Traci Talk – Just be better than yesterday!

In this day and age, society is about being better than the person next to you.  Whether it is your co-worker, neighbor, friend, or even a family member, we want to one up our “competition.”  Everything from what we wear, what kind of car we drive, the value of our house, how we look and even the rankings of our job classifies us.  Yet, no matter how big our house is, how expensive the car we drive is, or how much money we spend on our appearance it does not change how we feel on the inside!  We can have every luxurious thing in the world and still lack that confidence that helps us to strive to be a better person.

No matter how we look to others on the outside, it’s how we feel on the inside that truly reflects and determines our confidence and strength.  To achieve inner confidence and strength, one must grow through experience and learn from that journey.  We’ve all heard the term “what life throws at us only makes us stronger”.   And we’ve all experienced at times that feeling where life’s lessons are just too much to handle.  When we look back at everything that we’ve been through and are honest with ourselves, we will find that we are indeed stronger and more comfortable within ourselves. This is inner growth, making ourselves stronger for the next time life throws us curve balls. It also helps us grow from the person we were the day before to the person we strive to be.

After a person has found their inner confidence, those around will perceive them as having it all, even if they don’t!  This alone makes one a threat to their “competition.”   But in reality the confident person is of no threat to anyone.  The confident individual is more focused on the growth and development of themselves than their so called competition.   Sure in today’s world there is competition at every turn.  From the very youngest of children in school to the eldest of commanders in charge, it’s all about what you focus on and what you decide to spend your valuable time and energy on.  I prefer to spend that extra time on the improvement of myself.

Take a collection of your efforts daily; every effort big and small counts!  Keep score and hold yourself accountable.  Rate your daily efforts throughout the day for a whole week with the ultimate goal of improving your focus on bettering yourself rather than that of jealousy and competitiveness.    Break your day into four sections, morning, afternoon, early evening and late evening.  Rate your efforts on a scale of 1 to 5 – five being your best effort towards self improvement and becoming better than the person you were yesterday.

Be accepting of your challenges and learn to embrace your accomplishments.  Reward yourself daily for your efforts in becoming a better you.  You are already worthy and deserving of a wonderful and rewarding life, now it’s just time to own it!  That’s right.  Own it! Walk tall and speak proud!  It’s your life, and your choice to be the best you can be!

 

 

Traci Talk: The Puzzle of Life

Ever feel like your life is a puzzle? How do you manage it all? From maintaining a business or career life, running a household, keeping up with your social group, to taking care of your own personal needs and all the curve balls life throws at you in between.  Sometime the pieces just don’t always fit so well.

When the pieces of your puzzle of life don’t fit together, we tend to slack in some areas and excel in others. Let’s be honest, the more pieces to the puzzle of life, the easier it is to get distracted. These distractions usually turn into temptation, and our priorities become misaligned.  Of course life should be about exploring new opportunities and allowing for new talents and interest to come to life but when our puzzle is complete how do we fit more in?  And where?

Let’s paint a picture; it is a Sunday night, and one of your closest friends is having a spur of the moment birthday party. You spent all weekend relaxing from your long work week, and made a clear decision to not attend to any household chores as well.  You have also conveniently pushed out of your mind preparing for the ever so important staff meeting to be conducted bright and early on Monday morning.  Maybe your thoughts were that of preparing bright and early before your presentation.

So now it’s Monday and you have a meeting with clients who are interested in the product you are selling.  Instead of staying home to review for your meeting, you decided to go out on the town for your friend’s birthday bash and decided to “wing” your meeting.  Come Monday morning, you wake up with a hangover, forgot the kids need lunches made so you cut you’re “getting ready” time for “lunch making” time, show up to work late, and look like a hot mess.

 

Needless to say, the client decided not to make a purchase after you’re sloppy and un- prepared presentation.  This event leaves you thinking “did I make the right choice?” and “How do I do it all?”

Caving to the temptations is easy, but in the long run it tends to bite you in the butt. So how do you make all the pieces fit without missing a beat?  Making the right life choices can be challenging and we all know that overcoming challenges is what makes us stronger.  So what could have been done differently in this situation?  Has this ever happened to you?  Of course maybe not the same choices, but in one way or another you’ve allowed yourself to check out and forgot to take care of your priorities and definitely forgot to check back in.

Realizing that the “Puzzle of Life” pieces may not always fit together so perfectly is something that is learned.  One must learn to be in control of the care of the pieces that fit together so perfectly when our puzzle is taken care of and stored properly.  But those of us that invite challenge, excitement and have the personality of living life by the seat of our pants must be willing to accept that our choices in life need to be balanced enough to allow our life plans, goals and accomplishments to continue to excel forward.

Examine your puzzle pieces often and if something doesn’t fit just right then maybe there needs to be a decision of elimination.  We can always add new puzzle pieces.  Just be sure that your puzzle design is one that makes you shine!

Traci Talk: Learn to EXPECT and ACCEPT the Unexpected!

 

Everyone knows that in order to succeed at anything we must have a vision and a clear step by step plan drawn out that guides us towards achieving our goals. But as we all know, sometimes things don’t always go as we planned. Expect the unexpected as they say. 

