Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, a remarkable book in which he discusses how our thinking can enhance our quality of life. He explains how a rich, strong, powerful person is no more in control of his consciousness than someone who is sickly, poor, weak, or oppressed. The difference is in whether he sees challenges as threats or as opportunities for action. This is a very interesting topic, a discussion on how turning problems into challenges can benefit you in your business. What do you think?
There are exercises that can help you think better, faster, more clearly. I hope you find some of them in this book, and here’s a link where you can purchase a copy on Amazon Flow. Geez, that’s amazing, right?
The Autotelic Self
What he calls the autotelic self refers to someone who has the ability to translate potential threats into enjoyable challenges, and thus has an internal balance. The term autotelic self means a person who has self-contained goals.
And then there are insights that can change your life. Autoletic thinking turns problems into challenges to be met and learned from. It is an approach that will change your life if you practice it. Now there’s the challenge for you, will you practice it?
adjective: (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
For most people, goals are shaped by biological needs and social conventions – things that are outside the self. The difference is that the autotelic self, or the person who is capable of defining things for himself, is also capable of transforming threats into non-threatening challenges.
This can be done with a simple change of perspective, a shift in consciousness: that is, seeing a threat as a challenge that you can overcome. Isn’t that interesting?
Try a Trial
Once you can do that, the steps are simple:
Be crystal clear about the goal. Once you know exactly what the goal is, you have an understanding of what is needed to meet it. Then you can decide on a series of actions necessary to accomplish the goal. You can modify these actions as needed in order to meet the goal.
Become involved in the activity — This means commitment. This means action. Whether things are going your way or not, you consistently take action with the next best steps. This demands concentration, commitment, and follow-through.
Pay attention to what is happening – This really means that the project becomes more important than your own feelings about what is happening. Your concentration is on the results of the project. You invest your energy in the project. You are committed, you are involved – it’s about the project, not about you.
Enjoying the experience – the autotelic self is able to set goals, develop skills, be sensitive to feedback, get involved, and look past obstacles. The benefit of learning to be an autotelic personality is that anything that happens can be a source of joy because it is a source of learning and a step to the next goal. In other words, there are no failures, only learning experiences.
This approach to thinking can mean the difference between living life in fear or living life in joy. Developing autotelic thinking will give you the ability to transform random events into learning experiences that eventually result in success.
Life is change – by definition and for everyone. Seeing that as a challenge to be accepted, enjoyed, and built on is the “secret” to successful living.
Now you can read the book at your leisure once you’ve purchased it and if you need any help at all, please contact me for a Free Call to see if I might help you with this challenge.
There are four distinct learning styles. Most people will have a preference for one of the four, but to some extent also use the others. The better you become at using all four of them, the more you will learn from your experiences.
See if you can pick out the learning style that you seem to choose naturally from the four styles below.
– This person enjoys new experiences and dives right in
– So, he likes the excitement of drama or a crisis
– And he enjoys out-of-the-box ideas
– He likes using other people as sounding boards
– This person enjoys theories and concepts
– So, she enjoys intellectual exercises
– And she performs well in structured situations
– She doesn’t like shallow, unsubstantial thinking
– This person enjoys detailed research
– So, he likes just sitting back and thinking
– And he thinks before he acts
– He doesn’t respond well in crises or with time constraints
– This person works well on practical tasks
– So, she enjoys putting things into practice immediately
– And she needs guidelines
– She doesn’t enjoy learning that does not have a practical outcome
Can you see that these four learning styles are all aspects of the complete learning process? At stage 1 the activist has the experience. In stage 2 the reflector reviews the experience. At stage 3 the theorist makes conclusions from the experience. And in stage 4 the pragmatist takes action based on the first three stages.
Today’s topic is all about Three Productivity Tools. Now everyone can use more productivity in their lives, I know that I can. I would rather spend my time doing things that I enjoy, wouldn’t you?
If you’re like most busy people, you’re always looking for ways to increase your productivity.
If you can find a way to:
Limit distractions in this distraction-filled world
Stay focused on a single task at a time
…you’re well on your way to getting more done, but it’s not always easy to get there. Well, thanks to the amazing technology we have available to us today, there are plenty of tools out there that can help.
Abundance of Tools
Here are 3 of our favorite productivity tools to help you limit distractions and stay focused.
