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  • feedwordpress 03:09:45 on 2018/08/02 Permalink
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    Staying Present in the Moment 

    It was early January and everyone in my family was sick. It was that awful coughing, sneezing, wheezing respiratory wipe you out type sick. In my case, it seemed all I could do was sleep. No matter how much sleep I got, I needed more. I would sleep twelve hours and then need to take a nap.

    I started to worry about myself, but everyone around me kept telling me to listen to my body. It had been an emotional and stressful time as my father had just died. My mother was staying with us. People were constantly in the house paying their condolences and there were a lot of details to attend to.

    I decided to heed the advice and give myself a break. So, I slept and slept and slept some more. I felt a little better, but the fatigue hung on. I told myself it would just take time.

    Fast forward to about ten days later. My husband and I were invited to a surprise birthday party for a close friend. I still wasn’t feeling well but didn’t want to miss it. I said we would just stay for a little while and I would take a couple of Tylenol before we left. As I was about to pop the pills into my mouth, I burst out laughing and said to my husband “I am such an idiot”.

    Without knowing it, I had been taking Tylenol PM on and off all day every day for about ten days. Thinking it was regular Tylenol, I would simply open the bottle without looking at it and pop the medicine in my mouth.

    It made me wonder, like absentmindedly reaching for Tylenol, how often do we just go through the motions without really paying attention? Our children might chatter on about something that happened at school, but we don’t really hear them. You’re on the phone with a friend, but don’t remember what they said because you were cooking dinner or checking tomorrow’s weather forecast.

    Blame it on multi-tasking, technology or having a long to-do list that challenges our concentration. According to a Harvard University study, it’s a serious problem. The study says almost half of our waking hours are spent not living in the moment. Maybe, it’s not that big of big of a deal. After all, we all get distracted without grave consequences. But, what if I had fallen asleep at the wheel? What if paying attention to a conversation could have shed light on a serious problem that might have been prevented?

    That’s why I now think of the PM in Tylenol as an acronym for ‘present moment’. How can we be more present, so we stay more emotionally connected to others and fully appreciate the now?

    Perhaps the best lessons can be learned from mindfulness such as yoga and meditation where you focus on your senses, so you are physically, spiritually and mentally connected to the moment. While we can’t always drop everything to practice mindfulness, there are a few things we can do to become more present.

    Start with your phone. Studies say even if you turn it to silent and place it face down, it is still difficult to resist the urge to check it. If you want to be fully present with family or friends, you might want to consider putting it where you can’t see it, so you don’t use it.

    Single Task. How often do you eat while answering e-mails or run the treadmill while reviewing an important presentation you’re delivering at work later that day? I do it all the time and should stop. If we focus on one task at a time, we will begin enjoying what we’re doing that much more.

    Do nothing. When you’re working, raising a family and trying to juggle it all, it seems as if there are not enough hours in the day, so doing nothing does not seem like an option. Yet, if you take a few minutes out of your day to sit down, be silent and focus on your breathing, you will teach yourself how to slow down and savor the moment.

    Take a walk. Sometimes a change of scenery is the best medicine you can ask for. A brief break such as enjoying nature can rejuvenate you.

    Mind the music. Turn on your favorite music and close your eyes. Even immersing yourself in one song can ease tension and help you relax.

    You don’t have to be a mindfulness expert to apply these present moment tips. Think about things you like to do and focus on that one thing when you’re doing it. It might be playing tennis, reading a great book, watching a movie, writing an article or eating a hot fudge sundae. When you’re doing it, you’re not thinking about being present. You just are.

    Thanks to my Tylenol PM experience, I am trying to be more mindful of slowing down and not just going through the motions. For starters, I marked that bottle with big black letters that say PM, so I don’t make the same mistake again. Sleeping through a week of my life reminded me that when we don’t work at being present, we may inadvertently slumber some of life’s important moments.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:55:24 on 2018/07/04 Permalink
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    Quick Tip #79: Plot Your Path 


     

    Writing for the Eye and Speaking for the Ear are very different. That’s why learning how to organize in 5 easy steps can turn boring talks and presentations into brilliant ones.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:36:52 on 2018/06/11 Permalink
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    The One Set of Skills Every Leader Needs (but Many Lack) 

    What makes a good leader?

