Building Self Confidence Blog
24Mar/140

Have You Tried this Conflict Tip? Confidence Tips #59

Success for ManagersIf you’re wondering why this tip has arrived early this week, it’s because the early bird rate on my Difficult Conversations Workshop runs out today. I wanted you to have time to grab it.

Conflict in life is inevitable, just because of the way we’re wired to have very different perspectives from each other.

But…that’s not the same as saying that arguments, fighting, sulking etc. are inevitable.

If you hate or avoid conflict, this week’s tip is a great one for you.

One of the reasons we get into arguments is that, We judge ourselves by our intentions – and others by their actions” as Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said.

Put another way…in a conflict, we know what our motives are – we’re usually motivated by the best of intentions and so we assume we’re the ‘Good Guy’.

But…we only experience the impact of the other person’s behaviour on us and we have to make guesses about their intentions.

Unfortunately, if what they say and do has a negative impact on us, we assume their motives were selfish, unethical or nasty. They all too easily become the ‘Bad Guy’ when they may actually be suffering from tunnel vision or lack of skill.

When we treat those ‘Bad Guy’ assumptions as if they are true we tend to judge, criticise and blame. Before we know it, they’ve reacted to our judgements, body language and tone. Then, neither side feels heard or understood and we’re into a full scale battle called ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’.

So what’s the answer?

One answer is to ask questions that help you discover their intention. When you catch yourself making negative judgements about what a person said or did, find out what their intention was before taking any action or making any more assumptions.

If you’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked or if you’d like to find out more about how to transform difficult work relationships into effective and fulfilling ones, here’s an option:

How to Deal With Difficult Conversations and Behaviour Assertively Workshop March 27th 2014, Cambridge, 8.45 – 12.30

Are you:

  • Avoiding talking about a difficult subject that needs to be aired at work?
  • Or maybe you have employees and team members who are difficult to manage?

Then this half-day workshop for managers, owner managers and aspiring managers about how  to remain assertive and in control of difficult people situations is for you. Click here for more details

“One of the most powerful lessons I learnt, is how to deal with difficult people – an invaluable seminar run by Madeleine. This was thought provoking, structured and fun!”

Aegean Thomson, Business Owner

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWarm wishes

Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ listed below.

 

Useful Links

 

Quote of the Week

“Understanding and Love are interdependent. Love is made of Understanding and Understanding is made of Love.” Thich Nhat Hanh

22Mar/140

What Do You Do When Being Nice Doesn’t Work? Confidence Tips #58

Success for ManagersIf you’ve ever been disappointed because colleagues, family and friends take advantage of the fact that you’re nice, caring and giving in your work and personal relationships, this week’s tip is for you.

Most of us are brought up to be nice to people.

Being nice is supposed to:

  • Be the secret to being liked
  • The way to get others to be reasonable or reward us
  • Be the way to follow the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated. And…most of us like to be treated nicely

A lot of the time the nice approach works for you because many people you deal with appreciate it and they are mature enough not to abuse your niceness.

But what about the costs of being nice?

What do you do when being ‘nice’ to a colleague, friend or family member means:

  • You’re doing too much and burning out
  • You’ve got so hooked on the rewards of being nice that you find it hard to say ‘no’ when you need to
  • Friends, family and colleagues become over-dependent on you
  • They’re being immature and not taking responsibility
  • They’re taking advantage and don’t respect you or your needs
  • Other people suffer e.g. being overly understanding with one member of your family or work team may mean burdening other family and team members
  • Others are so used to you being nice they react badly when you have to be more assertive – especially if you’ve become so frustrated that you act aggressively

When you experience these costs to being nice you might wonder if being respected is worth more than being liked!

But…what if you didn’t have to make a choice?

What if you were skilled enough to be respected and liked?

Here’s a starting point:

  • When others ask too much of you, stop assuming that the ‘nice’ way is to put up with the costs of being nice. Stop creating a lose-win. Assume there’s a win-win way and create that instead.
  • People with a need to be liked find it difficult to change the world for the better. But people who can create win-wins find it much easier.

If you’d like to find out more about how to transform difficult work or personal relationships into effective and fulfilling ones, here are 2 options:

1.    How to Deal With Difficult Conversations and Behaviour Assertively Workshop

March 27th 2014, Cambridge, 8.45 – 12.30

 Are you:

  • Avoiding talking about a difficult subject that needs to be aired at work?
  • Or maybe you have employees and team members who are difficult to manage?

 Then this half-day workshop for managers, owner managers and aspiring managers about how to remain assertive and in control of difficult people situations is for you. Click here for more details

“One of the most powerful lessons I learnt, is how to deal with difficult people – an invaluable seminar run by Madeleine. This was thought provoking, structured and fun!”
Aegean Thomson, Business Owner

 2.    If you prefer a 1-2-1 approach try this Free Relationship Success Discovery Session

I have complimentary spaces for 1-2-1 Relationship Success Sessions this month. During this coaching session, we’ll discuss the key work and personal relationships in your life that give you the most trouble and which you’d just like to make better. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your relationship success. We’ll get clear on how you ’d like your relationships to be. Then I’ll show you how you create the most effective working and rewarding personal relationship. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me: madeleine@growu.co.uk

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWarm wishes

Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ and ‘Special Events’ listed below.

