‘Stress’ Category

How to Resolve Conflict – A Key Leadership Skill – Part 2

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

In order to achieve success in our business and career, we need to work effectively with people.

In Part 1, we pointed out the need to stick to the following helpful conflict resolution guidelines:

• Make the relationship your priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.

• Focus on the present, on what you can do in the here and now to solve the problem.

• Pick your battles. Consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy.

• Be willing to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish.

• Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree, disengage and move on.

Communication Points to Remember

7% of your communications are accomplished through the words that you use.

38% of your communications are conveyed by your voice.

55% of your communications are conveyed by your body language.

Voice and body language are controlled by your state (a soup of your attitudes, world view, intentions, and emotions).

Helpful Questions to Ask

If we’re sure a conversation is going to be tough, it’s instinctive to rehearse what we’ll say. But a difficult conversation is not a performance, with an actor and an audience. Once you’ve started the discussion, your counterpart could react in any number of ways – and having a “script” in mind will hamper your ability to listen effectively and react accordingly. Instead, prepare by asking yourself:

1. What is the problem?

2. What would my counterpart say the problem is?

3. What’s my preferred outcome?

4. What’s my preferred working relationship with my counterpart?

You can also ask the other person to do the same in advance of your meeting.

Optimists tend to assume that every disagreement is just a misunderstanding between two well-intentioned people; pessimists may feel that differences of opinion are actually ill-intentioned attacks. In the fog of a hard talk, we tend to forget that we don’t have access to anyone’s intentions but our own.

Remember that you and your counterpart are both dealing with this ambiguity. If you get stuck, a handy phrase to remember is, “I’m realizing as we talk that I don’t fully understand how you see this problem.” Admitting what you don’t know can be a powerful way to get a conversation back on track.

Resolving conflict starts with a sincere desire to achieve a win-win situation. If you keep that in mind, both of you will.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2017. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

How to Resolve Conflict – A Key Leadership Skill – Part 1

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

In order to achieve success in our business and career, we need to work effectively with people.

Do you find yourself approaching conflicts like this:

• I’ll be really easy to get along with once you people realize I’m right.

• You sound reasonable. It must be time to up my medication.

Managing and resolving conflict can be tricky, frustrating, and even frightening. It requires emotional maturity, self-control, and empathy. You can ensure that the process is as positive as possible by sticking to the following helpful conflict resolution guidelines:

• Make the relationship your priority. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.

• Focus on the present. If you’re holding on to old hurts and resentments, your ability to see the reality of the current situation will be impaired. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the here and now to solve the problem.

• Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. Maybe you don’t want to surrender a parking space if you’ve been circling for 15 minutes. But if there are dozens of spots, arguing over a single space isn’t worth it.

• Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.

• Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Communication Points to Remember

7% of your communications in a face to face situation are accomplished through the words that you use.

38% of your communications are conveyed by your voice (pace, tone, pitch, timbre, volume).

55% of your communications are conveyed (primarily at the unconscious level) by your body language.

Voice and body language are controlled by your state (a soup of your attitudes, world view, intentions, and emotions).

Resolving conflict starts with a sincere desire to achieve a win-win situation. If you keep that in mind, both of you will.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2017. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Quick Tips to Be Much More Productive – Part 3

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

One of the most valuable assets you have as a leader is your time.

The same goes for your Team, your colleagues and your family.

Unfortunately, we don’t give it the same level of attention as we do to the myriad of other things we do in our lives. So time just kind of slips by, and we do not maximize our use of it, or our impact.

This the 3rd in a series of quick tips for you to choose from to help you regain control of your time.

I suggest you review the following, and select five or six of these steps a week and include at least one in your Daily Planner List.

Think about what it means to accomplish this step in your mastering of time. Another idea, is to keep track of where your time kind of slips away on you over the next couple weeks. You might be surprised…maybe even horrified.

Preoccupation … Alertness … Energizing

1. When explaining an unfamiliar point, make comparisons

2. Be aware of when you are tapering off from peak levels of performance. At that point, shift to another vital priority be on time to meetings, appointments and scheduled events

3. Reduce the overlong visitor stay

4. Reduce the overlong telephone call

5. Accumulate telephone calls and handle them at a time when the chance of getting through is most likely

6. If you have a secretary, use him/her to screen incoming telephone calls and drop-in visitors

7. When a visitor stay is too long, have a co-worker or secretary interrupt you

8. Establish an appropriate balance between vocational work and management work

9. Retire early and rise early

10. Get the necessary sleep each night, but no more than is necessary

11. Be sensitive to the vital priorities of others around you

Remember, time is our friend – not our enemy – and by using it wisely, we get to do more of what we like.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2017. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Quick Tips to be Much More Productive – Part 2

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

One of the most valuable assets you have as a leader is your time.

