- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘Left/Right Brained’
I remember when I was a practicing securities lawyer. For the most part, I often felt like I was in the right job. I didn’t hate my work nor the people I worked with. I got paid well for what I did. Plus, my work was fairly routine and not terribly stressful.
So did that mean it was the right job for me? Not necessarily given what I do now for a living is really the right business for me.
In organizations, leadership often looks at whether an employee is in the “right” or “wrong” position. This isn’t always a full assessment of how to build a strong, profitable organization. The better inquiry is to ask whether an employee’s strengths are aligned with who they are in a particular position.
In my world of brand development and culture building in organizations, it is all about the people. The people drive revenues. If the employees are not engaged, then everything takes a hit. Sometimes management denies this fact and looks the other way. Sooner or later, if employees are not happy it impacts the organization.
In my opinion, the first thing that has to happen is that employees figure out who they really are- at work and at home. This leads to a natural understanding of their strengths. Once these strengths are deciphered, then we can look to see if the employee is in the right position.
Instead what often happens is that organizations choose to focus on an employee’s weakness. I say that’s a waste of time. Why would I focus on your employee’s weakness instead of capitalizing on their strengths? After all, their strength makes them happier at work. Happier employees are more engaged and lead to higher morale and productivity for any organization.
Oftentimes we find there is no “right” or “wrong” position for an employee, just a lack of understanding and cultivation of an employee’s true strengths and talents that would make them a great fit for their job. These strengths are not necessarily tied to their linear, analytical mind. These strengths are closely aligned with their personal story and upbringing and whether they are bringing their bad baggage to work with them everyday or not.
What does this mean for you? Whether you’re looking for yourself or your employees,, stop and consider:
- What are the strengths of an individual? What are your strengths?
- How can you capitalize on these strengths to impact engagement and cultivate a true culture that grows with ease and grace in any setting?
It’s January and it seems lots of us are goal setting. I remember setting goals. It was just awful. I was always at a loss for what goals to set. I had all sorts of thoughts swirling in my head, like: Should I aim for lofty goals or manageable goals? What if I failed at achieving my goals? Did I have to share my goals with my team/boss? How much faith was I supposed to have in my goals being “good”? What if my goals didn’t feel real for me- was that ok?
And on and on and on it went….just like a bad movie that never ended.
Until one day when I stopped setting goals. Here’s why.
Setting goals does two things:
1) You don’t achieve your goal and so you feel like a failure. Great. Just what you wanted, right?
2) You don’t achieve your goal because it wasn’t your goal in the first place. Your boss and/or team insisted on you setting goals. So you put down something that has no meaning or passion for you and you obviously don’t achieve it. Failure again.
Instead of goal setting, I decided to focus on stories and outcomes that made me happy. Why?
In my formal and informal research findings, I’ve discovered the higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence. The lower your self-confidence, the less your brand emotionally resonates with me and the less effective your brand. So why would I set goals if they cause me stress and reduce my self-confidence and emotional brand resonance?
Instead, I now envision what I want to happen and write the story of how it will play out. I encourage all my clients to do the same. This method puts you in control of your life and restores your personal power and creative vision for yourself. It’s also just fun to have a blank canvas on which to create your future- as you want to have it happen. It nicely follows my blog regarding how you want to be remembered.
What does this mean for you? Sit down with a blank screen. Ask yourself the following questions and start creating your 2016:
- What one or two things do you see yourself doing really well in 2016? It can be personal or business. Write it down and also write down why you do these one or two things well in 2016? These should be things that bring you true joy in your life. Don’t hold back.
- What kind of work do you want to do in 2016? Be specific. Type out all the details.
- What type of clients and colleagues do you want to work with? Again, specific details create results.
- How many hours per week do you want to work and play? Why? Write it all out.
- Do you want to relocate in 2016? If so, are you changing homes or cities or states or maybe even moving to a new country? Why? Write as much detail as you can.
- What are you going to do JUST for yourself in 2016? Why? With Whom? Creative use of our right-brain makes for great brands.
Don’t hold back. No one is going to read this but you. If at first this is too hard and you start to get twitchy, that’s great! You’re on to something. Keep writing. You’ll know when you are done.
Boredom isn’t just about having “nothing” to do. In terms of being engaged and happy at work, it’s really more about not liking what you are supposed to do. Look at it as, ‘I don’t want to do my work because it is not stimulating.
Looking back to my practice of securities law for 14 years, I was bored much of the time. It’s hard to imagine that I could have been bored given the high volume of mentally challenging substantive work I was so blessed to have. But I was. Boy, was I bored.
I was bored because I wasn’t using my natural talents. I am meant to be in front of people and running large-scale operations. I thrive on matching the left-brain analytical risk mitigation aspect of business with the right-brained, creative, innovative thought leadership needed in business, too. Happily, that’s exactly what I do today for my clientele.
