I WROTE 200 LINKEDIN ARTICLES

If you had asked me if I was planning to write more after publishing my first LinkedIn article “I’ve Got Two Words For You” on March 4th, 2015, my answer would have been a resounding no. But a funny thing happened shortly after I hit submit. I saw my first comment from a reader named Hiram Figueroa who wrote, “Now that’s real talk.”

Thank you, Hiram, and for each and every one of you who have kept your minds, hearts, and commentaries freely flowing all these years while encouraging me to provide you with valuable and inspiring content.

Keeping it “real” is all I know how to do which is why I wanted to make “you” the subject of my 200th article. If you look (very, very) closely, you will find your name below.

I thank each and every one of my connections and followers and wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a powerful and prosperous new year.

With gratitude, leadership and of course no bullshit – Joshua

PS: Yes, these are 100% the names of all my LinkedIn connections, and yes it took a long time to create…but you are 100% worth it.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

9-SIGNS-YOUR-MANAGER-LACKS-EMOTIONAL-INTELLIGENCE

YOUR MANAGER LACKS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Emotional intelligence has become a popular topic in the field of psychological research. It is especially popular in leadership development. Research about the way today’s workforce interacts is a growing field. EQ is also a critical component for one’s wellbeing.

Developing your EI is important if you want to have a successful career.

Many experts believe emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) may be more important than IQ . It’s a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and happiness.

According to a report from the Robert H. Smith School of Business from the University of Maryland:

/h4>”71% of hiring managers said having EQ is more important the IQ and 51% of them said that they would NOT hire someone with a high IQ but a low EQ”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Let’s break it down so it’s easy to understand.

 Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify your own emotions and the emotions of those around you.

It is generally said to include these 5 dimensions:

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions
  2. Self-Management: Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses
  3. Motivation: Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take action, commit, follow-through, and work toward our goals
  4. Empathy: Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively
  5. Social Skills: Build relationships, relate to others, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team

Critical areas Emotional Intelligence can support you:

  • Physical Health – The ability to take care of our bodies and to manage our stress. This has an incredible impact on our overall wellness. It’s heavily tied to our emotional intelligence.
  • Conflict Resolution – When we can discern people’s emotions and empathize with their perspective, it’s much easier to resolve conflicts. It may avoid them before they start. We are also better at negotiation due to our ability to understand the needs and desires of others. It’s easier to give people what they want if we can perceive what it is.
  • Mental Well-Being – EI affects our attitude and outlook on life. It can also alleviate anxiety and avoid depression and mood swings. A high level of emotional intelligence directly correlates to a positive outlook on life.
  • Relationships – By better understanding and managing our emotions, we are better able to communicate our feelings in a constructive way. We are also better able to relate to those with whom we are in relationships. Understanding the needs, feelings, and responses of those we care about leads to more fulfilling relationships.
  • Success – Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators. That can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better support systems and persevere with a more resilient outlook.
  • Leadership

    – The ability to understand what motivates others to relate in a positive manner. Also, to build stronger bonds in the workplace inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize what the needs of his people. Then, know how to meet them in a way that encourages high performance.

 

Lastly, here are 9 signs your manager may lack emotional intelligence:

  1. Unable to control their emotions.

    Emotionally intelligent people are able to regulate. Therefore having control of their emotions. If your manager is prone to lashing out in anger they likely lack EQ.

  2. Clueless about your feelings.
    The ability to read others’ nonverbal emotional cues, such as facial expressions, is a critical component of EQ. If your manager can’t read your obvious displeasure there could be problems making emotional connections.
  3. Can’t maintain friendships.
    High-EQ individuals have strong networks of friends and acquaintances. If your manager is unable to maintain good relationships with colleagues, this is an indicator of low EQ.
  4. Always has a “poker face.”
    While reading others’ emotions is important for EQ, so is the ability to express your own. If you can never tell what your manager is really feeling, it’s likely that they are missing this element of emotional intelligence.
  5. Is emotionally inappropriate.
    Making bad or inappropriate jokes. Getting angry over nothing. Not realizing that he/she is angering someone. These are signs that your manager doesn’t understand the social workings of emotions and emotional expression, which is another important aspect of EQ.
  6. Can’t cope with sadness.
    An inability to manage others’ emotions indicates a lack of emotional intelligence.  Low-EQ individuals have particular difficulty in reacting to others’ negative emotions.
  7. Is emotionally “tone deaf.”
    A great deal of emotion is communicated through tone of voice. If your manager can’t sense your irritation, it may be an indicator of a deficit in detecting emotions.
  8. Can’t really be sympathetic.
    Empathy and sympathy involve recognizing others’ emotional states and reflecting back appropriate emotional concern. This is a complex skill that suggests high levels of emotional intelligence.
  9. Has no volume control.

    Of course, we’re talking about emotional volume here. Too-loud emotional reactions suggest difficulty in controlling emotions.

Final Thoughts:

Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood and is being researched even as I write this. However, what we do know is that emotions play a critical role in the quality of our lives, more critical than our actual measure of brain intelligence. While tools and technology can help us to learn information, nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.

