Vision of New 21st Century Leadership

Leadership and Growth Mindset

With increased self-awareness through dialogue and feedback from others comes more confidence in your ability to tackle challenges and be a collaborative leader. These practices are hallmarks of the work I do with clients, not only in our more formally organized leadership development programs, but also in my modules on self-coaching and growth mindset characteristics both of which provide people with extensive feedback on self-awareness and how others see them.

Out these insights I have developed a vision for what 21st century leadership looks like. In the 21st Century a leader’s ability to inspire others to “follow you over the hill” in the command and control style of leadership is of less importance than your ability “to align people around a sense of purpose and values…and then model and empower other people to step up and lead no matter what organizational position or level they are in. This sense of autonomy and self-direction are critical elements in this new style of leadership.

If you’re inspiring followers, self-awareness is less important than power and the natural charisma we’ve traditionally associated with strong leadership. Yet  if you’re aligning and empowering other leaders, your success will depend on your ability to connect with people not as “followers” but as independent decision-makers and to motivate and influence them by speaking to their needs and interests.  This requires a keen degree of self-awareness and the ability to see clearly through the eyes of others.

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge–Want to go from GOOD to GREAT as a Presenter Communicator: Focus on Your Strengths


Daily Quote:  “One should waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.  It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

 Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management  


Reflection: I don’t think Dr. Drucker is suggesting that we  should avoid identifying and addressing areas for development, but we tend to make weakness and improvement of problem areas a priority at the expense of ignoring or taking for granted our strengths. We need to remember that on any given day we only have a certain amount of  time and energy. So in focusing on weaknesses or problems as the priority we have little energy or time to emphasize and use our strengths to tackle our duties and responsibilities, and I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling for living a more meaningful and constructive life.

And the more presentation coaching I do, the more convinced I am that people are better served by seeking to build on their strengths than by seeking to overcome their weaknesses.  As a coach, I have been amazed at the over emphasis in presentation coaching of observing and pointing out weaknesses of what I call “technique rather than substance”. For example, the trainer who focuses on negative things like poor eye contact, hands in the pocket, fill speech (eliminating Uhh’s and Um’s), low energy or just overall nervousness impacts presenters in a negative ways.  We know from research that positive feedback at the ratio of  3 positive to 1 negative comments increases motivation and the probability of positive behavioral change.

One of my fundamental assumptions as a presentation coach is that each client has the potential and abilities within to learn how to be “great”.  They just need to observe and concentrate on their strengths, like their great smile, their positive and contagious passion for their message and ability to challenge and engage the audience. To do this it is essential for the training program to use video feedback techniques like “interjective coaching and self-discovery” tools. When training techniques encourage participant’s active involvement in learning it brings out  insights, strong motivation, and resourceful creative ways to build on strengths. From my perspective nothing is wrong or broken, and there is no need to fix the client,; they just need to belief in and practice what they are best at.  The only problem is that presentation training programs have often focused on “fixing” the presenter rather than helping them find and use their strengths. The challenge here is that people often seek coaching precisely because they or their managers believe that something IS “wrong” or “broken” and something needs “fixing.”  It’s essential for the coach and client  to collaborate on identify strengths and develop an alternative perspective that focuses on the client’s strengths, because their capabilities–their belief, their resourcefulness for seeing their strengths-are the qualities that will generate going from “good to great” as public speakers.

Self- Coaching Challenge:  Since I believe that a greater emphasis on amplifying strengths and successes is more efficient, more effective, and more fulfilling in changing behavior I am offering a FREE NO CHARGE ANALYSIS of your presentation skills. Over the next thirty days,  just send me a u-tube video or home video of your last presentation or of a practice session that you would like feedback on. I will provide a one page presentation evaluation checklist that we will use to observe and identify your speaking strengths and you will be well on your way to becoming a GREAT presenter.

Self-coaching on the Job–Do You know how to be more Positive and motivate Team Members?

Daily Quote: “When it’s clear to employees that they’re helping others through their work, their intrinsic motivation rapidly expands.” Peter Drucker 

Reflection: Having a bigger goal and one that is focused on others is a basic way to encourage a team effort. Good managers are always looking to support employees and catch them doing something right. I once had a manager that was always trying to nail others on their laziness and catching them doing something wrong. The result was high turnover and lower productivity which turned into an unfortunate game of “I gotcha”. This type of game was a win-loss for everyone.

As an employee  grows into new skills or responsibilities, positive reinforcement can be particularly powerful for both the manager and team member.  The idea is not used as often as it needs to be. For some managers using this technique is seen as a “soft” or weak way to mange. They have a miss guided notion that managers must be tough on employees or they lose credibility with the workforce. This “tough management” approach gives them power but it is a misguided mental set for trying to increase motivation. Using a more open management style focused on  ‘feel-good techniques,’  are the equivalent of a verbal performance progress report that allows you to direct an employee’s progress by commenting, in an appropriate and credible way, on their efforts, successes and strengths as the team moves toward achieving their goals.

