Solutions Occur When You Develop a Curious Team

Curiosity

“When you shut down your curiosity, opportunities stop coming your way.” Jeannette Seibly

Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something. (Oxford Dictionaries)

People are born creative geniuses. But life, education, and societal norms squash the value of curiosity to try something different or new.

Also, many bosses and leaders have a vested interest in not rocking the boat or disrupting the workplace. To be competitive today, you must encourage curiosity. Curiosity creates an opportunity for an endless number of solutions. Team engagement.  And, build your company’s reputation and bottom line.

5 Tips to Build a Curious Workplace

  1. We often shut down new ideas out of fear they won’t work or need too much of our time. We limit new ways of thinking about things. During weekly team meetings, pick a topic and ask, “What if …” You’ll be amazed by the ideas your teams have been afraid to share. Capture these ideas by using flipcharts, post-it notes, or electronic brainstorming technology.
  2. Curiosity and idea generation are required to develop solutions. To encourage your team to share their light bulb moments, training is required. Training should include persuasive listening skills and how to conduct effective meetings. Companies that excel include a scientifically validated job fit assessment. These tools allow people to learn how to value each other’s differences and ideas.
  3. Curiosity can’t exist without awareness. It becomes a skill and not a threat to the status quo. Being curious allows for the question of “what if …” Expand this question by asking open-ended questions (e.g., who, what, when, where, why and how).  When you are dealing with nay-sayers, ask them for 5 reasons it could work. For Pollyanna’s, ask for 5 reasons it could fail.
  4. Be OK with Uncertainty. Curiosity has to include uncertainty. There are no guarantees. Unfortunately, fears of uncertainty or not knowing will stop most ideas from moving forward. Instead, use a system for developing ideas and conducting realistic ROIs. Stop allowing fear and indecisiveness to get in the way of moving forward.
  5. As the ideas start to flow, use technology to build a system for projects to work. This can uncover errors when the process gets stuck. Don’t forget to share your findings of why it will or won’t work early. Remember, while ideas may look good on paper, in reality, they may not work for your company.

When your team has a strong desire to become curious, your results will be amazing.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Brainstorming new ideas is easy. Getting out of the way is not so easy. To create curiosity and develop new solutions, train your team on persuasive listening and effective meeting skills. Include a job fit assessment for stellar results. Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

De-Stress and Focus for an Amazing Holiday

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It’s the holiday season…often the most stressful time of the year. How do you manage work, family and all the other stuff you have to do? How do you minimize stress with so many holiday distractions? And, in your business, how do you focus to get the most out of Q4?

11 Ways to De-Stress and Focus for Success

Pick one now. Be bold. Do it now!

1.Prioritize and Rank. Not everything is a priority. Make a list of everything that you believe needs to get done. Circle the top ten. Now, cut the list down to the top three. Rank them 1, 2, and 3. Do number 1 now. When it’s done, move on to number 2. Now, it’s time for number 3. Celebrate the completion of each task. If you actually do this one, you’ll be amazed by how much you get done.

2.Let Go. Not everything needs to happen immediately. If you need to file or shred papers, get an oil change for your vehicle, or buy holiday gifts, schedule it. Then, honor that time with focused energy. Make your calendar your friend.

3.Delegate. Stop being a lone ranger. Consider, your employees may do a better job than you would…if you let them. It’s a great gift to them…trusting them to do the work you normally do.

4.Do It for 20 minutes. We all have dreaded reports and other activities that we hate to do. Try this. Do it for 20 minutes. Then, decide if you wish to spend another 20 minutes or schedule it for later. This approach works.

5.Excuses Be Gone. Too often, we create excuses about why we haven’t completed something. Stop doing this! These mental gymnastics energy deplete you and sabotage your energy. Create a mantra: “I can do this and do it now.” The secret is, take the first step.

6.Stop Multitasking. Make a commitment to get one thing done at a time. There is satisfaction in fully completing something. While it may seem like multitasking allows you to get more things done, it rarely works that way. For example, attempting a business conversation while you are grocery shopping only adds stress. And, you will miss important points during that conversation.

7.Walk It Out. Take 10 minutes, three times daily, to simply walk around, go up and down the stairs, and MOVE! Remember to breathe! While out and about, say, “Hi!” to people and smile. This is one of the quickest ways to de-stress.

8.Talk It Out. Turn your internal monologues into dialogues. Get them out of your head. Share your concerns with someone who can actually help you. Now is the time to find a business coach for 2019 who can help you stay focused and improve your effectiveness. The relief you will feel is priceless.

9.Write It Out. Studies have shown it is cathartic when people write down their fears, upsets, and frustrations. Writing helps get negative thoughts out of your head and provides insights. The key is to keep things private and not share your written journal with others. Again, keep this private.

