Finding the “trigger” point” for motivation to create a Growth Mental Set

Daily Quote: “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success

Reflection: 

So what can you do to find the right “trigger point” for developing a more open and flexible Growth Mindset.  Here are 5 suggestions:

  1. Listen to your intuition. Tuning into your gut feelings helps you focus on possibilities.  Act on the ideas that inspire your passion or as the DOORS song goes “Come on baby, light my fire.” Use your best energy for your best results.
  2. Find a challenging and yet achievable, tasks to tackle. Find the right balance between failure and small success ( PLUS ONE) by identifying the right challenge for increasing motivation. There is little learning without challenge. Make it your standard for operating: “In this running club we challenge ourselves and support others to do better by giving their best effort.” It’s critical, though, that you believe in your ability to meet these challenges, not on the first try, but with sustained physical and thoughtful effort.
  3. Set clear expectations. Pick a task that pushes you to a new level of awareness or strength. Instead of “Let’s start with an easy exercise today” say to yourself “Let’s try running some hills today that will be more difficult and I will feel better when I am done.”
  4. Move the needle forward. Questions are a powerful way to increase your options, and gain leverage. You can use questions to challenge your views, and to switch to more empowering mindsets. Ask yourself, “What’s a better way?”, “How can I jump that hurdle? ”, “How can I have fun while doing it?”, etc.
  5. Share stories of physical, psychological or intellectual struggle.Thomas Edison tried 1600 different combinations of filaments before he got the right one for his light. You have your own stories to share about learning and motivation. Make sure to focus on barriers or behaviors that you can control and change. Most of us have more control over situations than we think. Be aware of the different circumstances you are in then weigh the choices facing you and the alternatives available to you.
  6. Be a good role model. Own your mistakes and show how you learn from them. You can set the standards in regard to your own acceptable behavior. “Wow a screwed that order up. What a mistake. Let me review what I did. I’ll try to slow down and pay attention to the details so that doesn’t happen again.”
  7. ” Praise getting smart not being smart”.  Intelligence, expertise, and genius are all built through EFFORT AND HARD WORK. Set the the expectation or norm for praise at finding and fixing mistakes not getting things done quickly. As Carol Dweck says to students making the effort to change “I love the way you reviewed your steps and tried new strategies.

Daily Quote: Are You Stuck and Unmotivated?

Daily Quotes to Get Going-

” We do no great things, only small things with great love.”—Mother Teresa

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”—Helen Keller

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”—Anne Frank

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”—Churchill

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”—Henry David Thoreau

Reflection: 

  1. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from poetry, quotes and using others approaches who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines, exercise and observe other people. I Google keywords like motivation, happiness and success stories.
  2. Develop a “trigger” This a mantra, quote or method for jump starting your motivation juices. Here is the simple method I use when feeling “stuck”:  I focus on my goals for the day, accept my feelings (positive and negative) and then just start doing what I need to do.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and find a way to keep moving forward. Your coaching assignment for this week is to focus on developing a goal and method plan for increasing your motivation for growth and sustained personal development.

Here are some tips to help you get started with getting “unstuck”

Start small Smart Steps for change and reward yourself for successes . If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to walk or run an hour a day. This is not supported by research that says 10-15 minutes a day is good enough. Starting with small steps makes the goal becomes realistic and doable. Make your goal so easy you can’t fail. For example commit to 5 minutes of exercise a day for this week. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some sit-ups, or 2 stomach crunches or leg lifts and some jogging in place. Once you have done 5 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 10, and stick with it for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 20-25. Finally, yourself at the end of the week with a treat or something special this will reinforce your new self. Good Luck and let us know how it is going.

My personal change goal is _______________________________________________________.

My method for triggering more motivation is _________________________________________

My reward for completing my goal is _________________________________________________.

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.

Daily Quote and Self-Coaching Challenge: Increasing Self-Belief and 100% Responsibility for Actions.

Daily Quote: Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about making choices and creating yourself.” 

