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How To Get Out of a Rut

How To Get Out of a Rut

We have all had those humdrum periods—those times when we seem to be doing the same activities over and over, and we feel miserable and unfulfilled about it.

Perhaps you are bored with your life – there is nothing exciting on the horizon to look forward to, and you’re so immersed in your day-to-day grind that there is no time or space to bring some enthusiasm and spirit into your dull, monotonous life.  In fact, you can’t even remember the last time you laughed and enjoyed yourself…you have even forgotten what makes you truly happy.

Or perhaps you are feeling burnt out on the job – you’re working your butt off, not seeing the results you want, and wondering if your hard work will ever pay off. That goal you have been stretching for seems insurmountable; you are starting to feel unmotivated, and are about to throw in the towel and say it’s not even worth trying to reach for it anymore. Then, we ask the million-dollar question: How can I move forward when I feel stuck?

The 3 tips for getting out of a rut?

Although, it’s not always easy, here are some to get you started:

 

1. Know What You Value

Walt Disney once said, “When your values become clear, making decisions becomes easier.” To avoid getting stuck in a mental rut, know what’s important to you. Until you know these guiding principles, you can’t live the life you were meant to.  You need to determine what you truly believe in, what you would take a stand for, what you will say yes to whenever anyone is saying no…and once you do, you can then walk the talk, and live a life that’s in alignment with your core values.

 

2. Know What You Want

Sometimes we spend so much time going through the motions, we forget why we are even doing it all for. Then, we end up feeling mentally stuck. So, to snap yourself out of ‘auto-pilot’, remind yourself what are your future aspirations?  What are your BHAGs – Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals?  In their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companiesauthors James Collins and Jerry Porras coined the term, ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’.  A BHAG is a strategic statement used by businesses (similar to a vision statement) focusing on a medium- to long-term organization-wide goal.  BHAG’s are generally audacious, and most likely questionable, to the outside world, but regarded as an aggressive target, but not impossible, to those within the company.

However, why can’t we use these gallant, strategic statements to shoot for the stars for our own personal goals, rather than just organizational goals?  I believe we can and should.  As an educator, I see all too often that our educational system focuses on learning techniques (the best ways to learn) or educational pathways (the right order to take courses in) on what works for, or is appropriate for, the ‘average’ student. This idea is the central premise of Todd Rose’s book, The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World that Values Sameness

Do you remember the bell curve from school?  The bell curve is the most common type of graph used to describe data distribution.  The highest point on the curve describes the data’s most probable outcome, and all other occurrences fall equally on either side, creating two downward sloping lines from that top point, one line declining to the right and one to the left.

Once you know where you want to go, it’s a lot easier to decide the things you need to do, or don’t do, to get you closer to what you truly want.  And why put limitations on your desires and goals?  Dream big and then pedal hard.  The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the extra.  Are you willing to take the extra step that is going to make you achieve your wildest dreams?? If yes, sometimes only a little extra degree of effort can make a HUGE difference.

 

3. Know How to Have Fun

Sometimes we get so bogged down doing the wrong tasks, the things we have to do or don’t like doing, that we rarely have time for fun and play.  So, think of activities you find fun – the things that truly make you happy. Not sure what fun looks like? Think back to your childhood. What did you love to do as a child? Inject some child-like playfulness into your daily activities.  Studies show that learning and creativity are enhanced when we are having fun.

All too often we let what we do determine who we are.  How many times do you find yourself in social settings, and once you move beyond the “Hi, my name is Carolyn”, the next phrase you say is “I am a ____________ (insert 9-to-5 job here)”.  We, all too often, let our corporate roles define us, and/or allow people to make assessments of us based on what we do.  Instead of saying “I am an accountant” for example, have you ever said “I am a parent of two wonderful kids” or “married to a fantastic spouse” or “an animal lover wanting to help those who can’t speak for themselves” or “a volunteer in the community”?  No…we seldom, if ever, say those things.  We invariably default to the title on our business cards, as if that is the defining label of who we are, and then act in that stereotypical manner within our social circles.

We need to find our fun, silly side.  It’s ok to relax and let go and do the things that put a smile on our faces and those around us.  It’s also ok to lighten up at work and smile in our job, as we go forward.  Once we remember how to have fun and enjoy ourselves, then we can let who we are determine what we do and even how we are going to do it.  In The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up, Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher share that humor in the workplace has many benefits, including employee satisfaction and loyalty, increased productivity, and innovation for a better workplace and higher profits. For other tips and tricks on how to better your wellbeing, click here for our free emotional intelligence tools!

 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re stuck in a rut with life, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Have you ever sent an email message and then regretted it after it was too late?

A rule of thumb should be that whenever you need to have a difficult conversation or give feedback, you do it face-to-face, never send an email.

Words in an email are powerful and can be misconstrued.

 

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS VOLUME

Did you know…only 7% of what people hear are words, 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language.  Both the tone of your words, and your body language cannot be seen or heard in an email; therefore, email communication can often be interpreted incorrectly, and the message may not be received with the intention it was sent.