The same goes for your Team, your colleagues, your family, and for that matter, your entire social network. As such, we need to give it the same level of attention as we do to the myriad of other things we do in our lives.

Here are a number of positive action steps for you to choose from to help you regain control of your time.

I suggest you review the following, and select five or six of these steps a week and include at least one in your Daily Planner List.

Think about what it means to accomplish this step in your mastering of time. Another idea, is to keep track of where your time kind of slips away on you over the next couple weeks. You might be surprised…maybe even horrified.

Preoccupation … Alertness … Energizing

1. Set up a systematic program for reading

2. Double your speed of reading

3. Read a book like a newspaper

4. Do one thing at a time

5. Always have a high priority job with you for when you have unexpected free time

6. Keep a writing pad accessible. Draw pictures/diagrams as you explain a point to visitors

7. Replace writing letters longhand with a dictating machine

8. Dictate letters into a machine instead of directly to a secretary

9. If possible, move your home closer to work, or work closer to home, to reduce commuting time

10. Instead of bringing two or three individuals in from different parts of the country for a brief meeting, set up a “conference call”

Remember, time is our friend – not our enemy. Use it wisely.

Stay tuned, I will provide a few more productivity tips in the coming weeks.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2017. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Quick Tips to be Much More Productive – Part 1

Friday, June 30th, 2017

One of the most valuable assets you have as a leader is your time.

The same goes for your Team, your colleagues, your family, and for that matter, your entire social network. Unfortunately, we don’t give it the same level of attention as we do to the myriad of other things we do in our lives. So time just kind of slips by, and we do not maximize our use of it, or our impact.

Over the coming weeks, I am going to provide a number of simple, positive action steps for you to choose from to help you regain control of your time. Not all at once, as big lists tend to overwhelm us.

I suggest you review the list and select five or six of these steps a week and include at least one in your Daily Planner List.

Think about what it means to accomplish this step in your mastering of time. Another idea, is to keep track of where your time kind of slips away on you over the next couple weeks. You might be surprised…maybe even horrified.

Preoccupation … Alertness … Energizing

1. Cultivate observation

2. Perform tasks faster

3. Think with pencil in hand

4. Periodically remind yourself to “Think Alertly”

5. Do the job right the first time

6. Reduce preoccupation time

7. Locate energy losses

8. Unblock natural drive by doing what you enjoy

9. Establish a balanced exercise program

10. Be highly selective in what you read

Let’s make time our friend – not our enemy by using it wisely. Stay tuned, I will provide a few more productivity tips in the coming weeks.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

© Rich Kohler 2017. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Stress and Sleep – Part 2

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Stress is an unavoidable and, to a large degree, a potentially positive force in our lives. Like all forces, the art lies in learning to manage the force to our advantage rather than to allow ourselves to be its passive victim. Or as Obewon Kanobe would say, “May the Force be with you.”

In the business context, stress is what you undergo when your body is switched into “fight or flight” mode. The causes of stress can be internal (imaginary) or external (“real”).

As with visualization, it matters little to your mind which category the trigger falls into – if it’s vividly imagined, its “real” to your mind!

Controlling Stress:

You have the choice of managing stress “on the way in”, or “on the way out”.

On the Way In: The only successful method of being preemptive in controlling stress, is to have a positive outlook – a positive philosophy or understanding of how the world works, and what your place is in the scheme of things.

It is never important what happens to you, but how you interpret and understand it. Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude, and develop a meaningful philosophy.

For example, if you were to view Life as “a challenging learning process, which carries a guarantee that you will never be challenged beyond your means” you might find that you welcome change, and look about within your own resources for the means that you know must be there to meet it.

Sounds like a winner to me.

Always see yourself as winning!

On the Way Out: Your body’s normal reaction to Stress is an extreme one. In physiological terms, it consists, among other things, of the injection of a number of natural chemical stimulants into your bloodstream. These substances are mildly toxic; their by-products are even more so. Your body is designed to flush them during the severe physical activity that they are intended to induce.

Since our current society induces stress, but does not sanction violent physical responses, you need find an opportunity to allow your body to go through the process of purging the stress by-products.

