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Real Change is Hard

I think of myself as an open-minded, flexible and change-friendly kind of girl. I have had many shifts and changes to deal with in my life and my business, some of them wanted and some not so much.  I tend to look at the bright side, pull myself up by my bootstraps, dive in head first, etc. etc. etc.  All the “right” stuff.

Right now I am engaged in a process of re-inventing my business, which is truly what I want. I have made this choice eagerly and freely. After being in business for ten years I did some honest reflection, made some decisions and powerfully created a new future for my business. I cannot stress enough how much I want this change. I REALLY WANT THIS CHANGE.

And yet… I keep finding myself taking actions consistent with my old way of doing things, quite unconsciously. There are so many new actions to take and old actions to stop in order to make this change a reality however I mostly keep doing the old actions.

One thing I noticed that has been extremely helpful to realize is that even though I did a lot of thinking about my new future in the creation of it, I did not do sufficient thinking regarding the implementation of it; the day-today, moment-to-moment, on-the-court impact of it.

This past weekend I spent several hours in conversation with my husband looking to discern what the hell is going on with me that I am not in action, blazing a trail to my new future. Through this in depth conversation I realized that I was very attached to the things I “know to do” that are from the past. I mean really attached. Arguing for keeping doing them even though the actions are not producing the desired result.

It was such a breakthrough to see the “in-the-box” thinking I was engaged in and the limits I had placed on my new future without even knowing I did it. The blank slate I was in front of was so intimidating that I began filling it with things I knew to do rather than invent new things to do. Now, I am freed up to engage in inventing actions to bring my new future into existence, and questioning my current actions (including blogging) to make sure they are truly consistent with my new future. It’s kind of hard even though I really want this change.

All of this started me thinking about the many calls I have received over the years from people telling me that their employees resist change and how difficult it is to deal with. It made me wonder if it is really resistance or if it is something else. Something like confusion or a lack of clarity about what new actions to take and maybe they need help thinking through the day-to-day impact of the change. Perhaps like me, they are clinging to old actions to cover up the fear of the unknown and are arguing for the old way in order to feel in control. Whatever it is, I have a new level of compassion for people undergoing change.

Knowledge is NOT Power

What if you access to greater performance or better results is not located in anything that you know? What if what you know is actually limiting your capacity to perform?

You have the ability to go beyond what you think is possible but you can’t get there by knowledge alone. Case in point; everyone knows how to lose weight; eat less, exercise more. The knowledge of how to lose weight makes little if any difference for the vast majority of people. Obesity is an epidemic in this country. There are more than 16,000 books on losing weight on Amazon alone. Clearly there is a plethora of knowledge on the subject. The access to changing your results in the area of weight loss (or anything for that matter) is not more knowledge.

Think about an area in your life where you want different results. I am willing to bet that you know exactly what you need to do to change it. You know you need to eat better. You know you need to make more calls. You know you should call your mom more often. You know you need to exercise more. You know you should be more attentive to your partner. You know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know. And yet, you don’t do it.  All the “knowing” makes no damn difference. None, nada, zero.

This is not an individual phenomenon. This is a widespread occurrence. It is not something you can just explain away by individual characteristics, i.e., I am not disciplined enough, I need to focus more, etc. These are just more examples of stuff that you know that make no difference.

What if it is really about something else that you can’t see; a blind spot if you will?  What if you are being driven by something that you are unaware of and you are not even aware that you are unaware?

Discovering this blind spot that’s holding you back will give you actionable access to making a real on-the-court difference in your performance and your results. It won’t just be more knowledge instead it will be access to a whole new world of power and performance.

People always do things that make sense to them. So if you want a different result and you are not taking the actions necessary, consider that there is a reason that makes perfect sense but it is nearly impossible for you to see on your own. Let me help you. I am highly trained in this arena and I promise you results, guaranteed.

Schedule a strategy session today so that you can find out what it is going to take to dramatically impact your performance once and for all. Seriously, do it NOW!

What Every Manager Should Know About Effective Workplace Communication

The first thing you should know if you want to bring out the best in people is your people are people; they are not things. This may sound silly to say given it’s obvious however check yourself out. How often do you relate to the people you work with as the decisions you’ve made about them – lazy, reliable, cynical, resistant to change, outstanding, stubborn, etc., instead of as dynamic beings? You have an experience of the person from the past that led you to a conclusion and now that person is that way. That’s relating to them as a thing. They are now stuck in the box of your interpretations and most everything they do is interpreted through your description of who they are. In your world, they are lazy, or they are cynical.

