How to Manage Difficult People: Handling the Difficult without Difficulty

By Dana Borowka – excerpt from Cracking the Personality Code

As a manager, you must deal with a wide range of personalities. Thanks to proper hiring assessments, most of your direct reports should be productive and biz tug of warreasonable workers. But what about those who slip through the process, employees you inherit, or co-workers who are extremely difficult to work with or even be around? You know the types. These are the folks focused on their own agenda and needs, who cause conflicts wherever they go, and command a great deal of a manager’s time and attention. The difficult ones don’t get diseases like ulcers and heart attacks. They seem to induce them in others!

During our workshops on managing difficult people, we always express a debt of gratitude to a pair of doctors named Rick: Rick Brinkman and Rick Kirschner, authors of two great reads, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand and their latest, Dealing with Difficult People. They became friends while med-students, but their friendship blossomed when a surgeon from an area hospital became their mentor. With his guidance and encouragement, they studied health from an attitudinal point of view. In 1982, a mental-health organization asked the two Ricks to create a program on how to deal with difficult people. That marked the official beginning of a research project that has continued for more than twenty-five years.

Another author who is an important voice on this subject is psychologist Jay Carter, whose book Nasty People calls upon decades of practice and observation to offer proven strategies for avoiding toxic relationships (www.jaycarter.net). With psychology that makes sense, Dr. Carter offers tremendous insights on how to protect your sanity and confront emotional bullies. The process begins by identifying the “invalidators” in your work life. (The following excerpts are used with permission of the author and the McGraw-Hill Companies, publishers of Nasty People by Dr. Jay Carter, copyright 2003—second edition.)

Taking on Invalidation

In the words of Leo Buscaglia, “Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.” Have you been hurt, betrayed, or degraded by bizman cut offa difficult employee, co-worker, or boss? Whoever that person is, according to Dr. Carter, he or she is an invalidator who feeds upon your self-esteem, mental anguish, and unhappiness. But you can stop this cycle of abuse and put an end to sneak attacks, without stooping to their level. “Invalidation is a general term for a person injuring or trying to injure another,” says Dr. Carter. “An invalidation can range anywhere from a shot in the back to a ‘tsk, tsk.’ A rolling of the eyeballs can be an invalidation and so can a punch in the nose. It is usually the sneaky verbal or non-verbal invalidations that cause the most damage. A punch in the nose is obvious, and it heals. However, an attack on self esteem … at the right moment … and in the right way … can last a lifetime.”

The major reason invalidation occurs so often in the workplace is that it seems to work. The sneaky invalidation works because a punch in the nose is obvious and will get the troublemaker terminated (if not sued), while the mental attack may go unnoticed and unpunished, while it injures its victim.

According to Dr. Carter, invalidation is propagated in our society by about 20 percent of the population. “About 1 percent intentionally spread this misery, while the other 19 percent do it unconsciously. Invalidation can be found to greater and lesser degrees in various societies. Happier individuals evolve from societies in which invalidation is at a minimum. Unfortunately, in the US, it seems to be part of the American way.”

For a manager it may be problematic to identify invalidation, as the methods used to invalidate are often very subtle. When people invalidate, it is because they feel inferior to others. To compensate, they attack and undermine the self-esteem of others. Invalidating behavior ranges from very obvious to covert. Where does invalidation come from? People express invalidating behavior either consciously or subconsciously. Most people slip into this behavior subconsciously by reacting to subtle triggers in the environment and have learned this from others, like a family member. This behavior is passed from one person to another through being invalidated.

Common Methods of Invalidation

Forewarned is forearmed, as the old adage goes. Be on the watch for these low blows and cheap shots.big biz feet

Building You Up, Cutting You Down
When an individual showers you with compliments, then tears you apart.

Cutting You Off
When someone cuts off communication in the middle. He or she may ask you a question, then cuts you off or walks off before you are finished answering.

Projection
A psychological mechanism, where the individual takes his/her own feelings and puts the responsibility for them onto someone else, as if these feelings originated within the other person.

Generalization
When a person uses generalizations that are simply exaggerations of small truths. The more truth there is in the generalization, the more it can be exaggerated. “Always” and “never” are commonly used in generalizations.

Double Message
This method uses opposite messages to confuse and put down the other person.

The Double Bind
When you are set up in a situation where you are “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

How to Handle Invalidation

When you recognize the tactics of the difficult people, then you can have a counter strategy. Here are a few tips and techniques to counter their assaults.

bizman in target“Just the Facts”
Sticking to and firmly repeating the facts is a powerful way to destroy invalidation.

“What Did You Say?”
Asking the person to repeat the invalidation will, at times, defuse it, especially if it was a sneak attack.

Tell It Like It Is
Most invalidations are insinuations, voice inflections, and double messages that can be handled with the simple truth. Tell the truth by looking at your feelings. “I feel angry when you speak to me in that manner.”

Don’t Let It Slide
Invalidation only gets worse as time goes on. It’s important to talk about it. Exploring the intent is helpful to reduce invalidation, by asking, “When you say that, what are you really trying to say?”

Maintain Boundaries
Saying no, putting down limits, and describing what you can do is helpful when dealing with someone who is using pressure, demands, or manipulation to get what they want.

Five Other Types of Difficult Behavior

Invalidators are not the only challenge for a manager. At best, the following types of difficult behavior make work life tense, stressful and unpleasant. At worst, they can keep a manager from achieving important goals. We all know what happens to managers who don’t achieve their goals. But through knowledge and practice, you can obtain the power to bring out the best behavior in direct reports and co-workers who are at their worst.

According to Drs. Brinkman and Kirschner, there are many different types of difficult behavior at work, and behavior can change from one type to another as conditions change. You have the advantage when you are pre-pared with a variety of responses when dealing with any particular difficult behavior. Here are five types of difficult behavior and suggestions on how to deal with them. (The following excerpts are used with permission of the authors and the McGraw-Hill Companies, publishers of Dealing With Difficult People: 24 Lessons for Bringing Out the Best in Everyone by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner, copyright 2003—first edition.)

The Authority: “I know it all”

A person behaving this way has a low tolerance for correction or contradiction, and easily blames others when things go wrong. According to Brinkman and Kirschner, here is your goal: To open their mind to new ideas and information.authority figure

How to handle them:

  1. Be prepared and know the flaws and shortcomings of your ideas. Be able to explain them in a brief, precise, and clear manner.
  2. Use active listening to help the person know you are listening to them, and be sure to show interest and respect.
  3. Acknowledge and address the problems and doubts, by paraphrasing the concern back with information to address it.
  4. Present your ideas indirectly by using softening words (like, “perhaps,” “what do you suppose”) to sound hypothetical rather than challenging. Use plural pronouns like “we” or “us” to convey that you are both on the same team. Ask questions to help the individual to accept new information, like, “I was wondering, what do you sup-pose would happen if we were to try [new information] in certain areas?”
  5. Use them as resources by letting them know that you recognize them as an expert and are willing to learn from them. They will spend more time teaching you than obstructing you.

The Fake: “Look at me!”

Faking involves acting or pretending that we’re something we’re not for approval, attention and/or importance. In the business world, this behavior can be theater stageespecially destructive when people act as experts and give out misinformation and opinions as facts.

People behaving this way combine a small amount of information with exaggeration and generalizations to get attention. When confronted, these individuals can get very aggressive to maintain their facade. This is driven by a strong people focus since people are the source of the attention and appreciation they crave.

Here are some recommendations on how to handle them:

  1. Give them a little attention by: Repeating back their comments with enthusiasm; Acknowledging their positive intent rather than wasting time debating their content. Example: “Thanks for contributing to this discussion.” You don’t have to agree with their remarks to provide some attention or positive projection.
  2. Ask some revealing questions to clarify for specifics. Fakes usually talk in generalizations, so ask questions to get specifics. For example, when they use “always,” ask “when specifically?” Ask your questions with curiosity and respect, and not to embarrass the individual.
  3. Tell it like it is and redirect the conversation back to reality and facts. Speak about the situation or problem from your point of view and use “I” statements to keep your remarks as non-threatening as possible.
  4. Give them a break to reduce the chance of them becoming defensive. When providing evidence, you can say, “But maybe you haven’t heard of this yet…” You can also act as if their misinformation has reminded you of your subject and express appreciation for their efforts.
  5. Notice when the individual is doing something right and give credit where credit is due.

The No Person: “No! No! No!!!”

The “no person” constantly says no to everything and strives to defeat ideas and fights for despair and hopelessness. (This person is the close cousin of the “no, but” person.)pig fly

Kirschner and Brinkman advise that you handle them like this:

  1. Go with the flow. Allow the individual to be as negative as they want to be. Don’t try to convince them that things are not so bad. That will only motivate them to convince you that things are even worse.
  2. Use them as a detector for potential problems and discovering fatal flaws in a project or situation.
  3. Give them time. “No people” tend to operate in a different time reality than other people. The more you push them to make a decision, the more they will dig in their heels.
  4. Be realistic by acknowledging the flaws or problems, and invite them to help you in finding a solution.
  5. Acknowledge their positive intent by acting as if the negative feedback is meant to be helpful. Appreciate them for having high standards, being willing to speak up, and being concerned about details. When a successful project is completed, remember to include them in the celebration.

The Whiner: “Oh, woe is me!”

This person feels helpless and overwhelmed by an unfair world. They set their standard at perfection and nothing measures up to it. They constantly rain cloudscomplain about everything and search out an audience to listen to their tale of woe.

Kirschner and Brinkman offer these suggestions for dealing with whiners:

  1. Do’s and Don’ts:

• Don’t agree with them. That just encourages them to continue complaining.
• Don’t disagree with them, as they’ll feel the need to repeat their woes.
• Don’t try to solve their problems—you can’t.
• Do have patience with their unrealistic standards and endless negativity.
• Do have compassion for them as their lives seem to be beyond their control.
• Do have commitment to the process of getting them to focus on solutions.

2. Listen for and write down the main points in their complaints. This helps you to clarify the situation to prepare for the last step of this process.

3. Interrupt and be specific by asking clarification questions.

4. Whiners often complain in cascading generalizations and don’t stand still with any one problem long enough to even start problem solving. It’s important to stop them and get specific.

5. Shift the focus to solutions. As you get specific about each complaint, ask them, “What do you want?” They may not know, in which case tell them to make something up. Or if they do know, what is it?

6. Others may be unrealistic in their solutions, so help them be more practical by telling them like it is and saying, “Based on these facts, what do you want?”

7. Involve them in the problem solving process by having them track and document the problem in writing, and request solutions and recommendations for the problem. This helps them to see that problems can be solved.