If you are now wondering how your EI level stacks up, there are a few places online to take a

free emotional intelligence assessment.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

8 WAYS TO STOP OVER-THINKING EVERYTHING

8 WAYS TO STOP OVERTHINKING

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.”
– Dalai Lama

News flash…if you have a tendency to overthink things, you’re simply being human.

Thinking things through can be a great thing of course. But overthinking can result in stagnation, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and even illness. Ultimately becoming someone who self-sabotages the good things that happen in life.

Can overthinking harm your brain in any way? According to Neuroscientist Paul King:

  • Certain types of thought can be unhealthy: obsessive thoughts, delusional thoughts, repetitive thoughts, and negative thoughts. These types of thoughts can create unstable wiring patterns in the brain, although the concern is primarily the functional outcome for the person engaged in that type of mental activity, not any physiological harm to the brain.

Our brains are hard-wired to constantly seek solutions to problems. When we’re faced with a crisis, or if we have an important decision to make, many of us fall into the trap of overthinking. You get stuck on a thought wheel that goes over and over again with no break and no insight whatsoever. It’s the kind of thinking that does nothing but perpetuate its own existence.

It’s important to recognize that we can use our own intellect and mental function to identify when we are “spinning our mental wheels” in vain and get out of this thought pattern.

Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking everything according to psychologist Dr. Kelly Neff:

  1. Accept that You Have a Problem with Over-ThinkingThe first step to understanding if this is a real problem is probably the most difficult. We can only fix what we know is not working and then of course to acknowledge that you have a problem. If you feel like you can’t get out of your own head and over-thinking is stopping you from living a happy life, making decisions, getting things done, or forming meaningful relationships, then you may have a problem. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity and depression when a bad thing happens, you have a problem. If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask your friends and loved ones to be honest with you, because they are usually the ones who will see it even if you cannot. 
  2. Forgive Yourself: Our Brains are Hardwired This Way
    Once you can admit that you are an over-thinker, forgive yourself, because the brain is actually wired to make over-thinking a natural tendency. According to Psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the leading expert in this field, “the organization of our brains sets us up for over-thinking” because our thoughts and memories are intrinsically woven together, not compartmentalized. So when stressors are triggered or you get into a bad mood, it can unlock a ‘cascade’ of racing negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger for the bad mood. While the brain might be wired to make these associations, once you become aware you can begin to solve the problem. 
  3. Breathe More
    If our brains are wired in this ‘interconnected spider web’ where one bad event can trigger a tidal wave of negative thought associations, how can we break this pattern? The first and easiest thing you can do is BREATHE. Breathing will relax you, calm you, connect you to the present moment, and simply ground you. It sounds so simple but often when our mind starts to race to bad places, we become manic and frantic when what we need to do is relax the body and mind. Try lying down and taking a two-second long deep inhalation in through the nose, followed by a four-second long exhalation out through the mouth. This breathing pattern increases the CO2 in the bloodstream, which can relax the body and calm the adrenal system’s response to the obsessive thoughts. Do this for 10 minutes or until the excessive thinking slows down.
  4. Talk Less
    So many over-thinkers, can’t help but want to ‘talk it out’ when we are feeling stressed and worried. While talking about the worries can sometimes help, it usually will make things worse, especially if the person you are talking to is also an over-thinker, and you spend the entire time over-analyzing and dissecting every detail of every negative problem in your lives. You might end up working yourself up into a frenzy of negativity and feeling even more upset after the conversation. If you really feel the need to express your issues, you can always write them down, to clear them out of your mind and realize that your concerns might sound silly when you read them back to yourself.
  5. Get Physical and Get Busy
    It can be incredibly beneficial to do something physical, whether it is going for a brisk walk, playing with a pet or children, doing yoga, playing sports, swimming, or running.  In addition to physical exercises, engrossing activities that stimulate the brain can also be effective for redirecting obsessive thought patterns. Playing cards, learning a language, or playing all different types of games can be great diversions or interrupters of these thoughts. Activities that are both mentally and physically engrossing are the best, because they require enough absorption to pull you out of obsessive thinking patterns and into a state of flow.
  6. Practice Mindfulness
    One of the big things that over-thinkers struggle with is the ability to live in the present moment. So consumed by the failures of the past and the worries over the future, the present moment does not get the attention and love it deserves. Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” One of the best things you can possibly do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgment. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, you acknowledge them, and then let them go, energetically releasing them and clearing your space.
  7. Surrender to the Universe
    When we worry, we are essentially hoping to control the flow of life because we are attached to the outcome of a situation. We want things to happen a certain way, and we are terrified that things could go wrong or that bad things could happen. In reality, we have little to no control over the unfolding of events in life, at least not from the conscious standpoint that our worrying will directly impact the outcome in the way we want. So, we can worry and obsess, or we can accept all that IS and let go of our attachment to the outcomes. Surrender does not mean giving up; It just means you are willing to go with the flow of the current, instead of trying to swim against it and getting repeatedly bashed into the rocks.  Surrender is a form of release and a form of peace, because it means you are willing to trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to: Trust that everything happens in its proper time and place and you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
  8. Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality
    We must be mindful of our thoughts because our thoughts have power, more than we realize. If you obsessively fear losing your job, you are actually INCREASING the likelihood of getting fired, not decreasing it. Same if you are worrying about contracting a life-threatening disease or medical condition: The more energy you send in that direction, the more likely you are to unknowingly give permission to your body to manifest this condition. Like attracts like, and so the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about!

