Business

Make your team a Happy Team - Part 1

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Not everyone knows where to start when it comes to team happiness. Many managers –whether in sports, business, or any other category, mistakenly think that providing incentives (paid vacations, bonuses, or foosball tables) will make their people happy.

In part, those tangible benefits contribute to retaining a workforce, but to achieve real happiness and fulfillment, you’d need something more.

As a starting point, you must ensure that your organization core values are aligned to produce a commitment for excellence besides contentment.

 

We all know this: a happy team creates a happy business, scores, and achievements in general.  But what does “happy” mean in this context?

Basically, it is about the need every human being has to be significant. It also has to do with contribution, and finally, with growth. We all need to know that what we are, and what we do, matters; and that it helps make a difference in the world. That’s the way we grow, and become better.

 

In all this, the team or company culture plays a pivotal role.

Research indicates that not only money makes team players happy; it takes something far less tangible: trust.
Trust in a team makes each member more productive, excited and innovative in whatever it is their task at hand.
Brain physiology studies demonstrated that oxytocin enables trust, connection, and generosity, which in turn allows contentment.
There is a flip side of this coin, high levels of stress (the opposite of happiness) inhibits the oxytocin, decreasing team bonding and positive interaction.

 

If you intend to take your team to a higher level, take every measure possible to reduce stress so that team members can get their jobs done efficiently and without burning out.

All in all, the best strategies to ensure team happiness and performance are leader recognition, peer recognition, achievable workloads and assignments, clear leadership, and deliberate relationship-building.

 

 

Next week we’ll talk about team members’ personalities and how to leverage this in favor of the team.

Until then, stay strong!

 

 

 

 

 

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

Put Your Procrastination under the Magnifying Glass

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We all had fallen into the bottomless pit of procrastination; I know I had, more than once… and I’d bet that you had too.

When it happens, we tend to think of it as just one unique way to avoid something; but if we were to get a magnifying glass and look closely, we would see that there are actually different reasons why we tend to get into procrastination mode.

Before we can work on getting rid of or circumventing our delaying habits, we need to understand where they’re coming from.

 

Let’s look through that glass and see the main reasons we fall into procrastination, and also some simple ways to overcome them:

 

1.    Feeling Overwhelmed

There are times when you’re faced with the complexity of a task at hand, and you think “there is no way I can get this done by x time… let’s channel-surf for a while instead”…  
Surely you’re familiar with this kind of Overwhelm-procrastination, which is the urge to avoid tasks that are just too big that you don’t know how to tackle them; you don’t find a way into it, so you put it off for as long as you possibly can, and find all kinds of excuses.

One easy way to overcome this feeling is to break big goals into small, concrete steps (often called “chunks”) you can work on right away.

 

2.   Fear

There are times when we avoid taking action just because taking that next step requires us to push ourselves into the unknown territory of “the Next Level”. Setting a higher year income, getting into a new market, writing your new chapter, or submitting the book to a publisher… we put these things off because they are Uncertainty incarnated… The Unknown, and we tend to assume the worst.

In this kind of situation, we go into survival mode; something that must have been helpful to the average caveman back in prehistoric times, but it is not for our own state of mind or achievement.

In this case, the best remedy against fear is faith, trust, confidence, and resolution. There is nothing to worry about, what doesn’t go well becomes a learning experience.
Again, tiny first steps are the best way to start; remember: you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take one step at the time.

 

3.   Lack of Incentive

We, humans, are wired to instinctively seek comfort. In order to motivate us out of the couch, we need a clear benefit –that or a big mean dog chasing our butts into discomfort. In other words, if we don’t think going to the gym is bringing us a tangible value, we won’t do it… why change things when we’re so comfy, right?

If we want to get results when there is no sense of urgency, we have to be able to visualize the potential pain that inaction will bring to us. Pain is a bigger motivator than pleasure, but we also have to envision the rewards of actually taking action.

This way, we have the stick and the carrot that will make us move and keep us moving.

Let’s say you want to lose some weight; it’s much easier to stay watching television and eating ice-cream than it is to face the reality that, if we keep this behavior, in a year or less we might look like the giant rock ball that chased Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

That image alone might be enough to get you to the gym.

 

 

Next time you’re faced with a project you just can’t seem to tackle, no matter how many times you write on your planner or put it on your to-do list; you need to figure out exactly why you’re avoiding it.

You need to see things clear first in order to lean the ladder against the right wall.

That way, every step we climb is getting closer to the right place.

When you get there, you will feel really, really good.

 

Stay strong!

