Setbacks. Why you need them.

During the last two weeks, a sports team I am working with experienced what would be classified as several textbook definition setbacks. When they occurred, they were in the process of learning about how to capitalize on their teams’ outcomes. As they were going through this experience, it wasn’t a comfortable situation for any of them. However, it was exactly what they needed to go through at that time.

Fast forward to this week, and the team decided it needed to do something differently. Not only because the way they were operating wasn’t working, but because the team dysfunction level was unbearable. You could feel it, and see it in their performance. Yet, until they encountered their second dramatic performance setback, they were not ready to do something different.

When this team reached what would be classified as “rock bottom”, was when they decided it was time to try what they were potentially resisting, or not fully feeling like they could embrace. At this point, they had nothing to lose, and potentially everything to gain from facing their setbacks head on. This included openly talking about them, learning from them, and deciding to collectively try a different approach to how they were functioning as a team. In other words, to begin acting like one.

Yes, it sounds obvious that a team should act like a team and be supportive of one another, but there are numerous factors which can contribute to this not happening. For instance, when a team’s communication breaks down, or when they don’t treat each other well, or act respectful of one another as both people and teammates.

The first sign of this or any team breaking down and heading towards a place they don’t want to end up, is when they begin playing as individuals. This happens in the workforce too. You can literally watch a team and see they are not functioning and supporting one another to be successful. You will also see individuals trying to stand out, or do what they think they need to independently do to support their team. This never works, as we all know that a team is at their best when they are deliberately working together, and trust that each member is ideally doing their part. It’s critical to note and be reminded that no single person on the team is responsible for the outcome of the team’s performance.

When communication and trust are both lacking, it’s nearly impossible for a team’s dynamics to be strong. However, each of these elements can be addressed, and when they are, the team can begin to heal, and repair and restore the camaraderie levels they are ideally seeking to reach.

Facing adversity and not working together to do so is one of the basic elements which contributes to a team’s setback. I give the team I am working with a great deal of credit for understanding and admitting they were collectively not doing their part to be a team. So, when they decided this week to do something about addressing this, is when I literally saw a different team on the field. As a matter of fact, I told them they looked and acted like a completely new team, and one that was committed to turning their setbacks around. They did exactly that, and logged their first home win that day.

Now, the real work of helping this team to maintain its focus on leveraging what they learned from their setbacks is going to be what makes the difference in the rest of their seasons performance results. They will be applying what they have been working on this past week to improve their team dynamics, and this will transfer into their actions on and off the field. Ultimately, they will be putting into practice and testing this afternoon what they have learned, and I strongly believe their setbacks will provide them with the inspiration to attain the results they are collaboratively working towards.

If you are an individual or on a team who has experienced setbacks, and who hasn’t, below are some suggestions you can apply to course correct on the outcome you would prefer to experience.

  • Consider what contributed to your setback. What role did you, or each team member play in having it occur? This should be discussed as a group, and lead by the Coach or Manager.
  • Discuss what you learned from your setback(s). Focus on being constructive with what is being communicated, and set ground rules that do not allow people to single out and publicly attack or embarrass someone.
  • Make sure that everyone has a voice. Some people on the team might feel more comfortable with writing down and then having someone else read what they want to express.
  • When trust breaks down, you need a delicate method and time to be in your favor to restore it. One of the things I recommend that team’s do, is to each write down what they like about every person they work with. It could be unrelated to their actual team contribution (e.g., they make me laugh), and then the next step is to then gather together and have each person read out loud what they wrote. This information can also be shared in writing too, so that it has a longer lasting impact.
  • Factor in doing something together that is independent of what your team normally does together, and which could allow them to have some fun. There a plenty of low-cost options and ideas to apply, so be creative. Having some fun together instead of dreading being with one another can be a catalyst to reset your team dynamic setbacks.

The bottom line about setbacks is that they can’t always be avoided, and when they do occur, they can actually work in our favor. That is, if you have the right mindset to capitalize on turning them into both learning, growth and opportunities to improve and recalibrate your teams’ dynamics.