8. If these steps have not created even a minor change with the individual, then you must politely but firmly draw the line. To draw the line:

• Each time the person begins to complain, you must take charge of the situation and bring it assertively to a close, by standing up and walking to the door.
• Say calmly, “Since your complaints seem to have no solutions, talking about them isn’t going to accomplish anything. If you happen to think of any solutions, please let me know.”
• Do not allow them to draw you back into their cycle of complaining. Simply repeat the same statement over and over.

The Yes Person: “I just can’t say no!”

This individual constantly tries to please others and avoid confrontation by saying yes to everyone. They have trouble thinking things through and consistently overextend themselves. They react to the latest requests and demands, fail to follow through, and end up feeling resentful towards others.

Kirschner and Brinkman offer these suggestions on how to handle them:Juggling

1. Make it safe to discuss anger and fear in a calm manner. The key to maintaining safety is using active listening and verbal reassurance.

2. Talk honestly without getting defensive. Ask them questions to clarify and express your appreciation for their honesty, like, “Please help me to understand what happened last week. What stopped you from having the information on time? Did you ask anyone for help?”

3. Help them learn to plan. This is an opportunity to change and learn how to keep commitments.

• Start with stating the consequence of breaking one’s promises. Example: “One of the most important parts of being a team is knowing that my team can count on me and I can count on my team. Just think how it would affect our ability to be a team and work together if we couldn’t keep our commitments to each other.”
• Help them to look at different options and make changes. Ask questions like, “What got in the way and what could have been done differently? How else could the situation have been handled?” Example: “Instead of saying yes right away when someone asks you to do something, perhaps you can train yourself to say, ‘Let me look at my schedule and get back to you.’”
• Help the individual focus on specific action steps to accomplish the task.

4. Ensure commitment by:

• Seeking a deeper level of commitment by asking for their “word of honor.”
• Asking them to summarize their commitment by having them tell you what they will do. Example: “I want to make sure that you and I both understand how this will be done. Could you describe to me what you will do and when?”
• Having them write it down, which will make the information easier to remember.
• Being very clear about the deadlines and describing negative consequences in terms of how a broken commitment will affect others. Example: “If this doesn’t get completed, how do you think that is going to impact those who are depending on you?”
• Keeping in touch to help the person overcome any obstacles and ensure follow through.

5. Strengthen the relationship by acknowledging when the individual is honest about their doubts and concerns; dealing with broken promises with great care; and making an event out of every completed commitment.

How to deal with broken promises:

• Tell them what they did by specifically describing the facts of the situation, but not your opinion of the situation. Example: “You made a commitment to finish this project.”
• Explain how others were affected in a factual manner. Tell them how you feel about it. Don’t exaggerate, but be honest. Example: “Quite honestly, I’m disappointed and frustrated over this.”
• Project positive intent, like, “I know you care about doing great work and you are capable of doing what you say.”
• Tell them, “That’s not like you,” even if it is. People will strive to fulfill positive projections.
• Ask them what they learned from the experience and how they would handle it differently. This helps to change negative situations into learning experiences.

You Are in Control of You

Managers are influential, but the only person you can control is you. So keep a positive attitude about dealing with negative people. As Betty Sachelli put it, all in one boat“Two thoughts cannot occupy the mind at the same time, so the choice is ours as to whether our thoughts will be constructive or destructive.”

Difficult employees are a fact of life. They blame, intimidate, whine, run away, or explode without notice. The more you try to work with them, the more they seem to work to disrupt your plans. But there’s no reason to let difficult employees get in the way of your performance in the workplace. With the help of these effective approaches to understanding and circumventing disruptive and annoying behavior, you can get past the roadblocks posed by difficult people in the workplace.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2015 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Preparing Your Thought For The Day

By Paul David Walker – Excerpt from: Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling

We recently did our monthly Open Line web conference on the topic of Preparing Your Thought For The Day. We had so much interest, not only domestically but also globally, that we thought that we would include the audio for this Open Line with an excerpt from the new book, Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling by Paul David Walker. If you’d like to get a copy, please look to the end of the article for the link to Amazon.

Open Line webinar audio, Preparing Your Thought For The Day

https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.51/zb0.dc3.myftpupload.com/openline/032415/OpenLine032415.mp3

Know the Difference

The truth is that anything can cause your conscious mind to let go of comparative thought and find Integrative Presence. It would be impossible to catalog all the experiences people have had. What is important is to know the difference between the two states of mind. Meditation is a practice that will help you find your personal roadmap into this powerful 2049233526_358678b16e_zstate.

When I have asked people to describe how they feel when they experience Integrative Presence, they say words such as confident, at peace, exhilarated, powerful, graceful, focused, and present. Some report a slow-motion effect.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told how the five seconds he had to win the NBA championship with one shot seemed like five minutes. He felt relaxed, as if he had all the time in the world, yet he appeared to move like lightning to the rest of the world—the very definition of Integrative Presence. His creativity, within these few precious seconds, was pure genius. He was integrating the skills he had learned over the years, his desire to make the shot, and the flow of the moment, without interruption from his thoughts.

Most people have experienced this state of mind. The question is what percentage of our life is spent in this state? The art of getting into this state of mind is letting go of thoughts and connecting with the flow of events in the moment. Meditation is practice for your mind and body. An athlete must practice his or her sport; a leader must practice disciplining his or her mind.

Practices & Actions

As in sports, there is no substitute for practice. Knowing how to move from “normal thinking” into Integrative Presence comes from practice.

Take time to connect with your peak experiences and observe how you transitioned yourself. Find ways to still your mental chatter and connect with the present, and you will become a much more effective and happier person.

The following is a simple meditation technique that can help you clear your mind. It will help you establish an inner roadmap to stillness, which enables you to flow with present reality.

1. Find the Right Environment: Find a quiet place and arrange to have no distractions or interruptions, whether it’s a special place in your home or a place out in nature. It is especially important in the first stages of meditation to find the right location. It helps you move toward stillness naturally. Over time you will be able to meditate anywhere, at any time, even as you walk through hallways.

2. Sit Comfortably: You want your body to be at ease. Find a comfortable chair and be sure not to cross your arms or legs. Sit up straight so you will not have to move should one drop of water 578897_640of your limbs fall asleep.

3. Take Three Deep Breaths: When you take these deep breaths, hold the oxygen in as long as you can on each breath, and let the oxygen out suddenly once you can no longer hold the air.

4. Breathe Normally: Return to your normal breathing pattern. Close your eyes and put your attention on your breathing process. Follow your breath in and then out. Notice the rhythm and depth of each of your breaths. Spend two to three minutes just following your breath with your attention.

5. Imagine a Beautiful Place: Imagine yourself in a beautiful place in nature. Each time you begin meditating, come back to this place. It will serve as an anchor for peace and help you to relax each time. When you have felt the peace of this place, use it as a background and return your attention to your breathing.

6. Let Go of Your Thoughts: As thoughts arise in your mind, do not resist them. Practice observing without processing, and then letting go of them. You can imagine them floating up into the sky or being absorbed by nature. As you let go, return your attention to your breathing.

7. Deepen Your Breathing: After you find your natural rhythm, increase the depth of your breathing. Inhale 10 to 15 percent deeper and exhale 10 to 15 percent deeper. Play with this deeper rhythm until it becomes natural. Continue to let go of thoughts as they arise.

8. Notice Stillness: At the moment you fully inhale, just before you exhale, notice that a still point occurs. Likewise, after you have fully exhaled, the same still point happens. One, the inhale, is full and the second, the exhale, is empty. Notice the difference.

9. Fall into Stillness: At times when your total focus is on this deeper breathing process, you will notice the stillness inside you. Let your consciousness fall into this stillness. Let go and don’t be afraid; it is your destination. Stay there as long as your ego will allow. It might take a number of sessions before you achieve this stillness, but it is worth the practice and discipline.

10. Open Your Eyes: After about twenty to twenty-five minutes, gently open your eyes without moving and notice the world around you. Notice your state of mind and journal your experience.

11. Take This State of Mind with You: Practice staying with this state of mind as you get up from your chair and walk, focusing on your breathing as before. Find a rhythm between your steps and your breath. Count how many breaths per step until you find a comfortable pace that is a little deeper than normal. This will help you begin to integrate this state of mind into your daily life.

12. Do Short Meditations: Once you have mastered this practice you will be able to take a few minutes to clear your mind between meetings or even with short pauses during meetings. Meditation creates the same state of being that Florence Joyner and other athletes achieve when they are “in the zone.” Your consciousness will naturally expand and you stones-825374_640will be able to perform more effectively. Once again, there is no substitute for practice. As you continue to meditate, you will find the quality of your thought improving. You will have great ideas and find it easy to solve problems. Creating this space of stillness within you leads to Integrative Presence or being “in the zone.” Meditation is a powerful tool for those who are inventing their future. It helps with idea generation and stress reduction. If you are a leader, you need both to be successful.

With practice, every aspect of our lives will improve. Practice being the stillness in the storm, a person who listens, a person who puts aside personal views and is moving like a basketball player in the zone. Demonstrate real stillness when it comes to the performance part of leadership, in contrast to the bombastic person who is constantly throwing shallow or reactionary viewpoints.

Stillness, and the awareness that come with it, creates wonder and humility. The more we know, the more we see endless possibilities and these create a natural humility. As I have said to many of the CEOs with whom I work, it is hard to criticize humility.

Excerpt from: Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling, Copyright Paul David Walker. To get a copy, please click here.  Or copy and paste this link into your browser:
http://www.amazon.com/Invent-Your-Future-Starting-Calling/dp/0986158518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429213324&sr=8-1&keywords=Invent+Future+Starting

Additional Ideas to Consider

• Share this article/audio with team members, family and others.
• Consider this topic for a retreat or management meeting.
• Need a retreat location? You may want to take a look at this location.

