Archives for May 2021

Strengths

By Gary Hazelberg, Grandy & Associates

If you asked most people what they want to improve about themselves they would probably pick a weakness, not a strength.  Studies have shown that we tend to see our weaknesses more changeable than our strengths.  However, many successful people have learned that when we focus on developing our strengths, we grow faster than when we try to improve our weaknesses.

If you concentrate on strengths, most people are happier, less stressed and more confident.  You certainly can’t ignore your weaknesses but spending as much time working in your strengths will provide a lot of positive energy. 

Do you find that you are falling short of the goals you have set for yourself?  You will find that it is easier to hit these goals if you work on improving your strengths instead of spending all of your time on your weakness.  Carol Dweck, Stanford University professor of Psychology, writes in her book ‘Mindset’; “With a fixed mindset, talent is enough to lead to success and effort to improve these talents isn’t required: one is born with a certain amount of skill and intelligence that can’t be improved upon.”  The opposite of a fixed mindset is a growth mindset.  Dweck says; “Those who hold a growth mindset believe that they can get better at something by dedication of time, effort and energy.”

To improve yourself, you need to have a growth mindset, identify your strengths and use them, in addition, you need to understand that your strengths can be improved.

What are your strengths?  If you are like most individuals, you are probably better at identifying your weaknesses.  You probably have painful memories of when you had to do something that you knew you were not good at and it showed, at least in your mind. 

Finding your strengths can be difficult.  The memories of when things went right usually fade quicker than the painful memories.

So, how do you find your strengths.

First of all, pay attention to when you are your happiest. 

Do you enjoy speaking to others and wonder why others find it daunting; do you find that you are the dreamer on the team, always thinking about the long-term future; or are you the detail person that really enjoys diving into the minute details.  Everyone has a different set of strengths; sometimes you have to step back and really look at yourself to discover them. 

Secondly, listen to others. They may be telling you what you don’t see.  For example, I always pictured myself as a technical guy, never ever a sales person. Early in my career I was asked to move from a technical position to a sales position, I actually told my boss at the time that I would rather leave the company than go into sales.  He explained how he saw that I had an ability to communicate, along with a great understanding of the product and with some training, I was able to succeed at the sales position and I spent the rest of my career in sales and sales management positions.  I learned to depend on my strengths; communication and technical knowledge.  Without being pushed into a role by someone who saw something I did not, I might never have realized what seemed obvious to others.

Be intentional about your strengths search.  Talk to a trusted co-worker, manager or mentor.  Ask them what they think your strengths are. 

Think about how you feel when you are doing different things.  What do you look forward to doing?  What were you doing when you had a great day?  When do you feel empowered and when do you feel drained?  Write it down, see how you can work more of these positive things into your activities.

Author Marcus Buckingham says; “A strength is not what you are good at, and a weakness is not what you are bad at.  A strength is an activity that strengthens you. It draws you in, it makes time fly by while you’re doing it, and it makes you feel strong.”

Going through the process of identifying your strengths will allow you to know yourself much better and feel more in control of your path forward.

Once you identify your strengths, talk to your manager, mentor or coworker; do they agree?  Discuss how you can take advantage of your strengths to move your job or your team forward. 

Identifying your strengths and working in those areas as much as possible will make you feel happier and more confident in your work life and be able to achieve those goals you have set for yourself. 

Grandy & Associates can provide Team Assessments that will give the DISC test to the employees you select.  These assessments will show you and the employee where their strengths are, how they should communicate with others, and how to most effectively communicate with them. 

We also do Job Benchmarking; this will show you how the individual’s strengths align with the job they are being asked to do.  Benchmarking is also used to help decide if an individual is ready for management or other roles. 

For more information on Team Assessments and Job Benchmarking, go HERE.

Why Did You Spend so Much Time at Your Friends House Growing Up?

By Tom Grandy, Founder

When you were growing up, chances are you had at least one close friend.   Where did you spend a bunch of your free time?  Many of us spent a huge amount of time at our friend’s house rather than our own.  Did you ever stop to consider “why” you spent so much time at your friend’s house?  Sure, your friend lived there but what else?  Maybe it was the family atmosphere.  You always felt welcome and were probably invited to stay for lunch or dinner on a pretty regular basis.  Going a bit deeper, you felt welcome no matter the time of day you may have arrived.  Your friends’ parents accepted you as one of their own and often included you in family activities.  Besides that, those cookies his or her mom made were wonderful.

