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The True Meaning of FEAR in the Workplace

People-Whispering Tip:

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year and the fun and festivities of Halloween are no exception.  While I don’t watch a lot of television (yes, I know everyone says that), I have gotten into the new show “Glee.” 

If you are not familiar with it, “Glee” is set at a high-school in the midwest where the school’s outcasts find themselves in the Glee Club led by an earnest and idealistic teacher.  It’s a fun show full of teenage angst and amazing singing, dancing, and colorful characters.

One of the funniest characters is Sue, the “evil” gym teacher, who runs the cheerleading squad and does everything she can to promote disharmony, competition, and ill will throughout the school.  She is a perfect villain always seeking to undermine the credibility of the Glee Club while trying to grab the spotlight for herself.

In last month’s Halloween episode, the cast recreated the cult classic  musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  Sue’s famous quote this week was that we have lost the true meaning of Halloween which is FEAR. 

What does this have to do with “People-Whispering” you ask?  Well, it does make me laugh as we can all relate to someone in the workplace (even if it is a fictious high school gym teacher on the FOX network) who seems to be trying to make life difficult for everyone for whatever insecure reason of his or her own.

Sadly, some corporate cultures still try to instill fear into the workplace at great detriment to all who work there never mind the inevitable impact upon the ultimate customer or consumer.  Much research and common sense points to the fact that employees who are happy with their work and work environment treat customers better which in turn results in increased customer satisfaction and profits. 

This healthy work environment phenomenon is accomplished by a paradigm shift to a culture of inclusion, cooperation, and yes, dare I say it, even love.

To illustrate this shift in focus, I often like to take words and use them to reframe concepts and create acronyms that are memorable and actionable for positive change.  Many of you have probably heard that FEAR can be reframed as “False Evidence Appearing Real.”

Sue’s character is funny if not a little bittersweet because she is so “over the top” in her efforts to seek out the worst in people and situations.  Her acronym for fear might be “Frantically Evaluating Anything Wrong” (okay I took a little liberty and went phonetic on you). She is the quintessential example of someone focused on what is not working and managing from a place of fear.

What if we shifted the acronym to “Finally Energetically Aligning For Results?”  By this I mean, what if we as leaders and followers focused our energy and attention on our vision of what we wanted to create and maintained a steadfast insistence on thinking BIG regardless of seemingly limiting circumstances?   

What if we hired people with common values who were committed to telling the truth in meeting their customers’ needs?  What if instead of selecting employees primarily because of their technical competence and appearance (or proper credentials), we added vision, shared values and leadership, and complementary behavioral styles to the mix?  What if instead of a rigid hierarchy, we moved to more fluid, self-managing teams focused on creating real value in the world not just short-term stockholder dividends?

These “what if’s” are not new actually.  They have been practiced by some of the most successful leaders and organizations throughout the world throughout time.  They just seem to be overlooked today in some of our overly intellectual business practices and short-term mindsets. 

I am not saying intellect and strong operational practices are not important.  They are but only to the extent that they are executed with the wisdom of the heart and the soul of effective human connection and communication. 

In future issues of this Ezine, I will mention some of these leaders I have had the pleasure of working with over the years so we can all benefit from their wisdom and inspiration.  I have coached and led training sessions for the best companies throughout the world these past 15 plus years and have learned much about energy, focus, intention, and letting go of fear and negativity in business as well as in life.  

For more on how to increase your organization’s success with a focus on an energized business, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

It would be my pleasure to guide you in your process by reminding you of these timeless principles for inspired success!

DiSC® Assessment Application (s):

1) The Everything DiSC Group Culture Report

Just as individuals have unique styles, groups also tend to develop their own styles or cultures.  This culture is an informal combination of behaviors, values, and attitudes that most people in the group take for granted.  Another way to express culture is to say it is “the way we do things” in this organization.

Group culture has a large impact on the behavior, attitudes, and satisfaction of each group member.  People who fit into the culture often feel right at home in the group, but if you have ever worked for a culture where you were not the predominant style, you know how challenging that can be.  You can feel like a stranger in a strange land if there is no awareness or adaptability within the group or team.

