Leaders: Talk Straight for Teams to Trust You

“Want better results? Want your team to trust you? Try straight talk.” Jeannette Seibly

The past year has been challenging for everyone everywhere. It’s been difficult to find out what is true and who is “blowing smoke.”  As leaders and team members, we must do our best to listen, hear, and talk straight. Straight talk gains the trust of our bosses, team members, and customers.

However, straight talk can be tricky if your workplace culture doesn’t support honesty. Many of us fear sharing the truth because we are afraid of the consequences. And, these fears can be very real!

But when you rely on “white lies” or spin the facts, you will suffer the consequences. And, so will your company. The truth will emerge in the future. When it does, your boss, customers, and team members will feel hurt, angry, and betrayed because you didn’t talk straight!

Years ago, I learned this the hard way. There was a controversy going on within my department. When the VP of a different department asked me what I knew, I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head. I lied by saying, “I don’t know.”

Later, when the truth came out, he said to me, “In the future, say, ‘you cannot talk about it.’ Otherwise, I won’t trust you.”

When leaders and team members talk straight by telling the truth, results can be amazing. It develops trust and allows team members to get unstuck. They can now share real problems and ideas while developing new and better solutions.

“When leaders and team members talk straight by telling the truth, results can be amazing.” Jeannette Seibly

4 Overlooked Ways to Speak in an Honest, Truthful Manner (aka Straight Talk)

Deliver or Receive Bad News with Respect. When leaders and teams only want to hear good news, competitors will steal their clients and top talent will leave!

How to do it:

  • Don’t shoot the messenger—Make it easy for others to tell you the truth.
  • Share bad news first by saying, “You’re not going to like what I’m going to say…” OR “I’m afraid you won’t like what I need to say.”
  • Share your fact-based message. Fine-tune it so it is meaningful to your boss and/or team and/or customer. For example, some leaders want to hear the financial issues and are not interested in employee morale. Pay attention to your audience.

Overcome Your Fears. Your fears can be real. But it is important to address concerns even if your boss, customers, and team won’t like it! Failure to share negative information can trigger bigger issues about safety, employment, or financial impacts (to name a few).

How to do it:

  • Stick to the facts and use metrics.
  • Conduct audits and update policies, practices, and tools to ensure compliance.
  • Use communication channels (e.g., intra-company, group training, etc.) to address “new normal” operating procedures.

Train for Straight Talk. Many teams and leaders don’t know how to talk straight. They talk around a point, wing it, or are evasive because they are afraid to tell the truth and/or don’t know the facts. This results in miscommunication, unclear directives, and poor ethical practices at every level in your organization. All of these are avoidable with straight talk.

How to do it:

Take Responsibility. Telling and/or hearing the truth can be challenging. Many companies have sacred elephants, are afraid to rock the boat, and have team members that are well-liked but fail to get the job done.  These are just a few of the reasons why only 10% of teams achieve intended results! Straight talk encourages you to tell the truth in a way that others can hear and listen to you.

How to do it:

  • State the facts and review them with your business advisor, CPA, or attorney before talking with decision-makers.
  • Document facts and the costs/benefits of solutions.
  • Share this information with your boss or board in a way they can hear it, and continue the conversation until it’s resolved.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017-2021 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.

Do you fear telling team members the truth because it’ll create conflict? You’re not alone. Learn 3 keys on how to talk through team conflict now. “7 Reasons Why Teams Don’t Resolve Conflict” 

A Note about Leaders: Talk Straight for Teams to Trust You from Jeannette. Talking straight can be difficult because people fear the truth. They don’t want to hear anything negative. They accept mediocrity and make excuses believing they did the best they could.  But for leaders everywhere, it’s pay now or pay later because the truth will come out. Need help to feel comfortable talking straight and telling the truth? Contact me to start a confidential conversation. It could save your career and your business.

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.

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!

Craft Your Next Career Opportunity Today

“Are you ready for your next opportunity? If yes, take initiative and create your next opportunity in your current job. You’ll get results faster.” Jeannette Seibly

Instead of looking for a new job with more opportunities, expand your current position and responsibilities. Why? You already know the company structure, customers, industry, and systems. You can hit the floor running faster and produce results quicker with your current team and boss.

