Click on category to view tips.
Dr. Tom's Top Tips
Dr. Tom's Top Tips
The most precious commodity we have in any relationship is trust. Your trust level and your reputation is fully intertwined. If you lose trust, it can only be rebuilt TWICE in any relationship, during a lifetime. To build trust, it is critical to engage in deeper conversations using Motivational Conversation techniques.
Thriving During Constant Change
Change is the only constant. It will never stop. Stop fighting it. Change is happening at a faster pace than ever before. We must expect the unexpected and be ready to change directions at a moment's notice.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Use the active listening skills of encouraging, clarifying, restating, reflecting and summarizing.
- Show empathy, active support and care and concern for past, current and future behaviors and interactions.
- Have REAL conversations instead of nonversations, where only trivia or the mundane is discussed.
- Ask for direct feedback about your impact on other people. Other people judge you by your impact, NOT by your intentions.
- Do what you say you will do EVERY TIME. Walk the Talk with consistency.
- Sacrifice time, energy and effort to support your counterpart. Make decisions that show sensitivity to your counterpart.
- Share something from your core that has been private up to this point.
- Ask for opportunities to earn your counterpart's trust.
- Bestow your trust on them as part of an E & B (expectations and boundaries) conversation.
Converting High Stress into High Energy
Everyone has stress in their lives. Most people do not believe that stress can serve a positive purpose in their lives. However, if you look at your stress objectively, you will begin to understand how this energy can be used to help you do what you want and accomplish your goals. Learn from your stress. Make friends with your stress and it can help propel you forward.
- People are waiting for everything to become more stable. Stables are for horses, not for people. Luxuriate in the dynamic nature of the world.
- The first reaction to the need for change is to turn Egyptian and live in denial. There is nothing wrong with denial. It just lets you know that you are not sure about how to proceed.
- This is usually followed by anger (on the outside) and hurt (on the inside). Once you choose to deal with the anger, you can change.
- The biggest obstacle to making change is FOF (Fear of Failure). To overcome FOF, it is necessary to understand that fear is emotional. The only antidote to fear of failure is success. Therefore, use SSPS (Successful Sequential Problem Solving) or three successes in a row as a way to overcome fear.
- Face the fear and grieve the losses, then celebrate the small successes as you change your behavior. People love changes that increase the number of options that we have. People hate changes that limit their options. Find ways to increase your options all of the time.
- During times of change, people need as many seeds of hope as they can get. It is also easier to make changes when you are in a supported relationship with another person or group.
- Most people make changes only when they have to (reactively). Most of us change TOO LATE. It is a lot easier to make changes before you have to (proactively). Remember that on a dog sled, only the lead dog has a clear view of the world.
- People who thrive on change, practice making changes BEFORE they have to, in order to learn how to do so in the most effective and efficient way.
- Change is FUN for those who do it regularly.
Managing Your Priorities
Few people have a job or a life where they have enough time to get everything done. There are only 24 hours in the day. It is necessary to be thoughtful and efficient and to make good choices about what you can do and what you can't do. Some of us make choices that please other people, while leaving ourselves unfulfilled. Are YOU making the right choices to keep YOURSELF happy?
- You cause yourself the majority of your own stress by your reactions to events and activities around you. YOU choose how to react to everything that happens to you. If your current choices are driving you crazy, do something else. If your horse has died, GET OFF!
- You always have options. Stress occurs when you feel trapped without options. What options have you not yet considered?
- You are doubly addicted to your stress:
a)You crave the adrenaline rush of leaving things to the last moment.
b)Stress provides you a good excuse not to do other things.
Fill in the end of this sentence:
If I only had less stress, I would________.
Ask yourself what you are trying to avoid?
Is it safer to have a fantasy than to do something different?
- Untreated stress eventually leads to burnout. Deal with your stress or it will garnish your future and you might not live long enough to spend your pension. Burnout eventually takes over your entire life at work, at home and at play.
- "Reframe" your world. If you always see what you always saw, you'll always get what you always got. Do something different and see what happens. Adjust your rear and front view mirrors.
- Your own expectations, needs, fantasies, beliefs and the beliefs of others are often your worst enemy. Understand yourself and eliminate unproductive ideas. This isn't easy, but it is worthwhile. Do an inventory of your assumptions and ask yourself which ones are not working for you.
