Are you Conflict Avoidant?

In every martial arts class I took, my instructors always made clear: “Avoid a fight whenever possible. Don’t put yourself in bad situation where you have to fight. “

That is good advice for founders too! In certain situations, avoiding unnecessary conflicts can contribute to a positive and cooperative environment. However, when conflict avoidance delays decision-making, prevents the resolution of important issues or leads to suppressed tensions, it can jeopardize a startup.

Knowing this, COREageous founders need to identify and resolve issues with conflict avoidance early in the game. Do any of these roots of conflict avoidance resonate with you?

Fear of Confrontation: Some people may be afraid of direct confrontation and the potential negative emotions associated with it. They might fear rejection, criticism, or damage to relationships.

Prefer to Please:  People who value harmony and peace may avoid conflicts to maintain a positive and peaceful environment. They prioritize smooth relationships over addressing issues.

Low Self-Esteem: Individuals with low self-esteem may avoid conflict due to a fear of not being able to handle it well or feeling inadequate in dealing with disagreements.

Lack of Communication Skills: A person may avoid conflict if they feel they lack the necessary communication skills to express themselves effectively or to navigate disagreements successfully.

Cultural or Upbringing Influence: Cultural norms or upbringing can play a role in shaping one’s approach to conflict. In some cultures or families, avoiding conflict may be seen as a virtue.

Avoidance of Emotional Discomfort: Conflict often involves emotional discomfort, and some people may go to great lengths to avoid these uncomfortable feelings, choosing to keep the peace instead.

Past Negative Experiences: Previous negative experiences with conflict resolution, such as unresolved conflicts or negative consequences, can lead individuals to avoid similar situations in the future.

Lack of Assertiveness: People who struggle with assertiveness may find it challenging to express their needs, opinions, or concerns, leading them to avoid conflicts rather than confronting them.

Entrepreneurship is fraught with healthy and negative conflict. Seek out counseling or coaching to learn how to work constructively with conflict. Visit MIndfulCommunication.com

Follow Up Fears: Don’t Let Opportunities Slip

As business owners, it’s a good idea to remember what it’s like to be a customer.  As customers we’ve all known the frustration waiting days and weeks for a return call. Our trust in the company or the person we were dealing with dips. Their delay makes us question their competency. We feel less important to them and let down when promises aren’t kept.  The longer we wait for a response, the more these feelings fester. Frustration turns into disgust, and we tell others all about it.

Why would you let your customers have that kind of experience?

A 2021 study cited in the book “Be a Unicorn” looked at a survey of >5.7 million leads to determine which ones were most likely to convert into a sale:  The ones in which the rep responded to in <5 minutes! Otherwise, the chances of converting them dipped by a factor of 8!

Here are some of the most common reasons founders do not follow up with customers:

  • Forgetfulness or disorganization (misplaced the documentation)
  • Conflict Avoidance
  • Rejection Sensitivity
  • Having to say “No”
  • Having to apologize
  • Admitting that you lack the resources to solve their problem

All of these are solvable reasons for not following up. Most are based on fear. If you take no action to manage these fears, then you have good reason to fear your bottom line.

Check out this article:  (16) Facing the Fear of Follow-Up | LinkedIn

CoreCoaching can help. Visit www.MindfulCommunication.com

Innovative Enough?

When resources are scarce and VC money is tight, your idea for a new venture had better be “innovative.” But what does that mean?

My conversations with mentors and serial entrepreneurs revealed that an “innovative idea” is subjective and depends on several factors: the industry, market trends, and individual perspectives. But if we were to nail down a definition of “innovative” that would pass muster with an investor, it would include these six points. Is your idea:

  • Original?  Does your product present a unique perspective or approach to a pressing problem?
  • Market relevant?  It must fulfill a need, create value, or meet an emerging demand.
  • Differentiated from the competition? Will your idea stand out from competitors or existing alternatives? Tally up its distinctive features, benefits, or advantages that set it apart and make it compelling.
  • Scalable?  It should have the capacity to reach a large audience or create a significant change within a specific domain.
  • Feasible? Tell how your idea is practical given available resources, technological requirements, despite potential obstacles.
  • Intellectual property?  Unique and protectable ideas with trademarks and patents often demonstrate a higher level of innovation.

Can you speak convincingly about your idea?  Need help with a pitch presentation? CoreCoaching can help. Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com

Closed for Business!

To get work done, done well and on time you need to create a “closed system” or situation where you completely shut out distractions and focus your attention on the right things for a set period of time. An “open system,” in contrast, is a situation where you are open season for distractions.

Close down to work on business tasks that require your utmost focus and concentration – writing, decision-making, study, business planning, slide deck assembly, etc.

Open up for meetings, email, phone calls, family time etc. where distractions abound.

What you do first thing in the morning has a major impact on your day and your productivity. Therefore, close down for business before you open yourself up to activities that over-stimulate you: news reports, texts, videos, social media or emails.

My clients have reported 30% to 50% improved productivity when they start the day “closed for business” versus starting “open” to distractions.

Here’s how:  The night before note the task(s) and prep materials you’ll need.  Notify family that you are “closed for business” from X to Y o’clock except for emergencies. After you get up the next morning, go straight to your office space. Do not engage in ANY email or phone activities. Shut the door and get to the pre-assigned task. You’ll be open for business when you emerge!

At day’s end, notice how much more you’ve accomplished.

Need more help using your time and energy more efficiently? Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com

Streak Out!

Having a tough time making a new habit? Don’t freak out. Instead, STREAK OUT!

I needed to add a short, but very beneficial segment to my daily workouts. For this segment of exercises to be effective, I had to start making it a habit.

I use a paper calendar to track my habit formation. When I complete that exercise segment, I mark a big red check mark on that day. My goal is to have an unbroken streak of checks across each week for the next 59 days (started 7 days ago). Since a 2009 study from University College London showed that it takes 66 days to establish a habit, I expect this segment of my work out to be a habit by June 20!

Jerry Seinfeld is famous for his streak-ability. To get into the habit of writing, he put a big, red X on a wall calendar every day he wrote something. The streak of Xs across the page motivated him to be consistent.  Apps like Duolingo and Nike Running have been using streaks for years to keep up users’  language-learning or running habits.

If you prefer an app to keep track of your progress towards a new habit check out these links: everyday | Habit tracker to help you form good habits or Habitica – Gamify Your Life.

Struggling to streak? Maybe a little coaching could be the streak tweak you need? Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com  

Breathing for Better Sleep

Many of my clients have sleep apnea, have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early or wake up tense and anxious. This is a concern because a quality night’s sleep is core to optimal self-regulation and productivity. I like to think of masks, machines and medications as last resorts.

I highly recommend a book called “BREATH: The New Science of a Lost Art” by James Nestor. It expounds upon the benefits of improving our nasal breathing over mouth breathing and the effects on our daily functioning. Nasal breathing improves oxygen delivery to the body, has a relaxing effect and reduces blood pressure. It can prevent tooth decay.

If you have trouble breathing through your nose, see an otolaryngologist to assess any obstruction and explore possible solutions. Ask your dentist if he knows colleagues who take special interest in sleep problems.

Until then, to help you fall asleep, and assuming that you can breathe through your nose, try:

Lying on your back inhale slowly through your nose for 4 counts (counting in your mind), hold your breath for 7 counts and exhale slowly for 8 counts. I like this method as the internal counting replaces worrisome or racing thoughts. Or, try the basic 5.5 counts inhale and 5.5 counts exhale. You may find that after a few minutes of practice you are dozing off to sleep.

Get your executive functioning skills up to par. Be YOU 2.0 in 2023! Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com