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It's Not Just Business, It's Personal!

From personal anecdotes, to business development case scenarios, and all the thoughts in between, Monica shares her insights into what brings success and happiness "when business meets personal."

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Posted by on in Personal Awareness

I opened my newspaper today and was immediately attracted to the sports page.  A local Westport, CT team had squeaked through to win a semi-final game in the Little League World Series.  They’ll play today for the U.S. final.  Chad Knight, AKA Mr. Clutch, not only an impressive pitcher, was also credited with starting a rally in the fifth inning when they were down 13-6 and with the game-winning RBI in the final inning.  His post-game comments say a lot about his maturity and calmness under fire.  “Going to the plate I was a little nervous, but I realized it was just like any other at-bat.  Just go up there and try to put the ball in play.”

The next sports article was about the New Haven Open tennis tournament.  The four-time defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, missed “a crucial shot” that “99 times out of 100 I would have hit,” and went on to lose quickly to Simona Halep.  Did she lose her confidence?  Was she reliving that shot for the rest of her time on the court?

We can all learn a lot from this 13-year-old boy and this professional athlete.  Our success is often determined by being present and calm in the moment.  If we let our emotions or our inner gremlins take hold we will surely not be at our best. 

After doing a little more research on Chad, I found out that he has been doing yoga since February!  Yoga for a 13-year-old boy, now that is progressive thinking!  To quote his dad, “(Yoga) has taught him breathing, taught him how to be focused, taught him to relax.” Said Chad: “I think it helps a lot. I can control myself.” I am reminded of the stories about Tiger Woods and what his dad used to do with him as a kid to help him develop a calm focus on the golf course.

I am now even more convinced that our inner thoughts can do more to help us excel or fail than anything else.  It’s a good thing I am just finishing up a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course filled with instructions on meditation, yoga, and being mindful!  If I channel my mind like Chad did, I’ll succeed for sure!  The winning strategy?  Be present, Be in the moment, Think positively!

 

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Strengths and Weaknesses.  We all have them.  To some extent they are in-born to your personality type but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.  I use the Peoplemap System to help identify clients’ strengths and weaknesses (AKA Achilles heels), and use it as a personal development platform for future growth.

I propose that our Achilles heels are often a result of the extreme of our strengths. Case in point: developing relationships is really important to me, and some of my strengths include being personal, compassionate, and encouraging of others. I enjoy giving praise, mentoring, and seeing others grow.  I like to build a personal relationship, even in professional settings.  To an extreme, I can be overly dependent on being accepted or praised by others- I’m too sensitive and can take things personally.

Another strength is being positive, some would call me a PollyAnna (a character in an old children’s movie who professed to find the good in everyone and everything). “You’re such a Pollyanna” can also be a criticism, because if I’m always looking at or for the good, maybe I’m not being critical enough or demanding better from myself and others.  I let myself and others off the hook too easily- also known as not being accountable (which is tough when you’ve got specific goals to reach).

Another cause for a weakness is to lack a certain skill, such as assertiveness, initiative, and persistence.  I used to be terrible at being assertive, speaking up for myself or others when I sensed that it could cause conflict.  I, like many people I know, avoid conflict.  As I said, I’ve gotten better at it. I sense the fear and do it anyway (usually!).  When have you wanted to say something but didn’t?  What repercussions has it had in your life?  My experience is that it usually prolongs the inevitable and causes pain or confusion rather than clarity and authentic communication.

I was giving a Peoplemap workshop in a small company that was owned and mostly run by women who had developed a culture of conflict avoidance at work.  (Some admitted to being like that at home too).  On the surface they all got along, but behind doors they judged and criticized how some staffers did things.  The owner was  a good leader in many ways, but even she avoided conflict.  The employees were able to give many examples of how avoiding conflict was doing harm to the company- inter-personally among the staff and with the clients.

How would you score yourself on the following 8 Core Competencies of Leadership* ? I’ve listed them as two ends of the same communication focus:

Assertiveness VS Active Listening

Constructive Feedback VS Praise, Recognition and Quality Time

Initiation VS Collaboration

Accountability VS Mentoring

Most people live at one end of the scale or the other.  The best leaders can incorporate all of these competencies.

If you’d like more information about the Peoplemap Leadership training, please contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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