Are there times this week when you’ve been angry? Feeling hopeless? Afraid
Are you managing all of that with composure? Kara wasn’t!
When Kara called yesterday, she was vibrating with anger. As she discharged her furry, I knew her heart was racing, and her blood was hammering through her veins.
For several minutes at the beginning of our coaching call, Kara spewed forth a myriad of legit complaints, frustrations and indignations. She had every right to be angry. As I heard the story, I could feel my fury building too!
Stress has been rising for everyone. The pressure is building around us and closing in.
You are in the middle of it. It's nuts. Crazy. Saying it is stressful doesn't even cut it. In many cases, it's about life and death. It's about yours and the people around you, livelihood.
So, it makes sense that you would be soooooooo angry at times; you are about to explode! But you can't blow. Well, you can, but first, it's not going to be pretty. Second, it's not what those around you need.
They need you to be composed.
Another leader I talked to yesterday couldn't stop crying. She was devastated. She feels helpless. Each of us can only do so much. Those that care for the vulnerable sector have to keep going. In other programs, it is clear it is time to cease operations. So clients have no service and employees have no work. The leader, perhaps that's you, feels helpless, hopeless, and crushed.
But your team doesn't need you weeping uncontrollably.
Your team needs you to be composed.
And then there is fear. We all feel it. It hangs in every conversation. Fear screams from the grocery stores. Social media reeks of fear.
But your team, your loved ones, don't need you reacting with mad fear.
They need you to be composed.
These are real emotions that you will be feeling now, along with a zillion others. It's not the emotions that are "wrong." It's how you deal with them.
You need to be angry.
Hopelessness will enter your space again and again.
We are in a time of great fear
The question is NOT: How do I shut my emotions off?
The question IS: How do I manage my intense emotions and still maintain my composure during a pandemic?
Three ways to help you maintain your composure
during a massive crisis
1) Create a safe time and space to release emotions.
If you don't release it, you will explode or implode. You can not continue to let it build and build.
Author Rick Warren suggests that we "vent vertically." Prayer doesn't need to be sweet and kind. Feel free to tell the big guy/gal what you really think! That's part of strong faith. Release it all to God.
When you let off steam, it will take the pressure off and help you to be composed when you need it.
2) Take care of yourself
Yes, this is a crazy stressful time. AND more than ever, you need rest, healthy food, sunshine, movement in your body and something to feed your soul. You need to breathe in a way that releases the adrenalin surging through your body. When you use your breath to settle your nerves and calm down your raging emotions, you will be able to respond, rather than react.
Taking care of yourself and using your breath to regulate your emotions will help you to be composed.
3) Be honest, but composed
You are angry, feeling hopeless and fearful. It's ok to say that. It's ok to feel that. Pretending to be otherwise will make you feel inauthentic, and the people around you will feel that and lose faith in you.
Here are some examples of how to be honest:
If your tears flow or you speak with managed anger or fear, that's ok.
That's not a lack of composure. That's anger, hopelessness and fear flowing out of you.
When you allow them to leave your chest, heart and head safely, you make room for compassion, hope and courage, which is precisely what you, your team, your loved ones and the world needs more than ever!
Developing your employees isn’t always easy and can be time consuming!
I’ve been sharing how to deal with complainers on your team. In my last blog, I encourage you to practice turning them back to their ability to take action rather than bellyache.
Click here to review the 3 steps for dealing with complainers.
In that video, I shared a bonus step in that article and want to highlight it today. After you've encouraged the complainer to take responsibility for impacting change, the bonus step was to ask:
Remember, it won't work!
Before I jump into that bonus step, I want to remind you that the three steps and the bonus step won't make your employee stop complaining.
To make a lasting difference in your employee's behaviour, you need to create a habit of responding in this way Once won't cut it.
To make it work, do this:
To create that habit, you first need to practice this new way of interacting with them. Your practice needs to be what is called deliberate practice. By deliberately practicing new ways of interacting that may feel weird and awkward, you are developing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
If your habitual way of responding when someone complains is to sigh, remind them the same thing you told them 10x before and then answer the question for them, they won't change. They won't change, because you haven't changed either!
Be patient with the process!
As you learn to hold them accountable for their part of things they can impact, they will learn to take responsibility for changing their situation.
But it all takes time.
It also takes a lot of patience - yours!
In time, your team members will become more responsible
To grow and change the culture of your team from one where people tend to complain more than they take responsibility, you will need to work at improving your behaviour, individuals behaviours and your team vibe or culture.
