Champion The Moment

joe-cool

As a leader, how do you champion the moment when the opportunity arrives?

Championing the moment involves much more than doing a good job. It’s about making a choice to be the best possible version of you that you can be and owning your attitude. Consider role models or people you’ve had the good fortune to work with or to know. Can you think of anyone whose style especially impressed you? What about their demeanor did you remember?

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Think of a time when you were presented with a problem or situation that required not only self control, but above average problem-solving skills. Now think about how you handled it. When you look back at the situation, were you proud of yourself, or could you have done things differently?

You want to be remembered as the person who makes things better for the next person and keeps your cool in all situations, especially in business.

Being the person who displays the most poise and class is always a plus. It’s easier to solve problems or challenges when I can sail through situations smoothly by keeping calm and thinking with a clear head sans the emotion. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but that’s how we grow personally and professionally.

Additionally, stepping back from a problem and taking some time to think about the solution really does produce better results rather than reacting right away. Try it the next time you’re in a situation that involves nerves of steel.

Remember these key items:

  • Keep your calm
  • Show poise and class
  • Use excellent judgment

After situations resolve themselves, you want to be able to look back and feel good about how you handled yourself and the task you completed. The end result is always the best possible thing to keep in mind.

Impress yourself by taking a different road the next time you’re presented with a difficult or detailed situation. You’ll be surprised and pleased with the results.

What are some ways that you have shown grace under fire? How have you resisted the temptations to come unraveled and kept your cool?

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What Did You Learn Today?

New Day...New Knowledge

Did you learn something interesting or useful today? What is it? Often, our moods can help us to be in a better state to learn. Greet the day open to endless possibilities, and you’ll be amazed at the things that present themselves to you.

At the end of the day, it’s easy to put aside everything that’s happened. Little details shift to the back of our minds and at times don’t resurface until sometime later, if at all. We go to work, to school, to the gym, and eat dinner. There doesn’t seem to be much time for anything else before the day is over.

Ask yourself what you learned that day and write it down.

Despite what you think, most days you do learn at least one new thing, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem.

Think back to your day’s experiences and with whom you’ve interacted. If you’ve met with your manager to discuss productivity or current projects, perhaps there was something that stood out about your conversation.  Maybe you learned something new about your manager or the team you work with. Maybe you learned a new skill about how to move forward with your current task.

If you’ve attended a seminar or workshop, take a few minutes to go back through the material that came with the class, or the notes that you took. You’re bound to find a few gems that you can put to good use right away. Even if the day was less than ideal, one or more items will surely stand out as beneficial. Don’t focus on how cold the room was or whether food was served. What you took with you from that experience is what counts most.

Any new skills you can add to your repertoire can be beneficial for your future. A momentary insight into an aspect of human nature, from an otherwise mundane encounter, for example, can often be useful.

Preparing For Your Next Job

Prepare to Succeed

Years ago, I read an article that advised the reader to begin the search for their next job as soon as they began a new job. That advice seemed a bit extreme but I understood the concept enough at the time to know what the writer meant. It meant something very simple yet poignant; be prepared.

In this challenging job market, keeping your job search active provides you with several important things, and two specifically stand out:

It requires you to keep your resume updated. It’s stressful enough to look for work, and have to update an extremely outdated resume. You’re more likely to forget things that you’ve done or projects you’ve worked on. You definitely don’t want to leave those off of a resume. Adding new items to your resume frequently while you’re employed will make it easier in the long run. Additionally, some companies require you to regularly submit your resume for an annual talent review, and you’ll want to be prepared because often the deadline to submit your resume will be sooner than you think.

It keeps you in practice to be interviewed. Those who haven’t interviewed in awhile may not feel as prepared as those who have been actively interviewing. Regularly interviewing insures that you’ll feel poised, calm, and that you’ll have a better idea of the questions to expect and what answers you’ll give. The more interviews you have, the better prepared and less nervous you’ll feel.

Unless you absolutely love your job and feel like it’s the one you’ll stay at for a long time, it won’t hurt to begin your job search now. Equip yourself with the tools to sail through your next job search like a pro. It’ll be painless.

Motivation

Who or what motivates you to do or pursue the things you want and/or need in life? And if you’re not motivated, why?

motivation1

This is a question I ask myself and my students constantly. The answers I receive are often surprising. Some say that they’re motivated by coffee, others music, and so on. For me, a good mentor is a good motivator. This is someone who understands roadblocks and other little things that get in the way of natural progress and growth, yet who works well with these impediments. A good motivator is often someone who has seen enough difficulties to understand how to overcome them and work within those boundaries.

One of my greatest motivators is Tony Robbins. I listen to, read, or watch him whenever I can. I’ve yet to take one of his seminars, but when I can, I will, because I know I’ll obtain even more necessary tools to stay motivated.