Book Suggestions

Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling – Paul David Walker
Unleashing Genius, Leading Yourself, Teams and Corporations – Paul David Walker.
Play to Win – Larry Wilson
The Path to Awakening – Shamar Rinpoche
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

Permission is needed from Paul David Walker to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2015 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Paul David Walker is a Senior LCS Consultant and one of the few CEO coaches who has worked with numerous Fortune 500 CEOs and their key staff members for over 25 years as well as many mid-cap organizations. Some of the organizations that Paul has worked with include StarKist Foods, Von’s Grocery Stores, New York Life, Anne Klein, Rockwell International countless manufacturing, global utilities, service and consulting organizations. Paul is the founder of Genius Stone Partners, and works with domestic and international companies to improve their bottom line today and planning for the future. Paul is the author of the bestselling book, Unleashing Genius, Leading Yourself, Teams and Corporations. and his new book, Invent Your Future Starting With Your Calling. You can reach Paul at Paul@lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

 

Connected Managing by Personality Traits

By Dana & Ellen Borowka, excerpt from Cracking the Personality Code

“Watch your words: they become your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts: they become your actions.
Watch your actions: they become your habits.
Watch your habits: they become your destiny.”
∼ Frank Outlaw

Personality tests not only help when hiring, they just might be a manager’s best tool to connect with employees. You can manage the hard way or the easy way, the choice is up to you. The hard way is to be the “my way or the highway” type of boss. You know the kind, always forcing workers to do things in a Man going upway that isn’t natural for them. Wouldn’t it be better to use your understanding of personality traits to tap into the natural flow so you can get the best out of your people? Of course, knowing your employees, understanding their concerns, and developing connected relationships with them should be the normal procedure for all managers.

What is the payoff to a manager for developing connected relationships with employees using personality assessments? Here are three good benefits. First, it enables the manager to better anticipate what roadblocks might occur with a worker, and what to try to reduce this resistance. Second, understanding where employees are coming from will help you plan out how much participation you need from them and will give some clues as to how change should be communicated to them. Third, creating connected relationships builds commitment and loyalty.

Take the Connected Leader Test

How connected are you as a manager? To find out, we asked our colleague Dr. Bruce Heller, an industrial psychologist with twenty years experience and author of The Prodigal Executive–How to Coach Executives Too Painful to Keep, Too Valuable to Fire, to help us design a quick connected leader self-test. For each of the ten questions, choose the response that best matches your situation. Then give yourself the corresponding point value for each question. Total up your score and look to the end of the test for how to interpret your score.

Connected Leader Questions

Scoring instructions:

Don’t know = 1 point, Never = 2 points, Seldom = 3 points, Often = 4 points, Always = 5 points

1. Do you get personally involved with co-workers, colleagues, peers, and others?
2. Do you believe that your role as a leader is to serve your direct reports?
3. Do you feel your employees are motivated to help you achieve your goals?
4. How often do you acknowledge a special occasion of a direct report?team global
5. Do you reflect upon the potential impact you make on direct reports?
6. Do you spend time thinking about meeting the needs of others
7. Do you consider yourself a sensitive leader?
8. In your family, did your parents spend time listening and reflecting on an emotional level?
9. Do you think your peers and direct reports consider you a sensitive leader?
10. Do you keep a journal of your interactions and conversations?

Your Total

Scoring

This self-test helps you identify what level of connected leader you are. Research has shown that leaders who are able to attend and connect with their employees are more successful. This is because connection creates a depth of relationship that translates into improved productivity, less turnover, and a more engaged work force.

Here are the breakdowns for your scoring. If you scored:

0-14 You are disconnected from the people who make up your organization. To become more connected you may need to hire an executive coach.

15-26 Your connections are frail and therefore you could benefit from taking more time to think about others and find ways to connect with them. Sharing something about yourself will be effective. Also, begin to keep a journal of your interactions. Think about ways you can become more connected to people in your organization.

27-36 You are a connected leader. This means that you connect with your team and work towards building relationships. However, you could benefit from being even more connected by spending time walking around and speaking to people and especially begin to share with people something about you personally. This can mean a hobby or an interest.

36-50 You are deeply connected as a leader. You have an ability to think about ways to communicate and be sensitive to the needs of the people in your organization. Therefore, people want to work for you and you have a loyal following.

How to Get Connected

It’s been said there is a significant difference between hearing someone speak to you and really listening to what they say. Most managers consider themselves to be good listeners. But is that really the case?

Being a connected manager requires that you suspend judgment of your subordinates’ actions or reactions while you try to understand them. Personality assessments provide a great deal of clues. Sometimes, you will need to read between the lines of what they say. Next comes gentle questioning and probing to clarify what is going on. The goal is to understand and not to judge.

listening earFor most managers, this does not come naturally. These tips will help you become a better listener and a more connected leader.

  1. Practice active listening. An active listener is ready and willing to really hear what the other person has to say. When you actively listen, you pay close attention to the speaker and don’t just wait until they get done talking, or worse yet, interrupt them. Paraphrase back to the person to check that you fully understand what is being said.
  2. Enter the listening zone. When a subordinate approaches you to discuss something, go into listening mode. Do what it takes to minimize distractions, look the speaker in the eye, and make a decision in your head to listen. If you know their personality type, then think what their style of communication is.
  3. Seek to understand first. Pay close attention to what the subordinate is saying, both the words and the feeling behind them. Watch the speaker’s body language. Instead of interrupting if you have a question or comment, write it down so you can remember it for later.
  4. Show empathy. Empathy—the ability to know and feel what others experience—is the foundation of being a connected leader. Managers in industries ranging from healthcare to high-tech are realizing benefits to their team’s productivity when they show empathy. The old adage applies: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  5. Hold your reactions. Have you ever seen someone react negatively to what you say without saying a word? Even if you disagree with the subordinate, do not react negatively by shaking your head or putting on a big frown. Instead give positive cues like smiling, maintaining eye con-tact, leaning toward the speaker, taking notes, and even making those little positive “right” and “go on” statements. When they are finished, take a breath and then weigh in with your feedback.

We all want to be understood. Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand them as people, and lead naturally.

People Do Things for Their Own Reasons

A book we recommend is Managing People: What’s Personality Got to Do With It by Carol Ritberger, Ph.D. (www.ritberger.com). She surmises that success in life is significantly, if not totally, dependent upon our ability to manage.

We manage on the job, we manage in our governmental and educational institutions, and we manage in our personal lives. According to Dr. Ritberger, successful managers are those who understand what needs to be accomplished, who communicate with those who are supposed to get it done and achieve a desired result through their efforts.

“In trying to understand human behavior, there’s a basic principle that applies to all our actions: People do things for their reasons and not ours,” says Dr. Ritberger. “Another way to say it is: Other people see things, respond and react in different ways. They’ll usually do what they think will offer them the greatest reward for their efforts.”

What this means, continues Dr. Ritberger, is that no one in a position of power can motivate others to work unless they understand which motivation factors produce the results they seek. “Sure, people will make a halfhearted effort if they’re threatened, but all this does is produce marginal results, and it also ends up creating frustration, resentment, rebellious behavior, and power struggles,” she says.piece of pie

According to Dr. Ritberger, a good manager knows that people need to feel accepted for who they are, long to be recognized for their contributions, and want to enjoy themselves when interacting with their peers or superiors. A wise supervisor remembers the importance of the individual and knows that when folks feel good about themselves, they’ll naturally reach higher standards in their performance and be motivated for their reasons and not yours. An intelligent person uses this information to help others become more productive and effective in what they do.

Dr. Ritberger believes that as you seek to understand more about personality, it’s helpful to keep these three important factors in mind:

  1. People want to fit in, and as a result will take on what they perceive to be the behavior norm for their environment, even if it isn’t in alignment with their personality boundaries.
  2. It’s human nature to judge people based on first impressions that may not reflect the true nature of their personalities.
  3. There’s a natural tendency to compare other people’s behavior with our own to determine whether their personality is compatible with ours. “However, if you understand that personality is more than what you see on the surface, then you’ll have the opportunity to really get to know new acquaintances and discover their natural talents,” says Dr. Ritberger. “You may realize that someone you misread initially is exactly who you’ve been seeking for a job, or is most compatible in a social relationship. You might even find yourself more appreciative of the differences in people because you’ll recognize that their strengths are your weaknesses, and how those variations offer the greatest opportunity to create a dynamic team of self-motivated people.”

How to Understand Yourself

Before you use personality assessments to manage others, you should also use them to better understand yourself. Teamwork is about how people work with each other, and personality types play a big role in this. The first step is to know yourself. Here are some thoughts to help you as a manager with that process.

Have you ever looked carefully at a seed? It’s really amazing to see what is in a little seed, and that may help us to learn more about what is inside of us. For in some ways, we are much like the seed and its growth process.

A seed is made of an embryo, that is, a baby plant that has all it needs to grow, develop, and blossom into what it was created to be. The embryo has the materials to develop its leaves, stems, and roots to gather needed nutriments from water, light, minerals, and such to produce food and pro-vide support for itself. That’s what we’re like when we’re born. We have all we need to be who we were created to be—all the unique qualities, talents and knowledge that is needed in the world.

The Seed and the Pod

Now the seed has another part that it needs for its growth, and that’s its seed covering or pod. The pod provides protection, support, and nutrition to the seed during the growth process. It provides food for the seed until it can produce food on its own, and protects it from harsh elements in the environment. pea podWe also have something similar to the pod in our lives to help protect our seed from harm and support it during our growth process. We tend to look at the seed and pod in much like our true and false selves. The true or real self, like the seed, is the life-giving core of our being. The real self holds all the beauty and light of whom we are—it is the soul of the individual. The true self also has our entire real feelings and thoughts, feelings, and thoughts that may not be acceptable to those around us.

This is where the pod or our false self enters the scene. Like the pod, the false self protects and hides the real self from harsh elements of the environment. The false self responds to the demands, beliefs and possible abuse from our parents or caretakers, family, siblings, peers and other places and people that impact us as we grow. The false self takes on the mistaken beliefs, misguided directions, and sometimes harsh treatment we experience as we are growing up so our true self is never touched. The false self or pod becomes our mask, our facade to the outside world, to conceal and defend our true self, our little seed.

The Pod within Us

The pod, as we become older, begins to be written on by all the things we are told: all our experiences—bad and good—and all the wounds we gather throughout our life. Our pod may have written on it that we are worthless or bad or stupid. We may believe that we are good at certain things, but bad at other things like math or communication. We may think we should not show anger, fear, or pain to others. We may believe that people are not to be trusted or that confrontation is bad. There are many beliefs and ideas that our pod or false self takes in and learns from others. Some might not like the false self, because they think it keeps them from their seed. Actually, though, the pod has kept our seed safe until the time is right for the growth process. Once again, the seed’s growth process can help us to understand our own growth process, our discovery of ourselves.

Preparing for Growth

The seed will only grow and break through the pod when the environmental conditions are right, when there is just the right amount of warmth, moisture, growing heartand oxygen present around the seed. If the environment is too dry or has unfavorable temperatures, then the seed will not come out of its pod. This allows the plant to survive during periods when plant growth is not possible. It’s the same for us! Our seed, our real self, is wise and does not allow itself to be in an environment that cannot support it or care for it. So, the seed waits until the time is right—until we are ready and able to have the support, internally and externally, for our seed to grow. This preparation time is very important so we can begin to let go of our pod with all inscribed beliefs and thoughts that do not belong to us and never did.

