How does one influence excellence within their team? Or themselves?
The highly experienced Dogz who have been around the block for 280-364 dog/human years (we kindly request no age discrimination) have always known that it’s important to train their humans to encourage each other. They know that when they are told “Good Dog” after an impressive performance, and better yet, “Good Dog” along with a tasty treat, life is really good. I mean, really, really good.
A bonus phenomenon occurs as follows…
Enthusiastic Dog wags his tail. He may even say, “That was fun. Let’s do that thing that gets me the “Good Dog” words and the tasty treat again.”
Can such a simple concept actually translate to achieving excellence in our human endeavors? Yes.
Psychologists know it. Brain experts know it. Leaders, parents, and teachers know it. Neuro-Google-Geeks know it.
So, why is it true that many leaders, team members, coworkers and even spouses still hold back on encouragement, compliments and rewards for their own people? (Or themselves?)
The range of excuses include:
- Rewarding with tasty treats could get expensive.
- No time for that.
- It’s too awkward.
- No one says thanks or great job to me, so why should I compliment anybody?
- It might backfire. “I’m trying to whup her into shape for her trouble areas of performance, so encouraging her could counter those efforts”.
- It might cause team discontent. “If I give you a compliment in front of other people, then they will think I’m favoring you over them”.
- It might backfire. “You’re my competitor and I won’t get promoted over you if I give you compliments in front of other people”.
- It might backfire. ” I don’t want you to think you’re special because you might get all puffed up and stop trying so hard”.
Do any of those excuses resonate? Ahem. Well, skip any guilt or self-flagellation and just fix the problem. Also, understand the reality is that these fears can be justified on occasion. Why?
The nuances of insecurities inherent in our human ecosystem can keep cautious leaders, coworkers and team members in more of a no-action fearful state in lieu of rewarding their own people with kind words or a prize.
Ask yourself the following questions… Do you wish to influence excellence in your people? Do you hold back because you don’t want to get an employee’s hopes up that he will get a raise in addition to the nice words? Do you hold back because of your own insecurities? Do you hold back to accommodate jealousy and rivalry within your team? Does one of your employees look like your ex, so there’s no way in hell he or she will ever get a compliment from you?
Come on. Do it.
- Encourage others. Encourage yourself. Be sincere.
- Do the right thing. Let go of your own ego and any insecurities that keep you from authentically cheering on someone else.
- If it’s awkward, practice with these…. You Rock! Thank You! Way to Go! Great Job! Keep Going! I can’t believe you did that! A $5.00 lunch is on me! 🙂
- Change a culture of competitive insecurity into a positive, cheerleading vibe.
If your intent for encouragement is sincere, and your words are true, you could very well be amazed at the excellence that emerges from your team… and within yourself.
Great Job! Keep Going!
Find Yourself a Treat!
So, it’s Leap Year 2016 and we have February 29 to enjoy, so why not make the best of it and leap into a whole new level of success and happiness? You can decide to better your life at any moment, so why not hop onto the positive energy of the Leap Year? It’s never too late to dedicate yourself to new endeavors or embrace a positive attitude. Here are a few tips..
- Leap into that area that you know will move you forward in terms of skill sets and education.
- Evaluate your career status and leap into whatever will take you to the next level.
- Leap into something fun that you do on a regular basis, whether it be having fun with PhotoShop (per the featured photo) or dancing or having coffee with a friend.
- Leap into a workout program that ultimately leads to more success in all areas of your life.
- Make More Money! If you have a traditional job, ask your boss how you can make the highest amount possible at your organization… then go for it! If you are self-employed, hire a virtual assistant for the mundane tasks so you can spend more time on activities directly related to cash flow and customer satisfaction.
- Start Making Money! If you are not making money, it’s your time to “Leap” into some cashflow. Take online classes from Udemy.com or codeacademy.com. Watch what happens…
- Use the energy of Leap Year to move forward in a relationship where you’ve been holding out. Practice your skills as an excellent partner.
