Knowing Ourselves: November Leadership Challenge
Knowing ourselves isn’t just something we do once in our lives when we’re young and then leave it at that. As we get older we learn and grow. Our priorities change and shift over time. That doesn’t mean that we are abandoning our values or what we believe in. It’s just a natural part of life that comes with experience. Because of this, we need to recognize that there is no finish line that we cross at some point where we “know ourselves.” Every so often we should engage in some self-reflection to stay connected with ourselves as a whole and complete person.

Knowing Ourselves: November Leadership Challenge

It’s November which means that my birthday is coming up and I’m starting to think about who I am, where I’ve been and where I want to go to. Over my career in the Air Force I was often reminded that one of the most important things we need to know about leadership is knowing ourselves. This is often easier said than done. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea of who others want us to be or who we feel we should be instead of getting to know who we really are as individuals.

Knowing ourselves isn’t just something we do once in our lives when we’re young and then leave it at that. As we get older we learn and grow. Our priorities change and shift over time. That doesn’t mean that we are abandoning our values or what we believe in. It’s just a natural part of life that comes with experience. Because of this, we need to recognize that there is no finish line that we cross at some point where we “know ourselves.” Every so often we should engage in some self-reflection to stay connected with ourselves as a whole and complete person.

Knowing Ourselves – November Challenge

That’s what November’s Leadership Challenge is all about. We’re going to ask you to reconnect with yourself and dig into a few questions to really get to know you. To get started, find a quiet place where you can be alone without any distractions or influence from anyone else. This should also be a place where you feel comfortable being yourself. if you feel like the expectations of others at work or at home might impact the outcome of this exercise, maybe find a place outside where you can be comfortable with your thoughts. For this exercise we’re going to ask you to answer three big questions about yourself.

Knowing Ourselves – Who Am I?

The first question I’d like you to think about is “Who Am I?” People have been asking themselves this question since the beginning of time. It’s not an easy one to answer, but here are some smaller questions to get you started. What do I like about myself? What am I really great at? What are the areas I would like to improve for myself, not for others? When I think of my highest self, what am I like? Write the answers to these questions down in your leader’s journal.

Knowing Ourselves – What Do I Believe?

Human beings have asked for millennia “What do I believe in?” This is a question that only you can answer for yourself. Despite the expectations of others, your beliefs are your own. While others can influence what we think we believe, we often know when an idea doesn’t align with our own core beliefs. Ignoring this misalignment can often cause conflict within ourselves and with others.

This is another huge concept. Ask yourself these questions to get started. How do I view the world and my relationship with it? Do I see it as mostly a good place, a bad place, or a neutral place? How do I fit in with my family, my friends and my community? How do I approach my interactions with those people and the universe? What values or beliefs come to mind as I think about how I fulfill my role? How do I want to represent myself to others and the universe? Make sure you capture these beliefs in your journal as well.

Knowing Ourselves – What Do I Want?

Our last question is a little more tangible and easier to answer. “What do I want?” Although your answer may be different after going through the first two questions than if we had asked you this one first. So what is it that you want? Are you looking for a fulfilling career? Do you want a caring and supportive family? Maybe you want to be active in your community or a leader in your industry? Do you want to start your own business and take an entrepreneurial journey? Is there a cause or group of people you’d really like to help? Are there parts of the world that you want to see in your lifetime?

Don’t think of these in terms of setting goals and building action steps to get there, just think of them as things that you would like to do just because you want to. Write all of this down in your journal and think about how all three of these questions help you get an idea of who you are as a human being.

Knowing Ourselves – Going Forward

There are no wrong answers to any of these questions as long as we’re honest with ourselves when we’re answering them. This is pretty deep stuff and sometimes it’s hard for us to face up to it when we first think about it. If you find that you’re not really able to answer these questions right away, don’t worry about it. Put it aside and come back to it later. As I mentioned, these are ideas that we all have to come back to now and then so it’s okay if you didn’t answer all of life’s questions in this one exercise. What’s important to take home from this is that we should make some time to connect with ourselves and understand who we truly are as individuals without the pressure and noise of the expectations of others.

The last fear that we're going to cover is the fear of saying no. I hate to tell people no, but sometimes we have to in order to get the best outcome.

Saying No: Facing Fear

All through October we’ve been talking about the things that frighten us and how to face them. The last common fear that we’re going to cover is the fear of saying no. We all have it. This is one that I have a particularly hard time with. I hate to tell people no, but sometimes we have to in order to get the best outcome.

