Bill Clennan was known as the Dean of Canadian Motivational speakers. He was a mentor, inspirational speaker and friend.Read More
Boosting morale is not a one time shot. It takes time, effort and energy to keep an upbeat attitude.
Boost Pride & Professionalism. Have any shrinking violets at work? With meaningful work and professional development opportunities, everyone should be proud of their role. If you don’t sense a spirit of pride at work- you know people need to be recognized for their contribution. Regularly show employees why they should be proud and their work is meaningful. Highlight how you support the community and contribute to others.
Of the top reasons people leave their work- is they don’t feel appreciated. ACTION - Don’t leave this to fate, make sure people feel genuinely recognized. Appoint employees to this role.Organizations that play together stay together. It’s trite but true. Having fun at work turns the routine into festive and encourages positive workplace rapport. ACTION - Add humor and play to meetings, cluster interaction, and shift change. Motivational speeches that engage and inspire help but only if they are relevant.
Glean the element of surprise. People remember the unexpected (i.e. - Not many people will forget September 11th). ACTION - Create positive memories by engaging in the unexpected. Surprise people with activities, rewards, games, and recognition. Be creative, the more surprising the better!
Smiling Inspires Confidence. Smirk- it’s good for business. People feel at ease and comfortable when others smile. When your staff smiles it inspires confidence. ACTION - Spend time walking around smiling and encourage people to have fun at work. Self development starts with a positive disposition.
Tell your story. Your organization has a purpose, history and vision… Share it. Your story helps people feel like a part of something important. ACTION - Communicate your story often at meetings and retreats. Appoint employees to act it out or tell it at company events.Manage Expectations. High expectations can lead to disappointment. Define for your employees and customers reasonable expectations. ACTION - Clearly outline what others can expect from any interaction/ procedure or role. Under promise so you can routinely over-deliver.
Settle for No Less than Learning. Learning is a priority, so look for the lesson in everything. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. Most people are doing the best they can, given the time and resources they have. ACTION - When mistakes happen don’t punish but make sure they are treated as a learning opportunity. Have a seminar that encourages people to discuss near misses and opportunities to improve.
Insist on Respectful Behavior. Disrespectful acts are instant morale crushers. ACTION - Clearly define and communicate what is respectful behavior and what is not. Acts of disrespect should be reprimanded. Challenge each other with respect.
Involve. The more you involve people in problem solving the more they will buy into the solution. ACTION - Create a system to solicit input and incorporate it before rolling out change.
Laugh, Lighten up and enjoy your Mind! New brain research by guest speaker, Dr Candace Pert suggests that when we laugh we use our brain to its highest capacity. Laughter immediately boosts endorphins, increases energy and decreases stress hormones. ACTION - Have laugh breaks to encourage the active use of humor. Put games, joke books, stand up comedy tapes in the lunch and break areas to help people engage their humorous side.
Wondering How to Hire a Motivational Speaker?
It can be a daunting task, especially if you have not seen seen or heard the speaker yourself- you are taking a risk.
How Fun is Your Organization?
Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?
Let fun at work happen, it will energize, motivate, and keep talented people on your team. Laughter’s invisible energy is a very powerful thing.
To be flexible and innovative in the face of leadership and change; take yourself lightly so you can take your work seriously.
Take this test.
How often do you hear people laughing at work?
A) Hardly ever
B) A few times a day
Select the word that best describes your organization:
A) Down to earth
A) Highly professional
B) Organized chaos
The more B’s you have, the more likely your organization is a fun place to work (if you have 2 or less B’s you may need help). Everything about fun is fluid, resilient, accepting, relaxed and engaging. The moment something becomes regimented, difficult, controlled or impersonal it is no longer fun. If you were playing a fun game and someone tried to control the outcome and regimented rules, objectives, timelines and personal quotas, the game would no longer be fun.
There is no objective to having fun, because fun is in the moment, you are not trying to plan or plot. The whole objective is just to be there in the moment and have a good time.
Control the Work not the People doing the Work
Organizations are built around goals and objectives- so is it impossible to have fun at work? If you have had fun working before- than you know it’s not. The nature of work itself should be built around objectives and goals but this doesn’t give you license to control people.
