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Brain Fitness for Leaders

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Firm Executive Coaching Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Strategic Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

Brain Fitness for Leaders

"Respect yourself and others will respect you." - Confucius

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating changes in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent corporate culture based on openness and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach.

Brain Fitness for Leaders

It turns out that a lot of what we previously thought about the brain isn’t true.

We’ve discovered, for example, that the brain continues to grow well into our later years through a process called “neuroplasticity.” It accommodates learning by producing new neurons, cells that help transfer information.

With physical training, your body responds to demands by strengthening muscle groups. Similarly, the brain will expand (or not) depending on the challenges you tackle. That’s the good news.

The bad news? If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Neurons need not die as we age. In fact, several regions of the brain that control motor behavior and memory can actually expand their complement of neurons as we age. This process, called neurogenesis, used to be unthinkable in mainstream neuroscience.

Neurogenesis is profoundly affected by your lifestyle. Your experiences and interactions can help strengthen your brain’s neural networks and cognitive abilities.

Brain-imaging studies indicate that acquired expertise in diverse areas—playing the cello or speaking a foreign language—helps expand our neural systems. In other words, you can physically change your brain by learning new skills.

On-the-Job Brain Fitness

In a November 2007 Harvard Business Review article, professors Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts describe the benefits of cognitive fitness for leaders:

The more cognitively fit you are, the better you will be able to make decisions, solve problems, and deal with stress and change. Cognitive fitness will allow you to be more open to new ideas and alternative perspectives. It will give you the capacity to change your behaviors and forecast their outcomes in order to realize your goals. You can become the kind of person your company values most. Perhaps more important, you can delay senescence for years.

The 11 following strategies can help you maintain an engaged, creative brain:

Expand your experiences. There are two parts to this step: First, learn more about your area of expertise. Second, learn more about outside areas. The brain stores knowledge through exposure to experiences. The more emotional the experience, the more you remember and retain.

Learn through observing. “Mirror neurons,” activated when we observe someone performing an action, help us learn new tasks and behaviors. Athletes often acquire skills by watching teammates drill, score and fumble.

Read the signs. Mirror neurons can also pick up on facial expressions, gestures and signals. You develop empathy by learning how to read other people’s body language.

Learn through mentoring. Observing your mentors helps you acquire some of their knowledge and experience. When you value their expertise, your mirror neurons are highly sensitized and responsive. Conversely, you fortify your own learning when you teach others.

Use case studies. When you read a case study that describes real customers and their experiences, you activate your mirror neurons to raise your level of understanding. The human brain is social, finely tuned to seek opportunities to connect and understand.

Take advantage of direct experience. One of the most powerful ways to gain direct experience, while also flexing your cognitive muscles, is taking a “walkabout” (also known as “management by walking around”). Taking time to talk with staff is one of the smartest leadership practices and well worth the invested time. When you share experiences, you gain a more comprehensive understanding of what happens at other organizational levels.

Use both sides of the brain. Leadership involves both brain hemispheres. The left hemisphere is the primary source of neural information for routine tasks. The right deals with novelty and innovation, including experiences and data that are less structured. The right hemisphere is more image-based and operates in the realm of metaphors. Think of this division as big-picture vs. small-picture thinking. You’ll need to master both hemispheres to successfully navigate complex business systems, even if you prefer one way of thinking over the other.

Use pattern recognition. Your brain scans your environment for patterns, discerns order and creates meaning from large amounts of data. Your organization depends on you to sift through this data quickly and assess the situation so you can determine appropriate actions. Superior pattern recognition is a major competitive advantage for consolidating learning and  simplifying information (without being simplistic).

Play as hard as you work. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you won’t stay with a task long enough to master it. Find ways to bring enjoyment to your work. Studies show that being in a good mood sets the stage for enhanced creativity and decision-making. Play improves your ability to reason and make sense of the world.

