How to Improve Leadership Results Before You Need to Fire Them

Due to the talent tsunami, experts warn 20-50 percent of employees are looking for new jobs or are planning to quit once the pandemic is behind us. To attract top talent, you must have leaders that are considered good leaders. Now is the time to make a positive difference.

A bad leader is someone who fails to work with and through others to keep customers happy and satisfied while building successful teams.

Examples:

When the oldest sibling was promoted to President of the family business, everyone expressed concern. She was insecure and relied only on her favorite people when making decisions. As a result, after losing several key customers, the family fired her.

In another company, a leader wasn’t a strong boss, but did make good decisions and cared about the customers. But a disgruntled employee scrutinized and gossiped about him to the point where he was considered a bad leader and felt forced to leave.

7 Signs of Poor Leadership

This list is endless…what are your key indicators of a bad leader?

  1. Loses focus on the goal by getting lost in the “weeds”
  2. Lacks empathy
  3. Stifles creativity and new ideas
  4. Is unable to motivate the team to achieve intended results
  5. Is indecisive
  6. Is unable to talk straight
  7. Plays favorites when assigning work

Too often, we wait until we’ve lost good customers or top talent before getting the leader the help and guidance needed for success.

7 Tips to Improve Leadership Results Now Before It’s Too Late

  1. Provide Executive Coaching. Many bad leaders are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. The right executive coach guides these leaders to improve communication, navigate politics, and manage sticky situations. Hire an executive coach from outside the company to ensure confidentiality. If the person isn’t coachable, it’s time to create an exit plan or job reassignment.
  2. Use qualified assessments. Use a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment and a job fit assessment. These provide objective insights and guidance based on consistent real data.
  3. Design a performance plan. It’s important to require bad leaders to participate in workshops. This helps them to acknowledge what they don’t know that they don’t know. Focus on one specific area at a time and team them with an internal company mentor (in addition to the outside executive coach). Courses must include addressing leadership blind spots (e.g., emotional intelligence, working with and through others, diversity, ethics, critical thinking, to name a few).
  4. Analyze the cost. Too often, we overlook bad leadership because we don’t see or understand the impact. When conducting a cost analysis, review turnover of top talent and customers, quality issues, and complaints. NOTE: If there are little or no problems, look deeper. The leader may be the scapegoat to distract from the real issue.
  5. Talk with disgruntled team members. Don’t be surprised if the bad leader’s problem is due to the inability to handle group think, cliques, and subjective expectations. Have the executive coach work with the team and the leader to get everyone on the same page. Remember, change is a process, not an event. And, no leader is perfect.
  6. Some bad leaders are good individual contributors as long as they don’t have people management responsibilities. Also, look for a special project or new opportunity that can use the leader’s good skills. NOTE: When making a transfer, the new position may have a new job title. But it’s best to avoid adjusting the paycheck or it could trigger a dissatisfied leader with an axe to grind.
  7. When All Else Fails Let the Bad Leader Go. Be sure you work with HR and/or an attorney to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. If you don’t, this can be very costly, especially if you’ve allowed it to go on for too long.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.  

A note from Jeannette about turning around bad leaders. Turning bad leaders around is one of my primary strengths. As an executive coach, I’ve worked with many poor leaders to transform them, or help them move on. When a bad leader needs help, the best solution is to do the right things now. If a team views their leader as needing help, don’t wait! Otherwise, s/he may need to leave the company! Remember, a bad leader cannot transform into a good one on his/her own! Contact me for a confidential conversation. 

13 Tips for Leaders to Positively Influence Their Teams

“When you positively influence your team, great results are achieved.” Jeannette Seibly

Take a moment:

  • Think about the worst boss you’ve ever had.
  • Now, think about the best boss.
  • What was the difference?

Many would say the difference was how the best boss applauded their efforts and ideas, while the bad boss was dismissive and negative.

Bosses are leaders in the company. Leaders influence team members by how they interact with them. This includes listening to new ideas, guiding them through challenges, and encouraging them to meet (and exceed) customer demands.

As a leader, you influence team members in their daily lives, both at work and after work hours. To be considered a “best boss,” take the time to be present and aware of your interactions with others … this will fundamentally influence your team’s results.

