 Rule for Getting Started

The odds of having a successful self-coaching session increase when you set a positive tone for a session right up front.

You might ask how do I do this? You do it by being aware of what would make this next 45-60 min time well spent because you learned or accomplished something of value.

Specifically, you need to do the following to increase the odds for a productive session:

1. Ask what would make this hour the best hour of my week? Set a goal for the session.

2. Specifically define a Point A (where you are now) and a Point B (where you want to be by the end of this self-coaching session). Note that this is also important to do before each and every coaching session.

3. Confirm why getting to Point B matters to you. Doing this check makes it clear on why this session is worth your time and energy and provides a time for evaluation.

The self-coaches who don’t do this tend to get lost in a hairball of events, circumstances, and problems, without focusing in on a goal or result that matter. The session meanders without measurable traction or progress, and often the client gets frustrated or feels like they are in therapy. The coach sometimes has fun, but the client suffers.

In contrast, with a clear Point A and Point B, you the coach can dig into why the gap is between the two points of where you are now, where you want to be in the future and how to move forward toward insights, results, and value.

It’s simple a simple process but to execute and focus as your own coach you need to find a program that provides structure for your self-coaching sessions.

Similarly, never end a self-coaching session without a things to do action lists–reconfirming the value of the session by asking:

What was the most valuable thing you got out of today’s exercise or session? How is what you discovered going to change your daily activities or interactions with others? This type of self-reflective coaching re-grounds the value of self-coaching, and keeps momentum going into the next session. It also provides important information for your next personal journal activity. Remember the executive part of your brain and thinking is more focused when you capture and write insights and things down in black and white.

Next post I will share some excellent sites and other resources  you can review to help you get started in taking control of your personal development through self-coaching. For example, take a look at some of my posts on smart-steps and the plus-one coaching framework for personal change. technique.

 

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.

Part III Improving Meeting Dynamics: Learning About Barriers For Ineffective Communication

This post is a follow-up to Part I and Part II on Improving Meeting Dynamics. I wanted to unpack these issues of communication before  sharing ideas on roles and task needs for groups

 Communication approaches that block effectiveness and undermine personal connections in group meetings.

  JUDGING – evaluating or judging the other person or his/her status or ideas.  This involves not listening for reasons or explanations, but instead putting the ideas down or implying the other person is wrong.

CONTROLLING – trying to change or restrict someone’s behavior or attitude by imposing a set of values or beliefs on them.  A person who engages in this behavior has a high need to be in control of others and the situation.

SUPERIORITY – communicating a feeling of superiority in position, power, or ability that implies the other person can’t be right because of his/her inadequacies.  There tends to be a sense of one-upmanship and “know it all” expert to this approach.

CERTAINTY – communicating in a manner that implies the person knows all the answers and does not need or desire any additional information.  There is a high need to be right, even to the point of winning an argument rather than solving a problem.

  • INDIFFERENCE – showing a lack of interest or concern for the feelings or welfare of the other person that implies what the other person is saying is unimportant. This approach to interpersonal communication undermines the ability to relate to one another and reduces trust a key element of connecting with others.
  • MANIPULATING – communicating with hidden motives and agendas. This negative factor undermines openness and in a way signals that you are willing to meet one’s own needs without the regard to the impact on others. This type of communication has a real “gotcha” feel to it.

Self-Coaching Challenge: During the next day or two identify which communication barrier is one that you often use when  interacting with your team. Then begin to map-out a new more positive approach using the Plus 1 and Smart-step approach for personal change. 

Part II –Team Meetings: Focus and Understanding Individual Needs of Members

In Part I of this series on Meeting Effectiveness , I shared some ideas about how important it is to maintain and build the group as a whole by understanding the Maintenance Needs of the team. In this post, I want to review a different type of team need that can make or break your team’s effectiveness–Individual Needs of team members.  

Obviously, any group is made-up of two or more individual persons. These persons have their own individual needs. Your individual personality preferences, life experiences, genetic and neurological make-up and in particular positive and negative experience of  working in teams drive members behavior. These individual needs drive the type of communication,  interaction, and roles members play when the team comes together to work on tasks. These needs must be identified and satisfied before a productive and satisfying meeting can take place.  Most team members consciously or unconsciously require different needs to be met. These needs are recognition, status, control,  autonomy, security, belonging, affection, acceptance, etc. The list can go on and on. The nature of human circumstances  and life in general determine a person’s particular needs at any given moment in the life of the team. All of us at any given time might need more recognition, a sense of belonging or control.

Let’s say in a given team Bill will need many of these things. For many reasons, he may also need to a leader on a particular topic under discussion; he may need to liked and feel like he belongs; he may feel a need to impress one particular person in the group. The kind of needs he expresses are a direct result of his particular circumstance, brain functioning and  perception of gain or loss by being a member of this group. At this point you might being saying: ” I get it that everyone has needs but how do you use this information to improve team meetings and produce recommendations for the task we were assigned to work on? For part of my answer, I want to introduce you to an emerging field in behavioral and team management–cognitive brain research. This new research about how to apply brain research to improve human performance, develop effective teams and drive change is being conducted by Dr. David Rock and his associates at the NeroLeadership Institute.   In a recent interview, with the NY Times, Dr. Rock describes the importance of new brain research model called the SCARF theory by saying ” it is crucial for managers to make their employees feel they are on the same team.”  The SCARF model provides a structure for analyzing what motivates our social interaction and behavior at work. The SCARF  acronym stands for Status, Control, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.  To see more read about Dr. Rocks research click on this link to the NeuroLeadership Institute webpage.

Since, we have covered maintenance needs and individual needs in teams my next post will focus on task needs and roles people might play  and how to use this information to improve team meetings. Thanks Coach Mark