People who support you versus people who take your words for themselves.

This topic is highly personal to me. As a matter of fact and context, I also wasn’t going to write about it. However, I was highly encouraged to do so based on a recent action taken by a person who either knowingly, but I hope innocently, took credit for developing content that wasn’t theirs. It was mine.

There is a saying that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Although when the imitation is blatantly occurring, there is generally an opportunity to acknowledge and reference the source. Either verbally or in writing. Doing this can make a world of difference. However, it doesn’t always address the core of this matter, which is how too often people are disrespectful of other people’s creations, and claiming the work as their own.

Given the fact I am someone who communicates professionally, I am sensitive and aware of making sure my communications are clear, and my own. This wasn’t something I had to learn in a Journalism course. To me, it is a fundamental principle of doing the right thing. That is, giving credit to others, where credit or acknowledgement is due. Simple enough right? Apparently not. So now what?

Bringing this topic to light is one way to address it, and there are a number of other ways to do so. I’ll share some options of how to pursue this with you. For now, let’s remain on the thread of why someone might not give or recognize another person they should credit for their words, or work.

One of the reasons a person might not give another person due credit for their creations could be because they are unaware of the fact they are doing so. The word plagiarize comes to mind in this case. If you are reading this story now, I am going to hope this was a concept that was shared with you when you were beginning to write in school. Citing or referencing other people’s work is easy enough to do, and is always the right thing to do.

Another reason people may not give credit to others is because they don’t think they need to. Or, that if they make some small adjustments to what they are claiming to be theirs, makes it entirely different. Thank goodness I’m not a patent lawyer, as I know I wouldn’t have the patience and stamina it must take to attempt to cover all of the bases to prevent someone’s idea from being copied. However, in reality, we see this happening all of the time, as there appears to be either unspoken or undocumented loopholes which are leveraged to essentially mimic another person or company’s creation.

Other people who don’t give credit to others for their creations, and who are knowingly doing so, are compromising their values. Either knowingly or not, the outcome isn’t an enviable way of operating, and is devoid of any leadership qualities. True leaders and ethical people give credit to others. No exceptions, and no grey areas. Yes, this may sound harsh, but the reality is that there is plenty of opportunities for people not to imitate or claim the work of others as their own. More importantly to consider, is the opportunity for everyone to work slightly harder to be creative, and to come up with their own version of expressing or doing something unique.

Praising and acknowledging others work and their accomplishments should be a common practice, and the finest leaders and sports coaches do this on a regular basis. In fact, they often go out of their way to make sure that others are recognized for their work, even rewarded for it when it is appropriate.

Let’s circle back to having people in your life, at work, or on your team that support you. Can you easily cite who they are? Think about them for a moment, and the impact they have had on you. For the sake of conversation, let’s focus on the people who have supported you in a positive way. What would your life or work, or team scenario be like if they weren’t in it before, or on a regular basis? Have you had an opportunity to acknowledge them for supporting you? If not, consider doing so soon.

Now, let’s consider some of the ways you or someone you know can increase and perhaps master the art of giving credit or acknowledgement to others on a regular basis. Here are some tips to help you to get started.

  • Start each day with looking for a way to genuinely pass along a compliment to someone. Either verbally, or even better, in writing, as this will have a longer lasting impact.
  • After hearing another person present information to you, let them know why you either liked, or have concerns about what was stated. You don’t always have to agree with someone to give them credit and support for their work.
  • If you realize you have unintentionally leveraged someone else’s idea, words or concept, course correct and let them know you have done so. Yes, it might be uncomfortable doing so, but wouldn’t you rather “tear off the bandage” now, versus having the person learn about you not crediting them at some point?
  • When you are in creation mode of any type, think twice about whether what you are producing could be construed as a blatant “rip-off” of someone else’s work.
  • Think about who you are supportive of. Now think about the ways you are supportive of them, and whether you could in fact be even more supportive with a few minor adjustments? What impact will this have if you do this?
  • Being aware of either your own, or someone else’s tendencies to either be or not be supportive is an awareness level that you want to strive towards. Consider the approaches you can factor in, and how you will increase your awareness on many levels.

