BEING A GREAT BOSS IN A RECESSION – STAYING CALM

In an earlier post on being a great boss in a recession we wrote about the need to stay calm.  Here is the quote.

“Staying Calm

Try being more relaxed and appearing more positive even in these challenging times.  If necessary use a relaxation technique to help you control your own anxiety – don’t spook your staff!   Be realistic but don’t panic – it just frightens people!  Remember Type B personalities succeed just as often as Type A in this day and age and they live longer to enjoy it”

Here courtesy of  Maharishi Ayurveda are some ideas that might help

“Seven Ways to Stay Calm in Tough Times

There is an inspiring chain mail circulating on the internet these days. It tells you to follow the 90-10 rule for a happier life. The 90-10 equation is as follows:

90% is what happens to you-it’s out of your control. 10% is how you react to what happens to you-that is totally in your control.

What can be better advice than this in times that are truly uncertain, and fraught with situations that seem beyond control?………..!

Here are some specific ayurvedic stress-management tips to help you cope better in troubled times:

Reach Out: Loneliness aggravates anxiety. Be in the company of those you love. But instead of merely spending time with family and friends, take steps to rejuvenate your relationships. The best way to do this is to give more of yourself in terms of time, energy and attention.

Take control of your responses: An instant way to calm jittery nerves is to start breathing slow and deep. This brings down the heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension, sending a relaxation response throughout your body and mind. Inhale so that you can feel the air right reach into your abdomen. Take care not to breathe too fast…keep the pace easy and the rhythm steady. The use of an…essential oil at this time-lavender, rose, jasmine …. are good choices-will support your deep breathing activity. Do this at least twice a day for 10 minutes each, and you will experience a new sense of bliss.

Eat Right: Ayurveda believes that you really are what you eat. And if that is true, then eat foods that help you relax. Choose foods that help beat back stress-generating free radicals. All fresh and seasonal fruits, lightly cooked and spiced vegetables and whole grains will repair your tired mind and body, carrying the goodness down to the tiniest tissues. Antioxidant herbs replete with nature’s own intelligence know how to combat this potent enemy, and can help you fight it too. ….

Drink Up: At least 8 glasses of water a day are essential for efficient flushing out of disease-causing toxic matter from your system….

Exercise: Moderate exercise is a great way to de-stress. Yoga, which is an integral part of ayurvedic healing, is a way to exercise all parts of your body, while also soothing nerves and balancing the mind….

Sleep Well: Recognize the sleep robbers around you. Life these days is filled with more worries than just bill-paying and house-cleaning. They can steal the sleep away from your eyes, leaving you feeling unhappy and unwell the next morning. Ayurveda has some excellent tips on how to get quality rest.The Council of Maharishi Ayurveda Physicians recommends these sleep-friendly steps:

  • Try to go to bed early — between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. This period is ruled by the Kapha dosha, which is associated with calm and restfulness.
  • Give yourself a massage every day with an ayurvedic oil-it soothes the joints and nerves, bringing good sleep.
  • Poppy seeds have a pleasant sedative effect-add them to your diet.
  • Favor peaceful, calming activities before bed.
  • Before going to bed, sip Vata Tea in warm milk. Or try the Slumber Time Tea. Both the Blissful Sleep herbal supplement and the Worry Free herbal supplement nourish Prana Vata, which regulates mental activity. “

Meditate: The daily practice of …..Meditation can not only drive stress out of your mind, but also change your life in dramatic ways.  “

You can also try the relaxation technique we published here at Wisewolf Talking earlier – How to relax

Taking Control of Brand Me

Does your personal brand work for you?

We’re all familiar with the need for marketing, advertising, PR and promotion of the brand of our company and our services, but what about us as the people behind the brand? Lesley Everett is an International Speaker and Personal Branding Expert and Coach.  Here are a couple of extracts from an article she wrote that appeared on line recntly.  You can find the complete article with 7 strides to improving your personal brand at the link below

“In today’s busy and time-limited world we often have to use intuition and gut-feel to make quick judgements, and the visual impression we give has a huge effect on the way others judge our inner values, such as professionalism, integrity, trust and credibility. In other words, our outer packaging gives others perceived clues as to our true character.”
“It’s about being yourself and individual, but having a strong personal brand is not just about what you wear – it’s about projecting a strong and consistent ‘personal brand’ image for yourself through the way you talk, the way you behave, your body talk and your sartorial and grooming skills, and then taking control of your visibility to manage your own PR   You could call it projecting a Brand Me image. “

Find IFAs and Financial Advisers at the financial social network : IFA Life –.