Seek out novelty. The right brain is dedicated to discovery, exploration and processing of new experiences. Newly acquired knowledge is transferred to the left hemisphere, where it is organized, encoded and made available for routine use. The more you actively engage in new experiences, the more proficient you become at learning, thus preserving cognitive fitness. When you’re receptive to novelty and innovation, you tend to be better in a crisis because you spot opportunities for growth.

Develop a beginner’s mind. Buddhists advocate developing a “beginner’s mind,” in which you step back from current thinking and conventions to cultivate new solutions. When you don’t feel compelled to have all the answers and allow for doubt, you encourage fresh perspectives.

The Brain Advantage

Make an ongoing commitment to immersing your management teams in new systems and new ways of thinking. Cognitive fitness can prove to be your most sustainable competitive advantage.

Promote a rich working environment where healthy brains thrive and your people can achieve their full potential.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders?Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I cognitively fit?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop brain fitness. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

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Supercharge Executive Coaching with Emotional Intelligence

Supercharge Executive Coaching with Emotional Intelligence

“Your foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy, and then orchestrate the energy of others”. – Peter Drucker

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent corporate culture based on openness and respect. We further discussed how company executives can increase their self-knowledge and emotional intelligence tapping into their intrinsic self-motivation by working with a seasoned executive coach. Executives recognize their patterns, uplift people and achieve success through significance.

Executive Coaching

No one has to change; everyone has to have the conversation.” —David Whyte, Poet

I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self-manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Self-knowledge is the foundation for leaders inspiring committed followers.

My clients learn how to have coaching conversations at work that inspire and engage others.
They are introspective and reflective creating a corporate culture that ignites innovation and everyone's best work. Collaboration is essential to helping people achieve their dreams, and align with the company purpose and vision.

Emotional intelligence based executive coaching helps leaders integrate cognition and emotion to make optimal decisions at work. Emotions drive people. People drive performance. Objective self-knowledge gleaned through the process of self-discovery changes our mental models and aligns them more close to reality.

Utilizing online instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with their personal values and mission. I utilize a wide variety of assessments in my work with senior executives and am adept at helping clients develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results.

Competencies

Many of the companies I work with have a competency model. If not, I can help them create one that is aligned with their corporate culture and strategic goals.

Executive coaching and leadership development focuses on improving requisite competencies. The competency-based approach is research-supported, and based on the primary goal of defining the critical behaviors needed for effective and superior individual and organizational performance.Leader’s influence is critical for team climate and overall productivity

Simply defined, a competency is a set of related behaviors that (1) impact job performance; (2) can be measured against established standards; and (3) can be improved through training and development. Competencies provide an internal GPS for leaders who model requisite workplace behaviors.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Which emotional intelligence competencies do I consider strengths?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more you are a leader”. – John Quincy Adams

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop requisite emotional intelligence competencies. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. 

Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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5 Lessons In Marketing And Publishing From Guy Kawasaki’s "APE"

Last year, Guy Kawasaki was preparing to speak at an annual conference. He had just published his ninth book, and contacted Penguin Publishing to fulfill 500 digital orders of Enchantment. The publisher, to his dismay, said that they could not fulfill the order. He was slightly upset.

As disgruntled anchorman Howard Beale said in the film Network, many authors are mad as hell, and they are not going to take it anymore.
 
Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch channeled their anger in a positive way by launching APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. This resource not only dispels the mystery and mechanics of self-publishing, it also provides two other benefits: it demonstrates how entrepreneurial authors can turn misfortune (stonewalling from traditional publishers) into an advantage, and teaches marketing leaders how to spread good content across untapped channels.
 
Any marketing leader who takes content marketing and innovation seriously must add this book to their required reading list. Here's why:
 
1. Owning more pieces of the value chain has benefits. Kawasaki asserts that "publishers are in a period of doom and gloom. Large, once proudly independent publishers such as Random House and Penguin are clinging together." O'Reilly Media, however, is taking a different tack. They allow readers to download books in as many formats as they wish, across all devices, and sell directly to customers. It's an author's and bibliophage's dream.
 
