November in the United States is historically the “giving thanks” month culminating with gatherings of friends and family over turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings. Of course there is historical context for this holiday but the broader meaning in our modern era is one day in which we hit the pause button on the frenzy of life and we stop to communicate our thankfulness to one another and for people of faith, to God as well. Yet, for some this holiday season is anything but thankful or joyful. For some, this season stirs up painful memories and experiences and may highlight the loss of loved ones who can no longer join in the festivities. For others, the obligation of dinner with family can create feelings of dread rather than joy…old wounds fester and the anticipation of new wounds creates anxiety and worry. Not exactly a formula for harmony!
If you are one of those who isn’t as joyful or excited as you would like to be at the forthcoming holiday dinners and parties, read on to put a Success Formula in your toolbox so that you are fully equipped to weather even the most troll-like party crasher.
Communication is the Key
Whether you are approaching upcoming holiday gatherings and parties with joy or with dread, practicing self-awareness and applying the closed-loop communication model is your Success Formula for overcoming conflict and embracing joyfulness. First, lead yourself via self-awareness. Is your energy/attitude upbeat, harmonious, peaceful, and forgiving? Or, is
the energy/attitude that you are emitting angry, blameful, depressed, antagonistic, or judgmental? You are likely to receive the same energy/attitude that you emit to others, regardless of your desires. You cannot fake your vibe! Step One is to ensure that you elevate your energy accordingly!
Now that you’re leading yourself effectively, it’s time to tackle Step Two, the Closed Loop Communication Model, pictured at left. The failure in most interactions is there is no check by the sender to ensure that what the receiver heard is what the sender MEANT. Note that I didn’t say ‘said.’ Both at work and at home, this check for alignment and clarity is crucial. If you are the sender, this can be accomplished by simply asking the receiver what they heard you say, or asking them how they think or feel about it. “What are your thoughts on that?” Or, “How does that sound to you?” If you are the receiver, you can play back to the sender what you believe they meant by what they said.
BEWARE OF THE LANDMINES!
When you are closing the loop, whether you are the sender or the receiver, be sure to maintain your self-awareness! If you find that you may be slipping downward in energy/attitude, level up before doing that critical closed-loop check! Otherwise, you are dancing into the minefield. Fun facts from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) regarding communications:
* 7% of the message comes from words
* 38% comes from voice (tone, volume, inflection)
* 55% comes from non-verbals (body language, facial expression)
Imagine that?! 93% of your message is NOT based on the words that you choose! Yet another reason why you cannot fake your vibe.
Holiday Festivities Success Formula
- Lead yourself via self-awareness. Elevate!
- Practice the Closed Loop Communication Model in all of your conversations; particularly if you detect that one is heading toward conflict.
- Repeat one and two continuously! Remember, the energy/attitude of others is about them, not you. You may bear the brunt of their discord but how they are choosing to think, feel, and behave is a reflection of THEIR choice. Just like your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are a result of YOUR choice! Be sure to pack this knowledge into your mental toolbox as you head off to your next holiday event. Remember, you were chosen to live in this moment, at this time in history, for a reason!
Walk the Talk
Iron sharpens iron, as the saying goes! No matter where you are in your leadership walk, investing in your personal development is extremely important. There are two great opportunities coming up to boost your motivation, sharpen
your skills, and learn from other successful leaders. The Leadership Excellence Course is your ticket to rejuvenating your effectiveness, performance, and ability to influence others. I am happy to share that I will be co-facilitating the December course in Kansas City and will be solo facilitating the virtual course in January.
Dec 6 – 8th (on-site; Kansas City)
Jan 17, 24, 31 (virtual)
Click on the image to register or connect with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research recently published in the Journal of the American Medial Association (JAMA) Network Open site proves with data what many of us have always subjectively believed: exercise increases your lifespan! This is true for all ages but in particular, the study focused on women aged 65+ who spent
2.5 hours per week doing aerobic exercise and at least 2 sessions per week of strength training. The study noted a decreased risk of all-cause mortality for the women who exercised, compared to the control group (women aged 65+ who did not exercise).
* Strength training resulted in a 10% reduction in risk.
* Aerobic training resulted in a 24% reduction in risk.
* Doing BOTH resulted in a 30% reduction!
Taking it a step further, DrAxe.com cited that RUNNING consistently lengthened lifespan by 3 years! Pace did not matter, nor did duration. As little as 10 minutes made a difference! Since running is my favorite cardiovascular exercise I thought I should include a plug for the sport! Seriously though…the JAMA study shows the importance of consistent aerobic and strength training exercises.
“I don’t have time!”
When you’re telling yourself that you don’t have time to exercise, that you just cannot spare 10 minutes per day to improve your health and longevity, what you are really saying is that you are not making yourself a priority. Think about that for a moment. As a leader, how can you bring out the best in others if you aren’t modeling what “best” is? Leading by example includes self-care! No better time than right now to start, or reignite, that helpful habit of daily exercise. Need a partner? I’m happy to team up with you. Click on the button below or the image to connect with me and get started today.
BE the Change You want to See!