I’m not arrogant!

January 18, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Posted in leadership | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How well do you know yourself? Do you know how your actions and words come across to peers, your audience, and your family?

Self-awareness can be a difficult skill to master. Even the most self-aware can, occasionally, use a reality check. How people perceive you can make a tremendous difference in your success as a leader and a businessperson.

What you perceive as helpful questioning during a meeting your peers may perceive as arrogance. Your attitude with subordinates or folks you are working with may be perceived as aggressive or over confident. Your quiet reserved manner may be screaming cold and uncaring to those around you.

How self-aware are you? I discuss this with clients frequently. Particularly when it comes to how we use our words. I was purchasing a Congratulations card this weekend and here’s an example of what one said-

Congratulations!

I hope you’re proud of yourself.

I don’t know about your father, but mine said, “I hope you’re proud of yourself.” most often when I had really messed something up and he was making a point. It wasn’t said in a favorable way. When I read that card I almost fell over! Based on my perception of the statement I would never give that card to anyone.

You have to ask yourself how your words are landing with the individuals to whom you are speaking. Your tone, inflection, facial expression and posture make a tremendous difference in how your words are received.

The concept is similar to your appearance. You certainly wouldn’t show up in a corporate attorneys office with shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops on- not if you expected them to take you seriously. (Ok, maybe on casual Friday, but I doubt it.) You dress appropriately for the situation.

Your behaviour must be appropriate for the situation. If you would like people to believe you have their best interest at heart your words, tone, and expressions must all mirror that interest.

If you’re not sure how self-aware you are ask a trusted friend or peer to be honest about how you are perceived. Be prepared to get feedback you might not be prepared for initially and don’t ‘shoot the messenger’. Knowledge is power and once you know how you are perceived you can look at how your behaviour might be creating that perception.

I use a great tool with clients that really helps to hone in on how your peers, friends, co-workers, and subordinates perceive you. It allows us to identify areas for growth and areas of strength.

Take a look at what you are doing and ask how those around you might perceive your actions. Be your authentic self. Raise your self-awareness, choose to behave the way you want to be perceived and good things will happen.

Advertisements

There was a little growling, and a lot of wary circling…

December 23, 2009 at 9:21 PM | Posted in change | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

[tweetmeme source=”jen_conaway”]

I’ve been watching my dogs try to adjust to the visiting puppy creating mayhem in the house. There is a little bit of growling, a lot of wary circling, no sleeping (because you have to watch every move the new puppy makes), little trust in her antics and a whole lot of basic upset.

This got me thinking about how I adapt to change. IF I adapt to change. I’d like to think I adapt well to change. I will warily circle around it until I figure out what it might mean and how the change will affect my business or personal life. Sometimes I don’t trust what’s happening until I do some investigating and, on occasion, there has been some pretty big upset.

My upset is usually short lived. It only lasts as long as it takes me to figure out WHY I am upset. After all, we are all wary of losing control and, many times, change represents some lose of control. The question you need to ask is- How do I regain control?

Not control in the – I MUST maintain control over every aspect of every piece of my life!!! sense. But the kind of control that allows you to make educated decisions, to focus on things you can influence and to make the best of what might feel like a tricky situation. Sometimes that is all you can ask for.

Adaptability and releasing control are things I have learned. They are wonderful skills and are easier for some to learn than others. I call them skills because you can learn them. These two skills have made a tremendous difference in situations that I would, at one time, have found intolerable. Now, I simply roll with the flow, find ways to do with what I have. I always presume something positive will develop.

I try to instill that same mindset with my clients.

1. You can become more adaptable and release control
2. You do need to work at it
3. Staying adaptable and flexible will always take awareness if it’s not part of your natural personality
4. It WILL get easier
5. It is SO VERY worth it!

Everything becomes just a bit easier when you allow the Universe to take some of the responsibility for running things smoothly.

Do you just give up and stop trying? Of course not. Take directed action, dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s, allow that it might not go exactly to plan and that is ok. There are far worse things that could happen than your plan going askew.

Realizing that an unscheduled change in my plans was not a disaster, rather simply a speed bump to be adapted to, allowed me a tremendous sense of freedom. Suddenly I didn’t have to worry about the tiniest detail, if there is only 1 color of Sharpie available for my speech I will certainly find a way to adapt.

If just the thought of relinquishing control and happily adapting to a change makes you shudder with dismay I encourage you to take another look. Maybe you could benefit from releasing a bit of control? I know I did.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.