Why is it so hard for us to say no to people? Often we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or we’re afraid they won’t like us anymore. Saying no to our boss comes with some concern about how it will affect our career. The likelihood that someone will stop being our friend just because we said no to them is actually pretty small. Our real friends will understand if we can’t say yes to what they’re asking for. When we explain our reasons, they’re usually pretty cool with it.

As human beings we have empathy for those around us and we don’t want to hurt others feelings. We should consider though, will we be hurting that person more if we DON’T say no in this case? And when it comes to saying no to our boss, we could actually be hurting our company, department or our boss even more by holding back.

Saying No Scenario #1 – Peers

Have you ever had one of your peers ask, “Do you think this is a good idea?” Sometimes it’s not a good idea. The extreme cases are actually a little easier. “I’m going to stand in a bucket of water and hold on to these electric cables, do you think that’s a good idea?” That’s pretty easy to say no to. When the request is a little more nuanced it can be difficult to say no to our peers. We want them to like us. We want them to think we’re a team player and we want them to like us! How do we say no when our teammate has an idea that is not in the best interest of the team?

One way is to look back at our mission. Does this idea fit into that mission? Is it in the best interest of the team, the customer or the people we’re trying to serve? If the answer is no, that can be the basis for how to say no. You don’t have to limit yourself to just saying no. Thoughtful feedback to your coworker can get their idea more aligned with team goals.

Saying No Scenario #2 – As a Leader

Saying no if you’re the boss can be harder than it looks. Especially if you used to be on the team and then were promoted to being the boss. Looking  someone you used to work with in the eye and telling them what to do can be challenging.  Sometimes the people on your team will take actions or have ideas that you need to say no to. Just like with our peers, keeping the mission and best interest of the team in mind will help. Avoid being arbitrary about whose ideas you listen to and whose you reject. We want to evaluate suggestions and solutions based on merit, not on who brings them forward.

Sometimes you have access to information about the big picture that you should take into account when making your decisions. You may or may not choose to share this information depending on the situation. Don’t forget that one of our duties as a leader is to develop our team, so when you have to say no, keep giving that feedback on how that individual can make their idea or suggestion better so you can say yes in the future.

Saying No Scenario #3 – To our Boss

If saying no to our peers and our team is hard, saying no to our boss can be downright impossible. We owe it to our boss to ensure they have complete information or understanding of the impacts of a decision. We can ask, is this in alignment with our mission and in the best interest of the team? A lot of times the answer is maybe. Sometimes we have to pick our battles. If the decision won’t cause catastrophic failure or isn’t a clear violation of laws or regulations, maybe we let it go. If there will be a serious breakdown in accomplishing the mission or a clear conflict of our organizational core values, it’s time to speak up.

A technique that we’ve talked about before is the one challenge rule. The boss makes a decision, you speak up once to make sure that the boss has all the information. If the boss decides to go forward anyway, you said your peace and aired your objection. This may not result in the decision you wanted, but at least you tried to help your boss and your team accomplish their mission.

Saying No with Dignity and Respect

These are just a few examples of times you might need to say no to someone, but the principles are the same. When we do say no to someone, whether it is our peers, our team or our boss, we always want to do it with respect and dignity. Coming from a place of fear or anger can distort our message and break down relationships instead of making them stronger. We should always strive to build better connections with the people, even if it means telling them no.

Halloween is a fun time for dressing up and getting scared. When it comes to our professional lives, our fears can hold us back from living to our full potential. One of the most common fears that limits us is fear of failing. New responsibilities or opportunities that take us out of our comfort zone are a little frightening. Just like the other things that scare us, the actual failure isn’t as important as how we react to it.

Failure: Facing Fear

Halloween is a fun time for dressing up and getting scared. When it comes to our professional lives, our fears can hold us back from living to our full potential. One of the most common fears that limits us is fear of failing. New responsibilities or opportunities that take us out of our comfort zone are a little frightening. Just like the other things that scare us, the actual failure isn’t as important as how we react to it.

We avoid trying something new because we are afraid we won’t be good at it right away. We often emphasize “getting it right the first time” or “if we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it right”. There are times that’s important, but to grow we have to be willing to make mistakes. Also, like many of our fears, we have bad experiences in our past that we don’t want to repeat. Negative motivation is much stronger in our brains than positive motivation.

