anita's blog

PACE...

April 6, 2015

Being Boston born and bred, and in honor of the upcoming Boston Marathon, it is my pleasure to share with you an article from one of my project partners, Jim Miller. Jim will run his 108th Marathon in Boston on Partiots Day , April 20th.  Go Jim Go!


So the Seasons are changing, New Year’s Resolutions, for most, are all but forgotten and Q1 results are in relative to budget…. The question is, is everything working out, so far this year, as planned? If you are like me – there have been more than a few surprises – personally, professionally, financially, maybe even physically; which makes the next question all the more important – what are you going to do in response? As an experienced marathoner, I draw a lot of life lessons from my running and training and in most cases, part of my solution and resolution comes from an important component to running a marathon – PACE.

Whether a surprise or success of this year so far is facing you, we want to help address or continue your efforts in such a way as to help elevate the your effort.  Consider some of the following questions regarding your PACE?

  •   Are you treating your efforts as a sprint, instead of a marathon?    Most worthwhile efforts take time…..
  •   Do you clearly see the Finish line?   Trust me, the initial Momentum is hard to sustain for 26.2
  •   Are you comfortable with what you are undertaking?  Not expecting a walk in the park, but if you can’t hit your stride, easily-naturally, you will exhaust yourself before you even hit HeartBreak Hill.
  •   Have you considered all the potential obstacles, challenges?  Did you know that the Heartbreak Hill of the Boston Marathon is really a series of gradually increasing hills that last almost 5 miles?

The athletic answer to each of these questions deals with finding your own PACE….and the Pace for a 5K might be a 6 minutes mile; the PACE for a half marathon might be closer to a 9 minutes mile and the Pace for a full marathon might be to just cross the Finish Line…which in and of itself is a milestone accomplishment for most.

Pick your Pace..

Jim Miller is a new partner to the Goldin Leadership team.  HIs specialties include Sales, Strategy, Hotel Turnarounds and Operations.  As you might guess from his blog entry, he is a true go-getter, driven toward action and results!  Watch our Linked in and Facebook Page for an amazing " key note speaker " offering from Jim & Goldin Leadership Group!

Got Empathy???

February 20, 2015

Empathy is one of the most powerful skills we have in our toolbox for building connection with our staff, our colleagues, and our customers.  When we display empathy, we show others that we are listening to their situation, that we care about them and that we are attempting to understand how they might feel. When we do a good job of showing empathy, we create a sense of comfort, build rapport and drive relationship.  The common expression “walk a mile in my shoes” is what we tell people they should do to be empathetic.  We can never really understand “exactly” how another person feels.  The best we can do is imagine how we would feel if we were in their situation. So how do we show empathy?  Is it the words we say?  Is it the look in our eyes? The tone of our voice? Our body language?  Yes to all of these.  Every situation is a little different and how you show empathy will vary. 
Below are 7 tips for displaying empathy:

  1. Listen to understand: Listen with your eyes, ears and heart.  Be conscious of the other persons tone and demeanor. Listen for emotions and needs.
  2. Give person your full focused attention:  Avoid distractions. Do not multitask.  Put away your cell phone.  Listen.
  3. Avoid being judgmental: When we are being judgmental internally, the other person can sense it.  Try to approach conversations with a clear and open mind.
  4. Use open & positive body language:  This includes everything from your smile, to how you hold your hands, to the way you are sitting. 
  5. Rephrase and Reflect: Rephrasing or repeating back to the person what they just said can sometimes help clarify the feelings and allows you to check for understanding.  This tool confirms to the other person that you are listening to them. 
  6. Be Genuine: You cannot fake empathy.  People can sense when your words say one thing and your behavior says another.
  7. Empathy Statements:  Depending on the situation, you might want to use an empathy statement to show that you are attempting to understand how they might feel.  Remember, empathy is not always about recognizing negative emotions. You can use empathy with positive scenarios as well.  Below are 3 examples  of an empathetic response
  • Getting bumped off your flight and having to wait 4 hours for the next one sounds frustrating and exhausting. I can understand how that might feel. Let me see what I can do to …..
  • Your daughter won the track meet! That’s fantastic! I can only imagine how proud you are of her…
  • I am sorry to hear that your grandmother is ill.  I understand this is a tough time for you

Being empathetic is a skill that requires both practice and awareness.If you want to become more empathetic, I challenge you to begin by building your awareness.  Create an empathy log.  Over the next week, whenever an opportunity to be empathetic arises, write down answers to these 3 questions:

  1. What was the conversation about?
  2. What emotions did you hear?.
  3. If you displayed empathy, what did you specifically say or do to show empathy?

