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How to Create an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

- Melody Beattie

Happiness and Success

I believe the key to happiness and success in life and work is to be thankful for the gifts you have received. You tap into positive energy and generate optimism about future possibilities.

It starts with being grateful and a prosperity mindset. Abundance will flow into your life and work when gratitude flows from your heart. You will experience more joy, love, peace, and happiness.

Gratitude Mindfulness

Appreciating others and saying thank you is good for your health and peace of mind. A large body of research on positive psychology and happiness suggests that developing an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

Recent research indicates that people who frequently feel grateful have increased energy, more optimism, increased social connections and more happiness than those that do not. Grateful people are less likely to be anxious, depressed, self-absorbed and greedy or suffer from substance abuse. They are economically better off, sleep better, exercise more regularly, and are more resilient.

The research is part of the “positive psychology” movement which focuses on strengths. Cultivating gratitude is a form of cognitive –behavioral therapy focusing on changing peoples’ thought patterns which can positively affect their moods.

As simple as it sounds, gratitude is actually a complex emotion that requires self-reflection, humility and empathy for others. Being grateful requires a shift in mind-set from negativity and blaming others focusing on problems, annoyances or perceived injustices to appreciating and giving credit to others.

Gratitude is essentially being aware of and thankful for the good things in our lives. We consider the things for which we are grateful; we count our “blessings.”

Psychological research indicates that the experience of gratitude makes us happy, and that the regular experience of gratitude can actually enable us to elevate our typical level of happiness in a sustained way. It takes regular practice to become a healthy habit.

Imagine intentionally focusing on the things in your life for which you are grateful. These might include significant relationships, your own achievements, or the contributions others have made in helping you accomplish your goals, small kindnesses from loved ones or even just the experience of sitting quietly for a while without the intrusion of your phone or Blackberry.

Gratitude increases well-being because it promotes the savoring of positive experiences. When we contemplate our “blessings” we squeeze the most out of these experiences. We stop taking things for granted and notice small things with a sense of wonder and appreciation. Gratitude allows us to get the most from the good things in our lives.

Count Your Blessings

To whom in the past are you grateful? Someone who gave you a break, someone who cared about you, inspired you, believed in you, or someone who simply listened to you? Have you ever sought them out to personally thank them?

For whom are you grateful for in your life right now? Have you let them know lately how much you appreciate them? A simple warm-hearted thank you can make someone’s day and lift your spirits.

Gratitude is quite simply an attitude or conscious choice. The one thing we can always choose each day, in any situation, is our attitude. We always have the ability to choose an attitude of gratitude.

One great benefit of a gratitude attitude is you become much more aware of the abundance you already have in your life. Another great benefit of a gratitude attitude is you often attract even more abundance into your life.

Have you ever noticed that what you focus on tends to be what happens? When we focus on our blessings it’s much easier to look out for others as well as ourselves.

If you intentionally try to focus on your “blessings” you’ll likely notice that it is impossible to simultaneously feel negative emotions. I experienced this during the San Francisco Loma Prieta earthquake when I lost many of my possessions. The acts of kindness of so many people shifted my thinking to appreciation of what truly mattered, and not things that could be replaced. My entire experience of the event was instantly transformed when I focused on those things for which I was eternally thankful.

Gratitude Research

Research demonstrates that people who experience relatively more positive emotions (joy, love, confidence) than negative (anger, fear, anxiety) are more successful and accomplished in various areas of their lives.
They:

  • Enjoy more satisfying and longer marriages
  • Develop more close friendships
  • Build more cooperative, charitable and helpful relationships
  • Earn higher income
  • Achieve more productivity at work
  • Get better work performance evaluations
  • Receive better manager ratings
  • Engage in richer social interactions
  • Express more self-confidence
  • Create more resilience
  • Demonstrate more creativity
  • Experience more energy and “flow”
  • Exude better physical health
  • Live longer lives

Psychological research indicates that these characteristics are not simply associated with happiness. Experiencing more positive emotion actually leads to this success.

