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leadership development

Mastering Time Management

distraction at work, time management

It’s powerful having email, chat and browsing at our finger tips. It’s also incredibly distracting. Technology is helping create an attention-deficit society where almost everyone complains about not having enough time and being too busy. Strengthening your time management skills is also a matter or strengthening your attention management skills. If you often hear yourself saying “I’m too busy”, it’s time to evaluate your situation and commit to some new time and attention management skills.

Evaluate Your Current Situation

Start by identifying your current time and attention management effectiveness. When you struggle to get things done, what do you think causes is? Are you experiencing constant interruptions? Are you lacking a prioritized to-do list? When you do successfully manage your time, what do you do differently? If you know what to work on, that’s half the battle.

  • For instance, you might have good time management in your home life, but lack the ability to get your tasks done at work. So what’s different at the office? Are phone calls, emails and other people taking your attention away from your tasks? Have you neglected to block time into your calendar to focus on your to-do’s? Are you working on your most important tasks when you’re most alert and productive or do these get left until last when you’re most tired?

Step back and examine, objectively, how you’re managing your time and attention and I’m sure you’ll discover what you can do differently. 

Use these techniques to strengthen your time management skills
  1. Confront procrastination. “Procrastination is the thief of time” Edward Young (1683–1765). Procrastination is a symptom of an underlying issue. Ask yourself why you’re putting things off. What’s the root cause of your procrastination? Resolve the root problem and the symptom will go away.
  • Perhaps you’re expecting too much out of yourself and feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay, and even more productive, to take breaks. Then, when it’s time to work, you’ll feel refreshed and motivated to get the job done.
  • The root cause is often a fear. Regarding the project you are putting off, what are you afraid of? Identify and face the fear and the procrastination will go away.
  1. Get organized. It’s easy to waste time if you can’t find things, or if you aren’t sure what task you’re supposed to be working on. Organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. Set goals, create action steps and schedule when you will work on each action step. You must know WHAT you’re working on, HOW you will complete it and WHEN you will work on it.
  2. Work when you are most productive. When in your day do you perform at your best? Schedule your most intensive thinking activities for when you feel fresh and best able to think. Turn off your phone and email and give yourself a set period of time to work. Once you complete the task, you’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction and then you won’t be as bothered if the rest of the day falls apart because you have completed one of your important tasks.
  3. Learn to delegate. When it’s appropriate, delegate tasks in order to save yourself time for things only you can do. One of my clients used to say “I hold my people able”. Your team might not complete the task exactly the way you would, but with clear delegation on your part, you should only need to review the completed work while saving yourself the time of doing it yourself.
  4. Celebrate your wins. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, what’s outstanding and what the next problem is. Take a moment each day to acknowledge your wins. Look at what you have accomplished (no matter how small). Celebrating your wins will keep you in a positive frame of mind and will increase your productivity day after day.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Your productivity is a direct function of how well you manage your time, tasks and attention. Commit yourself to being focused and attentive. Take action in alignment with your commitment and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

 

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura was a 2018 Woman of Inspiration Finalist and a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


7 Daily Habits for 
Outstanding Leaders

Would you like to be an outstanding leader? Outstanding leaders have outstanding habits. Use this checklist to guide your daily habit formation (and feel free to add more of your own).

For best results, focus on developing one habit at a time. Once that habit is ingrained, then start developing another one.

Your journey to great leadership has begun!

1) Get rest and make your bed

  • A great day starts the night before. Establish a nightly routine to sleep soundly and prepare you for the next day
  • Establish a morning routine that gets you nourished and ready for your day

2) Act according to your values

  • Clarify your values
  • Make decisions based on your values

3) Be creative

  • Write – daily journal or Morning Pages
  • Make something new
  • Be flexible –  let go of expectations and keep an open mind

4) Practice mindfulness

  • Practice mindfulness meditation – focus on your breath
  • Make time for mindfulness activities, like nature walks or a hobby
  • Integrate mindfulness into your daily routines

5) Trust others

  • Delegate
  • Empower your team
  • Encourage innovation
  • Give direction and positive feedback

6) Be authentic

  • Live according to your values
  • Practice compassion – for yourself and others
  • Communicate clearly: listen, pay attention to your body language, understand what you need to communicate

7) Exercise

  • Mental health: do exercises that lift your mood
    Physical health: do exercises that build your strength, fitness, and discipline

 

Developing habits is easy in theory but hard to practice. I’ve coached all of my clients at one point or another about adopting these habits and more. Those who take on these habits transform in their lives and businesses. Those who don’t, struggle.

