What Makes Trust So Important?

It is all about trust. In business, friendships, family, and all kinds of relationships. If people trust you, they’ll do business with you. Depending upon culture, it may take years to build that trust. And, trust can be ruined in a matter of seconds.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you´ll do things differently. Warren Buffett 

Wise words to live by.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow´s hierarchy of needs (1943), human beings all have five common basic needs in life:

  1. Safety and or survival
  2. Food and other basic physiological needs
  3. (Social) belonging and love
  4. Respect and purposefulness (esteem)
  5. Freedom and self-actualization

In building trust with other human beings, we must have trust in ourselves. A lack of trust in self, in other words fear-based actions and self-doubt, can be disastrous for both our own lives and for our interaction with other human beings. To succeed in business and life, we have to understand the basics of human behavior and the basics of human needs, and most preferably some psychology. Why?

According to Harvard Business Review: The 3 Elements of Trust, employees expect leaders to create and to maintain trust through positive relationships, using good judgment/expertise and consistency. Which one of these do you think is most important?

The most single important factor in terms of building and maintaining trust in any relationship is respect. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of any external or internal attributes. Showing respect to people goes a long way. On the other hand, a lack of respect quickly leads to mistrust and a complete destruction of the relationship since the lack of respect usually leads to manipulative communication and negotiation tactics and breaking other people´s boundaries.

Never violate boundaries unless you are willing to risk the entire relationship. Never use manipulative tactics when negotiating with people. An experienced negotiator who is knowledgeable about human nature will quickly see through these kinds of tactics, and leading conversations or any kinds of interactions in such a manner will not only endanger your whole negotiation but also complicate the future of the interaction and/or relationship. To build and to maintain trust, it is hence essential to learn how to respect your counterpart. Learn how to listen, and learn how to become a naturally powerful communicator.

In “The Power of a Positive No” (2007), one of the world´s leading experts on negotiation and mediation William Ury gives his readers concrete tools for not only becoming better communicators but in fact also for learning how to succeed in negotiations and how to manage conflicts in constructive rather than destructive ways. He explains the importance of a positive NO, and how anyone can learn how to say no without ruining whole relationships. Ury´s teachings also include situations where the only right thing to do is to withdraw from a negotiation, or to end a (business/personal) relationship.

After all, it all begins and ends with self-respect and knowing one´s boundaries. How can you expect to maintain healthy and productive relationships unless you know how to respect yourself and your boundaries? It is far healthier to say NO in a direct or constructive way than to violate your personal values through people-pleasing or other kinds of fear-based activities/reactions. Healthy and strong people cannot easily be manipulated. They know their worth. They know how to say NO. Sometimes, in very powerful ways.

When you know your value(s) and what you want to achieve (goals), accomplishing these through determination and preparedness is so much easier. Despite of any circumstances, make sure not to victimize yourself or fall into pity ploy. Get rid of any unhealthy habits and ways of communication. This may sometimes be easier said than done. After all, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. When you learn from past experiences and focus upon being present in the now, and in various kinds of human interactions you can develop and improve both your general communication skills as well as your abilities as a negotiator or even mediator. These skills are always in high demand, regardless of profession or life situation.

In order to build and maintain trust, be trustworthy. Be consistent. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Anne-Maria Yritys 6.2.2019

 

 

How to Handle Contrary Individuals?

I found this podcast channel, The Little Shaman Healing, on YouTube some time ago while searching for ways of coping and dealing with challenging individuals. Let us face the facts and reality: we all meet them during our lives – people who seem to contradict with just about everything we do or say. Without labeling or diagnosing anyone (which is not our task), the smartest thing we can do in situations like these is to not get involved in any arguments with the individual(s) that are contradicting us. Unless it is an official debate, of course, although official debates do have rules and procedures as well. There is no point in getting involved in useless arguments, the purpose of which is only to create chaos and conflict.

While all of us may at times be contradictory to the ideas, opinions and thoughts of other individuals, that does not hinder us from listening to, and taking into consideration thoughts that differ from our own. It is in fact healthy to be able to open up to different, or even opposite ideas and thoughts. It is another thing when someone, on purpose, contradicts to everything we have to say, or everything we do. That is why ignoring this kind of behavior is the smartest thing you can do. Why waste your time on individuals who intend to hinder, or even slow down, your progress by literally sabotaging everything you do or say? Let their opinions be just opinions, and know how to distinguish between facts and opinions.

