Why You Should Put a Little More Thought Into Your Out-of-Office Message

Posted on October 14, 2018

This HBR article written by Michelle Gielan,

Positive Psychology researcher gives a surprising view of Out-Of-Office (OOO) messages.  She gives ideas as to how we can use the message to build social connections which, research finds that social connection, which adds meaning and depth to our relationships, is the greatest predictor of long-term levels of happiness, and can be a major contributing factor to our performance at work.  She also offers some creative examples beyond the boring OOO that can forge conversational sharing and ways to be offer resources to your clients while letting them know that you are away.

Benjamin Franklin built his character around 13 virtues — and following his weekly plan could change your life

Posted on January 19, 2018

 

When I start to work with a client, I ask them to define what their values/virtues and strengths are — taking the VIA strengths survey helps to determine them.  Then I ask them to rate their top 6 values each day on a scale of 1 -10.  This exercise was also practiced by one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin.  Read this article on how esteemed Mr. Franklin defined his values and then contemplated each day how he used them.  How many years later and we are still talking about Ben?  I would say his method of defining his virtues and living them out served him well … and us.

A simple question that can help your intimate relationship grow and become stronger

Posted on January 2, 2018

Three simple (yet challenging to practice) behaviors can help in making intimate relationships stronger: Taking accountability for one’s own behavior, speaking from the heart and realizing what “true love” really means.  In this blog post, novelist Richard Paul Evans reveals how asking his partner a simple question each day using behaviors mentioned above not only saved his marriage — but has also lead to a fuller, more meaningful relationship.

Making emotionally intelligent friendships

Posted on December 19, 2017

From Socrates who taught us to “know thyself” and “the unexamined life is not worth living” and to Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People… across the millennia we have heard themes of the importance of gaining and maintaining relationships.   This brief article reviews recent studies on how developing emotional intimacy is a key in having a healthy understanding of ourselves which leads to attracting and maintaining emotionally rewarding relationships. Emotions you say, isn’t that “touchy feely?”…emotional intimacy is what is often called “emotional/social intelligence” and, the gaining of such, can lead to more successful outcomes in both work and family life.

Allow Yourself to Rest

Posted on December 12, 2017

Allow Yourself to RestParticularly as the holidays descend upon us and the seasons change, it is helpful to remind ourselves of the importance of self care.  In our work life, it is challenging to unplug from the “E-Leash” which makes true rest and relaxation harder to attain as the electronic devices can distract us and cause a felt sense of vigilance. This article gives some simple mindful activities to do in order to move you into deeper rest-when you remember to take the time to do so.  The author has developed simple practices one can take on to focus on the present moment, tune into your breath and begin the relaxation process.

This Is How To Create Happy Memories That Will Last A Lifetime: 3 Secrets From Research

Posted on November 12, 2017

It’s fascinating what causes people to remember certain experiences, activities, and times in their lives.  Yet, most of the time we wonder what we did last week that was meaningful or, how fast time is going by and … what is there to show for it?  This article describes the research behind what makes certain events memorable and how to create more of them to savor and enjoy the life we have.  Here are some hints:  tell a employee that you appreciate their work, celebrate getting past a disagreement and remaining friends, mark a memory with a ritual that involves a sensory delight…live your life and look to make more moments of connection and gratitude.

How to Build Resilience in Mid-Life

Posted on August 23, 2017

Building Resilence in Mid-lifeResilience, defined by most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity, is widely considered now an important behavior to nurture well-being and healing from life’s challenges. This article outlines specific ways one can practice and develop resilience to manage the stresses living a life may bring.

Turning Negative Thinkers into Positive Ones

Posted on August 3, 2017

We all know negative thinking when we hear it, the challenge is managing our own negative thoughts even in the face of hearing the “half empty glass” dialogue of others.  This article by NYT health editor Jane Brody describes the compelling research of current social scientists whose data suggests that developing positive emotions in oneself promotes healthy bodies, minds and more life satisfaction.

This is How to Be More Productive: 4 Secrets from the Stoics

Posted on June 12, 2017

The Stoics were those Roman and Greek philosophers who flourished in and around the 3rd Century. The Stoic philosophers promtoed ways to manage one’s minds to have a better understanding of the natural world, to be open to a broader view of life beyond pleasure and pain and, to treat others in a fair and just way.

Sounds like a great formula for team work?  Yes, and we can also learn a lot from the Stoics about choosing the right actions and priorities which can aid our productive habits.  Read on about tips regarding how we think about our time and effort can lead to being  more productive, ultimately leading to contributing your talents most effectively.