I was a guest speaker at a conference and the keynote speaker suggested, If a work community suppresses humor, it is likely that it also suppresses communication, teamwork, leadership because employees’ humanness is restricted.
Humor helps define the human being. Humor is a way people express their true, intimate core selves, including their vulnerable, foolish, irrational, ridiculous sides.
Humor and the fun make these regimented environments fluid, engaging and flexible. Fun adds balance to regime. Fun personalizes structure.
The more structured, organized, and planned a work environment is the more you need to have fun. Fun adds the fluid personal aspect that keeps people motivated and balanced.
Fun is an insurance plan
Without it when things go wrong, the structure and plan fall apart, this regimented work environment collapses (or the people do). Highly structured organizations rely on logical analytical cause effect reasoning where employees can be rigid to respond to changing situations
When work environments are fluid and people are used to being flexible, they can laugh in the face of challenge and adapt to the new environment.
Organizations that are highly regimented and controlled are usually not trend setting and innovative. They prefer structure to change. They avoid conflict because it affects the status quo.
Humor conveys membership and builds cohesiveness. When you walk into the office and hear people laughing and talking this is a great thing because it means people like each other, they trust each other and they enjoy working together.
Funny often means giving up control
Questions to develop your leadership potential
1. Do I use humor as part of my leadership style? Why? Why not?
2. How have your past use of humor influenced the expectations of your co-workers?
3. What kinds of humorous situations or stories have you found most effective at work? List some acceptable and unacceptable topics.
4. What works best for you: self-effacing humor or humor that is directed (positively) toward coworkers? Why?
Experiment with responding to others in a way that is lighthearted.
Look for the funny honey..
Human beings are strange, unexplainable, hilarious creatures. Just notice how people look, what they say, what their intentions are. Notice the gaps; notice that interactions and feelings are unpredictable and messy. We are all beginners, all amateurs at being human, at interacting with others. Life is Messy and people are funny because they can be prejudiced, predictable, and picky. Find the humor in it.
Remember: Every time you laugh you orient your heart and mind
1) Oh Lighten Up! Your quick, easy lighten up tip for the month
- View your life in context. Even world leaders realize they have limited ability to affect others’ lives. While we might think taking the weight of the world on our shoulders is admirable it’s not good for you.
- Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing
- throw a pajama party at work
2) Game Spot - a fun quick activity you can use this month at work
- Ask a group to brainstorm for five minutes on the qualities of the ideal team member and lists the qualities on a flipchart. The qualities range from having an excellent sense of humor, to being very serious about their work, to being an excellent goal setter and time manager.
- Present definitions for “skill” and “attitude” and have the group come to agreement: A skill is something we learn, like riding a bike or speaking another language. Attitude is how we feel emotionally about those skills.
- The group then decides if the items on the list are skills or attitudes (some may be both). Generally, attitudes dominate (approximately 85 percent to 15 percent)
3) Appreciation Station. A way to recognize, celebrate and appreciate people
- HUDDLE UP! Create a tradition, stop everything your doing and “huddle up” for recognition moments. Everything stops for a few moments to recognize a great associate.
- Simply stop. Stop chasing. Stop calling. Stop meeting. Stop worrying. Today, take a moment to stop what you are doing, call your people together, and give someone a much-deserved pat on the back.
- Or make it regular and Start every work unit meeting with praise for accomplishments and behaviors since your last meeting.
- A pep talk worth doing
4) Art of the Unexpected- Some funny simple tasteful pranks and other unexpected things you can try if you dare to throw people off guard and keep it fun
- When someone wins an award the next day send out a memo to say the award has been discontinued
- Go up to a complete stranger and ask if you can have your photo taken with them
- Get some water guns
- Get up, jog on the spot for 10 seconds and then sit down again.
- Go up to a cashier and tell them your dog told you bad things were going to happen today and they should be prepared
Jody Urquhart is a professional speaker who compels stressed-out and fed-up professionals to rediscover their passion, purpose & sense of play. To discuss having Jody speak at your next meeting please call us at 1(877) 750-1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do Motivational Speakers Charge?
