Tip Toes or Thundering Herd?

goals-2017-upthinkers-websiteWe’re at that time of year aren’t we? When individuals begin to look ahead at what they say they want to achieve next year…

Warning!

Have you noticed there’s often quite a difference between what people say they’ll do and what they actually do? New Year’s Resolutions in particular; goodness knows how many gym memberships are taken up in January only to be cancelled in February or March!

Maybe you have some ‘less-than-committed’ people around in your work organisation too? If the gym membership example I just mentioned resonates with you as a leader, then maybe you really do need to get some help for your team. After all, the same type of thinking that has people quitting the gym is highly likely to manifest itself in the workplace too! Notably when it comes to overcoming inevitable obstacles and challenges in pursuit of company and personal objectives…

Strong belief and desire are prerequisites to getting desirable results…

Whenever you set plans, objectives, goals, targets and general ‘things to do’, do you consider the mindset of the people tasked with achieving them? It’s an important question – especially if you’re serious about creating better outcomes over the next twelve months. Why is it important? Because their thinking style (mindset) is what drives their day-to-day behaviour and ultimately their results.

Remember: The quality of your results can never exceed the quality of your thinking!

Be honest and take a few moments to consider: What individual and collective mindsets do you regularly observe at work? (If you’d like a confidential chat about this employee engagement subject, you’re very welcome to DM or call me).

The good news is; when a whole organisation learns how to shift their individual and collective level of expectation – truly astounding results can be achieved! You may settle for somewhere in-between but how about moving from ‘Tip Toes to a Thundering Herd ‘in 2017?

PS: More to come on Mindfulness and Wellbeing for your people shortly…

With warmth,

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide development sessions to positively impact employee engagement. We are particularly interested in working with senior leadership teams.

 

HUMP DAY – Happy about it?

It’s a Wednesday and right now, #HumpDayHappiness is currently trending on Twitter.101843-keep-calm-it-s-humpday

‘Hump Day’ – in case you didn’t know is slang for the day in the middle of the working week between Monday & Friday. See:

hump day

noun

North American informal

noun: hump day; plural noun: hump days

Wednesday, regarded as the midpoint of a typical working week.

“it’s hump day and perhaps the toughest day of the week for you”

…………………………………………………………………………………..

After their weekend, some people consider Monday to be a day of ‘getting back into it’ – but where is their focus when they return to work that day? Dare I suggest for those who reference ‘Hump Day’ it’s already on Friday and another weekend? That might explain how some view their working week; a steady trudge uphill towards a summit called Wednesday then downhill all the way to Friday and ‘Yippee, no more work for a couple of days…’

Less-than-helpful if you’re trying to generate top results in the workplace!

In balance, it’s great to look forward to weekends – but how about looking forward to each and every work day in-between? For so many reasons isn’t that also important? Especially as the quality of people’s results at work tend to have a direct impact on the quality of choices they have each weekend.

Should you struggle to get high-quality employee engagement and common references to ‘Hump Day’ have become part of your culture, remember phrases like this are a human construct. As such, you may prefer your team to create a rather different kind of focus for themselves and your organisation.

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide development sessions to positively impact employee engagement.

 

 

 

Executive Loneliness…

thinker-249841This morning I attended one of my regular sessions with John Burroughes of Bite the Cherry Venture Coaching. Yep – even though I’m a coach, I know full well the benefits of receiving regular coaching to help develop myself and the UpThinkers business.

There are great things happening behind the scenes – and today John and I touched on a point about the basic human need of having ‘someone to talk to’. At certain times in business and in life, that can be so important can’t it?

The ‘Man-up Cupcake’ brigade may exist in certain quarters, however that way of dealing with things only gets you so far – and in some cases that may even be backwards! I don’t know about you, but when you’re aiming to go forward, it’s less-than-helpful to find yourself in an emotional version of neutral or reverse gear…

Today with John I recalled (not for the first time) what triggered my passion to understand human behaviour and develop some worthwhile thinking skills that would help me become more resilient. I won’t describe that personal event in this post – although I’m very happy to on a 1:1 basis should you be interested!

In any case, we all have setbacks from time-to-time don’t we?

Have you noticed some people handle those events with ease – and others do not?

In my case, on a logical basis I’d already grasped the basic principle ‘it’s not what happens; it’s how you respond that makes all the difference’ – yet I often struggled to make a decent job of it. To be frank, there were times when felt cut to pieces when others in similar situations appeared not to be affected in anywhere near the same way. I knew I needed to do something – and did. I researched, studied and learned. It’s even turned into a business service that I share with others these days!