A powerful way to cultivate that type of change within your team is to create a growth mindset atmosphere. When everyone on your team is committed to self-improvement, growth and development, your team will grow and mature.
This will help you avoid a toxic work culture
Too many teams stay stuck in old ways that lead to toxic workplaces if you aren't careful. Ineffective patterns of communication, unproductive meeting styles and inadequate use of resources leave people frustrated. Discontent people lead to complaining, gossiping and will have your good people looking for a new job fast!
As the leader, you set the tone in your workplace
To make sure that doesn't happen to you, install a growth mindset culture. That's one where everyone is committed to learning, growing and developing themselves. You are the one to set the tone for that type of workplace culture.
Build in accountability
This brings me back to the bonus step when you are dealing with complainers. Not only do you need to ask them what you can do to hold them accountable, but you also need to hold yourself accountable.
Here is the thing to put on your AGENDA
I'm suggesting using your team meeting agenda to hold everyone, including yourself accountable!
Yes, the agenda.
The title of this post was "Quick, put this on your agenda." That is because I am encouraging you to put individual growth and development on the agendas of your staff meetings.
This will take time. Yes, I am repeating myself!
I also want to caution you that this is a long-range strategy. One that will take a bit of time to implement and will morph as you go. But that is entirely the point.
Commit to ongoing growth for you and your team
Leadership is an ongoing growth journey. Commit now to ongoing personal and professional development, deliberate practice and patience. As you do all of that, you will develop your growth mindset and strengthen your leadership capacity.
Back to the team meeting agenda strategy:
Get rid of the things on your agenda items that could be an email. When you do, you will make time for cultivating a growth mindset on your team.
Here's how to do it
Have everyone give a 1-2 min report out on what they are learning, how they are growing, or what skill they are developing in themselves.
You could share these examples when you introduce the concept:
How does all of this help you practice?
Remember, I said this exercise would morph.
Initially, you may keep your growth updates to safe topics such as you are attending a conference.
Then step outside of your comfort zone!
Over time, though, you may become braver. You then may courageously note what you are working on that is more personal development related. When you do this, you'll set the stage for others as your team adopts the growth mindset and builds trust.
For example, in time, you might say:
It's by using your team's agenda to do updates on personal and professional growth that you'll hold yourself accountable.
Ahhhh...making sense now?
In a nutshell:
Leading in a new way takes practice.
Practice takes time.
Practicing over time takes patience.
But it's all sooooo worth it when you have the impact you desire, your team grows, and you all do the work to change that part of the world, that you were meant to change!
One final reminder:
Ongoing personal and professional development is your path to success in both leadership and life! #growthmindset
To hear more about putting this staff development strategy into action, watch this video.
Last week we were talking about bellyacher's, and in this video, I shared three quick tips to deal with the complainers on your team but it may not have worked very well for you!
Let me go through the steps again!
3 tips for dealing with complainers:
Let me refresh your memory. When someone on your team is complaining, I suggested you try these three things:
1) Acknowledge their pain
Genuinely, with compassion and empathy, acknowledge how what they are complaining about is affecting them.
2) Ask them about their desired outcome.
Instead of focusing on the problem and whose fault it is, help them to focus on what outcome they want for everyone.
3) Ask them what action THEY can take to move towards that outcome.
When they point to someone else, gently bring them back, reminding them that "You can't change others. You can only change yourself." So even if they want someone to take a different action, help them see how they could positively influence someone's behaviour.
BONUS STEP: Ask them: How can I hold you accountable in a way that won't come across as nagging, negative or micromanaging?
Some of you replied to me with: That didn't work, Kathy!
Others responded with: That worked once, but they keep complaining! If it's not about this, then it's about something else. It is as if they look for something to complain about.
Trust me! I hear you. I have those people in my life and on my team too! They can zap my energy if I let them! The key point here (and the one I made last week) is that I can be response-able for the way things impact me.
But before I finish that thought, let me go back to my crappy advice.
Why my advice didn't work
If my advice didn't work, it's because I forgot to share the second half of the puzzle: What do you do when it redirecting a complainer doesn't work?
Of course, it won't work! Here's why:
Let me be completely transparent. Most of the time, what I suggested to you above won't work. At least not initially.
You and that team member have created a habitual way of interacting.
You have to be patient and consistent
We know change takes time. To elicit a consistent new response from your employee will require repeated different responses for you.
If you follow my suggestions, you will be practicing a new way of interacting. The problem is, it's soooooooooo easy to return to the default mode after one or two tries of doing something differently.