How to Create a Positive Influence with Your Team

  1. Learn from Mistakes. When you help your team learn from mistakes rather than berating them, your team’s confidence will build.
  2. Handle the Politics. Every company has internal politics. Protect your team members by stopping gossip, addressing complaints, and dealing with microaggressions. Remember to keep confidential issues confidential!
  3. Brag on Them! Share with others about the team’s results and individual accomplishments.
  4. Be Courteous. Say “Please” and “Thank you.” Ask, “Do you have 5 minutes to talk?”
  5. Ask Questions. Instead of assuming you already know it all, be open to learning something new!
  6. Get Both Sides of the Story. When a problem arises, get both sides by asking questions without sounding like an interrogator. Only then will you learn the truth.
  7. Build Confidence. Point out where progress is being made. Only focus on one challenge at a time and guide them through to achieve a positive solution.
  8. Provide Real Goals. Provide stretch goals instead of just providing tasks camouflaged as goals.
  9. Be Fair. Don’t have favorites when handing out assignments. Build on team members’ strengths; this builds a stronger, cohesive, and more agile team.
  10. Support Personal and Professional Goals. Be a resource and/or guide to help them achieve both.
  11. Be Ethical. Show a good work ethic and be the type of leader that is honest. Remember, your team members will mimic you!
  12. Think Bigger! Be open to thinking beyond the norm and welcome each team member’s ideas. Encourage all team members to take part when brainstorming.
  13. Trust and Value Them. Allow your team to do their work without being micro-managed. If problems arise (and they will), keep your door open. Trust and encourage them to work with and through others to create viable solutions.

©Jeannette Seibly 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. Her focus is getting leaders and their teams unstuck and able to achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. 

A note from Jeannette about being a leader who provides a positive influence. Providing a positive influence isn’t hard. But it does require being present and aware during ALL interactions. If your team has a challenge, encourage them to learn and work through the ups and downs. This positive influence builds trust and team confidence. Want to be a positive influence with your team but don’t know where to start?  Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Entrepreneurial Leaders Who Believe They Know Everything Will Fail

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” Donald Rumsfeld

A CEO shared ideas with an executive team member on how to achieve better results with her team. Instead of listening and learning, she replied, “I already know that.” OR “I’m already doing that.” In other words, she was not willing to admit what she was doing wasn’t working! She believed her past successes would somehow resolve the current issues. But, when she was unable to improve her results, six months later she left. Her parting comment was, “I don’t know what I could have done differently or better.”

Clearly, there were things she didn’t know that she didn’t know.

Many entrepreneurial leaders believe it’s important for young leaders to be open to learning new things. The truth is, it’s important for ALL leaders! Even long-time leaders don’t know everything!

The #1 challenge that gets in our way is our egos! Especially those with long-time experiences in a profession or industry. We stop being open and learning from others and believe we know everything! Or, we fear being thought of as incompetent by hiring a coach, even though, most leaders have coaches! As a result, failure is right around the corner for those leaders who believe they know it all!

Remember, knowing something doesn’t mean you have the skills to perform at the level required.

5 Tips to Expand Your Ability to Learn

  1. Listen to Learn. Building a confident team that produces consistent and intended results starts here! As an effective entrepreneurial leader, listening is a two-way street. You need to listen to your team, just as they need to listen to you! Provide persuasive listening training and attend as a participant!
  2. Practice is Required for Mastery. A new leader had done two board room presentations with his boss. He believed he now had the skills to go solo and would hit his goal for a promotion. When his boss recommended he take a workshop to learn the fundamentals, he declined. “I have it handled and don’t have time,” he replied. But, during the next two presentations, he failed to keep the board members engaged and answer questions truthfully. Instead of a promotion, he was sidelined. Effective practice depends on the quality of the practice. As every martial arts person will tell you, the right practice is required daily, over and over, even as a master. It starts with learning the basics, practicing them, then, expanding on them.
  3. Pay Attention to Job Fit. Many leaders fail to get real about their strengths and weaknesses and that of their team members! They believe anyone can do anything well. This arrogance results in miscommunication, missed deadlines, and customers leaving! Take the time to get clear about “why” you and your team members are successful…and, why they are not! Now, use this objective information to build a solid foundation for your business, teams, and customers to succeed.
  4. Learn How to Be An Effective Coach. When your team does not follow your advice, you will label them as not being coachable. Your attitude will get in the way of expanding your skills to become an effective entrepreneurial leader and coach. 

