Leading Change Blog
Leading Change Blog

Leading Change Blog (119)

Sunday, 01 May 2016 12:48

The Perils of Being Stuck in the Past

  If you've ever worked with a colleague who tells the same old stories over and over, you understand how people can distort reality to suit their purposes. And yet, most of do our own version of repetitive storytelling.   We form an identity of ourselves as a team members, colleagues, or friends by telling personal stories about our past. And we project the lessons we've learned onto our present situations. We let our past influence our present reality and in doing so, affect our future.   The fact is, personal stories serve to protect our egos — it's human nature. Our stories aren't about what actually happened, but rather what we told ourselves happened. They're founded on real events,…
Look at today’s top-performing companies, and you’ll inevitably find a high degree of employee engagement. From frontline workers to CEOs, people are passionate about their companies’ purpose, values and mission. Most workers are motivated to give their best and often go beyond what’s required. Some are lucky enough to work for companies that are consistently designated a “best place to work.” But for countless other organisations, only 20% of employees say they’re excited about work. They show up to earn a paycheck. At most, they aim to achieve personal success and climb the promotion ladder. In the first workplace, people are passionate. In the latter, they’re looking out for themselves, with management struggling to realise performance goals. We can attribute…
Sunday, 10 January 2016 15:00

Do the Right Things

Reducing your forward momentum is the first step to freeing yourself from the beliefs, habits, feelings and busyness that may be limiting you. ~ Peter Bregman We start each day knowing we're not going to get everything done. Every year, we reflect on our progress and wonder where the time went. Why haven’t we completed our innumerable to-do lists? While we assume we’re doing our best to juggle work, family and friends, we often move along a path that isn’t quite right. Even if we recognise this aberration, we may refuse to change course or intentionally become distracted. We instinctively know, nonetheless, that we can improve. Reading another “do-it-now” time-management book isn’t the answer. We need to break our self-sabotaging…
Are you letting digital devices overwhelm you and eat away at your ability to focus and concentrate? Is technology really saving you time and energy —like it's supposed to do —or is it running rampant, creating unnecessary work? Most of us are bombarded by messages, texts, alerts, and buzzed throughout the day with rings, chirps, and dings, making it difficult to concentrate on crucial information. With the slightest urge to procrastinate, we're never more than a click away from diversion. This 24/7 connected culture is taking its toll professionally as well as personally. We waste time, attention, and energy on extraneous information and interactions, staying busy but producing little of real value. The Information Overload Research Group estimates that knowledge…
Monday, 26 October 2015 16:25

How to Craft an Apology

Who hasn't said something in the heat of the moment that they regret? Everyone makes mistakes. We make insensitive statements, we speak before we think, and we let our emotions get the best of us. No workplace is perfect. Managers berate subordinates in meetings. Colleagues make snide remarks about each other. Even worse, people send emails, texts, or tweets without giving sufficient consideration to how the messages will be received. This makes our insensitivities more public and all the more egregious. Even seasoned executives aren't immune from foot-in-mouth disease. Tony Hayward, the former CEO of British Petroleum, famously complained that he “wanted his life back” in the midst of the 2010 oil spill. (He later apologised to the families of…
Friday, 31 July 2015 15:12

How Great Leaders Manage Perceptions

  “You can influence people’s perceptions of you by playing to their needs. Once you understand how to make other people feel comfortable with you, you’ve won their approval.” —Corporate marketing consultant Camille Lavington, You’ve Only Got Three Seconds (Main Street Books, 1998) Even at the highest levels of government and business, leaders struggle to communicate their intentions. Most of us have some demonstrable deficiencies when it comes to influencing others. A leader’s words may be misinterpreted, misquoted and/or taken out of context. Communicating and managing perceptions remain significant challenges. Leaders cannot succeed without consistently and accurately telegraphing their thoughts and intentions. If you want to shape others’ perceptions, you must take control of the messages you send. Major problems…
Monday, 22 June 2015 13:31

How to Make Behavioural Change Last

What's the most significant change in behaviour you've made as an adult? For some, it's quitting smoking or drinking, or making healthy changes in eating and exercising. For others, it's becoming a better listener, a more effective manager, or a nicer partner or spouse.   No matter what changes you've made, whether physical, social, or work-related, almost everyone agrees that lasting change is hard. It requires determination, motivation, vigilance, persistence, and long-term commitment. Most would agree that asking for help from a trusted friend, mentor, or professional coach helps.   Yet even with high motivation, support, and ideal conditions, it's still hard to break bad habits. For example, two-thirds of smokers who say they'd like to quit never even try.…
Do You Know Your Strengths?   Most of us have a poor sense of our talents and strengths, yet are acutely aware of our weaknesses and flaws. Throughout the education system and subsequent careers, there's often been much more attention paid to how to improve and fix our shortcomings rather than enhance our strengths. "Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer." —Peter Drucker, management expert Parents, teachers, and managers are well versed in spotting deficits. In fact, most people — partners and spouses included — consider it their duty to point out our…
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:21

Motivating without Micromanaging

Many business leaders have lost sight of what motivates people at work. In fact, some companies haven’t updated their incentive practices in years, which means they’re probably struggling to create and sustain high-performing teams.  Companies continue to ignore the obvious: Offering incentives and rewards is less effective than tapping into truly meaningful intrinsic motivation. Leaders operate on old assumptions about motivation despite a wealth of well-documented scientific evidence. The old “carrot-and-stick” mentality actually inhibits employees from seeking creative solutions, partly because they focus on attaining rewards instead of solving problems. Review the most notorious business failures, and you’ll find that company leaders focused on rewarding short-term results at the expense of sustaining success. Effective motivation requires you to offer opportunities…
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