Archive for the ‘goal setting’ Category

The Best Question to Ask Yourself as a Leader

feelings word cloudIt’s that time of year.  That time when we resolve to be better and do better in many aspects of our lives.  Many of you start your year off with goals, resolutions, and even personal strategic plans (my favorite.) What if there was one question you could ask yourself that could impact the likelihood of achieving your goals and objectives for 2016? This question can be modified to fit every area of your life, in particular, your life as a leader.

The premise of this question is to tie your goals, plans, resolutions to emotional outcomes. When we tie our plans to how we want to feel or how we want our team members to feel, we increase our motivation to behave in alignment with our goals and objectives.  Consider revisiting the goals you’ve recently set for yourself and add an emotional outcome.

Ask yourself:

How do I want to feel? (healthy, confident, in charge, happy – these are a few examples for personal goals.)

How do I want my family members to feel? (loved, appreciated, understood – great outcomes for personal relationships.)

How do I want my team members to feel? (valued, respected, empowered – these can be powerful in your leadership role.)

A tweak to this question is, “How do I think my team members (children, spouse, etc…) currently feel?” If you suspect that they don’t feel valued, respected, etc… then you can begin to make changes to elicit more positive feelings. And, for those of you wondering, the #1 reason good people quit is that they don’t like how their leaders make them feel. Emotional outcomes do matter.

By adding a reminder of how we want to feel, or how we want others to feel, we can check to see if our current actions are in alignment with those feelings.  If not, we can adjust those actions and move forward towards achieving success.

Connecting your goals, resolutions, and strategic plans to emotional outcomes can increase your likelihood of keeping those resolutions. Go ahead and revisit the goals you likely just set, add emotional outcomes and have a fabulous 2016!

 

Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.

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Communication and Goal Setting

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Communication and Goal Setting

by Pamela Jett, CSP

It’s that time of year again.  The time of year when we start to beat ourselves up because we may have given up on our New Year’s resolutions.   Research indicates that 80% of us will give up on our resolutions or goals within the month of January.  If you are one of the 80% who may have thrown in the towel, here are a few communication tips to get you back on track.

  • Monitor your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves and the vast majority of our self-talk tends to be negative.  We start to beat ourselves up because we have fallen off the “resolution bandwagon.”  The next time you start saying things to yourself  like “I really blew it” or “I should really be more self-disciplined” or even “I’m such a loser,” take a moment a moment to re-frame the internal conversation.  Replace the negative with things such as “I am re-committed” or “I am learning to have more self-discipline” or “I am human.”  When we can replace the negative self-talk with more positive, growth oriented communication to ourselves we are far more likely to stay the course, start again, or re-commit and thus increase our chances of success.
  • Replace “past” focused communication with “future” focused communication. If you are talking about the status of your goals and resolutions with others, resist the temptation to focus on what you didn’t do.  Avoid focusing on the past.  Avoid phrases such as “I didn’t exercise yesterday” or “I should have spoken up in yesterday’s meeting.”  Instead, commit out loud “I am headed to the gym this afternoon” or “I am asking to get on the meeting agenda next week.”  Stop focusing on the past and what you didn’t do or what you did wrong and instead keep your communication, both internal and external, future focused.
  • Press the “re-set” button. Go ahead, press it right now.  Stop saying to yourself, “I will start again Monday” or “next month.”  Go ahead and give yourself permission to start again immediately instead of waiting for some supposedly logical start point like tomorrow or the beginning of the week.  Recommit right now, this very instant.  Taking small strides towards your goals and objectives right now is far better than planning for a “big step” or change in the future.

We so often sabotage our success in many areas of our lives with our communication.  Use the power of positive, future focused communication both internally and externally to stay the course and achieve great things!  For more tools, tips, and communication techniques to help you achieve your goals and objectives, join my teleseminar “Beyond Goal Setting 101” on Thursday January 19, 2012. Register here.

