By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In this fast paced, ever changing world where we must learn to do more with less, we must be grounded in who we are. To cope with the changing world of work, diverse customers and employees, the generational divide, rightsizing, downsizing, whatever the term used, we must have a strong sense of self.
Developing a better you requires recognizing that everything begins from within. We must remind ourselves of the unique gifts we possess that make us special. Too often, we focus on our failures and forget the successes we have had in life. Our failures help us grow because they challenge us to find a way to persevere until the victory is won. Our successes propel us forward to continue to run the race before us because we have what it takes to succeed.
1. Believe in yourself.
You must know that you are unique and decide to validate yourself. You must have positive self-talk and recognize that failure is not final, merely a steppingstone to greatness. Commit to measuring yourself with yourself and not someone else. I once read you can be a first rate you or a second rate somebody else. Affirm today, I am confident, courageous, and capable.
2. Surround yourself with positive people.
People with negative attitudes are energy draining and when your energy is zapped, you have to go and get recharged. Is it always easy to have positive people around? Absolutely not! We must continue to help others by suggesting sources of inspiration such as self-help books, motivational tapes, and spiritual literature. Then we must challenge individuals to be willing to take charge of their life and the things they can change. Often, you will find yourself spending less time with persons because you can see they really do not want to change. These negative people are often dream busters and if you let them, they will chatter your dreams. Be careful who you share your dreams with and do what you must do for yourself to remain focused and positive. Each you must decide to embrace life with an attitude of gratitude. Affirm today, I will focus on the positive things in life.
3. Visualize success.
In order to visualize success, you must see your dreams and goals with clarity and have a plan. Steven Covey states you must begin with the end in mind. The Bible states where there is no vision the people perish. Is it so important to have a blueprint to guide and direct your path as you work towards achieving your dreams and goals in life. Commit to developing a plan for the dreams and goals you have set for yourself in your personal and professional life. Affirm today, I will take one positive action that will lead me one step closer to reaching my goals.
4. Welcome and embrace change.
How many of you love change? Most of us resist change because of uncertainty and the risks it brings. The only constant in life is that things will change. Our ability to cope with change will help us reduce the stress change often brings. Many of us our currently facing some form of change in our lives, empty nesters, taking care of aging parents, family crisis, jobs being downsized or eliminated, mergers and acquisitions and the list goes on and on. It is vital we find ways to embrace and welcome changes that will take place on our personal and professional lives. Change allows us the opportunity to expand our boundaries and grow. Affirm today, I will welcome and embrace change.
5. Celebrate successes everyday in your life.
When you achieve a major milestone in your life, how do you reward yourself? Start a happy file, smile file, or success journal today. When someone sends you a note, an e-mail message, or a letter that lets you know they appreciate you, put it in that file. Start to focus on the nice things people say and do for you and help them begin their happy file by sharing with them in written form, a note of appreciation. When you start recognizing the successes and strengths of others, it is amazing how much more people start to recognize yours. What you send out to others returns to you. Begin the habit of rewarding yourself for the milestones that move you closer to your goals. These milestones may be big or small. It really doesn’t matter the size only that you recognize them. The important thing is to celebrate because small successes lead to big successes. Affirm today, I will start my happy file.
6. Love Yourself.
What kind of self-talk goes on in your head? What do you say about yourself to others? Learn how to look in the mirror and declare that you love the reflection you see. There is no one else like you in the universe. You are special and always remember that. Love you for the wonderful person you are. Affirm today, I value and love myself.
7. Maintain a winning attitude about life.
Life may not always deal you the hand you want, but learn how to play the hand you are dealt with a winning disposition. Maintaining a winning attitude means that when challenges come, you recognize there is a miracle in your struggle. When you are able to maintain a winning attitude about life, you draw people and circumstances that will be a blessing to you. In life nothing happens by chance, everything is divinely orchestrated. So go forward and keep your winning attitude about life and watch your garden of greatness grow. Affirm today, I will maintain a winning attitude about life.
