Archive for the ‘Work Life’ category

Life Coach Lesson: Finding Value In Complaints

March 12th, 2013

ComplaintsThere is wisdom in turning a welcoming ear to complaints, in listening to negative comments – whether at home or in the workplace.  Why?  Because, like it or not, those complaints and grumblings are feedback, most probably based on a germ of truth and, certainly, they hold the seeds of a solution.

Listen carefully and objectively.  Your next big business-improvement or relationship enhancement idea could be dished out by a dissatisfied customer or friend, given to you by a grumbling employee or family member, or a complaining colleague or loved one.

As you listen, instead of responding defensively and justifying your actions or position, ask yourself:  what grain of truth is in his complaint?  What’s her dissatisfaction pointing out that I need to see more clearly and address constructively?

Don’t be put off by negative feedback.  Explore it.  You could unearth an idea, though yet disguised as a complaint, that just might enhance your profit picture and your life.

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Control Overreaction At Work and Home

March 5th, 2013

Angry Biz WomanWhen it comes to pressure in the workplace or at home, which situations trigger feelings of overload, burden, overwhelm and stress?  How do you typically react?  Do you freeze up, get angry or cranky, gossip, feel frustrated, or stop working and start complaining?  Do you overreact?

The next time pressure and overload land in your world, shift your old pattern to a more constructive response.

Consciously choose your reaction. Begin by acknowledging to yourself that wave of despair, annoyance or overwhelm as it starts to surface.  Then, take a moment and identify your preferred response.  If you need the benefit of another perspective, speak with your manager or a trusted friend.  Discuss the necessity of a shift in priorities.  Seek out their advice about ways to proceed. You can also solicit suggestions from a colleague.  Or, if need be, take a brief walk to clear your head, release tension and get a fresh perspective.

The trick to handling pressure more effectively is interrupting your auto-pilot, patterned response. Consciously choose to replace overreaction with emotional intelligence and you’ll feel the change ripple through your life.

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Time Management Is Self Management

February 19th, 2013

Time ManagementWe look to tools and techniques to help us manage time.  And they can, to a certain extent – that being the degree to which we take a disciplined approach to their application.  The effectiveness of any time management tool is squarely in our hands.  To manage your time more effectively, you have to improve the way you manage your self.

If your time is mismanaged or wasted, you’re the one at fault.  In knowing that, you give yourself a chance to own your power to change the situation.  You can begin using your time more consistently to do what best serves your goals and helps you live a better, more satisfying life, now.

Here are two time management strategies that, applied regularly, will help you manage yourself and can have a ripple effect on your behavior as the owner and manager of your time.

Make the Meaningful a Priority Put time in your schedule, at least weekly, perhaps daily, to do something meaningful, in addition to your daily work.  This might include time with loved ones, time to meditate, to read for pleasure, time to exercise, time for volunteer activities.  Determine what adds meaning to your life then make sure you add it to your list of priorities.

Build Flex Time into Your Schedule By that I mean leave two to three hours each day unscheduled.  Block it off on your calendar as “Flex Time” or whatever you want to call it.  The point is, it’s scheduled time on your calendar.  Don’t double book yourself.  You can move your Flex Time or shift it, but don’t delete it and give it away.  Keep this time sacred and use it for thinking, planning, handling the unexpected, dealing with emergencies.  As a task-driven society, we underestimate the value of devoting time to thinking, planning or just breathing.

The unexpected is inevitable.  If you plan for the unanticipated, you’ll spend less time putting out fires and more time focused on the activities that fulfill you and move you closer to your goals.

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

February 13th, 2013

Get Beyond Your Comfort Zone“I’m continually trying to make choices that put me against my own comfort zone. As long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing.” ~Ashton Kutcher 

Defensiveness is the biggest deterrent to learning, professional and personal growth and positive change.  Most of the time we don’t recognize when we’re standing in the way of our own progress.

Here’s the number one way you can tell if you’re stopping yourself from learning and becoming more.  When someone makes a suggestion, do you respond by explaining why you do what you do?  If you do, your internal mental Border Patrol, a concept I introduced in my book, LIES That Limit, is making an argument for your status quo.  Justifying your behavior is a sure way to stay stuck in old, outdated patterns.

Another way you thwart your own growth is when you tell others they don’t understand your situation or circumstances, you’re limiting your ability to make progress with your life.

If you’re at cause for lackluster progress in your life, stop justifying your behavior and start identifying more with your vision for your life.  Tell a new story.

For more information, pick up a copy of LIES That Limit on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle.  Learn more about conquering your own Border Patrol by visiting TMGSpeaks.com and search “Border Patrol.”

