Quick Tips for Getting Back on Track in the New Year

It’s the New Year–a time for new beginnings. Are you feeling excited, optimistic  and energized?

If you’re like many people I know, you might be feeling tired, sluggish and overwhelmed already.  And it’s okay to admit it. (Sometimes I’m energized and exhausted in the same day!)

It’s easy for pressure to build quickly after you have had a chance to let go of work during the holidays.

If you’re having trouble getting back on track, you’re not alone.

Here are some quick tips for easing back into the New Year:

Take your time.

You may not feel like you have a choice about the pace at which you operate, but you have more control than you realize. Set realistic expectations. Set boundaries where needed. Get clear about your priorities. It’s okay to walk before you run.

What pace feels right to you?

Notice your resistance.

When you’re too tired or you’re avoiding some activities, this might actually be a good sign. Pay attention. Maybe you don’t want to step back into the same environment or activities that don’t serve you well. Think about something new you can try, a change you can make that would give you more of what you really want.

What are you resisting?

Don’t judge yourself.

Too many people say, ” I should be accomplishing more.” Or “I should be more active.” Or ” I should lose more weight.” They think they are not good enough, capable enough, etc.  Replace those thoughts with “I am…” positive statements like these: “I am figuring things out.” “I am taking one step at a time.” “I am moving in the right direction.”

What do you really need to hear right now?

Start small.

Choose one area of your life or work that you would like to improve. Set a short-term goal. If you want to run a marathon, you don’t go out and run the entire distance. Maybe you’ll run a mile this week as a start.

I’m trying a new daily planner to improve my planning process. It’s a small change. I will see how it goes.

What’s something small you can do that will still give you a sense of accomplishment?

I’ve been writing more about the importance of paying attention to how you feel, not just what you do as a leader.

When you feel strong, healthy and vibrant, you are more likely to enjoy your life and work.

Make your own well being a top priority this year.

PS — Share this message with a friend or colleague who may benefit.

Let me know how I can be of support to you or your team in the New Year!

Ready for a Coaching Conversation?

Ever struggle to find just the right words when you’re in a sensitive conversation? If you’re in a leadership role, it’s not uncommon.

 

birdsOne executive I worked with admitted he tried to avoid one of his direct reports.

 

“I never know how to approach her without striking a nerve.” He complained about having to tip toe around issues. The idea of confronting the person became more stressful to him than dealing with the negative impact of ignoring it.

 

If you’re like many of the executives I coach, you just want to get things done, but “people issues” get in the way. While the words you choose to use are important, there are other factors that matter as well.

 

Here are some quick tips to help you address difficult people and situations as they arise.

 

Focus on…

 

Your intention: What do you want to happen as a result of the conversation you know you need to have? Be clear about the purpose or expectation you have for the conversation.

 

For example, your intention may be to encourage some type of change or to help someone improve performance. Maybe you’re trying to smooth relationships.

 

Your tone: What do you want the person to feel as a result of the conversation? Encouragement? Trust? Willingness to improve?

 

Keep your tone light when you can. If you are stressed and serious, other people will sense that. Have a positive expectation for the conversation.

 

Your questions: Hear the difference between…”WHAT were you thinking?” and “What do you think you can do differently next time?”

 

Use good questions to help bring out the best in others, not to shut them down.

 

Your timing: Timing is everything. If you are reacting to a person or situation that makes you angry, wait. Allow the dust in your mind to settle.

 

Many times the situation is not as bad as it first appears. Even if you’re ready to have the conversation, the timing may be off for the other person. Read the other person. Open a difficult conversation when people are more likely to be receptive.

 

More people and companies are recognizing the value of coaching conversations to address difficult issues. They realize that the role of the leader is not always to solve problems, but to be a good coach or mentor–to build capability in others.

 

Whether you are trying improve a difficult situation or develop a top performer, make your conversation count.

 

WorkMatters-Newsletter-JUL2016-Cover-LOIf you, or someone you know, wants to lead a little easier, DOWNLOAD my latest newsletter on how to have coaching conversations that get results. 

 

The newsletter includes a short coaching conversation checklist to serve as a guide. 
 
You’ll reduce your stress and increase confidence in your coaching conversations.
Share it with others who may benefit!

 

Paralyzed with fear? Good!

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good.  Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
~ Steven Pressfield

I like leadership quotes that address fear because fear is inevitable for anyone in a leadership role. 
There’s a lot of pressure to appear strong as a leader, yet even the strongest leaders say things like:
“I’m scared to death…”
OR
“This is terrifying…”
When fear strikes, do this exercise below. Consider it a mini virtual coaching session.
If I were sitting across a table from you, these are some of the questions I would ask. I encourage you to answer them on your own.
What are you afraid of? Why?
Depending on your answer, I might dig a little deeper and ask, “What are you really afraid of?”
For example, if you say you fear that the meeting will not be a success, is that the real issue? Or is it that you might be blamed, criticized or that people might lose faith in you? Get to the heart of the issue.
What’s the worst that could happen?
How would you deal with it?
 
