What are the benefits of learning about personality types?
By: Bayou Trésors Staff
Learning about the various personality types within the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, can enrich your ability to lead, your relationships with others and it can even help you understand yourself. How so?
Well, perhaps you find it difficult to get along with certain people at school, work, or even in your family. Deep down, you know it isn’t that they’re bad people or that something is wrong with them- it’s simply that you don’t understand them.
This is where understanding how a person’s personality type affects their behavior can help. If you get an overall understanding of the 16 personalities described by MBTI, you’ll be able to recognize what personality type someone is and then connect their behavior to the specific way of thinking that triggers their actions.
For example, the personality type known as ENFP is known for being optimistic, super friendly, and charming. But to some people they’re perceived as “flighty” or “undependable.” If you research the ENFP personality according to MBTI, you know that ENFPs don’t mean any harm but their minds are wired to be incredibly forward-thinking. This means they they move between passions and ideas really fast and without looking back. So, the next time your ENFP forgets to meet you at that comedy show you were supposed to go to together… it isn’t that they did it on purpose, they got distracted by something that looked really interested and they went for it! Because that’s what ENFPs do as incredibly forward-thinking people.
Learning about your own personality type according to MBTI can also help you feel more at peace with yourself.
So, if you’ve ever been curious about MBTI, go ahead and check it out. It can help you get to know yourself and the people in your life on a whole new level.
Have you recently set a life-changing goal? If you have, that’s admirable! According to Psychology Today, when we want to change some major aspect of our lives, “the simple act of setting a goal makes it more likely that we will reach it.” So, it’s healthy to set goals, these targets are the precursors to positive life changes.
But what if you find yourself setting goals that end up collecting dust? And every time you recall one such missed target you feel like a failure? If you find this happening in your life, rest assured that you are NOT a failure. What you might need to do is reassess the size of your goals. For example, think of your favorite food. For me, it’s strawberry cheesecake. Every time I sit down to eat a slice of cheesecake, I’m so excited I don’t know what to do with myself. You might feel the same way when you’re poised to eat one of your favorite foods. But suppose I try to eat the ENTIRE slice of cheesecake in one bite? Will I be successful? No. I will end up looking like a cheesecake covered mess, and that’s if I don’t end up choking to death. You probably get the point I’m attempting to make.
I know that I can eat cheesecake, but I can’t eat too much all at once. The same principle applies to life and goals. Even if it’s something you love, you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up making a mess of things and feeling bad about yourself. It’s much better to set reasonable, achievable goals.
But how does one do this? The Psychology Today article mentioned at the outset of this article suggests the following steps:
Create a list of major goals.
Break each goal down into smaller steps.
Brainstorm how you’ll overcome potential obstacles to your goals.
Be kind to yourself as you work to achieve your goals.
So, perhaps your ultimate goal is to open a bakery. That’s an incredible goal, and you can definitely see it to fruition. To do so, you might break it down into smaller steps. For example, you might begin by using Google to research ‘How to Start a Bakery.’ That would be step one. You could give yourself one week to carry out the research. The next step might be to speak with a person who owns a bakery and ask them what they did to open the business. You can give yourself another week to accomplish that goal. After that, you might use your research to create a business plan, which will likely take two or three weeks. Notice that you’re giving yourself plenty of time to accomplish each of the small steps that will lead to your ultimate goal. This way, you’re not overwhelming yourself with too many tasks.
Setting reasonable goals may be a slow process, but sometimes ‘slower yet persistent’ is better. In fact, it may be exactly what’s necessary to achieve major life-changing dreams.
What managers can learn from a teacher's leadership skills
By: Bayou Trésors Staff
The best teachers tap into incredible leadership skills crafted by principles that apply to the classroom and the average office or even boardroom.
Check out three of these leadership principles in the graphic below!
What to look for when hiring a manager
By: Bayou Trésors Staff
As you build your business and your clientele grows, you’ll need more talent. This means you’ll need experienced team leaders, or managers, to help guide this new talent.