- If you are a single woman, this is the year that you are allowed to ask a man to marry you, so make sure he is responsible and financially stable before popping the question that could possibly lead you into a world of hidden debt. The Dogz know this is ridiculous…the “allowed to ask” thing, not the debt thing.
So have fun with Leap Year 2016 and Leap into Success with Career, Love and Money! Catch the frisbee!
Does it feel like Groundhog Day when you get your monthly bills? Have you experienced repeated guilt that manifests itself in your stomach like a lead balloon? If so, then it’s time to be nice to your stomach and your financial situation.
Here are 5 tips to help create new habits and eliminate the Groundhog Day repetition with your spending. Once you’ve found a method that seems best for you, practice is the key. This means that you must repeat the new positive behavior over and over to establish a whole new meaning to your personal Groundhog Day.
1. Find Alternate Habits
Find another activity that replaces your need to spend.
- Take up a low cost activity that improves your life at the same time. Yoga, nature walks or training for a 5K could take you to the next level in your health and well being.
- Focus your energy on educational activities to launch a new career or take your hobbies to a new level of satisfaction. There are free online classes with organizations such as Coursera.
- Find new low cost (or free) ways to nurture your existing relationships with your family and friends.
- Develop new relationships with people that have similar financial values and goals.
Say these affirmations 3 times a day PLUS whenever you get the urge to spend.
- “I use my personal power to say No to spending.”
- “I don’t need to purchase anything that isn’t absolutely essential.”
- “I am confident in who I am and don’t need to impress anyone.”
- “I have no need to ‘Keep Up with the Joneses.’
- “This powerful habit of ‘saying no’ will significantly improve my financial security, my confidence and my personal power.
3. Reward System
Establish a system to reward yourself and celebrate when you have achieved your goals. Here are some ideas.
- Give yourself a small prize that will delight you. Purchase a special song that melts your heart like “Road of Life” or music that’s full of joy and makes you want to sing-a-long like “All the Way to Heaven.”
- Celebrate each achievement with a pal over a glass of wine, smoothie or a chai tea.
- Start a friendly ‘say no’/’stick to the budget’ competition with a friend where the loser has to buy a ‘treat’ for the winner.
- Celebrate by allowing yourself to enroll in that low-cost class you’ve always wanted to take, but blew all available money on clothes, restaurants or travel.
4. Put Blinders On
If you don’t see available money, then assume it’s not there to spend. Have your employer deduct amounts from your paycheck and send it directly to savings or a 401k retirement plan.
Wink. Wink. “What money?” “I only make x amount.” “I never had that money to begin with.” Wink.
The Dogz found that in their experience, blinders worked very well 😉
5. Focus on Future
If you are someone that justifies unnecessary spending while completely ignoring your future financial stability, it’ s time to reset, reboot, and completely shift your thinking.
Which one of these 2 scenarios is more appealing?
- You must ask your children and friends for financial help every month in order to survive because you no longer have the energy or confidence to work.
- You are completely self sufficient, healthy and fully engaged in life with soul satisfying hobbies, wonderful relationships, and traveling to places that you love.
Example of statements that keep us from achieving the 2nd scenario are the following…
- “You only live once.”
- “I deserve this.”
Luxury spending ‘in the now’ has jeapordized the financial security of many people in later years. Focusing on the future while taking control of the present can lead to amazing possibilities for your financial life in your golden years. Picture what you want for your future, then make it happen.
Use the above tips to get your own creativity going. It’s actually possible to find joy in saving and investing for your financial future. Celebrate when you reach milestones such as getting out of debt and maxing out your contributions to your retirement plan. Share what you’ve achieved on social media or on YouTube.
Know that life can be fan-freakin-tastic without luxury spending. Volunteer for good causes. Increase your compassion for yourself and others. Laugh more. Love more. Use your brand new habits to improve your quality of life. Practice. Practice. Practice. Woof!
Groundhog Day movie clip: Below is a hilarious video of the evolution of Bill’s character as Ned the insurance salesman pesters him to buy insurance 🙂
Note: Groundhog in featured photo belongs to large family that lives by the The Dogz’ bank.