Change Your Thinking and Create a Culture That People Don’t Want to Leave…By Jessica Rector

Change Your Thinking and Create a Culture That People Don’t Want to Leave…By Jessica Rector

5 Steps To Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Actions

Do you have a Negative Nancy (NN) or Toxic Tim (TT) that you’re keeping longer than you should? Would you let them go if you weren’t so short staffed? One Negative Nancy or Toxic Tim infiltrates the whole company and it spreads throughout, affecting everyone.

Think of it like this: You attend a meeting that NN was in. When you leave, you approach Positive Polly and share with Positive Polly, “It’s so frustrating dealing with NN. Why is she still here? All we do is constantly listen to her babble and unhappiness.”  Before you know it, you become a Negative Nancy, and Positive Polly sees the impact the original NN has made on you and the team. It only takes one person thinking negatively to bring the whole environment, culture, and team down. In order to help you, Positive Polly shares the following.

You have 60,000 thoughts a day and 80% of them are negative. These come in the form or doubt, worry and stress and are linked to poor attitudes, declining engagement, and poor performance.  Most people think they are positive and optimistic, yet negativity shows and they don’t recognize it. In fact, 95% of your thoughts are repetitive. So, all of the negative thoughts keep getting repeated, impacting how you show up, speak out, lead, and live.

Your thoughts are the fundamental foundation of everything you do and everything you don’t do, yet often times you don’t think about them. When was the last time you thought about what you thought about?  If you’re like most people you think the same way you’ve always thoughts, resulting in the same behaviors, actions, and results. If you want to change relationships, communication, interactions, your confidence, you must first change how you think. Once you change that, then everything else will change as well.

Here is a five-step process to help you change your thoughts to invoke different actions, behaviors and results and develop a positive work environment.

ONE:  Identify – Recognize Your Thoughts. There’s an exercise to help you very specifically identify your negative thoughts. It’s called the Stand up/Sit down exercise. This is a great exercise to do as a team. Have someone read a set of statements. For every statement you agree with, you will move your body. Everyone starts in a stand-up position. For example, if the first statement is “If you’re ever thought you’re not smart enough,” and you agree, you’ll sit down. If you disagree with the statement, you’ll remain as you were. If the next statement is, “If you’ve ever thought you don’t have enough time,” and you agree, you’ll move (either stand up or sit down depending on what you did for the first statement). This repeats for every statement read (there should be about 15 statements read). During this activity, you can expect to hear laughter evoke from your group, as they are moving for most of them, which shows that negative thinking arises without you consciously knowing. And you have a lot more of them than you believe.

TWO:  Write It.  Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, it’s important to write them down. Something happens in your brain when you write things down. They tend to become real, and you remember them more. So, when you write down your negative thoughts, you become more mindful when they arise. Follow the rest of the process with just one of your negative thoughts. Once you have mastered one, work on another (you don’t want to overwhelm you or burn you out on doing too many at once).

THREE:  Triggers – What are your triggers for your negative thinking? Triggers can be a place, situation, mood, experience, or thing. If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone and walked away saying to yourself, “Why do I even bother,” then you also know a trigger can be a person too. And many times, it is a person. Write down all of your triggers. When you’re aware of your triggers, you can be on the lookout for them. When they come up, as they will, you are armed to not allow the negative thoughts to follow.

FOUR:  Reframe – List all the ways to reframe the negative thought. There are two ways to do this reframing. First, you can say the opposite of the negative statement. Instead of staying I’m not a good enough leader, you can say, “I’m an awesome leader.” The second way is to ask questions. For instance, what courses do I need to take to become a better leader, what leadership book should I read to improve my leadership skills or who can mentor me into being a better leader. Your brain is constantly talking to. If you say you’re not a good enough leader, your brain will validate it with all the ways that it’s true. If you say you’re an awesome leader, your brain will validate it with all the ways that it’s true. So, listening to the positive part of your brain will make all the difference in your work and life.

