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Volkmar Vรถlzke'sย BLOG


๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Five Typical Expressions - Decoded

For managers, it is particularly crucial to express themselves clearly and unambiguously on the one hand and to understand others correctly on the other.

This is often more difficult than it sounds. Because we all use "coded language." That is, we say one thing but actually mean something else.

This discrepancy between what we say and what we mean often goes so far that we no longer even notice it ourselves. So we use a personal code for certain expressions of our language.

This may sound frightening, but it is completely normal. Difficulties arise when we have different "decoding programs", i.e. when we associate something different with the sender's words than the sender means (whether consciously or unconsciously).

If you as a manager know the most important coded language elements, you can firstly consciously control your own usage and secondly understand others much better.

Here are 5 typical coded phrases that actually mean something other than what the words say:

  1. "I don't...

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๐Ÿ’ฅ What To Do When Plans Blow Up?

Setbacks are part of life. Shattered plans are simply part of the game if you want to achieve anything.

Because if you only play it safe, you'll have fewer setbacks, but you'll also hardly make any progress.

Especially in leadership, this simple insight is crucial: If you try to "get through" all your plans and see the opposite as negative, you will always fall short of your potential.

If we always knew in advance what would work and what wouldn't, life would be very simple. But it is not!

In addition, there is another helpful insight: setbacks are almost never fatal. In the vast majority of cases, we can go on afterwards, and often even better than before.

A third point is that the most successful people see broken plans as a breeding ground for something new, according to the motto: “Stumble, get up, keep going".

So how can you apply these insights practically and use your burst plans constructively in leadership and beyond? Here are three tips:

  1. Apply the belief:...

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๐Ÿคฆ Another 3 Important Leadership Mistakes

We all make mistakes all the time. Or to put it another way: we do things that do not optimally advance us and others, but hinder us in some way.

This is quite normal so far. However, there are various mistakes in everyday leadership that most people are not even aware of, but which nevertheless have a strong negative effect.

Since the first step to any positive change is always the awareness of today's deficits and mistakes, I have exactly this as a topic in my coaching practice time and again.

It is all about recognizing and lifting the true potential that lies within all of us in an absolutely positive sense.

And the easiest way to do this is often to stop doing certain things that prevent us from moving forward.

Some time ago ( here's the post) I had written about three hidden leadership mistakes:

  • Lack of clarity and lack of focus
  • Too much tolerance
  • Not having a sparring partner

In principle, the list is inexhaustible. The problem is that we often have little awareness of the...

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๐Ÿš€ 5 Unusual Productivity Tips

High productivity is a topic that usually comes across as a little "unsexy", but it has a huge impact on your success and fulfillment.

This is especially true in leadership: If you as a leader significantly increase your productivity, you will have more time and energy to take care of the really important things, like developing your people or establishing strategic directions.

Most leaders I know complain about "too little time." In other words, their productivity is too low. So it's about time to work on this issue more intensively.

An important insight at the beginning: We all can always become more productive, i.e. achieve significantly more with the same input or the same results with significantly less input.

The difference in productivity can easily be a factor of 10, 100 or even 1000.

There are various methods how you can achieve this. I'll go into that elsewhere (or contact me for more info).

Here in this memo, I'll give you five somewhat unusual tips that can have a...

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๐Ÿ† Why You Should Stop Wanting To Win

Even if it sounds surprising: we often get in our own way because we want to win too much.

And even worse: we frustrate others with it. This is especially significant if you are a leader.

What do I mean by that?

Well, there is a delicate line between wanting to win for the sake of the cause (because it really does get us better results) and wanting to win for the sake of our own ego.

We all have an ego to a greater or lesser degree - no exception.

In most cases this is positive, because it is reflected in healthy self-confidence and also helps us to assert important interests.

However, the ego also leads us to want to win on issues that are actually unimportant. Sometimes there is no other reason to stand up for ourselves than to satisfy our ego.

Remember the last argument you had: to what extent was it really about the cause (and was arguing the best way to do that?) and to what extent was it about our own ego, which you saw hurt?

