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  • feedwordpress 09:29:09 on 2018/03/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Demanding Roles, , , , Personal Development,   

    How to Be Your Best In an Emotionally Demanding Role  

    I think most of us in leadership can relate to the experience of emotionally demands in the workplace. It may be more closely tied with some roles than others, but it’s common in every field among leaders and others who give themselves fully to the work they do.

    But it doesn’t come easily. An emotionally demanding role can leave you feeling physically and mentally drained. Work may become less satisfying and you may have problems focusing or thinking creatively—which in turn can lead to irritability, frustration and even depression.

    There are things you can do to help yourself—for your own well-being, and so you and your team can keep bringing your best every day. Here are some of the top techniques I discuss with the leaders I coach:

    Identify your strengths. Emotional demands can tax your confidence and self-esteem, so it’s important to know your strengths and build on them. When you make the best use of your inner resources, you gain power that will bring you through low times and difficult situations.

    Leverage your weaknesses. We all naturally prefer to concentrate on our strengths instead of our weaknesses. But—as you already know if you’ve read The Leadership Gap—I’m a big believer in learning to leverage your own weaknesses. As you go through challenging times, your strength will come not only from what you are strong in but also from the things you struggle with, from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t do.

    Practice radical honesty. Studies have found that you can alleviate stress and emotional burnout by creating a climate of radically honesty—in short, being as honest and authentic as you can be. When people feel free to be themselves and to communicate their emotions, both positive and negative, workplace tension is reduced.

    Work on conflict resolution. In conflict, don’t let the little things divide you when agreement on the big things can bind you. Escalate or evaluate until you come to a resolution. Being stuck is among the worst things that can happen when you have a lot going on and you’re trying to be productive.

    Know your role. Think about whether in your current situation you’re acting as a teacher, a student, or a peer, and whether you should be teaching, asking questions, or debating. Knowing your specific role is especially important in times of high emotional demands, allowing you to bring people together in a shared spirit of humility and open-mindedness.

    Use your empathy. When your environment and culture are demanding, empathy is especially important. It isn’t always easy to show empathy, especially when situations are challenging or taxing. But seeing through the eyes of another and working to truly understand how they feel will help you connect on a deeper level and cultivate a more meaningful relationship.

    Learn from your mistakes. Great leaders are big enough to admit their mistakes, smart enough to profit from them and strong enough to correct them. We all make mistakes—we all have struggles and challenges and even some regrets. You are not your mistakes, and you are not your struggles. Instead of letting mistakes bring you down, use them to take full ownership of your potential.

    Connect with your purpose. Purpose is incredibly important, not just to leaders but to team members at every level. When work becomes emotionally charged it can be harder to find that purpose or understand the meaning. Doing so may require that you shift your thinking and challenge any entrenched mindsets—individually and as a group—so you can identify how your work makes an impact on others, on the community, on society, and in the world.

    Leading through emotionally demands is often difficult, but the process can help you guide yourself and your team toward new ways to give your best selves in service.

    Lead from within: As a leader, the meaning of your life is to find your gift and the purpose of your life is to share it with others, challenging or not. Too many people have the means to live, but little meaning to live for.

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


    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 How to Be Your Best In an Emotionally Demanding Role  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:17:35 on 2018/02/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Personal Development, ,   

    How to Lead Under Pressure and Remain Calm 

    All of us face pressure—every working professional, regardless of position, profile, title, experience, or gender. Pressure is real and it’s often a constant.

    It may take the form of having so much to do that you don’t even know where to begin. Or it may come from burdensome expectations imposed on you, or disappointment with the progress you’ve made on something.

    Whether the pressure is coming from yourself, from those above you in your organization, from your teammates, or from the situation itself, it’s stressful. Ongoing pressure can be harmful to your sense of well-being and even your physical health.

    A recent study revealed that 80 percent of employees complain of experiencing pressure at work, and nearly 60 percent want to quit their jobs because of high stress levels.

    We all know that leadership is difficult and comes with a certain amount of pressure built in. And those who are called to leadership are often the ones who drive and pressure themselves. But the leaders who are most effective are those who know how to deal with pressure in healthy and productive way.

    Here are some of the thoughts I share with the top leaders I coach about leading under pressure:

    Manage yourself. Learn to build your internal capacity to cope with pressure by pivoting from negative to positive, from stress to coping, and from panic to assurance. Only when you can manage yourself under pressure can you manage manage others in the same situation.