Final Thoughts:
There are plenty of reasons to stop overthinking and as I was researching this topic I became increasingly clear on a few things:

  • Like every topic for every article out there, there are a ton of opinions and points of view on this subject. Some backed by science while others are more lifehack related.
  • This list embodies all the key points necessary for someone to not only understand if they actually have an issue with overthinking but begin to take action on retraining your mind in order to release the grip of overthinking.
  • Be patient and kind with yourself and remember your thoughts don’t own you and you aren’t your thoughts.
  • In full disclosure, I caught myself overthinking whether I should post this article for at least 4 minutes before publishing it.

So what do you do when you catch yourself overthinking?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

8 TYPES OF COWORKERS WHO CAN DERAIL YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

COWORKERS WHO CAN DERAIL YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

Whether you work in an open space office environment or sit at a desk enclosed by the timeless (and design-less) grey and beige cubicle walls – one similarity exists…you work along side other people. Those people can kill your productivity. Nowadays companies are looking for more collaboration and interaction and it’s up to you to focus and get your job done while avoiding certain types of distractions.

Enter the disruptive and annoying coworker.

Yes, you know whom if which I am speaking of. We have all endured them at one point in time along our career paths. Sure the movie industry has well documented certain stereotypes and I am sure there are many more that haven’t made it to the big screen but one thing is certain, there are a few characters that seem to pop up in every office. If you do indeed work along side other human beings, there’s a very small chance you all get along easily 100% of the time. You’ll probably get annoyed with each and every one of them at some point — and there may even be a few who you absolutely can’t stand.

Here are some of the most common types of negative workplace personalities who derail productivity and some ideas on how to effectively deal with them.

 

  1. The Forgetful Borrower
    This person borrows staplers (red ones to), highlighters, tape and other things from others’ desks and forgets to return them. Worse, he or she may not even ask to borrow them. Solution: If you know who the culprit is and you haven’t yet received your item back then you can address the issue head-on. The next time this happens, say something like, “Hey (insert name), I noticed you borrowed my (insert item) and was wondering if you still have it as I need it back.” If they have it, then hopefully you will get it back and it’s a win-win. If they play coy and pretend to not know what you are talking about, short of you having evidence of an actual act of intent – let it go, learn from the situation and lock up the items in question moving forward. 
  2. The Slacker
    There always seems to be one team member who is content to let everyone else do the work but is always there to take the credit. This is quite annoying and unfair. Solution: Carl Jung said it best, “what you resist – persists.” This couldn’t be more true. If you fail to call this person out then you (and possibly your teammates) may fall prey to this persons undermining of your hard work. Speak up and responsibly confront this individual by asking them, “what exactly did you contribute to this assignment/project?”. It’s important to allow them to speak their mind as it will provide you valuable information into how they think and the reality in which they reside. If this doesn’t work, you always have the option of going directly to your boss or manager and explain but more importantly document what work was actually done and by whom. 
  3. The Passive-Aggressor
    Though not openly complaining that someone else isn’t working as much, The Passive-Aggressor still can’t resist mentioning how late he or she stayed last night or commenting on his or her “insane” amount of work. Solution: This one is actually quite easy. Typically ignoring these types of comments work best as acknowledging them will only show validation and potential praise for that persons perceived efforts. Silence is key. The Passive-Aggressor may also be prone to more direct behavior that could be seen as abusive which of course would require an escalation of action to your HR or People Team.
  4. The Drama Queen/King
    “The term ‘drama queen,’ or less frequently, ‘drama king’ is usually applied to someone with a demanding or overbearing personality who tends to overreact to seemingly minor incidents.  Psychologists might describe a drama queen or king as a neurotic personality with histrionic tendencies, meaning they tend to become needlessly dramatic whenever the order is disrupted. Solution: The easiest way to handle these type of people is simply refuse to take the bait. Dramatic people love drama but more importantly being center of attention so the more you respond to their drama (“Oh my gosh, that really happened to you?”), the more you feed their desire to be heard and validated. Instead, simply ignore the rants, and go on about your business. Your message—“I’m not interested”—will eventually be received.
  5. The Know-It-All
    There are at least two variations of this workplace character, according to Lynne Eisaguirre’s book Stop Pissing Me Off!: The Detail-Oriented Know-it-All, who relishes pointing out minutiae while missing the whole point; and The Fixer Know-it-All, who “insists on solving your problems for you, even if you don’t want them solved, or, in fact, don’t think you have a problem at all.”Solution: Unsolicited opinions can be as annoying as a car alarm going off all night keeping you awake. The key is to ignore both the situation and comments while not being completely dismissive. Try saying, “Thanks, I’ll think about that.” And if you find yourself getting frustrated, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this person is most likely perceived as potentially obnoxious, insecure or maybe trying “too hard” to fit in. 
  6. The Suck-up
    The Suck-up can’t wait to find a new way to be recognized by the boss. This coworker is always there to remind the boss just how wonderful he or she is, even if it’s at the expense of others. Solution: Annoying? Most definitely. Harmful? Not really, unless of course, this person is stepping on or over you to forward their agenda. Typically these types of people are easy to spot when discovered in the act but again pay close attention. The key is understanding that this individual is clearly seeking both visibility and acknowledgment and it has nothing to do with you. This type of behavior is usually quite transparent to the other person as well that they are sucking energy from and usually runs it course whether long term or short. 
  7. The Gossiper
    One could argue that the office gossip is the mayor of the water cooler. They always “appear” to know what’s happening, to whom and by when. Whether it’s potential layoff, hiring, firing or anything to do with salaries. They thrive on sharing this information to anyone who will listen. Substantiated or not, these rumors get repeated over and over, usually by the same people, who just love stirring up the worst-case scenario of what’s going on.Solution: When dealing with information that is coming from a secondary or questionable source, it’s always best to substantiate the claims as much as possible. Said another way, “just the facts please.” Don’t be afraid to question them or their source. They will quickly get that aren’t interested in watching “TMZ the Office Edition” and as  result they will stay clear of you because probing for facts takes all the fun (and drama) for them. Another solution I found that could equally be effective is to outright say something like, “Sorry – I can’t help you with that” or be bolder in expressing your disdain for gossip. Either way you will relieve yourself of being a gossip repository.
  8. The Victim
    No matter how good things are, there is bound to be something to complain about and more importantly someone to blame for their ill-perceived hardships. This disgruntled employee — justified or not — is a drag to work with. Worse, chronic complaining is a contagious habit, which can result in a toxic and negative working atmosphere. Solution: People with a victim mentality don’t believe they have any ownership or control of the situation (or areas of their life). In their world, things are being done to them. Sometimes it’s actually part of a greater or larger conspiracy theory pitted against only them which makes addressing this behavior a little more complex. Unless you have a healthy dose of emotional intelligence (as well as patience) – it may prove best to acknowledge what’s being said without an agreement, then casually look to move on or away. The key is to avoid further anchoring into the victim’s conversation and the evidence they have collected as to why their life is the way it is.

