Criticism as a Tool for Growth

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
~Norman Vincent Peale

As a business owner, it’s necessary to understand how to handle professional and personal criticism in the work place. Genuine reflection can use criticism as a basis for improvement and remember having professional success doesn’t always include only positive feedback. There will always be critics, and the way you handle the information will convey a lot about your character and courage as a leader.

Be open to listen to what others might think when you’re trying something new and always consider the motivations of the source. Business owners rarely have a successful business plan handed to them. Only through strategic planning and trial and error can we learn to create success.

We all know that criticism can be uncomfortable and make us become defensive. Instead of firing back a response, listen to understand what someone else has to say without resentment. Always be willing to take in new information without focusing on the criticism itself. This marks leadership as a process.

The response to criticism is to usually take it too personally. Take a step back and respond to criticism at a time where you feel confident in your strategy and accept criticism as a way of learning about how the public perceives you. Never let a simple comment get in the way of your business and success.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Erase a Bad Habit

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”
~ Nathaniel Branden

Personal as well as professional bad habits are typically challenging to break and can cause you to lose focus and decrease productivity throughout the day. Bad habits create an endless cycle that in turn, may create a bad lifestyle. Focusing on changing bad habits to accomplish more each day while building up a positive attitude.

Common professional bad habits are arriving late to work and meetings, procrastinating and avoiding difficult or even repetitive tasks you are required to do. Oddly enough, the best way to erase a bad habit is to consciously recognize the grip it has on your life. Sometimes bad habits can be hard to identify until you take the time to pinpoint what is holding you back from success. Strength and consistency are then required.

To fill this void you might feel in your life, try replacing it with a mental or physical positive habit that makes you feel good and boosts overall happiness. At the office, these positive habits might include showing up a little earlier, making a new connection with a coworker or, volunteering to work on a new project. The possibilities of creating a new positive habit in the workplace are endless.

Avoid letting a bad habit take control of your personal and professional life. Erase bad habits and replace them with positive and rewarding habits to be the best version of yourself.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Embrace your Curiosity

“At the heart of great leadership is a curious mind, heart, and spirit.”
~ Chip Conley

Embracing the unknown in life and in business can lead to unexpected new routes for growth and success. In the current work culture, we have developed a need to always be absolutely certain and cautious in everything we do. Without the important benefit of curiosity, tasks may become tired, dull, and without spirit and strength. Explore the curiosity that lies within your business or organization.

In our daily routines, we sometimes get too comfortable with knowing that each day will most likely play out the same as it did the day before. Instead of your dependable routine, embrace curiosity to boost work and personal life satisfaction. As an easy example, make new connections with people you don’t always speak to at work, hunt for new learning opportunities, and open your mind to new ideas and opinions from everyone around you.

As a business leader, it’s important to see curiosity as an attribute that should be encouraged within your work environment. While building your company culture, foster curiosity and encourage each colleague by asking open questions. Asking questions that help to advance new ideas and curiosity creates stronger relationships between coworkers and cultivates a more creative and constructive environment.

Embrace your curiosity professionally and personally.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Disagree to Agree

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
~ Marianne Williamson, New York Times best-selling author

In the business world, understanding the right way to disagree can form positive ways of thinking and maintain open and healthy work relationships. Instead of simply agreeing to avoid conflict, encourage your team to debate ideas that offer up differing opinions.

Before jumping into a conversation to disagree with a colleague, first listen calmly and thoughtfully then communicate your thoughts with respect. Avoid words that could possibly be confrontational and avoid disapproval of alternate ideas. Never criticize the other person for a differing idea. Use facts and evidence to back up why you think you can offer up a different approach to foster a new solution.

When working through disagreements to come to an overall acceptable solution, make sure to always listen and never demean or antagonize others. Never exclude someone else’s opinions just because you have authority or have experiences that may apply to your perspective. Consider other people’s perspectives, goals, and influence so you can get a better understanding of all sides of the situation.

Having disagreements in the work place and in life is inevitable, it’s how you handle them that can make or break an organization. Learn how to work through disagreements and negotiate to promote a positive work culture.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Alone in the Crowd

“No one is alone, it’s one’s perception, someone can imagine as alone in a group or one can think as in group while he is alone”
~ Muhammad Ibraheem

Sometimes in the work place, we can feel the isolation of keeping our eyes and brains locked onto a screen in order to jump from completing one task to the next until the end of the work day. With the advancements in technology and the limitations put on companies to reduce the opportunity for human interaction and personal expression, it’s not a surprise that people may feel a sense of being alone in a crowd of their colleagues. Take the first step to start enjoying your career by engaging with your peers and incorporating it in your daily routine.

For many people, successful collaboration requires us to see and hear others we are communicating with. Emails, texting and video chatting have all taken away the need for basic face to face interaction. As a business owner encourage employees to build relationships that spark trust, solve a corporate problem and create a more personal and human company culture.

The differences between individuals within the workplace can be the single most important factor in erasing the line between work and social life. Differences can create opportunity as well as alternative perspectives that as a company, can be used as a focal point for new and innovative ideas.

Practice taking a bigger leap when it comes to incorporating personal connections into your work life. Relationships can foster inspiring moments that will only improve your overall happiness.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Authentic Leadership in Business

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.”
~ Roy E. Disney

When we think of leadership in the office, some skills may come instinctively others are learned over time through trial and error. While trying to grow your business or organization, practicing new leadership skills while staying true to your own ideals is key to overall success. Understand a few simple steps to increase authentic leadership skills in the office.

Personal as well as company development goals are always important to share with your employees. Share your personal overall goals to create an open conversation in which ideas and strategy can be shared and to inspire others. As a leader, making employees feel comfortable and gaining trust in your leadership skills will only help you further reach the goals you set.