TAGS: #Teams #Teamdynamics #Leadership #Teamsetbacks #Success #Motivation #Teamwork #Workforce #Business #Sports #Sportsteam #Sportsteams #Sportscoach #Coach #Manager #Leader

What ignites you? 10 Tips on why you must know this.

I just finished watching one of my sports teams come out at the beginning of their game looking like the win was a sure thing. Then the second quarter started, and the team’s performance continued to plummet. Unfortunately, all the way to the end of the game. What happened? From my vantage point, the most obvious challenge was that they began playing together as a team, then resorted to playing as individual participants. Unfortunately, this is never a winning recipe when that happens.

Since I wasn’t physically at the game, I didn’t have the advantage of being able to fully appreciate all of the team dynamics which were occurring. However, I could take an educated guess, but it wouldn’t change the outcome after the fact of what was happening real time. So, was there something which could have been done to have changed the trajectory of the game outcome? Absolutely, and I have some more work to do with this team based on this reality.

You might surmise that I would be upset with the team’s performance outcome. I’m not, as the final score is not reflective of the actual attempts to have made this a competitive game. It was for the first period, and then the challenges of not being able to re-ignite the team set in. The momentum shifted and remained in favor of the opponent, and my team wasn’t able to overcome the powerful momentum their opponent had built up. Could they have changed the momentum? Yes, and that’s where the real story begins.

As I continued to watch the game, it felt as if I was watching a different sport. One where the objective wasn’t to set up their team members up for success, but to individually attempt to change their team dynamics. News flash. When this occurs, this rarely results in the outcome a team is looking for. In fact, it’s as if they go into “panic mode”, and disengage from the reality that they are playing a team sport. Yes, this is frustrating to watch, and it isn’t fun for anyone on the team to experience either.

When the trajectory of a team’s dynamics is shifting away from its favor during a game, or in any competitive situation (e.g., on a sales team), there is something which can be done to course correct this. It involves knowing and understanding each of the team members very well, and in fact, what personally and collectively ignites and motivates them. When this information isn’t understood, or applied, this is when opportunities to win or seek the performance level metrics you are trying to attain begins to evaporate.

However, when you can tap into and apply and appeal to both the individuals and the collective team, this is where you can turn a situation around to be in your favor. Yes, you can also keep this going, even when the odds appear to be stacked against you. I can credibly say this, as I’ve seen this happen more times in my career than I would have imagined was actually possible.

What is the second element which needs to be tapped into to ignite and change up a team’s performance? It’s a six-letter word, and an extremely powerful one. It’s “belief” in themselves, their team members, and the fact they can do what many others would deem to be impossible.

When a united team believes something is possible, this is where the “magic” can be the spark which ignites their minds and bodies to perform at an entirely different level. You know when you see this occur, and as an analogy, it’s similar to when the weather pattern suddenly shifts without warning. Remaining on the weather analogy, the team which is in need of being turned around experiences a tremendous burst of energy. One which is sustainable, and almost impossible for the opponents to get back control of. Similar to a momentum shift which is difficult to change.

If you are looking for ways to understand what ignites you, the team you lead or are on, I have some suggestions for you to consider applying.

