Change Starts Here

Trust 2The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result. You can’t argue with Einstein’s logic on that one. Nothing changes until you do. The question you need to ask yourself is; Are you better off where you are – or – will you be better off when you make those changes and end up where you’d rather be? Yes – Change is scary. Most of us would rather turn around and back into the future. Change can make you feel like you’re walking a tightrope without a net. After all, you’re venturing into uncharted waters, not fulling understanding what obstacles lay ahead. That’s totally understandable. We all feel that way when trying to do something for the very first time.

Worth Remembering … “We have to go for what we think we’re fully capable of, not limit ourselves by what we’ve been in the past” – Vivek Paul 

What’s getting in the way of you making a change besides the fear of the unknown? Sit down and put a list together of all those things that are holding you back from doing what you’d rather be doing. Get it out of your head and down on paper. Now take a look at your list. Stroke off  all of those things that you have no control over. Trying to change something that you have no control over is a total waste of time. Your time is better spent changing those things that you can.

Worth Remembering … “Change what you can, influence what you will, and give up on all of those things that you cannot control. ” – Brian Smith 

Change starts here. Here’s where the real work begins. You need to put a plan together to change those things that you acknowledge are within your control. What do you need to do to accomplish each one? Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t do all the easy ones first. It’s OK to do a few easy ones to gain some momentum but I suggest you tackle the one that will give you the greatest return on your investment. Start with the one that will challenge you the most while you’re still motivated to take on all comers. Start with the gorilla in the room. Once you’ve removed your greatest obstacle changing the others will feel like a walk in the park.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and delivering workshops on a variety of topics. He specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today – He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization.

Things Won’t Get Better Until You Do

secret 4Life – your life is not about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. It’s about learning how to live the life you imagined for yourself. Are you happy being you? Would you rather be doing something else then what you are doing right now? The only person who can change your current situation is you. If you’re waiting for someone else to come along to improve your lot in life you are going to be waiting a very, very long time. Miracles are great, but they are so hard to come by. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Life, your life, is a planned event.

What is getting in the way of you accomplishing those things that seem to be out of your reach? What skills will it take for you to realize your full potential? I believe we are born a certain style which influences how we communicate and interact with others, how we manage our time and deal with stress. And how we solve problems and resolve conflict. I also believe we aren’t born knowing what we need to know to accomplish those things that are most important to us. But I also believe we have the capacity to learn how. When you change the habit you change the result. 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.

You can learn to manage your time more effectively, cope with the daily stressors in your life and deal with difficult people and challenging situations better. The only person getting in your way of accomplishing those things that are most important to you – is you. You just need to learn how to get out of your own way. It starts with you believing in you. It starts with you believing you can. Once you believe in yourself the rest will fall into line. I know I’m making this sound pretty simple. But it really is. We just make it seem impossible. If you can dream it you can do it. Success and being successful is a learned behaviour. It’s time you got busy and start doing what needs to be done. Nothing will get better until you do.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can inform and entertain on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Lost in Translation

Positive Feeback“You cannot love a person into creativity, although you can avoid their dissatisfaction with the way you treat them” – Frederick Herzberg. Words are powerful. The words you choose and how you say them have the power to build people up or tear them down. Drawing attention to a person’s mistakes is not going to be received well. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t take “constructive criticism” personally. According to Collins Dictionary “construct” means to build while “criticism” means to pass judgement on someone. How can you build someone up while passing judgement on them?

You have a choice to make. You can either dwell on what they’ve done wrong or congratulate them on what they’ve done well – and what they need to do to improve. It can be as simple as replacing the word “but” with “and”. You can either dwell on the fact that they have made a mistake – or you can get past it by accepting the fact that everyone makes mistakes and move on from there. What is – is. What happened – happened. Change your mindset in a positive way by thinking about the mistakes people make as teachable moments. Use the opportunity to praise them for what they’ve done well and teach them what they need to do the next time , so they don’t keep repeating what went wrong.

Creating a teachable moment is an opportunity for both of you to grow. You’ll grow as a teacher and they’ll grow as a person by learning a new skill that will help them perform better in the future. The next time you have an opportunity to create a teachable moment use the sandwich technique. “Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise” – Mary Kay Ash. It’s a great way to keep your emotions in check and to turn the situation into a positive experience for both of you. You don’t want to change them – you just want to change what went wrong.

Step One: Start the conversation off by saying something positive about them or what they’ve done. Or how they contribute to the overall success of the team, department, organization, etc.. Remember – You are not looking to change them – you just want to change what they are doing that’s not getting the results you are looking for.

Step Two: Let them know the negative impact their actions are having and what problems they are creating. Let them know you are there to help them succeed. Ask some good open-ended questions to drill down and find out why these mistakes are happening. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. Get their input on what needs to be done to fix it. Agree on a plan of action. You need to get buy-in so be sure to include their ideas in the plan.

Step Three: Let them know that you are looking forward to working with them. Let them know that you will be following up with them to make sure that the plan you’ve agreed on is getting the desired results. If not – you need to agree on a new plan. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up, follow-up and then follow-up some more. You need to change the habit to change the result.

 Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker or planning an in-house training session? Brian specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out what Brian can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

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