 

Useful Links

 

Quote of the Week

“If your main goal in life is to be popular, audition to play the role of Snow White at Disney World. To be successful with people it’s more important to be respect than to be liked.” Paul McGee

15Mar/140

Is the ‘Fluffy’ Stuff Really the Essential Stuff? Confidence Tips 57

Success for ManagersHave you ever found that changes in the business or organisation you’re working in, or changes in your role in it, have had a big, and sometimes negative, impact on your relationships?

If the answer is ‘Yes’, you’re not alone and you may relate to one of these 3 situations where the ‘fluffy’ stuff turns out to be the ‘essential’ stuff.

I remember delivering communication skills training for the managers in a company which was growing fast and the middle managers were finding it hard to adapt to the fact that their senior managers were no longer in an office nearby. The middle managers felt they didn’t have as much say in the direction of the business as they used to and differences of opinion were harder to resolve. They felt their senior managers had lost touch…that they were setting unrealistic goals, budgets and time frames.

A few months ago I was working with a business owner-manager who had taken on staff for the first time. The kinds of skills she had to bring into the business attracted very different personalities from hers. Her usual ways of expressing herself were suddenly getting defensive reactions that she had never experienced before.

A while ago, I was working with a newly promoted manager who used to be part of the team he was managing. He felt awkward telling team members, who he used to work with as an equal, what to do and some of them took advantage. At the same time his work load was increasing rapidly but his firefighting communication mode was creating more problems than it was solving.

Who knows who was right and who was wrong in these situations – the team members or the managers?

It doesn’t matter…really… because it’s the manager who has the job of getting things done through other people. So it’s the manager who has to take the lead and develop their communications skills faster than their businesses and careers are developing. Lack of skill creates a bottle neck of distrust, stress and even apathy that will eventually strangle your business and/or your career.

These communication skills (negotiation, influencing, presenting, dealing with difficult conversations, mentoring, coaching, conflict management and so on) are often called ‘soft’ skills and are considered ‘fluffy’ stuff compared to learning a trade, studying for a degree or gaining professional qualifications.

Whereas, really, communications skills are ‘hard’ skills with real business and personal benefits. They often involve changing many things we thought we knew about communicating.

And…the consequences of not learning them are even harder to take.

So what can you do about it? Here are 3 tips to make dealing with the ‘hard’ stuff easier:

  1. If you find yourself blaming someone for how they are acting or communicating with you, look beneath the surface at what’s really causing this. You may need to pick up a mirror rather than a magnifying glass for this!
  2. If the same problem keeps occuring there’s probably something you don’t know you don’t know and it’s time to find out (see options below :-)).
  3. If your team members persist in being difficult despite what you’ve done to improve your communication style, you can manage those team members out of the business with a clear conscience and some good HR advice.

 If you’d like to find out more about how to transform difficult work relationships into effective and fulfilling ones, here are two options:

 1.    How to Deal With Difficult Conversations and Behaviour Assertively Workshop

March 27th 2014, Cambridge, 8.45 – 12.30

       Are you:

  • Avoiding talking about a difficult subject that needs to be aired at work?
  • Or maybe you have employees and team members who are difficult to manage?

Then this half-day workshop for managers, owner managers and aspiring managers about how to remain assertive and in control of difficult people situations is for you. Click here for more details

“One of the most powerful lessons I learnt, is how to deal with difficult people – an invaluable seminar run by Madeleine. This was thought provoking, structured and fun!”Aegean Thomson, Business Owner

 2.    If you prefer a 1-2-1 approach try this Free Relationship Success Discovery Session

I have 2 complimentary spaces for 1-2-1 Relationship Success Sessions this month. During this coaching session, we’ll discuss the key work and personal relationships in your life that give you the most trouble and which you’d just like to make better. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your relationship success. We’ll get clear on how you’d like your relationships to be. Then I’ll show you how you create the most effective working and rewarding personal relationship. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me: madeleine@growu.co.uk

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWarm wishes

Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Quote of the Week and ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ listed below.

Useful Links

 Quote of the Week

“Just because you’re making a noise in my direction, don’t assume you’re communicating with me.” David Gordon

8Mar/140

Why Don’t They Get the Hint? Confidence Tips #56

Success for ManagersIf you’ve ever been frustrated because someone is just not getting your subtle messages, this week’s tip will be great for you.

Perhaps you’ve become irritated because they’ve ignored your hints to:

  • Leave before they outstay their welcome
  • Let you get a word in edgeways
  • Improve their work
  • Get you the present you wanted 🙂
  • End a meeting on time
  • Or…?

