Your Choices Define Who You Are

ChoicesWorth Remembering … “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound; rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your goal” – Napoleon Hill. I was not my sons favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce. I had a choice to make. The divorce could become adversarial or not. I could be confrontational and drag out the proceedings or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that we both could live with.

Having a relationship with me son was, and still is, very important to me. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my grandchild’s Nanna whether we were married or not. Nothing I do will ever change that. I knew if I wanted a good relationship with my son – I needed to have a good relationship with my ex-wife. So I decided to negotiate a settlement that we both could agree on. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m happy to say that my son and I have a great relationship and I consider my ex-wife one of my closest friends. I know I can turn to her for help when ever I need it and she knows she can count on me to be there for her.

Every decision you make is a matter of choice. You may not like your choices – but it is a choice. You can choose to do nothing and see what happens, or you can choose to do something and hopefully end up with what you want. You always have a choice. Your choices define who you are. I know I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. Think about what it is you want and then choose to act in a way that will help you get there.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be copied without permission. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Call me – Let’s talk

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