Planning for Change

Planning for Change

Change. It’s – well – part of life!

So, what do you do when you had an expectation that things would go one way, and in reality, they have taken a gnarly turn?

We’ve got Coach Melissa Creede, an amazing business Coach who has been with Coaching Right Now for 2 years, here to share some of her knowledge with us!

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“Picture this – a company hired a dynamic, new leader who had a bold vision for the organization. We’ll call her Sarah. She joined the organization full of possibility and enthusiasm to take them from the effective organization that they already were, to one that she saw as having truly exceptional and influential potential in its industry.

The leadership couldn’t wait to see results.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it all played out. In fact, the first six months were nothing short of a disaster.

9 months into the process, Sarah and her most senior counterpart were both on the verge of leaving the company, and the best staff were frustrated and actively looking for other jobs. They were further behind than when they started.

And sadly, this is an all-too-common experience.

What went wrong?

What could the they have done differently to ensure a successful change endeavour?

  1. Create a vivid, exciting, and aspirational vision of what’s possible in the future TOGETHER

Sarah’s approach was to identify the problems the Senior Leadership wanted to ‘fix’ and then try to ‘sell’ their plan to the employees. When it didn’t work, they blamed the employees for being resistant to change and for ‘sabotaging’ the process.

Ideas to try:

  • Start asking curious questions without judgment or attachment.
    • If we were at our best, what would we want to be known for?
    • What impact would we be having?
  • Let the bold vision emerge rather than being dictated solely by your personal vision.
  1. Build from strengths

A mistake Sarah made when she first arrived in the organization was to plow head first ‘selling’ the vision she had for the organization. She was quick to point out what they weren’t doing and came across as condescending and critical.

Ideas to try:

  • Change your mindset – there are always strengths in an existing system or workplace.
  • Name those strengths! Appreciate them and how they have created the space and place you are in now.
  • Build from them – take them and bring them to the next level.

Try out these tips this week and come back next week for three other ideas on what they could have done differently and some practical ideas to try!

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go

Over the past week and a half, we have seen a unique collision of the childhood of Millennials with the digital age of 2016.

Pokémon Go, the app based off of the Nintendo videogame, has had over 7.5 million downloads in the U.S. alone since it’s release at the beginning of July!

This app has taken the video game that was popular when Millennials were in elementary school, combined it with augmented reality, and created the “next big thing”.

What is amazing about this game is that it encourages you to go out, explore your surroundings, “catch ‘em all”, and even pay attention to your fellow Pokémon players!

As cheesy as it may seem, there is no denying how creating a cause or game unites families, friends, teams, and even strangers.

So, as your team may be taking their lunch break to walk around the city and try to find Charizard or Mewtwo (yes… those really are some Pokémon names) think about what you can create or do to unite your team.

Need some ideas?

  • Create a “pep- week” with days when you dress like a co-worker or have the most crazy socks
    • Maybe the winner gets a gift card to Starbucks
  • Create a sweepstakes to win 2 tickets to a local baseball game
    • And, you get to enter when you complete a project or do something to support a team member
  • Have a spontaneous team lunch
    • Choose to surprise your team with a long lunch
  • Sign up for an relay or cause to do together

Let us know what you and your team do!

Making Time for You

Making Time for You

Last week we talked about setting priorities at work but what about your personal priorities?

The busyness of life has a way of creeping in – it’s not just that there’s so much to do at work, but there’s just so much to do in GENERAL!

Just like taking the time to set priorities at work is hugely important to your job, setting priorities for you, personally, is hugely important to the quality of life that you experience.

We all have “that thing” that we would “love to change” if we could.

Here are a couple starters we’d love to:

  • Eat healthier
  • Read a new book or two
  • Work out more often
  • Be less stressed out
  • Travel to Europe
  • Become more meditative

It is great to have that “thing” you’d love to do!

So, now what? Just like we had some tips for setting priorities for your work, we’ve got some for your personal priorities as well!

Tip 1: Start small

It is so great that you want to work out more but don’t feel like you’ve got to run your first 10k in 6 weeks!

Take it slow. Set a realistic goal. Maybe you can commit to finding a 5-minute workout routine on Pinterest to do twice a week.