George Bernard Shaw 

Reflection: To change or not to change that is the “one” and “only question you need to answer in life ? My view is that you are 100% responsible for making changes in your life. Not your boss, or partner. My mother use to tell us : “I don’t know how to make anyone do anything they do not want to do. All I can do is create the best environment for you guys to succeed in. The rest is up to them.”  Her goal was to find our strengths and support our efforts to succeed. She did not hound us to do this or that with our lives but discover for ourselves what we love to do and let the motivation the natural desire to do good and be the best we could be bloom from within. She provided structure and support, but if that structure and support went away, we needed to ourselves up and continue on anyway. My desire to be great basketball player and always learning from my mistakes were never reliant on someone else to motivate me.   And really that’s the whole point of good parenting–lay off the criticism and let kids self-discover what the love to do and support their need to grow and develop. And by the way the “process with structure self-coaching framework I have been using for many years in coaching others is based on this simple philosophy–success in any endeavor in life is not the result of just wishing or dreaming, but clarity on what you value and then putting in the hard work to make your dreams a reality. The critical message is that no one can make you do something. A partner or friend can help, but when it comes right down to it they are not the ones who identify personal change goals,see what needs to be done to reach your goals, dig deep to find the source of distractions or obstacles for change, take constructive action, ask for feedback   persevere and even with failures never ever stop believing in themselves. It is you alone who has to take this type of responsibility. No one else can motivate or fix the things you want to change in order to live a more purposeful and meaningful life.  The “process with structure” self-coaching model provides a framework and activities to help you make choices and commitments for change. This will provide you with more ideas for increasing responsibility as another tool in your self-development behavioral tool box.  Another resource to help you change your life!

Growing and developing into a fully functioning person is a choice. Your challenge is to choose to believe in your self or follow the other path so many people choose—playing to lose in life. You haven’t seen your best days in you life if you “play to win” in life. This is a choice. Choose to believe it or follow the lead of many people getting bored, being unhappy, sleep walking through life and then facing consequences of  poor health and a sad existence just to run out the clock in life without getting scratch or hurt by unfortunate choices .  Who do you want to be?

Self-Coaching Challenge : Read the following point of view by Bella Falconi on life’s purpose and then choose what direction you want to go:

“When the wind is blowing too hard do not try to go against it. Adjust your sail and keep moving forward. We shall never fight the existent reality – see reality as it is, not worse and not better, just as it is. When we change our perception to the point where we are no longer part of life but life is a part of us, we will become fearless of going in the wrong direction. Existence and reality are self-adjusting. Life is made of a chain of purposes and so are us. Believe that the main purpose is not to know how to live, but to be fearless of living”.

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.

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.

The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

“It is essential to follow your commitments 100% of the time—Do you have a clear and meaningful life compass.”  HBR May 22, 2012 Clay Christensen’s

As the world’s wisdom traditions teach and science is now verifying, our lives are in fact defined by constant change and ambiguity of constant change . Whether you’re looking to change a behavior, improve your health or other circumstances, or simply for a way to bring hope and resilience into your life as it is, The DRIVE 4 CHANGE MODEL will help you trust and coach yourself to discover your true strengths and motivations for personal development and change.

No Drive = No Change

DRIVE MODEL—Dealing with Motivation 4 Constant Change   

D = Development of “Life Purpose and Goals” through Self-awareness

R = Reality

I = Introduction of Solutions

V = Validate commitment for change and action plan for accomplishing desire results

E = Execute against plan and continuous improvement and change through feedback

Brainstorming why people don’t do what is expected? 28 Triggers and motives

 

Just Brainstorming on reasons for not doing what you say you will do. Add your thoughts and ideas 

1. Lack of clarity about task you are being asked to do

2, Complex activity that doesn’t explain the necessary steps  to do what u want them to do

3. Don’t read the directions to learn what to do

4. False assumptions- People expect they can do  it based on past experience in similar situations.

5. Situation doesn’t match your strengths or abilities

6. Fear of failure and looking bad so consciously decide not to take the risk

7. In particular situation you feel vulnerable or afraid to try–anticipate something bad will happen

8. Don’t trust other person’s motivates or intentions–No Trust

9. Don’t like what is being ask for you to do

10. Not involved in making decision on WHAT TO DO–Lack ownership

11. Based on past experience don’t like what you are being asked to do–don’t find activity enjoyable and assume it is too difficult and hard work