Failure Tip #1: It’s Probably not that Bad

The most important thing to remember when we don’t get the outcome that we were looking for is that in the grand scheme of things it’s probably just not that bad. If no one is dead and no one is physically injured, we’re probably all going to be okay. There are very few individual mistakes that can result in complete failure of our company or losing our jobs. It’s important to assess what the real impact of the failure is without exaggerating it or following it down a rabbit hole to an extreme worst case scenario. I’m not saying we should sugar coat whatever it is that went wrong, just avoid letting our brains spiral out of control on all of the negative possibilities that could occur in the future. We want to recognize what happened, correct it if possible and move on without dwelling on negative feelings.

Failure Tip #2: It’s an Opportunity to Learn

Failure is a great teacher. While we don’t want to dwell on the feeling of failure, or treat ourselves like we’re a bad person because we failed, there are many things that we can learn from NOT getting the things we went after. Some of the questions we can ask ourselves are:

  • What really caused the failure? Was it one thing or a combination?
  • Did we make assumptions that later turned out not to be true?
  • Did we have a good understanding of the environment and circumstances around us in regard to this situation?
  • Did we underestimate the impact our decision would have on others?
  • Did we underestimate the amount of resources we needed?
  • Were we too aggressive on our timeline?
  • Did we utilize all of the members of our team?
  • Were our expectations too high?

We can ask a lot of other questions to assess why we didn’t get the outcome we wanted. Remember, we are asking these questions to see what lessons we can apply to our next endeavor without judging ourselves. We may learn some things about ourselves that we didn’t expect and find some areas for personal development out of this process, but we shouldn’t cast ourselves as a bad person or a failure because we could have done some things better.

Failure Tip #3: Look Forward, not Backward

After a little self-reflection on what happened, it’s time for us to look to the future. If we have an opportunity to try again, let’s apply what we learned to do it successfully this time. If we found some things  improve, let’s pull out our leadership development plans and update them. Write some new short-term goals and action steps to address those areas. If there’s no chance to recover, it’s time to find a new project to put our time and energy into.

Failure: Next Steps

Nobody likes to fail, nobody. And we’ve all had our share of failures so no one is alone. We don’t want to let our failures prevent us from trying again to do some good in the world. As leaders, we also want to encourage others around us to do the same. When we don’t achieve the outcomes we desire, it helps to remind ourselves that, while disappointing, the situation is probably not all that bad. It never feels good to fail, but we don’t want to dwell on that feeling. We want to honestly evaluate the causes and do better in our next project. Failure frees us to move on to something new that might turn out even better than what we originally tried to do. Now that this endeavor is over, where would we like to spend our time next? Find a new challenge and take it on!

In this workshop, you will learn how to approach self, career, relationships and resources in a holistic way to enhance ALL of the aspects of your life. We will teach you how to leave behind the old attitudes and limiting self-talk that keep you from having what you really want in life.

Level Up Las Vegas! Workshop

Do you feel like there is something bigger for you?

Are you looking to live a full, vibrant life and you know that there is something holding you back?

Are stuck in a box with a certain aspect of your life and need to break out?

You have what it takes!  Sometimes all you need is someone to help show you how to do it.

In this workshop, you will learn how to approach self, career, relationships and resources in a holistic way to enhance ALL of the aspects of your life.  We will teach you how to leave behind the old attitudes and limiting self-talk that keep you from having what you really want in life.

JOIN US November 12th for a day of powerful PERSONAL DISCOVERY that will set you on the path to life you’ve always dreamed of!!

This event is an incredible value to spend an entire day with three experienced coaches for just $299. Sign up by October 31st and receive a $50 early bird discount on your admission.

Purchase tickets on EventBrite at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/level-up-las-vegas-tickets-28567710792.

Attendance is limited to 30 participants so sign up now!

Our three coaches for this event, Jason, Lisa and Robyn have made their own journeys by breaking through career, personal and financial obstacles and are dedicated to helping others live extraordinary lives.

If you have any questions, or are wondering if this workshop is right for you, feel free to schedule a 15 minute session with one of our coaches using the links below.

Meet the Level Up Las Vegas! Coaches:

Jason LeDuc is the Founder of Evil Genius Leadership Consultants and served proudly for two decades in the United States Air Force. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2015. As an instructor at the Air War College Distance Learning Program he prepared 7000+ students to accept strategic leadership positions.

Jason LeDuc – Leadership Coach, Evil Genius Leadership Consultants

Jason LeDuc is the Founder of Evil Genius Leadership Consultants and served proudly for two decades in the United States Air Force. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2015. As an instructor at the Air War College Distance Learning Program he prepared 7000+ students to accept strategic leadership positions.