Some might say they have always been ready to let go of their pod. Yet, it takes honesty and courage to face what is in our pod and to see it is not who we truly are. This means we have to see that those who gave us these beliefs or hurt us were wrong. That is not to say these people were bad, for they learned these misguided ideas from their experiences, too, and they just didn’t know any better. That’s not always easy to accept about our parents, family, or loved ones. This growth process is not easy either. It takes much work, dedication, and willingness to look at some difficult issues.

A Story of Wheat and Weeds

Now, the seed can’t just come out of its pod all at once, but it happens slowly at a gradual pace so that the growth is strong and sure. That means it’s okay to allow elements of the pod to remain around the seed until you are ready to let go of those parts. This process is like the story of a man who planted some wheat in his field. Then during the night, the man’s enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. When the wheat began to come up through the soil so did the weeds, and the man’s servants asked him if they should gather up the weeds. The man replied, “No, because while you are gathering up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them. Rather, let both grow together. Then at harvest time, we will gather the weeds first, bind them together and burn them. Then we will gather the wheat into my barn.”

In the meantime, if you have an issue written on your pod, like a hot temper or fear of confrontation, you can develop healthy and healing ways to deal with the issue. Then as one grows and discovers more about their seed, the elements in the pod will naturally fade.

Self-Discovery

In the plant’s growth process, first a root comes out of the pod to test the environment and the seed begins to build its root system to support the plant. Then plant lightbulbthe seed forms its leaves and stem to come up through the soil to the sunlight. That’s what our seed does, too. First, our seed will build a foundation of who we truly are—our values, our ideas, our beliefs—to support our being and growth process. Then when the foundation is laid and our roots are firmly in the ground, we begin to break through the surface and our being begins to shine to the world. We discover who we truly are in just the right time and just the right way.

A good exercise to begin or further your awakening process is to write down on a piece of paper a list of all that is within your seed and what is written on your pod. You might want to draw and write about these qualities in depth. Look at where the elements of your pod came from, where you learned them, and what triggers these in you. You could also make a collage about your seed and pod using pictures, words, and sentences from magazines and newspapers to get a full picture of your growth process.

Everyone Is Unique

It’s important to recognize and appreciate our unique qualities. It takes effort and persistence to travel through this process, but remember your seed and pod have all they need to do the work. All that is required is already within you, and that’s pretty amazing—just like the plant’s little seed.

Appreciating Personality Diversity

Now that you understand your own personality better, take a look at those who work for you. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who worked for us had the exact same personalities that we do? No, it would not.

The most effective managers appreciate the diversity of their subordinates’ personalities. That’s the view of Management Professor Scott Williams, a business school faculty member at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

“Personality can make communication and coordination of activities more difficult at times, but diversity has its advantages,” says Dr. Williams. “Diverse groups that give the extra effort to understand and accept each other’s personalities tend to produce higher quality decisions than groups that are either (a) homogeneous or (b) don’t manage their diversity well.”

According to Dr. Williams, appreciating the diverse personalities of the people we interact with helps us to understand why they act the way they do and howglobal team to get the most out of them. Appreciating personality diversity means respecting the strengths and limitations of each individual, and knowing how to capitalize on each individual’s strengths.

In his online newsletter LeaderLetter, Dr. Williams states that appreciating personality diversity is the opposite of dogmatically expecting everyone to view situations the way you do—no matter how successful you have been using your approach. We don’t all think alike, but that’s often a good thing.

“People with different personalities have different inherent strengths and weaknesses,” adds Dr. Williams. “For this reason, the best groups are made up of members with diverse personalities who learn to appreciate and put to use each other’s strengths. Managers should promote an appreciation for personality diversity. Discussions of personality inventories, especially when facilitated by an expert, can be an effective way to foster such appreciation.”

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2015 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.  To order our books, Cracking the Personality Code and Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, https://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

Win the War for Talent with a Cash Balance Retirement Plan

By Dan Kravitz

From the boardroom bunkers to the cubicle trenches, competition to hire the best and brightest is increasingly intense. McKinsey & Company’s recent CEO briefing report, “Talent Tensions Ahead” projected a hiring gap as high as 11 percent of demand for staff with advanced degrees by 2020. Moreover, in our competitive global economy, attrition rates are climbing in many organizations.business people race

What can employers do to improve their competitive edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented professionals? Company-sponsored retirement plans play a crucial role. For many high income professionals, qualified retirement plans are one of the most important sources of lifetime wealth accumulation. Consequently, any organization that wants to win the war for talent must offer a highly competitive retirement package.

What makes a retirement package compelling to talented, in-demand professionals? A generous 401(k) profit sharing plan is a good starting point but no longer goes far enough. Adding a Cash Balance (hybrid) plan makes an enormous difference, allowing high earners to double or even triple their pre-tax retirement savings and compress 20 years of retirement savings into 10. Depending on age and income, these high earners may be able to move into a lower tax bracket after their firm adds a Cash Balance plan. This shift will significantly reduce the impact of the 2013 tax hikes.

What is a Cash Balance plan?

A Cash Balance Plan is a unique type of IRS-qualified retirement plan also known as a hybrid, since it combines features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Financial advisors and CPAs often describe Cash Balance as the best of both worlds, offering the portability and flexibility of a defined piggy bank savingscontribution plan along with the high contribution limits of a traditional defined benefit plan. Cash Balance plans are almost always offered as an add-on to an existing 401(k) profit sharing plan in order to create an optimized tax-efficient plan design.

For example, a 55-year-old in 2015 is limited to $24,000 in 401(k) contributions and $35,000 in profit sharing. But if her firm added a Cash Balance plan, she could enjoy a tax-deferred Cash Balance contribution of up to $175,000, toward a lifetime limit of $2.6M. Combined with her $59,000 in 401(k) profit sharing, she would have total tax-deferred retirement contributions of $234,000.

Cash Balance plans differ from traditional defined benefit in several key ways which make them appealing to employees at all levels of an organization. Assets are pooled and invested collectively, but participants have individual accounts and can see their balances. Accounts are portable and can be rolled over to an IRA or another qualified account when retiring or leaving the organization. Participants can choose either an annuity or a lump sum option.

The Retention Power of a Cash Balance Plan

Let’s illustrate the concept by looking at the world of law firms. While it’s expensive to lose talented attorneys early in their careers, it’s even more devastating to lose them mid-career. Mid-career lawyers are often in their prime in terms of productivity, skill and client retention. Their loss can greatly affect the firm’s quality of work in addition to its bottom line.

A law firm’s retirement plan can be a crucial factor in an attorney’s decision to leave. Attorneys in their 40s have typically paid down student loans and have home equity, yet many feel far behind on retirement savings. Attorneys, like physicians, start later than many professionals in saving for retirement due to student loans and years of lower paid work as associates. If the firm doesn’t help them meet their financial objectives, they will probably find another firm that can.

The single most important step a law firm, medical group, or any competitive organization can take to improve its retirement plan is to increase pre-tax contributions so partners can grow their qualified retirement accounts while significantly reducing the tax burden. This can be accomplished by adding a Cash Balance plan to the retirement plan already in place.

Law firms making these Cash Balance contributions report greatly improved partner satisfaction with retirement plans. In fact, the majority of AmLaw 200 firms now offer Cash Balance plans or are in the process of adopting them.

“Having worked with many law firms, I’ve found them eager to find ways to reduce their tax burdens,” said David Roberts, a CPA with the Los Angeles firm RBZ. “One of the most significant methods I’ve seen them use is implementing a Cash Balance pension plan in addition to their 401(k) profit sharing plan. This allows them to dramatically increase pre-tax contributions to qualified plans, sometimes as high as $250,000 per year. Cash Balance is a complex plan that may not be right for everyone, but for those who can, I would strongly recommend that they look closely at the option.”

What About Non-Qualified Alternatives?

Facing the limits of a 401(k) profit sharing plan, some business owners and high income professionals turn to savings and investment vehicles outside of a qualified plan, such insurance products, deferred compensation arrangements, and after-tax retirement accounts. However, that means missing out on the enormous financial benefits of a tax-favored qualified plan, outlined here:

Top 5 Advantages of Cash Balance Plans

1. Reducing the tax burden
Funds contributed to Cash Balance Plans are tax-deductible, and the earnings grow tax-deferred until the money is withdrawn. This benefit is enormous and can have a dramatic impact on savings accumulation. At retirement, or when leaving employment, a Cash Balance account can be rolled over into an IRA. No taxes are due until age 70 ½, at which point only a portion of the money is taxed.

2. Accelerating retirement savings
For business owners and partners who have heavily invested in their businesses and feel behind in retirement goals, Cash Balance plans are a unique opportunity to “catch up” faster than any other option can provide. In as little as 10 years, they can receive contributions up to a lifetime limit of $2.6M, going a very long way toward a sense of retirement security.happy people with money

3. Attracting and retaining top talent
Like all qualified plans, Cash Balance plans require contributions to non-owner employees, a requirement that becomes a key benefit for many firms. Money that would otherwise have gone to the IRS is now enriching both the employer’s and employees’ retirement savings, helping attract, reward and retain talented employees. Professional services firms find Cash Balance Plans a great incentive on both the partner level and employee level.

4. Shelter from creditors
Assets in a Cash Balance Plan are protected from creditors in the event of a bankruptcy or lawsuit. In volatile economic times, preserving profits from both taxes and creditors is increasingly important.

5. Protecting retirement savings from market volatility
Because plan assets are usually invested conservatively for actuarial reasons, Cash Balance accounts have avoided the dramatic fluctuations seen in 401(k) accounts over the past decade. While 401(k) account holders often rely on higher risk strategies to maximize growth, Cash Balance plans grow primarily through high contribution amounts earning interest rates that stay ahead of inflation without taking on major risk.

Learn more about Cash Balance plans and explore options with a complimentary plan design

Cash Balance 101- a simple guide to understanding Cash Balance Plans:
http://cashbalancedesign.com/cbc/documents/CashBalance101.pdf

Complete Contribution Limits Table:
http://cashbalancedesign.com/cbc/documents/ContributionLimitsTable.pdf

Visit www.CashBalanceDesign.com or call 877 CB-Plans to learn more about whether a Cash Balance plan would be a fit for your organization.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2015

Dan Kravitz is the president of Kravitz, Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent retirement plan consulting firms. Dan is recognized as a leading national expert on Cash Balance retirement plans and is the author of a popular book on the topic, Beyond the 401(k). He is a frequent speaker at retirement industry conferences and has been interviewed on the topic of Cash Balance plans by many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal. At Kravitz, Dan leads a team of 75 skilled retirement professionals, including 10 actuaries, focusing on innovative plan design and the highest levels of client service. Kravitz manages retirement plans for 1,400 companies across the nation, including more than 500 Cash Balance plans. You can reach him at dkravitz@kravitzinc.com.