Even a positive label can leave people feeling “thingified.” For example, Sally (not her real name) was considered a superstar at her office, reliable, the “go to” person. Sally appreciated the accolades; however, she was often left to fend for herself without support because everyone thought, “Sally can handle it.” When she requested help on her projects it was not given the priority because her manager knew she would come through. This treatment of Sally left her feeling not known or heard. Ultimately, it led to her seeking employment elsewhere and her manager and employer scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.

Making assessments of people and situations is natural and I am not suggesting you stop doing it. You couldn’t even if you tried. What I am recommending is that you pay attention to the assessments you make, get curious about how they influence your interactions with people and, perhaps most importantly, question their validity often. Situations change and the person’s needs and capacities change with them.

Remember your assessments are just that, your assessments. They are not the truth. They are the way you have connected the dots. Someone with a different history and perspective can look at the same set of facts and come up with a totally different assessment of the situation. It is not that that one of you is right and the other is wrong it is just that assessments are born out of a person’s “back-story.”

To bring out the best in people you must be present to who they are right now, in this moment. Take the time and energy to get to know more than your label. Get curious about the conditions that lead to their success, the things that light a fire in their belly and what they need to be their best. And remember, once you’ve reached those conclusions, keep testing them out. Understanding someone is not a “one stop shopping” experience. People change. They need different things in different situations. This way of interacting with your team will make them want to give their best and look for more ways to contribute. It might also get you a waiting list of people who want the opportunity to come work for you. Now that’s a nice problem to have.

Want to learn more? Contact me for a free strategy session.

Communication-911 is Friday, 1/17/14 @ 1:30 Eastern

Communication-911: What's Your Emergency?

Communication-911: What’s Your Emergency?

Communication-911: What’s Your Emergency?

Are you “All in”?

“All in” is another way of saying are you committed? Most people have a weak relationship to commitment or being committed. In other words, they are committed unless a good enough reason not to comes up.  They relate to commitment like it is optional or it depends on the circumstances at the time. It sounds like this, “I said I was going to but…” or “I am committed to eating healthier but my coworkers keep bringing in junk food,” etc.

I once heard this analogy for being “all in”:  think of it like bacon and eggs; the chicken is “involved” the pig is “all in”. 

Knowing how you are about your commitments is very valuable information. If you know you are like the chicken (involved) and only keep your commitments when everything lines up just right, then you can expect your results to suffer; you won’t likely achieve your goals or resolutions and other people will not think of you as dependable.

On the other hand if you are someone who is more like the pig, “all in,” then you stick to your commitments come hell or high water. You are a result producer. You take actions consistent with what you said and are more interested in keeping your commitments than being comfortable.

All in means that you really go for it and don’t hold back; there is no back door. It can feel like risky way to operate because of the fear of failing. However, when you hedge your bets and take tentative or uncertain actions there is just as much if not more risk of failure.

So when it comes to your goals or resolutions for 2014, are you willing to play full out and be “all in”? Be honest with yourself so you don’t have to go through the pretense of “trying” to make it.

Come on… GO FOR IT! If you want to go for it and want a partner in achieving your goals, schedule a free strategy session.

Resolutions are Ridiculous!

This is the year I am going to… get in shape, lose weight, quit smoking, make six figures, be more assertive, be kinder, have more patience, etc.

Good ideas, great intentions and likely you were incredibly committed at the time of saying them but predictably you will give up on your resolutions within a matter of days (or weeks). It’s not just you. Studies show very few people actually achieve their resolutions. Why is that?

Because it (whatever the resolution is) doesn’t fit into the model of the future you currently have. You see we all have a model of the future that we put out in front of us and then we forget that we created the model.

In reality, there is no future. It is a mental construct. There is only this moment of now and then the next and the next. But we humans don’t live like that. We are tremendous storytellers. We LOVE a good story. So we create stories about the future that become our model of the future.

This is only a problem because we base the stories of the future on the past. It’s how our brain works. When you make a resolution (or set any goal) you do it without regard to the past-based future that you have already unconsciously created.  It is already in the way before the resolution gets out of your mouth.

What do you do?

