The Self-Awareness Guy

relationships and self-awareness

Want to Change Your Life?

Want to Change Your Life?


We all reach transitional points in our lives where we are motivated to move in a different direction. For some of us it may be a career change, for others a relationship transformation or a shift that helps us develop personally. Regardless of what change you are looking to make in your life it all starts with deciding what the change is, taking a step toward your goal and sticking to it over time.

Here’s what some smart people have to say about the subject:

Alice Walker:

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

Charles DuBois:

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

Anais Nin:

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Andy Warhol:

They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Epictetus:

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

The prospect of change can both create fear in us or energize us through the promise of growth and potential. Which will you choose?

Cheers,

Guy

You’re Green, I’m Blue, and What?

You’re Green, I’m Blue, and What?


There are a lot of workshops centered around pointing out the differences between people and then expecting them to suddenly come together or understand each other. Sometimes people are assigned a color or given some name and then they're asked to use superficial and generalized information to try to connect meaningfully with others. This type of training is an example of personality typology, a methodology that attempts to help us understand our differences and use that knowledge to relate more effectively.

While it's valuable for people to understand that there are diverse personalities, communication styles, perspectives or approaches; this type of approach only addresses a part of what human behavior, interpersonal communication or relationship building is all about. Personality typology can be a great conversation starter but it frequently overlooks the things we have in common and focuses instead on labeling differences: You're this and I'm that.

Labeling tries to put people in neat categories but it doesn't describe who they are at a deeper level, help them build self-awareness or the ability to connect with others. Participants go through the training and then go back to their workplaces, pointing at and labeling each other.

Leaders and organization can move beyond superficial interaction by helping their employees interact on a deeper level. The following ideas can help you and your employees create stronger connections:

  1. Focus on the things people have in common.
  2. Practice active listening to learn about others.
  3. Spend time learning about others by listening.
  4. Forget labels and find out what people really love doing.
  5. Build empathy by creating conversation groups.
  6. Ask open-ended questions to learn about others.
  7. See the world through someone else's eyes.
  8. Don't react to differences, take it as an opportunity to learn.
  9. Practice collaborative problem solving skills.
  10. Celebrate people regularly.

Ask yourself how effectively you practice these key skills. Successful leaders and organizations understand the value of stepping outside themselves and learning about their people. Getting along with others is not so much about the things the keep us apart, it's about the things that bring us together. What will you do to move past superficial labels?

Cheers,

Guy

Making Your Life Count

Making Your Life Count

Abraham Lincoln once said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Life is what we make of it and I always strive to help people recognize what it is they want to do with their lives. In relationships we often settle for situations that repeat patterns established by our parents or approaches we learned from our friends.

I suggest to people. “Why not try something different if what you are doing is not working?” The reason I ask that question is that we often invest huge amounts of time and energy in situations that don’t make us feel great rather than doing some work to move in a different direction.

I’ve had many people tell me the meaning of life is finding one’s own balance point and living a life of fulfillment and peace. Successful people understand this concept because they are always striving to do the work necessary to work toward peace and balance.

Cheers,

Guy

10 Practical Team Building Tips

10 Practical Team Building Tips

Many leaders and organizations try to implement team building in one or two sessions only to find that their employees quickly revert to old behaviors. It takes time and commitment for team building to take root and grow in any organization. It's nearly impossible to move away from the behaviors you've built up over time and replace them with new, more effective ones without sustained effort. Here are ten practical tips to help you get the most out of your team building program.

  1. Make sure leadership is fully involved and sets a positive tone.
  2. Team building is offered to employees at every level.
  3. A one-hour time block per week is set aside for team building activities.
  4. Refrain from changing the team building schedule or combining it with other meetings.
  5. No interruptions during sessions, including people using phones, texting or being called out of the activities.
  6. Leave egos and agendas at the door, everyone is treated equally.
  7. Use an experienced, positive and neutral facilitator for activities.
  8. Focus on activities that build deeper interactions and relationships.
  9. Practice new behaviors over time.
  10. Evaluate how you’re doing after six months and make adjustments if necessary.

The key to successful team building is to participate in activities that bring people together on a deeper level and help them acquire skills to keep moving forward. Practice team building over time so that everyone gets used to doing it. Once people are comfortable with your new approach, it becomes second nature and your workplace shifts to one where collaboration and shared purpose are the norm. How will you promote long-term team building in your organization?

Cheers,

Guy

Team Building: Expectations and Workplace Relationships

Team Building: Expectations and Workplace Relationships

The leaders and employees I train frequently talk to me about not feeling like they connect with certain people in the workplace.  It’s almost as if they expect the other person to behave a certain way or read their mind.  This is a very common experience in workplace relationships: One person expects a certain kind of interaction while the other seems oblivious.  This dynamic leads to a lot of frustrated people and poorly functioning teams.

The difficulty arises when people hold on to their expectations even when they see repeated evidence that they will never get what  they want.  They hang on to their hopes for a long time waiting for something to magically change.  Expectations can easily become an obstacle to building positive workplace relationships because they expect things to go a certain way rather than working with what’s in front of them.

No amount of hope can change the course of your work relationships and you can’t wish your way out of a negative situation.  The only way you can introduce positive energy into your relationships is by taking action and doing things that change the patterns you’ve established.

Changing the way you do things is the only way to affect your situation.  No amount of hope or expectations can take the place of applying effective behaviors such as excellent communication, team building or problem solving skills.  The great news is that you can do things to change the course of your work relationships, it just takes some courage and taking action to move in a different direction.

Cheers,

Guy