Nancy J. Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. based in Fayetteville, Georgia where the theme of her company is
“Developing a Better YOU."
Nancy can be reached at (770) 964-5533 or email: email@example.com or website: www.progressivetechniquesinc.com.
Your Comments Are Welcome.
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In the complex world of change, chaos, and uncertainty, we must examine the attitude we embrace. One quick way to assess an attitude of another person is to ask yourself how you feel when they leave your presence? Do you feel inspired and charged up ready to take on the world or you do feel like the life has been zapped out of you? Ask yourself, how do people feel when they leave your presence? Each and everyday you must decide the attitude you will embrace. You maybe faced with challenges and difficult people, but it is still a personal decision as to how you allow the attitude of others to influence your attitude. Consider the following seven strategies for improving your attitude.
1. Surround yourself with positive people. Look at those people that are a part of your network and examine the weather (attitude) that they carry. If gloom and doom is all they bring to you consistently, give them a reality check and make them aware of what they are doing. So often people who are consistently negative are not aware of their negative energy. If they are non-responsive, you may have to minimize the time you interact with them. People who fail to change often become toxic and if you stick close to them that toxicity may rub off on you. Seek out those people who recognize the challenges of the day but continue to face them with a positive attitude. Strive to align yourself with people with energy, excitement for life and a positive outlook on the circumstances they face.
2. Read and listen to motivational and inspirational books and tapes. This is a great way to keep yourself inspired and focused on the possibilities of life. When you wake up in the morning, instead of turning on the television, spend those first minutes reading inspirational, biblical, or motivational books. If you drive to work, put in a CD or tape. If you ride the train or bus, read books or invest in a personal CD player and fill your mind with positive thoughts. You have no excuses because you can go to your local library and get books and tapes. Information on anything you want is on the Internet. You simply must have a desire to find ways to maintain a positive attitude.
3. Count your blessings. Recognize that no matter how things maybe, see the blessing in the midst of the chaos and confusion. As you reflect on the blessing that will help you get things in perspective and help you see the glass half full versus half empty.
4. Smile. Be mindful of your countenance and body language. What messages do you send to people when they interact with you? A smile says to others that you are approachable and it costs nothing.
5. Take time to appreciate the simple things in life. Take a walk in the park and don’t just rush by the roses, instead take time to enjoy and smell them. Take time to watch a sunset and remember who to thank. Spend time with those less fortunate and seek opportunities to give words of encouragement to those who pass your way.
6. Believe in yourself. Recognize that you are special and unique. There is no one else quite like you. So let your positive attitude shine. Walk and talk with confidence and know that you have something special to contribute to the world.
7. Live each day to the fullest. Quit putting off some of the things you want to do in life and go for the gusto now. Learn to maximize the minutes of each day. Practice these strategies to help you maintain a winning attitude; an attitude others want to catch!
Your Comments Are Welcome.
Step Out Of The Moment
By Michelle Porchia
Often we are told to live in the moment. For the most part I agree with this. We are so busy multi-tasking, thinking about “what next,” etc., that we often miss the joy of what is happening now or miss the journey trying to achieve the goal.
There are times when we need to step out of the moment to gain a new or different perspective. Many times we are so caught up in a problem or things not going as we thought that we need to step back and see the situation with different eyes. I remember when I was growing up and I didn’t see something right in front of me, my mother would say, “You can’t see the forest for the trees." I think many times all we see are the trees and we miss the beauty of the forest and all that it brings.
Seeing With Different Eyes
Hearing With Different Ears
Sometimes we need to step back or step out of a situation to gain a clearer perspective, understanding or vision. When we do this, it can help us to move forward, adjust or change to gain a new momentum and/or a clearer vision.
Your Comments Are Always Welcome.