 

Final Thought:
This is by no means a scientific or complete list. I am aware after speaking with a few dozen people on this topic, there are a few more productivity killing coworkers to watch out for such as:

  • The “loud talker”
  • The “life is always a metaphor”
  • The “everything is a movie analogy”
  • The “open-mouth chewer”
  • The “steal your lunch from the fridge”
  • The “not showered lately coworker”
  • The “close talker”
  • The “won’t let you finish a sentence”

Whenever you isolate many different types of people into one workspace, anticipate some personality clashes. Certain types of behaviors, such as those listed here, are annoying but don’t necessarily have to be career derailers. It is important to not only approach irritating colleagues carefully but also to remind yourself to avoid certain situations that could otherwise jeopardize both your career and overall happiness. With most types of annoying co-workers, the key is to be professional and straightforward not hostile or mean. By attacking a co-worker verbally (and hopefully never physically) you not only step way over the line but directly put your job and career in jeopardy. Remember…

You can’t control other people; the only thing you can control is the way you choose to respond to them. 

The floor is yours. What are some annoying traits you have witnessed?

With leadership,
Joshua

*****

Not-your-typical Personal and Executive Master Certified Coach. 
Joshua Miller is a creative and impactful leader. His career experience has spanned both the advertising world and the world of leadership and organizational development. In advertising, he was responsible in delivering campaign strategies for Fortune 100 companies. Now he innovates and delivers results when supporting executive talent development and change management for the same clients.

10 THINGS I WANT MY SON TO LEARN BEFORE HE BECOMES A TEENAGER

10 THINGS I WANT MY SON TO LEARN

I have spent the past fifteen plus years of my career developing leaders around the world and the past four as a proud “dad” and father to my son. Every now and again, I read something that immediately stops me in my tracks professionally and makes think about things personally.

Dedicated to all the incredible parents and people managers around the world who look to better themselves and those around them in shaping our future leaders. This article is for you.#BeTheBoss

My amazing wife recently sent me an article that appeared in the Huffington Post about what to teach your child (specifically a boy) about life to ensure he is properly equipped to tackle what life decides to throw his way before hitting his teenage years. I read this article more than once. It really got me thinking about how as parents from the moment you bring home your child and leave the hospital, you are on your own to teach and develop these future leaders. Raising a child can be (and for me is) the most challenging and rewarding job on the planet. Every day I start over learning from the day(s) before hoping to better myself for the betterment of my son and his future.

The parallels of developing others – whether they are kids or business professionals are plenty and some of the best books on the topic weren’t written by people with numerous degrees or sitting in a high level of leadership in some prominent company. What Shannon Ralph outlined below could very well be applied to the broader world of personal development and some aspects of professional development and not just for boys. Although this is not a complete list by any means, it’s definitely thorough in covering some essential and some might say critical components to successfully navigating life’s unknowns.

Here are 10 powerful lessons I want my son to learn before he becomes a teenager.

