Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This time of year can be so interesting. Our time is filled with stuffing ourselves full of delicious foods and navigating our way through stores to try to “find the best deals”.

Often times, as we are spending more time with those in our personal lives, those who we work with see a bit of a different picture.

We are trying to get out a little early… and it can be so easy to:

  • Snap at our peer about not being able to get to the project until next week
  • Tell our direct report that we can help them later or that they are “innovative and can figure it out”

Sound a little familiar?

As we are entering into the home stretch of 2016, let’s challenge each other to stay present in each moment.

You totally want (and need) to leave early, and if you are feeling flustered or pressured, take a big- deep breath, and choose to be present in the moment.

Re-center yourself and *think* about what you are going to say before letting the words come out.

Choosing to do this may help you to keep those relationships supported while also communicating what you need to in the moment.

The Election and Your Team

The Election and Your Team

WHAT AN EMOTIONAL WEEK.

Regardless of which political candidate you supported in the recent United States election – YOU. HAVE. HAD. A. WEEK.

Your team is likely filled with extremely strong thoughts and emotions (both positive or negative or a confusing mix of both). And sometimes, it feels like tension is so high that it could explode if a pin poked it.

What is a Manager to do?

In times like these, one of the most important roles you play, as Manager, is to hold your team together.

How?

Give your individual members of your team the space to talk it out, if and only if they want.

If they want to – choose to ask and actually listen without judgment. Something that often plagues us is judging (or assuming) and not asking, and really being curious about others and their thoughts.

The goal should not be to change opinions, but to allow people to really share their opinions /struggles /thoughts /challenges. These skills can be helpful when talking about the election and in your daily work.

Need a place to start?

First, make sure this is a 1:1 conversation.

Second, ideally this conversation takes place where the person you are talking to is comfortable and relaxed. This is not the time to corner them in the crowded break room or over the water cooler with their peers!

Third, the key is to NOT to argue or ‘fix’ their opinion if you don’t agree with their thoughts. This is the place to give your direct report the space to share their thoughts and ideas. In fact, don’t even say what you think unless they ask you.

Here are some conversation starters:

  • I’ve noticed I haven’t heard your voice as often in meetings during the last week. What’s up?
  • I remember you mentioning your support of [insert political candidate here that you’ve ACTUALLY heard them mention that they support]. What is intriguing to you about them?
  • I’ve noticed recent posts you’ve made on (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) around the election. What’s been coming up?

Choosing to mention what you are seeing (noticing or observing) and then asking a very open-ended question inviting your direct report’s opinion is extremely powerful.

This may be a new approach for you! So, try it out and let us know what you think!

Saying Thank You

Saying Thank You

Often people go through their days feeling unseen or unheard.

We. Are. Just. So. Busy. that generally we are focusing on ourselves: where we need to be, what we need to do, and the list goes on!

Today- the United States is celebrating Veteran’s day and choosing to intentionally say “Thank you” to all those who chose the lives of others above their own.

And, we’d encourage you to do the same.

In the days ahead consider the impact of saying “thank you” to those who you work with often.

Choosing to say “thank you” is choosing to say “I see you and all the work you’ve been doing”.

Celebrating Success

Celebrating Success

There is no doubt that the city of Chicago is on day two of consistent celebration in honor of the Cubs winning the World Series.

While many of those living in Chicago are likely hoping for the fireworks to stop, there is a level of energy that is created by seeing someone celebrate an accomplishment.

As the year-end pushes are starting, take a moment (or two) each week to look at what your team has accomplished.

Need somewhere to start?

  • Have they recently finished a project?
  • Is there something that they finished early to set your team up for success?
  • Has someone been speaking up or risking more than they did 6 months ago?

When you see one of those successes, take the time to mention it in a meeting or grab lunch together to celebrate.

It may create some more of the positive energy you are wanting!

And, p.s. #flytheW