Management Success Tip #160: Put the Ultimate Success Mind Set to Work for You: Calm, Happy and Energized!

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You may not have a sign on your desk “The buck stops here,” but that is the truth of your job. How well those who report to you perform, whether or not you meet your quotas, deadlines, or client expectations – all these are your responsibility, and certainly, you have the skill set, the aptitude for it.

But is your mind-set up to the challenge? Because research which surveyed 740 leaders nationally and internationally, found that 94% of them stated they perform best when calm, happy and energized – as opposed to (for example) depressed, frustrated or anxious.

Now that sounds like common sense, doesn’t it. After all, who’s going to perform at their peak when depressed, frustrated or anxious? And yet, ask yourself, how do you come in to work every day: worried? stressed? anxious? Uh-huh, I thought so.

So how can you get yourself into that “calm, happy, energized” place without living in massive denial or on major meds?

Simply put, start by recognizing when you’re not. Check in with yourself: if you’re anxious or frustrated, you’re not calm. If that’s common for you, take up a mindfulness practice, yoga, whatever helps you maintain calm more often. Happy is largely a matter of reflecting more on the glass half full than how utterly depleted it looks. And energized is easier to springboard off of calm and happy, than it is off of anxious or depressed. Healthy eating and exercise habits help too.

Beyond that, reflect on the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer (with or without the word “God,” whatever fits for you): “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

It’s a great re-focusing and calming affirmation.


Management Success Tip #159: How to Be Nice And Tough AND Successful!

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Mr/Ms Tough Guy/Gal? Mr/Ms Nice Guy/Gal? Which should you be? Our society values “tough” above almost everything else – at least according to the media – yet today’s business uber-stars, from Richard Branson to Barrie Bergman claim that you don’t have to choose: tough and nice aren’t incompatible.

But how does that work? In real life, yours for example. In the real workplace. The one you work at, day in day out.

According to Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, co-authors of “The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness,” two of the primary techniques are to listen to others, and to quit arguing your point.

Everyone has something of value to contribute. It may be a contribution of more or less worth, given the situation, but everyone deserves a respectful listen.

That’s where nice meets tough appropriately. The nice part is where you listen, genuinely, with respect, to your employee’s input. Where you listen for the value in what your employee has to say. And that you give his or her contribution the same consideration you give everyone else’s. The tough part is where you decide how to use the input, given all the other issues that must be considered.

Secondly, don’t argue your point. There’s a world of difference between stating your position, and arguing it. I conduct focus groups for attorneys (among other things) – it’s a great way pre-trial of uncovering issues, developing themes, and so forth. It fascinates me how some attorneys feel the need to argue with the mock jurors about the “verdict” they rendered, rather than respect the information gleaned from the group, and consider its value when shaping their case.

So it is with you. Listen, don’t argue. Take into account what you heard, and you will reap the enormous benefit of being both nice AND tough – all to your greater success.

Hardee’s Rewards Employee for Act of Kindness

Last month, a 17-year-old Hardee’s employee (Kailen Young) in Knoxville, Tennessee went above and beyond by helping an elderly woman across the parking lot to her car. A passerby took a picture of the two and posted it on Hardee’s Facebook page: it went viral. Hardee’s in turn acknowledged their employee’s good deed with a $1,000 check.

It doesn’t matter whether Hardee’s had given Kailen $100 or $1,000. It’s not the amount that is important. Hardee’s showed how much it appreciated Kailen as a person, not a mere cog in the company wheel, by valuing its employee for his humanity, not just how does his job.

A happy employee is one who feels appreciated and valued by his or her employer. Study after study show that employees will be on time and work harder when their employers never take them for granted. Money isn’t the only reward. Start with the basics: say please and thank you. Notice and call attention to what an employee does right. Be aware of what employees do that goes beyond their job description, as did Hardee’s. And although giving deserving employees a half day off work, buying them lunch or handing out gift cards is always a terrific way of saying “you are appreciated,” it really is the thought that counts.

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