You can do this in two ways:
1. Actively: Through gross impact exercises, which mimic the “fight or flight” reaction and flush the system of stress toxins: Racquet Ball, Squash, Weightlifting, Aerobics, Swimming, Power Walking all assist the body in processing – and neutralizing the toxic by-products of stress.

2. Passively: There are a range of techniques you can learn that will effectively “process” stress out of your system, including:

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques in which you learn to guide yourself into a deeply relaxed state. These can be learned using physical and mental disciplines (i.e. yoga) or by employing biofeedback mechanisms which enable you to gain greater control over what were previously assumed to be autonomic processes (heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, etc).
  • Restorative Therapies: These include Hydrotherapy (warm, moving water induces relaxation in muscles, with a subsequent relaxation of the mind); Sauna (induces increased blood flow and autonomic relaxation); Massage (induces relaxation, can release body-retained stresses).
  • Autogenic Training such as self-induced deep relaxation or true Meditation (at 7-14 brain cycles per second) for around 20 minutes a day. Deep prayer also comes into this category. Each of these types of technique enables you to put your body into a unique state which enables it to “backwash” its system, and process stress toxicity as well as carrying out a number of other processes in which the brain integrates recent stressful events into its system of understanding, values and knowledge (in much the same way we do when dreaming).

Well, there you have it. Some positive approaches to handle stress and sleep.

To your better health and a brighter future!

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Stress and Sleep – Part 1

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

So how are you sleeping nowadays? Need a little work perhaps?

Everyone needs their sleep, but for any business executive, sleep and renewal are important for two key reasons:
• To repair the physical wear and tear of a day of business.
• To “subconsciously process” the stressful events of the day, thus helping to reset our emotional “clocks” for the next day.

Sleep and Emotion:

Research has proven that REM (rapid eye movement or “dreaming”) sleep is crucial for the processing of stress. REM-deprived laboratory subjects are demonstrably less able to handle the normal stresses and strains of daily life.

They are much more likely to make mountains out of molehills. They are much more likely to over-react and to make poor decisions.

Along with a reasonable quality of sleep (i.e. at a dreaming level) we also need a reasonable quantity of sleep for optimal recovery.

Just how much is “enough” sleep is highly individualistic, but something in the range of five to eight hours is considered “normal” – that’s five to eight hours of sleep, not tossing and turning, and “horizontal worrying”.

Strategies for Better Sleep:

  1. Ensure that your room is DARK. Light is a switch that turns the brain on. You are just another energizer bunny battery pack!
  2. Cool rooms induce sleep more certainly than warm rooms, but a higher body temperature during sleep deepens sleep and increases the body’s production of melanin. (The more melanin you have, the better functioning is your Pineal gland, the more awake you are in the daytime and the deeper you sleep at night).
  3. If you exercise regularly, doing so after 4pm is likely to leave you physically “discharged” and so to induce sleep.
  4. Reduce or abstain from caffeinated products (tea, colas, aspirin, chocolate) for at least 4 hours before sleeping.
  5. Don’t drink liquids after 7pm. A walk to the toilet disturbs sleep patterns unnecessarily.
  6. Reduce or abstain from nicotine (powerful stimulant) after 7pm.
  7. Do not drink alcohol to induce sleep. While it can induce sleep, studies suggest it interferes with the duration of REM sleep. You may sleep 8 hours on a couple of scotches, but will wake feeling less refreshed than from non alcohol induced sleep.
  8. Generally it is not a good strategy to take medication designed to induce sleep. Like alcohol, these interfere with REM, and introduce tolerance and dependence issues you can do without. But there is an exception: Where the “habit” of sleeping for an extended period of time without interruption has been so badly eroded that a “re-boot” is required, it may be useful to use a short course (say 7 nights) of a light-dose sleeping assist to reestablish the habit. Then move off the medication (by progressively reducing the dose to nothing over the next week) to allow your system to find its own new rest pattern.
  9. Establish a regular pattern of preparation for sleep, starting 15 minutes before you intend to lie down. Even if disrupted by travel, attempt to maintain the same actions and sequence whenever possible. Do this for a night or two and you’ll actually feel yourself beginning to become drowsy as you go through your motions.
  10. If you have chronic sleeping problems reserve your bed for ONLY sleep, so that you associate it with only this activity. Avoid writing letters, eating, or watching TV in bed.
  11. Turn your bedside clock around. This is especially helpful for clock watchers who worry so much about sleep they’ve missed, that they miss some more checking to see how much they have left! Cure: For 3 weeks, set a “mental alarm” to wake at the same time each day, and a physical alarm (smart phone or clock) somewhere out of sight, but within hearing. Don’t be surprised if, after a few nights, you begin to wake naturally, a minute or two before your alarm. You now have a new habit and a knack for waking when you want just by setting your brain to do that.
  12. If, after some period of time, you have not fallen asleep, get out of bed, go to another room, do not eat or drink, and do not watch TV, do “fun” things, and don’t do “work”. Read quietly, or meditate, and only go back to bed when sleepy.
  13. If you need to nap during the day, limit these to power naps of less than 20 minutes. This avoids the groggy hangover of a siesta, provides refreshment and avoids the risk of interfering with your regular sleep period.

