Advice

Powerful Conversations: How High-Impact Leaders Communicate

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All leaders talk, but it is what they say and how they say it that determines whether the group succeeds or fails.

Think about it: the leader’s most fundamental and most important job is to be in touch with those around him or her. Whether it is in the hallways or on the phone, in the middle of the workday or after hours, while delivering a performance review to a key employee or a yearly address to thousands of employees, leaders are involved in a constant series of conversations.

Through these encounters, whether brief and spontaneous or scheduled and structured, leaders try to use their time with colleagues, employees, customers, and others to reach a variety of ends. Grabbing a moment, the leader takes the opportunity to influence and direct a member of the sales staff. A weekly meeting becomes a chance to coach a manager and gather information about the department’s morale and its financial numbers. A quick e-mail checks on the progress of a research project and gives a boost of recognition and support to the team. During a strategy meeting, the leader negotiates next steps with division heads and outlines a coordinated approach. At a company awards ceremony, he or she tries to hammer home a message about values and goals. In short, the leader, through his or her conversations, aims to foster relationships, build support networks, and sharpen organizational focus.

Yet outcomes from conversations are too often unclear. Perceptions don’t always match. Influences are frequently not as profound as one would hope. Communication is generally a struggle with mixed, uncertain, and unpredictable results. Too much conversation is ad hoc and hinges on moods, energy levels, relationships, and personalities. Sometimes a leader is right on point. Sometimes he or she clicks and forges a new connection. Other times, the leader misses the mark. Either way, he or she pushes on, lining up the next meeting, setting up the next goal, responding to the latest need for clarification.

Communication is never easy. Inevitably, when a leader is driving change and dealing with conflicting agendas, some conversations provide a challenge that tests the bounds and skill of experience. During the heat of a difficult conversation, you need to fall back on a discipline. You need clear communication that advances agendas, promotes learning, and strengthens relationships. It’s the difference between achieving objectives and having everything fall apart—and the difference between winning and losing.

Imagine having to let a close friend know that he or she is off a project because of poor performance, yet wanting at the same time to preserve the strength of the relationship. Imagine having to make necessary structural changes to an organization, realigning roles and positions in ways that involve cuts in the workforce, yet wanting at the same time to bolster morale and organizational commitment. These are the difficult conversations that High-Impact Leaders face every single day, so what makes them different from any other leader?

High-Impact Leaders are the people who get results. They are the ones who make things happen. They are the leaders who are able to continually advance a clear agenda, get others to buy into it, and move an organization, a division, or a team forward. Being a High-Impact Leader has nothing whatsoever to do with title or rank, because High-Impact Leaders can be found up, down, and across any organization.

-Impact Leaders are the ones who cause no surprises. They are explicit, consistent, concise, and authentic. They sometimes have an abundance of charisma, but that is clearly not a prerequisite. More to the point, High-Impact Leaders are the ones who take charge wherever they are. They are the ones others want to follow. They are also the leaders whose teams others consistently want to join. When they move on to new roles or new territories, they do not travel alone. Others ask to go with them.

These conditions result because High-Impact Leaders use the technology of Powerful Conversations and then match what they say with what they do. Through Powerful Conversations, they develop openness, honesty, and clarity in order to get others to believe and share in their goals, to gain commitments, and to foster trust. And they prove they are worthy of that trust by delivering on their own commitments and by making results happen.

The link between Powerful Conversations and High-Impact Leaders lies in the relationship between two concepts I refer to as Say and Do. I have seen people skilled at the art of Powerful Conversations nevertheless fail as leaders because they fail to live up to their words. As a result, they never become High-Impact Leaders. I have never known a High-Impact Leader, however, who was not also skilled at Powerful Conversations, whether conscious of that designation or not. To be a High-Impact Leader, you have to be able to conduct Powerful Conversations on a consistent basis and live up to the outcomes of those conversations. Why is this important? It has to do with trust—without which conversations cannot progress toward the realization of commitments.

One of the most important functions of a Powerful Conversation is to create clarity, a critical success factor for building trust. I cannot tell you how frequently I have been involved in situations in which a leader, reflecting on problems that have arisen, says, “I can’t believe they thought I meant that. I never had any intention of doing that.” And the followers say something like, “It’s unbelievable. Our leader made a clear commitment to do this and now denies it was ever part of the agenda.” Both sides shake their heads. Barriers go up. Trust is reduced or nonexistent.

True clarity implies that a leader says exactly what he or she means in such a way that his or her statements are received as intended. This requires openness, honesty, and an active and careful tracking of wants, needs, and commitments. It furthermore requires that those clear statements be lived up to with demonstrated actions built on organizational trust.

