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3 Steps to Manage Feeling Stretched and Stressed

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 4, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Confidence, Leadership, Influence

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Have you ever felt stretched and stressed? Of course you have, as we all experience these responses in our life. Fortunately, we have some control over the feeling of being stretched…and thankfully we have TOTAL control over feeling stressed.


Can we totally control stress?

 

I know it may not seem like we can control stress, but we can. Stress can come and go in moments or it can feel more constant. Every day we have a list of goals to accomplish as well as a list of non negotiable personal tasks and commitments. I wrote this article to help you reduce that feeling of stress and anxiety with all of our competing priorities. Whether you are a senior executive or manager, a soccer coach, an entrepreneur, a mom, a dad, or a student, we all have competing priorities and a seemingly endless to do list.

 

So how do we do get it all done?

 

I'm a real work-hard, play-hard believer. The challenge is that I'm also an all-or-nothing kind of guy. Because of this natural tendency, there have been times when I get into work mode and I'm head down with blinders on. Whether it's in my business or at my house, I can find myself so deep into what I am accomplishing that someone has to come and pull me out. In these episodes I won't eat, and I ignore my own needs and the needs of those around me. And transversely on the play side, I'm all or nothing as well. If I'm travelling, biking, snowboarding or just out for a weekend with friends, I completely forget about work. Forgetting about work is actually a wonderful thing, unless it goes on too long and there are goals and objectives that aren't being met that I've committed to.

 

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Jim Short on How Startups Can Access Funds, the Importance of Self-Confidence and a 3-Step Process to Improve Engagement and Results

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 20, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership

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This post is part of the Leadership Interview Program, The Leadership Group's blog column in which President Trevor Stevenson interviews leaders about life and work.

 

 

Jim Short is a VP of Sales Consulting at Stratford Managers Corporation. Stratford provides access to services and expertise including business operations, human resources, finance, GC+, sales, marketing and intellectual property for innovative small and mid-sized firms looking to break through to the next level. Jim’s division helps these companies do everything from initially accessing available government programs and providing interim sales training through to helping them develop a national and international sales strategy, an appropriate compensation plan, and sales information systems. In other words, Jim provides everything these companies need to become effective in the market.

 

Jim recently spoke with The Leadership Group’s Trevor Stevenson to discuss the importance of pursuing government funding and why confidence is the essential ingredient to success.

 

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Ben Hart on the Getting Feedback and Lifelong Learning

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 13, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership

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This post is part of the Leadership Interview Program, The Leadership Group's blog column in which President Trevor Stevenson interviews leaders about life and work.

 

 

Ben Hart is currently Vice President, Portfolio Manager at CIBC Wood Gundy. He previously worked with Scotia McLeod and was recruited to HSBC on the brokerage side where he managed some of their offices in addition to serving clients.


Trevor Stevenson of The Leadership Group had the opportunity to speak with Ben Hart about what he found useful and effective in his leadership role, and his best advice for today’s  business leaders and entrepreneurs.

 

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The Critical Steps in Conscious Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 16, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Conflict, Relationships

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The Inner Work - Stop the Inner Fight

 

1. Intention

 

The intention of conscious communication is to develop a quality of connection that allows us to appreciate each other’s needs, and to explore how to meet those needs at less emotional cost. We hold this intention to connect and value each other—even when we are angry or “don’t feel like connecting”—by remembering that connection has value. If we are invested only in getting certain results, and have no intention to connect human to human, then no matter how nicely we speak or how much we use our great communication training, we will fail to genuinely inspire people to stay open long enough to see another point of view.

 

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Everyone Has a Bottom Line—What's Yours?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 9, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership

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In one of our group coaching calls, we discussed “leadership and the bottom line.” Specifically, we brainstormed about how a leader or an organization can measure the return on investment (ROI) of leadership development, either for him/herself or for a staff member chosen to receive coaching.