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Leadership Quality That Breeds Success

January 22nd, 2013

Leadership Quality That Breeds SuccessCharles, a senior-level coaching client, told me that early in his career, his mentor advised him to be smart enough to be humble, versus proving how smart he is.

No matter the job level of the person he’s interacting with, Charles’ mode of operation is always to be collegial and collaborative.

Here are the principles that guide his behavior and his leadership style:

  • He works with people versus them working for him.
  • He demonstrates respect for everyone’s point of view, even when he disagrees.
  • He looks to learn something from everyone, even if it’s simply what their interests and passions are.
  • To make space for others to share what they know, he often asks, “What do you think?”  “What does your experience say we should do in this case?”

Charles’ smart-enough-to-be-humble leadership style helps the people in his organization feel valued.  They’re also not afraid to be open and honest when interacting with him.  In today’s business climate, where innovation and creativity are required, keeping the lines of communication flowing is critical because you never know from where that next great business idea will come.

Are you smart enough to be humble?

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Obstacles or Opportunities: How to Respond With Emotional Intelligence

January 15th, 2013

stress and depression, broken pencil, isolated on black

Every day, opportunities are presented to us. They may be disguised as obstacles, problems or issues, but what they really are is a chance to demonstrate our ability to make a positive contribution to our lives or our company’s goals and objectives.

The best way to take advantage of these opportunities is by making conscious choices designed to get you closer to your personal and career goals.

Here are two simple steps that will help you act more mindfully in the face of a perceived obstacle.

  1. Slow down your actions and reactions. Take a few breaths and think before you speak, decide or act.
  2. Then, look out into future and imagine the potential consequences of your response. Determine if what you’re about to say or do supports or sabotages your intentions.

In all areas of life – at work and at home, conscious choice is a necessary component of behavioral change and goal achievement. Make a firm decision to accomplish your goals by breaking free of self-limiting patterns. Simply put, a quick “no” might close more doors than you realize at first, while a well-thought out “yes” signals others that you’re an engaged member of a team focused on success.

Remember:  stop, breathe and think.  Then, select the emotionally intelligent response that will move you closer to what you want.

To make your year more successful and satisfying, learn more about the powerful possibilities of conscious choice in LIES That Limit: Uncover The Truth Of Who You Really Are.

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New Beginnings! TeressaMooreGriffin.com Goes LIVE.

January 9th, 2013

TeressaMooreGriffin.comThe new year is about new beginnings.  Which makes the announcement of my new website TeressaMooreGriffin.com rather timely.

I’ve spent decades successfully helping executives become more effective and purpose-driven in their jobs.  Over the years I’ve seen the role of leadership change from that which is exclusive to the very top echelon of a company to something required of every employee no matter their rank.

Successful companies know that leadership, creativity and innovation doesn’t always come from the top.  Valuable insight and drive can come from anywhere along the chain of command.  This means two things.  Today’s executives need to better understand how to capitalize on the intellectual power and energy within their company, and up and down the corporate ladder, employees must learn how to make their impact felt.

It is that knowledge that I share with you on TeressaMooreGriffin.com – the latest online community that has sprung from Spirit of Purpose™.

This new website is also the home of my Office Talk reports, heard regularly on KYW Newsradio Online.  Office Talk provides quick, easy-to-digest tips on being effective at work.  The topics cover a wide range, including how to conduct productive meetings, mentoring and being mentored, failing your way to success and how to get through difficult, but necessary conversations.

Being more effective at work leads to being happy at work and in life.  There are simple adjustments you can make to change your attitude and behavior that will catapult you to the top, or simply make you feel more powerful and productive where you are.

TeressaMooreGriffin.com is live right now!  Stop by and visit.  I’ll update Office Talk every week with the latest written and audio versions of my reports.  Audio is included so you multi-taskers can listen to these 1-minute reports while you work!

Let me know what obstacles you face in the workplace.  Chances are you’re not alone.  I want to make sure “Office Talk” addresses real issues people are dealing with as they manage people and processes in their everyday worklife.

Here’s to a prosperous and happy 2013 for you at home and at work!

teressa signature

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Power Comes From Listening More and Talking Less

October 23rd, 2012

Listen more. Talk less.

Try this for just one day and notice the impact on you and on others.  Listen more.  Listen to understand.  Listen to learn.  Listen to empathize.  Listen to validate.

Don’t worry.  You won’t become invisible, powerless or less impactful.  In fact, you will become more visible because you’ll stand out as someone who cares in a world full of people who are busy pushing their agenda, selling their ideas, jockeying for position.

You may find these three techniques helpful to listen actively for far more effective communication.