There are 3 ways to motivate people to work harder, faster and smarter:
1. Threaten them.
2. Pay them lots of money.
3. Make their work fun.
In today's workplace, threatening people has not been effective. Paying them lots of money (even if you can afford it) has only shown short-term success. Only number three, making the workplace enjoyable, has a track record of effecting real change. It is time leadership experts and managers learned how to create an atmosphere that is challenging and gives inspiration for creativity - a workplace that is fun for employees as well as for themselves.
HAVE FUN AT WORK- HOW FUN IS PRODUCTIVE
Imagine a motivated company where people love their work environment, and they are calm, stress-free and happy all day long. People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Their mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables them to think more clearly and creatively. They are more relaxed, more accepting of others, and more likely to share a sense of humor. It is an essential interpersonal skill.
Laughter creates a bond that brings us together; people like to be with people who are having fun. Creativity, intuition and flexibility are key to successful operation of organizations today; employees enjoy their time at work in stimulating environments, and they will also excel at work. Attracting and keeping customers is easier in an environment of hospitality. A fun workplace is not only more productive, but it attracts people for employment, it attracts customers, and it attracts profits.
A TEST: IS YOUR STAFF SUFFERING FROM TERMINAL SERIOUSNESS?
Scan your workplace and take note:
Do you regularly catch people laughing or smiling at work?
When something funny happens, do people stop and appreciate it?
Does your organization have fun activities at least monthly?
Do you have tools (fun giveaways, draws) to invite patients to participate in having fun in your environment?
Are managers usually optimistic and smiling at work?
If you answer no to two or more of these questions, your staff probably suffers from “terminal seriousness,” which negatively affects morale and productivity.
More Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
Funny inspirational speaker, Dr. Norman Cousins said, “Laughter is an igniter of great expectations.” Children laugh an average of 400 times a day and -sadly- that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35. Preschoolers must know something we don’t. Laughter releases endorphins (a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine) into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise. Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress.
Humor also levels the playing field to create an atmosphere encouraging honest dialogue, open communication, and increased risk-taking. Creating more equality in power or control shows people respect and builds pride in their work. Shared laughter is a team building exercise!
This is just a sampling of the benefits of having fun in your workplace. Hopefully now you are convinced you could use a “fun injection” in your own place of employment.
Help people belong to your organization and not just work there by giving them a way to solidify and build rapport.
THIRTEEN STEPS TO CREATING A FUN WORKPLACE:
1. Give up the notion that professionalism means being serious all the time.
It’s possible to take yourself lightly and still be competent and productive. Start to promote the benefits (health, productivity, inspiration, etc) of humor in the workplace.
2. Define what fun is in your workplace and what it is not.
(For example, harmful humor, off-color jokes, sexual humor, humor tarnishing the organization - not funny.)
3. Organize a “Fun Committee” for dreaming up fun “stuff” to do during and after work.
4. Add fun to meetings.
Bring in fun things such as Nerf balls, a basketball and hoop, or party blowers. Start a meeting with a humorous story or joke. Invite a funny motivational speaker to pump people up.
5. Collect and share your favorite cartoons and jokes.
Create a Joke Board or a Humor in the Workplace newsletter. Send a Joke-of-the-Day email at lunchtime. Look for tools to disseminate fun and funny things daily.
6. Let customers know you are a fun company.
Do something just for fun (organize fun customer events, dress for fun, share funny things with customers) and give employees tools to inspire a fun relationship with customers (stickers, candy for children, dog biscuits for dogs, humorous buttons with the company logo). These activities make work more fun for employees and strengthen the relationship with customers. Dick Snow of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream says, “We believe that we’re in the entertainment business and selling ice cream is just a part of what we do. In our stores the counter is our stage and the customers are our audience.” Sounds like a good motivational speaker. Disneyland has the same kind of approach: Disney employees are part of an entertainment experience, and they aren’t just doing a job. They are "auditioned" for a job. Humor in the workplace begins with letting people in on your secret.
7. Gather your co-workers for the “Joy of Work” hour.
Here everyone must talk about inspiration at work. Take turns telling stories about the things that make work a joy. Each person should contribute ideas on how to make work more fun.
8. Have a fun recognition program.
Fun is not a reward for performance, but fun can be a way to encourage employees to perform. For example, you could create “games” out of productive activity . . . who can motivate the most patients in a hospital to smile and say something funny to the head nurse. Playful and goal-oriented fun is best. Fun is spontaneous and the best, most memorable recognition should be unexpected. Fun and recognition go hand in hand.
