Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Brave

Focusing on BRAVE is interesting.  February has been no different than before.
I have come to the understanding that there are many ways in which BRAVE shows up.

  • Vulnerability - this is brave
  • Fear - pushing it aside is brave
  • Open-mind - having one and using one is brave
  • Challenging - this is always brave
  • Silence - letting the quiet speak or be is brave
  • Listening - can be brave, because you may not hear what you want
  • Patience - instead of running ahead blindly is very brave - it also takes the rest of the words above.

What is your BRAVE?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Comes Next?

It is the middle of February and the blues are setting home, at work...everywhere.
The Olympics are wrapped and we are onto Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show.  Change is everywhere, except we are still stuck in the doldrums of winter!

What comes next? Usually companies are focused on performance appraisals, year end reviews and looking in the rear-view mirror.  Needless to say, this can cause angst, anxiety and stress to our teams, our own workload and frustration about getting things done over the next year, while we still looking back.

How do we tackle this?  Here are 3 small ideas that can help get you & the team refreshed until the weather warms up.

  1. Stay focused on the forward thought and building momentum for the rest of the year
    • by using last year's successes, help your team understand how they can capitalize on them this year...example:  use it as a blueprint for the next project
  2. Stuck with the same excuses?  have everyone write their excuses/reasons down on a piece of paper, brainstorm through each one.  As you complete one, have the team member take the piece of paper, crumple it up and throw it into the garbage.  It's DONE!  You have now dealt with it.
  3. Tackle the worst item or most challenging piece together as a team - brainstorm solutions to the root cause of an issue and put only 1 thing into practice until it is mastered and see if it changes the outcome.  Key to this is to have someone on the team responsible for reporting the progress, new obstacles and resolutions as well as new results.  (Make this one fun, it can be very energy-sapping!)
    • Example:  The team is not closing enough deals per week.  Look at the situation, how many appointments do they have booked that are ready to close, that are in the pipeline, that are strictly intro sessions, or is there a lack of booking at all.  Each stage in the pipeline needs to be full - find the gap and start there. 

I completely didn't mention some stretching exercises, meditation or even better eating habits as a key to lifting some of this fog.....that will definitely make a difference as well.

So - I am always willing to bounce ideas around here.  The first chat is always complimentary - if you would like to brainstorm, feel free to reach out  to and we can set up a call or chat by email.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Thought I Had an Open Mind

Here is the scenario - simple and straight forward. 

I have worked, in the past 3 months with 2 different groups of bankers. Thinking that, by the stereotype and I know that is wrong, but I am human and have my faults (for those keeping track, I am sure my husband would appreciate you sending this acknowledgement in writing) and I thought that this would be a tough crowd.

Well, the first group was out if their chairs and engaging in seconds. It was an excellent session with great participation and collaboration, sharing and learning. I leave thinking "this is cool - perhaps an anomaly but cool"

This week, head off to a different area to facilitate a similar session with   The same type of people - more bankers! Guess what?  They were just as much fun - engaged, loud and learning, strategizing in a whole new way.

I had to pause on the drive home and mull this over.  First, I was a little nervous entering the second group - not my usual space, never met my client in person before - this was a strictly word-of-mouth referral.  Secondly, I have been working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable - read:  vulnerable & open minded - well, this was easily recognized and I had to gather myself together a little more than usual before I started.  

I had watched a great Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy with a client the previous week & decided to put this into action - do the power stance. It worked.  I became more calm.  I opened my mind more to expect the unexpected and it happened.
Here is the lesson as a leader - thinking you know what you are getting into allows you to accept stereotypes, closing the mind.  Going forward, my focus will be to set my intention for presence and an open-mind so that I can fully experience each interaction from either side of the facilitation or discussion or connection.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do You Have a BHAG?

What is a BHAG?
It is a

As Jim Collins says - it is truly big!

And the thing about a BHAG is that sometimes it is unfathomable.  It will stretch you.  It will make you think.

a BHAG looks like this.

Do you have one?
If not, why not?
What are you waiting for?
There has to be something that has been percolating in that head of yours, that just needs to come out.
This is the stuff that moves you to act.
This is the idea that starts out so small and with more thought and discussion grows.
It is that one thing that could put you on the map of your choice, or it could be the one thing that you know will make you feel whole or complete.
It may not even be about your work - it may be personal....something you want to conquer.

What is it?
Articulate it.  

Then start planning what it will take to get there.