Questions to ask yourself and review with your coach:

  • Have you asked them about actions already taken?
  • Have you been clear that their performance isn’t hitting the goal?
  • Are you clear about your expectations? Are they realistic? Have you used straight talk when explaining them?
  • Are you using a “Rule of 3” to deep dive into their responses by having a two-way conversation, not an interrogation?

Note: To be an effective coach, you, yourself, must be coachable.

  • Who is your coach?
  • How often do you talk?
  • What stops you from listening when your coach shares knowledge you don’t like or disagree with?
  1. Critical Thinking. Remember, not all ideas will provide a positive ROI! Get real by deep diving into a topic and understanding the pros and cons. This requires reading more than the headlines on social media posts. Also, it requires you to talk it out with several industries and/or company contacts to get the inside scoop. The most important questions to ask, “Why did it work there? What are the challenges for it to work here?” Once you set aside your belief that you know how it should work, you can build on the structure you already have in place with your team.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly, The Leadership Results CoachJeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding entrepreneurial leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about know-it-all leaders. As an entrepreneurial leader, success requires being open to new ideas, systems, and people. When you are willing to set aside your beliefs that you know how it should work, you can achieve dynamic results. When you hit a wall (and you will), reach out. It can mean the difference between success and so-so results! Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How Do You Build a Confident Team?

“Your team’s success depends on you building their confidence.” Jeannette Seibly

Building a team that is confident and focused on achieving intended results takes time, energy, and awareness. As the leader, it’s one of your key job responsibilities. And, when you pay attention, the results can be fabulous!

The challenge is when you have team members concerned by what others think, fearful of asking for feedback, and are not coachable. That is the time for you to zero in, build their confidence, and help them succeed. If you don’t, it will diminish their (and your) results.

7 Tips to Build a Confident Team

  1. Patience is a Virtue. When a team member is too concerned about others’ opinions, it can be frustrating. Be patient and take time to listen to their concerns. The problem could be they don’t see the value of the goal or they don’t feel comfortable with the process of getting there. Partner the person with a team member to review the written timeline, milestones, and goals. Also, have them create a graph and/or talk through different scenarios. This helps the team member gain confidence, alleviate his/her concerns, and get on the same page with the team.
  2. Everyone Make Mistakes. When you have team members that fear making mistakes, it will often bring out their insecurities. Use the three-step process and debrief: “What Worked?” “What Didn’t Work?” “What Would You Like to be Acknowledged For?” Beware of the same mistake being made over and over because that indicates additional training is required.
  3. Use a Qualified Assessment. These help team members value and become aware of different thinking styles, core behaviors, and occupational interests. Using the right assessment shows natural differences and builds confidence.
  4. Believe Your Team Members Can Develop Solutions. When your team hits a wall (and they will) or has an overwhelming problem, first(!) clarify the true problem. This will require straight talk and listening. Then, brainstorm the solution. Do not interject your ideas until after each team member has shared. If you do, you risk shutting down your team and diminishing their confidence.
  5. Provide 1:1 Constructive Feedback. Many times, when team members are feeling insecure, they can be defensive. When this occurs, within 48 hours provide 1:1 feedback. For example, “During our weekly team meeting, you ignored a team member’s idea to resolve your issue. This resulted in you losing feedback that would have moved the project forward. Plus, you diminished the other’s confidence in you to create a solution.”
  6. Acknowledge Each and Every Person. When acknowledging team members, take the time to be specific and generous. Remember, whatever you acknowledge them for, it builds confidence and encourages more of the same great behaviors and attitudes!
  7. When Nothing Is Working. Since you’ve already made changes without success, you need objective input! Work with your executive coach to determine changes required. Otherwise, you’ll continue hurting your team’s confidence and their ability to achieve intended results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding entrepreneurial leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about building a confident team. As a leader, one of your key job responsibilities is building a confident team. A confident team achieves intended results. If you’ve hit a wall with your team’s confidence or your own confidence needs a boost, contact me for a confidential conversation now before mischief shows up.

