Do You Know How to Listen to Succeed?

“Misunderstandings, bad decisions, and team conflict create poor results. Avoid them by simply listening!” Jeannette Seibly

Most people would say, “Sure, I listen if …”

  • It’s something that interests me.
  • The speaker is engaging.
  • The boss is saying something that I need to hear.

But listening selectively doesn’t work.

Poor listening skills are the #1 reason for poor communication today! It impacts everything, everywhere in our lives, careers, and businesses…and leads to poor results.

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Simon Sinek

You’re not listening when you are …

  • Engaging with the internal chatter in your head
  • Multi-tasking
  • Thinking about other things to do
  • Replaying old upsets (Hint: listening can resolve them)
  • Creating a new job and not engaged in the one you have

The costs of not listening are many. A select few include:

  • Teamwork and comradery are lost
  • New ideas and opportunities are missed
  • Logical discernment and cost-saving processes are overlooked
  • Trust — people feeling valued and respected disappears

8 Tips to Improve Your Listening and Your Results

1. Set Aside Your Ego. It’s the #1 reason you don’t listen. You believe you know-it-all or have already heard it! The truth is, you haven’t. Stop finishing people’s sentences or ideas. Not only is this rude, but you’re also usually incorrect. When your team does not speak up to correct you…you lose time and cost-saving ideas.

Max was a CFO for a large company. He had an uncanny ability to listen and sought out others’ ideas and opinions before making decisions. He didn’t just rely on executives’ opinions, he talked with others that would be impacted too. As a result, his decisions were better accepted and easier to implement. He’d learned the value of listening early in his career and believed it built trust. He was right!

2. Deep Dive. Hearing a tidbit of info and expanding and expounding on it isn’t listening. It’s your ego at work … and often it can be wrong. Listening and asking questions are part of developing critical thinking skills.

3. Stop the Internal Chatter. You have an internal chatterbox. (We all do!) It operates full-time every day, and many times keeps you awake at night too. Learn to meditate and disengage from mental chatter. Now, use these skills for listening.

4. Be Present. Focus and concentrate in the moment when interacting with others. This simple, but rarely used, listening practice makes all experiences more authentic and meaningful. Bonus … others will feel and see the difference too!

5. Set Aside Your Point of View. Set aside mental ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ about the person, task, or situation. This gets in the way of listening and hearing more than the words said. The creation of new ideas begins by listening and engaging in “Tell me more.”

Sabrina, a project manager had tons of experience and so she didn’t listen to anyone that didn’t agree with her. She said, “no” more than, “Tell me more.” As a result, she lost the trust of her team. They felt disrespected. In turn, they only did the work necessary making it difficult for Sabrina to execute customer projects. They also blamed her for not listening to them whenever something went wrong.

6. Don’t Shoot the Messenger. This metaphoric phrase is used to blame the bearer of bad news. (Wikipedia) Be willing to hear what you don’t want to hear. This. Is. Critical. (Yes, it’s hard, but worth the effort.) It will improve your results, save time and money, and have others feel respected. Also, it will save your job and career.

7. Show Me. Many people are not confident when sharing their concerns. They’ve learned that others don’t want to listen. So, if you’re not clear, don’t dismiss their concerns as unimportant. Instead, say, “Show me the concern.” Have the person physically show you from start to finish to ensure clarity.

8. Stop Multi-tasking. Everyone believes they are the exception to the rule and think they know how to multitask and listen at the same time. They don’t! This egocentric habit (lots of us have it) gets in the way of listening and paying attention to the details. When people need to repeat what they have already said, they don’t feel valued or respected. When you truly listen, it saves time and builds trust in you since you actually heard them!

Becky had a habit of sitting through “boring” meetings thumbing through her social media posts and texts. As a result, she missed her boss’s announcement about meeting with executive management. She didn’t show up prepared with the required 3-minute PPT and she attempted to wing-it. When asked by her boss why she didn’t come prepared, she said, “I’m too busy putting out fires.” His response was, “If you learned to listen, you wouldn’t have so many fires to extinguish.”

