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Carl Robinson, Ph.D. on Leadership Store November 22, 2011
 
We help maximize the effectiveness of individuals and organizations by helping them improve their ability to lead, work together, select and develop their people.  Some of our related business services include: executive coaching, executive team coaching and executive assessments for development and selection.


Carl Robinson, Ph.D., Managing Principal
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Seattle, Washington
206-545-1990
carl@leadershipconsulting.com

In This Issue:

Manage Your Life, Not Your Time

Make Your Communication Stick

Situation Room: Training ROI


Words of Wisdom

"Effective leaders are masters of simplicity. I’m not talking about dumbing down a message or turning it into a sound bite; I’m talking about identifying the most central, core elements of strategies and highlighting them." 
~Chip Heath, Author: Made to Stick


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Manage Your Life, Not Your Time

What is your relationship with time? Do you see it as a resource you can manipulate and manage, or are you running faster every day, and never catching up?
 
If you feel out of control, unable to prioritize (everything is urgent), guilty for failing to keep your commitments; or stressed that you are forced to make last-minute changes (or enforce change in others), then it's time to reassess how you relate to the time you have for each day.
 
Follow these tenets to increase your effectiveness and ease your everyday stress level:
 
What is urgent versus important? Look critically at the flow of last week. What caused the most stress in your environment? Was it the urgent or the truly important matters? This determination will help you feel more in control and will give you a greater sense of direction; living in crisis mode is a distraction from the greater goals you have as a leader in your organization.
 
Decrease the number of urgent matters that cross your desk.  At first blush this may sound insurmountable, but consider it a long-term project. Start investing now and you will see the returns in the coming months. For example, identify the top five urgent matters that you are typically faced with.
 
Spend the time to create a buffer between you and the “crisis” that crosses your desk. This doesn’t mean that you leave it unsettled. You may choose to train team members to handle these types of seemingly urgent matters. Perhaps they could each take one on.
 
Delegate! You’ve heard it said before, and here it is again.  A critical part of coaching is also delegating. Why not take advantage of this, and give someone else a chance to work on some of your projects? 
 
Be honest with yourself—is it possible that you are holding on to them, because of your sense of ownership, or for other reasons?  You will find that you can “think big” when your mind is not cluttered with all of the daily issues. 
 
Recreate Your Schedule. Create a new schedule for this week. Begin by filling in what is important. This will help you make it a priority. Seemingly urgent matters can often be blocked into a particular time slot in your day. This takes away their “urgent” nature, and gives them the true attention they deserve. 
 
Follow through on this one by changing your email service to the "calendar view" versus email view. This way you can schedule time for addressing email correspondence, and keep your focus on what is truly important.
 
If you follow all of these steps together, you will find a gradual but important shift in your time (and your life) in the upcoming months. 

Make Your Communication Stick

How can you make your communication memorable and persusasive?
 
Making your ideas "sticky" can help you in many forums, whether it is communicating more effectively with your team, other managers or with prospective business partners. Read on to find out what will make your communication sticky.
 
What is the core message? Look at what you are trying to convey to your subordinates or colleagues. It probably includes more than one statement, and has many parts to the concept or arguments. That being said, if you really want your message to resonate, you need to boil it down to its essence.  Force yourself to prioritize the most critical piece of information that you want your listeners to take away with them.
 
How can you throw a hook into it? You need to get attention. Are your subordinates' eyes glazing over when you attempt to rally enthusiasm after a tough 18 months of downward sales? Throw in something that grabs their attention and creates curiosity. Begin your meeting with a statement that won't fully be addressed until you are about to wrap up the meeting.
 
Paint a mental picture. No matter what situation you are in, use language that paints a mental picture. Remember the Velcro theory of memory--try to hook into multiple types of memory. (Velcro was intended to paint an apt picture in your mind. Did it work?)
 
Use authorities or details. What makes people believe ideas? We often believe something simply because trusted friends, family or close colleagues believe something. Therefore, if you are trying to persuade a skeptical audience and you are not a member of one of the three groups just mentioned, you have an uphill battle. Don't overlook the importance of mentioning an authority or a solid detail that will clinch the believability factor of what you are trying to convey.
 
Who is getting emotional? You, that's who. If you want your listeners to grasp, remember, believe or otherwise buy in to your message, that is. Thinking exclusively about statistics puts people into an analytical frame of mind. Give them an example and you will have a compelling message.
 
The story clenches the communication.  You need a story to exemplify your point.  Why did Subway’s sales increase by 18% after the company introduced the Jared campaign?   Because telling you that Subway’s sandwiches are healthy and could help you lose weight would have turned the “mute” button on most remotes.  The story of Jared, however, and the weight he lost by going to Subway each day stuck. 
 
And your message will stick, too, if you follow these fundamental tenets, whether you are running a meeting, selling your products and services or meeting with your business partner. 

Situation Room: Training ROI

An executive team for a large company sent their senior managers to a seminar on quality. Understandably, the executives were fully expecting that quality, productivity and overall performance would improve as a result of having sent their senior managers to the seminar. 
 
As time marched on, enthusiasm for the seminar waned, because the executive team could not identify any quantifiable quality-related improvements. They couldn't figure out why the such a well-known and respected program didn't work for their own organization. They even resorted to sending a subgroup of managers back for a refresher course, but the results remained flat. 
 
Why did this initiative fail? What could have been done to avoid the disappointing outcome in this situation?
 
Send in your solution!


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http://www.leadershipconsulting.com/
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