Are Your People Rockstars or Superstars?

Radical Candor - Managing for a positive employee attitude

Managing to create positive employee attitudes

In her wonderful book Radical Candor, Kim Scott tells a story about building teams at Apple. As she was developing her people, Kim focused on those most likely to be promoted. A leader at Apple told her all teams need stability as well as growth to succeed.  Nothing works if everyone is trying to get promoted. The leader referred to the excellent positive employees she had who were on a more gradual, steady growth track as "rock stars" because they were stable like the Rock of Gibraltar.  These people loved their work and were happy with what they did. In contrast, those positive employees who were upwardly mobile, fast tracking, were called "superstars."  So everyone ended up being valued for their traits and was a star of sorts.

Cultivating a Team of All Star Positive Employees

Acknowledge specific achievements of rock stars as well as superstars.  In most companies, it's the superstars who get all the glory.  Even out the balance and give very specific public praise to both groups of positive employees.

Don't focus on promotions.  Focus on achievements and when someone does get promoted, be clear whether their job is changing and what the new responsibilities are.

Be transparent about your mistakes. Encourage others to be open about theirs.  It's much easier to fix a problem early on than later.

Spend 1-1 time with each employee and find out what their dreams, life experiences, and previous jobs have been.  You can learn a great deal.  Ask this key question: "What skills or talents do you have that are not being currently used here?

Give them autonomy with guidance. All humans crave autonomy.

Truly listen to your people.

Keep your agreements.  Be a walking example of integrity.

Don't ask for input unless you really want it.  Never accept the first answer- keep digging and you'll come up with gold.

Your people are the key to success in any organization.  Honor them for who they are and encourage them.  They will reward you with excellent work and great ideas.

"A workplace filled and driven by employees with positive attitudes vibrates continually to the tune of service excellence and passionate team success." Ty Howard

Snowden

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3 Out of the Box Ways to Boost Productivity

How's Your Productivity Right Now?

Would you like to get more done and generate excellent results?  Here are 3 ways to boost your productivity that you may not have considered.

  1.  The High Performance Research Group found after surveying millions that checking your email within the first hour you awake reduces your productivity by 30%.   Focus on your own priorities first thing. Family connections, spiritual connections, physical exercise and setting your own agenda for the day are paramount.  "Your inbox is an organization system of other peoples' agendas."  Brendon Burchard

Fire up your productivity2.  If you've heard me speak, you know I always recommend deep breathing as a  stress reliever and a way to get more oxygen into your body.  Most of us breathe shallowly and are not providing the fuel we need to get things done.  Brendon suggests you couple your deep breathing with movement.  So bounce while deep breathing 10 times several times a day- this gets your lymph glands flowing and deepens your oxygen intake- all of which helps you be more clear-minded.

3. Visualize your day as super-successful.  When you awaken, picture every person, meeting, and activity you plan that day.  Visualize that each connection as productive and meaningful, with positive outcomes for all concerned. See yourself as happy, energized and fulfilled.  Send positive energy to everyone you plan to connect with.  And then watch the outcomes.  This is powerful!

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Paul J. Meyer

Women and Overwhelm

Most of you know I am writing my 7th book. This one is on women and overwhelm and you can help. Your story may even be featured in the book. Just complete this survey (women only please)  that takes less than 5 minutes. And after completed, you can download  for free the report  "The Top 10 Unusual Stress Relievers”
Here’s the link : https://www.firedupnow.com/women-survey/ If you have any problems accessing the survey, go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/women-survey

 

You can be part of this new book designed to empower women everywhere and free them from the bondage of overwhelm!  And if you complete the survey and download the report, you could be entered to win a free coaching session with me- a $300 value!   Thanks so much for your help!