High-Impact Leaders today lead in a better way because they recognize that the shortest path to achieving objectives is to build trust and gain clear commitments from others. Specifically, they engage in Powerful Conversations to uncover the wants and needs of others in order to understand what will motivate those people to join forces with the leader and live up to the commitments of a conversation. They skillfully orchestrate the Powerful Conversations in which they engage to make clear all parties understand the exact commitments that have been made. Then they check into those commitments and make sure through follow-up conversations that the commitments can be kept. They track the wants and needs of others and find ways to reinforce their own desire to understand the wants and needs of others, often through continued follow-up conversations. High-Impact Leaders do these things because they know that trust must exist if the leader is to achieve his or her agenda through Powerful Conversations to create positive outcomes for their teams and stakeholders.

by Phil Harkins

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7 Ways to Transform Your Money Mindset

 

The level of abundance in your life in any area (love, friendship, success or finances) is a reflection of your inner state — what you hold in your mind and heart.

Want to create a healthy and loving wealth consciousness? Here are seven ways to transform your money mindset.

1. Forgive your past.

So many of our unquestioned beliefs and behavior patterns today around money are simply things we picked up at childhood or our past. They are not true and they don’t serve our highest good.

Forgiveness is a way to release them from our heart and energy field, so we are no longer blindly re-creating the same patterns and keeping ourselves stuck at the same level of abundance.

Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the painful memories you have around money –involving your parents, lovers, bosses or even yourself — that make you feel icky, stressed, anxious or frustrated.

Now, go through your list and practice forgiveness until you release the negative charge from each memory. You could try:

(a) Using a mantra such as: I forgive you. I’m sorry. I love you.

(b) Placing your hand on your heart and simply letting yourself feel the emotions that arise — giving yourself permission to feel them fully without attaching a mental story to them. Often as you let your feelings rise and observe them without judgement, they will naturally dissolve.

(c) Having compassion. Maybe your parents fought in front of you or didn’t have enough money and it caused you pain, but they were doing their best from their level of awareness — and they were probably re-creating the patterns they had learnt when they were children. Everyone is a divine loving inner spirit deep down — sometimes our true nature just gets temporarily obscured, like a cloud covering the sun.

2. Change your story.

The poet Rumi once said: “This world is like a mountain. Your echo depends on you. If you scream good things, the world will give it back. If you scream bad things, the world will give it back.”

He is referring to the Universal law of creation. Your inner world (thoughts, beliefs and feelings) creates your outer reality.

Do you find yourself saying or thinking things like: I’m so broke… Making money is hard… I’m always down to my last dollar… I never have enough… Wanting money is bad or greedy…?

Try changing your story around money. Start saying and thinking things like: I’m so blessed… I have everything that I need… the Universe always takes care of me… I give to the world and I receive… it is safe for me to have abundance… I am provided for.

3. Open your mind to infinite possibilities.

When it comes to manifesting, your logical mind can be your worst enemy.

It has a limited capacity to think beyond what it already knows, and it can be quick to tell you things like: Well, you can’t earn more from your current job, so receiving more money is, frankly, impossible.

When you have unexamined assumptions that you can only receive money in certain pre-determined ways — like a pay cheque from a day job — you block the Universe from finding other amazingly creative ways to bring you abundance.

Begin asking the Universe: What would it take for more money to flow to me? What would it take for me to get paid for being me? What would it take for creative ideas to come to me?

4. Practice gratitude.

The world is a reflection of you. When you look around your life and see and feel lack, the Universe receives the message to send you more lack.

So many of us suffer from a condition called Onlyness. We look at our bank balance and think: I only have $42. We look at our wardrobes and think: I only have these clothes to choose from. We look at our lives and think: I only have this much love, friendship, success, wellbeing or happiness.

When you start looking around your life and seeing everything as evidence of abundance, and feeling thankful and deeply grateful, the Universe sends you more abundance.

Look at your bank balance and think: Wow, I have a whole $42 to spend, that’s awesome. Look at your wardrobe and thank: Wow, I have warm clothes for my temple, how amazing is that? Look at your life and think: Wow, I already have this much love, friendship, success, wellbeing and happiness, and I am excited for even more. I am so grateful to be alive, adventuring in time and space, and I am going to soak up and appreciate every moment.

Bless your money as it goes in and out of your life. Bless it as you buy something as simple as your morning coffee. Pause and give thanks to the Universe for providing so much for you.

5. Create space.

When your life is full to the brim with old energy, memories and clutter, you are not symbolically or energetically creating space for abundance to come into your life.

Do a life assessment — look lovingly and honestly at your home, possessions, bank balance, love life, friends, career, leisure time, wellbeing and lifestyle.

Where are you not being true to your heart, soul and values? What needs to go in order for you to feel freer, lighter and liberated?

The more you remove anything that no longer serves you, the more space you create — physically and emotionally — for new people, opportunities and abundance to flow into your life.

6. Know your worth.

You are a divine spiritual being having a human experience.

You are the Universe experience itself through you. Your creator desires for you to experience endless happiness, peace and fulfillment.

Until you know your true nature and worth, you will probably experience feelings of guilt and doubt around receiving and abundance.

When you wake up to who you really are, you begin to realize that you are not here just to struggle and survive – you are here to love, create, expand and thrive.

