Are They Laughing?

laughWhen you work in business where communication is an essential part of someone’s success, it is hard not to watch the political candidates with a magnifying glass. We seek out what is working and what is not working, and then connect the dots for clients to back-on-the-job application. The goal is always to capture the attention of your listener. If you can’t find a way to keep your message interesting, people will tune you out.

The use of humor is especially tricky. Humor can unlock an audience’s receptivity. It grabs people’s attention. Touching the heart, the funny bone and the brain improves the likelihood that your message will be more effectively delivered.

But if you have to point out that you were ‘just kidding” or ‘being sarcastic’ – then your joke has missed the mark. Some things about using humor that are important:

Jokes vs. Stories
Leave jokes to professional comedians. Humor at work that is on target and works possess the message of the communicator.

Ask yourself:

  • Does my story provide meaningful commentary?

  • Does it tie into my main point?

  • Is it pertinent?

  • A good story cannot replace the point you are trying to make.

Humor to Avoid
Sarcastic Humor – Humor that brings laughter at the expense of others. This kind of humor can keep people apart rather than bringing them together. Sarcasm can work with close friends equally adept at its use, but it can be dangerous. Sarcastic conversations between friends where there are years of friendship gives a context of trust and caring to the “not so caring” messages. On the job, however, such comments are not appropriate. And the people who overhear sarcasm don’t know the intentions involved.

Ethnic Humor – Bias is too easy to ignite and too difficult to stop. Steer clear.

Laughing at Others – It’s more appropriate to laugh at yourself or at a common experience than to laugh at others. When humor works you laugh WITH others, not AT them.

Strategies:

  • Make your messages memorable – use a prop that can create interest..

  • Open with a shocking attention-getter – an alarming statistic, a photo that drives the point home, or an insightful question.

  • Quote a song as a lead in to a point you are trying to make.

  • Take your listener into account. Who are they and what do they want to hear?

  • Low-risk humor makes sense in business.

  • Keep it brief.

  • Practice telling the story. Don’t ‘shoot from the hip’ – you can shoot yourself in the foot!

  • Use pauses to create interest and relay drama.

  • Don’t be afraid to be silly. A little can go a long way to humanize you.

  • Don’t be afraid to use a good story more than once.

  • Know the difference between public and private humor.

  • If you are going to use gender or regional humor, make it at the expense of your gender or your

  • Use a “humor sandwich”. Tell the point you are trying to make, give it back in the form of a humorous story illustrating the point, then restate your point again in a memorable way.

  •  Develop a notebook, or listing of favorite jokes or quotes. You can find your material everywhere. Adapt and personalize your favorites.

  • Slide a punchline into your memo’s – it catches people off guard and lets you know that they are really reading them!

It’s been said the ‘laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.’ But if your humor falls flat, or worse, annoys or insults, then you could be laughing alone too.

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Mentors/Mentees – Know Where the Line Is

board-784349_640 (1)Few of us can accomplish great things without some mentoring. Whether formal or informal, within your professional organization or between colleagues, mentoring has become more and more common as people look to develop talent and acquire knowledge.

Being a Mentor can be very rewarding. Providing support, suggestions and information to someone who is eager to for it can enrich both your career and theirs. But in an effort to provide assistance, some Mentors go too far. In order to avoid crossing the line, it’s good to know where the line is in the first place.

 

DON’T :

  • Put your money into their business ideas – Investing in your Mentee’s business changes your role; you have now gone from Mentor to Partner. Now you have a ‘not so hidden’ agenda as well as a definite conflict of interest. You are not going to be objective about your advice and feedback when it is your money is at stake. The Mentee can become wary about telling you anything negative because they will be worried about an unfavorable reaction.

INSTEAD: Assure them that you are honored to be considered as a potential investor but prefer to keep the relationship as a mentoring partnership only.

  • Work for them – It really doesn’t matter whether you are hired with or without pay. When you do the actual work, you have become an employee. The work your Mentee is responsible for should either be done by them or they should be hiring someone (else) to do the job. Your role is to work behind the scenes.

INSTEAD: A Mentor can help them determine the best way to get things done or provide feedback, but should not be doing the actual work.

  • Become a personal counselor – While you can (and probably will) discuss life issues and challenges, pay attention to the line between work and personal issues. If the Mentee is coping with a large psychological concern (e.g., overwhelming anxiety, depression or euphoria, divorce, substance use, parenting, aging parents), remember that a Mentor does not give personal advice and counseling. Be willing to listen, but point out that you are not an expert in that personal area.