LESSONS IN PERSONAL BRANDING

Increasingly you are judged on your contributions to the web – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs etc.  You will gain an online persona – your personal brand – whether you want to or not.  This can affect large parts of your life and certainly gaining business and work opportunities.  Your personal brand really does matter and you can develop it as you wish!  If you make a positive effort it can make a major contribution to your success.

Benjamin Yoskovitz. is the CEO & co-Founder of Standout Jobs, a venture-backed startup founded in 2007. He is also a blog and social media consultant.  He has been an entrepreneur for 10+ years in the Web space, working extensively in web & software development. He is obsessed with creating things  and with customer service. The piece below is from his blog to which there is a link at the bottom. These are his thoughts, not mine, but I would love to hear what you think!

“ Personal Branding Lessons

Looking back, here are some thoughts from my own experiences building my personal brand:

  1. It’s never too late to start. In some respects I think it’s easier to start making a concerted effort to build and cultivate your personal brand once you’re older and you have a few years working experience. You know more, you’re more comfortable in your shoes, and you have some experience to rely on. There are still too many examples of young people screwing up in public (on Facebook or Twitter) and getting in trouble for it (although there aren’t that many examples, they’re just blown out of proportion.
  2. You know more than you realize. A lot of people seem afraid to speak up publicly and promote themselves because they don’t feel like they have anything to say. You’d be surprised what you know.
  3. What you know is valuable. And what you know is likely valuable to a bunch of people, even if you don’t realize it. As they say, Common sense isn’t all that common. Just think of the college graduate coming up after you into your field of expertise, and the difference between where that person is at and where you’re at…
  4. Connecting online is easier than you think. I was amazed at how easily I could connect online with people. I still remember some of those early connections – Liz Strauss, Becky McCray, Chris Cree, Mike Sansone, Terry Starbucker and so many more. It was easy to find people online (who shared my interests), get myself involved, and build out a valuable network.
  5. It takes time and commitment. Building your personal brand isn’t something you do once in awhile when you’re bored. It takes time and commitment, and it never stops. And doing it half-ass won’t get you anywhere.
  6. It’s fun. I’ve always enjoyed building my personal brand, and the activities that are involved with that online – blogging, connecting, helping others, asking for help. It’s a process you have to enjoy otherwise you won’t do it properly and invest the right time. Plus, there is a feedback loop – as you gain valuable connections, leads (for jobs or business), comments on your blog, etc. you’ll realize that all of that is worthwhile feedback on your efforts. And that’s motivating.
  7. Watch. Learn. Emulate. Do your own thing. Starting the process of building your personal brand doesn’t involve years of research or anything that hasn’t been done before. As Dan’s book proves – there are models for making this stuff work. I remember spending a good amount of time watching and learning, and then emulating what others were doing. It was natural to copy what seemed to be working. But over time you branch out, do your own thing, experiment and your own personality, brand, value emerges.
  8. Your personal brand will (and should) evolve. Don’t think of your personal brand as a static item. It’s not a resume that you submit once and forget about; it’s a living, breathing thing. It changes and evolves, just as you do. That’s OK and expected.

Personal branding works. I’m a perfect use case for it. And certainly not the only one! But ultimately, I’m convinced that building a strong personal brand can absolutely help in career success (be it finding a new job, moving up within your organization, changing careers, etc.) and in many cases is a necessity.”

Read more: “The Importance of Personal Branding” – http://www.instigatorblog.com/personal-branding-important/2009/04/15/#ixzz0DxJbbzQW&A

VALUING AND APPRECIATING STAFF IN A RECESSION

In an earlier post on being a great boss in a recession we wrote about the need to give praise and recognition to staff.  Here is the quote.

“Don’t look for excuses to be disappointed – start looking for excuses to say well done!  Say thank you to your staff!  Even when you can’t give bonuses, personal recognition goes a long way in making people feel valued and motivated.”

York University (Ca) produce a super little toolkit which is at the link below. Its full of simple and imaginative ideas and almost entirely free ways to demonstrate how much you value your team.

Its even more worthwhile in a recession. A Gallup survey found those who received regular recognition and praise – increased their productivity, increased engagement, were more likely to stay, gained higher customer loyalty and had better safety records!

Here is just a sample from the toolkit on PRAISE

Personal

Who are you giving this too?

What are their interests?

Relevant

What are you recognizing/rewarding?

Is there some unique recognition opportunity?

Appreciated

What kind of recognition/reward does the individual (or group) value?  Ask them, how they are best motivated.  Some will prefer public praise and others in private.  Praise them for doing things they value – for using their strengths.

Go out of your way.

Informed

Know what happened and who should be recognized

Be timely! Reward staff as soon as possible after the desired behavior or achievement

Sincere

Only say what you mean

Communicate specifically the attitudes and behaviors that are being recognized

Nurture the relationship you have with others so that you genuinely care

Don’t fake it

Expressed

Be sure to express your appreciation even if it may appear obvious to you.

