Tag Archives: leadership

Helping Others Succeed – An Interview with Dr. Joanie Connell

  What’s the best way to help others succeed? Listen to the podcast for fascinating—and practicable—advice on leadership that you can use at home, at work, or both!

In this BYB episode, you will . . .

  • Hear insight on getting the most from young people
  • Understand how to lead by allowing others to endure challenges
  • See how parents can inadvertently hinder their children’s success
  • Get essential tips for better leadership

Where Parenting & Leadership Meet

Teams Guru logo

Article and podcast interview with David Frizzell at Team Guru.

What do parenthood and leadership have in common? Where did helicopter parenting come from and what has been the impact on the Millennial generation? What is the age of the Façade – and how is it impacting us? How are Millennials performing in the workplace and how should they be led professionally? Read or listen here.

How to Change Bad Habits

burnout 2Over the years, we have developed deeply ingrained habits of how we react to things. These habits are often formed in childhood and may not be useful to us as adults. The following diagram shows how a habit plays out. We react to a trigger in the environment (or sometimes within ourselves) without thinking. Our impulses take over and the behavior just happens.

For example, if you were taught as a child to appreciate praise, your reaction to someone praising you might be “thank you.” If you were taught to be humble, you might automatically blurt out “you’re too kind.” If you were taught that you weren’t worthy of praise, you might have a different visceral reaction and say something self-deprecating.

Habit

trigger-impulse-behavior

To change an automatic response to a trigger, you need to be aware of your response to it. When you are aware of your response, you can make a choice of how to behave. See the diagram below.

Changing a Habit

trigger-change-behavior

To become aware of your responses to triggers, you need to slow things down. It’s like a moment in a TV show when the action freezes and the actor talks directly into the camera about the situation. Once the actor has talked it through, the action continues.

To improve awareness, start with reviewing situations after they have happened. For example, after a meeting, sit down and go over what happened, what the triggers were, how you were feeling in response to them, and how you behaved. Then think about how you would want to behave differently next time and make yourself aware of what the triggers were and the feelings you had in response to them.

For example, if a trigger is your boss taking control of the meeting from you, note that down. Your feeling might be angry and your behavior could be to shut down and stop participating in the meeting. The first step is noticing what the trigger is and what your impulsive reaction is. Then you have a choice.

The next step is to decide on a new behavior that you would like to do in place of the old one. For example, instead of shutting down, you might want to thank your boss for her input and take control of the meeting back. If that’s too much, an interim step could be to ruminate for a moment then pull yourself out of it and get back into the meeting as a participant instead of a leader. (If you could talk to your boss offline about it, that would be even better.)

Knowing what you should have done in hindsight is easy. Doing it in the moment is harder. Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to change your behavior instantaneously. It takes time and practice.

The next time you experience that trigger, try to recognize it and put your new behavior into play. More likely, you’ll recognize your behavior to the trigger as you’re doing it and realize you should have done it differently. That’s okay. You’re making progress. Keep it up and you’ll eventually become aware as the trigger occurs, giving yourself that brief moment necessary to make a conscious choice on how you will behave in response.

As an interim step, don’t forget that it’s okay to go back, to redo, to stop things and say you want to do it differently. For example, when the boss takes over the meeting and you shut down, you could become aware of your behavior then stop your boss and say, “I’d really like to lead the next piece if you don’t mind.” If you had said something negative in your impulsive response, you could stop and say: “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. What I mean to say is…” People are often very forgiving when you admit you made a mistake.

You’ll know you’ve successfully changed your habit when you see yourself behaving in the new way automatically.

This  post was inspired by Marshall Goldsmith’s book Triggers.

Finding Happiness in your Career

Rhodes to Success with Jessica Rhodes

On this episode of Rhodes to Success, Jessica interviews Dr. Joanie Connell. During the show, Jessica and Joanie discuss helicopter parenting, generational differences in the workplace, what makes a great leader, how to help employees be resilient, and how to find a career that excites you.

Main Questions Asked:

  • What are the pros and cons of helicopter parenting?
  • Talk about millennial and generational challenges in the work place.
  • Comment on how different generations figure out how to be happy in their career.
  • Do you think the transition from employee to contractor jobs help people find a work/life balance?
  • What does it take to be a successful leader?
  • How do you teach employees to take on leadership roles?
  • What can we do to help our employees be more resilient?
  • How can people find a career that excites them?

9 Success Factors at Work

man with business cardA college education is important, but learning from real life experiences is more.

Fifty executives at a large pharmaceutical company went through an assessment center to help the company develop its talent pipeline. They were assessed on sixteen competencies, or success factors. “Technical expertise” (what you learn in college) was just one factor; being socially agile, building strategic relationships, influencing others, maintaining composure under pressure, and driving change were among the fifteen other critical factors that are not taught in college.

Here are nine real life factors that typically contribute to an employee’s success in a job.

  • Leadership, courage, and decision-making ability
  • Social agility, being a team player, and building relationships
  • Communication and influence
  • Creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurialism
  • Planning and execution
  • Facilitating and adapting to change; resilience
  • Drive for results
  • Self-awareness and self-development
  • Integrity and organizational values

Joanie teaching at NU 3How do we learn these skills, if not in college? By taking on responsibility, venturing into unchartered ground, and taking time out to reflect.