You can't try once and stop
But, once isn't enough to cut it.
Strong Leadership = Continuous growth and development
Leadership is about growth and development. It is a continual exercise of learning, failing and getting back up and practicing again.
We won't master new ways of communicating and influencing our team by trying something out once! Mastery comes with practice. A lot of practice! In fact, to master something, science has shown you need to invest 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. That means not practicing something you already know how to do, but practicing something you don't know how to do. That something is often way outside of your comfort zone.
It's time for you to respond with practice
So to change your staff's behaviour, you need to change the way you lead. This comes back to being response-able. You can respond to their complaints in a different way. But to entirely overall that relationship (they complain, you roll your eyes…), you'll need to practice responding consistently in a different way.
Are you committed to ongoing growth and development?
It's time to practice that! It's about mastering a new way of leading. This takes time and a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development.
To get a better handle on where you are and what you need to work on as you move towards mastery, read this article. Then grab the guide sheet to identify where you are on the continuum of apprentice to master. On the page, you will also find two videos to deepen your understanding of the path to becoming a masterful leader.
I'm here to guide you on this journey!
You can do it! I’m here to help you. So as always, if you have any questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Do you need a roadmap to guide your journey?
If you are ready to commit to intentional and consistent growth and development, join The Training Library. Inside pick the courses you need to take to grow your skills. Then systematically work through the lessons, bit by bit! Five minutes here and 15 minutes there, will fast track your journey towards mastery! I'll be there with you every step of the way!
Commit, my dear, to being in it for the long haul! Some days will be challenging. Knowing you are growing and expanding your capacity makes those days worthwhile!
Have you ever had someone in your life that won't change? They want things to turn around in their life, but they refuse to take responsibility for any of those changes. I have one of those people in my life now. She's driving me crazy!
Ugh! I want to shake her and say:
I've tried to help:
I have encouraged her, coached her and given her tons of resources that will help her start turning her life around.
However, she won't take it:
Instead of utilizing those resources, she sits in her pity party, belly aching and complaining about others, blaming them and waiting for them to change.
You can lead a horse 🐴 to water,
but you can't make them drink.
So….my mantra has become:
I am not going to give up my happy because you can't find your happy!
I became responsible for my happiness
I'm taking responsibility for my life and my experiences, even though she chooses not to.
I also recognize I do the same thing
This experience has been a great reminder to me of where I, too, put myself in that place of complaining and belly aching. What about you? Like me, do you sometimes have your own pity party?
Do you wait as I do?
Women like us are strong, capable and confident, except when we aren't. If you are like most women and like me, there are places we show up full of courage and determination.
We wait, blame and finger point...at least I do
Can you think of any areas in your life where you are doing that?
I can! I can see where I wait for someone else to "do it with me" for the money to "do it" for the time to "fit it in" or for the person to get out of my way, so I can "do it."
Let me give you some examples
EXAMPLE # 1
I've spent the last year looking for places that might interview me for podcasts, but have found few that "fit" me. However, the truth is, when I pause and ponder, I see different perspectives and realize that it is just an excuse.
EXAMPLE # 2
Another example is where I've wanted to remodel my daughter's bedroom and turn it into my den. She moved out almost a year ago. But, it wasn't the right time to do the renovations. We didn't have time, and of course, she might move back. Then, I didn't have my husband's help, and it would cost money.
EXAMPLE # 3
Here is another way I've not taken responsibility: There is a person on my team who isn't pulling their weight. They only show up for some meetings. But they are always unprepared. What's more, when you ask them to take on a task, they say they will. But you can bet there is a 90% chance they won't do it, and someone else will have to pick up the pieces.
And what have I done about it? Nothing! I complain. I hope they will change. I wait. Waiting leaves me feeling like a victim of their incompetence, their insensitivity to others and their lack of commitment. And that sucks!
When we don't take responsibility, we become victims
When we become victims, we feel powerless. At times, we try to force things, push people and make them do something, so our lives and situations are better. We try to have power over them. That creates more tension and turmoil.
We need to take our power back...our inner power!
Instead of feeling like a victim, we need to take our power back. We need to become responsible for what's going on.
I call it response-able.
It means we are able to respond.
Too often, women like us feel like there is nothing we can do about it. We wait, hope and pray things will change. We moan and groan to whoever will listen (my poor hubby!)
But when we take our inner power back, we gain the confidence, courage to become response-able to make changes in our lives, on our teams and in the world.