The person who I discovered that is leveraging my work may or may not be aware of what they are doing. However, they will be hearing from me, or perhaps others who represent me to make them aware of the fact I am not a fan of what they are doing. Will this change their behavior? I can’t say whether it will, but I do hope they will learn a lesson, and perhaps gain an appreciation for acknowledging other people’s work, and not claiming it as their own.

TAGS: #Leadership #Plagiarizing #Business #Motivation #Personaldevelopment #Sportcoach #Team #Teams #Awareness #Selfawareness

Copyright of Market Me Too.

Intimate teams and camaraderie. Which comes first?

Intimacy. It’s one of those words when you hear it expressed in professional settings and related to the development of business and sports teams which can conjure up associations which make people feel uncomfortable. However, it should elicit the exact opposite response.

So, why are most people uncomfortable with the concept of discussing team intimacy? One of the reasons is because our society tends not to have much experience with talking about concepts that fall into the emotion category. Especially in work and sports environments. It is also frowned upon to talk about subjects which may fall into the personal category, or are on the edge of it.

Another reason people are uncomfortable, especially managers and coaches, is that emotional development, which team intimacy falls into the category of, is not something taught in academic environments. As a result, we independently learn when we are growing up about how to apply emotions, and the appropriate ones to our social interactions. As you already know, there is a wide spectrum of people’s abilities in this area. Unfortunately, the majority of people are not at the level they may need to be.

Why are people not at the levels of where they should be in the areas of emotional intelligence and common sense? Simply put, these attributes are not equally distributed, and neither of them are academically taught. Now, toss in having to navigate and apply emotional management either as an individual team member or manager or coach, and that’s when most teams start to have challenges. Now what, and how is this remedied?

The first thing to consider is to think about why does this happen? It namely occurs because the managers and coaches are not taught how to positively leverage emotions of their team members. However, if they were, the outcomes of their team’s performance would be entirely different, and much more in their favor.

Let’s look at team intimacy from a different perspective. Whether you played on a sports team, or have been on a work team, think about which one of these were the best teams you have ever been on? What were the characteristics which made the team outstanding? If I had to pick one word to represent what is the essence of an outstanding performance team I had been on, it would be camaraderie.

Camaraderie isn’t something which is developed overnight. It takes time, and knowing how to develop it. Unfortunately, very few managers or coaches achieve the level of knowing how to do so. However, there are ones in the sports world that are shining examples of knowing how to develop teams that have incredible camaraderie and intimacy. Alabama football Coach Nick Saban is one example. Scores of content have been written about his ability to develop intimate teams. In the business world, Richard Branson is famous for developing intimate teams via the long list of Virgin brands he has crafted.

What separates Coach Saban and Sir Branson from others? Simply put, they have figured out the formula it takes to produce team camaraderie from leveraging the concept of team intimacy. They are also not afraid of harnessing human emotions to create powerful, high caliber producing teams, and so have I.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you have what it takes to create the type of team camaraderie which others admire, and wish they knew the formula for:

  • Do you have emotional based techniques which repeatedly produce high performance results for your team?
  • On a scale of 1-10, ten being the highest rating, how comfortable are you with having emotional conversations with each of your team members?
  • How would you rate your awareness of what truly motivates each team member on a scale of 1-5, with five being exceptional?
  • What was the last conversation you had with one of your team members which caused a conversational breakthrough, and which resulted in that member producing results you have not seen before?
  • Do you know how to influence the camaraderie of your team?
  • What methods of influencing the camaraderie of your team result in sustainable and increased performance metrics?
  • Would you classify your mindset as being self-growth or self-interest?
  • What was the last thing you did to develop team intimacy?
  • What are the systems, structure or processes you have in place to develop sustainable team camaraderie and intimacy?

