business

Can You Really Have It All?

As a coach, a question I regularly receive from coaching clients is whether or not anyone really can “have it all,” especially in this time of economic uncertainty within most industries.

just for you gift packageWell, I hear you asking and so I’m answering! The truth is this: Yes, you can have it all but you might not be able to have it all, all at the same time.

Undoubtedly, you’re aware that it takes sacrifice to get to the top of your game, whether that be personally or professionally. When you’re creating a family, your career might need to be put on hold and, as you nurture your career, you may find yourself with less time to invest in your personal life. This is the inevitable balance of progress in our world. There is give and there is take and you have to accept the ebbs and flows in order to move forward with grace and focus.

Now, not being able to have it all, all at the same time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being aware that not every aspect of your life will flourish simultaneously is actually quite liberating.

With the knowledge that you will need to maintain balance in order to keep your work and personal lives alive even when needing to more heavily invest in one or the other, you will make better choices with both your time and resources. You’ll be aware of your tendency to let one side or the other slip and can stay on top of your basic needs to keep yourself balanced enough to remain grounded and successful in all areas.

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Getting Unstuck and Moving Ahead in a Mastermind Group (Part 1)

What is a Mastermind Group – Essentially, mastermind groups were first introduced to boost both personal and business skills. With this in mind, a typical group will be educational at the same time as offering brainstorming, support, and even peer accountability. When you join a group, there will be a focus on success for both yourself in addition to all of the other members.

Between participants, various activities will take place including the setting of powerful goals and plans to accomplish them. With commitment and confidentiality in tow, members will give and receive completely honest and compassionate advice. Not only are members a source of support when needed, they will also play devil’s advocate so you will be in the best possible position for success moving forward.

What the Group Isn’t – Many misconceptions can be found with this topic so it is important to note that the group isn’t a class. Although guest speakers can sometimes be brought in, the focus revolves around brainstorming rather than having one person speak and the rest listening. Finally, the group isn’t primarily for networking opportunity (although if it happens, even better!). At times, leads may be shared but the idea is to bring individuals together regardless of their line of work.

Benefits – When reading this, the main question will probably be ‘well, why should I join a mastermind group? What is in it for me?’

Make Connections – In life, it can be incredibly lonely especially if you stay in the office late or work all by yourself. Therefore, having a mastermind meeting will allow you to build connections with others who may be in the same boat. As well as sharing your stories, you will have an outlet for all of your dreams and aspirations. Once you spend time with like-minded people, you will have a newfound motivation and will to succeed. Over time, you will build connections with these people.

Create Ideas – Since brainstorming is one of the key reasons to such a group, you will be able to create ideas and feed off of the ingenuity of those around you. Within your career or personal life, you will think about certain ideas so much that you struggle to see the flaws. However, the group will help you to see the good points and bad points in ideas thanks to the honest conversations that occur.

Summary – Now, you should know the basics of mastermind groups and what they offer. Stay tuned for more insights in Part 2.

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Communicate with More Authority without Becoming an Authoritarian

Just last week, one of my clients asked his employee to revise a proposal that will be sent to a client. Annoyed, the guy said “What for? I thought I was the lead on this account.”

Does this conversation sound familiar?

Assert Your Authority

Most leaders believe in the power of brainstorming and teamwork, but the problem is, some employees tend to mistake their open-mindedness for weakness. Just because you’re polite and open to suggestions, doesn’t mean that everything you say may be questioned!

As a leader, you must hone your business communication skills so people working with you will know how to differentiate between a directive and a request.

Does it mean making every deadline non-negotiable? Should you stop taking suggestions from your team?

No.

Here’s a Better Idea: Change the Way You Communicate

Be careful with your choice of words and tone of voice. Consider the following:

Deadlines: 

“It would be great if you could submit your work by lunch tomorrow.” 

Vs.

“I’ll expect your work tomorrow on or before lunch.”

Work requests:

“Please edit your report for Client A, make it more compelling.”

Vs.

“Your report for Client A isn’t convincing enough, can you please revise it?”

Both statements mean practically the same thing, but the second statements can be interpreted as a suggestion, while the first one is a clear order.

As for your tone of voice, make sure that your voice is loud and clear when you’re talking. This isn’t the time to be shy, so just man up, and look them in the eye when you’re talking.

What if my support staff is stubborn?

Use this simple rebuttal formula. Let’s go back to the second example:

You: “Please edit your report for Client A, make it more compelling.”

Employee A: “Why? It took me 3 days to complete that report, Employee B says it’s great.”

This is a typical excuse. Employee complains, saying that it already took forever to complete the work then segues to add the opinion of someone else to back up his claim.

You: I understand that it takes a lot of time to create a report1, but it needs to be revised2 because it doesn’t have substantial proof to back up the results you’re claiming3

Let’s dissect this simple formula:

1.      Empathize – Show that you understand how they feel by repeating what they said.

2.      Reiterate your request – “it needs to be revised”

3.      Give a specific reason – the reason should be specific, objective, and reasonable. Don’t just say “because I want you to revise it.”

Using imperatives doesn’t equate to rudeness though, so make sure you add “please” or “kindly” when possible. The same applies when you’re using the rebuttal formula above. If anyone in your staff continues to argue after you’ve provided a reasonable objection, then it’s time to remind him of your position. This is your last resort; don’t use this argument often because doing so will appear as if you’re abusing your power.

Your business communication skills will affect your relationship with your team and image as a leader. Does your voice have a certain air of authority? Do you sound like you know what you’re doing? If you do, then you’ll have no problems getting people to do what you asked.

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