Why it makes sense to trust your gut | Authentic leaders trust their gut instincts | Follow your instincts

Leaders, Do You Trust Your Gut?

In our information-based world, many leaders have learned to make decisions based on whatever solid data can be gathered regarding a particular situation. But neuroscience has proven that there’s another important factor you should employ in leadership decision-making: trusting your gut.

Authentic Leaders Address Emotional Needs

Working effectively with people isn’t about how fast or how well your brain can process information, says the Forbes article The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading. As humans, we want and need to connect with each other on a deeper level—which takes empathy and imagination rather than just data.

More and more studies show that people perform better when their emotional needs are met. Leaders with good emotional intelligence and strong insights about their team members are better equipped to handle this.

Authentic leaders know themselves. They don’t depend solely on the “hard facts” – instead, they rely on their inner instincts and aren’t afraid to trust themselves, even if that means going against the grain when a situation dictates.

Why It Makes Sense to Follow Your Instincts

Human behavioral science believes that your gut collects and holds all your experiences and learning since you were born. When you trust your gut, you draw on this wealth of valuable information that can help you make better decisions, often more quickly and without having to process myriads of information.

Research has shown that when you combine this gut instinct with a thorough review of data, it can improve your decision-making in big, bold ways.

The leadership transformation coaches at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), can show you leadership approaches that use the right mix of facts, bold insight, and emotional intelligence to create a successful and empowered team.

Leaders, Try These Tips to Trust Your Gut

From FastCompany.com, here are some easy strategies you can use to trust your gut when making leadership decisions:

  • Take time to reflect. Avoid the temptation to make a snap decision and instead tell team members you need time to “sleep on it.”
  • If you tend to overanalyze, set a time limit for your decision and go to your gut at the end of that time period to see what your instincts tell you. Also be mindful of how you’re feeling, as that’s another way to access your gut intelligence.
  • Make a list of all your gut decisions and their outcomes. You’ll start to equate how you felt on a “gut level” with the results of your choice. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize when your instincts are giving you the thumbs up (or thumbs down) on a situation.

Bonus BOLD Tip: If it’s been a challenge for you to get in touch with your inner instincts, try meditation. Regularly participating in this powerful practice offers benefits that can not only help you deepen your capacity as a leader, but also give you fresh perspectives in your personal and professional lives.

Adding gut instincts to your decision-making tool box as a leader can help you and your team achieve impressive and on-going success.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including how to add an instinctive approach to your decision making process and leadership skillset? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

 

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Career advice for leaders , Smart leadership strategies , Career achievement moves for leaders

Leaders, Try These Smart Strategies to Reach Your Goals

Strong leaders spend a good deal of time focusing on the success of the people who work for them – sometimes at the expense of their own career achievements.

If your leadership abilities alone are not taking you where you want to go in your career, try incorporating the following smart strategies to reach your goals.

Career Achievement Moves for Leaders

Shift Your Leadership Focus – Just like the people they supervise, leaders are more effective when their work feels meaningful. Have you lost the drive for your work? Look for actions you can take to create more meaning in what you do.

Try “job crafting,” says Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski in a recent Inc.com article on successful leaders. This means being proactive about adding meaningful tasks – however you define them – into your workday and making them part of your job.

Don’t Wait To Be Ready – Even the best of us can create excuses about why we’re not where we want to be. Yet, putting off your career goals means waiting that much longer to actually achieve them. Take some common sense advice from a FastCompany.com career advice article and “ just go for it” – even if you don’t feel ready. Now that’s what I call a bold move!

Lead by Building Up Others – While this may seem like a given, it often takes conscious effort. When you show your confidence and trust in others, you make them stronger and build relationships that can help you reach your career goals. A win-win!

Leaders Practice Accountability – According to a 2015 study done at Dominican University of California, over 70 percent of participants who sent weekly updates to another person accomplished their goal or made steady progress – compared to the 35 percent of participants who didn’t write down or share their progress. As a leader, demonstrating strong accountability skills sets a strong example for your team.

At Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), we partner with leaders around the globe to develop effective ways to improve your leadership skills – while keeping your own unique career goals in mind.