If you enjoyed this please share it with others. Sign up for tips on success, marketing, and stress reliefhttps://www.firedupnow.com/kindlings
Image from Brendon Burchard's new book
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Laughing Your Way Out of Stress

"Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors." Norman Cousins

Laughter and Laughing to relieve stress in a business meeting
At his recent birthday party, my husband was on painkillers for his back issues.  While playing a game similar to Charades, he moved in such slow motion that it totally tickled me.  I burst out laughing and had tears streaming down my face.  I laughed hard for a good 5 minutes and everyone around me laughed.  It released so much stress!  And there's a good reason for that.  Laughter is healing on so many levels. A study showed that one good belly laugh is worth 45 minutes of stress relief!

Laughter Reduces Pain

A new study by Clarkson University in  New York examined patients with the chronic pain condition Fibromyalgia.  Those who find humor in everyday situations are much more likely to have a positive state of mind and less pain.  The University of Maryland Medical Center shows that a good hearty laugh jogs your internal organs, gives your body a workout and reduces pressure.  Laughter also improves your immune system function by increasing
the level of infection-fighting T-cells.

How to Increase Your Laughter

• Listen to Comedy  Have a long commute?  Turn on satellite radio's comedy channels and laugh your way to work.  I did this in traffic for years and it made all the difference. Or pop in a CD from your favorite comic.
 Lighten Up We all have a tendency to take ourselves very seriously, and really, there is such much to laugh about.  Some situations are inherently funny and some can be viewed that way later.  As a wise man once said, "If it's going to be funny later. you might as well laugh about it now."
• Watch funny videos  There's a reason those animal videos are so entertaining- they make you laugh.  Funny movies can do the same thing.
• Encourage laughter in meetings  Start with a positive and then tell a funny story that is not offensive to anyone.  Laughter sets a tone and communicates subtly "We're going to have a good time here."  The healthiest organizations encourage laughter and stress relievers.  Promote that in your organization.
Try to consciously insert more laughter into your life.  I guarantee it will make you feel better.
Snowden

Celebrating Our Tribe

Mindy Baker imageMindy Barker of Mindy Barker & Associates does a fantastic job providing entrepreneurial business owners and non-profits with Fortune 500-level CFO services. A positive,  intelligent woman who loves to give back to her community, Mindy just celebrated her daughter's wedding!. A community leader and business advocate, Mindy serves companies nationally, but is based in Jacksonville, Fl.  Learn more at www.mindybarkerassociates.com.
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Are You Leading A Life Of Reaction Or Intention?

"Our intention creates our reality." Wayne Dyer

High Performance Habits by Brendon Bouchard

Leading a Life of Intention

Did you know the most successful people in the world have several repeatable, straightforward habits that most of us don't?  And they do them every day.
I had the pleasure of attending Brendon Burchard's four hour webinar Tuesday and wow was it powerful!  Took 16 pages of notes and have already implemented several of his key strategies.  I recommend his new book, shown here.
One tip I wanted to share with you today requires a bit of self-analysis.  Are you living a life of intention or of reaction?

Here's What  Happens

What I mean is perhaps you start your day at work with great intentions- to provide excellent service to your clients, to create more sales where you add value, to complete critical projects which advance your company's success. etc.  And then despite your best intentions, you end up spending your day reacting to others' needs.  Maybe your various direct reports interrupt you in the middle of concentrating on a major project.  Or your boss drags you into an impromptu meeting.  Or your child's school calls and tells you they're sick. All of which means you move from intention to reaction. You day has been hijacked, and you end up at the end of the day wondering what you accomplished.

Make Your Day More Meaningful

• Start your day with a written list of the outputs, the deliverable which are most important to accomplish that day.  These are your highest ROI activities.
• Set aside blocks of 90 minutes in your calendar when you won't be disturbed.  Let your staff know you are off line, off phone and unavailable until 90 minutes later.
• Turn off all distractions, beeps, emails, texts, social media and crank for 90 minutes.  Take massive action on one of those high leveraged deliverables.
• If you get interrupted, train the interrupter to save their questions and issues for one set time during the day- like before lunch.
• Use charts, measurements, tools to track your success on your big most important outputs.  Track your progress every day. Tracking is a major key to high performance consistently sustained.
• Keep learning. Read books, attend seminars, listen to podcasts. (Mine are hosted on podbean.com http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-itewf-b4deb)
You have infinite ability to thrive and succeed.  Set your intentions and live from them rather than reacting to everyone and everything else.  You are a winner!
Snowden

If you'd like to be featured in Kindlings and my social media, just refer someone to become a Kindlings subscriber.

