Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leaders: When Times are Tough

Leaders: When Times are Tough use your skills and make some TRADES. We are not talking about stock market trading, or trading your values for something else, we are talking about what TRADE stands for. Contagious Leaders TRADE when times are good and especially when times are tough. Take a look:

1. Take things professionally, not personally
Not everything is a personal affront and when times get tough, we tend to be a bit more sensitive to taking things personally from others. Look at someone's stressful reaction, consider your own stress level and then consciously make a decision about how you are going to react. Taking things personally is a reaction, not a conscious decision. Leaders make conscious decision.

2. Remember the power of your words
What you say carries more weight than you might think and a few of the words that carry the most weight are: but, however, and why. But and However tend to negate all the words that come before them. Think of "I love you, but... ". How does that sound? Why, on the other hand, is one of the most defensive mood creating words you could use. Try instead saying things like "help me understand" or "can you share some of your reasoning with me" are better at getting the information you seek. Why will bring you a reaction that gives the recipient a reason to think you are questioning their judgment.

3. Act as if “You’re cool!”
In our Contagious Conferences we use a phrase that helps you remember you are good enough and worth it. That phrase is: "I'm cool!" and you are! And if you don't believe it right now, try believing it just for now and see if you can make it stick. Sometimes acting as if will help to propel the real emotion. Next step is to stand in front of a mirror and say "I'm Cool!" to yourself. You will, if nothing else, laugh your way into a better mood. :)

4. Don’t let stress strangle your talent
Stress creates reactions that you don't need and stress is all perceived. We see something and we think it is stressful and then feel the affects of stress. Let me repeat, we see, THINK, and then feel. One does not feel stress and then decide why you feel that way. So, change the way you think about things and the stress will dissipate. yes, it really is that simple.

5. Escape need for balance
I wrote an article for Orlando Woman Newspaper not long ago, about balance. I assigned the concept of balance to a scale and unless you are one, it flat out does not apply. Balance is an unrealistic concept as you will always be off balance in how you spend your energies, your time, and your efforts. Now, as Dan Thurmon says, there is a big difference between being off - balance, and OUT OF BALANCE. Either, stop looking for balance and seek fulfillment.

Contagious Leaders develop the skills to do the above actions in a way that looks instinctive or natural, but the truth is we all can develop these skills and your work in this direction could begin... well... now.

Stay contagious!

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