Sometimes sharing how we approached a situation and admitting we were wrong can be one of the hardest things to do. Understand that we make mistakes and don’t always need to come across as a perfect leader. Create an open work culture and discuss the errors you have made and what you have learned from them. Encourage employees to have the strength to do the same. Recognizing missteps as a team and working through them will help to shine a light on your authentic leadership skills in the office.

To achieve overall growth and happiness within your business and organization, understand how to create authentic leadership skills in the office.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Trendy Business

“Figuring out what the next big trend is tells us what we should focus on.”
~ Mark Zuckerberg

No matter what type of business you’re in, creating a forward-thinking business brand is important when growing your company and to stand out. Trends in business can be promoted in many forms such as social media, merchandising and other forms of advertising and promotional tools. Keeping a focus on your target market, customers and even employees can help to maximize profits in your business or organization. Remember to keep your business trends up to date.

Trying to keep your business “trendy” means creating a brand that tells your story and what you want consumers to remember your business as and to focus on future marketing at the same time. Use social media to create daily updates on products and services to get the word out. Share similar posts and keep audiences following the brand you are trying to create.

Always look for constant improvements and innovations when creating your business brand. With millennials the top buying generation, their goals and wants should be your focus if your brand is targeting that market. It’s important to always be ready and open to change and innovation. From the selfie movement to fidget spinners, it’s important now more than ever to head the pack of popular trends.

Trends can be created and invented for any type of business or organization. Use social media to your advantage to get help your business become and remain cutting edge.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

The Talent of Communication

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
~ James Humes

When it comes to communicating, it takes time and patience to practice this unique art form. Every relationship we have and each step we take in our career should require us to make decisions about how we approach specific conversations. Most of us don’t realize how old habits can ruin a conversation. Understand a few reliable practices to effectively communicate with anyone you encounter.

During a conversation with someone you’re trying to engage, it’s important to understand that you should not begin every thought and sentence with “I”.  Listening is often said to be the best communication skill. Eye contact and engagement are the physical positions of strength that should be practiced gaining comfort and familiarity with your audience.

Your choice of words, of course, is also important when communicating with others. Filler words like “um, like and just” can make you sound lazy and uninterested in the conversation. Sometimes we say these words out of habit or nerves, try to add a pause in your conversation to replace the use of these filler words.

Conversational style at company events is very important when trying to advance your career. Plan ahead with your subject matter by thinking about some thought provoking questions you can ask during a one on one conversation. These questions should be interesting, memorable and grab the attention of people around you. Be confident in your questions and get ready for any type of response back.

Solid communication skills can either make or break your reputation within your business or organization. Understand a few steps to make your conversations stronger while advancing your career. Being an engaging and engaged individual will be a benefit to you.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Managing the Hiring Process

“Great things in business are never done by one person.
They’re done by a team of people.”
~ Steve Jobs

As a business owner, looking for a new employee to fit seamlessly into your office culture can be a difficult task. Hiring the wrong person to fill a certain position can take a drastic toll on your company and your team’s morale by wasting time and resources. Understanding the impact of a bad hire can go a long way towards the overall growth of your business.

One of the greatest costs of a poor hire is a lack of productivity while the overall impact may be to cause a team to become dissatisfied and lose interest in doing a good job. Poor performing employees are hard to spot when interviewing potential candidates and it’s important to communicate with current staff to provide feedback about the new hire. Training and retraining employees while utilizing existing staff takes time and energy that your business can’t always afford to dedicate.

While Human Resources has evolved into a science and can be an effective hiring tool, it’s often necessary to also utilize older methods of screening. Often a face to face meeting with the prospective new hire’s peers can help the hiring manager gain a new view of the possibility of a good fit.

Recruiting and training are all part of the cost of a growing business. However managing the hiring process can be a larger expense when not conducted properly. The financial costs of hiring someone inappropriate or without the proper previous experience can be devastating particularly to a small business.

Your business’s reputation can either make or break your business or organization. New hires may be able to add or detract from that reputation. Monitor your company’s brand image on all social media platforms to make sure new hires aren’t making errors that are costing you business.

Hiring new team members is a risk for all business owners. Understand the positive impact of having the right person in the right place and take your time hiring that person.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results

Over Thinking

“We cannot solve our problems with the same
thinking we used when we created them.”
~ Albert Einstein

Over thinking is something we all do as a way to protect ourselves against making mistakes. This thought pattern can cause us to worry about things that have happened in the past, second-guessing important decisions and cause us to be highly stressed. Rehashing one’s decisions may prevent us from making progress and weaken our resolve long term. Learn how to control your reevaluation habits to become more confident and to accept what has been decided.

Sometimes we tend to recheck our thoughts and decisions without knowing we are doing it. Acknowledging when and how we do this is the first step in realizing these thoughts aren’t productive and won’t lead to positive actions. Re-examining decisions too often restrains you from doing your best.

Over thinking about events that have happened in the past or are going to happen in the future won’t allow you to live in the present. Instead of over thinking something you have made a decision about, train your brain to find solutions to that problem and then put those thoughts to rest. Try keeping a list of solutions or strategies you can use to focus on situations you can control.

Changing what you are physically engaging in can also help alleviate this habit. Exercising on a daily basis, reading a book, or watching a video on a different subject can be a great distraction and allow you to clear your mind.

Just like any other skill, it takes time and dedication to improve. Don’t let over thinking take over your time and energy. Learn how to develop mental discipline to stop over thinking and have a more productive and peaceful thought process.

Kelly D. Scott
Chairman/CEO
Vistage Florida
better leaders ● decisions ● results