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When you create actionable goals you’ll notice a dramatic impact on your success. Proper goal setting is a learned skill that many people have not mastered. Simply thinking about the future and talking about what you want and desire is not enough. When you understand the components of clear actionable goals and put a plan in place to implement them, you will be in an optimal position to realize a higher level of success in all areas of your life. Follow these tips to make 2019 your best year ever!

Write Your Goals Down

A widely reported study found that three percent of Harvard MBAs earned, on average, 10 times more than the other 97 percent. What distinguished the two groups? Written goals, it turns out. Author Brian Tracy gives several examples in his book GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.

Researchers asked this question to Harvard MBA students who graduated in 1979: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Most — 84 percent — had no specific goals. Another 13 percent had not committed any goals to paper. That left only three percent who had clear written goals, as well as plans to accomplish them.

Ten years later, in 1989, graduates of the same class were interviewed again. The 13 percent of the class who had set goals, but not put them in writing, were earning, on average, twice the income of the 84 percent with no goals. The most amazing statistic was the three percent who had clear written goals. They were earning, on average, 10 times more than the other 97 percent. This study magnifies the importance of actionable goals and the impact you’ll have when you put them in writing.

Before you put your goals in writing, keep in mind that there are three reasons why people will fail to accomplish their goals. They are not motivated, they don’t have a plan and they are not passionate about accomplishing the goal -they don’t have a vision.

Your motivation is your desire, your plan spells out your intention, and your vision is the the passion you pursue.

When these three components come together, you’ve created SMART goals. This means your goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

There is a big difference between dreams and well-stated goals. Write down your goals now, and make sure they are SMART. What is your motivation for achieving your goals? What is your plan to make them come to fruition? What is your vision for the future?

RedRock Leadership offers training that can help you with business planning and leadership development. Let us know how we can help make this coming year your best year ever!

1. Brian Tracy, GOALS! How to Get Everything You Want Faster than You Ever Thought Possible (Oakland, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2003), 16.

Jeff Ruby

Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.

The post Here is a Quick Tip to Create New Year Goals appeared first on RedRock Leadership.

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The ideal way to communicate, whether at work, at home or with friends is to be straight-forward, honest, caring, reliable and proactive. This is known as being assertive. Even though fear may try and hold you back, when you’re assertive you’ll get to the heart of issues before they grow into disasters.

If fear takes over, you’ll find yourself reacting instead of proactively communicating. When this happens your communication style will turn passive, aggressive or passive-aggressive. These styles of communication are the poison that destroys relationships.

  • Passive Communication — the act of being timid, tentative, non-responsive or frightened. When you choose not to speak up at a time when it’s necessary, you’re being passive.
  • Aggressive Communication — the act of being loud, attacking, manipulative or controlling. When you make the choice to take over and speak your mind when it’s not necessary, you’re being aggressive.
  • Passive-Aggressive Communication— the act of being guilt-inducing, dishonest, underhanded, sniping and devious. Those prone to being aggressive can become passive-aggressive when they attempt to be less aggressive. Conversely those prone to being passive can become passive-aggressive when they attempt to be less passive.

If you want to rid yourself of the poison that destroys interpersonal relationships, learn to respond by being assertive instead of aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive.

Avoid Time-Pressure

Think of a time when you were covered up with work and family obligations, or were low on patience, or exhausted. How did it affect the way you communicated to those around you? You might have noticed that little things pushed you over the edge and you ended up saying something you regretted. This is because of time-pressure. When we get backed into a corner and don’t have enough time to think, we become vulnerable to communicating without thinking, and that’s never a good idea.

Learn to protect your time. Don’t be a “yes” person. Know that it’s okay to say “no.” As with anything, we need to endure short-term pain for long-term gain. Avoid time-pressure and you’ll be in a better position to be an assertive communicator.

Leave Your Childhood Behind

Poor communication is a result of how we are treated as children. When we were children, we were powerless and constantly being told what to do. Then, in learning to get our own way, we learned to fudge our responses to adults. This ultimately landed us in trouble and we learned to become victims. Too often, this pattern continues into adulthood and we see ourselves as victims.

