ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

 

ARE YOU ACHIEVING EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS?

If you are achieving extraordinary results, I suspect you trust and are trusted by others. No matter what you are doing in life.

If you have the interest and agility to increase your results, consider the conversations you’ve had today; yesterday and the day before. If you deconstruct these conversations, what would you uncover about yourself? And, if you placed the results on a dashboard would the dial point to connected, productive or creative? Or would the dial move to the opposite side of this gauge – pointing to sceptic or resistor?

Judith E. Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence – How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, advises her readership and clients over the past 30 years that we’re probably speaking to and from the wrong brain – the Primitive Brain. (Who would have known?!)

By using your Executive brain, you’ll notice that this connection will alter everything: the way you phrase your greeting, ask your questions and how you offer or make comments. Rather than create distrust, this newish brain will build trust. And trust is the anchor in your relationships to weather all situations.

Whilst some of us might think our conversations are powerful, we may be failing to see the impact these interactions have on others. We need to heighten our awareness and increase our use of the Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) skill which connects intentions with impact.

Judith’s goal is to help you move from operating at C-IQ ‘Level I – transactional’ (how to exchange data and information) and make the quantum leap to the learnable C-IQ ‘Level III – transformational’ (how to co-create conversations for mutual success). Put simply, change to a listener rather than a teller.

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

The new language is co-create – working together, cutting through bureaucracy, hierarchical levels, removing the need to be right all the time, in an effort to build a successful culture. This is done by influencing each other’s neurochemistry, while we express our inner thoughts and feelings to strengthen relationships while making sense of the world. Too easy!

Which brain do you operate from?

We have five brains according to the research which Judith shares liberally – each brain having an influence on our conversational ability. The Primitive brain, which hosts the fear mongering Amygdala, operates differently to our Prefrontal Cortex (Executive brain) which is activated when we feel we can trust others.

 

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As leaders, we unconsciously drip-feed our teams with ‘conversational cocktails’; resulting in the team being drunk with happiness, excitement and enthusiasm, or, all too often, they start acting like angry animals.  The ‘cocktail’ is a mixture of biochemicals triggered by what you do and say. The chemicals, oxytocin (bonding), dopamine (when you’re right) and serotonin (happiness) are released if your conversation is at ‘Level III’ – when you and the team are working to achieve a mutually successful outcome.

When what we say, what we hear, and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies.

So, when what we say, what we hear and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies. We make “movies” and generally fail to connect.

If you were to replay ‘the movie’ of a recent staff meeting, what would you see and hear? Would you see the same people sitting in the same spots, hear the same people speak and see the agenda following a similar pattern? To make a change, Judith recommends commencing with a ‘Rules of Engagement’ activity which talks to the Amygdala, calming it down to be more fully engaged with the meeting intent. Similarly, when we host a workshop or conference – we break the ice with this style of activity to build trust in the group – we talk to the Amygdala!

The term ‘intelligence’ was brought alive with the advance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ); which is differentiated by Judith: “Emotional Intelligence is about self-regulation whereas conversational intelligence is about co-regulation”. I get this and it will be the EQ leader who will ease into becoming a C-IQ leader. One who will masterfully observe their inner world of desires whilst observing the impact of their actions on others.

I am currently reading Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s my 30th book. I’m a little behind with reviews as I found writing about Conversational Intelligence a challenge. I’m not totally sure why, the content isn’t new to me – it’s probably deciding what to share with you and what not to include!

Please take the opportunity to read this book. It’s a definite ‘must read’ to learn how to train your brain and ultimately achieve extraordinary results in your endeavours.

I have been inundated with questions about my reading project, in particular, my ability to read so many books. Well, I do read, I don’t listen to the books and I know that I am a disciplined person who enjoys learning what others are learning. I believe you must keep ahead of the amazing information and practices which others are successfully applying in their Leadership Practices.

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

STOP DEFERRING YOUR LIFE PLAN

Stop Deferring Your Life Plan

I’ve been sleeping with Tim Ferriss for several years.

