Roy's Blog: February 2019

February 11, 2019

What happens when your voice lacks passion?

The world needs people to believe in. People who stir our emotions. People who have a perspective that resonates with us and compels us to act.

Emotions

There are many people who speak passionately but their words have no consequence; they float “like feathers in the wind”, hoping to land on a receptive ear.

These words tend to promulgate from theoretical doctrine, political ideology and social cause; their purpose: influence an audience and imprint a specific message on each member of it.

These words are pushed, blurted and forced with the hope of commanding and proliferating a narrow biased point of view.

A voice without passion:

Is self serving

It speaks with the left brain in control, carefully articulating the message intended to advance their specific agenda — it’s a one-way street leading to THEIR destination not yours.

I have often heard certain people described as having a hidden agenda when they speak; the type of person that conveys distrust with their words.
It’s a feeling they stir in others.
You can’t put your finger on exactly what bothers you about what they say, you just feel you’re not hearing their true story.

But a voice with passion puts everything out there for everyone to hear and decide whether or not to buy in; the passionate voice wears who they are on their sleeve; the truth is obvious.

Relies on logic

Tries to influence through logic. It’s conviction is that if the audience understands the words, a change in behaviour will likely follow.
Appealing to the intellect has its flaws. I may understand someone’s point of view on a subject but don’t act on it because my gut doesn’t compel me to do it.

My experience as a leader is that intellectualizing rarely, on its own, doesn’t result in action. It’s gets a nod which says “I got it!”, but it doesn’t move the feet.

A new strategic plan, for example, may be viewed as the right thing to do to meet the competitive challenges of the day, but unless it lights fires in people, nothing actually happens.

To get stuff done you have to have a healthy mix of understanding and agreement fuelled with emotion and passion.

Logic

Does not convince

Is ineffective in convincing others to listen and follow them. Dis-passionate voices are ineffective in expanding their narrative to those around them because those receiving the message don’t buy what is being said.

The message isn’t believable, not necessarily because the content is inaccurate or false, but because it’s not being communicated with feeling.

A voice with passion, on the other hand, can fall short on the facts of a particular issue, but still convince others. The raw power of emotion can overcome most incomplete thoughts.

Induces sleep

A voice with no passion puts us to sleep. It doesn’t cut through the clutter of the barrage of messages that plummet us every hour of every day. It has no clean signature that subliminally forces us to sit up and take notice.

A presenter on any topic must find a way to make their words compelling and interesting so people take notice. If you’re discussing your views on eliminating bureaucracy in your organization, for example, you might want to talk about cutting the “CRAP” slowing things done instead of reducing red tape.

A voice with passion uses words that helps create one’s persona that is characterized as exciting, vibrant, innovative and interesting; attributes that everyone can identify with.

Bored

Lacks conviction

Bland words suggest a lack of speaker conviction; saying the words but not feeling and believing the words.
If I don’t believe that you personally identify with your own words (because of the lacklustre way you deliver them), why should I buy in?

How many times have you sat in an audience and listened to someone read their script in a perfectly monotonous way and have concluded that the speaker is a non-believer of their own message?

It happens more often than not.

The passionate voice easily convinces the listener that the communicator is all in with their content.
The emotional context of any communication is critical in being perceived as one who owns their material completely.

Is never criticized

A dispassionate voice will likely never get criticized, whereas someone who speaks loudly from the heart can attract labels like: intense, excessive, angry, aggressive and overly opinionated.

The thing is, what do you want: words that land on you but make no difference to the way you think and feel about something, or words that jolt you to think about a different perspective because of their sheer energy and apparent outrageousness?

Moderate words play to the crowd with a herd mentality and are soon forgotten.

Bland insipid words may not be taken the wrong way but they’ll never be unforgettable.

The passionate voice lives in a different world; it very often creates controversy around its words. It has the “ability” to take an issue and either upset others or make them euphoric by its emotional energy; it’s rare to leave them with a “take it or leave it” conclusion.

The voice without passion rarely changes the world.

It might be accurate but never compelling to produce action; non-controversial but never outrageous to stir emotions.

Change is created by people who believe in a new something and get excited by its possibilities.

Voices who are able to push people in this direction exude the passion required to overcome the inertia that’s in the way.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 2.11.19 at 03:53 am by Roy Osing
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February 8, 2019

6 practical things to do if you’re bullied at work — guest post

Examples of bullying you’re more likely to find in the playground at a school rather than in a workplace, but it may surprise you to know that it can be just as common in a place of work.
It perhaps isn’t as evident when you compare it to times when name-calling in the classroom was visible for all to see, but it can still occur within a business.

