Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

Presence is an indicator of success and an “incredible powerful state”.

Presence is hard to define and is subjective.

However, it can be understood with verbal and non verbal cues.

It can be predicted by your “confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm”.

What is Presence?

Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential. Click To Tweet

With presence, you can be yourself, be honest with yourself, be in the moment, connect with others, represent yourself well, and reveal the abilities you truly have.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

What are the benefits of achieving Presence?

Presence allows you to listen, to hear other people out and to be heard in return.

Presence establishes trust and creates influence.

Presence aligns your beliefs with yourself.

Where does Presence come from?

It comes from believing your own stories and from being authentic.

When we don’t believe in our own stories, we will have a hard time convincing others, we will come off as inauthentic and consequently lose confidence in ourselves.

To identify your boldest and most authentic self:

  • Write down who you think you are.
  • Speak the truth to yourself.
  • Believe in your truth.
  • Believe that your truth will be conveyed properly.

What obstructs Presence?

There are a few conditions that can destroy your Presence:

  1. Impostorism

Impostorism makes you question your abilities and makes you worry about what other people think about you.

This condition is not unique to highly achieving women and is independent from the number of achievements received in life.

  1. Stereotypes

Not conforming to stereotypes or to social expectations make achieving Presence difficult.

  1. Powerlessness

Powerlessness makes you self-conscious, perturbs your self-image, and blocks your authenticity and your abilities.

How to acquire Presence?

Personal power is power to—the ability to control our own states and behaviors. Amy Cuddy in Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges Click To Tweet

You gain Presence by developing personal power.

Personal power is essential, removes fear, quiets inhibitions, protects you against your negative emotions, allows you to forgive easier and fluctuates in time.

In addition, your personal power makes you fearless, gives your more freedom, and makes you less susceptible to external pressures.

However, it can be acquired using different tactics. For example, you can use breathing techniques and power poses to trigger personal power.

When we have personal power, we tend to remain calm, to have more control and to expand ourselves in order to take place.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

Review

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy revolves mainly about managing your nonverbal cues to induce Presence, identifying your best authentic self, nurturing your boldest self, and creating personal power.

In Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy:

  • Aims to help people with imposter syndrome, who are in difficult challenges, who feel powerless and distracted.
  • Gives advice on how to handle conflict, how to stay optimistic, to act confident, even when you don’t feel confident, until you become confident.
  • Wants people to gain more control over their lives.
  • Uses stories from people around the world who have seen her TED Talk to inspire and convey her message.

I have to say, I enjoyed the topic of personal power the most. Often, we see leaders who are afraid of going against the grain, try to fit in and to please their team, only to find out that it’s an impossible task.

Some lead using their social power, leveraging salary for work but lack influence and personal power.

Needless to say, their success will depend highly on how they carry themselves, on their verbal and non verbal cues.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.

Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.

A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity. A confident person—knowing and believing in her identity—carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.

Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.

The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on the behavior of others.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Amy Cuddy

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Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

At work, leaders are constantly being challenged by coworkers, by the need to conform to the organization culture, to resist to the opinion of others and to work through other external pressure.

Because leadership comes most often from within and requires great energy, self-discipline, strong purpose, maintaining self-esteem is critical to maintaining leadership.

Wondering how to get a bulletproof self-esteem?Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem corresponds to our self-image and to the opinion that we have of ourselves. It is made of the differences between the way we perceive ourselves, the way we want to be perceived and the way we are actually being perceived.

It is also a feeling of competency, worthiness, efficiency, performance, self-respect. It delimits our sense of identity, self-worth, well-being and constant satisfaction no matter the circumstances.

Self-esteem is the ability to cope with life challenges. It is the belief in our abilities, our values, our potential to confidently demonstrate our abilities and values. Therefore, self-esteem is an important component of leadership.

Self-esteem is an internal quality, is not a constant and can rise or fall throughout life, throughout challenges.

Why is it important?

With a proper amount of self-esteem, you are able to trust your skills, your knowledge, your decisions and your thoughts. Low self-esteem leads to poor relationships, depression, anxiety and anger. Increasing self-esteem amounts to better health and a stronger ability to cope with stressful situations.

As a leader, having a solid self-esteem is necessary to make decisions without fear or hesitation, to think clearly, to trust his or her opinion, to remain optimistic under pressure, to help others feel good about themselves, to build relationships, and to gracefully welcome change.

Furthermore, building self-esteem in your team will help them take pride in their work and make them commit to goals.

How to boost your leadership self-esteem?

