Mentoring Mondays


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“Choosing Success – Every Day”

In the last three weeks we have reviewed the framework for achieving change through actionable ideas that lead to a successful life which include: expanding our knowledge base, following specific strategies, and committing to a daily action plan. Part of that framework also includes the choices we make and our daily rituals and routines (habits).

“Consider this: For the most part, life is a series of daily habits. That idea may sound simple, but it is also quite powerful. You often hear people talk about ‘the rhythm of life’ when talking about nature – the changing seasons, migration, the cycle of birth and death. Well, the daily acts that make up your existence are part of the same rhythm. You wake up, get dressed and ready for work, and drive the familiar route to the office; get your first cup of coffee . . .” You get the idea.

Your first actionable idea for this week is: daily routines can be empowering. “If you are in the habit of reflecting success in the small things you do every day, you are preparing yourself to be successful in the unordinary aspects of your day.” Focus on developing healthy routine skills such as:

Believing in your ability“On average we criticize ourselves over 400 times every day. Harsh criticism does not motivate or nurture most people. Change and growth occurs through encouragement and increased self-esteem. . .  We can achieve more when we have a fundamental belief in our abilities to do more. This is the first step in moving to the rhythm of success.”

Communicating success through body language (clothing and presence)“People hear your words, but they mainly listen to you through a subconscious filter. They ‘hear’ your eye contact, they ‘hear’ your smile, and they ‘hear’ your overall body language.” Jack Griffin provides some great examples of reading body language in his book “How to Say It at Work: Putting Yourself Across with Power Words, Phrases, Body Language, and Communication Secrets.” Here are some classic examples of fear that people communicate through body language:

  • Swinging legs, tapping feet, or otherwise being ‘fidgety.’ Those types of moves spring from nervousness and sends the signal that you are inadequate for the job;
  • Crossed arms. Expresses an unwillingness to move forward and insecurity – you are unconsciously protecting yourself;
  • Lack of eye contact. Communicates a lack of confidence in yourself or your thoughts; you are not focused; and what you are saying is unbelievable; 
  • Biting or repeatedly licking the lips. Another sign of nervousness;
  • Twirling the hair or making aimless hand gestures. Also signs of insecurity;
  • Open palms/closed palms. Open palm gestures reflect openness and a willingness to help, whereas closed fist suggests a need for authority. When people hide their hands behind their back, they may be hiding the truth.

Sending signals of confidence are important to a successful life. To be a leader, you must present yourself as a leader. You must walk, talk and dress like a leader.

Micro-Action: Make an effective entrance – enter with a purpose so people can see that you are glad to be there and let them know that you appreciate their presence, and you are ready to serve them with all the enthusiasm you have.

Micro-Action: Stand up straight and walk tall (proudly) – You don’t have to be six feet to walk tall. Research tells us that tall women and men have an advantage in the business world. While we might not be tall and cannot change our actual height, our posture and stance can determine how tall others perceive us to be. 

Micro-Action: Be a strong presence – First, and always, maintain good eye contact with others in the room, and use your smile to put others at ease; position yourself well in important meetings; communicate with relaxed energy; listen actively, and dress with respect for others in the room (casual is not acceptable, unless expressly stated).

Networking to communicate a knowledge of your profession and the people you serve – Networking is an essential element of the rhythm of any successful businessperson or leaders’ life. As you gain practice in networking, it becomes second nature to you, and it deepens your understanding of your abilities. You do not have to think twice about sharing who you are and what you do with others. 

Micro-Action: Describe your business/organization/position – Create your unique positioning statement – your two to three-minute elevator speech: here is what I do and here is how it might interest you.

Micro-Action: Take seven minutes now and write a brief introduction statement that defines what you do and why you are different. 

To close this week’s entry on “The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes,” start moving to the rhythm of success by believing in your abilities and remember that our daily habits and rituals tell people who we are, but we define ourselves to ‘ourselves’ by our dreams.


Source: The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, by Allyson Lewis, Kaplan Publishing.

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Page last modified November 29, 2021