Throw your shoulders back, stand up straight and realize that you have influence on people. You’re not a child anymore. When you do this, you’ll learn to be assertive.

Lower Your Expectations

The feelings of frustration and disappointment are always the result of missed expectations. Missed expectations produce resentment and it’s impossible for those feelings of resentment to be kept inside forever. Eventually what you are feeling inside will end up on the outside. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “what’s down in the well, comes up in the bucket”?

Dig deep to realize your resentments and discover what you’re keeping inside. What or who do you resent? Retire those resentments. Write them down in a journal or talk about them with a coach or a counselor.

When you learn to communicate in a straight-forward, honest, caring, reliable and proactive manner, you’ll build stronger relationships with those around you. Learn to be assertive and your communication skills will improve. Ultimately you’ll enjoy the good fruits of thriving relationships.

RedRock Leadership offers customer service, leadership and sales training that can help you build a team that will leverage a deep understanding of interpersonal communication to positive relationships.

Learn more at redrockleadership.com.

Jeff Ruby

Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.

The post Avoid the Poison that Destroys Relationships appeared first on RedRock Leadership.

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If you feel like you’re moving at lightning speed on a hamster wheel, not getting anywhere, it can be helpful to take a look at what you are doing with your time. Too often, our priorities are not in line with where we are actually spending our time.

When you get your priorities in order and focus your time and energy on them, it will create more stability in your life and increase the likelihood of reaching your goals. Then you can make real progress by living out your legacy.

Below is an excerpt of a RedRock Training session titled “Create Actionable Goals.” I want you to follow this simple three-step process that can change the trajectory of your life.

1. Get Your Priorities in Order

We can categorize life into seven main areas:

  • Work
  • Health
  • Finance
  • Social
  • Family
  • Faith
  • Education

I want you to rearrange and rank these seven areas in terms of how high they are on your priority list. For example, if family is your top priority, then put “family” in the #1 spot. Then, give yourself a letter grade for each of the seven areas. Just like in school, an “A” means you excel in that area and are devoting a lot of time and attention to it, while an “F” means you are failing in that area:

Area of Life /Grade

  1. ____________/_______
  2. ____________/_______
  3. ____________/_______
  4. ____________/_______
  5. ____________/_______
  6. ____________/_______
  7. ____________/_______

Now, compare your letter grade to the priority you assigned to each of the seven areas. How well do they match? For example, if you consider family your biggest priority in life, but you have given yourself a letter grade of “D” in that area, that means your actions don’t match your priorities. You need to make an intentional effort to spend more time, energy and focus on your family.

Often, the areas of life we say are top priorities are not the areas we are focusing on. When we have that type of disconnect, we are not going to feel like we are making progress. We will stay on that hamster wheel, spending all our time and energy on things that aren’t our priorities. When we can minimize this loss of energy, we are in an optimal position to accomplish our goals.

2. Create a 3-Year Goal Plan

Next, I want you to imagine yourself three years from today. What’s happening in your life that makes you feel like you are successful? What can you do now to achieve that success three years from today?

Write down 50 goals you want to accomplish in the next three years. Make sure all your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Once you have them written down, tell people you trust what those goals are so they can hold you accountable by asking you about your progress on those goals periodically.

These goals should challenge you. Our brains can stretch like a rubber band. But they contract when we don’t challenge ourselves. When we get into routines, or ruts, it’s easy to lose the focus on challenging ourselves.

3. Live Out Your Legacy

None of us is guaranteed to live to a certain age. Our “number” can come up at any moment. That doesn’t give us license to be irresponsible, though. The point is that we need to focus on building our legacy. If you were to die today, what do you think people would say at your funeral? What would people remember about you? The things that define you might not be the things that you want to define you. Again, this disconnect comes when we spend our time and focus on things that are not in line with our priorities.

Let’s say you were supposed to die today. That would be a bummer, right? Now, what if God gave you 25 bonus years instead? That would be a relief, right?

