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How to Trade in Weak Love for Strong Love

How to Trade in Weak Love for Strong Love

How to Trade in Weak Love for Strong Love

Every human being on this planet spends considerable time searching for love. Today is the era of speed dating, matchmaking, online dating, and every other modality you can think of.

It’s no longer a question of being able to find love, the issue is more often than not finding someone to hang on to. Sometimes we are not the right person and other times we start blaming “them” or point fingers at “them” for not being able to understand us. That’s when the search continues.

The real challenge is finding the right love and sustaining it. When we are not clear about what we want from life or who we are, we cling onto people around us to give meaning to our lives.

“Expecting others to fulfill us, or to give meaning to the love we desire, leads to weak love.”

Strong Love

According to my recent conversation on the Rant & Grow podcast with Denna Babul, Author of her recent Simon & Schuster book Love Strong — Change Your Narrative, Change Your Life, and Take Your Power Back!, it is important to understand that it is not only women who are searching for strong love. Men also want strong love!

“All sentient creatures want to experience strong love.”

Our efforts will be in vain if we do not understand the difference between weak and strong love. For our love to be strong, we must first bring peace and symmetry into our own lives.

We must be confident in giving and receiving love. We must focus on ourselves and understand that sometimes the wrongs around us are reflections of what we have difficulty accepting about ourselves.

“A key step to enabling strong love in our lives is self-awareness, and the application of emotional intelligence in taking full responsibility for our own lives.”

Once we internalize this truth, we will be able to accept who we are and also accept the way others are. When we are giving or receiving weak love, we start to doubt ourselves, we feel misunderstood, and get angry.

Sometimes we even get out-of-control or start to over-control those around us. That is why it is essential to first understand ourselves. That is the only way we can stay happy and encouraged in our relationships.

Signs of Weak Love

If you take a pause and focus on yourself, you will be able to notice when you are giving or receiving weak love. Denna Babul believes that everybody is different in how they perceive themselves in relationships.

There are times when we hear the same advice from many people, even strangers, but we go out searching for advice only when we are not steady in what we want to receive in life and can’t make decisions.

In reality, we are just looking for someone who will tell us what we want to hear. This is a sign of weak love. 

When you get to a point in life where you have done everything you can for love and it’s still not enough, then you have to rebuild yourself and focus. You must start to look within. Think about what you have been doing and then start accepting yourself.

Identify Your True Self

We usually look for a small break from a relationship by seeking something fun. However, an emotionally healthy person will know that this is only temporary. You must look for something deeper.

“To understand your true self, you must first focus and find out your core value system.”

Our value system has strong roots in our childhood and how we have perceived our parents. For instance, one who has had authoritative parents, tends to avoid such figures in their adulthood, and often develop disdain for authority figures all together.

It is similar to letting your inner child drive your life. You must accept and overcome these childhood traumas and see that your value system is not dependent on anyone else, not even your parents.

“You are not responsible for what happened to you as a child, but you are responsible for the narrative you allow from it to shape you as an adult.”

Denna calls this the mirror effect — when you let your past impact your relationships in the present. If you keep on living a lie and manifest your version of the truth, you will end up giving and receiving weak love.

Your core values could be trust, love, acceptance, kindness, integrity, and inclusivity. When you figure out your core system, you can begin to understand yourself, what you want from life, and who is worthy of your time and attention.

“People in their jobs work hard to get better and evolve, but often don’t do the same in relationships.”

There are phases in a relationship like attraction, idealization, and commitment. When you are just attracted to someone, you may back off as soon as the real self of the other person comes out.

If you want a long-term relationship, you must understand your core values and try to figure out if the other person acknowledges and respects them. You also need to understand their core value system to align your relationship and reciprocate the same respect.

Once you know what you want and who you are, you can set your narrative. Seek your true self and achieve strong love in your life.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with Denna. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Lessen Anxiety and Stress at Work

How to Lessen Anxiety and Stress at Work

How to Lessen Anxiety and Stress at Work

Almost all of us have felt anxious and stressed in the workplace at one time or the other. There may be some important presentations coming up, high-impact decisions, or interpersonal conflicts that could trigger possible anxiety in the office.