  1. Kindness is power, not weakness.
    Gentleness is a strength. As is empathy. It is not “manly” to be cruel. It is not “weak” to be gentle. All too often, we underestimate the power of kindness to turn the world around.
  2. A girl’s body belongs ONLY to her.
    You have no claim to it, no matter who she is. No matter how long you’ve been dating. She makes the rules regarding her body. In the same way, you make the rules concerning your body. A boy can say no, too.
  3. Express your feelings.
    Use your words. Don’t bottle it up. Don’t push it down. Our feelings are what make us fully-evolved humans. Don’t be a caveman.
  4. Cook, clean, and do your own laundry. 
    Every man should be able to cook something delicious (or, at minimum, edible), clean up after himself, and wash his own clothes. And please, please understand — and don’t just say it, but actually, believe — that none of this is “women’s work.”
  5. Say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” every day.
    Manners are important. Manners, though underutilized in this modern world, will set you apart. In school. In your career. In your future relationships. Manners will get you far in life.
  6. Don’t trust everyone. At the same time, don’t NOT trust anyone. People need to earn your trust. Don’t give it away freely, but give it to the people who deserve it. We all need an inner circle of people who have our backs.
  7. A little confidence goes a long way, even if you have to fake it.
    And there will be times when you totally fake it. Trust me on that. But know that you are smart. Know that you are capable. Know that you are talented. You have what it takes to make your dreams come true. Just believe in yourself.
  8. Never kiss and tell.
    It is disrespectful. It is rude. It takes advantage of another person’s vulnerability. Your friends do not need to know the details. Leave them to their fully capable imaginations.
  9. Sometimes the joke is just not worth it.
    You know I am a fan of wicked wit. Expertly executed sarcasm is one of my favorite things in the world. And you are quite adept at both. But it is not always appropriate. There are things more important than a perfect punchline. Like friendship. Trust. Kindness. Think before you make the joke. Is it worth it?
  10. Explore the world. 
    Get out. See new things. Explore new places. Broaden your horizons. Backpack across Europe. Safari in Africa. Trek through the rain forests. Cultivate a worldlier perspective. I will always be your home base.

Final thought:
We live in a crazy fast paced world that is filled with as much hope as there is uncertainty. Technology is moving faster than people can grasp and just when you do, that program, product or function is quickly obsolete. Sure, we have STEM Schools, Common Core and of course amazing organizations like Khan Academy but we can never forget the importance of “off-line” learning and emotional and personal development not just of our kids and future leaders but ourselves as well. The concept of being a life-long learner is something I’m teaching my son. Whether you are a parent or not, we all have the ability and opportunity to instill some of these life lessons in others every day. We are all leaders in life and it doesn’t take much to support another individual.

The floor is yours. What are some key life lessons someone taught you growing up?

With leadership,
Joshua

*****

Not-your-typical Personal and Executive Master Certified Coach. 
Joshua Miller is a creative and impactful leader. His career experience has spanned both the advertising world and the world of leadership and organizational development. In advertising, he was responsible in delivering campaign strategies for Fortune 100 companies. Now he innovates and delivers results when supporting executive talent development and change management for the same clients.

Skyrocket your career

DEVELOP INTUITION SKYROCKET YOUR CAREER

“Trust your intuition.” These three little words have captivated me for as long as I can recall. I can’t remember the exact time I heard this phrase but it surely has stuck around over the years. What began as an initial interest and curiosity has blossomed into a professional passion and skill I am always looking to hone as a coach. Like leaders I’ve coached, you too can use intuition to skyrocket your career.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. – Albert Einstein

The funny thing about intuition is that many people associate it with their “gut” but since your gut is an actual organ in your body (and not a flattering at one that) –  I would like to believe that your intuitive skills resonate more from your brain region, so for the sake of this article let’s agree that it can also be classified as a “hunch” or even an “ah-ha” feeling.

Whether you realize it or not, intuition helps shape the decisions you make every day, in every area of your life — including on the job. Some people argue that relying on hunches or gut feelings in the workplace is irrational and a potential derailer because after all, in a world of hard deadlines, high stress and bottom lines, something as abstract as intuition may feel like a risk. That said, you might be surprised to learn how important intuition really is. According to an OfficeTeam / IAAP survey, 3500+ professionals were asked “How often they make decisions based on their gut instinct” and the results were pretty clear:

  • 56% Somewhat Often
  • 32% Very Often
  • 12% Not Very Often
  • Summary: What these workers recognized is that good judgment sometimes comes down to following your instincts, especially when they are backed by wisdom and experience.

No matter where your interest lies within this topic there is one thing that is irrefutable: honing and trusting your intuitive abilities is a valuable skill set many of the most successful people in the world have attributed to their success, such as Oprah, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet. Leaders look to actively engage their intuition to better themselves and those around them. The good news is that you don’t have to own a tv network, a media empire or be a billionaire to enjoy the benefits of developing and trusting your own intuition.

