When was the last time you simply talked to someone and walked away feeling lighter, smarter, energized? It’s a wonderful feeling when it all goes right.
However, simply having a conversation isn’t always that easy. Conversations are layered. They come with preoconceived notions or worldviews. They come with tones, attitudes, and differing points of view.
Fassforward is all about having meaningful conversations, it’s in the lifeblood of what we’re built on. So when we heard it was National Conversation Week, we wanted to be a part of that conversation. We tapped our expert coaches to get their advice on the top challenges they hear from their clients.
In celebration of National Conversation Week and in support of Executive Coaching Month, we proudly present another compilation of invaluable "how-to's" to help you feel lighter, smarter, energized.
Dave: How to recharge & avoid burnout.
It starts with recognition that you need to move yourself up on your priority list.
Almost everyone I coach has their job and their families as their top 2 priorities. They are a distant 3rd (sometimes 4th behind the pet). The key to recharging and avoiding burnout is self-care. Carve out time for whatever you do to de-stress (exercise, meditation, etc.). Put “focus time” on your calendar so you have time to think and ideate and not just check boxes on your “To Do” list.
Encourage and demonstrate these habits to your team, so they follow your lead.
Sheri: How to find/reignite passion in what you do.
Many individuals, including my clients, often reach a point in their career where they feel unfulfilled and disillusioned.
They may have excelled in their roles and met new challenges, but the passion and energy they once had for their work has dwindled. It's not uncommon to question whether they want to continue on this path or if it's worth it. This is where finding purpose can make a significant difference. As an executive advisor and coach, I use a process called Life Crafting to help clients uncover the small seeds of purpose that exists in anything they do.
Jill: How to say no without saying no.
Many of the people I work with have an “automatic yes.” They take on too much work and wind up doing too much. Eventually, they either burnout, resentment sets in, or they just leave. Priority-setting works, until someone else’s priority shoves yours out of the way.
Learn how to say no, without saying no. “Of course I can deliver that. Which one of the previous priorities can I put on hold?” “I can get that done by this date, unless you want to speak to so and so and change their timeline.” “I can get it to you by (date), however if you assign more resources I can get it to you by the date you requested.” It’s always harder to have “the not no” conversation, but in the long run you’ll be better off, get everything done, enlist help and satisfy everyone, including yourself.
After all is said and done though, sometimes you do just have to say no.
Frank: How to maximize your coaching experience.
Congratulations! You’ve been identified as a high potential employee.
Are you ready to invest time and energy in your professional development? That’s code for are you ready to do the work?
If you want to ensure time well spent with your executive coach, set the agenda for your call. Sharing your goals and priorities ensures your time together is productive. It also helps shape a development plan tailored to your needs.
Practice what you’ve learned. Give your executive coach feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take some risks.
A successful engagement is a routine of practice and feedback.
Christian: How to show up how you want to show up.
Start with a simple question: “How do you want to show up?”
First, get complete clarity about how you want to show up. Create a blueprint around how you need to act if you want to hit your goals.
Then start tracking how you show up. Practice showing up in the manner that you want and see when you hit the target.
Like any other skill, practice, repetition, and reflection transform you into the person you want to become.
Rose: How to have conversations that change hearts and minds.
There's a conversation we are having with ourselves. Often that translates to a conversation that tells us we’re not enough.
That’s the first conversation we need to change. Each of us comes into this world with our brilliance and our muddy shoes. We need to accept our imperfections as what makes us uniquely us.
There is also a conversation going on that is not taking us in the right direction. Making ourselves vulnerable in front of others begins to change that conversation.
It starts with being human, sharing openly, and allowing others to do the same; without judgment or immediately pushing our point of view. Listening attentively and objectively opens the conversation. It allows for a sharing of perspectives and opinions that can lead to finding common ground.
When we move from obsessing over the conflict to finding the compliment, we humanize the conversation.
Gavin: How to use questions to boost your executive presence.
Executives underestimate the power of questions.
Questions are a clarifying, confidence-building, credibility-inducing, curiosity-triggering, communications superpower.
Used well, they are a “how” that unlocks gravitas and adds presence. Questions set up stories. Socratic questions help leaders teach. Pointed questions solve thorny business problems. Rhetorical questions connect and grab attention. Questions both align and empower.
A caution, though.
Beware the “drill-down”—where questions feel like an inquisition. Or questions that “over-couch”—a poor disguise to a blunt statement. “Have you thought about...”
Are questions in your quiver?
Shannon: How to professionally elevate your LinkedIn presence.
Welcome to LinkedIn. There's more to it than meets the eye. If you present yourself correctly, you'll be able to unlock its full potential and elevate your career.
LinkedIn has over 700 million users. Those users are on LinkedIn for a specific reason. They're looking to professionally connect and create with relatable, like minded people. They're looking for trustworthy thought leaders in their industry and solutions for their business challenges. They're looking for business trendsetters and to be a part of their industry's communities.
But you need more than just a well-crafted profile to stand out. The key to elevating your presence and setting you apart from everyone else, is to be creative, authentic and passionate about what you do. Confidently, showcasing your unique talents and personality goes way beyond setting up the basics. Events. Articles. Newsletters. Influencers. Groups. There are so many opportunities for success if you just step outside of the box.