It sounds simple, and yet acknowledgments can be a hard skill for busy and misguided managers philosophy of what managers need to do in order to increase the individuals intrinsic motivation.  Part of that is resistance to soft skills, but part of it is just not knowing how to communicate more effectively with team members.  To give an effective acknowledgment, you must do the following three things:

1. Catch Your Employee Doing Something Right

Okay, be honest!  How often do you see an employee doing something well, and neglect to mention it?  And how often do you see the same employee doing something wrong, and comment immediately?  Most managers would answer “usually” to both those questions.  And that’s not surprising, given that your focus is improving employee performance.  But if you only point out an employee’s mistakes, you’re training him to expect criticism every time you open your mouth.

The key to making positive feedback a cornerstone of your effective management technique is simply to catch your employees doing things right, and then tell them, in specific detail, what you saw!

2. Look for “small-steps” of improvement and areas of progress based on the 3 to 1 rule of positive reinforcement 

As you practice “catching your employee doing things right,” look for specific behaviors that indicate areas of progress or growth.  Most of us improve our performance more with positivity words; positive words of encouragement can be especially powerful when they recognize the specific and small contributions that our team members are doing because it signals to others that working hard to improve performance is in everyone’s best interest.

When an employee stretches his comfort zone, when they responds to constructive feedback, when they take a risk or achieves a milestone, that’s the time for an acknowledgment and rewards.

3. Build a climate of positivity by identifying and rewarding specific desired behavior with positive and matter of fact comments to individuals 

When you do acknowledge progress, be sure to make your comments objective. Seems simple enough, right?  But it’s not.  Most managers give general praise, instead of giving an acknowledgment; and there’s a big difference in the impact of each.

There are several key differences between praise and acknowledgment:

  • Praise is general (“Nice job at today’s presentation team ”); acknowledgment is specific(“I saw you speak up at today’s presentation with a clear and concise solution to the client’s public relations problem. Outlining a detailed plan of action seem to be what they were working for and the result was an please client”.
  • Praise gives you the power to judge (“That was a great report!”);acknowledgment shows a snapshot of what you observed (“This report was much more detailed than your last one”).
  • Praise is often extravagant (“You did an awesome job with the team”);acknowledgment is matter-of-fact (“I noticed that your facilitating style allowed everyone to make their point in the allotted time”).

As you can see, although an acknowledgment is measured and objective, it’s much more personal and specific than praise. Praise could apply to many people; but because of its specific and precise nature, an acknowledgment to an individual can only be about the specific person you’re talking to.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next 24 hours take the Positivity Quiz  and reflect on who and how to increase your positivity ratio with a specific person on your team. At your next team meeting Identify what you would like to see improved and take note of how you provide feedback to your team.  Pay particular attention to whether you provide general feedback to your team or do you specifically acknowledge individual contributions and positive behavior. After identifying your approach pick-out one individual whose motivation seems to falling off and find new ways to recognize their contributions to team goals. This new approach will be seen by all members as a win-win.

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.


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

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 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.

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. 



Daily Quote and Reflection: Difficult Process of Self-Coaching and Being “stuck”

Daily Quote: “People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy.” Oliver Goldsmith

Reflection: Most research shows that we are not very accurate in identifying how we are perceived by others. For example, most leaders of organizations see themselves as more honest, open and caring etc. than how direct reports and other employees in the organization see them. Our positive picture of ourselves is usually inaccurate because the higher we go in an organization the more isolated we become from feedback and honest communication from others and we suffer from what psychologist call confirmation bias. “Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.”

Action Response: Try to establish close relationship with a mentor who can guide and share their wisdom with you. If you can’t find a mentor try to create more room for learning by stopping and examining behaviors, approaches and old ways that are not working for you. Seek out resources including audio tapes, books and colleagues who are good listeners. You may feel alone in your struggle but be assured others have confronted and worked through situations and problems that you think are unique to you. Remember good intentions without thoughtful action  will just keep you stuck. Keep trying to develop a change plan that can work for you.  And as Steve Jobs once said: “Never, never give-up”.

Daily Quotes and Reflection: Power of First Impressions


The answer is that we are not helpless in the face of our first impressions. They may bubble up from the unconscious – from behind a locked door inside of our brain – but just because something is outside of awareness doesn’t mean it’s outside of control.”
Malcolm GladwellBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

 Its’  all about storytelling. It’s about creating a connection to the audience.”

Reginald Hudlin, President of Entertainment, BET


Spend more time on making a strong and lasting “first impression” on the audience. Like the old saying, you only get one chance for a great first impression. Overcoming a lack luster open to your presentation,  like a flat  or non-energized beginning, and then having to change that initial  poor image, takes lots to time and effort. Your initial first impression can make or break your presentation.