  • Does your team have an agreed upon motivational accelerator?
  • Can you articulate what your true motivational accelerators are?
  • If you or your team does not know what your motivational factors are, take some time to figure out what they are, and write them down.
  • If you or your team need help with determining your motivational factors, ask someone who knows you or the team well. Have them share what they think they might be, or have an open-minded conversation with them and brainstorm on coming up with what they are.
  • The majority of people who are competitively oriented are typically fueled by wanting to win. However, what if you are on a team, and this isn’t a motivating factor for you? Will your lack of competitive spirit impact your or your team members performance? Not necessarily, it’s just that you will be motivated differently to either win, or attain the performance metrics you are focused on. Hint, determine what they are, and let others know this too.
  • For those of you who are achievement oriented, and the good news is that this is the number one trait for most team members. Now, factor in what aspects about achievement can serve to fuel you to either a successful outcome, or to help change your or your team’s performance momentum and trajectory.
  • Are you motivated by internal or external factors? You will need to know this, and so will your coach/leader and team members. Identify what those factors are, and make sure they can be applied in your favor.
  • How easily do you give up? Be honest with yourself. If you are on a team and they need you to commit to 100% believing in achieving sometimes what would seem impossible, what is it going to take to get you to attain this mindset? Perhaps you start with yourself. Then ask yourself if you truly trust that you will do everything you can humanly do to be the best team member you can be. Both from a performance and support perspective.
  • How would you rate your attitude? Especially in times of distress. Does your attitude become one which you are not proud of? What can you do to maintain your positive attitude, or who can help you to do this if you struggle to accomplish this?
  • If you are not fully able to appreciate what your own innate talents are, then how can you fully leverage them for your own benefit, let alone your teams? This is a rhetorical question, so begin with finding out what they are, and then begin applying them for a solid starting point.
  • Let’s assume you know what your talents are, that you are applying them, but others are not appreciating them. Ask to have a conversation with the person or people who fall into this category, and look to resolve this by having the goal of fully understanding and appreciating the talents you each bring to the team.

Emotionally, a loss of any kind is difficult. The good news is that you can learn a great deal from a loss. So, the take away from this should be to objectively debrief together on where the opportunities are to leverage this information to help you, and or, the team you lead. Doing this will develop the foundation you need to change the momentum and trajectory in your favor the next time you need to apply this “play” or strategic move. Chin up team! I believe in you. Now you need to do and show the rest of us you believe in yourself.

TAGS:  #Teams #Coach #Sportscoach #Leader #Leadership #Inspiration #Motivation #Talent #Talentdevelopment #Winning #Howtowin #Howtochangemomentum

Tips on asking for what you want. Pets successfully do this every day.

I get it. It can be intimidating to always ask for what you want. Does it have to be this way? No. As a matter of fact, let’s add asking for what you “really” want to the list of things that the concept of mindset can help you with. In full disclosure, I’m not a mindset expert, but the concept is simple enough to embrace and make it work in your favor.

If you have a pet, or have experienced being around one, you have witnessed them generally getting what they want. The thing that is more remarkable about this is that they don’t have the same advantage that you do, as you can talk, and obviously they can’t. So, given the fact you have a tremendous advantage of being able to express verbally to others what you want, shouldn’t this make it easier for you to do so?

Yes, having the advantage of being able to verbally communicate with others what you want should put you in a position to have this occur, but the reality is, it doesn’t for many people.

One of the factors contributing to people not asking for what they want is their confidence level. When someone’s confidence level is higher, it is easier for them to ask for what they want. Generally, because they are not afraid of the answer not being in their favor. However, you know the old adage of “you can’t get what you don’t ask for”. If you like thinking about statistics, in the case of asking for what you want, there is a chance that fifty percent of the time you will get what you ask for. Not bad, from an odds perspective.

Perhaps you would like your odds of asking what you want to be higher than fifty percent? Sure, why wouldn’t you? Especially if you are seriously committed to asking for, and getting what you ask for.

Let’s consider a real scenario of someone. Perhaps someone in a sales role. They are a great example, because they professionally practice asking for what they want. If you were to ask them is it easy for them to do their job, most of them would say that it isn’t. However, the rewards will often outweigh the downsides in their profession. So, they press on and either strategically figure out how to get what they want, or move on to a different scenario where they will.

Another approach a sales professional would take is to circle back at a different time, and to ask for what they want under different circumstances. In this case, timing and perhaps a different communication pitch was altered to be more appealing, or the solution they were offering made more sense. The bottom line is that they continued to ask for what they wanted, even though there was no guarantee their result would be different.

Preparation, persistence and consistency are three other factors which contributes to getting what you want. Sometimes you will need to prepare differently to approach going after what you want. A great example of this would be an athlete.