Those setbacks…

You know when you’ve been putting on a brave face on for far too long – and you know when you’re emotionally drained don’t you?  If you’re reading this and you identify with any part of what I’m talking about, then maybe now is good time to do something about it. Be assured, talking to someone who’ll listen without judging you can be a massive help.

Loneliness…

Plenty of business leaders – both male and female – admit they need to talk to someone other than their staff, spouse or partner. Makes sense really doesn’t it? Not that you need to be an executive to benefit from coaching sessions; leadership may start from the top, however a happy workforce is proven to directly impact your bottom line £ profits too. Self-leadership skills are valuable to everyone…

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide development sessions to positively impact leadership & management | sales | sports |self-belief & confidence | problem solving | innovation & creativity | employee engagement | reducing negativity & moaning | improved sustainable performance | clarity & vision to achieve goals | embracing new challenges | greater personal fulfilment | better communication skills | more willing cooperation | resilience and more…

A Shower of S*******S

UpThinkers Shower HeadThe missing word is: SOLUTIONS!

Do you have a certain place where new ideas just flood into your conscious awareness?

Maybe you would benefit from a few more creative solutions flowing to you on a regular basis?

One of the most productive areas for me seems to be the en-suite bathroom! Regardless of what I may have been feeding my mind with beforehand (usually early-morning Twitter) – the second I click the light switch in the bathroom I’m into ‘work-mode’ – and typically the ideas begin.

I was prompted to write this post following a personal experience this morning; my mind prior to entering the bathroom was on my partner’s health which has been faltering for many months. A pre-op hospital visit is scheduled for this afternoon prior to surgery next week. We’ve made contingency plans to ensure her local magazine service is able to deliver ‘business as usual’ while she hopefully recuperates.

We all have potential distractions in life don’t we? For example I’m writing this in school holidays. My 10 year old has Mr Bean cartoons playing loudly on TV, despite having him checked I still wonder whether his hearing is OK?, the house smells of burnt brioche toast, the football team I support didn’t manage to sign a proven striker during the transfer window, etc. etc.

That makes the point of this post even more remarkable; EVEN with plenty of ‘everyday stuff’ going on – ideas and solutions CAN come to you providing you know how to make best use of your creative mind. UpThinkers people development sessions help people to do that by the way…

The ideas that came to me this morning included two specific ways to explain certain mindset principles to leaders of a high-profile company we’ll be working with later this month. I’ll keep refining things – and look forward to even more creative ideas appearing in the next few days. That en-suite bathroom is bound to deliver! That in itself is positive expectation.

Do you have a place or situation that helps produce creative solutions for you?

 

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

 

UpThinkers provide development sessions to positively impact leadership & management | sales | sports |self-belief & confidence | problem solving | innovation & creativity | employee engagement | reducing negativity & moaning | improved sustainable performance | clarity & vision to achieve goals | embracing new challenges | greater personal fulfilment | better communication skills | more willing cooperation | resilience and more…

Everybody’s Changing…

Keane_on_stageWhen recruiting, consideration of ‘ASH’ (Attitude, Skills & Habits) is something many rely on. The premise being; you can always teach a new recruit job skills and introduce productive habits. However, if they don’t display the right attitude there could be trouble ahead…

‘Attitude’ is pretty damn important then.

So, recruit someone with the ‘right attitude’ and that’s job done is it? Maybe not! In the words of pop band Keane in 2004, ‘Everybody’s Changing’ (…and I don’t feel the same).  We’re all changing as we go through life though aren’t we? Even if you appoint someone with a wonderful attitude, there are no guarantees whatsoever they will maintain it. During their employment period, that person’s beliefs and values are likely to change – along with those of the leader or manager. Over time, you’ve probably noticed the culture of the organisation itself doesn’t stay the same either does it?

In 2009 Lily Allen put out her version of Everybody’s Changing – so even the song I mentioned has evolved!

Back to the ‘Attitude’ bit:

One of the keys to successfully working with human nature is to appreciate that very little, if anything stays the same for very long. People frequently change their minds! Therefore, our ability to adapt and embrace change is vital to create progress and minimise stress.

Easy to say, something of a challenge to do – however with appropriate mindset development  it’s perfectly possible to provide the techniques and methodologies to help people successfully deal with change. In doing so, they are more likely to create better outcomes for themselves and their organisation. Thank goodness attitudes – just like basic job skills, can be positively influenced!

