Manufacture Your Day by APPLYING THIS AWESOME MENTAL STRATEGY

I have said it before and I will say it again: “Our mind is everything.” 

Having a business strategy is important but if you don’t have a mental strategy, it can and will  make your personal and professional life unnecessary difficult. The way we think and speak can hold us back in so many ways. 

Today I would like to introduce a very simple mental strategy. 

I encourage you to eliminate “I have to” from your vocabulary. 

Replace it with “I get to” and notice the difference this will make. 

Look at this:

I have to go to work – how about “I get to go to work” and I am grateful that I have a job. 

I have to cook dinner – how about “I get to cook dinner” and I am grateful for the people at my dinner table.  

I have to do laundry – how about “I get to do laundry” and I am grateful that I have a washing machine. 

I have to pick up the kids from school – how about “I get to pick up the kids from school” and I am grateful to be blessed with children. 

I have to go to the operations’ meeting – how about “I get to go to the operations’ meeting” and I am grateful that I have a spot at that table. 

I have to travel for business to……  – how about “I get to travel for business to … ” and I am grateful for the opportunity to add value. 

Do you get my point?  

Get into the habit of counting your blessings instead of creating stress by the way you speak. 

I get to write daily messages for YOU and I am grateful for the opportunity to educate, inform and inspire. 

Now don’t wait another minute and “get to” it. 

Manufacture Your Day by HELPING OTHERS TO BECOME BETTER

Here is an important thought:

How can people meet your expectations if you don’t allow time to connect with your team members and provide regular feedback? 

Reality is that we are human beings and it is so easy to judge others. Society is judgmental and we are trained to conform to this judgement at a young age. We start doing what we see. 

When we judge others it has often to do with our own insecurities, shortcomings and needs. Good to be aware, right? 

Why do we think we have the right to place the meaning of “right and wrong” on situations, outcomes and people?  

We should give feedback for 2 reasons only: 

  1. Tell the person what you appreciate about him/her (reinforce positive behaviour)
  2. Give tips on how the person can improve (success tips based on their behaviour)

It is easy to destroy someone’s self-worth by criticizing them but it takes real skill to be sincere and help a person to get better. 

In our workshops we experience it all the time. People are very hesitant to give or receive feedback. That is totally understandable because many people have been criticized for so long that they feel every comment is an attack against them. 

How can companies become the best in the industry if people internally are busy fighting against each other? 

Here are my thoughts on stopping judgment: 

  • Look for the positive in the person – judgments are negative and they can’t exist if you look for the positive. 
  • Monitor your thoughts – if you think negative thoughts about the person, you can’t connect with the person. Become more aware of  what you think and how you think about the person. 
  • Remember “that feeling” of being judged – doesn’t feel good, does it? So why do it to someone else? 

Don’t be a legend in your own mind. We all make mistakes, right? 

I hope we can all agree that we need more sincerity and less judgment in the workplace. 

Manufacture Your Day by CHOOSING HAPPINESS

Today is Monday and I want you to know that you don’t have to wait for the weekend to be happy. Happiness is a decision that we have to make every day.

I admit, some days this is easier than others. 

We live in such busy and rushed times that we often forget to be mindful and present. Life can become difficult when we allow ourselves to be lost in thought.

There are so many people whose focus has become to “survive” the week. They speak about happy hump day (Wednesday) and TGIF (thank god it’s Friday), and one day they will be old and realize that they didn’t enjoy the journey. What a sad way to live life.

Here is what you can do to be more mindful:

  • Start the morning with truly enjoying your coffee or tea – sit, smell it, taste it, enjoy it (10 minutes is a great start).  – I have never had a coffee in my car before I moved to Canada 15 years ago and I still value a good and mindful breakfast with my husband at home.
  • Practise mindfulness during routine activities. – For example, when you drive to work, choose a different route. It will help you to become more aware and  will prevent that you function on autopilot.
  • Breathe while you have to wait somewhere. – I don’t know about you but I am very impatient in these situations. In order to prevent frustration it helps me when I take a few deep breaths and then I start observing the people around me. Frustration can turn into fascination. 
  • Choose a cue to be mindful. – For example, whenever you touch a door knob , enter a meeting room or whenever you get a cup of coffee – see, touch, truly be in the moment. It helps to be present instead of being lost in thought all day long. 

Mindfulness is all about working with our five senses (see, touch/feel, smell, hear, taste) and learning to be present. Wouldn’t you want to stop the “worrying process” in your head?

Your thoughts, your attitude and your emotional responses will become more balanced, and you become a better decision maker as well.

Trust me, this works!

