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“Why Am I Here?” (and 4 More Questions You Might Ask About Your Job)

If you’re struggling a bit with your job these days and perhaps asking yourself questions, they are most likely to include at least one of the 5 powerful questions that help frame you and your job.

Whether you are an employee or a manager, they are critical.

Research shows that in high performing business cultures, every person in the company – from the top to the bottom – could answer 5 simple questions.

  1. Why am I here?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. How am I doing?
  4. Where do I go for help?
  5. What’s in it for Me? (W.I.I.F.M)

For a Manager, these questions are important when supporting your staff, because they translate into 5 critical management factors you can focus on when managing others (in CAPITAL letters below, preceded by their relevant questions). Specifically…  Continue Reading

The Control and Motivation Paradox

Our clients often ask us what to do when someone says they feel out of control or says they are less motivated than they used to be or even no longer motivated at all.

Our answer is always the same.

It starts by explaining the paradox of what happens when one feels out of control or not motivated.

Here is the paradox:

When you are feeling out of control, simply ask yourself, “Who’s in control of my feeling out of control?”

If you’re honest with yourself, you will realize that it is actually you who is in control of your feeling out of control.

Here’s why this is true.  Continue Reading

The ABCs of Personal Power

Because our world is changing at an ever increasing rate, many of us are finding that to survive and prosper, we have to continue to learn and adapt fast.

We have no choice.

That’s why being comfortable with change, having a willingness to continually learn, and knowing yourself better have become critical skills in ongoing success.

One key to knowing yourself better is by understanding the ABCs of Personal Power.

Here’s what the A, B, and C stand for…

A. Activating Events. This is the A in the ABCs of personal power. An activating event is anything that exists or occurs around us, outside of our bodies.

B. Belief System. This is the B in the ABCs of personal power. Our belief system is our cumulative memories and experiences from birth. It’s what we “believe”. It’s how we see the world and what we use to process Activating Events.

C. Consequences. This is the C in the ABCs of personal power. These are the consequential feelings and behaviors resulting from the combination of A and B – the activating events and what we did with them after they were processed by our belief system.

Here’s how the ABCs work together…  Continue Reading

The Classic Interviewing Trap and How to Avoid It

Every day in businesses across the country, a hidden trap sabotages the selection of the right candidate for the job during the interviewing process.

It’s hiding in plain sight.

This trap is created by a general misunderstanding of what interviewers are specifically interviewing for.

Even though they are hoping to determine if the candidate is “competent” to do the job, too often these job interviews focus mostly on 2 things – a discussion of the candidate’s “knowledge” and “understanding” necessary to do the function (job).

And, that can lead to problems.  Continue Reading

Two Kinds of Quitting

Here’s something we’ve learned over the past 30 years of helping managers become better at what they do. 

We’ve noticed that people can quit in one of 2 ways.

They quit and leave.

Or, they quit and stay.

If they quit and leave, they have gone. Even though it may be challenging to replace them, it’s a clean break and an opportunity for a new beginning for both parties.

If they quit and stay, it’s a lot more complicated.

When people quit and stay, they have basically decided to bring their bodies to work but leave their energy at home.

This quit and stay behavior is quite noticeable and might look like this…  Continue Reading

Three Filters. How to Improve Clarity and Agreement with Others

“I just don’t see things the same way you do”.

What’s your reaction when you hear this – especially from someone you have to work with?

Do you get defensive? Argue? Just agree with them, even if you don’t really agree?

And, do you sometimes wonder about why you don’t see things the same way as someone else?

Do you wonder about the cause?

If you do, you might be surprised that one of the many causes that we don’t see things the same way as others is because of the way we “filter” the world.

Here’s how 3 of these many filters work.

They are:

  1. Experience
  2. Intuition
  3. Intellect

And, depending on which filter we use, each of them gives us very different views of a situation or subject.

The simplest way to know which filter a person is using is to listen to their words.

Here’s what it sounds like:  Continue Reading

How To Increase Your Chances of Success by Understanding How We Learn

Conscious Competent 2

(Click on graphic to view full size. Use the back button on your browser to return to the blog below which explains how understanding this model can help you.)

