3 Steps to Becoming Less Anxious

In a changing world, the level of anxiety people experiences increases as they become less clear on what is happening, more uncertain as to how it will affect them, and increasingly unsure about what to do. You will feel this for yourself, and your team will be feeling it too. So what can we do to counteract this and reduce the level of anxiety in the organization?  Here are several tips to help you:

  • Be transparent and simply tell the story. Don’t assume everybody already knows how the turbulence is affecting your business. They need to hear exactly what is happening and the need to hear is often. Be clear about the reality and don’t fall into the trap of sounding more optimistic than you should.
  • Talk about what’s next. If you have a strategy, spell it out in clear terms. If you don’t, say so and ask for help. Describe what has to happen and what everyone’s role must be. Give people the chance to share their feelings, concerns and, most of all, their ideas. Clarity reduces fear, even if what is made clear isn’t very positive. So as leaders we must talk straight and listen with empathy to the concerns of our teams.
  • Take action. Once you have a suitable strategy in place then take action and look to achieve quick wins whilst moving in the long-term direction. Procrastination at this point will only allow uncertainty to resurface and anxiety to return,

Use these steps for yourself and your team, and help them to cascade it to their people in turn.

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Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

Where’s Your Mate? Mate!

Anybody who has been scuba-diving will be familiar with the buddy system. You never dive alone, you always have a diving buddy – somebody who is there to help you and support you should you need it, and to ensure that you are safe. You, in turn, reciprocate.

It can be hard dealing with the changes, challenges, and opportunities at work – so why do it alone? A strong leader knows his or her weaknesses and looks for people who are strong in these areas to provide the balance, skills, and experience that he or she lacks.  Look for people who can help you where you need it, and who you can also help in turn.  It is a two-way street, and having a two-way street allows a greater volume of ideas, insights, and experiences to be exchanged and better learnings generated. So who is your buddy?

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here.

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

How to Use Frames to Control Conversations

Frames are a powerful tool that allows you to define how a situation, event or occurrence can be viewed.  If you set the frame, you control the conversation; if you control the conversation, you can control the relationship; and if you control the relationship, you control the business opportunity.

A framework in the same way as the frame around a picture.  A good picture frame draws you into the picture so you can focus on it, and enhances the picture, without being apparent itself.

  1. Provides focus – so you are able to focus your clients, via your use and control of language, on what you see to be as the pith of the matter
  2. Reduces mental clutter – make it easier to identify what you need to focus on
  3. Helps to gain agreement
  4. Accelerates movement and progress
  5. Provides control

Inside of the frame is what is important, what is outside is what is not important as shown in the picture below.

Framing

Framing a Situation

For example, you may be behind budget by $20m.  You could frame this in a couple of different ways, and how you frame it will affect and determine how you perceive and act on this.

  • Frame 1 – As a Problem: We have a target of $200m for the year and we are currently behind by $20m. We should have made $150m by this point in the year, but we have only made $130m. This means that we now have to make $70m before the year end.  We need to work harder to get more deals in.
  • Frame 2 – As an Opportunity: We are working hard and well in a difficult market. We are $20m shy of where we currently want to be and need to make $70m by the year-end.  How can we leverage what we have already done?  How can we work with other areas to help them and us accelerate the time it takes to do deals and increase the average deal size?

You can see in the second frame provides a positive, optimistic and creative context from which to drive the conversation and generate innovative ideas and actions. This helps to inspire and motivate people.  The first frame is negative, pessimistic and looks at doing more of the same (which isn’t working well as they are behind budget). This is more judgmental and is likely to lower morale.

Think how you can frame things to engage and include others in what you are trying to do and to share this technique with your people, in turn, A powerful frame can help to shape the perception, interpretation and how people engage with the situation, occurrence or event.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here.

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

3 Ways to Build Trust

There are three ways to build trust both for yourself and with your team:

  1. Create transparency
    • this is telling the truth in a way that people can verify and validate for themselves.
  2. Keep your commitments
    • failing to complete commitments will deplete the levels of trust others have in you. This occurs when you overpromise and under-deliver.
  3. Extend trust to your team
    • this is one of the best ways to build trust. Yet many leaders withhold trust because they trust only themselves. The challenge here? Distrust tends to get reciprocated. When others don’t trust you, you tend not to trust them back.

Share these three trust-building behaviors with your team and set the example for them to follow.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here.

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.