His book, ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ has laid on my husband’s bedside table and as I wake, it’s what I see first. During the occasional dust and polish, I’ve held him, intrigued with what my husband has done with his new found knowledge … and yes, I’m still waiting!

Sadly, Tim left my bedroom and on Sunday evening as I searched my bookshelf for my ninth book, we were reunited and he’s been back in the bedroom all week!

It now makes sense, that those in my network circles have also slept with Tim: the mention of Virtual Assistants, Automation, and precision time-management are immediate clues of those who’ve had an affair to remember.

Allowing Tim into your life will crank open your mind to the ‘new rich’ paradigm which I know many of you will scoff at, but pushing beyond that, you’ll discover BIG opportunities lying between the sheets.

I see three reasons to grab hold of, The 4-Hour Workweek:

·        If you want to reduce your busyness in your workplace and in life

·        If you live to work, and

·        If you’re wanting to connect with the entrepreneurial spirit lurking in our DNA.

In my world, it’s easy to be negligent of my faults, ineffective habits, and practices which don’t add value to my clients let alone to my financial statement. So, by reading this book, I connected with the critical message – be accountable for your performance so that you can live a happy life.

How do you influence happiness in your business?

I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t nudge you enough to ponder the possibilities which Tim’s book offers; it oozes innovation and creative thinking and most importantly if encourages people to spend time working at what they love doing and be at their best, feeling that they’re achieving their self-worth.

How’s your self-worth? Feeling happy with life?

So, here’s a few insights from ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’:

Be reflective – determine your life purpose; the current journey towards your purpose and answer this question – If today was the last day of your life, would you be doing what you have planned for the day?

Tackle boredom – being the opposite of happiness – map out the parts of your life which aren’t creating happiness and determine what you need to change; in other words, break the status quo.

Plan for the now – write down what you want to do, when you want to complete it by and in particular, the cost (Tim measures everything) – then determine how you can achieve that plan now – Yep, put your 20-year-old mindset on and consider what you don’t need, be minimalistic and work out a way to do it.

Experiment with mini-retirements - rather than plan the big trip in fifteen years when you retire from this life, calculate how you can do part of it within the next six months. Consider working while you travel, influence the decision makers in your life to work enable you work remotely and live your life now.

Note: This book was written approximately ten years ago – and in that time people have taken this traveling idea on board and many people are working remotely and numerous organizations are great enablers.

Say “No” - and get good at it. This is your training to eliminate the need to meet people face to face or even reduce the evil email flow. Be polite and eloquent with your refusals, however, determine the value or need of having to use your time in the presence of others. I’m sure the meeting minimisation is a no brainer for some, and a challenge for others. It’s a habit to break.

Explore being smart – given the technology and services at our disposal, we should all be smart. Cost your time and determine who else could do it for you at a cheaper rate. Explore automation – as a friend recently said: “if I do the same thing twice, it’s my trigger to automate the process.” Very wise words. The simplest example is automating email replies to educate your clients, colleagues, and community.

Finally, the phrase which grabbed my absolute attention: people defer their life plan. People wait their life out. I often hear "when" proceeding their goal statements. Here’s hoping that this read will push people to do things now.

We can all take Tim to bed and learn a few ideas, practices or just be amused at his many life adventures.  Or, jump onto his web site – www.fourhourworkweek.com

What's in your worry box?

What's in your Worry Box?

If you're confused or want to answer "Worry Beads" then I suspect you're like many and need a reminder or an introduction to Immunity to Change.

The book is a great introduction to the Immunity Map which will uncover what prevents you from changing.

 

We all carry a Worry Box around with us; it's in our mind and it hasn't been opened for some time. When we do, it's generally to add an additional worry!

Whilst I make light of this debilitating unconscious system in our body and persona it is the perfect metaphor to create  awareness to the number of worries which we have about our performance.

At a professional development session which I attended this week, Michelle Sales reconnected us with the valuable insights of Lisa Laskow Lahey and Robert Kegan from their book (their life's work),  Immunity to Change. We all know that we need to change or help others in the process of change however what we don't know well enough is what prevents us changing.