Building self-esteem is not an overnight process and requires patience. To boost your leadership self-esteem:

  1. Rewire your thinking process and remember that you are not alone if you are suffering with low self-esteem.
  2. Recall that you cannot please everyone and the first person to please is yourself.
  3. Remember that you cannot be a master at everything and that you must focus on the vital few.
  4. Accept that you cannot control everything, that suffering and joy are part of life and that no one is perfect.
  5. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a different combination of experiences, of strengths and weaknesses that they must accept. This will help you build on the skills that you are good at and operate through your weaknesses.
  6. Accept yourself: learn to spend time alone and to enjoy your own company. Find activities that are fun and that you do well outside of work. Treat yourself kindly and take time off to do things that are pleasurable to you.
  7. Avoid reasoning with your emotions, dwelling on the negative, complaining, self-pity, shifting blame or blowing an issue out of proportion. You can remove the power that emotions and past negative experiences holds over you by writing down on paper or by speaking it out loud.
  8. Always maintain your integrity, treat people fairly and do the right thing, even if it puts you in a difficult situation. This will also help you maintain your self-respect and the respect that people have for you.
  9. Stay authentic. Being fake or hypocritical is not sustainable on the long run and your real self will slowly suffer the consequences.
  10. Be resilient and believe that you can overcome challenges and that you can find solutions to your problems.
  11. Learn to be grateful and stay grounded in reality but learn to appreciate and celebrate success, to recognize your achievements and position in life.
  12. Don’t be afraid of failure and learn from your past mistakesIf you have wronged someone, admit it and apologize.
  13. List your life achievements and list what you wish to achieve. Understanding what you have accomplished will increase your positivity and strengthen your belief that you can see things through.
  14. Avoid seeking only status and playing aggressive politics at work to get ahead.
  15. Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself to your past self instead.
  16. Create good habits and be self-disciplined enough to stick to a routine.
  17. Set boundaries. This is a complex task because most people don’t know how to, some confuse standing up for themselves and setting boundaries with being blatantly mean.
  18. Be compassionate towards yourself and others. Forgive yourself and others. This doesn’t mean that you have forgotten or that you now start back trusting or working with the same people.
  19. Experience life with an open-mind. Don’t take life too seriously and acknowledge that you don’t know everything.
  20. Eat well and regularly. Use meditation and exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically, to stay in control of your thoughts and to evacuate negative emotions.
  21. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep affects your mood, your thoughts, your body and your resilience towards adversity.
  22. Don’t rely on people or other external factors to restore your self-esteem. Compliments only stroke your ego and will have no effect on your self-esteem for long. On the same length, belittling people won’t do the trick either.
  23. As a leader, it is important that you share your knowledge with your team. Retaining information is a sign of weakness, of a desire for control, power and will not lead you to success. On the other hand, your team skills, loyalty and respect will unequivocally be increased.
  24. Take responsibility for your actions, seek solutions instead of creating problems.
  25. Seek positive qualities in your employees, give positive feedback and build a positive work environment. Giving positive feedback doesn’t mean dismissing or sugarcoating negative feedback but it means that you give constructive criticism and make people feel good about their work performance.
  26. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Place them on tasks that employ their strengths, and don’t hesitate to stretch their abilities and responsibilities.
  27. Remove doubt from your employees so they can perform better.
  28. Teach your team to see problems as challenges or opportunities in disguise. Do not punish mistakes and show that it is OK to disagree, to share a dissenting opinion, or to say “I don’t know”.
  29. Mitigate bad behavior within your team and maintain composure no matter the circumstances.
  30. Include playful time in the workplace. This will increase productivity. Contrary to popular bureaucratic and corporate belief, be playful is not a sign of immaturity to carelessness. Instead, it is a way to release painful experiences.
  31. Seek external professional help to sort through bad experiences and memories if necessary.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath, introduces people to new strategies to increase their productivity and overall well-being at work and in their lives.

Are you Fully Charged_ The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

STRATEGY #1: Find meaning in helping people

Through his research, Tom Rath found that bringing meaning is detrimental to organizations and to self. Deriving meaningfulness from money and power is the fastest way to sabotage yourself, is not sustainable because it opens up door to comparison, damages your well-being and relationships.

In order to create meaningfulness, to strengthen your relationships and increase your performance at work:

  • Stop seeking happiness and stop putting your well-being first all the time. Sometimes, put people’s need before your own.
  • Create meaningful interactions to protect yourself from negative thoughts, depressions.
  • Contribute to a collective good to make a difference.
  • Dedicate extra hours to meaningful activities.
  • Avoid doing what people expect of you but explore different areas of interests.
  • Focus on the impact of your work, on internal motives rather than external motives. Find ways to remind yourself of your internal motivators daily.
  • Understand your contribution to your organization, your efforts to work. Your efforts can be attached to a larger purpose afterwards.
  • Identify the right work to that it is not only a monetary transaction and that you are emotionally engaged, have better interactions with your colleagues, be more productive. Financial security contribute to happiness.
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses and apply them to the organization, fill a specific need. Work on your talents to grow and be great at something
  • Say no to distractions. Being busy is not synonymous to importance or progress.