9. Respond to fun when it happens.
Funny things occur all the time, but if you are obsessed with left-brain analytical thought, you might find it hard to stop and respond. Natural spontaneous humor is a blessing! Stop and take a moment to give employees and customers an opportunity to see the fun in the event. As a humorous motivational speaker the best speaking moments are the unexpected playful humor that naturally erupt.
10. Commit to being fun and it will change your approach to work.
Start slowly with a few activities and communicate your desire to create a more relaxed workplace. Don’t expect things to turn around overnight.
11. Put fun things and activities in the staff/break room.
This allows people to take their mind off of the seriousness of work for a short period, so they come back to work more refreshed, with a more positive and balanced perspective.
12. Encourage staff to leave work behind at the end of the day.
Employees shouldn’t be so consumed with work that it affects their family life and leisure activities. Find fun ways for employees to “unload” at the end of the day or week. Encourage employees to create a ritual like writing a “to do” list at the end of the day and posting it on the board. By doing this, you commit to not thinking about the things on the list until the next day - and, as an added benefit, the next day will start off more smoothly if it's preplanned.
13. Encourage employees to develop their own style of having fun.
A nurse anesthetist at a hospital in Michigan often sings to his patients to help them relax prior to surgery. Patients have appreciated this so much that they have told family and friends about the experience. It is not uncommon now for the hospital staff to get requests for “The Singing Anesthesiologist” when they are scheduling their surgery.
Remember that employees create fun in the workplace, not managers. It’s a manager’s job to orchestrate fun activities (and not get in the way of them) - to provide an environment that welcomes humor.
Looking for keynote speaker ideas? Jody Urquhart is a funny motivational speaker who helps professionals create meaningful and fun work environments. For more information call us at (877) 750-1900 or see our website at www.idoinspire.com
Below is a list of the nine leadership thinking styles, based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences identified by Howard Gardner in 1983. Do any of these remind you of friends or family? How can you adjust your communication style to suit thinking styles other than your own? Leadership and change initiatives are affected by how you think.Read More
Employees don’t join an organization with the intent of being average, yet some can so quickly be converted. Why? To answer this I’ll share with you an analogy.
Don't Rain on my Parade- How to Deal with Negative People
Have you noticed negative or difficult people around you are affecting your otherwise cheerful disposition (and how unfair is that)? Someone who knows nothing is making your life miserable. Why do Negative Nellie’s feel they need to unload their pent up vex at an unsuspecting person? What is up with the negativity causing conflict?
Studies by the institute of Heart Math suggest that we all give off energy that is either positive or contracting. Some people increase energy when they leave a room, and suck energy from the environment when they come in.As a conference keynote speaker i find that one negative person in an audience has the power to affect a lot of people. Inspiration plummets when one person enters or leave the room.
The unfortunate part is we tend to become like the people we are around the most. For instance, when you visit somewhere and people have accents you tend to take on the accent, people in groups tend to dress alike and take on similar characteristics.
The conflict comes because this may mean because you are around negative people you may become negative too! Yikes.
Listen to people complaining endlessly about work, and you'll find yourself starting to do the same. Add to it that negative emotions exert a more powerful effect in social situations than positive ones.
Unfortunately you can’t eliminate the negative person, but you can garner inspiration and find ways to deal with them. If you were around someone with an infectious disease you would probably take steps to reduce the risk. Negativity is infectious so it makes sense that we should ward it off.
Negative behaviors are defense mechanisms; they protect people from developing relationships, from taking risks, from getting in trouble or making mistakes. If you can permeate the wall there defenses hold up you have a hope of diffusing toxic emotions.
Make ‘em Smile!
Anger and negativity usually stem from the anxiety, fear response in the brain, -one of the oldest, most primitive parts of our brain. Also responsible for the fight or flight response, It reacts without thinking. From a Society for Neuroscience article on Bliss and the Brain: A scrutiny of brain activity indicates that individuals with natural positive dispositions have trumped up activity in the left prefrontal cortex compared with their more negative counterparts. "Happy people think more logically. If you can make someone smile or laugh you literally force them to use a different part of their brain that is more logical and reasonable. A person cannot be negative and smile or laugh at the same time. To be an inspiration; laugh and smile more often.