At the end of the week take a look at what you wrote.  Have you heightened your awareness? Do you feel more empathetic?  If you need more help developing this skill for yourself or your team, Goldin Leadership offers training programs as well as 1:1 & team coaching.  Please reach out to us at 949-387-3436 if we can be of assistance.

The Resolution Revolution!

January 27, 2014

Every year millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions.  According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Psychology, 45% of Americans engage in resolution making.  That’s just a little under half the of the US population.  And of those people, statistics show that only 8% are successful.  Pretty pitiful!

According to the dictionary, a resolution (for our New Year’s context) is a firm decision to do or not to do something; eat better, lose weight, get healthier, spend more time with our families etc.  While they are similar to goals, they are rarely achieved for many reasons: they are vague, untracked and tend to lack action steps and accountability. 

How about you?  How good are you at following through with your intentions?  What is your resolution success rate?  If you really want to make a change or achieve a goal, here 5 tips to help you be successful.

  1. WRITE IT DOWN: Decide what you want to achieve and write it down.  Statistics show that goals that are written down are far more likely to be achieved.
  2. SPECIFIC  & MEASURABLE:  Instead of writing down, “I’m going to start running in 2014”, write:  “I  commit to running at least 2 times a week and I will build up my distance from 2 miles per run to 4 miles per run.”  This makes it easy for you to track your achievement and be more accountable.
  3. POST IT:  Once you have written a goal, post it where you will see and read it on a regular basis. The more you keep it in the front of you mind, the more likely you are to follow through. 
  4. TELL SOMEONE:  choose a friend or colleague to be your “accountability partner.”  Ask that person to check in on your progress; weekly, monthly or quarterly …whatever makes sense for you.  This will help you stay motivated and on track.
  5. REWARD SUCCESS:  Create milestone markers in your plan, and reward yourself as you achieve them.  It doesn’t have to be a big expense … just a fun indulgence to keep you motivated.  Dark chocolate, pedicures and massages are a few of my favorites.

I hope this is helpful.  Keep in mind, another option that can propel your success is hiring a coach.  Goldin Leadership Group has coaches that can assist in both professional and personal growth.  Call us today for a free consultation at 949-387-3436 to see if you might be a good candidate for coaching.

The Lone Manager

January 9, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I was working with a client who was having time management challenges.  We began our coaching session discussing the many tasks on his plate and the “time robbers” that just seemed to be gobbling up his time.  As we dug a little deeper it became apparent that he was suffering from a common leadership condition I affectionately call, the Lone Manager syndrome.  This is a when leader takes on more projects and tasks than necessary; specifically projects which actually should be handled by his or her team.  This in turn affects his/ her ability to manage their day to day priorities and leadership responsibilities.   The end result is a reduction in effectiveness, an increase in frustration and a management team with accountability & performance issues.  The good news is that with awareness and a commitment to modify one’s behavior, the Lone Manage Syndrome is completely treatable and curable.  Let me break it down. There are 3 core issues that tend to be at the root of the delegation issue and they are all interconnected: Control, Trust and Accountability.

Some leaders have a very hard time with delegation.  It’s not that they don’t want or need the help, but they justify taking on the task because:

  1. It’s easier to do themselves than train or explain to someone else (Time & Control))
  2. No one can do it a well as them ( Trust & Confidence)
  3. The end result will be exactly what they want ( Control)
  4. They can’t trust others to follow through or do it right ( Confidence & Accountability)

You understand why you take on more than you should, and you probably recognize that it’s not the healthiest style of management, but do you realize the negative impact your behavior can have on others?  When you take on more than you should, you limit the growth of others on many levels: the learning and mastering of new areas, responsibility, accountability and leadership just to name a few.