Gratitude Exercises

Many of the people I’ve coached have experimented with gratitude exercises and found them to have a significant positive impact on their professional and personal lives. Successful people are self-aware and take action.

You might consider using the present moment as an opportunity for such an experiment. Here are seven methods that research indicates can have sustained positive effects:

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Note one to three good things that happened during the day and be specific. Post your intention on Facebook or Twitter. There’s even an iPod app for gratitude journaling!

2. Find a “gratitude accountability buddy”. Swap gratitude lists with a friend or co-worker; acknowledging where gratitude is due will keep it from sounding like bragging.

3. Watch your language. Using disparaging self-talk reinforces negative thinking. Don’t gossip.

4. Practice mindfulness. Several times a day, pause and focus on the sounds, smells, touches around you.

5. Take the time to savor all experiences. Smell the coffee and roses.

6. Count your blessings not sheep when going to sleep. Review events and people to be grateful for and let go of the rest.

7. Go on a gratitude visit. Write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who has made a positive difference in your life, but whom you never properly thanked.

Creating an attitude of gratitude at home and work can make everyone happier. Even small boosts in positive emotions can make life more fulfilling and satisfying and the world a more peaceful place.

So what are you thankful for? What’s good about your life? Be sincerely grateful. What dream do you want to create at home and at work? Trust it is possible and get excited about the possibility. It takes positive energy, a clear vision and massive action.

Thank You for Your Readership!

Are you working in a law firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Expressing gratitude and appreciation helps enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I regularly express gratitude and say thank you?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who create sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, engage, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Box 471525 San Francisco, California 94147-1525
Tel: 415-546-1252
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Web Site: http://www.workingresources.com
Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com.

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

The Leadership Trust Gap

Leadership & Trust

I’ve learned over the years that my most inspiring executive coaching leadership clients are congruent with how they feel and what they say. They get excited in my office telling me inspiring stories that engage their people. They are honest, humble, optimistic, and forward thinking.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases engagement and moves things forward.  In order for people to be fully engaged, they need to feel they are following trustworthy leaders who inspire them emotionally.

Trust Gap

Two barriers create a trust gap between leaders and their staffs:

1. The financial chasm that results from large pay disparities

2. A disconnect between verbal and nonverbal communication

While there is an inherent desire to identify and bond with one’s leader, people instinctively defend their own interests and exercise caution before committing their careers and livelihoods to anyone.

No one wants to commit to the wrong cause or person, which clearly highlights the importance of leaders’ honesty and authenticity.

Pay Disparities

Pay disparities can throw a massive wrench into the trust equation.

In 1990, the average American worker earned $27,000. Adjusted for inflation, this figure remains constant two decades later. But CEO compensation in the United States has increased 100 to 400 percent, and surveys show that 90 percent of institutional investors believe most executives are overpaid.

It doesn’t take a degree in psychology to predict that envy leads to divisiveness.Such pay disparities between top leaders and their employees undermine workers’ security and sense of well-being. To make matters worse, the constant threat of downsizing and outsourcing magnify people’s fears.

This explains why employees struggle to see their leaders as invested in a shared outcome.But leaders who recognize trust-gap factors can prepare to deal with these issues by establishing an emotionally solvent, personal connection with their people.

Flailing leaders may need to engage executive coaches to help them work on their “emotional intelligence.”Employees are laboring in a harsh economy, so leaders need to learn and practice empathy, honesty and authenticity.

Nonverbal Communications

The second obstacle to overcome is the disconnect between what a leader says and actually feels.As a leader, you will experience a “say/feel” gap when your messages are incongruent with your physical expressions. In truth, facial expressions convey your feelings much more accurately than any words you say.

Research about messages estimates that 55 percent of meaning is derived from body language, 38 percent from vocal intonation and only 7 percent from the actual words.

We discern emotional content from others’ facial expressions, with seven universal emotions found across all cultures.In research done by Paul Eckmann in 2003, there are seven basic facial expressions of emotions:

1. Positive:happiness

2. Neutral:surprise

3. Negative:anger, fear, sadness, disgust and contempt

Studies of CEOs’ facial expressions reveal that honest and robust social smiles trump all others when one wants employees to feel hopeful and buy into goals.The worst possible expressions are dislike, especially when combined with anxiety (fear). Condescending, scared leaders will invariably cut themselves off from others.