Let’s get the distractions out of the way first because even while technology brings us so many great productivity tools, it also brings us tremendous distractions. RescueTime helps you track your time on your computer and your mobile devices and identifies where you’re spending (ahem…often wasting) a lot of your time.
Alert you when you’re spending a certain amount of time on an activity
Allow you to block distracting websites during focus time
Keep track of what you accomplished throughout the day
Identify how much time you spend on a variety of activities, including email, meetings, etc.
You can sign up for a Lite account, which is completely free, or their premium service for added features.
The Focus Booster app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is a long-standing productivity technique that uses a timer for focused work periods, usually 25 minutes, followed by a break of 3-5 minutes. After you complete 4 work periods, you get a break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is you stay completely focused on the task during the work period.
There are a lot of apps that can help you execute the Pomodoro Technique, but you can check out Focus Booster. The app is free for up to 20 sessions per month or you can pay a reasonable yearly fee for unlimited sessions and extra features.
The app keeps a timesheet for you and produces a report that allows you to track your productivity and identify ways to become even more productive. And they have a 30 Day PRO Trial also.
Now here’s something very different, but scientifically proven to increase focus and productivity. And if you love music, this is going to be great news for you.
Focus@Will uses human neuroscience and music to help you focus, limit distractions, get productive and retain more information. All you do is answer a few questions and the software will determine the right music to put your brain in a flow state that makes you super productive. Wow!!
Try these Three Productivity Tools and let us know what you think. And hey, if you’ve got a productivity tool you love, can you send me a message? We’d love to gather up your answers and make part 2 for this article with more great productivity tools.
Manage Your Time – how many times have you heard that phrase? Like it’s been beating you in the head forever, but is it actually registering in said head? You know, you’ve heard it a thousand times but if it’s not getting through, then you’re not really listening, are you?
It doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow the strategies below.
Get Up Early
The most successful people are early risers and have a morning routine in place. Do you have one?
Morning routines often include:
A regular morning routine will ensure that you start your days successfully.
Creating a to-do list should be a regular habit undertaken daily. The best lists are 10 items or less to ensure that you can complete them. Don’t forget to prioritize the items on the list and review them throughout the day. Checking off items as they are completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Sticky notes are ideal for displaying reminders of tasks, motivational quotes, and visualizations. If you’ve got a pile of letters that need to be mailed and that’s an item on your to-do list, why not put a sticky note on top of the pile with a deadline for posting them? It’ll serve as a reminder to get them posted and cleared out of your way.
Of course, you can record your notes digitally using note-taking apps or in a text document, or using pen and paper but have you thought of recording them using a digital recorder? You can get free recording apps for smartphones. By making a voice recording you can replay the recording and listen to your ideas. This will give you the opportunity to listen from a different perspective.
Create a schedule. Using an online planner such as Google Calendar will ensure that you are able to access your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, or computer wherever you are. You can color-code different categories of entry and share with friends, family, and colleagues as necessary.
Use Pen and Paper
For your most important events, tasks and notes use the traditional recording method of pen and paper with a diary, planner, or bullet journal. You can keep it with you at all times, it won’t distract you with messages or run out of power. You’ll also be able to flick through at a glance to see how much you’ve achieved, past or forthcoming events, and outstanding tasks.
Be realistic. Not all tasks and events are created equal. Find a way to highlight events that are essential so that you can see them at a glance and be sure not to miss them. On your lists of things to do always prioritize them and complete the most important first. If there are items that aren’t important or not time-sensitive then consider moving them off your current list and on to another day. You can’t do everything!
If there are items on your list that aren’t important then think about delegating them. You don’t need to try and be a superhero and do everything yourself. Kids can tidy away their toys and when old enough learn how to load the dishwasher, set the table, and do other simple chores. By enlisting the help of other household members you can get more accomplished in less time.
Managing your time properly and efficiently is one of the keys to staying organized. And, it’s also the way you create success along the way when you are working your business. Take these ideas and use them for both your personal life and your professional life. Then you’ll be able to fit more into your day. And even have time to play with your kids and enjoy time with your husband or significant other. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!
Need help figuring out how to create your Time Management Goals? Let’s set up a time to do that. Here’s my booking link to make it easy for you to schedule a time to get together. → Calendar Link This is a free 15 – minute call to see if we want to work together. And then we schedule a time to work on your project. It’s simple and as easy as that!
