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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Energy Drains Create Stress; Try This Instead

Stressed woman pulling her hair
Are you out of energy and stressed?

All of us are subject to various energy drains from time to time. Review the list below to determine which eare sapping your vitality and positive outlook. The good news is you can change your behavior and your actions to support yourself and your energy.

Negative people. You are the result of the 5 people you spend the most time with. They impact your energy levels. Avoid complainers, Debbie Downers and bad news mongers.

Incompletions. Projects you have left 1/2 finished, books half read, newspapers and magazines opened but not finished. All of those are sapping your energy. Here's what to do about it: http://firedupnow.com/could-your-incompletions-be-stressing-you-out/

Lack of sleep. You need 7 hours a night or you are at a cognitive disadvantage.

Sugar Check the research out yourself- sugar is terrible for you and contributes to cancer, diabetes, weight gain and so much more. That candy bar you eat at 2:00 will crash you at 3:00. Avoid it and boost your energy.

Dehydration- 40% of North Americans are dehydrated. Drink 10-12 glasses
of pure water a day, more if you drink soda, coffee or tea. A 5% drop in hydration means a 25% drop in energy.

Sitting and lethargy Many people are now sitting for over 9 hours a day.
(Which is why I am writing this from my stand up desk!) Get up every hour and move around, Get exercise every day. Walk frequently, take the stairs.
For more on sitting, go here: http://firedupnow.com/why-sitting-is-so-bad-for-you/

You make the choices as to who to spend time with, what to put in your body and how much to move. You can be energetic and Fired Up! starting now.

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©2016, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Stressed? Get More Sleep

You can learn how to sleep better by takinga few simple actions.

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep.
~E. Joseph Cossman

Sleeping Well Can be a Puzzle

Exhausted woman from Stress Express!That you can put together. Most of us are sleep deprived, which can lead to all sorts of dangers to your health and the health of others (when you drive tired.)

The World Health Organization says less than 7 hours a night may cause cancer and you are likely to carry an extra 20 pounds of weight. With less than 7 hours, you are functioning at a cognitive disadvantage and are 3x more likely to get a cold or flu. Neurobiology of Aging says those who get less than 6 hours of sleep are 4 times more likely to have a stroke. Check out these practical tips to sleep well tonight!

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Turn off all computers, cellphones and screens an hour before bed. Stop looking at them. The blue light from these devices interferes with your body's ability to relax and keeps you hyper. Be sure your alarm clock is red light. Lower the temperature in the room and make sure it is cool and dark.

No electronics in your bedroom. Your bedroom is for sleeping and making love. That's it.

Get ready for bed an hour before you go to sleep. Actually get in bed 30 minutes before you want to sleep and read something uplifting on paper. (Not an electronic reader.) Reading helps relax you.

Take a hot bath with epsom salts before bed. Or get your legs wet up to your knees in warm water.

Try all natural sleep remedies at health food stores. Check with your doctor. I have used these successfully at different times- most are herbs: passion flower, valerian root, holy basil, L'theanine, calcium, magnesium, etc.

Exercise is a great sleep inducer, if you do it several hours before bedtime.

Sleep better and perform better in every area of your life!

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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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Here’s an Instant Stress Reliever

meditation as stress reliever from Stress ExpressStress is occurring at an alarming rate, and with our 24/7 world. more and more people are experiencing stress, anxiety, overwhelm and depression.  So what can you do, right now?

The Astonishing Power of Breath

Try this. Hold your breath for as long as you can- until it almost hurts to let it out. Unless you are a professional athlete or extreme yogi, you probably couldn't hold it for long. Without breath, the body, mind and spirit cannot function.

And yet we all forget what an incredible resource this is. Breath literally keeps us alive, fuels our interactions and enables us to function. Without it, we are severally hampered. Having had pneumonia a few years ago, I learned quickly how very debilitating lack of breath can be. We all take it for granted.

The Instant Stress Reliever: Breath

Breathe deeply at least 3 times. Put your hands on your lower belly, fill it up all the way and let it out...slowly. Do this several times to regain control and calm your system. Notice how you feel.

Use breath to monitor emotions. We are not our feelings and when our emotions take over, we are not our best selves. When experiencing anger, upset, frustration, fear, stop and breathe deeply. Visualize a positive scene in nature, perhaps mountains or beaches. Focus on that. Let go.

• Learn how to meditate. Meditation is a powerful healing agent; it:
-lowers blood pressure; increases circulation
- improves immune function and memory
-shortens hospital stays
-decreases insomnia
- helps relieve stress, ADHD
-helps reverse heart disease

There are many different ways to meditate. Here's one:

Start with the deep breathing above and focus on the breath. If thoughts come up, observe them, let them drift by like leaves in the wind. Picture a beautiful nature scene in a forest, visualize a waterfall. Imagine you are standing in the gentle waterfall and let all your worries and fears wash away. Practice this over and over until you can meditate for at least 10 minutes. It can make a huge difference in your well-being.

You can control your stress rather than having it control you.  Try deep breathing as a solution.  It's fast, easy and free!