2. Take a calculated risk with "rising stars." Many established publishers are eschewing fresh talent because they are not proven. In publishing vernacular, that means a business author who has not previously sold at least 10,000 copies of their book. Lisa Earle McLeod, author of Selling with Noble Purpose, fits this description. She persuaded Wiley to publish her book--even though her previous book did not sell 10,000 copies. The bet paid off. Selling with Noble Purpose reached #2 on CEO Read's business seller list, and was a top 10 Amazon seller in the category.
 
3. Become familiar with your product development process. Kawasaki's book is brilliant because it decodes the publishing process into discrete functions: agents, editors, editorial assistants, copyeditors (an essential, evergreen function), designers, and publicists.In the digital publishing world, the need for an agent or publicist has diminished. New roles have emerged, such as author distribution services. In exchange for a percentage of the book retail price, Lulu, Blurb, and Author Solutions can reduce the stress of doing these functions alone.
 
4. Life's a pitch. Get comfortable with it. APE provides a powerful list of bloggers, authors, and thought leaders to help you promote your book. IndieReader.com, for example, forged an alliance with USAToday and HuffingtonPost. You can submit your book to their IndieReader Discovery Awards contest and be virtually guaranteed your book will be reviewed. NetGalley's $399 subscription promises you six months of fame among 85,000 bloggers and book reviewers.
 
5. Establish and disseminate your own industry vernacular. APE contains a glossary of every publishing term you will ever need to know. I now consider APE's co-authors the leading resource on all things digital publishing.
In my opinion, APE is required reading for content marketers and marketing leaders, even if you cling to traditional publishing. If you want to be King Kong in your field, and think more like an entrepreneur, it's time to grab a copy.
 
[Image: Flickr user Joey Yee]
 
--Author Lisa Nirell helps companies grow customer mind share and market share. Since 1983, Lisa has worked with Sony, Wells Fargo Advisors, Adobe, Microsoft, and hundreds of entrepreneurs in nine countries. Lisa is also an award-winning expert speaker, FastCompany expert blogger, and author of the acclaimed EnergizeGrowth® NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company. Download your sample chapter and business energy booster survey at energizegrowth.com.
 
This post originally appeared in FastCompany. Copyright 2013, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.
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The Leadership Trust Deficit

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Firm Executive Coaching Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Strategic Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

 

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating changes in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent corporate culture based on openness, trust and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

The Leadership Trust Deficit

Employees want consistency between their leaders’ words and actions. But only 11 percent strongly agree that their managers “walk the talk,” a 2011 Maritz poll reveals.

Fairly or unfairly, leaders’ behaviors are magnified and weighted, including their values, work ethics, integrity and perceived honesty. Employees have high moral expectations for those they choose to follow.

3 Types of Trust

There are three different forms of trust, according to “The Enemies of Trust,” a February 2002 Harvard Business Review article by leadership experts Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau:

1. Strategic trust—the trust employees have in the people running the show to make the right strategic decisions. Do top managers have the vision and competence to set the right course, intelligently allocate resources, fulfill the mission and help the company succeed?

2. Personal trust—the trust employees have in their managers. Do managers treat employees fairly? Do they consider employees’ needs when making decisions about the business and put the company’s needs ahead of their own?

3. Organizational trust—the trust people have in the company itself. Are processes well designed, consistent and fair? Does the company make good on its promises?

Clearly, these three types of trust are distinct, but they’re linked in important ways. For example, every time a manager violates her direct reports’ personal trust, organizational trust is shaken.

The Trinity of Trust

While many factors contribute to our perceptions of trustworthiness, three vital traits comprise “the trinity of trust,” writes management consultant James Robbins in Nine Minutes on Monday:

Character: What do your employees see when they look at you? How do they perceive your values, work ethic, integrity and honesty?

Competence: Employees place more trust in you when they believe you’re capable of effective leadership. This does not mean you’re the smartest one in the room—a position of superiority that, in fact, undermines perceived competency.

Caring: The most neglected ingredient in the trust trinity is the ability to show you care. Employees want to feel that they matter.

