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5 Tips to Help You “Do the Work” to Be More Successful in the Multigenerational Workplace in 2020

WOW! The new decade is here! And boy is there pressure to make resolutions and improve. Our tips are simple and they endure, not relative to the new year or decade but just plain and simple tips that if you “Do the Work,” you win! So, in order to help you crush performance and be more successful at work this year, we’ve compiled our simple 5 best tips that you can put into practice today. Our tips are real, actionable, and highly impactful – try them for yourself and see!

Tip #1: Relax and Smile

Most people want to like you and want you to succeed! They’re actually rooting for you.  So, it should be simple to make a connection.  Right?  Well, wrong.  The root to connection is simply smiling and being open, however, most of us (technical term here) suck at that. Myself included.  And, if you’re stern, preoccupied, or just not present you tend not to smile. Not smiling makes you seem cold and unfriendly which means people are not going to be able to connect with you. However, a super simple easy way to connect is just to smile.  Try it. I talk about this with executives and Millennials alike. Smiling more is so simple, yet tough to implement,  

If we really want to be a productive worker of the future we need to create connection through trust. Smiling communicates to someone that you’re positive, approachable, and possibly someone they can trust (and we know how important trust is). So if smiling doesn’t come naturally, make sure you practice! That means you should smile so much that your face hurts. Even though we know smiling creates more serotonin and improves our mood we still believe we’ll look dumb or awkward.  Just try this simple tool for a few days and coach yourself to smile.  You will notice the difference and that difference will help you immediately relax in the workplace or in a client meeting. That relaxation will in turn allow your intent and impact to naturally shine through.

Tip #2: Positivity – Yes And

People love people who are positive. And while us humans generally are predisposed to thinking negatively, it’s all about your mindset which you can shift. You have to choose to be positive, think positive, and create positive experiences for those around you. As a matter of fact, science shows it takes 4x the positive statements to counteract the negative ones! According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, “a negative event or emotion usually has at least three times the impact of a comparable positive one.” So, this year, make a point to intentionally practice positivity! While that’s a very general statement, one tip we have is to read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and live by them.

Tip #3: Better Not Best

Best can be seen as an artificial barrier, mostly because best is arbitrary and always a moving target. Therefore, doing and being your best isn’t realistic because it’s based on the events surrounding it. An author we met through Heroic Public Speaking showed us that the alternative, “better” is something we can achieve everyday. We can be just a bit better than we were yesterday or last week. We can always strive to improve our performance incrementally. If our mindset is growth-based like Carol Dweck teaches in her book Growth Mindset, we can always be focused on trying harder and measuring ourselves to a higher standard each time. Better every day and in every moment will move the needle much further for you on a daily basis.

Tip #4: WIFTHEM – Audience

As humans we’re built in survival mode, which is mostly self-focused.  That results in every person shaping all inputs as: “how will this affect me?” People only care about themselves. And while you might want to argue about the nuances and certain relationships in the workplace, it’s fundamentally true. We are wired for SELF-preservation. Which means we’re constantly looking out for ourselves, no matter how altruistic we might want to be. Everyone is me focused or lives by the WIFM method – what’s in it for me?  Our twist is to focus on the audience and make it about them. We know that in order to succeed we need to understand and provide empathy to the other person so we put WIFM on its head to create instant connection.  Voila. WIFThem – what’s in it for them?

So, whether you’re providing a service, doing a sales call, trying to get a promotion, or persuading your partner or friend to do something, make sure you’re showing the person you’re sitting across from what’s in it for them! It’s not about you, it’s about them and what you can do to help them get what they want. If you know WIFThem and practice it, the world will be yours.  For more tips on how to do that using our communication tools, click here to download our free worksheet with our GPS conversation strategy.

Tip #5: Story – Currency

Your story, your identity, who you are and what you’re here to do, is your connection currency.  It’s what will bind you to others instantly.  But we suck at it. Personally and professionally we don’t have the skills to connect instantaneously.  From the executive boardroom to our next generation workers, we are horrible about sharing our stories. And it is so critical.  Critical to combine our personal why with our corporate purpose and value so we can transact great business.  Whether a Millennial, Gen Z or a Boomer, knowing your story and articulating it in a way that serves others is the only way to connect and build relationships. It’s what you trade with others to build stronger and better relationships, which is the #1 most important skill in the world!  Learn how to tell your story with a free copy of our book – click here to get it!

Over the next few weeks we will deliver real coaching stories so you can see these tips in action. Stay tuned!

Want more tips like these? Need help implementing these in your own life so you can be successful at work? Schedule your free coaching call today to ensure this year is the best one yet! Click here to book your call.

One Personal Challenge that will Make 2017 your Best Year Yet

One personal challenge made up of three special words has the power to positively change your career and greatly impact your world for the better.  Are you ready to make 2017 your best year yet?   Here we go!   The act of branding livestock with a fire-heated iron to identify ownership dates back to the ancient Egyptians. In business, the concept of “per­sonal brands” dates back to the late 1990s. At launchbox, our approach to branding is a fresher take on the value of defining your personal brand and considerably less painful than being touched by a hot iron (although millennials are not averse to marking; nearly 40 percent of them sport tattoos).