Let it roll off your back
Some people are just ANGRY. Negativity, hatred and disgust are boring and not worth your time. Sometimes these people are out there to help you develop your resolve to stay positive no matter what.
Distance yourself from negative people by taking a detached, impersonal view. The more you can see them as separate from yourself, the less likely you'll be to interpret their behavior as being a personal attack against you. It's just the way they are; you had nothing to do with it!
Adjust your tolerance. People who are easily annoyed have a low level of tolerance for inconveniences or frustrations. Think of yourself as “buoyant” and resilient in the face of stress and respond that way. Find out what triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.
As a guest speaker at a conference, we role play negative situations to give people practice. In the heat of the moment this practice run will be your saving grace.
If you are confident and feel good about yourself you are more likely to be buoyant to negativity and be a force for change.
Negative people try to validate their victim hood by pulling others into their warped view.
Don’t be their prey! Think of it this way, If someone were to say “Nice job of handling that”- what would you have done to deserve that comment?
Interrupt Negativity- When someone is heralding negative assumptions simply do something to distract from it or stop it. I love to do the unexpected because it literally halts a persons point of view and gets them thinking about something different. It is the whole premise of humor. It has to be unexpected to be funny (which is why you don’t laugh at a joke if you’ve heard the punch line before). As a humorous motivational guest speaker I have alot of experience with humor decreasing tension in a large room,it is a real morale booster.
Pass some perspective please.
Who says criticism requires anger? Who says doing overtime is a bad thing? It all depends on your perspective.
Negative accusatory people are likely inferring things that aren’t true. Their flawed assumptions are creating a negatively warped picture. Clear up the facts so you both see a clear picture.
Do you Fight? Or Flight?
My experience is under stress people either fight back or retreat. It is the classic fight or flight response at play. Your mind tends to respond to stressful situations as dangerous and immediately fights back to protect, or your retreat( run away, disengage) Physically within your body adrenaline pumps into your blood stream and stored fats turn into sugar for energy, your digestive and immune systems suppress and your focus become fight or flight.
This response was very useful for cavemen but much less adaptive for today’s society and acute sources of stress. For example, one of the key sources of dissatisfaction in the workplace today is lack of appreciation and our stress response to feeling unacknowledged would have us fight or retreat, making the situation worse. As long as all stress is seen as dangerous, which for a lot of people it is, than this fight or flight reaction can wreak havoc on your life. Prolonged continuous flight or flight reaction takes a strong physical toll on your health. The degenerative wear and tear leads to heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more.
The best thing to do is short circuit the fight/ flight response by refusing to react.
- Respond to stress by recognizing your pattern. Under stress do you typically fight (get angry, lose your temper) or flight (disengage, give in, or become passive)
- Reframe your attitude to perceive the stress as a challenge not a threat. If you feel a lack of appreciation challenge the situation and yourself to recognize why you are upset and how can you get the recognition you deserve.Seek out inspiration
Have a good laugh- we often laugh hardest when we have been feeling most tense. Just because you laugh doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously.
Remember positive people ground your outlook so find inspiration from positive people and be around them.
The next time someone tries to rain on your parade and affect your sunny outlook you will know what to do about it.
Conflict management Activity
Define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. A good way to start the discussion is to place questionable behaviors on slips of papers and distribute them. In groups, go through and decide which pile they belong in: acceptable or unacceptable.
Some examples: Spreading the News that Someone is Getting a Divorce
Showing up Late for Work
Taking Credit for Someone Else Work
Agreeing to Take other Peoples Shifts
Leaving cell phones on during meetings
Shouting at a Client
Manipulating Others to Do your Job
Conflict Management Workshop Brainstorm Activities:
- Think of a conflict that helped you learn something about yourself
- What are the 5 Most Common Workplace Conflicts?( assumptions, lack of resources like time or money, etc)
- Come up with 10 things that really annoy you
Communicating in Conflict: Role Play certain conflict scenarios and write out things to say in high pressure situations
Diffuse the tension
Use "ï" not you ( never blame)
State the what bothers you and the specific behaviors you see
Ask for Something Different
So when that car cuts you off and it’s barely a miss
Don’t give them the finger, just blow them a kiss
Instead of being angry you can chuckle at their reaction
Hopefully the “road rage” will now be a retraction
On the bus where the only seat left is somebody’s lap
Because some loser filled a spot with all of their crap
Instead of being angry and staring them down
Offer to help move their stuff to the ground
When you’re parking to shop at your favorite mall
And you see a deadbeat take a handicap stall
Just give them a wave as you calmly walk past
Call security; let them ticket their ass
While you’re there spending your hard earned money
And the cashier is miserable try calling them “Honey”
Of course that only works when you’re opposite sexes
But it’s better than shooting them like they do down in Texas
When you’re out at the golf course enjoying your day
And the people behind you think you’re in the way
Just let them go past, do your best to ignore
When they’re ahead, count slowly to three, and then yell “fore!”
