Our reader poll today asks: When you’re angry with a team member, how do you approach it? I cool off and don’t show any emotion when I speak with them. 45% I wait a bit to talk to them but show them some of my anger. 51% I pause first but let them see a lot of my anger. 3% I unload my anger toward them immediately so they can see it. 1% Pause and compose. The vast majority of you (96%) pause for some period of time before confronting a colleague who has made you mad. Cooler heads can have more rational discussions. The groups seems evenly split, though, on whether to show some of the anger when the conversation does happen. The pro of showing that anger is the person really gets a sense for how much they’ve upset you, but the con is it could inflame the situation. Conversely, not showing your anger and simply expressing concerns could cause them to misread how much their actions upset you, which might lead to repeat behavior. In any case, deliberately choose which approach you’ll take (whether or not to show some anger) and have a deliberate reason for doing so. Also, have a contingent strategy if your choice goes wrong. If you’re showing anger and it makes things worse, hit pause and cool off. If they seem to be ignoring your concern, perhaps let some of the anger show. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog […]
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Self-control is not a born trait, it is learned and developed and can be a difference maker as a leader. Today’s post is by Jill Ratliff, author of Leadership Through Trust & Collaboration (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Do you think you have good self-control? Most of us think we do—but often suddenly find we don’t. Yet self-control is one of the most important skills a leader can develop to engender trust and support collaboration. Nothing fractures trust and discourages open collaboration like the fear of an uncontrolled negative reaction in times of stress. Team members who fear their leader’s response to stress or errors are not likely to think and act creatively, and innovatively. And make no mistake: self-control is a skill, not a character trait. You aren’t born with self-control; you have to learn it and practice it. Self-control is your ability to manage your response to any situation. It’s the ability to be confronted with a situation, however stressful, dire, or even infuriating, and choose not to respond with anger or frustration, but rather with an even temper, kindness, and compassion. It’s the ability to remain conscious of your own emotions even under difficult circumstances, when an employee makes a serious mistake or doesn’t live up to your expectations, or when business takes an unexpected turn that requires decisive action. In the real world, we can’t change anybody else, all we can change is our reactions. Look closely at the word “responsibility” and you’ll see it breaks down to our ability to respond. Learning to control our responses to be productive rather than reactive helps build strong teams and, as a result, successful outcomes. Self-control is a habit we can develop over time. How can you develop better self-control? Here are a few tips and practices to help.
Sales are the lifeblood of any company. No sales, no company. The good news is there’s an incredibly simple technique that you can do right now to help boost your numbers. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. Strap yourself in. You’re about to have your mind blown. Ever since grade school when I sold anything that wasn’t nailed down, I’ve been drawn to sales. It started with pencils I painted with custom designs and people’s names on them. I then graduated to selling comic books. Then I sold table space at comic book conventions I put on myself (at age 14). Over the years I’ve migrated to other sales roles and, in the day to day running of thoughtLEADERS, I’m the head of sales. I won’t lie – sales can be a grind especially when facing competitive situations or making big ticket complex sales. Long lead times, budget constraints, and prospects who are tough to get a hold of make selling efforts difficult. But I’ve found a secret. I’ve found a way to get in touch with clients and prospects and engage them in a sales conversation 100% of the time. Not only that, they’re excited to talk to me about it and they’re usually ready to buy by the time we finish talking. I’ve been astonished with how effective this technique is and it’s beyond simple. I’m going to share it with you now and it will change your life.
Finding your core values isn’t just good for guiding your life, its good for guiding your career too. Today’s post is by Tracy Timm, author of Unstoppable (CLICK HERE to get your copy). When it comes to making career decisions, we’ve all been to “the dark side.” Endless pro-con lists. Sleepless nights. Emotional rollercoasters. Circular conversations. Worrying if this is our “one shot” while simultaneously wondering if we’re settling or worth more. Trying to balance the shiny components of the offer, maintain a level head, remember to negotiate, and keep every other generic piece of career advice front of mind. Cue confusion, anxiety, doubt, and fear. But what if there was a way to ensure that every decision you made in your career was in your best, long-term interest? What if you could wade through the emotions and momentary elation and get down to brass tacks: Will this work for me or is this just another distraction? In the moment, it can be so difficult to separate what really matters from how we are currently feeling. After all, no matter if we’re being offered the CEO role or a part-time consulting position, there are so many emotions at play. It’s human nature to feel compelled to pursue something that we’re offered. Even if the offer is coming from left field (hello, Mr. CMO, would you like to design a logo for me?) there’s something about an opportunity showing up on your doorstep that begs the question: Am I supposed to take this?