Working in a family environment, for many employees, is as important as their pay and benefits.  Well-rounded families have rules, they respect each other, they work hard, and they fellowship together.  Below are a couple practical tips to help any company create more of a family environment. 

The bottom line was that you felt safe, loved and accepted…right?  Your friend’s house was really just an extension of your own home where you felt the same things. 

Did you go to your friend’s house because you had to?  Of course not.  You wanted to be there.

Now, switch gears for a moment and think about your company and your employees.  Why do they come to work each day?  Is it simply to earn a paycheck or do they enjoy being there?  Is going to work each day more like spending time at your friend’s house?  Believe it or not, for many employees the company really is their family.

  • Rules – Families have rules and so should businesses. That is where a Company Policy Manual comes in handy.  All employees need to clearly understand what the rules are and what the company’s expectations of them are.  Just like families, when rules are broken, there will be consequences.
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  • Listen to One Another – Mutual respect is another trait of a healthy family. Each member of the family (or business) needs to feel they can speak up and be heard when they have an idea, concern or a problem.  Creating frequent meetings in order to provide an environment where all thoughts and ideas can be heard is important.  That might take the form of a weekly service meeting and/or monthly or quarterly company meetings.
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  • Work Towards a Common Goal – The common goal in business is to make a profit. The question is, who benefits when the goal is met?  When a clear vision is provided of where the company is going and how reaching stated goals will benefit “all” employees, everyone will be more willing to work together towards that goal.  
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  • Willing to Help Others – Families, and businesses, function best when the atmosphere is not “all about me”. Real families are willing to lay down their lives for other members.  When a need is seen they pitch in.  When help is needed they don’t need to be asked, they help because they care.  Businesses should function the same way.
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  • Serendipities – Few things make individuals feel more accepted and/or appreciated than a spontaneous act of kindness. That can take the form of unexpected pizza for lunch, a gift certificate for outstanding service, a company gathering at a ball game or perhaps a summer picnic.  Any and all of these things say “we care” without having to say it. 

There is a huge shortage of techs and qualified employees today and it is not likely to get better any time in the near future.  One of the best ways to retain employees is to create an environment where they enjoy working and feel like they are part of a family.  This will serve as a huge plus when it comes to retaining employees long term. 

This month’s Website Special is our new ProfitSmart KPI Tracker.  This program measures the performance of each technician in nine (9) key areas.  It’s a great way to reward outstanding performance.  The normal investment is $399.00 but this month’s introductory offer is only $299.  Order today and watch productivity increase tomorrow. 

This month we are also offering our online self-paced program called Communications is Key.  The response to this new program has been tremendous.  The normal investment is $220 but this month it’s been discounted to $195.   Order today.  

Like all our products, both Website Specials are 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you will receive a full refund, no questions asked. 

Loneliness is Killing You (Yes, Even You!)

By Dr. John Delony, Ramsey Solutions

Loneliness is poison. It is deadly. Loneliness is literally killing us.  And if you just rolled your eyes, I’m especially talking to you.  Over the past couple of decades, researchers have repeatedly found a direct link between loneliness and a host of physical and psychological problems, like heart disease and mental illness. 1

Loneliness slowly dissolves us physically, mentally, and makes it impossible to be spiritually whole. Our culture has sped up and become increasingly frantic and chaotic. It’s tough to find time for new friendships, let alone time to invest in deep, meaningful relationships. We’ve managed to get by on sips of connection from the forced relationships of our kid’s friends’ parents or people at work, and the forced isolation of a global pandemic is highlighting a loneliness and mental health crisis like we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. 

But here’s some good news: Regardless of how old you are, how much loss you have experienced, or how overwhelming it feels, you don’t have to live a lonely, isolated life. In fact, you must not life a lonely, isolated life.

