Monthly Archives: March 2014

Encouragement is Incredible

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Being positive and encouraging people is more important than you might think.  If you want to turn around your workplace, your company, your marriage or your relationship with your children this is the way to do it.  Here are some interesting quotes from a great book called How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath:

  • The number #1 reason people leave their jobs (relationships) is they don’t feel appreciated
  • Bad bosses (spouses) could increase the risk of stroke by 33%
  • A study found that negative employees can scare off every customer they speak with-for good
  • 65% of Americans received no recognition in the workplace (home) last year
  • 9 out of 10 people say they are more productive when they’re around positive people
  • The magic ratio: 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction
  • Extending longevity: Increasing positive emotions could lengthen life span by 10 years

So it’s clear that the majority of people don’t get the positive reinforcement they need.  I believe this is true at work and at home.  Some people are just naturally more positive than negative, but all of us can get better at this.  Here are a few simple things you can do this week to be more positive or encouraging:

  1. Say Thank-you – this simple gesture goes a long way.  Be sincere and specific.
  2. Write a note – hand-written notes take time and are more meaningful than emails or texts
  3. Smile – your face matters
  4. Listen – when you actively listen people feel valued
  5. Slow down – Take some time to actually get to know someone or have a meaningful conversation
  6. Touch – a high-five, knuckle-bump, touch on a shoulder etc sends positive signals.  With your spouse this could be a hug, kiss, holding hands etc.

One thing to be aware of as you work on being positive is to be careful what you are taking in.  What you watch on TV, what you read, what you listen to, all affect how positive or negative you are.  Feed your mind positive good things and you tend to be more positive to other people.

Lead On

Surprised & Inspired

 

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God has a way of surprising and inspiring us in the most unexpected ways.  I am on a weekend retreat for men that run Radical Mentoring Groups.  I’ve done three of these groups and love it each time I do a group.  I’m meeting up with over 100 other men that are doing these types of groups across the country.  We are gathering in Cleveland GA, which is north of Atlanta near the mountains.

When I arrived I discovered that I had some extra time before the retreat started, so I decided to drive up into the mountains and do some sight seeing.  I found a park area and decided to do a little hiking.  The weather was sunny and near 50 degree’s.  For people in GA that’s really cold but for me it was perfect.  I was the only one at the park and had the trails to myself.

I decided to do some running and got my heart rate up as I climbed up to an amazing waterfall.  I then turned around and headed back another way and found a second waterfall.  As I was there I started talking to God and asked him why I was here and had this extra time.  Then it hit me hard – God was telling me he loved me!  As I stood in the middle of this amazing wooded area I was struck by God’s goodness and was humbled at the gift he gave me of free time to just enjoy his creation and talk with him.  The sense of how much he loved me stopped me in my tracks.

I asked him what else he wanted to tell me and I heard some simple things, here they are:

  • Love your wife and treat her well – You can do better
  • Mentor and invest more time in the young men you have influence with
  • Talk to me more often and find time to listen

So that’s the start of this retreat, I can’t wait for the rest of the weekend.  I am anticipating that God has something more for me this weekend.

How to Build Trust and Influence People

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about trust.  Building trust with the people around you is one of the most important things you can do.  Building trust raises your level of influence and leads to more productivity and closer relationships.  When trust is broken, relationships shatter and it takes time to mend and rebuild that trust.

One of the greatest assets a person can have is the trust of the people around them.  That only happens if you work at it and develop it and don’t do things to lose it.  This is where character comes into play in leadership.  It may sound simple, but to build trust you must be trustworthy.

 

Building Trust takes intentional work and skill, here are some things you can do to build trust at work, at home, or anywhere you have influence:

 

• Listen and ask questions in order to understand the other person’s interests, needs and concerns.  Even repeating back what they just said.

 

• Make and meet commitments consistently.  Do what you say you will do.

 

• Identify and communicate shared interests and goals.  Find out what dreams and goals the other person has.

 

• Identify and clearly communicate differences as appropriate.  Explain the why behind your decisions.

 

• Honestly acknowledge when you have made a mistake or hurt someone, clarify intentions, and find a suitable remedy that affirms the value of the relationship. Basically you work to resolve conflict and seek and give forgiveness.

 

• Use a win-win approach to resolving conflicts or conducting negotiations.

 

• Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships by spending adequate time with people getting to know them better and allowing them to get to know you better.  Taking a risk and being transparent with the other person opens the door to trust.

 

• Demonstrate honesty, keep commitments and behave in a consistent manner.

 

• Think about how to clearly communicate thoughts, feelings and rationale so that others understand your personal positions.

 

• Remain open to others’ ideas and opinions even when they conflict with your own.

Openness and honesty always lend substance and credibility to our character, which leads to greater trust.  When trust is present, the relationship is closer and healthier.

It’s important to note that building trust also means telling people the truth even if it hurts.  It takes courage to speak the truth to people you care about.  That initial hurt often leads to healing and a healthier relationship.  Telling someone the truth can also help them grow and avoid making mistakes.

If you need to work at building trust, you must first lay all the cards on the table and admit your past mistakes.  Then you need to start the hard work or rebuilding by doing the things mentioned above.  Building trust takes time and energy while losing trust can happen instantly.  Everything we say and do is either building trust or losing trust.

Lead On