As I said last week, I predict that 2017 is going to be an amazing year for all of us. I received such great response from the first 10 rules, I wanted to share the second 10 most common coaching notes that I give to folks in the AEC industry. If you follow these rules, I can guarantee that your 2017 will be even more successful.
1. Make your questions to statements ratio 3:1. This will help you make the conversation about the other person.
2. Practice “loving kindness” meditation every day. This is a Buddhist thing. For every person you encounter, in your mind, wish them happiness and send them loving kindness, especially those people who are making your life difficult. You will be amazed at the result.
3. Truly listen and understand instead of formulating the next thing you are going to say. This takes some practice, but is well worth it. Your relationships will flourish.
4. Try this compassion exercise. Think of someone you are having difficulty with, then make these statements with them in mind: Just like me, this person has known loss. Just like me, this person wants to be and do his/her best. Just like me, this person wants to be connected with other human beings. Just like me, this person has struggles. Just like me, this person has weaknesses that may hold them back. Just like me, this person wants the best outcome. Just like me, this person is a flawed human being. After this exercise, re-evaluate how you see this person.
5. Never use logic to try and convince someone to think differently about their emotional response. This never works. Never. Engineers are notorious for this. You send an owner a change order request and he/she is furious. So you naturally pull out plans and specs and the contract in order to show them the logic behind your change order request. And they get more angry! What’s that about? You can’t logic your way out of an emotional response. You have to address the emotion!
6. Keep an eye on how you breathe. Your mind goes as your breath goes. Many of us restrict our breath through stress and tight clothing and use the top 25% to 33% of our lungs. This reduces oxygenation of the blood and creates “chattering monkey brain” where you can’t turn your mind off. Throughout your day, remind yourself to take deep, slow breaths and reset. You will be amazed how your concentration and focus increases and you will feel much better with more energy at the end of the day.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask. Whatever it is you want from someone, you must ask if you are to receive it. Whether it’s a raise, a position, a favor, etc, if you don’t ask, you will never receive it. Tim Ferris has a great way to practice this. Next time you get coffee, try to negotiate 10% off the price.
8. Have a plan A, B, and C. Plan A may be go to the gym daily. Plan B may be to go to the gym three times per week. Plan C may be to walk 10 to 20 minutes each day. If you are all or nothing, then your progress will be sporadic. If you did walk that 10 minutes each day, it would be much better than going to the gym for a week straight and doing nothing for the next two months.
9. Put your phone down. Our phones are actually addicting. I mean physically addicting. Dopamine is released during our phone sessions and oxytocin (the connection hormone) is released during our social media binges. If you make it a habit to put your phone down and truly connect with others, you will be amazed at how great your life will become. And don’t ever look at your phone while driving!
10. Read a book a week. Or if that’s too much, read a book every two weeks or a book a month. Read fiction, non-fiction, novels, poetry, whatever you can get your hands on. Your horizons will be expanded and your knowledge will be increased. And new ideas and creative approaches come from all of those disparate ideas combining in your mind to form new ideas. The more stuff floating around in there, the more chance you have of combining them into a new way of thinking or being.
If you want a deeper dive on many of these subjects, check out our Total Leadership Library! All of our courses on emotional intelligence and critical people skills are now online. Click here for more information.