12. Lack energy to do what is requested.

13. Barriers and obstacles to difficult to overcome

14. Stuck in old ways of doing things

15. Don’t like you and the way you ask–personality conflict

16. Don’t have money, or resources time to do it.

17. Lack personal commitment or willingness to do it.

18. Don’t care to do it–feeling of so what–no consequences tied  to doing it or not

19. Framing of request is stop doing such and such not start doing such and such

20. Too dependent on what you do and say

21.  Task not specific enough or too vague as to what,where, how, how many and with whom

22. Bored because activity to repetitive and mundane

23. Activityhas no meaning or importance to them

24. Can’t make commitments because don’t want to assume responsibility or be blamed for failure if it happens

25. A mindset based on Disaster fantasy or worst case scenario

26. To big of a request  in terms of what is supposed to be done or in what time frame.

27. Activity goes against your values or ethical position in life.

28. Don’t have the ability or skills to do what is being requested.

29.

30.

 

7 Principles for Applying Mental Toughness to Public Speaking and Presentations.

” Mental Toughness  is a state of mind, not a fact. No matter how much or how little stress we feel before a public speech we are about to give,  we’re always just doing what we’re doing, simply living this one moment of our lives to the best of our ability. So use that anxiety and fear to drive positive expectations and energy. ”  Dr. Mark W. Hardwick, Communication Coach  .

Winning seems so easy and natural for the Nadal’s and Feder’s of the tennis world. And in other sports too. But the real secret seems to be mental preparedness and toughness.  The perception that winning is easy we know is false but it does look like their work is play. Many of us chalk it up to the person is naturally talented and gifted.

In other world’s such as politics and business MT is also an important factor in being successful.

Obama seems to have it –calm and ”kool” under pressure yet lacking some toughness in regard to HCR, Oil Spill etc. Especially, if you are a progressive which we now know he is not.  This somewhat vague concept of MT could be the critical factor for identifying effective leadership in the 21st Century.

So what is mental toughness? It can be defined as the ability to access and maintain focus and determination to complete a course of action despite complexity, distractions, difficulties or unknown consequences. Some say it is the will to never give-up or quit.

So the question is: Can “mental toughness” (MT) be taught or is innate? Let’s look at the sports world where MT is often used to describe super stars. Many athletes and coaches think, MT is an innate quality or talent that you are born with and they believe it can’t be taught or learned because it is a part of your DNA or it isn’t. According to this school of thought mental toughness is usually something you’re born with and is reinforced early in life by your parents and environment. These authorities believe it’s hard to take a sensitive “mommies boy” and make him tough no matter what you do. This obviously is the nature vs. nuture argument. The nurture position states that people can be shaped and learn from different experiences, modeling and teaching.

 

Motivation and MT from Sports to Presentations

 

The root of mental toughness lies in motivation. Those who are deemed mentally tough typically exhibit what sports psychologists call “intrinsic achievement motivation.” A study featured in Psychology of Motor Behavior and Sport defines this as the desire to be self-determining. People who are intrinsically motivated are self- starters, willing to push themselves to the brink for the love of their sport or activity. They need little encouragement to give their best effort, and they often do well setting their own goals. For others, who are called “game players” they only begin to jell when the pressure of competition is on. They go through the motions in practice and drive coaches crazy. They only shine in the chance to compare themselves with others. These guys have what’s called “achievement motivation” and do their best only under the gun. You hear them say things like give me the ball I want to take the penalty kick or final shot when the BB game is on the line. They do not fear failure.  All things being equal between two competitors, whoever is higher in achievement motivation will be the better athlete, hands down.