If and when you have experienced contradictory behavior, especially when this happens continuously from the same individual, you know exactly what it signifies and how you should deal with it: ignore it, and do not engage in any arguments or conversations with the individual in question if possible. It simply does not lead anywhere. Focus on your own career, goals, and life and minimize the energy you invest in individuals whose sole purpose seems to be to contradict everything you do and say. It is a waste of time.

Listen to The Little Shaman Healing´s podcast about the topic:

Narcissists Are Contrary

 

Which is Your Favorite Defense Mechanism and Why?

Which defense mechanisms do you use when communicating with other people?

Learn how to upgrade your communication skills by becoming more assertive and mature.

Start by taking responsibility for your own behavior.

 

Read more about various defense mechanisms at

15 Common Defense Mechanisms

Why Wo(men) Should Stop Being Politely Angry

Holding on to any “unwanted” feelings, such as anger, fear, guilt, or shame, will only lead to unwanted consequences, such as depression. I know this from a personal experience. It is so important to acknowledge and to ALLOW all your feelings, and express them in a healthy way. If you are angry, find a healthy way to express and to get rid of your anger. It does not mean that you should go and hit someone. That is not healthy. A healthy expression of anger would be to a) acknowledge that you are angry b) knowing the real reason behind your anger c) speaking up about your anger, or, if it is not possible, writing about it, even for yourself d) finding (alternative) ways of expressing your anger, such as sports, working for a good cause, politics, creative arts or writing, yoga/meditation etc.

If you have at least ONE trusted person who you can speak up about your negative emotions/feelings, it will help you heal.

Or? How do you deal with your negative emotions?

Feel free to comment. Although this video talks about women´s (often hidden) anger, many men keep emotions and feelings inside themselves too. Keeping these to yourself, without any healthy form of expression, will only harm you and your health, creating blockages from living and enjoying your life to the fullest.

Tracee Ellis Ross | TED2018: A woman´s fury holds lifetimes of wisdom

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys – to receive my newsletter delivered personally to you, subscribe to Leading With Passion

Interpersonal Communication

Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say but because we do not have to say anything. ~ Khaled Hosseini

kiterunner

Conflict Resolution

Conflict cannot survive without your participation. ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

conflictpeace

Communication

Communication in relationships is like oxygen to life.

oxygen

How Can You Create a Successful Leadership Mentality?

Enthusiasm Moves the World (Arthur Balfor)

If you are an individual seeking to make a positive difference in your environment, you have to admit that you have both climbed mountains and descended into deep valleys, sometimes questioning whether your attitude really does make a difference.

It does.

No matter what you may have been through in your life, in your career, you must realize that everything has served its purpose. Without these valuable experiences, you would be only half as knowledgeable, so instead of mourning and remaining paralyzed, transform your valuable lessons into powerful wisdom and use it not only to your personal advantage, but also to become a positive role model for others.

Your Enthusiasm will be Infectious, stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you, and with you. (Norman Vincent Peale)

However, make sure to keep a few important things in mind when creating a winning leadership mentality for yourself, including:

1. Successful leaders compete only against themselves, not against others. Most of all, successful leaders are gentle toward themselves, and toward others.

Life, and career, is no competition with people around you. Nor is it a competition with yourself, however ambitious and determined you are. Do not make your life a constant competition. Focus rather on practicing gentleness towards yourself and towards others, and make it a regular exercise to find a positive balance between challenging yourself, and letting yourself rest. It makes no sense to burn your candle at both ends. Real self-worth and passion comes from within, not from exhausting yourself either with too high personal expectations or trying to fulfill external expectations at all costs.

2. Successful Leaders do not give their personal power away to others.

If you are a good listener and an empathetic individual, you have to learn how to shield yourself against taking upon you the negative energies of others, or letting people manipulate you. Learn how to be assertive, but not aggressive, and how to be gentle in a sophisticated way, without taking upon you the energies of others, unless they truly are uplifting and positive. It is a positive trait in people to have two ears and one mouth, and to use them accordingly, but practice assertiveness in yourself and focus upon spreading your light instead of letting people and society around you to drain your energy. Find ways of getting rid of negativity quickly, either through surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people, meditation, spending time in nature and so forth. If you notice that certain relationships always seem to bring up negativity, make sure to detach yourself as soon as possible and focus upon getting back on track as soon as possible.

Successful leaders live with the 3 E ́s: Empathy, Energy and Enthusiasm

3. Successful leaders stay in tune with their personal values.

Simple. Know your values and stick to them. Be assertive, confident, and focused. If you have forgotten about your real core values, make sure to find yourself back to them, and remind yourself about them each and every day. Find ways of reminding yourself, be it through a daily repetition of a mantra or simply waking up in the morning with a smiling soul, full of optimism, making sure that you will make the best of each and every day living according to your values, without harming yourself or others.