Set your goal to be something you know you can do so that you feel empowered to keep going and not discouraged!

 Tip 2: Find a friend!

I know, this title is slightly reminiscent to the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire’s” phone a friend, but in all seriousness, find someone who you can do this with!

Maybe it is someone who has wanted to read more and you can read the same book together or someone who you share meals with often and you both can go on a healthier- kick!

Just don’t go at this change alone!

Tip 3: Create a reward for yourself

This is really exiting that you are taking the time to do something for you!

What can you do as a “great job!” once you accomplish it?

Maybe you’ll buy a fun bottle of wine to celebrate 30 days of healthier eating or have a new meal planned after you’ve taken 15 minutes of meditation for 10 days.

Choose something to honor all the hard work you’ve done – you deserve it!

Take a Break- Know What You Need

Take a Break- What You Need

Over the past couple of weeks we have talked about different ways to think about taking a break.

Have you ever taken your typical break (getting outside / creating something / spending time with those close to you) and were left, well, needing ANOTHER break?

Different times call for different types of breaks.

It’s important to take “each kind” of break and make time for it. If you are always making the time to take mental breaks but never making the space to be around those you love, you’ll still be fighting to feel like you’re getting the break you need.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.22.41 AMThis week, we have Sheila Clark with us, sharing about the different types of breaks she really enjoys.

What is that thing that you love to do? I love to read a good book, and occasionally enjoy some creative time behind a sewing machine.

Why do you love to do that? My grandmother instilled the love of creativity into my life at a young age. Through the years, I’ve developed some great relationships among others who share similar hobbies. Both sewing and reading also allow me some time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and rejuvenate.

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? In all honesty, I have to schedule time for these things, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Reading a chapter or two at night before turning out the light, or in the morning over a cup of coffee. Scheduling a half hour in the early morning or on the weekend to work on a project behind my sewing machine.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda. I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care. 

This week, we’d encourage you to be a little more reflective and think about what types of breaks you do well, and what kinds you can make a little more space in your life for.

It’s just as important to take care of yourself as it is to take care of others or to work through the daily agenda.

We will leave you with this thought, I have more energy and capacity to meet the busy demands of my life when I’ve invested some time in my own self-care.

Take a Break- Be Creative

Take a Break- Creative!

“I want you to CREATE something.”

I would guess you just felt one of two things… either thrilled excitement OR a sinking pit in your stomach.

From quite a young age, we seem to “identify” ourselves as either creative or not – and it’s usually based on what we perceive our artistic ability to be.

We are all creative – we just tend to think about creativity with a very narrow definition.

Dr. Lynne Levesque, a business creativity consultant, is known for her work in this area. Lynne identified eight different styles of creativity to bucket talent in organizations.

A couple of these styles are:

  • The Explorer: whose catalytic creativity is like that of many serial entrepreneurs and successful marketers
  • The Visionary: whose futuristic creativity is represented by internet gurus, prophets, and strategists
  • The Pilot: whose strategic creativity we see in skilled project managers and organizational designers
  • The Diplomat: whose collaborative creativity is revealed by humanitarians, civil rights activists and caring 
leaders

Additional research shows that getting out of yourself and into a creative space (whether it’s painting an acrylic masterpiece or creating an entirely new organizational design) allows you to experience an expanded sense of time, become a better problem solver, and even experience stress relief.

Kelly EllisThis week we have Kelly Ellis with us sharing what she loves to go to take a break with her creativity.

What is that thing that you love to do? My new hobby is refinishing furniture (I’m a re-furber!)

Why do you love to do that? There’s something magical about taking something old and not so pretty, putting in a lot of hard work (and sometimes blood, sweat, and tears), and then stepping back and directly seeing what I accomplished.

In my day job, it’s hard to see what’s actually been completed each day. It’s even harder to see if it’s gotten done with excellence. Lots of meetings, lots of pep talks, lots of shuffling schedules / tasks / resources. But with refinishing furniture, I get the satisfaction of seeing the direct output of my time and energy (both good and bad!).

