Managing Your Boss and Living to Tell About It 2

images (36)The key to managing your boss is to manage them in a style they like. One thing you need to know for certain is you are not going to change them. They’ve been successful managing a certain way so why would they want to do it any differently? If you want to learn how to manage your boss and live to tell about it then you must change your style to be more in tune with theirs. Everyone has a natural style of behaving. A natural way of communicating and interacting with others. Everyone likes to manage and be managed a certain way. Learn to mirror their behavior.

Different strokes for different folks. I believe we are born one of four styles of behaving. (Dominate, Interactive, Steadiness and Conscientious. The theory of DISC was developed by Dr. William Marston.) Take time to discover your bosses style and then communicate and interact with them that way.

D Style: (Dominant) They walk fast, talk fast and do everything fast. Make communication brief and to the point. Don’t muddy the water by using graphs, charts and volumes of data. Respect their need for autonomy. Be prepared for blunt, demanding approaches. They lack empathy and are uncomfortable with social interaction so they see no need for idle chit-chat.

I Style: (Interactive / Interpersonal) Don’t be in a hurry. They prefer a relaxed and social environment. Let them verbalize their thoughts and feelings. They are great communicators so be prepared for someone who will attempt to persuade and influence others. Provide them with the information they’ll need to make the right decisions. They like being the center of attention.

S Style: (Steadiness) Be logical and systematic in your approach. They have a natural resistance to change. They prefer to know how things will be done ahead of time – preferably in writing. They have a difficult time identifying priorities and meeting deadlines. Teach them how to say no nicely because they usually say yes to everything. They are the ultimate team player never wanting to let anyone down.

C Style: (Conscientious) They value high standards – they strive to be perfect. Be prepared – know what you know. They have very little patience for vague generalizations. Chances are they will double-check your work so let them know what you don’t know but assure them that you’ll go and find out. Don’t make stuff up. They are all about detail. They love pie charts and graphs.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator? Give Brian a call. He’ll work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com

Going Along to Get Along – The Art of Working With People You Don’t Like 1

grumpy ladyYou may not like some of the people you work with – but the truth is – you need to learn how to get along with them. Think of a job that you could do in your life time that didn’t involve working with people. You’d be hard pressed to come up with one.  Dealing with difficult people and challenging situations is a learned behavior. You just need to decide if it’s worth it. But trust me – If you are looking for a career in sales, owning and operating a business some day or managing and leading others then it’s not open for debate – the ability to get along with others is a must have.

Think of someone you are having difficulty connecting with. You don’t know why but there is something about them that drives you crazy. There is something about them that makes you want to pick up a heavy object and smack them across the side of the head. Before you do something that might get you arrested give this 3-step process a try. Remember – you don’t have to like them you just need to learn how to work with them. The 3 R’s will teach you how.

Rapport: Find out something about them that you could use to strike up a conversation. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children or grand children? What do they like to do in their spare time? Do they like to hunt, fish, play golf or read books? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they like. You need to get them talking. Idle chit-chat is important to establish rapport. And you need to establish rapport to move to the next level. You can’t develop a relationship with someone until you’ve established rapport first.

Relationship: Successful sales people understand the value of developing a relationship with their clients. People like to do business with and buy products or services from people they like. You need to develop a relationship with the people you work with and interact with. You need to develop a relationship with the people you’re going to manage or lead. No one wants to let a friend down. If they like you they will go to great lengths so they don’t disappoint you. You need to develop a relationship before you can move on to the final step – respect.

Respect: The final step in this 3-step process is respect. If you have established a rapport and developed a relationship with the people you work with and interact with, then chances are they will respect you for you. They may not like what you said or what you did but, they will respect you and will most likely forgive you. However, keep in mind that respect is reciprocal. You must give it to get it. You can’t demand it. People respect people that they have developed a relationship with.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker who can deliver an entertaining and informative session on a variety of soft-skills topics including; communication, time management, coping with stress and dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better? Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. http://briansmithpld.com

Change is Easier Said Then Done – But it Can Be Done

bigstockphoto_Change_Ahead_5993268Have you ever thought about why you do – what you do – when you do it? William James, an American Philosopher and Psychologist, believes that most of the decisions we make are because of the habits we create. Habits control how we act and react in most situations. Researchers at Duke University believe that 40% of the actions people perform each day aren’t made by conscious decisions – but by habits. Habits, good or bad,have become ingrained in us and we routinely do them without thinking about them. What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up? I’ll bet you do the same thing – in the same order – every morning. And if you break from routine it can throw off your whole day. When do you put on your seat belt? Do you put your seat belt on before or after you start your vehicle? If we are anything at all we are creatures of habit.