4. Successful leaders have a principle of staying true to themselves, but are also willing to help, and to support others.

Great leadership starts with knowing yourself. Even greater leadership allows for you to forget about serving your ego. All great leaders live with a meaning and purpose of serving a higher good, helping others, and serving others. A true, winning leadership mentality can shine only when it serves a higher purpose. Respect yourself and others by focusing upon being a role model of positive actions and optimism instead of finding fault either in yourself or in others. Remember also that your greatness requires the ability of being at peace with yourself. We all deserve leaders with healthy personal qualities so make sure to stay healthy and take care of yourself first.

5. Successful leaders develop their communication skills. Every day.

Every change-making leader is marked by outstanding communication skills. Excellent communication is demanding, especially if and when you work long hours and have great responsibilities. Therefore, make sure to learn how to save your energy through developing your communication, and negotiation skills. Powerful, respectful communication requires assertiveness, consciousness, an ability to tap into your personal source, and most of all, having the capability of truly listening to yourself, and to those you communicate with. Practice also on listen to what is left unsaid, and what you possibly can read between the lines. Online communication especially does include a number of challenges, which requires for you the capability of tuning extra carefully into what is being communicated. Successful negotiation, on the other hand, should always create a win-win situation.

Communication must be HOT. That is Honest, Open, and Two-Way (Dan Oswald)

6. Successful leaders are physically, mentally and spiritually in balance.

Physical, mental and spiritual balance requires continuous efforts, but to be truly successful in your career, and in your life, you have to be in shape. The more demanding your life is, the more you will have to work on maintaining this balance. What this includes, and signifies, is individual to each one of us. Listen to the signals your body is giving you, but also to your dreams, daydreams, thoughts and senses. You are the master of your own temple, so make sure to nurture it accordingly.

7. Successful leaders have trust, and are trustworthy.

When leaders tap into their higher consciousness, and operate on a level from the super-ego, rather than based upon fears stemming from the subconscious level, they open up to whole new levels of possibilities. Tapping into one’s intuition and therefore, having access to the abundance on the upper levels of consciousness creates completely different experiences, and offers increasingly prosperous outcomes in every action. To learn more about stepping into your intuition, I recommend reading The Intuitive Way: A Guide to Living from Inner Wisdom written by Penney Pierce.

From Powerless to “Leader” – Recognizing Victimizers & Victim mentality by Esperanza Montalvo:

Thank you for reading, listening, watching, liking and commenting. Thank you also for emancipating yourself in a positive way and becoming a positive role model, and a catalyst for improved communication and leadership.

 

 

What is Successful Change Leadership Really About?

The Greatest Leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, but the leader who gets people to do the greatest things.

During our lives and in our careers, we get to know leaders with a wide range of characteristics, either from close or far distance. Although practical experience is a great teacher, leaders who inspire us from wide distance do often become more influential, and more significant, in our growth towards leadership excellence. This is especially true if you, as a continuously developing leader learn through observation, a developing and learning technique that can include anything possible for higher development, evolving, and learning.

In some contexts, change management is referred to as something related to IT project management, process creation and development, but change leadership is a much wider context, and change leadership always puts either individuals, groups of people, teams, or complete organizations at the core, thus making it a people-centered approach. In its farthest reaching context and meaning, change leadership signifies the capability of thinking out of the box, seeing the problems, potentials, and solutions, stretching far beyond to what may be common day practice, and focusing upon creating completely new solutions.

Ultimately, change always begins within an individual. Although we are all products of our environments, and our societies, we do always have the possibility to see what is necessary, to create what is necessary, and to lead change that is necessary. To lead change, you must always be willing to change yourself first. To lead change that is significant to your values, you must first see, and visualize what is important to you, and what changes you want to see, and to lead, in your personal life, and possibly, in the lives of others.

Organizational change is a separate theme. The best, and most valuable organizations, do include and let everyone in the organization be part of the organizational development, and the change process. They do even include (wisely!), their clients and other shareholders in the process through a number of methods. In today’s world, in fact no organization can afford not including their employees, stakeholders, and shareholders to become a part of the change process, or change communication process. Organizations, in fact, should listen very carefully to how employees and other significant stakeholders respond to, and what changes they would like to see in the organization.