If youre serious about taking life and business to the next level, use the form at the right to book your FREE 30-minute coaching session.  

Let me help you to be an outstanding leader!


5 Leadership Mistakes (and how to fix them)

You’re a leader in many ways. If you’re a parent, you’re leading your kids. When you’re friends come to you for advice, you’re leading your friends. If you’re a “sole-preneur”, you’re leading yourself.  When you’re an executive or business owner, you’re leading your team.

Many roles in life involve some type of leadership. You might be surprised by how easily your actions can impact others. Considering the many leadership positions you are in, and the huge impact leadership has on others, I invite you to strive to be the best leader you can be.

It’s easy to unknowingly make leadership mistakes. These mistakes can undermine your credibility and effectiveness.

Take a look at these leadership errors and how to correct them:

1. Avoiding the truth. Avoiding the truth is one of the worst leadership missteps. The minute you start lying or not sharing the whole truth you set yourself up for a fall. You’ll eventually lose the trust of those who matter to you. If they’re unable to believe what you say, how can you expect to lead them successfully?

  • At all costs, tell the truth. It doesn’t matter if it makes you unpopular. Popularity doesn’t usually win races or battles. Be truthful so you can be respected and trusted as a leader.
  • Be aware of your timing. Choose an appropriate time and place to be truthful with someone, especially if you’re saying something upsetting.

2. Refusing to take your own advice. It’s awkward to give advice that you aren’t taking! Those you lead will see that as disingenuous. They’ll start questioning your character if you’re doing the opposite of what you’re telling them to do. Practice what you preach!

  • Leading by example is one of the most powerful leadership skills you can practice! It shows that you fully believe in what you profess. It allows others to see that you’re genuine and trustworthy.
  • If you’re unsure about the advice you’re giving, avoid giving it! If it isn’t good enough for you to take, dishing it out to somebody else doesn’t make sense.

3. Compromising your values. Leaders have solid values that direct their decisions and behavior. Your inability or lack of desire to uphold your values makes it appear as if you lack integrity. If that’s the case, you’ll have a hard time getting people to rely on you.

  • Take a look in the mirror and define what matters to you. What do you value most? Is it hard work? Is it honesty? Whatever it is, look yourself in the eye and commit.
  • Each morning, promise yourself that you’ll live according to your values. You’ll find that you won’t even need to tell anybody what those values are. People will know what you stand for by just observing your actions

4. Failing to teach the tough lessons. Tough lessons are an important part of effective leadership. It isn’t enough to tell those you lead what they want to hear. Failing to teach tough lessons essentially makes you look like a pushover. Good luck getting any kind of cooperation after that.

  • Sometimes it’s necessary to tell others how you feel. It isn’t necessary to worry about hurting their feelings. If they recognize you’re coming from an honest place, they’ll accept and respect your candidness.

5. Failing to apologize. Leaders are human beings who make mistakes. “When you mess up, you need to fess up and dress up”.

  • Acknowledge your mistakes, take ownership and fix them. When you make amends and put effort into not repeating the mistake, you’ll earn respect and loyalty from those around you.

I invite you step into your leadership, powerfully! Embrace your leadership traits now, because sooner or later you’ll be faced with applying them. You want to be ready, so you can easily lead others in a positive direction when the time comes.


10 Critical Competencies of Great Leaders

 

Great leaders share many common traits exemplify certain skills.

By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

 

Develop the important traits necessary to be a great leader:

1) Self-motivation. It’s important to motivate yourself to take action and move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or business goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same. Self-motivation comes from knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. To find your why, check out the book; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

2) You can’t do it all yourself. Effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people, they define their responsibilities, and then get out of the way. A single person is quite limited, but many hands can get a lot done. Learn how to share your workload by reading; If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have To Do It Yourself, by Donna Genette

3) Effective Communication. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision, providing feedback, helping others problem-solve and sharing with people about how their behavior effects results. Learn how to maximize your communication skills with; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), by Dr. Thomas Gordon

4) Developing others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s about developing those around you. Great leaders integrate coaching into their leadership and the company grows as people grow. Learn how to coach your people with; Quiet Leadership, David Rock

5) You can’t expect greater commitment than your own. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Leaders are unreasonable…they don’t let excuses or reasons stop them or anyone on the team from pursuing the vision. Learn how to take your commitment to the next level with; The 3 Laws of Performance, by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

6) Inspire others. A great leader has an inspiring vision that other’s want to contribute towards. And great leaders ask people how they want to contribute and discovers what they can bring to the table in the pursuit of the vision. Then the leader provides the resources each person needs to make their contribution. Develop your purpose and vision and help others do the same with; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