Do You Bring Your A-Game to Work Each Day?

“It’s fun to experience your A-Game at work…but it’s up to you to bring it with you each day!” Jeannette Seibly

Your A-Game occurs when you are playing like a top-performing leader. This means you are working well with people, focused on the right business challenges, and bringing resources to your team. And, getting the results you want. It’s a great feeling. At the end of the day, you want to do it again!

But top performance doesn’t happen by accident. It takes doing the right things the right way…and starts by being present and aware.

How to Experience A-Game Days

  1. Self-Care Is Critical. Taking care of yourself is important. It’s difficult to operate at top performance while denying your health and well-being. Hire a coach if your normal days seem like B-type days.
  2. Resolve Conflict Instead of Hoping It’ll Go Away. Team conflict doesn’t mean you’re off-track. It means you need to address the core issue(s) you’ve been ignoring. This will make the difference between achieving dynamic results or experiencing costly hit-or-miss results.
  3. Delegate to Your Team and BELIEVE They Will Come Up with the Answers. Your belief and trust in others will make projects easier to accomplish. (Or, more difficult if you’re micromanaging.) Remember, your team can take the initiative, be resourceful, and wants to be trained. A-Game leaders value the learning process and lead by example.
  4. Brainstorm Solutions and Then Get Out of the Way. Lack of true brainstorming is a key reason teams fail! Trust the process of brainstorming and don’t latch on to the first and easiest answer. Now, get out of the way and allow your team to explore these new options.
  5. Keep Your Eye on the End Results While Managing the Process. There will be times you will go off-track and into the weeds! It’s important to objectively ask and answer whether or not the current actions will lead you to the desired results. Watch out for busywork that occurs when a team member doesn’t have the skills or interest in using these skills to get the job done. Now, manage the process to stay on track. Remember, don’t manage your team members’ personalities, manage their actions.
  6. Dial-Down Your Ego. Being humble every day is important when bragging about your successes! It also builds trust from your team.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly, The Leadership Results CoachJeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about bringing your A-Game to work each day. Your A-Game occurs when you are operating at top performance levels. But those levels don’t happen by accident. They require you to consistently do the right things the right way…and that starts with you being present and aware. If you find that many of your days are B-, contact me to understand how to reach A-Game levels consistently!

Are you frustrated that your team loves conflict and chaos more than achieving intended results? Discover how to step up and work through these saboteurs now, before it’s too late!

When You Feel Stuck, Stop Believing Something Is Wrong with You!

“To get unstuck, stop believing there is something wrong with you. Only then, can you discover ‘why.’” Jeannette Seibly

A couple of months ago I worked with a business owner, Joyce. Joyce shared she’d had a bad year and hated managing people. A previous coach had given Joyce a standard answer, “Learn to become a manager of people to grow your business.” Joyce tried but her business suffered. She believed something was wrong with her and was stuck not knowing what to do next.  

After reviewing her job fit assessment, Joyce learned she was fine! She just didn’t have the interest in developing the skills to manage people. I let her know that it was OK to stop thinking she had to manage people to grow her business! (This encouraged Joyce to stop beating herself up.)

Now Joyce is back selling and restructuring her business model for success. She’s unstuck and happy again!

This often happens when you use a “standard cookie-cutter approach” instead of getting real about why you are stuck!

Do remember the cartoon, Wylie Coyote, and the number of times he hit the wall and slid down? Do you remember he’d get back up and hit that same wall again, over and over?

In real life, many of us are like that. We get stuck and stay stuck for too long out of fear there’s something wrong with us. Or, sometimes worse, listen to the wrong advice. And, sometimes rely on our feelings and become emotionally attached about the right way to go.

It doesn’t need to be that way! Everyone gets stuck! It’s what you do to get unstuck that matters!

