You Are What You Think

“Improve your golf game by thinking powerful thoughts,” was the title of a recent Harvard Business Review “Stat of the Day.”

Think of the technique as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Forty-four percent more golf puts at 150 centimeters were sank by people who think of themselves as powerful than their not-as-positive counterparts.  In another study, people presented with authoritative words such as “influence” scored 29 percent higher in a game of darts than people who saw words such as “serve.”

The research suggests that thinking you possess power “induces better perception of information that is relevant to goals, leading to improved motor performance in pursuit of these goals.”

This idea can be extended to all areas of our lives. The next time you’re going into a big meeting, envision how you want the meeting to go. Think confident and your body will follow.

Do powerful thoughts give you power? Have you ever had an experience where it worked?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, how to manage your time on social media, create habits that stick, put a contact in relationship time-out, and tips on communication and accountability.

Get time on your side – The addition of social media to your plate of responsibilities can be daunting personally and professionally. Managing your time in this area not only means more time on your hands, but a better presence for your brand. Learn some tips in this Hubspot blog: http://bit.ly/Qtud8F.

Creating sticky habits – We all struggle with making new habits routine. To assist, try the tips suggested in this Entrepreneur magazine blog. Read it here: http://bit.ly/Qankqs.

Relationship time-out – Inevitably someone in your network may abuse their social privileges to the point where you will want to put them in the time-out corner. Now there’s an app for that. Read about the Twitter Doghouse in this Mashable blog: http://on.mash.to/QWZICG.

True leaders communicate – Leading the tribe requires excellent communication skills. Read this SmartBrief Blog on Leadership for the communication traits of good leaders: http://bit.ly/NSxYA6.

The accountability factor – All talk and no commitment leads individuals and organizations nowhere. Learn some ways to bring accountability to the forefront of your organization’s value set. Read the Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/N8ZvuZ.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

A Simple Exercise to Overcome Shyness

If social interactions stress you out, you might be interested in this Psychology Today piece offering some simple exercises to overcome shyness and social anxiety.

The author suggests some group improvisational exercises that are worth checking out. But for those who want something they can do on their own, there’s this one:

“…go to a mall at a busy time of day. Take off your watch. Ask twenty people for the time of day. Use three minutes between requests. You log the results of each encounter. You later look at your findings. Here is what you are likely to find. Most will give you the time of day. Some will walk past you as though you didn’t exist. A few may engage you in a brief and pleasant conversation.”

The idea is to approach enough people that it starts to feel natural.

Anyone else have ideas for “safe” ways to practice interacting with strangers?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Five Ways to Maximize Your Influence as the Most Junior Person on a Team

Last week I went on my first business trip. As could be expected, I was a little scared but mostly just excited. I was the most junior person on the team, and realized quickly that I could make a difference even with my limited experience. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Over prepare. If there’s even the smallest possibility that you might need that digital recorder, take it. You never know!
  2. Be prepared to be flexible. You’re probably not going to know where you’re needed in the next 15 minutes, let alone the next hour. Take cues from your environment and find a way to be useful even if things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Believe me, usually they don’t. Continue reading

Everyone Needs a Coach

The Peter Principle states that we’re all susceptible to the inevitable fate of failing to meet the high expectations of our organizations and those expectations we put on ourselves. As we rise in all areas of our lives, we enter new territory that will require skills and/or experiences we may not possess. As Marshall Goldsmith so eloquently put it, “what got you here, won’t get you there.”

Aiming for the next rung of any ladder in our sights requires considering how we will condition ourselves for that journey. I’ve yet to hear any gold medal athlete brag that they trained themselves. Homage is always paid to the coach who was charged with laying down the work plan that would allow them to increase their skills and acknowledge and work around their weaknesses in order to achieve their best. Getting to gold medal status in our business and personal lives requires similar effort. A guided plan paired with constructive and instructive encouragement from a coach.