Workplace coaching face-to-face is necessary to ensure your feedback is received appropriately when the need for a difficult conversation arises. Michael Massari, the VP of Caesars Entertainment, discusses with Forbes the importance of face-to-face communication and its impact on collaboration. Regardless of the industry, all businesses require the need to create prosperous partnerships, and that is done through building trust and engaging others in face-to-face communication.

Now, if you are investing this time into business partnerships outside of your organization, you should definitely be investing the same time into your people.

 

So, what drives effective leaders to make email mistakes?

Impulse control.

One of the 15 competencies in EQ-i 2.0 model developed by Multi-Health Systems (MHS) is impulse control – the ability to resist or delay an impulsive, drive, or temptation to act.

It is your impulse control that leads you to spew off a clever and snappy reply to the person who just sent you a nasty email.

But wait, breathe and figure out a strategy on how you are going to broach the difficult subject in person, face-to-face.

Like building any muscle…you need to work it to become stronger. To have bigger biceps, you need to do more bicep curls.

In order to build your emotional muscles, you need to work them.  To become better at controlling your impulses, you need to resist the temptation and don’t send an email, even if you really, really want to.

 

Impulse Control Best Practices

Try these best practices for Feedback that Works from the Harvard Business Review:

  1. Focus on business outcomes
  2. Give feedback often
  3. Don’t assume you are right
  4. Ask questions
  5. Follow-through
  6. Gather feedback on how you give feedback

Use the business outcome as an opportunity to solve problems rather than criticize the person you are speaking with. This allows for the chance for you to align your goals and find a solution together.

“Difficult feedback is rarely about getting the facts right, it’s about conflicting views, feelings and values. Reasonable people differ about all of these things.” – Robert Witherspoon

When you are coaching someone you should be looking at the whole picture, the business goals, their perspective, and the follow-through if necessary. Conducting these meetings face-to-face will build rapport, encourage your team, and develop their commitment to growth, so don’t do it over email!

Take a minute to reflect on your impulse control, does it affect how you respond to your team? Do you fall victim to your impulse control and press send too quickly?

To learn more about emotional intelligence and the purpose of coaching in the workplace, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help with coaching and mentoring in the workplace, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs!

Strengthen Your Culture with EQ

Strengthen Your Culture with EQ

Corporate Culture and Emotional Intelligence are two crucial elements of a successful business.

Emotional Intelligence is having the ability to understand your emotions as well as others, and without it, it is impossible for a business to be successful.

Corporate culture is the shared values, attitudes, beliefs and standards of all staff members. It is the corporate culture that creates the structure of every activity that is performed. But if emotional intelligence is not present in the company, is the corporate culture benefiting everyone?

Stop and ask yourself: Does your business have an emotionally intelligent corporate culture?

If the answer is YES, can it be improved upon?

  • Are the interpersonal relationships within your organization strong?
  • Do employees have a sense of independence?
  • Is everyone within the company not only aware of their own emotions but the emotions of those around them?
  • Does the upper management team display stress management?
  • Is there an “open-door” policy between employees and their superiors?

These are a few questions to ask to determine if emotional intelligence is present and strong within your company’s corporate culture.

If the answer is NO, it may be time to revamp your corporate culture.

 

Benefits of having an Emotionally intelligent Corporate Culture

  • Increased productivity
  • Staff stability
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Increased organizational communication
  • Employee moral

How to Revamp Your Corporate Culture to Include Emotional Intelligence:

Corporate culture is implemented through the leaders of an organization – which means that it is important for them to be emotionally intelligent.

 

Leaders, whether it is the CEO or upper-level management, should stop and observe.

Look at yourself.

  • What are your personal needs as a leader?
  • Are they aligned with the company’s needs?
  • Does the rest of your team know them?

Look around.

  • Who makes up your team?
  • What are the team’s needs?
  • What are the team member’s individual needs?
  • Are they expressed to the rest of the team/organization?

 

Implement

Once the leaders are more aware of their employees, it is time to introduce emotional intelligence to the rest of the corporation.

Promoting emotional intelligence can be done through a variety of different tactics. It could be as small as having one-on-one check-ins with employees throughout the week; to make sure everything, and everyone, is doing well.

Or a larger, but beneficial, tactic would be to invest in Emotional Intelligence retreats. Retreats promote positive interactions amongst all employees. Whether they are done on or off-site, having two or three dedicated days to build an emotionally intelligent culture will be beneficial in the long run.

 

Maintain and Evaluate

Once you have picked an EI tactic(s), don’t stop! The easy part is picking a tactic and doing it once, but it tends to become obsolete when it’s not performed often. People are more likely to be motivated at the start and slow down after a while. Keep the team motivated and repeat the tactic on a regular basis!

If employees seem to get tired of the tactics you picked, that’s great that you are becoming aware of their emotions! This means it’s time to introduce new ones.

Now, it’s your turn, and I would love to hear from you.

What tactics are you going to employ to have an emotionally intelligent corporate culture?   

Let us know by sending us a message on our social media – we are on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn! For more on cultivating an emotionally intelligent corporate culture, check out our Retreats or our Corporate Culture Workshop, available in live or virtual delivery!