Behaviors Feed

Me vs. Me: The Battlefield of the Mind

Have you ever felt as if you weren't normal because you seemed to fight with yourself all the time? For instance, you might battle between making a quick decision and wanting more data. Or you may be the life of the party and then later wish you hadn't been so trusting when you divulged all of those funny stories about yourself.

Worry no more about having a split personality.

There is nothing wrong with you, you just have inner or "Me-Me" conflict.

I often see conflicting behavioral and/or motivational styles on my clients' assessments and experience plenty of my own inner conflict between goal achievement (tasks) and relationship building (people).

The good news for the mindful conflicted soul is that inner conflict makes it easier to see things from a variety of perspectives.

Embrace your inner conflict as a strength that helps you adapt easier than others!

When it comes to personalities, with or without inner conflict, the most important thing is knowing ourselves inside and out so we can adapt our behavior when necessary to obtain the best outcomes. Self-knowledge is power, especially in the heat of the battle of life.

How well do you know your instinctive behavioral patterns? What are you doing with that knowledge to leverage who you are, where you are? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

If you want to learn more, a complimentary consultation might benefit either you or your team. What are you waiting for? Click the link below to schedule your consultation today.

Thoughtful Thanks Giving

Have you ever noticed how some people only give others the types of gifts they enjoy without considering what the other person might prefer? Have you ever been the recipient of that BBQ grill for Christmas when all you really wanted was a gift certificate to your favorite day spa?

Just as holiday gifts need to be personalized in order to be received with enthusiasm and genuine gratitude, so must the gift of "Thanks" for a job well done. Have you ever thought of how you liked to be thanked or complimented? What was your response when you received a compliment that struck the wrong chord with you?

The next time you thank someone for a job well done, consider first what words they'd receive as praise,  rather than what you'd want to hear. Determine their behavioral style and phrase your compliment accordingly. 

For example, following are some typical styles with suggested compliments:

  • Dominant, goal-oriented "D" - Be specific by saying "You saw what needed to be done and did it."
  • Influential, social "I" - Praise them publicly and tell them, "You're amazing!"
  • Steady, supporting "S" - Quietly let them know how you appreciate their follow-through and perseverance.
  • Compliant, analytical "C" - Reinforce how their analytical ability caused you to avoid  future complications.

How might you change the way you thank the people in your personal or professional life?

This week, I'm challenging you to sincerely compliment 5 people for something they've done for you or your organization in the way they would want to be recognized. Perhaps they might just start thanking you.

Other DISC related posts:

Leadership and DISC: Who is the Best?

DISC Styles: Are you a Tortoise or a Hare?

The Dominant Director: Tony Allessandra Video



Note: If you want to dig deeper in your understanding of how to best communicate with others so you can increase your productivity, contact me for a free consultation today.  That's what I do.

Handbook for 2010: Thoughtful Thursday

To quote a friend and one of my favorite networking gurus, "common sense is not always common practice".  We have good intentions to live our lives to the fullest, yet somehow in the day to day "fire fighting" we lose sight of our longer term goals.

Today's thoughtful Thursday comes to you in an excerpt of common sense ideas from a "Handbook for 2010", inspired from a blog post I received today from Andrea Nierenberg. Like Andrea, I aspire to live by a similar version of this "handbook", of which I'm sharing the section regarding personality today. I believe doing each of these well will increase our leadership capabilities tremendously. Take a look.  

11.    Don't compare your life to others... You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don't over do.. Keep your limits.
14.    Don't take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
15.    Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

NOTE: If you want to see the full list, click here.

Now, think about the following:

  • Which of the above do you need to focus on today?
  • What will you do today to devote more attention to it?
  • What support do you need in achieving your goal?

What would you add to this list? As always, we'd love to hear from you.  Leave your thoughts in a comment below!

Competitiveness: The Leadership Edge

Competitiveness is defined as tenacity, boldness, assertiveness and a willingness to win in all situations.  Naturally competitive people have a leadership edge in the professional world because the world is a competitive place. Those who aren't so inclined often feel left behind their more tenacious counterparts.

So are less competitive people destined to be second class leaders? Absolutely not. For the less driven at heart, competitiveness can be learned. And as with all strengths, being competitive has its drawbacks too.

We all have our issues.

I know all too well that being competitive can be both a virtue and a vice. My parents can tell you stories of my temper tantrums as a little girl when losing at miniature golf, bowling, and board games on family game night. My competitive nature has caused many a frustration in me and those around me, but it has also been the source of my greatest successes in life and in leadership.

