Tag Archives: motivating

Binoculars looking at a sunset

Looking For the Good…

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying “to know something like the back of your hand”, right? Well, recently I’m starting to think that knowing something “like the top of your shoes” might be more appropriate!

There seem to be so many people just walking around looking at their feet and not stopping to see the good around them.

It’s like your first time going out in new shoes.

Of course, they were bought to be worn, but from the first time you step outside in them, every scuff and scrape pains you; “Not my brand-new shoes!!”

But what if, rather than dwelling on each new mark, you took a moment to stop and admire just how great they go with your outfit, just how cool you look in your shop window reflection, just how right you were to choose the white ones and not the blue pair.

As leaders, we are constantly making decisions and so always looking for the ‘what’s wrong with your team, your business, your clients’ is a sure-fire way to hold yourself back. It pays to be positive, to look for the good, in people and in life!

Look for the Good…

So, you have a top and a jacket that may as well have been made for each other, but none of the trainers you have quite go. That’s why you bought the new shoes, to cap off the perfect look. This is what positivity can do to your business!

It allows you to see what is working well (your top and jacket combo) and build on that success (the new shoes)! It gives you the drive to want to improve and embrace your team and your business and further your future ambitions.

Now you have the outfit in place, you can start looking forward to events where you can show off your new ensemble!

And this enthusiasm, this positivity, is infectious.

People see how good those new shoes look and now they want some, too!

You start to breed your own fashion trends (not something I thought I’d ever be able to say!) and you create connections within your team, and we all know how important that is for the continued success of your business!

If Not…

Well, if you don’t look for the good, you won’t find it!

All you will see are those scrapes and those scuffs, scrapes and scuffs, until you can no longer wear those shoes and, in turn, that whole outfit falls apart.

Suddenly, as a leader, you are no longer wearing the trousers in your business, but rather the sweatpants and, however comfortable you may feel in these, I don’t think anyone has ever set a trend in their loungewear!

To look for problems is to be a negative leader, and to be a negative leader is to lose all influence in your team.

It’s a fast-track to demotivating and disengaging those around you.

There is no longer a vision to build as you are still choosing between the white and blue shoes.

White or Blue? White or Blue? Scuffs and scrapes. Even I’m bored of this now! Imagine being a team member and hearing this all day, every day.

As positivity is infectious, negativity is contagious, and once you pass it on to your team, soon you are all wearing sweatpants and bemoaning those marks on your shoes!

Lift, Don’t Drift, Through Life

Staring at our feet serves no purpose but to draw us away from the good going on around us.

It is easy to drift through life, absorbed by what is happening around our shoes but, in doing so, you can lose sight of what is important.

I mean, try doing anything whilst staring down, it’s all but impossible!

Succeeding in business, especially as a leader, is hard enough as it is without blinkering yourself to see only what you don’t want to!

Just throw on what makes you feel great and go and show others just how cool you are!

Leadership is about recognising when other people have become zoned in on their own footwear and showing them that, despite this, they are looking great!

Ignoring this and letting them drift is to hold them back.

If you aren’t willing to, not only be positive with yourself, but help lift others, you may as well be filling their sweatpants’ pockets with rocks!

Leadership can be stressful, but when look for the good in your work, it makes your job a hundred times easier and, in turn, your life even more so!

So, pick your head up and take in the faces and places around you, rather than the condition of your shoes…

Woman looking bored at work

Boring, Uninteresting & Demotivating?

Have you ever sat there, at a family Christmas, birthday, or some other gathering, where everyone’s chatting, getting along, and then that one uncle commandeers the floor?  

We all know what happens next – some questionable monologue with the apparent pretense of being comedic or something that just turns into an outdated (often mildly offensive), irrelevant or just downright dull diatribe, to a backing track of familiar familial groans.  

As he ignores these and continues on with his disasterclass of audience retention, you drift off and suddenly it’s ten minutes later and you have no idea what just happened.  

I mean, you can’t fault his confidence but that is the limit of the props you can give him. That feeling of dread as soon as he stood up to speak is testament to the effect that lack of connection or relevance can have when addressing people. 

And here’s the thing… 

It isn’t just with your family that this happens.   

It happens at work too! 

But, how do you avoid the dreaded uncle status when working with your team? 

Well, you can start by focusing on just three key points… 

Relevant and Interesting, Confident & Connected, & Positively Impactful 

Relevant 

Unlike the 3 minutes that you just sat through on the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, that he somehow thought bore some connection to the conversation about what A Levels your cousin is going to take, relevance is a key part of your success as a leader of your team. 