STRATEGY #2: Create positive interactions

To thrive in the workplace and to better your work performance, it is important to intentionally create positive interactions:

  • Assume the best of a situation and of an interaction and learn to convert a negative into a positive.
  • In performance review, spend more time discussing strengths than weaknesses.
  • Use positive words to build on relationships. Creating strong bonds with coworkers fosters creativity and increase effectiveness at work, takes a year to solidify. When confronting or in a difficult situation, preface with positive words.
  • Take small steps and appreciate small wins. For example, make someone smile before making them laugh.
  • Pay attention to people so that they don’t assume the worst about you.
  • Ask questions to initiate a conversation, to engage a debate, to build influence, to negotiate.
  • Share embarrassing moments and mistakes to instill trust and to remain humble.
  • Mirror someone else’s behavior to better the conversation.
  • Don’t use your phone when spending time with people, show that you value the conversation, their time and openness.
  • Create enjoyable experiences with loved ones to create long-lasting positive memories. We tend to forget the purchase of material goods over time even though we felt good while buying it.  Create experiences instead and treasure the memory.
  • Spend money on people you care about. Seeing them happy will instantly make you happy.
  • Plan experiences ahead and share the details with people around you so you can look forward to something and increase your well-being.
  • To motivate people to work for you, have them do something for someone else or for the benefit of the team.
  • Be sincere, help someone see their potential and develop their self-confidence.

STRATEGY #3: Take care of yourself

Leaders are the first to arrive early at work and leave late, to sleep less hours. they claim they are busy but their lifestyle is unsustainable and will lead to burnout.

  • Watch what you eat. Acquiring the right food has nothing to do with calories count but everything with quality. Therefore, eat healthy, avoid fried foods, carbohydrates, sugar and eat more vegetables to boost your energy and to positively influence your mood.
  • The human body isn’t built for a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise, avoid sitting down and add as much exercise and movements a day as possible, especially in the morning.
  • Sleep 20 minutes through the day and sleep longer at night to increase your ability to think, your productivity, health and well-being. Lack of sleep reduces alertness and awareness.
  • Don’t work on a same activity for too long, it will diminish your performance. Take multiple breaks.
  • To improve sleep quality, close the light of your electronic devices, cancel out noises with white noise or noise cancelling devices.
  • Good lifestyle habits create a buffer against stressful situations and slow down the aging process.
  • Take a minute before responding to a negative situation.
  • View stressful situations as challenges.

Review

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life, by Tom Rath, is an easy to read self-help book, a practical guide to life and social interactions. It teaches us how to increase our well-being and make the mots of a bad experience.

Tom Rath has been battling an illness his whole life and as a consequence has the ability to put a positive spin on any situation.

Favorite quote(s)

I have discovered that creating meaning is central not just to my existence but to that of every organization in society today. Businesses, schools, governments, families, and faith-based groups are being challenged more than ever to show how they make a meaningful contribution to society. The essential thing people want in a job today is work that will allow them to create meaning for others.

Work should be more than a necessary means to an end.

The best experiences create memories and well-being that last for years to come.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Tom Rath

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How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton

How Full is Your BucketIn How Full is Your Bucket?, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have partnered up in the hopes of helping people focus on the positive and not the negative. In his previous research and in his life experiences, Donald O. Clifton noticed that every interaction in life made a difference and profoundly shaped his perceptions.

The theory of the dipper and the bucket

To Donald O. Clifton and to Tom Rath, everyone possesses an invisible bucket and an invisible dipper. Filling your bucket would be synonymous to “boosting your well-being” and feeling engaged in your work.

An invisible bucket that can be emptied or filled depending on our interactions with others. When the bucket is full, we feel great, optimistic, energetic, renewed and strong.

An invisible dipper that can empty of fill someone else’s bucket. When the dipper is used to fill someone else’s bucket, we simultaneous fill our own bucket. When we use our dipper to empty someone else’s bucket, we empty our own bucket.

The power of Negativity

The Power of NegativityNegativity has the power to kill an individual. For most of us, negativity is common and harmless, but erodes our well-being and productivity. Negativity is also contagious and pushes us to start dipping in someone else’s bucket in the hopes of fulling ours.

In the workplace, daily multiple micro aggressions or the accumulation of negative interactions can cause people invisible and individual bucket to be emptied. An empty bucket has consequences on your well-being, on the well-being of your friends and family members, on your work performance, on your team’s productivity.

The disengagement and the negativity of employees are conveyed by “glazed looks”, counter productivity, a tendency to “stirring up trouble with whining, complaining, and even paranoia.