- Recognize where in your body, you feel stress. Identify when you are under stress early and seek another way to look at the world at that point.
- Don't leave work every day until you:
a. celebrate your daily successes,
b. think of options for issues that are irksome.
- Learn to deal with Human Speed Bumps (people who take 2 hours to watch 60 minutes.) The mark of stress-free people is their ability to deal positively with difficult people who don't deserve it. Don't do it for their benefit, do it for your own benefit. Pay attention to Radio Station WIIFM (What's In It For Me).
- Convert High Stress Into High Energy. You can change the world one action and one person at a time. Carpe Diem. What one perception can you change today? Stress drives us crazy when we try to deal with all issues as we have done in the past at the same time.
- Develop PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). Intention matters. See the opportunities, not the problems.
- If you're too busy to laugh, you are too busy!! Laughter provides great stress relief. PARTY TODAY!
Every day we spend time motivating our employees to work hard and reach their full potential. We do this by seeking to understand what is going on inside their heads. Many of us believe that motivation is largely based on how much money and how many promotional opportunities we can provide for our employees. However, motivation is based on how our employees feel more than on what they earn. Help your employees feel like they are making a difference and are valued. See them grow and blossom.
- Clear your mind and focus. Get into the zone and you can work faster and smarter. Clear your mind of the useless chatter that interferes with what you are doing.
- Manage your priorities, don't worry about time. Make sure you get your A priorities done. Realize that it is unlikely that you will get all of your low level priorities done.
- Learn to say NO to non-essential tasks. You can't do everything for everyone right now. The only person that you will really disappoint is yourself.
- Don't read everything that people send or give to you. Get yourself off CC and FYI lists that you don't use. It is not possible for us to process all of the information that comes to us. Process what is most important.
- Act on it, file it or trash it. Never handle a piece of paper more than once. Once you choose to see it, deal with it.
- Declutter you work area. Stop creating piles of things you will review later. Later never comes.
- Don't eat Swiss cheese. Breaking up unpleasant tasks into smaller chunks means having to get psyched up to do them more than once. If you don't like doing something, grow up, face it and do it anyway. Getting psyched up is where the time drain occurs.
- Do at least one thing today to make tomorrow better. Spend at least 15 minutes daily trying something new. The goal of this is to reduce problems/issues of tomorrow before they even get here.
- Learn to minimize interruptions (e.g., drop in visitors, long phone calls) without being rude. Protect your time or others will steal it.
- Keep a time log and find out where your time really goes. If you don't know where your day goes, track it and see. If you like it - Great! If not, fine-tune it.
- Re-Energize yourself every day. Work and life takes a lot longer if you are not excited about it. Get pumped for the challenges of each day.
- Make sure you leave time and energy for the things you like outside of work. Have a life. Get a life. Or at least, rent a life.
- Go to PLORK every day. PLORK = PLay + wORK. Have some fun, so you don't burn out.
- Deprivation breeds motivation. Most employees need and want to be recognized, valued and appreciated. They also want autonomy. Tell them what to do, not how. Let them figure that out for themselves.
- Motivation is more EMOTIONAL than LOGICAL. Be aware of and concerned with how your employees feel. If their morale and attitude is positive, they will be more focused on the job to be completed.
- Motivating employees involves getting to their hearts, brains AND FUNNYBONES. Make your workplace an enjoyable place to work. Help to remove dissatisfiers.
- Every employee has a PAYOFF/BENEFIT for doing exactly what they are doing right now. To get employees to change their behavior, strip the rewards from the current behavior and add incentives to the desired behavior.
- Expect more from your employees and 10 to 20% will work hard to live up to your expectations. Make sure you appreciate, acknowledge and reward the new behavior.
- There is no one way to motivate everyone. Some employees need a pat on the back. Some need a kick in the teeth. Some need you to get out of the way. Individualize your motivational strategies.
- Model the Way. Employees don't care what you say. They care about what you do. The greatest driver of employee behavior is the way their boss behaves.
- Every employee tunes in to radio station WIIFM (What's In It For Me). Make sure you are broadcasting on that station.
- Create meaning in the workplace. Help your employees to see the power and value of what they are doing. Many employees are actively involved in changing the world in a small way every day. Help them to celebrate the small successes that occur.
- Create a PLORK place (PLORK = Play + wORK). Are we having FUN yet?