However, anxiety doesn’t happen only before a high stakes meeting, this feeling can also happen to people consistently due to hectic routines. Mental health problems inhibit employees from giving their full selves to ongoing projects. Leaders need to be tuned in to recognize such issues and help resolve them. The outbreak of the current pandemic Covid-19 has taken a huge toll on the mental health of everyone around us.

Anxiety in Times of Covid-19

We are facing an unprecedented situation due to the pandemic of Covid-19 that brought the entire world to a standstill. Besides the financial pressure, people all over the world are also overwhelmed by the anxiety and fear associated with this pandemic.

In these times of desperation, employees have become insecure about their jobs and the health of their families. Even before the advent of Covid-19, it was difficult for some employees to cope with daily stress, but in recent times one can find that many workers are losing their nerves and feeling like their lives are falling apart.

Leaders must understand that these difficult times are impacting everyone at the same time, and it is necessary to manage associated anxiety effectively.

How to Manage Fears and Anxiety

Anxiety and stress severely hamper productivity in the workplace. When anxiety pops us, it severely affects our sleep, diet, and mindfulness. That’s why we must cultivate tools to cope with anxiety and better ourselves.

Taking insights from the recent Rant & Grow podcast featuring Ryan Haddon, a life coach, hypnotherapist, meditation teacher, and spiritual mentor, you must advise and encourage your team to focus on themselves and improve their mental well-being.

The first and the most important thing to do is to encourage people to talk about the pressures and concerns in these times — with you, their family, and their friends. Providing support and creating a safe space to listening to them is the first step towards getting rid of anxiety.

There are other important pieces of advice from Ryan Haddon that you can persuade your employees to follow, such as:

Grounding Exercises

When you get over-anxious, your mind starts spinning or may even shut down. In such times, plant your feet firmly on the ground (doesn’t matter if you are sitting in a chair or standing in the office), and close your eyes.

Calm yourself and feel the earth holding you up, as the spinning energy from the top of your head flows down to your feet. Keep breathing and visualize the positive energy from the earth flowing into your heart.

This simple grounding exercise will distribute the intensity centered in the head throughout your body and bring powerful and positive energy from the earth into your body.

Breathing Awareness

If you feel your heart racing and your breathing getting shallow, then you are headed towards anxiety. Instead of letting the panic set in, pause for a moment and take three deep, long, and slow belly breaths. You will immediately feel your heart rate slowing down and getting a sense of calm that will get you back on your feet in no time.

Self-acceptance

Ryan suggests that one must cultivate the idea that everything in one’s life is exactly as it is supposed to be. She doesn’t mean that you have to like your current situation, but you do have to accept it.

“In order to manage anxiety, you must not fight reality, instead work with it.”

If you recognize things as they are and believe that things are unfolding for your own highest good, you can start moving ahead. You cannot cling to the past or delve into addictions ,as they are only going to provide a temporary fix.

You must accept and embrace reality to take necessary actions and bring about a change. If you want, you can try jotting down on a piece of paper whatever is coming to your mind. Once you get it out of your system, you will find yourself calm and relaxed with no judgment.

“If you don’t let out what you are feeling, anxiety gets repressed and keeps showing up in your life unpredictably.”

Meditation

Meditation can be challenging if you start thinking that you aren’t getting it right or others are better at it than you. Ryan suggests that we should be curious about the practice and not get unnecessarily distracted.

Simply set your timer for three to five minutes, sit comfortably, close your eyes, and just breathe in and out. Don’t judge if you are doing it right or try to control your thoughts and focus only on creating a small window for your brain to relax.

You can slowly increase this time as you get more comfortable. If you wish, you can opt for guided meditation as well. Just take some time out for meditation and guide yourself as your sub-consciousness is your divine right.