I would be more than happy to help you figure things out.
When you work for yourself you will need to be both organized and productive while working, every day. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also get much more done for your clients as well as for your own business. So how can you make sure that you stay organized and productive?
Below are several tips for staying organized and productive. Which ones have made it to your list?
Process your emails
Schedule your calendar
Don’t skip lunch
Clear Out Your Clutter
Your workspace should be clean and clutter-free. By removing distractions, you will make sure that you remain focused on your work. Have a trash can by your desk and use it. If it’s trash, then it isn’t needed so toss it immediately! Add a small container for recycling and put anything that can be recycled into it as soon as you’ve finished with it.
Process Your Emails
Emails are a huge time suck. Instead of just reading them or thinking you’ll read or act on them later take a more structured approach. Set a specific time for dealing with emails each day. Don’t check them in between.
Use folders to organize emails: junk/spam, trash, by project or client, personal and to do. Any emails that require you to take action and that cannot be completed at that moment should be put into the to-do folder. Make it a habit to work through your to-do folder and empty it every day. Have a specific time slot allocated for that each day.
Delete junk, spam, and emails that aren’t important or needed for further action and empty those folders at the end of each day.
When you’re an employee, your break time is usually scheduled for you. But when you work for yourself, then it will be up to you to decide when to take a break. Make sure to schedule regular breaks as these will keep you more focused and productive
If you sit down for a large part of your day you need to take regular time out to get up and walk around. This will keep you fitter and reduce tiredness.
Your body and brain need water to stay hydrated and to achieve optimal performance. Of course, you don’t need to drink plain water all the time but you should limit caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
Don’t Skip Lunch
It can be all too easy to skip a meal when you are really busy. However, this won’t actually boost your productivity as you’ll find your blood sugar level will drop and you’ll lose energy and the ability to focus.
Make sure that you’ll always have lunch either ready to go to your office with you. Also, make sure to have a couple of healthy snacks ready to have during the day.
These simple tips will help you to stay organized and productive when you’re working.
Today’s article is all about the 5 Key Habits to Start Your Day. So, what are key habits? They are what you do every single day to keep you organized. Starting your day, the right way will ensure that you’ll feel calmer, happier, and more productive from the get-go. It’ll also make sure that you don’t waste any time searching for missing or lost items. Remember that habits don’t happen overnight. They take at least 21 days to become ingrained into your normal routine so the sooner you start the quicker you’ll become a well-organized morning person.
We’ve all been there when we’ve felt too tired to load the dishwasher, clear the counters or vacuum the family room. Spending a little time every evening tidying and cleaning away the dirt, clutter, and debris from the day really will save you time and angst in the long run.
Make it a fun routine by involving all the family. Set a timer for 15 minutes and zip through those chores. Of course, if you’re on your own it may take slightly longer.
Prepare Lunches in Advance
5 Key Habits To Start Your Day means being prepared. Food preparation takes time and isn’t fun when you’re in a rush to get to school or work. Spending time preparing lunches for all the family the night before ensures you all get a nutritious lunchtime meal which will save you time and money.
Plan ahead so that you know exactly what everyone is having each day of the week. This will make sure you buy or make everything you need so there aren’t any last-minute panics.
Get Clothes Ready the Night Before
How much time have you wasted trying to choose what to wear in the morning? Too much probably and it gets worse if you have kids. Instead, get everyone’s clothes ready the night before. Make sure the entire outfit is on a hanger and that underwear, shoes, and accessories are with it.
An even better habit is to organize the entire week’s wardrobe on a Sunday with everything hung in day order in your wardrobe ready to be picked out on the relevant day. This habit makes everything ideal especially if you have the time to do it.
Write a To-Do List
Write down all the chores and calls you need to do the following day. If they involve dropping off items at the dry cleaner, then bag them and put them by the front door. If you need to post letters or packages then bag them and put them by the door. Your list will make sure you know exactly what you need to do and by having any items ready you won’t leave the house without them! This not only makes you organized it makes you more efficient.
5 Key Habits To Start Your Day also means doing the little things that usually only take a couple of minutes to do. Spend time putting everything you’ll need for a day in your handbag or work bag the night before. You won’t need your iPad or laptop overnight so putting it in your bag or case before you go to bed will make sure you don’t forget it. Any work documents or school books should be put into bags so that they aren’t forgotten or mislaid!
