How to Build Engagement, Buy-In, and Success During a Period of Transformation, Transition or Change

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by Irene Becker, CSO, Just Coach It   |  3Q Leadership Blog   

How can YOU improve personal and professional results? Inspire the best in yourself and others?  Become an agent of change? A pragmatic optimist and effective leader?

Here are ten proven ways to build your ultimate advantage the cognitive dexterity, emotional dexterity and the change agency you need to survive and thrive personally and professionally (your 3Q Edge).  Enjoy the following tips, and remember small changes and repetition will take you forward faster, smarter and with less stress or frustration than before. (Scroll down to Cool Tools that can be done in 5 minutes or less.)

1. Position the current transition or transformation as a tremendous personal and professional growth opportunity. Becoming an agent of change is not only an organizational mandate but a personal and professional success step because engaging our ability to develop a new relationship with change, with ourselves and others is the best way forward.

2. Get pragmatically optimistic, brain smart (maybe even inspired) by what YOU CAN do.
Science confirms that we you can reset habitual patterns of thinking, communicating and doing (neuroplasticity) and doing so can even help get smarter (neurogenesis).

We are all wired for primal times when we were surrounded by predators and finding negative or threatening things in our environment was the way to survive, but you can turn this around by developing a future-ready 3Q mindset!

3. Become a solution focused, solution driven and inspiring leader by building your 3Q edge. Traditional leadership development focuses on adding new tools and competencies (horizontal development).  3Q Leadership development focuses on developing the mindset that facilitates and accelerates cognitive, emotional and leadership dexterity (vertical development) while building skills.  How can you start to build your 3Q Edge?  Start now by incorporating “cool tools” (free, simple, powerful exercises that take less than 5 minutes a day) and can help you become positive, growth focused and future ready.

4. Don’t ruminate, germinate.  Generate the feelings and building the mindset that will help you adapt, evolve and GROW by developing a mantra (a few simple, powerful words) that will help you let go of the habit of thinking that causes negativity, doubt or reactivity. Expect miracles because you are one. 

5. Purpose equals profit on a professional, personal and human level. Remember that the one common denominator among all personality types is that human beings thrive on being part of a bigger picture and feeling that they are making a positive contribution, that their work is valued and appreciated. Emotion is always stronger than logic and if you can tap into the values, purpose and emotion that motivates a person you can move mountains and molehills. 

6. Listen well, connect before you correct (or voice your opinion or agreement). People need to feel that what they have to say is important in order to really engage, and they must feel trust to embrace any kind of change.  You do not have to agree with someone to listen, you simply need to give them the space to speak.  Modelling the words, intonations, pace of speaking, and using similar body language because we are primally wired to like people who are like us (our tribe).

7. Science confirms that a little bit of positivity can make an enormous difference because positive comments cause our bodies to produce happy chemicals like oxytocin and the memories, we retain are those that produce a strong chemical reaction! Something as simple as putting a post it note saying, thank you or great work has been known to increase engagement and performance.

8. Become a pragmatic optimist and model this way of thinking because negativity does not create solution-based thinking. Science confirms we do our best work when happy/positive. Conversely, negativity causes stress which then restricts the blood flow to our prefrontal cortex which impairs the ability to think and reason in a normal manner.

9. Set clear expectations, encourage honest feedback and ask questions that drive engagement, insight, collaboration. Get a head start on success and/or failing forward fast by helping to create a transparent environment that fosters feedback and by asking questions that are solution driven, drive engagement and new insights.

10. Remember that good leaders are meaning makers.  The overarching driver of engagement is an alignment of values and meaning described by researchers as a common purpose and a shared sense of meaning at work. Ask questions that inspire purpose, values alignment and meaning. Build your 3Q leadership skills and help peers and team members build theirs.

Here are some simple, powerful and FREE Cool Tools you can use in as little as 5 minutes a day to build your 3Q Edge (cognitive dexterity, emotional dexterity, 21st century leadership and results).

Help your people develop a new mindset and build their edge by using the cool tools that follow.  They cannot say they are too busy because each tool takes less than 5 minutes a day, is free and can be done almost anywhere. Invest 5-10 minutes a day in developing your most important personal and professional advantage; emotional and cognitive dexterity-your 3Q Edge. Doing so can be fun and simple.

  • Identify the path (walking/driving) you prefer, then take a different one.
  • In a similar vein in your personal life, experiment with taking one old habit every week and tossing it out the window or changing it.
  • Walk down a street you are familiar with and search for something you have never seen or noticed before.  The results will surprise you!
  • Uplift your posture. There are few more powerful ways to raise and sustain energy than to ease your posture upward, which frees your breathing and raises your energy level.
  • Stretch your Strengths by applying them in new ways.
  • Try writing a few sentences in the reverse direction, or with your opposing hand.
  • Embrace new experiences.  Focus on learning from everything! What you focus on grows, and a positive focus on learning will expand your learning potential.
  • Change at least one routine every day.
  • Pause for 10 seconds before you respond.  Taking your ego (need to be validated) out of the equation and refocusing you on your objective.
  • Take charge of tension by releasing it, fast.  Clench whatever part of your body is tense and release it.  Even better, do your whole-body clenching & releasing.
  • Do The Pause. Yes, a mindfulness exercise that is transformative if practiced regularly
  • Sip ice water. Fluids move hormones into exactly the right places for sustaining energy, and those same fluids eliminate toxic wastes that can accumulate and wear you down.
  • Move more. Inactivity is an unnatural state for us, and it limits energy production.
  • Laugh more, smile more. Laughing gives your brain an aerobic workout and is an excellent stress reliever and mood booster.  Smiling automatically elevates our mood.
  • Keep an emotional journal that is for your eyes only.  A safe space on paper where you can write out your deepest emotions, releasing the tension associated with them.
  • Take a 1-minute time out.  Block out all stress or worries.  Think about something that really makes you happy.  Yes, take a happiness time out!


Devote 5 minutes a day for seven days to staying on top of your game!

Try one or two on for size and remember that trying a strategy or exercise means using it consistently for at least a week.  Share your results on the blog or write to me directly  mailto:irene@justcoachit.com

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