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.  One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners. How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

How to Take Your Company’s Attitude to the Next Level

By Boaz Rauchwerger

In my nearly 30-year career as a professional speaker, with many events for groups of CEOs throughout North America, I’ve noticed that there’s something different about companies that achieve great success.torch bizwoman

ATTITUDE

It all comes down to ATTITUDE. The culture of highly successful companies exemplifies an above-average can-do attitude that makes them leaders in their field.

In my opinion, attitude is not part of the thing, it’s not the majority, it’s EVERYTHING! John D. Rockefeller, the founder of the family fortune, said, “I’d much rather hire someone with a great attitude than someone with more degrees than a thermometer who has no clue.”

So, if your company doesn’t have an above-average, positive, can do attitude, here are some ideas of how to integrate this concept into your culture.

UNBELIEVABLE

This is a very powerful word that, when used with people in the outside world with enthusiasm, sets a premise that says your company is doing great! I teach people, when someone from the outside asks, “How’s business?” that they answer with, “UNBELIEVABLE!” Do so with enthusiasm and everyone will give you the benefit of the doubt and think you’re doing great.

The words ‘super’, ‘fine’, and ‘terrific’ are all at one level. UNBELIEVABLE is at a higher level. And, when the other person asks, “Is it really going that good?” simply respond by saying, “All I can say is that it’s UNBELIEVABLE!” The majority of people will walk away and spread good rumors about you because they’ll judge that you must be doing great!

Who does that word affect the most? The person saying it because of the positive response from others. I would suggest that you ask everyone in your company, whenever communicating with someone on the outside, to use UNBELIEVABLE when people ask how business is going.

INNOVATION FACTORY

How about changing the way your employees see your company? Whether you have a handful of employees or hundreds, why not give everyone the idea that you’re all working at an INNOVATION FACTORY?

Psychologically, you no longer produce widgets. Your main product, from now on, is INNOVATION. New ideas. Isn’t that what a championship lighting manteam does? A championship team is constantly coming up with new ways to do things, better designs, and new products.

This idea can be easily implemented by getting a banner produced, at a place like FedEx Office, that reads: “Welcome to Your Innovation Factory”. Post that banner in the lobby of your company or wherever everyone can see it every day. Announce to your employees that, from now on, you’re going to reward new ideas that you end up implementing. What if someone comes up with a great idea that can lead to better products, improved services, or higher profits?

EVERY DAY I PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION

This is another sign that can take your company’s attitude to the next level. Have these words, in large type, placed on an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper, with your company’s logo at the top. Then have signs printed with these words, and your logo, on very bright yellow paper. Yellow and black have a great contrast and get everyone’s attention.

Then laminate several dozen of these signs, using heavy lamination, and post them throughout your company. At the entrance, in hallways, in everyone’s cubicle, on the doorpost of your office, at the entrance of meeting rooms. Ask everyone, when they see one of the signs, to just touch it.

Something positive will happen in everyone’s subconscious mind when they do that. Make sure that people see you touching your sign on the doorpost of your office. If visitors ask about the signs, offer to give them a few to take back to their company. Because you’ve used heavy lamination, they will not think to make their own. They will post your sign, with your company logo, in their office. This is great advertising!

CARNEGIE & HILL BOOKS

Get copies of the following two books and place them on everyone’s desk: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

woman readingBoth of these books, international best-sellers for many years, were written in 1935 and are still very applicable today. The Carnegie book, in my opinion, is the best personal development, attitude, creating great relationships book ever. The Hill book is actually an attitude book. It describes the attitudes of some of the most successful people in America and what made them achieve great success.

As I said, place copies of these two books on everyone’s desk, including yours, and don’t ask anyone to read them. Say the following, “There’s no need to read these books. I would just appreciate if you keep them on your desk.” What do people do when you tell them not to do something? Yes, they will end up reading and your company will benefit greatly. Just seeing them everywhere will positively affect people.

Then, when you start company meetings, say the following: “I was reading a page in the Dale Carnegie book that I thought was interesting. I’d like to read it out loud and then ask each of you to comment.” Read a page and then ask everyone to comment. Don’t ask for volunteers. Just start on one side of the room and go around. This exercise will tell everyone that YOU are reading the books.

WEEKLY PEP RALLIES

One thing that is very harmful to a company’s great attitude is a negative, false rumor circulating among your employees. I suggest Monday morning pep rallies, no more than 30 minutes, where you squash any false rumors.

Play some upbeat music ahead of these weekly meetings and introduce any new employees who joined the company in the past week. Ask pep rallythose employees to bring some pictures from home so everyone can get to know them better. This will make them feel important.

Let people know about the challenges of the past week and, with more emphasis, report enthusiastically about the good things that happened in the past seven days. Compliment people who have gone the extra mile and make a big deal about it. This will make people feel important.

So, let’s summarize the action steps that will take your company’s attitude to the next level:

  1. Use the word “UNBELIEVABLE” when people ask how your business is doing.
  2. Create a “Welcome to Your Innovation Factory” banner and post it where everyone will see it every day.
  3. Create the “Every Day I Play Like a Champion” signs and post them throughout your offices.
  4. Get copies of the Carnegie and Hill books for everyone at your company and ask them to keep them on their desks.
  5. Have a Monday morning pep rally where you let people know what’s going on and recognize people who go the extra mile.

As John D. Rockefeller said, “Attitude is everything!” These ideas can take your company’s attitude to the next level. Let’s get started!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners.  How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

The Masks We Wear

By Ellen Borowka

Masks have long been a part of daily life. From the past when tribal dancers wore them to worship their gods, to the present where children wear them for special holidays like Halloween. Our ancestors used masks for a variety of reasons. Some were worn to portray spirits, gods or animals; and others were used to protect and guard against misfortune and disease. There were masks to maintain contact with the dead through burial rituals or in ancestor worship; tomask2 represent characters in theater; and to celebrate the change of seasons and festivals.

Masks in Everyday Life

We use masks in everyday life too. Usually not made of wood, clay or stone as in primitive times, but one that seems invisible though it too conceals our true nature. This mask is the image or facade we present to others. It is our false self that was developed in response to an unsafe and demanding environment. We have different reasons for using this type of mask. We may want to protect ourselves from getting hurt or rejected by others. We may want to become what others want us to be, in order to be accepted by them. Perhaps we feel no one would like or love who we truly are, so we hide our true self. Or we might not like ourselves so we try to pretend to be like someone else.

Yet, I think the core issue is not feeling loved by others and ourselves. This seems to fuel our insecurities and we may find ourselves willing to do anything to be loved by others. Even denying our true self – who we are – our beliefs, our values, our desires, our needs. If we don’t love ourselves, then we depend on others to provide that love and make us feel worthwhile. Yet, they may look to us to provide the same thing! That makes for a very unstable foundation for our relationships as well as for our psyche.

How Do We Cope?

Coping mechanisms, like pleasing others, are based in these insecurities. We seem to develop our mask as a way to handle our fear of rejection and other painful feelings. Those who wear masks on Halloween are in disguise – pretending to be another person or creature. If we are conscious of our masks then we know we are not what we pretend to be. Many are not aware of the mask they present to others. Like the tribal dancer, we can in some ways become the mask we present. The facade can take over where we may feel we have little control over our lives. Whereas our ancestors may have believed that one’s religious or magical powers are released by changing identity and becoming another being, we actually lose our power when we allow our mask or false self to take over our lives. If we can’t be true to ourselves then we deny our expression, our soul, and we deny the light we bring to this world. I believe that each of us is here to not only discover and accept our unique qualities, but also to share them with others. That is the healing process when we touch heart to heart.

What’s Our Mask?

So, what kind of masks do we wear? I would say that our mask changes to meet the demands of the environment. In other words, our mask or false self depends on our external world whereas our real self relies on our internal world. Our mask reacts to the demands of our environment and our true self responds to our needs and desires. There are many different masks or coping mechanisms we take on. We may push ourselves to be perfect in how we look and/or how we act. We may deny our feelings of sadness or anger or fear, because we may have learned these feelings are “bad” or unimportant. We may feel we must always be right or good or knowledgeable. We may feel we have to care for everyone else to be loved and needed. Or perhaps we think we exist only to make others happy. These are just some of the masks we wear.
mask1What kind of mask do you wear? What are some expectations you put on yourself or false concepts you have of yourself? Do you think you “have to” or “should” or “must” do or say or be a certain way to be loved and accepted by others? If so, that might be part of your mask. A good exercise to learn more about your mask is to create a mask that represents the qualities of your false self. You can draw with markers or crayons and/or use parts of magazine pictures and words to create a life-size mask. Clay or paper mache with acrylic paints is also a good medium, and symbols are helpful to give your mask depth. Or you could write about it.
One might think it is necessary to get rid of the mask to allow the true self to be seen. Yet, actually we need both to live in this world and as our world becomes safer then we may need our mask less and less. George Washington once advised, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” So, we need our mask to protect our inner self. What is also needed is to have a balance between the two – allowing our inner light to shine out to others, while protecting it from those that cannot appreciate it. Our masks are not bad, but it just comes down to choice. The real self has choices of how to be, but the false self depends on others for how it should be.

Finding Balance

How do you find a balance? Some ways are to explore your inner world, and learn more about your true and false self. Begin to distinguish between the two, and discover all you can about yourself – not only your good qualities, but also your “bad” qualities or what Jung would call your shadow. The shadow contains our dark side and it’s important to explore the darkness and find healthy ways to express it. Work to appreciate and accept your qualities, your style, your strengths and your weaknesses. Support your realness to come to the surface while still acknowledging the need for your protective mask.faces

Being Real

Allowing your inner self to come forth is scary as it risks rejection, so you might want to take small steps in your risktaking to feel safer. Some may have so much pain and anger from past rejections or betrayals that assistance may be needed. When the past needs to be healed first, I suggest turning to a counselor or clergy for help. Norman Cousins once said, “The great tragedy of life is not death, but what dies within us while we live.” Don’t let your mask suffocate your inner light, but rather use it to create safety and security so your light burns brightly to the world.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”.  They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors.  They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”.  To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

Dealing with Uncertainty

By Dana & Ellen Borowka

It can be very easy to feel shaken, when a part of our lives seems uncertain.  If we get yelled at, honked at while driving, or when personal or professional relationships feel unsteady. If our financial situation, the economy, international or local community seems to be on edge, or if we ofc on worldexperience a loss, that can all lead to feeling as if the carpet has just been pulled out from underneath us. What we thought was solid, now feels shattered and fragile. Some may go with the flow and just figure life has its ups and downs. While others may be devastated and can barely get up in the morning.  How can we deal with these situations when they come up, so that we don’t shut down?

