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January 08th, 2012
Remember that poll we posted about 6-weeks ago, asking you what type of workplace bully you’re dealing with at work? Well, the results are in.
The ONE question poll had 6 possible answers, which were;
- Takes credit for my work
- Nobody’s ever right except them
- Nice to me in person, but bad-mouths me when I’m not around
- All of the above
50% of you listed ‘all of the above’ as your response.
The reality is that it’s often not just one action a bully takes to
maintain power. Chances are, if you’re consistently feeling horrible
around a specific person at work, regardless of what you say or do, you
could be dealing with a bully.
This marks the end of our workplace bully blog series. Have you been able to resolve issues that were previously swept under the carpet? We’d love to get your feedback.
September 15th, 2010
Once judged as an over-used business buzz-word, Emotional Intelligence is now known a results-oriented business strategy. A business leader, with a high level of Emotional Intelligence, is capable of retaining best-in-class talent, securing juicy bottom-lines and producing outstanding business results.
Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ for Emotional Quotient) is one’s ability to be fully aware of their emotionally-based behaviours, to manage those behaviours, to develop empathy and social skills during the process of management and to have the courage to assert their leadership viewpoints and opinions.
Since we are all emotional beings, it is our powerful emotions that influence our collaborative behaviours.
By being aware of your own emotions and managing them with appropriate behaviours as it pertains to building relationships, you will be able to create buy-in from team members and therefore achieve great results.
If you are still unsure as to how Emotional Intelligence will affect your bottom-line, consider these facts:
- Healthy People: A survey of managers in a leading UK supermarket chain revealed that those high on EQ experienced less stress, enjoyed better health, demonstrated higher levels of morale and performance, and reported a better quality of life.
- Great Productivity: “In a study of skills that distinguish star performers in every field from entry-level jobs to executive positions, the single most important factor was not IQ, advanced degrees or technical experience, it was EQ. Of the competencies required for excellent performance in job performance, 67% were emotional competencies.” – Daniel Goleman
With the application of emotional intelligence in the workplace, leaders and teams profit with collaborative working relationships as well as bottom-line results.
Do you have a story of how high emotional intelligence has impacted your team or business results?
August 31st, 2010
My professional development blog is all about engagement, achieving project results and accountability; critical elements to staying on track and measuring results of key goals. But what happens when one project takes a back seat to all of the rest?
How does one attempt to re-engage?
September has arrived and I realize that I have taken a serious blog vacation. Actually, more like a blog sabbatical; it has been five full months since my last post.
My first reaction is to want to punish myself for my inability to stay on track, to walk my own talk, to have dropped this ball. But, at the end of the day, this type of damaging self-talk will get me deeper into my sabbatical; feet up on the sofa, bag of chips in hand, feeling all rational and self-righteous about my decision to take a break and work on other, seemingly higher-priority projects.
Back on my feet, chips put away, I realize that a more proactive and solution-oriented process would be more productive; to evaluate the project as it goes through the stages of project development.
Stage One: Romance.
This is the beginning of a new project. This stage is full of imagining wonderful outcomes. The positives woo us and we jump in with two-feet. I imagined numerous posts to my blog, steeped with rich content and overflowing with comments from people all around the world.
Stage Two: Why Are We Here
This is the stage of the project when we start to realize all that is required. The project suddenly becomes more complicated than my blurred vision presented in the romance stage. Reality sets in as I start to understand that creating professional blog posts require things such as category definitions, relevant tags, search terms and twitter links. Blog posts need to be written well (not one of my strengths) and we thought needs to be put into the video inserts’ audio quality, lighting and editing – phew. This blog thing all of a sudden became quite a project!
Stage Three: Conflict/Power Struggle
Feelings of resistance, procrastination, frustration combined with the fight to stay connected and engaged makes the end of the project seem miles away. We have lost the hope of its initial vision or result ever coming to fruition. This is the stage that I circle back to in those moments of dis-engagement as described above; you know, the image on the sofa, chips in hand, damaging self-talk, yadda, yadda.
Stage Four: Choice
Choice gives us the ultimate project ‘fork in the road’. We can choose:
1. Commitment - a decision to navigate the conflict, get creative and choose a new, more engaging way to tackle the project. This is an exciting stage – the one when I get clear on a process for building each blog-post. It’s a simple process with easy, repeatable steps. I feel light and ready to jump in with both feet like I did in romance, only this time I know more about blogging and my commitment has some competence to fuel the fire.
2. Resignation - a decision that the conflict is too big a mountain to climb. This is where we throw in the towel and choose a new project so that we have the thrill and adrenaline rush of the ‘new’, romance once again. The bad news is that we could risk to get to stage four with the new project as well, always circling between stages 1 to 4, never reaching the delight of stage 5. If I decided to remove my blog from my site, never to post again, I would be in the resignation stage.
Stage Five: Co-Creative/Project Engagement
In this stage, we understand fully how to remain engaged; we are both committed to the process and competent with the skills needed to complete the project. With my blog, this is the stage I will get to one day. The process will be locked down and easy to deploy, I will feel as if I fully understand the elements to great blogging and I it will become a top priority each week.
If you ever start to beat yourself up for dropping the ball on a project for a more important priority, give yourself permission to evaluate the project against these stages of project development. Acknowledge which stage you are in and make a choice to move to the next. Re-engagement in a process, not a destination!
Please tell us about your recent project sabbatical.
November 17th, 2009
If leaders combine a basic understanding of communication, feedback, team development, emotional intelligence, leadership & followership and accountability with an advance skill of applying their learnings daily they will great results! It requires a discipline to first learn, then apply followed by monitoring progress.
