Successful Change Starts With A Shift In Perspective
Like so many in corporate America today, Susan needed more balance in her life-but she did not know how to get it. Faced with a 60-hour work week and a lengthy daily commute, Susan was left with little time for outside interests. Her job was literally draining her of energy, and her attitude at work was changing, especially within her business unit.
Who is Susan? Susan is a composite of thousands of executives who are pushed to the brink by trying to juggle demands on the job with demands at home. Susan could be you.
At work, Susan was accepting extra work and projects and was not able to say "no" to her boss. She became frustrated and drained. By accepting everything and not speaking up for herself, Susan became increasingly frustrated and angry. She became more demanding and less flexible with her own team. Her usual encouragement to "think outside the box" was replaced by a controlling "do as I say" attitude.
Micromanagement became her style. As a result, her staff appeared less involved in their work. They began to distance themselves from her.
On the social front, Susan was also making unhealthy choices-spending time with friends and family that were draining and burdensome and then keeping silent and angry about it. She did not have anybody to talk with about her experiences and frustration, so there was no one who could help her develop the perspective necessary to propel her toward greater personal fulfillment.
Like so many other executives, Susan believed that if she increased her hours and worked harder, life at work would get better. Are you just like Susan? Do you think that if you become more demanding and micro-manage your employees, the job will get done? Do you think keeping silent makes the problems go away?
To anyone who still believes this way, this is your wake up call. It does not work. Change is the answer-change coupled with a shift in perspective.
But sustaining meaningful change is never easy. It takes desire, intention, a clear vision, a good plan . . . and commitment. Change also takes time. In our increasingly busy lives we often get overwhelmed with demands on our time. Complacency sets in, and we lose the ability to overcome inertia-the tendency of a body at rest to stay at rest or of a body in motion along a certain path to stay in motion along that path.
To change, we must create structure that encourages and supports change, and it begins with an all-important shift in perspective. Instead of living in silence and hiding-or being overly controlling in our work relationships-or feeling that we need to leave our job-we can start by considering a more fulfilling alternative.
In Susan's case, she looked at what energized her, what she was good at, and what gave her joy. She put limits on the amount of work she was willing to take on and began speaking up to make sure her needs were heard and met. She shifted from being a controlling team leader to one that encouraged risk-taking and "thinking outside the box."
The result? Greater group cohesion and less stress for everyone involved. Group members felt less restricted and more empowered. Susan added greater value to her company and the results were visible and rewarded. More opportunities-the kind of opportunities Susan wanted-started coming her way.
At the same time, Susan developed criteria for what she wanted in her relationships. She evaluated her current relationships and determined which ones needed to be addressed. She began to speak up to make her needs known, and in some cases she ended unfulfilling relationships. As she revised her standards and set limits, she gained more energy to try new activities outside of work-re-awakening areas of interest that she had long ago left behind.
Susan's success story can be your success story, too. And it starts with four simple steps.
You must . . .
1. Be clear about your intentions to make a change;
(c) 2004, by Steven Bacharach Psy.D. All rights in all media reserved. This article may be reprinted so long as it is kept intact with the copyright and by-line.
Steven Bacharach, Psy.D. is a personal coach to executives who are seeking more fulfillment in all areas of their life. To learn more about coaching and arrange a complimentary session, contact Steven Bacharach Psy.D. by email at email@example.com, by phone at (508) 358-9565, or visit his Web site at www.onthemarconsulting.com
Sorry Dr Maslow, I Think You Got It Wrong
In the 1950s Abraham Maslow published a book entitled " Motivation and Personality" in which he outlided his now famous Hierarchy of Needs. Over the years since its publication Maslow's work has gained wide acceptance as a tool in understanding human motivation. It has been used in areas as diverse as Consumer Marketing and Christian Evangelism,as well, of course, psychology. Maslow rightly holds a place of high regard in many circles.
Not Blind, Just No Vision
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You Can Get There From Here
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Each and every day as we are building our businesses, we all know the key to a successful presentation is a product being sold to the end-line consumer and/or sponsoring a new person. In this article, I am going to show you the difference between making a sale and having customer loyalty in the sales process. In the sales process, you are fighting many different types of animals. For most of us who are in direct sales, you have 45 minutes to present a product/business concept and make a person believe in you, your product, and more importantly have them make a decision that they want what you are offering.
What is Life Coaching?