Dealing with change

Sometimes we just need to be patient and supportive with ourselves, like taking a break and realizing life may not look the same as it did before.  People, who had been in a close relationship, may not be available to us in the same way.  Things do change; the earth is not standing still. It is constantly moving and rotating, yet as human beings we look for some form of stability.  We may need to reframe for ourselves how we view the core of our existence and that can be very scary.  However, if we are basing our security on how we think things should be when that is founded on shaky ground, then we need to begin with what we are really looking for. Sometimes evaluating our core values can be very helpful. Gaining greater insight into ourselves can help us to grow to meet the challenges.

The 1994 California Northridge earthquake

Most of us recall the 1994 Northridge earthquake that caused major damage not only in Northridge but also in many outlying areas like Santa Monica. Many residential buildings in Santa Monica were severely damaged where residents were not allowed back into their homes. The building, where we lived at the time, was badly damaged and we were concerned if it would be red tagged. Like many people during this crisis, we felt much uncertainty of what would happen to our home. Yet, we took some decisive steps to bring a level of stability to our situation and reduce the anxiety.

Tips for finding stability

We’ve come up with several ideas for you to consider when things in our lives seem to be unsteady:

  • Seek support. It is important to reach out to others not only for friendship and personal connection, but also to get feedback on what is going on in one’s life.   It’s also very helpful to get a reality check so to keep problems in perspective.  After the earthquake, we sought out friends who provided support and ideas in dealing with the challenging situation as well as insisting in helping us to clean up and repair the damage to our home.  One friend invited us to stay with her overnight, made dinner for us and even brought bottled water for our little bird!  Connection with others helps us to take the steps to deal with our challenges.
  • Maintain a routine to help provide a feeling of stability.  Be sure to do the things that bring you joy and to take care of yourself.  Sometimes, people stop doing their hobbies or exercise when things feel unstable.  Yet, it’s those things that can help to bring down the stress level.  If you go to the gym or enjoy a book club, then keep doing that.  Don’t stop living.  In fact, seek out various ways to reduce your stress, like renting a movie or going to the beach.  However, avoid relying on addictive substances or habits like drugs, alcohol or food to deal with your concerns.
  • Don’t let fear consume you.  Worrying about something never seems to make the problem or concern go away or even to make the situation better.  Find ways to vent that anxiety, whether through talking with a friend or going for a walk.  Again, getting another view point on the situation may help to bring that mountain of fear down to a people on worldmole hill or something that you are comfortable in managing.  After the earthquake, we were very concerned that we might lose our home.  Yet, we took proactive steps to reduce the fear.  We talked with a structural engineer and others to gain perspective on the situation.  We spent time with friends and neighbors, not only to talk about what happened, but also to provide support to others.
  • Find your center.  A boat is more secure when anchored or tied to something whether a buoy or dock.  The same is true for us.  We can weather the challenges of life better when we have a foundation, something solid to lean upon.  That may involve strong family or friendship ties, deep spiritual beliefs and study or using some kind of practice like mediation or yoga or hikes to center one’s self.
  • Make small improvements.  There may be things you can do to bring more stability, to reduce the stress level or create a more productive, satisfying environment for yourself.  Look around and discover what small goals you can develop for yourself.  It may be finding ways to show appreciation to your co-workers or clients, improving a system at work or starting up a personal hobby at home.

We would love to hear from you as what you do to help yourself get through hard times and to bring balance back into your life.  If you send your ideas back to us, we’ll share them in future Keeping on Track publications.

How to deal with uncertainty for staff

We have found that companies can assist their staff members during uncertain times by addressing those issues during team meetings.  Here are some tips for connecting with staff to reduce stress:

♦ Provide an open forum to address concerns.
♦ Explore any issues with productivity or staff morale.
♦ Do reality checks and address media rumors and economic/business concerns.
♦ Discuss business and personal opportunities for new markets, valuing the customer and appreciating those close to us.
♦ Explore next steps – some positive ways to deal with concerns.

Approaching our challenges

The main objective is to not let fear control us and to not allow it to control our professional or personal lives. Every day brings new challenges. The best way to approach these challenges is to not react, but know that there are solutions and options. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in planting bizwomanmoments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

We can learn from our challenges, we can learn new ways to work through issues and concerns. Instead of reacting to a problem or fear, we can ask ourselves: What can I do differently to handle this? What can I learn from this? When things feel uncertain, the temptation may be to hide under the covers or lash out at someone or something that has nothing to do with the issue. We may look at the problem with a dismal perspective, when we may need to view things with a realistic viewpoint.

Challenges become opportunity

Uncertain times push us outside of our comfort zone and no one likes that. John F. Kennedy once said, “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents the danger and the other represents opportunity.” It is during those challenging times that we learn the most, gain the most insight into ourselves. Then we experience a great sense of accomplishment… overcoming the fear of uncertainty, the fear of the unknown.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”.  They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors.  They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

 

Having Doubts

By Ellen Borowka

– Have you found that sometimes it can be so hard to believe in yourself?
– Do you think you will fail before you even try?
– Do you settle for something less than you are capable of or desire in your life?

I have and I’m sure that I am not alone. These doubts and fears can be so paralyzing, so overwhelming that sometimes they become the obstacle we end up fighting against. At times, we may let these doubts push us to lower our aim for what we want. We settle for something less or stay in unchallenging, unhappy, unfulfilling situations only because they feel safe or familiar. Does this sound familiar? Then have I got a story for you!

I remember when I was considering whether to go to graduate school, but I almost didn’t go. I had many doubts, like “it’s too late to go back to school”, “I’m not smart enough”, heavy load“I’ll fail”. Yet, my friends and family encouraged and even pushed me to try and I did. Today, I have a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and I work with companies to assist their staff and management to be more successful as well as have greater job satisfaction.

So, what are some ways to overcome the doubts and to start to trust in yourself? Here are some tips:

Build & utilize a strong network of people

It’s much easier to endure and win a race when you have people along the way to cheer you on. We need each other to get over the bumps and around the curves of the road. People who tend to be the most successful in life are those who reach out to others for help. We don’t have all the answers, all the information, and others can help provide different options and support. Some to include in your network would be: friends, family, co-workers, mentors, clergy, counselors, etc. An important element is who to choose to be a part of your support system. Look for those who can support your growth with compassion and honesty.

Persist to the end

Don’t allow yourself to rationize why you should stop or not try. Don’t give up or allow yourself to think you are trapped in a situation. Some put aside their dreams or their needs, because they think they have reached a dead end. Look to your resources to pull yourself out of that. Further, some even decide to be a victim or martyr, and tell themselves that it is someone else’s fault or they don’t have what they want or need. Avoid such destructive and useless roles. Keep looking for ways to move beyond the doubts. There is a way around the obstacle.

Dive in deep

Fears and doubts are usually attached to deep issues – beliefs about ourselves and others that we have picked up from our family, culture or society. It can be helpful to explore these areas to not only gain insight, but to break through an impasse. It’s not pleasant to look in our emotional and mental mirror, but something helpful to remember is to keep a balance when taking a mental inventory. While it’s important to be candid with yourself on what needs to be worked on. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up about your flaws. We all have imperfections – even those who just seem to sail through life without any problems. We are human and part of that humanity is to learn and grow through horse & riderissues. Some places to start are: Self-help books, support groups, counseling, journaling, art, music, church or temple.

Visualize the ‘impossible’

We have all heard how powerful the mind is. The possibilities are greater than we can even imagine. As the White Queen said to Alice in one of Lewis Carroll’s books, Through the Looking-Glass – “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”.  Then she counseled Alice to practice such a necessary skill.  So, it’s no surprise that how we imagine a situation or project might go can greatly impact us and how we will do. On the other hand, when we push ourselves to visualize success – incredible things start to happen. Just as powerful is what we say to ourselves every day. When we tell ourselves that we will fail, then it’s more likely that negative consequences will occur. Strive to halt such negative and hurtful self-talk. Rather than beating yourself down for a mistake or flaw – work to alter this inner voice to acknowledge your strengths, your talents, and your intrinsic qualities. Even directly combating negative issues, like if you tell yourself the same negative things before starting a project then push yourself to appreciate something about yourself.

Grow spiritually

Doubts can have a way of dissolving when we can look to a power that is greater than ourselves. This can mean many things to many different people like God or love, the universe and so on. Learn more about that power and what it means to you. Integrate it more deeply into your life and explore your spiritual qualities where strength can come from to overcome the doubts.

Breaking through the doubts – to believe in yourself and all you can achieve is possible. Use your resources by looking to those around you and deep within yourself. This will aid you in winning the race. A race where you have all you need within to finish. A race where you have already won before you even begin.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”.  They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors.  They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”.  To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA  90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching.  Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

 

 

Stopping Self Sabotage: Five Steps to Better Relationships & Sales

By Jim Ponder

Why let another day go by feeling out of control just hoping to get through to the end of the day so you can do the same thing tomorrow? Why scramble for names to cold call, new prospects to solicit and other markets to tackle when you are not even staying in touch with your existing clients?man & fire

I know why, it is because this is the way you have always done things. Sure, you have heard of other ways to handle business and life. You may have even attended a seminar where you got excited and came away determined to change. Then BAM! Life hit you in the face. E-mails piled up, voice mails just kept coming, the car broke down and that deadline just got moved up. So, the notebook and other materials that you were so fired up about found their way to the bookshelf right next to the others sitting there gathering dust.

Sound familiar? Don’t be surprised, millions of us wake up and handle every day just like I described above. And you know what? Life does have a way of hitting us in the face. But, trust me; it does not have to be this way. I have lived this; I was the king of crisis mode mistaking activity with progress. My customers were not getting the attention they deserved. For that matter neither were my family or friends. After all, can’t they see that I am busy! Unfortunately they can see, but what they see is that I am too busy for them and certainly too busy to handle that recommendation they wanted to give me.

