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Are You Getting What You See or Expect?

It isn’t unusual to hear organizations lamenting the challenges of dealing with workers in today’s culture. The quiet quitting so prevalent now lends some legitimacy to that frustration. Yet, as a leader, are you getting what you see and what role do your expectations play in this circumstance? What role does leadership play? How do expectations impact the employer/employee relationship? And, is it true that what you see or expect is what you get?

In 1971 (Yes, before many of you were born), a band named The Dramatics produced a song entitled, Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get.” The song is in the funk genre. While the lyrics speak about a love interest, the concept applies to many circumstances, especially regarding what employers see in employees; what you see or expect is what you get.

The Power of Expectations

The expectations I am writing about are not the job description expectations but read more…

How Are You Engaged in Being Part of the Solution?

For the last ten months, I have been on a mission to recognize and thank the people showing up for work every day. It has been easy to do, considering how grateful I am as a consumer that these people make sure we have the products we need for our daily lives. Currently, businesses struggle to find talent in this tight labor market. Part of the solution is supporting those who show up to help make things better. The responses I get tell me how important this simple recognition process is to those on the receiving end and the difference it makes. How are you engaged in being part of the solution?

Unsurprisingly, those who are showing up for work carry a heavier load now due to the lack of workers. Someone must pick up the slack for those who have decided not to be part of the workforce. And that “someone” is the read more…

Are You Using the Essential Tools for Success?

Recently I came across a book review for The Hero Code about the ten virtues of a hero. In reviewing the list, it occurred to me how important those same virtues are in leaders of people. The virtues on that list are all related to the emotional intelligence (EQ) skills.  Both are essential tools for success as a leader and happiness. I am going to highlight three of the ten virtues in this blog. My goal is not to create leaders as heroes but to show the importance of these virtues to excel in leadership.

Which of these are an opportunity for you?

The list starts with the virtue of courage. I wrote about courage almost a year ago in this blog. Leaders need the courage to step into the often-daunting task of leading complex human beings and not being passive in their approach. For instance, read more…

The Power of Civility

We have all recently been “treated” to a prime example of a lack of civility. One didn’t even need to watch the Oscars to see the dust-up of an actor slapping a comedian on national TV because of something the comedian said. That moment was broadcast numerous times on various outlets since. The actor’s actions demonstrated the disempowerment of being uncivil and a lack of emotional intelligence. Many people believe that being uncivil gives them some power, a one-upmanship, and it sounds like, “I showed him!” Perhaps that is what the actor who slapped the comedian was thinking as he walked away. The power of civility would have been a better choice.

Civility is a read more…

How Your Emotional Intelligence Supports Your Goals

At the start of the new year, many are focused on creating better habits. Self-improvement is a driving force in most New Year’s resolutions. As the weeks fly by, the commitment to improvement starts to wane, often sidelined by excuses. Your emotional intelligence influences whether you make excuses or take responsibility for achieving your goals. So, two months into the new year is an excellent time to assess how your emotional intelligence supports your goals.

Two Factors Impacting Goals- Excuse-Making or  read more…

Three Quick Tips for a Peaceful and Joy-Filled Holiday

Songs proclaim this as the most wonderful time of the year. Yet, as we move into Christmas week, stress levels often rise while meeting the time and task demands. If you want to create some peace and joy for your end-of-year holiday season, consider implementing the tips below.

Turn off the “news.” Sadly, too much of the “news” is filled with promoting division and fear. As a result, with stress levels already high, watching what passes for news these days will do nothing to reduce your stress. According to a Digital Third Coast survey, 68% of those who answered the survey reported feeling anxious about the news. In the same study, 65% to 67% of respondents felt overwhelmed by the news. Instead, fill your home and mind with something that brings out the best in your and your family members. Try listening to some Christmas music, or watch your favorite Christmas or inspirational shows instead of the news.

Step away from social media. Few people show up as their best selves while on these platforms. Studies show that people who use less social media have better mental health outcomes. Less time on these platforms also decreases depression and loneliness. Give yourself a break from the negative impacts of social media and spend the time baking cookies or reading a good book. The smell of baking cookies is also a mood enhancer.