    The answer varies widely depending whom you ask. Whether you’re talking to researchers or practitioners, there’s not a lot of consensus. But there’s one trait that most agree can mark the difference between a good leader and a great leader.

    Strangely enough, it’s also a skill that many leaders lack.

    It’s people skills.

    If you have them, you already know they’re a prerequisite for great leadership. If you don’t, it’s time to start developing them. Here are just a few elements of interpersonal skills that can help you professionally and personally:

    Establish engagement. When you can bring people together for a common purpose and shared goals, they become more productive, more engaged, and more likely to come up with creative and innovative ideas–all of which combine to make the environment you work in and the culture you do business in more effective and productive.

    Resolve Conflicts. In some ways, we will always be different; in other ways, we will always be the same. There is always room to disagree and blame, just as there is always room to take a new perspective and empathize. Understanding is a choice, a choice we make when we make people skills a skill that we embody.

    Develop self-awareness. The best part of being really good at people skills is that it gives you the ability to look inward–to think deeply about your behavior and consider how it aligns with your morals, standards and values. Self-awareness is one of the most important qualities you can have as a leader. As the saying goes, it is wisdom to know others, but it is enlightenment to know one’s self.

    Master communication. The most important element of communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of wise leaders. Seek to become a leader who listens before you speak, who tries to hear the opinions of others before you give your opinion, who will hear to understand.

    Showcase dependability. People need to know they have someone they can count on. Simply being well prepared and delivering work on time will go far in demonstrating your strong work ethic and commitment. In an uncertain business environment, colleagues, customers and management appreciate stability, and absolute dependability shows the importance you place on your work and your partners.

    Express gratitude. There’s nothing complicated about it: People want to be appreciated. And it doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Even the simple act of saying thank you can make people feel good about their hard work and long hours of sweat and toil. Showing appreciation lets others know you value them, their expertise and their work.

    The bottom line, having good people skills means you’ve developed your ability to engage, listen, communicate and relate to others on a personal and professional level. It means having the capability and willingness to work with others toward a common good that enables everyone to be successful.

     


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The One Set of Skills Every Leader Needs (but Many Lack) appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:33:45 on 2018/06/11 Permalink
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    6 Emotional-Intelligence Job Skills Everyone Will Need in the Next Few Years 

    Two-Thirds of Americans believe that in 50 years robots and computers will do much of the work humans do today. Already, many jobs that once seemed safe bets are at risk: office workers, administrative staff, manufacturing workers and even lawyers.

    Some studies predict that 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020.

    So what skills can you acquire to protect your employability in the future?

    Surprisingly, they’re not related to a specific position or industry but are grounded in emotional intelligence. Here are some of the top skills that can never be automated or outsourced:

    Knowing yourself. If you’re aware of yourself and how you function in the world, you’re in touch with how you feel, and you know your strengths and weaknesses. You also know how your emotions and actions can affect the people around you. These attributes–and especially the ability to help others develop them–are important to anyone working with a successful (human) team.

    Building relationships. The more things become automated, the more we need connection and relationship. It’s the positive, caring voice you sometimes find at the end of a long phone routing menu, or the email from someone who’s gone out of their way to help you solve a problem. Human beings are naturally social creatures–we crave friendship and positive interactions just as we do food and water. So it makes sense that the skills involved in building and maintaining relationships are never going out of style.

    Active Listening. We tend to pay a great deal of attention to our ability to speak, but successful communication requires a speaker and a listener. When someone is speaking it is vitally important to be fully present and in the moment with them. Whether you agree with the speaker–whether you’re even remotely interested in what they’re saying–focus on their words, tone and body language and they’ll feel heard in a way no machine can duplicate.