Repair the Trust Deficit

Business professors Lynn Offermann and Lisa Rosh urge leaders to do a better job of opening up to people in a June 2012 Harvard Business Reviewarticle.

 “Studies indicate that senior leaders who reveal something about their lives outside the office do so without undermining their authority,” they write, while cautioning against excessively intimate disclosures.

Offermann and Rosh offer the following tips for a balanced approach to “skillful self-disclosure”:

  • Open up. During the course of your workday, squeeze in an occasional impromptu conversation with a subordinate about interests other than work, such as children’s activities, restaurants, sports, movies and the like. Share a glimpse into your personal life while taking time to listen.
  • Empathize. Offer brief, personal acknowledgments of significant events in employees’ lives, such as additions to family, marriage, family death and serious illness. Share how a similar event impacted your life without overshadowing the employee’s circumstance.
  • Remain professional. Share information that enhances the work relationship, yet doesn’t harm your reputation. Exercise discretion; avoid oversharing.

5 Steps Toward a Culture of Trust

Improve your connection to people and build trust with these techniques:

1. Go on a walkabout: Walk around the office each day to touch base with individual contributors to your company’s success. While email and group meetings are important, one-on-one “face time” is critical.

2. Capture vital statistics:Learn about each employee’s life: spouse’s name, children’s names and ages, major hobbies. Use questions to elicit meaningful information: “Where are you from?” or “What do you do on your days off?”

3. Find similarities:Instead of focusing on differences, find mutual interests (hobbies, desires, career goals).

4. Ask for ideas and feedback:Trust must already be established for people to be honest with you. Ask what they need to perform their jobs better. Acknowledge that you hear their opinions and will think about what they’ve said. Don’t dismiss or argue the merits of their input; offer a simple and genuine “thanks for sharing that.” 

5. Acknowledge progress and milestones: In many organizations, problems are solved, barriers are surmounted, tasks are completed… and nothing is noted. People crave acknowledgment and recognition, so seize these opportunities to build trust.

When Trust Is Broken      

When trust is broken, take immediate steps to fix the problem instead of ignoring or downplaying it. Employees will be skeptical and/or suspicious, so choose your words carefully. 

You needn’t have all the answers or a detailed plan. There can even be a lag between naming the problem and describing what you’ll do. Just let people know that you’re aware of the issue and its impact on them, and that you’re committed to setting things right.

Identify the problem as precisely as possible. Is there an adversarial relationship between people in the sales offices and those at headquarters? Are people doing end runs around a department that has a reputation for arrogance?

Imagine what success will look like in practice. You may, for example, establish clear roles and responsibilities, an exceptions policy, a dispute resolution process, and submission and response protocols. In meetings, you can spend less time assigning blame and more time on what the staff is doing right.

With greater trust, managers and leaders can reap tangible business benefits: increased productivity, improved performance and genuine employee engagement.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How do our leaders build trust at work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop a culture of trust. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

Subscribe to Working Resources FREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
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Rumors in the Workplace – Stop Unethical Gossip

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Firm Executive Coaching Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Strategic Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

Rumors in the Workplace 

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well– Mahatma Gandhi

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating changes in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent corporate culture based on openness and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Ethical Behavior

Every day all of us face ethical dilemmas. Ethics has to do with our conduct and character. Some people call character the collection of our daily habits, the things we do without thinking. But ethics really has to do with making conscious behavior choices. In any situation, we have to decide what the best action to take is.

We can ask ourselves, "What is the right thing to do?" How we make that decision determines what kind of person we are. If you operate under the “Ethics of Care” system, and you care about human beings, gossip is unethical, gossip hurts people.

Gossip

In today's world, individuals can make a single decision that can have a profoundly positive or negative effect on their family, their employer, coworkers, a nation, and even on the entire world. The life we lead reflects the strength of a single trait: our personal character. Personal ethics are different for each person but for the most part, people want to be known as a good person, someone who can be trusted. Most people are concerned about their relationships and personal reputations."

When a person hears gossip about someone else, whether they personally know that person or not, they form an image of the person in their mind. This damages the talked about person’s reputation. If the listener were to hear something else about the person or meet them, the gossip almost always comes back to mind.

