Just Calm Down

Telling someone who is visibly upset to "Just calm down" is like saying, “Just stop overeating” to someone who wants to lose weight. Intellectually, you know what you need to do yet your self-management skills aren’t keen enough to cease the behavior or the unresolved feeling. And quick fix advice such as “be positive” makes you feel worse because it denies the inadequacy you feel inside. 

I used to be more of what could have been labeled a ‘distant’ leader. Calming down was not my issue. Relatability was.

Three things changed that for me and for my clients struggling with how to manage emotions:

1) Allow them.

2) Be curious about them.

3) Be compassionate to yourself and others.

This wasn’t a quick fix. It was a repeated practice of continually taking myself through this exercise of self discovery which lead to self acceptance.

I was a single mother and only provider of four children who was stuck in survival mode. I neglected...

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When You Personalize Your Employees' Behavior

When I was a new manager I used to personalize why members of my team weren’t engaged. I made it about me. I was the reason they were under-performing.  

I did everything in my power to re-engage them and when it didn’t work I then started to resent them for being disengaged. What I didn’t do was hold them firmly accountable to clear goals for fear of push-back and confrontation. I didn’t do my job as a manager and they became entitled.  

When I set clear goals and began meeting with them regularly on their performance on those goals we began a dialogue around the challenges they were having and could role play alternative scenarios. The feedback depersonalized for me when I made it about their performance on the goals and not their attitude versus my expectations. Very objective. Them against the goal, policy, company value - not me. 

Wishing you the power of regular feedback on clearly defined goals today.

Listen to a recent...

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When You Want to Quit

Patience. Yesterday I helped a client understand that her efforts will be far better placed in seeking a new role as opposed to struggling in a culture out of alignment with her values. There was freedom in that decision for her.  

Now instead of questioning her worth she is positioning her value proposition on a platform that showcases her specific and unique talent so that she may be effective in a rewarding setting. In doing so she had to let go of thinking she failed if she moved on. She had to walk away from feeling ineffective and unwanted. Now she sees light where there had only been despair. That’s power.  

Hope is not a strategy. It is a springboard to new beginnings that start with necessary endings.  

Wishing you the patience to allow yourself to see an opportunity in letting something go to make room for alignment with your values. In that space you can plan and execute at your best instead if doubting and worrying at your worst. ...

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Don't Fake that It's Ok

Positivity is a powerful concept but not a strategy. Pretending that you have a positive attitude when it is inauthentic is exhausting. And it doesn’t work. When you can’t get think positive and sustain it even though everyone tells you to be positive you feel worse - another failure.  

Honor the hurt. Go deeper with it. Own it. Name it. Blame all you want. Realize the shame. Write about it. Journal about it. Tell someone. Get it out. We can release what we own. When you own your feelings, you can purposely RELEASE the negativity. Otherwise it keeps hanging around. 

Next, name what you feel you DESERVE - happiness, career, opportunity, love, friendships, etc. 

Open yourself with vulnerability to ACCEPT all that is good and that you deserve. It means releasing the expectation that failure and negativity will continue. Be curious about the process. Yes, it’s scary not knowing how the story will end. But so is a life of negativity. 

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When the Problem is the Emotional Churn

This week I took in two new executive coaching clients and had another client renew for the year - all three having the courage to address the same issue. They’re smart, educated and have good roles. Yet they want a plan that delivers tangible career and life reward and mostly want to address their inner critic that inserts itself in their heads such that they adopt its voice as fact when it’s only an assumption and end up with less results than they are capable of.  

There is nothing wrong with these three leaders. They’re just human. We are wired really well for avoiding danger. This is how we’ve evolved over the centuries and are not extinct. But the fight or flight mechanism does not serve us at a staff meeting, in a conflict situation, when receiving feedback or when challenged in the board room.  

Patterns of thinking lead to patterns of behavior. We have to turn into the thinking - not away - to understand and challenge it. We need...