The old saying goes something like this: There are two types of leaders — those who practice their learnings and those who don’t.
I watch leaders of corporate teams everyday. I have come to learn that some leaders have a hunger to learn and more importantly, they focus on practicing and applying their learnings in their day to day experiences. These are the leaders who continually get results. There are others, who learn a competence and then seem to discount it. My assumption is – they consider it to be ‘basic’. They operate on an assumption about themselves that they know the skill and they use it regularly and yet, for some strange reason these are the leaders that seem to falter when it comes to results.
Whistler/Blackcomb opened her doors early this season. With a great dump of snow, we were invited to ski on Nov. 14th – one of the earliest season openers of all time. I jumped at the opportunity.
To give you some context on my skiing competence, I broke my leg while ambitiously learning the skill at the age of 2. I learned how to ski on Ontario snow-ice, raced on the Nancy Greene ski league for 6 years and was brought up in a family with two Canadian National ski team members, one a 1976 Olympian. Skiing was and continues to be a life-skill in my family. Needless to say, I can cut a turn, love to ski loud and fast and have both a high level of commitment and competence.
With every season opening, I discipline myself to review the basics. As I ski down the hill for the first few runs, in my head I am reviewing my body position, reconnecting with my ski legs and considering the finer points of this skill. If I don’t take the time to ‘re-learn’, practice and apply what I know, there will be consequences! So on Saturday, I focused on holding my frame – choosing not to be lazy by letting my left shoulder drop half way thru my turn. With this discipline of combining a basic skill; lazy shoulder syndrome with advanced focus of application; practicing with every turn of the day, I will experience more joy, ease and effortlessness skiing this season.
L.earn a skill, whether basic or advanced,
A.pply the learnings during day to day experiences; practicing, making mistakes, practicing again,
P.rogress - measure the progress of the efforts and then return to L to eagerly start again.
Ask yourself the question, will I get better results by doing a few LAPs today?
October 20th, 2009
When working with executive teams, I often discuss the importance of clearly articulating core values, identifying objectives/action plans and then driving performance results based on quantitative or qualitative measures – “if you can measure it, you can manage it”.
All of this proved itself true this weekend on my way to tree 71.
As I lay under my cozy duvet on a foggy, rain-drenched, Sunday morning, I realized that every fibre in my body was screaming in high resistance. I desperately wanted to cancel my Sunday morning ritual of climbing up the BCMC trail of Vancouver’s Grouse mountain.
Strangely, I heard myself utter to my partner Jim, “I will be ready in 10 minutes – you?” What was that? Where did that come from?
I turned to Jim, who had not heard a word from me all morning — very unusual for this chatty gal.
“Oh my god, I can’t believe it – I made it to tree 71! ”
“I was totally locked in my resistance. I completely faked getting here. When we started the hike, I went into autopilot. I actually had to motivate myself by calculating the 50% mark of the hike – tree 36. At some point, I stopped to take a break. While I was catching my breath, I looked up and noticed that I was standing on the roots of tree 37! Wahoo!! I was half way there – I could actually make it to tree 71. And look at me now, I just proved it to myself.”
Tree 71 had become my clear goal. Armed with my core values of maintaining my health and wellness, I was able to motivate myself with a smaller measure of success and before you know it, the results were mine. Now it was time to celebrate!
It’s true. If you can measure it, you can manage it. In business and in pleasure, we all need a tree 71!
September 03rd, 2009
Managing workplace interruptions can be done effectively when leaders, managers and executives have the courage to assert themselves by articulating clear boundaries and communicating them to their co-workers. Clear boundaries establish personal and professional work parameters so that individuals can focus on priorities and get results.
Recently a client asked me how to manage multiple interruptions at work.
Sue, the Vice-President of Marketing & Communications spent the first 2 hours of her morning in a meeting, drinking coffee, and plenty of water (can you see where this is going?). When the meeting ended all she could think about was getting to the washroom. Opening the boardroom door, she noticed her direct report.
Without even a “Hi” or “How are you” the report chimed “Did you get my email?”
Sue looked at her and immediately responded – “Just a sec”.
She continued to race to the washroom door, all the while, sensing her direct report was still following directly behind. Approaching the washroom door, and getting closer to her own office – she hears her desktop phone ringing. Her mind floods with reminders of the chaos of emails she left behind prior to the meeting. As she reaches for the handle of the washroom door, she feels the vibration of her PDA…
Can you imagine the sense of overwhelm that Sue must be feeling? I can. Leaders, managers and executives are challenged with multi-tasking each day.
Sue could have been more effective by asserting herself:
- In the moment the direct report said – “Did you get my email?” Sue could have kicked into the depth of her self awareness – sensing the feeling of overwhelm and chaos to set a clear boundary.
Simple solution: “give me 20 minutes”, not 2 secs but 20 minutes.
Why does she need 20 minutes?
Because, it is not possible to be effective in the midst of overwhelm. As a leader, it is Sue’s responsibility to manage herself effectively so that she can guide her direct reports to increase productivity and ensure team results. Sue needed to give herself 20 minutes. Get back to her office, read the direct reports email, ‘land’ after her first meeting and get ready for the second.
Leaders, managers and executives need to become more aware of how they get knocked off course with multi-tasking and other workplace interruptions. Use the skill of setting clear personal and professional boundaries to be more productive.
Are you willing to share your lastest story of how multitasking has thrown you off track? Please enter your story in the comment section – let’s learn from one another.