    Be purpose-driven. When pressure is high, one of the best ways to combat stress is to tap into the sense of purpose that fuels your drive. Attaching meaning to your work will give you the power to push forward. It was my mentor Victor Frankl who said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how.’”

    Control your expectations. High-pressure situations sometimes develop because of unrealistic expectations—whether your own or those of others. The best leaders know how to manage expectations—they know when to say yes and how to say no.

    Stay focused and alert. Even with tremendous pressure in every direction to get things done, if you keep your mind firmly focused you can complete the task at hand. And if you can go on to bring that same focus to completing the next task, and the next, in time you will find relief from the pressure and stress of having too many things to get done.

    Forgo perfectionism. As a leader, there’s a good chance you believe you have to be perfect. But you can’t, of course. And the faster you let go of trying, the less pressure you will feel. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for progress and aim for excellence. It’s a vicious cycle: perfectionism leads to procrastination, and procrastination adds to your pressures. Learn to let it go.

    Follow the 80-20 rule. Faced with a problem, most people spend about 80 percent of their time and energy dwelling on the problem. Instead, devote 80 percent to a solution and 20 percent to the problem. When you turn it around, you’ll likely find you’re less stressed and more productive.

    Set clear boundaries. When you’re a leader, everyone wants a piece of you. There are those who think you’re the only one who can answer the question, solve the problem, save the day. Be daring and firm about setting up boundaries. Having the courage to be good to yourself even when you risk disappointing others makes you a healthier person—and a better leader. Healthy boundaries are not walls; they’re gates that allow you to alleviate pressure.

    Keep things simple. The most effective leaders know how to boil things down. They understand their priorities and work only on the things that really matter. When you return to basics you can keep things uncomplicated and less stressful. It’s that simple.

    Deal with ambiguity. Any high-pressure position or situation often comes with a degree of uncertainty. Teach yourself to become more adaptable, to respond to events and ambiguity objectively rather than becoming overwhelmed by your emotional vulnerabilities. Focus on what you have to do and get it done instead of being overwhelmed what you don’t know.

    Delegate what you can. As a leader, you don’t have to do everything yourself. You don’t have to control or micromanage. The most productive leaders know how to delegate and let someone else get that task or project to done.

    Create a longer-term perspective. Leaders know the crisis of the moment can make us all feel that the world’s about to end. But the best leaders, the most productive, understand that most issues will takes care of themselves in time, and they focus on dealing with the issues in the present that will serve them best.

    Lead from within: Pressure can be a useful catalyst in your leadership if you can use it to challenge and stretch your limit to go beyond so purposeful things can be achieved but it only works if you stay calm.

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


    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 How to Lead Under Pressure and Remain Calm appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:04:56 on 2018/02/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Personal Development, ,   

    How to Be The Best Role Model 

    Chances are, at some point you’ve worked with a leader whose example is still with you today. Maybe it was a leader who showed confidence when everyone else was frazzled, who stayed calm under intense pressure. Or a boss who deftly handled whiners and complainers, or a mentor whose patient guidance set you on the path you’re still following.

    Whatever their role, these are the people who know that who they are is as important as what they do. For them, setting a positive example is an integral element of leadership, a part of their life and work every day.

    So what kind of example are you setting? Whether you’re aware of it or not, your actions and attitudes are being watched. You’re setting an example, modeling acceptable behavior to others.

    How can you tell if you’re setting an example people can look up to? Here are some traits the best role models share:

    They lead with self-awareness. The best role models reflect honestly and productively on their own behavior and the impact they have on others. They consider the needs and feelings of others, they’re responsible for their actions and accountable for their mistakes, and, most important, they pay attention to how their words and actions affect others.

    They lead with positivity. Great role models know that no one can be cheerful all the time, but they look for opportunities in difficult situations and face challenges with resilience and energy. They inspire those around them with their positivity and optimism.

    They lead with empathy. Part of being a role model is tuning in to the feelings of those around you. It means meeting people where they are and relating to them with kindness, compassion, and understanding. At the heart, it’s as simple as acknowledging our shared humanity.

    They lead with humility. The best role models are humble enough to be honest when they’re not sure about something. They’re supportive when you need help, sincere when others are manipulative, and modest when others are showing off. Those who lead with humility are at their best when they’re encouraging others to succeed.