As we know, athletes need to consistently be preparing to pursue getting to where they, or their team wants to be from a performance perspective. Their persistence, focus and dedication towards driving to reach and attain what they want can also come in the form of having improved their ability. Enough so that they can have a conversation with their sports coach about obtaining more playing time. Or, more powerfully, getting what they want by demonstrating to their coach that they are at an entirely different performance level to warrant the coach giving them more playing time. In turn, providing the athlete with getting what they want via a non-verbal approach. In other words, the approach that pets take.

When people become frustrated by not getting what they want, they need to consider whether they actually articulated what they want? Curiously, some people will think that others should simply know what they want, and that that they don’t have to verbally express this. Sure, there are instances where this might apply, but in most circumstances, you will need to leverage the power of your verbal communication to accomplish this. More obviously stated, because the majority of people do not have the ability to read your or other peoples minds.

The power of persuasion gets talked about in both a positive and negative way. Let’s look at the power of persuasion in a positive light. When you are gearing up to ask for what you want, are you doing so with factoring in that perhaps what you are asking for is only going to benefit you? In some cases, this might be alright, but often there needs to be a point of reaching either a compromise, or potentially a quid pro quo. Not always, but its critical to factor this into your equation of asking for what you want.

If you are at a point where you would benefit from having some suggestions to consider to seek being able to ask for what you want, and to increase your odds for achieving this, here are some ideas for you.

  • Do you really know what you want, and are you potentially asking for something that you are not fully intent on obtaining?
  • How genuine are you coming across when you are asking for what you want? If you are not coming across at a heightened level of being authentic or sincere, your chances of obtaining what you want are going to decrease. 
  • Think about a time you asked for, and got what you want. A time when you were surprised that you did get what you asked for. What were the circumstances or what was the approach you took, and could this be repeated with other “asks”?
  • When you are asking for what you want, are you clearly expressing this, or are you making it difficult for the person or group you are trying to get a “thumbs up” from confused by your ask? Sometimes we think we are clearly asking for what we want, when in fact it is just the opposite.
  • If you are not in sales, you will need to practice asking for what you want in order to become more comfortable with doing so. I’m not saying you need to be at a sales professional level to get what you want, but it will help you immensely to try different “ask” approaches to see which ones deliver better results.

Everyone should be able to attain reaching a level of getting to the point of being able to ask for, and have a higher percentage of times when they get what they want. If they seriously want to achieve this. Are you ready to begin increasing your odds, and asking for, and getting what you want?

TAGS: #Business #Communication #Askingforwhatyouwant #Gettingwhatyouaskfor #Influence #Persuasion #Theartofpersuasion #Sportscoach #Leader #Persistence #Success #Tipsongettingwhatyouwant #Thepowerofpersuasion #Gettingwhatyouwant #Sales #Persuasiontips

What’s your worth? 10 Tips to consider.

If I were to think about myself as having a value associated with how I perceive myself, or worse, how others perceive me, I would be quite distressed. Although the interesting point in this consideration is that you hear people all the time referencing about either their own, but typically someone else’s worth. Or, perhaps they are discussing value?

In either scenario, my feeling is it would be incredibly difficult to come up with a formula to evaluate the value a person has each day. However, we know that many people love to have the ability to measure or compare and contrast. Either to another person, scenario or some other measurement which they deem to be important.

When I think about someone’s value or worth, I see it as a completely arbitrary measure, and in fact, one that would be in a constant state of flux. If we did have a formula to measure the value of someone, what would be some of the factors contributing to this equation? In my opinion, it will be extremely difficult to gain consensus on this topic, and who will really benefit from determining the criteria for measurement, or from being measured? 

Does it really matter how others evaluate you? I really don’t think it does, because any measurement is going to likely contain too many arbitrary and non-neutral considerations which won’t be able to be applied as a “one-size-fits-all” approach. So, why are many people fascinated with being able to define themselves via a standard of measurement? Does it help them to improve who they are as a person? Does it make them a person who contributes in a more powerful way to society? The list could go on forever in terms of what could be measured, but isn’t it more important to innately have a strong sense of your own personal value or worth?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say it is more important for everyone to strive to reach a place where they have their own comfort level in how they are contributing as a human to our society. Perhaps they have physical or mental limitations which would prevent them from reaching a maximum contribution level. Independent of this, wouldn’t it be satisfactory for both them and others if they were doing the best they could do given their limitations? I think it would.