Other researchers have said that motivation is important but brain chemistry can over ride desire/motivation if he player experiences anxiety. With too much anxiety detrimental changes in our brain and biochemical reactions take place. Stress research calls this the flight or fight response.  Now we have new brain research evidence reported by Dr. James Loehr, a famous performance psychologist, and Daniel Goleman, known for his work in Emotional Intelligence, that links negative thoughts and arousal with the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is produced by the adrenal cortex.  Cortisol has been associated with feelings of anxiety, tension, helplessness, and loss of control.  Positive thoughts and pleasant experiences are linked to a positive trigger or rush of adrenaline, and an increase of epinephrine and norepinephrine. The positive jolts make for better performance.

Having an optimistic attitude can help increase the positive effects of epinephrine and norepinephrine.  Optimism, which produces these positive brain chemicals reduce many anxiety symptoms and can provide performers with the positive energy to focus and concentrate on the activity at hand.

By learning to “look on the bright side,” of challenges and seeing stressful situations as opportunities for growth, you increase the likelihood of producing a positive mental and arousal state.  This positive mental state leads to a chain of biochemical events that mobilize the brain and the body to cope more effectively with the situation.  A positive reaction to stress can then lead to what Dr. Loehr, calls the challenge response, which counteracts the negative effects of stress and improves your performance and enjoyment in presenting and speaking to groups. The challenge response helps leaders and high performance jocks to be more calm, relaxed, alert, energetic, inspired, and enthused. Mental Toughness, a phrased coined by internationally renowned peak performance guru Dr. Jim Loehr, has it roots in tennis, where Loehr first came to prominence. Applied to tennis, Mental Toughness training specifically targets physical rituals before and after points to help create focus and calm during a tennis competition.

Applications for staying focused and being mentally tough in making presentations

 

Practicing Mental Toughness techniques prior to your presentation will help you handle more stress during your performance. Below I will share the mental set and  rituals of Ideal Presentation and Mental Toughness principles:

1. Be your own best supporter and critic–slow down, take a breath and begin presenting with confidence

2. Be clear, concise and committed to meeting the needs of the audience and challenging them to rethink positions and take positive action for change.

3. Believe fully in your ability and strength to communicate effectively, so you can present openly, naturally and confidently to your audience.

4. Be prepared to present greatly by demonstrating your passion for the topic and message.

5. Present with an authenticity and believability that is sincere and resonates with the audience

6. Don’t try to hard to be accepted or worry about the outcome of your communication.

7. Love the challenge of communicating with whomever and connecting with others.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Motivation: How to Make Work more like play?

Mystery of Motivation–Identifying and Mobilizing Our Strengths !!! 

Peter Drucker was correct when he said, “Effective management is the productive use of strengths.”

The success of a business takes energized and motivated workforce. The one question I always get at my workshops are how do you motivate people to care about profits, quality and customer service which are the cornerstones to a successful and dynamic work place. My answer is that you can’t directly motivate others but you can create work conditions and climate for them to bring forth their best efforts and hopefully succeed in reaching their personal and organizational goals. Motivation is now considered a cluster of attitudes, strengths and abilities that reside in the nature and personality of the person.

No assessment, no profit, no sophisticated information system, no plant or process or product, no clever ad or marketing campaign, no demands or controls, or money incentives, no employee involvement teams, quality process or other motivation gimmicks that managers can put together is equal to identifying and hiring people who have demonstrated success in the past and are desirous of achieving it again. Selecting talent and human resources is the key factor in creating an excellent workplace culture.

Beyond the IQ’s, credentials, and experience that people may bring to the organization a great reservoir of motivation lies at the heart of how they are treated, perceive the culture and if they want to do their workplace tasks can ultimately make more of a difference than intellectual gifts, knowledge and experience and produce all the difference in how well they do on the job.

That unseen by the piles of application forms, personnel files, measurement systems, and performance reviews and 360 feedback processes —and often a mystery to the worker themselves—is a vast resource of talent and strengths that, for the most part, is barely tapped.

That nothing of consequence happens at any level in an organization unless it is propelled by the strengths of the people on the team seems like common sense, yet how to identify and jump start this reservoir remains a mystery to most people.

