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CMI Blog

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Are You An Inclusive Leader? by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Apr 26, 2022 | Comments Off

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

My daughter had a tough middle school year. She agonized over how she felt left out of circles and discussions and events. I would often coach her to look past it all and realize that many of her classmates were going through similar things.

Her situation felt different. She told me that she felt like her classmates looked past and through her to talk to and include other people. She was really hurt, and so was her self-esteem. I supported her and told her to hang on a little longer since she would be graduating. Then, one weekend, she looked at one of her social media pages and noticed that one of those classmates had a birthday party that included mostly everyone from her class but excluded a few.

She was not invited. And although this was not a new occurrence, it still hurt.

I get it!

Everyone has the right to invite whomever they want to their parties. However, social media changes the impact in many ways because people can celebrate and exclude others in a more public way.

I can’t help but think about how Inclusion plays a similar role in the workplace.

Are there people inside your organization who feel passed over and looked through? Are there high-performing employees who have great things to say but don’t get a chance to say them?

How inclusive are you?

Do you make sure that unpopular voices have a seat at the table? Are they in the room but not really recognized as an important voice? Do you look through certain people to cater to those who look a certain way or speak a certain way?

Below are five considerations if you are striving to be a more inclusive leader:

1. LISTEN AND ACT

Who do you listen to? Do you consider the narrow view of just a few, or make sure you include people with varied backgrounds? Do you act upon the most common voices, or are you courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback?

Inclusive leaders both look for and listen to diverse perspectives and take certain actions to show that those perspectives are valued.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, listen to everyone and commit to taking action on much of what you hear.

2. EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

Who is in your inner circle? Leaders who take the time to ensure that their circle is only homogeneous in values and purpose and not based upon the same physical characteristics or background are simply more inclusive.

Some years ago, I had a diverse coaching client who recalled a time when her boss held a firm party and excluded her. She found out about it, because others in the office were talking about it and brought gifts back they received at the party. She felt like an outsider and did not understand why it happened. Her boss never gave her an explanation.

Was this type of behavior typical for this leader? Most likely, yes! We are often more comfortable with people who share our same lived experiences. But, unfortunately, when we surround ourselves with people like us, we create more blind spots and minimize our chances of creating more innovative teams.

Inclusive leaders go out of their way to include people who might challenge their thinking and bring innovative ideas to the table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, review and expand your inner circle.

3. COLLABORATE OFTEN

To collaborate means to admit that you alone don’t have the answers. Instead, the best solutions spring from the back and forth at the collaboration table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, dare to invite many different types of people to the table because that is when the fun begins!

4. AUDIT HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES

Affinity bias is real. It is when we are inclined to include those around us who are like us. When hiring and promoting team members, this type of bias can be a barrier to real Inclusion. Audit your hiring and promotion practices and consistently ask yourself whether you are letting bias get in the way of including others who aren’t like you.

5. MONITOR THE LANGUAGE BEING USED

To be an inclusive leader, we must consider the language we use around those inside or outside our circle. To include also means to make someone feel welcome or like they are important. If we are or someone in our circle is using words that exclude, then we have a problem. Take the time to evaluate and research the right things to say and how to refer to certain situations and people in your space. So often, we or those around us initiate microaggressions against those in marginalized groups and harm them by our words.

Inclusive leaders monitor for this and tweak and adjust along the way.

________________________________

Someone once told me that “diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is asking them to dance.”
So, let’s all commit to being the kind of leaders who ask many people to dance!

 

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The 5 Attributes of Today's Leader by Clint Pulver

By Clint Pulver | Apr 19, 2022 | Comments Off

“You’re either the number one reason why people
are staying, or you’re the number one reason why they are leaving.” - Clint Pulver

So often, organizations wonder why their turnover rate is high. But the truth of the matter is, as a leader, you’re either the number one reason your people stay, or you’re
the number one reason why your people are leaving.

Roughly 60% of the employees interviewed by Clint’s Undercover Millennial research program were currently looking for new employment. How do you get your employees to love their job and want to stay and grow with your company?

The diagnosis is with you – the leader.

Employees are not quitting companies—they’re quitting bosses.

The answer to employee turnover is easier than you think and is why Clint Pulver’s keynote and book, “I Love It Here,” are resonating with so many companies and audiences – the diagnosis begins with your leadership.

From the thousands of millennials and younger workers interviewed with the Undercover Millennial program - what they loved or didn’t love about their job - the most prominent answer for being satisfied was that they, “loved their boss.” Although there are many leadership styles Clint has identified from his program, the Mentor-Manager is the top proven way for leaders to engage with their employees.