If your children have gym class, football, or another school or after-school activity then get the necessary kit ready in their bags before you head to bed. Put the bag by their school coat.
Starting your day feeling positive and organized really does have a major impact on the way the rest of your day pans out. A chaotic start is hard to recover from. By developing the routines listed above, you can be sure that you and your household will always start your day the right way.
This is also a good way to teach your children about leadership by being a good leader yourself. Then they can do it in their homes once they are adults.
Today’s article is about the 4 changes that can transform your year. A topic of discussion that is critical to your business because it can make or break it. And I’m not kidding here my friends!
Sometimes, making changes that you want to see in your life feels nearly impossible. It takes a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to make significant changes that will transform your life.
If you want to start your year out right, these subtle changes can be the beginning of a happier, healthier life. Whether in your personal life or your business life take that step, you will be better off for it.
Making Good Decisions
Listen to Your Intuition—We like to think life is linear and rational. But more often than not, we make blind decisions based on what we know at the time. But what if you started following your intuition more often than your brain? Often, the right choice is the one we don’t fully understand at the time. Your intuition can lead you down a path you least expect, but that can change your life in exciting ways. Worry less about connecting the dots and spend more time riding the wave. Remember that these 4 changes can transform your year if you allow it to.
Why you Need to Make Changes
Understand Your Why—You want to make changes but find year after year, you have yet to make it happen. One reason for this is that you don’t understand why you want to make the change. Or you understand it, but you focus on how hard it will be to make the change. Look at the big goal you have and ask yourself why you want it. Will it free up time, make you healthier, or make retirement more comfortable? If the answer is yes, you should keep your thoughts on how much better your life will be when you’ve made the change, and then take action. Always start with your “why.” Then make those changes transform your year into one that works better for you.
Convert by Taking Action
Take Action—Often we humans wait until the time is right to do something meaningful. And for this reason, many of us have regrets later in life. And I’m one of those people, you betcha! So, what do you genuinely want? If you can answer that question automatically, it’s time to take action. Any action. It doesn’t have to be the “right” action. But making that first step will lead you to discover the right next steps to take that will lead you to where you want to go.
Take it Step by Step
Stay Shortsighted—Have you ever thought you’d like to make a significant change in your life but then thought yourself out of it? Yeah, this is common and actually happened to me when I first started my business. The “what ifs” scared the hell out of me! When we look too far into the future, we can getoverwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Ask yourself what the first step would be to make that change. Then the next step. And the next one. Most successful people didn’t know where exactly they’d end up. They just knew they wanted to change their lives, and so they did, step by step.
Don’t let the fear of theunknown future steal your happiness today by keeping you paralyzed. Believe me, if I could do it over again, I certainly would take the leap much sooner than I did. All I did was keep my business small and it kept me from making the money I really wanted out of my business. Lesson learned, so learn from me so you don’t make the same mistakes I have.
Living your best year depends on the actions you take right now. So even though you might be stuck with how to move your business forward, I’m providing a few tips for you that might help.
Most of the world sees a new year as a time to make massive changes in their lives, it’s the daily choices that lead to lasting change. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are so ineffectual. Yes, you heard that correctly! This year, you can start and finish strong by making better choices each day.
Living Your Best Year
Below are some tips for making sure this is your best year ever:
Break It Down—whether you want to save for a dream home, start a business or get healthier, you need to recognize it’s going to take time. Our desire for instant gratification can lead us to give up before we even really get started pursuing our goals. Chose the one big thing you want to have by the end of the year and then break down the steps you’ll need to take to make it happen. Then break them down even further. Come up with small tasks that you can complete daily in only 10-30 minutes. That will not only help you see the goal as a journey (so you don’t give up too soon), but it also makes the goal easier to tackle.
Choosing Yourself First
Track Your Time—we’re all busy. But many people use busyness as an excuse for keeping the status quo, even when they say they want to change. One simple way to find “wasted time” in your schedule is to track it. For at least three days, keep track of what you do all day long. You can use an app, spreadsheet, or a simple notepad to keep track. You’ll soon start to notice you spend more time watching TV, playing games, and checking social media than you would have thought. Once you are aware of this wasted time, choose yourself instead. Use that time to research career programs, enjoy a hobby, or spend more time with family. Whatever your goal is this year, choosing to spend your time working on it each day will make sure you end the year where you want to be.