Our reader poll today asks: What’s the best part of being in a leadership role? Helping my team members develop, grow and succeed: 52% Having control over the way things run: 4% Being able to set direction, take risks and make things happen: 34% Being visible and valued in the organization: 6% Overcoming the challenges leaders face every day: 3% Something else: 2% Making stuff happen and developing others. The two clear winners in this poll are how much you enjoy making things happen and developing your team members. Both are great rewards for any leader. The interesting thing is they’re both outward-facing in that the impact is about the environment around you versus the impact of the role on you. While I recognize these polls are simple and these are complex topics, there are clear patterns. If you happen to be inward-facing in your leadership, I encourage you to take a moment to look at the broader impact you’re having. The things you’re getting done and your impact on helping people grow may be much larger than you expect. You will likely also find the rewards of that impact far exceed the inward-facing rewards of how your role makes you feel. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Mike Figliuolo, thoughtLEADERS Managing Director, sat down with Adam Torres of The Money Matters Top Tips Podcast to talk about executive communication. In this podcast interview, Mike reunites with Adam Torres of The Money Matters Top Tips Podcast to delve deeper into his personal thoughts and tips on executive communication. Mike breaks down executive presence and what exactly it is, and then points out a few of the standard shortcomings that people point out with regards to executive presence and how finding a few small fixes really can move the needle in interacting with others. As the discussion continues, Mike gives his top tips for improving this executive communication, starting with knowing your audience, something people have heard many times before, and how finding and knowing that hot button topic to get people engaged and bought in is a game changer. And then being able to assemble everything beyond facts into a compelling story that further engages the ‘audience.’ Stay tuned for more of podcast features and interviews from Mike and the rest of the thoughtLEADERS team. Money Matters Top Tips Podcast – Mike Figliuolo
Our reader poll today asks: How do you react when your work is unfairly criticized by someone? I ignore it. Haters gonna hate. 10% I take it too personally but don’t react. 29% I rebut their position gently, then move on. 54% I vigorously defend my work until they recant their words. 7% Split reactions on reacting. Unfair criticism is frustrating and sometimes painful. About 40% of you let it go, while 60% rebut it with varying levels of vigor. For those who let it go, your restraint is commended. Just be aware of the risk that the criticism could spread and become “fact” to others so if it’s not something you want associated with you, consider a rebuttal. For those who do say something about it, moderation is the key. Attack the criticism to vigorously and you’ll escalate the conflict. Do too little, and your rebuttal will be brushed off and ignored. Paramount in all of this is to remember to confront the problem and/or the comments versus attacking the person. The instant you make it personal, the higher the risk you face of an escalated response. Make it about the facts of the matter and the comments at hand, and you have a much better chance of resolving things peacefully. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Work is a convenient excuse for not taking care of yourself. Not exercising, poor diet, and stress are a bad combination. You’ve got to make time for you. Work will always be there when you get back. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. Back in 2015, I had a heart attack. A second heart attack. Yep. Two. The first one sucked but it was my fault. Crappy diet. Poor exercise habits. Not managing stress well. I lost a lot of weight. Dropped my cholesterol. Modified stress responses. I was feeling great. I had conquered the cardiac event. Wrong. Heart attack #2 was a nasty little bugger. Hit me on a flight to Salt Lake City. I was headed out to teach my Leadership Maxims class. It ended up being the first class I’ve missed teaching in 12 years of running this business. It wasn’t fair. I was in shape. I was eating well. I was managing stress…Kind of. A chunk of plaque blocked my obtuse marginal artery. Such B.S. ended up with a third stent. Missed teaching the class (although my client was unsurprisingly understanding of my dilemma). I quit caffeine after that one. That was painful but green tea isn’t a bad substitute. Where am I going with all this? It’s easy to fall out of good habits.