Action Assignment: You may not be making a speech today, but is helpful to practice how to make good first impressions. Today, stop and try to make a positive impression on someone you don’t know. After the interaction circle back to get some feedback–How did you come across to this person and what was their first impression of you? There is a lot to learn here because we all have “blindspots” between how we want to come across to others and their actual experience of you. 


Daily Quote and Reflection: Fake it until you make it–Use “smart-steps” process

Quote: “Sometimes you have to try out a “new you” to discover what’s real and authentic. We can engage in pretending not out of fear or accommodation, but out of the courage to get off automatic pilot and try out new behaviors.”

Reflection: After an education and skills training session many of my participants have reported the difficulty of executing their new skills back home or in the work place. I often tell them to be patient and gentle on themselves. What I mean is that personal change and substituting new behaviors takes hours of practicing the new behavior, soliciting feedback on how you are doing and time to replace and unlearn old behaviors. The “smart step approach is what I recommend. See the wick blog on “smart steps” 

Confronting frustrations and “cover your ass” culture of stupid and useless meetings

Most business people are fed –up with endless and unproductive “cover your ass” climate of stupid and useless meetings. No one speaks up about the endless lack of organization or aimlessness of the meetings and lack of productive or action as a result of meetings. Few people confront the real and important issues staring them in the face.

So who is to blame for this situation that takes up our precious time and energy? Everyone owns some of the responsibility for ineffective meetings. It seems like few people speak open about what is on their mind or honestly about the topics at hand.  We sit through boring decks of PowerPoint presentations, waiting for the meeting to end so that the real work can get done back in our cubicle or the  complaining can start in the washroom.

The desire to eliminate these frustrations and anger over worthless meetings is understandable but the ability to diagnosis and solve the problem is inexcusable. Finding out and problem solving to fix the problem is lackluster in our organizational lives. The enemy is our inability to deal with conflict in a productive and caring way. Lack of truth-telling, inability to handle feedback and lack of caring confrontation contributes to boring presentations, poor decision-making, and unnecessarily revisiting the same problems over and over again. A “go along to get along” persona often signals an overly controlled and authoritarian management style and a stifling workplace climate. Colleagues who are afraid to speak honestly to people’s faces do it behind their backs or in the restrooms on break from the meeting. This behavior eventually breaks trust and leads to a “cover your ass” culture of inaction.

Business Week recently reported that self-directed work teams are, on average, 30 to 50 percent more productive than their conventional counterparts. The following are some examples of organizations that attribute major productivity results to the advantages of self-directed work teams:

* AT&T — Increased the quality of its operator service by 12 percent.

* Federal Express — Cut service errors by 13 percent.

* Johnson & Johnson — Achieved inventory reductions of $6 million.

* Shenandoah Life Insurance — Cut staffing needs, saving $200,000 per year, while handling a 33-percent greater volume of work.

* 3M’s Hutchinson facility — Increased production gains by 300 percent. Continue reading “Confronting frustrations and “cover your ass” culture of stupid and useless meetings”

My Speech was a Success but the audience was a FAILURE– What?

“Adults gifted with perceptivity are those who can hear the flowers singing within others not yet aware of their own gifts…They understand the meaning of personal symbols and to see beyond the superficiality of a situation to the person beneath… People who are gifted at “seeing” often seem to have a touch of magic about them. Eric Hoffer, .Jane Austen, Langston Hughes, Anne Hutchinson, William Shakespeare, and Henry David Thoreau are all examples”. Dr. Deidre Lovecky 

How can you grow and develop your potential if you are not open to feedback or live in denial. You can learn if you dob’t face your mistakes or errors in judgment. Concealing or ignoring mistakes makes learning impossible. For many people this type of defensiveness explains how they create difficulties and problems in life.  This type of viewpoint or blame  keeps you stuck in a rut. What do to if this is your approach to life? The simple solution is to own the responsibility for messing-up and try to figure out what happened from the audience’s point of view and then identify what you learned and apply your learned the next time you get an opportunity.

1. Ownership and responsibility

2. Review the situation.

3. Seek feedback and observations from others.

4. Be resilient.

5. Decide what you are in control of and can change.

Want to eliminate a bad habit? Change your Thinking and Attitude

There is an old saying that if you can’t do teach”. I disagree because the assumption of this quote forgets that the steps to changing behavior are learning the correct method for doing things and that teacher are not important in helping us gain knowledge and insight. Learning is the acquisition knowledge and skills through the following processes, such as:

1). Focusing on the awareness and attitude of the learner (get their attention).

2). Observe and model desired behavior.

3). Practice and feedback about our progress toward changing behavior

4). Replace the old with the new through positive reinforcement using the 5:1 rule (five positive comments for every negative one).