Our world is changing at an ever increasing rate, which is why many of us are finding that to survive and prosper, we have to continue to learn and adapt quickly.

We have no choice.

That’s why the critical skills now in ongoing success are… being comfortable with change and having a willingness to continually learn.

Without these skills, we can fall behind.

In order to get a handle on this, we’ve discovered that there’s a lot to be gained by focusing on How We Learn As Adults.

And, here’s one model that explains it really well.

It’s called The Conscious Competent Model.

By understanding this model and applying it, you can increase your chances of success in improving your skills and (when relevant) passing them on to others.

It will also help you to consciously and proactively better deal with change.

Here’s an example to get started.

Let’s look at “getting along with others”.

“Getting along” is a series of learned skills.

They start when we are babies as we learn to change our cry to get what we want. We further hone these skills at school, at work, and in our ongoing relationships. We learn to get along.

However, we usually develop these skills unconsciously. In other words, we develop them without being AWARE of the skill itself or the skills we are using.

They just work.

In other words, we became COMPETENT in these skills without really knowing why.

And, until these skills stop working, we are not likely to be motivated to understand the skills, how we learned them, or even why it matters.

But, when things change and the consequences of the change become more punishing – because the things that used to work don’t work as well as they used to – that’s when an understanding of how we learn can be very helpful.

Here’s how this works…  Continue Reading

Two Critical Issues that Impact High-Performing Business Cultures

We are often asked, “how do you create a business culture where self-management and motivation take care of themselves?”

The answer might surprise you.

It starts with some basic clarity as to what most companies want:

They want more profit. A healthier “bottom-line”

More than ever, managers are focusing directly on how self-management and motivation generate more profit and a healthier bottom line for their company.

Here’s the thinking…

More profit and a healthier bottom line result from increased productivity (based on the way your company measures this).

Increased productivity is generated by higher performance (based on the way your company measures this).

And, higher performance is generated to a large extent by sustained individual motivation which is the “people” side of the business.

That’s why managers are so interested in impacting and/or influencing the ongoing motivation of each employee.

Because it leads to more profit.

That’s why they often ask themselves, “what do I actually control when it comes to influencing an individual’s motivation?”

If this question interests you, there is compelling research that helps answer the question.  Continue Reading

When Something Simple is Not So Simple

Has this ever happened to you?

You ask someone to do something that seems easy to you and they can’t do it.

And, you’re confused because it seems so simple and straightforward to you.

After all, you understand it and can accomplish it the way you want. Why can’t they?

But somehow, they can’t see it as clearly as you. They just don’t “get it”.

If you’ve experienced this and you want to know why it happens, here’s a very common reason…  Continue Reading

Why People Don’t Do What You Want Them to Do – Part 4. Organizational Issues

In Parts 1 to 3 of this blog series, we focused on 3 of the 4 causes of why people don’t do what you want them to do at work.

In this blog, we focus on a fourth cause – Organizational issues.

That’s because there are only 4 potential causes why someone doesn’t do what you want them to do.

They are:

  1.   A skills and/or knowledge issue
  2.   A goals and/or communication issue
  3.   An organizational issue
  4.   A motivation issue

These causes mean that one or more of the following are in play:

  1.   The person doesn’t have the skills and/or knowledge to do it
  2.   The task/goal/result/objective has not been clearly defined or effectively communicated
  3.   There is some organizational barrier that is stopping them from doing it the way you want
  4.   They are not motivated to do it

In Part 1-3 of this blog series, we explained 3 of these causes.

They are: Motivation;  Skills and/or Knowledge; and Goals and/or Communication.

So, if you have confirmed that the person is Motivated, has the necessary Skills and/or Knowledge, that Goals have been Communicated clearly – and they are still not getting the task done the way you want – then the cause may be an Organizational issue.

An Organizational issue is usually the result of an Organizational Barrier.

This Barrier can manifest itself in a number of ways. Here are a few:  Continue Reading