Take control of your thoughts
Our thoughts create our worlds. I can spend time getting angry and frustrated with that individual in my life that is driving me nuts.
I can feel like there is no place to share my ideas on podcasts that "fit" me.
I can wait for the right time, help etc. to redecorate my daughter's room.
I can wait for that person on my team to change.
Instead of feeling powerless, become response-able.
If you need some help with this learn more about becoming response-able here. You will also find a worksheet to help you take back your inner power here.
In case you haven't figured it out yet you teach your team to take responsibility when you role model it to them :-)
If you are like most leaders, you struggle to run effective meetings. In this post you’ll discover 15 resources to help you run better team meetings. The urge will be to scroll to the bottom and grab them.
To make those resources even more effective, take a moment to step into Cindy’s kitchen….
Imagine a young girl, Cindy is in the kitchen with her grandma, who is teaching Cindy how to bake buns. Cindy hopes to learn how to make buns that the whole family raves about as they do her grandmas.
As the older lady hovers over Cindy’s shoulder, she guides Cindy through the process.
Yet, after all that guidance, Cindy’s buns flop!
What the heck!
Go back to that movie in your mind of the scene in the kitchen. Look a little closer at Cindy as she was being taught how to bake. Did you notice she had earplugs in her ears? As her grandma was teaching, mentoring and coaching her, Cindy never heard a word her grandma said! Cindy just did it her way.
If you could get into Cindy’s head, you may have even heard her say: Hurry up, Grandma, I’ve got things to do outside!
It’s no wonder Cindy struggled to learn how to bake stellar buns!
Cindy now leads a team of frontline workers in a small nonprofit. Instead of trying to figure out how to bake buns, Cindy is currently struggling with team meetings.
Each go-around, Cindy brings her agenda and stacks of handouts to the meeting. As she works her way through the items, the room is relatively quiet. No one participates. They don’t volunteer ideas or add value to the conversation. Team members don’t offer to help out when she asks for volunteers, so Cindy assigns tasks.
When Cindy gets to the sensitive topics, she feels everyone tense up, and Cindy prays that no one will push back today as has happened during the past.
Cindy hopes things will change
Each go-around, Cindy goes in, hoping something will be different.
But nothing changes. After the meeting, Cindy tosses her stack of notes on her desk and lets out a sigh. Another one done. Cindy doesn’t have to worry about team meetings again until the next one.
Hope without action is futile!
Here’s the problem, if Cindy wants something different, she needs to do something different.
If Cindy desires increased team engagement, buy-in and action, she would need to change something she is doing. Last week, we talked about hoping things change. And we learned that without action, hope is futile. Hope alone won’t make the difference.
Are you like Cindy?
Cindy is like many women leaders. They don’t take the time to learn new things. Despite tons of resources, guides, coaches and mentors available to them, many leaders tune the learning opportunities out.
I get it...Nonprofits are tough!
Nonprofits are notorious for being crisis-driven. There is always something demanding your attention. If it isn’t a client crisis, it’s team drama, the fundraising event, a shortage of staff, proposal or grant writing, year-end or accreditation time. Stress, busyness and crises never end.
2 beliefs that don't help
Therefore, most women leaders believe they don’t have the time to step back and learn how to run better meetings, create more engaged employees, improve team culture or find improved work-life balance.
What’s more, they often don’t believe nonprofit specific resources and training are readily available.
Let me provide insight on both of those points.
1) You won’t find the time. You need to make time.
What’s more, it won’t take a lot of time, just intentionality.
2) There are a plethora of nonprofit resources available.
There is no lack of training, books, courses, blogs, podcasts, trainers, coaches or mentors available to nonprofit leaders. But if the podcast is never listened to or the course never worked on, you won’t learn.
If you don’t invest the time (action) to learn and then the energy to practice (more action), all the hope in the world won’t change the outcome of your team meetings.
To improve your team meetings, you need to do 3 things:
1) Take responsibility for improving your team meetings.
No more waiting, hoping or blaming.
2) Commit to growing yourself.
In this week’s video I talked about how to think your way to thriving. In the video you will learn how to use your growth mindset to organize your learning and growth.
3) Add action to your hope.
Start with the resources below.
When you commit to ongoing personal and professional development you’ll find more success leading highly engaged and effective teams.
Oh, and bonus….you’ll be happier!