How to Create Your New Opportunity

Talk with Customers and Department Heads. Meet with others to determine what is missing. Listen more than talk and ask questions for clarification.

Ask the following questions:

  • “What are your top 1 or 2 concerns right now?”
  • “Why are these important challenges?”
  • “What do you believe are the solutions?”
  • “How do you believe my team can best help?”

Once there is an alignment of what to pursue with your team, explore and focus on the top 1 or 2 concerns.

“Effective brainstorming requires listening to all team members and writing down all ideas.” Jeannette Seibly

Brainstorm for Solutions. To get started, acknowledge your team for their willingness to be part of this new opportunity. Then, together with your team, review the data from your conversations. Also, review the company’s mission and 2021 goals. Now, your team is ready to brainstorm. Remember, effective brainstorming requires listening to all team members and writing down all ideas.

Align Team Members. Don’t rely on consensus for agreement. Align on the project you will focus on. Then, talk with your boss and key influencers to get their buy-in. Be prepared to address any specific concerns or elephants.

Put Together the Presentation. Purpose. Timeline. Budget. These are the three key areas. Keep the narrative to one page for each item. Since it is a new idea, use simple graphs to support your points. During the presentation, don’t be defensive when answering questions or it’ll kill the opportunity. Instead, remember, you’ve been working on this opportunity for a while. But it’s the first-time others are learning about it.

Now, Make it Happen.

If you have the:

  • Green light–Don’t wait. Get into action now and address any required changes along the way.
  • Yellow light–People are not clear. Clarify your proposal. Keep your communication simple and smart. Remember, they have their own agendas that you did not address to their satisfaction. Now is the best time to use your persuasive listening skills to create win-win-win outcomes.
  • Red light–There was no buy-in. You overlooked or missed important points. Talk with your boss and key influencers after working with your executive coach. Then, debrief with your team. Review and determine what’s next. Don’t let one failure sideline your ability to seek future opportunities within your current job.

©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 Crafting Your Next Career Opportunity Today from Jeannette. Many of your key leaders and employees want more than their current position offers. Instead of letting them leave, encourage them to take initiative and create their next career opportunity within their current position. Then, provide the training and coaching required for their success, or there is a good chance they will fail. Need help? Yes, we all do from time-to-time. Contact me!

It’s a New Normal. Are You Ready to Get Employees Skill-Ready?

“You will lose key employees and customers if your people are not talent-ready.” Jeannette Seibly

In October 2020, the World Economic Forum released its report of the top 15 skills for 2025. While 2025 may seem a long way off, it’s not.

As you read the list note software development, cybersecurity and technology are not at the top of the list. Instead, it’s about creativity, problem solving, analytical thinking, and innovation.

It is critical companies develop these necessary skills today. Waiting until 2025 won’t work since your company will be left behind its competition. Start training at the top and cascade down now. This reinforces the skills training since your executives and managers will set a positive example.

3 Key Issues Often Overlooked

  • Discrimination practices will get in the way when designing individual training goals. Insert into your leaders’ job descriptions, “training and coaching the next leaders include each and every person!”
  • Failure to budget and use that money for training tells customers your business is not ready to be their vendor or contractor.
  • Hiring, coaching, and managing are much easier and less expensive if you hire and promote based on job fit. This requires using objective data on a consistent basis. Not everyone has an interest in learning and using the new skills appropriately.

Here is the “List of the Top 15 Skills” (click here for the full report):

(Note: most of these are considered “soft skills,” which are often ignored.)

  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Creativity, originality, and initiative
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Technology use, monitoring, and control
  • Technology design and programming
  • Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility
  • Reasoning, problem solving, and ideation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Troubleshooting and user experience
  • Service orientation
  • Systems analysis and evaluation
  • Persuasion and negotiation
Are you ready? Happy employees are well trained in all aspects of their work.