We call this your “brandstamp.”

Brandstamps are about who you want to be, how you want to be perceived in the world, and whether or not you deliver on that brand. To help our clients define, articulate, and own their personal brands at launchbox workshops, keynotes, or peer-to-peer networking groups, we create brandstamps through an exercise you can start right now.

It starts by finding your three brandstamp words: Three words that define your personal value and how you want to be perceived by the world. You can pick any three words you want to but try and pick:

  • words that are aspirational—that you think you are and wish to be perceived as—such as smart, caring, honest, and thoughtful.
  • words that, when you wake up in the morning and immedi­ately think of, make you push yourself to be your best.
  • words that if you lived by them every day, you would be the best version of yourself and who you are meant to be.

Now that you have your brandstamp words, you need to field-test them to find out how well they are aligned with views people you know have of you. Because when people see you as you see yourself, you are succeeding in convey­ing your value.

Before I started launchbox, I struggled with what my brandstamp would look like would look like. My coach, Lauren, had an idea that we should assemble a group of thirty friends, former employees and bosses, peers, workout buddies, and mentors to discuss who I was. They would help me start to determine how I could build something big.

Before I went in to talk with this group, I chose my own three words. Once we were assembled, Lauren and our facilitator, Angela, had the group pick the words they thought represented my per­sonal brandstamp. They had fun joking and whittling down hundreds of words to three: direct, giving, and motivational. (I admit to being relieved when “arrogant” and “annoying” finally left the table.) Wow. Not only were they generous words (I felt like I was at my own funeral), but they also aligned quite well with mine at the time: generous, bold, and inspirational. To me, that meant I was living my story, and my story reflected who I was to them.

As launchbox has evolved, so has my personal brandstamp. Today my words are generous, bold, and empowering. That is the cool thing about your three words: they can evolve and you can change them whenever you need to, as long as you own them and keep them aligned with how people see you.

Okay, your turn to try.

Once you have your words, see how they align with the way your people see you, and listen to their comments. Do this with at least three people. See what they think your three words should be, then share yours and see if you are in alignment. If the words are aligned, congratulations! Live them and let them evolve as you do. If they are not aligned, get at it. Find out and explore the inconsistencies—seek to understand why disconnect exists—and get the words aligned.

For more on working from the inside out, check out Part One of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage, and Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace TODAY.

 

 

 

Embrace Millennials as the Opportunity they are

A massive shift is taking place in the workplace and marketplace. Millennials—currently representing 36% of the workforce—will be 75% of your employees and customers by 2025. This change is creating a huge gap. Boomers and Gen Xers grew up with structure. Millennials have grown up with flexibility and the freedom to say what they want, when they want, simply by sending a tweet or a snap. They want feedback 24/7. They collaborate and create influence through network and community. They work way differently than previous generations. This difference is causing what you might label a “problem” in the workplace. There is a clear disconnect between expectations and work style.

But what if you challenged yourself to view this generational gap not as a problem to be solved, but as an opportunity to be embraced? Millennials control $660 billion in spending and will soon be leading the workplace, if they’re not already. Be the solution and embrace this generational “shift”–you can “shift” your perspective on this gap and win the millennial race! Millennials hold a tremendous opportunity for your workplace to excel in the future. Here are 3 millennial “problems” that are actually opportunities to be embraced.

  1. They constantly seek feedback 

    Millennials grew up in an era of instant gratification, so they expect feedback all the time. While this classic millennial trait may seem annoying or ridiculous, it offers you an incredible opportunity to actually communicate and connect. The” problem” isn’t just that they want feedback, they are scared to ask for it and don’t know what to do with it or how to react.

    Use this opportunity to be a mentor and guide for your millennials. Be real, be honest, be a teacher.  Show appreciation when they do a good job, and let them know when they make mistakes and how they can improve. Ask them questions on a regular, weekly basis so you can create a two-way relationship. If they see you, their boss, asking questions, being vulnerable and caring, they will mimic your behavior and develop confidence.Use feedback the way it is intended, as a give and take.

  2. They want flexible or their“perfect” schedule 

    It may seem like a pain to offer a flexible schedule to your millennial employees. You may think, “Why can’t they just work 8 hours straight like I did and not complain about it?” Well, technology has changed the world and millennials can get work done remotely as well as in an office. Millennials tend to seek a perfect work/life balance. By allowing a flexible schedule, you provide your millennials the opportunity to fulfill other activities that make them happy and keep them fulfilled and engaged.

    If your millennials are engaged in the other areas of their life, they will be more inspired to do more great work for your company. By caring about their needs, they are happier, therefore so are your customers and you also create more success of your company.