Looking forward to promoting you!
Snowden
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Image from Brendon Burchard's new book
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Three Winning Sales Tools You Need

"Make a customer, not a sale." Katherine Barchetti

Sales is a Mind Game

Sales success - Listening handshakeWhen you go to make a sale, what's your mindset?  What are the words going through your head before you enter the building?  How's your attitude?

3 Winning Sales Keys

1. Mindset Adopt the attitude of optimistic neutrality.  Optimistic because you want the best for the client and yourself or company, and neutral because you can't be attached to the outcome.  Know that if it's the right product or service for the customer and you can share the benefits and success stories convincingly, the sale will happen.  And if it doesn't work, you're on to the next customer.  Just add value, help this person, and build a good relationship for the future.  They may not be ready today but in a few months, who knows?

Energy and Enthusiasm If you believe in the product or service you are selling sincerely, generate true enthusiasm about the value you are delivering.  Share stories of others who have loved the product or service. Show the results and any real data you have.  Real enthusiasm is rare and contagious.  Believe in what you are selling or no one else will.

• Add value always Whether you get the sale or not, always add value to the other person.  Educate them, share information they may not know, inspire or uplift them, help them solve a problem.  That problem may have nothing to do with what you are selling.  Just demonstrate that you care about them as a person.

A great book on selling is Go Givers Sell More by my friend Bob Burg.  It's all about the giving mindset and how that will build your sales through relationships.

Wishing you every success!

Snowden

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©2018 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

A few blog posts you may find of interest:

Get the Facts

https://firedupnow.com/dont-assume-ask/

Clear Communication

https://firedupnow.com/fire-up-your-communication-with-clarification/

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**6 Ways to Increase Your Happiness**

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
Oprah Winfrey

Today is the International Day of Happiness

stress-free professionalsToday, globally, people are paying attention to happiness: their happiness and the happiness of others. Whether they're doing random acts of kindness, sharing good news, laughing with others or celebrating life's little pleasures, people are consciously focusing on happiness today. Here's how you can, too, and be happier as a result.

6 Ways to Increase Your Happiness Today

Let go of the past.  It doesn't serve you to hold on to negative experiences, hatred, resentment, guilt or fear.  It's over.  Forgive yourself, forgive others (whether they know it or not) and move on.  The present is her today, the future is yet to be.  The past is done. Move on.

Find the good.  Actively look for good things happening around you.  In almost every situation, there is something good that can be found, even out of tragedy.  The sadness of the shootings in Florida led to young people all over America standing up and taking a stand for what they believe.  Their courage and determination is inspiring.  Whatever is happening, look for the good.

Sleep more and be less sensitive to negativity. According to a study by BPS Research Digest, fatigue contributes to sensitivity about negative emotions such as anger or fear. The more sleep you have, the more resilient and resistant you are to negativity coming your way.  Aim for at least 7 hours and grab a quick nap if you can.

Be with people who make you happy.  Sounds obvious, but how much time do you spend around whiners, complainers and critics?  Walk away from the "ain't it awful crew" and look for someone smiling, who makes you feel good about yourself.  If you need to, start collecting a new group of friends.

Do small acts of kindness for others.  It's really simple.  Pay for someone's toll or parking meter. Buy the person's coffee behind you.  Hold the door open and smile. Say a genuine hello to strangers.  Look a homeless person in the eye and smile when you give them food or money.  Sociologist Martin Seligman says, 'We scientists have found the doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested."

