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It's More Than the Motions

Have you ever caught someone simply "going through the motions" in communicating with you? They say the right words, their motions seems fine, they just aren't fully engaged in what's going on. They appear to listen, but it feels like their mind is somewhere else. So many of us go through the motions. We read our mobile phones when we're with loved ones we seldom see. We keep an eye on the television while our significant others tells us something important (hint - when it comes from your significant other it's all important), we phone it in. It's one of my biggest faults and it has recently come back to haunt me as I experienced that level of inattentive attention returned. It doesn't look mean, it doesn't look premeditated, and yet it hurts at a level that sinks gradually deeper until it can't be excised. The other day I was riding my bike and I came upon a man playing with his dog. At first it looked really charming. The dog was ve

Work Through The Fear

Are there conversations that scare you? It's easy to quote Eleanor Roosevelt and say "face into your fears" but the reality is that there are some conversations that freeze us. Some discussions that put us off, so we put them off. I know that I have missed some vital conversational opportunities. I expect that to change. If we want better conversations, we need to initiate them when the opportunity emerges (not when we feel like it, right then and there). Let's keep the conversation going. Let's talk when we need to talk. Let's build our relationships, our teams, and our organizations using much more effective communication. It takes hard work, it takes courage, but as I have recently discovered in many startling ways, how you communicate is who you are. Who you are to yourself, who you are to other people, the who of you that you create. It's big. It's scary. It's critically important. I'm willing to work through the fear of a tough conv

Practice Radical Transparency

Do you have regrets? I have some interpersonal regrets that are so raw, so fresh, and so painful that they can immobilize me. I know that things will improve, that I will get beyond these changes, but they beg for examination and learning. Even when we know what we're doing, there's no guarantee that we will do what we know is best. The clearest example is in our conversations. So much is left unsaid. So much is caged and framed in quasi-positive screens in hopes of avoiding confrontation or discomfort. But we need that confrontation. We need to work through that discomfort. Whenever I have, my life has dramatically improved. When ever I have failed to speak both my heart and my mind, my truth at that moment, the result has lingered, faltered, and hurt. As Susan Scott might say, "We're bigger than that." I learned much from reading Susan Scott's books, especially Fierce Conversations, and from seeing her speak. I was even lucky enough to meet her bri

To Solve That Problem, Stay Curious

How curious are you? Problems bother us. They get in the way. They ruin our day. They create havoc where we'd rather have peace. Why do they do that? When we can stay curious about our problems it helps us to generate more meaningful, more powerful, and more sustainable solutions. Where did that problem come from? Why does it stick around? What benefits might it be generating to someone else? Is it really a problem or are we locked into a conflict or competition? Who else is feeling what we're feeling? Why? Why? Why? (useful to ask about a problem - but be careful when it comes to asking "why" about or from a person. That can trigger defensiveness in a hurry!) It's tough to solve a problem or resolve a conflict without big amounts of curiosity. Curiosity about causes. Curiosity about opportunities. Curiosity about solutions. Curiosity about possibilities. Once we begin to get more curious about possibilities, our possibilities increase.  And, when our


What are you attached to that's holding you back or slowing you down? The way things used to be? The dream that no longer makes sense? That relationship that is over but lingers in your memory? Or, maybe it's doubt about your abilities or capacity? Sometimes we hold onto our doubts so tightly that we fall in love with them. Let them go. Release those doubts, worries, and fears. They aren't helping you. But they are slowing you down. What are you attached to that's holding you back? Are you willing to let go of that today? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:   High Performance Leadership Training doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals

Interest More People In Your Goals

Do you have all the help you need to achieve your biggest goals? Do you have big goals in place that will change your life? How will you achieve those goals? Our really biggest, life-changing goals usually require help. Help from other people to keep us on track. Help from other people to motivate us when things get tough. Help from other people to break down barriers and think of creative ways to achieve what seems impossible. What will it take to interest more people in your goals? People who can help. People who would benefit from what you have to offer once your goal is complete. People who care. Is is a presentation? Is it a conversation? Is it a picture? What will it take? And - when will you get started? -- Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:   High Performance Leadership Training doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals

Balance Your Portfolio of Goals

How many goals do you have? Some days I have too many to count. It's easy to lose track of how many goals I'm working on at any given time. How about you? It's better when we keep a definitive list. It's easier to track and complete those goals when we know what they are and when they are right in front of us every day. The real advantage to keeping a careful watch on how many goals we have is to avoid holding onto competing goals. When we have goals that not only oppose each other (by competing for time, resources, attention) but distract us then we are not at our optimal best. How can we complete two goals that compete with each other? Setting goals that compete with each other is not a formula for success. When it happens, spot it, fix it, and move on. Each and every goal should support our overall vision or mission. When they don't, they might compete with each other -- and with our focus of attention. Do you have any competing goals? How can you rec

Courageously Prioritize Your Goals

Do you ever get stuck setting priorities? I work with lots of people who struggle with what to work on. By trying to work on everything, they feel like they aren't finishing anything. That's a formula for frustration. We need to prioritize. We need to decide what is most important and also what is less important. What's less important then must get less attention so that we can focus on what is important. That takes courage. It takes the courage to make the decision. It takes the courage to let people know. And, it takes courage to stay the course when other people resist your decision. Not all goals are created equal. There are some goals that we will never finish. Why not finish the ones that are important? Why not focus on the goals that contribute to and align with your mission? That's what centered, high performance leaders do. That's how goal achievers achieve. Sometimes it takes courage and determination to prioritize your goals. Take that c

The Truth About Problems

Why do people fool themselves about their problems? We trick ourselves into thinking that our problems are someone else's fault. We fool ourselves into thinking that our problems are insurmountable. We fool ourselves about problems constantly. What if problems had a secret? What if there was a basic truth about our problems that we tend to avoid - and by avoiding it tend to miss on solving our problems? Underneath every problem is an unachieved goal. That's it. That's the truth about problems. I teach people to redirect their problems into goals. Once we're able to state our problem as a goal, it becomes much easier to achieve. Focus on the goal, and get what you want. Focus on the problem, and you might just get more of the problem. Which would you prefer? What unsolved problem can you convert to a goal today? Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  High Performance Leadership Training doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals What have you lea

Let Go Of What You're Holding?

Are you holding onto something that is slowing you down? Is there something from the past that acts like a drag on your future? Sometimes we need to let go of something to speed up our motion. Sometimes we're working on too many things at once and getting nowhere fast on any of them. Prioritize. Let go. Decide. Sometimes we need to let go of what we're holding to reach the next achievement. That trophy's too heavy. That task should be done by now. That feeling stopped resonating an hour ago. Let go. Are you ready to let go of what you're holding? You'll grab the important stuff back up in a hurry. Doug Smith Front Range Leadership:  High Performance Leadership Training doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals What have you learned today?

Take Charge of Your Performance

Who's in charge of your performance? Who's in charge of your results? The past couple of days I've focused these articles on performance and how we can always do better. We can't wait to do better. It's up to us. We need to read what we need to read, train where we need to train, develop in ways that keep us moving. We need to keep setting clear, noble, ambitious goals. Growth. It's our best direction. Achievement: it's the destination of growth training. You are in charge of how great you perform. Are you training hard enough to get to where you want to be? -- Doug Smith doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership:  High Performance Leadership Training

Take Your Performance to The Next Level

Yesterday, in this blog, I suggested that your best performance is still inside you. What do you think? Even as we take time to acknowledge our success, we hunger for doing even greater things. We long for achieving more. That's a positive motivator. Enjoy the moment, savor the success, and take a breath. Then, when you are fully centered and able to focus without any chance of criticizing who or where you are, get ready to go bigger still. Get ready to set and achieve an even better, even more noble, even more life-enhancing goal. There is always a way to take your performance to the next level. Are you willing to find it? Are you willing to work for it? Are you ready to start right now? -- Doug Smith doug smith training:  how to achieve your goals Front Range Leadership:  High Performance Leadership Training