Write down five things you would do with 25 bonus years:

  1. ____________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________________

Think about it. Since we are not guaranteed any additional time, each of us is actually living with 25 bonus years right now! Therefore, whatever you would do with your 25 bonus years is what you should be doing right now!

Consider this blog post a wake-up call. Figure out what you want to do, plan it out and make it happen. Set your priorities, and spend your time fulfilling them. Stop spending your time and energy on the things that don’t help you progress toward your legacy.

RedRock Offers Sales, Management, Customer Service and Leadership Training

Setting goals and priorities is just one of the many topics we cover in our RedRock Leadership’s sales, management, customer service and leadership training and coaching programs. We also offer incredibly informative behavioral assessments that can help you learn more about yourself and what you value most in life.

Download goal setting tools in the RedRock Leadership Toolbox at https://redrockleadership.com/leadership-tools/.

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.

The post Ditch the Hamster Wheel & Live Out Your Legacy appeared first on RedRock Leadership.

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Negotiation is one of the most valuable life skills you’ll ever develop. Consider the time you invest in collaborating with new hires, other team members, clients, vendors, and sales prospects and even family members and friends. In all of this, I expect you’ll notice that negotiations are an important part of helping you get the most out of every interaction. This holds true for your team as well. Your team represents your business and most likely needs to negotiate to fulfill the requirements of day to day responsibilities. How many members of your team would say they excel at, and can’t wait to get involved in their next negotiation? How about you? Can you say that you excel and enjoy a good negotiation?

If you can’t, or if you can but want an expedient and helpful resource to share with your team, spend some time familiarizing yourself with these best practices.

It’s Not About Money

At first, this might seem counter-intuitive. Being a skilled negotiator has to be about closing the better deal and coming out on top financially, right? In a sense, yes, but let us say again, it’s not about the money. It’s about what the money means to you and what it will help you achieve. Does this deal make your business more competitive? Does it provide greater job security for you and your team? Does it mean you can stop spending so much time on the road? Identify what is truly valuable about each negotiation. This will help you identify your negotiation goals. You shouldn’t enter into any negotiation until these goals are established. Use this information to determine the best possible outcome, your lowest acceptable offer, and your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) – a concept introduced by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.

Be Flexible

You know your goals and you know where you need to be, so map out multiple ways to get there. If you are going to maintain control of the negotiation, you must be flexible. Giving the other side options will allow them to feel as though they have some control, which will help you reach one of your desired outcomes. Perhaps you can be flexible on terms, a start date or maybe even price. Whatever your goals, there is room for flexibility. Review your biases and adapt as new information enters the conversation to keep from creating a standoff that could lead to an impass.

Learn Ruby’s 10 Immutable Laws of Negotiation
To successfully grow these skills, learn what we teach here at RedRock Leadership; my 10 immutable laws of negotiation :

  1. Be present-tense while focusing on the future. Leverage the other party’s short term needs against your long-term goal.
  2. Be creative. Think bigger and you’ll get more.
  3. Be approachable. Tough negotiators get what they want by being approachable, flexible and willing to discuss various scenarios.
  4. Have a plan. Have a written plan and follow it like a script. If you wing it, you’ll leave the door open so others can take advantage of you.
  5. Know your goals. Know your ideal, realistic and acceptable outcomes, and don’t be afraid to walk away if they aren’t going to be met.
  6. Track your goals. Consistently inspect what you expect to track your progress, and keep moving forward.
  7. Be assertive, not aggressive. State your case, be straightforward and confident, not proud and arrogant.
  8. Don’t quit. Regardless of the obstacles you encounter, don’t give up. Even when you decide to walk away, remember it’s never over.
  9. Guard against negativity. Be a forward thinker, trust your process and persevere.
  10. Ask for help. Ask your negotiating opponent to help you. People are always willing to help if they feel like there is something it it for them.

Determine how much time you are willing to invest in developing your negotiation skills. Start working today to build a foundation for success that will resonate with all areas of your personal and business life. If you’re looking for more of a foundation to build on these best practices, check out RedRock’s Systematic Foundation Training & Coaching.

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.

The post Best Practices for Improving Your Negotiation Skills appeared first on RedRock Leadership.

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