Gossip consumes society. Just think about all the stories that you read on the internet.  Many of the stories are simply not true. Society balances itself through the honest exchange of ideas, but when exaggeration, misrepresentation, slander, and misuse of the internet come into play, gossip becomes a malicious exchange.

Is there a time in your life when someone had gossiped or spread rumors about you? How did you feel when that happened? After that, would you then gossip or talk about someone else? As a society, we need to end unethical gossip and bcome more mindful and compassionate. None of us need or deserve judgment.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “What should be done about gossip and spreading rumors at work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders end unethical gossip in the workplace. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

How to Terminate Employees Ethically and Legally

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating changes in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping an abrasive executive improve his emotional intelligence. We further discussed how high performing company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Regardless of your company’s success or employee-friendly culture, difficult people pose challenges for managers and team leaders each day. You cannot afford to avoid dealing with difficult people. Whether they’re direct reports or peer managers, their frustrating behaviors will take a toll on your ability to manage others and produce stellar results.

The more serious forms of difficult behavior are, in some ways, easier to deal with, because they are blatant and often illegal. In cases of harassment, sabotage or physical threats, swiftly follow your clearly outlined company policies and implement the appropriate consequences.

Smart managers can develop a plan for managing problem behaviors in the workplace. This may include establishing policies and retaining employee assistance program counselors to help with serious problems. Inevitably, certain employees will behave in an unacceptable way, requiring you to call them in for a disciplinary conversation. Consider investing in a coach who can teach your people about human dynamics in the workplace.

Discharge should be viewed as the failure of the process. Most people placed on a decision-making leave will return with a willingness to correct their behavior. When they do not, termination should be the inevitable consequence of that choice. Follow these procedures consistently to fulfill your ethical and legal obligations. You can then move intransigent employees out of the organization and move forward.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Does our company have abrasive executives who could benefit by working with an executive coach?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop their executive presence and become better storytellers. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Storytelling for Leaders

Working Resource is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Storytelling for Leaders

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating behavioral change.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping the CEO to develop his executive presence and become a more powerful storyteller. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Where to Find Stories

Potential stories are everywhere, but you may not notice them until you practice storytelling for a while. It’s fine to start with borrowed stories from other speakers, books and the Internet, but be sure to credit them appropriately.

You can reap an endless supply of great stories by paying attention to the anecdotes other share. Start a story notebook or computer file so you can access them for the appropriate occasion.

Anything that captures your attention can be turned into a story.Often, life’s little details contain big lessons, so begin to develop your sense of “story radar.” After an interesting conversation or encounter, ask yourself if you can use the incident to illustrate a leadership principle.

As with anything, you sharpen your skills through practice. Make a commitment to yourself to start practicing this week. Pick three stories to tell, and play with the details to figure out how to accentuate key points.

Alternatively, pick a challenge or lesson you want to teach through story. Then, match the story to the objective.

Leadership Challenges

Make a list of your most important leadership issues, such as:

1. Envisioning the future

2. Strategic purpose and goals

3. Team alignment

4. Values and corporate culture

5. Customer service and focus

How you can teach leadership principles through stories of real people in your particular industry?

Look for stories about people who implement their core values in day-to-day tasks. Values tend to be vague until you integrate them into stories about actual experiences.

Encourage people to view a situation through their own lens, but in a new way. This will help them make progress in implementing organizational goals.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide strength-based executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I teach leadership principles through stories of real people?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop their executive presence and become better storytellers. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Leaders are Good Storytellers

Working Resources is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Leaders are Good Storytellers

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a Silicon Valley company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very pertinent questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating behavioral change.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping the CEO to develop her executive presence and become a better storyteller. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Let Me Tell You a Story...

Do you know people who can masterfully tell the right story at the right time?

Quite often, the best storytellers become our managers and leaders. Even if you have no designs on becoming a CEO or leading a division, you undoubtedly crave more control over your work, ideas, sphere of influence and others’ perceptions.