INSTEAD: Suggest a call to a local or national hotline that deals with the specific concern (or if the/their firm/employer has an EAP, suggest an internal resource.)

It’s not always easy to know where the limits of the Mentor/Mentee relationship are. Having a clear idea of what things are definitely out of bounds from the start can help you identify areas to avoid.

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Battlefield Promotions: Best Opportunity Ever or Recipe for Disaster?

Yikes! The boss is no longer there. Whether the departure is caused by their desire or the organizations, there is now an available position. Senior management may want to show that they promote from within or they may not have time to do a thorough search. Either way, in the midst of the turmoil, a promotion is made

Professionals are encouraged to climb the career ladder. So promotions are usually a good thing – right?

The real answer is ‘sometimes yes and sometimes no. There are times when people rise to the occasion and there are also times when they are simply set up for a negative experience masked as an opportunity.

A poorly executed jump in status can hurt a person’s career and have a negative impact on the workplace. However – being plucked from the group and asked to serve is rarely an opportunity to turn down if you are excited about advancing your career.

success-1148046_640If a change in position is sudden or a surprise, the rest of the organization can take a ‘let’s wait and see’ attitude. They may think that the promotion hasn’t been earned. People wonder whether this elevation will stick or not, if the person has the ability or not, and with concern comes doubt and worry.  When worry about whether or not someone will remain in the job, it takes people’s attention away from the mission and vision of the work.

Battle-field promotions happen a lot more than you think. In a perfect world every promotion should be thought about carefully because the last thing you want is for someone to fail. Few want to see a job have to be taken away.

How do you know if you should turn down a position boost at work?

You don’t want to manage people to don’t have the patience to manage people – Not everyone is cut out for management, and that’s OK. Know yourself well enough to know if you have the patience to coach, train, give feedback and mentor others. Understand that getting work done through others requires you to develop talent more than you roll up your own sleeves. Make sure someone sits down with you and goes through the new responsibilities.

You love your current job – If you love what you do, why leave? If you really don’t want to leave the people, role, or responsibility you have now , stay where you are. You probably aren’t ready be promoted.

Money turns your head – Often more money means more responsibility. Don’t salivate for that increase in your paycheck without a good understanding of the strings that come with it. It’s unlikely you will get paid a while lot more for doing the same job you are doing now at your current rate of pay.

Many people have had this job – A high turnover rate should be a red flag that this position may come with unseen problems like a poor manager or a lack of organizational support. If many people have held this title, you should be asking ‘why?’

It’s so new no one knows much – If there are unclear goals, incentives, budgets, managers, track record – do a lot of investigation. You may have just been offered a dead end adventure.

No pay increase – A lateral move is no promotion. If you are excited to be offered a new opportunity, then check it out. But think about your long term career, not just a short term opportunity.

Be sure to get:

  • 30, 60, 90 day Milestones – An expectation to ‘hit the ground running’ is unfair as you are new to the job. Sit with your new boss/prospective boss and clarify what deliverables are expected and by when. Negotiate those things that seem like wishful thinking on the organization’s part.
  • Development/Mentoring – Identify how you will learn. Certifications, mentors, classes, training, books, articles, shadowing, and orientation can be identified and scheduled. How much time will your new boss be spending with you to get you up to speed? If there is no one to ‘teach you the ropes’ internally then determine how you will identify people outside of your organization that can help.

“No” is an option. If you don’t think the promotion is right for you or that there isn’t enough support for you to be successful, stand up for yourself and turn the opportunity down. Indicate where you think you can help the organization out. Offer to be considered an interim placement until the right person can be found. When you talk about what your professional goals are, your decision can appear to be well considered.

If you really think it’s not for you, say so. Battle-field promotions can be wonderful opportunities but no one wants you to be another combat casualty.

 

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Keep Your Focus on the Boss’s Lack of Focus

When you want to talk with your boss about something that is important to you, do you sometimes get the feeling that they just wish you’d stop talking?! Sure you’ve gotten on their calendar and are eager to have a challenging exchange on a topic that is important to you, it doesn’t seem like it’s all that interesting to your boss.

It’s downright depressing.