So what do you do?  Improving your delegation skills or changing your style doesn’t occur over night.  It’s a process that begins with increased awareness. Take our Delegation-Self Arareness Assessment on our website under Leadership Tools in our Leadership Tool Box. 

Start working on your delegation abilities or leadership skills today and call Goldin Leadership at 949-387-3436 to set up a complimentary coaching consultation!

 

Setting Boundaries

December 12, 2013

As the Holidays quickly approach we all feel the stress of “too much to do and too little time.”  And in the spirit of giving, we tend to take on too much and say yes to the many demands requested.  When was the last time you said yes to something you wanted to say no to?  We all do it.  Whether it’s agreeing to meet a friend for dinner when you just don’t have the time, or taking on a project at work because no one else stepped up to the plate. Sound familiar?  And in the end someone pays price and in most cases it’s you.  I want to invite you to consider some the benefits of setting clear boundaries; your time is protected, your energy is higher, and probably you are more productive and happier in general.

If you are ready to reclaim more time at work and at home, go to  http://www.goldinleadership.com/leadership-toolbox and download the Boundary Setting Exercise under Leadership Tools.  Start impacting your time, your mood, your productivity and you happiness.

The Power of Confidence

November 19, 2013

The Power of Confidence

Back in college I transferred between universities and changed majors during my junior year. I went from Psychology to Animal Science, which was exciting but a little scary.  Although I loved science, I had my doubts as to whether I could handle some of the difficult classes ahead.  One class that was  particularly intimidating was organic chemistry.  You know the one with all the Carbons, Hydrogen and Oxygen arranged in little stick figures.  I was so nervous about this class that I chose to take it in the summer, so I would have no other classes to distract me.  When I got into the class, for some reason the teacher thought I was super smart and would praise me continually on my aptitude and ability. He believed in me so strongly, I started to believe in myself.  Much to my surprise I began to enjoy the class and get A’s throughout.  I completed the class with a solid A and lifelong lesson in confidence.  What I learned was how people can inspire and cultivate confidence in others.  This is just one way confidence can be built. 

So what is confidence?  Confidence is defined as the belief in oneself, ones powers and abilities.  Confidence comes from within, but it can be driven or affected by both internal and external influences.  Just as my college chemistry teacher built my confidence, a negative person or experience can crush it in a moment.  Every positive experience or success I have can and should serve to elevate and build my confidence.  So how do we manage this delicate balance of staying confident and self-assured in our abilities and talent?

So, here’s the good news.  You can enhance or elevate your belief in self by taking simple positive actions.  Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my Ten Tips for enhancing your confidence.  Today I will share tip #1.

1. Recognize, identify control you inner fears: Lack of confidence often stems from fear.  Take a look at what makes you fearful or uncomfortable.  Determine if it is rational and take action to face the fear.     

For me, one of my biggest fears is “phone-a-phobia”.  I am always nervous making sales calls; even warm ones to people I have connections with.  So I ask myself, why is this and is this rational.  Well the why is easy, I am nervous that I won’t express myself clearly and that I may be rejected (businesswise) .  Is this a rational fear?  Well, no, not really.  I am generally very well spoken on the phone, so that fear is silly.  And in regards to rejection, it’s just business, not personal, so If I keep that in mind it should take the weight of the rejection.  Once I recognize the emptiness of the fear, I push onward and a funny thing happens.  I make a few calls.  They go smoothly.  I get a piece of business and my confidence builds.  Pushing through the fear allows my confidence to grow.

Identify one of your fears and go through the process assessing the fear and taking appropriate action.  By taking this approach you can begin to reduce fear and build confidence.

Relationship Repair PodCast

October 15, 2013

Last week I had the priveledge and honor to be a guest on "The Coaching Perspective" radio show with Doug Gfeller.  Listen to the Podcast and find out :

  • How my organic chenistry teacher changed my life...
  • About how to live the dream
  • And of course about my Relationship Repair process and how it has impacted leaders in business.  Click here

Just Pick Up the Phone!