7) Having a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision inspires others and serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively. Develop your leadership platform with this FREE course; CLICK HERE

8) Being respectful. When the stress of life and business show up, we don’t always behave our best. The same can be said for your staff. Remember, few people show up to work intentionally wanting to sabotage the company or your efforts. If you’re not getting the results you want, don’t blame or criticize. Instead, be curious and look with your team for the breakdown and what’s missing that’s preventing the desired result. Learn how to be more respectful and understanding with; The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruez

9) It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Define your vision and have a plan for executing. This is the source of confidence. Take your focus and confidence to the “next level” with; Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish

10) Leaders make the tough decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question. Practice by making small decisions and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. Learn how to make difficult decisions, faster with; Making Difficult Decisions, by Peter Shaw.

 

Leaders are made, not born. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, use the resources listed in this article and you will grow into an effective and powerful leader!


Leaders Are Listeners

Leaders and ListenersEffective communication is key to success, and when you’re good at it, people notice. Most people think that strengthening communication skills involves developing persuasive speech and conversational skills. I believe the most powerful communication skills are not in your speaking, they’re in your listening!

Communication is a 2-way process. There is a speaker and a listener. Without an effective listener, none of the conversational skills matter. If you want people to listen to you, you must listen to them first. Demonstrate a willingness to listen and understand and the rest of the communication process will flow with ease.

5 techniques for building your listening skills:

1. Fight the urge to speak. When you’re engaged in a conversation it’s natural to start concentrating on what you’re going to say next. You may even be tempted to open your mouth before the other person is finished. Make the extra effort to keep your lips sealed until he’s through talking.
 While he’s speaking, don’t worry about what you’re going to say next. Stay present and focus on the words and body language of the other person.

2. Look interested. Your nonverbal communication skills speak volumes! If you’re looking disinterested and uncaring, the person trying to communicate with you will pick up on these subtle hints. She may be flustered or less likely to share her thoughts. Engage with the person talking. Make eye contact and nod your head or smile. Let your conversation partner know that her points are coming across to you.

3. Paraphrase the highlights. Help your conversation partner know she is effectively communicating by restating her points. You can repeat key phrases in an affirming tone. Better yet, give her a quick summary of what she just said in your own words.
 Avoid sharing your opinions when paraphrasing concepts or ideas! At this point, you simply want to communicate that you’ve completely understood her meaning.

4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your conversation partner to elaborate on what he’s saying. If you need further information, ask for it. The important thing is that you understand what he’s trying to get across.

5. Be patient. Effective listening skills take time to learn. I find the biggest hurdle to get over is your own discomfort of trying on this new skill. Trust your ability to take this on! And don’t be afraid to let people know you’re learning a new skill. Others will admire your willingness to learn and you’re openness about it.

BONUS: 5 Door-openers for paraphrasing your conversation partner

“If I’m hearing you accurately, you’re concerned about…..”

“Help me understand if I getting this, you want……”

“So what I’m hearing is…….”

“I want to make sure I’m understanding. What you’re saying is……”

“For clarity, what you’re talking about is……”

These door-openers may feel awkward at first, but give yourself permission to step into the discomfort. As you practice and learn to master effective listening, I guarantee your effectiveness as a leader will improve!

 

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, and Life and Leadership coaching to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your personal and business growth.


Give The Gift of Great Feedback

Feedback is a giftI adopted a great belief from my husband; “feedback is the breakfast of champions”.  At first, I didn’t “get it”, but I have learned that receiving feedback is a powerful gift for personal and professional growth. I have also learned that giving feedback effectively is an important leadership skill that leads to powerful working relationships.

I did not always share this perspective. For many years feedback (a.k.a. criticism) was something I dreaded and avoided. I didn’t want to hear it and I definitely didn’t want to give it. However, I am pleased to report that I have moved from being a feedback-avoider to recently being crowned the “Feedback Queen”.

Leaders who give effective feedback experience less stress and conflict, their teams are more productive, their company morale strengthens, and their relationships at home with their spouse and children improve dramatically. Given the huge difference effective feedback can make, it makes sense to share the secrets of effective feedback with you now…

Secret #1: Feedback is about behavior, not your judgment of it

This is the first and most important consideration that makes or breaks effective feedback delivery. Often our decision to give feedback is triggered by feelings of anger, frustration, hurt or annoyance we feel towards another person. These feelings are triggered when someone does something and we judge or interpret the actions negatively. We make up a story about what the other person’s behavior means and we react to it with defensiveness, annoyance, anger or even sarcasm. Giving effective feedback relies on our ability to separate the other person’s actions (facts) from our story (judgment) of the facts. With this clarity, our own heated emotions usually dissipate and we are better prepared to give effective feedback.