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

Keep Your Cool and Find Your Way to Success

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The ability to remain calm under pressure is an almost certain way to create success.

 

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.

Research made with more than a million people found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

Prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control. The tricky thing about stress though (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress.

As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless; it is the intermittent stressful events that keep the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,

 

Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

 

This is what they do that most people don’t:

They appreciate what they have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces drastically the stress levels in the body.

 

They avoid asking “What if?” negatively

Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control.

 

They stay positive.

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. The key is selecting something positive to think about.

 

They disconnect.

When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control.

 

They squash negative self-talk.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.

 

They reframe their perspective.

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective.

 

They breathe.

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do every day anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back.

 

They use their support system.

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it.

 

 

So, what can YOU do to enter your calm state?

See you next week. Stay strong!

 

 

 

 

(Source: Travis Bradberry)

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

 

A 3-step Plan to Face Your Fears

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1. Forget about the things that are not up to you

If you don’t have control over certain things, don’t worry about them. Stop wasting your time plotting and making contingency plans to make sure those things will never happen.

Brave people focus on what they can control, and all of us, in any given moment, only have control over three things: the thoughts we think, the images we visualize, and the actions we take.

2. Before you start anything, you got to face your fears

When you’re about to start a new project, think about all the possible outcomes; then make a list of all the obstacles you may bump into… be realistic, and you’ll see they are not as bad as you thought they were.

When you acknowledge that you’ve already been through quite a lot, and survived, then it’s not such a big deal.

Once you face your fear, you can move on. When you figure out the odds, you will see that you have the inner strength to deal with whatever cards life deals to you.

3. Imagine the alternative

Visualize the result of giving into your fears and give up; really feel the cost of letting yourself be overwhelmed by fear and all the consequent loss…

Then do the opposite; feel the victory and the benefits of having courageously pursued your goals… weigh the two carefully, and see the difference.

When faced with a scary situation, you can always choose between these two: You can hold back and withdraw, or you can take the challenge, learn something new, train, and do whatever it takes and rise to the occasion.

See yourself always rising your game, and step into the major league, and you will increase your opportunities for present and future success.

 

It’s all up to you, it all depends on how you choose to live your life.

My advice? Take challenges head-on, take the next step and build your courage. It will open the doors to a whole new world.

Stay strong.

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca

 

A Better World through Compassionate Leadership

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There is an ancient tradition that describes three styles of compassionate leadership: The Trailblazer, who leads from the front, taking risks and setting an example; there is also The Ferryman, who accompanies those in his care and shapes the ups and downs of the crossing; and finally, there is The Shepherd, who sees every one of his flock into safety –or success, before himself.

These are three different styles and approaches, but they have an all-encompassing concern for the wellbeing of those they lead in common.

Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on the world in general.

No matter how much time we have to live, we should work to leave the world a better place.
But, what does that better world look like?

I believe a better world is one where people are happier. We all want to be happy; our desire for happiness is something we all share.


Today though, the world seems to be facing an emotional crisis, when the stress, anxiety, and depression rates are higher than ever.
The gap between rich and poor, and between CEOs and employees is at a historic high; and the ever-present focus on turning a profit often overrules our commitment to people, the environment, and our society.
We work closely together every day, but in spite of it, many feel lonely and stressed… there is a lack of responsibility toward each other, and we tend to forget that we, as humans, are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.

 

We need to ask ourselves what’s going wrong.

Perhaps our strong focus on material development and wealth accumulation had led us to deny our basic human need for connection and contribution.

Reconnect with the oneness of humanity and altruism is fundamental for societies and organizations, as well as their individuals in order to thrive in the long run.

 

And we all have a responsibility to make this happen.

So, what can leaders do?

 

Practice mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion

Cultivate your own peace of mind. Destructive emotions like anger and attachment cloud our ability to use our intellect clearly, so we need to tackle them.

Fear and anxiety give way to anger and violence. The opposite of fear is trust; which, mixed with warmheartedness, can boost our self-confidence, and compassion –a concern for other’s well-being– also reduces fear.

All this, not money and power, is what really attracts success.
When our mind is focused on compassion, it is calm, and when we do, we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.


Peace of mind also means being undisturbed, free from concern. It’s all about our mental attitude and having a calm mind, and it is within us, it requires that we develop a warm heart and use our emotional intelligence.

 


Remember, the source of happiness lies within.

Stay strong.

 

One of the core values we have as a company is to inspire and empower people in all aspects of their lives. Additionally, if you want to read about our Custom Software Solutions and Consulting Services, please visit www.isucorp.ca