That every person is unique—truly one of a kind.

This insight enables a company to assess job fit and predict how a person is likely to accomplish their responsibilities—or, as often as not, reshape their responsibilities into something they can live with. In the ideal, an organization will seek to maximize people’s strengths and minimize the effects of what they lack.

Companies will dramatically improve performance if they place people in key roles who are inherently enthusiastic about the work they are doing.

Fulfillment and success are open to anyone who finds the place and level of work that suits what they naturally bring to the task by virtue of their talents.

So what is a strength or talent and how do we identify them and create a workplace that supports these talents.. Maybe we can better understand strengths and motivation if we contrast and compare work and play situations.

Exercise for more understanding: Take a blank piece of paper and draw a straight line down the middle. Then on the left side of the paper ponder what makes play fun and then on the right side right down what makes work seem so difficult and different from play. Then ask yourself the reflective question how to I  make work more like play?

Lesson #1 On Good Management–Pretty Funny Stuff

Lesson 1:


A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.

The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.

 

Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.’

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’

‘It was Bob the next door neighbor,’ she replies.

 

‘Great,’ the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’


Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

 

 

Mental Toughness “16 Second Cure” and other ideas for Surviving Stress

Teddy Roosevelt’s Way, “When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”

Winning seems so easy and natural for the Nadal’s and Feder’s of the tennis world. And in other sports too. But the real secret seems to be mental preparedness and toughness.  The perception that winning is easy we know is false but it does look like their work is play. Many of us chalk it up to just being a “natural” or born with the right genes. The old nurture vs nature argument. Now with new neurological research we are starting to see the power of the “brain” and it’s plasticity and ability to be re-wired through practice and cognitive behavioral techniques. Maybe it is time  for all of us to better understand how these new discoveries can provide a better quality of life and explore how we can develop new skills and through mental training.

In other world’s such as politics and business MT is also an important factor in being successful.

Obama seems to have it –calm and”kool” under pressure yet lacking some toughness in regard to negotiating big deals HCR, Oil Spill etc. Especially, if you are a progressive which we now he maybe in his heart but has difficulty turning it into acceptable and practical ways when the opposition just wants to say “no” to most policies he introduces.  So for leaders in the 21st Century maybe “Mental Toughness” becomes the X-factor for success.

So what is mental toughness? It can be defined as the ability to access and maintain focus and determination to complete a course of action despite complexity, difficulties or unknown consequences. Some say it is the will to never give-up or quit. So the question is: Can “mental toughness” (MT) be taught or is innate? Let’s look at the sports world where MT is often used to describe super stars. Many athletes and coaches think, MT is an innate quality or talent that you are born with and they believe can’t be taught or learned because it is a part of your DNA or it isn’t. According to this school of thought mental toughness is usually something you’re born with and is reinforced early in life by your parents and environment. These authorities believe  it’s hard to take a sensitive “mommies boy” and make him tough no matter what you do. This obviously is the nature argument. The nurture position states that people can be shaped and learn from different experiences, modeling and teaching.

Motivation and MT roots
The root of mental toughness lies in motivation. Those who are deemed mentally tough typically exhibit what sports psychologists call “intrinsic achievement motivation.” A study featured in Psychology of Motor Behavior and Sport defines this as the desire to be self-determining. People who are intrinsically motivated are self- starters, willing to push themselves to the brink for the love of their sport or activity. They need little encouragement to give their best effort, and they often do well setting their own goals. For others, who are called “game players” they only begin to jell when the pressure of competition is on. They go through the motions in practice and drive coaches crazy. They only shine in the chance to compare themselves with others. These guys have what’s called “achievement motivation”  and play best under the gun. You hear them say things like give me the ball I want to take the penalty kick or final shot when the BB game is on the line. They do not fear failure failures and  all things being equal between two competitors, whoever is higher in achievement motivation will be the better athlete, hands down.