    Expressing empathy. Empathy–the ability to understand and share the feelings of another–is a key element in building trust, which, in turn, is a key element of leadership. Having empathy will give you the ability to put yourself in someone else’s situation. It’s a trait that no automated feedback can generate.

    Giving feedback. Providing effective feedback in a useful format and context benefits for both the giver and the receiver. Leveraged properly, feedback can lead to real growth and development. And effective feedback will always require a person-to-person connection.

    Managing stress. The skill of being able to manage stress–our own and that of others–will never be obsolete. Stress impacts a team’s ability to do their jobs effectively, and it affects how we work with other people. We experience stress when we feel threatened or believe we lack the resources to deal with a challenging situation. Create a line of defenses against stressful situations that you cannot control–use your network, be sure to get enough exercise and sleep, and learn to relax.

    If you can manage these emotional intelligence skills you’ll be prepared for the future, no matter what position or title or job you have.

     


    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 6 Emotional-Intelligence Job Skills Everyone Will Need in the Next Few Years appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:45:17 on 2018/06/10 Permalink
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    10 Powerful Concepts That Will Boost Your Leadership Skills 

    Leadership is a commitment to make a difference in the lives of those around you.

    I believe most who have chosen the path of leadership would agree that it comes with challenges and complications, but also with considerable rewards that you won’t find anywhere else.

    To help leaders in any field stay on track through all the ups and downs, I’ve created a  roadmap.

    As a leadership coach and business consultant, I find that people remember important elements when they are built around an acronym.

    If you want to cultivate great leadership then learn what leadership truly means.

    L = Leading
    To lead is to guide, to steer, to pilot, to show (not tell) the way. As a leader, you’re connecting people with a compelling idea, a vision, that they can grab on to and make happen–something that gives them deep purpose and provides them with meaning.

    E = Empathy
    Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. When you lead with empathy, you have an open heart, open mind, and open ears. You listen to understand; you listen to learn; you listen because you care. When people feel heard and understood, they’re inspired to powerful loyalty and achievement.

    A = Authenticity
    Being authentic–holding an awareness of who you are, and letting others know what you stand for–should be at the center of everything you do. It’s about not needing external approval but letting go of who you think you’re supposed to be and instead embracing your deepest, truest self.

    D = Determination
    Making things happen. Overcoming obstacles. Being persistent and tenacious. When failure is not an option, you bring the drive and the courage and the will to keep going, inspiring the group’s imagination to discover, or create, new ways forward.

    E = Empowerment
    As a leader you’re not just in it to accomplish something, but to bring others with you in making it happen. You give them power and encouragement, and by strengthening them you foster collaboration, teamwork, focused energy, and the level of commitment that comes with ownership.

    R = Responsibility
    Accountability is a crucial element of leadership. For your own integrity and that of those you are leading, you don’t focus on power but on meeting your responsibilities. You are charged with bringing discipline and focus to the organization. As a leader you set the tone.

    S = Selflessness
    Simply put, you serve others before yourself. Successful leadership is, and has always been, a selfless action built on the principles of service. It means taking yourself out of the picture and considering the needs of others, focusing on the best interests of the group, building consensus.

    H = Honesty
    The truth can be a hard thing to face up to, but the trust that grows out of fearless honesty is the cornerstone of leadership. There is no leadership without trust, and there is no trust without honesty.

    I = Innovation
    Searching for new opportunities, different ways of doing things, fostering an atmosphere where people take chances and failure should not be cause for shame or punishment but an integral part of the process. A culture of innovation shouldn’t rely on a few creative outliers but exist as a spirit that values imagination and fresh thinking in every team member every day.

    P =  Positivity
    When you’re the leader, your energy sets the tone. If you wait for good things to happen and complain about the unfairness of life when they don’t, you can expect a team whose members are passive, entitled, and unhappy. But if you keep your eye on the goal and see every situation as an opportunity to grow and learn and move forward, you’ll enjoy the company of a group of colleagues who are energetic and engaged.

    Remember: If you want to commit yourself to great leadership, just spell it out.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 10 Powerful Concepts That Will Boost Your Leadership Skills appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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