Too Agreeable and Indecisive?

No matter what your age, IQ or educational status, you may be sabotaging yourself by excessive agreeability and indecisiveness.

When we try to please and take on too much responsibility, we get overwhelmed and create resentment towards ourselves and the people we want to please.

It’s a queasy feeling to be manipulated by those who are very good at asking for favors, delegating and  propping you up with compliments. Others have higher expectations than we can deliver. It’s even worse to disappoint people when you don’t follow through. Feeling manipulated by others AND disappointed in ourselves is toxic to our mental health.  

Your actions may leak your discomfort with being too agreeable or indecisive. The leaks come in the form of tentative and wishy-washy language, stuttering, loss of eye contact, neck scratching and shifting around in your seat. Or conversely, your desire to please is so reflexive that you jump right in with a bold and convincing “Yes, I’ll do it!” before you’ve fully assessed the request. The malaise creeps in shortly thereafter. 

It’s good to be ambitious, to take on challenging tasks in order to learn a new skill or add to your career capital. But it’s important to be kind to yourself at the same time — establish boundaries, be realistic and measured in what you agree to do.   

Need help in being decisive, standing your ground, saying ‘no’ and using language ( verbal and non-verbal) that set boundaries? Contact me at [email protected]

The Piles of Books

If you’re like me, you like to read books that will add to your personal and professional value.

Books are like candy — dopamine hits that offer affordable hope, insight, knowledge and oftentimes, distraction from what we should be doing. Once the books arrive, we have every good intention of digging into them and reaping the benefits. However, the reality for most of my clients is threefold:

  • Books pile up unopened. It looks overwhelming.
  • They start a book, get bored or don’t finish.
  • They forget what they read minutes or hours later.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I prioritize what I need to learn and select purchases carefully. I read a few book samples online. I don’t trust most reviews. Does it, early on, provide the information I’m seeking? What’s the format – short pithy chapters or long narratives?
  2. When available, I get book summaries instead of full books. These are thinner versions that focus on the key take-aways.
  3. In a large notebook, I have a section for each non-fiction book I read. As I read, I note key points and make associations with what I already know and think of ways to apply the new information. Once a week, I skim through my notebook to keep the information fresh.

                                   Need more help integrating and consolidating new information? Contact me at                                                                          [email protected]

 

Ways to Get Things Done…Easier

What can you do to get things done, done well and on time with greater ease? Here are some good starting points:

Delegate   A bit time consuming up front, but a better long-term solution. A solopreneur client, who hates accounting, figured that if she hired a bookkeeper once a month for a nominal fee, it would be one big ugly task off her plate. Instead of suffering with the bookkeeping, she uses those 2-3 hours to do what she does best and covers the bookkeeper’s fee 5 times over.

Best time of day   Deep work requires prime time focus and concentration. You’ll get through those tasks faster and with greater accuracy at a time that is optimal for your focus and energy level.  Use low energy time for mindless work like laundry or house cleaning.

Assess the task   Before jumping feet first into a task, look it over and get an idea how involved the task will be. When’s the deadline?  Will you need assistance, resources or a location more conducive for working on it? Do you need to break it up into chunks and spread it out over time? You may also find that the task will take less time than you imagined!

If you’re a PRO at procrastination, let me help you turn the PRO into a NO!  Contact me at [email protected]

Tips for Better Partnerships

Brett, a founder from San Francisco, writes: I need to partner up with other entities to support my housewares business. I’ve got a few options, but I’m cautious after hearing about failed partnerships. Any suggestions?

Successful partnerships with vendors, companies and investors come from building trusting relationships and doing your research. 

Partnerships are more than transactional interactions, they are relationships. It could take many months to build a trusting one, but it’s worth the wait. What kind of partnership would yield mutual benefit? Is the potential partner aligned with your mission and values? Will they work as a team or just be cogs in a machine? Would they agree to experiment with small batch orders or modest rounds of funding and work out the kinks before scaling up?

Next, do your research on a potential partner. Vet and vet some more. Go visit their factories and get references from customers. How responsive, collaborative and consistent is their communication? How do they behave with other customers in bad times? How did they stay operational during the pandemic?

Finding lasting partnerships is key to growing your business.

In business and in partnerships, mindful communication is everything. Have you a business relationship that could use a communication tune up? Contact me at [email protected] 

 

Find Freedom in “No”

Look in the mirror. Press the tip of your tongue up behind your teeth and make an ‘N’ sound. Then round your lips into an ‘O.’ Does this utterance sound and look familiar? Reviving this simple sequence of two sounds (“NO”) will give you great power: more free time, less stress and more focus.

We mastered the use of NO around age two and used it quite liberally up until we started going to school. NO became associated with all sorts of negative things, and then we began to use it less and less.

Take a look at your schedule. If you are overwhelmed, it’s probably because NO is a tough word to spit out. YES is so much easier to say – we get more smiles, more votes, less conflict and we please everyone for the moment, except ourselves.

I’m not saying to be a Negative Nellie. Just think first about what you agree to do for people. It’s just not worth the guilt and shame we pile on ourselves when we over commit.

Practice saying ‘no’ several times in the mirror (with a smile, if you must) or its relative phrases, “No, not now” or “No thank you, my plate is full” until it gets as comfortable as saying “Yes.”

Listening to ourselves is a valuable skill. Learn how. Contact me at [email protected]

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