Choose To Be Happy
Redesign Your Life—Most of us sleepwalk through life more often than we care to admit. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, take stock of what makes you happy. What brings you joy and makes you feel alive? Now, redesign your life to make sure those things are a part of it. Look back at your time-tracking list (from above). What obligations and expectations can you modify or delete entirely, so you live a life full of joy and purpose. Make a conscious decision to choose to live life to the fullest every day.
You Choose Your Life
One of the best choices you can make is to remember why you decided to go in the direction that you have made for your life. Sometimes the choices are for a reason. You might not know the reason but in everyone’s life, there are journeys that must be taken for you to learn certain aspects of life. Whether it’s being a mom, a wife, a girlfriend, or just a single woman, you can’t expect to know everything unless you live it. That’s what I’ve found out anyway in my life. Yes, you might make some mistakes along the way but if they don’t show up in your path how are you ever going to learn? You can read all the books in the world but living and being at that stage is more important than any lesson you can learn from a book.
My Favorite Method
For me, at the beginning of the year, I only make one to two goals because I don’t want to overload myself. One is for my personal life and one is for my business life. I find that if my goals are too defined, like step 1 – step 10, I will never reach that goal. I try to just make it simple and basic. It works for me and is something you might want to start doing also. Try not to stress yourself out about what you can and can’t accomplish. You’d be surprised by the end of the year just how much you’ve accomplished. And this is why I choose this method of planning out my goals. Yes, I could have 15 different goals on my list, but if I don’t get them all completed, I just feel defeated. And that is definitely not the way I want to feel. I’m sure you don’t either!
If you are looking for someone to help you figure out your goals or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, I’m available for a FREE 15-minute chatto see if you’d like to work together. You can book an appointment with me here.
Today’s article is about how to start your year on the right foot. We are in a brand new year and sometimes it’s so easy to get off track, especially when you have family obligations during the holidays. And let’s face it, most of us, as business owners need a little downtime during this last quarter of the year. If you’re anything like me, trying to do it all sometimes is a little too much, even for the strongest people in the business world.
All too often we charge in when it would be better to assess where we are first. Especially if you haven’t had time at the end of the year. It can be painful to look back to see our mistakes and shortcomings. And yet, it’s the best way to determine what we need to do to make significant changes in our lives.
Before you prepare to start the new year with loads of new resolutions and goals, take some time to reassess your life in these different areas. It will help you to not be distracted the entire month of January because you will have focus, determination, and a great plan.
Ever wish you had more time for what was genuinely important to you? I get it! So do something about it. Make some changes. The first step is by looking at all the things you’ve taken on that no longer feel important. Consider each committee, sponsorship, extended family, and friend obligations that no longer feel fun.
If they feel like a burden, it’s time to unload them. That may feel challenging. After all, no one wants to let others down. But this is your life, and it’s time to choose you instead of others’ wants. Do you feel me here? It’s for you to decide what’s important to you.
If you wish you had more money but can’t or don’t want to work more to get it, take a careful look at your finances. Quite often, little wants turn into needs. Scan through last year’s bank statements and make a note of any recurring payments. You may wince when you see how much you’ve spent on unnecessary things throughout the year. Having occasional treats for you and your family is okay. But if “shopping therapy” has become a burden, now’s the time to fix it.
Make a list of all the ways you could cut back on without feeling deprived. For example, could you eat out two nights a week instead of four? Is it essential that you shop for clothes every month? So, how much could you save if you took your lunch to work three days a week instead of getting take-out?
Do you find it fun to have four bazillion TV channels? You can’t possibly watch them all! These are just a few ways you can trim expenses, so you can save for things that matter to you instead.
Dreams and Goals
Many people decide that not having enough time or enough money is the reason why they stay in dead-end jobs, don’t pursue their passions, or make real changes in their lives. If that was you and you’ve taken our advice and reevaluated your obligations and finances, those excuses should no longer be holding you back. Am I right?
So, what do you want really? To go back to school and start a new career? Turn your side-hustle or hobby into a business? Purchase and cook homemade, whole foods that support your health and wellness? By choosing to make those two changes in your life, you’ve now opened up a whole new world for yourself.
Grab it, and don’t look back!
Picture yourself happy and content, making more money than you ever did, because you made some decisions about your life that would change your 2022. Isn’t it amazing that doing just one thing could change your life around for the better? No, nothing is easy. But if you want to succeed in life, you will do what is necessary to get there.