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. During the past 29 years, she has guided the creation of three millionaires and countless 6-figure income professionals. Her brags also include being an award-winning executive coach, management consultant, and keynote speaker. If you’re struggling to get unstuck, now is a great time to contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.

A note from Jeannette about listening to succeed. The #1 communication skill overlooked today is listening! We are too focused on standing up and speaking up and forget to listen first! Contact me about providing the workshop, Everyone Is Talking, But No One Is Listening! for you and your leaders.

How to Turn Negative Feedback into a Positive Learning Experience

“Successful leaders listen to negative feedback and turn it into a learning opportunity. When they don’t, they lose the respect of and the ability to lead their teams.” Jeannette Seibly

No one likes to hear negative feedback about themselves. It feels demotivating. But negative feedback can turn into a positive experience when you listen to learn and improve your productivity.

When you welcome all types of feedback, you will get promoted faster, make more money, and be on the fast track for new opportunities. It also builds stronger relationships with team members, management, and customers.

9 Tips to Turn ALL Feedback into Success

1. Listen with Intention. If you listen with the intention of learning, you will keep your mind open to hearing what is said. The key is to avoid debating who’s right and who’s wrong; instead, ask clarifying questions.

2. Let Go of the Past! When you hang on to negative feedback, you will get stuck. Immediately after receiving negative feedback, talk with your executive coach and/or mentor to turn negative feedback into a positive learning experience. Then, create a plan of action and take the first step within 24 hours.

A VP told a young manager that “…he was stupid for making such a suggestion…that he didn’t know what he was talking about.” When a director overheard the conversation, he coached the young manager on how to learn from the negative feedback. The young manager took the coaching and got into action. He was able to turn the relationship with the VP into a positive one and was promoted six months later.

3. Remember, It’s Not Personal. This can be hard to believe when you receive negative feedback. If you’ve lost out on an opportunity or promotion, schedule a 1:1 meeting. Ask, “What is the most important thing I can learn from not getting this job (or promotion)?” Remember, you may have the skills and experience, but the opportunity didn’t work out for you at this time. Learn from it and be ready for the next opportunity.

4. Release Emotional Attachments. Like many people, you love doing things your own way. You rely on your own ideas and sometimes fail to welcome or take into consideration your team’s opinions. When you blow off negative feedback and fail to learn from it, your team and results will suffer. Eventually, your career will be sidelined.

5. Stay Away from Always and Never Statements. When receiving (or giving) negative feedback, do not use these triggering words! “I’m always on time.” “I would never say that!”

6. Stop Making It Mean Too Much! When receiving negative feedback about a goal, work effort, or interaction, don’t hear it as criticism. (Yes, it can be difficult to do.) Instead, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Remember, negative feedback is about a specific issue, not about you as a whole person!

7. Use a Job Fit Assessment to Clarify “Why.” When someone says you are not a good fit for a job, use a job-fit assessment and work with an executive coach to find out why. You may find that financial planning, sales, and/or customer service jobs do not fit your strengths! It’ll be the best money you ever spent and can save you countless disappointments in the future!

8. Get Your Brag On! When you learn how to brag or promote yourself, it is a huge confidence booster. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing the negative feedback with everyone that’ll listen! Instead, share your “brags” to showcase your coachability to take feedback and use it.

9. Develop Mindful Resilience. Don’t allow negative feedback to sabotage your self-care. Take positive actions for your professional development by turning your internal monologues into dialogues with your coach and/or mentor.

©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 negative feedback into positive learning experiences. Paying attention and listening to ALL feedback is critical for professional growth. If you only listen to the positive, you’ll lose the opportunity to learn the truth! If you hate receiving any type of feedback, it’s time to get over it before you are bypassed for a promotion or pay increase! Contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to “Coach Your Boss” (and Keep Your Job)

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

When your boss gets stuck and could use your insights and coaching, it may be time to coach your boss.