According to the International Coach Federation, the worldwide revenue produced by coaching is $1.5 billion (USD) per year and growing. It seems the word is out on the value coaching can bring to our personal and professional lives, so the next question is: How do you select the coach that has the right qualifications to get you from here to there? Here’s the thought process that could get you a win along with some personal insights from my recent selection of the coach pushing me through my wins.

It all boils down to relationships: Rapport is probably the most important factor to effective coaching. Next to the relationship with your significant other and certain family members, this is going to be the most intimate relationship in your life. If you can’t see yourself getting vulnerable with this person, think twice. Do your due diligence and interview more than one person. As you do, pay attention to the following in your initial contact and decision making phase. How are their interpersonal skills upon first contact? What does your gut instinct about this person tell you?  How are their verbal and nonverbal cues matching up? Are they listening to you? Do you feel accepted in their presence? How vulnerable are they with you? Do you have similar value sets?

I didn’t even know I was looking for my coach Doc Barham. We were connected through social arbitrage by a mutual friend who thought we should know each other. After our first interaction, I remember thinking, I like the way he thinks. When he invited me to an initial discovery session a couple of months later, we very easily shared conversation and hit on common values, passion points, and mutual interests. By the end of the hour, I knew without a doubt that this was the guy to guide my journey. Continue reading

I’m a Fraud – Are You?

I interviewed corporate-trailblazer-turned-business-owner Patty Azzarello this week for the Social Capitalist (transcript to come soon!) and I particularly loved this quote:

“People who achieve success are willing to be scared and uncomfortable to do it. If you try to build your career and be comfortable and confident that you know everything along the way, it just takes too long. You just cannot get there. What I realized is that all executives are bluffing. This actually came to me through an executive coach. I was confessing, ‘You know, I feel like I’m going to get found out, because I don’t know everything.’ And she just laughed at me. She said, ‘Patty, every executive in the world feels the same way.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ And then I realized, ‘Man, is that ever true.’”

I think this is particularly great advice for women. As Jodi Glickman, another previous SC guest, once told me, “Women tend to round down. Men round up. It’s time to round up.”

In other words, sometimes it’s OK for a little bit of confidence to float the gap between our expertise and our vision. We don’t have to have done something 100 times already to feel we have the right to stand up and say, “I can do this.”

When your work takes you to new places, you’re not a fraud. You’re a bright, intrepid do-er who can roll with a hefty dose of learning. The key is to make sure you’ve got the tenacity, the persistence, and most importantly, the right partners, to follow through with excellence.

Sara Grace is myGreenlight’s Program Director.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, the focus is on behavioral traits that create the type of productive, deep, and meaningful relationships you want in your life. Take it all in, then take the steps to practice those behavioral traits that will get you where you envision yourself.

Perspectives on acts of kindness – Taking in a variety of perspectives makes learning richer. Learning to take in a variety of perspectives is a habit worth practicing. Even if you disagree with an opposing opinion, the opportunity to listen to, discuss, or read someone else’s point of view on a topics allows you to better understand the complexity of humans. Read this author’s experience with taking in others’ perspectives on kindness here http://cbsn.ws/JGvXBJ.

MISS perceptions – Without a willingness to practice empathy and an awareness that perception is dictating our reality, we misperceive the actions of others all the time. You know what they say about assumptions. This Linked 2 Leadership blog sheds a deeper light on the natural tendency to judge and how to develop behaviors that create more teamwork in the tribe. Read it here http://bit.ly/IV8JxL.

Influence with integrity – Integrity can be difficult to maintain when met with opposition and maintaining it can require making some decisions not in your immediate favor. However, from the outside looking in, a lack of integrity can speak volumes about your leadership ability.This SmartBrief blogger shares their view on how leadership can die on the vine when behaviors that lack integrity are displayed and how to keep your integrity in tact in tough situations. Read it here http://bit.ly/Jd2905.

Transferring culture – There is a lot that can be learned from brands with strong cultures that have a lot to share about replicating their brand experience in ways that resonate with employees and consumers. Big Think’s latest episode on leadership featuring Whole Foods CEO John Mackey provides some lessons on culture transference. Read and watch it here http://bit.ly/ILxKdw.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Is My Business School Equation Balanced?