Schedule an appointment with Jason at: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=12838254

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Chastain has spent over fifteen years advising and coaching people from all walks of life. Her current life passion is teaching others to create abundance in their life by taking control of their financial lives. Lisa has helped hundreds of people find purpose, passion and take control of their own destinies. She is the co-creator of Level Up and will be a co-facilitator as well. You can learn more about Lisa at www.linkedin.com/in/lisachastain.

Lisa Chastain – Lisa Chastain Coaching

Lisa Chastain has spent over fifteen years advising and coaching people from all walks of life.  Her current life passion is teaching others to create abundance in their life by taking control of their financial lives.  Lisa has helped hundreds of people find purpose, passion and take control of their own destinies.  She is the co-creator of Level Up and will be a co-facilitator as well.  You can learn more about Lisa at www.linkedin.com/in/lisachastain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn Eckersley coaches clients around the country to build legacies of compassion and philanthropic impact. She loves working with motivated Changemakers who are ready to take on the challenge of making this world a better place! You can learn more about Robyn at www.robyn.coach. Robyn Eckersley – Robyn Eckersley Coaching

Robyn Eckersley coaches clients around the country to build legacies of compassion and philanthropic impact. She works with motivated Changemakers to take on the challenge of making this world a better place! Learn more about Robyn at www.robyn.coach.

Schedule an appointment with Robyn at: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=12337521&appointmentType=2016960

Halloween is getting close and we’ve been exploring the things that scare us and trying to understand them. For some of us, going out and meeting new people can be really frightening.

Meeting New People: Facing Fear

Halloween is getting close and we’ve been exploring the things that scare us and trying to understand them. For some of us, going out and meeting new people can be really frightening. We get nervous and anxious just thinking about it. We might even start to shake or sweat when we are standing in front of that new person.

Just like we talked about with public speaking, there are very real reasons we get anxious about meeting new people. Primarily, it’s important to remember that our human brains are wired for survival, not friendliness and in ancient times a stranger coming into our village could mean danger. Our ancestors wouldn’t have lasted long if they automatically completely trusted every new person they ran across. Sometimes we feel like we might be bothering or annoying someone if we go up and introduce ourselves to them. Also, we’ve all had some bad experiences that stick in our mind and make us nervous about approaching people. The good news is, that we aren’t stuck with these feelings and behaviors. Once we understand them, we can accept them and use that knowledge to help us reach out to new people.

Meeting New People Tip #1: Other People Like Meeting You!

Our parents have all warned us about stranger danger. That’s a very safe and prudent attitude to take in the right situations. There are times when it just doesn’t make sense for us to start a conversation with someone new. The flip-side is that there are definitely times when it’s appropriate for us to say hello and make a new friend. It’s all about doing it in the right environment. Work functions, networking events or even a friend’s dinner party are all safe environments to reach out to new people. Even though you don’t personally know everyone there, they’ve all been vetted to some degree by the host. You shouldn’t have to worry about protecting yourself from physical danger. You’ll still feel a some anxiety that comes from millennia of human evolution, but you can work with it. Recognize it, accept it and tell yourself it’s okay to feel that way. You’re in a safe environment where everyone came to connect and share with other people. This technique won’t remove all of your nervousness, but you can practice it to make meeting new people easier.

Meeting New People Tip #2: You’re Not Bothering Anyone!

Some of us feel like we might be bothering or annoying someone if we just walk up to them and start talking. I can tell you that this is something that holds me back from introducing myself sometimes. There are a few tips we can use to help keep this fear from holding us back. First, at social events, most people have a purpose of meeting others just by being at the event. In a public place, like a coffee shop or library, most people expect at least some interaction with others. They will probably not tear your head off if you speak to them. In either case, we shouldn’t plan any specific expectation in mind other than politely introducing ourselves. It would be nice to get to know more about them, but it’s important to read the situation. If we are respectful and open when we introduce ourselves and they are too busy to talk, they will most likely very politely tell us just that. That’s a great cue to thank them for their time and walk away. If they have time to chat, even better. Again it’s important to read the situation, and that can be difficult at first. With experience and practice we can learn to read the verbal and non-verbal cues that tell us it’s time to politely exit.

Meeting New People Tip #3: Forget Those Bad Experiences!