Where I am challenged with my consideration of a person’s worth, is when it is solely based on factors that are revered by some people, and absolutely unimportant to others. In other words, too many people place a high value on a person’s financial worth. What’s worse is that these same people who are enamored by someone’s wealth, essentially cancel out other factors which shouldn’t be. Ones in fact that would negatively contribute to how a person is simply being measured and evaluated, based solely on their ability to have amassed wealth.

We know that not everyone who has amassed wealth did so on their own. Perhaps they inherited the wealth, or just happened to be fortunate with their timing and in a situation where they were an overnight wealthy person (e.g., the company they worked for went public, and their financial value skyrocketed overnight). I’ve seen this happen numerous times, and simply because these people now have a massive amount of money did not change the fundamentals of them being a worthy or valued human. Especially since currency is simply an arbitrary way of people agreeing on it having value.

My consideration of a person’s worth like currency is arbitrary, and should other people really have the power to judge your value? Think about this for a minute. The reality is that this does happen all the time, so what can you do about it? More importantly, do you care to do something about this?

If you are interested in doing something about impacting either your own sense of worth or value, there are in fact many things you have the power to do to impact it. Here are some suggestions on how to go about doing this.

  • What have you done today or recently to contribute to the well-being of others?
  • Have you invested in yourself to make yourself a healthier person both mentally and physically?
  • Do you have a written or plan in your mind which factors in leveraging your own talents which can both help to support you, and others too?
  • Consider the impact your value as a caring person would have on someone who might need some additional caring support. What could you do to increase your care level towards another person, or multiple people?
  • Starting today, what can you do to become a less self-centered person?
  • What can you do to come up with a different system to evaluate your own worth or the value you are contributing to our society on a daily or some consistent basis?
  • Think about why you might regard people who have more wealth then you do in a category of having a higher worth than you do?
  • Sure, having money can provide people with greater access to power and other opportunities, but does this really make them more valuable as a human?
  • Reconsider how you evaluate your criteria for both worth and success.
  • Factor in how being healthy, happy, having time to do the things you like to do, and having the ability to spend your time and attention on being with people you love can contribute to your worth and life value.

The expression of “life is a journey, enjoy the ride” is one which I am reminded by every day. Given this expression, I do my best each day to make sure I am paying attention to this sentiment. By perceiving my own worth and value to be at a level which I desire, and not having it impacted by what other people think, is what gives me the greatest satisfaction of knowing both my worth and value are exactly where I want them to be. Better yet? I’m the only judge that matters in what this means. I hope that if you are not currently at this level of thinking, you will be at some point in the near future.

TAGS: #Confidence #Self-worth #Leadership #Motivation #Positivity #Business #Teams

Excuses. (7) Tips to stop making them.

Today is the first day of the new year. I have always felt a sense of freedom on this day. Perhaps because looking at it from an author’s and business owner perspective, it is similar to providing me with a blank screen to write something about. I find this exhilarating, but some might find it to be anything but that.

What I like about having a day like today, is also being able to take a moment to both reflect back on what I have achieved in the past year. More importantly, to focus on what lies ahead for me to strive for, and experience both personally and professionally. In terms of how I go about crafting what my year will look like, is probably not the traditional way most people would plot out what they want to accomplish.

Although my system works for me, I firmly believe you need to have your own established method or system. This is why I’m not going to jade your thinking with sharing mine with you. I could, but I know that you will be more successful if you think this through on your own. More importantly, that you create a system or method that you will be motivated to follow through with. In other words, make it simple enough to do so. This is step one in not coming up with an excuse to avoid this process.