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? I focus on taking baby steps toward the completion of my projects – planning out what needs to get done in large buckets first, then dissecting each bucket into smaller tasks. This means that I can complete a small task (think sanding the top of a table or taping a canvas off for painting) that takes less time than a whole bucket, but still leaves the same feeling of satisfaction of moving forward.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? Sometimes the act of starting a huge task / project / challenge is paralyzing – even when we are doing what we ENJOY to do. By breaking your goal into smaller chunks, you’ll consistently make progress – keeping your motivation high, happiness levels up, and creativity flowing!

Think about what type of creativity really excites you and find time to take a break from your normal routine and make time for it.

Take a Break- Relationships Matter

Take a Break- relationally

We spend so. much. time. at. work.

Sometimes it feels like there is no time for anything else… especially friendships.

When you are going from work to trainings and then you have that new project added on your plate (that you kinda, really want to take on) and your friends are experiencing the same thing – sometimes making time for each other feels near impossible.

Tim Leberchet, from Harvard Business Review, brought some intriguing insights into the Age of Loneliness we seem to be in. Tim had some great suggestions about how to make some more connections at work.

But building relationships outside of work is important too. Even if we don’t feel like we have the time, we need those non-work related friends!

This weekScreen Shot 2015-10-21 at 5.39.42 AM, we have Spencer Haney with us on what he loves to do [with friends] and how he makes the time!


What is that thing that you love to do?
I love watching and attending sporting events. You can’t beat a good baseball game on a nice summer day!

Why do you love to do that? Sports have always been a passion of mine. It’s more of my place to “get away” and turn off my brain to recharge. It’s also a great way to connect with other people, so it fulfills that need that I have to be social.

In the midst of a busy schedule, how do you find time to do it? Isn’t that why they invented DVR? And yes, yes I do pay a premium to record, watch later, and fast forward through commercials.

What is one tip you’d make to someone who wanted to create a little more space to do something they enjoy? Be intentional about it. Schedule time in your day or calendar to do what it is that you love and don’t be afraid to turn off your phone or leave it somewhere. This way you won’t be bothered by emails, texts, or calls. You can come back at least twice as refreshed and ready to go!

So, this week, make a choice to take a break and engage in your relationship with someone you value!

Would You Ask For It?

Would You Ask For It?

Feedback.

It seems like so many times we only think about feedback when we need to have a hard conversation with someone.

We gather the facts and then “say what we need to say.”

Can you imagine how different your team would be if they were asking for feedback? If they gave you the opportunity to share what you were thinking or seeing?

Crazy. Right?

Well, to get to that place it starts with us, as Managers, to begin that journey of asking for feedback.

Peter Bregman wrote a fabulous article called How to Ask for Feedback That Will Actually Help You.

One of his tips was to probe more deeply with questions. Asking questions in different ways helps you to get a fuller answer – painting a clearer picture of what the other person is trying to ask for.

Having trouble thinking of a couple of questions to even begin with? We’ve got a couple of ideas:

  • What is one suggestion you have that I can do to better support my team?
  • If your boss were to give me one suggestion, what would it be?
  • What part of my leadership or management style concerns you the most?
  • How well do you feel I communicate? What can I do to better communicate with those I work with?
  • What specifically could I have done better on X project?

Maybe one of these questions sparked an idea!

So, gather up your courage and go ask for some feedback!

You’ll be a better leader because of it!

Fall Break

Fall Break

If you have been out and about lately, you have probably noticed the large number of college students who happen to be around on the weekend.

For just a day or two is seems like it’s summer again. Around this time of year students enjoy “fall break”, which though is may be only a day or two off of school, allows for a much needed break.

Even though these weeks are packed and you’ve got quite a number of deliverables due, we’d recommend you find a way to give yourself a break. Take yourself out to lunch instead of chowing down on your sandwich at your desk. On Saturday, instead of doing all the things you feel like you should have been doing, enjoy the cooler weather and head to a pumpkin farm or go on a hike. Or maybe even just switch up your work set-up (you most certainly deserve that cool new mouse pad).

Even if you don’t feel like you can physically take much ‘time out’ right now, creating the space to give yourself a mental break or change is really important.

Trust us, it might just be exactly what you need.

The Battle for Focus

The Battle for Focus

We’re on week two with your chatty team! Did you have a chance to reflect on some of the questions Trish asked last week?