“How much you take care of yourself at home does impact your behavior in the workplace.“

Employees who struggle with anxiety often know that it can be paralyzing and impact their ability to think clearly and contribute their best in the workplace. That’s why it is important to let them know that anxiety can be managed and avoided if they are willing to share their concerns and work upon themselves.

As a leader, you must do everything you can to inculcate this behavior in your team and be aware of their mental health at all times. A sound team member will not only be a vital contributor in the workplace but will also admire your leadership as you become personally invested in their well-being.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with Ryan. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Make an Organization More Adaptable

How to Make an Organization More Adaptable

How to Make an Organization More Adaptable

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Adaptability is the key to an organization’s ability to react effectively to unexpected business conditions. Almost every organization plans on how to operate when business conditions are predictable, but the key to surviving the long term is to plan effectively how to respond to the unexpected.

Importance of Adaptability

Adaptability is key to long term success. During times like today in the middle of a global pandemic, it is the key to survival.

Giants of business industries like Myspace, Kodak, and RadioShack are mere memories today because they failed to adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.

According to McKinsey, 84% of business owners consider innovation important to their growth strategy, and 80% fear failure in the near future if they can’t adapt to changing economic environments.

As Walt Disney’s CEO Bob Iger puts it: “Innovate or die.”

Leaders set trends and excel in markets with their innovative minds and the ability to adapt to rapid changes. They have more trust from clients as compared to those who just follow trends and provide product or service copies of innovation.

“Adaptability is a trait that can induce further positive traits in individuals and organizations.”

An organization that can perform well in unexpected situations, can embrace entirely new ways of doing things. Such organizations have the technology, people power, and tools to beat competitors any time.

“Adaptive organizations are more capable of leading and setting the pace for an entire industry.”

An adaptable organization is always more capable of facing challenges and handle adversity. The people at such places are more resilient and have a renewed mindset to embrace difficult situations. As a result of their grit, they are more capable to drift through challenges swiftly.

Steve Jobs used to say: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

How to Make an Organization Adaptable

The first step to becoming more adaptable is to welcome failure. Accepting failure is different than giving up, or to quit.

Welcome Failure

To welcome failure is to acknowledge setbacks as a temporary state. A stepping stone towards learning. It’s about embracing opportunities to grow.

To ensure a culture that is welcoming of failure, includes the acceptance of different ideas from various people in the organization. It’s being able to have a pulse on weather change energizes people and introduce incentives for testing new products or services.

Welcome Learning

Another way to make an organization more adaptable is to ingrain learning. Adaptive organizations see the speed of change, and the impact of rapid globalization as a challenge.

They strive to get ahead of competitors in their respective industry. In addition to working faster and harder, it is crucial to act effectively and efficiently.

“The only way to act smart is to reflect on both failures and successes and share insights with all employees.”

This way front line employees have the context of senior leaders that can boost their ability to make decisions quickly when it’s most needed.

“To be adaptive is better than being process-focused in order to achieve business goals.”

Welcome Accountability

To achieve adaptability, it is essential to encourage accountability. It is always easier to attribute success to hard work, and failure to bad luck, but adaptable organizations are first and foremost focused on creating and empowering a culture of self-accountability.

The sense of accountability ensures the performance of tasks by every member with devotion. It promotes an environment of trust, and helps the organization avoid “cya” tactics or blame games.

Moreover, accountability is inculcated with system perspective because employees understand that their decisions not only impact the organization, but people and their families.

To make an organization adaptable, it is important for everyone to be clear about their role in contributing value. Every member of the team has the responsibility to ensure the success of the organization. Everyone needs to act as a leader and be proactive.

Welcome Innovation

Organizations have to embrace innovative ideas and make changes accordingly. To assure the inflow of ideas, it is good to hire fresh minds and gain the advantage of their recent learning. Additionally, training employees to think and execute effectively is key.

“Innovation is the basis of adaptiveness and encouraging people to think outside of the box is key to achieve it.“

It is inevitable to keep an eye on your competitor. You need to actively study to which extent they are adapting to change, and how much behind or ahead from them, you are.

“A culture of appreciation and gratitude is the best way to promote innovation.”