This smart approach follows a more enlighten philosophy supported by Andrew Bandrua, a guru in cognitive and social learning, who said, “to change behavior you must first change a person’s thinking”.

Secret to Connecting with Others: Seek Feedback

Steps of Feedback Model

“The gap in most communication is the belief that the other person understands what we said. If you don’t give feedback with care and respect it will be rejected as criticism. Show you care and value the other person”. Mark W. Hardwick, Ph.D.

1. First rule is most that most people do not want unsolicited feedback. So you need to ask permission to give feedback. For example, I have some feedback and observations I think would be useful for your next team meeting. Would you like to hear it?

2. Let them go first. Most people are adapt at self-critics and improvement ideas. It is important for you as a coach to get their perspective before providing your feedback. This a powerful technique because it usually is received as an empowering and respectful act your part. It motivates people to be invovled in improving their performance. For example, So that I don’t tell you things you already have identified or are aware of, tell me –What worked? Where did you get stuck? What help you succeed? What would you do differently next time? Then I will provide my observations for us to discuss. Is that the way you would like to proceed?

3. Seek to find agreements in observations and reinforce their accurate perceptions. After settling in on agreements offer your feedback and observations. I have some additional ideas would you like to hear them?

4. Build on agreements and what your colleague has already identified and said. Then, explore other options and improvement suggestions.

5. Develop an action plan for improvement. What to do? How to overcome difficulties or obstacles? When they will try out new behavior? How are they going to get continuous feedback and from whom?

Remember the important components of feedback : Feedback is asked for ( get permission), feedback needs to be as close to the performance as possible ( immediate), be concrete and tangible in feedback (specific) check to see if it is understood and agreed with ( check-in} and done with caring and matter of fact tone and style. ( non-judgmental).

Critical Success factor for Meaningful Constructive Living: Caring Feedback

“If you don’t give feedback with care and respect it will be rejected as criticism. Show you care and value the other person”. Mark W. Hardwick, Ph.D.

Meaningful Constructive Living (MCL) is a process that depends on feedback to improve life. Understanding the process of feedback is critical for growth and development because the process allows us to take a look at our impact on others and provides us with valuable and specific perceptions of how we can make progress in creating a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Accurate and timely feedback is the key to staying on track in reaching our desired goals. The following steps outline a useful method of providing and receiving constructive feedback.

Steps of Feedback Model

1. First rule is most that most people do not want unsolicited feedback. So you need to ask permission to give feedback. For example, I have some feedback and observations I think would be useful for your next team meeting. Would you like to hear it?

2. Let them go first. Most people are adapt at self-critics and improvement ideas. It is important for you as a coach to get their perspective before providing your feedback. This a powerful technique because it usually is received as an empowering and respectful act your part. It motivates people to be invovled in improving their performance. For example, So that I don’t tell you things you already have identified or are aware of, tell me –What worked? Where did you get stuck? What help you succeed? What would you do differently next time? Then I will provide my observations for us to discuss. Is that the way you would like to proceed?

3. Seek to find agreements in observations and reinforce their accurate perceptions. After settling in on agreements offer your feedback and observations. I have some additional ideas would you like to hear them?

4. Build on agreements and what your colleague has already identified and said. Then, explore other options and improvement suggestions.

5. Develop an action plan for improvement. What to do? How to overcome difficulties or obstacles? When they will try out new behavior? How are they going to get continuous feedback and from whom?

Remember the important components of feedback : Feedback is asked for ( get permission), feedback needs to be as close to the performance as possible ( immediate), be concrete and tangible in feedback checking to see if it is understood and agreed with ( specific) and done with caring and matter of fact tone and style. ( non-judgmental).

Appyling the Make Me Feel Important and Wholeheartedness Rule of Constructive Living.

Mark’s Story

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down  and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to  finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one-handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each
student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what
everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin.The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother
and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.  ‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’  Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two
worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him. ‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’ Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’ ‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’ Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times, ‘Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

All of our lives are hectic and filled with complexities but as caring individuals we can’t forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So celebrate your friendships now.

Constructive Living Assignment:

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this task:

1,  Forward this blog on.

2. Send an e-mail to one of your best friends telling them why thet are important in your life

3. Call afriend within the next twenty-four hours and in the course of the conversation tell how important they are to you and identify their strengths and virtues as a friend. .

Finally, as a little guilt nudge,  if you do not send you e-mail, or make the call, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful– Saying thank you to dear friends for being there for you.

The more people who you send this blog to, the more you solidify a relationship with those you care about. Remember, what comes around, goes around. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. May you from this moment on feel very important because you are unique and contribute in known and unknown ways to people feeling good about themselves. So today pick a best friend and send them an e-mail about their strengths and virtues and why you love them. Good Luck. You will feel empowered from this exercise.