The questions above are not easy to answer, and chances are you will want to reflect on the outcomes of your responses for a short period of time. If you are not satisfied with your answers, and the results your team is getting, perhaps it’s time to begin considering the importance of leveraging team camaraderie and intimacy in a way you never considered doing. Although there are few guarantees in life, in this case, I guarantee those who have, are the ones who are routinely outperforming your team.

The good news for you? You get to decide which type of team you want to have. I’m guessing I know which type you would prefer to be managing, coaching or be on.

TAGS: #Business #Leadership #Teambonding #Tipsonhowtobondateam #Sportsteam #Sportscoach #Motivation #Success #Nicksaben #Coachnicksaben #Richardbranson

Copyright Market Me Too.

Sharing. Are you doing this enough?

I grew up with two siblings, and being the oldest, I learned early on that I was expected to share things with them. Sharing wasn’t something I ever thought much about, and it was something I just did. Fast forward to being an adult, and at some point, I realized that not everyone was on board with the same concept of sharing that I was used to.

My first awareness of the fact that not everyone was in the spirit of sharing, occurred when I really needed the person to share some information with me. I asked without considering that the answer could be no, and when I heard the word no, I was surprised. Actually, a bit shocked. I asked the person why they were not willing to share the information with me, and their answer wasn’t what I expected to hear. Their response was that they didn’t feel like sharing the information.

Of course, this person could have shared the information I was asking about, but they deliberately withheld it from me. After this happened, I thought about what would make someone do this? Was it out of spite, jealously or was it a control thing? It turns out it was a control thing, and I did eventually get the person to share the information with me, but this was a good lesson for me.

The best lesson I learned from this experience was that there wasn’t a good reason for the person to withhold the information from me, other than that they could do so. I also realized they may not have had the same experience I had growing up, and which when I shared with others, I felt really great doing so. I can’t tell you that this person felt great or any different when they finally did share the information with me, but I’ll never really know the answer.  However, a small part of me is hopeful that the experience of the person releasing the information to me made them feel better.

I can’t speak for others, but for me personally, I always feel a sense of pride and joy when I can share information with others. The expression that it is better to give than to receive resonates with me, and perhaps you have had this same experience?

As business executive, I came up with a system for determining which people within the organization would be willing to share and help me and others. It was a relatively simple system, and it was always uncanny how accurate it was. My system involved asking a person to share something with me, whether it was advice, experience or perhaps a physical item. If they were willing to share with me, I knew that they would be open to doing so again. If there was any reluctance or hesitation in doing so, I knew the person fell into one of two categories.

The first category was that if someone was willing to share, they were a confident person, and didn’t feel that they would be negatively impacted by the experience. The second category consisted of people who were reluctant or who didn’t share, and I categorized them as someone who thought that their “power” or influence would be diminished if they shared something. Typically, information in this case. The people who didn’t share came across as being less confident, and over time I noticed a pattern with both of the two categories.

The pattern was that the people who were comfortable with sharing progressed much faster and to higher levels in any measurable scenario. Meanwhile, the people who were not categorized as “sharers”, were typically stalling out in their careers, and were also less satisfied in the role they were in. Of course, there were exceptions to the pattern I was seeing, but there was a very strong correlation of this one factor of being a “sharing” person which positively influenced their career and the opportunities they encountered.

Worth noting is that when you begin to study leaders, you will often find that the common thread between them is their willingness to help others. This typically means they are willing to share their experience, network, time and information. They also often do this without hesitation. Have you encountered this type of leader or sports coach?

If you are not someone who currently falls into the category of being a “sharing” type of person, here are some suggestions for you to consider “test driving” to help you lean towards being in this category if you aspire to do so.