Practice being more gracious. As you gather with family or friends, remember the reason for the season, and practice being gracious. Merriam Webster defines graciousness as “a) marked by kindness and courtesy, a gracious host, and b) characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit”. Do your best to steer people away from divisive arguments and focus instead on recalling favorite holiday memories or traditions or favorite gifts from past holidays. If someone starts to go down a divisive road, take a deep breath, graciously acknowledge them, and redirect the conversation.

The Christmas season is a time for joy. You can create that joy and peace by being more intentional and slightly changing your routine and typical stress responses. Give it a try for the remainder of this year. You may find that it becomes your new normal, improving your mental and physical well-being and setting you up for a healthier, less stressed New Year.

We wish you and yours a joyful Christmas and a safe and blessed New Year!

How Is Your “Shoulding” Leading To Conflict?

Do you find yourself “shoulding” on others more now than before? Are you feeling increased tension between you and co-workers, family, or friends? How is your “shoulding” leading to conflict? Consider how you respond when someone “shoulds” on you.” Even when a “should” comes from a trusted advisor, how do you react?

What is “shoulding”? It is deciding for someone else what they should be doing, saying, or thinking. “Shoulding” is steeped in judgment, fed by emotions and opinion, and is leading to conflict within or between other parties. We are naturally emotional and judgmental beings as humans. Those two characteristics make us humans wonderfully complex. Yet, read more…

What Is Influencing Your Ability To Discern?

Our ability to discern is an essential skill during challenging times. Surveys and research indicate that many people are in a more reactive mode these days. An experience I had at a conference several years ago taught me a valuable lesson about discernment.

While at the conference, I was able to ski at Snowmass in Colorado with one of my favorite ski buddies. Wherever I ski with Mike, he lightheartedly challenges and encourages me to elevate my skiing skills. And this was one of those times.

A fun lesson

We headed out early one morning to take advantage of about 4 to 5 inches of fresh Colorado champagne powder. Luckily, we were two of the first people on this particular run, dotted with trees and challenging changes in terrain. The only downside was that it was cloudy, which made the light flat. If you have ever skied in flat light, you know how difficult it can be to make out nuances of the run. My comfort level in skiing is for semi-steep, groomed runs so I can tuck and ski fast, being on that edge that if I fall, I might die (well, not really die, but get a good adrenaline rush anyway.) The flat light conditions definitely took me out of my comfort zone.

As Mike and I were skiing this beautiful fresh snow, I struggled with my footing and form. I couldn’t make out the depth of field due to the flat light, so I was stiff and cautious in my skiing. As a result, I was getting frustrated and stressed. My emotions were running high and getting the best of me and I was ready to bail out of skiing for the day.

We did about a half a dozen runs in those conditions, and then on a chairlift ride back to the top, read more…

Harnessing the Power of Courage

Lessons on courage and resilience can come from unlikely sources. Recently, I was blessed to spend some time with my grandnieces and grandnephew, who live out of town. The girls are 6-year-old twins, and my grandnephew is eight years old. Their grandparents and I took them on an adventure to the pool at the rec center. What transpired was an important reminder of the power of courage and resilience.

The pool has a sizable water slide my grandnephew was eyeing upon our arrival. After about 30 minutes, he decided he wanted to give it a try. His grandmother took him over to wait in line and helped him put on a small life vest. When his turn came, he excitedly climbed the nearly three stories of stairs and approached the top of the slide. After a few seconds, he turned read more…

Keys to Effectively Leading People Through Change

Many organizations are looking to bring people back to the workplace in the coming months. Initially, it may be just a few days a week. Amazon signaled back in March that they will be returning to an office-centric environment. These changes will be cause for celebration for many and cause for concern for others. Leading people effectively through change requires several skills. An understanding of human behavior is vital.

The changes people had to implement in their work and their lives in 2020 were unprecedented, disruptive, and unexpected. Most changes were often viewed read more…