Like many areas of life, we’ve all had bad experiences when introducing ourselves to other people. It’s unavoidable and it’s hard to let go of the memories. If these experiences didn’t bother us, we wouldn’t be human. The experience is not as important as our reaction to it and what we learn from it. When we feel these bad situations creeping up in our memory and giving us doubts, we can do a few things to keep us from retreating into our shell. First, tell yourself it’s okay to feel this way. Don’t worry about why you feel this way or if you should feel this way, just accept that you do. Now ask yourself, what did you learn from that experience and can it help you with what you’re about to do right now. If the answer is yes, is there a way to apply it to your next introduction. If the answer is no, give yourself some credit for doing some self-reflection and remind yourself that everyone is different. The person you are about to introduce yourself to is a completely different being than the one you had the bad experience with. There is no reason to expect that this interaction will turn out exactly the same way things have happened in the past. This is a new, unique situation. Don’t take away the chance of letting that new person get to know you because someone wasn’t so nice in the past.

Meeting New People: Going Forward

There are folks who are completely at ease meeting new people and then there’s the rest of us who get a little nervous about it. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with us or that it’s anything we should be ashamed of, it just means we need to accept that about ourselves and use the tools we have to help ourselves out. Human beings are social creatures and find relationships with others very rewarding on many levels and there are a lot of people out there who would love to get to know us. Understanding what makes us nervous about meeting new people leads us to clear actions that can help us take those first steps to introducing ourselves to someone new and starting a great new friendship.

One thing that absolutely terrifies most people is getting up in front of a group and speaking. I’ve heard that many people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. If that’s the case for you, we have some tips today to help you out.

Public Speaking: Overcoming Our Fears

It’s almost Halloween and all this month we’re talking about things that scare us. One thing that absolutely terrifies most people is getting up in front of a group and speaking. I’ve heard that many people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. If that’s the case for you, we have some tips today to help you out.

There are a lot of reasons we get nervous about speaking in front of a group. First, It’s hard for us as human beings to single ourselves out and face a group alone. It can feel really lonely when you’re up on that stage without anyone else next to you. It often feels like we don’t belong on stage, or we don’t have enough expertise in what we’re speaking about. We think no one wants to hear what we have to say or that they’ll make fun of us. Many of us have had bad experiences and are afraid we might forget everything, say the wrong thing or just mess up really bad.

All of these feelings are perfectly natural. Even people who have a lot of experience with public speaking feel this way sometimes. If you are terrified of getting up on stage to talk, we can work with these feelings. We can use them to prepare ourselves to get our message across to our audience. Keep in mind that public speaking is about communicating and that your message is important to others.

Public Speaking Fear #1: I don’t belong on this stage

Let’s start with the idea that we don’t belong up on stage or telling other people what to do. When we feel this way, we need to ask ourselves, why am I giving this speech? Did someone ask me to do it and why did they ask me to do it? If your boss asked you to speak, it’s because they believe you have insight to share. They believe in you and you’re not on stage with no support. If you decided to give this speech, consider your original motivations and intentions about why you wanted to do it. Is there information you feel like you need to share? Do you have unique expertise that can help the group solve a problem? Keep that reason in mind through all of your preparation right up to the moment you start talking.

Public Speaking Fear #2: I’m Not an Expert

It’s easy to feel like we’re not enough of an expert to speak publicly, but we don’t have to be. When we’re getting ready to speak it’s helpful to remember that we are sharing not just what we know. We share our perspective, opinion and recommendation on a topic. It’s very similar to sharing what we think with our friends or coworkers on the subject. If we’re worried we will get asked a tough question, we can always do more research and preparation. In fact, we should be doing research, even if we have extensive knowledge on the topic. Understanding the views of others, confirming facts and how they support our position is great preparation.

Public Speaking Fear #3: I’ve Had Bad Experiences

Bad experiences can make us more reluctant to speak in public. We remember when we forgot what we were going to say, dropped our notes all over the floor and people laughed, or that time we completely got off track. These things happen to even the most polished speakers. but we can learn from these experiences to improve. Practicing our speech keeps us from getting off track or forgetting what we wanted to say. If we practice enough, we probably won’t need notes, so we won’t drop them. Use your phone to video your practice and you’ll get a good idea of how you look while speaking. It will probably be uncomfortable to watch. I hated watching myself when I first started making videos, but you’ll get more comfortable with it over time. You can also enlist coworkers or friends to watch you practice and get helpful feedback that will improve your speech.