Other researchers have said that motivation is important but brain chemistry can over ride desire/motivation if  the player experiences anxiety. With too much anxiety detrimental changes in our brain and biochemical reactions take place. Stress research calls this the flight or fight response.  Now we have new brain research evidence reported by Dr. James Loehr, a famous performance psychologist, and Daniel Goleman, known for his work in  Emotional Intelligence, that links negative thoughts and arousal with the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is produced by the adrenal cortex.  Cortisol has been associated with feelings of anxiety, tension, helplessness, and loss of control.  Positive thoughts and pleasant experiences are linked to a positive trigger or rush of adrenaline, and an increase of epinephrine and norepinephrine. The positive jolts make for better performance.

Having an optimistic attitude can help increase the positive effects of epinephrine and norepinephrine.  Optimism, which produces these positive brain chemicals reduce many anxiety symptoms and can provide performers with the positive energy to focus and concentrate on the activity at hand.

By learning to “look on the bright side,” of challenges and seeing stressful situations as opportunities for growth, you increase the likelihood of producing a positive mental and arousal state.  This positive mental state leads to a chain of biochemical events that mobilize the brain and the body to cope more effectively with the situation.  A positive reaction to stress can then lead to what Dr. Loehr, calls the challenge response, which counteracts the negative effects of stress and improves your performance and enjoyment in presenting and speaking to groups. The challenge response helps leaders and high performance jocks to be more calm, relaxed, alert, energetic, inspired, and enthused. Mental Toughness, a phrased coined by internationally renowned peak performance guru Dr. Jim Loehr, has it roots in tennis, where Loehr first came to prominence. Applied to tennis, Mental Toughness training specifically targets physical rituals before and after points to help create focus and calm during a tennis competition. Practicing Mental Toughness techniques prior to your matches will help you handle more stress during your matches.Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/141072-mental-toughness-training-tennis/#ixzz0sktDIss7

Evolution

In his research, Loehr noticed that top champions followed similar behavior patterns between points. For example, as soon as a point ended, whether the player won or lost the point, he would change the racket to his non-dominant hand to release tension in his playing arm. At the same moment, the player would turn away from the net and begin his walk to the baseline. Top players looked only at their strings, the ground or their opponents between points. They did not look into the crowd, at their coach, passing airplanes, ballboys or umpires.

Loehr created a ritual for players to use to improve their mental toughness, starting with the racket switch, turnaround, walk past the baseline to the far end of the court while looking at the racket strings, then returning to the baseline to serve or return serve. Loehr called this pattern the 16-Second Cure.

Expansion

As the concept of Mental Toughness grew in popularity, other sport psychologists began to develop their own variations of the concept. A devotee of Loehr, Dr. Bryce Young, developed his Play, Recover, Prepare system for mental training, which is similar to Loehr’s 16-Second Cure. Like Loehr’s four-step cure, Young’s three-step system requires players to follow a set routine between points. Young also promotes self-confidence, breathing, imagery and pre-serve and pre-return rituals.

Self-Talk

“You idiot!,” “You can’t play tennis!,” and other negative self-talk not only brings you down emotionally, it can improve your opponent’s attitude as she sees that you are not as confident as she thought. Regulating self-talk is a key component of Mental Toughness training for any performance activity. Remaining outwardly and verbally positive is important enough that some coaches recommended complimenting an opponent on a winning shot immediately after they hit it, to take away any notion in them that they have beaten you mentally.

How is your mental game in life?  Try to develop healthy rituals and positive self-talk to handle the pressure at work it’s worth the effort and will help you triumph over burnout.

The Puzzle of Motivation–Carrot/Stick vs. Intrinsic Meaning

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/618

If you have not discovered the TED talks you are missing one of the best forums for ideas in business and life now available. I am including this video from Daniel Pink’s speech at TED  because in thirty years of consulting, it is the best  explanation of what works in motivating others. I am always asked by seminar participants–How do you motivate others? My answer has always been less than adequate. You can’t motivate individuals for the long-term. As a manager you can only create the right positive conditions and climate so people can use their strengths to do their best work. Enjoy the clip and share what are the best motivators you have found that work. Motivation and excellence is in our hands as leader-managers so chose the right methods or lose great talent.