October 2, 2013

Recently a client of my expressed his frustration about how his coworkers use email.  He had received a misinformed email message that, of course, was copied to a few critical people which in turn created a time consuming drama that could have been resolved in minutes.   The email was about a safety issue (an electric shock hazard) at a large company. Allegedly someone had gotten shocked.  Wouldn’t you agree that an issue like that warrants a phone call at least?  It’s like emailing an ambulance when someone is having chest pains! Or sending a letter to the fire department when a house is burning!  Where is our common sense and what have we come to?  Why are we so reluctant to engage in live communication?  The reason I hear most frequently relates to time.  It’s quicker.  But understand, quicker isn’t always better. 

When it comes to communication, use the tool that is most appropriate.  Texting or sending emails can be a great time saver.  When it comes to sensitive topics or time sensitive issues - direct verbal communication might be best.  So, think first before you communicate and choose your method of delivery wisely.  It could make bigger difference than you think.

 

 

Intentions and Impact

September 27, 2013

The word intention is often used quite liberally in the coaching field.  We speak with our clients about being purposeful and intentional.  Being clear on what we want and moving deliberately in the direction that will get us there.  But when it comes to relationships with others, sometimes we can get so caught up with our goal and intention that we become unaware of how our behavior impacts others.

Let me give you a real life example I witnessed while coaching a leader.
Mary was the director of a quality control group in her organization.   She made a conscious decision to try to empower her staff and allow them to “take the ball and run with it” on a specific project.  When she realized that the deadline for completion was nearing and little had been done, she took back the assignment and did herself. She let her team know “after the fact” that they had disappointed her by not rising to the occasion. In her mind, the assignment had been a test … but of course no one knew that. While she had “good intentions”, her behavior had a negative impact on the team.  Her team was frustrated with her behavior, felt untrusted and devalued.  They were no longer interested in taking on new tasks.  Their motivation had been cut off at the knees.

Obviously, this could be a story about poor communication and delegation skills.  But it is also a great example of how good intentions can have a negative impact when leaders rush to satisfy their own needs.  When we react and act without thinking of the impact on others, we lay the ground work for mistrust, turmoil, conflict and poor workplace relationships.

So what is the solution?  Self-awareness and self-control are a good start.  Before jumping to action, take a moment to consider the impact, the implications, and the fall out.  If we were all able to hit the “pause button” and think before acting,  many workplace issues would never evolve.  I am not suggesting that you refrain from intention and action … just consider the ramifications of your actions and behaviors in advance.

Sustainable Solutions

September 17, 2013

Many of the companies I consult with come to me with organizational ailments.

  • "Turnover is out of control. It must be because Joe is a bad manager. Let’s fire him."
  • "We need customer service training.  Our scores are slipping."
  • The Office Manager is condescending and rude to her employees.  We need to train the team on communication.

It never ceases to amaze me how quick organizations are to self diagnose and prescribe a quick fix remedy. The question is, are they using a band aide to prevent the spread of a virulent cancer?   Are they treating the root cause or just addressing the symptom?   When you go to the doctor with a pain in your chest, do they immediately give you medicine for a heart problem ...or, do they quickly conclude it’s just heart burn and send you home with Pepcid AC?   Absolutely not.   They run tests and collect information and history before prescribing anything.

As leaders, shouldn’t we take the same approach? In order to really address an organizational issue or management concern, we need to dig down and get a more complete picture of the situation. There are variety resources and tools available for doing this. Focus groups, survey instruments and individual 1:1 conversations are all great discovery tools. Bringing in an outside person with a neutral perspective is also useful from a variety of stand points. Employees and managers feel more comfortable to disclose information and it allows you as the leader to be the recipient of the information vs. the “investigator, interrogator or disciplinarian”. Once you have all the facts in front of you, it is much easier to target and address the core issue. The process may take a bit more time, but the end result will be more effective and sustainable.

 

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