Here is the link

A_Guide_to_Appreciating_Recognizing_Staff.pdf (application/pdf Object).

BEING A GREAT BOSS IN A RECESSION – OVERCOMING PERFECTIONISM

In an earlier post on being a great boss in a recession we spoke about having ideals but not being idealistic – not being a perfectionist but expecting good quality!  Here is a useful article from About.Com which should help!

Overcoming Perfectionism: How To Develop a Healthier Outlook

Learn to Be Perfectly Imperfect!

By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., About.com

About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

Are You A Perfectionist? Perfectionism can rob you of your peace of mind, enjoyment of life, and self esteem. Though it’s a process that may take a little time, shedding the burden of perfectionism can greatly decrease the level of stress you feel on a daily basis. Here are some important steps you can take to maintain a healthier attitude:
Make a Cost-Benefit Analysis:

Take a closer look at your perfectionistic traits. You may think you’re more effective because of them (although according to research, this probably isn’t true), but at what cost? Perfectionism has many negative consequences, and you may be experiencing several of them right now. Make a list of all the ways perfectionism is hurting you (and those around you), and you’ll be more motivated to shed these tendencies.

Become Aware of Your Tendencies:

You may not realize how pervasive perfectionism can be. By becoming more aware of your patterns, you’re in a better position to alter them. If you’re able, it’s a great idea to record your perfectionistic thoughts as they pop into your head. If it’s impractical for you to jot thoughts down as they come, it’s a great idea to go over your day each night and remember the times when you felt you’d failed, or hadn’t done well enough, and write down what you thought at the time. This will help you become more aware of perfectionistic thoughts as they come to you in the future. (You can even journal about your feelings about these thoughts, but don’t feel you’ve ‘failed’ if you don’t have time to do this!)

See the Positive:

If you’re struggling with perfectionism, you probably have honed the skill of spotting mistakes in even the best works of others and of yourself. You may just naturally look for it, and notice it above all other things. While this habit may be difficult to just stop, you can soften your tendency to notice the bad by making a conscious effort to notice all that is good with your work and the achievements of others. If you notice something you don’t like about yourself or your work, for example, look for five other qualities that you do like. This will balance out your critical focus and become a positive new habit.

Alter Your Self-Talk:

Those who wrestle with perfectionism tend to have a critical voice in their head telling them their work isn’t good enough, they’re not trying hard enough, and they’re not good enough. If you’re going to overcome perfectionism, you need to work on changing this little voice! Negative self talk can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors and wreak havoc on your self esteem; by altering your self talk, you can go a long way toward enjoying life more and gaining an increased appreciation for yourself and your work. These tips can help.

Using Social Media as a Support Group

Going through change can you can feel very lonely.  Some people find support from friends and family – this is the ideal.  But for those who can’t social media can help.  The right kind of on line communities can provide a neutral space to share problems and that might be helpful for all of us.  This article – extract below provides some guidance on finding a group.

“It seems that now-a-days we can do most things online… clothes shopping, looking for Colleges, buying Holiday gifts, doing our banking… pretty much anything.

But there is something else we can do online….. something much more personal and sacred. We can even work on mending our inside pain and turmoil.

Before I get deeper into this topic I want to show why finding support groups online can make a lot of sense.

The Definition of a Support Group

Support Group – A support Group is a group of people who support each other over a problem they all share.

The Definition of an Online Community

Online Community – A group of people online who share a common interest.

Wow, both of those definitions sound very similar, don’t they?

An online community and support group are on the same type of idea. They have a common ground…. a common interest. And, the group builds from there. Because of this it makes sense that support groups would work online…. that they not only work, but they thrive.”

More at  Using Social Media as a Support Group | Collective Thoughts.

MORE ON THE CHANGE CYCLE FROM CHANGING MINDS

The positive change cycle

Disciplines > Change Management > The psychology of change

The positive change cycle

Uninformed optimism | Informed pessimism | Informed optimism | Completion | See also

Just as there is a negative cycle of emotions experienced when the change is not to the liking of the person in question, so also is there a positive cycle. Not all people experience change as a bad thing: some will benefit from the change, whilst others just find change in itself intriguing and exciting.

Uninformed optimism

In the first stage of positive change, the person is excited and intrigued by the change. They look forward to it with eager anticipation, building a very positive and often over-optimistic view, for example that it will be much easier for them and resolve all of their current issues.

And for a time after the change (sometimes sadly short), there is a ‘honeymoon period’, during which they are positively happy with the change.