Authenticity: A Key To Success
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Authenticity is a key to building sustaining and meaningful relationships whether in professional or personal settings. Authenticity is about being genuine and true to your core values no matter what. In today's world, often times we have difficulty in being authentic and transparent because it can come back and impact your career. Sometimes authenticity is not appreciated or celebrated because things are being done or said that make other uncomfortable. Consider the following questions on authenticity as it relates to your world:
1. Does the culture of your organization support and embrace authenticity?
2. Are people encouraged to bring their whole self to work?
3. Are leaders authentic in your workplace?
4. How is failure viewed in your organization?
5. Can authenticity and transparency be a reality for your organization?
Something to ponder as you realize the value authenticity can bring to your company. Authenticity has been linked to better work performance, engagement, and total wellness of employees. That is a good enough reason to create a culture that is open to employees being able to be authentic in the workplace.
We lose creative ideas, develop silos, and polarize work teams when we fail to embrace this important but elusive attribute.
I want to share five things to remember about authenticity.
1. Authenticity is about doing and saying the right thing even when it's not popular.
2. Authenticity is about being consistent with who you are no matter where you are.
3. Authenticity is about knowing what the non-negotiables are in your life.
4. Authenticity is about encouraging others as you operate from the abundance mentality.
5. Authenticity is about knowing how to lead from your heart.
Strive to live an authentic life as you move forward to greater success, peace, and love. One of the phrases I say a lot is, "Do you because everybody else is taken."
Your Comments Are Welcome.
By Debra Gould, MS
Now that the economy is on the slow road to recovery, you might be breathing a big sigh of relief. You avoided the last round of layoffs, so you should be feeling on top of the world, right? But instead, you might be feeling down or unmotivated.
Many people go through intense feelings of guilt after a round of layoffs. They're glad they still have a job, of course, but they often wonder "why me?" They feel guilty they're employed when their friends and co-workers are not. Or they feel remorse in that they're left to pick up the slack and sometimes take on additional roles they were never meant to do.
Experts tell us that feelings like this are quite common after layoffs.
So, what can you do?
1) Stay motivated. Understand that your job exists for a reason, which means you're doing something that benefits someone else in some way. Figuring out how you're helping someone else can dramatically improve your energy level and productivity on the job.
2) Keep your morale up. One way to do this is by volunteering. I know what you're thinking, more work? Think of it as a work 'investment'. You could help someone learn to read so they could get a better job. You could teach computer skills, or mentor a teenager to ensure they get a leg up in their quest for a good job. There are hundreds of ways you can get involved to help others succeed. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time, and it can really help you keep up the motivation and morale at work (and at home).
3) Reach out. Sometimes being social with people on the job is the last thing on people's minds. But getting to know your co-workers (and even your managers) as people versus just 'work people' is a good strategy. So get out or go out with people from work. It's a fact most of the internal information is still shared outside of the office. Winding down from work with a social outing with your co-workers may be your remedy for seeing work in a different light. But be forewarned, be on your best behavior because work outing behavior may come back to haunt you in the workplace.
It's important to actively combat low motivation and morale after a round of layoffs. You, and your role, survived for a reason. Finding out how you're helping others at your company, and volunteering to help someone else get a better job, can help spark your motivation and make you feel good about what you're doing.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.gouldassoc.com
by Debra Gould, MS
When times are tough, it's tempting for managers and business owners alike, to hunker down and wait it out. Competition increases, and tempers can get strained.
Instead of focusing on scarcity (scarcity of profits, customers, suppliers, etc.), there is another option: we could focus on confidence. We could reach out instead of pulling back.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
1. Form Strategic Alliances
Chances are your business is loosely related to other businesses in your area, servicing the same customers. For instance, customers who use a CPA probably enlist the services of a professional investment counselor, or a lawyer. The people in these industries could form a strategic alliance and offer customers a reduced rate if they bought "package" services.