However, the issue that many individuals find is that they feel the issues aren’t taken as seriously within a workplace environment, or at least not enough to come to a satisfying resolution.

Workplace bully

What is classed as workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying tends to be around being singled or having the feeling of being mistreated, but bullying can take up several forms and it can come from anyone. There are traits that are obvious when it comes to bullying but this list may not necessarily cover all the possible actions.

Behaviour that institutes bullying can include:

- Regular shouting directed at staff
- Unjustified criticism
- Promotion being blocked
- Casting particular individuals from discussion or activities
- Name-calling
- Starting rumours
- Setting up people with unrealistic deadlines and workload

Effects of bullying

Constant bullying can have extreme health issues both physically and mentally to a person and this can occur daily. Symptoms of bullying can include the following:

- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of sleep
- Suicidal thoughts
- Nausea
- High blood pressure
- Loss of confidence
- Forced to change jobs

How it affects your employer

As mentioned above, the effects of bullying can relate to causing major stress and by law, stress levels in the workplace should be taken just as seriously as health and safety hazards. It can have a major impact on employers in the following ways if employers don’t tackle it immediately:

- Low morale in the office
- Lose staff due to the time taken off
- Resources are lost from experienced members of staff
- Financial loss if matters are taken into the legal system

What you should do

So, what is it that you can do differently than normal methods to make sure the matter comes to the correct conclusion?

Here are a few tips to consider.

Deal with it yourself

Deal with it yourself

I always find that the best way to deal with any situation that’s a problem is to deal with it yourself. The famous quote of “if you want something done, do it yourself” couldn’t be truer.

In bullying, the first step to get it resolved is to discuss the matter in person with the bully. Gain the courage to approach them and have a civilized conversation about it. It might seem far-fetched, but some bullies don’t even realise they’re doing it until they’re actually confronted about it.

Go to their friend

If you don’t have the courage to speak to the bully directly, an alternative is to approach a work colleague close to them. Normally, the people that someone has in their friendship group tends to be a close reflection of the type of person they are but it’s also someone that they’re most likely to listen to.

Explain the situation to their close colleague and see if they can reach out to them. The friend may also see it as a sign of respect that you see them of high regard because you’ve approached them and trusted them with this information.

Talk to a bully specialist

An alternative to internal human resource departments is to speak to a bully organisation. Many people aren’t aware but there are several organisations that are set up specifically to tackle the issue of bullying in any environment.

They can provide all the support that you need including contact centre helplines, advice, private sessions and more. The fact you know their prime focus is dealing with the issue of bullying means your problem is likely to get rectified sooner.

Carry on

This tip can be dependent on the type of character that you are, but sometimes, the reason colleagues tend to bully is that they’ve realised you’re an easy target.

Ignore the bully

So, show that the bullying isn’t getting to you and carry on with how you work. If you show no reaction to what they’re doing, they can become easily bored and are more likely to tone it down — if the bullying revolves around physical, abusive or discriminate violence, however, you should alert a senior manager immediately.

It’s also a sign of great character building and creating a strong backbone for the future.

Do the opposite

A ‘twist’ that you could put to the bully to prevent them from doing it further is to act completely opposite to them. So, by acting nice or civilised to them and remaining completely calm throughout what they’re doing can make them out to look like a bad person to others.

Bullying is normally a form of showmanship where the person requires a crowd. By playing them at their own game, it provides them with less of an excuse to do it.

Go official

If all else fails and you feel as though the issue hasn’t been resolved, your last resort could be to file an official complaint.

Taking matters to legal action will be the option you can take if you have no further choice. Professionals such as dispute resolution lawyers are specialists in dealing with workplace bullying or similar matters. They’ll be able to take up a serious legal stance to stop the issue.

A workplace is somewhere we spend the majority of our time so we should learn to embrace and enjoy it. If you find you’re being bullied, take these steps in order to tackle it head-on rather than keeping in the background and dwelling on it.

Support is always there if you require it, it’s just about discussing it with the right people.

Jamie Costello is an aspiring writer who currently works freelance. During his time as a freelancer he’s worked alongside many businesses including those in Business Law. He feels it’s beneficial in broadening his writing skills. In his spare time he likes to play console games, read and swim.

Costello

  • Posted 2.8.19 at 04:36 am by Roy Osing
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February 4, 2019

Successful cultures react to the unexpected

A highly successful culture doesn’t rely on text book principles and academic methods to shape the future of their organization. Rather it relies on creating an environment that can adapt to the realities of unpredictability and chaotic change.