Public Speaking: Next Steps

We really just scratched the surface today and you may be saying “I’m still not ready to speak in front of a group!” and that’s okay. These are very natural feelings, it’s important that we don’t ignore them or try to push through them, but that we understand and embrace them to help us improve. Remembering that we have an important message to share as well as the expertise to convey that message will help us feel like we belong on that stage. Doing research and preparing ourselves for tough questions from others will give us confidence in that message. There’s no substitute for practice to help us build good habits that will help our audience stay focused on our message. Try these three tips before you give your next speech in front of a group and let us know how it goes for you!

Halloween is coming up and this month at Evil Genus Leadership we’re exploring things that we are a little afraid of and how those fears might be holding us back from achieving the awesome goals that we have set for ourselves. We’re all afraid of something, if we weren’t we wouldn’t be human. It’s important that we recognize what scares us and have a healthy relationship with it. Avoiding our fears and scary situations can make us miss out on great opportunities and experiences. By trying to protect ourselves from being hurt or embarrassed, we can actually be holding ourselves back. In our challenge this month, we’ll be asking you to embrace and understand what scares you so that you can start to develop a healthy relationship with it and make it a little less scary.

What Scares You? Take Our October Challenge

Halloween is coming up and this month at Evil Genus Leadership we’re exploring things that we are a little afraid of and how those fears might be holding us back from achieving the awesome goals that we have set for ourselves. We’re all afraid of something, if we weren’t we wouldn’t be human. It’s important that we recognize what scares us and have a healthy relationship with it. Avoiding our fears and scary situations can make us miss out on great opportunities and experiences. By trying to protect ourselves from being hurt or embarrassed, we can actually be holding ourselves back. In our challenge this month, we’ll be asking you to embrace and understand what scares you so that you can start to develop a healthy relationship with it and make it a little less scary.

What Scares You? The Challenge

This challenge is going to take a little bit of self-reflection and some personal exploration. As a result, you may face a little resistance from ego in this exercise, so make sure you block out a good bit of time to do it, maybe like 20 or 30 minutes. If feel like you have more to do after the first session, you can always go back and dig a little deeper later on.

Find yourself a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and make sure you have something to write with. I suggest a notebook or pad and paper because I think you’ll feel more connected if you hand write it, but if using a computer, tablet or phone works for you, go ahead and use that.

Get settled in and think about something that scares you. Is it public speaking? That’s a big fear for a lot of people, so you’re not alone. Is it meeting new people or telling others some bad news. We’ll be talking about ways to deal with all of these situations this month. Don’t worry about how to deal with these fears. Today we just want to identify what you’re afraid of. The second part of the exercise is to write down what it is that scares you about doing that activity.

If you’re afraid of public speaking, maybe you’re afraid that you’ll mess up and people will laugh at you? Maybe you’re afraid that you’ll forget everything you’re trying to say? Or maybe you’re afraid that people just don’t care what you have to say? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have these fear. I’m asking you to do is take some time and write down everything you can think of that scares you about your personal fear. Try not to have any judgement of what others might think or if you should or shouldn’t be afraid of it. Just get it all down on paper.

Embracing What Scares You

The goal here is to get you to recognize that there are things that scare you and exploring what scares you about it. In order to start having a healthy relationship with our fears, we need to recognize them and accept them. Later on we’ll talk about how to become more comfortable with what scares us and use it to our advantage. For now, congratulate yourself for being honest about what scares you and not judging yourself. Most of all, pat yourself on the back for getting to know yourself a little better.

One of our most important job as leaders is to train and educate the members of our team. This is challenging because everyone learns differently. Today we’re going to talk about the seven different learning styles and how you can apply your understanding of them to help your team grow to their full potential.

Learning Styles and How They Affect Your Team

One of our most important job as leaders is to train and educate the members of our team. This is challenging because everyone learns differently. Today we’re going to talk about the seven different learning styles and how you can apply your understanding of them to help your team grow to their full potential.

The Seven Learning Styles

The first of the seven learning styles is visual learning. Visual learners have a preference for using images, pictures, colors, and maps to organize information and communicate with others. They love to use whiteboards or other tools that let them explore their thoughts visually. You will hear them say things like, “Let’s look at it differently, I can’t quite picture it or Let’s draw a diagram or map.” Ways you can help visual learners are by Using color, layout, and spatial organization when talking with them, and using ‘visual words’ like see, picture, perspective, visual, and map.