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This is Attractive

Interview candidates and relationship builders please keep this image message in mind. Show hiring managers genuineness. Demonstrate how you are kind in stories. Give examples of how your loyalty led to a good decision. Talk about the respect you have for a former boss.

Hiring managers and businesses hire for experience and cultural fit. Your character matters but they can’t see the character as easily as they see your experience. You have to allow them to see a glimpse of your soul - what matters to you and how you think.

Show don’t tell. Don’t tell people you’re loyal - that’s your opinion. Show them through a story of how struggled with something then ultimately made a conscious choice. Let them draw their own opinion.

If you like these tips, here's a link to my new FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World >>> https://www.maryleegannon.com/31-success-practices-for-leaders 

If...

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I Just Want to Be Alone

Recently we took my grandson who was visiting from out of town to the zoo. It gave me the opportunity to witness the simplicity of basic interaction. As humans the very nature of our existence is to interact. Our interconnectedness is crucial to our happiness and well-being. Sometimes I just want to be alone and not have to deal with the bureaucracy, power struggles and personal agendas of work and life. But it is not helpful to feel that way most of the time.  

My awareness tells me that in those moments I’m withdrawing because I’ve projected a previous experience on the situation along with my bias. Every moment is a new moment. I’m happier and more effective when I choose to be surprised by what happens. This leaves me completely vulnerable. It’s a little scary not knowing what might occur as opposed to armoring up against my projected outcome. It is uncharted territory to not control how I’ll respond. But it’s more fun to smile than...

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Trying to Change Them

When people hire me as their executive coach many times they are struggling with a stagnant career, feel stereotyped or are having a difficult time finding clarity, balance and being effective. As we dig into the real root cause nine times out of ten the biggest issue is their confidence in feeling worthy to deliver. This doubt presents itself in our behavior, though we don’t realize the subtleness of our eye contact, voice intonation, relationship savvy. Everyone has a blind spot. The problem is that others see it with what they perceive as pinpoint accuracy and then apply their own bias to it resulting in prejudice. And therefore, you don't get what you want. 

If you struggle with any of these issues let's have a conversation to see if coaching is a good fit. You can request a free call with me at the link below. If you don’t know where you'll be at the end of the year, you're already there.

Success is freedom. Not more hours. Request a free call now so we can see...

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16 Big Impact Ways to Give a Gift that Costs You Nothing

If you've been to the grocery store this time of year you know that it is either the holiday season or Armageddon. You're buying things you don't usually use. (When is the last time you bought fresh sage?) You're doing mini makeovers of your home decor. (That old rug never looked so bad.) And you're hoping the discussion at dinner doesn't turn to politics.

I invite you right now to shift your perspective from holiday expectations to what the holiday season is truly about. Love. Yes, Love. Not present giving. Just love. Even at work. It may not be appropriate for you to give a substantively large gift to someone at work. Your time is more valuable than anything you can buy. How will you demonstrate the tenets of love to everyone in your work and personal life? How will you extend compassion, patience, consideration, listening, understanding? 

16 Big Impact Ways to Give a Gift that Costs You Nothing 

  1. Offer to help a colleague with a project on which they have been...
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At first I didnt believe this.

At first I didn't believe this graphic. Be careful how you interpret your responsibility for an unhappy person’s environment. I do believe as leaders we have to nurture our team culture and provide a safe place for mistakes to happen without shame. I believe we must encourage and be accepting. But when someone is stuck and their behavior is disrespectful and uncalled for boundaries are necessary. We don’t own or placate someone else’s bad behavior or it just enables more bad behavior. If we constantly need to rescue someone from themselves by making excuses for them or declaring that others do the same and cater to them we’ll be rescuing and enabling for a very long time. And the person being rescued’s behavior will only get worse as will their unhappiness.

It’s not our job to fix the flower. It’s our job to create boundaries around what we will and will not allow for ourselves. We can’t change them. Only our own behavior. That...

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