FIVEl  Action – Once you have your reframing options, pick one to take action on. Nothing changes until you take action on it. Small action makes a huge difference. If you want to know the best leadership book to read, you may initially think you do not know any, however, your brain can solve that dilemma. It’ll reply with ideas to look up leadership books on Google, put a post on Facebook asking your friends for their recommendations or look up Amazon book reviews. Then it’s time to decide which action you will take (which book to order and order it). Small consistent action is key to eradicating negative thinking.

The more you work through this process the more positive thoughts you have. You’ll soon recognize negative thoughts in others and can help them master their own mindset. You’ll become the Positive Polly and help develop a positive work environment that no one wants to leave.

About the Author:

Jessica Rector, MBA, author of the #1 best-selling “Blaze Your Brain to Extinguish Burnout” and nine other books, helps organizations, leaders, and teams Say Yes to eradicate burnout and enhance mental health.  As a burnout trailblazer, her research is used in her consulting and speaking and often shared on her podcast, “The Say Yes Experience.” For how Jessica can help your organization and team, go to www.jessicarector.com

 

 

Creating a Resilient Company Culture:  Navigating Change and Thriving Amidst Challenges by Margaret Graziano

Creating a Resilient Company Culture: Navigating Change and Thriving Amidst Challenges by Margaret Graziano

In an era marked by immense volatility and complexity, characterized by technological advancements, business consolidations, fierce competition, and economic fluctuations, you may find yourself in an unprecedented time of change. The aftermath of the pandemic continues to linger, with burnout, stress, and overwhelm persisting among individuals and teams. Amidst this tumultuous landscape, the challenge is this: How can organizations emerge stronger from the trials of recent years? How can they cultivate a culture that thrives, adapts, and responds effectively to the unpredictable? The answer lies in fostering an emergent culture – one characterized by change management prowess, response agility, and a positive environment with fulfilled employees.

Understanding Culture

When more than two people come together, whether as a couple, a family, or a company, they form a human system. Within this system, culture serves as the driving force or energy. Culture possesses the power to create and destroy, providing guidelines for interaction, conflict resolution, motivation, and progress. The objective of examining and shaping organizational culture is to channel the collective energy of individuals into a productive force – one that mirrors the synchronicity found in natural phenomena, such as the coordinated movements of a school of fish or flock of birds.  This is called an emergent culture.

Influencing Culture

Effective impact on company culture entails understanding and influencing the energy inherent within the human system. To initiate this process, focus on the following areas:

Start With The Leader

All culture begins with the CEO; the leader of the organization.  What is their vision? Who are they as a leader? What are their values? Are they operating and living congruent with all of those markers, no matter how challenging or stressful the circumstances may be? Having a CEO who can answer those questions clearly and can live in alignment with them consistently is the foundation on which a company’s culture gets built.  If the CEO is frazzled, overwhelmed, and in survival mode, that is going to set the tone for the entire organization.  Whatever energy the CEO brings to the company and to their life will be the energy that other people pick up on and assimilate to in order to fit in and make it.

Thus, the CEO must be conscious.  They must be awake and aware of what they’re emanating through their words and their actions. They must ensure that they have a clear vision, bolstered by positive moods and inspiring language that rallies people around their vision and engages them into action.  Human systems are guided by behaviors, beliefs, actions, what’s said, what’s unsaid – all of that equates to the energy of the human system, and energy is culture.  So, what kind of culture is the CEO creating?