In conflicts, ego almost always plays the bigger...

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๐Ÿ”œ Why You Will Be A Different Person In 5 Years

The following concept is extremely powerful if you want to achieve great things and also become more fulfilled - be it for yourself, your team or your company.

Let me explain: Most changes in our lives happen so slowly that we hardly notice them.

And so we hardly notice that we are a different person today than we were five years ago. You think differently, you have different priorities, maybe your aspirations have evolved, you make different choices, and so on.

When you first hear this, you may be a little incredulous. That's normal. But take a closer look: you will clearly notice differences between the present you and the past you.

The same is true, of course, when we look into the future: You will be someone different in 5 years than you are today.

Of course, this development goes faster the more external influences there are in your life.

And what I'm explaining here for one person applies just as much to a team or even an entire company.

Here's the point: Either you let...

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๐Ÿ”ญ How To Learn To See More Opportunities

One of the most important characteristics of outstanding leaders is to seize opportunities.

Don't you sometimes wish you could take a big step forward by jumping on a good opportunity?

It makes sense, especially if you are a leader. After all, you want to move your team or company forward.

However, it is often extremely difficult to recognize opportunities at all.

Time and again, when one person sees a huge opportunity and takes advantage of it, the other person carelessly passes it by.

Why is that?

Well, most opportunities also involve a certain risk. At least the risk that you have to leave your chosen path - even if only mentally.

But our standard evolutionary programming emphasizes safety. In other words: We are programmed not to see great opportunities in the first place. Because they mean danger.

Of course, the whole thing runs completely unconsciously. Instead, we love incremental progress. In other words, progress in small, manageable steps. We can then also stay mostly...

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๐Ÿ”† 3 Ways To Be A Role Model

In these times, it's more important than ever: we need more people who behave in an exemplary manner.

This is most important for all leaders. They are constantly modeled anyway, and often unconsciously.

As I keep emphasizing, the essence of leadership is exerting influence. Without influence, there is no leadership.

One of the best and most effective ways to increase influence is to continually be a role model and act accordingly.

Think of the most effective leaders in politics and business: they are always role models for their respective followers.

Unfortunately, sometimes we don't behave exemplarily at all and don't even realize it.

So here are the three most effective ways to be a role model:

  1. Showing full presence.

    The most exemplary leaders manage to be extremely present - even when things get hectic.

    Presence means giving your counterpart your undivided attention for the time you spend together.

    Especially in today's world, where everyone hides behind their smartphones and...

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๐Ÿค— The 7 Most Common Mistakes When Praising

Appreciation is one of the most important levers of influence. And influence, in turn, characterizes leadership effectiveness.

So if you build the habit of expressing appreciation more often and more effectively, you will become a better leader.

The challenge here is that there are many traps in showing appreciation.

If you fall into these traps - and many of them are quite hidden - you can have the exact opposite effect of what you want. As a result, you diminish your impact, sometimes permanently.

So here are the seven biggest praise mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

  1. Praise only the result

    This may be surprising for many, but the exclusive praise and appreciation of the result leads us to associate the positive emotion with the achievement.

    Among other things, this leads us to try only those things that are quite certain to bring us a result. The motivation to try something new or to take risks will decrease more and more.

    What you should do instead: value personal effort...

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๐Ÿ’ฐ What Price Are You Willing To Pay?

All of life consists of a series of trade-offs, of choices between different alternatives:

If you do one thing, you usually can't do another at the same time. If you go to the mountains on vacation, you can't go to the sea at the same time (this was a typical family trade-off in my childhood, which is why we went to the mountains one year and to the sea the next).

Of course, there is also often the possibility of combining multiple activities or increasing efforts to pursue just more than one thing after all.

Elon Musk did manage to ramp up SpaceX and Tesla simultaneously (three days a week each for one, and three days for the other), but even he couldn't have scaled five other companies at the same time.

The threshold may be different, but ultimately we have to keep choosing between alternatives.

That's a central mantra of modern essentialism: most people have so many things going on at once that they're not only burned out and frustrated, they're barely moving anything forward...

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