Manufacture Your Day by LETTING GO OF CONTROL

Happy Friday! 

Have you ever noticed that part of being human is that so many of us have such a need of control. There are people who would like to control situations, people and outcomes. They simply would like to be certain that everything happens the way they want it to happen.

According to Tony Robbins certainty is one of our human needs. This is the need for safety, stability, security, comfort, order, predictability, control and consistency. 

One thing that I have learned over the years is that nothing in life is certain and that it serves us well to let go of control. 

Don’t you think that micromanaging every aspect of your life can be exhausting? For me it would be because I like to enjoy life as much as I can. 

I have my shortcomings but thankfully I am not a control freak and here is why:

  • I have developed mental flexibility
  • I focus on the things that I can control
  • I believe that whatever happens in my life happens in my favour

It has been said: 
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment.”

I truly do my best to live in the moment as much as I can. 

I am a happiness junkie because I believe that if we approach everything we do with joy, we are in the flow of life and everything seems to be a little bit easier. I do my best to manage my energy wisely by being mindful, self-aware of my emotional state and by surrounding myself with good people. 

Why swim against the current if you can swim with it?

Enjoy your well deserved weekend.

Manufacture Your Day by HAVING A MENTAL STRATEGY FOR TOXIC PEOPLE

With all the negativity in our world, it is important to develop a mental strategy for toxic people.  

Allow me to clarify first what can and will be toxic for you and for your work-environment:

  • negativity
  • bullying 
  • gossip
  • ongoing criticism 
  • driving the BMW (blaming, moaning and whining)
  • jealousy
  • indifference
  • mediocrity
  • complacency
  • entitlement
  • selfishness
  • “can’t do” attitude
  • constant “victim mode” (feeling sorry for yourself)

Two questions for you:

  1. Do you know toxic people?
  2. Do you think that you are toxic at times? 

Awareness is the first step. We can all be toxic but it is important that we don’t permanently “move” to toxicity. It’s not a great place to be and YOU definitely deserve better. 

People often think that I am always positive. I wish this would be true. 

Positivity is hard work. It is a constant checking in with myself when I get “off-track” and feel that my negative emotions are about to take over. It’s about being mindful about my feelings and starting to shift my focus whenever I start to feel bad. 

There are many toxic people around us. Sometimes these people are even within our family and they are definitely in our workplaces. I like to call them energy vampires. They tend to suck the life out of you. These individuals get their energy from being egocentric and controversial, belittling others and being the smartest person in the room.

This can be very damaging for people’s self-worth. I have said it before and I say it again, the self-worth of an employee is in direct correlation the net-worth of the employer. Bummer!

Here is what’s important for you to remember when you have to interact with a toxic person:

  • The situation is only 10 %, 90 % is how you respond to it – stay in your power. 
  • Take a deep breath to stay calm – why waste your energy? 
  • Ask yourself: Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy? 
  • Be positive – how does it help you in your life if you engage in gossip?
  • Be polite and smile – it will reduce your stress level.
  • Ask as many questions as you can – be curious instead of furious. 
  • When emotions are high, intelligence is low – you can’t win with an emotional person.
  • Stand up for yourself and call them on their behaviour – i.e. I am happy to continue our conversation whenever you are ready to treat me with respect (positive communication). 

If people in your family are toxic, visit less often. 

If your spouse is toxic, make time for good conversations. Address the problem before it is too late. It is better to talk with each other than about each other. 

If people in your work environment are toxic, there is usually a reason. Make it your mission to find it. You can positively influence others by being a role model with your own attitude. 

If your boss is a bully, take the initiative and find another job. 

Michelle Obama used to say, “When they go low, we go high.” 

Let it go, let it go, let it go. It will contribute to your happiness.

I am watching you! 

Manufacture Your Day by BEING DECISIVE

What do you think, are you a great decision maker?
 