Take a moment with me and close your eyes and imagine this scenario with me.  So you are driving sixty miles per hour towards a particular destination on a bright sunny day.  The breeze is blowing through your hair, the sun is shining down on your face, and you’re singing along to all your favorite songs on the radio. Suddenly you see that there’s a fork in the road where you didn’t expect to see one! Most likely, your immediate reaction would be to slam on the brakes in a panic. You leave skid marks for at least forty five feet from your panic. Or, you may have even been in such a state of shock from suddenly seeing a fork in the road, that you not only slammed on the brakes but you swerved and took out a telephone pole and highway sign along the way as well.

I guess the first thing we would do after this scary incident is to make sure that anyone who was with us during this sudden stop is ok. Next is the realization that, yes indeed, there is a fork in the road and you must now figure out how to maneuver around it. You are still headed toward the same destination and the directions are still the same.

But this was certainly not anticipated and quite frankly you are a feeling a little uncertain about what your next step will be. Not to mention, the people that depend on you most are waiting for your direction as to how to proceed forward.

As with all things, you can hope for the best and pray that nothing will delay your arrival to your destination. But as we all eventually learn in life, stuff happens. We begin to realize that sometimes even the most preparation will not stop an unfortunate event from happening. We also know from all the misfortunes that we have previously experienced, we can muscle our way through whatever may come our way.  For some this realization comes early in life and they are able to demonstrate certain calmness when they are blindsided by the unexpected. And once they are able to quickly re-route their detour, they find that little damage had been caused and they are soon on their way. For others, they have to move forward with the pain of fear and anxiety. Since they are not exactly confident in their new detour route, their anxiety becomes overwhelming and they begin to question their abilities. While they may still reach their final destination, the scenery along the way was not nearly as enjoyable.

One of my business consulting clients recently thought that what she was experiencing at that given moment would dictate the rest of her existence in the workplace. Because she was so occupied and stressed with her current situation that was out of her control, she was unable to recognize other possibilities for change that would have had an immediate positive impact. As a coach I help my clients to quit dwelling on what is out of their control and help them begin looking for solutions and act upon those solutions immediately. In business, time is money and there is no time to waste on negative dwelling. After months of coaching this client I was pleased at the progress she had made. Today she is certainly more aware that obstacles are always present but she has the willingness and knowledge to change her route if necessary. She now accepts that obstacles are going to always be right around the corner and she looks forward to being able to demonstrate her skills as a leader in these situations. 

Think of all the times when you were in an unfortunate experience and you thought that you will never survive this.  Do you realize how irrational it is?  Oh yes, we’ve all done it.  I can look back and think of several instances where I have done it myself.  I now think back on all the energy I wasted but I have learned valuable lessons from these experiences. At the time, we think it’s the end of the world and we throw our hands in the air, stomp our feet and maybe even cry a little. Hopefully those of you reading this are past this destructive behavior. But if you really think about it, I’m sure you can easily come up with at least six past experiences that really threw you for a loop.  These experiences may have left you wondering just how you were going to get around the fork in the road.

So how were you able to overcome your past obstacles? As you grow are you able to now overcome obstacles without the tantrum?  Are you now even somewhat prepared for an obstacle and have learned to plan as such?  As you evaluate some of your past experiences, you will begin to recognize that each time you hit a fork in the road and slammed on the breaks, the skid mark got shorter and shorter.  Your stress level became was greatly decreased and you were quickly able to detour around the fork with minimal damage.

Expecting that there will be obstacles is a good thought process to have but accepting that fact is even better.  There is a difference between the two and you must be able to accept the things you cannot change and then focus your energy only on the things you do have control over.  When you accept the unexpected interruptions and delays in a manner of professionalism and maturity, you too will be able to demonstrate and teach others to act the same.   

As managers of an office or the coach of the basketball team, you are setting the example of how to handle obstacles as they occur.  As in the Titanic, a ship will sink and many lives will be lost in the commotion of stress, lack of leadership, and not expecting the unexpected.  There would be so much chaos in trying to find a way to survive that no one will form an idea on how to get home.

So begin each day being thankful of the tasks you were able to accomplish without any outside interference.  And on the days when you do experience an out of the ordinary set back, handle it with care.  Be pro active with your approach and be appreciative of the fact that it was just a fork in the road.  It could have been an earthquake that tore the whole road apart.  Continue to learn from yourself and others as you move forward in your day to day work environment. Share with others your victories when they feel that they have come to a screeching halt as well.  It is important as leaders, mentors, coaches, and teachers that we lead by example and share with others our own obstacles that we were able to overcome.  And we must demonstrate and lead by example, showing others that where there is a will, there is a way. There is always a way!

Traci Talk: Confidence Becomes You

 

Confidence becomes you! It looks great on you! So, if it’s not hanging right in front of your mind today then reach inward and pull it forward. NOW imagine what the rest of your day will look like. Enjoy!

Each and every day we have the choice to put our armor of confidence on or not.  It’s no different than making the time to have that cup of coffee or time to scramble an egg. Confidence on some days just does not rise and shine right along with you once your foot hits the floor. And that’s OK.  Think about it.  Your hair is not looking so great in the morning either. And let’s hope you do not even think about exiting the house without brushing your teeth. So it would be fair to say then, that putting your armor of confidence on first thing in the morning is just one of those rituals that must become a natural habit. It is your responsibility after all to make sure you project yourself in the mirror and to yourself in the most positive light possible. It’s your day; make it shine!