Let’s begin with understanding exactly what this “hunch” or gut feeling really is. According to the Webster Dictionary, it’s something like this:

noun /in·tu·i·tion :a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why

The key benefits of cultivating your intuition are as follows:

  • Helps you reduce stress by identifying and dealing with problems
    more effectively
  • Unleashes your creativity and imagination
  • Puts you in touch with your subconscious, and therefore helps you uncover hidden truths about yourself and situations in your life
  • Can prevent the buildup of negative emotions and thinking
  • Integrates left and right brain functions giving you a more complete perspective on issues
  • Helps you make better, more integrative decisions
  • Improves physical, mental and emotional health

The great thinker Carl Jung emphasized the importance of honing your intuition and the impact it directly had on his life. He believed that intuition was one of four major functions of the human mind along with sensation, thinking, and feeling. By balancing all of these functions within ourselves, we have the ability to maximize our potential.

Here are 10 ways people have described how to best help you trust your instincts to skyrocket your career:

  1. Follow Your Passion.
    When you can’t get an idea out of your head, your gut is telling you it has merit. That instinct fuels your drive and work ethic. Instinct is really just passion disguised as an idea. When you act on ideas you truly care about, you are more likely to be right and more likely to work hard enough to succeed.
  2. Strive For 100% Commitment.
    Every good instinct has to be supported by a lot of dedicated work. To give this kind of commitment, live in the moment and focus on doing the best you can today. Acknowledge any fear or doubt that shows up as this is simply part of your brains hardwiring protecting you from the unknown and re-presence yourself and get back to work.
  3. Fully Immerse Yourself.
    Dedication is key but fully understanding all aspects, angles and avenues for what you are working on is just as critical. We aren’t born with business instincts — we learn them over time. When you become immersed in a subject or group, your mind draws on all of that knowledge with very little effort. Your instincts become informed choices made in the blink of an eye.
  4. Embrace Failure.
    One could argue that many of the rules you abide by today were made by someone else who had an instinct five years or fifty years before you. The leaders who trust their instincts will be the ones who set the new rules — the ones who anticipate and solve tomorrow’s problems today.
    When setting out to blaze a trail (no matter what that looks like) failure is always a stark possibility. If you do stumble, use it as an opportunity to hone your instincts by noticing what mistakes you made that ultimately killed that idea, project or goal.
  5. Listen To The Physical Signs.
    Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Goose bumps? Did you experience physiological responses, like queasiness, shortness of breath, sneezing or a headache? This is simply your bodies powerful intuitive communicator. There’s a reason it’s called a “gut feeling”. If you experience nagging thoughts and feelings of suspicion, anxiety, doubt, curiosity or wonder for a particular situation, it’s up to you to follow them and see where they’ll lead. Listening to your body’s subtle signals is a critical part of exercising your intuitive sense.
  6. Meditate.
    Sure, I have talked extensively about being mindful, mindfulness and meditation so it should be no surprise I am about to discuss this topic one more time. Detaching and detoxing from your busy life that’s intertwined with your cell phone, computer, tablet and now watches are critical to gaining presence and recalibrating your body and mind. So, close the door, shut off all electronic devices that will distract you and take a few deep, slow breaths to relax your body. The first reason why most of us can’t hear our intuition, is because our mind is going non-stop 24/7 with a variety of internal banter that has no off switch. Clearing your mind of repetitive thoughts and worries is one of the best ways to listen to your inner voice.
  7. Listen To Your Vibration.
    I spend a great deal talking about human energy with my clients and how we all give off a certain vibrational energy. Sometimes it’s positive and other times it’s quite negative and wards others and opportunities away like the smell of rotten fish. Eckhart Tolle talks extensively about this topic in many of his books and teachings. Remember, that every single thought and word that comes into your head and out of your mouth has an impact on the world around and within you. Every thought or feeling has a vibration that can be measured. By learning to raise these vibrations you will be able to connect with your inner-self.
  8. Pause And Take A Break.
    The goal here is to take a moment to quiet your mind and bring yourself into the present moment. Sitting at your desk or in front of your computer trying to hammer out a solution to a project won’t allow your intuition to turn on, while stepping away from your computer, desk or getting out of the office and doing something that has nothing to do with work can help you tune in to your powers of intuition. Steve Jobs was known to take long walks when stuck on a problem to experience a moment of real clarity. That clarity is like a fresh breath of pure inspiration. So, no matter what you are doing, take a break and consider taking nice long walk (somewhere) but make sure you come back to your desk, project and job.
  9. Pay Attention To Your Dreams.
    Intuition is the language of dreams. Research shows that during dream-time the brain does creative problem-solving, which can help you make the right choice in your waking life. Before you go to sleep each night, reflect upon questions and issues for which you couldn’t find solutions during the day, such as “How can I fix that problem?”. Think about and explore different possibilities. This will trigger your imagination and put your subconscious to work at designing creative solutions while you sleep. If you’re attuned to your dreams, you can get a lot of information about how to live your life. The next morning, immediately write down any dreams or great ideas you remember before getting out of bed. Then see if and how the dream answered your question.
  10. Keep A Journal.
    Meditation, dreams and long walks can bring up lots of insights, so it’s a good idea to track every thoughts or “feeling” you experienced. Make sure you write down any questions or concerns. Allow this to be more of a free flow type of activity. The next time you’re having difficulty making a decision, pick up a pen and some paper and let the words flow out of you. Reflect on the situation, explore those feelings, and consider the bigger picture. By regularly recording your thoughts, it can be a wonderful catalyst for removing blocks and letting your intuitive voice lead the way.

