Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “self help”

5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind


5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind 

A thumbtack stuck in your mind driving you crazy goes something like this: “If I only had….” It’s wishful thinking. It’s the things that you did not do or say. Worst part is that you know the point where you could have done it. That is the tipping point where you could have significantly impacted your life and you did not do it. Yet, your inner voice was there with you all the way swinging back and forth between “do it!” and “don’t do it!” And now you are facing regret. Potentially life long regret.

There are a few strategies that can keep you from the thorn in your mind stabbing your mind for the rest of your life. Here are the questions that go with each strategy:

  • What am I afraid of? Fear is powerful and our brains want to protect us from harm. Identify what you are afraid of and then you can evaluate how real the threat is.
  • Do I really know enough about this topic? Most regrets later in life stem from not having had enough information about the issue in the first place. Get as much information as you can.
  • What am I going to miss and how much will I regret this later? You’ll be amazed how many people cannot even get beyond question one just move on not doing anything. This is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself. If you have the slightest doubt about what you should do, go to the next question first.
  • How could I prototype what I am all torn about? A really powerful tool yanking out the thorn in your mind is to start prototyping what you would like to do, but are afraid doing it. Get ready for some positive surprises. There is a 50/50 chance that you either get to know that your stuff was a pipe dream, or you discover merit in your idea.
  • With whom can I share my dilemma? So you think you are alone in facing your issues. While true to the extent that our problems have a very personal element to them, there are so many people around who are facing very similar issues. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Shared issues are half the issues.

Life is full of distractions and clutter. A thorn in your mind just adds to it. Unfortunately, it actually does more. Because it’s a personal decision you did or didn’t make, it is more distracting. That is the last thing you need. Do not lead a life with regrets and make sure you keep asking yourself the above mentioned questions. Got more of them to share? Please leave them in the comment section below or reply in the FB or Twitter feed.

Ralf

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2 ways how to be a better relationship builder and friend


2 ways how to be a better relationship builder and friend 

Have you ever wondered how some folks seem to be making people connections with ease while you struggled your way through with it? Some of us are truly born with this trait and are blessed in life with their relationship building talents. For anyone who struggles with this there is hope, because once you realize that you are in need of help there is a way how to get much better at it.

Some time ago I was interviewing a group of senior citizens on behalf of a church-visioning group. That is when the two simple ingredients to relationship building hit me like a freight train. My interviewees not only told me what they thought builds a sense of community, but here I was an almost total stranger who when he left, left as a new friend. This was due to the two main ingredients:

  • You need to spend some time with people. When you want a better relationship, you need to first invest in it. Start by you willing to spend some time with the folks you want to have a better relationship with. Here you may start with an e-mail or phone call. Ultimately, you are better off making time for a face-to-face interaction. Communication is a full body experience. Seeing and hearing the other person provides a much better opportunity to mutually understand each other at a deeper level.
  • You need to genuinely care. Can it be this simple? The concept is simple, but the execution thereof is much tougher because caring is something that you cannot fake. Caring comes in a few dimensions. You need to be willing and capable of demonstrating empathy and compassion.

Relationships are not owed to you – they are earned. They are earned one by one. Think of the folks that you end up with as your tribe. This is your own little microcosm that is often described with the over- and abused term “community”. A true community cares about others and certainly will bring the time it takes helping one another. Now it is your turn to make your contribution. Spend the time and care about others and they will start caring about you.

Ralf

Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places


Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places 

Aren’t you getting increasingly sick about the overused phrase authentic leadership? Sure, I have used it here and there too. It was not until I read a few posts online that extensively harped on it before I finally got confused what this really means. More importantly, how can you learn and be authentic?

Along with this phrase come a few more buzz words that are also non-descriptive. The leader ought to be authentic, she should provide contagious energy, she should be engaging the audience’s senses, she should be demonstrating vulnerability and perseverance, she should be exuding confidence, she should be personable, she should be believable, she should be a great listener, and have a load of charisma if at all possible.

Isn’t it hilarious how these adjectives are very descriptive and yet meaningless as they are not really all that exact? It is all subject to individual interpretation and yet every one of us kind of sort of knows what it is supposed to be about. It is hard to pick up on the underlying driver of being authentic and that is helping and serving others. Not so fast though, because first of all a leader must first manage to be heard in the first place.