So is your confidence hanging on the back of the bathroom door next to your robe? Is it located next to your brief case you grab before running off to work? Is it hiding between your coat and shoes in the closet? Or maybe it’s in the hug and kiss you get from your little one or that special someone. Maybe it comes in the form of belting out your favorite tune in the shower. You could even find your coat of confidence through giving others heartfelt compliments to begin their day. There is nothing better than helping someone else start their day by the way of an encouraging word.

The point is that you need to know where it is and eagerly put it on at the beginning of each and every day. Whether you are venturing out for the day or not, you need to be wearing your armor of confidence. We all know that when we feel confident there is nothing that can stand in our way of what we set out to accomplish for the day, week, or even years. Your energy is evident to all those around you when you walk with the pride and respect for yourself through confidence. 

So to wear your armor of confidence with conviction you must know and demonstrate the characteristic traits of what you feel it means to be confident. Someone with true self worth and understanding of respect and gratitude can glide gracefully through any group of people without worrying for one moment about the judgment from others. It takes courage, work, and effort to reach deep within yourself to discover exactly what your armor of confidence looks like. So don’t leave for the day without it. And let me remind you, it only looks good if it fits!

Putting on your coat of confidence tips

  1. Know exactly what confidence looks like to you and what it feels like.
  2. Be sure to know where to find your coat of confidence at the beginning of each and every day.
  3. Schedule time to ensure you never leave home without it.
  4. Use your confidence as your energy source to guide you towards your daily accomplishments.
  5. Complimenting others adds color and brightens your coat of confidence.
  6. Never question your own color of confidence or where it comes from.
  7. Tend to your coat of confidence regularly.  If it needs polished, then polish it!
  8. Don’t ever allow yourself to borrow someone else’s coat of confidence.
  9. Wear your own confidence with pride.

 

“Traci Talk: Can do VS will Do”

“Traci Talk”

Coaching yourself to becoming a winner with a “WILL DO” attitude!

 Do you have a “can do” attitude or a “will do” attitude?

 

Remember when you were younger and learned the difference between “can do” and “will do”?

               “Yes, I can pick you up after the movies: but the real question is “Will I?”. “Of course you can follow the rules” but the real question is “Will you follow or break the rules?” When it comes to our jobs we all have many functions to our positions and tasks that are always added to our never ending to do list.  How often do you put on your will do attitude for the sake of the company.  As managers, how do we communicate to our employees the need for those to have a will do attitude that supports their can do attitude?

               There is definitely a difference and it’s often more noticeable than you might think when an employee is a can do employee versus a will do employee. I can tell you that if you think as an employee skating by on a can do basis and that your employer and manager do not recognize this, you are dead wrong.  In any organization it is easily recognized who is willing to go the extra mile and who is not.  That extra mile is more often than not only an eight of a mile but none the less scoring big on the playing field.  Unfortunately, the can do employee has all the opportunity and skill to demonstrate being a will do employee however fails to show this character trait until it’s too late.  Will do employees are by far sought after.  When one is recognized, you better believe that any manager will do whatever it takes to have that person on their team and often promote that person much faster regardless of years tendered or even sometimes training.  It takes a go getter to get things done and I can’t think of one business consulting client that has ever boasted about the can do employee. 

               I have witnessed the will do employee climb the corporate ladder based merely on what they are willing to do, have done, and demonstrate on a consistent basis versus educational stature.  We all know there are doers and then there are talkers.  Anyone can talk a good game but actively creating positive results that improve the bottom line profit and interest of the company speaks volumes.

               Businesses are all playing the same game.  Let’s assume that game is chess.  Are you the King or the Queen?  Would you prefer to be the Bishop or the Pawn?  I think I know what position I would like to be in the life size business game of chess.  Think back to the last task that presented itself that would in fact propel the business you represent forward in a much faster and easier capacity.  Did you do it?  Did you think about it with a can do attitude deciding to not act on an opportunity to contribute with a will do attitude?

               I can remember back to the days when I worked for an advertising agency in the accounting department for a very fast growing company.  As the company expanded so did the tasks and responsibilities of everyone in our department.  I soon found myself accomplishing my regular tasks at a much faster pace than before and offering to assist others in the department to meet their goals.  This seemed to me the natural response to growth and expansion.  I was proud of our company and our department for being able to keep up with the ever expanding work load.  I was always the first to offer to help our department catch up by taking on additional hours.  Yes, I made more money but that really wasn’t the reason for my willingness to take on additional tasks and hours.  It was my desire to make our department look great and to please my immediate manager and upper management as well.  Call me a suck up but I truly didn’t see it as such.  I was so proud of our department when we were recognized for the outstanding work in which we were doing.  I felt a sense of accomplishment when compliments would come in from outside sources about what a great team we were.  I took ownership of my position within the company and was proud to be a member of an upcoming rising company.  I would often work over knowing that I had maxed out on the allowed overtime per pay period but I didn’t care.  I did not quit until I knew that my efforts had satisfactory accomplished the goals of our department.  I did quickly learn not to brag about my extra efforts.  Young and dumb I guess you would say.   Sometimes others just don’t share the same passion and drive as you do.  The department manager above my immediate supervisor had noticed and had been keeping track of my efforts and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.  She apparently had also been tracking the efforts of my immediate supervisor as well.  In her eyes, I was demonstrating the behaviors and passion that she would have much more likely have seen from my supervisor.  However my supervisor was out the door every day at 5:00 p.m. on the dot. I of course was being paid hourly as she was salary.   No wonder the department manager had begun to track who was doing what in the department.  To make a long story short, I was invited in for a very long meeting explaining to me that my supervisor had been taking all the credit for my efforts and was soon thereafter let go. I wasn’t promoted to manager beings that I did not have the required qualification. That was one of my first experiences in the workplace when I experienced the feeling of reward and appreciation.  I had already felt really good about myself and my efforts, but I truly did like the sense of being recognized as a valuable member of the team.

