Monday, February 28, 2011

A quote to contemplate

“Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.” Albert Einstein

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tweaking my Secrets of Motivating Others workshop

I can't help myself. I'm always tweaking programs because I'm always learning more. Here's my most current description of a popular program, especially designed for managers.

For Managers--Secrets of Motivating Others.
How can I motivate Larry to take out the garbage? How can I motivate myself to write that report? These and other secrets are revealed in this dynamic exploration of psychology and emotions.
This session will cover:
• The three most important factors needed to create a motivated workplace.
• How to create the productive and pleasurable “flow” state at work.
• Recognizing language that derails or builds accountability.
• Thought patterns that increase motivation and productivity.
• Best practices to motivate yourself and others.
© 2011 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fun exercise to improve presentation skills

Want to improve presentation skills for your managers or team leads?
Here’s a fun, effective exercise. It will provide great lessons for even the most anxious speaker. They key is returning to the emotional world and innocence of childhood.

In front of the group, have the speaker describe his/her childhood bedroom in as much detail as possible. Watch what happens.

The speaker will lose self-consciousness and become lost in the memories of their childhood. Since this is a strong (and emotional) memory, he/she will have no fear of forgetting “their material.” The speaker will be much more dynamic and naturally use gestures to explain the space. In fact, all speech mechanics (tempo, volume, eye contact, facial expressions etc.) will be effective because the speaker will enjoy this subject and truly want to communicate it.
© 2011 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Teambuilding and Trust Exercises at Work.

I often bring interactive exercises to my workshops. These keep participants engaged (and awake). But these exercises can’t simply be diversions or gimmicks. Especially in the area of trust. Researchers and business experts continue to confirm Patrick Lencioni’s (5 Dysfunctions of Teams) premise. Trust is vital for healthy teamwork. The irony of team building events is that the day can be exhilarating or fun but actually cause a loss of trust. This is because the real issues are never surfaced and everyone learns to pretend the team is now closer. Trust erodes at work the way it does in other areas of our lives--through sometimes small, mundane misunderstandings that seem too "unimportant" to talk about. These build into attitudes that filter everything we see our colleague (friend, family member) do. Lencioni’s work reminds us that trust is required for conflict to be handled effectively AND conflict must be addressed for trust to survive.
© 2011 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Decoding our Emotional Messages

If our emotions contain important information for us, why do we often ignore them? One obvious reason--emotions are disruptive and distressing. Another reason is that our emotions are often hard to decode. A dear friend was irate at the loss of a packaged “Anniversary Barbie doll.” She wanted to deny her anger (it embarrassed her) but her rage remained. What did it mean? After some delving, we discovered that she had unconsciously created a daydream that this Barbie would be a collector’s item and worth “big bucks.” This was, objectively, not likely. But even if “Debra’s” emotions weren’t giving her accurate info about her outer reality, they were giving her vital info. Debra realized just how fearful she was about her finances and retirement.

Another example is a client who continued to feel rage toward her supervisor. “Jean” created many excuses for her anger but over time, talking to good friends and writing in her journal, she began to realize that she was really feeling anger towards her mother. This unresolved anger was now being directed at another woman who reminded Jean (subconsciously) of her mother. The emotion signaled that Jean needed to resolve those early feelings. Once she was able to understand what her anger was really about, she felt a new peace and work and was able to apologize and build a great relationship to her supervisor. Jean’s emotions weren’t “wrong.” They just contained information that needed decoding.
© 2011 Laura Lewis-Barr all rights reserved