If your team isn’t focused on the tasks and projects you are currently undertaking, there is little chance you are going to have any real success and that direction comes form you as the leader. 

It’s easy to go off on tangents in conversation and, whilst having personality and connection with those you’re talking to is important (as we will come onto later), you can’t let it override the main objectives you have as a business. 

It is fine to add in your own stories and experiences, but the buzzwords for this are WHERE RELEVANT. If you are talking about a project you’ve run, by all means talk about a particular client experience where certain issues cropped up, but don’t then go on to talk about where you met them, what coffee you had, how you got to the meeting – that’s uncle territory right there.  

Ask yourself – Do I keep it to the point, to make my point. 

Interesting 

Hand in hand with relevance is interest. 

Just as the 1690 Battle of the Boyne interlude was off topic, it sent grandma to sleep, and you into some sort of dream state. If it isn’t interesting, people won’t listen.  

Simple as that really! 

You have to engage the people in your team, pique their interest and retain it.  

For example, if you are bringing back the coffees for the team, your customer experience in Starbucks (or your fave coffee shop), might be interesting to you, BUT you choosing whether to get a latte with Soy, Almond or Oat milk, however, does not leave anyone wanting to know more (even if the decision weighed heavy on you at the time!). 

However, if you were addressing the same thing to a room full of vegans, you would probably have grabbed their interest and ended up with a huge debate on what’s best for what.  

So, my point is that you need to think about who is in the room and what they are motivated and interested in.  Understanding who is in the room and knowing what will get their attention will be invaluable in them engaging.  

So, don’t feel the need to go on big, long stories with no ties to their topic as then you will see people start to drift off.  Find out what floats their boat and bring it in to grip their interest and have them begging for more. 

Connected and Confident 

Man and woman hi-five at work

Connected 

As I touched on before, it is important to build up a good connection with your team. Beyond motivating them, they should feel comfortable enough to come to you with issues and ideas. 

This is a benefit not only to them, but to you, and can move your business forward leaps and bounds.  

When you stand up to talk, you don’t want to be greeted with that same groan that met the uncle’s impromptu lecture. You want to be able to open up a conversation and invite your team to be part of what you are trying to achieve.  

You don’t want them to feel like you are talking at them, or you may as well be talking about how important some historical conflict was in “ensuring the continued Protestant ascendancy in Ireland.”  

Even writing that I can feel myself switching off! Just imagine how your team would feel if they had that sort of lack of connection every single week.  

You wouldn’t want to hang out with people you don’t feel like you can talk to, and who do you hang out with more than you colleagues? 

Confident 

This may be the only redeemable feature of the that speech you had to sit through last Christmas.  

Say what you want about it, there’s nothing quite like an uncle’s confidence in such situations, and if there is one thing of value, they offer it is this; confidence is key.  

The more confident you are in what you’re saying, the more likely people are to take note of it. Confidence conveys understanding, it shows you have something worth sharing and it helps with the previous point – it creates connection.  

Interestingly, it is not the “inner confidence” that you need to be “confident”, but when you have a belief in what you are saying, a desire to spread the truth, then you can be confident if you focus on this and not you! 

It is often said that confidence breeds success, and whilst this cliché may have been somewhat overused, that does not make the general sentiment any less true.  

Confidence is infectious, so if you stand up in front of your team and show confidence in your direction and leadership, there is little they won’t do. 

Just believe in what you say, and others will believe in you. Don’t be like your uncle, be more Think Be Do. 

Positively Impactful 

OK, so we have all been there – the mood hoover in the room that has sucked the energy away with the negativity of their soul. 

Not you, of course? 

But here’s the problem… 

So often we are not aware of our impact.  We don’t think about it whilst we are going about our business.  We don’t stop and ask ourselves often enough.   

We’re oblivious to the carnage we may have left behind us when we say or do things around others.  

But as they say in forensics – “Every contact leaves a trace”.  And it works for this too.  Every contact you have with anyone, will leave either a positive or negative trace.  And the more aware you are of it, the more you will be able to make sure that the trace you leave is one you really want.  

So, it pays (both literally and metaphorically) to be Relevant and Interesting, Connected and Confident, and Positively Impactful, and whilst the concepts may seem simple, many people still struggle to use them effectively.  

If you want to find out HOW to implement these features in your business – message me on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com or message me at www.linkedin.com/in/leadership-expert-executive-coach-training