Wednesday, October 26, 2011
We all suffer from limiting self-talk from time to time.
The difference between people who are successful, and those who are not, is that successful people acknowledge their 'inner gremlins' almost immediately and shout them down before they've had the chance to flex their muscles and gain any momentum.
This month's self-sabotaging self-talk is:
"I'm just / I'm only / I guess..."
Here are some examples:
"I just work on the sales team."
"I'm only the assistant so I don't know."
"I'm really new so ..."
"I kind of manage the project."
"I guess you could say I'm the team head."
You might think that little 'everyday' phrases like this are harmless.
However in reality, when you use limiting language like this it has a profound impact on your inner belief as well as the perception that others will have of you.
People around you might think you sound unsure or, at worst, incompetent.
Diminishing yourself; your contribution; the value you add; and relinquishing any power or position of authority will result in your own downfall.
Here are some tips:
STOP! And listen out for the language you use...
Do you use assertive, direct language when talking about yourself, or do you use excuses and sound uncertain?
The more you train yourself to listen out for (and then correct) any negative or self-diminishing statements, the more readily you will boost your confidence and project the image you wish to the world around you.
Our appearance has a huge bearing on how we are perceived by others, but more important perhaps than that, our appearance has a potent impact on how we both consciously and unconsciously view ourselves.
I bet you've got a little black dress, stunning purple heels, a fitted jacket or something similar that when worn, projects you into a world of self-power and confidence.
For me, power comes from wearing colour. I love colour! So much so that I make every effort to inject colour into my daily choices - a zappy red belt to complement a black dress; a green dress with a strong print; a bright blue bag with matching shoes.
I like to make a statement when I dress because for me, that fills my insides with a powerful energy which errupts into my physical energy: how I speak, how I act, how I laugh. I am at my most confident when I am enjoying what I am wearing.
Clothes: some women feel at their strongest when wearing dresses - others in trousers. Find your preference and use it!
Colours: again some of us prefer darker, more corporate colours whilst others like colour or fancy detail. Go with your instinct.
Styles: whatever style you choose make sure it's well fitted!
Accessories: I really believe that quality accessories are a powerful ingredient in a woman's armoury! Get bold with your accessories and make a statement - go on, I dare you!
Use the fact that Christmas is coming as a fabulous reason to go out and buy some new, 'power' clothes to power you through 2012!
What are your thoughts on clothes and colour?
The 'Drama Cycle' is a fascinating concept.
The idea is that in any drama (or disagreement) each participant adopts a role.
Perhaps in situations like this, you often play 'victim'?
For there to be a victim, there would need to be a 'persecutor' too. And then, we all know of them, there are 'saviors' who try to rescue the situation.
The reason this is called a cycle is because all the roles are interchangeable. Any two people can easily move between each of the 3 roles during the same 5 minute argument.
Here's an example:
Person 1 ('Persecutor'): "I've told you so many times that your whining drives me crazy."
Person 2 ('Victim'): "Well I can't help it!"
Person 1 (now 'Rescuer'): "Jeez, please don't cry; I didn't mean to sound so aggressive."
Person 2 (now 'Persecutor'): "You've got such a nasty temper - I can't bear being near you."
Person 1 (now 'Victim'): "I've had a bad day at work. That's why I'm angry."
This is also called a cycle because it gets you nowhere; you can go round in circles with this one!
In my view the only powerful position to adopt is a 4th position, which I call the Solution Orientated Observer. In this role you don't get sucked into the drama - you simply review the situation neutrally and look for solutions.
What do you think about the drama cycle and the roles you naturally 'play'?
We all have moments when we 'play victim'. We whinge. We feel sorry for ourselves. We complain.
I 'did' victim just this week. I was looking at the marketing plan I had for next year and started to panic, 'How on earth am I going to juggle all of this when I'm having a baby in 4 weeks' time?!' I thought.
After a little while of paralysing panic, I realised I didn't need to make it happen all at once. If I broke it down into bite sized steps I could manage it all comfortably.
And there it was. In those 2 minutes, I moved from a position of 'doubt and blame' to one of 'excitement and responsibility'.