Aural learners like to work with sound and music and have a good sense of pitch and rhythm. This can be helpful because music evokes strong emotions and aural learners can be tuned into the emotions of others. Aural learners often say things like “That sounds about right, That rings a bell or That’s music to my ears.” You can help aural learners by using sound, rhyme, and music when training them, Using sound recordings to provide a background and help them visualize and when creating mnemonics or acrostics, make the most of rhythm and rhyme, or set them to a jingle or part of a song.

Verbal learners find it easy to express themselves, both in writing and verbally. They enjoy playing on the meaning or sound of words, such as in tongue twisters, rhymes, limericks and the like. They know the meaning of many words, and regularly make an effort to find the meaning of new words. Phrases that verbal learners often say are, “Tell me word for word, The word you’re looking for is and Let me spell it out for you.” To reach verbal learners effectively, incorporate more speaking and writing in techniques. Encourage them to talk themselves through procedures or use recordings of content for repetition. Use rhyme and rhythm in your assertions where you can, and be sure to read important ones aloud. Mnemonics, acronyms and Scripting are powerful tools for verbal learners.

Physical learners use their body and sense of touch to learn about the world. They like sports and exercise, and other physical activities such as gardening or woodworking. Physical learners typically use larger hand gestures and other body language to communicate. They might use phrases like, “That feels right to me, That doesn’t sit right with me or My gut is telling me’”. To reach physical learners, Use physical objects as much as possible and Use role-playing to practice skills and behaviors.

Logical learners like using their brain for logical and mathematical reasoning. They recognize patterns easily, as well as connections between seemingly meaningless content. Logical learners typically work through problems and issues in a systematic way, and like to create procedures for future use. You might hear a logical learner say, “That’s logical, Follow the process, or There’s no pattern to this”. You can help logical learners by understanding the links between parts of a system.

Social Learners typically prefer learning in groups or to spend one-on-one time with a teacher. They heighten learning by bouncing thoughts off other people and listening to how they respond. Social learners often say things like, “Let’s work together on this.” “Let’s pull some people together to discuss.” Or, “Let’s explore our options.” Leaders can help these people learn by letting them work with others. Using tools like role-playing, mind maps and system diagrams are also useful.

Solitary learners prefer to work on problems by retreating to somewhere quiet and working through possible solutions. Sometimes they spend too much time trying to solve a problem by themselves when they could be more successful by talking to others. Solitary learners often say things like, “I’d like some time to think it over.” Or, “I’ll get back to you on that.”  You can help solitary learners by helping them set clear goals and objectives. Help guide them to align those goals with their values and personal beliefs.

Applying Learning Styles

A potential pitfall is making judgements about people based on their learning styles. It’s important not to assume that someone won’t be good at a certain task solely because of their learning style. We shouldn’t assume someone won’t be good at creating visuals for a presentation because they aren’t a visual learner. It is also dangerous to let others use their learning style as a crutch to avoid new situations. “I can’t take notes because I’m not verbal learner,” is not a true application of these learning styles.

The reality is that most people use a combination of the learning styles. Combining elements of each style can be helpful when working with a group of people. Pay attention to the styles that others use and to incorporate appropriate elements of those styles to communicate effectively. We got our information for this post from Learning Styles Online. Go check them out if you’d like to learn more. You can even take an assessment on their site to figure out what your own learning style is.

Doing our homework is indispensable to becoming great leaders. There’s no substitute for taking the time to learn as much as we can about the situation and the people involved before we make a decision.

Homework – 3 Assignments All Great Leaders Do!

All of our lives we were told how important it is to do our homework. Sometimes it was unpleasant, sometimes there was too much of it and almost always we wanted to be doing something else. What we didn’t realize at the time is that all of those teachers, parents and other people were trying to help us develop a valuable skill in life. Nothing shows you care more than helping people you care about become successful!

Doing our homework is indispensable to becoming great leaders. There’s no substitute for taking the time to learn as much as we can about the situation and the people involved before we make a decision. Often though, we face urgent situations where we don’t have the time to do all of the research we would like to. That’s why it pays to do our homework ahead of time. Today we’ll talk about 3 ways you can prepare ahead of time so that you don’t get caught without the knowledge you need.

Homework Assignment #1 – Get to Know People

First, get to know the people you work with and those who work for you. Also, get to know your boss and the other people you work for. Who are they are as people? What do they enjoy? What stresses them out? How do they communicate with others? What’s the best way to reach them if you have to communicate with them? Also learn what are they responsible for and how it contributes to the mission of the team. How does it fit in with what you do? What are the challenges they face in the workplace? Are there ways you can help them overcome those challenges?