Inference

Adapting to change is what keeps us valuable, relevant, and at the forefront of the competitive edge. If an organization is adaptable, it embraces failure, learning, accountability and change.

Adaptive organizations seek to deliver proactive innovation, satisfy customers and other stakeholders, and lead in the business world with gratitude and intelligence.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

Organizations are spending millions to setup feedback channels like email, social platforms, and follow-up programs, in order to create a better work environment. Still, the words “feedback” often make us cringe as we immediately adopt a defensive posture.

Progress-driven leaders value both positive and constructive feedback, always giving priority to constructive ones. While positive feedback is important to keep motivated, constructive feedback helps you grow.

This is the kind of leadership behavior that takes organizations to the horizons of success with millions of satisfied customers, content employees, and record level profits.

Importance of Feedback

There is no question about the advantages of feedback. They are innumerable, and why organizations spend a lot of money in order to make the feedback process as smooth as possible.

Feedback helps you make better decisions. There are multiple stakeholders associated with your organization that are impacted by your decisions.

Imagine making a decision about the launch of an innovative product without getting feedback about the previous version. Doing dividends dispersion without discussing it with shareholders.

“Getting feedback is how we make informed decisions.”

Feedback helps individuals understand what they did well and what can be improved. When they know both, they are able to adapt their attitude and actions to improve. Feedback proves to be the key tool for improving both individual and collective performance in any organization.

“Active open and bilateral feedback paves the way to change and innovation.”

For instance, the feedback forms in hotels filled by guests give owners worthy suggestions about the menu, the environment, and staff. This helps them make improvements and provide better service the next visit.

Positive feedback in the form of praise lets staff know their worth and capacities. It recognizes their efforts and improves job satisfaction.

Motivated employees work harder to improve their performance. As they receive gratitude, they feel more connected with the organization and thus, work in the best interest of it.

A 2013 study by Forbes reflects that leaders who give effective feedback are more trusted by their teams. Employees of such leaders are more engaged than employees of organization with leaders who are more critical than constructive.

“When we don’t pay due attention to feedback, we miss an opportunity for improvement and positive growth.”

Feedback is an effective tool to indicate and highlight improvement areas and provides the basis for problem-solving. Even when we don’t agree with the suggestions provided, we can still work on what has been highlighted for the organization’s well-being.

An effective communication system involving smooth transmission of feedback within an organization improves workplace relationships between employers and employees.

Feedback for Leadership Enhancement

Feedback is crucial for leadership enhancement. Here is how you can use feedback constructively and convert courage-breaking words into an opportunity to enhance performance.

Listen

There should be proper channels for stakeholders to communicate with you. If you want feedback to work positively, it is important to listen with equanimity and patience.

This is tougher than it sound, because naturally we all are inclined to be defensive against criticism.

“Responding defensively to feedback may turn an objective opportunity to learn and grow into a situation that provokes animosity.”

Show respect, give each person complete focus and don’t ask any question until they finish.

“Listening to feedback carefully will add something positive to your knowledge and attitude”

Accept

You need to accept and acknowledge what you have heard. Don’t correct anything. It is inevitable to first consider the feedback wrong or amendable.

Try to be receptive to the feedback. Pick up the points you can agreed to amend. By being receptive you will identify your weaknesses as well as strengths, and then you can work to enhance them.

Interpret

The next step is to interpret the feedback. Take some time alone to analyze whether it was constructive feedback or just criticism. Come up with the points that can help you and your organization to grow.

Reflect with your time and effort by turning inward. Contemplate if the feedback aligns with your objectives, values, intentions, and ethics.

Once you have learned the constructive points of the feedback, document it, and make a plan of action. If you don’t agree with the suggestions, plan a follow-up discussion with the associated stakeholders to gain alignment.

This follow-up meeting will highlight further constructive suggestions to improve your way of working and will help your team and organization to learn and grow.

Inference

Leaders who have the ability to absorb feedback have enormous power that enables them to practice self-improvement, stay motivated, and turn any kind of feedback into a constructive opportunity for all the stakeholders.