If you want to set yourself up to accomplish your resolution, you first have to get clear about the story you have already put in your future. Then you have to determine what structures are already in place in the present to fulfill on your past-based future.

Once you get clear about those two things, then you can start to create a new future that is not based on the past.  You can redesign your life consistent with accomplishing the created future.

Here is an example:

Sally makes a resolution to lose twenty pounds. Sally chooses what program to follow and is super committed to succeeding. The past-based future that she unconsciously created is all the times in the past she has dieted, how difficult it is to lose weight, the sacrifice required, the amount of time she needs to devote to it and so on.

The structures she has in place to achieve this past-based future are things like conversations with friends/family/co-workers about how hard it is, a jam packed schedule so she eats food on the go and doesn’t have time to exercise, unhealthy foods in her house, etc.

Without erasing the story from her future, Sally is doomed to fail because we always take actions in the present consistent with the future we anticipate.

If you want 2014 to be a breakout year for you, if you are tired of getting incrementally better and want something more or if you know you have the potential to be exceptional but keep winding up with mediocre results…

Contact me for a free strategy session to see what it’s going to take to create a new future. Space is limited so contact me today!

What is your face saying?

I was walking through a store today and for some reason I started noticing the facial expressions of the people around me. It was amazing how much I was assessing and interpreting based strictly on their facial expressions.

It got me thinking about how unconscious most of us are to the expression on our faces as we move through life. We are however acutely aware of others’ facial expressions. In fact, humans gather a great deal of information from faces.  There are nuances and complexities we are sensitive to far beyond if someone is smiling or not.

If you are frequently being misinterpreted or feel that people get the wrong impression about you it is likely that you are communicating something with your face that is speaking louder than what you are saying.

When I am giving a speech or conducting a training program I am extremely conscious of the facial expressions of the audience. If I see a look that I interpret as consternation or confusion, I check in with the person to confirm my assessment so I can clarify the information I am presenting. Very often, I am wrong. They report that they were thinking or having a breakthrough in some area of their life and were unaware of their facial expression.

Sometimes people don’t mean what their face is communicating.

I recommend becoming aware of two things:

1. What is your face communicating?  Is it consistent with what’s coming out of your mouth?   Start to pay attention to your facial expressions and it always helps to smile more.

2.  How are you interpreting the facial expressions of others?  Do you give more weight to what someone is saying or to what his or her face is communicating? Check out your assessment with them to see if it is accurate.

Want to explore this concept further?  Sign up for a free strategy session.

5 Simple Strategies to De-stress Your Holidays

If you are like most people the holiday season brings a lot of added stress and anxiety to your life.  There is so much pressure to get it right; to have it be perfect (whatever that means).

Let’s face it; you already have a full life. Adding twenty to a hundred new items on your to do list is going to add stress.  Between sending cards, shopping for presents, preparing the house, baking, getting a tree, decorating and everything else that is traditionally expected at the holidays it can be quite maddening.  I know lots of it is fun and there is joy and all that but it can be challenging to experience the “good stuff” of the season when there is so freaking much to do.

Then add on top of all that spending time with family and friends, one or two who perhaps push your buttons because they are critical or have different political views or any number of other reasons and it can be a recipe for disaster.

The key to getting your sanity back and actually experiencing the joy of the season is communication. Seriously, it’s communication.  I know you think it is time management or something else but it’s not. Communication starts with your thoughts and everything you communicate comes from there; what you say, what you do, all of it comes from your thoughts (which includes your deeply held beliefs, attitudes and worldview).

Since you don’t need another thing to do right now I am going to forgo the explanation and just give you some simple strategies that will immediately make things better.

1.  Get Clear about what you want the holidays to be like and why (Are you doing things just because your grandmother did them that way? Do you have unrealistic expectations?)

2. Stop shoulding on yourself and others (“I should bake 12 dozen cookies for Johnnie’s school,” “My husband should look forward to spending time with my family,” “I should be able to handle all this myself.”) You don’t like it when people do it to you; stop doing it to others.

3. Don’t assume. Have conversations with the people you spend the holidays with and find out what they want the holidays to be like. Don’t assume everyone wants the same thing.

4.  ASK FOR HELP. The Lone Ranger is a myth (and even he had Tonto). Make requests of people to assist you. If they say no, reevaluate whether the thing truly needs to get done. Let go of the crazy notion that for it to be done right you have to do it.