Effective storytelling can help you gain more control, while also building employee morale, strengthening teamwork and defining how problems can be solved. You’ll find it much easier to develop original and effective solutions to everyday challenges.

What’s in a Story?

Cold, hard facts don’t inspire people to change. Straightforward analysis doesn’t excite anyone about a goal. Storytelling creates an optimal learning environment: We quickly process information when it’s delivered in the form of a story, and we personalize the tale so we can relate it to our own experiences.

A story is “a fact, wrapped in an emotion, that compels us to take an action that transforms our world,” write TV writer/producer Richard Maxwell and executive coach Robert Dickman in The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business (HarperBusiness, 2007).

Research tells us:

1.  Stories don’t have to be long.

2.  Stories don’t have to be verbal (think of brand logos).

3.  The right story, at the right time, helps us shape and control our world.

Crafting a memorable, inspirational and transformational story begins with a good outline, note Maxwell and Dickman. A successful story must have five basic elements:

  • Passion (the enthusiasm and energy with which you tell the story).
  • A relatable hero who gives your story a point of view and allows your audience to enter into the story in their own minds.
  • An obstacle or an antagonist who presents problems that must be faced. This struggle involves strong emotions that engage the audience.
  • A moment of awareness when everything changes for the hero (the problem is solved, and there is an emotional release). The audience learns from the story as it plays out in their minds.
  • A transformation that occurs within the hero, which improves his situation or allows him to make new discoveries.

Make Your Story Come Alive

There are some important caveats about these five elements.

First, your hero should be relatable—someone who’s similar to members of your audience. He cannot be Superman or a rock star, nor should you use yourself as the hero (unless you want to appear arrogant).

Second, emotions should be the highlight of your story. Facts without emotions are dry, lifeless and forgettable. Don’t be afraid to expose life’s inherently raw emotions. Why does the hero care? Why does this story matter?

Third, make your story realistic to achieve authenticity. While embellishment is sometimes necessary to a good story, provide realistic details to make it vivid.

Finally, stories don’t necessarily have happy endings. People often pay greater attention to bad news. Close with the lessons to be learned from your story. Minds may wander, or your audience may reach an unexpected conclusion, so be sure to emphasize the points you want to make.

Heighten Interest

Use plain, simple and direct language when telling a story so its moral can shine through. You don’t want to clutter the story with lots of descriptive words or too much detail.

Incorporate five key elements to add interest:

  • Surprise: Why is this story unusual?
  • Mystery: What piques our curiosity?
  • Conflict: A main character should face a challenging situation to which the audience can relate.
  • Brevity: Use enough words to make the story come alive—but no more.
  • Repetition: Used appropriately, a catchphrase can drive your message home.

Where to Find Stories

Potential stories are everywhere, but you may not notice them until you practice storytelling for a while. It’s fine to start with borrowed stories from other speakers, books and the Internet, but be sure to credit them appropriately.

You can reap an endless supply of great stories by paying attention to the anecdotes other share. Start a story notebook or computer file so you can access them for the appropriate occasion.

Anything that captures your attention can be turned into a story. Often, life’s little details contain big lessons, so begin to develop your sense of “story radar.” After an interesting conversation or encounter, ask yourself if you can use the incident to illustrate a leadership principle.

As with anything, you sharpen your skills through practice. Make a commitment to yourself to start practicing this week. Pick three stories to tell, and play with the details to figure out how to accentuate key points.

Alternatively, pick a challenge or lesson you want to teach through story. Then, match the story to the objective.

Leadership Challenges

Make a list of your most important leadership issues, such as:

1.  Envisioning the future

2.  Strategic purpose and goals

3.  Team alignment

4.  Values and corporate culture

5.  Customer service and focus

How you can teach leadership principles through stories of real people in your particular industry?

Look for stories about people who implement their core values in day-to-day tasks. Values tend to be vague until you integrate them into stories about actual experiences.