Add to that the distractions of texts messages, calls, emails, and the little ‘dings’ that go off when another message is delivered to their in-box, and it’s amazing that they are able to focus  at all. Bosses are people too and just as susceptible to inefficient multi-tasking as everyone else. They might have a tough enough time paying attention to their issues let alone yours.

But you can do something about this.

With adult attention-spans becoming shorter than a toddlers, the same techniques that work with a 3 year old who becomes overwhelmed and inattentive can work with your boss. Humans can be stressed out no matter their age – so keep these strategies in mind the next time you want to get the boss’s attention:

Location Matters – You have less control if you are in the boss’s office. Meet in your office or a conference room. You’ll have more room and it’s less likely you’ll be interrupted.

No Surprise – Mom’s don’t like it when the school calls in the middle of the day unexpectedly and bosses don’t like to be the recipient of impulsive conversations by others. Request a meeting. Wait for a regularly scheduled meeting. Give them a heads-up that you want to discuss something. It shows you respect their time. If there is an agenda, add your topic to it. If there is material you want them to review, send it ahead of time AND bring a copy along with you.  mind-767592_640

Short & Sweet – Keep it simple. If your topic has a lot of details, have bullet points in a logical sequence. Provide an overview of the issue first, and then provide details and examples. If your boss takes the conversation to a different focus, bring it back by commenting that ‘that is interesting’ and then bring up something relevant about the topic you want to focus on.

Timing Counts – Reschedule if the timing of your conversation is poor. Try to avoid first thing Monday morning or last thing on a Friday afternoon. After a layoff, firing, accident, or dip in stock price are also poor times to get someone’s attention.

Hook Their Interest – an engaging speaker keeps an audience’s attention longer so do something that grabs their interest. A great visual or a startling statistic be interesting. Practice your opening so that it’s strong.

Self-Interest/Their Interest – Most people are motivated to listen if there is something in the message for them specifically. Don’t answer the question “why should I care?” Answer the question ‘why DO I Care?”

After the meeting, make sure you follow up. Some conversations require time for reflection. If it’s important enough for you to make time to talk about, it’s important enough to follow up. Don’t expect an immediate response or decision. Your goal is to get the topic on the table, get the boss’s focus, and keep the conversation moving forward.

Don’t lose YOUR focus!

 

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Do I Have Your Attention?

How long can you pay attention?

As people express their sadness, dismay and outrage about the events in Orlando this week, many wonder if this is a tipping point or another in the series of devastating episodes of violence in our country.

Collectively, we have a tough time holding on to our resolution to take action. Or we take action but when it is met with resistance, we move on to something where we can experience success.

Attention spans are important in a person’s cognitive development. They determine our mental capacity to concentrate on a given task. But our minds are susceptible to constant interruptions from external stimuli. This means that mind wandering is an everyday encounter.

What influences mind wandering? Our capacity for a working memory and short term retrieval, personality, attentional control measure, ADHD, and age-related differences.  Add to that the pull of technology, multitasking, and interests that compete for our time and it makes perfect sense that we lose focus

According to Time Magazine, many of us now have an the attention span of about 12 second – that of the average Gold fish.    and it’s getting shorter, even as you read this and most of you won’t remember reading this.

So in light of this information and the recent current events – what can we really do?Enough

We are the only ones who can do something.

The exact same thing leadership should do after a training program: repetition, repetition. Follow Up Clinics and Performance Management work better at helping people retain information for a reason:  what gets noticed gets done.

So get people’s attention.Lower attention spans require more follow up and more reiteration if we want to see an increase in retention.

Unless you personally have lost someone to gun-violence, you may not feel the daily absence of anyone you care about. If this is an issue that you think is an important one –

  • Bring the topic up for discussion every week
  • Post a jarring statistic every day
  • Write your representative in local, state, and national government every 6 days
  • Sign a petition every time one is passed you way
  • Vote out the people who don’t further your agenda (and tell them why)

— and do these things until you see change.

If this doesn’t change anything, do something different:

  • Step up the frequency
  • Remind people of what’s important
  • Light a candle.

If nothing changes, then nothing will change and that change starts with you.

Have I got your attention?

 

 

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Hard Truths – For Me AND You

“Good advice often grates on the ear;” so goes a Buddhist maxim.