 

Final thoughts:

Now, you may think that you don’t have the intuitive gift, but that’s simply not true. We’re all intuitively wired – all of us. It is our most natural biological function however some are more in touch with it than others. Each of us has our own “feeling” of what is worthwhile and right for our lives both personally and professionally. Your intuition is your inner guide and when tapped into,  your ability to unleash your creativity, imagination, and decision making rapidly increases.

Developing your intuition is like learning any new skill. The more you practice, the better you get at it. So, be patient with yourself. Results take time. Like exercising any muscles, start off slowly and gradually build your “intuitive muscle.”

Trust me, you got this. Better yet, trust yourself. It starts now.

The floor is yours. When have you trusted your intuition and what happened?

With leadership,
Joshua

*****

Not-your-typical Personal and Executive Master Certified Coach. 
Joshua Miller is a creative and impactful leader. His career experience has spanned both the advertising world and the world of leadership and organizational development. In advertising, he was responsible in delivering campaign strategies for Fortune 100 companies. Now he innovates and delivers results when supporting executive talent development and change management for the same clients. If you’re ready to skyrocket your career, Josh may be the coach for you.

HOW TO STAY BALANCED AT WORK MINDFULNESS VS

STAY BALANCED AT WORK: mindfulness .vs. meditation

HOW TO STAY BALANCED AT WORK: mindfulness vs meditation

If achieving work-life balance is a top goal for many busy people around the world, then why is it so hard to reach?

We hear terms almost daily about mindfulness training and mediation but what does it all mean and does it even work?

The answer could lie in the fact that many people collapse mediation and mindfulness together not fully understanding their place in achieving a less stressful life.

Let’s break down the differences & benefits of Practicing mindfulness vs meditation so you can get started today.

As a practitioner of both for many years, I can say unequivocally that t

he benefits of each can produce some incredible results both personally and professionally but understanding the subtle and not so subtle nuances can make the difference between a calming moment and a storm of confusion.

**** Mindfulness

Mindfulness is defined as being aware of the here and now and of what’s happening outside the self. When one is aware, you can become free of things that create emotional stress such as regrets, judgments and anxieties. To be mindful means to live in the moment; to go through life as if it’s the first time; and to accept the things that come your way without worrying and stressing too much.

  • Here’s a great resource on how to practice at work.

**** Meditation

Meditation is giving yourself, especially your body, a deeper kind of rest through mastering the art of letting go and surrendering everything that fills the mind. This way, healing comes to the body as it gains the rest necessary for it to keep up. All these occur as the body approaches the conscious state. Meditation is also called a moment of deep and restful kind of waking that helps people be aware and eventually achieve inner peace as the troublesome noise of the mind is lessened.

  • Here’s a great resource on how to practice at work.

**** Bringing It All Together

Meditation helps you achieve peace from within vs. Mindfulness which helps you be at peace with your surroundings and external factors. They are two constraining things that have a diverse explanation and purpose. Both meditation and mindfulness are rooted in ancient Buddhism, but meditation is the larger term that encompasses mindfulness amid other techniques. According to one article, mindfulness expert Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., author of The Now Effect – stated that the confusion can be contributed to the following:

  • One of the most well-known types of meditation is mindfulness meditation.“Mindfulness is basically just being aware, and can be practiced both informally and formally—which is what many people don’t understand,” says Goldstein. “When you’re practicing it informally, that means that you’re simply attempting to be more aware in everything that you do—and that mentality can be infused into pretty much anything. But the formal practice of mindfulness is mindfulness meditation.”
  • Here’s a great resource on how to practice at work.

Final thoughts on mindfulness vs meditation: The main reason people get confused may in large be in part due to the varying definitions of each and the sources they are derived from. In reality, they are re two sides of the same coin — they complement each other, while potentially overlapping. Mindfulness is actually under the umbrella of meditation. Mindfulness is not about stressing and thinking hard; and meditation is not about turning off the mind. They are both designed to provide you with an opportunity to be happier and less stressed. Namaste, now please go mindfully eat your lunch and get back to work.

The floor is yours: Which increases performance in the workplace mindfulness vs meditation?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

HOW TO TURN ANY SETBACK INTO A GREAT COMEBACK

HOW TO TURN ANY SETBACK INTO A GREAT COMEBACK

When it comes to life, we all fail at some point, but we don’t all have a great comeback.

So how is it that some fail and fall in place while others appear to seemingly get back up and rise to the occasion – finding ultimate success?

The answer is simple – sort of, you see the difference lies in two areas, the first involves their mindset and the second surrounds the actions they take as soon as they experience a setback. It’s one part “how” they do it, plus one part “what” they believe which has them moving forward versus standing still. How you respond to your setback will either be the catalyst forward or the cement that hardens you in place.

Thomas Edison for example, notably one of the greatest success and failure stories throughout history endured thousands of setbacks and he can teach us all a great lesson when it comes to shifting our mindset as we seek out success in our life.