What are you planning to change this week? In the words of Keane’s popular song (over 40 million hits on You Tube) some folk will be ‘Trying to make a move just to stay in the game’…

Everybody’s changing…

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and people development programmes to help people generate better results for themselves.

Pic by MACSURAK

What Are You Creating For Yourself?

pottery-166798_1920Without necessarily knowing you or your personal circumstances, I’ll take a guess you’re happy with some and less comfortable with other parts of your life. It’s just the way it is, right? Well not quite!…

What many of us fail to realise is just how many of the circumstances in life we actually create for ourselves. Good, bad or indifferent – so many of the things we experience on a day-to-day basis occur simply because we made certain choices somewhere along the way. It’s the Law of Cause and Effect!

Your Choices…

Consider some of the choices you’ve already made; the studying you did or didn’t do, the job you took or resigned from, the vehicle you bought or sold, the partner you may have in life or not, the garden you meticulously care for or abandon, the room you decorate or forget about, the pet you acquired or declined, the money you saved or spent – you get the gist of what could be an endless list…

What happens when things fail to meet your expectations in life? Are there occasions where you get sad, angry and frustrated? And when you do, do you tend to blame other people, or accept on occasions you may have had a part to play in what has just occurred?

Your Accountability

Being personally responsible for how we decide to think about things is a wonderful way to create a solid base from which we can shape many of our outcomes in business and life in general. My people development service called UpThinkers helps individuals, teams and organisations to develop their thinking skills to form a strong sense of ‘self-leadership’. This is incredibly powerful, especially when compared to people and organisations who tend to blame external circumstances in a desperate bid to avoid being accountable. You may have noticed a few of them around – they’re pretty much everywhere!

The good news is, you have choice: you can believe you’re a victim and life is ‘doing it to you’ – or you can decide to take full responsibility and actively choose to be happy doing what you decide is worthwhile in your life.

Your Music/Radio

If you’re fed up hearing trauma on the radio, courtesy of Noel Edmonds you can even choose a news-free, commercial-free online alternative called Positivity Radio – give it a try and see what you think…

Small or large, whatever choices you make, you are helping to shape your life. So, what are you choosing to create for yourself?

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and people development programmes to help people generate better results for themselves.

Habits and Success…

Habits

OK, 2016 is nearly upon us.

Looking back at 2015; did you achieve brilliant things – or not? Congrats aplenty providing you and your team (if you have one) surpassed your ambitious targets and objectives. However, if you didn’t achieve great things, a performance post mortem is probably more likely than an end-of-year celebration.

Ever considered why some folk achieve great things whilst others appear to struggle?

It’s a complex subject – very much driven by human self-interest. For instance, if you couldn’t care less about achieving or not, it’s unlikely you’ll even spot the headline, let alone bother to read this article. Same goes for those around you; they also only notice things in life that are of interest (to them) don’t they?

For example, when it comes to self-development I bet you could name in nanoseconds the colleagues, friends and family who don’t really give a stuff couldn’t you?

Given you ARE reading this post – and thank you for doing so – I’ll take it you have a least a mild interest in creating some success in your life…

Success can be described as ‘the pursuit of a worthwhile goal’. One question to be mindful of here: Who exactly decides what is worthwhile to you in your life? The answer is: ‘YOU do!’

Incidentally, those individuals you thought don’t seem to give a stuff probably do – it’s just their ‘stuff’ is somewhat different to yours!

To get better results / greater success we need to adopt new patterns of behaviour and then stick to them. It’s fairly obvious really. However, consider the sheer volume of New Year’s Resolutions abandoned in the first few days and ‘Houston we have a problem’ may well spring to mind.

Most folk find it fairly easy to pledge to new ideas, objectives and targets – yet many struggle to do anything like what’s required to achieve them! As a general side point, have you noticed how many people these days fail to do what they say they’re going to do? Not great is it? Smoke and mirrors and all that…

Operating with a high level of personal responsibility is vital to achieve effective outcomes – especially relevant if you run an organisation that depends on people to achieve collective results! Accommodate people in your team who operate with a low level of personal responsibility and the outcome is likely to be far from pretty…

Pycho CyberneticsTo achieve a new goal (one that YOU deem to be worthwhile) requires that you maintain effort – and that will demand new ongoing habitual behaviour. So, how long does it take to adopt a habit? It depends on each individual; certain motivational and self-help experts in personal development, including Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy have based their techniques on the observations of Maxwell Maltz. The American cosmetic surgeon and author of Psycho-Cybernetics observed it requires a minimum of 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to gel. Others such as James Clear suggest more time is required.