People who move forwards and get things done still 'go to' victim space but the difference is... they don't stay there for long. They make a conscious choice to take action rather than dwelling in a space they don't want to be.
In the world of work, you may have come across the concept of 'above and below the line' thinking.
If the terms are unfamiliar to you, the basic premise is that 'above the line' thinking is the place of responsibility whilst 'below the line' thinking is the place of blame:
In my view, it comes down to choice. When confronted with an issue do you choose to take responsibility/action or do you choose to blame others or make excuses (or simply hide under your desk)?
Clearly 'below the line' thinking is the choice of someone taking a victim role.
It's such a simple concept and yet profound.
If you think you might have a tendency to adopt roles that don't help you get the best outcomes for you, here are some questions to challenge yourself with:
1. In the main, which position do you choose - Victim or Hero?
2. Is there a particular situation at the moment where you're playing Victim and you know in your heart that it's not serving you?
3. What attitude or behavioural changes do you want to make - right now - to move to a position of responsibility and solution-orientated thinking?
I'd love to hear your experiences around 'victim' orientated thinking... email me any time or post your comments below.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
According to Management Today magazine (Oct 2011 issue), the 'magic number', after which job satisfaction and fulfilment are no longer affected by income, is $71, 675.
It's not clear how this number is calculated...
I would have thought that in reality, there is no magic number. Certainly not a number we would all agree to.
What I do think is important however is having clarity of what really gives you satisfaction at work.
Of course income is important but I don't believe it is the most relevant measure.
The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) conducted an Employee Engagement survey last year to understand the impact of monetary incentives. The study showed that employee satisfaction is most heavily dependent on 'being valued and understood' with over 40% of respondents marking this as their primary need. Other key factors included:
'good relationships with co-workers'
'good relationships with my manager'
'new and interesting challenges'
'feeling valued by the organisation'
Pay ranked 10th on the list.
So whether there is a 'magic number' or not, what is apparent is that pay should never be your sole focus.
At the end of the day if you aren't performing tasks that energise you or are not producing an output that you are proud of, what good is more money?
I'd welcome your thoughts as always!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I hear this kind of self-talk in different guises from clients all the time. So if you're feeling 'like a fraud' or are worried that people might 'suss you out eventually' believe me, you are not alone!
I think feelings of fraudulence stem from the fact that many of us are striving for perfection most of the time. Unless you are the most knowledgeable; or the most experienced; or the most qualified person in the room you simply can't compete. Which of course, is poppycock.
I also think, from a feminine perspective, our concept of 'right and wrong' is rooted very deeply. So if you're putting yourself forwards for a promotion that say, you don't believe you're qualified enough for, your sense of right and wrong is likely to stop you from proceeding.
So how can we get over these thoughts?
1. Accept that you have plenty to offer - in terms of your skills, strengths and the value you can - and do - already add.
2. Accept that you might not have all the answers, but then who has?
3. Go for gold! If you do go for a new role, or put yourself forwards to push your comfort zone see it as a huge opportunity. The more you experience and the more your learn, the more marketable and powerful you will become.
Believing that you can get ahead in your career whilst ignoring office politics is a mistake and it's a mistake that many people make. What is it about 'office politics' that puts so many of us off?
I remember being in the corporate world and thinking I could avoid the topic all together. To me then, politics were for people who were 'career climbers' and they were snakey, slippery people who would stab you in the back without a moment's thought.
As I've got older I've realised that politics are vital - to both your success and fulfillment. And if you understand how to use it, it can work wonders for you.
The first step is to re-name what you call 'office politics'.
The words themselves make it feel dry, hard-work and unpleasant.
A much better approach in my opinion is to consider the ingredients that go into 'being political':
• Making alliances with other people
• Learning 'useful' information that could help you further your career
• Hearing 'stuff' on the grapevine about your industry and clients
• Asking to be involved in particular projects to help you raise your profile
When you think about it, 'office politics' is simply 'effective career management'.
Think of it this way (or something similar) and all of a sudden it sounds useful, easy and dare I say it, fun!