JJ's (November '05) Tips in this issue:
1. Wake-Up Call Response From Clients & Giving Thanks!
2. JJ's Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
A reader wrote: "From your October newsletter on Wake up Calls, JJ, you are obviously able to see the positive side of things that go wrong, even when it's breast cancer. Thanks for sharing your personal story with us."
"When life and work seem to be going sideways for people who report to me, how can I help them get back on track too? Can you give some tips on how to do that?"
This was just one of the many emails I received after sending my October "Wake Up Calls" newsletter.
I would like to thank all of you who wrote a response. The notes were heartwarming and very encouraging. Many of you wrote about your own battles with breast cancer and other illnesses and the struggles and strains they caused in your lives. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your personal
stories with me.
It appears that every one of us knows someone in our work or circle of family and friends who has been touched by cancer or another life threatening disease. As we age, it is a realistic part of life. It just hits
harder when it happens to you.
As I write this newsletter, I am watching the clock because in an hour, I will be taking my first radiation treatment today. It is scary, but I'm thankful that it isn't chemotherapy. For 30 weekdays at 7:30 am, I will have a radiation treatment to prevent a reoccurrence of the breast cancer.
In response to my reader's SITUATION QUESTION on how to help others get back on track when life and work seem to be going sideways, suggest to them that they look for what is positive about their situation, and to give thanks for it.
Many who wrote emails to me did just that. They felt fortunate that their situation wasn't worse than it was. They learned some great life lessons through the process. They learned that they were survivors, not victims. They were surprised that people genuinely cared about them. They learned that they were not alone in their pain. They learned that there eventually is light at the end of the tunnel. They learned to see the positive side of their situation. They learned how to grow to be a stronger, more contributing person with a cause and a passion for living.
1. The first place to start helping others get back on track is to get them talking about what is happening around them. This is a manager's job when it is affecting their job performance, especially when you have already had conversations about their poor performance and it has not improved.
When something goes wrong, you always want to hide and not discuss it. In the dark in the middle of the night is the worst. If it is big enough that you lose sleep over it, it is time to talk about it.
Have them voice their fears, anger, disappointments or embarrassments around what has happened. Keep their confidence if it is requested. Talking about their problems can be therapeutic, and the start to finding solutions.
2. Psychologists tell us that the most common words they hear from people who come to them for help is, "I just don't have a choice." Your job as a manager/leader is not to solve their problem, but to help them discover alternatives that are available to them. This is the counseling part of a manager's job that many find uncomfortable to perform.
3. Help them get a second opinion if it is a medical crisis, management training if it is a personality conflict, communication or management problem, or professional therapist help if the problem is a personal one.
All are stressful and could be happening at the same time to a person, so stress management could also be needed.
If you have been in any of my training sessions, you will probably remember my "5 Minutes of Quiet Time" exercise that is best done at the beginning of every day. It is a great way to start the day relaxed and in control, and to program the type of day you expect. It puts you in the driver's seat and reduces your stress too.
I watched Desperate Housewives on TV last night, and when Gabrielle was given the big, red balloon (representing her lost baby heartache) to release into the air, I thought about my cancer situation release too.
To go public with my breast cancer (lumpectomy) operation and radiation plans in my October newsletter, I had to release my pain (balloon) too, and look for a silver lining.... And I found it.
Wayne Dyer also teaches an exercise to release what is troubling you. He uses his hat to release his troubles as he throws it across the room.
This type of exercise works for many people, and may work for those you want to help too.
4. Help them learn to say, "No, I won't be able to do that." when they are already overwhelmed and stressed. People have trouble putting boundaries around themselves. When you say "Yes." when you really want to say "No.", you become resentful and more stressed. In business or at home, do not let
yourself be a doormat for others to dump on because you never say "No." Take care of your own well-being first, or you will not stay healthy enough to give to others you would like to help.
5. Critical situations will cause you to entertain the idea of making major changes in your life. Wake up calls or sideways work and personal situations jolt you to attention. You may have noticed earlier signals that you ignored. It may mean getting coaching or mentoring for learning to supervise others, getting on an exercise program, losing weight, eating sensibly, spending more quality time with your family, asking for what you want, saying "No" when appropriate, or taking radiation and chemotherapy to prevent a reoccurrence of cancer. It is what it is, and you make changes to do what you have to do.
Last week when I was getting my radiation simulation done (calculations of where to aim the radiation) in preparation for the treatment, I read this sign hanging on the hospital wall.
"Remember that all change involves a degree of learning. If you find change stressful, try to keep in mind that after this period of transformation has passed, you will be a wiser person for it."
From Smoothing Transitions--10 Steps to Making Change Easier Chaplain Services, O'Connor Hospital
6. Don't dwell on what has gone wrong. Instead, concentrate on a brighter future. What you dwell on is what you get, so take action to turn things around as quickly as possible. Dwell on the positive things that you want to happen. Remember, your mind is powerful!
This Thursday my husband and I will have Thanksgiving dinner at our home for twelve of the people we love most in the world (close relatives), and you know I will be eager to share what I'm thankful for this year. Besides my health, my wonderful, loving and supportive husband, family and friends, I'll be thankful that all of you have connected with me too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, comments and support, and for giving me the privilege of working with many of you and your companies too.
Make it a happy Thanksgiving for everyone around you! Make a difference with your positive attitude and open arms.
JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
These 2 quotes are worth repeating again this month!
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along'."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
"It's Not What Happens to You, It's What You Do About It."
- W. Mitchell
Tele-COACHING & Tele-MENTORING
TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.
Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 445-1590
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EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT:
Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)