10.Meditate. Take time to quiet your mind from the mental chatter and be silent for several minutes. Sit comfortably. Focus on breathing in and out. When thoughts appear—and they will—say, “Noise.” Don’t make these thoughts good or bad. This highly effective method reduces stress and improves focus. And, you will feel refreshed.

11.Brag. When you learn how to brag, it is a huge self-confidence booster. Keep your Brag statements up-to-date and review them any time stress doesn’t go away. Or, when you need a confidence boost. They are also great when requesting a promotion or pay increase. Complete your Brag! statements today.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been a catalyst and leadership expert for over 26 years. As an executive coach, speaker, and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Remember, reducing stress improves your ability to focus and produce intended results. Hire a coach for even faster results. Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

Smart Networking Tips that Actually Improve Your Results

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Note: This is a 2-part article. This week we will focus on getting the most out of group networking meetings. Next week we will focus on how to conduct effective 1:1 networking meetings.

 

Smart networking is a must for every business professional.  It helps you attract and keep customers. Stay up-to-date in your industry, profession and business. And, provide invaluable opportunities.

Smart networking activities build relationships. When done right, networking uncovers hidden or unknown opportunities. It also provides invaluable insights about a company’s (or person’s) challenges.

What is networking? Networking is a marketing process designed to help you conduct research. Network meetings are not designed for selling. Selling becomes easier and more effective when you’ve taken the time to learn about the person and/or company through networking.

Joining industry, trade, professional and/or paid business networking groups is smart. Some of these groups will meet once or twice a month, while others meet weekly. Some groups have membership fees, while others are free. It’s important to understand the “group rules” before joining.

Remember, your time and money are important. Choose well, then, commit to attending.

Joe decided to join a general business network group. The group met twice per month and only one person per profession attended. However, he failed to attend on a consistent basis. He used the excuse his clients had to talk with him at the same time, instead of scheduling them for a different time. Also, he failed to setup 1:1 meetings. He lack curiosity about others, and wasn’t interested in helping them succeed. After several months, his boss asked him if he was getting anything out of this group. Joe responded, “NO!” There was no commitment.

8 Important Tips to Achieve Results from Group Network Meetings

  1. Choose one or two groups that resonate with you. Be clear. What is your purpose? Is it to build your business contacts? Is it to have someone to eat lunch with? What do you want or need to get out of it? Are members B2C or B2B, or a mix? Does the group provide referrals (warm introductions to others)? Or, only leads (ideas for cold calls)? How can you help members be successful?
  1. You have less than 30 seconds to make a positive impression. Dress appropriately and learn how to shake hands. Be prepared with your quick introduction of 20 words or less (review the 5 simple steps in It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition). Remember, people today have very short attention spans. Also, don’t use canned or generic intro’s. These do not differentiate you from others selling similar products or services.
  1. Keep every conversation simple and on-point. Plan to meet as many people as possible, even if you believe you are an introvert. This is not an opportunity to speak up about political or religious topics. Don’t talk about the benefits of your products or services, unless, someone asks.
  1. Put away your phone and other electronic distractions. Listening requires paying 100% attention to the person speaking. If you don’t, you’re telling others you don’t value them. A University of Michigan study showed that laptops (and phone apps) are also a distraction. Use paper and pen to jot down notes.

A woman had a new business venture and attended a group network meeting to generate interest. Instead of listening, she spent the meeting responding to her texts and FB postings. This behavior told everyone that she believed she was important and they were not. Needless to say, no one was interested in talking with her. Sadly, It was a lost opportunity for her new business.

  1. Don’t thrust your biz card in someone’s hand and say “Call me!” Instead, have a short conversation and determine if there is mutual interest to meet and talk further. If you have something specific to discuss, share that with them. That way they are more likely to take your call and respond to your emails.
  1. Build Your Network One Person at a Time. Group meetings are not designed to build good 1:1 business relationships. These only occur after having longer conversations, over a period of time.
  • -Within 24 to 48 hours send an email or call to setup a 1:1 meeting
  • -Don’t wait for others to ask you, even if they promised to do so
  • -Respond to all requests from others to connect … you can learn something from everyone
  • -Schedule meetings within a couple of weeks, preferably face-to-face
  1. Don’t add people to your email blasts without their permission. Do not become a spammer. Giving you their card is not giving you permission. Honor their, “no.”
  1. Make a commitment to attend … and honor that commitment. Your actions speak louder than words. We all have those times when we don’t want to go. Instead of falling into the “excuse trap,” show up with a smile and a positive attitude. You will never know what you are going to get out of your network meetings. If you don’t go, you won’t get anything!

Remember, Joe? He was not committed. Use these 8 tips to demonstrate your commitment and watch your networking results improve.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach and speaker, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Networking can be frustrating and isn’t always an easy process. Like any skill, smart networking requires commitment and practice. To improve your results, grab your copy of “It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.