  • Without being asked, offer to share something you value with a person that wouldn’t expect you to do so. It could be a physical item or something intangible, but that would be perceived as being valuable to the person you are going to share it with.
  • If you are not accustomed to sharing, you will need to begin slowly, as it will feel very awkward and potentially intimidating for you to do so. Beginning slowly might involve donating your time to a charity to help them with something they are working on.
  • Set a goal for yourself of sharing one thing every day for two weeks, and keep track of what you are sharing. At the end of the two weeks, look back on what you have shared, and think about how it feels to have shared what you have with others.
  • The concept of sharing can take practice, and it does get much easier to share with others, and you will be happy to know that it doesn’t have to take a long time to reach a comfort level you can’t imagine being at currently.  
  • Many of us have too much “stuff”. Instead of sharing it with someone, take it to the next level and give it to someone who could benefit from having it more than you can.
  • Every one of us encountered a teacher, and I’m sure that you could name your favorite one. What was it about your favorite teach that you could mimic and teach someone else by borrowing the attribute about them that you admired?

As the year ends, I am thinking about how amazing our world would be if everyone was able to share with others, or at a different level than they are presently at. Please accept my challenge today of sharing something with another person today, and I’ll look forward to hearing about what you shared, and the outcome of the sharing experience.

TAGS: #Business #Leadership #Rolemodel #Sharing #Howtoshare #Whysharingisimportant #Careerdevelopment #Sportscoach #Coach #Aspirations #Inspiration #Motivation #Leader #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Teams #HRleader #Talentdevelopment #CEO #Manager #Management #Salesmanagement

Copyright Market Me Too.

Making your company “sticky” – Employee retention redefined.

Most people are not entrepreneurs. However, we are presently living in a period where many employees appear to be both dreaming about, and taking action towards either self-employment, or searching for a “unicorn” company. In other words, the type of company that ticks off all of the aspects of what an ideal company would be like to be employed by. Does this company exist?

Perhaps because the definition of what an ideal company to work for is harder to define, or even harder to find if you do come up with a definition, is there a happy medium that employees would be content with? This puts both the employee and the employer in a difficult stand-off, but not an impossible one.

One of the challenges companies face with retaining employees is the employee’s dissatisfaction with feeling like they are truly serving a purpose by working there. Let’s face it, in reality it will be a stretch for many companies to be able to define and align their company with offering all of their employees a heartfelt purpose for working there. Or is it?

Sure, some companies will have obvious reasons you will want to work there, and it could be based on the mission or the product or services they are offering others, but what if your company doesn’t fall into these categories? The good news is that despite the fact a company many not have an intriguing reason for attracting and retaining employees to be there, there is something else they should be considering. A consideration that a number of sports teams and their coaches have cracked the code on.

When you think about a sports team, you might first consider who the team is lead and coached by. You might then consider the type of sport they play, and where their team is located. All things not being equal, I’ll keep this analogy simple, as I see and want to share some dramatic parallels to sports teams being compared to companies.

The first parallel is that both sports teams and companies all have a defined leader. The second comparison is that in both scenarios, the people all need to work together. They also need to do their best work to have a quality outcome. So, how is it that some teams and companies are able to consistently outperform others? Are they stronger, smarter, more talented, being paid more, or are they more motivated or in better health? Perhaps, but none of these are the reasons some teams and companies will have better retention than others.

One of the reasons that sports teams and some companies have figured out and cracked the code on being successful with employee retention has nothing to do with a tangible aspect. It has to do with how the athletes and employees feel about how much they are appreciated by their coach or leader. Is it really that simple? Actually, it is, but the hard part is figuring out how to make athletes and employees feel appreciated.

Let’s dial-up the “way back” machine and take all of us back to when we were first entering school. One of the things most of us were taught, or witnessed, was that it was important to be nice to others. To apply simple manners and to be respectful of one another. Do any of these things cost any money? No, but they are some of the foundational aspects of what contributes to why athletes and employees remain at their company. Even thrive.