5. Be authentic. If you love the holidays, then love them, however if you don’t love them (or even like them) then that’s ok too. There is no “one right way” to do the holidays. Faking it causes additional stress.

I decided a long time ago to stop decorating my house for the holidays. I am not good at it, I never liked doing it and I hated taking everything down on New Year’s Day. That one decision to stop decorating freed me up enormously. People say stuff to me about it every year. I always invite them to come and decorate it for me. So far, no one has taken me up on it!

Wishing you the kind of holiday you most want!

What’s it costing you?

Ineffective communication and miscommunication costs businesses millions and millions of dollars each year. Everything from incorrect orders, to inefficient processes, to people becoming disengaged and reducing productivity, to delivering something to a wrong address – these are just a few examples of how miscommunication and ineffective communication negatively impact the bottom line in business.  I am sure you can think of many more examples and if you are like most people you can clearly see how expensive miscommunication and ineffective communication really are.

But what about the cost to YOU of miscommunication and ineffective communication? When we talk about it in terms of “business” it becomes sort of acceptable; it’s just the way it is. It’s business after all and we expect there to be certain unavoidable costs.

However, when we look at the cost to you personally, it’s not so acceptable.  Miscommunication and ineffective communication are the cause of some of the most difficult and challenging issues you face. For example, the divorce rate is over fifty percent. Lack of communication and/or miscommunication is a huge contributing factor in the break up of any relationship. Another example is the high rate of dissatisfaction at work.  Virtually every issue that is listed as the reason given for job dissatisfaction can be rectified through effective communication.

So I ask again, what is it costing you? Are you frustrated and stressed? Frustration and stress lead to a number of health issues.  Are you dissatisfied or unfulfilled? Every minute that you live unfulfilled or dissatisfied is a waste of your life energy. You can’t get that time back. As one of my coaches used to say, “This is NOT your practice life!”  

Learning strategies to communicate effectively can alleviate stress, frustration, dissatisfaction and feelings of being unfulfilled as well as a myriad of other issues.  

Stop waiting for things to get better. Stop making excuses and blaming others for the way things are. Stop tolerating all the pettiness and bullshit and do something about it.

You only have one life as far as we know. Learn how to communicate more effectively now. The return on investment is phenomenal. Don’t just take my word for it. Sign up for a free strategy session and let’s discover what’s needed to change the direction of your life.

Seriously, what’s it going to cost you if you do nothing?  

Setting Goals is B.S.

That’s right, I said it. Setting goals is B.S. (Barely Sufficient)

There is so much hype to set goals and objectives as we move into the New Year . It is as if people have magical thinking when it comes to goal setting. There is nothing wrong with setting goals however the act of setting them is insufficient for actually reaching the goals.

The main problem with goal setting is that once you set your goal you think the next step is to figure out what problems you need to solve or what needs to be fixed or what barriers you need to overcome to get to your goal. It goes something like this… “In 2014 I am going to double my income (goal). I am going to have to get more disciplined and focused in order to reach my goal (fixing).” That kind of thinking is the cause of not getting to your goal. It becomes this arduous process of sucking it up, putting your nose to the grindstone and forcing an outcome.

When you do it right, setting goals and creating the pathway to getting there can be exciting, invigorating and fun. No doubt you have had this experience from time to time in your life. Creating something, i.e., a goal, is not about fixing something that already exists to make it better. Rather, creating is about bringing something that doesn’t exist into reality.

A good example is the compact disc (CD). The CD was invented during the height of the cassette tape popularity. The inventors of the CD did not “fix” the cassette tape, nor did they go around destroying the cassette tapes in order to create the CD.  The CD was invented independent of the cassette tape and because it was so awesome, it made cassette tapes obsolete.

Instead of merely setting a goal for 2014, ask yourself, “What do you want to create, i.e., what do you want to bring into existence?”  Then begin spending time thinking about what you are creating, dwelling in the world of what you are creating.  Imagine that you achieved it, what actions would you have taken to accomplish it?

Focus on what you are creating. Keep your attention on bringing it into being. Deal with stuff that comes up as part of the creative process; just things that need to get handled (not barriers to your creation). Every creation has design constraints. Airplanes were invented inside the constraints of aerodynamics and gravity. The constraints are not barriers unless you say they are.  So, what are YOU creating in 2014?

For support in developing your creation and pathway, contact Lisa Giruzzi to schedule a free strategy session.

 

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