Mirror the speaker’s message.  In other words, accurately restate the content and emotional tone of the speaker’s message by paraphrasing what you heard.  This is a good way to demonstrate that you understand what was said.  And, it allows the speaker to clarify important points, you may have missed or misunderstood.

Empathize with the speaker’s feelings or emotional state.  Let the speaker know that you hear how they are feeling about the topic of discussion.  Name the emotion you believe the speaker is experiencing.  Use phrases like you sound happy or sad, scared, angry, concerned, etc. Or, I image you’re feeling frustrated, joyful, etc.

Validate the speaker’s point of view.  Confirm that you understand the situation through her eyes and can appreciate why he or she feels the way they do, even if you don’t agree.  To practice validation, use phrases such as… “I can see why you say that…”  Or, “Given what you’ve said, I understand why you conclude…”

Talk less and listen more.  Then, notice how many people – at home and at work – will compliment you for being such a great listener, for caring or for affording them the opportunity to talk through something that was concerning them.

Emotionally intelligent people engage in active listening.  To power up your effectiveness as a communicator and your credibility as someone who genuinely cares, try it and watch your personal and/or executive presence emerge.

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Are You C-Suite Ready?

October 9th, 2012

While personal styles among those who occupy the C-suite can vary dramatically, from the reserved and analytical to the warm, outgoing people person, exceptional leaders – those who get results in the short run and long-term – all share a special set of common characteristics.  And, it’s not technical competence, nor the gift of exceptional intellect.

Daniel Goleman says, “…the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way:  They all have a high degree of emotional intelligence.”  EQ – emotional intelligence – makes it more likely that you’re C-suite ready and will thrive once there.

Goleman’s work suggests that strong IQ and technical capabilities are necessary in that they help you gain the attention of those who make the hiring and promotion decisions.  IQ and technical competence open doors.  But, it’s your EQ – your level of emotional intelligence – that can derail your ascendency or help you excel and shine.

To get a quick read on your current level of EQ, for each component below, answer the following questions.  Rate yourself – 1 if you’re at the lower end of the continuum and up to a 5 at the highest end.

These questions are designed simply to make you think and help you self-assess.

  1. Are you self-aware? To what degree do you recognize and understand your moods, emotions, drives and impact on others?
  2. Do you self-regulate? To what degree are you able to control your impulses?  Do you to think before acting?
  3. Do you motivate?  To what degree are you energetic, passionate, persistent, and work to achieve goals for their own sake, not simply for money, acclaim or status?
  4. Are you empathetic?  To what degree do you understand and take into account the emotional makeup and reality of others?
  5. Are you socially skillful? To what degree are you able to build rapport, find common ground, maintain relationships, and influence others to move in a particular direction?

This “quick and dirty” self-assessment can help you get a feel for your current level of EQ.  Add up your scores and divide by 5 to find out where you are on the continuum.

No matter where you are, you can strengthen your competency in any or all of the EQ components identified by Goleman if you commit to doing so.   Set clear goals with relevant actions steps.  Practice the behaviors that will produce the change you want.  Along the way, get other’s perspective on how you’re doing.  Ask for feedforward from colleagues, direct reports, senior leaders and coaches.

With dedication and persistence, you can strengthen your EQ, be C-suite ready and flourish once there.

To learn more about Daniel Goleman and Emotional Intelligence, Google Daniel Goleman or click here.

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You’re Busy, Busy, Busy! But How Productive Are You?

October 2nd, 2012

Are you among the many people for whom working long hours, multitasking and pressing to meet deadlines have become a way of life?

In the short-term, these are practical solutions.  But, research tells us that this pattern, over the long-term, increases stress levels and results in lower levels of productivity.  Eventually, even though you’re plenty busy, you begin to accomplish less.

To accomplish more, you have to find ways to leverage your time and resources more effectively.  Here are 3 quick and simple strategies that can help you accomplish more, with less stress.

Organize your work life – email, files, drawers and desktop.  Doing so will enable you to more readily find what it is you need, saving valuable minutes, as well as the cost – time and dollars of unnecessary redos and purchases.  Just as physical mail and papers can be placed in project folders, so can email.  That puts their access at the ready.

Tackle your most challenging tasks when you’re at your best.  For example, if you’re a morning person, take on important projects that require thought during those hours.

Activity logs can provide important insight into how you spend your time.  For one week, jot down how you use your time.  Each time you begin a new activity, make a note of what it is and how much time it required.  This will help you get a handle on whether you’re spending your time on high-value, high priority tasks or wasting more time than needed on low-priority meetings, interruptions or other distractions.

Good time management requires self-awareness and self-management.  The payback in productivity will be well worth the effort.

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