INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
People remember how you act in adversity – for good or bad (it reveals your true character). In fact, there may be no more lasting, career-impacting impression you’ll make. It’s a key lesson uncovered via research among over 3,000 senior executives in my new, popular course, Nine Career Lessons You’ll Wish You Learned Sooner (click below).
As I share in the course, to leave the right impression when adversity strikes, be the calmest person in the room. Don’t get overly emotional, jump to conclusions, or make uninformed assumptions. Always speak in a controlled tone and act with a steady, measured confidence. Doing so keeps everyone focused on what must be done versus what might happen. In addition to projecting calm, remember the acronym CALM, four things to exhibit in adversity that will leave a favorable impression.
Candor. Adversity creates doubt and fear. Honest communication creates certainty and eases fear, if done well. The key is to share information openly, truthfully, and clearly, while striking a balance between reality and hope. Employees need the truth, but also need reasons to feel optimistic.
Anchoring. In times of adversity, people need a steadying force, an anchor to provide some sense of certainty when so much else seems uncertain. Provide that by highlighting what isn’t changing, by being clear on expectations, roles, and responsibilities resulting from the adversity, by being visible and available to your chain of command and your employees as you navigate the adversity, and by celebrating victories along the way to foster feelings of success and self-belief.
Laughter. Studies show that keeping a sense of humor and positive attitude in the face of adversity not only helps people emotionally deal with challenges, but also improves flexibility in thinking and resolving problems. Laughter is your body’s way of coping with stress and easing tension, as it releases endorphins and dopamine, nature’s feel-good chemical that affects your focus and how happy you feel.
Mindfulness. It’s so important in adversity to be aware of how you’re coming across to others and to show caring, empathy, and understanding for what others are going through. Facing adversity isn’t easy, but by you acknowledging and easing others distress, and reminding them they’re not alone, you’ll have a huge impact. One they won’t soon forget.
So, remember CALM in times of adversity to impact people, and your career, in the best way possible.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Ever make the mistake of giving into Imposter Syndrome, i.e., feeling like you haven’t earned what you’ve achieved, that you’ll be found out as a fraud, or that everyone knows what they’re doing but you?
Plenty have. Here’s a simple, but powerful, way to beat Imposter Syndrome. Stop focusing on whether or not you’ve earned what you have or where you are. Start focusing on living up to it.
Let that sink in for a moment.
If your focus is on living up to it (whatever it, is), you don’t have time to fret whether or not you deserve it. That extra effort spent living up to it will mean you’re far more likely to do just that. And before you know it, you’re so confident you deserve what you have/where you are (because you’re living up to it), you won’t question it anymore. A wonderful virtuous cycle.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
It’s common that teams lose their focus during times of change. Change brings a lot to process and work through, so it’s understandable—but not acceptable. To refocus a team during change, discuss the 3P’s with them.
Pragmatic implications. What are the pragmatic implications that must be addressed, created by the change?
Possibilities. What are the possibilities that present themselves because of the change?
Priorities. What are the priorities we must laser in on with this change? (note if they’re the same priorities as before the change, or new ones).