So, what qualities should you look for in a manager? The lists below address this. Experience in the field. The manager should have experience in the specific job that they’re hired to oversee. This means, if you’re hiring someone to oversee a group of office assistants, the candidate should have previous experience as an office assistant. Many new CEOs make the mistake of hiring managers from outside industries who have no hands-on knowledge in the field their meant to oversee. This means they’ll have a tough time relating to the team they’re assigned to guide. They won’t be able to relate to their specific challenges and day-to-day tasks. It can also lead to the manager making poor decisions on behalf of their staff. It’s much better to hire someone with years of on-the-job experience.
Poise under pressure. Team leaders must often rally their staff to meet deadlines. This sort of pressure is not for everyone. Many skilled people suffer from anxiety, and they thrive in non-management roles. This is fine. Everyone’s different. And there is a place for these talented individuals in your company. However, when hiring a manager, you want to find someone who can work quickly, work with a clear head, and maintain poise in a high-pressure environment. This is crucial, because a manager who remains calm and effective under stress encourages their team to do the same. Similarly, someone who is not cut out for this sort of pressure will display extreme anxiety, which will negatively affect team morale.
Excellent communication skills Proficient managers value communication and use it effectively. This means they understand that communication is a multifaceted skill. Presenting to a large audience is quite different from speaking to a person in a one-on-one setting or sending an email to a colleague. A good manager should be skilled in all aspects of communication. They know how to grasp the attention of a large audience by leveraging proper modulation, gestures, and word choice. They also utilize active listening, nonverbal communication skills, empathy, and appropriate social etiquette during conversations with individuals. In addition to this, emails, texts, and social media messaging platforms are also used properly and with good manners. This leads to a clear understanding of what’s expected from each team member. It also ensures that every member of the team feels respected and capable of producing good work.
Foresight that helps them make wise decisions A solid and dependable manager makes wise choices. This is because they are teachable. They use previous events and insightful guidance from others to predict various outcomes. Then, they make decisions that lead to the outcome that is best for the team. Instead of making reactive decisions based purely on emotion, they rely on foresight to lay out plans that lead to positive results. *****
While studying each candidate’s application and observing them during the interview process, look for: How they communicate with you Are they prone to talk over you? Do they overshare? Are they able to maintain appropriate eye contact with you? When interacting with you and with other members of your staff, such as your receptionist or personal assistant, are they polite? How well do they listen?
Their level of anxiety during the interview It’s understandable if the applicant is a bit nervous. That’s only natural. Take a moment to observe how much their nerves affect their performance during the interview. Are they able to answer your questions coherently? Are they poised? Do they have the wherewithal to ask you insightful questions? Are they noticeably fidgety or demonstrating other symptoms of anxiety?
What do their references say? Do their references say they manifest leadership qualities? Do their previous employers say they seemed more personally ambitious or more of a team player? Do their previous employers say they maintained positive relationships with their colleagues? Or were they known as a bit of a hothead? Were they ever accused of racist or sexist behavior?
Study their previous body of work Is their work innovative? Is their work a good fit for your company and its vision?
Listed below are a few questions you might pose during the interview process.
What aspects of your previous job did you enjoy most?
What would you have changed about your previous job?
Let’s say your supervisor gives you a directive that, though not illegal, feels morally wrong. What do you do? And why?
Tell me about a time when you solved a problem on the job.
One of the employees under your supervision has a disability that is getting worse and affecting their performance. Though they’re working as hard as they can, they continue to underperform. How do you handle this?
In your opinion, which quality is more important in a leader and why: empathy or determination.
The correct answer to each of the above questions depends on the type of culture you aim to promote in your company.
But if you want to hire a manager for the long haul, who will have a lasting positive influence on the company, you’ll want to look for an experienced and skilled communicator who is humble enough to make wise decisions and who leads with empathy.
What is gaslighting?
By: Bayou Trésors Staff
A young man catches his girlfriend going through the texts on his phone. So, he asks her why she was checking his text messages. Her response is a frown and an arched eyebrow as she says, “Are you crazy? I’d never do that.” The young man begins to doubt what he thought he caught her doing. Deep down, he knows he isn’t wrong.