As a lawyer, I was only flexing my left-brained risk mitigation side. That was boring because it didn’t leave me with the feeling that I was contributing as I was meant to do. I was missing out on what my greater purpose was in life. I wasn’t working towards a greater cause than myself and my legal practice. That led to shear boredom. Boredom then led to frustration and then to anger- anger at myself, of course. Yet I couldn’t help but project that anger outward onto others. It was a recipe for disaster.
In my world of brand development, boredom is a key indicator of: 1) lack of employee engagement, if you are an employee AND 2) if you are running a business, it signals to me that you are not in the right area of business because you are not using your natural talents. When your “brand is bored”, then you are no longer emotionally resonating with your audience. When you don’t emotionally resonate with your audience, no one wants to hire you, date you, be around you.
What does this mean for you? Stop and think:
- Are you “bored” at work/with your career, business?
- How often do you get frustrated with your life/job and then get angry at others? Why?
- Do you find your work/career to have a purpose greater than yourself? If not, how can you change that for yourself?
So we finally got some real rain here in Southern California over the weekend. I mean rain that soaked everything and caused flash flooding. Yay, I say!
We don’t get rain very often in San Diego. We’ve had a drought advisory for a long time. Grass was no longer green, but brown dirt. I mean 24/7 sunshine is great, but it brings about its own set of issues.
So why do you figure that when we finally got rain over the weekend, the response was not absolute joy from everyone?! Don’t get me wrong- there were lots of grateful and happy people like me. However, I interacted and saw lots of people who were less than happy. They were grumbling about getting wet, having their weekend activities ruined, etc. Some of them were talking about the unfairness of it all. The unfairness of rain- really?
As we’ve all heard, variety is the spice of life. Without variety and change, things get stagnate. So what does rain and variety have to do with your brand? Good question.
Climate can say a lot about the residents that live there. I grew up in Indiana, lived in Washington DC for many years and now live in San Diego. I travel a lot. Over time I started to notice that those people living in four season climates were generally very different than those living in tropical climates.
I remember growing up in Indiana how much fun the change in seasons brought for me. We used to gear up for Fall- raking leaves, bobbing for apples, getting our costumes ready. We used to rejoice as Spring arrived. We really looked forward to the warmth and sunshine and appreciated the Summer heat and fun. We prepped for winter by sealing the deck and driveways and getting the car “winterized”. We got our sweaters out and got our sleds out of the garage.
I’ve discovered people living in four season climates are usually more adaptable and resilient in life. They tend to go with the flow and are more “prepared” for life, shall we say. I believe it has to do with the fact that the change in seasons brings about the mentality of change. Change is about variety and requires us to adapt and grow and stretch ourselves.
In brand development, the goal is to be a creative thought leader that people remember and are emotionally attracted to. Creative thought-leadership comes about when we access our right-brain more often. If you don’t like variety and change, then odds are you are not using your creative mind as much as you could be. Odds are you are using your left- brain more. This leaves you linear and analytical, but not as creative and dynamic and memorable. People tend to remember your brand much better if you are dynamic, flexible, and creative.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
– Do you live in a climate that promotes change and variety? If not, stay extra vigilant in exercising your creative side. Try painting, writing poetry or fiction, or singing.
– Where in your life are you stagnating and not open to change or growth? What’s one simple change you can make to today?
I was at Sunday service at Unity Center. The topic was “Science and Religion”. The point was that the two have not always seen eye to eye. As such, there were many references to Albert Einstein. I love Einstein. I find him fascinating, but not for the same reason that others may. I find he really “got” life.
Ever since I changed careers and went from being a lawyer (left-brained) to being a personal branding expert (right-brained), I struggle with how much of my left-brain should I be showcasing to the world. I still fear not being taken “seriously” sometimes by those left-brained people I need to be of service to the most.
So Einstein is my hero and a role-model. (No, I’m not saying I’m brilliant like Einstein!) He maintained harmony with his left-brain (his Theory of Relativity, etc) and his right-brain (his perspective that we should all be living as though everything is a miracle). He did it with ease and grace.
Perhaps my favorite manifestation of Einstein’s harmony of thought was his belief that we should all be using our imaginations more. Einstein said, “The true sign of intelligence isn’t knowledge, but imagination”.
The problem is we are so sure that our book smarts are the keys to our success and happiness, we never stop and consider anything else. Look at me- even after all these years of success in personal branding,I still occasionally (more than I know?) struggle with being seen as “a smart lawyer” and not an imaginative and creative branding expert.
What does this have to do with networking? My formal definition of networking includes the concept of being interested in others. If you are not curious and interested in others, then no networking (or social event for that matter) will “work” for you. Not only will no one peak your interest enough to get to know them, you will not attract anyone to you because your body language will show that you’re just not interested.
When we use our imaginations, we are exploring the wonders in our world. We are allowing ourselves to be curious and experiment with live. We are living in our right-brains. We are open to the world and admit that we may not know everything.
So what does this mean for you?
-Try to see the world, and each networking opportunity, as your chance to exercise your curiosity and imagination.
– Show up places with an interest in others.
– Use your imagination about how the networking event could be a success and fun, instead of “hard”, “boring” and “shallow”.