The key here is for leaders to acquire knowledge of how congruent their nonverbal facial expressions are with their intended message.Again, working with an executive coach can help.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for enlightened leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help trustworthy leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business environment?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Are my emotions and body language congruent?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and sustainable company or law firm where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Leadership Character and the Greater Good – Character Matters

Leadership Character

My most effective executive coaching leadership clients know the “why” of their business. They are open, optimistic and forward thinking.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases engagement and productivity.  In order for people to be fully engaged and happy, they need to feel they are following leaders who inspire them emotionally.

Sustainable business success depends on honest and trustworthy leaders. Leaders must influence others to join a cause greater than making a profit or creating good products or services. They give employees reasons to believe in the company and its leadership ideals. They establish themselves as credible, trustworthy and unselfish role models who are looking out for the group and individual performers. They ask others to join “us,” without sacrificing their “me.”

Character Matters

Leaders should strive to get people on board and promote enthusiasm, but many miss the mark. Workplace statistics show that only 25 percent of employees are truly engaged.

Senior management’s goal is to develop an atmosphere of trust and generosity of spirit. When leaders give workers something they can believe in—a cause greater than the common good—they engage both hearts and minds.

From a psychological standpoint, most of us seek meaning in our lives, and many of us find it through our work. Leaders can facilitate this by communicating their own beliefs, passions and ideals.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for high potential leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent culture?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I effectively communicate my beliefs, passions and ideals?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who create sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.
For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

3 Keys to Leadership Success

Leadership Success

I’ve learned over the years that my most effective executive coaching leadership clients know the “why” of what they are passionate in achieving. They get excited in my office telling me inspiring stories of their hopes and struggles. They are optimistic and forward thinking.

One of my law firm Managing Partner clients confided in me this week that he was struggling to convince several of the partners on a new strategy for the firm. He logically countered every differing point of view, and yet hours later no one had changed their mind. It was as if the big egos in the room were locked in a battle of who was right and blaming the others for perceived failures.

I asked him “Can you give me a time when you did influence them?” “How did you do it?” He responded “When I allowed myself to get visibly emotional”. Not his strong suit. I suggested that he give it a try again and see what happens.

At our next meeting, he reported that it interrupted the pattern of a battle of wits and got everyone’s attention. The partners thought that if he was so passionate about his belief in the new strategy that they shifted into listening mode rather than presenting endless logical arguments that created gridlock.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases engagement and moves things forward.  In order for people to be fully engaged, they need to feel they are following leaders who inspire them emotionally.

3 Leadership Success Keys

Numerous studies indicate that sustainable business success depends on three key leadership a

1. The greater good. Leaders must influence others to join a cause greater than making a profit or creating good products or services. They give employees reasons to believe in the company and its leadership ideals. They establish themselves as credible, trustworthy and unselfish—role models who are looking out for the group and individual performers. They ask others to join “us,” without sacrificing their “me.”
2. Clear vision. Continual change may be traumatic for employees, so leaders must paint a convincing picture of the future that motivates and prepares people for what’s coming.
3. Cohesive culture. Employees expect their leaders to read a situation in emotional terms and proactively foster a climate of participation and collaboration. Leaders also devote time and energy to grooming talent, as well as recognizing and rewarding good work.

Each of these leadership roles requires emotional awareness and, most importantly, the ability to express appropriate feelings effectively. Having clear ideals and beliefs serves no good if leaders cannot connect on an emotional level with those they lead.

In turn, leaders must learn how to express their own emotions.Years of education and training, with an emphasis on cognitive skills, may mean they’re far from adroit at managing their own feelings.