5 Key Factors to Prepare Your Company for Success

  • Create a strategic plan for ongoing training and skill development. Make sure your budget includes consistent communication reminders on how to use these new skills!
  • Develop skill levels (basic, medium, and advanced) required for different job responsibilities. For example, non-tech salespeople need systems awareness but don’t need advanced systems analysis and evaluation.
  • Select trainers who are shining examples of using these skills (internal and external). They must be able to engage participants and answer questions. Otherwise, your leaders and employees will lose interest.
  • Provide easy-to-access workshops, videos, coaching, and 1:1 training to reinforce skills. Ensure manager/executives receive the training first. This will set an example for all team members.
  • Encourage team members to work in cross-functional groups and rotate who leads the team. This will expand everyone’s knowledge on how to apply these new skills in different situations.

©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 Getting Your Employees Talent-Ready from Jeannette. 2021 is not business as usual and employees are frustrated with the lack of new opportunities for skill development. (Yes, even your newly hired team members.) Now is the time to develop everyone, from the top-down, to expand their skills and knowledge. It gets team members excited to come to work each day!  Need help? Yes, we all need help from time-to-time. Contact me!

How You Can Create Productive Conversations

Never underestimate the power and importance of having conversations. But to achieve win-win-win outcomes as a leader, learn how to make them productive.

The challenge is most people have a poor relationship with talking it out. They have not learned how to ensure team members feel valued and heard before decisions are made.

Have you ever had one of these experiences (or been the person who refused to listen)?

  • One strong woman believed she knew best. So instead of talking out differences of opinion she would bulldoze the situations. She would then add fuel to the fire by alienating the person(s) for not agreeing with her.
  • One man believed his ideas were the best ones. After all, he’d spent a lot of time thinking and rethinking through the issue. He wasn’t open to hearing anyone’s input. Needless to say, when he didn’t get his intended results, he blamed his team for poor execution.
  • One team was not open to changing how they worked together since they’d been successful in the past. As a result, when the customer was unhappy with the product, they refused to listen. The client sued for breach of contract and won!
Having conversations that are productive saves time, money, and relationships.

What’s the difference between productive and non-productive conversations?

  • Non-productive conversations focus on gossip, ongoing conflicts, and the news. These types of conversations waste time and leave you feeling un-energized or drained.
  • Productive conversations focus on resolving current issues. They address brainstorming, creating potential solutions, and developing new actions for results.

6 Steps to Transform Your Unproductive Conversations

  1. Develop Basic Meeting Tactics. Have an agenda, create minutes, and set up a communication portal with easy access for all team members. Stay focused during the meeting. Encourage all team members to share (you may need to limit their time to 2 or 3 minutes). If you need basic meeting tactics, hire an executive coach to develop facilitation skills, instead of relying on trial-and-error.
  2. Have 1:1 Meetings. Use 1:1 or smaller team meetings to handle specific problems. Share with the team the results of these meetings, where appropriate. Relationship issues should be confidential.
  3. Stop Mind-Reading. No one is a mind-reader. Share your expectations out loud and clearly. Be a parrot by repeating the vision and the goal(s) at the beginning of each meeting.
  4. Handle Conflicts. If your team meetings include sniping, gossip, and other unproductive comments, STOP. These types of meetings cost time, money, and hurt feelings. Become fearless. Work with your coach to resolve team conflicts and develop this all-important muscle.
  5. Embrace Tough Conversations. Yes, I said embrace! It starts by addressing the “elephant in the room.” Use the straight-talk approach and start the conversation with the facts. Allow each person to share his/her thoughts and brainstorm as a team to resolve it. As the team leader, share your concerns last. This encourages everyone to share and truly listen.
  6. Engage in Strategic Conversations. Using the same strategy does not develop productive conversations for win-win-win outcomes. Be candid about the strengths and weaknesses of ideas and facts after brainstorming is done. Align on a plan instead of relying on a consensus since it removes silos and encourages teams to embrace change.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019 – 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker for 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 Having Productive Conversations from Jeannette. It’s not business as usual (I know I keep repeating this phrase week after week). My intention is to emphasize that the new normal needs to be created. This occurs when you have productive conversations and allow for innovation. If you are unclear how to get started, pick up the phone or email me for ideas!

The 6 C’s to Actually Create Crazy Amazing Success

Stop waiting for the perfect time. It doesn’t exist.

It’s February! Now that the craziness of January is gone (e.g., creating goals and resolutions, hiding them in a drawer, and dealing with the little negative voice in your head), let’s create real success to support your goals for 2021.

The perfect time is right now because each and every step you take forward makes it happen now.