The top 5 attributes of this style of leadership are:

  • One-on-one coaching, focusing on personal growth
  • Shifting the focus to the employee and their personal and professional goals
  • Helping the employee establish their path, values and purpose—both within the company and outside of it
  • Putting focus on the people within the ship, instead of just where the ship is headed.
  • Standing next to others and walking the path with them.

“Great mentors have the ability to communicate a person’s
potential and worth to the point that the person begins to see it in themselves.”

With this in mind, never underestimate the power of a Mentor
Manager, and your ability to move people—both physically and mentally.

Learn more about why Clint’s message is inspiring and moving people to action, young and old. His years of research, proven application and incredible strategies for engaging employees are at the core of his bestselling book, “I Love It Here,” his Mentor-Management keynote message and his drum experience. You don’t want to miss it! 

Learn more about Clint Pulver

Think Before You Act by Stacey Hanke

By Stacey Hanke | Apr 11, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

We have heard the old saying “think before you speak;” but have you ever heard “think before you act?”

Our actions are always under surveillance. Someone is always watching what we do.

What message do your actions convey?

Is your behavior consistent Monday to Monday, or do people wonder which version of you they’ll get when they interact with you?

Influence isn’t one-dimensional. It’s sights, sounds and how we make others feel. You’re always under surveillance. Everything you do and say either enhances or jeopardize your influence.

It’s easy when stakes are high to try and ‘turn on’ our A-game, but then we tend to get lazy in casual conversations.

This inconsistency leaves others wondering… who we really are. It damages our reputation, credibility and our ability to influence others to willingly act on what we have to say.

The idea of turning on your personality in one place versus another is exhausting. It’s a charade no one can keep up with. You must be believable.

What if you had that high stakes presentation and you nailed it.

Everything you practiced was performed perfectly. But then, after the presentation, you ran into a co-worker in the hallway, and you resorted to your old habits.

Which person – do you think your co-worker is going to believe?
There are three reasons leaders must demonstrate consistency in all they do.

1. Practice what you preach.

Hypocritical actions are reputation killers yet fail to practice what they preach.

It’s the executive who says employee contributions matter but then fails to get to know their staff.

It’s the manager that demands everyone put away their phones before a staff meeting yet are seen distracted on their own device.

Accountability matters. You must act in the same way you expect others to. Trust is not built from a “do as I say, not as I do” approach.

2. Think before you act.

How many times have you overreacted in a moment of frustration?

Maybe you’re frustrated with the poor service at a local coffee shop and decided to speak up in a way that doesn’t reflect patience or respect.

Have you ever stopped to consider who is watching your reaction

Maybe it’s the prospect you’re meeting with next week, or the investor researching your firm. Perhaps it’s the employee you’re trying to recruit or the executive you want to partner with.

You’re always under surveillance. Someone is always watching.

Thinking before you act reminds you to remain calm, even in challenging situations.

Next time you feel frustrated, save yourself the embarrassing foot-in-mouth moment by thinking before you act.

3. Seek honesty.

Even the very best require continual coaching to get better. Every successful athlete seeks the honest feedback of a coach to improve.

Unfortunately, the higher up the corporate ladder most leaders climb, the less likely they are to receive honest feedback.

Eventually, everyone glosses over the hard truth needed to really improve. No matter how impressive your title is, you need coaching to improve.

Get yourself a professional coach or mentor. They will help you really understand how others perceive you.

Coaching is necessary to become consistent. It helps you fine tune every aspect of your communication skills so you can treat every conversation like a high stakes interaction.

Think before you act to remain consistent in everything you do.

When you communicate with consistency Monday to Monday, you’ll enhance the way you do business, build stronger relationships, and move your listeners to act.

Contact us about booking Stacey for your next event!

 

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Diana Kander Joins the cmi Family!

By Diana Kander | Apr 10, 2022 | Comments Off

 

Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation and help your company thrive

A highly sought-after keynote speaker, innovation consultant and New York Times bestselling author, Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation. She teaches you how to challenge your own assumptions and ask thought-provoking questions. A serial entrepreneur who entered the United States as a refugee at the age of 8, she has launched and sold millions of dollars’ worth of products and services.

Diana delivers an engaging and captivating program that walks leaders and teams through specific ways to boost innovation and ultimately future-proof the organization.

“Diana delivered an on-point message about entrepreneurship and innovation which was a perfect complement to our program and was one of the highlights for our more than 400 attendees. Not only was Diana’s talk anchored in data and evidence, it also included plenty of relevant personal anecdotes as well as a dose of humor. In addition, she helped us structure a reaction panel for her talk which made every one of her points come through that much stronger for our audience.” Grupo Guayacan, Inc

Diana knows how to build a business from the ground up. Her first book, All In Startup, has been used by over 100 universities in their innovation courses and countless large organizations to help their employees think more like entrepreneurs. Her second book, The Curiosity Muscle walks readers through a methodology to keep curiosity alive and thriving inside of an organization, ultimately, future-proofing the business.