But her reaction tells him that he must be. This young man is experiencing a form of gaslighting. According to Healthline, “Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that makes you question your beliefs and perception of reality. Over time, this type of manipulation can wear down your self-esteem and self-confidence, leaving you dependent on the person gaslighting you.” The example cited at the outset of this article may not be an extreme case of gaslighting. But it could be a red flag of what kind of manipulation the young man’s significant other is capable of.
Is gaslighting really abuse?
Healthline says, “Gaslighting isn’t always obvious or extreme. Often, it’s disguised as an attempt to ‘look out for you.’” This form of abuse may seem innocuous at first, but it can become dangerous over time. According to Medical News Today, “Gaslighting is an abusive practice that causes someone to distrust themselves or to believe they have a mental illness. The long-term effects of gaslighting may include anxiety, depression, trauma, and low self-esteem.” For example, suppose an adult who experienced a form of physical abuse as a child choose to approach the abuser with their memories and finds themselves being told that they’re either remembering the encounter incorrectly, forgetting that they brought it on themselves, or making up the experience altogether? How will continuing to hear such rebuffs affect the survivor? They might begin to believe the abuser. So, in addition to contending with the trauma of physical abuse, which can erode self-esteem, they may now find further reason for self-doubt. This can lead to depression and other mental health problems. Medical News Today says, “Some people feel that they can deal with the abuse, or they may try to justify it by saying that it is not as bad as physical abuse. However, as the Office on Women’s Health notes, emotional abuse has its own long term effects, and it is also often a sign that physical abuse will follow.”
How to create a healthier relationship
So, what can you do if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who gaslights you?
Before the situation worsens, it’s key that you establish boundaries with this individual and find a counselor or therapist to help you protect your self-esteem.
When it comes to setting boundaries, some relationships may be so detrimental that the proper boundary to set is one that ends the relationship.
Experts say if you’re in an abusive relationship, the best thing to do is create an exit plan.
But if the relationship is not abusive and your love for each other makes it salvageable, a counselor can help you both to establish new principles that highlight mutual respect.
According to Very Well Health, “Healthy boundaries allow each person in a relationship or family to communicate their wants and needs, while also respecting the wants and needs of others.”
The article goes on to list some examples of what boundaries look like in a healthy relationship:
Being able to say, "no," and accept when someone else says, "no"
Being able to clearly communicate both wants and needs
Honoring and respecting their own needs and the needs of others
Respecting others' values, beliefs, and opinions, even if they are different from one's own
Feeling free to disclose and share information where appropriate
Though they can be flexible, they do not compromise themselves in an unhealthy way.”
In either case, talking things out with a counselor can help you process what you’ve been through. Click here to access a list of counselors in Louisiana.
Prep Your Way to Better Public Speaking
By: Jada Bishop
Your legs are shaking, your hands tremble, you start sweating profusely, your mouth goes dry, and all of the sudden you forget your words. No, these aren’t the symptoms of the latest virus. Instead, these are the physical effects that many people feel when it comes to public speaking. Even though the task may seem overwhelming, being able to speak in front of an audience is a necessary skill to be able to promote your business or services. However, as daunting as it may seem, there are ways to reduce anxiety and become successful at public speaking.
The first way to become more comfortable speaking in front of an audience is to prepare your presentation well in advance. Become as knowledgeable about your topic as possible. This may involve researching current consumer trends, along with what alternate options are available versus what your business provides. Get to know the demographic that you want to reach. What are their daily concerns and challenges? How can the product or service that you’re offering help to improve their lives? You can find out information about your target demographic by conducting polls or by using direct questions on your business website or by means of social media. During your preparation, try to predict questions that your audience may have about your business, and how you will answer those questions thoroughly and effectively. The insight that you gain from your combined efforts of research, connecting with potential clients, and thinking ahead about possible questions will allow you to feel prepared for your public speaking engagement. When you’re prepared, you will feel less nervous, and your delivery will flow more smoothly.
