Monthly Archives: June 2020

Transformative leaders

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Transformative leaders can be everyday heroes–ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things. These leaders display seven key mindsets of success: high aspirations, courage, resilience, positive, accountability, collaborative, and growth.

HIGH ASPIRATIONS: DARE TO DREAM

Having high aspirations means daring to dream and to create the future. It involves transforming and disrupting–that is, not just trying to make things better but making them different. To make a difference, leaders must be unreasonable in pursuing goals, yet reasonable and flexible about the means to achieve them.

There are three major obstacles to having high aspirations:

For the best leaders,

1. Living in a comfort zone of high standards without learning and growing. high aspirations are

  • Focusing on achievement in current roles rather than preparing for next at the heart of how roles. they think.
  • Falling back to lower standards and aspirations over time. To overcome these obstacles and attain and sustain high aspirations, leaders should imagine the perfect future; seize opportunities that are presented every day; work in a culture that is running, not walking; act as a partner, not a follower, of powerful people; and know what they want and work to achieve it.

COURAGE: DARE TO ACT

Courage is required to take the risks that separate great leaders from others. There are three main types of risks:

  1. Rational risk is the risk undertaken in such projects as drilling for oil or financing motion pictures. Dealing with rational risk is a basic management routine; it does not separate great leaders from the rest.
  2. Ambiguity, or risk of the unknown, is disliked by most companies. It is seen as risk by managers but as opportunity by leaders and entrepreneurs.
  3. Personal risk, the fear of failure and ridicule, can be the most daunting but is accepted by the best leaders.

Leaders can build their courage mindsets by making the unknown familiar and routine; by believing in a mission where a greater commitment will match a greater cause; by creating a bigger fear, which causes the fear of inaction to become greater than the risk of action; by focusing first and foremost on outcomes and benefits, and then developing plans to mitigate the risks; by finding support and sharing the burden; and by managing fear through recognizing it and visualizing the benefits of success.

COVID-19 LOCKDOWN…….Yet the positivity prevailed!

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1Having done some professional writing / blogging / research in our individual capacities, we as authors (http://prismphilosophy.com/our-team/) thought we could anticipate what it took to structure, plan, and align our thoughts in the form of a sequential array of topics. However, what we could not anticipate was the challenge the Covid-19 lockdown would throw onto us. The announcement of ‘staying-in’, ‘no movement’, coming to terms with the hard-hitting reality that while we were at a stage requiring working together uninterrupted for hours & days, we could not even for now, possibly meet. But as Michael Jordan said – “If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

What seemed an obstacle, however, reshaped into resolve as we took on the  Herculean task of a true ‘work from home’ on our book, working in pace, while at our own place with series of  calls, zoom calls, google meets & skype sessions, spaced in-between by running tasks around the house devoid of any help. The true picture of the work-life balance emerging as we juggled to and fro from ‘Kitchen to Laptop’ & from things around the house to chapters around the book.

Multiple mornings of, ‘not possible’ saw by the end of the day, ‘Yes! we can’, and emerged, ‘The Fundamentals of Research’ as you see it today. ( the article is an excerpt from Book)

The belief “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent van Gogh

Presenting our first book & many more to follow!!

-The ‘socially distanced’ authors!

1 to 1 meeting do’s & don’ts

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Excerpt cum article from training industry magazine ….we offer six dos and don’ts to help you reframe your approach to meetings with colleagues. While we share them with one-on-ones in mind, the lessons can apply to any meeting.

DO: Start with the person. DON’T: Start with the task.

Sure, you have important business to cover in this meeting. But that business is not more important than the person standing in front of you. Take time to ask how they’re doing, how their kids are or if they caught the game last night.

Starting with task communicates, “You’re just here for the work.” Starting with the person communicates, “You’re here because you are valued.”

DO: Set an agenda. DON’T: Wing it.

If you don’t have a clear agenda for a meeting, don’t have a meeting.

Having an agenda communicates that your time and your colleague’s time is important, so you want to focus. Winging it communicates that you view the other person’s time and work as unimportant.

DO: Lead through questions. DON’T: Lead through commands.

Telling people what to do is old-school. Research shows the best teams ask five times more questions than their lower-performing counterparts.

Questions put information on the table and invite the opinions of the other person, which means you draw out his or her leadership capacity and best insights. Leading through commands communicates, “It’s my way or the highway, and your opinions aren’t welcome.” Leading through questions recognizes that everyone has a contribution to make.

Ask questions that invite people to reflect on strengths, formulate their vision for the future and determine the best strategies to reach that vision.

DO: Focus on the future. DON’T: Focus on mistakes in the past.

Sometimes, your one-on-one conversations require helping to develop the other person. When that’s the case, choose language that focuses on future possibilities rather than mistakes they’ve made.