Often a worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as it initially seems. It’s important to focus on best-case scenarios as well.
WHY must you do what you need to do?
HOW will you do what you need to do?
 
As you commit to what you really must do, the fear will diminish or you will pay less attention to it.
We all have fears. The willingness to face them while staying focused on what really matters is a leadership skill.
Accept fear as part of your growth process. Without fear, you’re probably not thinking big enough, reaching high enough or being challenged enough.
 
Seek out friends, peers and mentors who have conquered fears that you face.
You will learn much from them.
Find a safe place to process your fear. If you don’t, the fear may grow and keep you stuck.
Build your faith–faith in yourself, your team, your business. It’s the best way to overcome resistance and combat the negative effects of fear.
Fear may be indicating a needed change, big opportunity or new direction.
Let fear be your fuel to help you achieve what you really want!
PS – Struggling with a specific fear in your leadership role? I want to hear about it.
Simply reply to this email. We’ll determine next steps.

In the NEWS


Gayle appeared recently on ABC 33/40 to talk about setting goals and tips for achieving what’s most important to you this year.

Management Tips to End the Year on a High Note

As you head into the home stretch for the year, it’s easy to feel pressure.
Whether you are managing a business, managing a team, or simply trying to manage yourself, the end of the year has its own unique stressors.
A few management tips to keep in mind this time of year:

Management Tips1.     Be realistic about what you can do. You have less time than you think you do.  Take some pressure off of yourself so you can enjoy the holiday season. Get clear about what you absolutely must do versus what would be nice to do. Help your team members do the same.

2.     Let go of what you didn’t get done.  If you have a project you intended to do, or to-do items that have been carried over month-to-month, but you have not taken action, it’s likely they really don’t need to get done. It’s like that sweater you bought, but never wore. Be willing to give it away. Release those expectations without guilt. Start fresh.

 

3.     Expect distractions. It’s a struggle to balance work and family during this time of year.  There’s a lot to get done to prepare for the holidays. You’ll need to dash out to get that last minute gift. Your team members will likely work odd hours. Work on your patience and flexibility. Your team will appreciate it.

4.     Express your gratitude. Gratitude is a gift. Make a list of people you’d like to thank for helping you or your team achieve your goals. As Zig Ziglar said, “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” Write a quick note or make a few phone calls just to say thanks. So simple. So seldom done.

5.     Celebrate success. Take a look at the milestones your team has accomplished. People are motivated when they feel they are making progress. Even if you haven’t hit your target, acknowledge how far you have come and what you’ve learned. Show appreciation for the effort.

6.     Set a positive expectation. Orient your team around something exciting you all will work toward in the New Year. What’s your big goal for next year? Find a way to keep that in front of your team. Create a visual aid, metaphor or something tangible to represent that goal. Hold a quick meeting to talk about your vision for the year.

7.     Slow down. If you feel pressure to speed up, slow down. It’s counter-intuitive. Like an archer, you must be still and focused to hit your target. Aim high. You’ll do better thinking and accomplish what’s most important.

As you turn the page, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and optimistic about what’s ahead. Keep clear perspective. End your year on a high note by remembering what really matters.
Have you ordered your Leadership Journal?
WM_journal coverChristmas[1]If you’re looking for a great business gift for your team or any leader you know, my new Leadership Journal is hot off the press!
Did you know that you are much more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down?
I created the Leadership Journal for busy leaders like you who are serious about achieving their goals. It’s a simple weekly journal with a few coaching questions and inspiring leadership quotes to keep you motivated and on track throughout the year.
Just 10-15 minutes each week of thinking time will help you achieve what matters most to you.
ORDER EARLY to ship the quantity you want in time for the holidays!
 
Get one for yourself, your team or anyone who might benefit from this empowering goal-setting tool.
Find it on Amazon:

 

Business Gift Ideas: Add This to Your List!

A Great Business Gift Idea!
Just in Time for the Holidays

WM_journal coverChristmas[1]If you’re looking for a great business gift for your team or any leader you know, my new Leadership Journal is hot off the press!

Did you know that you are much more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down?

I created the Leadership Journal for busy leaders like you who are serious about achieving their goals. It’s a simple weekly journal with a few coaching questions and inspiring leadership quotes to keep you motivated and on track throughout the year.

Just 10-15 minutes each week of thinking time will help you achieve what matters most to you.

Order one for yourself, your team or anyone who might benefit from this empowering goal-setting tool.

Find it on Amazon:

LEADERSHIP JOURNAL


THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS

A Fall arrangement in a cornucopia on a white backgroundThere is much to be thankful for. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you wherever you are around the world.

Leadership challenges and opportunities are universal. I will continue to help you think and work smarter as a leader so you can make the highest impact. 

Your work matters.<

Whether you have been following my work for a long time, or you are new to my work, I am grateful to have you on my list.

If you are in the U.S., wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!