In short all of the above describe a state of being. As such it proves the adage of all nonverbal communication driving more than half of what people see and ultimately what they HEAR. Roughly a third is your tone of voice and only a small amount of communication is through the actual words that you have chosen to convey your leadership.

It is something that one has to experience personally in order to really understand it and how to learn it and then practice it daily. So what we are talking about here is appealing to the senses of our counterparts: Tone of voice, demeanor, mannerisms, facial expression, gestures, choice of words, etc.

To demonstrate this I have picked two random videos of CEO’s; not just any CEO, but airline ones. Just about all airlines claim how they love their customers and employees and invite us to fly their friendly skies. How does Delta’s own Richard Anderson strike you (Click here for the video)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrZmgIaO7Hc Now compare this to Southwest president Colleen Barrett (Click here to watch her in action)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BZw_TDCfek

Fascinating, isn’t it? When you unravel why Colleen is fairing so much better you may have noticed the traits that let her stand out:

  • She is totally focused on others and not herself.
  • She shows vulnerability by being moved by the contributions of her team members.
  • She makes the speech all about them and not herself.
  • She makes eye contact with her team members.
  • How many things can you point out?

Why is she so much more believableauthentic – than Richard? At the bottom line it shrinks down to one thing for me and I am hoping that I have stirred your snow globe a little with this again: It’s her servitude. How willing are you to serve others before yourself? Fascinating isn’t it? Leadership really has nothing to do with you at all.

She is going through great lengths making the event to be for her team members and not all about herself. That is so different with Richard. He sits in the middle of everyone’s attention and when you really listen to the customer conversation with him, even that sounds fake and forced.

Did I mention that this makes your more successful too? You have not heard about how greatly successful and admirable Delta Airlines is, right? There is a reason why they are where they are and why Southwest is such an admired and overall successful brand.

Surprising, isn’t it? Being an authentic leader boils down to serving others with your brain, heart, and soul; then it will become organic and long term sustainable. Parking your ego will be the first and most important step you can take. Don’t you like the simplicity of this concept?

Beware of Millennials looking for work places that provide a reason for them spending all of their time working there. The more you embrace the concept of progressively embracing authentic leadership (serving others before yourself), the greater the chance you will attain and retain this wonderfully talented workforce.

Ralf

Which person impacted and changed your life forever?


Which person impacted and changed your life forever? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Think of a person that has changed or impacted your life the most. This person saw something in you that he or she believed in you more than you did. His/ her encouragement led to a much enriched life journey for you.

Does this person know what kind of impact their belief had in you? My call to action is to get in touch with this person immediately. Let her/ him know how you feel and appreciate what he/she did.

Next, follow this train of thought and create a ripple effect. Give of yourself. Help out a person who struggles through life. If you want to read up on what that could look like, Jeff Goins’ book “Wrecked” could help set the stage for you.

My person is my best friend Holger who helped me through some great difficulty when I was 17 and enduring the hardship of apprenticeship. My mom and dad did not have problems with alcohol – they had problems without alcohol. They were alcoholics. The home life was a royal mess, and we did not even have money to buy heating oil for about two winters.

Girl friend? Hah, did not have the guts and the heart much less the energy getting entangled with more issues. I was bullied extensively during the first year of my job apprenticeship. Whenever I could I would drink heavily. Shame galore – living in a small village in Germany was not a walk in the park when you are being put into the same category as your dad. Dad is an idiot = son must be an idiot also. That was a simple equation that came with some “interesting” ramifications. Life was miserable.

One particularly bad night I had come back from a party with co-workers, drunk and depressed. I bumped into Holger at a block party and he saw the heap of a mess that was me. He listened and helped me get my bearing again. Day by day and thought-by-thought. We became lifelong friends, but as of late we can no longer stay in contact all that much as we live in totally different places. Thanks for all you did my friend during the darkest time of my life! Life improved soon thereafter once I realized that I was still in control of my thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts – they are not me! Once I stopped my own pity party life improved beyond measure.

Do you know someone who picked you up from the floor and put you back on your feet? How about a teacher or coach? This special person may not even remember you. It does not matter. Make sure you tell him that you love him and that you appreciate everything that he did for you. Do it fast, because life can change with an blink of an eye*.

Ralf

*Thanks, Tom!

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