Management Professionals
Personal Message from Anne Warfield

I just watched the new Lion King movie. If you took the sound track off so you didn't hear the animals talking or singing, I would be hard pressed to say whether I was watching Animal Kingdom or not. The animation was unbelievably real.

This got me to thinking about how often, if we don't have the correct lens to view a situation, something can appear so true yet it cannot be real. For example, you could totally think a person was being mean when you hear two people talking and one says, "can you believe she did that? And the other party replies, "that is so like her!" Yet put in the full context of what they were saying it could have been a huge compliment, not a criticism.

So always stop to get the full story, not the story you assign something through your own lens. Stay curious!!

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Outcome Thinking® Solution

How to Shift a Person From Defensive Comments

by Anne Warfield

I have an awesome team. For the most part they all work well together, have each other's back and are looking for new improvements.

I get frustrated though with one person on the team.


This person is constantly pointing out things that won't work, telling others how they could have done things better, and not wanting to make changes. If I hear one more time, "well the way we used to do it..." I am going to scream.

Other than that this person is really nice although quiet. He does his work well and I always know he will have thought through things clearly.

How do I get this person to turn their attitude around?

Other Person's Perspective:
He wants to be part of the team and do well.

Thinking it Through Using Outcome Thinking®:
In order to help with a solution for this one, I actually reached out to the leader to ask a series of questions. So I will share those and his answers with you now:

1. How does this person handle compliments? Poorly. He usually looks away or points out the flaws or how he could have done it better.
2. Once a change is instituted and he finally gets skilled with it, does he want to go back to the old way? No, that is the oddest thing - he fights change but once we do it and he becomes good at it, he becomes an advocate of it.
3. How does he handle small talk? He is not a big small talker. He does have several hobbies that he likes to talk about but otherwise is more quiet.

The additional information tells me that this person most likely has a more narrow comfort zone, likes to feel competent, and has a more critical voice when he makes a mistake.

So, in this instance, raising his awareness of how his comments are being perceived can be enough to create the change.

Best Handled/Phrased:
Focus on the positive, the desire to connect as a team, and the skills shown after adopting a new way of doing things.

"Frank, one of the things I love about this team is that you all have each other's back and we innovate together. One of the things I believe about you is you always desire to put your best foot forward and you prefer to be more humble with your success. I see this in how you will typically downplay a compliment and will even point out what you could have improved on. I also turn to you once we have adopted a new way of doing something because once you become proficient you are one of the best advocates for the new process.

The one spot I would love to see you focus on is improving the critical voice you use with the team. When a change or an innovation is first brought up, you typically point out why it won't work or why we shouldn't change. I believe this is due, more to you trying to figure out “how” to do it than that you don't want to do it. I say that because once you become proficient you begin to tell others about it and how wonderful it is.

So lets focus on how to openly talk about how a change feels uncomfortable versus starting with why it can't work. Tied to this, I would love to see you comfortably absorbing compliments that others give you without “qualifying” or downplaying them as you have the right to stand in the warmth of a compliment. So just say “thanks” and absorb it. It will feel awkward to begin with, but once you do it enough it will be that much easier to compliment others as well."


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Quotable Quotes

"If your actions inspire others to dream more. Learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader"

~ John Quincy Adams


What techniques can assist me in encouraging more involvement from employees at staff meetings?

At our Presentation Skills Seminar you will find that the biggest frustration that most people have with meetings is that the presenters seem to be sharing information but not explaining the context of the information. As a leader, it is important to make sure that you explain to the attendees why the information you share is important to them.

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Free HOT Tip

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Here are additional tips for running Effective Staff Meetings:

Before the meeting begins, tell them what the key areas are that you'll be covering. This will be the roadmap that gives clarity to your meeting.

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"In the past my presentations would have too much detail and not flow as great as I wanted.

Now that I've learned about Outcome Thinking® I have a Roadmap, concise goal and questions to direct in a concise way. Bringing in Managing Your Strategic Message will challenge your way of doing things to bring more insight to not only yourself but others around you."

Bryan Sprang, Sales Manager, American Woodmark

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