               This example clearly demonstrates the difference between a can do and will do attitude.  I was willing to put in the effort and time to accomplish the goals of our department and my immediate supervisor was not.  I obviously realize now that I had a quality in me that was and still is recognized and appreciate by others.  Most importantly it’s a quality of mine that I really like.  And too, while coaching my clients this is a question I will ask often.  Usually people are very honest and don’t really have to think about their answer.  And sadly enough, the most common answer is the lesser of the two.

               Think about your tasks daily and ask yourself this question.  I know I can do it and maybe even I should do it, but am I willing to do it?  Am I willing to go the extra mile?   Your answer may surprise you.  If it is a task that you can do and you consistently choose not to, then you may need to begin to ask yourself some very important questions about the position you hold within the very company you represent.  Of course you can assist your manager or department beyond written expectations of your job description but if your thought process is that of doing only what your defined duties and role is then you have a “can do” attitude.   This demonstrates not only a selfish attitude but a lack of ambition that I’m sure your recruiting manager did not recognize at your interview.  As a matter of fact, I’m sure that when the majority of you were hired, you were asked just that.  And your response was?    

               We all get slack and fall short at different times throughout our careers for many different reasons.  However, you can change your demeanor and become a “WILL DO” employee starting today.  That’s right, today! Right now!  I would bet that you wouldn’t even have to look too far to find where your newly “WILL DO” attitude would be greatly appreciated.  As you transition from “CAN DO” to” WILL DO” remember be open to praises and gratitude from others for a job well done.

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #1

Take notes from those around you that demonstrate the behaviors of having a “will do” attitude.  Now that you are aware of the difference you will be able to easily recognize the difference between your co-workers and employees.

 

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #2

Demonstrate your willingness to those around you.  Let them know that you are more than willing to contribute towards the success of the team for which you are a part of.

 

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #3

Decide what position you are playing.  If you have now decided to be the King or Queen then act like it!

 

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #4

Search for and act on any opportunity.  Now, not later!  Remember, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

 

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #5

Check your uniform often.  Are you playing for the right team?  Become passionate about the team you play for and the skill set that you alone can contribute.  And play to Win!

 

 

Still Waiting For Next Monday?

Really! If Mondays aren’t doing the trick then please, for the sake of everyone around you, pick a new excuse!

Yes, I will start my new diet on Monday.  I promise to myself and everyone around me that starting on Monday, I will clean up my desk and organize my office.  Or, how about this next one: Honey, I promise starting next Monday, I’ll remember to tell you daily how much I love you.  Yes, they will all start on Monday and will maybe last a few days, weeks, etc.  So, what happens when Mondays just go back to being a regular Monday?

I, myself, have been guilty of using the good old “I’ll start on Monday” excuse.  But, it’s just that!  It’s just another excuse that has become an acceptable one among our culture.  And it’s an undeserving acceptable one at that.  As adults it’s surprising to me how we have come to accept this excuse as normal behavior.  What would you say to a child that says, “I promise mom that beginning next Monday I will start coming home on time”?  Or, how about this, “I promise Mr. Employer that I will start clocking in beginning next Monday”?  That would be ridiculous. We would be the first to inform our children and/or employees that those responses are completely unacceptable.

So, that brings me to question when did we start accepting less than the best from ourselves?  There are always tomorrows for the wishful thinking but today is what matters for today’s successful action driven individual.  It’s a luxury that at any given moment we can decide to change whatever we want about ourselves by controlling our mindset which controls our actions.  However, some of us still have to realize that our parents are no longer watching over us and holding our hands. That means that we have to tell ourselves that waiting until Monday is just a weak excuse for laziness.  I know, I hate to use the word lazy myself and I don’t use it lightly.  Trust me, the word lazy will rub someone the wrong way and hit them hard and heavy if thrown straight at them.  Even if we are taking a laid back much deserved break for the day, we would still consider it to be an insult if someone referred to us as being lazy.  The word procrastination seems to be a much more preferred word that people like to use for themselves.  Again, just another name and excuse for not starting today.  So when comparing our actions to those of children what would you refer pawning things off until Monday as?  And please don’t tell me that you will get back to me on Monday.

So, let’s just forget about the Monday start date.  While we are at it, let’s go ahead and scratch the next month phrase as well.  Oh and let’s not forget the even worse excuse yet of “waiting until the new year”. Sounds pretty ridiculous when you really think about it, doesn’t it?  OK. Now, let’s just move past all the wasted days, weeks and years that we have spent making disposable promises to ourselves and let’s start something new.