What are some actions that you are taking to develop these skills? I’d love to hear your comments.

man on computerThe factor I’m learning the most on right now is communication and influence. I’ve broadened my reach to social networking. Learning how to communicate on the internet and how to be heard are two important skills that I certainly didn’t learn in college!

10 Signs You’re a Scary Leader

jackolanterns10 SIGNS YOU’RE A SCARY LEADER:

  1. Conversations stop when you walk by.
  2. People laugh at your jokes (even when they’re not funny).
  3. All of your brainstorming ideas are “good ones.”
  4. Your 360-degree feedback comes back with all scores 5 out of 5.
  5. Employees avoid sitting with you at the lunch table.
  6. No one comes into your office, even when the door is open.
  7. People don’t come to you with problems.
  8. No one ever tells you you’re wrong.
  9. You’re not invited to social gatherings.Halloween bat
  10. People flatter you a lot.

ARE YOU A SCARY LEADER?

Even if you’re not this scary, you are probably scarier than you think. Merely by being in a leadership position, you have power over others that can be intimidating. For example, if you call someone into your office without a reason, that person may think they are in trouble—even if you’re calling them in to give them praise. Your positional power can also make your statements appear more intimidating than what you intend. A whimsical comment can be taken seriously by your employees. For example, if you say in jest “someone should bring donuts to our meetings,” you might find that someone actually does bring donuts to the next meeting because they took you seriously.

Deep voices and tall statures can be intimidating to others as well. If you have either (or both), you may need to take extra steps to set others at ease with you—especially when you are the leader. Sitting down and talking in a quieter voice are ways to make others feel more comfortable. A smile, an open posture, and small talk are further ways to warm up the room and help people feel comfortable talking to you. “How was your weekend?” or “Do you have anything fun planned for Halloween?” are easy questions to stimulate conversation. Statements, such as “It has finally cooled down to a comfortable temperature out there” or “I love the fall weather we’ve been having lately” are other statements that usually cause others to reply in a comfortable, easy conversation.

Many leaders strive to have a stronger presence as they move up the ladder. While that may be necessary to gain respect among peers and leaders at the next level, it is still important to maintain the rapport with your team members. Showing confidence and jumping into the conversation may get you ahead in your meetings with peers, but it may set you back with your direct reports. Being approachable, supportive, and attentive will earn you trust with your team and that will motivate them to work harder for you. Scaring them is, well, just scary.

Leaders Open Doors – Guest Post by Bill Treasurer

Bill Treasurer 2For over two decades I’ve been a contributor to the leadership complexification business. It started way back in graduate school when I wrote my thesis on—take a deep breath—the efficacy of the initiation of psychological structure through the use of directive leadership styles as a negative correlate of role ambiguity and positive correlate of employee satisfaction in workplaces that have undergone a recent reduction in force. Whew!

As a senior ranking officer in the Legion of Leadership Complexifiers (LLC), I can confidently say that leadership is the most overanalyzed, thoroughly dissected, and utterly confused topic in business. The challenge is, we leadership experts have made the topic of leadership far more complex than it needs to be, which causes people to opt out of the chance to lead. The checklist that we’ve constructed gets longer, more idealized, and more complicated with every passing year. We expect leaders to be bold and calculated, passionate and reasonable, rational and emotional, confident and humble, driven and patient, strategic and tactical, competitive and cooperative, principled and flexible. Of course, it is possible to be all of those things…if you walk on water!

It took my five-year old son, Ian, to bring me back to what matters most about leadership. Ian is a pre-schooler at The Asheville Montessori School in Asheville, North Carolina, where we live. Each Monday his teachers pick one person to be the “Class Leader” for the day. One sunny afternoon Ian came bounding up the stairs proclaiming, “Guess what, Daddy? I got to be the Class Leader today!”

“Really? Class Leader? That’s a big deal, little buddy. What did you get to do as the class leader?”

Ian’s answer was simple, funny, and in its own way, profound.

“I got to open doors for people!” Continue reading Leaders Open Doors – Guest Post by Bill Treasurer

Dealing with Resistance to Change

no on the handBy Joanie Connell

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s business world. Yet so many people resist it! On the one hand, it is natural because change often requires us to grow and we, as humans, are built to be comfortable in homeostasis. In other words, it’s easier to stay the same than it is to change. Change is scary and new and we don’t know if it will be better or worse.

Modern organizations are looking for “change agents”—people who embrace change and facilitate it in other people, structures, and processes. As a change agent, however, you will undoubtedly receive lots of resistance from other people who like things as they are. It’s important to be able to identify resistance and work through it with others. Here are seven typical forms of resistance for you to recognize. Continue reading Dealing with Resistance to Change

Emotional Intelligence Improves Millennial Communications at Work

babies crying

By Joanie Connell

A mom confided in me she had gotten so frustrated with her 7-year-old daughter that she started crying. She said that once her daughter saw her crying, her daughter immediately stopped misbehaving and came over and held her to comfort her. The mom was beating herself up for letting that happen, but I offered a different perspective. Look at what the daughter learned from that experience. Her behavior frustrated someone so much that it led them to cry. When someone cries it’s good to comfort them. And, the mom got over it and was fine after that. How empowering to the daughter to see how someone can get upset and get over it. How educational to understand how her behavior can affect the emotions of others and vice versa. Continue reading Emotional Intelligence Improves Millennial Communications at Work