Imagine that one of your direct reports received poor reviews from a recent training. Instead of confronting him with, “The reviews were terrible,” which communicates an irreparable mistake, try saying, “In your next training session, I want you to focus on creating more opportunities for interaction with the participants. Will you share your plan for doing that?” Communicating in this way helps defeat defensiveness and creates a shared understanding that you anticipate growth. This forward-looking focus is a fundamental part of giving feedback overall.

DO: Listen, absorb ideas and respond. DON’T: Hear, ignore and move on.

Listening and responding communicates that you value ideas and that it’s safe to communicate concerns. Ignoring and moving on communicates that divergent opinions will be squashed.

When you have an environment where others feel it’s safe to share their ideas, you have psychological safety. Google research found that the sales teams with the highest levels of psychological safety overshot their targets by 17%, while teams with low psychological safety missed their goals by 19%.

DO: Close with clarity. DON’T: Quit in confusion.

How often have you walked out of a meeting only to realize that a lot had been discussed, but few decisions had been made. Who was supposed to do what, by when?

Quitting in confusion ensures you’ll have to have another meeting to straighten it all out later. Closing with clarity communicates that you were productive and that everyone knows who is responsible for the next steps in the process.

How You Can Use This Information

Whether you’re the chief learning officer, the CEO or a trainer, these tips can help you accomplish more in your one-on-ones. Start by doing the following:

  • Think through your last five meetings with a colleague. Can you check the boxes beside all six dos? If not, how will you fix your meetings in the future?
  • When you see an executive who excels at one of the dos, acknowledge it as a best practice.
  • Incorporate these tips into your training, especially with new managers or leaders trying to grow their emotional intelligence and improve their productivity. Create a shared language by using these terms.

Be a Coach

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HONING THE CRAFT

Coachability: How to Reach Goals Faster and Better

One of the quickest and most effective ways for a middle manager to make an impact on the organization is through coaching; unfortunately, it is an often underutilized tool. Coaching is different from advising, preaching, counseling, and persuading because the last four are all done from the viewpoint of and for the person offering it. Coaching is the opposite. A coach’s focus is on the recipient’s goals and possibilities. High-impact middle managers have a genuine interest in knowing how to help employees be successful, and they themselves are also coachable individuals who are receptive to change and always ready to improve.

Managers who are highly coachable:

* are not defensive when challenged or offered an alternative view.

* welcome feedback and ideas for improvement.

* ask for coaching.

* consider and use ideas offered by others.

* seek training and development in the form of reading, classes, new assignments, and coaching from others.

* have a good sense of their strengths and weaknesses.

* handle failures and setbacks with grace.

Managers who are uncoachable, on the other hand:

* do not listen to ideas offered by others.

* staunchly defend current ideas and approaches.

* believe they must do things on their own and that asking for input is a sign of weaknesses.

* appear to be unreceptive or not interested in coaching.

* do not engage in conversations about development with their manager. In addition, they view suggestions that they should develop new skills as a criticism.

* can be dismissive of others.

Techniques for Improving Coachability

Middle Managers who need to improve their coachability should keep the following in mind:

* Coachability starts with a mindset. When managers realize they are being uncoachable, they should pause, take a deep breath, and decide to let go of the feelings or resistance and be more open.

* Ask more open-ended questions to glean more information about projects and processes.

* Ask follow-up questions to understand ideas and suggestions fully.

* Take the initiative to ask for input on one problem, idea, or topic each day.

* Resist the urge to defend themselves or argue why an idea will not work. They should focus on the desired outcome, not being right.

* Schedule brainstorming and problem-solving meetings during the time of day or week that they are most coachable.

Using Coachability to Attract a Breakthrough

Some middle managers are like sponges, happily soaking in new information. More often than not, however, preconceived notions, fears, and the ego shut out the opportunities for change that these managers seek. Those who are eager to attract a breakthrough might want to try the following practices.

* Let peers, managers, and employees know about the most important or interesting topics or challenges that you are working on.

* Call a meeting to brainstorm new ideas and novel suggestions.

* Seek nontraditional avenues of information and ideas.

* Do not be shy. Call or email thinkers and researchers in the field and ask for their perspectives.

* Focus on defending the ideal desired outcome and asking questions about what conditions are needed to support this outcome.

* Take (and be fully engaged in) a course on the subject.

* Make a request that you would normally consider unreasonable. It does not hurt to ask, and it may even work. Most middle managers are so conservative about what they ask that their unreasonable requests are not likely to be that unreasonable.

* Adopt a “this shall be” mindset. There seems to be some legitimacy to the idea of the self-fulfilling prophecy, so managers might as well have this phenomenon work in their favor.

* If important enough, ask an outside facilitator to lead a group of people through a work session to brainstorm ideas, approaches, barriers, and desired outcomes.

* Benchmark other admired and respected companies that perform this particular task or process extremely well.