“Everyone gets stuck! It’s what you do to get unstuck that matters!” Jeannette Seibly

5 Ignored Truths to Get You Unstuck!

1. The #1 Culprit: The Grass is Greener Syndrome. When you compare your life, jobs, and other factors to others, you can get jealous. You are stuck believing life will be better if you have what they have! But the reality is that the grass isn’t greener someplace else. It’s just different. In time, if you do leap to a new job, home, or relationship before you are ready, you’ll experience the same “stuckness” all over again! The key is to look inward! Use meditation, work with an experienced coach, and be willing to do the right work to find a new pathway for your success.

 Years ago, I worked with a CPA, Darla. She’d been a great employee but over the past 6 months adopted a negative attitude. After we talked through her job fit results (she was a good fit), I asked, “What’s the problem?” Darla’s answer, “I want to travel.” I replied, “Then, aren’t you in a great job that can allow you to do that! Your heavy workload is during the 1st quarter of the year. After that, you can schedule time for travel!” She agreed, shifted her mindset, and became a good employee again!

2. The #2 Culprit. Poor Job Fit. Over 70% of people are in jobs that don’t fit them. (Gallup) Too many people have fallen into the trap of believing they can be successful in any job they want. In an ideal world, this might be true. But we don’t live there! We get stuck thinking we can be our own boss or get rich selling insurance (two of thousands of examples), instead, we fail! Here’s why: You don’t fit the thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests for success in those occupations. Use a qualified job assessment to objectively provide real data. It’ll tell you “why” you’re stuck. Then, talk it through with your coach before talking with your boss to make appropriate job changes.

3. A corollary to #2 … Expand Job Responsibilities. CAUTION: this is NOT about doing more work! Busy work can create boredom, frustration, and emptiness! It’s about taking on new responsibilities that expand your skills and engage you in your job. Develop your “brag statements” before pitching to your boss the need for job changes.

4. Get Real and Stop the Trial & Error. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Listen DIYers! Yes, I know. You think you have it all handled. But the reality is, if you stay stuck or keep getting stuck in the same place, you need to expand your perspective and change up your game plan. The most effective way to shift this is to work with a real and experienced coach. Stop relying on friends who tell you what you want to hear!

David, a former executive, found himself fired from his job of 15 years. He spent the next 5 years trying out different jobs, including buying a franchise. Exhausted from his failures and financially struggling, he finally reached out to his coach (me) to answer the question, “Why?”. Now, he is happy and working in a 6-figure job he loves.

5. You May Have Hit Your Ceiling. I have found there are times when people “max out.” It’s time to sell the business, work in a new company, retire, transfer to a new job, and/or create a new goal for their life. But before jumping to something new, talk it out with your coach. Uncover the real underlying issue. Remember, there is a difference between boredom and being antsy to move on before you’re ready.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Are you frustrated that your team loves conflict and chaos more than achieving intended results? Discover how to step up and work through these saboteurs now, before it’s too late!

A Note about Getting Unstuck and Thinking Something is Wrong with You from Jeannette. Too often we look at others, become jealous, and then, make changes that don’t work for us. We get “stuck.” When we allow ourselves to stay stuck in boredom, frustration, and emptiness, our emotional attachments sabotage our career and life choices. There’s a lot of hyperbole out there! Get real by working with a real coach to discover why you are stuck. This is the best time to move forward. Contact me to start a confidential conversation and feel energized again.

Create a Results-Producing Customer-Focused Culture

“If you want to create a customer-focused culture, you must start by being accountable for the results!” Jeannette Seibly

As a leader, creating results-producing, can-do customer-focused teams requires being accountable! You must develop laser-like attention to hiring, coaching, training, and managing your team and team members. If you don’t, you will create a chaotic workplace culture, and customers will fire you and seek out your competition!

Many leaders operate as elite helicopters flying at 30-feet above the action. While they are hovering, they fail to plan for and handle important details. They tend to cause team conflicts and they are often considered a difficult team leader!

Remember, it’s not business as usual! It’s time to get real before you lose customers and top talent!

