In the past several months, my work has taken me all over the country (shout out to DC, Milwaukee, Palo Alto, Chicago and of course, NYC – thank you for your hospitality). I have had the pleasure of meeting, coaching and training professionals in the legal, fina nce, retail and non-profit industries. Some of my clients came to me hoping to achieve strong relationships with their teams and managers; others were focused on starting their new jobs on a strong note with high levels of executive presence and others on the ever difficult to obtain work-life balance as a parent.
During this time, I found myself offering up five tips over and over no matter what my clients’ goals were. Below are these tips.
Imagine you are trying to quit a bad habit or do more of something you rarely do. Maybe you want to smile more at work to appear more friendly. Maybe you want to speak up more in meetings or stop comparing yourself to others to stop the self-doubt and boost your confidence. It can be daunting to be mindful at all times and the truth is in stressful situations you are likely to default into your comfort zone and forget all about your “area of improvement.” Instead of having to keep this awareness solely in your head, this tip is going to make life a bit easier. Identify a physical/visual symbol that will act as a gentle reminder – this will be your awareness symbol. The symbol can be anything but must be something that is with you and preferably visible at all times. An example is a ring, watch, drawing, a word on a bracelet and even a tattoo…whatever works for you.
If you expect to have an important meeting or conversation, prepare by asking yourself the following three questions:
1. What is my objective? Dig deep and write out the answer
2. What does he/she/they care about? If you don’t know, you better find out at the beginning of the meeting (before you dive into your topic) or preferably before the meeting.
3. How do I connect my objective to what they value? When you conduct this meeting on their wavelength they will feel heard, valued and that you ”get them” and THAT is the key to influencing someone
Listen to Amy Cuddy’s new book Presence on Audible on your way to work each day. It’s like having a mini coaching session! Those of you that know me know my motto: “smart authenticity leads to success.” In her book, Presence, Amy Cuddy brilliantly drives the point home that without authenticity, you can’t achieve presence and without presence, achieving success is much more difficult.
Accept that you can’t change others but you can choose to change the situation. If you find yourself thinking, “if only he would…” or “if she was different…” or “I am this way because they are that way” change the internal dialogue. Try telling yourself, “I can’t change them, but what can I change about myself, my perspective or my situation to make things better?”
Best outcomes come from facing your fears head on. Sometimes fear is masked by “logically thinking”. What in the heck do I mean? Do you ever find yourself thinking of a great idea and then following that thought with “Logical” reasons why you shouldn’t’ do it? You might be avoiding take a chance on yourself and doing something scary but great. Look out of those moments when you shut down your ideas and in the words of FDR remind yourself that “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”
Wow, I can’t believe I just gave away some of my best tips for free.