An recent article in Money Magazine said that "A coach may be the guardian angel you need to rev up your career." In fact, if you pick up any major newspaper or magazine, you are bound to come across a glowing article on coaching. It is one of the fastest growing careers, with an estimated 20,000 coaches in the United States. Because coaching is a relatively new profession, there are many people calling themselves "coaches"---unfortunately not all of whom are fully qualified. You should know that there is no required professional certification process, although it is coming in the near future.
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"Nothing is more practical than for people to deepen themselves. The more you understand the human condition the more effective you are as a businessperson. Human depth makes business sense."
How to Coach Yourself!
Some people are not in a position to work with a coach right now. Some are stretched financially, while some are still using the "lone ranger" method. Other people might be uncertain about trying something new.
The Value of Coaching to Support Your Business and Your Life
In our daily lives as well as in our businesses, we typically operate from the perspective of doing the best we know how to do in dealing with life's challenges and opportunities. If we knew what it would take to be more effective in our relationships, more productive in our activities or more successful in reaching our goals, we would surely alter our behavior to correspond with these insights. The only access we ordinarily have to impact our lives comes from the areas of "what we know" and "what we don't know." In our efforts to achieve more, we usually resort to increasing what we do know by learning to do things a little better, a little different or we simply do more of a behavior that produced a certain result for us in the past. This behavior can predictably result in small, incremental increases in our ability to impact our business and our world. Likewise, by educating ourselves in the arena of "what we don't know," this knowledge then becomes part of what we now do know. As an example, if you are computer illiterate and you apply yourself to learn how to adeptly operate a computer, you will have successfully taken something that you do not know and converted it into what you now know. More than 95% of our efforts are spent in these two arenas ? what we know and what we don't know.
Have a World-Changing Conversation
I know what you're thinking?"Here I am, completely stressed out and overworked, and here's Barbara telling me that I can change the world by having a conversation! Really?the heat must have fried her brain?"
Do You Want to Impress Others? Then Don?t Talk ?Listen
Recently my friend Michelle was concerned about a professional conference she was planning to attend with her husband, a veterinarian. She has no background in veterinary science, so she did not think she would be able to effectively communicate with the people at the conference. I asked her why she thought she had to use technical jargon when she spoke to the other conference attendees. She responded that she wanted them to think well of her. Michelle is a warm, caring individual who is genuinely interested in others. I assured her that she could effectively relate to the people she met by asking them questions about themselves and their businesses instead of trying to impress them with her knowledge of veterinary science.
Email Etiquette 1
I thought it might be worth visiting some email etiquette for all as the majority of the readers of this newsletter are now on email.
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A career coach or mentor is a person who can guide you with the benefit of their experience. He or she may be someone more senior from within your organisation or someone external to your organisation who has been successful in the field or skills you want to develop. The right mentor can help you accelerate career, boost your self-development and improve your working relationships. And remember that a mentor is not only helpful in your career the benefits of having a mentor are relevant to all areas of your life ? whether fitness, financial or lifestyle.
Essence of Awakeness
Be conscious, aware, and alert. Pay attention. Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher used to say pay attention now, this is important? Well, this is important. Wake up! What does it take to wake up an adult? Many people go through life on automatic, doing life as it comes along. What kind of things occurs that is considered a wake up call? The death of a loved one, a miracle, a near death experience, the birth of a child, a divorce, a marriage, a spiritual experience, a great accomplishment, a serious illness, an award, losing a job, winning the lottery, which of these would wake you up?
Addiction to Blame
Allen consulted with me because his wife of 18 years had threatened to leave him if he didn't stop blaming her all the time. He admitted to frequently blaming her in a variety of situations. He blamed her if he thought she made a mistake, if he thought she was wrong about something, if he was feeling alone, or even if he had a bad day at work. He blamed her for asking him questions when he didn't know the answer. He would sometimes even blame her if his golf game was off. He always blamed her when he felt judged by her, or when he didn't get her approval. While he freely admitted that he blamed her, he couldn't seem to stop, and he had no idea why he blamed her.
What Are Your Priorities?
"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want." -Ben Stein
Top Ways to Maximize Your Talents at Work
Are you maximizing your strengths and promoting your talents at work? If you have sharp analytical skills, have you sought to apply those skills to your current job? I know it sounds crazy to ask for more work when you are already overloaded, but any assistance that you can provide now will ultimately help you advance in your present position or in a future one.
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