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 


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)


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.   

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. 

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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


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 —


  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. 

Team Meetings Boring and Lacking Ideas? Try Plus 1 Technique for Change

Lacking Team Ideas: Try increasing conflict and debate by using the Plus 1 Technique 

For some time now I have been sharing the idea of how to change personal habits and behaviors by using the Plus One technique. Recently, I came across an article in HBR that reinforced the power of using the Plus 1 tool for working with teams. Essentially, the article was talking about how to avoid the Abilene Paradoxor group think.  They were concerned about dearth of ideas some teams come up with because of the fear of debate and conflict. The authors go to say the following: “ When ideas are still being developed or decisions still being considered, criticism and constructive conflict are vital to testing the value of the ideas and helping increase that value. Conflict is an indicator that diverse viewpoints are being considered and that the competition for ideas is still ongoing. During this competition, ideas are strengthened through further research, consideration or through the blending of different ideas into one stronger concept. By contrast, when everyone in a group always agrees, it can indicate that the group doesn’t have very many ideas, or that they value agreement more than quality suggestions”

The case study that caught my attention was how PIXAR used conflict and debate to create better ideas that produced many of their blockbuster films.

During the long process of idea generation and creating exciting and engaging films the creative teams at Pixar rely on criticism to make their work stronger. They focus on keep the benefits of criticism without the negativism by using idea called “plussing.” Plussing means that anytime someone comments on another work, that comment must contain a “plus” — a way to improve or build on the work. Plussing gives the director or animator something they need besides just a critique, it gives them a place to build from and improve their work. Through plussing, Pixar has found a formula for keeping criticism positive, while positively improving the quality of their work.

Whether you rely on centuries old techniques like the devil’s advocate, new methods such as plussing, or just choose to postpone meetings until someone brings in a counterpoint, your teams will make better decisions when you cultivate a little positive criticism. See complete article at HBR Blog http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/07/how_criticism_creates_innovati.html

Handbook for Living a Meaningful Life: Rule # 5– Be Patient. Persevere. Use Perfect Practice.

” If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”  Buddha

” It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Einstein

Author’s note: From the Handbook for Creating and Living a “Meaningful Life”: 30 Rules of the Road comes–Life Principle  #5: Be patient. Persevere. Use Perfect Practice. By learning to do the right thing the first time around you will save time and energy in your practice session and become a master quicker. Remember practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Does 10,000 hours make you an expert or master of a subject or performance activity, like tennis or public speaking? From my review of the literature, it appears that the key to performance mastery is 10,000 hours done in deliberative practice structure. So what exactly is deliberative practice. Most research defines deliberative practice as an activity with a very well-defined end-goal, which should be difficult. The activity needs to be highly repeatable. There needs to be feedback on the quality of each repetition; so it is helpful to have a coach or friend review your performance.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Discovering your own Vision and Awake to Joy

Daily Quote: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  Carl Jung

Reflection: How much time do you spend reflecting on your experiences? If you are like most people , you may resist and be reluctant to plan or reflect on your life. Many think this type of approach to living lacks the spontaneity and natural feeling of just letting life happen. Planning or reflecting seem to be too structured, controlled or artificial. Yet, I believe that assessing what worked or didn’t and what you would do differently in the future provides invaluable learning you can use to handle future events and situations. Reflecting on past experiences can help identify areas for improvement, overcome fears of change,  deal with bad habits and inadequacies.

Self- Coaching Challenge: Few people receive the  education in the conscious applications of clear thinking for solving problems and creating a more positive outlook in life. Most of our learning in this type of reflective thought is by “trial and error”.  My challenge to you is to discover and realize the power of  your own thinking in determining  your behavior. So over the weekend I want you to choose enthusiasm for living rather than just loafing around. I want you to try this experiment, so as to increase your understanding and establishing more effective ways to identify your own ability to use optimism and positive thinking that may lay dormant within you. Start Saturday and Sunday right — Most of the research on developing more energy and enthusiasm says that in the first 15 minutes of thought and activity can determine whether you have a good or bad. Use Smart-steps to get going on the right path

1. Take a deep breath and think of all the good things you have in your life.

2. Then awake to see all the good people, good things and opportunities for fun.

3. Go out and get breakfast or donuts for everyone

4. Then do activity that others want to do.

5. Let the joy of the day flow to you.

6. Capture in your journal 5 joys of the day.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Want to Be Happier? Try this one Secret

Quote: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer”. Henry David Thoreau

Reflection: I think one of key secrets to living a happier and more fulfilled life is to not let others decide your future or to give-up challenging yourself to grow and develop.   Take small steps to the music which you hear, however small or difficult the steps may be. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, lovers, soul mates, critics, teachers, their religious leaders and what popular culture  think is cool or best for them. They ignore their inner drummer and voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about who they are and stop dreaming. Remember my Poem ” Happiness Happens… Be Ready…Life is Short”.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s expectations advice distract you from leaving your own footprints in the sand.

Self-Coaching Challenge:

Start today by identifying three things you want to do that will make your  life more meaningful and fulfilling. You must believe that you can have a bigger future, no matter what your circumstances. Take one of these three things you want to do and develop a plan for implementation. Remember this thing doesn’t not have to be a big flashy or difficult goal. Make you activity enjoyable and doable within the next 3 weeks.   Keep us posted. 

Daily Quote and Reflection by Bill Bradley-Synergistic Teamwork Formula 1+1 =3

Daily Quote: Bill Bradley, a great basket ball player for the New York Nicks and US Senator, once summarized teamwork saying, “Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.”  

Reflection: Following his thoughts, I feel will help you go along way to building a truly effective and transforming team. You will address employees’ needs to feel valued and respected by creating the climate for trust and support of a synergistic team being able to accomplish more than they could by themselves. I call this the Synergistic Team Effect.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

Identifying the obstacles that block your team from being more synergistic. Once identify use the Smart-Step model or Plus 1 Principle to help open up constructive dialogue to see if your team can problem solve on how to eliminate these barriers.

Caring Confrontation: 7 Steps for Resolving Conflicts with Difficult People

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 “emotional resilience “, and it is based on cognitive and emotional assertiveness and a simple communication tool I call “caring confrontation”. What does this approach look like in action? It means developing the skill to share in a “matter of fact” way your feelings and make a request to the other person which is both leveling (your truth about the situation) and confronting ( clearly stating the problem form your point of view). It focuses on how this person impacts you and why it is important to find a mutually agreeable way to solve this relationship problem. ‘If we can share our feelings and make a non-emotional request with a person we have an opportunity to reframe the interaction and move forward.

Here is the Caring Confrontation tool that might work for you. Thr basis of this Smart-Step tool is to share your reality and understand the other person’s reality, so as to begin a creative problem solving conversation:

Caring Confrontation: Leveling and Support through Smart-Steps:

1. Get a blank piece of paper and  complete these 4 sentence stems to get clear on your feelings and needs in a difficult interpersonal situation…

I need…

I want…

I resent…

I demand…

2. After your completion and before you meet with the other person ask them to do the same activity of completing the incomplete stems.

3. Exchange your answers and discuss your different viewpoints

4. Identify where you have agreement or disagreement and what the problem is.

5.  Take the problem and create possible solutions.

6. Agree on the solution which works best works for both of you.

7. Create an Action Plan for Moving Forward–

  • Does the solution option interest the person enough to take positive action to change?
  • How will they go about executing actions to reach their goal of change?
  • What obstacles might get in their way and block the resolution of this issue?
  • How might they overcome these obstacles?
  • What support do they from you?
  • When are they going to check-in on their progress?