Thursday, September 13, 2012

How To Shock In a Good Way

I was shocked in a meeting with my book publisher this week when someone threw out an F-bomb. It wouldn't have been shocking if it had just been the two of us talking but there were several other people in the room. This isn't an article about it being bad to cuss in business conversations - let's face it - I hear lots of colorful language in my clinical practice and when consulting with companies. However, I believe we should all be cautious when using "dirty mouth" language. That kind of colorful expression can be shocking and leave a lasting impression in a bad way. 

People in the Smart Zone know how to shock and surprise people in a good way. I was totally stunned and pleasantly surprised this week when I toured the LIVESTRONG headquarters in Austin, Texas:

It was eye opening and enlightening to see the attention the people of LIVESTRONG have given to their message. They are true to their mission to help people affected by cancer, their commitment to healthy living and the trust they instill in their employees. Now that's how people in the Smart Zone shock people!

Here are five Smart Moves for how to shock people in a good way:

  1. Respond faster than you promised. How excited are you to hear that your car that is being repaired is ready a day early or that your internet service is up and running now vs. tomorrow? It's the classic "under promise and over deliver" mentality. Go out of your way to help people get what they need faster than they expect and they will be shocked!
  2. Tell someone, "You are absolutely right." Listening is an art but it also has financial impact. Studies show that physicians who listen to their patients for at least 3 minutes have significantly fewer malpractice lawsuits against them. When you are eager to make a sale or get your point across you are less likely to listen. When someone objects to what you think resist the urge to defend your point and trying saying this, "You are absolutely right, I should consider that."
  3. Really get to know people. Learn what excites your employees, coworkers and customers. What are their goals? What stresses them out? Don't pry too deeply - but show an appropriate interest in your colleagues and their well-being.
  4. Laugh at yourself more than others. In other words, have a sense of humor! Be willing to laugh at yourself and your short-comings. Practice humility. People will trust you more if they see you are willing to laugh at yourself.
  5. Don't step on Superman's cape. When others have high aspirations, encourage them to go for it. The only way dreams are achieved is for someone to have them. You can be the voice of reality and still encourage others to achieve success.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September is ADHD Awareness Month: Are You an Adult That Has It?

Approximately 5% of the adult population is estimated to have ADHD. It wasn't long ago that ADHD was seen as a childhood disorder where symptoms were thought to disappear with the onset of puberty. Clear scientific evidence shows that ADHD continues into adulthood. While most adults were diagnosed as children, there are many adults who are undiagnosed.

Symptoms of ADHD that you probably already know are:
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention to details.
  • Trouble sitting still for long periods of time.
  • Short fuse.
  • Putting things off.
  • Tardiness.
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities.
  • Getting criticized for interrupting people.
  • Being disorganized and having a messy car, home or office.
  • Starting projects without thinking through the steps.
  • Failing to finish tasks.
  • Click here for a longer checklist.
Adults with ADHD are more likely to:
  • Buy on impulse and have trouble saving money.
  • Receive speeding tickets.
  • Be involved in car crashes where they are at fault.
  • Smoke and/or use drugs.
  • Exhibit road rage and aggressive driving when angered.
  • Get fired or quit a job out of boredom.
  • Be disciplined on the job by a manager or supervisor.
  • Have higher marital dissatisfaction although not a higher divorce rate.
Let me clear up a few misconceptions about ADHD:
  • ADHD does exist and is not a conspiracy by scientists to medicate people. It is a real medical condition that is biologically based.
  • ADHD is not simply a lack of willpower.
  • Bad parenting does not cause ADHD. However, studies show a genetic predisposition for ADHD within families.
  • Adults with ADHD are not stupid or lazy. Recent studies reveal that people with ADHD actually tend to have above average intelligence but it does not show because of the ADHD.
  • ADHD can be treated without medication. New research indicates that you can improve brain functioning with direct, deliberate practice. This is called neuroplasticity. Relaxation, concentration and other self management exercises can improve the ability to sustain attention in some people.
  • Before starting any medication you should be properly diagnosed. Anxiety, depression or learning disabilities can be disguised as ADHD.
To stay in the Smart Zone learn more about ADHD. If you think you might have it, get tested by a qualified professional. It could help you refocus your career and personal life. Read my quotes in a article where I talk about refocusing your career.

All assessments for ADHD should be comprehensive and also assess for emotional factors and the influence of present stressors. Your quality of life, your effectiveness at work and home, and your relationships can benefit from knowing if you truly have the disorder.