Do you want to be more focused and intentional about your growth and development? Join me on Feb. 20th for this month's webinar: Develop Your Personalized Curriculum for Leadership Development
15 resources to help you run better team meetings
Beth Kanter’s Blog
The Small Nonprofit Podcast
Me on…The Meeting Leadership Podcast
Blogs post on my website
Webinars in The Training Library that will help you run better meetings:
Courses in the Training Library that will help you run better meetings
In a recent coaching session, Annabel said to me, I just pray things will change. I pray "they'" will quit, so I don’t have to deal with them. Then, things can get back to normal.
I took a breath, then gently said:
Perhaps Annabel, instead of praying for someone else to do something, you could pray for help to be a better person, in fact, a better leader.
Annabel was quiet, but I could feel how incredulous she felt
I continued, suggesting that instead of asking for a miracle ⚡️like that person quits, that Annabel instead ask for help, support, guidance, strength, insights, and courage to be more patient, brave, direct, clear, inspiring, or motivating,
Again, Annabel was quiet, but this time, her quietness seemed open to hearing more, so I went on
I reminded her of the lesson we learned early in life, but rarely seem to heed: You can’t change anyone else. You can only change yourself.
Do you rely on hope?
Leaders often hope others will change. And hope alone is pretty useless.
Let me explain.
The dictionary defines hope as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
Is hope one of your top character strengths?
I’ve often suggested to you to complete your Virtues in Action Signature Strengths test. If you have, you may have found, like me, that one of your top character strengths is hope. But let me share their description of hope as a character trait:
Most nonprofits live in crisis management mode
Most days, as a leader, things are less than perfect. Your team probably needs some work. The sector throws curve balls left and right. Clients and customers bring new challenges. As a result, you are left playing whack-a-mole, trying to decide what fire to put out first.
But hoping tomorrow will be a better day, only goes so far.
You must MAKE tomorrow a better day.
You can't hope your way out of crisis mode!
You are probably saying, but Kathy, it’s not like I haven’t tried! True. You’ve probably tried very hard!
Here's what to add to hope:
Here’s the thing though, it might be time to try something different. Instead of fixing your team, solving the problems, putting out fires, dealing with the crisis of the day, it might be time instead to focus on growing you!
Back to Annabel
Annabel’s plea, Dear God, please just fix things🙏🏻is echoed across nonprofits every day! Her hope that things will change gets dampened day after day. And, if she’s not careful, her hope will turn to cynicism, bitterness and she will lose all faith that she can do much more than just survive each day.
I asked Annabel what kind of impact she wanted to have with her staff.
Annabel needs to focus on her growth
Perhaps I suggested that you would need to be a leader who inspired others and motivated them. I went on to talk about the traits of inspiring and motivating leaders such as compassion, patience, courage, fairness, humour, perspective, humility, the ability to self-regulate and to see things from different perspectives.
Annabel sighed. I don’t remember learning any of that in college.
Nope, they typically aren’t taught in your social work class, rehab degree, or when you got your fundraising certification.
That doesn’t mean you can’t learn them.
Do you have these same mistaken beliefs?
Where many leaders get caught up is these 3 mistaken beliefs:
You won’t find the time to work on yourself. You have to make the time
You don’t need to know how you need the willingness to figure out how
Soft skills don’t just count. Soft skills ARE Leadership. Leadership isn’t doing things; Leadership is being the type of person who inspires and motivates people towards a future vision. That’s about the kind of person you are.
Being a strong leader starts with your mindset. It would help if you believed you could grow and learn.
Where many of us are, is stuck with a fixed mindset. I’ll never learn to address conflict. I can’t set boundaries. I’ll never be able to be organized enough to pull agendas together two days before staff meetings.
Your fixed mindset keeps you stuck where you are, hoping, but losing faith.
Remember, you need hope + action. That requires a growth mindset. Instead of being fixed and stuck, a growth mindset inspires you to figure it out.
When you have a growth mindset, you believe that with effort, time and hard work (and hope) that you can learn new skills and ways of being.
Notice your thoughts this week. How often do you say, pray or plea that something outside of you will change? When you do, flip it back to yourself and ask a question like this:
These kinds of questions will help you develop your growth mindset and enjoy impactful leadership. Learn more about how to adopt a growth mindset here
Do you want to enjoy impactful leadership? But do you feel like those two words...enjoy & impactful... often seem to contradict each other?
Do you believe that if you want to be an impactful leader, that you must:
But if you do all that, dang it, you’ll make an impact!!
Ugh - No way!
I'm done with that, and I hope you are too!
I believe with my whole heart that there is a way to have an impact AND to find joy along the way, in fact, moments of contentment, peace and happiness.
In fact, everything I teach you, such as:
I’m on a mission to make that true for as many women as I can reach.