When I’m hired to develop and conduct a training program or provide one-on-one consultant services (coaching), clients are not always happy when they learn new information or see their reflection in the metaphorical mirror. Behaviors that have served well over an entire career are no longer working as effectively. While I consider my words carefully, there are times when no matter how it’s phrased, the truth can be harsh to hear.

The result is that I then receive feedback that people don’t like some of the messages I deliver.

Feedback

  • You can’t ask illegal questions of prospective candidates – “I’ve always asked this question in job interviews.”

  • People don’t think that you listen to them – “These employees are wimps.”

  • Coaching employees is not a directive exchange – “Coaching requires patience I don’t have.”

  • Tolerating ‘jerks’ sends a message to the workforce that their behavior is OK – “Sometimes the best person is a jerk.”

  • It appears that your desire to appear nice is diluting the message – “Your observation is inaccurate; I’m not being too nice.”

What kind of consultant, trainer, coach, or facilitator do you want?

Do you have the courage to listen to unpleasant truths about yourself, setting aside your ego long enough to consider them at least briefly on their merits? 

Can you view an honest colleague as truly supportive?

Some of my clients don’t/can’t.

However, if I don’t think I can be honest, my service as a good consultant wanes. Working together becomes a waste of the clients’ money AND my time.  If I were to continue the work, I’d be carefully monitoring what I say to make sure I don’t hurt feelings or say things that upset anyone.

While it makes me a bit sad, it clarifies for me that these are not a good fit. I want the clients who can hear and consider things that are uncomfortable. I want to work with people who understand that while the learning may be uncomfortable, the outcome/goal/objective is worth the uneasiness.

I continue to learn that I have to be very VERY clear about how hard and challenging learning can be. If people are looking for affirmation that everything they are doing and thinking is perfect as is – they don’t need a coach, a consultant or a training program.

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Diplomatic of Dishonest

“What do you think of my management style?”
“Do you think I’m ready for that promotion?”
“Do these pants make my butt look fat?”

In an effort to avoid being considered impolite or rude, you may be trying to avoid embarrassment or awkwardness on the part of the other person. That can result in your being less than honest. If you soften the truth by omitting key information, offering misdirection or providing what is known as ‘little white lies’ on a regular basis, you are being deceitful.

Deception is commonplace and can be standard operating procedure when trying to be polite. Who hasn’t offered the response “fine” when asked how they are doing? If someone shared their actual status every time you asked how they were doing and frequently shared their problems and worries with you, you’d either start avoiding them, or stop greeting them that way.

Balancing Act
The truth is that it’s a balancing act between honesty and tact and we have to work to get it right. If you are only honest, you risk offending others and if you are only polite, you are often lying. And women are often encouraged to avoid being too direct because it can be received as strident, forthright and apparently, not appealing behavior for a female.
Employing honest AND tact allows for an understanding of how to be aware of the others opinions, ideas, beliefs, and feelings of others. A good response finds a way to deal with the awkwardness and bad feelings that can occur when being frank and at the same time sanding up clearly for your own ideas and feelings.
Knowing what to say and how to say it without damaging your relationship is a critical interpersonal skill.

While common sense and good judgement are the underpinning of being diplomatic and honest, some people lack common sense and their judgement is suspect. I find that people get better at being honest and diplomatic is they practice those skills, and not everyone has the courage or professional discipline needed to practice as often as it might take to get good at this stuff. Patience AND perseverance are required.

Human relations is a tricky business which is why it can be so challenging to figure out the best strategy, behavior, and wording to use in any given situation. While lots of people like flashcards and scripts, the problem with them is that the person you are interacting with hasn’t learned their lines and may go off in a direction you aren’t prepared for.

People are Messy –
Which means that they can be unpredictable. Sometimes the best and most difficult thing is to say nothing. There are times when taking some time to reflect and think make the best sense. Every now and then it’s better to take a definite position, stating exactly what you want and how you want to go about getting it. In order to deal with the capricious nature of human interaction you will need to develop a strong set of communication skills, the ability to thoughtfully plan, the discipline of self-control, and some confidence. A little emotional intelligence (self-awareness) and some social intelligence (a heightened sense of what’s going on with others) are good assets as well.

newskills

 

Skills
Diplomacy and tact often depend on others skill sets. People who can be both honest and considerate are also good at:

 

  • Active Listening – the ability to hear not just the words being said, but how things are being said so that they can understand and react appropriately.
  • Empathy – the ability to see the world from another’s point of view. You share their perspective, suspend your own judgement, recognize the emotion they are feeling, and communicate that recognition to them.
  • Assertiveness – the ability to stand up for yourself without stepping on someone else, this skill set allows you to influence others to think or behave is a specific way.
  • Rapport – the ability to connect with someone else and create a common ground that is appealing.
  • Politeness – the ability to be courteous, showing respect and reducing friction, making another comfortable.