Along with good preparation, when you come face to face with your audience, focus on how they will benefit from your message more than focusing on your own nervousness or what they will think of you. Directing your attention on the ways that your business will enhance the lives of your listeners will move you to convey your message with enthusiasm, and when you’re excited about your message, your audience will be more eager to hear it.
Lastly, go into your speaking engagement with the willingness and ability to be flexible. You may stumble over your words, or things may not go according to plan. Mentally prepare for how you will quickly recover if these challenges occur. If you show frustration or discomfort, it will make your audience uncomfortable too, but if you’re able to laugh at yourself or the inconvenience, your audience will be more likely to give you grace and maintain a positive view of your presentation. Even if your anxiety gets the best of you, and you struggle through your presentation, don’t give up! As with anything, the more that you practice public speaking, the more confident and skilled you will become.
Three ways to bring out the best in your team
By: Bayou Trésors Staff February 2023
Leading a group of people with varying personalities, backgrounds, and beliefs can be challenging. But leaders who use social intelligence and strategic teambuilding methods are often effective in guiding followers to success.
Three ways to do so are listed below.
Meet People Where They Are
Factors such as personality, health, life experience and education level can impact how a person perceives the world and their role in it. All of this impacts their approach to work. So, each employee will have different working styles based on the factors listed above. We may not be fond of certain working styles. Maybe a particular employee takes a bit more time than we would like to complete their tasks, but their work is always thoughtful and detailed. Instead of attempting to force them to be as fast as we are, we might take the time to get to know the employee. This will help us to understand why they have a slower and more thoughtful approach to their work. Meeting people where they are translates to taking the time to understand who they are and using empathy when communicating with them. Showing this kind of genuine interest in a team member and respectful consideration of their experience is likely to win you their loyalty and motivate them to want to perform well.
Boost each team member’s confidence in their own abilities by first of all, getting to know their long-term career goals and then helping them forge a path towards those dreams. All the while, build their self-belief by showing that you believe in their abilities. You might do this by providing supplemental training that will advance them towards their career goals. So, the goal is to help employees feel valuable, competent and effective as leaders. This will empower them to perform to the best of their abilities.
When Appropriate, Give Them Space To Work
The temptation to micromanage is strong. But leaving a competent employee with a well-defined task and the assurance that your door is always open should they have questions is all that’s needed for them to complete a project.
If they’ve been trained well, they should be able to handle most aspects of a task on their own. In fact, micromanaging a capable employee may do nothing more than weaken their self-confidence. They might assume that you keep checking in on them because you don’t trust them to do well.
So, where possible, provide each team member with the necessary space to own their projects.
Essentially, the three suggestions listed above boil down to two factors, communicating effectively and showing respect to employees.
When communication is open, clear, and simple, you’re able to learn who the employee really is and what they want out of their career. This will let you know how to meet them on their level and guide them on the path to pursuing their career goals. And when you show respect to each team member you’ll naturally give them the space they need to complete tasks on their own.
Hopefully, these skills will be useful as you lead your team to success!
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Leading a team towards a goal can be a daunting task. This is true of any endeavor that requires leadership, whether it’s coaching a basketball team, managing a family as a single parent, running a company, or even corralling a team of sleigh dogs. In my over two decades of working with over a dozen supervisors and personally taking on multiple supervisory roles, I’ve noticed that the most effective leaders have four major qualities. No matter their personalities, the successful team leaders and managers I’ve had the privilege of observing excel in displaying these four qualities:
The best leaders are DECISIVE.
A leader who can make thoughtful decisions swiftly keeps the team moving forward at a steady pace and in so doing, earns the respect of their colleagues. This is accomplished by quickly weighing one’s options with the company’s mission and ultimate goal. For example, the owner of a restaurant in a small town might be approached by an employee who suggests they order new, larger, and ultra-modern signage that will attract customers from the nearby city. To make a wise yet swift decision, the owner will want to consider how their response will affect the company’s mission and ultimate goal. Let’s say the restaurant’s mission involves the idea that the restaurant is small, local, family-owned and aims to treat both customers and employees like family and that the ultimate goal is to keep the local customers they have. The owner’s response must take all of these factors into consideration. So, they might choose to respond to the employee with the same warmth and commendation they’d offer to a family member and gently explain that while this is a great idea, they’d like to keep the current signage because it does well in attracting local customers, which is the current goal. But they might ask praise the employee for their creativity and invite them to share any other ideas they’ve had about the restaurant. The ensuing conversation just may lead to an exchange of ideas that could actually be implemented. By making a decision that was in harmony with the company’s mission and goals, the owner protected their interests- the company itself and the morale of the individuals who represent/work for the company.