Cultivate the Leadership Team

The leadership team further propagates cultural attributes throughout the organization. Behaviors exhibited by this team tend to cascade down to various departments. Similar to the CEO, leadership must demonstrate consciousness and accountability for their actions. This includes acknowledging their role in shaping the culture and undertaking personal growth to support a healthy, high-performance human system.  By focusing on the following key elements, the leadership team can contribute to a thriving culture:

  • Achievement. The company knows what they’re here to do, why they’re doing it, and how they’re measuring it.  Organizational achievements are individual achievements, and vice versa.  Achievements are specific, measurable, attainable results that are bound in time.
  • Self-actualization. Each person is conscious. They know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they’re responsible for them and the impact they have on others. They’re doing their own development and personal work just like the CEO is.
  • Affiliation. People are partnering, collaborating, sharing ideas, and problem solving on an interdepartmental level. Cross-functional teams are committed to the noble cause and vision for the organization and are coming up with ways to problem solve together to fulfill the vision.
  • Humanistic Managers. Managers authentically care about their people.  They are aware of what’s going on in their employees’ lives, what their goals are, and how they want to grow.  When an employee knows to their core that their manager has their best interests at heart and they want them to thrive, difficult conversations to improve performance can happen.  Mentorship, coaching, and caring for people comes with humanistic management, and it supports employees who grow and thrive.

Assess Environment and Employees

Employee behavior provides insights into the prevailing environment. Key considerations include whether they experience autonomy, trust, and support in their roles. Ask these questions to assess the environment that your employees are navigating:

  • How well do employees handle changes and upsets and challenges in the market?
  • Do people feel the freedom and trust to share new ideas, take risks and have space to fail?
  • Is there space in the time at work to ideate, innovate and co-create?
  • Are the meetings inspirational and motivating or just a laundry list of getting things done?
  • Is everyone clear on what the noble cause is?
  • Is the right architecture or systems in place for people to work effectively together?
  • Is the leadership team dismantling anything getting in the way of employees taking the ball and running with it?
  • If there’s a problem, are the employees the ones to solve it?
  • Are people being given the autonomy they need?
  • Are people held accountable to their agreements and promises and measures?
  • Can you have difficult conversations?

Achieving Resilience Through Emergent Culture

In times of uncertainty, organizations with the ability to adapt and pivot harness their power. Such resilience hinges on a healthy human system and a shared commitment to the company’s purpose. Leadership needs to exemplify responsibility, optimism, and collaborative problem-solving across departments to overcome obstacles and realize the company’s vision. This approach cultivates an emergent culture, capable of navigating challenges effectively.

While creating an emergent culture demands considerable dedication, care, and focus, the rewards are boundless. With a culture founded on change management skills, response agility, and employee fulfillment, organizations can not only weather storms but also soar to new heights.

About the Author, Margaret Graziano

Margaret Graziano is the founder and CEO of KeenAlignment, as well as a Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author for her book “Ignite Culture.”  She has been recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s Top 100 Women Leaders. Magi’s groundbreaking work is driven by her power to uncover and catalyze human potential. Go to https://keenalignment.scoreapp.com to take KeenAlignment’s Culture Assessment and see if you have an Emergent Culture.

 

Quick Guide to Marketing for Small Business Saturday – November 30

Quick Guide to Marketing for Small Business Saturday – November 30

Organizations have many options when it comes to marketing for Small Business Saturday, which occurs on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to support local businesses. The event drives attention to local small companies, presenting them with an opportunity to create brand awareness and increase local sales.

Taking advantage of Small Business Saturday requires planning, executing, and financing strategies. Funding your efforts can be done through securing a small business loan. The working capital can be used to hire seasonal staff, purchase extra inventory, or pay for a marketing campaign.

However, marketing isn’t always simple. Here’s what you need to know and how to take advantage of small business’s big day.

Ramp Up Digital Marketing for Small Business Saturday

Brands must work to engage customers through both digital and physical means. This omnichannel experience begins with digital marketing basics. You Should Consider:

Building Relationships on Social Media: Connecting with customers on social media can help you capture additional holiday sales. When marketing for Small Business Saturday, you may want to gradually tease out your plans for the big day. You can use social media to broadcast a special offer or invite customers to an in-store event. Social media is ideal for highlighting how you plan to celebrate Small Business Saturday. When posting on social media, be sure to include the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags.