Encourage people to view a situation through their own lens, but in a new way. This will help them make progress in implementing organizational goals.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide strength-based executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a good storyteller?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop their executive presence and become better storytellers. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Leverage Leadership Strengths and Mitigate Weaknesses

Working Resources is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Leverage Leadership Strengths and Mitigate Weaknesses

To become a successful philosopher king, it is better to start as the king than as the philosopher.-- Nassim Taleb in "Antifragile"

I recently spoke with the VP of Talent Management of a company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very pertinent questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating behavioral change.

The VP of Talent Management and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a strengths-based culture where innovation flourishes.

The VP of Talent Management is interested in partnering with me in helping the CEO to become a build on his strengths and mitigate perceived weaknesses by the Board. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

I believe leaders are successful by leveraging strengths, and mitigating weaknesses: by taking prudent risk in the hope of significant reward; and by realizing, as Churchill did, that success is never final and failure rarely fatal—it’s courage that counts.

I am a strong advocate of helping my executive coaching clients leverage their strengths. I also strongly support the importance of individuals mitigating their weaknesses. Frequently, I stress how much of our success in life comes from utilizing our strengths -- your intellectual strength and determination, for example, may have enabled you to complete your college degree or another significant achievement. However, challenges we face in our future may involve you doing things that are difficult for you -- especially if one's goal involves advancing to a higher level of leadership. 

I'm a fan of strengths assessments such as the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths or the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0. However, there is nothing in those two assessments that prompts an individual to consider if they may be using a strength too much, whereas the Leadership Versatility Index (Kaplan Devries) also measures "overused strengths".

McCall and Lombardo's interview studies conducted at the Center for Creative Leadership of derailed executives led them to them introduce the phrase, "strengths can become weaknesses". The Leadership Versatility Index gives leaders feedback on if they are doing behaviors "too little", the "right amount", or "too much".

In a study of 421 upper-level managers, Kaiser and Kaplan found that by comparing self-report and 360 degree feedback the least effective managers overrated their effectiveness, and the most effective managers underrated their effectiveness. In fact, the high performing managers often did not have a good grasp of what their strengths are. This lack of strength awareness can cause them to overuse certain strengths in challenging situations because they come naturally to them. Of course this also is an argument to use strengths assessments to increase self-awareness.

Is there a cost to overusing a particular strength? It seems obvious that to underutilize a strength, when that strength is needed, will lead to lower performance. It is just as true that to use a particular strength more than the ideal amount needed for the situation is equally harmful. 

Kaiser and Kaplan point out that you can have a manager that is a forceful leader -- who can take charge and provide clear direction. This leadership quality is often needed, especially with a new employee or in a crisis. However managers who are too forceful and too tough make employees feel badly about their work, and at the same time a leader who spends too much time including everyone in a decision and is too concerned about people's feelings for the situation, will get lower business results.

The solution is to be versatile -- to display the "right" amount of their strengths for the situation at hand. The researchers describe being high in versatility as being a master of opposites. For example, managers or leaders can be evaluated for versatility by looking at pairs of leadership attributes such as Forceful and Enabling leadership by calculating how close their ratings are to the "right amount" on both dimensions.

The bottom line is we need to balance focusing on strengths with a realistic assessment of where and how we may be overusing our strengths. Discovering your true strengths is the path towards improvement and success. When you pay too much attention to your deficits and try to overcome them, you are placing emphasis on becoming what you are not. You wind up living a second-rate version of someone else’s life rather than a world-class version of your own.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide strength-based executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I build on my leadership strengths and mitigate weaknesses?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders develop their strengths. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

 

Categories: 

How to Identify Your Talents and Strengths

Working Resources is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Identify Your Talents and Strengths

"Most Americans do not know what their strengths are. When you ask them, they look at you with a blank stare, or they respond in terms of subject knowledge, which is the wrong answer."— Peter Drucker

Most of us have a poor sense of our talents and strengths. Throughout our education and careers, there is a lot of attention paid to our weaknesses. We are acutely aware of our faults and deficits, our “opportunities for development,” or whatever euphemism is popular for naming them.