Secret #2: Feedback requires timing

Give feedback any time someone says or does something that affects you, positively or negatively. Most of us avoid giving feedback and hate receiving it because it’s only offered when something negative happens. A great way to learn effective feedback delivery is to practice giving it during the good times! When your staff member says or does something that makes a difference in your day (i.e. takes initiative to send out some billings so you don’t have to), give feedback (according the steps listed below). Tell that person what a difference his actions made for you.

Secret #3: Feedback is about creating mutual understanding

Giving effective feedback is not about seeking agreement from another person, it’s about helping someone hear what we have to say without him defending himself, dismissing the information or making a counter-attack. Our emphasis is on understanding each other better. Remember, we all wander around the world, experiencing it from our own perspective. We forget that we all have different and unique ways of experiencing situations and events. Giving feedback helps others see better how their words and actions affect the people around them, which uncovers blind spots and helps them decide whether or not they want to change their behavior.

4 Steps for being a feedback Queen (or King):

Step 1: Ask permission

No matter what your relationship is with the feedback recipient, sincerely ask if you may, “offer and idea”, “thank you for something” or “clear an issue”. Asking permission demonstrates respect for the other person and paves the way for their openness to hearing what you have to say.

Step 2: Share your intention for the feedback

Why are you offering this feedback?  Is your intention to strengthen the relationship? Do you need to get an issue off your chest? Do you want to help someone improve his performance? Being clear about our intention, and sharing this, increases our chances for success and continues to keep the recipient open to hearing it.

Step 3: Describe the facts

Facts are words said and/or behaviors demonstrated (not our judgment of them). Spoken and written words that can be quoted are facts (i.e. when you said…..). Actions that could be videotaped are facts (i.e. when you sent the invoicing out without being asked). Facts not our judgements (i.e. when you were rude to me yesterday…). Describing the facts of the situation helps the recipient understand specifically and clearly what the feedback is referring to. By eliminating our judgment of the facts, emotion is removed and we reduce the likelihood of provoking defensiveness.

Step 4: Describe your feelings or story about the facts

Explain how the other person’s words or actions affected you or the story or judgment you made up about their behavior. It’s important to stay accountable, take ownership and use I-language (this will help decrease defensiveness and maintain receptivity in the listener). For example, we might say to a business partner, “when you told me the other day that you made this decision without talking to me, I felt disregarded. Making these kinds of decisions without me feels disrespectful and does not feel collaborative to me”.  The recipient of this feedback might not like hearing it, but chances are he will be more open to hearing the message and willing to stay engaged to solve the problem.

Are you ready to step up your leadership?

Feedback is a tremendous gift we can learn to give others. Creativity, connection, collaboration, productivity, innovation, and problem solving all improve when companies give and seek out meaningful feedback. And these improvements foster accelerated progress in business and in life. I challenge you to become the Feedback Queen or King in your business!

To Step Up your leadership abilities, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Prevent Conflict and Stop the Power Struggling

How to have effective relationshipsWhen my daughter was 3 years old, her personality and individuality really started to shine. This is a nice way of saying she didn’t always do what I wanted her to do and we were power struggling with each other. Said most accurately, however, I admit that I was one who was power struggling, she was just being 3 years old.

 

One day, during one of our power struggles, I had a moment I will never forget. I was trying to make my daughter do something (I can’t even remember what) and suddenly I heard my father’s tone and words coming out of my mouth. I stopped cold. What a flashback! I couldn’t believe what just happened. I knew I was not parenting effectively in this moment and I knew that over time, power struggling was not going to be a long-term, effective relationship strategy. I needed to do something different.

This “aha” moment was the catalyst that sent me on the hunt for new interpersonal skills. It helped me find the book that changed my life. While browsing the library shelves shortly after my epiphany, I stumbled across Parent Effectiveness Training, by Dr. Thomas Gordon. The title resonated with me because I knew I wanted to be a more effective parent. Little did I realize this book, combined with conscious, consistent application of its tools and skills would transform my parenting, my marriage, my coaching and the lives of my clients!

Leader Effectiveness Training Changed My Life!

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and its business counter-part Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) discuss how many of us use power to get what we want in our family and work relationships. We use power because that’s what we learned at home, growing up (ever heard the expression “my way or the highway”?)  These books show how using power is ineffective and how it damages our personal and professional relationships. And then the books teach us what to do differently. These books brilliantly coach the skills needed to create happy, healthy, effective relationships at home and at the office!

