Why does family togetherness freak us out? We spend so much time work-work-working that the idea of having to relate and actually communicate with family can at times be very difficult. So how do we get back to being grounded, and loving and appreciating the time we have with our families? Susan joins Clay for this new podcast episode and together they share some thoughts and insights on family, letting go of the past and making room for the future.

As always, please be sure to let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you at clay@claynelsonlifebalance.com.

Spring is finally springing, and while the mountains of Montana still have plenty of snow, spring is in the air. One thing I enjoy most about spring is listening to the birds chirping. I hadn’t  thought about it much, except to enjoy it, but the other day it struck me that the chirping of the birds is about far more than entertaining us humans. Rather, birds chirp to communicate!

The chirping of birds helps them attract mates, warn of impending danger, and identify themselves and their territory. Babies chirp to let their parents know they are hungry, and what I appreciate about the way birds communicate is that it is an innate part of their being. They don’t care who might over-hear or judge them. They simply communicate what is necessary in order to exist the way nature intended, and it seems to me that we could learn from our little feathered friends.

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It has been said that the sharpest and most powerful muscle a human possesses is the tongue. Chances are we’ve all been victims and users of a sharp tongue, and it is never pleasant. So, how can you keep from hurting others knowing how deeply a simple word can cut? Think before you speak.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Stop and think about who you are being. Before you communicate you should get clear about what you want the other person to hear.

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Hand with chart. Finance and accounting business.None of us have extra time to sit through a meeting that wanders aimlessly without any clear direction. Yet, we’ve all participated in, and even been in charge of, meetings that turned out to be a complete waste of everyone’s time. On the flip side, we’ve all participated in meetings that were well directed, efficient, and clearly spelled out what was next and the part each team member played in it. As a leader, you can't afford to have any meetings be anything but efficient! You need to be a meeting master.

What are the secrets to running efficient meetings?

  1. BEFORE the meeting, be clear about what you want those in the meeting to get from the time you spend together. This is the framework for how you communicate both prior to and during your meeting. Without it, you can be left with a room full of people scratching their heads, with no direction or clear understanding of what they are supposed to do with the information they have been given.
  2. Create and distribute an agenda to all meeting participants one day prior to the meeting. An agenda will keep you on track and provide a written plan of what needs to be covered during the scheduled meeting time. In addition, your agenda will provide participants with the opportunity to review the intended topic and arrive at the meeting prepared to contribute to the discussion.
  3. Don't allow any one person to “take over the meeting”. We all know talkers who are capable of taking a room full of people in an opposite direction of the intended meeting topic. Don’t let that happen. When someone begins speaking about a topic that is not relevant to the meeting’s agenda, take the meeting back to the specified agenda by saying, “I hear what you are saying, and it is not something that we can address inside of the time we have right now. After the meeting, please see me so we can schedule time to address your comments.”
  4. Before ending the meeting, make sure that your team is clear about what has been communicated and any expectations. If assignments have been given, confirm with each person what their assignment is and their commitment to by-when it will be complete. Without such accountabilities put into place, the time spent in a meeting is wasted time and none of us has any time to waste!

Hiking people reaching summit top giving high five at mountain tAfter reading Part 1 of Effortless Leadership – Cultivating a Culture of Confidence and Success, leadership is clearly anything but effortless! In the midst of all that you as a leader are responsible for accomplishing, being a visionary, communicator, and teacher can be difficult. Yet, without being a visionary, communicator and teacher, accomplishing all you need to accomplish would be difficult to do too!

So, when you think about being a visionary, communicator and teacher, what do all three of these traits have in common? All three traits empower your team members!

Ultimately, having team members who are empowered to act in your behalf, in the best interests of your company, and to the best of their abilities allows you to "effortlessly" lead your company through what's next.

What other traits are necessary for seemingly Effortless Leadership?

Team Builder
The Effortless Leader must be a masterful team builder. They think and speak in terms of "we", not "I." When you speak in terms of "we" you create a culture whereby every member of the team is responsible for their actions; what each team member does or does not do has a direct impact on the rest of the team and their effectiveness. Thinking and speaking in terms of "we" also let's your team members know that you are a part of their team, that you value them as team members, and that success is not something that just you will be acknowledged for. Instead, ultimately the team as a whole gets credit for their success!

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