Here are the 3 things I BET you want now!
I believe women should be able to go to work each day where
I bet you want those 3 things too?
Think about it:
1) Do you want to be valued and appreciated at work?
2) Do you want to use your skills and talents, those things that are itching to show up and be used more often?
3) Do you want to have energy left at the end of the day to:
Do you crave a workplace that creates that in your life?
I thought you might say yes!!!
If you want to begin to create this type of work world with me today, raise your hand now. Right there, where you are reading this — Even if it’s only in your imagination! Raise your hand now, and say, I’m in!
I want that for myself and for other women leaders too!
Well then, my dear, let’s make it happen!
How? Well, let me tell you....
FIRST - Believe it’s possible.
If you don't believe it, you can't make miracles happen!
Believe with your whole heart, it's possible!
SECOND - Take responsibility for making it happen.
If you are like most women, you are waiting for
THIRD - Create that for the people around you
Take the lead in your organization to:
Be the leader of the change!
Start today, enjoying impactful leadership!
To begin the change for you, I'm going to teach you the 4 pillars of impactful and enjoyable leadership. It's free for you to tune in Friday at 10:30 MDT. Click here to find the event and make sure you LIKE my Facebook page, so you receive a notification when I go live.
This conversation will be posted with others like it on this page in case you miss it and want to watch the replay.
Here's the thing: You can ENJOY your leadership experience and have an incredible IMPACT on the work you and your organization do. You have to believe it, take responsibility for it and make it happen in your world.
Thanks for being on my team I know WE can do it!
Learn the 4 pillars of impactful and enjoyable leadership so you can make your difference and enjoy the experience
If you’ve got a tough meeting coming up and you want to learn how to feel empowered going into it, you may find Sandra’s story very helpful!
Sandra's schedule today...
Sandra has a meeting today with her boss, and she's been dreading it for a week! She knows that her boss is going to make her feel stupid, small and even scared.
But that's not how the meeting is really going to go down!
Sandra knows that "help" is going to be via her boss, pointing out everything she's done wrong, needs to work on and by her boss highlighting Sandra's weaknesses.
Sandra's mind has been working overtime!
Since Sandra's boss scheduled the meeting, Sandra has been rolling around the worst-case scenario in her mind. She has imagined being fired on the spot, being raked over the coals and being belittled, berated and bullied. Hence, the knot in her stomach!
It's no wonder Sandra is dreading this meeting!
Do you know what? Sadly, probably most of what Sandra fears will come true!
It's not all bad news, though! In fact....
Do you know what? None of that means Sandra has to believe all of that. Nor does she have to take it all as absolutes, truths or even helpful advice.
Sandra gets to choose what part of what she hears is helpful.
She can choose to pick between the nastiness, the glaring errors and well-intentioned, but still hurtful comments and find out what's valuable in between those comments.
Sandra gets to take back control!
What's more, Sandra gets to decide how she will proactively continue to grow and develop in her leadership role.
Here's an example of the kinds of messages Sandra's boss might share:
Sandra's mindset, what she thinks, matters most!
MINDSET # 1
If Sandra chooses to see herself as flawed, she will take these kinds of comments to heart. The knot in her stomach will grow to a tightening in her chest as she thinks:
MINDSET #2 (THE BETTER OPTION)
But if Sandra chooses to hear the messages differently, she will PAUSE, take a breath. Then Sandra will PONDER and consider the comments and what else might be true:
Option # 2 helps Sandra see things with a more confident perspective
Sandra then might use curiosity to PIVOT to new thoughts:
Instead of feeling beaten down, Sandra can run through the Inner Guidance Cycle and feel back in control. She can take the core of the feedback (too much overtime) and hear it for what it is—Feedback.
How does this help Sandra get rid of the knot in her stomach before the meeting?
Rather than a victim, Sandra becomes response-able!
By knowing she has control of the thoughts, by choosing how to hear messages and by intentionally choosing to not take things personally in the meeting, but rather focus on the content, Sandra will lessen the emotional charge going into the meeting. She becomes response-able!
When Sandra chooses her thoughts, she feels her confidence soar!
And…because I know Sandra has read Mastering Confidence, I know, that she knows, that being confident in a meeting, isn't about what someone else thinks. It's what you believe about yourself that matters.
Sandra is also working on staying composed!
Oh, and because I know Sandra is watched the webinar: How to Prepare for a Tough Talk so you can handle it with integrity in The Training Library, I know she's prepared and If…then…plan for when she gets triggered. She knows what kind of comments might trigger her and cause her to lose her composure, and she's planned her response and practiced it ahead of time.