When harnessed properly, competitiveness can result in sustained progress toward a goal. Competitive people are:

  • able to clearly see and define goals
  • instinctively appreciative of competition and the associated reward for winning
  • able to see critical path elements toward reaching goals
  • willing to learn new skills and adapt attitudes.

How competitive are you? Do you make everything a win-lose type of game or do you rarely "keep score" because it just doesn't matter? If you don't know, ask your friends about yourself.  They WILL know. Or, contact me for help with an assessment tool to help you develop that leadership edge. I love to help people win.

Tips for Developing Competitiveness

  • Define three main goals in both your personal and professional life. Plan three action steps for each goal and follow them through to completion.
  • Learn to lose. How can you acknowledge that your time to "win" is further down the road? How might this change your attitude about a current "loss"?
  • Thoughtfully answer the following: Why do I deserve success? What can I do to be more deserving of success?

Now its your turn.  Do you have anything to add to this post?  Share with us by clicking the comment link below!

Become Unnoticeable to Be Noticed

One thing I know from playing sports all of my life is that the most talented team or individual doesn't always win. Victory goes to those who play to win by using sound fundamentals, minimizing mistakes and maximizing their brains. I've won a lot of games by just playing smart. Smart leaders can win this way too.

Frequently as an entrepreneur and as a leader within several nonprofit organizations, I encounter people who run late for appointments, fail to follow through on commitments and exhibit carelessness with their written communication. Sloppiness abounds in these fundamentals and it boggles my mind how many people don't play life to win.

To further illustrate, consider a small choir ensemble. No matter how great the music selection, one off-key singer taints the whole performance and listeners leave with their only memory being how they cringed during certain moments of the song.

One bad note overshadows a potential masterpiece.

Have you ever thought about how habitually neglecting the basics affects your effectiveness?

If you want to set yourself apart as a great leader, start by avoiding the "cringe" factor. Don't let someone count you out before you get a chance to show them your skills.

Play smart.
Be on time.
Use spell check and spell people's names correctly.
Keep and remember your promises.

These are the little things anyone can do.

Excellent leaders excel in the little things and become noticed for being unnoticeable. They set themselves apart by doing the things everyone CAN do, but don't. Things like being on time, being conscientious and being trustworthy can take you far. Don't let them take you back.

What off-key notes taint your performance? What one little thing can you correct today for maximum impact? What leadership fundamentals would you add to my list? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Getting Organized

I got it all together, but I forgot where I put it. - Anonymous

Have you ever finished a massive cleaning project and then couldn't remember where you put something because it was in its place?  I hope someone can relate. There is more to getting things done than merely being efficient at getting papers off our desk and ideas out of our head.  Processing our workflow requires a good physical organization system. 
If you've been reading the last few weeks, you've been following along with me as we proceed through David Allen's "Getting Things Done" steps.  So far, we've covered the steps of
Collecting and Processing.  Now, we are ready for the step of Organizing.
Processing and organizing go hand in hand and I've found that in practice it worked for me to develop an organizational structure as a part of the initial processing process.  As I've implemented these steps on my own, I set up a working structure before processing anything and modified it as I went along.  Keep in mind that the organization step is one that can't be set up all at once and takes some experimentation.  Find what works for you. 
For everyone, however, there are  seven primary types of things that will need to be organized: 

  • A "Projects" list
  • Project support material
  • Calendared actions and information
  • "Next Actions" list
  • A "Waiting For" list
  • Reference Material
  • A "Someday/Maybe" list

All we really need is a calendar, lists, and folders...and a process to review our lists so we don't forget what is on them!  We'll discuss the review process next time.  That's when we plan how to get things done


NOTE: For more information about this process, I would be happy to consult with you.   Additionally, check out the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.

Leadership and Management: The Balancing Act

What if everyone around you thrived on creating new ideas, initiating change and forging ahead to greater heights with reckless abandon? To the contrary, what if everyone was complacent and comfortable in the status quo? Can you picture the scene?

My guess is that in the former, everyone would on the verge of cardiac arrest from the chaotic environment, while in the latter, it would be Siesta time, all the time. Neither hypothesis would be very profitable or sustainable in the long term, demonstrating that both skills of leading and managing contribute to the success of any organization.

Simply stated, if everyone leads, no one will manage. If everyone manages, no one will lead. Great leaders know when and how to lead AND manage.

Both leaders and managers are important in their own ways. Without the leadership skills of casting vision and initiating change, forward progress stalls. Without the management skills of implementation and administration, great ideas go nowhere. Great teams have a blend of all types of behavior styles, with each person operating in their strengths for the greater good of the whole.