Now About Those Pants
Wouldn’t it be an interesting world if you could avoid all loaded questions? That’s not likely. There are plenty of people who recognize a no-win situation when they see it, so when you are asked:
“What do you think of my management style?”
“Do you think I’m ready for that promotion?”
“Do these pants make my butt look fat?”

You could lie:
-“It’s great!”
-“Definitely!
-“Not at all.”

You could be candid:
-“You micromanage and care more about your own career than developing us.”
-“You need much more seasoning and more operational knowledge.”
-“Yes. Wear something else.”

Or you could develop the powerful combination of honesty and tactfulness:
-“I’ve observed that there are many people you manage well and some people that you seem to find challenging.
-“If you have gotten feedback that you meet all the qualifications, then you should go for it.”
-“I am your biggest fan so I think you always look great.”

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Caffeinated Conversations

coffee cupsClients, friends, colleagues, the folks that follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn all know that I’m a coffee lover. I’ll rarely turn down the chance to meet over a cup of caffeine. I like to find the new places that cater to coffee drinkers and I support my favorites as often as I can.

For me, coffee is like comfort food. My mom and dad had coffee and ‘something’ (pie, cake, a cookie) when the 11:00 pm news came on. It was the end of the day ‘catch up’ with one another in the house where I grew up. I associate the aroma with the feeling of connection and intellectual and emotional sharing.

My folks are no longer living, but I find that I reproduce the same sense of connectivity every day with others. It might be emotional, intellectual, a first-time meet up, finding time to finally catch up with a friend, supporting, being supported, problem solving, working, planning, or simply laughing – it’s often done over coffee.

Coffee wasn’t always so stylish, but it’s always been a staple. The best diners often serve the best coffee but you can enjoy your cup at the local wi-fi locally sourced/roasted/ground hot spot, the greasy spoon place that has plenty of chrome, or your own living room or kitchen table. It might be Keuriged, perked, dripped or french pressed.

Coffee shops today always seem to have an interesting mix of people, and sometimes they come and go in waves:  the runners and early morning gym rats, the moms with strollers, the business meetings, the folks who want to grab a quality cup on the go, students off to class, the people who need a non-home office, professionals who have networking meetings, retired folks who have created a structure to their day – all deciding to leaving home for their cup of coffee.

You can plan, dream, share, plot or confess over coffee. It can serve as a prop for your conversation – a vehicle that takes some of the focus off of all the attention being on you.

You can savor the taste and appreciate the aroma. But can have a few cups, witch over to decaffeinated or linger over a single cup. you can combine it with foamy steamed milk, a shot of flavoring, add in or replace it with espresso, sweeten it with real or artificial sweetener, or stick with  your basic black.

But if you want to connect, I’d do that over a cup of coffee.

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Why Stay?

My 37th wedding anniversary is coming up this month. While there were some who thought that our pairing didn’t make sense and wouldn’t last – it has.

I’m sometimes aStayorGosked what I think are the biggest contributors to staying married. I think about how I sometimes joke in presentations and training programs when the topic of motivation comes up, that being married does not motivate people to stay married. Many folks (OK, more men than women, but that’s just been my experience; yours may differ) think that marrying someone is the best indication of “I love you” that there is. Once accomplished, it doesn’t really have to be said again.

When I say that out loud, program participants and audiences laugh. But there is also some recognition that perhaps they have not done the things that make their partner feel loved. Today’s employers are starting to notice that providing people with employment is not the same things as motivating them. If you don’t show them that you ‘love’ them, they look elsewhere.

You can’t undo months of neglect or poor treatment. You can’t magically erase the challenges you were facing while everyone was holding on with their fingernails. But you CAN do some of the things that matter, because they matter now:

Ask What They Want – Don’t assume that they are just like you want the same things you want. Ask them! Find out what they would find motivating. While you are on that subject, ask them what de-motivates them too. While you can’t promise anyone a job that is free of unhappiness, you can at least know what hurdles may be placed in their way.

