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Carl Robinson, Ph.D. on Leadership Store March 5, 2012
 
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:

Is Fear Galvanizing Your Career?

Get Your Motivation On!


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Is Fear Galvanizing Your Career?

In turbulent times like today we all respond to our changing situation with a certain amount of fear. Here is the basic formula that many coaches use to demonstrate the impact of fear in a way that most people can relate well to:
      T + F      >>>      A/IA = R
(Thoughts plus Feelings Lead To Action or Inaction which equals your Results)
 
The gap between feelings and action or inaction is the fear gap. Recognizing this gap and using your own personal techniques to overcome it becomes the critical step in creating the results you desire. 
 
Acknowledge Your Fear
The first step in harnessing fear as a positive force is recognizing that you are afraid. This can be a difficult task for many of us since we are conditioned by society to hide fear. We mistakenly believe that if we allow ourselves to feel fear that we are weak or inferior to others. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The truly courageous person is the one who can feel their fear, fully acknowledge its presence and take positive action in spite of being afraid. Unchecked fear leads to irrational actions or potentially worse, no action at all.
 
Don’t Let Inaction Take Hold
We all can be galvanized by fear, and it results in inaction, which rarely serves us, our organization, team, or career. When we cannot deal with the fearful feelings raised by our thoughts the fear gap grows.  It is surprising how in a very short time the gap can seem insurmountable as your mind, operating in a state of unacknowledged fear, manufactures every conceivable reason why you can’t achieve a positive result.
 
While you spend your time worrying, analyzing, pondering or discussing all the possible ramifications of each of the possibilities your mind has created, the opportunity for decisive action passes you by. While you have convinced yourself that you were taking positive steps by doing something (e.g. thinking, talking, and all the other “ing” words that describe pseudo action) you are actually avoiding making any decision at all. I know that you have seen this scenario played out in your company and if you think hard enough you will find times when you have done it yourself. So the first step on the path to overcoming fear has been achieved. You recognize the pattern and now have it locked in your awareness so you can spot the behavior the next time you see or experience it. 
 
Make Something Else More Important 
So what do you do now?  You are confronted with a situation and have recognized that you are afraid.  You have acknowledged it but what do you do now to break its paralyzing grip. We instinctively fear what we do not know. Once we understand it is truly only the unknown that is causing our fear, we can take calculated steps to assuage our fear through knowing. 
 
This isn’t about predicting the future. Set out to learn enough about the situations that you are facing right now to make a good decision or ask for help from people you trust. In essence, make something else more important than your fear. Force your fear into the background by getting busy with finding information, securing resources and taking action. 
 
 “Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”
 
~Don Miguel Ruiz
author, The Four Agreements 

Get Your Motivation On!

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success” - Anonymous
 
Use the language of regard to motivate your team, colleagues, or organization. Our default mode is often to 1) be stingy with communication about how another’s behaviors matter to us at work and 2) when we do acknowledge their contribution, we tend to use indirect, non-specific language and characterize others as a certain “kind” of person. Successfully communicating regard must include specific, direct, non-attributive language.
 
Be Direct Directness lends power to your appreciation. We often praise staff members by speaking well of them in front of others (at the weekly staff meeting, for example). It might go something like this: “I just want to say a word of appreciation to Bob who went out of his way to…”
 
This communication is in third person, and is essentially being delivered to the group. Next time you are giving positive feedback, speak directly to the target of your admiration, in front of the group.
 
Be Specific Since our communications are often quite general, we end up expressing more about our good feeling than what the staff member actually did to make us feel so great. You might say something like, “Joe, at the staff meeting last week, I thought you were great. I felt so glad that you were on this project with us!
 
This kind of comment may lead Joe to feel good for the moment, but it doesn’t lay the groundwork for further. Specific compliments pay off for now and the long-term relationship.
 
Be Non-Attributive What is that, you ask? Carefully use your words to compliment specific accomplishments, not to confer attributes on someone. That is, don’t characterize the other person. Instead, describe your experience in working with them.
 
This can be the most difficult of the three points to put into practice. Instead of telling Julie, “I want to tell you how much I appreciate how generous you are” use a comment such as, “Julie, I want to tell you that your generosity in yesterday’s negotiations broke the tension.”
 
Using all three of these communication attributes will result in honest, effective encouragement of your staff. It moves you from a manager who hands out praises and rewards to one who recognizes accomplishments and builds an atmosphere of sincere regard in your team.


Featured Tool

50 Activities for Developing Supervisory Skills

 
 
 
 
This powerful tool includes skill development for the following management skills:Trust, Time Management, Task Analysis, Appraisal, Setting Priorities, Interviewing, Negotiating, Delegating, Interpersonal Skills, Communication and more.
 
 
Each activity contains instructions, learning objectives, trainer guidance, and all participant materials needed to use the activity.
 
 



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