Effective change leadership, depending upon your mission and vision, includes:

  • How you, as a change leader, perceive society, people, and organizations around you

What is your role, as an individual, a team member, a leader, and as “a part” of society? Are you ultimately happy with how things are, with your career, and with your life? Many people probably respond with a “no” to these two questions, while others are unsure, and others respond with a “yes”. If you responded with a no, or unsure, you know that something is not right, either in your career, or in your life in general.

  • Becoming aware, as a change leader, of the changes you need to make, or the changes you want to pursue, in one of the areas of your life (or, in the lives of others)

Awareness is at the core of your personal awakening process towards the fact that something has to change. You will not only recognize that something has to change, but also WHAT has to change. Before leading others in the change process, you MUST become and create that change in yourself, and in your personal life.

Leaders do not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk

True leaders never ask others to do something they are not capable of themselves. Let’s say, you want the whole world to become vegan, but you keep on eating meat yourself. Is there not a huge dilemma, and a problem? Before expecting anything from other people, make sure to fulfill the requirements you demand in your personal life, career, and leadership practices. The most annoying thing is seeing leaders (managers?) who criticize and demand others to deliver, without having the capability or requirements themselves.

  • Be authentic, and live according to your true values

Create and live the life you were meant to live. If you feel like you are in a rut in your current job, take the necessary steps to create the changes that you wish to see in your work environment. After all, we spend a significant part of our lives working, and everyone wants to do rewarding work. And, rewarding work includes much more than going to work and sitting around waiting for the monthly paycheck. There are other ways. Do not wait to fulfill your true dreams and desires until retirement. Instead, take the necessary steps in order to create the life you truly want, as soon as possible. True change leadership is about living according to your dreams and desires, and fulfilling the changes you wish to see in this world, and about making things happen, instead of waiting around, and building negative feelings inside you, and bad habits in your life due to the lack of satisfaction, and the lack of fulfillment, in one or several areas of your life.

Implement Change Powerfully and Successfully With Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model:

Thank you for reading, commenting, liking, and especially for sharing. Remember, sharing is caring, and if you found this post useful, please increase the chances of effective change leadership through sharing this post. 

☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯☯

 

 

Why Your Projects Fail and Suggestions for Improvement

"We Need to Improve the Plan". Freedigitalphotos.net
“We Need to Improve the Plan”. Freedigitalphotos.net

The P in PM is as much about People Management as it is about Project Management (Cornelius Fichtner)

Are you a project manager whose projects have failed more often than succeeded? Well, congratulate yourself for still having the title project manager, because if you had participated in The American Apprentice, Mr. Trump would already have fired you. No hard feelings though – it is nothing personal, it is only business, citing Mr. Trump.

And, to comfort you: you are most probably not alone with the problem, since most projects actually do fail, due to a number of reasons at the core of which are poor requirements, a poor scope definition (poor planning) from the beginning AND communication problems.

A project, according to the Project Management Institute, is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Furthermore, a project usually has a definite beginning and an end. The target has been met once the project´s objectives have been met, or when the need for the project ceases to exist. Projects can last for years, even decades, depending upon their social, economic, and environmental impacts. In other words, a project can vary from a set of regular (daily, weekly) tasks with the purpose to reach a certain goal to more serious projects which indeed can last for years or even for decades.

As applicable to business (and development projects), successful project management requires skillful application of a wide range of knowledge, tools and techniques in order to meet the requirements. Traditional project management distinguishes five process groups as the illustration below simply demonstrates:

Dia1

Depending upon the nature and the complexity of the project, various project management techniques can be utilized. Traditional project management, very structured, requires being well-organized, and as a supportive guide I can warmly recommend the American Project Management Institute´s “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)”, a comprehensive book including all technical details required for managing a project, from product life cycle management to project communications management. It even includes a chapter about how to handle interpersonal communication.

Although project management, as anything else in (business) life, cannot be learned solely from books, the PMBOK serves as an excellent guide to almost any project. Of course, the guide can be accustomed to the nature, length, and complexity of the project. Here, as with anything else, common sense is applicable.

Furthermore, managing a project requires for the project manager, and the project team to:

– Identify requirements – without requirements, the project would not be needed in the first place

– Addressing needs, concerns, and expectations of the stakeholders

– Balancing the competing project constraints including at least the following requisites:

Dia1

As said, projects vary significantly from type, purpose, length, and complexity. An example of a long-term, complex, global, societal, and economical project are the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The goals were set (the project was initiated) in 2000, with a deadline in 2015. So far, only three of the eight goals have been met, although significant progress has been made in each of the goals. Analysis regarding the reasons for failure is certainly possible, and assumption is that analysis is being made upon these within the UN organization. Despite of failing to reach all the goals within the project timeline, the UN in co-operation with different instances is already planning new goals, and continues its important work towards improvement of socioeconomic circumstances in geographical regions most affected e.g. by poverty.