When you’re sitting at home and you just want to relax
But the kids are going crazy; you can’t get them off your back
Don’t get upset and tell them to “get out of your hair”
They grow up too fast, soon they won’t be there
When you’re all dressed up to take your wife on a date
As usual she’s slow and you don’t want to be late
Give her a break; go get some fresh air on the deck
Remember, men only have to shave their face and neck
When your neighbor lets their dog poop on your lawn
You can’t keep watching out for them dusk to dawn
You might have to pick it up, and yes, that's a drag
But they’ll think twice when it's on their step in a bag
Funny Motivational Speaker
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
-- Jim Horning
Putting all self development instruction aside, when everything goes wrong the very last thing I feel like doing is being positive!
“Look on the bright side,” others will say. Because it’s illegal to kill them, I have had to consider this fluffy inspiration and advice - to try it and assume it'll be a success.
I am a female motivational speaker, so I have to believe in this Pollyanna stuff. One of my favorite motivational speeches is a spoof on all this Rah-Rah inspiration. We know from experience that we can't just push the conflict under the carpet and pretend it's not there.
Yet, when I look back at any tough times I have had, I see that's where I have learned the most. It had to get bad to make me uncomfortable enough to have to want the change, and in the end the change was for the better.
"A satisfied need ceases to motivate," said Maslow.
When things go wrong it causes breakdown that's difficult, but that creates equilibrium in that situation.
If things we wanted were easy to get, we probably wouldn’t even want them anymore. We aren't made to enjoy and respect cherry-picking for any length of time. We have to go through challenge to appreciate what we have and how far we've come.
The reason we have conflict is because we care. If we don't care, we won’t get upset in the first place. If it does not matter to us and if we have no investment in the outcome, then the outcome just doesn't matter. Leadership and change happen when we care and we have the courage to face reality.
We have to go through the challenges of life to gain wisdom, and not until you experience something can you really appreciate it.
A motivational speaker who suggests that life is to be perfect all the time, despite reality, misleads the audience. That speaker is wrong.
Sink down lower than you’ve ever sunk
It may be a cliche, but it's true: When you hit the bottom there's nowhere else to go but up. While you're building back up, you're building character through success. When you go through really tough emotional times, it can help to remind yourself that life can only get better from here. The next time things go wrong, you know that you can handle it, that you’ve done it before and were a success, so you can do it again. Life is about change. All of life is about change, from the seasons to plant and animal lifespans. You and I are changing every minute of every day, fashioned by every experience and every exchange we have with others. Like it or not change happens, and when you realize that it's usually for the better, it delights you with the motivation to face new challenges and life goals.
As a female motivational speaker, I give these three ideas about change:
Character. Change creates challenge, and challenge has the capacity to teach people about their limitations and their gifts. When things go wrong or mistakes are made it builds humility; when we overcome new obstacles, we build our gifts.
Wisdom. A new level of sensitivity and relating to others comes from surviving life challenges.
Gratitude. When we have it all, we tend to take it for granted. When what we have is taken away, we often gain a new appreciation for what we had and a new recognition of what we still have. When you fail to appreciate life you lose your joy.