Using Email Marketing: Email campaigns are an effective way to garner consumer attention and bring awareness to exclusive Small Business Saturday deals. It’s important to go beyond broad, generic messages. Personalization is increasingly vital in standing out in email campaigns.  Key Strategies to Employ:

  • Take the time to get to know your audience.
  • Create copy aimed directly at them.
  • Highlight promotions that fit their needs.
  • Give them a clear action to take in response to the message.

Fostering Online Reviews: Consumers actively research products and services before committing to a purchase. Consider teaming up with an influencer who has a large following and a fair amount of influence within your area or niche. You can send them product samples in return for an honest review. This will help drive visibility and increase consumer confidence.

Implement Traditional Advertising Programs

Small businesses benefit from the ability to offer localized, personal services. You can leverage your relationship with your community to build trust and increase brand awareness. Traditional advertising campaigns can be ideal for furthering your presence in your community. Key Strategies to Employ:

Getting Involved With Your Local Community: Participating in community service events helps you get to know those around you. And helps them get to know your business. Interacting with potential customers in a community setting shows that you’re interested in relationship building rather than just maximizing sales. You could consider sponsoring a charity or local event. Successful community involvement plans require commitment and a genuine interest in what you’re doing.

Run Ad Campaigns With Local Media: If you want to drive engagement at a local level, you must use channels that are specifically aimed at your local community. Your message can slip into the background on far-reaching media channels, but an ad campaign in a local paper can go a long way in helping people connect with your brand.

Offer Deals and Promotions: It’s critical to recognize the importance of deals and promotions when marketing for Small Business Saturday. Limited time offers, and discounts can persuade customers who are on the fence about your products and services to give them a try.

Prepare Your Systems and Operations

If you’re successful at marketing for Small Business Saturday, then you’ll need to be prepared for an increase in volume and customer interactions. Consider:

Optimizing for Mobile: Consumers do everything from product research to actual purchases via smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website is mobile optimized. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you risk running into problems as you work to increase traffic surrounding Small Business Saturday.

Updating Your Website: Make sure your address and contact info is correct on your website. Additionally, review your site to make sure that promotions are prominently displayed, and your payment process is working properly. Put new product pictures out if your current listings seem dated and ensure copy properly reflects your services. Take time to upgrade and adjust your website before the big event.

Hiring Seasonal Staff: Since Small Business Saturday falls in line with the holiday season,  it’s a convenient time to bring in extra staff. Seasonal employees can be used to help launch a new marketing campaign, handle sales, or interact with customers.

Managing Your Inventory: One of the most important considerations for Small Business Saturday is that you have plenty of goods to sell. A boost in sales won’t matter if you don’t have inventory available to meet customer needs. Take some time to analyze your supplies and ensure you’re ready for the increase in demand.

By participating in Small Business Saturday, local businesses receive quite a few perks including community support, great local marketing opportunities, and the high potential to reach new customers. Utilize the above marketing strategies to better prepare for Small Business Saturday and take advantage of the shopping frenzy.

Ben Gold is president of QuickBridge, a privately-held financial services firm providing “small business loans” and short-term working capital funding solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses nationwide. Based on its growth, QuickBridge has ranked two consecutive years on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing American Companies list. Ben is a thought leader in the financial tech. industry and a contributing member of the Forbes Finance Council.

Quick Guide to Marketing for Small Business Saturday – November 30

Quick Guide to Marketing for Small Business Saturday – November 30

Organizations have many options when it comes to marketing for Small Business Saturday, which occurs on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to support local businesses. The event drives attention to local small companies, presenting them with an opportunity to create brand awareness and increase local sales.

Taking advantage of Small Business Saturday requires planning, executing, and financing strategies. Funding your efforts can be done through securing a small business loan. The working capital can be used to hire seasonal staff, purchase extra inventory, or pay for a marketing campaign.

However, marketing isn’t always simple. Here’s what you need to know and how to take advantage of small business’s big day.