Let’s begin TODAY! That’s right, today!  Right now!  I can assure you that no one cares what day or time you decided to make a change for the better.  I’ve never heard of a gym telling you that you can’t start working out until Monday.  I can’t even remember a time that I as an employer told my staff that it was OK to start arriving to work on time starting next week. I’ve never heard of any sports manger yelling out to the losing team “that’s OK guys; we will start training harder next year”.

As we get older, we begin to recognize that the days and years of our lives go by faster and faster. We’ve all had those conversations with our elders telling us to not wait for anything.  Time slips by at lightning speed and doesn’t stop for anyone.  So stop and decide what is most important to you and begin today, not Monday, to take charge and make those changes knowing that your actions will have a direct and positive impact on your life.

So, now that you’ve recognized that yes you indeed have begun to use the promises of tomorrow; maybe you can help those closest to you as well.  Sometimes, when we share with those around us what we have discovered about ourselves and most importantly what we are planning to do, they are also intrigued to do the same. In case you have forgotten, the easiest way to help yourself is to also help someone else.  So, be an inspiration to those you associate with and share your new found thoughts of the importance of today.   You may find that this action of kindness may be your motivation to move away from Mr. old man procrastination.

Here are five helpful reminders that making a change today is always better than waiting until Monday:

  1. Today, not tomorrow, will better serve me.
  2. My actions today are those that are most important.
  3. I have no extra time.  As time itself does not recognize excuses and procrastination.
  4. Laziness requires no action and I am definitely not lazy!
  5. I am committed and I will take ownership of my desires, thoughts and actions TODAY!

Traci Talk: The Key to Creating a New Life for Yourself…Starting Today!

         

At some point in our lives we stop and wonder what decisions we have made that have brought us to where we are today. What if where you are, or worse yet who you are, is not exactly in tune with your inner thoughts and desires?    Could it be possible that you have seen your life with more hazy days than sunny ones?  Is it impossible to live a life of fulfillment?  Are you not truly living life so that the outside reflects what is on the inside?

Now, I’m not talking about your desires to be a movie star or your wishful thoughts of winning the lottery.  I’m talking about becoming the person you desire to be and living the life that reflects who you are on the inside. It’s only at that moment which allows you to live a life of achievement and fulfillment.

So, do you want to create a new life for yourself?  Begin by forming new thought patterns that include positive affirmations about the person you already are.  It’s no secret that the application of positive affirmations is one of the key elements to achieving success and greatness.  It’s just one little key that can help you open many doors towards greatness and fulfillment.

In order for the use of positive affirmations to work you must know exactly what you want in order to change your thought process.  Affirmations can build a person up from nothing or sabotage a person at the top straight to the bottom in no time.  You must recognize and control your thought process focusing only on positive questions and answers.  It is sort of like focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.   Using this technique of affirmations is just putting your thoughts into motion through the form of questions.

Let’s assume that you are a teacher and you want to reform your thought patterns.  You’ve recognized that you have been in that whole stinky thinking process. Daily you begin to doubt your contribution to your career field, students and worse yet yourself.  Your questions might look something like this:

  • Why is it so easy for me to identify with my students feelings?
  • Why is it so obvious to me that past classroom procedures are no longer working effectively and immediate change is required?
  • Why do I have kids begging to be in my classroom?
  • Why have I been accepted to be a part of this school district when countless teaching positions have been cut?
  • Why do the parents respect me as a teacher?
  • How come my students feel that they can always talk to me about anything?
  • Why do I put in the extra hours that I do?
  • Why do I volunteer for extra duties that I am not paid for?
  • Why do the parents of my students feel that they can call me regarding behavioral issues at home.
  • Why do my students volunteer to stay after school and assist me with projects?

Answering questions of this sort are empowering.  Answering empowering questions build up your self esteem at a faster pace.  It helps for you to begin to refocus on the person that you truly are and allows for you to again recognize that you really are living a great life.   You will begin to become more aware of who you truly are and begin to take ownership of your positive strengths.

When we focus on our strengths rather than our weaknesses, we can propel forward at a much more rapid speed.  As we all have experienced, once you are on a roll, it’s hard to stop or even take a break.  We don’t want nor will we allow anything to get in the way of our momentum.  When we feel fully charged; it’s full steam ahead. That only happens when you have a positive mindset.

Sure it would be great if we just surrounded ourselves daily with those that continually provided us with positive affirmations but that is highly unlikely.  While encouraging words of “you can do it” are welcomed, you must believe it. By using the positive affirmation questions system you are in charge of the answers.  Therefore, only honest answers that you know to be true will be convincing to yourself.  It is your mindset after all that you are trying to reset.   That mindset is powerfully in control of your thought process which in turn controls your whole being.

So, take some time to create your list of questions.  Answer them yourself and maybe even have others answer them for you as well.  Sometimes we lose sight of who we are and what a great life we’ve created for ourselves.

Hopefully by doing this exercise you will once again have the feeling of excitement and desire to live your life to its fullest.  Create your new life today by revisiting all the wonderful things about yourself that maybe you’ve forgotten about.