Since setbacks are inevitable throughout life, the key is to shift your mindset and stop defining your setbacks as failures but rather as part of the journey to greatness and understanding that when one method doesn’t work, you are simply one step closer to finding one that does.

When you can achieve this mindset shift, you will begin to experience your setbacks as simply small steps bringing you closer to your goal. The key is to identify when this happens and then of course take some course of action – which brings us away from the “what you believe” aspect and lets us focus on “how” to move forward.

  • Disclaimer: There is no one simple solution, quick fix or exact formula that works for every person, every time in every situation. In fact, you will have to truly allow yourself to experience failure to understand how to move forward. Below is a high-level outline of what’s worked for me.

How To Move Forward: The Post Mortem

The key is to first separate your emotions from facts.

Before you can move forward, you must take a look backwards. I call this a Post Mortem – designed to have you look closely at the totality of the situation through a variety of lenses. Businesses are known to running these types of meetings so why not conduct your own? Understanding the full scope of your setback is critical, and learning how you got here and how it could have been avoided is the only way to ensure you don’t have a repeat performance. Basically, “why” are you here versus where you hoped to be.

The obstacle for many is that they begin looking for answers to soon leaving them with more excuses than facts they can work from in how to move forward. Here are a few ways you can begin:

  • Journaling your thoughts is an excellent and productive way to filter through what’s in your heart so you can get back to your head and find a way forward. It will help you gain perspective and better understand your current situation. The process of writing down your emotions allows you to reflect in a deeper more personal way. The goal is to “get out” the anger, sadness, frustration or anything else that may be there so you can begin to feel more at peace. There is no time frame on how long you should write or how long this can take – everyone’s emotional cycle is different. Be with yourself and focus on you first. Ask yourself, “what is the emotion you are experiencing at this moment? Are you happy, sad, relived? What’s your body telling you?
  • Measuring your goals can be done in a variety of ways – both quantitatively and qualitatively. Measuring based on feelings is a slippery slope – it’s like saying it’s going to rain outside because you head hurtsIt could be true but it’s not based on facts or any concrete – just a feeling. Some questions to ask yourself: What actually happened vs. the story you have about it?” We all know the acronym SMART goals, so ask yourself:Did you have a SMART goal to begin with? If so, what aspect of your goal did you fall short? Can you identify when things started to go off track, and identify what initiated the setback?
  • Take accountability for your part in how you got here. Being accountable and taking responsibility is both a sign of maturity and EQ. When you can own your level of involvement in how you arrived at your setback, you are showing others and yourself you are responsible for your role in the situation and open to looking inward versus playing the blame game. Some questions to ask yourself: Based on the desired goal, what actions did I take, or not take that led to this outcome? What’s one thing I could have done differently that would have led to a different outcome?
  • Get some distance but don’t go too far away, make sure you come back. Perspective is a powerful tool when applied in a concise and deliberate way. Take a macro view on the situation and explore what skills you either demonstrated well and what knowledge you learned from the experience. Some questions to ask yourself: What skills did I acquire from this or what new skills have I identified I need to learn moving forward? What unique talent did I discover about myself? What relationships did I grow or weaken through this journey? Has this happened to me before in some other area of my life and if so, what did I do about it then?
  • Recommit to what’s next to ensure you have a plan in place and the right people to support you in your efforts. We’ve discussed the need to improving your knowledge and skills, now it’s time to discuss the people and your plan to move forward. Let’s start with the people piece first. Some questions to ask yourself: Did you have the right people by your side before and if so, how might you use them differently? What new people should you include and what existing people should go? Now let’s look at the plan. Some questions to ask yourself: Is you new plan forward anchored in a SMART goal? Are you simply duplicating your existing goal or making actual changes? What measures can you take around time management (of both yourself and others) to ensure your success? Have you buffered into your plan the time allotted to learn any new skills (or hire those who have them)? Lastly, are you ready to announce to the world your new plan?
  • Stop playing the victim and shut down the pity party. Misery loves company until of course the company leaves and your left with just your misery. Get reinforcements and surround yourself with positive people who won’t RSVP to your party. The people you hang out with will affect your mood, your outlook and ultimately your actions. Seek support, perspective and tough love. Overcoming adversity doesn’t have to be tough when you have the right cast of characters helping you move forward. Some questions to ask yourself: Are the people around you accepting of your flaws and imperfections? Will these people challenge your intentions and actions? Do the people around you compliment your strengths and share your vision?
  • Own it and be proud of where you are, how far you’ve come and what you will declare moving forward. Every success story begins with a journey in failure and they all have one commonality which is the person celebrated their losses in service of their victories. Make your setback part of your storyline and embrace the unknown, unpredictable and uncertainty of life. Some questions to ask yourself: Could you openly share your current setback with someone? If so, what’s one takeaway you could speak to as a place of learning? How might you teach others about your setback as means to share your experience?

Final thoughts: Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it. The problem is that so many people let their setbacks become permanent, giving into their emotions versus honoring their goals and commitments. The bigger your vision, the more obstacles you will undoubtedly face. Learning how to overcome this will be what separates you from those who make change versus those who make excuses. Remember the next time you hear a “no” – it simply means next opportunity.

The floor is yours: What’s one motivating question to ask yourself when you experience a setback?