Grit is so important to goal accomplishment and success that I decided to share some golden nuggets of wisdom from both the book and the podcast right here in this post, to get you started. In this blog post, I’ll share some of Caroline’s thoughts and ideas on what is grit, specifically her concept of authentic grit, why we need to cultivate more grit in our culture, the good and bad types of grit, and how to grow your grit by adding the ingredients required for grit according to Caroline’s ‘grit recipe’.Read More
Humans in general, and especially leaders, we love to teach others.
We love to tell others what they should do.
We enjoy giving advice.
So if somebody comes to us and says, “I’m struggling with this or I don’t know how to do that,” we feel so much pressure to solve their problem for them. To be smart. To have all the answers.
Two world-leading coaching experts, Michael Bungay Stanier and Dr. Marcia Reynolds, agree it’s a mistake many leaders make. In this blog post, I share their advice (oh, the irony!) as given on my leadership podcast, the TalentGrow Show, on why leaders should stop doling out so much advice and what to do instead.Read More
Does listening involve just your ears? Halelly Azulay of TalentGrow says definitely not. In this short video blog (vlog), she describes the commonly experienced negative effects of distracted listening and why you should stop doing that to people you care about. This advice is crucial for leaders of all levels (but it will also help you in your personal relationships).Read More
Last week I visited sunny Ft. Lauderdale to speak at a financial services association’s conference about how to radically transform the way in which we do performance appraisals. The number one tip of the 5 best practices for a better performance management approach I shared with the audience is this: Make performance feedback an ongoing and informal practice. Ongoing, regular, and timely conversations with employees about performance, goals, career, and feedback contribute tremendously to their current and future level of performance and engagement at work. Here are my top 10 types of conversations that I think every leader should be having with every employee throughout each year:Read More
What does authenticity mean to you?
To me, it means being real, being the opposite of fake or pretentious.
It means being honest and open. It means being willing to be vulnerable and imperfect.
These are values that align with mine, which is why the construct of authenticity appeals to me. But a recent HBR article has brought new questions to mind that are shaking this idea up. Let's delve deeper and see what you think - is there maybe such a thing as too much authenticity?Read More
In this short "blog" (video blog) post, I describe the story of Charlie (made up name), a manager I coached and how he proudly led by example in a way that was going to backfire, big time. Learn about the unintended consequences he would have experienced and what I suggested that he try instead.Read More
When I decided I wanted to write a book, I was utterly terrified and baffled. Where do I start?
Thankfully, I’d learned years ago that I do not have to go it alone with new challenges: I called on a trusted mentor. Elaine Biech has written or edited more than 50 books. She knows about this thing! I’m grateful for the amazing insights Elaine shared with me to guide my book publishing process. I couldn't have done it as quickly or as well without her mentoring support.
Have you had a mentor or mentored someone? I actually devoted a whole chapter in Employee Development on a Shoestring to the idea that mentoring can be a wonderful tool to develop employees. It is also an amazing employee engagement booster. In this post, I’ll share some of the highlights with you about what mentoring is and why it’s helpful, who is the ideal candidate for this kind of relationship, and seven tips for creating a strong mentoring program and/or building a great mentoring relationships which will increase both learning and engagement in your organization, department, team, or even just yourself.Read More
Motivating others - that's a tough one, right? In this post, I share the three secrets to motivating and inspiring others. Hint: none of these secrets involve spending more money! Here are some of the key findings from scientific research about what is highly motivating to most of today's knowledge workers and how to apply these insights to your daily leadership efforts.Read More
Giving and receiving feedback can sometimes backfire - we've all experienced it. One of the 'tricks' to giving and receiving feedback effectively starts BEFORE you even open your mouth or begin the conversation: it starts with your mindset and the context of the relationship between the feedback conversation partners. In my latest vlog (video blog), I help you recognize both the right mindset and the proper context for giving feedback in a way that's better received.Read More
Last week, I experienced a career highlight: I call it 'al-fresco learning' (outdoors, fresh air learning). Check out the scene in the photos. It was absolutely a joy to be in the Sarasota, Florida breezy afternoon sun, temperatures in the upper 60s, surrounded by palm trees, lawns, the pool and the bay.
But wait, there's more!
As if the surroundings and atmosphere weren't perfect enough, I was lucky enough to be doing GREAT work. It was my role to coach a group of 11 smart, engaged, and successful managers on what it means to be at their Best Self, at work. This is a subject about which I am VERY passionate. I truly believe that each of us has special gifts and strengths, and we should strive to leverage, optimize, and maximize them at work -- daily! It was wonderful to be working for a client who also believes this and is willing to invest in helping their employees get this right.
I want to share with you the exercise we worked on.
How to Bring your Best Self to Work
Take out a notebook, journal, or your favorite word processor and complete the following sentence:
"When I'm at my Best Self, I am..."
Some examples may include
"...adding value by suggesting creative, outside-the-box ideas to solve problems or improve products, services, or processes."
"...collaborating with others to create synergistic solutions."
"...focused and calm."
"...thinking about serving others."
List some of the potential and actual barriers to being your best self at work. What might get in your way of being creative and thinking outside-the-box, for example? Perhaps barriers for you include self-sensoring and being too critical of yourself, or maybe it's not getting enough creativity-stimulating inputs from fresh and divergent sources. If being focused and calm is how you want to be, for example, then maybe your barriers include having a very noisy environment, or not having a clear plan for your day's work.
Devise three specific routines, or habits, that you will incorporate into your daily and weekly work to help ensure you are bring your best self out as much as possible. Be specific, and phrase them in the positive (i.e., say what you will do instead of what you will avoid or stop doing).
For example, you might say, "I will read three articles each week from other industries or other professional fields to diversify my perspective and generate new insights into existing problems." Or, "I will close my door for a 90-minute stretch each morning at 10:00 a.m. and dedicated uninterrupted energy and attention to a highly important focus project."
Create accountability structures. How will you stay true to what you have committed to and how will you track your progress? Consider enlisting an accountability buddy or a peer coach to help you keep yourself accountable and stick to your plan. Another method is to keep a journal of your progress and reflect on your accomplishments and challenges.
What do you think? Are you bringing your best self to work? Do you know what it takes? What are your challenges and successes? I'd love to hear about it!
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