Couples Counseling Articles

leaders

Are you swimming in the dark?

Even if you’re a great swimmer, you cannot see what’s ahead of you if you’re swimming in the dark. The path forward is unclear and more than a little scary. 

Leading in 2020 feels a lot like swimming in the dark. 

I believe that the acceleration of everything around us coupled with paralyzing uncertainty is forcing us to think, feel and act differently. And, to lead more courageously. 

It is more important than ever to challenge not only our thinking but our beliefs; preconceived notions of success, of the way things get done and the conversations that we have. 

As a leader, applying tried and true techniques hoping to inspire your team to perform and achieve results may be leaving you flat; as if something’s missing. Our trusted and familiar skill-set is our default…yet is proving ineffective in today’s environment. 

There’s a sense of disconnect with our teams. Some days even despondence. Old methods don’t seem to apply. 

The world has changed. We’ve changed. 

One thing I know for sure is that that disconnected employees statistically underperform; negatively affecting the customer experience, revenue & profits, your operation and culture. 

Bottom line, people perform based on how they feel.

What scientists know for sure today is that humans are hardwired for connection and …emotions drive behavior and performance. 

To positively impact engagement and other key performance indicators, this basic human understanding about our need for connection is foundational everywhere including the workplace. 

It needs the attention of leadership – at every level. 

How do your employees feel? It’s an uncomfortable question and sometimes difficult to talk about what’s really going on. Why? Because conversations like this require courage and for many, a new skill set. 

They require a new mind-set too because these conversations on the surface are usually pretty simple but difficult to implement. They require leaders to step into new and unfamiliar territory. 

The path to building a new culture of engagement and high performance starts you; with powerful yet uncomfortable conversations that reduce fear and build human connection. 

That’s why we’ve embarked on a new initiative – to focus on conversations that build Emotional Safety and Trust. We call it, The New Workplace Imperative

I do believe it’s time to lean into and facilitate some simple, illuminating conversations in the workplace that get to the heart of the matter. 

People want to know it’s safe to speak up and be curious, to make mistakes and to be vulnerable. They want to fit in and be a contributing member of the team, yet they may not know how. 

They’re likely to be swimming in dark waters too. 

This is a moment when leaders can build a culture, together with their team, through creative, game-changing conversations that reduce fear, increase trust and build human connections. 

When people feel connected, they feel safe…they can be creative, innovative and try new things.

This is the new emerging paradigm of PEOPLE FIRSTperformance, productivity and profit will follow

If this inspires you and you’d like to connect with other like-minded leaders to know more about Emotional Safety and Trust: The New Workplace Imperative, please visit: 

https://EmotionalSafetyAndTrust.com

We’ll be talking about this a lot in the new year!

FATIGUE IS REAL: Zoom Fatigue. Decision Fatigue. Pandemic Fatigue.

An HBR study of companies reporting high levels of exhaustion among their employees found Zoom fatigue, decision fatigue and pandemic fatigue to be very real!

The exhaustion, however, was caused by something unexpected.

People were exhausted because they were…lonely.

That’s what was bubbling up for people; feelings of fatigue and exhaustion coming from a sense of loneliness and isolation. I see it around me and the feelings of isolation are palpable.

We distance to protect ourselves, our family and friends.

It seems counter-intuitive and there are (or will be) real consequences to our relationships and emotional well-being.

As leaders, we get the sense that our team members are disconnected and feeling alone too as they face many challenges in front of them.

Most people are not talking very much about their emotional and psychological well-being.

Most leaders aren’t comfortable asking either. That’s the dilemma.

The most caring, cutting-edge leaders believe it’s vitally important to know how wide the gap is between what we think is going on and what’s really happening in people’s emotional lives.

When you are equipped to have these meaningful and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, people respond. Teams learn to trust and support each other. Together you build a culture others want to be part of.

That’s why we’ve embarked on offering Emotional Safety and Trust: The New Workplace Imperative as an online course. It’s a place where leaders will learn more about conducting meaningful conversations and using that knowledge with confidence.

If you would like to know more about applying the principles of Emotional Safety and Trust with your team, click here to read more:

https://EmotionalSafetyandTrust.com

The New Leadership Imperative

Like you and millions around the globe, I feel the magnitude of our current situation in many ways, in particular, in my role as a Coach. My clients are amazing leaders and professionals who are in crisis mode like never before. I stand with them, by them and in support of them. Having personally led teams thru the Y2k, 9-11 and housing crises, I know too well that this is beyond turbulent. It requires every ounce of will and determination, trust and faith in yourself and those around you.

If ever there was a time to step up as a leader…it’s now. If ever there was a more unsettled and confusing time to be a leader…it’s also now. We are being tested and challenged like never before in modern history.

I completely understand how scary a time like this is. We have no playbook because this is different. During 9-11 we could see the devastation of the Twin Towers, the soot on the faces of thousands of New Yorkers, the fires and the horrific images that are associated with that tragedy. This enemy we face today is invisible, and it’s unsettling.

You are being called upon to make split second decisions with information that is, at best incomplete, and changing in an instant, and at worst, incorrect because it’s unclear who the experts are and what the latest update is. I see it and feel it deeply both in my heart and in my gut.

Your people, your teams, your boards, your clients, customers & families…and other key stakeholders like suppliers, vendors & colleagues are looking to you. The stakes are high and you need the courage to lead. You’re all in this together…and…at the same time, you’re feeling more alone than ever. Everyone is.

What choice but to Lead with courage, conviction and compassion? If not you, then who?

Starting today, I will provide timely and helpful tips to help you lead courageously and navigate these murky and uncharted waters. Follow along for regular Tips and Ideas on how to be the best Leader you can be.

1. Your Team: Working remotely or temporary layoffs are very isolating. Remote workers suffer from depression at higher rates because of it. Stay connected thru regular 1-on-1’s (via phone or video conference) and conduct weekly team calls (via phone or zoom) to keep people informed, answer questions, understand their concerns and state of mind, and provide reassurance and support.

2. Key Customers/Partners: These stakeholders are your lifeblood. Trust that they are more forgiving in a crisis and believe that humanity prevails. What they need is assurance: Assurance that you are doing as much as you reasonably can. That you’ll be there. That you will provide timely information and candor. This is an opportunity to further build and solidify relationships. They need to know that:

  • You care. You are there; responsive & engaged. They will find comfort that you care enough to call and tell them what is going on.
  • It’s NOT business as usual and while they would not or should not expect it to be, knowing you’re doing everything to keep things running will build credibility, and trust. These are foundational for any relationship – business or personal.