Worth Remembering … “Our habits may control our destiny, but we control our habits. Before we change our habits we must change our thinking.” – Author Unknown 

When you change the habit – you change the result. If you could exchange one habit for another, which habit would give you the best return on your time investment? Psychologists refer to that as a keystone habit. Think of it as cause and effect. If you change your eating habits chances are you’ll have more energy, sleep better, and you’ll start to look better and feel better about yourself. New Year Resolutions fail because we failed to replace one habit with another. A good habit gets you a good result – just as a bad habit gets you a bad result – it’s just that simple. We are adults and we can develop new habits. Behaviorists believe that if you do something 21 times in a row you’ll develop a new habit. All you have to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another and if you do it often enough, it will become you. However, we all know change is easier said then done – but it can be done. You just need to want it bad enough. You just need to develop a new routine.

Worth Remembering … “We are what we repeatedly do – therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle.  

If you want to improve how you manage your time what one new habit will you have to develop? If you want to communicate more effectively with others, cope with stress or deal with difficult people and challenging situations better what one new habit will you need to develop? Think routine – think reward. The easiest way I found to develop a new habit was to change my routine. And once you start a new routine stick with it. Remember you need to do something 21 times in a row before you start doing it without thinking about it. Tiger Woods has a pre-shot routine that he does every time he prepares to hit a golf ball. If you aren’t getting the reward you want then you need to change your routine. As Les Brown says “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result”.

Worth Remembering … “Failure is only postponed as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory” – Herbert Kaufman

I need to start exercising but I just don’t seem to have enough time in the day to do it. By the end of the day I’m too tired to bother. All I want to do when I get home is pour a glass of wine and then sit on my couch and do absolutely nothing. I enjoy that time so for me – the best time to exercise will be in the morning. I need to change my morning routine to include 15 minutes of stretching, squats, planks and push ups. I’m an early riser so getting up 15 minutes earlier won’t be a problem for me.  The benefits of having a daily exercise routine far out weigh me having to change my morning schedule. That’s the key – the reward has to be greater than the effort it will take to accomplish it. I know that the more I do it – the more it will become me. I will have accomplished what I set out to do. What new routine will you have to create to accomplish what’s most important to you? Anytime is a good time to start a new beginning so you might as well start right now.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and facilitating workshops of a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, coping with stress, problem solving, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com

Even an Old Dog Can Learn a New Trick 3

images (23)Science has proven that most adults never lose the mental capacity to learn new things – they lose the desire. And science has also proven that if you don’t use it (your mental capacity to learn new things) you’ll lose it. Even an old dog can learn a new trick when conditions are right for learning. In a perfect world, your world, where would you rather be than where you are right now? Who would you rather be with then the people you are with right now? What does the perfect life or perfect career look like to you? I’m a student of human behavior and I believe two things for certain about people. I believe we can have and do anything we want to. It depends on two things. Your WIIFM and your ATTITUDE. Both of them are in your control.

Worth Remembering … “If you believe it – you can achieve it. Once the what has been decided the how will  follow” – Unknown

WIIFM:  Have you ever licked a 9-volt battery? When people do something that makes them feel good, what are they more apt to do? If you liked the sensation you got from licking that 9-volt battery, then you’re more likely to lick it again. I believe that people are inherently self-serving and will only do something if they believe they are going to benefit from it. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. Life is all about WIIFM’s. (What’s in it for me). God bless those that volunteer their services or donate money for a good cause. However, I don’t think they would continue to do it if they weren’t getting something out of it. We volunteer our services or donate our money because it makes us feel good about ourselves – that we are making a difference – that we are paying it forward. And feeling good about ourselves and the choices we make is the payoff – it’s the WIIFM. What’s your WIIFM? What will motivate you to take action?

Worth Remembering … “Anything can be taken away from man but one thing – to choose ones attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl 

ATTITUDE:  Try this little experiment. Take each letter of the alphabet and assign value to each letter so that A = 1 all the way down to Z = 26. After you’ve done that, write down the word ATTITUDE and assign the value to each one of those letters. You’ll be amazed to discover that the word attitude adds up to 100%. Think about that for a second. Attitude = 100%. You own your attitude 100% of the time. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. Yes it’s true that other people or events may be one of the motivating factors that got you to react a certain way but, only you can mentally or physically do it. No one else can do it for you. You are the only one who can have that kind of power over you. Attitude is a choice – your choice. It’s a choice that you get to make 100% of the time.

Is there a connection between your WIIFM and your ATTITUDE? I believe there is. I believe that you need to react to any given situation in a way that is going to get you what you want. You can choose to be happy and do the things that make you happy or not. You can choose a career that is best suited to you and your skills or not. You can choose to allow others to take away your voice and do the thinking for you or not. You have the power to say yes or no. Choose wisely. Make sure you’re getting your WIIFM.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and facilitating workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, coping with stress, problem solving, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com