Valuing Your Experts

No matter if you're in the corporate world or running your own business, you're working with other people who have different skill sets from yours. The beauty in that is that's why you're working with them, or in some cases, hired them.

Or why someone hired you.

You bring a specific set of skills, talents, abilities, knowledge and gifts that only you could do. Just like each person you work with.

So when situations present themselves where you question what your expert says or does, remember why you hired them in the first place and seek to understand where they are coming from before jumping to any conclusions.

The saying about "knowing enough to be dangerous" is what's running through my mind because that can be a double edged sword. To know enough to be dangerous so that you can have a conversation and be wiling to say when you don't know and ask questions is great. Yet to know enough to be dangerous and not ask questions or assume you know more than you really do is setting...

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Advice on Handling Difficult Conversations

It’s another start of the work week, and you think things are going great….until… things aren’t.

You get a voice mail or face to face encounter from a customer, vendor, or co-worker that is most unpleasant. This unhappy camper is frustrated and rather than focusing on the problem or situation at hand, it feels like an attack on you.

In the moment, it can be very difficult not to take the conversation personally. It can also be challenging to turn the conversation around to something more productive, but if you are able to, it will be well worth it.

So when you are in the heat of the moment, try these three tips to help you constructively and productively move the conversation forward.

Tip 1 - View the concern as a way to improve

Tip 2 - Consider the person said something because they care

Tip 3 - Apply the Three Cs

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Why CONFIDENCE is so Important to Leadership

To show up as the confident business leader you're meant to be, you need to share your strengths and stay true to your vision and values and that's where confidence kicks in.

The more confidence you have, the more you will:

    • Know what your strengths are and be willing to put yourself out there and share them over and over again
    • Push yourself to desire a big vision and realize you're fully capable of making it happen and with confidence you declare it as yours
    • Trust you can turn that vision into reality by creating an actionable and achievable plan to get there
    • Make decisions that need to be made and execute them, especially difficult ones, without second guessing
    • Know and trust what to say yes to and what to intentionally say no to
    • Communicate effectively what the vision is and work with others to help them know what it is, why it's important and how they fit, so that they are able to buy into the vision because they're buying into you
    • Develop and grow your group from high...
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Are You Asking?

As leaders, we need to get clear on what we want and why.

Then we need to speak up.

As a leader, it's your responsibility to set the vision and direction for your project, organization, or business. And although it may seem repetitive, asking and communicating often is necessary and so important. Sometimes you'll need to repeat yourself multiple times, in different styles to get things started and moving.

For some individuals, they only need a nudge to understand what's needed and support. For others, you may need to be a bit more direct.

If you have a question that will impact a decision you're making, be willing to ask and patiently listen for the answer. If you'd like periodic updates on a project, communicate your expectations and remind your teammates only as needed.

Once you're clear on your vision and your why, be willing to enthusiastically communicate it clearly, succinctly, and frequently. Your enthusiasm coupled with your ability to ensure your team, colleagues, and...

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Leveraging Your Curiosity

As a leader, you are presented with new information each day.

This process of continually receiving and synthesizing information helps you to make informed decisions in order to support your team and achieve the company’s overall vision.

Sometimes it may feel like you have too much to work with and other times, it may feel like you don’t have enough.

To compound the waves of data, as the leader, you are viewed as having “all the information”, so it might feel like saying “I don’t know” is not appropriate.

The thing is that although it may seem like you are expected to know all of the answers, you won’t.

You are expected to know how to get the answers and be clear with what is happening on your team or project, even if that means you know you need to learn more.

So how to do work with the information that you have?

I suggest leveraging your curiosity by accepting that you won’t have all the answers, but that you will be open to...

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How to Receive Feedback - Part 2

Let's set the groundwork for this two part series with a definition of feedback, which is information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, which is used as a basis for improvement.

Part 1 - Detach from the Outcome

Part 2 - Your Filter and Decisions

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How to Receive Feedback - Part 1

Let's set the groundwork for this two part series with a definition of feedback, which is information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, which is used as a basis for improvement.

Part 1 - Detach from the Outcome

Part 2 - Your Filter and Decisions

 

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5 Tips for a Successful Book Signing

I really love on-line and in-person events. It’s a great way to connect.

My corporate experience included time attending trade shows and manning booths as well as being the project manager to pull entire shows together. On top of that, I’ve done a lot of book signings since being an entrepreneur, so I wanted to share some tips so that your next event is a great success.

Let’s get started!

1 - Get clear on why you are there

To get started, how would you answer this question: Why do you want to attend or even host an event? The reason this clarity is so important is that it shapes your mindset and energy for that event. Dive into this a little deeper with this article [What's the So What?].

When you’re in the headspace that says, “I’m glad to be here!” or “It’s going to be a lot of fun!”, then that comes through in how you engage and how you present yourself.

The same can be said for the opposite.

If you’re saying to...

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Are You Holding Your Organization Back?

The first time I heard the phrase exploit the constraint was in the corporate world.

My 20 year path included some time in a manufacturing company and specifically with process improvement, turning ideas into executable strategies, and increasing employee engagement. Lean Manufacturing and The Theory of Constraints were big practices at this company. With the theory of constraints you’re figuring out where the bottleneck is, which is not only a constraint, but the most important limiting factor, and from there, figuring how to improving things so that it’s no longer the bottleneck.

You are the most important factor, and the more you’re able to focus your energies, time and attention on things that really need what you can only bring, the more productive you feel and your enthusiasm comes through. Your team will feel the shift and they will be open to following your example.

Understanding where the bottlenecks are, and if they aren't benefiting the organization,...

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A Leadership Tip to Increase Engagement

I’m a big fan of quotes and one from Fred Rogers, otherwise known as Mr. Rogers, comes to mind when I think of employee engagement:

“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”

Let’s take a few minutes and really let these words sink in.

It really doesn’t matter who we are, what we’ve accomplished, or what we have yet to do.

What matters is that we want to add value. And to take it a step further, we want to know that we have added value.

Now, adding value can look different for each one of us. It could be as simple as lending a helping hand or listening to a friend who needs a sounding board. It could be working with an important client and winning new business for your company or properly diagnosing an illness to enable someone to start feeling better.

So...

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