Because most emotions are perceived nonverbally, there may be a disconnect between what leaders say and what they actually communicate. Emotional astuteness requires an awareness of what one feels, verbalizes and conveys through nonverbal communication. Conversely, leaders must learn to read others’ emotions—individually and in groups—to ask the right questions and build trust.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for enlightened leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business environment?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I improve my ability to express appropriate feelings effectively?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is motivated and fully engaged.You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.
For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Emotions - The Secret Sauce of Leadership

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

I’m often surprised when I walk into a client’s organization by the eerie silence. Employees are busy working on their computers, but there is very little interaction.

One of my lawyer executive coaching clients confided in me this week, that when she brings her little girl to the office hardly anybody even says hello to her child. The law firm mission statement touts the value of work-life balance if there is such a thing, but it’s not practiced. My high performing client is beginning to think that the grass may be greener with the law firm down the street.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases productivity. In order for employees to be fully engaged, they need to feel they can bring all of themselves to work.

Emotions are critical to business success because they drive behaviors. Companies that achieve an emotional buy-in from consumers and employees will have a competitive advantage in a world of increasing commoditization.

Business has a long tradition of ignoring emotions in favor of rationality. Feelings are disregarded as messy, dangerous, inferior and even irrelevant to day-to-day operations. In marketing and in managing, the emphasis has been on appealing to the rationality of people.

But a growing body of scientific evidence reveals that subconscious feelings drive decisions, up to 95% of which are made through the brain’s emotion centers and only then filtered into its cognitive parts. Psychologists, neuroscientists and behavioral economists now agree that leaders who fail to understand how emotions drive actions will ultimately fail.

Emotionally astute leaders leverage feelings to gain employee commitment, engagement and performance, according to Dan Hill, CEO of Sensory Logic and author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (Kogan Page, 2008). Similarly, experts featured in a Time magazine cover story (January 17, 2005) confirmed the link between satisfaction and productivity, citing a 10 percent improvement in job performance among fulfilled employees.

A company’s emotional climate may account for up to 30 percent of job performance, according to case studies that Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee reviewed for their book, Primal Leadership (2002). CEOs, they note, are responsible for creating more than 50 percent of this climate.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for high potential leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business environment?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I improve our company’s emotional climate?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.
For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Essential Traits of a Trusted Advisor

Trusted Advisor

Enlightened businesses today hire leadership consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development programs. However, increasingly a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

This special partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration produces sustained results. The role of trusted advisor is collaborative, transparent and fiercely client-centered.

David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford authors of The Trusted Advisor (2000) listed traits that trusted advisors have in common. Trusted advisors:

    * Seem to understand us, effortlessly, and like us
    * Are consistent (we can depend on them)
    * Always help us see things from fresh perspectives
    * Don't try to force things on us
    * Help us think things through (it's our decision)
    * Don't substitute their judgment for ours
    * Don't panic or get overemotional (they stay calm)
    * Help us think and separate our logic from our emotion
    * Criticize and correct us gently, lovingly
    * Don't pull their punches (we can rely on them to tell us the truth)
    * Are in it for the long haul (the relationship is more important than the current issue)
    * Give us reasoning (to help us think), not just their conclusions
    *  Give us options, increase our understanding of those options, give us their recommendation, and let us choose
    * Challenge our assumptions (help us uncover the false assumptions we've been working under)
    * Make us feel comfortable and casual personally (but they take the issues seriously)
    * Act like a real person, not someone in a role
    * Are reliably on our side and always seem to have our interests at heart
    * Remember everything we ever said (without notes)
    * Are always honorable (they don't gossip about others, and we trust their values)
    * Help us put our issues in context, often through the use of metaphors, stories, and anecdotes (few problems  are completely unique)
    * Have a sense of humor to diffuse (our) tension in tough situations
    * Are smart (sometimes in ways we're not)

Maister, Green and Galford suggest we ask ourselves "Which of these traits do my clients think I possess?"  (Not what you think you possess, but what they think you possess!)" These authors believe the ability to earn trust is a learnable skill, and promise The Trusted Advisor (2000) will provide clear direction and a path based on integrity.

Over a twenty-five year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be incredibly energizing. My clients don’t treat me as a vendor or dispassionate expert, but as someone who cares about their success at the deepest level of engagement.