Ramp Up Digital Marketing for Small Business Saturday

Brands must work to engage customers through both digital and physical means. This omnichannel experience begins with digital marketing basics. You Should Consider:

Building Relationships on Social Media: Connecting with customers on social media can help you capture additional holiday sales. When marketing for Small Business Saturday, you may want to gradually tease out your plans for the big day. You can use social media to broadcast a special offer or invite customers to an in-store event. Social media is ideal for highlighting how you plan to celebrate Small Business Saturday. When posting on social media, be sure to include the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags.

Using Email Marketing: Email campaigns are an effective way to garner consumer attention and bring awareness to exclusive Small Business Saturday deals. It’s important to go beyond broad, generic messages. Personalization is increasingly vital in standing out in email campaigns.  Key Strategies to Employ:

  • Take the time to get to know your audience.
  • Create copy aimed directly at them.
  • Highlight promotions that fit their needs.
  • Give them a clear action to take in response to the message.

Fostering Online Reviews: Consumers actively research products and services before committing to a purchase. Consider teaming up with an influencer who has a large following and a fair amount of influence within your area or niche. You can send them product samples in return for an honest review. This will help drive visibility and increase consumer confidence.

Implement Traditional Advertising Programs

Small businesses benefit from the ability to offer localized, personal services. You can leverage your relationship with your community to build trust and increase brand awareness. Traditional advertising campaigns can be ideal for furthering your presence in your community. Key Strategies to Employ:

Getting Involved With Your Local Xommunity: Participating in community service events helps you get to know those around you. And helps them get to know your business. Interacting with potential customers in a community setting shows that you’re interested in relationship building rather than just maximizing sales. You could consider sponsoring a charity or local event. Successful community involvement plans require commitment and a genuine interest in what you’re doing.

Run Ad Campaigns With Local Media: If you want to drive engagement at a local level, you must use channels that are specifically aimed at your local community. Your message can slip into the background on far-reaching media channels, but an ad campaign in a local paper can go a long way in helping people connect with your brand.

Offer Deals and Promotions: It’s critical to recognize the importance of deals and promotions when marketing for Small Business Saturday. Limited time offers, and discounts can persuade customers who are on the fence about your products and services to give them a try.

Prepare Your Systems and Operations

If you’re successful at marketing for Small Business Saturday, then you’ll need to be prepared for an increase in volume and customer interactions. Consider:

Optimizing for Mobile: Consumers do everything from product research to actual purchases via smartphones and tablets. Make sure your website is mobile optimized. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you risk running into problems as you work to increase traffic surrounding Small Business Saturday.

Updating Your Website: Make sure your address and contact info is correct on your website. Additionally, review your site to make sure that promotions are prominently displayed, and your payment process is working properly. Put new product pictures out if your current listings seem dated and ensure copy properly reflects your services. Take time to upgrade and adjust your site before the big event.

Hiring Seasonal Staff: Since Small Business Saturday falls in line with the holiday season,  it’s a convenient time to bring in extra staff. Seasonal employees can be used to help launch a new marketing campaign, handle sales, or interact with customers.

Managing Your Inventory: One of the most important considerations for Small Business Saturday is that you have plenty of goods to sell. A boost in sales won’t matter if you don’t have inventory available to meet customer needs. Take some time to analyze your supplies and ensure you’re ready for the increase in demand.

By participating in Small Business Saturday, local businesses receive quite a few perks including community support, great local marketing opportunities, and the high potential to reach new customers. Utilize the above marketing strategies to better prepare for Small Business Saturday and take advantage of the shopping frenzy.

Ben Gold is president of QuickBridge, a privately-held financial services firm providing “small business loans” and short-term working capital funding solutions for small-to medium-sized businesses nationwide. Based on its growth, QuickBridge has ranked two consecutive years on the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing American Companies list. Ben is a thought leader in the financial tech. industry and a contributing member of the Forbes Finance Council.