Now, can you imagine a day without coming up with an excuse about why you can’t do something? For context, I’m referring to things you would be doing which are all in your favor, and wouldn’t have any negative consequences. With this being established, think about how much freedom you could experience and the sense of accomplishment you would enjoy if you were not constrained by your excuses? The word liberating comes to my mind when I think about this. Perhaps even a revised form of freedom you have yet to encounter in your life?

Several things I spend my time on professionally is leading and motivating people and teams. What I find when we begin working together, is noticing how many of them have what I refer to as an excuse default mode. It’s almost as if they begin their day with restrictions, and too many thoughts and reasons about how they won’t be able to do something. Fortunately, this is a habit, and habits can be broken. So, keep this in mind if you fall into this category.

Not everyone defaults to an excuse mode all the time, but I’m certain you have had days or times in your life when you felt this way. The real question is, do you like living your life both personally and professionally with excuses as the basis for your daily operational foundation? Only you can answer this, and be honest with yourself.

Given the choice, the majority of people in life would rather have a life filled with opportunities and more pleasant memories. The conundrum that prevents us from not defaulting to an excuse mode, is both a habit, and because you haven’t given yourself permission to be bold, and imagine how differently your life could be without restrictions. Or, what I refer to as excuses.

Let’s face it. Coming up with an excuse not to do or experience something doesn’t take much effort. Conversely, nor should coming up with ways that you could in fact do, or experience the things you are denying yourself or possibly others from doing. For example, let’s say you want to expand your professional network. Sure, this will take some effort, but far less than you might imagine. In fact, expanding your network can be analogous to walking. It only takes one step at a time to bring you to a different place.

As a professional example related to networking, I wanted to meet more sports coaches from around the country to better understand aspects related to team dynamics. So, I set out to accomplish this by emailing one coach I knew. In my communication, I told him about what I wanted to accomplish, and from this communication, I met an additional fifty sports coaches from around the country. Was this hard to do? Not really, and actually, it was incredibly exciting and empowering on a multitude of levels.

The point is that I could have easily come up with an excuse about how hard it might be to find fifty sports coaches to speak with, but by taking the first step of doing so, fueled and created momentum to continue to reach my goal. This example is something you can leverage, and if you are looking to start the New Year off without being in an excuse default mode, here are some suggestions to help you to accomplish this.

  • Think of yourself as a person who runs marathons. You didn’t just wake up today and say I’m going to run a marathon today. You put in a large amount of training to get to the point that you could run a marathon. So, think like a marathoner, and focus on what is in front of you, take one step at a time, and build on your distance until you reach your goal.
  • Don’t look too far out towards your “end goal”, remain focused on what you can do right now, today or this week.
  • Some people prefer to have an accountability partner. Only you know if you will benefit from having one, but most people will. Who could be your accountability partner?
  • Starting today, when the first opportunity to come up with an excuse presents itself, think about what it is going to feel like when you don’t come up with an excuse about why you can’t or don’t want to do something.
  • Consider rewarding yourself, or keeping track of how many times you avoided coming up with an excuse.
  • Before you say no, or come up with an excuse about why you can’t do or accomplish something, think through what would happen if you said “yes”.
  • Instead of conveying your excuse, ask the person if you can get back to them with an answer. During the in-between time of responding to the person, come up with only a pro list of why you should do what they asked you to do. In other words, talk yourself into doing and accomplishing what they asked you to consider doing.

How liberating would it be if more people were oriented around not being in excuse mode? Perhaps you can set an example for others and demonstrate how you have become someone who doesn’t let excuses rule or limit opportunities in their life. What are you waiting for? Your excuse free life is waiting for you, and imagine how amazing it is going to be! Happy “excuse free” New Year!

TAGS: #Leadership #Opportunities #Opportunity #SportsCoach #SportsCoaches #Communication #Business #Teams #Noexcuses #Stopmakingexcuses #Howtostopmaking excuses #7Tipstostopmakingexcuses #Tips #Motivation #Teamdynamics #Networking #7Tipstostopmakingexcuses #Excuses