Self sabotage, it is time to stop. For me, I discovered that the relationship must come first and from that business and revenue will follow. Moving from crisis mode and self sabotage to a relational business and way of life takes effort. The good news though, is that all of us can do it and the rewards are plentiful.

Here are five tips to get you started:

1. Listen

We all learn to talk at a very young age. What we do not learn to do is listen. Start today listening more and saying less. Be there; focus 100% on what you are hearing. Put down the BlackBerry, ignore the e-mail, put the phone on silent – not vibrate, and take some notes. You will be amazed at what you learn. Your clients will tell you what they want and need – if you will listen to them.

2. Be a Trusted Ally™

Are you a needy salesperson or a trusted ally? The needy salesperson tries to sell whatever they have regardless of whether the client really needs it or if it is the best fit for them. The Trusted Ally™ will take time to understand what the clients needs are and will tailor the sales and product to them. Even, if it means passing up the sale. What! Pass up a sale – you bet, it is called trust and character.

3. Remember the 80/20 rule

Sure, you have heard this before. 80% of business comes from 20% of your customers. Guess what else? 80% of your pain comes from the bottom 20% of your customers. This bottom 20% is sucking the life out of you. They are a needy bunch and you would be far better off methodically eliminating them while adding more clients that resemble your top 20%.

4. Do your homework

I never cease to be amazed at how little most salespersons and the companies they work for know about their clients and prospects. Make a list today of your top five clients and prospects. Now do your homework and answer these questions:

♦ How do they make money?cklist men
♦ What are their top three business challenges?
♦ What charities do they support?
♦ What does your main contact at the company like to do when they are not working?

This information is the start to building your knowledge base and a relationship that goes beyond the transaction. Now, put the power of the internet to work by setting these clients and prospects up on Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts. This way you will always have the latest news about them. Use your new knowledge to send thank you and congratulations cards and for discussion on your personal visits and phone calls.

5. Get help

Lastly, don’t try this alone because odds are you will fail. Make an investment of your time, effort and money in a quality training program that has a coaching component. bizwoman watering plantCoaching is what separates the wannabe’s from the successful. Just like the best athletes in the world have coaches, so do the best and most successful business people.

You can change. You can have balance back with less stress and more productivity. It is up to you.

Final Thoughts

According to Dana Borowka, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, hiring the right people is key to future growth. If you would like additional information on hiring, please click here to read an article on this subject.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Jim has over 25 years of experience in top management positions. He has been President of four companies in all phases from start up to being acquired. Jim is a seasoned entrepreneur and businessman. He is an experienced trainer, speaker, consultant and executive coach. His diverse background brings experience in strategic planning, business and brand development and strong organizational skills. Jim has worked with many companies and organizations from large to small including AFLAC, Qualcomm and ViaSat.

Jim clearly understands the issues facing businesses today. Competition has shown the need, more than ever, for companies to differentiate themselves. His background and success of building companies through relationships allows him to share his insights providing real change to companies and organizations desiring to excel. He routinely works with key executives developing short, mid and long range strategic plans for relationship, productivity and business development. To contact Jim, please give him a call at 760-888-6228 or email him at jponder@turnkeysr.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Use Feedback to Your Advantage

By Jack Canfield – Excerpt from The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
– Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson
Co-authors of The One Minute Manager

Once you begin to take action, you’ll start getting feedback about whether you’re doing the right thing. You’ll get data, advice, help, suggestions, direction, and even criticism that will help you constantly adjust and move forward while continually enhancing your knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and relationships. But asking for feedback is really only the first part of the equation. Once you receive feedback, you have to be willing to respond to it.desk people

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF FEEDBACK

There are two kinds of feedback you might encounter – negative and positive. We tend to prefer the positive – that is, results, money, praise, a raise, a promotion, satisfied customers, awards, happiness, inner peace, intimacy, pleasure. It feels better. It tells us that we are on course, that we are doing the right thing.

We tend not to like negative feedback – lack of results, little or no money, criticism, poor evaluations, being passed over for a raise or a promotion, complaints, unhappiness, inner conflict, loneliness, pain. However, there is as much useful data in negative feedback as there is in positive feedback. It tells us that we are off course, headed in the wrong direction, doing the wrong thing. That is also valuable information.

In fact, it’s so valuable that one of the most useful projects you could undertake is to change how you feel about negative feedback. I like to refer to negative feedback as information about “improvement opportunities.” The world is telling me where and how I can improve what I am doing. Here is a place I can get better. Here is where I can correct my behavior to get even closer to what I say I want — more money, more sales, a promotion, a better relationship, better grades, or more success on the athletic field.

To reach your goals more quickly, you need to welcome, receive and embrace all the feedback that comes your way.

ON COURSE, OFF COURSE,
ON COURSE, OFF COURSE

There are many ways to respond to feedback, some of which work (they take you closer to your stated objectives), and some of which don’t (they keep you stuck or take you even further from your goals).

When I conduct trainings on the success principles, I illustrate this point by asking for a volunteer from the audience to stand at the far side of the room. The volunteer represents the goal I want to reach. My task is to walk across the room to where he is standing. If I get to where he is standing, I have successfully reached my goal.

I instruct the volunteer to act as a constant feedback-generating machine. Every time I take a step, he is to say “On course” if I am walking directly toward him and “Off course” if I am walking even the slightest bit off to either side.

Then I begin to walk very slowly toward the volunteer. Every time I take a step directly toward him, the volunteer says, “On course.” Every few steps, I purposely veer off course, and the volunteer says, “Off course.” I immediately correct my direction. Every few steps, I veer off course again and then correct again in response to his “Off course” feedback. After a lot of zigzagging, I eventually reach my goal … and give the person a hug for volunteering.

I ask the audience to tell me which the volunteer had said more often – “On course” or “Off course.” The answer is always “Off course.” And here is the interesting part. I was off course more than I was on course, and I still got there … just by continually taking action and constantly adjusting to the feedback. The same is true in life. All we have to do is to start to take action and then respond to the feedback. If we do that diligently enough and long enough, we will eventually get to our goals and achieve our dreams.

WAYS OF RESPONDING TO FEEDBACK THAT DON’T WORK

Though there are many ways you can respond to feedback, some responses simply don’t work:

  1. Caving in and quitting: As part of the seminar exercise I described above, I will repeat the process of walking toward my goal; however, in this round I will purposely veer off blindfolded bizmancourse, and when my volunteer keeps repeating “Off course” over and over, I break down and cry, “I can’t take it anymore. Life is too hard. I can’t take all this negative criticism. I quit!”  How many times have you or someone you know received negative feedback and simply caved in over it? All that does is keep you stuck in the same place. It’s easier not to cave in when you receive feedback if you remember that feedback is simply information. Think of it as correctional guidance instead of criticism. Think of the automatic pilot system on an airplane. The system is constantly telling the plane that it has gone too high, too low, too far to the right, or too far to the left. The plane just keeps correcting in response to the feedback it is receiving. It doesn’t all of a sudden freak out and break down because of the relentless flow of feedback. Stop taking feedback so personally. It is just information designed to help you adjust and get to your goal a whole lot faster.
  2. Getting mad at the source of the feedback: Once again, I will begin walking toward the other end of the room while purposely veering off course, causing the volunteer to say “Off course” over and over. This time I put one hand on my hip, stick out my chin, point my finger, and yell, “Bitch, bitch, bitch! All you ever do is criticize me! You’re so negative. Why can’t you ever say anything positive?” Think about it. How many times have you reacted with anger and hostility toward someone who was giving you feedback that was genuinely useful? All it does is push the person and the feedback away.
  3. Ignoring the feedback: For my third demonstration, imagine me putting my fingers in my ears and determinedly walking off course. The volunteer might be saying “Off course, off course,” but I can’t hear anything because my fingers are in my ears. Not listening to or ignoring the feedback is another response that doesn’t work. We all know people who tune out everyone’s point of view but their own. They are simply not interested in what other people think. They don’t want to hear anything anyone else has to say. The sad thing is, feedback could significantly transform their lives, if only they would only listen.

So, as you can see, when someone gives you feedback, there are three possible reactions that don’t work: (1) crying, falling apart, caving in, and giving up; (2) getting angry at the source of the feedback; and (3) not listening to or ignoring the feedback.

Crying and falling apart is simply ineffective. It may temporarily release whatever emotions you have built up in your system, but it takes you out of the game. It doesn’t get you anywhere. It simply immobilizes you. Not a great success strategy! Caving in and giving up doesn’t work either. It may make you feel safer and may stop the flow of “negative” feedback, but it doesn’t get you the good stuff! You can’t win in the game of life if you are not on the playing field!

Getting angry at the person giving you the feedback is equally ineffective! It just makes the source of the valuable feedback attack you back or simply go away. What good is that? It may temporarily make you feel better, but it doesn’t help you get more successful.

On the third day of my advanced seminar, when, everyone knows everybody else pretty well, I have the whole group (about 40 people) stand up, mill around, and ask as many people as possible the following question: “How do you see me limiting myself?” After doing this for 30 minutes, people sit down and record what they have heard. You’d think that this would be hard to listen to for 30 minutes, but it is such valuable feedback that people are actually grateful for the opportunity to become aware of their limiting behaviors and replace them with successful behaviors. Everyone then develops an action plan for transcending their limiting behavior.

Remember, feedback is simply information. You don’t have to take it personally. Just welcome it and use it. The most intelligent and productive response is to say, “Thank you for the feedback. Thank you for caring enough to take the time to tell me what you see and how you feel. I appreciate it.”

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

Most people will not voluntarily give you feedback. They are as uncomfortable with possible confrontation as you are. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. They are afraid of your reaction. They don’t want to risk your disapproval. So to get honest and open feedback, you are going to need to ask for it … and make it safe for the person to give it to you. In other words, don’t shoot the messenger.

A powerful question to ask family members, friends, and colleagues is “How do you see me limiting myself?” You might think that the answers would be hard to listen to, but most people find the information so valuable that they are grateful for what people tell them. Armed with this new feedback, they can create a plan of action for replacing their limiting behaviors with more effective and productive behaviors.

THE MOST VALUABLE QUESTION YOU MAY EVER LEARN

In the 1980s, a multimillionaire businessman taught me a question that radically changed the quality of my life. If the only thing you get out of reading this book is the consistent questionmkheaduse of this question in your personal and business life, it will have been worth the money and time you have invested. So what is this magical question that can improve the quality of every relationship you are in, every product you produce, every service you deliver, every meeting you conduct, every class you teach, and every transaction you enter into? Here it is:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of our relationship (service/product) during the last week (2 weeks/month/quarter/semester/season)?