"To lead or to manage?", that is the question. The answer is "Yes". Know the situation. Know yourself. Know your team. Balance your people knowledge with an understanding of your organizational mission and you'll have a recipe for success!

How do you balance the strengths and weakness of your team? How well do you know your own strengths and weaknesses? What one step will you take today to increase your effectiveness? Share your goals and ideas with us in a comment so we can learn from each other.

If you would like help in identifying your strengths/weakness and modifying your behavior to enhance your communication/leadership influence, coaching with some assessment tools may be for you. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation.

The Dominant Director: Tony Allessandra video

Assessments are great tools to develop self-awareness about our behavior. I love the DISC assessment for behavior analysis because each of the styles is easily recognizeable and applied into our lives once you know the DISC "language". Its great to know how to treat people how they want to be treated. 

Today I want to share a short video I found today at Roberta Hill's  Assessments Today blog. In this video, author and speaker Dr. Tony Allessandra, co-author of People Smart,  provides a glimpse into the mind of the first style in the popular DISC assessment tool, the Dominant Director (D). You will learn about their strengths, weaknesses and even see two actors playing the part of the "D". 

As you watch the video, keep in mind that a lot of us are blends of the various styles D, I, S, or C. Additionally we have all learned to adapt to our environment at various levels.That's why, as Dr. Allessandra says in this video, no two D's (or any of the other styles for that matter) behave exactly alike.

When you are finished watching, consider the following:

  • Who do I know that behaves similarly to the "D"?
  • How would a "D" want to be treated?
  • If you are a "D", what did you learn? What behavior modification would most impact your life?

Remember, all four DISC styles have their unique strengths and weaknesses. When we get to know ourselves better and recognize the behavior styles of others, we can greatly increase our effectiveness with people.

Questions or comments about what you've just learned? Please leave a comment below or contact me directly if you would like to hear more about how an assessment might benefit you!

Other DISC-related posts: 
Leadership and DISC: Who is the best?
DISC Styles: Are you the tortoise or the hare?

Making the Most of Your Strengths

All of us are known for something, whether it be for accomplishments, passions or behaviors. One commonality we all share is that most of us want to be known for our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

The tricky part is that any strength overextended becomes a weakness. For example, a dominant director could come across as bossy and egotistical. A fun-loving  communicator might also be known for being a poor listener or for disorganization. A detail-oriented analyzer could be seen as too picky or suffer from "paralysis by analysis". The easy-going stabilizer may spend so much time building consensus that nothing gets done.

For our strengths to help rather than hinder us, it is important to become intimately familiar with them. There are three keys to making the most of our strengths and maximizing our potential. We need to:

  1. Know our strengths.
  2. Recognize how others might respond to our strengths.
  3. Critique our strengths by analyzing how and when they get overextended and manifest as weaknesses.

How familiar are you with your strengths and their impact on others? How do you get "overextended"? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment so others can learn from you. Self-knowledge is foundational for becoming a person of influence. Get to know yourself better today for a more successful tomorrow.

Coach's Challenge: Make a list of your strengths this week and after each label, identify how the attribute might be perceived in a negative light. What do you need to change?

If you would like help in identifying your strengths/weakness and modifying your behavior to enhance your communication/leadership influence, coaching with some assessment tools may be for you. Contact Janna Rust at [email protected] for more information.

The Challenge of Change

How many times have you tried to change a habit, only to fall off the “wagon” and revert back to your old ways? If you are like me, you can’t precisely answer this question because you’ve done it too many times to count.

Practically speaking, can a person really form a new habit in only 21 days as we’ve heard from self-help gurus galore? Habits are the routines of life, those things that we do without thinking. In many cases, habits are those things we have done all of our lives. Lasting change requires time, focus and motivation to overcome life long patterns.

As managers and leaders we need to remember that behavior change takes time when we expect change from ourselves or those we lead.  Ask any leadership coach you know and they will tell you that it can sometimes take many months for their clients to truly implement permanent change into their lives.  While not impossible, change is difficult in our fast-paced culture.

What one thing needs to change in your environment or in you? When you decide what one thing that is, find someone to hold you accountable for the change, be patient with yourselves and others and be sure to connect well with what motivates you.  Change is challenging, but possible, even if it might take more than 21 days!

In what ways have you been the most successful with behavior change? What is your experience with those you coach or lead?  Please share your thoughts or tips in a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!