5 Required Tips for Creating a Results-Producing, Can-Do Customer-Focused Team

  1. Promote the Right Bosses! Yes, it starts here! Stop promoting people that are not already exhibiting good people management skills. Instead, create a separate career ladder for them that recognizes their strengths. Otherwise, they will become toxic bosses and top talent will leave! Your customers will leave with your top talent!
  2. Hire Right the First Time. Use data-driven, objective, and consistent information to select the right people for the right jobs Regardless of what job candidates tell you about their experiences, use the right tools to ensure they fit your job requirements. Hiring great team members will attract top talent and great customers too! Your customers will thank you since they don’t have to keep training new employees that soon leave!
  3. Create Company Values that Inspire. It’s not business as usual. You must set aside your ego and remember your team members are watching and emulating what you do! Dust off the company mission and value statements. Get your executives and bosses onboard and trained! Your customers seek vendors and service providers to give them what they requested the first time!
  4. Value Learning and Development. Creating a customer-focused workplace culture starts with you. Are you holding your teams accountable for meeting customer needs and achieving intended results? Are you ensuring all workshops, online and on-site, include all employees, bosses, and executives as participants? Are you including the right training? Must have training includes: Inclusion, Conducting effective meetings, Critical thinking, True brainstorming, Alignment, and Achieving intended results.
Are you holding your teams accountable for meeting customer needs and achieving intended results?

Your customers value teams that are working on the same page at the same time!

  1. Expand Your Team’s Mindset. Life and work experiences, education, and other beliefs create a person’s mindset. It influences how you and your team members interact with customers and each other. Your job as the leader is to hold your team members accountable for fulfilling the customers’ needs. Your customers experience value by what you do and how you do it!

©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Do you want your team to be part of the elite 10% that achieves intended results? MUST READ! “7 Reasons Why Teams Don’t Resolve Conflict”  Reason #2 is especially important!

A Note about Creating a Results-Producing Customer-Focused Culture from Jeannette. Do you consider yourself the type of leader that operates like an elite helicopter flying at 30-feet above the action? Do you know that by hovering, you fail to plan for and handle important details? Do you know you also become a difficult team leader? If you want to inspire your teams to produce intended results,  contact me to start a confidential conversation.

Are Your Mental Abilities Feeling Foggy?

“A new challenge emerging from the pandemic is not recognizing people, things, and situations as we remember them.” Jeannette Seibly

A couple of weeks ago I called a consultant who does HR work. We’d talked off and on for the past 18 months about using assessments. He had several clients that needed to resolve management issues. In the meantime, he had introduced me to a new client needing to hire someone. The last time we talked was in December 2020. I called him a couple of weeks ago to follow-up. He told me, “I don’t know who you are, and I remember faces.”  

Whoa! What a surprise. He was sure we’d never spoken with each other before. I painted a picture of our call in December. His response was, “I receive 116 emails daily.” So, I sent an email for a Zoom meeting, but doubt I will hear back from him.

You are not alone if you have had a similar experience. If you’re in sales, business development,  management consulting, or leading virtual teams, you are more likely to face this new challenge for remembering people, completing normal tasks, and recalling specific points during a conversation. Many find they are “not functioning with normal mental quickness or struggling to find the right word.” (Why Your Brain Feels Broken, NYTimes Parenting)

Also, there are the memory challenges experienced by people who are COVID long-haulers, working baby boomers, and people multi-tasking instead of listening. Additionally, mental health challenges (e.g., depression, anxiety, and stress), can lead to false memories too. (PsychologyToday.com)

As you physically go into offices and business meetings, you must interact with people as they are today, not as you remember them from over a year ago! People change. These changes will impact conversations and situations since perspectives have changed too.

Some of you will even question your own memory if you failed to listen and allowed distractions!