About six months ago, I wrote about pursuing my MBA. At that point, I was still undecided. Now, I’m back with an update.

Initially, I wasn’t sure if going back to school was worth it. So I started thinking about it in terms of cost. As an economics major, I decided that maybe I could write an equation to make sense of everything. Sometimes simplifying complicated thoughts can help. So here’s my theory.

I should go back to school if Benefits > Costs.

I had already listed the plausible advantages of going to business school in my last post:

  1. To get a stronger foundation in my knowledge of business.
  2. Professional/career development – both in the theoretical and practical sense.
  3. My personality type – I’m a more risk-averse person, so I would be less interested in blazing a new trail than working my way along a traveled, yet still challenging road.
  4. Having specialized knowledge in an area of interest to me (a Master’s degree)
  5. A new engaging and challenging experience.

Now I listed costs: Continue reading

Relationship Roundup – Fresh New Features at myGreenlight

As members of myGreenlight progress through their courses, we (the staff) continue to step up our game to evolve the program. This week, we revealed a few new features we can’t wait for members to apply to their training experience.

For our road runners – Member’s who’ve completed all three courses (30 lessons) and are ready for new challenges will get revved up about myGreenlight’s first elective course The Sales Action Sequence. The Sales Action Sequence was designed by Keith Ferrazzi to sharpen the relationship-building skills most fundamental to sales success. These 10 missions help members stockpile their social capital and grow their pipeline in service of meeting their revenue goals. Check out the new elective course here.

Linking in our members – myGreenlight profiles can now use the new LinkedIn profile integration feature to auto import data and create their community identity with the click of a button. Link in your myGreenlight profile today.

Mobile messaging – The course reminder text message feature gives members more control over when and where they receive communications from myGreenlight. Leveraging the proven power of text “nudges” for behavior modification; this feature allows users to opt-in to receive supportive reminders to complete their missions. Set up your mobile message here.

Help Desk refresh – Members can now get answers more quickly with our expanded knowledge base using our new Help Desk feature at http://help.mygreenlight.com/.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Special Announcement for myGreenlight Members

Community Roundtable Call

The Community Roundtable will bring together five community members around one business topic to assist each other in creating solutions for their current business challenges. The topic for March will focus on building relationships in sales.

Members of the roundtable will each have the opportunity to submit their most challenging issue related to the topic and their best set of resources to address the challenges of other members.  The call will take place on Tuesday, March 27th at 6:00pm EST on WebEx.

To be considered for one of the five positions on this month’s Roundtable, email me at ksprings at mygreenlight.com the following:

  • Submit a short professional bio.
  • A paragraph explaining why you want to participate.
  • One question that you want to put on the table related to the topic.

Participants will be selected based on the best mix of professional backgrounds and challenges in order to maintain a diverse set of perspectives and experiences for the group. If selected, participants will be required to:

  • Submit 3-5 resources one week prior to the meeting to help address the collective questions of the group.
  • Participate in the one hour 15 minute call on March 27th.

All Roundtables will be recorded and transcribed for members’ future use.

Course Intensives

Are you behind on a course? Trying to get ahead in a course? In need of coaching through a course? If any of these fit where you are in the myGreenlight program, one of our upcoming Course Intensives is for you. Between April and May, I will be coaching small groups through courses in an effort to:

  • Provide a one-on-one coaching opportunity.
  • Facilitate connections between community members.
  • Gather feedback on our newest course, the Learning Action Plan.

Participants must agree to:

  • Complete two lessons per week over a five week period between April 2nd and May 4th.
  • Participate in weekly coaching calls.

Weekly coaching calls may take place on a weekend or evenings to accommodate all group member participation. Groups will consist of 3-5 members.  Members may only participate in one Course Intensive at a time.

If you are interested in participating in a Course Intensive, email me at ksprings at mygreenlight.com by March 15th.