When a person feels they are treated well, are respected by their surrounding team members, are being invested in by their coach or leader (e.g., via attention, challenging them, communicating and listening to them, teaching and mentoring them) this matters. Or, if a person feels that they are contributing in their own way to a collective goal or mission, this will make all of the difference in a teams or a company’s retention levels. So, what’s the problem? The problem is that this formula isn’t either understood, or appears to be a mystery or magic trick for sports teams and companies who are having retention challenges. Is this your team or company?

You don’t have to pay attention to the news to know about the Great Resignation, you simply can talk to anyone in your personal or professional circle and you will learn about someone who is part of this scenario. Perhaps you are even someone contributing to it? If you are contributing to this scenario, or if you are a sports team or employer trying to figure out how to retain your greatest asset (e.g., team members, employees), I have some suggestions for you.

For sports team members/employees:

  • Other than making a living, what research did you do to determine your team or employer was the right fit for you? Have you defined what the “right fit” is for you?
  • If you haven’t defined what your values are, it would be a great time to do this too, as you can then have a higher percentage of them aligning with the team you will be joining.
  • Can you play a role in being a mentor or finding a mentor on your team or at your company?
  • If having a flexible schedule is important to you, but not for your company, could you reach a compromise?
  • Are there projects or opportunities within your company that would be an incentive for you to be engaged with? Sometimes doing activities/projects outside of what we are professionally focused on, can help to inspire you to want to continue working there.
  • When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your coach or boss? If your answer was never, can you imagine attempting to have this type of conversation?
  • Is personal balance in your life compromised because you either feel compelled, or have to work constantly? Or, you feel this way because your mind is occupied by work or your team 24/7? Is this your challenge to contend with, or is the team or company culture contributing to this? Maybe both? Only you can control your balance.
  • Do you know how to strike a balance between your personal and team/work scenario? Sometimes it’s easier to apply the blame on external factors, when it’s you that are the actual culprit for not investing in learning how to find balance in your life.

Employers/Sports Teams:

  • What investments have you made, or programs have you recently offered that would make your company or team more attractive to be a part of?
  • What are you doing to make your employees feel valued and appreciated?
  • Have you asked your team or employees what matters to them, and what beyond a paycheck and benefits are reasons they are associated with your team or company?
  • How would you rate your ability to inspire and motivate your team or employees on a regular basis?
  • How comfortable are you with having vulnerable and meaningful conversations with your team or employees? If your comfort level is low, have you considered what you can do to increase your level?
  • What do you really know about your team or employees beyond what their resume or they have told you? Chances are good that this is an area you could significantly improve upon, and with many options which could be considered to do so.
  • If you were to design a blueprint for the ideal company to work at, can you honestly say that you know what the ideal company blueprint would include? Start by coming up with 5-10 ideas that you can brainstorm on with others.

We all can agree that making your team or company a “sticky” or ideal place to work won’t happen overnight. However, making the investment in figuring out the equation to do so will be beyond worth it, as it will provide you and those impacted with the satisfaction of being on a team or at a company that isn’t just a placeholder on their team or work resume. Imagine being on this team or working at that type of company. It does exist, and I hope you find it, or create it.

TAGS: #Employeeretention #Teams #Leadership #Leader #Sportscoach #Coach #Management #Employeeretentiontips #Teamretentiontips #Motivation #Worklifebalance #Balance #Vulernable #Vulnerability #Communication #Thegreatresignation #Employeerention #Howtoretainemployees #Howtoretainemployeesduringthegreatresignation #HR #CEO #President #Humanresources #Peopledevelopment #Business

Copyright Market Me Too.

The power of a handwritten note.

I had the good fortune of learning a long time ago about the influence a handwritten note can have, and I can credit my Mom for teaching me this. She wasn’t a business person, she was a nurse, so she clearly had an appreciation of the impact words can have on others.

Initially when it wasn’t my choice to be writing handwritten thank you cards to people who had done something nice for me, or given me a gift, it seemed like and arduous task. One I actually tried to avoid doing. Mainly because I am dyslexic, and when I was younger, writing was not a talent I had developed. However, my notes were all sincere, and it established a wonderful and lifelong habit of sending handwritten notes.

