Looking for ways to say “Yes!”

How often do you say “no” automatically, when the answer could just as easily be “yes”?  How might things change for you and those you work with if you were consistently looking for ways to say “yes”?

Recently I spent time with a family whose overarching philosophy is to say “yes” Say yeswhenever possible. To be sure, this sometimes results in muddy clothes or unorthodox uses of household items.  But really, why shouldn’t a water bottle be converted into an ant-farm or bee-house? And because of this parental mindset, the very young children in this family are curious, creative, courageous, and glowing with confidence.

How can you build these traits in the people you are developing at work? One thing you can do is to consistently and persistently look for ways to say “yes.”  Maybe it’s a suggestion for a new way to handle a long-standing procedure, or a change in the office layout, or introducing new items on the lunch menu. Whatever it is, try thinking first about how it might work, rather than how it can’t work. “No” shuts down communication and blocks creativity. An employee, or anyone for that matter, who expects to hear “no” as an answer will soon stop asking.

That being said, of course there are times when you do have to say “no.” It’s important to think ahead of time about what is non-negotiable for you and your organization and then make those things clear to others up-front. Getting a “no” response when you’ve crossed a line that you were previously aware of is a much different thing than experiencing a limiting environment where “no” is the pervasive mindset.

Think about your week so far.  How many times have you said “no” when you might have said “yes”?  How might you approach things differently going forward?

Engagement: a win-win

posted in: All, Engagement, Team Development | 0

Is engagement a good thing for businesses?  You bet it is!  So then does that mean it’s not a good thing for employees?  What do you think?  Are the two mutually exclusive?  I would say – Absolutely not!  When the people who are part of a business are actively engaged in helping that business achieve its goals and achieve its vision, everyone wins. The company wins, yes.  But so do the employees and the customers, too.

What does it mean when someone is “engaged” in an activity?  To me, it means being attentive, focused, interactive, and devoting energy with pleasure – which makes the activity satisfying and enjoyable.  Have you ever been so deeply engaged in an activity that hours passed without you even being aware?  Aside from the drawback of say, being late for dinner, that kind of absorption and focus is generally a good thing.

The reason engagement is good for employers is precisely because it is good for employees.  The outcomes that benefit the employer – such as: higher productivity, fewer absences, less turnover, and improved customer service – result when employees enjoy the work they are doing, understand their goals and how those goals align with the bigger purpose of their company, feel valued and supported, and are able to contribute fully by applying their strengths.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in.  Who do you think benefits the most when people are fully engaged in their work?

Overcoming setbacks – 6 tips

posted in: All, Goals, Motivation | 0

Face it – we all have setbacks from time to time.  There are times when things just don’t go our way, despite all of the effort we may invest.  It’s inevitable.  Maybe you don’t get the promotion you expected, or get overlooked for a highly-coveted project assignment.  Maybe you’ve experienced something in your personal life: health issues, an injury, family strife, divorce, or the loss of someone close tOvercoming setbackso you.  How do you overcome these setbacks?

Life’s demands on us don’t slow down just because we’re facing a personal crisis.  The report still needs to be written, the presentation delivered, the product launched.

Here are six tips to keep you performing at a high level, even when circumstances are challenging:

 

  • Stay positive:  Life is full of ups and downs.  While you may not see a “silver lining” in your current situation, focus on those things you are grateful for, that you’ve learned, or that will help you in the future.  Even the smallest things can make a difference in your attitude.
  • Maintain your physical energy:  This is the only way to maintain the emotional and mental energy you need to keep moving forward.  Take care of yourself by making healthy food choices, drinking plenty of water, getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night (it is possible), and staying active.
  • Communicate:  You don’t need to share all of the details, but do let others know when you are dealing with something that might put you slightly off your game for a time.  If you don’t communicate something, you will leave it up to others to speculate about your actions, opening the door for wildly inaccurate assumptions.
  • Focus on the goal:  What is your bigger purpose in life? Keep yourself moving in the right direction by focusing on your overarching goals.  We tend to achieve what we focus on, but the path forward is rarely a straight line.
  • Use it as inspiration:  While you can’t change the past, you can make choices that will make a difference in the future.  This powerful story shows how one very courageous woman did just that, and is saving lives because of her actions: Lifesaving donated defibrillator.
  • Forgive yourself:  We do the best that we can.  Even so, we make mistakes, we fail at times.  It happens to everyone.  Learn from those mistakes and failures, know that you’re doing your best, and move forward.

What are some of the things that have helped you to overcome setbacks in your life or career?