However long it takes, in order to create different outcomes, most of us readily accept we need to adopt and maintain some different behaviours. The thing is, how badly do we want to achieve a different outcome? Lots of people tend to fall at the first hurdle, so clearly there are some techniques to be learned if we want to make a better job of it.

Huge desire at a deep emotional level is what’s required – anything less is unlikely produce desirable results.

Personally, I’m looking forward to helping people and teams to construct their meaningful goals for 2016 – especially when it comes to coaching the individual and collective mindset necessary to achieve them!

Whatever you decide to do, if you’re serious about generating better outcomes in 2016 you’ll need to fully commit to at least 21 days of determined, consistent effort – and well beyond.

Good luck!

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and people development programmes to help people generate better results for themselves.

 

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star!

Yes YOU!star-827868_960_720

Yes, you, me – and all of us.

Why not? I mean, when did you and those around you last really Twinkle?

OK, I’ve just returned from the local Primary School nativity play, so I’m in the ‘twinkly zone’ buoyed by the fact I’ve just seen a fabulous team effort from children in reception year who look SO tiny and vulnerable to well-seasoned ten and eleven-year olds. Song and dance for a seventy-minute production led by a guitar-playing head master and teachers on stage dancing to the Spice Girls song ‘Wannabe’‘. Talk about: ‘Tell me what you want, what you really, really want…”

I don’t know about you, but my primary school teachers never ‘got down with the kids’ like this!

Throughout the play and immediately after, many of the children appeared to be looking for eye contact with their parents and grandparents. Seeking the subsequent approval, love and warmth their support brings.

Great for children whose parents think it important enough to be in the audience (was it Woody Allen who said 80% of success is turning up?) – Maybe less-so for those children who had no-one there to smile and say “well done”?

Maybe those children are used to having little or no support? Is that good? Does it encourage them to be more self-sufficient – or do they feel somewhat abandoned?

My experience this morning led me to think about people leadership and business performance…

What about staff in your workplace? Do you positively encourage or discourage your people to attend their children’s school plays? You may be missing a huge trick when it comes to motivating your team members if you are less-than-understanding at this time of year!

Meet me to discuss team spirit, developing people and business performance and I’ll happily share more about *things like this. However, it’s what YOUR people think during the coming months that really matters, isn’t it? That and the effect their thinking and behaviour has on YOUR organisational culture, YOUR customers. Not to mention the impact on YOUR bottom-line profits.

That’s all!

Makes it kind-of-important to create more stars and get some widespread ‘twinkling’ going on then?

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

* UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and people development programmes to help people generate better results for themselves.

http://www.upthinkers.co.uk

With Sufficient Discouragement…

People who discourage…Discouragement

Maybe they mean well?

Maybe they have little idea they’re even doing it?

Either way, what is the impact on your business organisation should a few people be ‘less-than-constructive’ around others who’d otherwise do pretty well?

In my role as a training consultant with UpThinkers, I am fortunate to meet with team leaders and those responsible for commissioning people development training. We often discuss issues centred on people and what they currently do or don’t do. Most agree that employees are an expensive resource and competent people performance is far preferable to the alternative. Indeed, an appropriately focussed workforce with well-constructed goals fuelled by a mass of encouragement is usually considered highly desirable.race

So, you get the goals/targets/objectives in place, get the majority of the team excited and set about achieving them…

Then what? After a few days the discourager tends to mutter the occasional “Yes, but…” type comments. They don’t even have to be work-related either.

Cue the discouragers…

My Dentist: Yes, but what about your knees – don’t they hurt? Lots of my friends have given up because of that…

My Hairdresser: Yes, but how do you find the time to train? I like to be home for tea by 6.30pm each evening…

My Mother: Yes, but I worry about you. You hear stories of people dying with heart failure doing that kind of crazy distance don’t you?

There have been others offering similar comments; however you get the point…

Bring this back to the workplace and the theme of this blogpost; how many ‘well-meaning’ discouragers do you have? Do you know who they are or whether they could be operating under your radar?

You may be surprised. Some folk like to appear supportive when it comes to pledging support for stretching targets, yet their ‘default setting’ is often incongruent to the agreed plan.

How do you help those people? There are ways* of course – I’ve been fortunate enough to arrange people development that has delivered a notable turn-around in results for several organisations.

