Embrace a simple, effective system for positive recognition of your strengths!
I’m coaching a couple of leaders right now, who consistently use phrases like, “Sorry; I’m always late,” or “sorry, that’s just me – I’m a bad listener!” Another one has consistently said in our conversations, “I always say the wrong thing – I’m just not detail-oriented!” Yet another C-suite leader is incredibly unresponsive (she’ll reply to your email if at all, a month later!) and her colleagues keep justifying it as, “that’s just Susan!”
My consistent Nour Tough Love response: STOP IT! – it’s not helping you. These admissions of wrongdoings, mistakes, or habitual behaviors are negative self-talk, which manifests themselves in how you show up! Subconsciously, you’re giving yourself permission to be late, say or do the wrong things. Worse, yet, you’re excusing it. What you say about yourself defines your personal and professional brand!
Conversely, have you worked with a colleague or a leader who consistently says, “we’ll figure it out – our team always does,” or “No one is going to outhustle or outwork me!”
These self-talks add up to define us; they become a compilation of seemingly unalterable behaviors, neatly packaged into “that’s just me!”
It’s time to alter that “that’s just me” mindset, skillset, and behavior!
As you read this article, I want you to look in the proverbial mirror and ask yourself, how often “that’s just me” holds you back from identifying, building, nurturing, and sustaining incredibly valuable relationships? How many opportunities are you missing because you keep rationalizing, excusing, or otherwise dismissing bad behaviors with “that’s just me?”
The biggest fear is being inauthentic.
In many of the same coaching conversations, after our 360-degree report conversations, it turns out that most who say “that’s just me,” fear coming across as inauthentic. This is what I’ve always done, this is how others know me, so if I change, I’m going to confuse them or they’re going to think I’m a phony.
I’ve worked with leaders who need to do a significantly better job listening, dramatically less of passing judgment, stop making destructive comments, and speaking/reacting when they’re angry. These behavior changes are not easy – particularly if they’ve been hardened for so many years. I often find leaders defend their terrible responses from their team’s input on these much-needed behavior changes. They even get passionate, if not animated in articulating and defending their bad behaviors!
What they often fail to deal with is the incredibly positive outcomes from these behavior changes. I often stop their passionate justification and point out that elevating their thinking, modifying their actions, and changing their behaviors is far from being inauthentic. Their challenge (and opportunity to overcome) is their self-limiting definitions of who they think they are!
Will changing your behavior for the better somehow immoral, illegal, or unethical? Will it make your relationships feel better about working with you, supporting you, believing or believing in you? Will the team perform better as a result of your new, enhanced behavior? If the answer is positive and forward-moving in all of these, why wouldn’t you want to change? Because it “wouldn’t be you?”
The dopamine hit (aha moment) comes when each of us sees that the change we desperately seek is possible. That’s when we begin to slowly let go of this blind allegiance to the negative “that’s just me!” We begin to realize that our thinking, actions, language, and behaviors are hurting our relationships, our team’s chances for greater success, and our own professional brand! We learn to shed the negative self-talk and begin to think in a more positive, constructive manner.
We begin to realize that our relationships are talented, incredibly hard-working people deserving of the best version of us! We realize that changing our behaviors also enhances our reputation, credibility, and brand! The payoff from this transformation is enormous. Our relationships begin to take notice of our commitment to real behavior changes. They hear a lot less of “that’s just me,” and much more of observing, if not feeling the results of the ‘new me!’
The Secret Formula is a simple one:
More About Them + Less About You!
In the words of the famed philosopher, Britney Spears, this isn’t rocket surgery! If you remember that everyone’s favorite subject is themselves, the more you embrace changing for the benefit of serving your relationships, the more likely you’ll reduce your tendencies of negative self-talk!
And like most coaching, tips, advice, or insights I share in the Nour Forum, I hope the next time you see a colleague, a friend, or even a relative dive into the negative self-talk of ‘oh, that’s just me,’ you’ll pay this forward and help them see the incredibly positive outcomes of changes in their behaviors. That’s the path to your personal reinvention that I share in Curve Benders.
Make it a great week!