Recently I was going through some boxes in my attic, and I came across a box which was filled with letters that I had saved. All of them were written before the internet came about. The amazing thing about these letters, was that they captured a time in my life I had not thought much about. Most of the letters were from my friends from high school and college, and they were mainly letters reminiscing about experiences we had together, updated me on what they were currently doing, or telling me they missed me, and were looking forward to seeing me again.

When I received those letters, they appeared to have arrived at the perfect time, as I was either home sick, or missing the person that sent them. Hearing from them cheered me up.

Some people might think of writing a letter or a card, especially in the professional world as being old fashioned. Perhaps it is, but since fewer people are writing them, they have a greater impact when they are received. In fact, I have saved the handful of cards I have received over the past few decades from other professionals.

One of the cards I saved was from a CEO I was working for. I was in fact shocked to have received a handwritten note from him, but it was probably one of the most impactful ones I had ever received. Why? Because I was incredibly disappointed by the way he handled a project. He knew this, and he knew he had made a mistake with the approach he initially took.

The CEO’s letter to me was an apology and thank you letter. In the letter, he told me that he should not have pulled rank on me, or have overridden one of my decisions, and he regretted that he did that. He expressed both his regret, and sincere appreciation for how I handled myself professionally, and for how exceptionally well the project I was leading turned out. Receiving this letter was actually shocking, but it provided me with an entirely new lens on this leader. A much more positive one, as I could see that he had taken the time to be reflective, had learned from the mistake he had made, and was willing to own up and take responsibility for owning his decision and actions. When I think about this situation, I don’t think verbally hearing what he had written would have had the same positive impact.  In fact, I know it would not have.

I can understand that some people might not feel confident about being able to craft a handwritten note, but let me assure you, you can write one with greater ease than you imagine. It just takes some practice, and the good news for you, is that it doesn’t have to be a long note. Consider the size of most traditional thank you cards. They are literally about four inches wide, and three inches long. That’s not a lot of writing real estate, so this can work in your favor. Even better? If you buy a traditional “thank you” greeting card, they often have something written inside, so you only have to add a sentence or two to personalize your note.

If you still are not convinced that you should be writing more handwritten notes to people, here are some other reasons to consider why you should be doing this.

  • Writing a handwritten note doesn’t take much effort, but the person receiving it will consider that you put genuine effort into doing this.
  • There isn’t any downside to saying thank you to someone, especially via a handwritten note.
  • If you are a leader, you should absolutely be regularly crafting handwritten notes. No exceptions or excuses for why you are not. As they saying goes, “lead by example.”
  • Yes, manners are still noticed. Especially when good ones are exhibited, and crafting a handwritten note ticks off the box of having good manners.
  • Being thoughtful isn’t overrated, and sending someone a handwritten note can speak volumes in your favor when you do this.
  • Sure, you can stand out on social media, but consider this. When do you think the person you are trying to influence the most received a handwritten note? Consider standing out from the crowd by finding your pen and a card to send to them.
  • Handwritten notes can cover a wide variety of topics. Consider all of the people you could write a card to, and what you could express to them from a positive perspective.
  • Keep the negative notes to yourself, as they tend to do more harm than good. However, writing them can be cathartic, but I don’t recommend sending them.
  • Consider the last time you received a handwritten note from someone. Perhaps you can return the favor and send one back to them?

So, having expressed my views about the power of handwritten notes, don’t be surprised if you get one from me one day. I’ll also be waiting to see who will take me up on my concept of leveraging the power of a handwritten note. Maybe I’ll receive one from you?

TAGS: #Leadership #Business #Success #Rolemodel #Leadbyexample #Impressions #Firstimpressions #Leader #Leaders #Positiveinfluence #CEO #Communication #Management #Marketing

Copyright Market Me Too.