So there you have it.

I think I’ll just take a little nap. See you next time.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Excellence vs. Excuses – Part 2

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Last week, we covered being the effect of things that happen to you. This week, we are going to be the cause of the things we want in our life.

Cause Side

Those at cause see themselves as creating results – instead of looking for reasons for non-results. When they don’t complete their paperwork on time, they look for those of their acts that produced that result – and how they can change those.

When they don’t meet commitments on time, they accept that it’s because of something that they did or did not do – or something that they attracted to themselves because of what they are projecting in to the world.

When they don’t complete their tasks on time, they recognize that they it’s because “these things happened that I allowed to distract me from doing this”.

When they don’t take the actions that will achieve their goals or KPIs, it’s because “I became distracted or lacked the time management systems or skills to handle these things in a timely fashion”; I allowed other people to put me off instead of making arrangements that would achieve my goals. “Other people” can sense when a person is determined to achieve their ends, and usually step in to assist them or at least to get out of their way.

When they fail to follow established processes and systems they will ask themselves why, or seek counseling, or training or a change of habit that will make it easier to follow process easier next time.

Of failure, they say things like, “I didn’t take into account the type of businesses that are in my area, so I need to do more research before going again; I didn’t take the time to understand the economy here and so I muffed it – I’ll do my research and go again; my clients are different so I need to work out what I need to change in order to take that into account; the systems aren’t working the way they should so we need to determine whether it’s me or the systems and change the bit that needs it”.

I can be a success despite or because of:
• My parents
• My teachers
• My wife
• My ex wife
• My ex partner
• My clients
• My university professor
• The company’s systems
• My health

I am the Cause of all the Effects in my Life. What I Perceive is a Product of What I Project.

Above or Below the Line

People who perceive chaos, challenge and lack of organization, system and process do so because they have yet to create order in their behavior; to accept the opportunity to develop new strength and courage by meeting new challenges; to take responsibility for learning and applying basic processes for taking control of their use of time and their management of the events that impact on them by organizing themselves, creating or using systems and seeking new processes that deliver consistently good results.

It’s never what happens to you; it’s always a matter of how you choose to interpret it (and that will depend on your chosen model).

By the way, your model is a choice.

Living “above the line” is a matter of personal choice – and of personal discipline.

Goal set all the time, and focus your energy

Own everything in your Life

Learn from every action and consequence

Do what you commit to
________________________________________

Despair – and wait to be rescued

Excuse yourself and avoid learning lessons

Blame everyone else for your actions and consequences

Take what you can and don’t worry about repaying

How you approach life – Cause or Effect, Gold or Debt – it’s all up to you.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Excellence vs. Excuses – Part 1

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

As a natural part of personal development every individual constructs their own “model of the world and how it works.” They use that model to make sense of what happens to them and to decide how to react to events and other people in an attempt to get what they want.

Models can vary in their accuracy (the degree to which they reflect the real world) and efficacy (how well and how often they can yield the results that their holder wants).

A “model” is not real – it’s a working hypothesis. Some models are more resourceful and effective than others in achieving what one wants and so it’s worthwhile examining our own and other people’s models to determine whether an adjustment to them would lead to better or more consistent outcomes than we are currently experiencing.

Cause And Effect

Which side of the C and E equation are you on?
• Are you the person who causes the things in your life or
• Are you the effect of things that happen to you?

Which side is more empowering:
To be the Cause or to be the Effect?

You need to come from strength, “I cause all the effects in my world.”

It doesn’t matter whether this is true or not, the RESULT of acting as if it is true, is empowerment.
• Teddy Roosevelt: I wasn’t a very brave man, so I just acted as if I was until I became one.
• Act as if… until it becomes true.
• Fake it until you make it!

Effect Side

People who see themselves in Life, as being at the effect end of the cause-and-effect formula, usually talk about their reasons for lacking results. Those at cause usually talk about the actions they take to get results.

When those at effect don’t complete paperwork on time it’s because “this event or this person prevented me from meeting my commitment”.