Strategic alliances can equally be used in the workplace. Make sure to identify other people in roles that complement yours. This way, you can service clients (or even your employer) by using a tag-team approach. This can dramatically impact your or your business in a positive way.
2. Develop Joint Ventures
A joint venture is when two companies agree to share resources and capital in order to succeed as a team.
Why think about a joint venture? Well, joint ventures can be a wonderful way to increase your market share and revenues, develop new technology, reduce costs or eliminate barriers of entry into your market.
Most of the time joint ventures work much like strategic alliances. Often, however, competitors will form a joint venture if they can both bring unique skills or technology to the table.
The idea behind the joint venture? Don't reinvent the wheel, connect with the one who has!
3. Take Referrals to the Next Level
Are you acting on your referrals? It's surprising how many people let those gold mines go to waste, or don't actively try to get referrals.
Now's the time to take your referrals to the next level. As a business owner, offer incentives to your colleagues and customers to get referrals, and make sure you follow up within 24 hours once they start coming in. Make sure all your customers have your marketing materials to hand out, and make it a goal to provide exceptional customer service so that you keep getting those referrals.
As a manager or employee, keep up with performance reviews (especially the positive feedback). Encourage managers and peers that speak highly of you to document their feedback. Keep a file of your 'testimonials' for present and future opportunities. You never know when a better opportunity may arise, so it's best to dig your well before you're thirsty.
It can be tempting to think that there aren't enough opportunities to go around. But when you approach business and marketing from a "scarcity" mindset, that's exactly what you're going to get. Move forward and take action with confidence instead, and see what happens!
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Christmas is a time of love, joy, peace, and happiness. It brings to mind memories of family and friends from past days where we have shared time over eggnog, cookies, and holiday treats. This year I challenge you to give the gift of yourself in creative ways. It is important not to stress out because you can’t give the gifts you desire to give. Give the gift of yourself because that’s the gift that means the most. Enjoy the eggnog, cookies, family gatherings, and the love that you feel from loved ones and friends, but don’t get consumed with feeling you have to buy something to make Christmas meaningful. The following tips are things you can do this Christmas season to bring a smile to the faces of family and friends.
These are just a few of the ideas you can use. The key factor to remember is give of yourself and when you do watching the smiles, hearing the laughter, and feeling the love that runs from heart to heart is priceless. Have a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with peace beyond measure, joy unspeakable, and love that fills your heart.
Nancy J. Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. based in Fayetteville, Georgia where the theme of her organization is "Developing a Better You!" Nancy is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Nancy can be reached at: (404) 559-7614, email: email@example.com and website: www.progressivetechniquesinc.com.
Your Comments Are Welcome.
AcKNOWLEDGEment is Power
by Michelle Porchia
There is the age-old statement that “knowledge is power.” I’ve often disagreed with that statement. I think having the right knowledge but knowing how and when to use acKNOWLEDGEment is more powerful.
If you want to get the best out of an employee, a colleague or even a child, I think that acknowledgement is very powerful. Basically, everyone wants to feel appreciated and wants to be acknowledged for what they have done.
Too often we focus on what someone has not done or what they have done “wrong.” I think to help a person grow into being good at, or even the best at, whatever they are doing, we need to focus on what they have done well; meaning acknowledge and thank them for it. If there are areas of improvement needed, then we can devise a plan–together–on capitalizing on their strengths and extending those strengths into areas that need more work. (I don’t believe in weaknesses, only areas that need a little more attention or development.)
The next time you want to approach an employee or colleague about something they have done, start off with acknowledging. It is important to be specific. “Thank you for stepping in when we were short on help.” “Thank you for catching that error; you saved us a lot of time/money.” You do not want to make a general acknowledgement of “good job.” Be specific!
When we acknowledge someone and they feel valued and appreciated, that is powerful and it inspires them to want to do more and/or better.
For more information on innergizing or to schedule time with Michelle to help you to innergize, click here to visit Michelle's website.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.