Diana’s most-popular programs, delivered in person or virtually, include:

Why Curiosity is the Ultimate Competitive Advantage

This keynote explains exactly why most companies reaching the peak of their potential lose their curiosity and crash into irrelevance. From how we develop blind spots about our business, to the pitfalls of feeling like an expert, this thought-provoking, engaging program reveals the smokescreens obscuring imminent threats to long-term viability. It walks you through specific ways to boost innovation, uncover customer needs, solve problems, create new value for customers, and increase employee engagement. Most importantly, Diana demonstrates why curiosity is your greatest asset to drive constant innovation and help your company thrive and compete on more than price alone — ultimately, future-proofing your business.

ROI & Key Outcomes:
  • How you can institutionalize curiosity, ask better questions to stay competitive and relevant to your customers and drive growth
  • How you can dramatically reduce the risk of new ideas and create a more innovative culture that leads to results
  • How to determine pitfalls within your organization and avoid falling into the “expert trap"

Ideal Audiences:
For All Company Meetings

Increasing the Speed of Innovation

The pace of change in today’s economy requires innovative, value-adding ideas to come from all parts of your organization – whether they are internal improvements or new sources of revenue. The way managers were traditionally trained stifles innovation and forces out-of-the-box thinkers out of the company. This interactive presentation outlines the must-have skill sets to effectively lead your employees. Diana will provide the framework for how your organization – and the people within it – can flourish in this hyper-competitive world.

ROI & Key Outcomes:

  • Learn new skill sets required of the innovative leader
  • Avoid common pitfalls of innovative leadership
  • Create an internal culture of innovation so that every employee is a resource to the effort

Ideal Audiences:
For Executives & Managers

How to Compete on Value Instead of Price

This presentation teaches a methodology used by both entrepreneurs and established organizations to continuously create new value for their customers. You will learn the key questions you must ask in order to uncover value-creating opportunities, as well as precisely how to ask them to effectively yield useful insights. Questions like: are you competing on price or value with your customers? If your focus is on value (which it should be), are you missing some key blindspots in your product or service? Are you measuring true data about the health of your project or just relying on vanity metrics that are concealing what’s really going on?

ROI & Key Outcomes:

  • Change the way you solicit feedback from customers to make it more actionable
  • Learn the key customer questions that will uncover value-creating opportunities.
  • Learn detailed examples to improve curiosity, creativity and leadership skills

Ideal Audiences:
For Sales Meetings

Diana is captivating and thought-provoking and provides provides highly tailored presentations – audiences leave with real world examples and takeaways to ensure success.

To learn more about creating a lasting impact at your next event, connect with us here.

 

 

Win Business through The Power of Storytelling by Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | Apr 05, 2022 | Comments Off
Watch video for Ty Sander's keynote where he shares more on storytelling with 3 ways to bring the audience into the story.

"Decide what differentiates you? What do you want your client to know or believe about you?"

 

Last week I was in Kentucky speaking to Realtors for Berkshire Hathaway. I was sharing The Power of Storytelling and the first question they asked was how do you tell a story that differentiates you but comes across the right way?

In other words, how do you sell yourself without bragging?

This is a crucial story as an influencer for each of us to master - so let me give you the formula.

Step 1. Decide what differentiates you? What do you want your client to know or believe about you?
Examples - You have integrity. You possess unique market knowledge. etc…
Keep in mind that you can’t differentiate yourself by putting down the competition. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

Step 2. Determine where you learned or developed this quality or skill. Who taught it to you? Where did you learn this lesson? Or who/what is a great example of this?
Don’t be the hero of your own story. Determine where this quality came from and build the story around that person or experience - making them the hero.

Step 3. Apply that to yourself.
Use a simple line such as: "And as we work together you can count on me to operate with integrity because that is how my parents raised me. "

I was coaching a financial advisor named Walker. As he went through this formula he developed a story that sounded like this:

A few months into my first job out of college our employer took us to an extreme team building experience. It was amazing. We were divided into platoons (teams) and each platoon was led by a former Navy Seal. Our leader was a mountain of a man that looked the part of a Navy Seal. The first thing he said to us was this: "If we are going to win, we are going to win as a team. Which means everyone here needs to commit to this - You are going to do the right thing even when nobody is watching. You have to make decisions for the team and not just for yourself. If we can commit to this, there is no stopping us."
I share that with you because this concept resonated with me and it is a commitment I have tried to live by as I do business. So, as we work together I want you to know that you can count on me doing the right thing even when nobody is watching. I am in it so we both win.

This simple formula allows you to build a specific story that we can each use in the influence process. It will allow us to sell ourselves without bragging and win business through The Power of Storytelling.

 

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