I liked P.E.T so much, that 1 week after reading it I enrolled in a certification program so I could teach it. Since then, I taught hundreds of parents, business owners and leaders how to use these essential relationship skills.

Repeatedly in my business coaching sessions, my clients share challenges they experience with business partners, team members, clients and family members. Everyone wants to improve their relationships they just don’t know how. I regularly advise my clients to read P.E.T or any one of the spin-off books; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), Sales Effectiveness Training (S.E.T.) or Be Your Best. The results are amazing! Their lives and businesses are more successful and satisfying when they learn and apply new relationship skills.

My daughter is now 21 years old. She has a playful personality and she is a strong, independent thinker. We respect each other, listen to each other and communicate openly. I feel blessed to have such a great relationship with my daughter and I’m thankful that I woke up and put the effort into learning and practicing how to be effective.

How could your life and business be different if you did the same?

 

Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your personal and business growth.


How to change your habits

 

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
Warren Buffet

My clients often ask me, “how do I change bad habits?”. I think they secretly wish I have a magic wand that will take the old habit away and instill a new one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.

Instead of reciting some mysterious incantation, I start asking questions about their mindset and beliefs. At first my clients think the questions are irrelevant and sometimes I meet resistance to my questions. But the questions are key. They are key because the answers reveal their thinking habits.

“Anything you think over and over again becomes a habit”, says Kyle Colley and in order to form new habits, you MUST “take control of your mind”.

https://www.goalcast.com/2017/07/28/psychology-of-habits-how-to-become-master-of-change/?ct=t(The_Psychology_of_Habits_How_to_Become_a7_31_2017)&mc_cid=b4783859cb&mc_eid=9d6a774fc5Humans are creatures of habit. Think of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year.

Habits can excel our performance and sabotage our success. If you have some “bad habits” you wish to change, click the link below to learn how.

Learn how to change your habits here…..

 

I hope you gain some value from this article. I welcome your comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here).  You’ll get 12 Leadership Lessons (1 per week), guaranteed to take your life and leadership to the “next level”. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


The Lost Art Of Listening

 

“Seek to understand before being understood”, Steven Covey

In a previous post called “You are sabotaging your communication“, we talked about what NOT to do with your communication. I find it useful to help my clients build some awareness regarding how they may be ineffectively communicating and negatively impacting their relationships, so they are inspired to learn some new skills. Today we’re talking about what to do to make your leadership communication more effective.

In an age of email and texting, listening skills have become a lost art. One of the best compliments I get from my clients is that I’m a great listener. I think it’s a powerful gift to really listen to someone and give them an experience of being heard. When people feel heard, they feel understood. When they feel understood, strong relationships are formed.

In this video you will learn 3 types of listening skills and you will learn how to create clarity in your communication. We’ll also discuss some problem-solving skills so you can start to facilitate and coach your staff rather then being a constant problem-solver for them. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: The Lost Art Of Listening from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to notice where you’re “roadblocking”. I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


12 Communication Roadblocks!

 

“Leadership exists in conversation, make yours powerful!” Laura Watson

You are in an ideal position to be in a supportive, helping relationship with your staff and partners. But this relationship is not given, it is earned. In order for you to have this helping relationship, you must learn the difference between the “language of unacceptance” and the “language of acceptance”. I guarantee that sometimes you are inadvertently using the language of unacceptance, which is undermining your leadership.

Language that communicates unacceptance “roadblocks” communication. It subtly communicates to the listener that “I’m right” and “you’re wrong”. Over time, your listeners (staff, colleagues, spouse, children) will resist or shut down from communicating with you because they don’t want to keep feeling criticized.

I’m sure it’s not your intention to give those around you the experience of being wrong or criticized. These roadblocks represent blind spots that sabotage your communication. When I make my clients aware of these blind spots, they change their communication style and their relationships immediately improve. Today I want to help you discover your blind spots so you can improve your communication and your leadership. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Communication Roadblocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to notice where you’re “roadblocking”. I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


How To Give Effective Feedback

 

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, Ken Blanchard

Feedback helps people learn the impact of their behavior. Feedback is shared in order to reinforce so-called “right” behaviors and to let people know what behaviors are ineffective and need changing.

Feedback is an important skill for you to master. Given effectively, your personal and business relationships will thrive. Given poorly or not at all and you’ll likely end up frustrated with unhappy staff and high turn-over rates.

Here are some interesting stats about feedback:

  • Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability
  • 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized
  • 92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
  • 80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews
  • 77% of HR execs believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance

Feedback is a powerful performance-improvement mechanism. But it needs to be delivered in a manner that does not evoke defensiveness and (ideally) motivates people to change their behavior.