7 Tips to Create Mental Clarity

  1. Paint a Picture. If someone says, “I don’t remember …” or they appear not to remember, paint a picture of the last conversation. Describe where you were. Include any unusual situation (the coffee shop didn’t sell tea). Stay factual.
  2. Offer Your Name. Don’t play the guessing game. This will leave someone frustrated or upset they can’t remember. Instead, give them your name, business focus (10 words or less), and a quick overview of your last interaction. If you don’t remember your last interaction, start fresh and have a conversation about today.
  3. Stay Focused by Putting Away Distractions. “A lot of people think they are good at multi-tasking. The sad truth is they are not.” (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, author of Keep Sharp: How To Build a Better Brain at Any Age) If you multi-task during discussions, you will miss hearing important information and feel lost in future conversations. Some of you will even question your own memory if you failed to listen and allowed distractions!
  4. Send an Email. Recap and outline three key points. Do this before a scheduled meeting to get both of you on the same page faster. Be aware, if the person remembers it differently, ask for his/her version. Again, stick with the facts.
  5. Listen Anew. Put aside what you believe you already know or remember about the person, thing, or situation. Remember, you can be right or you can be effective. Instead, build a new bridge from yesterday to today by listening and being curious. It’s a great opportunity to create a “new normal.”
  6. Exercise, Eat, and Stay Active. This keeps your brain sharp. Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and word games are several ideas to help keep your brain active. Eat a healthful diet and get up from your desk every hour and move for a few minutes. (Gupta)
  7. Remember to breathe when you feel agitated, frustrated, or you’re struggling to remember a word, phrase, or person! This is a simple and effective technique. It calms your brain from its automatic reaction of fight, flight, or freeze. Also, it reduces your stress of having to get it right and calms you so you can be present during the current conversation.

 ©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

Want to know what egos and team results have in common? Get your answers by click here.

A Note about Feeling Mental Fogginess from Jeannette. “At the University of California Irvine, research is beginning on how the lockdown has affected people’s memories. It’s been reported that even some of those amazing people who usually remember events like buying a cinema ticket 20 years earlier because they have highly superior autobiographical memory are finding they are forgetting things.” (BBC) The bottom line is, be kind to yourself and to others when memories are not clear as usual. If you want clarity on how to build a bridge from yesterday to today when talking with people, contact me to start a confidential conversation.

Develop a Winning Attitude to Achieve Great Results

“A winning attitude is priceless!” Jeannette Seibly

Winning isn’t everything, but developing a winning attitude is. A winning attitude builds confidence. It increases your ability to take initiative and be resourceful. It creates healthy self-esteem while improving your results.

Whether you win or not, you always gain new knowledge, skills, and awareness that are only available with a winning attitude. And, these experiences are priceless.

When you fail to bring a winning attitude to a project or task, you will likely produce mediocre results.

I’ve found in my 28 years of coaching and speaking with 1,000s of people, that a healthy relationship with winning is as important as learning the lessons from losing.

Unfortunately, a lot of people today have conflicted feelings and attitudes about winning. They have learned to be great losers and poor winners (yes, I wrote that correctly). This comes from intense peer pressure to conform and not overshadow others. Conversely, when you work on teams where winning is everything that has a downside too.

I learned a very important lesson about winning after working full-time during the day and taking graduate courses at night to receive my master’s degree. It occurred at my celebration party. Some people didn’t attend, and the reason why was a former co-worker told them, “She doesn’t deserve it!” Huh? The lesson? Not everyone will be happy about your success, but you cannot let that stop you from developing a healthy winning attitude.

“Too often, people dream the dream but fail to commit to making it happen.” Jeannette Seibly

4 Tips to Create a Healthy Winning Attitude

  1. Take Initiative. Too often, people dream the dream but fail to commit to making it happen. They want to win but fear the time and effort required. There is also a very real fear that it will negatively impact their relationships. To achieve my goal of paying for my master’s degree, I researched and wrote the education reimbursement policy for my employer. The company approved it and paid for the majority of my master’s program. That’s what taking initiative looks like.
  2. Do the Work Instead of Creating Excuses. For me, it meant applying for the graduate program and enrolling in the classes. I took classes at night and studied on the weekends. Yes, I had to sacrifice participating in other things, but my commitment to myself and my master’s degree was worth it!
  3. When Obstacles Occur, and They Will, Become Resourceful! Everyone hits a wall. Sometimes it’s a really big one. But giving up isn’t an option. When one of my required classes was only offered in the afternoons, twice a week, during work hours, I had to change my work schedule from full-time to part-time. This also meant a pay cut for one term. Then, I changed companies with only 6 more credits required. Thankfully, my new boss encouraged me by saying, “Get it done now.”
  4. Celebrate the Win with Gratitude, not Ego. When you win, it’s important to celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments! Add the achievements to your resume. For me, I accepted the gift of the graduation party from my parents. Graciously accepting acknowledgments is also an important part of a winning attitude.

