Let’s hear some good news.

Despite the fact my degree is in Journalism, I have never been a fan of the news. Yes, this might seem contradictory, but the news is only one form of Journalism. A form that never appealed to me, as I seldomly received value from hearing what was being conveyed. Sure, this might surprise my friends in the news business, but I look at what they do purely as a service.

So, how to I find out what’s happening? There are plenty of sources to derive this information, and we are living during a time to be fortunate to have numerous options. I have family members who need to depend on news sources for their job, but like me, they too must source their information from a variety of places. Mainly to help them to sort out which information could be closest to being truthful, and sans only opinions on a topic.

Sorting out what news information is biased, and which is purely propaganda may seem like an easy assignment. It’s not, and this is because you need to have a wider lens of understanding and looking at the information you are consuming. This takes effort and time, and not everyone is willing to consider doing this. That’s fine, but you will need to appreciate you will be subjected to incredible biases, without even potentially realizing the influence it is having on you. Especially the bad news.

One of my favorite ways to source good news is to talk to people. Particularly when I am traveling. There is something special about hearing others share good news with you. I also adore how excited people get when they have an opportunity to tell you something they are proud of, or happy about knowing. To see people light up and become highly animated when they are telling you about positive news is incredibly heartwarming.

When I am talking to my corporate and sports client leaders, my favorite part of interacting with them is to hear about progress. Why? Because to me, progress is almost always positive. Even if it is minor progress. The fact that others notice progress is also refreshing, particularly when they can go into detail about what has occurred.  I also enjoy seeing how proud people become when they can share good news about those they lead or engage with.

Perhaps hearing negative news impacts me differently than others? I will acknowledge that I know it does, and I have come to terms with this. In fact, I have embraced the fact I know that negative news does not serve me well. However, I can’t imagine it does for most people, so I’m always curious about how people are able to process hearing negative news. Especially in large doses? Yes, it’s my opinion, but I find it hard to believe that this does anyone any favors.

Given the fact my preference is to focus almost exclusively on hearing good news, I’ll share with you some suggestions I have to help you to do so too.

  • This will seem highly obvious, but consider not watching the mainstream news.
  • I’m not endorsing any publications, but there are some publications and online news sources that are oriented towards providing you with as close to unbiased news as possible. I’ll let you decide who they are. Unfortunately, these news sources will contain negative news, but they might also have a balance of neutral or positive news too.
  • When was the last time you started a conversation and asked someone to tell you some good news? Give it a try!
  • Are you someone who loves to only talk about bad news? Perhaps you aren’t even aware you do this?
  • If you are unsure of whether you are perceived as a “negative news” person, ask someone who can truthfully tell you whether you are this way.
  • Consider coming up with a list of topics you want to learn more about. Now invest time in exploring learning more about them, with the focus on understanding what the positive impact of the topic happens to be. Then share the good information with others.
  • What part are you playing in your life or professionally to be contributing to adding positively to our world? Whatever this might be, how can you increase the amount of this to have an even greater positive impact?
  • Helping other people in any capacity is always a great path to pursue to have it conclude with a better outcome. Sharing this outcome with others will both uplift you, the person or people you are helping, and anyone you communicate this information to.

We always have choices to make, and since one of the choices could be to contribute to having more good news to share with others, I strongly encourage you to do so. Especially if it can help to offset in any way all the negative news that tends to override the good news we could be hearing about.

#Leadership #Communication #Leaders #Teams #Goodnews #Happy #Positivity #Management #Thinkingdifferently #Positiveinfluence #Business #Sports #Sportsteams #Corporateteams #Professionaldevelopment #Personaldevelopment #Strategy #Motivation #Beingpositive #Optimisticthinking #Optimist

The power of possibilities.

Right now, I’m thinking about a sports team that is one game away from repeating the amazing performance and season they had last year. This time they are at home, and their opponent traveled from the west coast, so the toll of traveling and far different weather conditions will not be in their favor. Even though these factors might seem to be detrimental to their outcome, I can assure you they won’t be, and my team is prepared for this.

Some of the preparations the team has taken into consideration is making sure their individual mindsets are focused, and visualizing the outcome they want their upcoming game today to have. In other words, they are harnessing the power of the possibility of ending their season exactly the way they want to. Two of the other preparations they are taking to ensure the outcome they are anticipating is to fully appreciate the “why” and “who” they are playing their game for. They each know this, and are hyper focused on these two concepts. Although this might seem easy to do, it’s not. It’s also several of the reasons they have had such a successful season.

