07/01/2011

By Brian Chernett - Founder of The Academy For Chief Executives

Do you want to have a motivated team? A team that performs for you, that shows enthusiasm and a can do attitude? The team that will take your business to where you want it to be? Of course you do.

So if that’s what you want, where do you start? Goals, techniques for motivating the team, team building exercises? The answer is closer, and easier to influence, than you might be thinking.

First, you need to look inside. What do your team see when they see you? Do you show enthusiasm? Do you have a can do attitude? Would you perform for you? If the answer is a less than a resounding yes, and it probably will be for most of us, here are some thoughts for getting the internal basics right.

If you watch others, you’ll soon see that they give off signals all of the time. It's called 'leakage'. You do that, too, and your team read the signs it gives them. If those signs are out of synch with your words, they'll take the hint and perform accordingly.

On any given day, there will be a many, many things on your mind, not all of them positive and not all of them to do with business, yet they can affect how your business runs. How do you cope with all that brain activity and still give the right signals to those around you.

I often see CEOs and Entrepreneurs arriving at work with their head down and with no energy, maybe having woken up at 4 in the morning thinking about all the bad things. Those bad things may be real or, more likely, they are imagined. Most of what we fear never actually happens. You need a way of accepting the bad things, overcoming them with positive, optimistic thoughts and making that state shatterproof.

Much more than just changing your state, changing negative thoughts to positive can take you to places that you never believed that you could achieve, that you never expected to get to.

So, how can you do it?

You could start with something as simple as changing your outward appearance from preoccupation to a smile. The change from negative energy into positive energy can begin as simply as that and carry through to everybody you meet that day.

One of my favourite ways of generating a positive state is by meditating. For others it may be prayer, chanting or singing or just considering the positive things in their life — ‘counting your blessings’ as some might say. In moments of negativity, we forget that 99% of our life is positive and it only becomes negative if we let it become that way.

Another strategy that we all use is self-talk. In fact, this may have been where the negative thoughts began.

Different voices in our minds talk to each other and we are affected by them. We are doing this all the time — listen and you’ll hear them now - and often conflict is created in our own mind by the different voices disagreeing with each other. By being mindful of what they are saying and challenging the stream of negative half thoughts, you will begin to find positive thoughts running through your head and rebuilding a resourceful, useful state.

Focussing on something physical can break the negative thought cycle and help you to bring your mind into a positive state. You can choose the approach that works best for you. It might be through physical exercise, yoga, or the activity of painting, dancing or manual work.

Listening to music or visiting cultural locations such as art galleries can allow creativity to emerge and allow pictures or visions of your future whether short or long term to emerge in a more positive light.

I’ve noticed a tendency of some people to approach problems by working harder and longer at them, often to the exclusion of anything else as if effort alone will be enough to resolve them. This workaholic approach will, in the end, lead to stress and to health problems and will, in any case, give the wrong messages to your team.

If you want a better performing team, you may need to work on producing a better performing you. That way, when you ‘leak’ your state to those around you, it will be one that you want them to catch; one that will lead your team where you want them to be by example.

Remember Ghandi when he said that you need to be the change you want to see in the world. That is true for teams as well.

Brian Chernett is the founder of The Academy for Chief Executives and Chairman of Academy Group ACE2. Having stepped down as Chief Executive of the Academy, Brian is now developing his own coaching and mentoring business — Wisdom Forums - for senior executives and building a new charity, The Ella Foundation, to coach and mentor Chief Executives in Charities and not for profit business.

Watch a video of Brian Chernett, Founder of The Academy For Chief Executives, explaining how The Academy For Chief Executives inspires business leaders.

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