Our reader poll today asks: How do you allocate your time spent with your direct reports? I spend most of my time with my high performers. 17% I spend an equal amount of time with everyone. 62% I spend most of my time with my low performers. 22% Spend time where it’s needed. While it may seem “fair” to give everyone on your team the same amount of your time, you’re doing them (and yourself) a disservice. Your high performers likely need less of your time. By giving them more than they need, you’re wasting their time – and yours. You’re also not being fair to low performers who need more of your time but aren’t getting it. While it’s easy to just schedule everyone for an hour a week (or whatever the timeframe is), be more deliberate about giving people the time they actually need. In total, you might even end up spending less time with them but that frees you up to do other things and it helps them be more productive because they’re not wasting time sitting with you when they could be getting more work done. In some cases, you’ll give them more time than you currently are and that’s good too because then they’re getting the attention they really need. Don’t be lazy with your time allocation. It’s the most precious resource you (and they) have. Treat it accordingly. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your […]
Positive influence leaders make a big impact on the people they encounter and the outcome of that positive leadership is to pay it forward and help others. Today’s post is by Glenn Parker, author of Positive Influences. Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift donated $1 million to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, but she also gave $50,000 to the nephew of one her backup singers who was being treated for cancer. It’s clear that people who have benefitted from a positive influence in their life tend to be a positive force in the lives of many of the people they encounter. Research indicates that some people take their experience of being on the receiving end of a positive influence leader and look for opportunities to have a similar impact on people they encounter in their work life. They can point to specific people they have impacted and the positive outcomes of those encounters. We also found that others have adopted a more generalized approach to people that seeks to have a positive influence on everyone in their orbit.
Our reader poll today asks: How well do people in your organization take ownership for problems or issues? Extremely well: When people see a problem, they actively make sure it gets fixed no matter what. 7.70% Very well: People work to fix most problems and own issues pretty well. 36.60% Well: People take ownership of bigger issues, but smaller ones tend to slide by. 20.28% Not very well: People infrequently take ownership of issues and tend to pass the buck. 27.27% Poorly: No one wants to own anything, and they work hard to pass things to others. 8.15% Less finger-pointing. While 65% of you indicate people in your organization do a decent job of taking ownership for problems, the 35% who say it doesn’t happen is a significant portion of respondents. Ask yourself how you can change that dynamic as well as how you might be causing some of it. Do you take ownership every time for every issue? Do you set a good example? Do you blame others when there are issues? Your people take their cues from you. If you complain about other departments not doing their job or you tell your team members to just let another group handle things, you might be feeding into this culture. This doesn’t mean you have to own the full resolution of every problem that comes your way, but you should consider taking an active role in moving it forward toward resolution. Culture is the sum of our daily behaviors over time. Are your daily behaviors creating the accountability culture you want to have? If not, change the behaviors. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become […]
Here are six great ideas to move performance from good to great. From the stories you tell to your own bold moves others will be telling stories about for years to come, you can build perseverance, passion, and engagement. Today’s post is by Paul Smith, thoughtLEADERS instructor and author of Sell With a Story. Here’s an easy way to learn some new leadership skills – in easy-to-digest 10-minute podcasts you can listen to at your convenience. These podcasts are based on interviews with 100 executives and leaders at dozens of companies around the world. Each episode brings you an important leadership lesson through a single compelling story. These next 6 episodes will help you learn to do remarkable things other people will talk about, lead your team to love what they do or find the perseverance to press on even in the face of defeat or ridicule, move their performance from good to great, and learn 5 steps to giving more effective feedback. Staff meetings your employees won’t try to crawl out of One of the perhaps less-than-obvious ways to help the people who work for you to find passion for their work, is to remove the things they’re decidedly dispassionate about – starting with your staff meetings. Perseverance: The Pringles Story Perseverance in the face of defeat is a required character trait in sports and politics. You have to lose a few games and races on the road to the Super Bowl or to Washington. Here’s what it looks like when you demonstrate perseverance in business. The Jittery Compass: Moving your performance from good to great