Homework Assignment #2 – Build a Reading List

The second thing you can do is start a reading list. A lot of research has been performed on leadership, management and relationships in the workplace. Find a few topics you’re interested in and make a list of books on those subjects. Try to branch out away from books that are specific about your industry, business, or leadership methods. Take the opportunity to learn about some of the great leaders throughout history. The specific challenges these leaders faced may not be directly applicable today, but many of their leadership lessons are timeless. Also, make some time for books you enjoy. Reading a great novel may not give us solutions to the problems we face in the workplace, but we can relax our brains and foster some creative thought.

Homework Assignment #3 – Stay Current

Finally, we should keep up with the trends in our industries. Understanding ideas that others in our business are pursuing shows where our industry is headed.  This leads to innovative ideas that make our company or team more competitive. Reading trade publications, attending conferences and trade shows or even just networking with others can give us insight into what the future holds. It takes a long time to develop the experience and judgment that help us decipher trends, so the sooner we start paying attention to them, the more useful that information will be to us.

Homework isn’t just for school. To be the kind of truly great leaders we want to be, we need to do our homework every day. Study and preparation helps us understand the people around us. We also benefit from the timeless lessons that great leaders from the past have taught us and understand the direction the world is headed in. Doing these “homework assignments” regularly helps us make informed, educated decisions that provide great outcomes for our teams and our businesses!

Great leadership is a discipline that requires lifelong study and self-reflection. There are a lot of leadership concepts to explore and it's hard to decide what to study next. Today we’re going to help you build the outline of a Leadership Development Plan. This plan will be your roadmap that guides you through developing your skills and leadership style.

Leadership Development Plan – Why You Need One!

Great leadership is a discipline that requires lifelong study and self-reflection. There are a lot of leadership concepts to explore and it’s hard to decide what to study next. Today we’re going to help you build the outline of a Leadership Development Plan. This plan will be your roadmap that guides you through developing your skills and leadership style.

The Leadership Development Plan highlights the kind of leader you want to be and assesses how you’re doing on that path. It also documents concrete action steps you are going to take to get there and when. We’re going to draw on some of the work we’ve done in other posts, so if you’d like to check them out before going forward you can find them below.

Building Your Leadership Development Plan

First, break your goals down into near, mid and long-term time frames. I like to use the time frames of right now to 2 years from now as short-term, 2 to 5 years as mid-term and 5 to 10 years as long-term, but you can choose whatever time frames suit you best. Include your personal goals on this plan as well. Including goals you have about family, community or even great life experiences will help get your whole life organized.

Next, we have to determine the traits and skills we’ll need to have to make those goals a reality.  Some of the skills we need for long-term goals may also be beneficial in our near and mid-term goals as well so we should list them accordingly. Fill in the traits and skills you feel you need to achieve every goal in all 3 categories.

Self-Assessment and Action Steps

Now comes the really tough part, doing honest self assessment about the traits and skills we feel like we need to have to achieve our goals. Sometimes we are too hard or too soft on ourselves when it comes to these kinds of assessments. If you have a hard time objectively assessing the areas that you’re really great in and the areas you could use some work in, ask a friend or trusted colleague to give you their opinion.

Once you have a good idea of the traits and skills you need to work on, we need to write down concrete steps we can take to build them. Keep adding specific action steps for every area you feel like you need to work on. Don’t forget to include dates that you want to complete these steps by.

Now you should have a few pages worth of well-defined actions you can take that will build on each other to get you all the skills and experience you need to achieve your goals and become the kind of leader you want to be.

Using Your Roadmap

Treat you Leadership Development Plan as a roadmap, rather than a strict list to do in an exact order. If you want to learn one of the skills in your plan a little earlier than you planned, go ahead and do it. Just like you can change the order of destinations on a road trip, you can adjust your plan. Also, don’t be afraid to take a detour off your original roadmap if an interesting opportunity comes up. Add that new destination to your map and broaden your horizons!

Links:
http://evilgeniusleadership.com/authenticity-core-values/

http://evilgeniusleadership.com/core-values-4-steps-to-unlock-your-authenticity/

http://evilgeniusleadership.com/leadership-traits/

http://evilgeniusleadership.com/leadership-style-tips-for-developing-your-key-leadership-traits/

Leadership Skills – How to Assess and Build Them

http://evilgeniusleadership.com/developing-skills-5-ways-you-can-level-up/

Setting Effective Goals

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