How do you make decisions? Do you have to do a lot of research? Does not having “enough information” hold you back from making timely decisions? Do you make spontaneous decisions based on your gut feeling? Do you ask for input from your employees before you make decisions, which impact them? Do you have the reputation as someone who likes to “pass the buck” when a decision doesn’t turn out as it should have? 
We are all different and that’s a good thing but I believe it is important to acknowledge how we make our decisions and consider if we can make improvements in this area. When it comes to my decision making skills, I have to say that I’m pretty decisive. When I have to make a decision my natural instinct is to go ahead and like Nike says “just do it”. I am a very intuitive person and I often rely on my intuition and my gut feeling but there are also many situations that are based on facts and/or the input from others. Having said that, speed is only good when it is combined with clarity. Over the past couple of years I have learned to appreciate how beneficial it is when I take the time to get the opinion of others first.
I truly believe that information overload is a decision killer. If you think you have to know everything before you make a decision, you will never make one or by the time you do, it is already too late. We live in a very fast paced business environment and we have to find a way that combines our sense of urgency with the ability to make clear and timely decisions. 
In the corporate world the lack of decisiveness is, unfortunately, very apparent. Have you ever received an email from someone who also cc’d just about everyone else just to cover their rear end? Almost every day, right?
If this is the case in your company, you are most certainly dealing with trust issues throughout your organization. If people are afraid to make the wrong decision, they often try to avoid altogether making a decision. This is human nature and it may also be the reason why we see so many blame-storming sessions in our corporate environments.  
Decision making skills can be learned but if FEAR rules our emotions, it can really hurt the business and in many cases it already has. Fear causes inactivity and it usually takes our eyes of the target. If we become more concerned about ourselves than about anything else, it may be important to dig a little bit deeper. Usually, it is never as bad as it seems. In fact, it has been said that fear can be “false evidence appearing real”. Being fearful does not necessarily have to be a bad thing if we are aware of it.  I think we should be fearful at least once a day because this is a sign of progress. If we never feel uncomfortable and nervous about a decision we have to make, it means that we have settled for mediocrity. 
If you would like to be a more decisive person, you have to first know the difference between the decisions that will make a difference and the ones that won’t. Don’t be afraid to get constructive feedback from the people around you because you will benefit from their insights by allowing them to speak with you directly.
Decisiveness is not only a skill, it is also an attitude. Make the decision to be decisive and you will be, otherwise you could possibly end up like one of those flat squirrels. 

Manufacture Your Day by LEARNING TO BE PATIENT

The people who are close to me in my life will confirm that I am certainly not a patient person. I have to constantly work on it and I do believe that I have gotten a little bit better over the years. However, I am not going to lie – it is hard work. 

  • I am impatient when I have to wait in line.
  • I am impatient when I have to wait for a table in a restaurant. 
  • I am impatient when I explain something and I realize that the person doesn’t get it right away.
  • I am impatient when people move painfully slow. 
  • I am impatient when it comes to my own progress.

Can you relate? Yes, we all have a shadow side and I am never shy to share mine. 

Having said this, I am always patient when I work with committed people who put effort into self-improvement – may this be in my workshops or in my one-on-one coaching process. I have experienced improvements in people you wouldn’t even think are possible. I know that when you believe in people and when they are willing to do the work, the results will come no matter what. 

Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification. Management would like to see instant results without realizing how they may contribute to certain challenges. Employees on the other hand would like to see positive changes but many have become so disengaged over time that they would rather point fingers than doing their part. 

It is a vicious circle. 

Many people prefer short cuts and the easy way out BUT there are people who are prepared to go the extra mile. They have the drive and the willingness to get a little bit better each day. This is truly commendable and inspiring. 

These people understand a very simple rule (quoted by Jim Rohn):

“If you want things to get better, YOU have to get better. 

If you want things (or people) to change, YOU have to change.”

I refuse to give up on these underdogs (because I have been called one myself) and I will support them with every fibre of my being.

People who want to get better, always will. You can take my word for it. 

It is like with little children when they start to walk. Some will walk with 9 months, others with 16 months but it is a given that they will walk. The results are in the making. We wouldn’t give up on our children, so we shouldn’t give up on adults either. 

I am a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer and Facilitator.  I think I am a pretty caring person, and I most certainly believe in the power of the human spirit.

I encourage you to do the same. 

Manufacture Your Day by CONNECTING WITH NATURE

It is Monday morning and I thought I would send you a smile. It has been said that smiling is contagious and I hope you catch it in order to start your week on a positive note. 

Connecting with nature is something that I have learned early on from my parents and since I spent some time with them last week, it was nice to connect my past to my present.  I can remember so many times when I wanted to watch TV but my parents made sure that I was either on the ski hill, skating rink, bike or we went hiking together as a family. I may not always have appreciated it as a child but I certainly appreciate it today. 

I believe that we wouldn’t have to deal with all the “new diseases” ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) if more people would make sure that they put their phones down and make time for physical activity in combination with the outdoors. Of course this is also most effective for stress management. 

If your body feels better, so does your mind. Physical activity produces endorphins (chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers) and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Going for a walk before or after work, or at lunch can already make a significant difference. Ideally you find something that you truly enjoy doing. 

Don’t use winter as an excuse. It isn’t a matter of being cold, it’s all about dressing properly and making it a fun experience. 

