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Friday, November 20, 2009

What Business Can Learn From Elite Athletes

Have you ever wondered why some executives thrive under pressure while others wilt?

Peak performance in business is often thought of in terms of sheer intellectual capacity. However, in the same way that athletes achieve high performance in a holistic way, so business should veiw sustained high achievement by executives as a staircase of capacity building:

Physical Capacity - building endurance, promoting mental and emotional recovery.
Emotional Capacity - creating an internal climate that drives the high performance state.
Mental Capacity - focusing physical and emotional energy on the task at hand.
Spiritual Capacity - providing a powerful source of motivation, determination and endurance.

So if executives are to perform at high levels over the long haul, they have to train in the same systematic, multi-level way that elite athletes do. Companies cannot afford to address their employees' cognitive capacities while ignoring their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

For more information, please contact Gavin Hastings at Positive Leadership - gavin.hastings@positiveleadership.co.uk


Becoming a Better Listener

Do you ever feel like other people are not on the same "wavelength" as you? Just being aware that every communication contains both "factual content" and "feeling content" can make a world of difference when it comes to getting the most out of your conversations with your team members.

Here are four easy steps to becoming a better listener:

1. Look for situations to practice not speaking. Try just listening to others and notice how often you have to stop yourself from speaking. The less you find yourself wanting to interrupt, the better listener you will become.

2. To improve your listening flexibility when another person is speaking, in addition to listening to the factual content ask yourself, 'What is this person feeling'?

3. Look for non-verbal messages such as body language, facial expressions and tone of voice to get in tune with the feelings behind the message. Try reflecting back what you are picking up with; You seem to be concerned about that. Or, You must be really pleased about that.

4. Restating in your own words what you have heard from your team members demonstrates that you really were listening, and when you add the feeling content, it shows that you care about them as well.

You hear what you listen for...what you are focused on. Focus on listening to understand—both the facts and the feelings. Your team members will notice your efforts to be a better listener and this will open up healthier interpersonal communication in your workplace.

How to Lead in a Recession

Here are some simple but highly effective tools from Geoff Colvin of Fortune magazine:

1. Stand up and be seen. It's a simple yet powerful way for leaders to be effective. Warren Buffett raised his profile in this recession, reassuring investors and even helping to calm markets.

2. Steer the culture with stories. Southwest Airlines has always understood this, celebrating stories of employees who perform heroically for customers. Make sure the stories you repeat embody the culture you're aiming for as the economy recovers.

3. Upgrade your people standards. With high unemployment, you have an opportunity to raise the bar on whom you hire and promote.

For more, see - http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/09/news/economy/recession_leadership.fortune/index.htm?section=magazines_fortune