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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See Yourself Succeeding with a Dream Collage!

dream collage sampleCreate a Vision of Your Ideal Life

There's a new trend out in creating a vision board or dream collage.  I first wrote about them 20 years ago and I learned that they had been used for decades.  That's because they work!  Dream collages are powerful visual tools that truly help you make your dreams come true.

My first dream collage in 1989 had so many positive results that I was hooked.  Everything on that collage came true within 2 years, including me finding the love of my life, getting married and receiving high profile media coverage for my book.  The one shown here is of one of my students who went on to become an $18 Million dollar Avon woman. Dream collages are incredibly effective.

So get yourself some poster board, maybe wrap it in your favorite colored wrapping paper, get scissors, double sided tape or Spray mount, and magazines from your favorite hobbies, interests, or places you like to visit.

Here's what should be on your dream collage:

• key words and phrases that inspire you

• images of your ideal life, personally, financially, spiritually, professionally

• a picture of yourself right in the middle, and if you are married or have a family, include them in the picture

• images and words that inspire you

I've seen people put sparkles and glitter over their posterboard.  Do whatever you can to make it exciting and beautiful for you.  And only share it with people who will encourage and support you.

Put the collage somewhere you see it every day- like on your refrigerator or mirror.  Take a photo of it can keep it on your phone.  Look at it regularly. See yourself living your dreams.  That's the key- if you can see it, you can be it.  You deserve to live the life of your dreams!

For software that helps you create an audio-video multi-media collage in a very easy way, go here: http://ow.ly/bGqFT

Good luck. Now is the perfect time to get started!

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Stress-Free Relationships at Work

In today’s dog eat dog world, you will go farther faster by cultivating positive relationships at work. Use these tips to build rapport and create a better work environment.

Fired Up presenterThe Golden Rule
as a Way to Reduce Stress

I hear all too often about backstabbing, selfishness, and silhos at work.
And the truth is, none of us can get our jobs done alone. We all need others to help and life is so much more pleasant, effective and profitable when we place nicely with others. People will go the extra mile for those they feel care about them. They will work late and do overtime and jump through hoops if they believe you truly care.

How to Build Better Working Relationships

• Be kind. You have no idea what others are going through in their personal lives.

• Smile and sincerely ask others how they are.

• Share news which will impact others quickly. Come up with solutions to a mutual problem before you even tell them. Be empathetic.

Praise others specifically 92% of American workers say that when they finish a project, their boss says NOTHING! Don't be one of those managers. Thank your people and acknowledge what they have done.

• Do it in writing- thanking others with a written note card goes a long way.

• Share openly with others and invite them to do the same. You don't have to parade your personal problems, but show your vulnerability and authenticity. Be a real person and others will respond.

• Encourage laughter, not at anyone's expense. People are more effective in a safe, fun work environment. Part of how you create that is to make the job enjoyable. Good will goes a long way.

 

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©2015 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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No More Excuses

Overwhelmed man with too much work from Stress ExpressNot long ago, I met a gentleman who was downtrodden and beleaguered. He explained to me all the reasons his business was not doing well and declared that he was just no good at that Internet stuff.  He also went on to say he had avoided a certain market because he was afraid what they might do.  He had all the perfect excuses for why he couldn't succeed. I felt sorry for him and had compassion for him.  But ultimately, he made his own choices and he is now sitting in his discontent.

Excuses- we all make them and we all have them.  And ultimately, they mean nothing. NOTHING.  They are just rationalizations as to why we think we can't do something.

In this man's case, he could have taken courses to learn the Internet,  hired a college kid to do it for him, or used his own kids.  There are so many different ways he could overcome his fear of the Internet but instead, he just gave up.

Don't give up.  And NO MORE EXCUSES!

You can overcome almost any challenge.  Ask for help. Take courses. Check and see if your assumptions are true.  Network with others in your field and learn how they handle these issues.  Just don't sit around whining. Take action to overcome these challenges.

I once heard Christopher Reeves speak  after his debilitating accident.  He talked about control and how he had lost so much of it when he became paralyzed.  But then he realized the one area he could take control was how he treated his caregivers.

If someone like that can take control, take action and move forward, you can, too.

 

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©2014 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Are You Stuck in a Rut instead of Fired Up?

chargebkcoverHumans Need NEW to Keep Growing 

In his  book The Charge, Brendon Bouchard has some great suggestions about staying Fired Up!   The brain is hardwired for novelty and challenge and needs to be engaged to keep thriving.  Here are a few ways to incorporate new into your life and have a Fired Up! life, filled with motivation and fun:

90 day getaway - every 90 days go away and explore someplace you have not been, doing new activities. It does not have to be expensive- it just needs to be different.