“First off you may not want to use the term coaching. Consider it an open and honest conversation with your boss that focuses on feedback. Framing it this way opens the door for more honest dialogue.” (Forbes)

But beware! If it’s not done diplomatically, you could find yourself sidelined in your job.

A director hated his boss, a VP. When the executive coach asked the director to have an honest conversation with the VP, he resisted. He used the excuse “Everyone else hates the VP since he is difficult to work with.” Under the guidance of his coach, the director had an honest conversation to clear the air with the VP. Afterward, he started treating his boss with more respect and appreciating his boss’s insights when stuck in projects. Soon thereafter, the director became viewed as one of the very few people who could work well with this VP. If the director hadn’t been open to the coaching he received, he could have been sidelined in his job instead of being promoted.

Many team members today have insights, concerns, or problems with their bosses. The challenge is learning how to have an honest conversation to create a positive outcome.

Note for bosses and leaders: Encourage your team members and co-workers to give you honest feedback. It’s the only way you learn and grow, and catch those blind spots before they get in your way.

6 Tips to Coach or Have an Honest Conversation with Higher-Ups

  1. Be Diplomatic. Egos get in the way. So, it’s important to be diplomatic and set aside your own ego. Remember, there are always at least two sides to any issue. Be open to hearing what your boss has to say before offering your insights.
  2. Be Clear About the Issue. Take time to write down the specifics about “why” this conversation is important. Rehearse in front of the mirror until the person looking back at you feels comfortable and confident. Otherwise, your boss will dismiss what you have to say.
  3. Visualize the Conversation. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through the entire conversation. If you hit a snag, rewind, and replay in a positive manner.
  4. Breathe to Calm Your Nerves and Anxiety. Breathe to calm down the urge to go in too strong. Remember, being assertive is important; but, being aggressive will only limit your future job opportunities. Breathe in for a count of 10, pause, then, exhale for a count of 10. Do this at least 3 times before your conversation. This simple exercise will reduce stress and positively impact your results.
  5. Work Through Your Anger or Righteousness First. It’s natural for you to feel that your boss won’t understand or get what you have to say. But if you go into the meeting assuming your boss won’t understand and feel angry or righteous, your boss will only defend his/her actions. Work with your own executive coach first and role-play the conversation. Write out an agenda outlining facts and key points. Stay on-point during the conversation.
  6. Ask Permission. Start with a soft approach to get your boss’s attention. “I have something I need to talk about with you. And, I’m nervous about doing this. I fear you’ll hear it the wrong way.” Do this in a respectful manner. The boss is more likely to hear what you have to say.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2021 All Right 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 coaching your boss (and keeping your job): Everyone can benefit from feedback. This includes your boss! Your challenge is the boss may not appreciate how you “coach” them. Instead, take the time to prepare for an honest conversation. If you know you need to have a difficult conversation with your boss but don’t know how contact me for a confidential conversation.

How to Be an Effective Coach

“If you want to be an effective coach, and want others to listen and use what you have to say, first, you must be coachable.” Jeannette Seibly

Many believe being coached is no big deal when they are the coach. Coaches love giving advice and it provides an ego boost. The challenge is, many have learned from a traditional approach of, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Or, they lack the confidence and insight required to be an effective coach.

Do you experience (check all that apply):

  • Giving advice that doesn’t reflect the person’s struggles?
  • Coming across as critical about how it should be done?
  • A lack of insight into what the true issue is?
  • Not having credibility in the listener’s eyes?
  • People ignoring your coaching and doing it their way?

If you answered “yes” to more than one question, it’s important to keep reading!

Today, it’s critical that leaders and managers effectively coach team members for success. The quality of the coaching provided impacts business growth, team member retention, and customer satisfaction.

