You are a busy manager and it's Sunday night. You are trying to prepare for the week ahead. You log into your work schedule and gaze wide-eyed at your Monday schedule. You are booked with consecutive back-to-back meetings from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.!
"What happened?" you ask yourself. Then you remember that ten people have access to your calendar and, being the ultimate pleasure, you have accepted every meeting request. Without realizing it, you have settled down. It looks like you won't have any downtime during the day.
And you won't have anything else: the ability to prepare mentally and physically for each scheduled meeting. From individual sessions to team sessions, you will move from conference room to office and vice versa continuously. And at the end of the day, you'll try to make sense of it all.
“I'm incredibly busy - and that's how it is,” some clients tell me. Others try to convince themselves - and I - that they are exceptionally good at multitasking, and on top of that, "I just facilitate sessions and lead others - I don't need to do the work that stands out. Of the reunion."
I sometimes ask clients, "And who does the mental work to prepare for the meeting?" As we dig deeper into my questions, some managers admit to me that they walk into a room and see the faces sitting around the table and sometimes realize that they have no idea what the meeting is about. . They often save time by blurting out: "So why are we all together today?" A sardonic smile from me to the client lights up a self-confession for some: "Yeah, that might not elicit the greatest confidence from my people!"
A metaphor comes to mind regarding commercial aviation. Professional pilots spend time during the relatively short period of level cruise flight to “brief the approach phase” of flight. They put together diagrams and descriptions of the planned instrument approach and carefully examine the various altitudes, headings, frequencies and even the rare "missed approaches" that might be necessary if a go-around is to be initiated. This preparation serves as a mental image for pilots so that they know what to expect when they find themselves in a high workload situation and are mentally prepared for what we call a “critical phase of flight”.
While your daily meetings are not as difficult as piloting a successful approach and landing on a commercial airliner, overall they contribute to your organization's success and your team's cohesion.
There are several ways to approach your busy day. Blocking out time each morning and afternoon can help, although mid-level managers may find that their bosses could take advantage of these free sessions for their own meetings. Another approach is to schedule meetings with built-in buffers in between. Some managers favor 30- or 45-minute meetings, giving themselves time before and afternoon to both make sense of their previous sessions and prepare for the next.
The key, of course, is intention. And the exploration of this intention can be assisted and supported in the coaching process. If your desire is to know the expected outcomes of a meeting and how best to support your people, you can spend 15 minutes sketching out ideas, perhaps writing notes on a agenda. There is one mindfulness aspect of corporate life that is important to recognize. Practicing such mindfulness doesn't have to be limited to your yoga class or a quiet time alone in the morning. He can help you prepare for each meeting of your day and create your own “approach briefing” to ensure a successful landing!
This article was originally published on bostonexecutivecoaches.com.
Culture change is a complex process
Make it meaningful with practical advice from frontline experts.
We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul. ” DEEP. And it is.
Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what I think often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work ? ” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the introuvable person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. Often gossip occurs for one of four reasons :
1 ) People fear the unknown. If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed door conversations are so detrimental.
2 ) People want to belong and be included. If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle. ” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know. ”
3 ) People crave intimacy and a sense of connection. I would suggest that because of the rampant pace we real at and the lack of real deal authentic communication with one another, many people crave a sense of genuine human connection and intimacy. Gossip is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with another human being. The secrecy, forbidden and exclusive nature of confiding in someone something that’s a bit subversive or judgmental is social super glue. Through the veneer of momentary vulnerability and trust, the two are bonded. Unfortunately gossip is a very sloppy second to real, meaningful connection.
4 ) People want to work with people they think of as peers. Meaning, if someone isn’t carrying their own weight, isn’t competent or capable enough to do their job or simply isn’t a good culture fit, then there will be gossip. Rather than being a “narc, ” employees will talk both about said individual and leadership’s lack of awareness/action. And they will talk often. The longer said individual goes unaddressed, the louder and more embedded the gossip becomes.
When it comes to gossip, these four reasons : fear, belonging, intimacy and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight, are all things that can be handled with some focused time and attention.
How do you want your employees to talk about your company ? How do you want them to feel when they walk in the door ? While this touchy-feely stuff may make you feel a little light-headed, when it comes down to it, company culture matters.
Many business owners are taking a deuxième look at their company culture to make sure it’s the one they envision – one that supports their company’s mission, vision and values.
Insperity has spent the past 30 years building a human resources company committed to helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. In that vein, our leadership team offers these tips on having a great company culture.
You might think that trying to cultivate a positive workplace as an elusive, time-consuming waste of important resources, but studies show that the opposite is true. Creating a positive company culture begins with fostering happy employees.
Happy employees are 85 percent more efficient, experience a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less happy colleagues, creating a measurable effet on engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals, according to the study, The Science of Happiness, conducted by Globoforce.
Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. As a manager or leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an effet on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you’re training your employees to follow suit.
Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you’re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive intensité within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful motivation tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.
As a leader you’re influential – your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an courier can make a big impact. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture.
We all know that sometimes work can get monotonous and overwhelming. Say for example that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is frustrated with his current project. He comes to a meeting feeling defeated and unmotivated. Then you, as his directeur, compliment his exercices and praise him for a travail well done. The effet is immediate – he feels valued. His demeanor changes, he becomes engaged and leaves the meeting with a newfound energy to tackle his project.
People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a directeur to dole out tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficient, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.