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Beyond Goal Setting 101

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How to Improve Communication

by Pamela Jett, CSP

In a busy work environment it can be very easy to get  caught up in managing a multitude of tasks, meeting tight deadlines, coping with constant change, and being asked to do more with less.  In that environment, it can be very easy to forget to use remarkable communication.  Here are a few quick tips to keep you focused on using remarkable communication even in the midst of chaos:

1.  Focus on making one change at a time. If you are looking to make remarkable communication one of your personal and professional hallmarks, pick one thing to work on and stay focused on mastering that change.  For example commit to replacing the words “idea” and “suggestion” with more powerful words such as “solution” or “plan.”  For more ideas of small changes in communication that can make a big difference, click here .

2.  Teach someone else. When you learn a remarkable communication tool, share it with someone else.  I often have great conversations  about communication with a friend, Charlotte, who is committed to self-improvement. Charlotte is an active blogger and she often shares what she has learned during our conversations with others through her blog and by teaching it to her family.  This reinforces her commitment to practicing the technique because she has declared herself publicly.  (Read Charlotte’s fantastic blog here.)

3. Recruit a colleague. If you decide to make a change in your communication, recruit someone who knows you well to support you in your efforts.  They can applaud you when you succeed and keep you on track when it is easy to lose focus.

Communication is the most important skill we possess.  Make a commitment to enhancing your communication and hence your credibility and professionalism, even in the midst of the pressing daily grind.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills expert who is committed to sharing remarkable communication tools that create remarkable results.  For more information on bringing Pamela to your meeting or event, click here or call Aimee at 866.726.5388.

Want to learn remarkable communication tools without even leaving your desk?  Attend Pamela’s next teleseminar!

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Olympic Vision – Julia Mancuso

By Pamela Jett, CSP

In previous blog posts I’ve shared the power of vision boards.  And, I have even shared pictures of my vision boards.  I firmly believe that if you post a “vision” of what you want your life to look like, the goals you want to achieve, and the areas of life that you want to improve you greatly increase the likelihood that you will achieve those goals and objectives.  So, I was thrilled to see this commercial as I watched the Olympics tonight.  Enjoy and congratulations Julia!YouTube Preview Image

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Vision for 2010

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By Pamela Jett, CSP

As promised in my my last blog, I’ve attached a picture of one of my vision boards for 2010.  It has been my practice for several years to create two vision boards; one for my personal life and one for my professional life.  The picture is of my personal vision board.

For 2010 I replaced last year’s theme of “joy, balance, and abundance” with a new theme of “clarity, action, and connection”.  It is my vision that 2010 will be year when I not only have a clear vision of what I want to do, but that I also focus on taking action with the end result being greater connection spiritually, socially, physically, and mentally.

It is not too late to create your own vision of what you want your life to be like in the up-coming year.  Creating a vision board not only helps you discover what you want your life to be like, it serves as a visual reminder all year long. There is no right or wrong way to create a vision board.  Many people use pictures from magazines and create a collage.  Others create a combination of words and pictures.  This year, my vision boards are completely free of pictures and just have key words and phrases arranged in a way that makes sense to me.  They are both hanging prominently in my office as I write this blog.

I would love to see your vision boards or learn what is working for you.  Leave a comment and let me know what your vision is for 2010.  I wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous new year!

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2010 – RESOLVED!

By Pamela Jett, CSP

It’s that time of year again.  The time when most of us, myself included, engage in introspection, goal-setting, and making resolutions for the new year.  As I was watching the morning news today I noticed there were numerous segments focusing on creating a better physical self in 2010.  And while losing weight, getting in shape, and improving nutrition are certainly worthwhile goals (they are part of my vision for 2010), I also believe it is worthwhile to focus on the other parts of ourselves, specifically our heart and head.

So, while I certainly want to drop a few of the pounds I somehow managed to gather in 2009 (OK, it’s not a big mystery – I didn’t move enough to counter the calories), I also want to work on dropping some of the emotional weight I accumulated.  I am spending some time this week examining my heart to determine if there is any guilt, fear, or anger that might be weighing me down that I can process through and eliminate in 2010.

Just as many people resolve to begin more healthy habits such as healthier eating and a fitness regime, I want to examine my mental habits.  Where am I spending my time?  Am I engaging in any counter-productive habits (too much watching silly television shows when I could be feeding my brain interesting and useful information for example?) Are there time-wasting behaviors I can eliminate just like many of us eliminate junk food?  Can I replace these habits with new more mind-healthy behaviors?  Who am I spending my time with?  Are they people from whom I can learn and grow?  These are the types of questions I am asking myself this week.