Parents, teachers and managers are all experts in spotting deficits. In fact, most parents, teachers and managers consider it theirresponsibility to point out flaws and try to help us correct them.

We have become experts in our own weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair our flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected. The research, however, is clear: we grow and develop by putting emphasis on our strengths, rather than trying to correct our deficits.

Most people don’t concern themselves with identifying their talents and strengths. Instead, they choose to study their weaknesses. A Gallup poll investigated this phenomenon by asking Americans, French, British, Canadian, Japanese and Chinese people of all ages and backgrounds the question: “Which do you think will help you improve the most: knowing your strengths or knowing your weaknesses?”

The Path to Improvement:

Strengths or Weaknesses?

The answer was always the same: weaknesses, not strengths, deserve the most attention. The most strengths-focused culture is the United States, but still only a minority of people, 41 percent, felt that knowing their strengths would help them improve the most. The least strengths-focused cultures are Japan and China. Only 24 percent believe that the key to success lies in their strengths.

The majority of people in the world don’t think that the secret to improvement lies in a deep understanding of their strengths. Interestingly, in every culture the older people (55 and above) were the least fixated on their weaknesses. Perhaps they have acquired more self-acceptance and realize the futility of trying to be what they are not.

Why are Weaknesses so Attractive?

Why do so many people avoid focusing on their strengths? Weaknesses may be fascinating and strangely mesmerizing, like watching soap operas and Jerry Springer shows. But the attraction lies in the fact we deeply fear our weaknesses, our failures and even our true self.

Some people may be reluctant to investigate their strengths because they may fear there isn’t much in the way of real talent or strength inside them anyway, or that they are just average (again, ingrained from education models). Or, maybe there is a feeling of inadequacy, an “imposter syndrome,” and an underlying fear of being found out.

Despite your achievements, you may wonder whether you are as talented as everyone thinks you are.You suspect that luck and circumstance may have played a big part in your getting to where you are today.

However, if you do not investigate your strengths, for any of the above fears and feelings of insecurity, you will miss out on discovering more of who you really are. You will miss out on becoming who you are really meant to be.

Too Close to See?

You are probably not as cognizant of your strengths as you could be because most of us take them for granted. We are so embedded in our strengths, we are not aware of them as strengths. We think everybody is that way too. It never occurs to us to be any other way; it is just natural for us. 

This way of thinking excludes developing our strengths and becoming even stronger and more brilliant. You can’t develop what you don’t recognize. You can’t expand what you are not aware of.

Building on your strengths is also about responsibility.You probably don’t take pride in your natural talents any more than you would take pride in your sex, race, or hair color. Natural talents are gifts from God and your gene pool.

However, you have a great deal to do with turning your talents into strengths.You can take your talents into the realm of excellence. It involves becoming acutely aware, developing an action learning plan, and “practice, practice, practice”.  Viewed in this light, to avoid your strengths by focusing on your weaknesses is almost a sign of irresponsibility.

The Courage to Be Brilliant

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…We ask ourselves, `Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”— Marianne Williamson

The most responsible, yet the most challenging, thing to do is to face up to your natural talents. It is an honor to have such blessings. Do not waste them. Step up to the potential inherent in your talents and find ways to develop your strengths. Be true to yourself by becoming more of who you really are.

This advice is easy to give and difficult to put into practice. It is easier when working with a trained professional coach. Working with your coach can make it easier for you to identify your talents and strengths. There are also a number of online self-assessments available to help. Once your five top strengths are identified, you can examine how they show up in your life.

It is a process of a few steps back, a few steps forward, and learning as you go. It is not the same as book learning. The only way to learn about your strengths is to act, learn, refine, and then act, learn, refine. Open yourself to feedback. This means you must be strong and courageous. Personal development is not for sissies.

Discovering your true strengths is the path towards improvement and success.When you pay attention to your deficits and try to overcome them, you are placing emphasis on becoming what you are not. You wind up living a second-rate version of someone else’s life rather than a world-class version of your own.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Subscribe to Working Resources FREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

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http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

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