    They lead with integrity. Great role models enter every situation with their good character, morals, and principles firmly in place. They don’t preach; they don’t have to. They know their values and use them as the basis of their choices, and they have the decency to do the right thing even when it’s difficult.

    They lead with trust. Leaders with consistent character—the ones who “walk their talk”—develop an atmosphere of accountability and responsibility. And those elements form the foundations of trust. A commitment to building and earning trust is one of the most important elements of a great team.

    They lead with respect. Many people aspire to impressive titles in an effort to get others to respect them. But the best roles model understand that you earn respect through the way you treat others. They give respect, and in turn they receive it.

    They lead with honesty. People will naturally look up to you if they can count on you to tell the truth, however difficult or awkward it may be. This includes telling the truth about yourself, the mistakes you’ve made, and the places where your judgment has faltered. Your people will appreciate and emulate your transparency

    Whether you want to be or not, unless you live alone in a cave you’re probably somebody’s role model. That makes it important for each of us to remember that people learn more from what we do than what we say, more from what we are than what we teach.

    Lead from within. Whether you choose to be or not, you are a role model—so watch your words and be mindful of your actions, because people are looking at each other to be inspired.

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


    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 How to Be The Best Role Model appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:07:58 on 2018/02/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Overconfident, Personal Development,   

    How to Handle Annoying Overconfident People In Your Life 

    We all encounter annoyingly overconfident people from time to time—the ones who come across as if they know everything. Sometimes it’s hard not to let them get under your skin.

    But there is an effective way how to handle overconfident people.

    My work as an executive leadership coach working brings me in contact with top people in all kinds of organizations and industries, so I see overconfident people all the time. Part of my role is to ground them in reality, and part of it is to teach them to deal with other overconfident people.

    First, though, let’s make a distinction clear between two different degrees, or types, of overconfident people. The first is the narcissist, who is not only overconfident but also has a sense of superiority and entitlement. For a detailed discussion of dealing with a narcissist, see my Inc. article How to Deal With a Narcissistic Leader

    But here we’re looking at a run-of-the-mill overconfident colleague, boss, or associate—the ones who get on your nerves on a daily basis. Here are some smart strategies for coping and thriving:

    1. Connect with your own inner security: The best way to deal with an overconfident person is to find your own inner sense of security. When you can find your own confidence, nothing an overconfident person can say or do will undermine you. They may be unable to relate to you and may even say obnoxious or cruel things, but you can always let it slide when you feel secure in yourself.

    2. Don’t let it get to you. This is easy to say but harder to accomplish. But if you can learn to ignore the overconfident, superior attitude and try to find ways to you can enjoy each other’s company, it may benefit you you both. Deep down, there’s probably something to this person that’s worth knowing or exploring, and maybe at the deepest level there may be a person who is good and kind, with something in their background that causes their overconfident behavior.

    3. Know their secret. Overconfident people are often quite insecure, and they cover up their insecurities through dominating and controlling others. They find it hard to admit being wrong, and they will often cling to a belief even in the face of evidence that it’s outdated or wrong.

    4. Learn tolerance. Most of us are quick to judge. Perhaps impatience is your personal weakness, and frustration and annoyance are frequent responses for you. Maybe you feel intimidated or pressured. Whatever is happening, overconfident people present a great opportunity to learn patience, to listen without judging. Aim to tolerate the person and learn to understand what motivates him or her. Think about how you’d respond in the same position.

    5. Improve your assertiveness. Over confident people can smell self-doubt miles away—and when they do, they likely will pounce. The best way to combat those who think they have all the answers is to improve on your own assertiveness. Aggressively overconfident people won’t waste their time on people they can’t push around or get a rise out of.

    6. Be tactful. So you have tried tolerance and improved your assertiveness. Now it’s time for a new weapon: tact. You can still point out things that are self-evident without calling out the person’s arrogance. You can still respond assertively to things that are incorrect—just do it with kindness and empathy.

    7. Change the subject. Another great tool for handling overconfident people is a simple pivot to a new topic. By changing the conversation, you can discontinue the overconfident person’s dominance. If they try to return to the old topic, politely point out that everyone has already made their views known, and return to yet another new topic.

    8. Keep your distance to avoid confrontation. If you’ve tried all the other techniques to no avail, you can still lessen the impact of an arrogant overconfident person. Keep your distance to you can keep your sanity. Simply do your best to stay out of their way. It’ll buy you time to work out how to better respond, or if nothing else it will minimize their annoying presence.