Of course, this teams coaches play a large role in their success too, and each of them brings their specialized talents to infuse into the collective team’s performance. The coaches consistently apply their specialized methods to their team, but two of these factors they include might be different and perhaps surprising. What are these factors? It’s humor and kindness. One of the coaches excels in each of these areas, and these are a few of what I’ll refer to as her “superpowers”. Seeing her apply them is like watching a professional ballet, as she is so poised and elegant with her application of these elements.

Perhaps you are surprised by the two factors I noted that are applied to making the team I am referring to so successful? The interesting part of this is that these are exactly the same factors that can be applied to a corporate team. Yet, they so infrequently are. However, when they are, that is what separates their performance outcomes from other teams and companies.

The team I am also referencing ,is admittedly at the greatest disadvantage on so many levels, but they never leverage this as an excuse for achievement. Many sports and corporate teams could learn a great deal from watching this team in action, but more so off the field. Why? Because they are only on the field a relatively short amount of time, and what they are putting into practice and their outcomes off the field is arguably more critical to their success. How do I know this? Because I engage in very strategic and creative conversations with one of their coaches on a regular basis, and we have done so for the last three years.

During our conversations very few topics are off limits, and many times I feel like we are two philosophers discussing anything but sports and team dynamics. Naturally we are, but the intensity of our discussions and where they lead is always intriguing. The best part, is that they always produce thought provoking options to consider relating to challenges we always have woven into our conversations. Options which are then applied soon after we talk. Almost like a “test kitchen” concept to see which ones will produce the results we were expecting.

Sometimes I wish we were recording the discussions we are having, but I think that might take away from the intensity and open-mindedness we can have without feeling constrained to speak freely. Although, it’s possible at one point we might test out whether having our conversation recorded would restrict what we are talking about. For context, none of the subjects we talk about are ones we wouldn’t openly discuss in front of others, but some of them might make others slightly uncomfortable. 

In terms of how to leverage the power of possibilities like I do on a regular basis, I have some suggestions below for you to consider.

  • On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, how would you rate yourself in terms of being openminded? Hint…the more openminded you are, the easier it will be to leverage the power of possibility thinking.
  • Make a list of what you think holds you back from achieving what you or your team want to accomplish.
  • Are the items on your list realistic constraints or potentially excuses. Perhaps a mix of both? Coming to terms with especially the excuses and coming up with solutions to address not having them be excuses is going to open up the power of possibility thinking for you.
  • Commit to stop thinking “small” in terms of what you can achieve. Yes, it’s easy to do, but you first need to take steps not to do this all the time. Eventually you will want to have the goal of eliminating “small” thinking in terms of what you can achieve.
  • Do you realize that you might be more often thinking in terms of scarcity versus abundance? Reverse your thinking on this one. It will serve you well doing so.
  • When was the last time you thought about achieving something you may never have admitted out loud, or written down and looked at? Perhaps something really big and what others might think is audacious? In my opinion, I would be thrilled if you thought this way, and I am always saying to others “Go big, or go home!” Why not?
  • Do you have someone you admire that you can look to for inspiration? If not, consider what would be the qualities of someone you would admire who has achieved perhaps the things you would like to achieve too?

Leveraging the “power of possibility thinking” is something that will take time to master. Even if you are only slightly open to thinking this way, you will be amazed at what will be happening both in your life, professionally and for those that you lead when you master this concept. More importantly, you should have fun doing this, and lots of laughter along the way.

TAGS: #Leadership #Motivation #Teams #Sports #Sportsteams #Corporateteams #Executives #Sportscoaches #Communication #Achievement #Success #Leader #Business #Teamdynamics #Success #Mindset #Positivethinking

Surround yourself with awesome people.

The last few weeks in my life have been beyond stressful and overly emotional. No matter how much you think you are prepared to deal with both stress and emotions, I don’t think you can ever truly be ready to appreciate the toll they can take on you.

Emerging from the experience of my Dad passing away is going to take time. How much? I don’t think anyone can put a time limit on this. One of the most difficult aspects of facing the reality of my Dad not being with us, was not being able to have an actual conversation with him this week. Sure, I had a number of one-way conversations this week with him, but it certainly wasn’t the same. Yes, this is something I’ll need to adjust to, but it’s not going to be easy.

If anyone of you have someone that inspired you or was perhaps your muse, you will be able to comprehend the struggle I am having since this person is no longer here for me to engage with. Of course, I have other people in my life who I can talk to, but very few of them were at the caliber level of my Dad. He was one of the few people who completely understood and fully supported me without any judgement both emotionally and intellectually.

