Category Archives: Positive

All those little changes add up!

Little changes article header pic 230315 1

Undertaking change to any extent can often be scary, disruptive, destabilising.

So make it easy on yourself!

Start mentioning the word ‘change’ in a business, and you will hear a strange noise.

It’s the sound of just about everyone within earshot running for cover!

We change many things in our lives almost every day, so what makes business change so unwelcome?

Obviously, change, by its very nature, is destabilising, disrupting and can create uncertainty for a while (at least), to mention just a few of its qualities. But, especially if it is designed and delivered well, change can be one of the most rewarding, motivating and success building actions both you and your business can undertake.

So, how can you deliver change without scaring everyone away, or creating chaos, or storing up ‘hidden’ issues that just cause problems in the future?

Here’s a few simple tips:

  • Only make changes if they are genuinely needed, or if you are certain they will deliver real benefits
  • Identify the actual changes needed without allowing your emotional connection to it, and others’ resistance to change, to influence your judgement unduly
  • Always, and I really do mean always plan change
  • Design a clear, simple ‘change plan’ with defined, measurable tasks and targets, and clear key dates and timescales
  • Implement the plan a little at a time – small changes quickly add up and are far less disruptive, and far more likely to be ‘bought into’ by everyone in your team and business
  • Resist the temptation to do too much too soon
  • Once you have confirmed each change is working, implement the next step
  • If your change plan isn’t working, have the courage to change it

Remember!

The success of your change will also require excellent communication, at every step, with absolutely everyone affected by it.

So remind yourself of this easy communication ‘strategy’:

simple + clear = effective

Eliminate the waffle and your chances of success will increase significantly!

Good luck!

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.

Business alphabet: H is for Happiness!

Yes, of course, we all have ‘bad’ days don’t we?

However, have you noticed how different it is to deal with happy people? Whether it’s your dentist, a customer, or your children, if they have a smile it makes a difference – a BIG difference! Have you noticed how you tend to smile back?

There is clear evidence that people prefer to associate with happy people.

So, here’s a tip: look for something that always makes you smile. It could be a video on YouTube, a piece of music, a photo, a joke, a reminder of a holiday, thoughts of a favourite place, among many other things.

Keep this to hand whenever you’re having one of ‘those’ days and see how it brightens your day!

For more in the Business Alphabet, please click here to visit my website page.

Leadership for Introverts, part 1

The best kept ‘secret’ in business?

I’d like to bring up the oft-ignored topic of leadership. Specifically, leadership for introverts.

There’s a well-kept ‘secret’ in the business world: introverts make really great leaders too!

Did you know that over half of the adult UK population are ‘introverts’ according to Karl Jung’s definition?

First things first: being an introvert and being shy are very different things. Introverts can often be spotted among crowds of people, at a party, and giving talks to large audiences (yes, many of the introverts I know happily do this). How can you spot them? Easy! Just look for the ones who tend to be talking to one or two people at a time, who happily sit with a cup of tea and a book, and those who seem refreshed after some ‘quiet time’.

Introverts tend to be great listeners, thoughtful, and noted for their considered and balanced decision making.

So what about taking on a leadership role if you’re an introvert? There is a perception that people with extrovert characteristics (outgoing, highly social, quick at making decisions, etc) make the best leaders. Wrong! Both introverts and extroverts make excellent leaders – it fundamentally depends on the working environment and how that leadership is facilitated in the workplace.

Think of making leadership decisions (as that is vital for successful leadership) as connecting two points – where you are now, and the destination where your decisions need to take you. How the line that connects the two looks is likely to be very different depending whether it’s an introvert or an extrovert making those decisions: both introverts and extroverts are just as likely as each other to make the same final decision in the same timescale. However, typically speaking, an extrovert is likely to make many quick decisions along the way, while an introvert is more likely to take a step back, consider all of the information collectively and make many fewer decisions.

This is just one example of how introverts can make just as good leaders as extroverts (although, in my experience, introverts often make slightly better leaders). If you’re keen to understand more about this valuable topic, I have created two social media pages specifically about it: click here for the Facebook page or the Google+ page.

Be ‘real’! Be emotional! Be a better leader!

Your ‘human’ side can enhance your credibility.

From b³ August 2013:

“Never apologise, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.”, so said the late John Wayne (and NCIS’ Jethro Gibbs).
Goodness me! How times have changed!

The more traditional view of ‘leaders’, particularly in the business world, is that they tend to be seen as ‘strong’, powerful, decisive, and never backing down.

Yet, the very best leaders of today are those that are almost always recognised for their human qualities – being trustworthy, genuine, honest, open, show their emotions and, yes, vulnerable at times too (among others).