What about you?  As you resolve to be a better version of yourself in 2010, I challenge you to not only focus on your physical self, but to focus on your “whole self”.  Look for ways to grow and improve physically, mentally, spiritually.  Once you have clarity on what you want to achieve, you can use the tried and true goal-setting techniques and vision board approaches.

I’ll spend this week in introspection and then I will create my vision boards for 2010.  I’ll blog about that process soon and post pictures as well.

I would love to know what heart and head resolutions you are making this new year.  Leave a comment and let me know.  Here’s to an abundant and prosperous 2010!

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Economic Downturn and Professional Development

By Pamela Jett

At first glance, the phrases “economic downturn” and “professional development” likely don’t seem very congruent. However, I see it differently. I believe it is extraordinarily important during an economic downturn for individuals and organizations to be committed to professional development. The challenge is that during an economic downturn, many organizations and individuals may believe that professional development is a luxury they just cannot afford.

Knowledge is power and the more we know the better decisions we typically make, the quicker we are able to solve problems, the more creative we can be in thinking of ways to stimulate the bottom line. I believe there are really only two ways to gain knowledge.

One way to gain knowledge is in the “school of hard knocks”. By that I mean learning things through experimentation, through trial and error, by making things up as we go along (anyone currently enrolled?) While there is nothing wrong with learning from our own mistakes and experiences (in fact, some would argue, and I would agree, that there really is no such thing as failure unless we fail to learn) the “school of hard knocks” does come with a hefty tuition bill. We can make expensive mistakes, engage in career damaging decisions, and pay a hefty price in terms of our professional reputation and opportunity cost. All this is in addition to the actual “cost” (money, customer loyalty, etc…) a mistake or an error might incur. In challenging economic times, regardless of your current job status, can you really afford to learn things the hard way? I doubt it. I know that I can’t.

Which is why I am a HUGE advocate of the second way to learn things – through the knowledge, experience, and advice of others. I want to proactively tap into the resources that are available to me to help me get results without having to experience a steep learning curve. I genuinely believe this approach will help me work smarter. I will gladly part with some of my hard earned resources and my time to attend a workshop, listen to a podcast, or read a book if the end result is that I am able to put into practice tools that will bring more value to my customers or organization. I can’t afford to make a foolish error simply because I was neglecting my professional development and thought that attending a workshop was a luxury I couldn’t afford. I look at professional development as something I can’t afford to neglect at this time.

So, I’ve been attending workshops, meetings, conventions, listening to audios, reading books, and tapping into mentors like at no other time in my professional career. Yes, some of this costs money. Yes, it all takes my valuable time (opportunity cost.) And yes, I am confident I will see a return on my investment.

My question to you is, what are you doing today to make yourself more valuable to your employer or customer tomorrow? Are you actively acquiring new knowledge? Are you proactively seeking new information to help you solve problems and grow the bottom line? Are you focusing on fear or are you focusing on opportunity? Are you spending your valuable time and cognitive processes bemoaning the economy or are you accepting that we live in challenging times and focusing your energy and efforts on improving yourself?

If you could take every second, every minute, every hour of the last 30 days that you’ve spent discussing economic problems, listening to pundits repeat the bad news and point fingers and added them all up, how much time and energy would that be? How much more fruitful would that time be if spent on professional development? In challenging economic times, professional development is one luxury in which we can’t afford not to indulge.

Pamela Jett is a professional speaker who teaches remarkable communication skills for remarkable results to professionals around the world. She can be found at http://www.jettct.com/ . If you are interested in booking Pamela to speak at your organization or event, call Aimee at 866.726.5388. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter or join her on Facebook.

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Are You Suffering From B.S.O. Syndrome?

By Pamela Jett

Just in case you are wondering, I made it up. Despite that fact, you might still be suffering from B.S.O. Syndrome, otherwise known as “Bright Shiny Object” Syndrome. I know that I suffer from it on a somewhat regular basis. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you too, might find that B.S.O. Syndrome is impacting your success.

Did you set goals, make resolutions, or create a vision board for 2009 only to find yourself two weeks later (and yes, it has only been two weeks) no further along than when you started?

