Welcome to Bob Faw’s Energize Performance blog. Bob’s passion is to guide positive transformation. Through his personal and professional life experiences Bob developed a keen interest in pragmatic and science based approaches. He has been a longtime advocate of focusing on solutions and learning while having fun, concepts that are increasingly supported by recent neuroscience studies about enhanced brain functioning and performance. This blog is to gather and share his guidance and share best practices, inspirational examples, and creative ideas of others about positive transformation at work, in personal life, and in the world.
Helping Others Live Into Their Best DNA
One of my Leadership University students once told me a personal story about her son, who had been struggling with depression. She and her husband were very worried about him, but she didn’t know what to do for him besides lecture him on what he should do differently to get his act together.
After working with me, she decided to hold a family meeting with her son and husband. They had a discussion about the things her son did that added value to the family and to their lives. She reported that the result was amazing: Her son began to see his own value, he started to help out more around the house without being nagged, and he made a plan for his life. This all happened because the family was focusing collectively on that small portion of his Best DNA. An added bonus was that it improved the relationship between her husband and her son.
Think about people you know who are struggling at work or home. Many times we see these people as low performers, but they might simply be struggling because they don’t see their own value.
It’s a common reaction to come down hard on people when they start to perform at subpar levels. It’s the fight-or-flight response part of our brain that makes us think that if we make people feel guilty or shameful that will teach them and they will work harder. There are some situations where this can be helpful, but generally it only makes things worse.
If you can help people work from a place of excitement versus fear and involvement versus punishment, they will start to become self-motivated instead of you having to harp on them to do their jobs.
If you want to be an energizing leader with a team (and even a family) of motivated people, try spending far more time focusing on their strengths and passions, and only focus on the weaknesses and challenges when it’s helpful, not just because your gut tells you to.
The first part of helping others live into their Best DNA is helping them figure out what their Best DNA is. Obviously having your team complete the Best DNA brainstorms is the most comprehensive way to help them discover their best, but one quick way to jumpstart the process is through the Value Add Activity.
- You start by handing out index cards to everyone on your team. Each person then writes one quality or action that they value for each member of the team, and gives that card to the corresponding person. It can be something like, “Always meets deadlines,” or “Keeps us calm during times of stress,” or “Creates thorough agendas for meetings.”
- Once everyone has their cards, they can rank them by the items they find most enjoyable or fulfilling.
- Then ask your team to take the top three and brainstorm additional activities they enjoy doing that are similar.
- Ask them to identify other tasks or even hobbies that they lose themselves in.
- Then ask them to pinpoint why they enjoy these activities.
- Finally, start a discussion on ways that they can do more of these types of activities—both at work and at home.
This exercise is a great way to open people’s eyes to what others value. Not only does it feel great to have so many positive comments, it also helps team members feel better about one another!
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Check out this video for more information!