Remember, a winning attitude is required to achieve great results: a career you enjoy, new opportunities, and job satisfaction. For me, developing a winning attitude supported me to achieve great results in my career and in my business.

©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Developing a Winning Attitude from Jeannette. Winning attitudes require believing in yourself and taking the right actions to make it happen. That’s why It’s important today we develop a winning mindset. If you are seeking clarity about what to do, let’s start a conversation to get you into action. Contact me!

Are You Being Inclusive with Your Team?

“Inclusion isn’t hard, but it takes intention, skill, and commitment to make it happen.” Jeannette Seibly

Have you ever attended a get-together and sat there with a smile plastered on your face? Then, after the appropriate amount of time, you left with your facial muscles hurting and your energy depleted.

I recently attended an event where this happened to me! There were about 30 people on the call, but only  5 people were interacting with the host. The rest of us sat and watched the interaction with smiles plastered on our faces! It was like watching a tennis match of back-and-forth dialogue between a few select people. And because they didn’t include us, there was no opportunity to add to their conversation.

Those of you who know me know I’m not a wallflower. So, why did I feel deflated after attending what was supposed to be a fun event?

When I shared this with a friend, she said, “You didn’t feel included.”

“You’re right!” I responded. A light-bulb moment.

Then we talked about how employees, managers, and team members feel when they are not part of the clique or the leader’s inner circle. Because it’s hard to keep that fake smile plaster on your face every day!

As leaders, it’s everyone’s job to engage and include each and every person on the team! That’s being inclusive! And, in today’s workplace culture, this is a critical skill you must develop!

“In today’s workplace culture, inclusion is a critical skill you must develop!” Jeannette Seibly

7 Tips to Be Inclusive

  1. Welcome Each Person as they Join the Meeting, Virtually or On-Site. Use their first name (or, the name they wish to be called).
  2. Introduce People to One Another. At any type of meeting or social gathering, take responsibility to introduce people to one another. On Zoom calls, allow 15 seconds for each person to give a quick intro. Being seen and heard sets a positive tone for the meeting or event.
  3. Ask for Each Person’s Opinion. During brainstorming and idea generation activities, give everyone a chance to speak. Give them the option of “passing.” I go around the group more than once to ensure everyone has an opportunity to speak. And I usually get better interaction the second time around.
  4. Acknowledge Each Idea. Say something positive, “Wow!” “That’s great.” “Hadn’t thought about that one.” When you value each idea, others feel more comfortable offering their thoughts and insights. Reserve judgment about the quality of the ideas for later. It’ll be obvious if an idea won’t work for a project or issue. However, I’ve seen the lamest ideas become epic solutions! So, learn patience and trust the process!
  5. Don’t Offer Your Ideas Upfront (as the leader or boss). During true brainstorming activities, you want people’s unfiltered Wait until everyone has an opportunity to share, then offer your ideas. If you don’t wait, people that disagree or have more experience than you may feel uncomfortable sharing. It’s amazing how this simple tactic will generate more engagement and better ideas. (In case you’ve not read my recent articles, only 10% of teams produce intended results!)
  6. Assign Tasks Appropriately. When assigning tasks, base your decisions on the person’s skills and not on who you like the best. Allow people to volunteer first before making assignments. If a person raises his/her hand and doesn’t have the skills, team them with someone who is an expert and excellent teacher. Otherwise, the tasks may not get done and the person will disengage from the team.
  7. Appreciate Each Person. Make sure to appreciate each person for their contribution no matter how large or small. Remember to use “please” and “thank you” often.

©Jeannette Seibly 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for over 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A Note About Being Inclusive from Jeannette. Being inclusive isn’t hard. But you must have the intention, skill, and commitment to include all people during calls or on-site meetings. There are many training and coaching programs available to develop these skills. If you’re hesitant about what to do, let’s start a conversation to get you into action. Contact me!