Traci Talk: Coaching Yourself and Becoming a Winner with a “WILL DO” Attitude

 Do you have a “can do” attitude or a “will do” attitude?

               Remember when you were younger and learned the difference between “can do” and “will do”?  “Yes, I can pick you up after the movies: but the real question is “Will I?”. “Of course you can follow the rules” but the real question is “Will you follow or break the rules?” When it comes to our jobs we all have many functions to our positions and tasks that are always added to our never ending to do list.  How often do you put on your will do attitude for the sake of the company.  As managers, how do we communicate to our employees the need for those to have a will do attitude that supports their can do attitude?

               There is definitely a difference and it’s often more noticeable than you might think when an employee is a can do employee versus a will do employee. I can tell you that if you think as an employee skating by on a can do basis and that your employer and manager do not recognize this, you are dead wrong.  In any organization it is easily recognized who is willing to go the extra mile and who is not.  That extra mile is more often than not only an eight of a mile but none the less scoring big on the playing field.  Unfortunately, the can do employee has all the opportunity and skill to demonstrate being a will do employee however fails to show this character trait until it’s too late.  Will do employees are by far sought after.  When one is recognized, you better believe that any manager will do whatever it takes to have that person on their team and often promote that person much faster regardless of years tendered or even sometimes training.  It takes a go getter to get things done and I can’t think of one business consulting client that has ever boasted about the can do employee.

I have witnessed the will do employee climb the corporate ladder based merely on what they are willing to do, have done, and demonstrate on a consistent basis versus educational stature.  We all know there are doers and then there are talkers.  Anyone can talk a good game but actively creating positive results that improve the bottom line profit and interest of the company speaks volumes.

Businesses are all playing the same game.  Let’s assume that game is chess.  Are you the King or the Queen?  Would you prefer to be the Bishop or the Pawn?  I think I know what position I would like to be in the life size business game of chess.  Think back to the last task that presented itself that would in fact propel the business your represent forward in a much faster and easier capacity.  Did you do it?  Did you think about it with a can do attitude deciding to not act on an opportunity to contribute with a will do attitude?

I can remember back to the days when I worked for an advertising agency in the accounting department for a very fast growing company.  As the company expanded so did the tasks and responsibilities of everyone in our department.  I soon found myself accomplishing my regular tasks at a much faster pace than before and offering to assist others in the department to meet their goals.  This seemed to me the natural response to growth and expansion.  I was proud of our company and our department for being able to keep up with the ever expanding work load.  I was always the first to offer to help our department catch up by taking on additional hours.  Yes, I made more money but that really wasn’t the reason for my willingness to take on additional tasks and hours.  It was my desire to make our department look great and to please my immediate manager and upper management as well.  Call me a suck up but I truly didn’t see it as such.  I was so proud of our department when we were recognized for the outstanding work in which we were doing.  I felt a sense of accomplishment when compliments would come in from outside sources about what a great team we were.  I took ownership of my position within the company and was proud to be a member of an upcoming rising company.  I would often work over knowing that I had maxed out on the allowed overtime per pay period but I didn’t care.  I did not quit until I knew that my efforts had satisfactory accomplished the goals of our department.  I did quickly learn not to brag about my extra efforts.  Young and dumb I guess you would say.   Sometimes others just don’t share the same passion and drive as you do.  The department manager above my immediate supervisor had noticed and had been keeping track of my efforts and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.  She apparently had also been tracking the efforts of my immediate supervisor as well.  In her eyes, I was demonstrating the behaviors and passion that she would have much more likely have seen from my supervisor.  However my supervisor was out the door every day at 5:00 p.m. on the dot. I of course was being paid hourly as she was salary.   No wonder the department manager had begun to track who was doing what in the department.  To make a long story short, I was invited in for a very long meeting explaining to me that my supervisor had been taking all the credit for my efforts and was soon thereafter let go. I wasn’t promoted to manager beings that I did not have the required qualification. That was one of my first experiences in the workplace when I experienced the feeling of reward and appreciation.  I had already felt really good about myself and my efforts, but I truly did like the sense of being recognized as a valuable member of the team.

This example clearly demonstrates the difference between a can do and will do attitude.  I was willing to put in the effort and time to accomplish the goals of our department and my immediate supervisor was not.  I obviously realize now that I had a quality in me that was and still is recognized and appreciate by others.  Most importantly it’s a quality of mine that I really like.  And too, while coaching my clients this is a question I will ask often.  Usually people are very honest and don’t really have to think about their answer.  And sadly enough, the most common answer is the lesser of the two.

Think about your tasks daily and ask yourself this question.  I know I can do it and maybe even I should do it, but am I willing to do it?  Am I willing to go the extra mile?   Your answer may surprise you.  If it is a task that you can do and you consistently choose not to, then you may need to begin to ask yourself some very important questions about the position you hold within the very company you represent.  Of course you can assist your manager or department beyond written expectations of your job description but if your thought process is that of doing only what your defined duties and role is then you have a “can do” attitude.   This demonstrates not only a selfish attitude but a lack of ambition that I’m sure your recruiting manager did not recognize at your interview.  As a matter of fact, I’m sure that when the majority of you were hired, you were asked just that.  And your response was?