By confronting problems you can find healthier solutions. In the midst of chaos, loss and frustration you may be learning to:
- Balance toughness with sensitivity
- Go deep inside and embrace fear for real self development
- Build mental and emotional toughness
- Persevere toward success
- Be on purpose when you're off balance
- Be hard on problems and soft on people
- Manage perceived threats
- Deepen social support
- Believe, have hope, and find inspiration
- See change not as interruption, but as opportunity for leadership and self development to steer your life
It's easy to disengage and detach from life when things aren’t the way you want. It can be easy to avoid struggle. However, distancing yourself from conflict, leadership, and change only makes the situation worse - it prolongs the change and postpones your date with responsibility. Passivity leads to a victim mindset, and soon complaining takes over while you feel your life is controlled by others.
Develop compassion for yourself given the circumstances, understand there will be some good in this bad. Take a deep breath and decide how you are going to handle the change in your life!
Below are some major organizational sources of stress followed by a chart offering antidotes and suggestions for what employees can do to manage that stress within their spheres of influence.
Just imagine a workplace that relies on fraud, deceit and regular scams as a way of doing business. Its niche is carved out of false promises and open lies. Thankfully, most organizations like this only enjoy a very brief existence. Contrast the very corrupt organization with one holding a spotless record and unblemished past, and it becomes logical that many organizations fit somewhere between these two extremes. Tenuous balances of trust and stress underlie all business activity.
Lack of trust will undermine any leadership strategy. If employees don’t feel trusted, they will guard their words and be reluctant to offer input. The job becomes All Work & No Say as soon as a lack of trust steals the inspiration away.
Symphony of Trust
A leadership skill many don't talk about is trust. How much do you trust your staff and why does it matter? Trust affects the bottom line: the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat clients. If it’s acceptable that an organization or leader doesn’t have to keep promises, then you can almost guarantee employees won’t be keeping promises to clients either.
“People do business with people they trust.” You’ve heard this before. A client’s trust in an organization starts with a leaders trust in its employees. As Leadership Expert and Motivational Speaker, Lance Secretan quips in Reclaiming Higher Ground, “Our society is suffering from truth decay.” He holds that, especially in teams, telling the truth is essential to good business. “If the members of a symphony lie to each other, they will play awful music,” he maintains. So it goes in any leadership team environment. Another compelling advantage for telling the truth is that it’s efficient. Over a third of an organization’s budget may be devoted to administrative functions such as controls, reports and procedures. Many controls exist because leadership doesn’t trust employees. What if we could nix some of these controls and have our leadership strategy to be trust each other to do our best? It would be much less expensive and much more efficient.
EXPLODING THE TRUST MYTH:"WE TRUST EACH OTHER"
Many organizations think that trust isn’t a concern. On the surface everything is fine, but on closer inspection one might discover that employees are seeking to satisfy only their basic immediate needs. Their inspiration and passion is lost in the details of the job. Over time, working in such an atmosphere precipitates lethargy for some, and for others, illness. Workplace wellness declines.
Here are some things leadership experts agree companies do that cripple your leadership program and strategy by undermining employee trust. Answer yes or no to the questions below to test your trust leadership qualities:Read More
Does acknowledging your employees compel them to explore their potential further or is it more of a mindless clacking of cliche expressions? Is your recognition program a superficial ploy encroaching on your staff’s need to be candidly recognized and inspired? Don’t be disheartened because many organizations suffer the same twisted fate. Employee morale boosters hinge on how well leaders recognize staff. Everybody likes to be appreciated for their efforts, but only if they are rewarded and acknowledged in a way that is genuine.
Include employees’ say in the way you salute their efforts. Most companies have a formal way of acknowledging employees with annual award banquets, including keynote speakers with motivational speeches, top sales awards and certificates. If your award program doesn’t invite a thunderous reception, it may be because it's too generic and not an inspiration.
COMMON PITFALLS TO LEADERSHIP AWARD PROGRAMS
There are some major pitfalls to generic leadership award programs:
- The reward is handed down from leadership and reinforces imbalances in power.
- It can be patronizing to receive a small award for a large accomplishment.
- The leadership recognition program falters because the accomplishment is often a team effort. It fosters resentment when just one person gets the reward.
- They cause competition and conflict.
- The reward usually occurs annually or semi-annually,thereby greatly postponing inspiration and recognition for superior daily performance.
- Salary raises are nice, but seldom motivate people to consistently achieve on the job.
- Top performers are often the same people every month. A formal award system may become a program that neglects secondary achievements. How is this helping the rest of your staff? You may be causing resentment, conflict. Formal award nights with humorous keynote speakers may not speak to the heart of recognition for the whole team.