As a trained communication expert, I often coach my clients on how to give effective feedback. In today’s video I share some strategies for taking your feedback skills to the “next level”. Enjoy!

 

Lead To Succeed: Giving Effective Feedback from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to go out and practice giving great feedback! I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Emotional Mastery For Owners: learn to ‘flip your switch’

 

Will you control your thoughts or will your thoughts control you?

Today we’re here to develop emotional mastery for business owners. In 13 yrs of running my own businesses and coaching other business leaders, I find that emotional mastery is one of the key elements defining success. Leaders who develop mastery over their thoughts and emotions grow and thrive. Those who don’t keep themselves stuck in a constant state of survival-mode; they are stressed, they experience conflict in their relationships and they often get sick.

We need to develop emotional mastery because life is miserable without it! Without personal mastery, we react impulsively to situations and people, we procrastinate and get distracted. I’ve seen business owners derail their projects, lose staff and customers and even lose their entire business because they could not manage their emotions and reactive behavior.

When we learn to master ourselves, we have focus and our performance improves. We respond thoughtfully to situations, customers and business partners. Our effectiveness improves and we become more efficient allowing us to get more done in less time. And when we practice mental and emotional mastery consistently, all areas of our life improve, we feel happier and optimistic.

Many of my coaching sessions focus on helping my clients develop emotional mastery. Today I’m sharing the tool that has made the biggest difference in my life and my client’s businesses. I hope it makes a difference for you. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Developing Emotional Mastery from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to practice “flipping your switch”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Time Management: learn to block your rocks!

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”, Steven Covey

Today’s leadership lesson is not your typical “time management” conversation.

When I first start working with my clients they are often feeling overwhelmed with their schedule. They feel like a million small urgencies are flying at them all at once and they often complain that they never have time to address important, non-urgent matters in their life and business (ie. planning, exercise, family, even sleep).

If you’re feeling similar to my clients, today I want to help you change that. I’m going to give you an easy and very useful tool for helping you think about and schedule yourself based on your priorities. This tool has a made a world of difference for me and my clients so I’m confident it will make a difference for you too, if you apply it. I call the idea, “blocking your rocks”

Lead To Succeed: Block Your Rocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Check out Steven’s video here:

Now it’s time to “block your rocks”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a leadership platform: setting business goals

Here are some surprising statistics about business goals:

  • more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals.
  • 40% of people who write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them.
  • 46% of companies review or revise goals throughout the year.
  • 50% of senior leaders, 33% of managers and 19% of front-line employees update their goals throughout the year as business needs change.

And here are some more interesting facts:

  • Those who write down goals achieve more than those who don’t.
  • Those who share commitments with colleagues and friends achieve more than those who just write down goals.
  • Those who send weekly progress reports to others achieve more.

Successful companies set goals. Without them, they have no defined purpose and nothing to strive for; consequently, they stagnate and struggle for meaningful accomplishments.

This lesson discusses goal setting in relation to creating a Leadership Platform. You’ll ask yourself some powerful questions so you can set exciting and inspiring goals for your business. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed What’s Your Big Goal? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your big goals! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a Leadership Platform: what’s your ‘higher purpose’?

 

“Companies with a higher purpose are more profitable than those that just think about the bottom line”, unknown

The lower purpose of a business is about making and selling a commodity for profit. The higher purpose in business is about making a difference AND making profit.

All of the leadership experts and wellness experts seem to agree, that part of happiness is having a Higher Purpose.  Something to strive for that is bigger than you.  Our Higher Purpose is how we find deep meaning and fulfillment in our lives by contributing to someone or something that is bigger than ourselves.

I believe that life and business is way more fun and meaningful when it is connected with a sense of Higher Purpose. This means that our business is about more then just making money. It means that our business is about making a difference in the world of our customers (and perhaps beyond).

Any business can create a “Higher Purpose” for itself. I was recently impressed and inspired when a friend showed me a job posting that was listed at a local bank. The posting read that everyone’s job in the bank is to create “happiness”. I was stunned. This bank has defined a Higher Purpose and is building a corporate culture around the idea of creating more happiness in world.

If a bank, the epitome of profit generation, can create a higher purpose for itself, anyone can. This is a conversation I have with all of my clients and I want to share it so you can connect with your higher purpose as well. Enjoy the video.

Lead To Succeed: What’s Your Higher Purpose? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your higher purpose! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!

 

 


Develop a Leadership Platform. What are your leadership values?

 

“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are”, Roy Disney

A leadership value is a principle or belief that a person or organization views as being important. Our values define us and our leadership. They represent what we hold most dear and drive our success and happiness, meaning and fulfillment in all areas of life and business.