We all get slack and fall short at different times throughout our careers for many different reasons.  However, you can change your demeanor and become a “WILL DO” employee starting today.  That’s right, today! Right now!  I would bet that you wouldn’t even have to look too far to find where your newly “WILL DO” attitude would be greatly appreciated.  As you transition from “CAN DO” to” WILL DO” remember be open to praises and gratitude from others for a job well done.

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #1

Take notes from those around you that demonstrate the behaviors of having a “will do” attitude.  Now that you are aware of the difference you will be able to easily recognize the difference between your co-workers and employees.

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #2

Demonstrate your willingness to those around you.  Let them know that you are more than willing to contribute towards the success of the team for which you are a part of.

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #3

Decide what position you are playing.  If you have now decided to be the King or Queen then act like it!

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #4

Search for and act on any opportunity.  Now, not later!  Remember, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

“Will Do” Coaching Tip #5

Check your uniform often.  Are you playing for the right team?  Become passionate about the team you play for and the skill set that you alone can contribute.  And play to Win!

Traci Talk: Coaching Successful Leaders to Motivate Their Teams

Another workday, another work week and a new To-Do list!  As a leader we must remember that our list of “To-Do’s” must include motivating and coaching our team towards success.  Not only should it be included, it should be at the top of your To-Do list.  Your team is your support system, your busy bees and the team that allows you and your company to look great! As they accomplish their goals, your goals are too being met. You are in turn motivated by their accomplishments and commitment to you and your organization.  But who is motivating your team?  Is your team really motivated by a paycheck?  Probably not.  Yes of course, without the paycheck I’m sure your staff would not willingly come to work, but what we are really talking about is working with a passion to succeed together in harmony as a team.  Successful leaders recognize that they have must be able to have absolute trust and faith in their staff and team; however, encouragement, acknowledgment, coaching and motivation are an absolute necessity for leadership success.

So what do you do to motivate your team to feel that they are valued and successful in the organization for which they represent?  When was the last time you asked your employees “what motivates you”?  Have you reviewed your own leadership style lately?  Are you actively looking for ways to catch your employees doing something right? Most importantly, are you acknowledging their efforts and encouraging and supporting a teamwork environment?

As a business consultant, I am amazed when I recognize an office of amazing talent yet they are not working together as a team.  This is often due to lack of leadership.  Leadership is not about managing yourself it’s about managing and leading others in a positive and effective manner that supports and encourages others.  When an office is divided I believe that most likely it is not due to the employees but most often is directly due to the lack of leadership skills from the leader themselves.  Leaders are labeled many things.  They are Managers, Crew Leaders, Assistant Managers, Teachers, Project Managers, Boss, Captain, Chief, Commander, Conductor, etc.  But they are not labeled “perfect”.

It is imperative that a leader and their team are able to see the same vision for the company in which they represent.  Your vision of success may be very different than those of your team and you must be able to recognize when that vision becomes blurry.

Amazingly I have worked with many managers that inform me that they have no idea what would motivate their team. They can’t even tell me what style of coach they are for their team.  They just know that their team doesn’t represent a team at all and they have absolutely no idea why.  I’m also surprised to find out that the leaders just don’t have enough time to be accessible to their employees.  No time for meeting with your staff and team?  That is just plain laziness.  Communicating and coaching your team allows for brainstorming, improved sales, questions and concerns to be addressed.   As a leader, making yourself easily accessible to your employees allows for a direct connection to your clients and a tremendous source of ideas.  Yes, as a leader you have many responsibilities but you certainly can’t think of everything.  You need the opinions of others. You should value the thoughts, ideas and opinions of others as well.  Communication is the key when it comes to a team or group of individuals reaching their goals.  As the leader, it is up to you to make sure that your team is playing on the same field.  You would never put together a basketball team with one of the teammates being a football player.  It is your responsibility as a leader to recognize why a teammate is wearing the wrong uniform and playing with the wrong ball.

I am grateful for the thoughts, ideas and inputs from those that I work with.  Yes, I am the leader.  I am a leader that is able to accomplish my goals because of the team I support and encourage daily to be the best they can be.  Here are some coaching tips to become a successful leader of your team.

Motivating Tip #1

Be available! You must make the time for your team and allow for their thoughts, opinions and suggestions to be heard.

Motivating Tip #2

Listen!  You need to listen and absorb what you are hearing from your team.  Your team needs to know that you are truly interested in what they have to say and that you greatly appreciate their input.

Motivating Tip #3

Team meetings are a must!  Conducting positive and productive weekly meetings are one of the most important functions of a leader.  Conduct these meetings in sections being sure to include praise and recognition for your team’s efforts and continued support.

Motivating Tip #4

Lead by example!   Your team will mirror your attitude.  Attitudes are contagious and it begins with you.

Motivating Tip #5

Know your team!   Communication is the key.  You must know the strengths and weaknesses of your team in order to effectively coordinate tasks for successful projects.

Motivating Tip #6

Work hard, play hard!  Have fun!  Meetings don’t have to be boring.  Lighten up a little.  Embrace the thoughts, suggestions, ideas and input from others.

Motivating Tip #7

Motivate with passion!   Be passionate about the goals and success of you and your team.  Our work is our livelihood. We all want to associate with like minded people and be a part of something that we are passionate about.