Remember, if you lack the skills to effectively coach others, it can tarnish your working relationships for a very long time.

Nine Essential Coaching Skills to Improve Your Effectiveness

1. Set a Positive Example. Leaders, bosses, and managers are not perfect. But ethical issues, being late for meetings, or multitasking during conversations (to name a few) hurts your credibility as a coach. Improve your effectiveness by working with your executive coach to address these issues and blind spots.

2. Visualize a Positive Outcome. Take the time to visualize or mentally think through what you want to say. If you hit a snag during this visualization process, rewind and restart to ensure a positive outcome. Read Dr. Lynn Hellerstein’s newest book: Expand Your Vision: How to Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence for more information.

3. Be Specific. Write down the specific issues to organize your thoughts about why you need to coach a team member. Saying you found problems with the sales report or you don’t like a graphic is of no value. Instead, be specific about where the report is inaccurate or why the graphic doesn’t have visual appeal. Remember to manage the task, not a person’s personality.

4. Use a Job Fit Tool for Clarity. These tools often include “coaching” reports guiding the leader to be on-target when providing feedback.

One company president uses the coaching information when talking with his direct reports. When there is a problem, he scans the report for insights and adjusts his coaching style. By doing this, the other person feels valued and becomes coachable.

5. Talk Straight and Stay On-Point. Talking in generalities or going off on tangents leaves the team member or co-worker confused and frustrated.

A human resources director (HRD) counseled a financial director (FD) to stop the negative gossip about a vice president (VP). A week later, the FD continued to make negative comments about the VP. FD’s coach said, “I thought HRD had counselled you to stop making negative comments about the VP.” FD’s reply, “No… he stated we need to operate as a team. I was unclear what his point was since I am a team player.”  

This level of confusion is what happens when you speak in generalities.

6. Keep It Confidential and Private. Criticizing a team member in public has repercussions, even when the person says, “No problem. I don’t care if anyone else hears this.” If the person has a public negative reaction, it will often reflect negatively on you. Instead, set up a 1:1 private and confidential meeting immediately after an issue or problem has occurred. Don’t share publicly. During the 1:1, remember to share facts, not opinions. Otherwise, what you say will not be heard as objective feedback.

7. Choose the Appropriate Coaching Approach.

a. When to Use the Direct Approach. Be clear and concise with those that can handle or want that style of feedback. Keep in mind this approach will always depend on the situation (e.g., illness, passing away of a family member, etc.).

“Good report. But when including numbers in a report, you need to include a graph and bullet point the numbers. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

b. When to Use the Sandwich Approach. Talk straight and be specific. Use this approach when the situation may cause an emotional reaction, or the person is easily triggered. Share 2 positive actions the person has taken, 2 specific areas for improvement, and close with 2 positive actions the person has taken.

“Your proposal was good. The numbers supported the importance of this project. But when providing this type of information, it’s important to include a graph so the reader can visually see the value. And, bullet point the numbers to make them easier to read and understand. Again, good proposal and I appreciate you getting this done so fast. Any questions? How soon can you get this report updated and back to me?”

8. Have Compassion. Everyone has challenges, especially during this ongoing pandemic. Be empathetic, while sticking to the point.

“It’s hard when a family member has COVID. My heart goes out to those struggling during this pandemic. But when providing written reports, the information and spelling need to be proofread before submitting. Let me know what you need and how I can help.”

9. Share a Story. An effective way to coach others is by sharing a story about your own similar challenge and what you did to work through it. Then, offer one or two ideas for them to implement.

©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 how to be an effective coach: Successful people have coaches. When leaders and others talk with their coach regularly, their productivity, confidence, and results improve. The challenge is, many don’t believe they need a coach, and hear feedback as criticism. As an entrepreneurial leader, make a commitment to coach others for success by being an effective coach. Want to get started, but don’t know how? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

Do You Want to Succeed and Make a Lot of Money? Then, Be Coachable!