If she calls me emotional, I know it will make me feel like crying right there in the meeting. I'll feel threatened, vulnerable and insecure.
So, IF she calls me emotional, THEN, I will take a slow deep breath, even if she's waiting for me to respond. After my deep breath, I'll say: My emotions are powerful guides to my work, and yes, I am working on maintaining my composure and managing my emotions. Thanks for reminding me I still have work to do! (insert smile)
Sandra is going to get a little boost with a Power Pose too!
Because Sandra had a coaching call with me this week, I reminded her what she learned about feeling confident in her body when she read Mastering Confidence. Sandra laughed...Yes, I'll go to the bathroom and power pose for two minutes before the meeting!
Now, the knots have turned to butterflies
Sandra is still nervous, but she is feeling waaaaaay more confident and in control of her responses!
Will you do what Sandra did?
If you want to ditch the knot in your stomach before today's meeting, then you need to get ahold of your thoughts and emotions before you go into the meeting. You need to create a mindset that allows you to take back power, your personal power. When you become response-able...able to respond in a way that makes you feel empowered, you'll be able to handle your meeting with more confidence too!
As always, I'm over here cheering you on! I know you can do it!
Find out more about how to enhance your confidence here.
Was your yesterday crazy? In fact, have the last few weeks been a bit insane? If you are like most women leaders, you were:
Your job is never done. Even when you are away from the office or at home in the evening, it’s hard to shut off, tune it out, or let go.
So, the workload feels heavy, unmanageable and, at times, impossible.
You are left feeling bitter, exhausted and resenting your job!
That sucks, doesn’t it?
But imagine if your job wasn't draining you
Imagine if you felt your workload was more manageable, and you had more than fleeting moments of contentment, peace or joy
If that were the case, your resentment would disappear and you would be leading your impact.
That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
My bet is that you don’t believe that’s really possible.
Oh, but my dear, it is!
Mother Theresa found joy in Calcutta, serving the poor and destitute with limited resources and long hours.
Anne Frank found joy while she was hiding from the Nazis in a secret apartment for 25 months!!!
Meghan Markel is making her world more joyful despite the restraints of the Monarchy!
You aren’t in Calcutta, hidden away in an apartment cut off from the world or under the thumb of the Queen. Although, it may feel like all of those some days!
BUT, you too can ditch the resentment and find peace, joy and contentment in your days!
Here at the two steps you need to take:
Are you ready? Here is how...
The secret is to PLAN the next 2-3 months!
Your 90-day plan does not have to be a perfect 90 days. It doesn't need to match your company’s first-quarter goals. It could be 45 days or 110 days. The point is that you need to plan in smaller, more manageable segments.
** You stop resenting your job when you start intentionally dealing with the workload and leading your impact! You do that by mindfully setting aside time to plan the next 90ish days.
How planning time for personal development made a difference for these ladies!
Listen to how planning worked for some of my students. These comments come from some of the ladies in the Willpower Essentials study group.
They each made a plan for 8 weeks to carve out time to work through the course and apply it in their leadership. They knew that professional development isn’t a luxury; it’s a must for leaders!
As you read the comments, listen to the role goal setting and planning had in success for the ladies that did the Willpower Essentials course.
Their plans to readjust their schedules allowed them to complete the Willpower Essential course, and as you’ll see, feel more in control, increased energy and focus.
Take notice of how:
They indicate what goals they want to accomplish.
They use the word commit. That is being intentional.
They mention habits they are installing
They note how awareness allows them to get back on track when they slip.
They put appointments into their daytimer to work on personal development!
Notice the successes they found!
These ladies found they were better able to resist distractions, focus and stay composed as they followed through with their plan of completing Willpower Essentials:
Back to you!
It's your turn to plan the next 30-90 days.
1) Decide what you want to accomplish
It could be a course, better work-life balance, more engagement with your team, to finish a project or to develop the courage to address a lingering conflict
2) Sit down and make a plan for how you will work on that in the coming weeks.
Commit to planning the next few weeks, and you'll find the resentment fades and will be replaced with more peace, joy and contentment.
You can find more help with planning here
Have you set work-related goals yet?
Are you starting the new year with new goals and renewed energy and optimism?
How long will that last? Not very long, according to most statistics. Let's see if we can change that for you and keep the momentum going through the entire year!
Have you set work-related goals yet
What are you planning differently at work for 2020?
