Go, Leader, Grow!

Change – why it doesn’t work by Fiona Cohn

What?!  Change doesn’t work?  Our businesses are always changing something.  Read on.  This is an enlightening post by Fiona Cohn on change.  It may open your eyes to something new.  It did for me…

agent of change

Who likes change? Really. Even people who tell me they like change behave as though they don’t when it happens. It’s a fact that most people don’t like change. I heard a joke that the only people that like change are cashiers and babies with dirty nappies!

Most of us (and I admit I’m in this group too) resist change. We like the status quo. In today’s fast changing world, things are changing all the time. Humans are amazingly resilient and able to deal with change. I bet if you look back a year to what you were doing in your business, you’re most likely doing things very differently today. Businesses and people who are willing to reinvent themselves over and over again are the ones that enjoy greater success – in business and personally. In business that means tracking your competition and doing something different. That’s the real key to business success.

Here are a few things that are likely to be holding you and your business back from making change work for you rather than against you.

People like the status quo

I’ve rarely met a person who doesn’t have ‘stability’ as one of their core values. So when we need to change something that tugs at a core value and makes us feel vulnerable. Even when the change is likely to be a dramatic improvement we still resist it.

Take the case of the QWERTY keyboard – originally designed because when typewriters were invented, fast typing would jam the keys. The QWERTY design put the most used letters on the left to slow down right handed people. It put rarely used letters in between more commonly used letters, reducing the risk of the typing arms jamming. When electric typewriters and computes came along the typing habit was so deeply ingrained, we stuck with it even though a keyboard with the most commonly used letters placed centrally would be faster, easier and more ergonomic to type with.

People focus on what they have to lose or give up

Change inevitably means stopping doing something and starting to do something differently so people perceive it as a loss rather than a gain. This is in spite of the fact that change over the long term usually results in dramatic improvements for most of us.

Take the mobile phone as an example. I resisted getting a smartphone for fear of my number being linked to all sorts of platforms so that anyone could contact me should they wish to. I didn’t want to give up that element of my privacy.

In my world, a phone was for making and receiving calls and I already had one that did that. Two years ago I relented and while I still don’t use my ‘phone to anywhere near its potential, when I lost my handset at the beginning of the year I realised how much I had been relying on it – for email, diary management, keeping my contacts up to date and using a host of apps to make my life easier. And as a business woman, I wsa grateful that people knew how to get hold of me.

People accept change differently

This means you can’t ‘sell’ the change as a ‘one size fits all’ solution. You need to help each individual see what’s in it for them.

People resist change when they don’t trust…

Read the rest here:  http://www.excelarate.co.uk/change-doesnt-work/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

5 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators by Bella Beth Cooper


Have you ever walked away from talking with someone that you’ve just met and thought to yourself “Wow, this was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had!”? I’ve recently had one of those and at first I quite selfishly concluded “Wow, I’m a great communicator”. But then I realized, hang on a second, I think this other person was the reason I felt so good about this talk, how did he do that?

I started to think about a few of the things this person did, that made me feel so comfortable and open to speak with him. In usual Buffer blog manner, I thought of finding some real science to back up some of the simple habits this newly found friend had so ingrained when talking with me.

So what I’ve come up with are 5 of the most effective habits famous communicators have used for hundreds of years. Recently some new science studies have backed up their claims and I feel it makes for a very compelling case to overhaul my own communication efforts and maybe it’s some inspiration for you too!

Let’s dig in:

1. They listen first – then focus on being Active and Constructive
The word conversation generally brings to mind talking—at least for me. However, if you’ve ever seen two people trying to talk to each other at the same time, you’ll know that listening is just as important. In fact, listening is half of a successful conversation—you take turns to talk, and everyone feels heard. This is great communication.

Read the rest here: http://blog.bufferapp.com/why-talking-about-ourselves-is-as-rewarding-as-sex-the-science-of-conversations

How to Communicate Effectively with “Annoying” Employees


by Vanessa Van Edwards

We all have those people in our life who drive us up a wall. They make choices we don’t understand and they do things that seem nonsensical. More importantly, they are annoying because they are not like us. We cannot comprehend what leads them to act the way they do or what drives their seemingly bizarre decisions.

For entrepreneurs and business leaders, effective leadership is about learning how to deal with all types of personalities — even the annoying ones. If we could better understand people’s “annoying” choices and behaviors — motivated by where they’re coming from or what they value – they would become far less annoying.

The truth is, everyone has their own Value Language – i.e., what drives someone to make life choices, what gets them up in the morning and informs their goals and actions — and most misunderstandings stem from simple differences in Value Languages. To understand “annoying” people, we have to first learn where they are coming from and what motivates them. Then, you can appeal to what they value, instead of what you value.

I have narrowed people’s Value Languages into 10 different categories. Use these to identify (and better communicate) with the “annoying” people in your office:

Image. The first Value Language describes people who value image, beauty or aesthetic appearance above all else. These people spend huge amounts of time and money on their appearance either through clothes, plastic surgery or beauty regimes. In the office, they tend to annoy us by being late after spending too much time getting ready and making hires based on presentation rather than experience. They consistently pick romantic partners based on appearance rather than personality, and tend to be vain.

Money. Money is one of the most powerful motivators. Those who subscribe to this Value Language don’t care how they make money or the consequences of obtaining it; they just want more of it. It’s not just white-collar criminals; it’s also those who annoy us by either being cheapskates in office holiday gift exchange or “gold diggers” constantly looking for free meals.

Power. Authority, dominance and gaining more power are the biggest drivers for these people. Those who value power like to be able to influence or persuade others to do what they desire. They annoy us by trying to assert dominance in inappropriate situations (commandeering an office potluck), make power-hungry moves (taking credit for a work project they did not do) or throwing their company title in your face.

Fame. Fame, popularity, legacy and notoriety are the big motivators here. We are seeing a generation of kids who speak Value Language #4 as they upload videos of themselves singing, post constantly on Facebook and audition for reality shows. During office meetings, they annoy us by always seeking the spotlight when the boss comes in, wanting to be the center of attention during presentations and doing anything to get accolades for their work.

Proximity to the Ideal. This one is tricky, but very important. Some people value being as close as possible to what they deem an ideal. For some, this might mean playing the perfect “housewife” with 2.5 kids, a golden retriever, a white picket fence and lots of time for bake sales. Sometimes, people-pleasers and perfectionists fall into this category because they are obsessed with the “ideal” and having everyone like them and what they do. In the office, ideal-seeking workers put an extreme amount of pressure on themselves to seem like they have everything under control. They never ask for help and they never turn down work projects. They are the least communicative of the Value Language types, which can be detrimental to office teamwork.

Knowledge. People who speak Language #6 are most commonly called know-it-alls; they always have an opinion and an obscure news article they once read to back it up. They often only value others who are “in the know.” They annoy us by never letting anyone else have an opinion during meetings, arguing for fun and pompously telling you about all of the books on their bedside table during lunch break.

Read the rest here: http://theyec.org/how-to-deal-with-annoying-people/#

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