All a leader needs to do is listen to feedback with a receptive mind, take time to analyze every aspect of it objectively, stay focused on the opportunity and act in the greater interest of the individuals and collective progress.

Finally, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the people you have chosen to serve and the organization you want to see succeed.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Organizations are shifting from the conventional authoritarian leadership model to more empowered workers. This transition requires a complete behavioral change from top to bottom of any organization.

Empowerment is not about taking your hands off to let employees sink or swim, it is an active process that involves teaching and coaching team members to be adaptive, to self-serve, to make decisions and to make them right without needing instructions or rubber stamp approvals.

To achieve this kind of empowerment, it is essential for leaders to lean-in and engage actively and effectively across teams, in addition to arranging coaching sessions.

Importance of Leaning in

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that workers’ empowerment associates with better job performance, job satisfaction, dedication, and commitment to the organization.

The importance of team’s empowerment was realized much before Covid-19, but the pandemic has reinforced the concept. The expansion of remote work demands much more empowered and learned team members today.

Empowering teams is crucial but more so is the engagement of leaders in the process. The absence of active engagement by leaders in the process of team empowerment may result in slow learning and performance issues.

It takes a lot of time to figure out problems at work and to come up with feasible solutions. Leaders should observe the process to validate, and when appropriate guide it in the right direction and at the right pace.

The approach of giving workers a free environment to work on their own terms, often translates as a feedback loop. Teams need a consistent communication system to work properly. They need to get the answers to certain changing situations. If they are not getting the right data to make educated decisions, they simply resort to past behaviors.

“Lack of open communication reflects a fear-based work environment, which is definitely not about empowerment.”

When leaders are actively engaged with teams, they feel well-accepted by the organization, and contribute with all their capabilities. This gives them a sense of gratification and higher self-worth. In turn workers feel more inclined towards mastering their responsibilities.

Most of all, with an involved leader, the team feels more connected to the organization and it also builds employees’ trust in the leader. They know that they have a guide, a mentor, an ambassador in a person who can sail through problems with them.

How to Actively Engage

Every person in any organization has a personalized set of skills and capabilities. Some are super polished, and some need some work. To get the best out of everyone’s skills, it is required to arrange coaching sessions for employees, to make them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Such coaching sessions are based on individual training needs.

“True leaders get engaged with their teams to help them become more competent.”

Helping teams become more competent involves asking good questions that urge them to think through problems.

For instance, rather than asking for the boosted sales figures, it is better to ask, “How do you think we can help raise sales by 3% in the next quarter?”

This reflects a really different role by leaders in the empowerment process. Such active involvement helps to define and shape the problem together, resulting in a compatible situation to develop a solution.

It’s easier to get to an agreed and well-defined destination and achieve tangible goals, when there is a sense of “we are in this together”.

Team members should be given tasks that are a good match for their capabilities. If the problem faced by the members exceeds their abilities, anxiety prevails and learning stops. Most leaders end up assigning the project to the other members, but this is a mistake because it stagnates the learning process for the worker.

Similarly, allocating an easier project can have no empowering impact on team members. So, a leader should consider the capacities and abilities of everyone.

Additionally, to empower team members, it is crucial to provide them with tools and resources to resolve issues. For example, if you assign your team a task to research current market trends, they must be given access to the paid surveys, credible reports, and the organization’s data.

While giving feedback or debriefing on a project, try to be as constructive as possible. Telling a team member that they did a “good job” doesn’t disseminate any direction for what to continue in the future and what to avoid in upcoming projects.

“Leaders need to be specific about the actions, processes, and attitudes they need repeated or eliminated.”

Inference

To ensure the empowerment of teams in any organization, it is not enough to just give them free reign. Empowerment is a process in which a true leader works hand in hand with teams, but unnoticed. They are the ones who should motivate teams to figure out the solution to a problem that they may have given up on.

A leader’s job is to be actively involved in the process of empowering employees to find solutions on their own and seek to learn the skills needed to be effective in their roles. 

