Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.
Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.
CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.
His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.
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Postcard from Asheville, N.C.
What had I gotten myself into? I was at the Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, Arizona, for an executive physical. Six of us were seated around a rectangular mahogany conference table. A behavioral therapist sat at the head.
“Let’s begin by introducing ourselves,” she began. “State your name, where you are from, and your relationship with your body.” We were total strangers, yet one by one we opened up and shared our stories. It was my turn.
“I was a fat kid,” I started. “No matter how fit I become, I still feel like that fat kid wearing Husky pants.” An attractive heavy-set woman in riding shorts was next.
“I came to your group last year, and it changed my life,” she told the therapist. “I realized the goal was not so much to lose fat as to be fit. No matter how thin I get, I will never look like the models in those magazines, but I can be healthy. It’s when I began to see myself as an athlete that my body image changed. I am now thirty pounds thinner, and I have never felt better in my life. Thank you!” Her story sparked an epiphany.
Always the last to be chosen for the team in junior high school, I was overweight, uncoordinated, and had no interest in team sports. I was the antithesis of an athlete. But now at fifty-one, the story has changed. I am fit. In fact, I have never been in better shape. And I now love walking, biking, and lifting weights. The script may have changed, but I’ve continued to play the same role.
Roles play a critical part in the way we see ourselves. Look in the mirror and who do you see? What roles is he or she playing? Superman, den mother, oldest child, victim, or fixer? Maybe like a snake that sheds his skin, it’s time for transformation. Maybe it’s time to update your roles and transform the way you look at yourself.
The following morning, I met a group of bikers for a fourteen-mile ride through the desert. The group leader discouraged a mother and daughter from going, saying it was one of the ranch’s most strenuous rides. Looking around at the remaining riders in their biking pants, gloves, and cleated shoes, I began to have second doubts. “What if I can’t keep up?” I fretted. Then, standing a little taller, I remembered: I am an athlete. Not only did I complete the ride, but I finished before most of my fellow riders.
The fat little boy who was the last to be picked for teams is now a part of my past. In his place, I see an athlete.
This month, we’ll look at the power of words.
The Power of Words
My dear friend, Asheville-based leadership coach Shonnie Lavender, (http://www.shonnielavender.com), is teaching me how powerful words can be. When I phrase something negatively, she gently suggests how much more powerful - and useful - my statement would be if I reworded it more positively.
"Consciously choosing positive words affects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lives. Our language creates our reality, so it’s important to think about what we communicate," she explains.
Recently, Shonnie shared five tips to help harness the power of words to inspire others and positively transform our lives.
One: Drop should. "Should is like a psychological choke chain," she says as are ought to, have to, and must. Often, the purpose of these words is to punish, belittle, deter, or make someone feel guilty.
Two: Stop trying. Instead, stake your flag and say yes or no or negotiate another scenario that works better for you. Trying, like using can instead of will, implies a lack of commitment.
Three: Replace can with will. I admitted to Shonnie that wills sometimes make me uncomfortable, but she reassured me that a will is not the same as a have to or should. "You can always change your mind later," she reminded me.
Four: Eliminate always and never. These two words distort our view of reality. In a moment of anger, we might say to our spouse, "You never show me any appreciation." While this might be true at times, or even most of the time, most likely it is not true all of the time.
These words - along with no one, everybody, and everyone are called absolutes, and absolutes are almost always never true.
Five: Watch where you place your buts. The word can erase whatever comes before it. It works positively if the first part of the sentence is negative, but it works negatively if the first part of the sentence is positive. Look at what reordering a sentence around but does:
Positive: "He didn’t meet his goal, but he sure did work hard, didn’t he?"
Negative: "He sure did work hard, but he didn’t meet his goal, did he?"
In addition to these tips, it’s helpful to listen closely to the words we use. Just the other day, I described something as being "killer." Shonnie’s wise observation about words came to mind, and I quickly rephrased my sentence substituting "outstanding" for "killer."
I am trying -no, I am - choosing words that will positively affect the way I view the world and which will more positively communicate a more positive message to those who hear my words.