 

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©2015, 2018  Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Women are More Stressed Than Men

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-business-woman-cubicle-overworked-stressed-image5934154According to American Psychological Association’s  Work and Well-Being Survey,women are more stressed than ever.

• 37% of women feel stressed at work, versus 33% of men.
• Only 48% of women feel work is an equal playing field for both genders, while 54% of men do.
• Only 43% of women feel they are paid enough, compared to 48% of men.
• Only 35% of women feel they have the chance to move up, versus 43% of men.
•To manage their stress, 34% of women say they have enough resources to do so versus 38% of men.
Women are under greater pressure in part because they are responsible for an increased share of their households’ earnings and because they are still trying to juggle more of the home workload.


How to Reduce Your Stress:

Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.   Any less and the World Health Organization labels it a carcinogen. You carry an extra 20 pounds of weight and are 3 times more likely to catch a cold or flu.

Drink water- lots of it.  80% of North Americans are dehydrated, and that leads to overeating, high blood pressure, and sleep disturbance.

Exercise in a fun way, preferably with a buddy- at least 4 times a week. All it takes is 15 minutes.  Exercise is good for you on so many levels, especially as a stress reliever.

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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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The Why Do It List- TIme Management Tool

Exhausted woman on files
THis woman needs a nap!

What are your true priorities?

Most of us are overwhelmed at work every day with "To Do" lists that never end.  Mike Vardy, author and blogger, says to approach your list differently.
 
He says make a list of the top things you need to do this week, including workfamily, personal, etc. with the answers to the question "Why do it" after each. Knowing the WHY instantly clarifies what has greatest value in your life. Then schedule your week. 
 
All too often, we let the real priorities in our lives, people, loved ones, exercise, fun, slide under the overwhelm of work.  And then we end up unhappy and unhealthy and resentful.  Once you know why you want to do something, you can prioritize what is most important and be sure your to do list is meaningful for you.

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

©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

New Study Shows Workers are More Stressed than Ever

92% of  US Workers are Stressed
 
Stressed out Woman from Fired Up! and Stress ExpressA new study from ComPsych Corp shows employee stress has escalated:

• 60% of all workers have high stress, while 32% have manageable levels of stress.  Only 5% say they have low stress levels

• Causes of stress: 40% of workers blame workload and 34% blame it on who they have to work with
 
•   36 % lose an hour or more productivity due to stress daily &  40+ % waste nearly 30 minutes of work daily because of stress
 
• Absenteeism- 30% of worker miss between 3-6 days of work annually because of stress

Ways to beat stress:
 
• practice deep breathing 2-3 times a day- deep belly breaths
• sleep for at least 7 hours a night to extend your life, reduce stress & improve health
• exercise at least 15 minutes a day doing something- walking, yoga, dance, basketball
• stay away from negative co-workers
 


 

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

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Eat Walnuts and Eggs to Prevent Depression

Stop Depression Naturally Through The Right Foods

Walnuts from Stress ExpressThe World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be second only to heart disease as a worldwide health issue. 38% of women who experience depression have low folic acid. Eggs “contain the highest-quality food protein known to mankind....egg protein is often the standard by which all other proteins are judged,” says dietitian Carolyn Snyder of the Cleveland Clinic.

Harvard Science Review published a study by McClean Behavioral Genetics Laboratory citing that walnuts are powerful antidepressants. (Molasses and beets also work.)  So increase your intake of both eggs and walnuts to boost your mood and improve your stress. (Always consult your doctor first.)

 

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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

 

Two Things That Shorten Your Life

Stop Sitting So Much & Cut Down on TV 

 According to an article in US Today, if you spent less than 3 hours a day sitting, it would add 2 years to your life.  And if you reduced your TV watching to less than to 2 hours a day, you could add another 1.4 years to your life.  Sitting is linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  About half of the US reports sitting for 6 or more hours a day and 65% spend more than 2 hours a day watching TV.

 

New research presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research Conference reported that sedentary behavior is linked to breast and colon cancer.  Being sedentary (sitting) for long periods of time without moving increases inflammation (a leading cause of disease.)

The solution: set a timer for every hour.  Get up, move, walk around, look at nature, drink 8 ounces of clean water and connect with another human being. It could make a huge difference to your health.

 

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

Stress Tip: Ask for What You Want

At Work, At Home, Made Your Needs Clear

Exhausted woman from Stress Express!So many times, we get upset because someone did not do what we wanted how we wanted it, and we did not get our needs met. The easiest way to overcome this is to be crystal clear about what you want and ask for it. Most people are grateful to have clarity and to know how to help and support you.  They want to participate in your life but may not know how.

I have found at home that my wonderful husband cannot read my mind. So I ask, "The garbage is really smelly- could you please take it out now?"  He responds very well to requests. (Rather than complaints- most of us are like that.)

When you are swamped at work, at the end of your rope and so stressed, you are snapping at others, ask for help.  Try a  request like " This week is going to be difficult for me because I am overwhelmed with the new regulations. Could you please help me by following up on the___ project?  I don't want to slow down our progress.  Thanks so much for your assistance with this."  Others will be happy to help when you clue them in.

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