“Empowerment is about the encouragement a leader provides teams to learn and grow to meet the needs of the organization, and as individuals.”

Business Innovation Brief

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

Conflict at work can either fuel or disrupt the momentum of an organization. When teams are working in a hectic and tense environment, it gives rise to disagreements and unnecessary arguments.

Managing conflict can become challenging, especially for leaders who are not familiar with the intricacies of daily operations and the concerns of the team members involved.

Even a trivial issue can create ruckus if it is not handled at the right time and in the right manner. It becomes the responsibility of leaders in such crucial times to take effective steps in order to prevent conflicts.

“A true leader should assess conflict situations correctly, and handle them carefully so that healthy team tension doesn’t turn into disruptive chaos.”

Sadly, many leaders prefer to avoid tense situations and insist on maintaining a fake harmonious environment. This helps enhance their popularity in the workplace initially. However, what they don’t realize is that this eventually leads to further build-up of negativity and internal disruption amongst team members.

A leader must try to actively neutralize or minimize such difficult situations so that they do not get out of hand. When leaders help resolve conflicts, it strengthens the trust within the team. Employees are then better able to optimize their output and efficiency for the growth of the organization.

How to Deal with Conflict

It is a leader’s responsibility to create and sustain the workplace momentum, engage employees in healthy discussions, and handle conflicts delicately. To help with this process, the following will help:

1. Right Timing

Most conflicts occur due to differences in understanding. Timing is of utmost importance in such situations. A leader should assess these misunderstandings and facilitate a healthy discussion in an open environment to avoid the escalation of the conflict. 

It is also essential for leaders to take action when there is definite proof of an employee’s track record of wrongdoings that have been adversely affecting the morale of the team.

Employees look up to leaders to intervene and take effective steps. If they know you are aware of their concerns and are not acting upon them, you will lose their trust. Timely action in confronting the issues is a must for every leader. If you hesitate while making a decision, your reputation will suffer along with the progress of the organization.

2. Don’t Overstep Boundaries

Coaching your team and learning about them is essential while dealing with and resolving conflicts. This will help you understand the limitations and boundaries of your employees. As a leader, you must understand the risks and rewards of conflict resolution without overstepping the boundaries of each employee.

When you know your team members closely and understand their expectations, you can openly communicate with them about their drawbacks in the workplace. 

Once you have identified behavioral tendencies that trigger such conflicts, you can create awareness to their behavior sensitively. This can be better accomplished with open interactive sessions where you set precedence and reinforce performance expectations for every team member. This will help them become more aware and actively prevent any conflicts from arising.

3. Respect Differences

Leaders should seldom pull rank and authority while handling conflicts in the workplace. The authoritarian approach to conflict resolution doesn’t resolve anything. Instead it fuels internal negativity amongst employees.

As a leader, you should respect the unique differences in people and try to understand their individual viewpoints before arriving at any conclusion.

Conflict resolution isn’t simply black and white. There are grey areas in the workplace that have gained prominence with rising cultural and generational diversity.

As you understand your employees better, you can not only avoid the conflicts but also resolve these conflicts (if they arise) by bringing everyone on the same page through effective open communication. This will help you as a leader retain the trust of teams, and enable them to value when guidance is needed during conflicts.

4. Confront the Tension

Leadership is not a popularity contest. As a leader, you will have to confront tension in the workplace and sometimes make decisions that might not be well received. Conflicts give rise to heightened emotions that make the workplace more difficult. That is why it is important to address such situations at the earliest stage before they spiral out of control.

Conflict resolution is quite similar to other challenging decisions that you make in the organization. You must trust your gut and wisdom to make the right decision. Waiting and hesitating makes things only worse and complicated.

See conflict resolution as an opportunity to enable an open and healthier environment in the workplace.

“A true leader understands that facing difficult situations together with the team strengthens trust and builds authentic relationships.”

Conflict resolution is not only an opportunity for professional growth for employees, but also an opportunity to improve the maturity level of your leadership.

Business Innovation Brief

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