During our session we created our personal 'Immunity Map' following the process which I had read about, completed 80% of a MOOC on with the authors and within minutes of this session, it finally clicked into place! (I'm not sure if I am a slow learner or it's a challenging concept!)

The map template is very simple in construction and it's the process of questions which uncover the complexity which we store away in the worry box. So, it's very effective is you take the opportunity to work through this model with an experienced coach or practitioner. 

For me, I have a neat set of questions and an additional model to add to my repertoire to challenge and probe my clients when I coach, mentor and work with them and their teams. (Immunity to Change is very useful for team goals too.)

I highly recommend you explore Immunity to Change and welcome your inquiry to understand why you're still not achieving the leadership performance goal which you've set yourself or which has been set for you.

 

 

  

What turns you on? People, Performance or Process?

What turns you on?

PEOPLE, PERFORMANCE OR PROCESS?

Do you have a natural inclination to be drawn to one of these three options?

Are you one who is accommodating and generally fueled by the interests of people?

Or, is it the outcome and in particular the performance that draws your attention?

Then there is process, are you more interested in how things work or come together?

I'm a performance person. Today I set me kids a challenge chart and they are busy building a boat at the moment. They've decided to make it a competition which excites me even more!

Whether you are a people, performance or a process driven person, you've got to understand that your communication preference doesn't work for others if you're driven by different motives. Fortunately, my two kids are excited with most challenges, so I talk in the 'performance' language - my native tongue!

With the constant change in our lives, we must be multi-lingual to ensure we maintain our relationships rather than mismanage them. Many folks are bi-lingual, they have two preference e.g. people & performance or process & people. This is more complex to interpret and many play the guessing game rather than get smart with their communications.

If you don't know the motivation language of your team or anyone who you have a vested interest in - then we need to talk ... now!

Which Conversations have you Planned?

"I wish you would just shut up!"

If this statement is in a thought bubble or a speech bubble it's too late. Our mind will think it's said and our body language will give our game away.

No matter which situation you're in, if you're a leader you need to plan the necessary conversations rather than allowing the unsaid to stymie the power of the dialogue.

In this particular situation, you need to give the person direct feedback. If the impact on others is negative then raise the conversation. Plan it. Write it. Practise it. Whatever it takes to make your conversation have the desired outcome ...maybe it's to 'shut up' or behave differently.

It should be a quick 3 minute conversation. It should be private. It doesn't require a meeting room. We waste enough time in meetings, postponing important conversations or procrastinating in our role as a leader. This is not a 'coaching' conversation - far from it - I call it a 'Yell' conversation and sits at the other end of the conversation continuum where coaching sits.

If you're unsure how to plan, practise and play out this conversation, I recommend you use the SBI technique. Google it or check out my example below.

If you lack confidence in having direct conversations, connect with me and we can arrange a session to enable you to Lead Confidently in your Conversations.

 

CONVERSATION EXAMPLE:

Situation: John, yesterday at the morning's project X meeting, during the update agenda item.

Behaviour: Your verbal report was repetitive, you actually spoke for 7 minutes and didn't ask anyone for their input - especially when we had all read your report.

Impact: I'm not sure if you noticed, almost everyone switch off, started fidgeting and checking their devices, there was zero engagement from our key folk. 

And what's even more effective is an additional piece of the conversation ....

Behaviour: John, we're reporting into the senior stakeholder's meeting tomorrow, what could you do differently? (Pause, leave void for John to report in with a change to his behaviour. Have your thoughts ready to roll if John has no idea.)

Behaviour: Louise, I know, I get nervous and I don't want to forget to share any information. Tomorrow I'll highlight the top five points and then ask specific questions to Mary and Tom.

Impact: John, that's a good start. If you do that, what impact will you have within the group?

Impact: Louise, I'll be able to check if my messages are clear and if there is an understanding and any concerns with our progress.