Do you have a few “unpleasant tasks” that you keep putting off in favor of doing something else? By the way, most of the time the “something else” is something we can justify.

Do you often reach the end of the day and wonder where the time went and why you don’t feel a great sense of accomplishment?

Are you easily distracted by things that are fun or enjoyable? (the bright shiny object)

Do you engage in any “compulsive” type behavior? (like constantly checking e-mail, or surfing the net with no real purpose)

If you answered “yes” to even one of the above questions, you just might be suffering from a bit of “B.S.O. Syndrome”. When we are easily distracted from those things that will lead to our success by things that are appealing or fun, our productivity can suffer. Now, of course, I am all in favor of having fun and enjoying a few bright, shiny objects from time to time. However, that comes with a price and when the price is too great, it is time to focus. Here are a few focus tips to help overcome B.S.O. Syndrome in 2009.

1. Post your goals or vision boards where you see them regularly. This serves as a visual reminder of what matters most to you.

2. Ask yourself is making this decision moving me closer to or further away from the person I want to become?

3. Ask yourself what do I want and what am I willing to give up to get it?

4. Declare yourself publicly. Let a few trusted people know what you are trying to accomplish and have them help hold you accountable.

5. Be gentle on yourself. The way we communicate to ourselves is very powerful. If you beat yourself up or are extremely hard on yourself for not accomplishing things as quickly as you would like or with the amazing results you wanted, you only serve to discourage yourself from moving forward. Essentially, you are saying to yourself that whatever success you had wasn’t good enough, so why bother trying. Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. If you have a day where you lose focus, try to be better the next day. Don’t beat yourself up. I am currently working with a business coach on a few issues and every session starts with a re-cap of what I’ve accomplished since my last session. I’ve learned that I am pretty hard on myself and one of the wonderful “ah-has” I’ve experienced is that it is OK to not always be going as hard or as fast as I would like and that any movement forward is a reason to smile. Success builds on success. Be gentle on yourself.

Pamela Jett is a communication skills expert who teaches remarkable communication skills for remarkable results to professionals worldwide. She can be reached at http://www.jettct.com/. Many of her remarkable tools are available on audio cd and can be found at the success store at http://www.jettct.com/. If you would like to bring Pamela to your organization to share her remarkable communication tools, call Aimee at 866.726.5388. And, of course, you can reach Pamela directly at Pamela@JettCT.com.

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What’s Your 2009 Vision?

By Pamela Jett


If you were to look at the floor of my office over the last few days you would see evidence of my New Year’s ritual, creating vision boards. For the last several years I have not made any resolutions or set goals. Instead I have created two vision boards. One is for my personal life and the other is for my professional life.

Vision boards are a visual representation of the life I want to lead in the up-coming year. I just e-mailed a picture of my completed vision boards to a good friend. He promptly e-mailed me back and expressed a bit of surprise because my vision boards are not made with a lot of magazine pictures. Most people use magazine or other pictures to create some sort of collage. I believe that is a valid way of creating a vision board and I know many successful people who have that as their approach. I take a slightly diffferent approach.

I don™t really use a lot of pictures because my œvision is not really about œthings like cars, houses, etc¦ (although those things are nice and worthy of visualization). My vision is more about how I want my lifeBold to unfold during the year. For example, one of the things that I envision for 2009 is to continue to lead a life full of meaningful relationships. So, I have words and phrases on my vision board to support those relationships. Also represented are things I want to do more of like dancing, finding new venues to hear live music, and travel to some specific locations such as Spain. They are on my board because they are related to one of my priorities which is discovering joy. I also have a few commitments to health and fitness represented because that is part of living a balanced life. Every year I have a theme for the year. This year’s theme is the same as last year’s theme (I liked it so much that I’m not ready to make a change.) My theme for 2009 is Discover Joy, Practice Balance, Live in Abundance. So, there are large scale action items such as “say yes” on my vision board.

You can see a picture of this year’s vision board here. I thought I would share it in hopes of inspiring you to create your own vision board. Make it your own, use your creativity, use pictures if that works for you, and post your board where you can see it every day. Mine is in my office. I’ve been using vision boards of some sort or another for about 10 years. It is a practice that helps keep me focused on what I want and, the great news is, when I look back on the past several years, much of my “vision” has come to fruition. Happy New Year!

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