The 6 C’s to Practice for Success

Create a vision. Create a true vision of what you really, really, really want to achieve. This means putting aside what your parents and/or family and/or friends believe is the right vision. If it is a work goal, create the initial goal, plan, and budget before sharing it with your boss.

Courage is an inside job. Your success is an inside job. It requires telling the truth about who you are and what you really want. Then, create the goal and take action without waiting until the perfect time (since it’ll never come). If this is an entrepreneurial pursuit, keep your day job (or part-time gig work) until you have the income to leave.

Conversations must level up. The conversations in your head and with others must focus on the outcomes you want to achieve. Relying on excuses (I don’t have the time, money, or the right people) only gets in the way of success. Talk like a business person or community advocate when sharing your vision.

For example: instead of talking about feeling unmotivated last year, talk about the new book you are writing. Or, the new project you are leading. Or, the new effort to create a community/family garden. The possibilities are endless. Share why it’s important and why it makes a positive difference for you and others.

(PS: When having these types of quality conversations, others will want to help.)

“Perfection is a myth and gets in the way of you having what you really really really want to have.” Jeannette Seibly

Commitment requires focused action. Telling yourself you are committed, but failing to take the right actions, creates feelings of failure. If you’re truly committed, create a blueprint with the right actions that lead to your intended results! Now, follow it! Do not create busy-ness as your new excuse.

Consistency each and every day. Be bold and audacious by taking one step forward each day. Write in your journal (for your eyes only) and share your brags daily. (BizSavvyBrag.com) This will motivate you to stay in action. If you have a day job, find the time and ask for help (e.g., have your family do chores, hire someone to tutor your kids, etc.). Then, honor the time you’ve set aside.

Coachability: the secret for success. Being coachable and hiring the right coach makes all the difference. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners fear having a coach will change how things are done. Get over it! Be more committed to your success than your ego!

For example: An entrepreneur loved creating new products, but hated creating the business infrastructure required to grow. He continued to struggle with sales until he learned how to work with his coach and do the work required.

©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 Achieving Crazy Amazing Success from Jeannette. 2021 is not business as usual. It’s a great time to wake-up your entrepreneurial interests. (It doesn’t mean leaving your day job!) Or, waking up community or family dreams to get started on them Learn and implement the 6 C’s to achieve your dreams and get into action. Don’t wait! The perfect time is created by each and every step you take right now. Need help? Yes, we all do from time to time. Contact me!

How to Prevent Overconfidence from Hurting Team Results

“Remember, 90% of the world’s information is in people’s heads, not the internet!” Jeannette Seibly

Overconfidence is a tendency to hold a false and misleading assessment of our skills, intellect, or talent. (Corporate Finance Institute)

Now, more than ever, confidence is important. It encourages your team, customers, and communities to follow your lead. But problems arise when you are overconfident. This occurs when you fail to understand that business is not the same as usual and fail to adjust for the “new normal.”

A leader worked in an IT company that had great financial success during 2020. But when he oversold a new project, the team balked when he shared the requirements! His overconfidence failed to consider the team was unwilling to come into the office and go into the customer’s office to work on it. The added challenge was, he lacked the skills to manage the new project virtually. He listened to his mentor and reached out to his coach. He got the help he needed. He learned a lot and learned how to brag about his skills in a business-savvy manner rather than be overconfident.

Remember, we’re in a new normal…what you did before may not work today. So, stop, listen, and welcome new ideas. Then, transform how you manage your team, projects, and results asap.

6 Tips to Develop Healthy Confidence

Be aware of your communication style is important. Learn to be aware of words or actions that signal you’re being overconfident (e.g., “I’ve got this handled!” “I never fail!” “This always works.”). Work with your coach to see what you may be stepping over or failing to address when this happens.

Be honest about your skills. Take the time to conduct an accurate assessment of yourself and learn about your blind spots. Work with your coach and use objective data from scientifically validated job-fit assessments. These tools guide you to go beyond how you want to be seen. Instead, they help you discover what it’s like to work with you from the team’s perspective!

Stop comparing yourself with others. Too often, we blame others for mistakes they make, but excuse our own! Develop your emotional intelligence (EI). Learn how to use compassion and empathy to work through mistakes and learn from them. This strengthens your ability to achieve intended results.