A positive impact is made by demonstrating ways your people can make a better job of encouraging THEMSELVES – a really powerful place to start!

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

* UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and people development programmes.

http://www.upthinkers.co.uk

 

 

 

Typically British Traits…

Union FlagI was just considering different mentalities and what most people think of when they hear the phrase ‘Typically British’…

Now, in case you didn’t know, I am a UK Citizen so I hope it’s OK to poke gentle fun at our own, sometimes peculiar way of doing things!

I also happen to provide people development programmes that enable people to help themselves ‘do better’ in life and at work. UpThinkers Training & Development programmes are based on the principle that in order to get your results up, first you need to get your thinking up.

That’s what I began to consider here in the UK – how DO we think? Where do we start? What do we focus on? Are we like most of the western world or are we indeed slightly quirky?

One of my favorite Twitter accounts is ‘Very British Problems’ @SoVeryBritish – well worth following if you already appreciate or would like to try and understand the British way. Here’s an example tweet: “The shame of making eye contact with someone while biting into a sandwich…”

There are many more @SoVeryBritish – give it a look!

On UpThinkers enhancing human potential programmes we examine human behaviour – in particular the benefit of possessing an appropriate level of self-esteem in order to get more of what we want in life.

In the absence of a healthy level of self-esteem, we are unlikely to attract the finer things in life. Our circumstances generally reflect what we think we’re worth don’t they? And it’s always worth remembering “The quality of your life cannot exceed the quality of your thinking”. Very, very important, that bit!

Remember this blog post is about ‘Typical British Traits’ – and if I were to be asked, I’d place ‘Uncomfortable expecting success’ fairly near the top of my nominated list. In my experience, the number one reason we Brits fail to realise anywhere near our full potential is down to a lack of self-belief. There are exceptions of course, however the vast majority of us are more emotionally comfortable expecting just a little rather than considering themselves worthy of a lot. That’s a wonderful discussion point for another day. However you’re very welcome to get in touch and book a chat with me if you’d like to discuss some people development ideas – you’ll find my details at the bottom of this article.

Anyway, back to the fun side…

In 2008 The Metro published this online article nominating the Top 50 ‘typically British’ traits:

  1. Talking about the weather
  2. Great at queueing
  3. Sarcasm
  4. Watching soaps
  5. Getting drunk
  6. A love of bargains
  7. A love of curtain twitching
  8. Stiff upper lip
  9. Love of all television
  10. Moaning
  11. Obsession with class
  12. Gossiping with neighbours over the garden fence
  13. Obsession with the traffic
  14. Enjoying other people’s misfortune
  15. Inability to complain
  16. Love of cheap foreign holidays
  17. Working long hours
  18. A soothing cup of tea to ease worries
  19. Eating meat and two veg
  20. Looking uncomfortable on the dance floor
  21. Feeling uncomfortable when people talk about their emotions
  22. Clever sense of humour
  23. Obsession with property values
  24. Pandering to political correctness
  25. Road rage
  26. Being unhappy with our weight
  27. Wanting a good tan
  28. Being proud of where we live
  29. Not saying what we mean
  30. The ability to laugh at ourselves
  31. Washing the car on a Sunday
  32. Taking the mickey out of others
  33. Asking people about their journey
  34. Inability not to comment on how other people bring up their children
  35. Jealousy of wealth and success
  36. Being overly polite
  37. Texting instead of calling
  38. An inability to express our emotions
  39. Obsession with the Royal Family
  40. Fondness for mowing the lawn
  41. Love of rambling through the countryside
  42. A love of all things deep fried
  43. Emulating celebrity lifestyles
  44. Leaving things to the last minute
  45. Irony
  46. Keeping our homes neat and tidy
  47. Take decisions and accept the consequences
  48. Achieving against all odds
  49. Wanting our sportsmen / teams to fail
  50. DIY on a Bank Holiday

Source: http://metro.co.uk/2008/11/09/top-50-typically-british-traits-120837/

It’s quite a list isn’t it? How many do you relate to? What about your family members – are they like this? Do you and your work colleagues resonate with some of them?

You know, I absolutely love sharing success-orientated thinking skills with people – it’s highly rewarding to spend time helping people do better in life and at work. I’m saying that in a rather measured, typically British way you understand!

Until next time, Toodle Pip Old Fruit…

Stuart Sayer

T: 07500 877675

stuart@upthinkers.co.uk

UpThinkers provide Self-Leadership tips, advice and training programmes.

www.upthinkers.co.uk