7. Take small steps to cultivate the feeling of abundance.

Abundance is not a number on a bank statement, a large house or a luxury holiday. Abundance is a feeling.

Think about what abundance means to you. Does it mean freedom? Does it mean generosity? Does it mean indulgence?

When you know what abundance means to you, you can start taking baby steps to cultivate the feeling of abundance on a daily basis.

You can do this through visualization (imagining your dreams already being real) or by looking around your life and coming up with creative ways to feel the way you want to feel.

Maybe you feel abundant when you: spend a whole hour with a good book and a glass of wine; cook dinner for friends; have freshly washed hair and wear your favorite outfit; or carry a $100 note in your wallet. Start doing these small actions more often.

When you create the feeling of abundance within you, the Universe will pick up your new signal and start bringing you circumstances to match your new vibration.

Elyse Santilli Writer and life coach at NotesOnBliss.com, your guidebook to happiness and creating a beautiful life

Elyse is a writer, life coach and happiness teacher at NotesOnBliss.com and the creator of the Beautiful Life Bootcamp online course. She teaches people to align with their inner spirit, design a life they love, and expand their happiness and inner peace. For updates and inspiration, sign up now.

Serving Those Who Have Served Our Country

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United Veterans Partnership

MAKING CONNECTIONS, ONE VETERANS AT A TIME!

United Veterans Partnership, Inc. (UVP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community development organization that works with our partners to build more sustainable communities where veterans and their families live, work, play and pray.

The UVP works closely with our partners to deliver programs that connect veterans to better housing and employment opportunities, financial literacy, business development resources and improved access healthcare and healthy food options.

At the end of the day, our success isn’t measured by the number of awards we get or the money we have raised but, rather, by the number of veterans who are living a better quality of life because of a connection that we made.


The Mission of the United Veterans Partnership is to “Help Veterans Build Sustainable Communities.”

For two years, the United Veterans Partnership (UVP) has listened to, communicated with and learned from veterans and other members of the community that the most pressing need is employment and business opportunities after their service to our country has ended. UVP is our answer to helping Veterans find the opportunities need to continue to be successful in the next chapter of their lives.

We are dedicated to helping veterans build communities through outreach programs and leadership development that focus on obtaining gainful employment, financial education, housing, entrepreneurial opportunities in business.

To do this the UVP has focused on striving to meet five goals to help meet the needs of returning veterans and the communities in which they live:

Jobs/Jobs Training: Develop a comprehensive Accelerated Job Training Program to reduce the jobless rate among veterans and partner with local companies to keep veterans employed long after their military obligation has ended.
Connecting the Veteran Workforce to Opportunities: Build stronger linkages between businesses and the central city workforce of veterans through partnerships with the Department of Veteran Affairs and other organizations that share the same goals of helping veterans achieve their goals.

Greater Veteran Involvement in Economic Development: Increase the participation of veterans of veterans with assistance from the UVP on local and regional planning and project development efforts.

Community Development: Deepen thee impact of Veterans on the development of the community, including but not limited to; housing and housing development, economic development, financial education and training, and community leadership opportunities.
Entrepreneurship/Small Business Development: Foster greater entrepreneurship in the community by guiding veterans on the creation and expansion of Veteran owned businesses and franchises.


Source: Our Mission

Here’s How Many Jobs U.S. Companies Cut In September

The computer industry was hit hard.

Last month saw a surge in layoffs, primarily due to large-scale employee cuts at companies like Hewlett-Packard.

U.S. companies laid off 58,877 workers in September, according to data released Thursday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. September layoffs are up 43% from August when about 41,000 workers were let go.

In total, employers have announced 493,431 planned layoffs so far this year, a 36% jump over the same period last year and 2% more than the 2014 total.

“Job cuts have already surpassed last year’s total and are on track to end the year as the highest annual total since 2009, when nearly 1.3 million layoffs were announced at the tail-end of the recession,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The computer industry accounted for the heaviest job cuts in September primarily driven by Hewlett-Packard, which said it would cut 30,000 jobs. The job losses, which were announced in mid-September by CEO Meg Whitman, should save the company $2.7 billion annually and represented about 10% of the company’s workforce, HP said.

Source: Here’s How Many Jobs U.S. Companies Cut In September

7 Interview Questions to Help You Assess Emotional Intelligence

“Look for a team player who brings something positive to the company”

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

TIME

Determining who you hire for a job plays a big part in forming your company’s culture and ensuring its future success. Selecting informative interview questions can be a key factor in finding the right employees — as well as weeding out the ones that won’t fit. A candidate’s answers can be telling.

While different companies embody various values and cultures, success in the workplace is strongly influenced by a person’s emotional intelligence, a quality that should be a non-negotiable when vetting job candidates, says Mariah DeLeon, vice-president of people at workplace ratings and review site Glassdoor.

Here are seven interview questions that can draw revealing answers from the job candidates you interview — and get you on your way to finding employees with stellar emotional intelligence.

1. Who inspires you and why?

The job candidate’s answer often gives the interviewer a peek into who the interviewee models…

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