Be the Authentic Leader Your People Need

Posted on May 11, 2017

Many leaders are unaware of how their lack of authenticity chips away at people, breeding dissatisfaction, distrust and disloyalty. Organizational effectiveness and productivity suffer when workers view leaders as inauthentic.

One out of three people distrusts his or her employer, according to the 2017 Edelman “Trust Barometer.” Four out of five don’t see authenticity in their leaders’ performance. When only 20 percent of leaders come across as genuine, they handicap their organizations with insufficient influence, poor worker engagement and, ultimately, disappointing corporate results.

The Real Deal

Authenticity is an emotionally vital state of well-being for employees—one that heavily relies on a leader’s consistent true-ness, explains consultant Karissa Thacker in The Art of Authenticity (Wiley, 2016). Being authentic encompasses several other key leadership mandates:

1. Be self-aware.
2. Earn respect.
3. Connect.
4. Convey credibility.
5. Earn trust.

Be Self-Aware

Great leaders know themselves well, notes Brenda Ellington Booth, a clinical professor of management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

When you recognize your limitations and weaknesses, you can openly admit to them, learn to compensate and find workable solutions. Focusing on self-improvement, with an emphasis on asking others to assist you, is as authentic as it gets.

Leaders who fully understand and express their vision are clearer about promoting it—and more successful in getting others to believe in it.

Earn Respect

Being respected begins with showing respect to others, both upline and downline in your organization. Model respect for everyone to imitate, and it will be contagious.

The phrase “leading by example” is more than a suggestion. Leaders who model the behavior they want their organizations to exhibit make the most effective strides in establishing a healthy culture. Employees respect leaders who walk the talk.

Humility, expressed as a willingness to listen to and learn from others, is one of the most effective ways to earn respect, asserts leadership coach Brent Gleeson in his Inc.com article, “7 Simple Ways to Lead by Example.” Authentic leaders recognize they don’t have all the answers, and probably never will. Soliciting others’ ideas showers them with affirmation.

Connect

Sincere leaders say what they mean and mean what they say. A genuine, relational approach to people shows them they’re valued, Booth notes. When they see a leader who’s interested in them, they’ll reciprocate, which fuels engagement and productivity.

Relationships ascend to the next level when you seek feedback from your staff, especially regarding how they’re being managed. Your willingness to listen demonstrates an authentic sense of vulnerability that reveals courage, candor and caring.

Convey Credibility

People don’t believe leaders who exhibit questionable behavior. Being true, inwardly and outwardly, avoids this potential pitfall.

Trueness to oneself is the most basic form of genuineness, which aligns with authenticity. Be the real you. Faking things is deceptive and eventually evident to all. People aren’t fooled for long. They’ll question and distrust inconsistencies. Being true to yourself requires healthy self-awareness and self-worth. Who you are is the person people will see, and it’s the noble character in you they want to see.

Consistency in trueness builds credibility. People know who they’ll face day in and day out, through good and tough times. Great leaders have trained themselves to proactively discern the high road and take it, with honorable motives.

Honesty shouldn’t be the best policy; it should be the only policy. Leaders caught in a lie inflict damage to themselves and those around them.

Exercise judgment when truth must be guarded. Confidentiality is required for credibility. Sensitive, personal or private information must be handled carefully and discreetly. Don’t jump to conclusions or make decisions based on assumptions or rumors. Once inappropriate things are said or misinformation falls into the wrong hands, it cannot be retracted.

Earn Trust

Establishing a system of personal checks and balances conveys the importance of accountability. Submitting to the authority of peers or top leaders helps assure people that the decisions governing them can be trusted as prudent and beneficial for everyone (catering to their inward need for safety and assurance).

When you accept blame for errors and give credit for victories, you’re demonstrating accountability and setting the stage for greater trust. Your actions place value on the most appropriate people: those doing the work. Without your people, you accomplish nothing, so be sure to express appreciation. You’ll be rewarded with their trust.

The greatest leaders give their people the most freedom possible to make decisions, pushing authority down to the most foundational level. This is a powerful sign of trust in staff, and it is returned with something just as powerful: trust in the leader. Employees free from overcontrol and micromanaging acquire a sense of empowerment that raises productivity and innovation.

Finally, authentic leaders are flexible. They adapt to shifting situations and go off script if needed, always keeping in mind their people’s well-being. Sticking to routines or insisting on preferences shows inflexibility, which is usually self-serving. Your willingness to change plans in response to a challenge or crisis, with authentic good judgment, is a sign of your trustworthiness.

You owe it to yourself and your people to continually refine your character and insights, as well as think and respond in credible, authentic ways. Work toward making effective decisions and powerful impressions that draw your people into an engaging and productive unity you never thought possible. Let an experienced leadership coach assist with the areas that challenge you the most.