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12 Things You Never Knew On How To Think Effectively

12 Things You Never Knew On How To Think Effectively

Effective thinking is something that can be practiced and developed over time. Everything begins and ends with the brain-heart connection. How you think either connects or disconnects the two. Here are some ways to think effectively that you never thought could be so easy.

1. Identify and reverse negative core beliefs.

“I’m not good enough.” “I don’t deserve this.” We’re all influenced by our past experiences and when we attach negative labels to them, we subconsciously bring them into our present reality. Think effectively by reversing the negative into a positive and letting that play repeatedly in your thoughts.

2. Powerful words trigger powerful thinking.

“I’m going to try this.” Where’s the power in this statement? Reword it. “I’m going to master this technique and gain customers.” Use powerful words that set you up for success in your thinking. Merely ‘trying’ something isn’t motivating. ‘Mastering’ something is very motivating. Think effectively—and powerfully. Powerful thinking promotes powerful action.

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3. When it all comes down to it, you are what you think. 

So if you think you’re a failure, you don’t deserve success or happiness, or you’re not good enough, your subconscious mind is going to steer you in the direction of what you’re thinking. To think effectively you have to think in ways that steer you toward success.

4. When failure or crisis ensues, always think, “What is the lesson here?”

Remember, everything begins and ends with the brain-heart connection. Find a valuable lesson that you can profit or benefit from in every traumatic event. That way, when you look back on the situation, you view it as a learning experience, not a traumatic, negative event. Try to find happiness in everything.

5. When you stop a project to think about it, make sure you start it again. 

So many great ideas are abandoned because of hesitance or procrastination. When you find yourself at a standstill in the middle of a project and you’re hesitating, go back to point #1. Find the belief that’s stalling you, reverse it, add some power words and dive right back in.

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6. Thinking too much promotes stagnation. 

So think like this: Thought…Idea…Vision…Action. Take your thoughts and form an idea. Really visualize the entire idea coming to fruition in your mind. Now, take the steps to make that idea happen.

7. You can’t want something and have it at the same time.

A very valuable money coach taught me this concept and when I realized it, I became unstuck. When you’re so busy wanting something, all of your thought processes encompass that desire, that longing. You find yourself saying something like, “I have no idea how, but I have to have that.” Instead, go to point #6. Take that want, turn it into an idea, envision it clearly and take action to get there. Changing your focus to the status of ‘having’ psychologically triggers the mind to take the necessary steps to get it, instead of remaining in a state of envy.

8. Use psychological triggers to keep your brain and your heart on the same wavelength. 

For example, in your heart you know you need to set up a budget. But your brain is saying, “It’s useless, you’ll always be broke.” Don’t give in…reverse your brain’s thought. Think about how much less stress you’ll have when you know exactly how much you have to spend and where to spend it. This aligns your brain and your heart and motivates you to set up a budget and stick to it. The psychological trigger is less stress.

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9. Before becoming hurt or offended by a friend’s actions or words, look at their heart. 

Generally, by looking at someone’s heart, you gain a deeper understanding as to their reaction. The result is that it brings forgiveness much more easily and saves your energy for creativity instead of anger and resentment.

10. Check your motives!

Before you speak or act, make sure what you’re thinking is your opinion and not your friend’s/boss’s/partner’s etc. When you’re thinking, make sure they’re your true, unbiased thoughts and that you’re not seeking approval or being influenced by others.

11. Don’t bury icky thoughts.

When you catch yourself pushing an uncomfortable thought or feeling away…don’t. Even if it has a negative emotion attached to it. Let it come all the way up to the surface. Sit in it for a few minutes and truly feel the emotion. Feel it, face it…and let it go. Don’t suppress icky feelings, because they always rear their ugly head in moments of stress and cause you to act and do things that you’ll regret later.

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12. Focus on right now…this very moment. 

Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Just right now. It’s all you have…it’s all that matters. This way your actions in the present moment aren’t as likely to be dictated by past experiences. This is the most powerful tool to help you to think effectively.

By practicing these simple techniques every single day, you will master effective thinking and soon see improvements in your work, your creativity and your relationships. Remember, it’s all about aligning the brain and the heart so they don’t contradict each other.

Want more effective thinking tips? Learn 6 things highly effective leaders do differently.

Featured photo credit: http://mrg.bz/AIQYoE via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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