One thing I know for sure is if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Don’t let that happen to you!
Contact me using the form below and I’ll help you work on a plan that’s right for you.
Today’s article will teach you 21 different ways to become a better leader. I think you will really enjoy reading this article. It will teach you so many different ways on how to be a better leader. Because if you’re going to be a business owner, you also need to be a great leader. Right?
Being a better leader can be simplified down to ‘always thinking of more ways to listen and help’. It is also about modeling strong, positive leadership through example.
Being a Great Leader
Here are twenty-one ways to up your game as a positive leader.
Get Out There and Make Connections
The best leaders are insatiable at learning and improving every area of their lives. Part of this involves just getting out there and networking. Talk to peers and competitors, to find out what’s important to them nowadays. Go to conferences and symposiums and talk to experts. Want to ask someone a question? If you are close enough to have their phone number, just phone and ask!
Some of the best leaders are also introverts. It’s tough cold-calling or putting yourself out there if you’re one too—but thesuccessful introvert leaders all say the same thing: You just have to do it. (And that it does get easier!)
Weak leaders shame-and-blame. Strong leaders hone in on specific problems and look for solutions. And they’re especially good at thinking up ‘third alternatives’ or out-of-the-box fixes that far exceed the standard solutions.
Strong leaders not only look for solutions, but they are also the first to take action on them and implement them. Leaders will find out the best people for specific tasks while others are still discussing possibilities. Leaders will fix plumbing leaks, find caterers at the last minute while others are bewailing a cooking disaster, and generally build up a “get-‘er-done” mentality.
And that includes getting it done for your people!
Don’t Be a Weak Leader
Ask for Help
Part of being solution-oriented and action-oriented is knowing when to admit you need help when to ask for help – and then doing so! A good leader never hesitates to say, “Can you show me how to do this?” or, “Will you explain this to me, please?”
That’s because a great leader knows his or her own worth but is immune to the ego.
Leaders and excuses don’t go together. A strong leader never hesitates to admit when he or she is wrong about something.
Be a Lifelong Learner
Great leaders are voracious learners. They read books, as well as search the net. They are not afraid to go to the source and ask the experts. They listen to podcasts in their cars; go to seminars and workshops; find out how things work and know exactly who to call on for a myriad of needs or situations.
This type of curiosity is a great habit to develop—and it will keep you ahead of your competition and help you come up with concrete or decisive answers when others are still dithering.
Do Some Research
Do Your Homework
Effective leaders will take the time to do the research. And if they commission other people to do the research for them, they take the time to go over the results and make sure they understand all implications.
Use Mentors and Coaches
Great leaders never think of themselves as the top of the heap: There is always someone else they admire, follow, model themselves after, or consult. And they’re not afraid to admit it or shout out to their mentors, either.
Think back over your life: Who was your inspiration? Your mentor? If you’ve let them drop by the wayside, use this as a reminder to reconnect and keep up that valuable connection.
Nothing will endear you to your community more than approachability … especially if you protect yourself by making sure you also have clear boundaries around access.
If people feel you are approachable, they also feel that you care about them. You’ll never be the dreaded “tyrant boss” or coach, and by setting times and ways for contact, it ensures that contact occurs in a controlled manner and doesn’t burn you out.
Do you Have Skills?
Actively Develop Your Communication Skills
Great leaders have great communication skills. They use these to convey visions, inspire people, negotiate a positive way through conflicts, and above all, they are great listeners. But they also actively develop these skills. They know that most people aren’t born with them, and they will go out of their way to acquire the best communications skills they can.
Use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’
When you use ‘I’ statements within a leadership role, you subconsciously set yourself on a pedestal. Are you focusing on tasks and goals to accomplish, including your team by saying ‘we’ and giving them ownership of the task and goal?
When you do say ‘I’ make sure it’s paired with statements such as appreciation or gratitude statements, or include as many ‘you’ and ‘we’ statements as ‘I’ ones.
Everybody Needs Somebody
Learn to Read Beyond What’s Spoken
Another top leader super-skill: ‘Reading’ people. This means not just listening to what’s said, but being able to accurately interpret other clues, such as tone, body language, and facial expressions. Effective leaders don’t let such things slipstream over them. They are able to instantly recognize when someone is dubious about something they’re in the middle of agreeing to, or being evasive under expressions of confidence—and get to the heart of the matter in a positive and reassuring way.