Leadership values establish our sacred ground. They guide us in making decisions, in setting priorities and evaluating the merit of opportunities. Our values are our source of strength, of skill, of positive experience and positive results.

Our leadership values make up 1 of 4 elements in our Leadership Platform (if you missed my prior post about developing a Leadership Platform and defining your Vision, you may want to start with that post HERE). Once defined, this foundation becomes the ‘measuring stick’ from which an owner and his team can make strategical and tactical decisions and take sound action.

Like a simple house with four corners, a Leadership Platform has four elements; Vision, Values. Purpose & Goals. These four elements, once defined, create a strong foundation for your business to be built on.

This post is the second of four, designed to help you define your Leadership Platform. Check out the following video to walk through defining your Core Values.

Lead To Succeed: Defining Your Core Values from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your values! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

Remember, this post is the 2nd of a 4-part series. If you’d like to continue developing your platform check out Part 3: Defining Your Higher Purpose.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a Leadership Platform: What’s Your Vision?

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy what you stand for”, Simon Sinek

I love this quote from Simon. It reminds me that business is about way more then just making money. I believe business is about being in service to your customers and making a difference for them.

Most business owners want their business to grow (duh!) In fact, if we’re not growing, we’re dying. I see many owners go about growing for growth’s sake wanting to become bigger, faster, thinking that “bigger has to be better”. They do everything they can think of just to grow. Their decisions and actions often follow many different tangents which is exhausting for themselves and frustrating for their staff. It’s frustrating and exhausting because the decisions and actions seem haphazard and not based on a solid grounding with a sound direction. This type of growth feels like you’re flying by the ‘seat of your pants’ and is often unsustainable and doomed to implosion.

Successful, sustainable growth requires us to base our growth plan on a solid foundation. Like a house, you can’t build walls and a roof without a strong foundation. If you do, the house falls down. A successful business is the same, it needs a strong foundation to stand on. Once defined, this foundation becomes the ‘measuring stick’ from which an owner and his team can make strategical and tactical decisions and take sound action. This ‘measuring stick’ is called a Leadership Platform.

Like a simple house with four corners, a Leadership Platform has four elements; Vision, Purpose, Values & Goals. These four elements, once defined, create a strong foundation for your business to be built on.

This post is the first of four, designed to help you define your Leadership Platform. Check out the following video to understand more about building a leadership platform and to start defining your vision for your business:

Lead To Succeed: What’s Your Vision? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your vision! Play with it and make it GRAND! Your vision should represent an exciting (and somewhat scary) possibility you see for the future of your life and business.

I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

Remember, this post is the 1st of a 4-part series. If you’d like to continue developing your platform check out Part 2: Defining Your Values.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


The 5 Leadership Essentials

 

“Leading your business effectively happens when you lead yourself effectively”, Laura Watson

Success in life and business is highly dependent on your mindset. Your mindset will affect all areas of your life; business, health, relationships, finances, fun, you name it!

I am here to help you be more effective in life and business because I’m passionate about you being the best you can be.

You’re here because you want something different for your life and business. I see us playing this success game together, as partners.

Over 13 years of coaching I have discovered 5 Leadership Mindset Essentials that I share with my clients at the beginning of our coaching engagements. We end up revisiting these mindsets often to make sure they are doing their best to apply them.

Clients who take on and really embrace these mindsets see significant improvements in their lives and businesses. So check out this video and see how you can take your leadership abilities to the “next level”.

Lead to Succeed: The 5 Leadership Essentials from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your 5 Leadership Essentials. Take on 1 per day, make it a game, play with it and see what you notice.

I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can get more! Sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left of this post, sign up and stay connected!

 


Are You Getting The Leadership Feedback You Need?

How To Assess, Apologize and Act Like A Leader

Sourced from Ken Blanchard, Ignite! Newsletter, February 2017

“A lack of self-awareness is one of the biggest challenges leaders face when stepping into increasingly higher management roles and running their companies”, Ken Blanchard.

“As a leader, you need to be on your best behavior all of the time,” says coaching expert Madeleine Blanchard.  “What’s unfortunate is that just when a leader needs increased self-awareness, the quality of honest feedback they receive plummets.

“As the leader assumes increased power, followers in the organization start to modify the feedback they provide.  Feedback is more positive.  The boss’s jokes are always funny and their ideas are always good. People begin to suck up to power in a way that distorts reality for the successful executive, who no longer receives the straight scoop.”

“That can lead to blind spots, especially in the areas of communication and trust,” says Randy Conley of The Ken Blanchard Companies. Laura Watson of Venture Coaching has also seen how leaders can struggle—and how often they are completely blind to how they are coming across to others.