 

Two types of ROIs, or bottom lines, emerged from the conversation:

  • “Hard” ROI, which is usually quick to measure
  • “Soft” ROI, which takes longer to reap but which holds the power to deliver more substantial returns

 

Hard ROI measures for the leadership development investment are typically tied to specific performance metrics. One example is attaining a minimum score on customer satisfaction surveys. These types of metrics are measurable by numbers and are typically achievable within a fiscal window, such as a quarter or a year. Hard measures are often thought of as “quick wins” to justify an investment in leadership development—but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story, or even the best part of the story.

 

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The Call for a Personal Mastery

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Confidence, Influence

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The Puzzle

 

Personal mastery is a matter of slowly adding pieces to the puzzle. There will always be questions, but if you adhere to the pillars of conscious communication, your answers will become better and more healthy. For example, consider the following:

 

  • How empathic should we be in the midst of a disagreement?
  • What is the caring thing to say when a tense subject is raised in difficult circumstances?
  • How can we respond empathically when someone angrily attacks us?
  • And if we want our children to refrain from violence and confrontation, how specifically should we guide them to respond when they find themselves faced with the same?
  • Furthermore, and just as importantly, how can we share our joys and hopes in ways that foster compassion?
  • And lastly, if you think that care and compassion has no place in the workplace, please ask yourself what you are afraid of.
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Are you spinning?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 26, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Conflict, Confidence, Leadership, Relationships

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As we work with leaders in various roles and types of organizations, one theme that we encounter across the leadership landscape is guilt. Leaders are often trapped by feelings of guilt. You can likely relate to experiences like this:

 

  • You need to talk to a staff member about missing too much time at work, but you feel guilty because you know the staff member is going through a difficult time at home.
  • You must address a performance issue with a team member who is failing to complete a project on time, but you think that you are at least partly to blame for not providing enough oversight and follow-up.
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The Pillars of Conscious Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 19, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Confidence, Leadership, Relationships

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To help our clients, The Leadership Group developed the following Pillars of Conscious Communication. Use these tools to transform your relationship with yourself and with others
 

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It’s All in Your Head: Workplace Stress and the Brain’s Drain

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 12, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Trevor Stevenson posted in Leadership, Influence

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Modern neuroscience tells us a great deal about how the human brain functions in specific situations and environments. One of the most enlightening things that neuroscience has to teach organizational leaders is that the brain literally does not differentiate between an emotional and a physical threat.

 

Experienced leaders and managers likely realize that illness-related absences increase in stressful work situations. For those of us who were raised in the “old school” industrial-style of management and leadership, we might be tempted to tell employees to suck it up, to get over it and get back to work. We might suspect that complaints of illness are excuses to avoid difficult situations rather than dealing with them.

 

And you know what? That’s kind of true. Stress-related illness really is all in one’s head.

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Minimize Conflict and Disagreement Blues by Deepening Your Awareness

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 5, 2017 7:00:00 AM / by Dale Allen posted in Conflict, Confidence, Relationships

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I admit, I don't really want to minimize conflict. I know conflicts and disagreements are going to happen. You know what I really want? I want to minimize those all-to-familiar anxious feelings that arise in me when I am in conflict. Here's what has helped:

In the midst of disagreement, it is possible to create an environment where  blame, shame, guilt and fear is minimized. If we can do this, we can ensure the following:

 

  • Flow of conversation is maintained
  • Defensiveness is minimized (yours and theirs)
  • Power is shared
  • Hearts and minds stay open
  • Everyone ‘feels’ heard
  • Others have a desire to contribute to our needs
  • Our needs are met, at less cost
  • We attend to the work or what we want to accomplish

 

How can we do this? We can do this by deepening our awareness. What is blocking you from creating an agreement with those who don’t see your point of view? It is time to raise your consciousness about how your internal conversations are leading you to view things in a certain way. It is time to communicate in a way that fosters agreement, understanding, listening, honest expression and values differing views.

 

In the face of ANY disagreement, you can deepen your awareness by turning your attention to:

  • Intention
  • Inner coach
  • Empathic, conscious communication
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