When they don’t get their sale, it’s because “this event or these people pushed me around”.

When they don’t complete any assigned task, it’s because “these things happened that prevented me from doing this”.

When they don’t make the calls or contacts that will advance their role and achieve their goals within a business, it’s because “these things had to be done first; this thing wasn’t completely ready; other people did not want to see me” etc. Perhaps the “other people” sensed that this person did not have the power to change themselves, let alone assist others to change and so went to someone else for a solution.

When they fail to follow the processes and systems that have been developed by past experience and proven to produce results, those at effect will say it’s because “you haven’t taken into account the type of circumstances I’m facing; you don’t understand the economy right now; other people won’t see me; my clients/circumstances/challenges/talents are different; the systems don’t work the way they should; etc. etc., etc.”

I would have been a success except for:
• My parents
• My teachers
• My wife
• My ex wife
• My ex partner
• My clients
• My university professor
• The company’s systems
• My health
Your beliefs shape your behavior – if you believe you’re shy (fearing rejection), you’ll act as though you are – which is exactly the same thing as being shy!

In a sales setting, that means you may not make the calls you need to make to grow your business – and you will be right in fearing rejection because you create it! In a family setting that means you may not make the moves to display or affirm affection for fear of not having them reciprocated. So no one will know that you hold those feelings – and everyone will probably react as though you don’t – and you’ll be right: You are rejected!

Not a good place to be – on the Effect side. Next time we’ll focus on the better half.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.

Do You Love Your Work?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

That is a question that many people ask themselves. It led me to think about my own work path and the opportunities I’m given to Coach Clients to realize their “true path” within their business.

Paolo Coelho in his book “Love Your Path,” points out that it is often less a case of “changing everything” than it is a case of “seeing what was always there.” The aspects of their current role that draw most positively upon their spirit and their intelligence, the aspects that truly inspire them, and at which they (can) excel.

Some ideas:

1. Your Path doesn’t last forever. Gerber said, “Run your business as though you are getting ready to sell it”. It’s sound advice; makes you keep everything tidy; grows the people around you; polishes the brand; and puts you in an excellent position to take an exit – or a growth – opportunity whenever one presents. Or not.

2. Your Path begins anew every day with the choices you make: What to focus upon; which of two or more tasks to tackle; whether to do or to delegate; whether to look far or near – plan or make-work. Your true Path lies along the line of those tasks that make you and those around you grow.

3. Be well-equipped. Take every opportunity along your Path to collect small tools: a vision to inspire and guide you all; knowledge that will sustain you; processes to challenge and grow everyone; values to keep you all on the Path; systems to leverage and honor the time of all; and goals to inspire excellence.

4. Honor your Path. It’s never what you do, it’s how you do it that changes you. Put the best of yourself into what you do and it will put the best of itself into you. Respect your work of choice and it will respect your soul, and change you.

5. Take care of your Path before other paths. Be aware of, but not distracted by the paths of the market, the economy and your competitors. Know that sometimes the ground is soft and favors widening your path, and other times it is hard and warrants a narrowing.

6. Your Path goes backward as well as forward. At times you have to go back to retrieve a lesson or knowledge, or to make good on something that was overlooked. If your Path is clear, it is easy to travel in both directions.

7. Paths cross. You will encounter others traveling paths that appear easier than yours and be tempted to follow them. Listen, reflect, look back, then make a decision without regret. Investment banking is not as smooth as it once looked.

8. Be constant. Some tasks like tax returns, bank reconciliations and performance reviews may not be as exciting as selling, inventing or window-dressing – but they are necessary to a smooth path. Constancy keeps your Path in good order.

9. The territory you traverse just is. Your market has seasons, weather and terrain, all of which are beyond your control, so don’t complain, learn their patterns, prepare, and make the most of them.

10. Your Path becomes a mirror of you. When you look into your work, whatever displeases you is of your making, so either accept it or change it; and whatever pleases you is of your making, so accept it, and use it to understand yourself a little more.

11. Love your Path. If you’re not on the path for fun, personal growth, to help others and to make a profit, then what the hell are you doing there?

If you’re waking up most mornings and not wanting to go to work, it’s probably an excellent investment of a few minutes to email me rich@rich-kohler.com for a chat about Rediscovering Your Passion.

Combining Vision and Innovation to Create the Future

Begin here to accelerate your success: http://www.ignition-pathway2growth.com/

© Rich Kohler 2015. All rights reserved. For copies, please contact Rich at rich@rich-kohler.com.