  3.  They have wild ambitions and ideas

    “They all want to create the next Facebook.” The initial reaction to millennials’ wild ambitions may be that they’re entitled and expect success overnight. But what if you could focus their ambitions within your own company? As a manager, you can motivate your millennials to learn and grow within your company. You can provide opportunities for them to excel, create and innovate…a win-win that would benefit your company. Don’t suppress your millennial worker’s ambitions, but guide them so they can flourish and excel both personally and professionally.

Where one sees trash, another sees treasure. The millennial shift is happening…its inevitable. However, it’s up to YOU how you view it…as an opportunity to be embraced!

 

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Need help understanding, engaging, and retaining your millennial workforce?  Dan Negroni, Author, Speaker, Attorney, Kick butt business consultant, coach, and proud Dad of a few Millennials delivers actionable solutions.  Different from all other millennial experts, Dan’s empowering business approach at Launchbox, creates quick value and seamless connections with millennials and management each on their own terms.   Using unique content and delivery methods that audiences respond to immediately he leverages results from the inside out.   Allow millennials to be your secret weapon and maximize your commitment to them to innovate, create a culture of engagement and grow your businesses today.    To start click here to grab your copy of Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace or call them at 858.314.9687 for a free Coaching Assessment or visit www.launchbox365.com.

Are You a Servant Leader?

Is your organization built for servant leadership? This business philosophy can change the way you do business from the top down, allowing you to create a stronger company and a more inclusive work environment. Here’s how you can recognize if your organization will support servant leadership, and how you can establish this innovative system.

What is servant leadership?

Servant leadership is a set of business practices that allows leaders to establish meaningful connection with their staff, improving their morale, productivity, and engagement. To accomplish this, servant leaders set aside their own ambition and adopt a “serve first” mentality.

They ensure that the needs of their staff are met, whether that’s a more comfortable work environment, personal and professional development opportunities, and well-being exercises. Servant leaders share their power and promote the spread of ideas and the inclusion of every voice in the organization.

Is your organization ready?

One of the big things that can get in the way of servant leadership is your company’s culture. Does your organization prioritize a corporate structure or performance-based recognition? In these structures, it can be difficult for leaders to elevate others to a shared leadership position, or encourage development for traditionally overlooked staff members.

Another area that can be examined is how your company identifies and encourages leadership candidates. Do they target aggressively ambitious candidates or those who are more inclined to help others before themselves? This can be a strong indicator of whether or not your organization will be accepting of this philosophy.

How to become a servant leader

If your company is open to servant leadership, you can work to develop some of the best practices of this modern philosophy. Larry C. Spears, former president of the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, wrote the 10 most important characteristics of servant leaders, including:

  1. Listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Healing
  4. Awareness
  5. Persuasion
  6. Conceptualization
  7. Foresight
  8. Stewardship
  9. Commitment to the growth of people
  10. Building community

An individual with the drive to become a servant leader can adapt these capabilities if they don’t come naturally. For instance, leaders can make a conscious effort to listen and empathize with others in the workplace. Hold training sessions and establish mentorships to encourage the development of a “serve-first” mentality among upper management.

Servant leadership isn’t right for every organization. Determine if it’s right for yours by examining your corporate culture and existing leadership structures. If it is, work on developing leadership qualities among your managers and adopting the philosophies of servant leadership throughout ever level of your organization.

The Unexpected Path to Great Leadership

A lot of thought has gone into what makes a great leader, but it isn’t always traits like ambition and creativity that come into consideration. In fact, the way leaders view the goals and aspirations of their employees can be as telling as their personal characteristics.

Managers who honor the aspirations of their staff—even if those aspirations may be unrealistic or impossible—have what it takes to become a great leader. Here is why you should care about the dreams and ideas of your staff, and how this can impact your potential as a leader.

Managers as Role Models

As a manager, you hold a lot of influence over your staff, both in what they do and how they think.  If an employee expresses a career goal or an idea they have, how you react has the potential to affect their optimism and their long-term plans.  So instead of shooting down an idea, take the time to get to know your employee and understand the motivations that are driving this idea.

The better you know your staff, the more able you are to provide insight and advice when it comes to their aspirations.  They’ll trust your opinion and show more respect for your leadership if you take the time to discuss their plans.  As a result, you’ll be more able to inspire action and innovation and will be a more effective leader over all.

Finding Value in Aspirations

When your staff members have ambitious and long-term goals, these can benefit your company as well as the employee.  In pursuit of their ambitions, they likely want to develop or improve their skills and branch out into new areas of expertise.  If you offer training or professional development incentives, you’ll have a more talented, productive team and a more competitive organization as a whole.

Even if you don’t have the budget for training or development courses, you can honor your employees’ aspirations by offering them the opportunity to take on new roles within the organization.  Do you have a customer service rep who has an interest in IT? Give them the chance to shadow your IT staff or try their hand at small tasks.  Similarly, if some of your employees have the goal of becoming managers, you can slowly increase their responsibilities and allow them to learn managerial skills on the job.

Honoring the career goals of your employees can allow you to grow your skills as a leader, and it can also greatly benefit your company in the long run. You’ll develop a talented, motivated staff that values your role as a leader and looks forward to their future with your company.