January is definitely "Impasse" month!

When you define yourself, do you think in terms of vision or in terms of obligations? For example, are you a Vice President of Sales, or are you a person who works to ensure ideal customer experience.

If you define yourself in terms of title or job description, you are very likely to reach impasse in negotiations where you are protecting your image or title. You will make your decisions based on what you believe is expected of your role. "I must make this much profit, I must be perceived as a team player." etc.

Whenever you engage in impasse, attempt to step back and define yourself by your values. "I am a congressman because I want to influence things to the best and ideal outcome for this country." As opposed to, "I am a republican/democrat and must state my loyalties to the party line."

February is the month for completing what you have started!

Do you finish what you start? When you run into walls to your projects, do you put them aside and work on other things? Does it become so futile that you intuitively know that you cannot put any more time into it without wasting your energy? 

Unfortunately instead of trying a new approach or assuming that perhaps you have just been going about it in the wrong way, it is way too easy to let it lie. 

The dollars and hours already invested become casualties of wrong thinking.

Get it moving! Change the energy around it so that you have the potential of stumbling into a new direction or a new idea that allows you to take advantage of the work that has already been done. Do not be so quick to assume that this project or idea is doomed. Assume that you just did not approach it correctly.

If the energy is chaotic and runaway, slow it down. If it is stagnant, stir it up. Do something different if you want to determine if it is YOU or something that is not meant to be!

March is a good month to get control of your schedule!

You may even think you already do. Here's the catch. Putting you first does not mean doing everything so others will approve of you. Showing up for meetings you do not need to be at is not putting you first. You may be doing it so that you look like you're engaged.

Putting you first is really about figuring out what you need to do to be at your best. If you need rest, you take it. If you need to take a break, do so. If you need to have more of a life outside of work, give yourself permission.

Don't just give yourself permission. Do it as a discipline so that it is part of your schedule.

You will never really know how much a frenetic life style is robbing your performance until you change.

This should be your second week of getting control of your calendar. Never an easy thing to do, but it always starts with a commitment. By now you have commanded a certain amount of time each day to be JUST YOURS.....I know....you meant to but....GET IT DONE. Block it in your calendar and stick to it...that was step 1. You have to do that before step 2 will make any sense.

Step 2 is again a commitment to you. This commitment says that in every 8 hour day is enough time to get everything done that is important. What does that mean? It means IMPORTANT and that you must begin deciding what is important instead of allowing others to do so for you.

OUCH! This means that "pleasing" people is probably not good job performance even though it seems so in the moment. Remember this is a quick fix. You don't get a ton of detail. But think about it. How much of your day do you spend doing things because you want to LOOK GOOD as opposed to because it is really important. You may think that the higher the person is who makes the request, the more important it is....GET REAL..that's not always the case.

Learn some skills. It is often more acceptable than you think to say, "Sorry. I have a commitment at that time(even if it is to your private think time (see August 6 Quick Fix below). Could we do it ______________?" That may work better than you think.

Golden Rule: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Get control!

Start by blocking time on your calendar ahead of time and regularly that is just for you to use on anything you want. For example, from 7-8 am is yours, EVERY DAY. Don't explain why you are not available, just say you have a commitment. For those who share their calendar, block it in with something that says "project meeting" or something you think is vague but does not invite questions.

BE RUTHLESS. This is the easiest of the recommendations we will make this month. Stop being nice and take control. You do not have to please everyone!

You might want to get a copy of our book "What to Do When it Rains, a handbook for leaders." The first three chapters lay out an amazing case for why you cannot operate at your best when you are tense and overwhelmed (as well as why you do it and what to do about it.)

Call us to order the CD or paperback (540-636-4890) or read more and download a digital copy instantly by clicking here: Learn More

This person has to control everything!

Why? Because he/she is afraid. Have you every been afraid? Remember what it's like? You might start determining the best way to deal with a control freak by identifying the things where you get a bit controlling. Yes, you. If you are resisting a control freak it is generally because they are making you feel out of control.

Are you controlling about your food, sleep environment, parking your new car miles from other cars, people being on time, your computer, ..... You get it? Everybody, yes everybody has areas where they need control. Once you identify yours, ask yourself what you are afraid of if...you park your car too close to others, someone gets into your computer and ....etc.

Once you are clear, try to identify your control freak's area of needing control. Now ask yourself if you are doing any of the things which might be triggering their behavior. In other words, are you being concsious of NOT giving their fear ammunition? Play with this. If you find you are triggering their fears by being careless or even obnoxious, decide if you are behaving appropriately.

Get ready and get used to it. Some bullies are just NUTS! They think they sound perfectly rational and right, but they make no sense. They also have an exagerated need to portray themselves as a victim. What do you do?

Make yourself completely unavailable. Do not answer their calls, respond to their messages, or put yourself in their path in any way. Why? Because a Crazy bully will punish you for any interaction. You will think it went fine, and then you will hear that you were abusive, inappropriate or completely unstable. The CRAZY bullly is dangerous to your mental health, so protect yourself at all costs.     READ MORE

Listen to a short audio about responding to bullies-especially crazy bullies. We will be offering these short audios in the future for a small fee.


Bullies Bully because they CAN! 

Like it or not, you are being bullied because you allow it. So now, you must decide if you want to continue to allow it. If you decide you do not have the stomach for a fight, then don't complain when they do it again..

If you decide to take on a Bully, here are some thoughts that may help your cause:

  • Don't expect the Bully to back down in front of you. He or she would lose face, and that is an unlikely scenario. 
  • You will know you have won if the bullying stops, not because they back down or apologize. Do not anticipate any grand gestures. 
  • Don't attack outright. The bully is much better at that than you. 
  • Don't play dirty. Stick to the facts. 
  • Do ask them why they are doing it. Don't ask if it is rhetorical and you think you know. Be curious about what they will say. 
  • Listen carefully to the answer and then tell them to STOP! 
  • Be prepared to stop thinking of this person naively. You may have to let go of a "friend", but ask yourself what you are really getting from this relationship. Without the ability to walk away, you cannot hope to stop a bully long term.   

When Someone Pushes your buttons

We all have people in our lives who seem to really know how to get to us.

The quick fix for this issue is “DO NOTHING”. (You've heard it before-in May to be exact- but "Do Nothing" is a premium option!) The problem is that when you engage with this person, it usually escalates. At which point, some of your adversary’s comments about your personality become true for all who are inadvertently observing.

The BEST response is NO response. Step back and if possible, get out of range. Not as satisfying as putting the person in their place, perhaps, but much healthier.

Over time, when the person cannot get the rise from you that they anticipate, they may just find someone else to bully.