“Do you want to excel professionally and financially? Being coachable is the #1 way to make it happen.” Jeannette Seibly

“The paradox is that the very things that hold us back are the reasons we need a coach in the first place.” Seth Godin

Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches! They have developed the skills to succeed by being coachable.

There are many things in business and in life that you don’t know that you don’t know. Being coachable uncovers the blind spots that get in your way of receiving promotions and special assignments. Making lots of money and achieving huge goals. And, being a leader others want to follow.

What Does Being Coachable Mean?

“Coachability is not a technical skill or an inherent ability. It is a mental attitude.” It reflects your ability to ask for feedback, listen, and make appropriate changes. It is also a reflection of your emotional ability or emotional intelligence (EQ) to learn from constructive criticism. (mvorganizing.org)

What Does Being Uncoachable Look Like?

When someone is uncoachable, they often will roll their eyes, take things personally, and have a myriad of excuses. They also misinterpret comments and resist taking the right action. It reflects their fears of having others think of them as “weak.” Or, their unwillingness to stretch their mindset outside their comfort zones.

One entrepreneur loved creating new products and was very talented. He dreamed of resigning from the day job he hated. The problem was, he didn’t want to focus on the business requirements to create a foundation for growth. As a result, he ignored the coach and did things his way. He’s still dreaming about one day being a successful business owner and giving up his hated day job.

Why Do Employers Fail to Offer Coaching?

Many companies agree coaching is a must. But they fail to work through the resistance teams and team members put up as barriers. Companies must then fire poor performers (90% of the time it’s due to poor interpersonal skills) because they are not coachable.

How Can You Improve Your Coachability?

  1. Seek Out Feedback. Ask team members, customers, and your boss for feedback. “What’s one thing that would help me improve …” (e.g., interactions with others, project results, ability to work well with others, etc.). Listen and be respectful, especially if the feedback isn’t what you want to hear. Don’t forget to say thank you!
  2. Be Open to Learning. You can learn something from anyone! While you may selectively seek out people more experienced than you, be open to hearing from co-workers and direct reports too. Their insights can be invaluable.
  3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone. We all love our comfort zones. But successful leaders and future leaders know they must move beyond these confining spaces! When you’ve already tried something that didn’t work or don’t feel comfortable with the recommendation, ask clarifying questions. “I tried this approach and it didn’t work for me. What do you believe is missing?” Listen and don’t debate. This helps you discover your blind spots and how to overcome them.
  4. Become Self-aware by Being Present. Self-awareness is critical to your success. It requires being present during ALL interactions. This means setting aside thoughts and distractions while listening and learning. During the process, you will discover insights between what you say you want and what you are doing.
  5. Make Positive Behavior and Attitude Changes. Talking the talk won’t make a difference. You must do the work! If you don’t know what to do, ask an experienced coach and use a qualified job fit assessment to guide you through the steps required. Then, immediately take the first step!
  6. Check Your Ego at the Door! Even if you believe your results are the best they can be, be willing to accept criticism, especially around tough issues. It’s a golden opportunity to learn from your successes and If you are unclear what the problem is, deep dive by asking clarifying questions. Be aware of your tone of voice and other non-verbal communication (e.g., rolling your eyes). Otherwise, you can shut down the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback and have amazing breakthroughs.
  7. Hire the Right Coach. Successful leaders and future leaders have coaches. They seek out and find the coach that can guide them to achieve what they really really really Also, select a coach that has a coach too! (Yes, coaches need to be coachable too!)

©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 the lesson we all need to learn: “Many of us have the assumption that someday life will be easy. We will coast along effortlessly and will be successful. … But this assumption that it gets easier is not true. It is never true because you change, the organization changes and the business environment is constantly evolving. A successful life means constant change and continuous learning. So set a goal now to remain coachable throughout your career.” (Forbes)

Not sure where to begin, 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.

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!