    Lead from within: Overconfident people are arrogant people who simply too insecure to face their own reality. As Charles Bukowski so brilliantly stated, the problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.


    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 How to Handle Annoying Overconfident People In Your Life appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 10:00:36 on 2018/01/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , Isolation, , , , , Personal Development,   

    What Great Leaders Struggle With – But Are Scared to Admit 

    I recently gave a keynote to a room filled with hundreds of leaders from around the world. These were people with prestigious positions and reputations for excellence, and I was humbled and honored to be in their presence.

    After my keynote a crowd gathered at the back of the room, where I was signing my new book. Speaking with these accomplished leaders one on one, I began to notice a pattern. Many of them were using the content of my talk as a springboard to talk about their struggles—struggles they were scared to admit to others, especially their colleagues, their teammates, and their boards. The nature of their struggles fell into a few broad categories.

    1. They were grappling with loneliness and isolation. We think of business leaders as being surrounded by people all the time, but the old adage is true—it really is lonely at the top. In a recent study, 61 percent of C-suite leaders believed isolation hindered their performance. That’s a significant proportion of top executives who are suffering—and not performing at their peak. The sense of isolation is even more pronounced, and its effects more significant, during challenging times. Those who are dealing with loneliness and isolation need to know they aren’t alone. Finding ways to let people in may mean overcoming the myth that we need to do it alone, but it’s the best cure for loneliness and isolation.

    2. They were wrestling with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. From time to time we all feel inadequate. or suffer from self -doubt, but leaders tend to see it through the lens of their team and the others who are counting on them, and it leaves very little room for even questioning yourself. In an unfamiliar situation or one with no easy answers, even if they have the necessary skills to arrive at a solution, they may start to question and mistrust themselves. As I discuss in my latest book, The Leadership Gap, tapping into your capabilities and competencies can provide the confidence you need to overcome times of self-doubt.

    3. They were fearful of letting people down. Like the rest of us, most leaders ascribe to a set of rules and standards, and they hope people are pleased with the work they do. But if it’s done right, leadership involves risk and courageous decisions, and one of the hazards is that sometimes you let others down and have to face their disapproval. Especially when you’re trying to achieve something significant, it’s important to remember that you can’t always please others (or even yourself) and free yourself to make tough choices in light of the big-picture priorities and your goals for your team and organization.

    4. They were afraid of public failure. We may teach that failure is a component of eventual success—and it is—but it’s still something that everyone dreads. And when you fail as a leader, you fail big. Especially for a group of people who tend to have healthy egos, it can be rough. It may be easier said than done, but when you’ve wiped out is the time to get out of your own head and look objectively at failure as a learning experience.

    5. They were scrambling to get everything accomplished. We all tend to have a lot to do on any given day. That daily pressure is magnified for leaders, who have their own things to accomplish and have to make sure everyone on their team is performing well. It’s a big burden, and the only way through is to focus on what you need to accomplish as a leader, do it with excellence and make sure you are surrounded by the right people doing their right jobs in the right way.

    6. They were laboring over their weaknesses. Most people hate to admit they have weaknesses. My keynote took this as a topic, with the gist being that while most leaders are working to find their strengths, I’m a big believer in identifying your weaknesses and leveraging them. That same message is an important part of The Leadership Gap.

    7. They struggled with criticism. Leaders learn early on that everyone has an opinion about their actions and thoughts. All feedback is good, but it’s hard to listen to critical opinions, especially when they seem poorly thought through or mean spirited. As a leader, you need people to share information with you, and that means managing your emotions when you hear things seem unfair.

    8. They were wrestling with the best way to handle confrontation. Few of us enjoy confrontation, but it’s a necessary skill if you want to challenge those you lead. The reality of leadership is that there are times when you have disagreements where you have to stand up and challenge someone. Confrontation is where the skill of true leadership lies, because the best leaders learn how to question and tackle challenge with a humble and sincere approach.

    What I came to realize that day is that it doesn’t matter what position you have or whether you lead a team of one or a company of thousands. Struggle is a part of leadership, it brings lessons to be learned and opportunities to be shared. If you can find meaning in your struggle you will succeed as a leader.

    Lead From Within: When leaders can battle the struggles of the present they will learn to unlock the success in their future.


    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 What Great Leaders Struggle With – But Are Scared to Admit appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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