- The most common flaw of leadership award programs is that they often reward people for doing work they were supposed to do anyway. It creates entitlement.
Why are formal award systems so popular as a leadership strategy then? The main advantage to formal awards is that they are easy to administer. All you need to do is calculate how close (or how far) people get to their goal, find the “top achievers” and acknowledge them with your standard reward.
This advantage is also the major disadvantage. Formal awards are a “mass acknowledgment” program. They can be very impersonal and don’t take into account the strengths, accomplishments or efforts of individuals. They don’t take into account employees’ say.
Formal award systems recognize one narrow aspect of the job (such as increased revenue, morale, sales or productivity) and those few employees who are good at achieving that goal. By contrast, informal recognition programs focus on spontaneous and personal appreciation of employee efforts.
THE ART OF APPRECIATING OTHERS
Appreciating others is a brilliant and creative act. Leadership strategy needs to notice and nurture consistent acts of achievement. Yet many leaders don’t consider showing appreciation a part of their leadership skills. Other leaders realize that acknowledgment is important, but they botch the process. Spouting hollow praise too often will bring discouraging results.
There is an art to showing appreciation for others. Employees won’t be impressed by trite and generic compliments. Most leadership could use a bit of practice with thoughtful acknowledgments. Possibly a leadership seminar or workshop with a motivational talk to practice the keys to a good acknowledgement. According to B.F. Skinner, a good acknowledgment has four qualities. It is consistently:
- Specific: Talk very specifically about what you saw the person do. General motivational clichés like “good team player” will have a lukewarm effect.
- Immediate: Obviously praising someone for something she did nearly a year ago is a waste of time because the best acknowledgment is immediate. “Catch” someone in the act of doing well and compliment the behavior on the spot.
- Personal: Use the person’s name and talk about the qualities they bring to the team.
- Spontaneous: Never script compliments or they won’t sound sincere.
I would add to this always link individual performance to the overall good of the group. Here is an example: “Mike, congratulations on how you handled that difficult patient just now. He was nasty and not about to give up, but you sympathized, calmed him down and set him straight.” This acknowledgment is specific, immediate, personal, and spontaneous.
Next, link individual performance to the good of the group. “Your taking the time to explain things to that patient builds understanding and agreement and makes that patient so much easier for the rest of the team to deal with.”
According to a study done by Robert Half International Limited, a lack of praise and recognition is one of the primary reasons why employees leave their jobs.
Acknowledgment doesn’t have to come from a leader. Train and encourage all employees to recognize each other. Train in the four steps above and have employees role-play to acknowledge one another. Create a culture of appreciation (see below) where employees regularly recognize each other’s contributions.
Rewards That Increase Say and Engage Employees
Increasing the say factor in your organization means increasing employee input to their jobs. Leadership motivational speeches should reward people individually and in a personalized way for their accomplishments instead of generally addressing the whole group for its performance level. Take time to find out what specifically motivates each of your employees and then see what you can do to make those things happen. How do you find out what motivates others? Ask them.
Increase the say factor in the job by getting people talking about what inspires and motivates them and engage them in the reward process. When people get rewarded in the way they want, they will be much more satisfied. Involvement equals commitment. The best management is what you do with others, not to them.
FOUR STEPS TO CREATING A PERSONALIZED REWARDS SYSTEM
- Create an acknowledgment committee. This is a fun volunteer position and it should rotate regularly, so all staff have an opportunity to participate. The acknowledgment committee is responsible for acknowledging other staff members weekly.
- Have the acknowledgment committee create a form that helps them get to know employees. Ask employees things like, “Share your favorite color, your biggest pet peeve, something interesting about your family, your hobbies...” Anything unique about a person that they would offer to share is valuable.
- File these forms away and every week (or month or however often) the committee randomly draws an employee’s name and checks the list to find interesting unique ways to acknowledge him. (e.g. Jason loves telling jokes so buy him a joke book). The “reward” is fun and does not cost a lot (usually under $10).
- The committee now has to catch Jason in the act of doing well and acknowledges him with the personalized item. You may even create a fun ritual, motivational talk,chant or saying when delivering acknowledgments.
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