Another type of project management is Agile PM.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. (Albert Einstein)

Whereas traditional management theory (and traditional project management) assumes that

– Regulating change requires rigid procedures

– Hierarchical organizational structures establish order

– Increased control results in increased order (organizations must be rigid and static)

– Employees are interchangeable particles of the organizational machine (rat race?)

– Problems are mainly solved through reductionist task breakdown and allocation

– Projects and risks can be managed only through complex up-front planning

Agile project management professionals, on the other hand, look for emerging management principles based upon “new science” of complexity exploiting an understanding of autonomous human behavior gained through studying living systems in nature. Complex adaptive systems (CAS), and complexity scientists have studied the collective behavior of living systems in nature: flocking of birds, schooling of fish, marching of ants and the swarming of bees, discovering that while the individual “agents” in these complex adaptive systems possess only local strategic rules and capacity, their collective behavior is characterized by an overlaying order, self-organization, and a collective intelligence that is greater than the sum of the parts.

CAS has been applied successfully in several areas, including economics, and management. In CAS, the (project) manager becomes an adaptive leader, encouraging constant feedback and collaboration. CAS in Agile PM enhances the ability to deal with change, views organizations as elastic, fluid systems composed of intelligent human capital, and an overall humanistic problem solving approach. Every project needs a leader, and in Agile Methodologies the PM is rather a leader than a taskmaster with qualities such as vision, communication skills, and soft management skills, in addition to technical and organizational skills. (Agile Project Management. http://www.ccpace.com; Highsmith, J. 2004. Agile Project Management).

Agile Project Management, as Traditional Project Management, can be used in any kind of setting. Both methodologies can also be combined, utilizing the best parts of each in order to create the best possible result(s).

In summary, the most common reasons for project failure are:

– Poor planning in the first place, and poor requirements definition

– Unrealistic goal(s) from the beginning (dreaming, having goals and optimism is wonderful, but goals also need to be realistic) => Poor Scope Definition

– Miscalculations regarding time and budget

– Too many projects at once (project manager and team members are overloaded with work)

– Poor leadership (and thus poor project execution, e.g. teams are not integrated well enough)

– Poor communication

– Technological problems (although, depending upon the project – may be of most relevance in IT and technology projects)

– Poor risk calculation, and management

How to avoid project failure: 

SELECT A QUALIFIED PROJECT MANAGER, WHO KNOWS HOW TO SET UP A PROJECT TEAM AND HOW TO LEAD PEOPLE. (REMEMBER: TASKS ARE BEING MANAGED, PEOPLE ARE BEING LEAD).

SET REALISTIC GOALS. IT IS NICE TO DREAM BIG, BUT TO AVOID FAILURE, REALISM IS NECESSARY.

PLAN THE PROJECT THOROUGHLY, INCLUDING THE DEFINITION OF REQUIREMENTS, ORGANIZATION AND RISK MANAGEMENT OF THE PROJECT.

SET A REALISTIC TIME FRAME AND DEFINE AN APPROPRIATE BUDGET WITH A +/- CALCULATION.

MAKE SURE NOT TO OVERLOAD EMPLOYEES WHO ALREADY ARE INVOLVED IN (MANY) OTHER PROJECTS. MAKE SURE THAT PROJECT MEMBERS HAVE ENOUGH TIME, ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM FOR THE REALIZATION OF THE PROJECT.

FOCUS ON LEADERSHIP RATHER THAN ON MICRO-MANAGEMENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO LONG-TERM PROJECTS.

LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE EFFICIENTLY. COMMUNICATION SKILLS CAN ALWAYS BE DEVELOPED, HOWEVER GREAT A COMMUNICATOR YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE.

FORMULATE A RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR YOUR PROJECT, INCLUDING POSSIBLE RISKS AND THEIR MINIMIZATION + WHAT ACTIONS NEED TO BE TAKEN IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.

AUDIT THE PROJECT ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH THE HELP OF PROFESSIONAL, UNBIASED AUDITORS.

Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth (Tom Barrett)

Reasons for Project Failure (IAG Consulting):

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Thank you for reading, reflecting, commenting, and for sharing your experiences about successful/unsuccessful project management.