Building Resiliency as a Leader

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Today’s show is about Cheaters, Derailers & Building Resiliency. What we will first do is explore some of the characteristics that dethrone many of our heroes and leaders. What is behind this passion for success that drives people to cheat, like Lance Armstrong, along with other hero’s that we have idolized. How do our leaders quickly fall from grace and lose their credibility in the snap of a finger, in a moment? We are going to highlight a tool called the Derailer Detector. The Derailer Detector identifies the top characteristics which can trump some of the emotional intelligence competencies that we talk about.

Dr. Relly Nadler: These are what others have called fatal flaws. They have to be attended to, they have to be mitigated. When the Derailers are present your decision making and problem solving can be compromised.

The inoculation for these Derailers is to build resilience, develop practices that help you keep you IQ points and your problem solving intact.  If you are interested in taking the Derailer Detector Assessment, click here to complete the simple form and you’ll be taken directly to take the Derailer Detector and then to get your results.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg:  Relly, typically, we look at strength and successes and how to build and broaden these, using the human flourishing model of broadening and building. Today we are going to look at some of the Derailers and hopefully you are going to help us understand how they can trump these emotional intelligence competencies in a positive way. Can you introduce us to some of this information?

Dr. Relly Nadler:  When you and I do coaching, we are typically working with our strengths and trying to build and broaden like you are saying. If some of these Derailers are present, you have to pay attention to them. Zenger and Folkman called them “fatal flaws”. These can get you off the track, off the rails, that’s why it is called “derail.” It can happen in a moment.

Part of this goes back to things you and I usually talk about, that leaders are under the spotlight almost all of the time, 24/7. They don’t realize it. Often they are just trying to get a task done and they may ignore people, they may be racing down the hall, and people think “they don’t like me”, or “oh, they know I’m late on x,y, and z.” So the leaders we work with are under the spotlight more than they think. They have more influence than they think. It only takes a couple of opportunities for some of these Derailers to pop up; people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about others, we spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves.

If some of these Derailers pop up, people quickly crystallize and think, “Oh, that’s the way you are.” In my book I talk about this idea of snapshot management. You’re in a meeting, if everything goes well and you offer good information; when they take a snapshot, click, click, click, the snapshots are positive and you are in great shape–you are offering good things, you support people, and you are a team player. People often don’t realize that in a meeting is where a lot of the snapshots are being taken. If, for example, you are rolling your eyes, speaking negatively, interrupting people, trying to act like the smartest person in the room; the snapshots are still being taken. If a lot of those are negative, you’re going to have an uphill battle.

There are two challenges if this is you as we go through the Derailer Detector. If you have some of these snapshots–some of these Derailers–you have to make a change; that’s challenge #1. Challenge #2: nobody is necessarily going to recognize that you made a change, so how do you communicate and advertise that you have made changes? When we do coaching, especially if somebody has some of these negative aspects, it can be really challenging.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You know, as you are talking, I can’t help but think of parenthood. People always say, be careful the children are watching. They are always watching.

Dr. Relly Nadler:  I remember this when I studied family therapy. We teach our children how to start an argument, abut then often if we end an argument, it’s in private. We go back and we are with our significant other, our spouse or partner, and we end the argument and they never see how it ends. They see how it starts. So it’s kind of the same thing.

Cathy, we want to talk a little bit about resilience, which is one of your sweet spots where you have some expertise. Then we can talk about what resilience is and why is it so important.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, as I said, you are probably going to have a feel good emergency at the end of this program. It’s important because, without understanding what actually energizes you as an individual, you are going to be short-sighted; you are going to be unable to deal with that impulse control. Lack of being able to control yourself is going to cause you to make bad decisions; it’s going to cause you to be looked at as untrustworthy. There are so many great tools that we can share with people, like the emotional audit.

The “HAPPY” tool:

  • H” stands for healthy. What healthy thing can you do every day that increases your resilience; eating less salt, less sugar, getting some exercise?
  • A” stands for the ability to make yourself more adaptive. What backup plans might you need in place if you have kids that need support when you are at work? What kind of schedule can you keep for yourself where you can offload some of those things and delegate them to others? Adaptivity is so important.
  • P” stands for what can you be proud of at work. Even if it’s 15 seconds of absolute shining. In today’s challenging environment that is sometimes all we are going to get. If we broaden and build on that we are going to have a whole lot more success.
  • P” stands for proud of your family. That again, could only be 15 seconds of something that brought you joy that day related to your family, but those are important.
  • Y” stands for be young at heart. Be able to learn and laugh at yourself while you are doing so. Because if you’re not, I guarantee you that somebody else will.

Also one of the things that we know, that is a best practice for resilience is breathing; the big, what we would call, meditation Buddha breath. Where you breathe in deeply and you get your tummy real full with air, then you blow it out. Those are the kinds of deep breaths our grandmothers and grandfathers were talking about. Not just counting to 10, but actually breathing. When you oxygenate the brain you are helping to increase your outlook, your resilience and the left prefrontal cortex. It’s going to make a huge difference in your ability to manage your brain.

Relly, can you just say a little bit about some of the people that we have talked about, the stars that have gone bad, whether they are politicians or athletes, or prominent, respected people in the public domain? Can you talk about, from your books or mine, anything that you can think of that we haven’t covered that really makes a difference in this impossible puzzle of Cheaters, Derailers and Resilience?

Dr. Relly Nadler: Well I think, taking that moment of pause, like we were saying, is a quick and easy tool, with the deep breath and the emotional audit. You can ask yourself 5 strategic questions:

  1. What am I thinking? Let’s say you were in a meeting. I can’t believe that so-in-so is saying that. You know, that’s so dumb!
  2. What am I feeling? I’m frustrated and irritated.
  3. What do I want?

These start orienting you.

  1. How am I getting in my way? This is the critical one. This one can help you say, “Oh, I’m rolling my eyes, oh, I’m getting too worked up, and I’m not listening. It allows you to change direction which is one of the key things around resilience and flexibility.
  2. Ok, now I have all this data, what am I going to do different? It allows you in those moments to not be reactive, if you can just pause, ask those 5 questions, you will get back your IQ points and you’ll make some better decisions.

Find out more about Cheaters, Derailers and Resiliency. Listen to the complete recording, without commercials, above.



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