The best leaders are EXCELLENT COMMUNICATORS
A leader who is transparent about their goals for the team and their plan to achieve these goals fosters unity among those who are working towards these objectives. When people understand what direction they’re headed in and why, they’re more likely to do what’s necessary to promote each step forward. For example, if an employee is asked to stay an extra hour at work on Tuesdays beginning next week and isn’t given any explanation as to why, they’ll likely bristle at the command. They may even refuse to do so. This is understandable because people typically like to know why they’re being asked to carry out various tasks and how the task will affect them. So, let’s say the supervisor approached this scenario differently. Weeks before the change in schedule is set to take place, the supervisor takes the employee aside and says something like, “I’d like to give you an option. We’re considering giving our most effective employees a bump in pay and added responsibilities. Our goal is to work more closely with our most talented employees in carrying out some new ideas that we hope will increase the company’s brand awareness. So, if we give you a new title and shift your schedule so that you work until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays with overtime pay, how would you feel about that? It means you’d see a $200 increase on your paycheck, and you don’t have to let me know if you agree right away. The change wouldn’t take place until next month. So, you have three weeks to think about it.” The risk is that the employee might disagree and say they’d rather not. But at least they’re given advance notice of what the company is doing, they understand why they’re being asked to change their schedule, and they’re dignified by being presented with an option instead of a command. This is an example of effective communication. It allows the individuals who are the driving force in moving the company in a certain direction to understand which direction they’re aiming for and why.
The best leaders are RELIABLE
A leader who has a track record of showing up on time, fulfilling their promises, and doing precisely what they’ve said they will do contributes to a feeling of wellbeing among their team members. The people who they work with feel secure, knowing that when their leaders say something will happen, it will happen. If a supervisor has excellent communication skills, but nothing they say can be trusted, what happens? They lose the respect of their colleagues. So, if an employer promises their staff raises at the start of the year, the staff should receive raises at the start of the year. Along those lines, if an employer says they’re going to lead a team meeting at 10 a.m., barring unforeseen circumstances, they should be at the team meeting no later than 10 a.m. Fulfilling obligations implies respect the other people who are impacted by those obligations and it implies that a person is trustworthy. Employees work more efficiently when they feel their leaders respect them and that their leaders are trustworthy.
The best leaders display HUMILITY.
Humility may not be a word that immediately comes to mind when we think of a leader, but when you think about it, an impressive amount of strength is required to ward off arrogance and display humility. Humility allows a leader to learn from mistakes, pivot as needed, and rely on the advice and skills of team members who are more developed in certain areas than they are. Instead of believing that they can do everything better than anyone else, a wise leader hires and leverages the talent of individuals s/he believes are more capable at certain tasks than they are. The leader has no problem frequently seeking out these employees for advice and differing to the suggestions received. By humbly delegating responsibilities to others without micro-managing them, the leader not only protects their ability to function by not putting too much on their own plate, but they also show that they respect the experience, training, and perspectives of their colleagues. Humility also helps leaders to realize when one of their plans is not working and to shift to a new plan. Sometimes, arrogance can be blinding, and it can keep a person moving down a faulty path, which is disastrous. But a leader who has humility is able to see things as they are, and when they see they’ve made a bad decision and need to pivot, humility gives them both the foresight and strength to do so.
It’s not easy to consistently act with decisiveness, communicate effectively, maintain a track record of reliability, and display humility. But the CEOs, managers, and supervisors who continue working to develop these qualities will find themselves enjoying one success after another.