Of course, the most important quality a leader still needs hasn’t changed much – the ability to make, often complex, decisions.

However, whether your leadership ‘role’ is as the owner of a single person start-up, or as the global head of a £multi-billion business conglomerate, the way you connect with the people around you is key to your success.

One of the most valuable ways to develop how ‘real’ other people perceive you is to reflect on your own experiences in meeting others. How many times do you meet someone, often who has a high ranking position in an organisation, who is intent on presenting themselves as ultimately professional, and presenting a rigid ‘mask’ to you? Being understood as a ‘professional’ is great, but have you noticed how time spent with those people leaves you feeling that the vital ‘connection’ sometimes isn’t there?

This is simply because the ‘mask’ they put in front of you is not allowing you to connect with their ‘real’, personal qualities – something which we, as humans, intuitively want to do.

So there you have it – by all means be seen as a professional, but make sure you allow others to understand you as a real human being and not some sort of robot.

The higher up the business ladder you go, the more important it is to be ‘known’ by those around you, and reassure them of your principles, reliability and consitency, all of which significantly increases how you invite others to trust you.

Click here for an article from Doug Sundheim on Harvard Business Review on ” Good Leaders Get Emotional”.

Positive Thinking – It’s Easy! Really!

OK, I know, I know.

I bang on and on about it, don’t I?

Endlessly even!

People who know me will no doubt agree, and be rolling their eyes skywards!

Yes, I’m often heard extolling the virtues of positive thinking.

But does it really work? Or is it mumbo-jumbo?

OK – here’s something to think about:

How many people do you know who take a positive attitude towards everything, or at least almost everything, they do? How often do they succeed in whatever they set out to do?

Have you noticed that whether they succeed or fail, they rarely become negative or indecisive or ‘down’ – or, if they do, it isn’t for long?

How many successful people do you know, or know of? How many of these show that they think positively?

How much do they all seem to enjoy life?

Positive thinking really does make a substantial contribution to how people conduct themselves, the decisions they make, and the way their lives turn out.

But how?

Surely it’s not just about ‘thinking’, is it?

How much effort does it take?

Thankfully, successful positive thinking is actually quite simple and takes just enough effort to change your thinking habits – it really is that easy! That’s all!

Firstly, let’s explain how it works….

If you have something you want or need to do, what is your attitude towards doing it? Good/positive/enthusiastic, or poor/negative/can’t be bothered/I’ll do it later?

Don’t worry, we all have our good days and not-so-good days!

When you set yourself a target, whatever it is, and however much you’re interested in it (or not!), you’re actually starting up the opportunity for your own positive thinking. How you choose to move forward from there is the simple key to a successful and satisfying outcome.

Even better, if you really, genuinely, completely ‘buy in’ to achieving a target, you’re already moving forward.

By being positive and committed towards something, you automatically start to change the way you think. The more positive/committed you are, the more substantial and, potentially, more permanent the change.

Because your focus has moved to a particular target, you automatically start to change what you do, the decisions you make and the information and people you seek out to move closer to that target.

The closer you get, the more you do it – simple! Importantly, the more you do it, the less effort it takes too!

But the first step is to change your thinking habits.

Try this exercise – for the next week, wear your watch on your other wrist. Next week change it back. The week after change it back again. After a few weeks, you’ll automatically look at whichever wrist has the watch on it automatically, and what you will have done is change your thinking.

So, in terms of creating and keeping a positive pattern in your thinking, try changing your thinking habits by asking yourself a few simple questions whenever you have a target to meet.

For example:

  • What will it be like as you take the steps towards your target?
  • Visualise this in as much detail as you can : How you will feel? What sights, sounds and smells will be part of getting there? What other people might think or say (if that’s important to you)?
  • How will you feel when you achieve the target?

(Obviously, you can add your own motivating/enquiring questions)

Be as detailed as you can – take particular note of all of the elements that energise you and return to these regularly, and especially important when you get moments of poor motivation.

Identify key milestones along the way – this is easier for bigger/more time consuming targets, but the principle is always the same – and give yourself a pat on the back for achieving each and every one.

Once you have been through this a few times, your thinking will automatically sort it all out for you without you having to think it through as a conscious effort.

Keep your thinking positive, understand where you’re going and what you’re aiming to achieve, and before long, no matter what those around you or the good old British weather is like, you’ll feel happier and achieve more – you may well even be healthier too!

Above all, remember that this is a choice.

Your choice!

To make your thinking more positive, achieve more, and enjoy your life more…….or not!

Good luck!

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