Culture also has implications for the group as a whole.  It affects things such as the pace at which work gets done, how outsiders are treated, the attention paid to details, and/or the risks the group takes.  These in turn influence the success of the group in meeting its goals and objectives.

This report is invaluable to becoming a high performing team in that it reveals what the prevailing culture rewards and criticizes as well as highlights what the advantages and disadvantages of the culture are so that balancing actions can be taken.  It helps make concrete how the culture supports and inhibits the success of the group or work team so that you can do something about it for improved performance and job satisfaction for all.

There is no link to this report in my Products and Assessments store as it must be generated from the DiSC profiles of an existing team.  However, I would be happy to email anyone a sample report if you are interested.  It is available for any of the application library profiles including Everything DiSC Workplace, Everything DiSC Management, Everything DiSC Sales for only $77.50!  

For more information on how these training and coaching tools can support your business, please call us at 404-327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

2) 363 for Leaders Offer Extended Until Dec. 10th!

As mentioned in my last Ezine, the new 363 for Leaders Profile Report combines the best of 360 degree feedback with the simplicity and power of DiSC, plus 3 strategies for improving leadership effectiveness. The result is a 360 experience that is more productive and satisfying not to mention actionable and positively-oriented for the feedback participant.

363 for Leadership is meant for anyone who wants to use 360 degree feedback for leadership development, whether they are an emerging high-potential leader or an experienced executive.  From now until December 10, 2010, you can receive a FREE “Everything DiSC for Leaders” personalized feedback report for one leader, per company – FOR FREE!

In addition to the free profile with a retail value of a very cost-effectively priced $155, you will receive a FREE Coaching Supplement Report to create an action plan for development.

TO REQUEST A SAMPLE REPORT AND/OR PARTICIPATE IN THIS FREE OFFER, send your name, company name, approximate number of supervisors/managers, your title, phone number, city/state to Laura@lauraadavis.com.  The relevant information will be sent to you electronically.


Schedule a DiSC Strategy Session with me.  During this 45 minute complimentry discussion, we’ll discuss your business objectives and challenges, talk about your organization’s leadership capabilities, and see if the Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders is a fit for your organization.

For more about this powerful tool and how it can work for you, please visit www.363forLeaders.com.Take advantage of this great offer as soon as you can!

Transformational Coaching Tip:

In our book A Guide to Getting It: Self-Esteem, I wrote about what I affectionately call “The Wallenda Principle.”  This principle illustrates the power of our focus of attention.  It makes clear the fact that we want to focus on what we want NOT on what we don’t want.

The Wallenda family was renowned for their spectacular circus act comprised of acrobatics and tight-rope walking.  The patriarch of the family, Karl Wallenda, was famous for his death-defying tightrope walks between high buildings and over Niagra Falls without a net.

He eventually fell to his death in his 70’s while tight-rope walking between two tall buildings in Puerto Rico.  Since he had been so successful in the past in even more life-threatening situations, people wondered why now?  What was it about this walk that contributed to his demise?

When asked, his widow replied, “All of his life, Karl had focused on success.  He focused on his vision of getting to the other side of the rope without fear.  In the last year or so, he has focused his energies on not falling.”

And so, we are back to the theme I began with this month.  How is fear getting in your way?  Are you “Finally Aligning Energy for Results” or are you focused on what you don’t want such that you will inevitably get more of it?  Are you like Glee’s character Sue who is deliberately finding fault with people, circumstances, and events in order to gain a false sense of power over others rather than going within to access your authentic personal power with awareness? 

If you are not sure in which direction you are focused, you might ask yourself the following questions:

When your focus is on what you don’t want, you are likely asking questions such as:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Why does this keep happening to me?
  3. Who or what is getting in the way?
  4. Who is to blame? 

A more empowering what you do want focus would entail a mindset shift to questions such as these:

  1. What is my desired result?
  2. What will success look like?
  3. What options do I have?
  4. What insights have I gained from the situation?

Of course, it is easier to stay focused in an empowering direction with the assistance of a trained coach.  For assistance in operationalizing any of these best practices into your workplace for more powerful, effective results, feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com.

To your inspired success!

Laura A. Daviswww.lauraadavis.com

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