The Voice for Insightful Leadership with Shelley Row, P.E.

Posts tagged "motivation"

We were having dinner at a friend’s house and admiring his family memorabilia neatly arrayed in the bookshelves. There were the kid’s sailing trophies, family photos, delicate antique demitasse cups and a bright blue tube. A bright blue tube? “What’s that?” I asked. “Oh….it’s a kaleidoscope,” my friend replied. “Here, try it.” As I turned the tube, colors swirled and twirled. Each small movement altered the view and each view was as lovely as the other.

Why can’t we bring a kaleidoscopic view of the world into our workplace and into our leadership? When it comes to new perspectives, your brain works against you. It’s easier on the brain to see the world, to see a person or to see a decision as you’ve always seen it. But, with a little effort, other views – just as relevant – become visible. It’s as though you slightly turn the kaleidoscope.

Here are three areas where a kaleidoscopic world view is particularly valuable to your leadership and life.

See personnel situations from several perspectives – A disgruntled employee complains to you about his co-worker who they “just can’t work with,” and the list of grievances starts. In that moment, their argument sounds reasonable and valid. But, when you ‘turn the kaleidoscope’, you can likely see opportunities for misunderstanding, miscommunication and differing opinions. There are at least two sides to every story. It’s best to, first, seek out other perspectives; second, help the employee see beyond their singular view, and perhaps facilitate a conversation that highlights varied views of the situation.

See options for big decisions –When faced with a big decision, the brain prefers familiar solutions because, for the brain, the familiar is a short cut that feels effortless. However, big decisions benefit from a kaleidoscopic view. Here’s a technique that I discovered in a Harvard Business Review. As you debate a big decision and your team comes up with the expected approach, ask, “Let’s pretend that this option is not available to us. If not this approach, then what could we do?” This is a simple and effective way to force a shifted perspective. It’s as though you turn the kaleidoscope. Plus, you can use the same question repeatedly until you have a range of options upon which to base the decision.

See that it’s not always personal – Whether it’s with family, friends or co-workers, situations inevitably arise where feelings get hurt or questions arise in your mind. An offhand comment makes you feel peeved and you think, “That was an insensitive remark.” Or, maybe you’re left out of a meeting and you wonder, “Did they leave me out on purpose? Is the boss trying to tell me something?” In those moments, turn the kaleidoscope to see another perspective. In my experience, these situations are almost always explained away when viewed from a different viewpoint. Before letting your mind run away with your first interpretation, shift your outlook to find a different interpretation – one that doesn’t have you at the center.

Kaleidoscopes remind us that there’s always another way to see the world. Even a small rotation shifts the image, shifts the interpretation, and shifts the options. As an insightful leader, you must see a variety of views. And maybe you’ll discover that, like the kaleidoscope, each view is beautiful in its own way.

Motivate & ManageIs there someone in your office who needs a little motivation?  Are you part of a team who you’d like to motivate to higher performance?  Do you need motivation? Or are you simply looking to continue your professional development growth?

No matter what your motivation, I invite you to join me for part 1 of a webinar, Motivate & Manage: Brain Friendly Techniques to Enhance Performance.  Here’s what makes this webinar different.

The webinar shows you how to use five brain “toggles” that can activate the threat or reward response.  Wouldn’t you rather be motivated by reward? We’ll talk about and work on ways to intentionally activate the reward response – whether you wish to motivate someone else or yourself.   In part 1, we’ll look at the role of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and the brain science behind it.  Then we’ll work with two of the five toggles that are particularly critical. In part 2, we’ll discuss the other three toggles.

I’m sure you’ve participated in webinars before but this one is different.  First, the program is based on research in neuroscience so that you understand how to use the brain’s natural functioning to enhance motivation.

Second, it is as much like an in-person session as possible. You’ll have a worksheet and will put down your own thoughts about how to apply these principles in your real-world setting.  You will leave with practical ways to use this work immediately.

Part 1 is on August 22nd at 4pm Eastern. Register now. Since this is the first webinar in my new series, part 1 is free. All you need to do is register and log in on August 22nd. I look forward to having you participate with us.