Small actions can have big impacts

A gradually spreading effect or influence
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple effect with no logical end.”
– Scott Adams
A ripple effect in our lives can be gradually spreading, sometimes with unintended consequences. When you throw a pebble into a pond, the first thing you normally see is the splash and then the circles or ripples from where the pebble hit the water. Pretty benign so far. But your thrown pebble might have other effects—it could scare off a nearby duck or frighten a group of fish. Perhaps some children were feeding the duck and now you’ve ruined their fun. You might have spoiled the luck of a fisherman standing on the opposite bank.
By throwing the pebble, you’ve caused change. This is the ripple effect. Each action we take or choice we make in life causes a ripple effect.
Related Search: Simply More offers 1-3 day Leadership Training & Workshop series. This training helps you connect with your peers, communicate about common issues, and explore solutions.
Positive or negative ripples
ID-10046847We all have choices—about the actions we take, how we treat people and how we react to events in our lives. Are we choosing to make positive or negative ripples in the world around us?
One story that stick outs for me about the ripple effect is about a man named Manny, who I heard about at a conference I held several years ago. On day 2 of the conference, one of the participants talked about Manny and how he looked forward to seeing him every day because he felt good after spending time with him. He tried to be in his office every day between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. when Manny would come by to collect the garbage so he could interact with him. Many other people at the conference, who worked at the same office, had a similar experience with Manny—they described him as joyful, warm, generous, friend, warm, caring and curious.
Manny is an example of someone who creates a positive ripple effect. The way he interacted with others  and the way he chose to live brought joy to many people. His behaviour changed their lives.
What impact are you having?
When you look at the actions you’re taking in your business, what do you see? As a leader, you have a great deal of influence. Are the ripples you’re sending out through your actions and interactions creating positive or negative change for you, your business and the people you work with?
Related Search: Simply More is an Executive Business Coach and Communication Consultant.

Getting from fear of conflict to embracing conflict in the workplace

If you’re in a leadership position, you need to understand conflict and leadership go hand-in-hand. While conflict is a normal part of any organization, the challenge lies in how you choose to deal with it. If you choose to conceal, avoid or otherwise ignore it, conflict will likely fester, creating resentment, withdrawal or  infighting within an organization.
As a leader, the ability to  recognize conflict, understand its nature, and resolve it, will serve you well. Conversely, the inability to do so could be your downfall.
Let’s take a look at conflict and conflict resolution.
Sources of conflict
There are many causes for conflict in any work setting. Some of the primary causes are:

  • Poor Communication: different communication styles can lead to misunderstandings managers and employees, and among employees. Lack of communication drives conflict ‘underground’.
  • Different Values: we all see the world differently. Conflict occurs when there is a lack of acceptance and understanding of these different values.
  • Differing Interests: when individual workers ‘fight’ for their personal goals, ignoring organizational goals and organizational well-being, conflict results.
  • Scarce Resources: when employees feel they have to compete for available resources in order to do their job properly, this can lead to conflict, despite awareness of how scarce resources may be. Personality Clashes: all workplaces are made up of different personality types. Unless colleagues understand and accept different approaches to work and problem-solving, conflict is going to occur.
  • Poor Performance: conflict is inevitable when one or more individuals within a work unit are not performing and this is not addressed.

Related Link: 5 Keys To Dealing With Workplace Conflict
Addressing conflict
How is conflict addressed? Here’s some of the ways people face conflict:

  • Avoidance: ‘hide our head in the sand’—hoping  the problem will go away.
  • Collaboration: work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Compromise: find the middle ground whereby a ‘little is given and little is gotten’.
  • Competing: ‘hoping the best person wins’.
  • Accommodation: surrendering our own needs and wishes to please the other person.

Collaboration or compromise are believed to be the most productive forms of addressing conflict because there are no winners or losers, but working together for the best possible solution.
Conflict resolution help
Resolving conflict is always the goal. How do you achieve conflict resolution? Here are some tips:

  • Clearly articulate the causes of the conflict. Openly acknowledging there will be differing perceptions of the problem(s).
  • Communicate how you want the conflict resolved.
  • Address the issues face-to-face (email, notes and  memos are not a productive way to resolve differences).
  • Stick to the issues. In trying to resolve conflict, while it is tempting to bring up past issues, it’s not helpful. It is important to address behaviors and situations at hand if change is to happen.
  • Take time out if necessary. In the resolution of a conflict, emotions can interfere with arriving at a productive resolution. If this happens, a time-out can be helpful and resume resolving the conflict at another designated time.