Be kind to yourself. A 2017 study published in Health Psychology Open showed people who with greater self-compassion  handle stress better.  They don't have as much of a physical stress reaction to negative happenings, like arguments or traffic,  and they release whatever stress they do have more quickly.  So when you make mistakes, be gentle with yourself.  Say nice things to yourself, forgive yourself, stop expecting perfection, and your day will be much smoother.

Your happiness is contagious and it impacts others.  Use International Day of Happiness as an excuse to shine your light brighter and see what a difference you can make.

Wishing you joy,

Snowden

 

A few blog posts you may find of interest:

Add New to Your Life
https://firedupnow.com/add-new-to-your-life/
Stop Judging Yourself
https://firedupnow.com/are-you-badmouthing-yourself/

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with others. Sign up for tips on success, marketing, and stress relief. https://www.firedupnow.com/kindlings

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Work Smarter, not Harder and Reduce Stress

Life is about timing. " Carl Lewis

In his new book, When, Daniel Pink shares the results of analyzing nearly 700 studies in a variety of areas on timing, and the most effective timing to get things accomplished.  Our cognitive abilities change throughout the day, and impact our decision-making, our relationships, our receptivity to others and to new ideas.
What's the Best Timing for You?
By examining the research, Pink has come up with three basis types of people and their ideal timing.
Larks are early to bed and early to rise.
Owls are the opposite. They stay up late and sleep late.
Third Birds are somewhere inbetween.
Why does this matter?  Because most of us have peaks, troughs, and recovery.  I have experienced this myself, as I now perform best in the morning, tend to crash between 2-4, and then revive around 5-7.   (It's interesting to note that this has changed as I have aged.  I started my career as a night owl and wrote my first book between 10-2 pm.) The blessing of being an entrepreneur is I can schedule my day to take advantage of peak times and take breaks with walks, etc. in my trough time.
Why Does This Matter?
The research shows that you tend to make better decisions and be more receptive to others in your peak time.  You make wiser financial analyses and take better action steps during that time.  Your outlook is more positive and your energy and enthusiasm, (which are key to sales success) thrive during your peak.  Tackle your biggest challenges and most difficult talks during peak times, and take a break during your troughs. If you're in sales, approach prospects in the morning.  You will have a greater likelihood of success.

Most people have a clear idea of how they perform.  But if you're not, buy Pink's book.  He also has a test on line for you to clearly define your style. It's at http://www.danpink.com/MCTQ

Plan your time according to your natural body rhythms and you can create more success in every area of your life. Happy tracking!
Snowden
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with others. Sign up for tips on success, productivity, and stress relief. https://www.firedupnow.com/kindlings
©2018, Snowden McFall,
All Rights Reserved You may reprint with full credit and permission.
email: orders@firedupnow.com
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Stress: What’s It Costing You?

Stress is Costing American Business Big Dollars and Costing You Your Mental Health

According to a recent study done by Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) stress now costs industry $500 billion annually in sick days, lost productivity, absenteeism and turnover.  One third of study respondents miss 2-30 days a month because of a stressful work environment.  As many as 10% of US employees miss work several days a month due to stress.  80- 90% of all doctors' visits are stress-related.

For you personally, stress may be costing you in these ways:The cost of stress
illness and body aches and pains
lost sleep, which is dangerous to your health
declined performance when others around you may be difficult to work with
eating the wrong foods
smoking, drinking or other less than healthy habits
less patience and more frustration
less energy to do the things you want to do
• lowered overall well-being

6 Ways to Reduce Stress Right Now

1. Whatever you're doing, get up out of your seat.  Sitting too long is a major health hazard. Walk around.  Drink a glass of water. Most of us (80% of North Americans) are dehydrated, which reduces your energy and can cause back pain and headaches.

2.  Close your eyes. Take three deep belly breaths.  Picture a beautiful peaceful place and see yourself there.  Spend a few minutes imaging it.  Use this as reference point in stressful situations.