The leaders I work with truly are often lonely at the top. Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

I love that we can often discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth.  Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing unwavering trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I benefit from working with a trusted advisor?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

Categories: 

The Trusted Advisor Relationship – Developing Empathy

The Trusted Advisor

Enlightened businesses today hire leadership consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development programs. However, increasingly a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

This special partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration helps clients achieve desired results. The role of trusted advisor is open, transparent and fiercely client-centered.

Empathy Skills

Empathy skills are those that involve paying attention to other people - for example, listening, attending to the needs and wants of others, and building relationships. Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work:
1. Understanding others: sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns.
2. Developing others: sensing others’ development needs and bolstering their abilities.

At the outset empathy involves real curiosity and a desire to know or understand. There is a genuine interest in what the person is saying and feeling. You cannot have empathy without asking questions. Some typical ones are:

1. “Can you say more about that?”
2. “Really? That’s interesting. Can you be more specific?”
3. “I wasn’t aware of that. Tell me more.”
4. “I’m curious about that…let’s discuss this in more depth.”
5. “Let me see if I understand you correctly…here is what I hear you say…”

Leaders who are high in empathy skills are able to pick up emotional cues. They can appreciate not only what a person is saying, but also why they are saying it. At the highest levels, they also understand where a person’s feelings might come from.

Those that do not have empathy have a tendency to misread the other person. They do not ask questions to clarify. They do not pay attention to non-verbal cues. Those people who are analytical by nature will listen to the words, facts and figures and completely miss the real message of what is being said.

Ten Ways to Develop Empathy

1. Keep a note of situations in which you felt you were able to demonstrate empathy and a note when you felt you did not. Make a note of missed opportunities to respond with empathy.
2. Become aware of incidents where there may be some underlying concerns that are not explicitly expressed by others.
3. Make a note of possible emotions or feelings that the other person may be experiencing. Keep an open mind and never assume, merely explore the possibilities.
4. Develop a list of questions to ask at your next encounter with that person. Try to make the questions open-ended, that is, questions that can’t be answered by yes or no.
5. Practice listening without interrupting. Wait until the other person is complete with their point of view before offering yours.
6. Avoid being defensive in order to create an open dialogue where possibilities can be explored freely.
7. Allow creative time for people to express opinions and ideas without judgment.
8. Practice active listening: always check out the meaning of what was said with the person speaking. Paraphrasing what was said helps to clear up misconceptions and to deepen understanding.
9. Always bring focus back into the conversation. Remember that optimal effectiveness is achieved by a combination of focus and empathy.
10. Work on achieving an effective balance of focus, goal orientation and empathic listening.

Emory University distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth offers the following additional suggestions. Put yourself in unfamiliar physical or intellectual situations where you have neither mastery nor control. Travel to get new perspectives on how people live and their sufferings. Learn to distinguish between observations and judgments. Learn from failures and setbacks. Recognize and monitor your own personal filters. Don’t stereotype. Ask guiding questions that help clients find their own answers.

How Empathetic Are You?

•  You know what issues and concerns keep your clients awake at night.
•  You do twice as much listening as talking.
•  You and your clients enjoy spending time with each other, and they routinely confide in you.

Over a twenty-five year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be incredibly energizing. My clients don’t treat me as a vendor or dispassionate expert, but as someone who cares about their success at the deepest level of engagement.

The leaders I work with truly are often lonely at the top. Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

We can discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth.  Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing unwavering trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How empathetic am I?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Becoming a Trusted Advisor - How to Build Trust

Trusted Advisor

Enlightened leaders today hire leadership consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development. However, increasingly a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

This special partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration produces more sustainable results. The role of trusted advisor is open, transparent and fiercely client-centered. Emory University distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth offers the flowing wise insights.

Building Trust

Client’s trust in you extends beyond their belief that you will do good work. It is a deeper, broader trust based on both professional competence and personal integrity.

There is a quality of openness and warmth in your client relationships. Both you and your clients feel to bring up touchy or awkward subjects with each other. If on the rare occasion you slip up and miss a commitment, your clients are forgiving.