“The problems can usually be traced back to one of four areas,” explains Conley.  “A leader’s style can cause negative perceptions of their Ability, Believability, Connectedness, or Dependability.  Negative perceptions in any of these four areas can lead to decreased trust.”

One way to deal with this is to have leaders take the time to conduct a trust audit, which helps them evaluate where they currently stand, make amends where necessary, and modify their behavior going forward.

“It’s a three-step process where leaders assess their current behavior, apologize if they need to, and act more consistently”, says Conley.

Assessing behavior involves looking at your conduct in four areas, those areas being Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable.  A problem in any one of these four areas will have a negative impact on relationships and the ability of people to work together successfully.

Able refers to how people see you as being competent in your role.  Do people think you have the skills and experience to get the job done?  Sometimes it is a perception issue; sometimes it is a gap in experience.  Either way, it needs to be addressed.

Believable is always a perception issue—do you act in ways that are consistent with someone who is honest, truthful, and forthcoming?  This can be a challenge for leaders as they move up in an organization and feel it necessary to share some information on a need-to-know basis.  The problem is that people may perceive the leader is hiding information or not being completely transparent.

Connected is the relationship aspect of trust.  Do you demonstrate that you care about people—or do you come across as all business?  Working together requires a heart and head connection.  In addition to following you for logical reasons, people also want to follow you for emotional reasons.  Leaders need to check their style and make sure that they aren’t coming across as cold or aloof.

Dependable means following through on your good intentions.  This trips up a lot of well- meaning executives—especially the people-pleasers who can’t say ‘no.’  They over commit themselves and start missing deadlines. They are often surprised to discover how this diminishes people’s trust that they will do what they promise.

Both Conley and Blanchard caution leaders to be prepared to act on gaps uncovered by the trust audit.

“Make sure you are ready for what you hear,” says Blanchard.  “When you invite people to discuss these potentially sensitive areas, you have to be ready to listen.  Feedback is a gift.  There are only two things an executive should say when they receive feedback—either “thank you” or “tell me more.”

Also, explains Conley, be ready to acknowledge and apologize when necessary.

“You have to own up to areas where you have fallen short. The most important part of apologizing is being completely sincere—don’t explain, rationalize, or make it the other person’s problem.”

“It’s a simple concept, but one that leaders screw up all the time,” adds Blanchard.  “How many times have we heard a senior leader qualify an apology by saying, ‘I’m sorry if my behavior made you feel that way,’ or by explaining, ‘I was only trying to…’

“Less is more when it comes to apologies,” explains Blanchard. “Just say ‘I’m sorry. I hope you will forgive me for the way I have acted in the past.’ If you need to say more, save it for the next step when you explain how you will act differently in the future.”

“Most leaders are trustworthy.  It’s just their behavior that gets in the way sometimes,” says Conley.

Trustworthy behavior leads to trusting relationships. With increased awareness, the willingness to hear feedback and the humility to apologize for times when trust has been broken, leaders can take a huge leap toward building the types of relationships where people work together to move the organization forward.

If you think you’re lacking feedback regarding your leadership, Venture Coaching can help. If you’re ready to discover what your team REALLY thinks, and willing to take action to make things better, call me now to book your complimentary coaching session: 877-669-8684.

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW, Venture Coaching International


The Cost of Using Power in Your Leadership

When I coach my clients, most of them agree that using power is not an effective leadership approach. However, when these same clients get stressed, frustrated or disappointed with employees, power is often used to get things “back on track” again.  It becomes the option of last resort when no other methods or tools have been learned to replace it with.

Using power in your leadership undermines your leadership!

Read the following article to understand cost of using power in your leadership. And when you are ready to learn some alternatives, give me a call at: 403 669 8684.

Read more…

 


Taking Care Of Business: maximize performance in business and life

Entrepreneurs are famous for ignoring their health! When I start working with clients, many are exhausted, frustrated, anxious and even depressed. They’re not sleeping well, they’re living off coffee and take out food, they’re drinking to get to sleep at night and forget going to the gym…who has time for that?!

One of the things I work to help my clients realize is this, there is no business without you! If you don’t take care of your health, your performance suffers and your business suffers!

Jack Groppel is an expert is maximizing performance in business and life. He’s also the author of The Corporate Athlete. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of self care and then check out the book.

Corporate Athletes don’t try to decrease stress, they increase their capacity for stress. This is how we grow personally and professionally. If you’re ready to take on being a corporate athlete physically, mentally and emotionally, start with this great book!


Venture Coaching

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