People Leave YOU – It’s not HR, or the Board of Directors, or the compensation committee, or the CEO (unless that’s you!) who is in charge of retaining your employees – it’s you! Most studies indicate that allegiance (as well as disloyalty) lies with the boss. YOU are the one in charge of keeping your good employees.

Get Out of Their Way – Most people want to build a positive future with the organizations they work for but if you are not helping them design that attractive future, you could be standing in their way. They aren’t interested in spending a lot of time trying to change you or teach you. They’ll just leave.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – How do you show that you value others and make them feel welcome? Are you making eye contact when they stop in to talk with you – or are you scanning your screen for texts and emails? Everyone can make occasional prejudgments about others (people with young children go home early; women avoid conflict; people in their 20’s don’t appreciate customers in their 60’s) but if it stops you from showing respect to the people you need to get the work done, they probably feel that. If they don’t feel respected, it makes little sense to stay.

Go to Grow – If employees think that there is only a small chance for them to grow professionally, whether it is the amount in their paycheck, their title, skill development. or level of responsibility, they will leave. You lose the investment of time and money, the potential they would have contributed and you might have provided the competition with an advantage.

Or Else – If you make your employees choose between work and home, you have planted the seeds of stress and resentment. Yes, it can come down to a difficult choice but as adults, it’s theirs to make. Punishing them for not choosing as you want or as you would makes you act like a harsh parent, and it may cause them to act like unhappy kids.

In addition to the above points, I’d encourage you:

Laugh – keep a sense of humor because laughter works wonders

  Be patient – few things happen as fast as we’d like

Forget 100% don’t expect everything. Have interests outside of the job or your partner

Above all else – in work and in marriage, make a good choice. One that works for you now and has the potential to change and grow as you will, in the future.

There are no real secrets to happy employees or a happy marriage. The challenge is to remember the basics cited here and attend to them on a daily/weekly basis.

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Help!

newskillsA few C-Suite clients have called in the last month or so and they are frustrated. Even though they have offered my services to their managers and employees, assuring complete confidentiality —  no one is reaching out to have me assist them in applying new strategies and skills back on the job.

How do you get people to ask for help?

I know that it is hard to ask for help in an environment that expects and sometimes demands self-sufficiency. A request for support can make people to feel ashamed, fear the loss of control, and worry that they will appear “less than” in the eyes of those who matter. And often those that matter are the same ones that hold the keys to the next promotion.

They are often unable to see that self-sufficiency minus the accomplishing goals or improving performance actually reflects poorly on them. When organizations provide resources and people don’t use them, it makes the C-Suite wonder why they should bother providing support.

If your organization has no one at the top that models the same behaviors they request of others (e.g., asking for input from someone else or getting support from an outside source), the message gets lost.

What can executives and managers do to model the behavior they hope to see in others?

You can:

Talk about help you have asked for, how you asked for it, what you learned, and how it made a difference in the outcome.

Ask, “What stops you from using this resource?”

Be direct – “I’d like you to connect with Larry and see what ideas/strategies/skills he can help you develop.”

Notice – “I’m glad you’re reaching out and using Larry as a sounding board. I have noticed the improvement in your _______________.”

Follow-Up – “Tell me how using Larry made a difference for you?”

If you want people to ask for help, tell them you hope they will ask for help. Then follow up and ask them if they have asked for help or reached out to connect with Larry. Tell them why you think it’s important if they haven’t, and ask them what’s stopping them from taking you up on your suggestion, and then tell them you think it’s a good idea if they reach out to the resource.

 
There are some Executives who might think that using consultants is only for people who can’t do their job and need remedial help.

I asked a client I’ll call Murray if he went to the doctor when he was sick, and he assured me that when he was ill (usually waiting until he was really, REALLY sick) he’d make an appointment to see his doctor.

I asked Murray if he ever went to get a routine physical, and he assured me that he got one annually. Sometimes it was standard and boring. Sometimes Murray had the chance to ask questions about things he had noticed and get some good information. In fact, twice his doctor caught something early that would have developed into a bigger problem. Getting help when you need it and support when you can use it makes a lot of sense.

Self-reliance is still seen as a badge of honor is some circles. Asking for help and support go against everything people have been told about career development. But not using resources to increase professional effectiveness is a good way to sabotage a career.

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