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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Overcoming Overwhelm

As you lead your business or organization, it can get noisy and overwhelm can start to creep in.

Lots of information come in from different sources, and you must decipher which ones require your attention to move your vision forward.

Sometimes it can feel like there’s so much happening.

So much information you’re receiving that it’s hard to hear that still small voice inside that’s ultimately guiding you.

Sometimes the information is more noise and not helpful or necessary.

Other times, it’s needed for your business to succeed, but even in those cases, too much data can cause overwhelm.

This doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself or at that very moment, but it does mean that you must decide if it’s important to do or not do and take action accordingly.

So how do you ignore the noise and focus on what matters?

Simply stop, get quiet and get back to basics.

By stopping and taking a moment to calm your mind and block out all the...

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Evaluating and Elevating Your Habits

You know I love quotes.

Sometimes they are little bursts of inspiration or motivation, and sometimes they are gentle reminders to take action to change.

When I first saw this quote by Therese Fowler: 

“Some rules are nothing but old habits that people are afraid to change”

two different paths came to mind – one was external and the other was internal.

Let’s take the external one first.

For your business to grow, systems and guidelines are essential. They create the opportunity to streamline work, increase productivity, set clear expectations, and map processes so that everyone involved is on the same sheet of music. These can easily become habits for the business or organization. Habits because it’s what is known and expected, even if they don’t make sense anymore.

What was helpful at one time may be outdated now, but unless it’s revisited and reexamined, it will continue to do what it’s always done.

To make sure your business...

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Point of View and Leadership

When you think of point of view or POV as it relates to a book, it’s the perspective of the character and how the story is told. Are you coming from the main character’s vantage point or more of an observer and not knowing what’s happening with their inner thoughts?

Same can be said for leadership and driving your overall vision forward.

Just take a moment and think about where you are in your organization or business….. are you in the weeds? Are you really heavily in the details? Or are you at the 10,000 or 100,000 foot view?

Changing your point of view can help you see progress from a different perspective.

It can help you determine what changes are needed.

Each vantage point gives you a different perspective, and each one helps you to change your point of view.

When you run into a challenge, do you typically view them as a problem or opportunities to do something different?

Sometimes shifting your point of view makes it easier or even quicker to find a...

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Which Are You? Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose?

Although it may seem like semantics, the difference is key. When you play to win, you are willing to push yourself.

You're willing to move completely out of your comfort zone, even if you're nervous. You ask for help and trust your teammates to do their part. You have a “can do” mindset, so you are open to possibilities and solutions. You make decisions based on the belief that you will succeed, not out of fear. 

When you play not to lose, you're timid in your actions, and you're not willing to take some risks.

The fear of failure is taking up too much energy, and you may be inadvertently holding yourself back. Playing not to lose also allows that inner critic to get louder and louder and be more in control than that still knowing on the inside and trusting yourself.

But just think – whatever these big, out of your comfort zone goals are - when you show up as the leader you know you are and you’re playing to win – then when you achieve them, it...

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What's the "So What?"

What's the "so what?"

So what does that mean?

When I was in the corporate world, I led many high level visibility projects, including employee recognition events and company trade shows.

And for each of these events, I’d ask what was the “so what?”

To put it another way, if I were to tell my boss or someone who might be expected to attend this event about it, and if they answered “So what – why do I care or want to be there?” I wanted to be able to answer it.

So – what IS the so what?

It’s the why behind the event or project. It’s the reason the event or project is important to do and in some cases, the reason it is appropriate at that time.

It’s the reason why someone wants to be there – not has to because their boss is expecting them to attend. It’s the reason why one project takes priority over another project.

The “so what” answers the question “What’s in it for me?”

It’s...

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