Leadership goals usually fit into getting better in one or more of these areas:
Sooooooooo, how do you plan to get better at managing it?
"Plan" being the keyword.
The road is paved with good intentions!
Saying it is not enough. Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It is a plan and then courageous action that will make the change.
Intention and action make the difference
By Jan 2021, you want to see significant changes. But meaningful changes don't happen all at once, and they don't happen overnight.
Change that you can vividly see and feel, happens in tiny, almost unnoticeable, moments. Bit by bit. Step by step. Decision by daily, momentary decision
It is the choices you make today, at this moment,
that will impact what you will be experiencing
in January 2021.
Conscious choices and decisions are instrumental for your success
Today's microscopic, and what may seem inconsequential decisions, sets in motion a series of events. Those events lead to more choices, all of which change how you manage yourself, your role, your people and your impact.
Here are three choices you probably make:
✧ CHOICE POINT: Knowing whether it's better to say yes, you will take on a task or choosing to delegate it,
✧ CHOICE POINT: Choosing when to keep working on your project and when to get up and go touch base with your employee.
✧ CHOICE POINT: Deciding to stay late today or going home on time.
If you have goals around managing your time better, managing your team better, and managing your energy better, having a clear plan will help you make your choices.
Aligned decisions happen when you plan first
You will make decisions more effectively, efficiently, and with increased alignment with your values, more in tune with the person you really are, and what goals you are trying to achieve when you plan first!
See how planning changes how you choose:
Let's look at those three areas again, with a clear plan in place:
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Scheduling time to identify your team's strengths and their goals for growth this year will help you to be more precise about what you delegate, to whom, and when. Planning how you manage your team's assets will have you make decisive, effective decisions.
Instead of reactionary overwhelm or guilt that you should be doing something, you will be making an informed decision with conscious clarity about what is best for the team and the program.
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Planning how often you will touch base 1-1 with your staff and then setting up the habit of scheduling the next session with them before this one ends, will ensure that you are managing your team member's development and growth, ensuring they feel valued, respected and cared about!
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Consciously planning how many evenings each week you are willing to stay late and then setting up a system to track that now, will ensure that each choice you make from now till December 2020 is helping you manage your energy, your workload and the desire to achieve increased work-life balance.
Are you doing these 3 planning steps?
Here's the problem. Without conscious planning with all three of the following components, you will fail.
Did you bring your 2019 bad habits with you?
Without planning, you'll have the same habits of saying yes when you wanted to say no. You'll habitually leave your door open all the time because you want to have an open-door policy. But that will never let you find the time to focus on more significant projects until everyone goes home and therefore you will have the habit of staying late too often!
Did you bring your 2019 unhelpful mindset with you?
Without planning, you will continue to believe that a board member is out to get you. You will always think you will never get ahead. Without a plan, you'll never ditch the attitude of overwhelm, the perspective of doom and gloom or the belief that "this is just the way it is."
Books to help you be successful with your goals this year!
If you grabbed the recommended book list for how to be successful this year, you would have noticed that many of the books relate to habits. In them, you learn about both action habits as well as habits of thinking.
You need to work on both for successful change this year.
Do this: Take time to plan
★ Review what worked and what didn't work last year.
This review will give you clarity for setting goals this year.
★ Set goals for this year
Set clear goals around what you want to achieve, what kind of person you want to be and the impact you want to have.
★ Identify the action habits you need to install to achieve those goals
★ Identify the mindset shift you need to make to become consistent with those habits, be that kind of person and make that impact
Character GOAL: I am growing my leadership capacity this year.
Action GOAL: I will read 5 books on leadership this year.
Action HABIT: I will read 10 minutes each morning before leaving for work.
Mindset HABIT: When I think I don't have enough time, I will remind myself that it is only 10 minutes, and I could do that instead of checking social media or my email.
Do 90-day planning cycles
One more thing, don't do this now as a plan for the entire year.
Try it out for a couple or three months. Create mini-plans throughout the year. We work much better in 60 or 90-day cycles.
That gives us time to plan, practice, review and revise. Shorter periods are more effective, allowing for celebrating successes and course correction where needed.
If you need help to plan your goals, and develop your habits of action and habits of thought join me for this month's webinar: Quarterly Goal Setting & Planning. In this session you will create your 90-day plan to develop your leadership capacity.
It is really not too late to review 2019! I have started, but have not completed mine. I often don't get my completed review done until mid January.
Reviewing last year shouldn't be a rush job. Intentionally reviewing last year will set you firmly on your path for this year
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.