Restaurant tour; explore dining establishments  you've never visited, try different kinds of food.  Exploring new places will keep you motivated

Spend time with new people - go to different networking or social events and broaden your circle.

Develop new skills - At home, my husband and I just installed a new glass tile backsplash in our kitchen.  It was challenging but fun, and we love the results.

To feel more Fired Up! about life, to keep growing and keep motivated, try doing new things.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Tune into the Vibration of Happiness to Boost Yours

laughing bk preschool girl

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to the song from Despicable Me 2 called Happy by Pharrell Williams. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM    It is almost impossible for me to listen to this song without dancing to it.  It brings up my mood and brings my focus right back to the present. And according to the Journal of Positive Psychology, it works for others, too.

What works for you?  In this article are a wide variety of researched-backed tips to help you be happy.  My favorites are go on  vacation, play with pets, and volunteer. Check out the full article below.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/boost-happiness_n_4532848.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/

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International Fired Up Month

October is International Fired Up Month!

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." - Walter Chrysler

International Fired Up month

Celebrated from Oct.1-31, this month focuses on motivation and enthusiasm in the workforce, where people learn what gets them Fired Up! and incorporate that into their lives.  The power of enthusiasm is critical to success and this month celebrates enthusiasm.  It is incredibly rare in the world. I created this month many years ago to focus on the good in our lives.

International Fired Up! month culminates with the 4th Sat. in October, International Make a Difference Day,  Oct. 22, 2016, created by USA Weekend. Annually, several million people participate. The power of volunteerism has long been proven to reduce stress and increase longevity. It also improves communication, gratitude and empathy.

Here's how to to host a Fired Up! week at work or at school or in your community. Employees, students or community members can:

share inspirational quotes, stories and videos

maintain a daily success list of all you accomplish- every action you take, every call you make, every thought you follow through on is a success

share inspirational music, movies, books or stories (like Dolphin Tale, the Butler, the Blind Side)

share about their dreams and goals and ask for help and support

form Fired Up! Inspiration Circles™ where they support each other's dreams and goals

track group and individual successes on a giant Fired Up! bulletin board/ victory wall.

Give special attention to it and make it a sincere effort.  Let others know you value them and encourage their positive attitude. This works especially well with salespeople- they love to see their great results posted. Employees and students who know they are valued as human beings are more loyal and productive.

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/

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Keep Your Employees with these Key Questions

Have you read this book? First, Break All the Rules, What the World's Great Managers Do Differently is a compilation of the findings of Gallup poll researchers who interviewed over 1 million employees, 80,000 managers and 400 companies.  The book makes several great points.

One is how to determine the strength of any workplace. Ask your employees these questions:

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12. This last year, have I had the opportunities at work to learn and grow?

 

These are the  core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees.  The first 6 questions are the most important fundamental questions that often get jumped over.  That is a critical mistake, because those 6 are foundational before any employee can even consider vision, mission, and growth.

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Your Favorite Activities Are Clues About Your Dreams

What Do You Do For Fun?

One of the best ways to learn about your dreams is to consider what you love doing. It’s amazing the kind of information you can discover about yourself when you take a few minutes to list your favorite activities and how often you do them . If you want to have some fun and learn more about yourself, take ten minutes now to do  complete the list called “My Favorite Activities.”

Make a list from 1-5 . On the left put down your favorite activities and on the right put down how long it's been since you did it, the cost of it.

Ex:
1. go to beach                          yesterday                 free
2. comedy club                       2 months                 $20
3. girlfriend time                   2 weeks                    free 

Most people discover that what they love to do is free, and can be scheduled at the last minute.  Good to know, hum?

People who are the happiest and most at peace in their lives regularly schedule what they enjoy doing. They spend more of their time being “Fired Up!” and that joy shines through all areas of their lives. They have acknowledged their goals and dreams and are doing whatever it takes to accomplish them.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

Are You Badmouthing Yourself?

Stop Judging and Criticizing Yourself

Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressOne of the most destructive habits so many of us have is judging ourselves when we make a mistake and badmouthing ourselves. It's been said we have between 40,000 and 50,000 thoughts a day and that 75-85% of those thoughts are negative.  Everyone has some kind of voice that tries to hold them back. Replace that voice with positive self-talk and take action anyway, no matter what the negative voice says. When you catch yourself berating yourself, say "Stop" or "Deflect" and replace it with a positive thought or statement about yourself.  Recall past successes, times when you felt valued and appreciated, were effective at work.  Focus on those good thoughts and drown out the old judgmental voices, whether yours or from your childhood.  You can overcome anything and be as successful as you choose.
 
" To discover your potential, reject the negative programming
all of us are exposed to.
"
Robert Schuller

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: http://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html