Journaling is another thing that keeps me motivated. It helps to write down my goals and aspirations as well as inspirations. And, I find that having something to look forward to is another great motivator. The anticipation of planning an event, a goal, or even trying something new is often enough to get me going.

Music helps, too. Different moods require different kinds of music, and I often find that depending on my mood, I will often want to listen to a specific type of music to either fire me up, calm me down, or intensify whatever mood I’m in. For example, when I’m at the gym, my music choices for that particular workout will usually vary depending on my energy level, which is rarely consistent.

Are you motivated? If not, why?

Goal Setting

I like to separate goal setting into two distinct categories; long-term and short-term.

Long term goals are things that you eventually want to achieve. These are things in the future that you’re working toward. They may not be attainable right away, but they’re something positive to focus on achieving. These are works-in-progress.

Be S.M.A.R.T.

Some examples are:

  • Buying a house or car
  • Traveling to another country
  • Learning how to ski

Examples of short-term goals are things like:

  • Learning a new software program or language
  • Improving your writing skills
  • Learning how to cook a special dish

These are goals that are not necessarily easier, but ones that you can get to quicker.

Goals keeps us focused, and they help us to set milestones to reach throughout life. Without goals, we tend to become stagnant, and cease to learn. Many people I’ve worked with throughout the years have revealed to me during trainings some of the things they want to achieve. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by people’s interests beyond what they’re doing now.

Goals should be SMART:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time Bound

Choose your goals based on personal preference and not out of a need to satisfy someone else’s agenda. After all, your goals are directly linked to your career, your professional development, and your life. It also helps to talk over your goals with a mentor, or someone close to you. Talking about your goals helps you to realize them, so rather than them being just a dream, they become tangible.

Webinars as an Effective Training Tool

Training & Marketing Webinars

Technology in Training

The issue of distance, time, and availability has always existed and quite possibly prevented people from attending the training they need. The advent of the conference call made it possible for several people to join a class by phone, but it became increasingly difficult for students to collaborate further. Enter the webinar, which made  it possible for people to attend trainings virtually, without regard to their time zone or location. Webinars helped to bridge the gap between those with busy schedules or travel restrictions, and to encourage participation between people who otherwise may not have a chance to connect.

Webinars done right can yield positive results. Done incorrectly, webinars can cause frustration for students, often resulting in less-than-stellar attendance or evaluations. Here are some tips for presenting a successful webinar:

  • Send links to attendees way ahead of time. Give them a chance to test the links to ensure a hassle-free connection. If they need administrative rights to do so, this will give them ample time to prepare.
  • If you have in-person and remote attendees, make sure to include the remote attendees as much as possible by checking in with them throughout the duration of the event. If all attendees are remote, pause to allow questions. There’s nothing worse than attending a webinar, only to find that you’ve been muted the whole time.
  • Remember to record your webinars for future viewing for those who may have missed the training and/or want a refresher.

Another useful way that webinars are used effectively is to present complex marketing communications to customers and prospective clients in an interactive format.

BancIntelligence is using webinars to effectively communicate their online financial advisory solutions at a close rate of almost 35%. Their “A Focus on Franchise Value” series has had over 600 viewings in 2008.

What are some of the best ways you have experience webinars in training, informaing , or creating value for others?

How Are You Communicating?

Communication Skills

Take a minute to think about how you communicate, and the results you achieve. I’m often surprised at how people do and don’t communicate with each other. Communication is more than just words spoken orally. It includes body language as well as the ability to compose an email so that it doesn’t sound trite, overbearing, or angry.

These are things I think about daily, as one of my main responsibilities as a trainer is to communicate with others, as well as teach them about communicating.

Below are some tips to communicate better:

When making a request, keep the outcome in mind. Keep emotions at bay. When communicating a problem, come prepared with a case. Managers appreciate employees who do this, as it shows initiative. Therefore, bring information about the problem, but also come prepared with a solution.

  • Write down the key points you’d like to communicate. This will keep you organized and focused, and prevent you from getting off point and distracted. Check off these points as you cover them.

  • Make eye contact. Different cultures have different rules for making eye contact during meetings. However, for the most part, making and keeping eye contact assures the person you’re talking to that you’re sincere.

  • Less is more. You’ve heard this before, and it’s really true. Whether writing or speaking, it isn’t necessary to write what I call ‘filler’ to make a point. Most times, you can get by with fewer words to convey your point. If you feel like you’re running on, you probably are.

  • Follow up. This is important, and can be as simple as sending a thank you email summarizing key points discussed as well as next steps.

So, How Are You Communicating? Write me and let me know where you have grown in your communicating style or your effectiveness over the last year.

 

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