As I am going through the grieving process, it is therapeutic for me to write about how I am feeling, and to have an outlet to express myself. I realize I am fortunate to have this outlet, and I can’t imagine how others cope with the type of feelings I am having. So, thank you for indulging me with my written emotional expressions, and being by my side right now.

During a conversation I was having with a family member last week, they made a remark that was in pure alignment with how I think. Their statement was based on an observation relating to the emotional and physical support our family was receiving during this difficult time period. What they expressed was how amazing it was to see that our family was surrounded and supported by such awesome people. I completely agree with this sentiment, and it’s what makes it possible to look forward knowing my Dad won’t be a part of our daily life. At least not in person.

When I started thinking about how did our family become so fortunate to have such an amazing collection of awesome people in our life, it came down to a few factors. The first factor was that our family is a very kind family, and my parents modeled always being gracious and non-judgmental of others. Another factor was that my family seldomly asked for support, but yet would always be one of the first people to help someone else. In essence my family modeled the importance of having compassion and appreciating aspects of other people, ones that potentially others don’t see.

Being a compassionate person my whole life is something that my family instilled in me and my siblings. I have intentionally passed this down to my own children, and have also modeled this type of behavior in my professional life too. In fact, I can’t imagine behaving any other way. Even during really difficult time periods such as the one I’m in right now.

If you are curious about how to go about including more awesome people in your life, I have some suggestions for you about how to go about doing so.

  • This will require you to tap into your emotional intelligence, but it will be well worth it. Consider the first time you met everyone currently in your life. Did you automatically have a good feeling about them? Be honest, perhaps you didn’t.
  • If you didn’t have a good feeling about someone, have they changed and become a better person? If not, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate whether they need to be part of your life.
  • Consider a situation when you needed support. Which of your friends or family members were there for you?
  • People have different capacities for helping, so try not to be too judgmental on people who can only provide certain levels of support (e.g., emotional, physical, spiritual).
  • Think about how you have helped someone else during a time they needed your support. What were you able to offer them that was comforting to them? Perhaps this is what you will need at some point?
  • Don’t be intimidated to express in advance what type of support would be best for you.  For instance, some people need others to be with them, and conversely, others might need more alone time.
  • What makes the people in your life awesome? Are they qualities you let them know how much you appreciate them today for? These are likely the qualities that will be highly desirable and applied when you especially need them. Or, that will help you when you come across a new person to consider including in your life.
  • Don’t ever think you don’t deserve to have amazing people in your life. We all deserve this, and this is one of the aspects of what makes our lives so meaningful.

Thank you for all of the incredible heartfelt advice I have received over the last week about how to cope with the loss of my Dad. All of it was truly meaningful, and I feel very fortunate to have so many awesome people in my life.

TAGS: #People #Family #Friends #Leadership #Motivation #Communication #Advice #Tipsonfindingamazingpeople #Supportingothers #Personaldevelopment #Awesomepeople #Howtofindawesomepeople #Management

Is it time to stop doing what you are doing?

We have all either been there, or have seen someone or a situation occurring in front of us that isn’t working out. Perhaps it’s crystal clear to us, and for the person or the people involved in the situation. Despite this, the less than desirable situation continues to play out without any signs of it stopping. Or, the possibility of it changing. In either of these scenarios, there comes a time when someone else either needs to intervene, or the person or group needs to ask for help. 

Asking for help can be difficult. Especially when the factors of pride, stubbornness, ignorance or complacency is involved. However, these are some of reasons which contribute to a situation which can go from good to bad quickly. Often when the situation takes on the trajectory of heading into the “bad” zone, it might hover there for a period of time. This can be despite others attempting to intervene and to help.

Yes, it can be enormously frustrating seeing either a person or a group of people continuing to do something which isn’t working for them. Imagine how it must feel for some of them if they realize they are in a scenario which seems to present itself as a “Ground Hog Day”, when every day is exactly the same. Worse, is that it isn’t the type of day you want it to be, but you or the team feels powerless to change what is happening. In this team situation , either one person or a few people will need to address the fact and admit it isn’t going well, and that they want it to change. 

Change is a concept which most people have a more difficult time embracing. Yet, it can be exactly what needs to happen. When change needs to be introduced into a situation which isn’t working, the steps to do this don’t always provide an overnight solution. Although there are instances when they can have a desired effect to begin the process of what I refer to as a “course correction”. My definition of a “course correction” is taking a retrospective look at a current situation and then coming up with ways to introduce changes which will have a positive outcome. An outcome that the leader and team initially intended to pursue and experience. 