Be proactive
While conflict prevention isn’t always possible, the secret to conflict resolution is to prevent it where possible. By seeking out areas of potential conflict and proactively intervening in a just and decisive fashion, you may be able to prevent certain conflicts from arising. If a conflict does flair up, you may be able to minimize its severity by dealing with it quickly. As a leader, time spent identifying and understanding natural tensions will help to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Look for the opportunity
The potential for a tremendous teaching/learning opportunity lies within virtually every conflict . Where there is disagreement, there is an inherent possibility for growth and development. If you’re a leader who doesn’t leverage conflict for team building and leadership development purposes, you’re missing a great opportunity. Differing positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in many ways.
Smart leaders look for the upside in all differing opinions. Embracing workplace conflict can benefit your organization tremendously.
Simply More offers Workshops for Conflict Resolution

Orange Pants Moment

When I was 13 years old, my mother insisted I wear a pair of orange hand-me-down pants. They were seriously out of fashion and I felt like a giant walking pumpkin. No matter how much I protested, my mother stuck to her guns, ignoring my feelings and wants. Along with feeling isolated, teased and at the centre of negative attention by my peers, I also felt discounted—what I wanted didn’t matter.
Years later, this ‘orange pants’ experience was one of the things that led  me to the work I do today and to making a point of never discounting anyone.
I could have chosen a different path, one filled with regret and anger, where I stayed stuck in resenting my mother and as often happens, mirroring her behaviour.
Left or right
In any situation we have choices. Everything we feel anger or resentment about is in the past; it doesn’t exist in the present. We can’t change the past, we can’t have a ‘better past’, so what’s left? We can choose to stay stuck in our anger and regret, or we can learn from what happened.
How to release and prevent resentment
When we let go of the past and live in the present, the energy that went into feeding our bitter emotions returns, leaving us feeling more vital and alive. Any negative emotion such as anger or resentment can be toxic and causes us much more harm than others. It’s often said resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Your ‘orange pants’ experiences
Think back about times in your life that have you still harbouring negative emotions.  How could you learn from them and turn them into a positive experience, making for a better future? What would you do with the increased energy you would have if you were no longer tied to the past?
If you want to make progress, rebuilding is one choice. The alternative is to continue to try to rewrite the past. Redirect your focus and effort to the future instead of to the past; remove emotional pain and negative thoughts and replace them with positivity. When you integrate what’s happened into new thoughts about who you are at the core, you can use the knowledge gained from the incident to give you inner strength and valuable insight, leading to a more promising future.
Related Searches: Simply More offers help for Emotional Coaching.

Trust Needs To Be Earned

The first definition of trust that pops up on the Internet says trust is:

  1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

Further down the page, the site lists the synonyms for trust:

  • Faith
  • Confidence
  • Reliance
  • Dependence

and another definition—a feeling of certainty that a person or thing will not fail.
Definition of Trust
Take a long, hard look at yourself. If asked, would a family member, co-worker, colleague, team member or client describe you in those terms? Someone who can be relied upon, depended on; a person whose integrity, ability or character is trustworthy?
Trust account deposits
Trust is built through past acts that compiled create a stockpile of confidence in you. If you can’t be certain others have that kind of faith in you, developing behaviors that grow your emotional capital with them can create ‘deposits’ into that stockpile or trust bank.
Stephen Covey says, “By behaving in the ways that build trust, you make deposits. By behaving in ways that destroy trust, you make withdrawals. The “balance” in the account reflects the amount of trust in the relationship at any given time.”
Withdrawals are typically larger than deposits
“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it,” says Warren Buffet.
“Withdrawals can be so In general, withdrawals can have 10, 20, or even 100 times more impact than deposits, but there are some withdrawals that are so significant that they completely wipe out the account in one stroke. I once heard the analogy that trust is like a big bucket that gets filled with water (making deposits) one drop at a time, and some withdrawals (the massive ones) are like “kicking the bucket” — in some other words, because of a single action, you simply don’t have anything left. The important thing to remember here is that it’s not smart to kick the bucket! You’re going to make mistakes — everybody does — but try not to make the ones that completely destroy trust, and work hard to build trust and restore whatever trust has been lost,” says Covey.
Stephen Covey and Trust
In a leadership position, it’s critical for your success and that of your organization, for those you lead to trust you, to know you can be relied upon. Buy-in to your decisions and engagement with the journey you’re taking them on won’t occur if your people don’t trust you. If you let them down, how can you expect them to carry out your vision and meet your goals and objectives? It’s been said ‘past behaviour is an excellent example of future behaviour’. Once you’ve let them down, it will take a long time to rebuild your trust account. Only by consistently behaving in a reliable and dependable way can you regain that confidence.
Poor execution and lack of accountability within organizations are at an all time high causing experts to say most businesses are facing a leadership crisis. Working with a coach to create new habits and patterns for a more effective style as a leader, can help your organization or business avoid these problems.
Executive coaching is becoming widely used today because of the direct impact it has on business results. Simply More provides personal coaching for Executives in Calgary.