Words of Wisdom from Successful Leaders

While we each have our own path, it’s often good to hear how other corporate leaders have achieved success. Here are a few quotes to inspire you from the Inc.com site:

  • Richard Branson: The Virgin Group founder asserts, “The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures, rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me… a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
  • Emily Hughes:  A business consultant for Google Fiber, Emily’s advice is to talk to a lot of people. “It was a way for me to recognize what skills I had, and also what skills I wanted to learn to be able to do what I wanted to do.”
  • Sheryl Sandburg: “Believe you can do anything. This is important for everyone and especially for women. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t have both a meaningful professional career and a fulfilling personal life. When you hear someone say you can’t do something, know that you can and start figuring out how,” affirms Facebook’s COO.
  • Jim Whitehurst: The Red Hat CEO states, “Find a rhythm where you can have enough time for family and friends, feel satisfied emotionally, and still excel at work, because building a great career is a marathon, not a sprint.”

As a leader, focusing on your personal career goals is never wrong. In fact, it sets an amazing example for your team members on what to do right to succeed.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams while making steady progress in your own leadership career? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

Image courtesy of freedooom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Are You Fully Committed To Motivating Your Employees?

In today’s business climate, it takes a lot more than money to motivate employees. In fact, when asked what motivates them to go the extra mile, money wasn’t even at the top of the list for many employees.

In a recent TED Talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely shared three non-monetary factors that positively influence workplace performance:

1) The meaningfulness of what we do.

2) The acknowledgement by others about what we do.

3) The difficulty of what we do—the harder it is, the prouder we are of it.

 

From a TED Talk website article, here are a few non-monetary motivational tips you might want to try in your organization.

Non-Monetary Team Motivators

Offer The Promise Of Helping Others – Presented properly, this can be extremely motivating to employees.

University of Michigan psychologist Adam Grant ran a study placing two types of signs at a hospital’s hand-washing station. One read “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases” and the other “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.” At the stations with the signs mentioning patients, doctors and nurses used 45 percent more soap or sanitizer.

It only takes some creative thinking for leaders to show how the team’s work is benefitting someone, from other team members to the public at large.

Present Positive Body LanguageBody language speaks as loudly as verbal feedback when it comes to influencing motivation.

Harvard University students gave speeches and interviews where experimenters either nodded and smiled or shook their heads and crossed their arms. When later tested, the group with the positive reinforcement answered numerical questions more accurately than the other group.

According to the study, this is because the students who saw positive body language believed they could handle the situation while the other group felt more discouraged—even if either group didn’t consciously know it. Leaders should pay close attention to be sure they’re sending the appropriate messages through their body language.

Allow Emotion-Producing Pictures – Hiroshima University students performed a dexterity task before and after seeing pictures of adult or baby animals. Both situations created better performance, but there was an additional ten percent improvement after students saw images of cute puppies and kittens.

Researchers call this the “cuteness-triggered positive emotion” and believe it helps us improve our motivation and performance on tasks that need close attention.

We at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) can help you master a variety of ways to effectively motivate your team to greater achievements.

Practical Tips to Stay Motivated

The Forbes.com article “How To Stay Super Motivated” offers some additional suggestions for motivation that can be practiced personally by leaders and team members.

  • Truly commit yourself to personal excellence regardless of what others around you are doing.
  • Spend two minutes every day reminding yourself of the “why” of what you are committed to.
  • Believe that you are unstoppable – and tell yourself this again and again.
  • Congratulate yourself on your successes every night, even the small things. This sense of achievement will improve your drive and motivation, says the article.

Bolder Moves BONUS Tip: You already know accountability is a key leadership quality, so don’t forget to hold yourself accountable when it comes to staying motivated. Being accountable can help you deepen your understanding of yourself and your team, achieve bigger goals more effectively, and stay focused even when challenges inevitably pop up.

No matter how you generate it, motivation is a key factor in obtaining high-quality, success-building results.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including motivational tips and tactics to generate more success? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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Redefining The Smart Business Team

When building or re-working a team, don’t assume that people with high IQs or extroverts automatically make the best team members.

Shared in a recent New York Times article, two corroborative studies by professors at Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, and Union College revealed some eyebrow-raising results on what constitutes a smart, well-functioning team.

The Big Three

  • Equal Contribution – The study showed that in smart teams, all members of the group contributed equally to discussions – rather than the group being dominated by only one or two people.

Did you know? With their quiet presence, introverts often make highly effective listeners, are open to suggestions, and come up with creative insights for improvement. These qualities can bring a grounding presence, particularly to more “vocal” teams, according to an HBR piece covering the many advantages of quiet leaders.