We hope those gave you a place to start. This week we’ve got Coach Sue Oliver based out of Texas on how to leverage the camaraderie of your team to get things done.

Take it away, Sue!

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“The ‘battle for focus’ is one we all wage daily.

We want to motivate and inspire our teams to operate at their best; yet, there are so many opportunities for distractions.

We all know a team in conflict can easily lose focus. A team that gets along well socially and has positive chemistry can also be impacted.

How? The camaraderie and enjoyment of being part of a team that gets along well together can pose a challenge in getting things done.

So, how do you harness the best of what a good team with positive chemistry can achieve without falling victim to unproductive distractions?

One tip is to draw on the positive chemistry of the team to involve them as solution owners.

What does this actually look like?

  • Begin by gathering the team together and laying out the situation transparently
  • Let them know you see the team’s camaraderie as a strength, except when it poses challenges to getting things done
  • Share with the team what the lack of focus looks like
  • Let the team know that you want them to have a stake in the solution
  • Challenge the team to identify the top 1-3 ways they can more clearly focus on achieving their performance goals while preserving the positive spirit and camaraderie of the team

At the end of the meeting or deadline set for team ideas, decide on the top few things the team can do to heighten their focus while preserving the positive atmosphere among the team.

This inclusive process will enable your team to be problem solvers and owners in the solution. You will have solved a problem through motivation and engagement – yielding a much more sustainable solution.”

Thank you, Sue!

By considering the questions from Trish last week and some of Sue’s suggestions this week, we know you’ll start to see some different results soon!

Motivating the Chatty Ones

Motivating the Chatty Ones

You’ve finally decided to connect with your team members on Facebook.

And now, you get new notifications of your team members tagging each other in photos every Friday and Saturday night.

You knew that they were chatty at work but you didn’t realize that all their socializing was encouraged by them hanging out together outside of work too.

Sometimes, the chemistry of your team can seem to take away from their productivity. You don’t want to kill the camaraderie but your team has got to get the work done. Over the coming weeks we’ll hear from two Coaches on some strategies on how to work with your sociable team.

This week we have Coach Trish Brooks from Ottawa, Canada with some suggestions and questions to motivate your team so that socializing doesn’t get in the way of results.

Let’s check out what Trish has to say!

“This is a multi-faceted problem, and there may be several interventions that the manager must make. Today let’s look at one important one – is the team fully engaged with their job. Research has shown that the social part of the job is not a significant reason people come to a company, or stay with a company – it’s not a ‘motivator’. Employees typically leave companies (even though they have great social connections) because the work is not stimulating and they are not developing. If employees are not ‘getting things done’ it means they are likely not motivated to do the work.

So, the first question to ask is ‘are my employees motivated in their jobs?’

  • Is the job aligned with what is important to them?
  • Is their work interesting and are they learning and growing in their job?
  • Are they being recognized, and feel valued? Are they feeling a sense of accomplishment day-to-day?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of the above, then it is unlikely that socializing is getting in the way of the work. If employees are bored with the work and are not growing, then socializing will be what they do instead of work.

The best way for a leader to determine whether or not their employees are motivated is to have a discussion that asks questions like:

  • What are a couple of recent accomplishments you feel especially good about?
  • What part of your work interests or challenges you the most and least?
  • What’s important to you and what do you value at work? Is there a good match between what is important to you and what this organization provides?
  • Do you feel valued and recognized for what you accomplish here?

The manager can then determine what the next step is. For example, the manager could:

  • Modify the job objectives so there is more challenge/accomplishment/growth for the employee or help the employee move to a job that is better aligned to their interests
  • Ensure that people are not hired that are overqualified for the job (because they will likely get bored within the first year)
  • Recognize the accomplishments of employees
  • Hold employees accountable, and provide feedback, so they know what is expected (and know what accomplishment looks like)
  • Move people before they get bored in a job. Typically people need a new challenge every three years.

If employees are energized about their jobs, they will still socialize, but it will be aligned with the goals of the group. People get energized, and have fun, when they have common goals that they accomplish together.”

Thanks, Trish! Let’s try these tactics out this week and see what we uncover. And, make sure to come back next week for some more tips!