Nurturing trust on a daily basis puts a daily deposit in the emotional bank account; by taking actions that reinforce trust. Practice not perfection creates success.

Knowing what you stand for is critical to building trusting relationships. Integrity is a wholeness bounded by a set of beliefs and values. What are your principles? What guides your professional and personal life?

Culture Change

Developing a trusted advisor relationship with clients often translates into their creating a parallel culture and climate change in their organizations.

When people experience distrust, they describe their working environment as:
•  Threatening
•  Divisive
•  Unproductive
•  Tense
In contrast, when working in a trusting environment, people report the experience as:
•  Fun
•  Supportive
•  Motivating
•  Creative
•  Comfortable
•  Productive

Companies that foster a culture of transparency and trust clearly have a competitive advantage for sustainable success. Working with a trusted advisor and learning to trust can help you create a more sustainable company culture.

Over a twenty-five year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be incredibly energizing. My clients don’t treat me as a vendor or dispassionate expert, but as someone who cares about their success at the deepest level of engagement.

The leaders I work with often express being lonely at the top. Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

We value that we can often discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth. Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing unwavering trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Would I benefit from the special relationship of working with a trusted advisor?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.
Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Five Habits of a Trusted Advisor – The Clients’ Perspective

Enlightened businesses today hire leadership consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development programs. However, increasingly a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

This special partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration produces significant results.The role of trusted advisor is open, transparent and fiercely client-centered. Emory University distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth offers the following powerful perspectives from clients.

Clients’ Perspective

1. The really good professionals ask great questions. Often, they enable solutions rather than supply them.
2. The best business advisors have a good understanding of my industry, but also breadth. Some of the best insights I have gotten have come from professionals who bring analogies from other fields.
3. Good professionals are great listeners.They hear what you mean, not necessarily what you say.
4. It is very tough finding ‘honest brokers’ who are unbiased and not pushing their own agenda with you. Everyone walks in here wanting something.
5. Our consultants always end the session with a half-hour presentation on ‘next steps’, the execution of which cannot, of course, be accomplished without the consultants. What I really value instead are working sessions, which advance our thinking.

Over a twenty plus year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be incredibly energizing. My clients don’t treat me as a vendor or dispassionate expert, but as someone who cares about their success at the deepest level of engagement.

The leaders I work with truly are often lonely at the top.Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

I love that we can often discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth. Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing unwavering trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How might I benefit from working with a trusted advisor?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged.You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica.

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman
 

Categories: 

How to Be a Trusted Advisor - Trusted Advisor vs. Expert Consultant

Trusted Advisor

A number of businesses today hire consultants and executive coaches to help with their leadership development programs. I’ve found that a number of my clients now prefer me to help them in the role of trusted advisor rather than expert consultant.

The partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration produces better results. However, the role of trusted advisor is sometimes misunderstood. Emory University distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth offers these distinctions:

•  Expert Consultants provide knowledge; Trusted Advisors provide depth and breadth of knowledge
•  Expert Consultants tell; Trusted Advisors listen
•  Expert Consultants provide good answers; Trusted Advisors ask great questions
•  Expert Consultants control; Trusted Advisors collaborate
•  Expert Consultants provide expertise; Trusted Advisors provide insight
•  Expert Consultants analyze; Trusted Advisors synthesize

Over a twenty five year coaching and consulting career, I have found the trusted advisor role based on mutual respect and trust to be very special. The leaders I work with truly are often lonely at the top. Their ability to be open and transparent with me sharing their hopes and fears often leads to more comfort creating an organizational culture based on similar values.

I love that we can often discuss trends in other industries, politics, religion, art, music and other topics that inform the leaders’ personal and professional growth. Leaders appreciate working with a thought partner to develop good judgment, and gain clarity in their decision-making. Establishing trust is critical to this somewhat sacred relationship.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for senior leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop a more sustainable business? Trusted Advisors help enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Would I benefit from working with a trusted advisor?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.
Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

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