Here are a number of variations on the same question that have served me well over the years:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the meeting we just had? me as a manager? me as a parent? me as a teacher? this class? this meal? my cooking? our sex life? this deal? this book?

Any answer less than a 10 gets the follow-up question:

What would it take to make it a 10?

This is where the valuable information comes from. Knowing that a person is dissatisfied is not enough. Knowing in detail what will satisfy them gives you the information you need to do what is necessary to create a winning product, service, or relationship.

Make it a habit to end every project, meeting, class, training, consultation and installation with the two questions.

MAKE IT A WEEKLY RITUAL

I ask my wife these same two questions every Sunday night. Here is a typical scenario:

“How would you rate the quality of our relationship this past week?”
“Eight.”
“What would it take to make it a ten?”
“Put the kids to bed without me having to remind you that it’s time to do it. Come in for dinner on time or call me and tell me you are going to be late. I hate sitting here waiting and wondering. Let me finish a joke I am telling without interrupting and taking over because you think you can tell it better. Put your dirty laundry in the clothes hamper instead of in a pile on the floor.”

I also ask my assistants this question every Friday afternoon. Here is one response I received from Deborah early on in her employment:

“Six.”
“Whoa! What would it take to make it a ten?”
“We were supposed to have a meeting this week to go over my quarterly review, but it got pushed aside by other matters. It makes me feel unimportant and that you don’t care about me as much as the other people around here. I need to talk to you about a lot of things, and I feel really discounted. The other thing is that I feel that you are not using me enough. You are not delegating anything but the simple stuff to me. I want more responsibility. I want you to trust me more with the important stuff. I need more of a challenge. This job has become boring and uninteresting to me. I need more of a challenge, or I am not going to make it here.”

This was not easy to hear, but it was true and it led to two wonderful results. It helped me delegate more “important stuff” to her and thus cleared my plate, giving me more free time – and it also created a happier assistant who was able to serve me and the company better.

BE WILLING TO ASK

Most people are afraid to ask for corrective feedback because they are afraid of what they are going to hear. There is nothing to be afraid of. The truth is the truth. You are better off knowing the truth than not knowing the truth. Once you know it, you can do something about it. You cannot fix what you don’t know is broken. You cannot improve your life, your relationships, your game, or your performance without feedback.

But what’s the worst part of this avoidance approach to life? You are the only one who is not in on the secret. The other person has usually already told their spouse, their friends, their parents, their business associates, and other potential customers what they are dissatisfied with. As we discussed in Principle 1, (“Take 100% Responsibilitybizpeople & tincans
for Your Life”), most people would rather complain than take constructive action to solve their problems. The only problem is that they are complaining to the wrong person. They
should be telling you, but they are unwilling to for fear of your reaction. As a result, you are being deprived of the very thing you need to improve your relationship, your product, your service, your teaching, or your parenting. You must do two things to remedy this.

First, you must intentionally and actively solicit feedback. Ask your partner, your friends, your colleagues, your boss, your employees, your clients, your parents, your teachers, your students and your coaches. Use the question frequently. Make it a habit to always ask for corrective feedback. “What can I/we do to make this better? What would it take to make it a ten for you?”

Second, you must be grateful for the feedback. Do not get defensive. Just say, “Thank you for caring enough to share that with me!” If you are truly grateful for the feedback,
you will get a reputation for being open to feedback. Remember, feedback is a gift that helps you be more effective.

Be grateful for it.

Get your head out of the sand and ask, ask, ask! Then check in with yourself to see what fits for you, and put the useful feedback into action. Take whatever steps are
necessary to improve the situation – including changing your own behavior.

A few years ago, our company discontinued using a printer because another one offered us better service for a lower price. About 4 months later, our original printer
called and said, “I’ve noticed you haven’t used me for any printing lately. What would it take for you to start giving me your printing business again?”

I replied, “Lower prices, on-time turnaround, and pickup and delivery. If you can guarantee us those three things. I’ll give you a small portion of our printing and try you again.” Eventually, he won back most of our printing because he beat other people’s prices, picked up and delivered, finished on time, and provided more than acceptable quality. Because he asked the question “What would it take…,” he got the information he needed to ensure his ongoing success with us.

SHE ASKED HER WAY TO SUCCESS IN 3 SHORT MONTHS

One of the best-selling weight-loss books ever published was the book, Thin Thighs in 30 Days. What’s so interesting about it, though, is that it was developed solely using
feedback. The author, Wendy Stehling, worked in an advertising agency but hated her job. She wanted to start her own agency but didn’t have the money to do so. She knew
booksshe would need about $100,000, so she began asking, “What’s the quickest way to raise $100,000?”

Sell a book, said the feedback.

She decided if she wrote a book that could sell 100,000 copies in 90 days – and she made $1 per book – she would raise the $100,000 she needed. But what kind of book would 100,000 people want? “Well, what are the bestselling books in America?” she asked.

Weight loss books, said the feedback.
“Yes, but how would I distinguish myself as an expert?” she asked.
Ask other women, said the feedback.
So she went out to the marketplace and asked, “If you could lose weight in only one part of your body, what part would you choose?” The overwhelming response from women was My thighs.

“When would you want to lose it?” she asked.

Around April or May, in time for swimsuit season, said the feedback. So what did she do? She wrote a book called Thin Thighs in 30 Days and released it April 15. By June, she had her $100,000 – all because she asked people what they wanted and responded to the feedback by giving it to them.

HOW TO LOOK REALLY BRILLIANT WITH LITTLE EFFORT

Virginia Satir, the author of the classic parenting book, Peoplemaking, was probably the most successful and famous family therapist that ever lived.

During her long and illustrious career, she was hired by the Michigan State Department of Social Services to provide a proposal on how to revamp and restructure the Department of Social Services so it would serve the client population better. Sixty days later, she provided the department with a 150-page report, which they said was the most amazing piece of work they had ever seen. “This is brilliant!” they gushed. “How did you come up with all these ideas?”

She replied, “Oh, I just went out to all the social workers in your system and I asked them what it would take for the system to work better.”

LISTEN TO THE FEEDBACK

Human beings were given a left foot and a right foot to make a mistake first to the left, then to the right, left again and repeat.
– Buckminster Fuller, Engineer, inventor and philosopher

Whether we ask or not, feedback comes to us in various forms. It might come verbally from a colleague. Or it might be a letter from the government. It might be the bank refusing listening bizmenyour loan. Or it could be a special opportunity that comes your way because of a specific step you took.

Whatever it is, it’s important to listen to the feedback. Simply take a step … and listen. Take another step and listen. If you hear “Off course,” take a step in a direction you believe may be on course … and listen. Listen externally to what others may be telling you, but also listen internally to what your body, your feelings, and your instincts may be telling you.

Is your mind and body saying, “I’m happy; I like this; this is the right job for me,” or “I’m weary; I’m emotionally drained; I don’t like this as much as I thought; I don’t have a good feeling about that guy”?

Whatever feedback you get, don’t ignore the yellow alerts. Never go against your gut. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t.

IS ALL FEEDBACK ACCURATE?

Not all feedback is useful or accurate. You must consider the source. Some feedback is polluted by the psychological distortions of the person giving you the feedback. For example, if your drunk husband tells you, “You are a no-good bleep,” that is probably not accurate or useful feedback. The fact that your husband is drunk and angry, however, is feedback you should listen to.

LOOK FOR PATTERNS

Additionally, you should look for patterns in the feedback you get. As my friend Jack Rosenblum likes to say: “If one person tells you you’re a horse, they’re crazy. If three people tell you you’re a horse, there’s a conspiracy afoot. If ten people tell you you’re a horse, it’s time to buy a saddle.”

The point is that if several people are telling you the same thing, there is probably some truth in it. Why resist it? You may think you get to be right, but the question you have to ask yourself is “Would I rather be right or be happy? Would I rather be right or be successful?”

I have a friend who would rather be right than be happy and successful. He got mad at anyone who tried to give him feedback. “Don’t you talk to me that way, young lady.”
“Don’t tell me how to run my business. This is my business and I’ll run it the way I want to.” “I don’t give a hoot what you think.” He was a “my way or the highway” person. He wasn’t interested in anyone else’s opinion or feedback. In the process, he alienated his wife, his two daughters, his clients and all his employees. He ended up with two divorces, kids who didn’t want to speak to him and two bankrupt businesses. But he was “right.” So be it, but don’t you get caught in this trap. It is a dead-end street.

What feedback have you been receiving from your family, friends, members of the opposite sex, coworkers, boss, partners, clients, vendors and your body that you need to pay more attention to? Are there any patterns that stand out? Make a list, and next to each item, write an action step you can take to get back on course.

WHAT TO DO WHEN THE FEEDBACK TELLS YOU YOU’VE FAILED

When all indicators say you’ve had a “failure experience,” there are a number of things you can do to respond appropriately and keep moving forward:

  1. Acknowledge you did the best you could with the awareness, knowledge, and skills you had at the time.
  2. Acknowledge that you survived and that you can absolutely cope with any and all of the consequences or results.
  3. Write down everything you learned from the experience. Write all of your insights and lessons down in a file in your computer or a journal called Insights and Lessons. missing the targetRead through this file often. Ask others involved – your family, team, employees, clients, and others – what they learned. I often have my staff write “I learned that . . .” at the top of a piece of paper and then write as much, as they can think of in a 5-minute period. Then we make a list under the heading of “Ways to Do It Better Next Time.”
  4. Make sure to thank everyone for their feedback and their insights. If someone is hostile in the delivery of their feedback, remember that it is an expression of their level of fear, not your level of incompetence or unlovability. Again, just thank them for their feedback. Explaining, justifying, and blaming are all a waste of everybody’s time. Just take in the feedback, use whatever is applicable and valuable for the future, and discard the rest.
  5. Clean up any messes that have been created and deliver any communications that are necessary to complete the experience – including any apologies or regrets that are due. Do not try to hide the failure.
  6. Take some time to go back and review your successes. It’s important to remind yourself that you have had many more successes than you have had failures. You’ve done many more things right than you’ve done wrong.
  7. Regroup. Spend some time with positive loving friends, family and coworkers who can reaffirm your worth and your contribution.
  8. Refocus your vision. Incorporate the lessons learned, recommit to your original plan, or create a new plan of action, and then get on with it. Stay in the game. Keep moving toward the fulfillment of your dreams. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Dust yourself off, get back on your horse, and keep riding.

Excerpted from The Success Principles; How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (TM) by Jack Canfield. To order your copy, visit our website www.thesuccessprinciples.com. Permission is needed from Jack Canfield to reproduce any portion provided in this excerpt from his book.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

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