Test your assumptions before declaring your decisions. When we make decisions based on fragments of information, we’re often wrong. Develop your critical thinking by deep diving into the factual pros and cons. Use your network to test your assumptions. Remember, 90% of the world’s information is in people’s heads, not the internet!

Listen to others’ feedback and concerns. Leaders welcome brainstorming and hearing others’ ideas. Learn how to manage healthy disagreements and ensure all team members can express their concerns and ideas. Remember, a healthy skepticism will save your career and the financial impact of a bad decision. Most importantly, learn to listen to what you don’t want to hear to improve your results.

Recognize when it’s the right time. While many ideas may work with modifications, it may not be the right time or place to put them into action.  Avoid using circular logic to push through ideas your business and customers are not ready to handle.

“Overconfidence can derail results when your ego gets in the way.” Jeannette Seibly

How to Work with Overconfident Leaders

Stay aware and mindful in conversations. Listen up when your leader is sharing a decision s/he is making or about to make. It will impact you, your project, team, and budget, either directly or indirectly. Ask open-ended questions for clarification rather than debating the leader’s decision.

Stand up and speak up. When leaders are overconfident, we tend to question our own point of view. (Harvard Business Review) Stop! Be assertive and have a conversation armed with the facts. Remember, diplomacy is critical. While you may be right, overconfident leaders will ignore you when their ego feels threatened. The outcome of these types of conversations can impact your future projects and results as well.

If the leader’s idea or assertion does not impact you, avoid confrontation. Choose which issues to pursue. If you confront every issue, the leader and team will stop listening to you. Instead, address major issues that will impact you from a win-win-win perspective.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 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 an Overconfident Leader from Jeannette. It’s not business as usual. During this new normal, take the time to develop your emotional intelligence (EI). Skills include listening, critical thinking, and managing virtually. Developing these skills now will impact the quality of your results, today and tomorrow.

How to Break-through Stress During this New Normal

Learning how to break-through your stress impacts the quality of your results.

2020 was a stressful year and not much has changed now that we’re into 2021. With the drama of the inauguration behind us, let’s focus on looking and moving forward. Your business projects, profitability, and teams need your attention more than ever.

Learn how to breakthrough your stress and guide your team to manage their stress too is critical. It will impact the quality of your results.

6 Successful Ways to Transform Stress into Positive Results

1. Breathe. Yes, breathe in for a count of 10, pause, then, exhale for a count of 10. Do this at least 3 times. You’ll be amazed by easily this works and impacts your results.

2. Get the facts. Instead of worrying and becoming stressed about every headline you read, get the facts. When you allow a small reaction to grow into a larger one, stress will follow. Start by clarifying the core problem. Talk out the facts with one or two trusted advisors and your executive coach. Now, with a clear perspective, talk it out with your team. At this point, you and your team are ready to create the new goal and focused action plan. Make sure to get into action within 24 to 48 hours.

“Stress can be a gift telling you to slow down and breathe…but only if you’re willing to listen!” Jeannette Seibly

3. Have the tough conversations instead of avoiding conflict. When you and/or team members become offended by someone’s choice of words, hand gestures, or facial expressions, stress occurs. BREATHE. Then, have a conversation to understand the true issue. Remember, handling conflict now, reduces gossip, stress, and hurt feelings. Failure to do so sabotages your team’s results, now and in the future.

4. Keep a private journal. Many people keep a journal about what isn’t working, past failures, and upsets. Instead, use journaling as a way to create a positive future. Write down “brags” about what has been working. Include “I am grateful for …” Write about your future and goals. Write down anything that helps you remember why your dreams and desires inspire you. Include the results you want to have at work (e.g., become a better boss). Encourage your team members to do the same.

5. Focus on something different. When you and your team hit a wall and are stuck in a project or task, or on how to handle a relationship, stress increases. Focus on something else by walking away. Then, after 20 minutes with renewed energy, look and take responsibility for what was missing (e.g., failure to listen, acknowledge an idea, allow a team member to talk, address a detail, etc.). This really works.