  • Emotional Intuitiveness – Members of smart teams scored higher on a test called Reading The Mind In The Eyes that measured the ability to “read complex emotional states from images of faces with only the eyes visible.” To use a more current phrase you may already be familiar with, team members had increased emotional intelligence.
  • A Higher Percentage of Women – Results showed that teams with more women performed better than those with more men. Study authors think this is partly because on average, women are better than men at “reading the mind” as explained above.

These three factors are key whether members are working face to face or come together from remote locations via web meeting tools. If team members can consistently “consider and keep track of what other people feel, know and believe,” the group will thrive, according to the study.

At Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), we can help you not only create smarter teams – but increase their levels of success through effective leadership approaches.

A Secret Ingredient

On the site Ideas.Ted.com, a study by Professor Alex Pentland, director of the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs, showed that building social capital also created strong, intelligent teams.

Building social capital simply means investing in the connections among team members to create a climate where team members trust each other—even if they don’t necessarily like each other. The focus is on everyone performing to their optimum level for the good of the organization as a whole.

High levels of trust generate a climate of safety and honesty, making it easier for team members to share knowledge, support each other, and ask for help when needed. They’re also secure enough to present the “out of the box” suggestions or probing questions.

With these factors in play, your smart team will forge the way to success.

Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including how to select smarter team members? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.

 

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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How To Recognize And Defeat Decision Fatigue

While the act of making a decision seems simple enough, too much of it for too long can lead to something known as decision fatigue. By definition, decision fatigue means that after long periods of decision making, it’s harder to make good decisions.

Yes, it’s a real condition and if not recognized and controlled, it can wreak havoc in both your business and personal life.

Recognizing Decision Fatigue

A recent article on CNBC.com described how a business owner or anyone in corporate leadership could recognize the onset of decision fatigue.

  • Becoming a “bottleneck” to the smooth operation of your business or department. This can happen if either purposefully or by default you’ve become “the answer person,” i.e. the one that everyone comes to with every possible question or concern.
  • Making even simple decisions, like granting an employee’s request for time off, takes longer than is really necessary.
  • Continually putting off a big decision that needs to be made. According to the article, “Whether it’s spending money on new equipment or new employees, you’re probably facing several decisions that could have profound effects on your business. If you’ve been vacillating over these decisions for weeks or even months, decision fatigue has taken hold.”
  • Noticing that your behavior is more impulsive than what’s normal for you. Examples could be spending money (or more money) on unnecessary items, binge eating, or extended time playing games on your phone.

We at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com) have a plethora of effective tools and strategies to keep decision fatigue at bay.

Controlling Its Effects

An article on the Forbes website presents three steps preventing or overcoming decision fatigue:

  1. Determine whether or not the decision you need to make is consistent with your core values. If it isn’t consistent, rework your decision.
  2. Consider the worst-case scenario and its outcomes. If you believe you can live with those results should they happen, then choose that course.
  3. Figure out how the decision will impact you in terms of time, people, and money. If the benefits are worth the costs, go ahead with your decision.

We don’t like to think so, but our mental energy is a limited resource that’s easily depleted. Today’s myriad of choices can drain us before we even realize what’s happening, so it’s critical that we learn to recognize decision fatigue and repair it before it causes too much damage in any aspect of our lives.

BufferApp.com describes this new way of making decisions as “making decisions that free us from making more decisions.”  In other words, delegate. Empower employees to make decisions within their scope of control so that you no longer have to be “the answer person” for every issue.

 

Looking for a way to build bold leadership and to reduce decision fatigue? Sign up here to access my Weekly Bold Move.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Colleen

Colleen Slaughter - International Leadership CoachColleen Slaughter, Your Big, BOLDER Life Mentor, is a speaker, coach, author and founder of Authentic Leadership International. She is passionate about providing ambitious International leaders with the courage, confidence and clarity they need to stop selling themselves short, to claim what they really want in business and in life and to go for it!

Clients say Colleen has helped them find their voice, listen to it, and act on it, and that, by doing so, they have gained a sense of freedom, joy and fulfillment beyond measure.

Colleen’s perspectives have been featured in ABC, NBC, CBS, Enterprising Women and the Woman’s Advantage® Shared Wisdom Calendar for 2012, 2015 and 2016.

If she could be granted a superpower, it would be to vanish people’s feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness and to replace them with the deep understanding of how much they, and what they envision for themselves are important.
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