Fortunately, positivity is much more impactful than negativity.

As a leader or manager, how to make sure that employees individual bucket is full? How to get them to stay engaged?

Employees often lack recognition for their good work and “praise is rare in most organization”.

It takes a little initiative to create inexpensive and meaningful bucket filling experiences. For example, a short, motivating, positive conversation from leaders to increase employees productivity, alignment and engagement would suffice.

Leaders and managers have to:

  • switch the focus on their employees strengths only,
  • daily and positively interact with their team members.

Where is Negativity Rooted?

Our predisposition for either positivity or negativity is similar to our metabolism and our or disposition for weight gain. No matter how much someone eats, they will always remain thin.

Filling someone bucket should be unique, specific to the individual, appropriate to the work environment. Generic one size fits all approaches often backfire.

The american culture is to blame for the development and inclination toward negativity. In the American culture, we focus on what we do wrong instead of what we do right, on fixing weaknesses and dismissing strengths. “This focus is particularly evident in our school experiences” or at work where our natural talents and our skills don’t fit our roles. Also, we expect our employees to change their personality to fit the role.

According to John Gottman’s research on marriage, there is a magic ratio to respect in order to maintain positivity and to fill your bucket. The magic ratio is 5:1 which means that there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.

This magic ratio is critical for the workplace. For instance, teams with having more than 3 positive interactions for every negative interaction (3:1 ratio) gain in productivity and engagement. However, teams having more than a 13:1 ratio lose in productivity.

That is why, Rath and Clifton recommend grounding positivity in reality, but also acknowledging negativity and weaknesses and correcting mistakes.

The Benefits of Positivity

Positive or negative encounters are highly memorable and can change your life forever. Positivity creates a mindset that:

  • becomes a buffer against adversity, depression, health issues,
  • enables recovery from traumatic, painful experiences,
  • improves mental physical well-being,
  • stands as a coping and defense mechanisms,
  • transforms and breaks down social barriers,
  • generates optimal functioning in organizations and in individuals,
  • Induced by leader, improves productivity and group performance in the workplace.

How to Increase Positive Emotions?

To increase positive emotions and positive encounters, apply the following five strategies:

  1. Prevent any type of bucking dipping

    • Stop poking fun at someone, focusing in their insecurities, chronically criticizing others.
    • Encourage this change among people around you.
    • Start pressing pause consciously eliminating unwarranted negativity.
    • Keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions.
  1. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong

To know if your focus us centered around what is right or if you have some impact on your environment, take the Positive Impact Test from Gallup. The Positive Impact Test provides 15 statements to measure your impact and your progress. Don’t hesitate to print them, read them and encourage your friends to take the test.

  1. Develop several good relationships

    • These relationships have to be best friends quality with coworkers in order to increase your job satisfaction and productively and subsequently increase theirs.
    • Actively listen to your coworkers.
    • Acknowledge when someone is doing a great job.
  2. Give unexpectedly

  3. Reverse the Golden Rule

    • The Golden Rule signifies “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Clifton and Rath introduced the reverted golden rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”.
    • Personalize your interactions and the way you praise and recognize others.

Review

How Full is Your Bucket? by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath is a brief, easy to read, encouraging and compelling book that gives tools to spread positivity in life or at work, to become a better leader, to develop values and character.

Furthermore, I found interesting that both authors share their personal adversities and explain how they have ingrained positivity in their lives and thoughts to overcome their health obstacles.

On a personal level, I wanted to read a positive book, that can stimulate everyone’s mind, inspire leaders to work on themselves and their leadership skills, to provide some tools to dilute the toxicity and the negativity in the workplace, to break the cycle of negativity in your life.

I believe that most of us can handle positive situations and encounters, but not everyone can handle difficult situations, that preparation is key and it is better to be safe then sorry, that it is better to be warned about toxicity than to be blindsided by it, and finally that knowledge is power.

In addition, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath are right when they claim that negativity stems from your culture and has become the norm. They are also right when they state that emptying someone else’s bucket will not make you feel better but only make you feel less then. So, you have to wonder: are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?

Favorite quote(s)

Most of us want more positive emotions in our lives. We want to feel like Tammy did in her brief meeting with Karen more often – and like she did after her performance review less often. Unfortunately, wanting a more positive environment isn’t enough. Most of us have grown up in a culture in which it’s much easier to tell people what they did wrong instead of praising them when they succeed. Although this negativity-based approach might have evolved unintentionally, it nevertheless permeates our society at all levels.

Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific, and deserved.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Donald O. Clifton

Tom Rath

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Donald O. Clifton

authorDonald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003) was a chairman of Gallup, was named the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology by the American Psychological Association. Donald O. Clifton is also the author of How Full is Your Bucket?.