Just like learning new ways to handle your money, learning how to connect and manage relationships requires a new set of skills. You have to be intentional, humble, and commit to learning new things. In fact, you can learn to cultivate new, whole, and authentic relationships with people. You can learn to trust and be trusted. You can enjoy depth and connection, but you have to make it a priority and do the work.  Make no mistake: You are worth the work. Your kids, your spouse, your friends, your business, and/or your community are all worth the work.  

Here are five tangible and powerful practices that will help you find connection and relationships and live a joyful and whole life.

Be honest about your loneliness

Who would be the first person you would call if you got word that your mom was sick? That you’d just lost your job? That you need help changing a tire in your driveway. If you’re like many Americans, you would have no one to call.  No one.

This should sound every personal and cultural alarm that we have. Finding connection first begins with admitting that you are lonely, with no one to call. That you have no one you can tell the good stuff, the bad stuff, and the painful stuff too. That you have no one to lean on.

Or you might have a ton of people to call, but you find yourself lonely in a crowded room. Either way, you’re lonely—and disconnected. 

So, inhale deeply and say it out loud: I’m lonely. Then exhale.

Admitting you’re lonely doesn’t mean you’re weak or a loser. It means you’re human. I’ve felt lonely in a crowded room of people who love me, on stage in front of thousands of people, and even when surrounded by family at my own kitchen table.

If we aren’t honest about our loneliness, we run the risk of mislabeling our feelings and experiences. We might blame our feelings on any number of other things, from politics to neighbors, to people who have different beliefs. Instead of blaming or numbing, what you need is people on your team, someone to argue, laugh, eat, watch a game with—or maybe cry with.

Be proactive

Develop a plan to connect with people. Loneliness can quickly turn into a pity party if you’re waiting for others to reach out to you. Telephones, visits, and letter writing work both ways. You can be upset that no one has called or written, or you can begin reaching out.

If you’re in a season of life where you truly have few friends, you’ll have to get serious about coming up with a plan to meet people. Choose to be active in your search for connections. The be bold and go for it.

Additionally, be mindful about exhausting your friends and family with your problems and challenges. Other people don’t exist for you, they exist with you. Always remember: Listen more than you talk. Serve more than you are served.

Schedule in-person time with others

Depending on what studies you read, 70­–90% of communication is nonverbal. 2 In recent years we’ve outsourced almost all our communication to texting, emails, snapchats and DMs. Hear me clearly: Digital interactions are ways of passing information—not connecting. Relationships are about eye contact, presence, and when appropriate, touch. You can trade information in a digital format, but you cannot connect. Connecting in person (or though FaceTime, if necessary) is critical. Spend time face-to-face with the people you care about most on a regular basis.

Find a group to join, and commit to it

In addition to having a few close friends, consider joining groups in your community. Find people pursuing a common purpose, and commit to it.

Visit different groups and explore, but once you’ve landed on something, commit. Show up and keep showing up. Even if you deem some of the people annoying. Especially if they don’t look like you or you find they are way better at it than you. Stop comparing and competing and instead, say YES! and just keep showing up.

Be intentional about social media choices

They told us social media was going to help us to stay connected with our loved ones, meet new people, and deepen our relationships.  They lied.

 

Social media does not help me remain connected, in a meaningful way, to people I love and care about. It gives me information, not connection. These platforms use fine-tuned algorithms that are designed to keep us scrolling – not connecting. In fact, there’s alarming evidence that social media use actually increases feelings of depression and loneliness.3

 

How many of you have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, but no one to help you move your couch? If you’re going to use social media, be careful about when you’re on it and how long you access it.

 

I know COVID-19 brought with it many things we never expected, including lengthy physical separation from family and friends. However, deep, rewarding relationships are still possible. They may take a little more effort and intentionality than before, but they’re worth it. You can become a better friend—and find better friends—if you’re ready and willing to take the next step!

* Dr. John Delony is a mental health expert with PhDs in Counselor Education and Supervision and Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University. Prior to joining Ramsey Solutions in 2020, John worked as a senior leader, professor, and researcher at multiple universities. He also spent time in victim’s services and crisis response, walking with people through severe trauma. As a Ramsey Personality, he teaches on relationships and emotional wellness. Follow John on TwitterFacebook and YouTube or online at www.ramseysolutions.com/john-delony.  

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Cashflow and Cashflow Budgeting

Service Managers - Learning Path

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