Fear of change, having the courage to admit you don’t have all of the answers and becoming stuck is something I regularly see happen with leaders and their teams from a performance perspective. It’s not only hard to watch it play out, it is even more difficult to wait to see at what point will be the right point to intervene. Or, to allow the leader or the team to get to the point just before they are heading to being in an unrecoverable situation. Being a consummate optimist, I rarely think a situation is unrecoverable, but occasionally there are instances of this. 

Over time I have learned to recognize the signs of when a leader or team is heading towards a place they may not want to be going. It isn’t always obvious this is happening, but there are signs. The signs you or someone else will need to be on the lookout for whether they are being leveraged, include factors such as whether emotional intelligence is being applied, being able to interpret and understanding body language, having the ability to read and know the leader or teams energy level and how to impact them are some of the underlying signs and behaviors that are often so subtle, they are very difficult to see. These are also some of the behaviors which collectively are contributing to the dysfunction of the situation or team. 

I’ll often talk to people about how as a “Caption Obvious” statement, that no one wants to be on either a losing or dysfunctional team. Each of these type of teams and those that lead them are certainly not desirable, but it doesn’t mean they have to continue to be that way. Most of the time, if they continue to be that way, as I noted above, some type of intervention will occur. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are instances when an intervention doesn’t occur, and this is equivalent to the analogy of the captain going down  at sea with their ship. Perhaps this could be looked at as self-sacrificing, but the outcome generally isn’t desirable. When a leader takes the position of either being the “scape goat” or is trying to fix everything themselves, both of these scenarios never result in being favorable for anyone involved. Why? Because one person does not equal a team.

Let’s circle back to having some type of intervention or course correction injected into a scenario which calls for whatever is occurring to stop happening. In this situation some initial actions need to occur. The first is to admit what either the leader or the team has been doing isn’t working. The second step is to embrace the need to do something different, and the third and fourth steps are to ask for help, and to finally commit to doing something different. Doing something different doesn’t mean it will need to be radically different, although it might need to be. However, it could be moving towards introducing a series of steps to apply the course correction needed to alter the current direction which isn’t working. 

In addition to the steps I noted above to apply to help you or your team stop doing what isn’t working for you collectively, below are some suggestions of other options you can consider.

  • Start with evaluating your mindset. Is it open enough to be willing to consider doing something differently than you are currently doing which has contributed to the situation you as a leader, or your team are in?
  • Is there someone you know that has been in your situation? If so, consider reaching out to them and ask them if they would be willing to provide you with their own ideas about how they stopped doing what wasn’t working, and tried something else which produced the results they were looking for. 
  • If you are the leader, what are the factors which contributed to having you been in the less than desirable situation you or your team are in? Without placing blame on others, what are the factors you may have been contributing to your negative scenario?
  • Sometimes leaders and teams are not set-up for success. This doesn’t mean they can’t be successful. It simply is an early warning indicator that either the leader, members of the team or a combination will need to agree they will need to determine what the factors are which could be brought in to help them to be successful. This will require a high level of collaboration and trust, and if the leader or team is struggling, this is going to present an enormous challenge, but it isn’t one that can’t be overcome. It will take both time and patience, and no, there isn’t an overnight solution.
  • Sometimes others who have nothing to do with your situation, or who are not close to your less than desirable scenario, will have clear insights into solutions which can be applied to help you. Do you know someone or a few people who might be able to offer you their valuable insights?
  • Consider if the situation you are in is a reoccurring pattern or behavior. If it is, do you have the ability to be reflective enough to see what is contributing to it? If you do, are there instances when you are heading towards doing something you should stop doing when you can prevent yourself from continuing to be on this less than desirable path?
  • Although others may not agree, I do believe that hope can be a strategy, and that it is needed in circumstances that seem hopeless. So, if a leader or their team has even the slightest bit of hope their circumstances can be different, this can be the catalyst required to positively change the direction they are currently heading. 

Leaders and their teams are oriented towards being successful. However, there are times when they are not, but this doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t be successful under a different set of circumstances. The most important thing to keep in mind, is that if someone is willing to change and stop doing what isn’t working for them, that is the point in time when the opportunity to be on a successful path will become a realistic possibility. 

#Teams #Leadership #Leaders #SportsCoach #Leadershipstrategies #Hope #Tipsforteamsuccess #Dysfunctionalteam #Business #Strategy #Thinkingdifferently #Change #Askingforhelp #Teamsintrouble #Fixingteams #Helpingteams #Howtohelpateam #Management #Carreradvice #Personaldevelopment #Teamdevelopment #Communication #Motivation #Confidence #Strategy

Choosing words that matter.