So when it comes to issues like setting strategic direction, they are more likely to shy away from traditional business planning methods and adopt a different approach — the ability to successfully react to unexpected events that shock them.

Chaotic change

Traditional business planning methods offer structure in the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — the SWOT process.
They provide demand and forecasting models to assess propensity to buy. And they provide many decision-making tools to assess the merits of various alternatives.

And although business planning is a mature discipline, it has two significant drawbacks in my view.

Complicated, expensive and time consuming

It requires an inappropriately high level of investment in relation to the benefits realized. It raises the false expectaion that the strategy will actually work as planned which is not the case in a world of rapid change and unpleasant surprises.

Reaction cultures buy into the notion that if, in the face of unpredictable change, the essence of the strategy can’t be counted on to succeed, the planning process should be simplified so that it is not overly onerous and complicated — it should be simple, expedient and cost effective.

Reaction is missing

Traditional planning says virtually nothing about the principle of response and most leadership teams spent ZERO time dealing with tactics to deal with the unexpected.

I have sat through executive planning workshops where 3 days have been spent trying to perfect the plan, leaving zero time to discuss execution and contingencies.
It’s almost like people don’t like to admit that Plan A has a possibility of not succeeding; a ridiculous notion to say the least.

Sustaining cultures are brilliant at reacting to surprise events they did not anticipate; those that are unable to adapt struggle and die.
How many strategies have you seen unfold the way you originally planned? I have seen none; it is the impossible dream!

The principle of reacting is the essence of what I call planning on the run: set the (imperfect) plan — start executing — learn what is working and not working (because of the unexpected) — RESPOND and adjust the plan accordingly — then continue executing. And on it goes…

Reaction cultures take the following steps to take their performance to astronomical heights and to separate themselves from their competition.

They ignore precision

Ignore

Keep the strategy building process simple. Cut the time to develop the strategy in half to make room for more attention to implementation.
Get your general direction right. Be ok with “heading west”.
My rule of thumb: spend 20% if the time available on the plan and 80% on implementation — who does what by when to make the plan come to life.

My success as an executive leader has been to minimize the traditional planning approach. I built an alternative approach — the strategic game plan — that I road tested in the real world for many years.
The essence of it is: dumb down the strategy building process, get the plan “just about right” and focus on execution in a world where the unexpected rules.

They focus on the few

My experience has shown that the fewer the number of things focused on the better the results. We are simply disastrous at trying to do too many things simultaneously.

Reaction cultures are great at getting to the real GUT issues they are facing; they don’t try and boil the ocean.
They declare three critical issues that must be addressed to survive and they focus on them to the exclusion of other things that could be done.
They understand that trying to accomplish 10 or 20 objectives well is impossible and that all energy must be concentrated on the critical few priorities.

They plan to execute

To react, you must be focussed on HOW the strategy is to be achieved — execution is real time, which is where you have to be in order to respond to unforeseen events.

Reaction leaders drill down on how their strategic game plan is to be implemented. The implementation plan is developed in minute detail; action plan accountabilities and specific timeframes to deliver results are delighted to members of the planning team.
Reaction cultures shift the emphasis from planning direction to planning execution activity with excruciating precision.

They pour their hearts into Execute!

Execute

Bear down on getting results however you can. It doesn’t have to be elegant as long as you’re getting stuff done.
Reaction cultures concentrate on making sure everyone in the organization clearly understands what they have to do to support the execution plan; people doing their own thing is a nonstarter.

And they measure the hell out of the execution plan. Generally results are tracked monthly to ensure they have the capability to react in real time if results fall below what was expected.

They learn on the run

To successfully react to unforeseen external forces requires that organizations learn what works and what doesn’t.

Amazing cultures are hyper-fastidious over the results monitoring process that examines results vs expectations. They rely on actual performance to decide what action should be reinforced (because it’s working) and what should be stopped (because it’s not working).

Learning from doing is a critical attribute of cultures that can weave their way through storm force winds.

The learning-on-the-run process in a nutshell:
— define the top 3 - 5 critical performance indicators to measure.
— track results
— focus on performance that is under achieving
— learn what caused the shortfall in results
— develop an action plan to close the gap
— tweak the plan and move forward
— keep the feet moving!

Incomparable cultures have a “reasonable” plan based on traditional methodology, but their success is they react to unexpected change better than anyone else.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 2.4.19 at 03:07 am by Roy Osing
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