If you start to consciously enjoy nature, your physical and mental health will be in good hands. Of course the same is true for your family and for the members of your team.

I encourage you to use nature in your favour. Ready, set, walk!

Manufacture Your Day by FOCUSING ON SOLUTIONS

It is Friday and you and your team may feel mentally worn out just like this cat. It doesn’t have to be that way. 

The work atmosphere in most manufacturing companies is unfortunately very problem centric.

Thinking and speaking about problems day after day will take a toll on your mental and physical health if you don’t have a mental strategy in place. 

Anyone can spot problems but if you train your mind to become more solution-oriented, you will be able to give the word “problem” a different meaning. 

If a problem is seen as an opportunity to become better or as a possibility to find new ways of doing things, it puts a positive spin on your daily challenges. 

Here are 3 simple insights that will help to move you into action:

1) Positivity – How You Think:
Everyone on the team has to understand that they have 100% control over their own attitude. What you focus on is what you will get. If you focus on problems, you will get more of them. If you focus on the possibilities, you will start seeing all of the opportunities.

Have you ever noticed how many “PCs” (professional complainers) are tolerated at our workplaces?

Your action:
Be aware of your own positivity first. How do you look at things? Is your language positive or negative? Do you expect people to fix issues or do you expect them to find solutions? The way we speak is very powerful. We should never expect more of others than we are willing to deliver ourselves.
Make others aware that their complaining attitude has a negative effect on the whole team. No “PCs” allowed!

For the next 3 months make positivity a priority. Start observing how people speak to each other. Be aware and make others aware.

2) Clarity – How You Express Yourself:
It can be difficult to express what we want, especially if we don’t know what we want. It seems to become even more challenging if we want other people to understand what we want.

You can be the smartest person in the room but if you cannot transform your thoughts into a meaningful message, your team won’t understand what you are trying to say. They have to know where you are going, why you are going there and why they should come with you.

What would it be like if people would do what you want them to do, not because they have to but because they want to?

Your action:
Write down 3 positive workplace behaviours that you would like to see. If you want to see more kindness, be kind. If you want to see more initiative, take initiative. If you want to see people take on responsibility, you must take on responsibility. Start living and breathing your own expectations.
If you observe these positive behaviours, acknowledge and reinforce them over and over again.

For the next 3 months look for the behaviours you want to see instead of complaining about the lack of them. I’ll say it again, acknowledge and reinforce. You don’t want to be a “PC”, do you?

3) Identity – What You Believe:
Behaviour change is based on a person’s identity. Every person has certain beliefs about themselves. If you believe that you are not a people person, you are right. If you believe that you can develop better people skills, you are right as well. You can choose what to believe. How awesome is that?

If you believe that your people can make a difference, they will.

Can you see where I am going with this?

Your action:
What are your beliefs about your role in the team? How much influence do you have? For example: “I am the type of leader who connects well with the people on my team.” Please remember that you do not need to have a title to be a leader.
Start proving it to yourself with incredibly small and simple steps. An example of a small win could be to schedule 1 hour a week to have a conversation with different team members. Get to know them. Show that you care. What is going well? Where do they see improvement opportunities?

If you start to think different, you will feel different and if you feel different, you will act different. 

Isn’t this what it is all about? 

Manufacture Your Day by RECOGNIZING THAT EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE HAS A PURPOSE

Happy Thursday from beautiful Austria!

Exploring business opportunities in Europe is amazing and I learn something from every person I meet. Some inspire me to become better and others demonstrate how I don’t want to be but everyone has a purpose. 

Today I would like to share an important insight with you. 

Whenever you go through a significant change in your life (promotion, job loss, change a job, marriage, new boyfriend/girlfriend, divorce/separation, moving to a new place/city/country, a new baby, etc.), you will have to make a decision and you have to ask yourself the following question:

Who do I have to become in order to conquer this challenge? 

This might mean:

  • developing new skills
  • being interested in self-improvement
  • improving mental strength
  • observing your emotional response
  • recognizing your limiting beliefs and fears
  • better thought management
  • creating new habits

If the challenges become bigger, you have to become better.

Every change demands something from you and if you are reading my messages, I know that you’re up for the challenge. Move forward, just avoid standing still. 

Life has so much to offer. 

Instead of being afraid or furious, be curious.

Curiosity about people, problems and perceptions can become a life changer – your life changer. That’s why I cheer for you to stop driving the BMW (blaming, moaning and whining) and start listening and learning instead.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you and help you to become the best possible version of yourself. 

I am with you every day and I know that you’re well on your way. Bravo!

Keep learning and keep improving. This attitude will make you unstoppable.