Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Team Building

Why do opposites attract?

coaching 2Many work and personal relationships are built on attracting the opposite person like an extrovert with an introvert, a thinker with a doer or people driven by feelings with those that apply logic. These relationships combine to balance each other and complete a circle.

What about successful relationships consisting of similar types of people such as a thinker with a thinker or an introvert with an introvert? These tend to bring safety, comfort and dependability to both parties in the relationship.

Relationships that grow and can experience more wins are usually the ones composed of opposites in thinking and actions. Are they the easiest? Usually not, but they can be the most productive.

Understanding our communication style

coaching 2We all have very individualized thinking and communicating processes. In everyday situations, we manage to engage in pleasantries. However, it is in those difficult conversations that we go to our natural internal communication style.

It is critical to know what your style is so it can be effective and not work against us. A way to know your communication style is to mentally keep a log of when stress makes an appearance because that indicates the end of effective communications.

How to give constructive feedback

a winnerUsing the three to one rule will help you give constructive, inclusive feedback. Feedback must always be given in private unless agreed upon in a group setting. Feedback is never intrusive and is only given with the intent of future growth and forward movement.

The three to one rule works by starting with three things the person does well and one item they can do better. This approach softens the criticism and empowers the giver and receiver of the feedback.

How to give a reality check

1206574733930851359Ryan_Taylor_Green_Tick_svg_medTo ensure a successful event, a sound foundation in reality is needed to apply to these key components:

• Assigning the right people in the roles
• Creating a realistic timeline
• Establishing accountability by setting due dates
• Scheduling status meetings

Properly handling these components will result in a successfully completed project.

Showing appreciation is critical to success

jumping couple in field under cloudsA recent Chicago Tribune business section article, talks about the importance of showing appreciation by saying thank you in different ways. Giving thanks in ways other than words such as lending a helping hand, offering a small gift, or breaking bread (having lunch or coffee), are three great ways to do that. Showing appreciation forges relationships, professionally and personally.

Breaking bread

networking-pic-gifSharing a meal with a new manager or employee is a great way to get to know each other on neutral ground. If time and geography allow, I always meet a potential new client before a proposal is written.

Recently, while coaching a group, it came up that they never had the opportunity to share a meal together. Food can be brought in during a lunch time. Since that time they had several opportunities to share a meal including once to celebrate and another time as they collaborated on a long project. Taking a client out for lunch or dinner as a thank you or just to get to know them can serve many purposes. I highly recommend it.

Opposites attract and work well together

jumping couple in field under cloudsPairing up in a team situation with a partner that is opposite of you will be frustrating at times. However, a broader picture will emerge. A team is best when made of opposite thinking patterns as long as everyone focuses on ways to achieve the best end result.

Functioning with a partner opposite in thought and energy is done by establishing ground rules on when to call a timeout. My experience of a few years ago comes to mind. Each member conducted an assessment when a new team was formed. We ended up pairing each other with an opposite communication style partner. This enabled the team to garner significant insight on dealing with client projects.

Win with grace

jumping couple in field under cloudsGraceful winners that acknowledge the folks that did not win will be more successful in the long journey. We see how it plays out in the award shows and in politics.

I often see folks in the business world take just a short jaunt up the ladder. They honestly think their success was all their own and refuse to see how competition made them better. Success comes to those who truly understand and admire the folks who lost. People that only knock the losers end up being the real losers. It does catch up to them.

Improv

coaching 2Improv is about making the person next to you look good. I took a year of Improv at Second City in Chicago to help me be a better speaker. It also helped me design some experiential programs for speaking to audiences about personal branding and interpersonal skills. Improv helps in networking where thinking on your feet is useful because it encourages you to begin a conversation that is inclusive and not intrusive. Improv recently was featured in the New York Times business section on how team Improv can build creativity in thinking.

The CEO of your team – make it the best environment for collaboration

networking-pic-gifRecently, in the Chicago Tribune business section, they highlighted the best companies to work for. Being open to discussion, listening to issues and ensuring they are noted and providing a safe place for personal situations are three areas that make companies good to work for. Teams that are successful are led by CEOs who act as thought partners. As a leader, you empower your team to succeed with timelines and accountability along with listening to any issues that arise. How that is done will always be important in meeting employee goals and exceeding expectations.