There could be many reasons why they were ‘ignoring’ what you said.

One is that you may be dealing with a ‘literal’ listener.

A ‘literal’ listener is a person who takes everything you say literally. They don’t ‘listen between the lines’ or infer any other meaning than the words you’ve said.

If you visited a ‘literal’ listener and you hinted that you’d like a drink by saying, ‘Gosh! I’m thirsty,’ they are likely to say ‘Oh, really?’

An ‘inferential’ listener, on the other hand, would ask you what you’d like to drink and go and get it for you.

If you asked a ‘literal’ listener to do something and you softened your request or instruction by saying, ‘If you don’t mind’, they would take it to mean they had an option. If they did mind, they wouldn’t do it.

For ‘inferential’ listeners and speakers that can come as quite a surprise.

So how do you deal with a ‘literal’ listener?

  • Stop hinting, implying, sugar-coating and being subtle
  • You need to be direct about what you want (without being rude)

If you’d like to find out more about how to transform difficult work relationships into effective and fulfilling ones, here’s an option:

How to Deal With Difficult Conversations and Behaviour Assertively Workshop

March 27th 2014, Cambridge, 8.45 – 12.30

Are you:

  • Avoiding talking about a difficult subject that needs to be aired at work?
  • Or maybe you have employees and team members who are difficult to manage?

Then this half-day workshop for managers, owner managers and aspiring managers about how to remain assertive and in control of difficult people situations is for you. Click here for more details

“One of the most powerful lessons I learnt is how to deal with difficult people – an invaluable seminar run by Madeleine. This was thought provoking, structured and fun!”

Aegean Thomson, Business Owner 

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWarm wishes

Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Quote of the Week and ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ listed below.

 

Useful Links

 

Quote of the Week

‘If you want problems to escalate, hammer home why you’re right and they’re wrong. It works every time.’ Paul McGee

 

1Mar/140

What can we learn from James Bond 007? Confidence Tips 55

Success for ManagersHere’s another 60 Seconds to Success Tip.

I was listening to BBC Radio 4’s reading of the James Bond spy thriller, Casino Royale, last week. I was surprised to hear a great bit of personal development advice.

I hasten to add that I wasn’t seeking personal development gems from James Bond at the time. I am addicted to thrillers and I was actually curious to see if there were any interesting differences between the book and the film.

So… what did James Bond say?

It was actually Ian Fleming who wrote, “James suddenly knew he was tired. He always acted on this knowledge. It helped him to avoid staleness and the sensual bluntness that led to mistakes.”

Acting on that realisation, James Bond walked away from a high stakes card game and went to rest.

Not quite the action I expected of a high octane spy but definitely wise.

It’s very tempting to spend our energy to the max…and beyond, isn’t it?

But…how many times have you wished that you’d ‘slept on’ or rested before, for example:

  • Making a difficult or expensive decision
  • Taking action to resolve a personal or work dispute
  • Preparing and presenting a work presentation
  • Taking the next step in a high stakes project
  • Turning up for an interview

Adrenalin can be a great energiser and catalyst for creativity but tiredness and stress can cancel that out and leave us with tunnel vision and regrets.

Here are 3 ways you can refresh your energy, your creativity and your wisdom:

  1. The commonsense one is to get enough sleep. But…they do say success is the uncommon application of commonsense. According to some sources, that means 8 hours sleep starting at 10 p.m. Apparently, after 10 p.m. our body uses energy to repair our cells. If we use that energy for working or playing late, our bodies find it difficult to do their repair work. So if you’ve ever experienced a rush of energy after 10 p.m. remember that you’re probably stealing that energy from your health and vitality.
  2. Take a holiday. A few months ago a client told me that it was taking a holiday that had helped her get back to being the confident, fun-loving, adventurous and creative person she enjoyed being. It reminded her of how she used to be. She said that she had come to coaching to help her make sure she kept that version of herself in her daily life.
  3. Take a step back from all the draining emotions, time pressure, people pressure and overwork that make your life what it is. Get off the hamster wheel and spend some time each week working ‘on’ your life rather than working ‘in’ it to make sure you create the life you really want.

If you’d like to find out more about how to re-energise your life:

Try this Free Re-energise Your Life Discovery Session

I have 4 complimentary spaces for 1-2-1 Re-energise Your Life Coaching Sessions in March. During this coaching session, we’ll uncover the key things that drain the life and energy out of you and how to eliminate them. We’ll get clear about the life you really want and how to create it.You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me: madeleine@growu.co.uk

"Working with Madeleine has been a truly incredible life changing experience. Madeleine was knowledgeable and with her coaching and support I have been able to transform all aspects of my life within a short space of time.” Carla Golding

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWarm wishes

Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Quote of the Week and ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ listed below.

 

Useful Links

 

Quote of the Week

“It is a common experience that a problem at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” John Steinbeck

   
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