Give Your Team the Right Tools
One of the easiest ways to enable and encourage your team to not only do a great job but enjoy and be inspired by the process is to give them the right tools. Don’t skimp on this: Giving your contractor or team member the pro version of the right tool will increase productivity and speed up the creation process.
And your team members will really appreciate your support.
Be Aware of Your Own Body Language, Too
Don’t just focus on the body language of the people you are speaking to. Check your own body language, too! Do you look people you are speaking to in the eyes? Are you smiling and focusing on radiating a positive attitude? Are you lethargic, animated—or too animated? Are you practice “open” body language (angling toward your guest, for example, not crossing your arms or legs; or using wide-arm gestures that include the audience and bring them in).
Have you previously even thought of what your own body language says?
Are You Creating the Best Experience?
Develop an Engaging Speaking Style
Record yourself speaking on more than one occasion; both informally and formally (e.g. when giving a speech or running through a podcast or webinar script). Play these practice runs back and listen.
Do you put yourself to sleep or do you do the opposite, and chatter so fast that you sound like a squirrel after espresso? Do you practice good breathing, so that your voice is resonant, not squeaky or ‘thin’? Are you fall back too frequently on meaningless phrases like ‘basically’? Do you repeat clichés and specific words too often? Are you hemming and hawing and stumbling?
Above all, is your voice real, authentic, clear, and warm?
Analyze your own voice objectively. Listen for all these things, decide where and how you need to improve and do it!
Make a Habit of Being Goal-Oriented
The best leaders zero in on whatever goal they’re working on and move toward it without distraction.
Learn to cut out tangents and irrelevancies, and focus on your goals, be they huge or small; the ‘big picture’ or a detail. Learn not to allow yourself to be distracted into reactive mode, and get your team members effortlessly back on track.
I AM The BOSS!
Don’t Be a Boss: Be a Leader!
A boss suffers from pedestal thinking: She thinks of her team members as minions instead of fellow professionals.
A leader doesn’t regard herself as the center of the universe: She shares the spotlight, the problems, and the praise with her team.
She gives credit, not takes it: A leader steps back to let her team shine. A leader helps people grow and is remembered as an inspiration in years to come.
Be Prepared to Be a Decision Maker and Take Risks
Great leaders do something else that sets them apart from other professionals: After they have done the research, analyzed the facts, and brainstormed with their teams, they:
This is because they have taught themselves not to fear failure. Great leaders know that sometimes projects or ideas fall short.
But they also know that avoiding decision-making and never taking a chance is the real failure!
Listen for the ‘Wee Small Voice’
Great leaders are also not afraid to question themselves and their assumptions. They learn to be aware of that niggling inner voice that tells one that something isn’t right; or simply leads to a hint of nervousness or fear.
Experienced leaders question this ‘wee small voice’ immediately on becoming aware of it. They get to the ‘why’ behind the doubt or fear and face it head-on. Then they take action to eliminate potential problems that might have been causing the fear. They never let fear rule them or hide in sabotage.
Be Proactive—not Reactive
It’s easy—especially when you are an online entrepreneur—to slip into reactive mode, and end up feeling like a chicken running around with its head cut off: Especially when you have many irons in the fire and people depending on you. But be sure to make time for things that matter (like your health and personal life), and be as proactive as you can. Plan things ahead of time. Delegate.
And once you’ve done all that, learn how to let things go.
Make Time for the Things That Matter
Great leaders do their best to avoid burnout. They know they are human, just like everyone else. And they make sure they recharge their batteries with strong, healthy self-care—and they nurture important personal relationships. You should know that they carry the same respect they show in the workplace back home.
Take Care of Yourself
So, develop a healthy self-care routine:
Meditate or pray
Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible
Drink at least six glasses of water daily
Cut down on carbs and alcohol
Cut down on other bad habits that can sabotage your health (such as smoking, inactivity)
Take time to notice all your blessings
Do something fun
Focus on your family
Give back to your local community or charities you believe in
Read entertaining books and listen to fun podcasts, as well as business ones
Get a hobby
Get a good night’s sleep every night
Do even half of the above, and you’ll find yourself more alert, more focused—and you’ll have more fun being the leader you were meant to be!