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Tag Archives: habits

If you’re not careful, past successes can prove to be decision making pitfalls

Good rule for decision making: what has worked for you in the past will not always work for you in the future!

Making Decisions Road Sign Clipping PathThere is a fine line between using one’s experience as an advantage and getting bogged down in it so that it becomes a disadvantage. The assumption most people make is that what has produced success in the past will generate success in the future. Ergo, use past experiences to make decisions about the future. And this can be an excellent assumption … most of the time! But just as easily, remaining locked in the past can also lead to terrible decisions! In fact, I’ve shared a couple of personal not-so-stellar experiences with decision making in past blog posts (see When things get tough, it’s easy to fall back to old habits and Old habits are not always the best solutions for new situations).

We run into trouble when we rely on old data or processes presuming that the situation or the working environment is the same. Continue reading

Breaking bad communication habits – early bird deadline on April 23

The word DIsconnect on metal chain links pulling apart to symbolOur latest online event – Stop the self-sabotage!  Breaking bad communication habits that are hampering your success – is coming up quickly.  In fact, the early bird deadline to register is almost here – only two more days to take advantage of significant savings – just until Wednesday April 23.

If you can’t communicate clearly and confidently, then you are seriously compromising your success as a leader and a professional!  Your inability to convey your message with clarity means that those around you are left confused and frustrated, ultimately resulting in wasted resources and damaged relationships.  Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, the odds are still high that you’re committing a few of the cardinal sins of communication without even realizing it.  Which means that all your efforts to create positive change are thwarted by existing bad habits that you simply don’t know you need to get rid of first.  It’s time to break the cycle!  This powerful training doesn’t just tell you what you SHOULD do to become more effective in what you say and the results it produces, it focuses first on what you should STOP doing so that you don’t inadvertently sabotage your efforts.  In one fast-paced, power-packed hour, you’ll learn how to recognize and eliminate the most common blunders you’re making, turning you into a better communicator and improving your leadership effectiveness almost immediately.

Click here to register now

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

Breaking bad communication habits – live online event on April 30

Unsuccessful Businessman Using A MegaphoneThere aren’t many things you can do that will hurt your professional and leadership success more than being an ineffective communicator. Bad communication habits prevent you from conveying your message with clarity and that means that those around you are left confused and frustrated, ultimately resulting in wasted resources and damaged relationships.  Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, the odds are still high that you’re committing a few of the cardinal sins of communication without even realizing it.  Which means that all your efforts to create positive change are thwarted by existing bad habits that you simply don’t know you need to get rid of first.  It’s time to break the cycle!

On April 30, I’ll be leading a live online event “Stop the self-sabotage!  Breaking communication habits that are hampering your success”.  In this powerful training, I’ll teach you what you SHOULD do to become more effective in what you say BUT I’ll focus first on what you should STOP doing so that you don’t inadvertently sabotage your efforts.  In one fast-paced, power-packed hour, you’ll learn how to recognize and eliminate the most common blunders you’re making, turning you into a better communicator and improving your leadership effectiveness almost immediately.

Click here to register now

Don’t wait! If you act by April 23, you can take advantage of early bird savings. Here’s just some of what you’ll learn: Continue reading

Old habits are not always the best solutions for new situations

I usually tell leaders to trust their instincts and follow their intuition.  “When in doubt, fall back to your first instinct and gut feeling,” I tell them.  “You know what to do, you have the experience and the knowledge to make decisions and take action.  Don’t second-guess yourself.”  However, last year, a driving trip in Australia caused me to re-evaluate this advice.  Turns out that this counsel only makes sense when you are in familiar surroundings where you can trust your past experiences.  Just yesterday, I was reminded of this again.

I delivered a workshop to a small team of eight people, and my talk was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.  However, we ran into a small technical problem and I decided to not to use the projector, but just set my laptop on the conference room table where everyone could see it.  Because the group and room was so small, this solution worked very well.  Well … except I ran into an unexpected problem. Normally when delivering a presentation, I either have a confidence monitor in front of me (for larger crowds) or I glance back at the screen (for smaller groups).  Yesterday however, much to the amusement of my small audience, I found myself repeatedly looking up at the screen in the front of the room … yes, the one that had nothing projected on it!  Turns out that I am so used to glancing at the big screen that I simply kept forgetting that the presentation was just on my laptop.

Yesterday’s incident brought to the forefront of my mind the importance of NOT falling back to instinct when you are in a new environment – such as a new organization or a new department (or in my case, a new situation).  Turns out that when you’re in unfamiliar territory, it’s actually more appropriate to fight your old habits and force yourself to be thoughtful about every action.  If  you’re going into a new circumstance – a new job, a new leadership team, or even new business ventures, then this is a notion that is definitely worth reminding and remembering.

What do you think?  Do you agree that there are times when you should not rely on your gut instinct, when you should fight the urge to fall back upon old habits?  Please jump in and share your thoughts.

When things get tough, it’s easy to fall back to old habits

Last month, while at speaking engagements in Australia, I rented a vehicle.  Not so unusual, given that I drive rental cars in almost every city I visit in Canada, the United States and Mexico.  But there was one big difference here – I was in Australia – where they drive on the left-hand side of the road!  Given my North American inclination to drive on the right-hand side, things were a little bit awkward and uncomfortable to start.  For the first half-hour in the driver’s seat, every time I intended to signal turning left or right, invariably I would switch on the windshield wipers.  Sheer force of habit made me flick the lever on the left instead of on the right – and of course in cars “down-under”, the controls are reversed.  I consoled myself with the thought that at least all the Aussie drivers could tell that I was a foreigner and would give me a wide berth!  After about thirty minutes of driving, I finally got comfortable with the differences and began to enjoy the journey.  For much of my time, I traveled on divided highways, so the trip was pleasant and easy.  But then, towards the end of my first day, I drove into Melbourne, Australia’s second-most populous city.  Traffic volume increased substantially, and with it, so did my level of apprehension.  And as my anxiety grew, I found myself once again repeatedly turning on the windshield wipers when I really intended to signal a lane change.  When things got rough, I forgot what my logical brain knew to be true and fell back to old habits.  And in this case, my old habits could only lead me into trouble!

When I work with leaders, I normally encourage them to trust their instincts and follow their intuition.  “When in doubt, fall back to your first instinct and gut feeling,” I tell them.  “You know what to do, you have the experience and the knowledge to make decisions and take action.  Don’t second-guess yourself.”  But my recent driving experience in Australia gave me a reason to pause and re-evaluate this counsel.  It turns out that this advice only makes sense when you are in familiar surroundings where you can trust your past experiences. When you are in a new environment – such as a new organization or a new department (or in my case, a new country) – it may actually be more appropriate to fight your old habits and force yourself to evaluate each new situation based on its merit.  If you’re moving into unfamiliar territory – new job, new leadership team, or even new aspects of business – then it’s a perspective worth keeping in mind!

What do you think?  Are there times when you should not rely on your gut instinct, when you should fight the urge to fall back upon old habits? Do tell.