3. Ask yourself, "What would be fun for me this week?"  What are some of your favorite activities or hobbies? Pick one and schedule it in for sometime this week and don't cancel it for any reason.  Doing more of what you love makes you happier.

4. Take a break from your devices tonight.  No email, no surfing the net, no comparing yourself to others on social media.  Let your mind have some technology-free down time.  It's amazing what creative ideas come to you when you stop all the distractions.

5. Spend time with someone that brings you joy.  An hour, an evening, a weekend.  The more joy you can bring into your life, the happier you will be. Laugh together and your stress levels will go way down.

6. Ask yourself, "Who can I help this week?" And then do it.  Kindness benefits the giver as much, if not more, than the recipient.

You can manage your stress and avoid being one of the statistics above.  It's all about choices and priorities.  Take care of yourself first and focus on joy and laughter.

Wishing you peace-

Snowden

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Kindlings: How to Deliver Bad News

A common issue I have encountered working with hundreds of speaking and training clients all over the US is failure to deliver bad news in a timely manner.

Most people don't deliver bad news because they are afraid of the reaction.  They know the co-worker, employer or customer will be unhappy, maybe even angry. And yet all of those reactions are so much worse the longer you delay.  There are keys to delivering bad news quickly in a way that's designed to minimize fallout and prevent big reactions.

What to Do:

• Prepare  Do your homework. Get as much information as you can. Get all the facts and have solutions to the issue already in mind.

• In person and timely  If at all possible, go and deliver the news in person and do it immediately.  Never deliver bad news in snail mail or email. It's cowardly.

• Be direct, clear and honest  Tell them exactly what's happening, why and what you can do about it.

Demonstrate Empathy and Compassion  Acknowledge that this is upsetting to them.  Truly listen and say things like, "I understand."

Show them a way out- a positive solution. Spend most of the conversation on the solution and how this will help them.  If you don't have one, brainstorm with them about possible ways to resolve the issue.

• Key words to avoid and to say instead (from Kristin Robertson, KR Consulting)

AVOID THESE                                 SAY INSTEAD

“ You should”                         “We can do this together- let me show you”

“ You can’t”                            “One alternative for you would be”

“ I can’t”                                 “Here’s what I CAN do for you”

“ No”                                      “I’m sorry- that’s not possible because”

Always reference what’s in it for them.

Listen fully and correct any misunderstandings.  Get your information and promises correct and keep them to the letter.

Ask for their continued support and willingness to work with you. Express your sincere desire to have an ongoing positive relationship and ask them to give you the chance to make it right.

All of us face challenges and problems in our businesses, and we all have bad news to give at some time.  The way you do it makes all the difference in the outcome.

 

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Reduce Holiday Stress by Setting Boundaries

Set Boundaries to Cut Down on Stress this Season

Stress Express; Family FightingThere's no question that the holidays can bring out the best and the worst in people, particularly families.  There's so much pressure to decorate, get the right gifts, prepare for visitors, cook and clean and handle excited children, all on top of work.

So how do you reduce holiday stress?  Set boundaries and say no more often.

• if you're hosting an event at your home, ask those coming to bring a dish or a beverage.  Be specific and clear about what you want.  Don't try to do it all.

Limit sugar intake yourself and for your children.  Sugar just adds another layer of craziness to the stress.

Say no when asked to attend an extra event or make a batch of cookies.  Take care of yourself first.

Ask for help- from your partner, your children, etc.  Ask them to help decorate, clean up, do the laundry, etc. at this busy time of year.

Avoid familial conflict.  If two family members always fight during festivities, speak to them in advance and ask them to avoid each other or be kind.  Tell them if they can't, then they are not welcome in your home.  If they start trouble, they will be asked to leave.  Make it clear your home is a "no fighting" zone.

The holidays can be joyful and meaningful times to celebrate faith, love and hope.  Take care of yourself and reduce your holiday stress by setting boundaries that support you and your peace of mind.

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