Informed pessimism

The honeymoon period does not last forever and the rose-tinted glasses start to fade as the untidiness of reality starts to bite. The person finds that things have not all fallen into place, that other people have not magically become as cooperative as they expected, and that things are just not as easy as they had expected.

This pushes them over into a period of gloom when they realize that perfection, after all, is not that easy to attain. This may evidence itself in mutterings and grumblings, but still does not reach the depths of the depression stage of negative change perception (unless the person flips into a delayed negative cycle).

Informed optimism

Before long, however, their original optimism starts to reassert itself, now tinted by a resignation to the reality of the situation. After all, things are not that bad, and a positive sense of potential begins to creep back.

As they look around them and talk to other people, they make realistic plans and move forward with an informed sense of optimism.

Completion

Eventually, things reach a relatively steady platform of realistic and workable action. The person is probably happier than they were before the change started and, with their realistic vision, have the potential to reach giddier heights of happiness as they achieve more of their potential.

Link to Changing Minds http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/psychology_change/positive_change.htm

Change And The Grief Cycle (Kubler-Ross)

Change And The Grief Cycle (Kubler-Ross)

Here is an article from Changing Minds – link below

Background

For many years, people with terminal illnesses were an embarrassment for doctors. Someone who could not be cured was evidence of the doctors’ fallibility. And as a result the doctors regularly shunned the dying with the excuse that there was nothing more that could be done. There was, after all,  plenty of other demand on the doctors’ time.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was a doctor in Switzerland who railed against this unkindness. She spent a lot of time with dying people, both comforting and studying them. She wrote a book, called ‘On Death and Dying.’ This included a cycle of emotional states that is often referred to (but not exclusively called) the Grief Cycle.

In the ensuing years, it was noticed that this emotional cycle was not exclusive just to the terminally ill.  But it was also found in other people who were affected by bad news. They may have lost their job or otherwise been negatively affected by change. The important factor was not that the change was good or bad. It was that they perceived it as a significantly negative event.

The Grief Cycle

The Grief Cycle is shown the chart below, It indicates a the roller-coaster ride of activity and passivity as someone wriggles and turns in their desperate efforts to avoid the change.

grief cycle

The initial state before the cycle is received is stable, at least in terms of the subsequent reaction on hearing the bad news. Life before, compared with the ups and downs to come, feels stable.

And then, into the calm of this relative paradise, a bombshell bursts…

Sticking and cycling

Getting stuck

A common problem with the above cycle is that people get stuck in one phase. Thus a person may become stuck in denial, never moving on from the position of not accepting the inevitable future. When it happens, they still keep on denying it.  Such as the person who has lost their job still going into the city only to sit on a park bench all day.

Getting stuck in denial is common in ‘cool’ cultures (such as in Britain, particularly Southern England) where expressing anger is not acceptable. The person may feel that anger, but may then repress it, bottling it up inside.

Likewise, a person may be stuck in permanent anger (which is itself a form of flight from reality) or repeated bargaining. It is more difficult to get stuck in active states than in passivity, and getting stuck in depression is perhaps a more common ailment.

Going in cycles

Another trap is that when a person moves on to the next phase, they have not completed an earlier phase and so move backwards in cyclic loops that repeat previous emotion and actions. Thus, for example, a person that finds bargaining not to be working, may go back into anger or denial.

Cycling is itself a form of avoidance of the inevitable, and going backwards in time may seem to be a way of extending the time before the perceived bad thing happens.

See also

The positive change cycle, Coping Mechanisms, The need for control, Psychoanalysis and mourning

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying, Macmillan, NY, 1969

Changing Minds Website – link below

http://changingminds.org/index.htm

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

BRIDGING GLOBAL DIVIDES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Here is an inspirational story from Global Voices Online about just what social media can achieve in terms of helping to manage change.  More at the link below.

Nearly 15 years after a ceasefire agreement put the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh on hold, a lasting peace remains elusive and few citizens of either country have the opportunity to meet or communicate with the other. That might be all set to change, however, with DOTCOM, a project funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by Project Harmony.

Bringing together 90 American, Armenian and Azerbaijani teenagers aged 14-16, participants will use online tools such as blogs to “create socially conscious media that will impact communities across the U.S. and the Caucasus.” Global Voices Online briefly spoke to DOTCOM Program Director Elizabeth Metraux earlier today.

The hope for students in DOTCOM is that they’ll acquire the skills and confidence to engage in meaningful discourse about subjects that matter. Students have a lot to say about conflict and poverty and human rights and education. DOTCOM is designed to teach students how to use social media to inspire change on those critical issues.

Global Voices Online » Armenia-Azerbaijan: Young Bloggers Bridge Geopolitical Divides.