Even a small word such as yes can make a difference in someone’s life when it is stated at the right time and to the correct person. Consider the last time you expressed this word, and what the context of using it was. Now that you have hindsight on having said “yes”, was this the optimal word to have chosen? Or, would you have rather expressed another word?

It’s not always easy to cobble together words that will have a positive impact, and some people are clearly better at doing this than others. Does it take practice to be able to do this? For most people it does, but there are people who have the ability to be both articulate, succinct

and expressive in a way that will the majority of time have a positive impact based on what they have expressed. I’m sure you also can name someone who does this well.

We don’t always have the chance to practice stating something that will have a positive impact on someone, and even when we have an opportunity to write and then convey our message, it might not achieve its intended purpose. Although the chances of it doing so in writing might be slightly higher because of the reality that you can edit your message, we know there are no guarantees. Which is exactly why choosing the right word or words and stating them to others can be so difficult. Yet, having the ability to do so is certainly worth striving to achieve.

When the right words are conveyed to either another person or a group, it’s always interesting to learn post the message delivery about the variety of impacts and interpretations the listeners had. About half of the listeners will be in agreement with what they heard, while the remaining half will have varying degrees of either taking action on, needing more time to digest the information or potentially not have any impact on them.

When people in a group setting are hearing words expressed to them that are intended to have a positive impact, and the impact doesn’t affect them the way the speaker thought it would, places both the message conveyer and listeners into an interesting place. One that isn’t always ideal, yet provides an opportunity to also dissect what went wrong with the message delivery.

A recent conversation I was having with a leader related to actually not leveraging an opportunity to have the power of their words impact their team. Instead of conveying upfront what they intended the outcome of a situation to be, they opted not to express what they anticipated the results would be. So, the outcome which resulted was highly disappointing to the team, but the leader was in a neutral state, and this caused unintended consequences.

Upon having a post-mortem conversation with this leader about their decision not to leverage words to inspire or express their intentions to the team about how they were perceiving the outcome of the opportunity the team was involved with, was what I refer to as an “ahh-ha” moment. The fact of the matter is that there was a missed opportunity to state up front how the leader would have leveraged the power of expressing what they were thinking, and it was completely different than how the team was thinking and reacted without any explanation. Given this scenario, this is what I refer to as a perfect “course correction” situation. One that provided the chance to leverage the power of words to do so, yet didn’t occur.

At this moment in time, there isn’t closure on the example noted, but there is a next step. The next step is to have a conversation with the leader about how to fully appreciate and apply the power of words to both their own and their teams benefit. Will the initial time they do this have the intended impact they are expecting? I believe it will, and yes, it will take them practice to become better at doing this. However, it’s exactly what they need to do as a leader, and their team also needs them to do. In fact, the team expects this from their leader, and it is an enormous missed opportunity when this doesn’t happen.

If you are a leader or sports team coach or someone who hasn’t been benefitting from the practice of choosing words that matter, below are some suggestions to get you started.

  • Consider what words inspire you. Write them down, and begin practicing using them in sentences on a one-on-one basis with people you regularly interact with.
  • Do some research and listen and read about others who are inspirational speakers.
  • Pay closer attention during conversations to appreciate who is having a positive impact on you based on how they are conveying their message to you.
  • Words can be like weapons, and have unintended negative consequences. So, make sure that the words you choose are meant to be supportive and not punitive.
  • Work on finding your communication style and comfort zone when it is time to convey your words to others. You don’t have to imitate others styles, as it will be both hard to do, and isn’t likely your natural communication style.
  • Always think about what the intended end goal of your communication will be, as sometimes your communication and the words you choose will have different purposes.
  • Factor in making sure that your body language is in alignment with what your words are expressing.
  • Appreciate and be highly responsible for the words you choose to express to others, as they might have a lifelong impact on them.

I’m excited about the opportunity I have today to see the leader I referenced above, and to have a second chance of helping them to leverage their words. Words that I know they want to positively impact the intended outcome for their team today. Let’s hope the suggestions above are ones that will benefit both you and the team you lead. Or, to have a positive impact on any future conversations you are having with others.

TAGS: #Leaders #Sportscoaches #Communication #Powerfulcommunication #Leadership #Motivation #Inspiration #Business #Sports #Sportsteams #Thepowerofwords #Influence #Theimpactofwords #Professionaldevelopment #Personaldevelopment #Growthmindset