Motivating Tip #8

Honesty is the best policy!   Be honest with your team about the goals and expectations from you and the company.  If something is not right then step up and address it. Be sure to address it sooner rather than later.

Motivating Tip #9

Apply the One Minute Manager System to your workplace!   This is the best system when it comes to managing any group of people.  This proven success system can be used at home too. It helps to create a positive energy for everyone.

Motivating Tip #10

Give thanks!   Be thankful for a job well done by those on your team.  Double check your vocabulary as a leader and make sure that you are speaking words of gratitude and encouragement to those that are supporting you.

Traci Talk: Coaching Yourself to Win – MUSCLE UP!

YOU Are In Charge of Your Own Game!

          An associate of mine recently asked where my drive comes from.  Before I could answer they continued to inform me that they only wished they had the passion and strength to go after what they truly want out of life.  When I asked about their work, they rolled their eyes. Of course they informed me that it was the rest of the company that was messed up which is why their job sucks.  I truly responded with “Muscle Up! Your life is what you make it and is not decided by anyone but you.”  Well of course that was probably not the response they were expecting especially from a Certified Life Coach.  I’m sure they would have loved for me to give them an hour of free coaching time listening to all the reasons why everyone around them is driving them insane, and why they are not enjoying their life or place of employment.  If given the time I’m sure I would have also heard about all the things at home including family members that keep them from moving forward and reaching for the things out of life they truly desire.  Well guess what – Muscle Up! Find the strength and courage to take charge of this game called LIFE!

Life is a funny thing.  We are born unable to walk and talk yet before too long we are running in high gear and won’t shut up.  At some point in our lives we become smart enough to realize that life responds to our input.  Meaning that, life responds and reflects our thoughts and actions.  So, we quickly learn as we grow up that if we study we make good grades, which in turn makes our parents happy. This also makes socializing with our peers easier and so on. I wonder at what point as an adult one would just decide to no longer play the game of life to win.  What would make someone stand up and say, “I’m choosing to sit this decade out?”  Essentially, that is what one is saying when they choose to not move forward in the direction that would indeed benefit their well being and those around them.

We sometimes need to stop and remind ourselves that we alone are in control of our destiny.  When we wake in the morning until we lay our head down at night, we alone are in control of our thoughts and actions.  It takes strength to hop out of bed in a cheery and grateful mood when we have no direction for the day.  Strength is required to accomplish any obstacle that you might face throughout the day. It surely takes strength to knowingly move forward in any situation that is uncomfortable and not so familiar.  So I ask you, “Where do you get your strength from? If you have lost your strength, are you willing to do what it takes to become strong again?” You don’t have to have the strength to run the longest marathon or climb the highest mountain but you do need strength to be the best you can be and reach for your dreams and desires.  No one else is certainly going to do it for you.

I rather enjoy now when a family member asks me where my strength or positive mindset comes from.  I’m proud to say that it comes from within. I work hard on keeping my mind in the best tip top shape it can be in order to have the strength to move forward in life at the pace in which I desire.  I prefer to keep my muscle up so that I have the strength to tackle my days head on.

So are you ready to muscle up and take charge?  Here are six coaching tips to regain your strength that once propelled your forward in your flight of taking charge of your life.

 

Coaching Strength Tip #1:

Take care of yourself.  Your strength from within is dependent upon the strength of your well being.  This requires proper rest and nutrition.  Remember you are what you eat. French fries certainly won’t provide your body with the fuel needed to run at full speed.

Coaching Strength Tip #2:

Know exactly what you want.  Strengthen your focus by knowing exactly what it is you want to accomplish.  Be very clear on your vision of what success looks like to you and don’t let others discourage you.  Only you know your true inner needs and desires.

Coaching Strength Tip #3:

Create your strengthening plan.  To accomplish your goals determine what is most important by prioritizing your plan.  Think of the end result you desire and begin to prioritize your tasks accordingly.   Keep your plan in front of you and review it often.  You don’t want to allow distractions to route themselves into your defined road to success.

Coaching Strength Tip #4:

Visualize yourself as a person of strength.  We become what we think we are.  If you begin to daily visualize yourself as a person of strength then handling the obstacles you will face will eventually become much easier.  Your strength will eventually replace the feelings of fear.  You will begin to conquer tasks without even questioning the possible difficulties that you may face.

Coaching Strength tip #5:

Trust in yourself and take action.  Begin to recognize that your strength is growing stronger each day.  Your focus is clearer and you are able to commit to the plan you set forth for yourself.  Your vision is stronger.   Your focus is stronger.  Your mental state of mind has now become your strength.

Coaching Strength Tip #6:

Recognize and reward your strengths.  At the beginning of each day and at the end of each day take time to think of all the ways your new found strength has assisted you.  Too often we don’t take time to really identify how our inner strengths helped us throughout the day.  Think about how without your new found strength the results you are experiencing now would be much different.   Recognize that your accomplishments, problem solving skills and even conversations would have been much different without your renewed strength that you now posses. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself for taking charge of your own game!

Traci Quick-Hutt

Action Forward Coaching & Consulting

Success Comes Easily With the Right Partner!

www.actionforwardcoachingandconsulting.com