6. Be present with people. Multi-tasking is a myth. Stress will occur when you and your team don’t listen and value each other’s ideas and concerns. Learn how to be fully present (mindful resilience) in every conversation. It starts with an openness to hearing other’s points of view! I promise, you and your team will learn something new and life will be less stressful. As a bonus, your results will improve too!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 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 Breaking Through Stress from Jeannette. 2020 was a stressful year and 2021 hasn’t gotten off to a good start. With the drama of the inauguration behind us, let’s focus on looking and moving forward. The first step is, learn how to breakthrough your stress and guide your team to manage their stress too. It will impact the quality of your results.

How to Use Adversity to Make You Stronger

“Want to take advantage of new opportunities this year, then, learn from 2020.” Jeannette Seibly

Many leaders, bosses, and businesses experienced difficult challenges, hardships, and misfortune during 2020. This includes closing companies, losing top talent, and facing financial hardships. And, many also dealt with health and family challenges.

It takes brave and committed leaders to use adversity as a launching pad to transform a situation, project, and/or relationship. Doing it the right way makes individuals, teams, and businesses stronger.

Working through adversity is never an easy process, especially when it’s forced on you. But the good news is, you can do it.

A year from now in 2022 when you look back to 2021, you will see how you turned adversity into a great opportunity. You’ll also experience how it made you, your team, and your business stronger.

Now, not tomorrow, is the time to do the right work and use 2020 adversity to make you stronger.

“Seeing situations from others’ points of view make it easier for people to feel heard by you.” Jeannette Seibly

6 Tips to Make You and Your Team Stronger

Get Real About What Happened. Everyone has experienced failure and unexpected adversity. There’s no shame in it. Breakdowns in projects and relationships can be due to things you did or didn’t do. Some catastrophes were beyond your control. (COVID) Regardless, it’s important that you stop and assess what truly happened and tell the truth. Putting frosting on mud pie and calling it a cake doesn’t change it from a mud pie!

TIP: Infuse objectivity into conversations by completing the year, project, and/or situation. Complete this exercise: What Worked? / What Didn’t Work? Then, ask, “What were the lessons learned?” This exercise must be done before you can move forward powerfully.

Develop Empathy. This can be difficult when you have little empathy for yourself and others. But it’s important during 2021 and beyond to develop emotional intelligence (EI). Seeing situations from others’ points of view make it easier for people to feel heard by you. It will also make it easier for them to listen to you!

TIP: To develop your empathy skills, talk with a qualified coach or therapist, and do the inner work required.

Develop Inner Confidence. Fake it until you make it is an old cliché where people imitated confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset. The problem is today, fake confidence can be easily spotted. Instead, develop true inner confidence which in turn creates success.

TIP: To develop your inner confidence, work on a project with your team. Hire the right coach to guide you and the team along the way to ensure success and keep everyone focused.

Be Responsible for What You Are Saying and Sharing. Today’s focus on transparency can backfire when relying on TMI (too much information). It can damage relationships and the ability of people to trust you! This includes what you share with customers and top talent.

TIP:

  • Keep a private journal and write down your thoughts and feelings. Not everything needs to be shared.
  • Develop mindful resilience by forgiving yourself and others. (This is an inner exercise for you only. Do not tell others, “I forgive you.” Why? Because doing so only creates more adversity.)
  • Work with your coach and craft conversation points to share with your team and customers.

Focus Forward. Stop rehashing what happened by completing your “What Worked? / What Didn’t Work?” exercise. Remember, emotionally strong leaders lead the way by focusing on what’s next, not in the past. Look for new opportunities inside adversity.

TIP: Work with a trained facilitator to guide you and your team through this inquiry. In the process, you will uncover new systems, products, and services for 2021.

Practice Thanks!  Everyone loves appreciation. Saying “please”, “thank you”, and “great work” is important. When done authentically, your teams grow and your customers feel valued.

TIP: Get your copy of “It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition”. Learn how to brag in a business-savvy manner. Then, share with confidence the successes you, and your team and customers have had without sounding like a braggart!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 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 Using Adversity to Make You Stronger from Jeannette. 2020 was a good year for some and a bad year for many. Stop lamenting about the awful things that happened. Instead, get unstuck and focus on moving forward. 2021 will be a great year if you learn from adversity and become stronger as a leader. Now is the best time to get started!