Thursday, August 17, 2017

Promises to Keep

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all of your friends feel that there is something special in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything, and to make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievement of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear...and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Christian D. Larson

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Emotionally Intelligent Team

The Emotionally Intelligent Team

Have you had that nagging feeling that something is missing on your team keeping you from achieving breakthrough results or keeping you in a chronic conflict cycle? Many leaders have sensed this and found the solution in what experts are calling the #1 predictor of life success: Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a set of skills demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods and impulses and to effectively manage them according to the situation or person they are dealing with. EQ is the demonstration of Sensibility

Someone with high EQ can manage their own impulses, can communicate with others effectively, can manage change well, is a good problem solver, uses humor to build rapport, has empathy and remains optimistic even in the face of difficulty.

These people can emotionally and mentally plug into others and can read the situation at hand and behave accordingly to get the best results for everyone.
To find out if EQ is missing from your team, take this short quiz: 

· Is there often a breakdown in team communication?
· Do you observe symptoms of low-stress tolerance?
· Do one or more of your team members struggle with or resist change - large or small?
· Are you needed to mediate conflict on a regular basis?
· Has pessimism taken over the work environment?
· Do team members say or do the wrong things at the wrong time? 

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, it is worth your time to explore Emotional Intelligence. There are several case studies of how increasing EQ in a work group results in higher productivity and lower turnover (among other things). To begin, take a baseline of your team's EQ through observation, interaction, and assessment.

EQ is applicable to all types of teams: executive teams, project management teams, sales teams, cross-functional teams, manufacturing teams. In fact, a study of sixty work teams found the single most important dimension of success was how members interacted with each other and with those outside the team. Another found that emotional competencies distinguished "star teams" from the others studied, based on objective performance data.

Among those competencies were: flexibility in how they addressed tasks; unified effort; learning to improve by listening to performance feedback; open communication; setting expectations and confronting low performing team members.
Of course, with all development, it has to start with Self-Awareness. The team must be aware of its strengths and deficits. Here are some tips for developing a Self-Aware team:

1. Assign an observer for the next team meeting. That person should not participate, only observe and document. They should record when team members interrupt each other, when team members are non-participative, if the meeting starts and ends on time, team member body language, if the team stayed on agenda, etc. Have them share the observations at the end of the meeting. 

2. Use a facilitator to put the team through a business simulation activity. Team patterns of behavior will naturally emerge and become observable in new ways to the team members. 

3. Identify team members who have an "it will never work" mentality and offer some coaching for their verbal and nonverbal responses to new information.

4. Conduct an Emotional Intelligence assessment for the team members with a group roll up report. This can identify individual areas for development, and common areas of weakness that would be best addressed during a team intervention.

5. Don't avoid conflict to keep the peace. Vigorous discussion is healthy for a team, especially when attitudes and feelings are addressed, not just tasks and action items. 

6. If you are the team leader, you set the tone. If you are not role modeling Emotional Intelligence it will be impossible to expect it from the members. There are several resources available to you, just ask us for some suggestions.     

Emotional Intelligence is comprised of skills that can be learned, so identifying the areas for opportunity can result in tremendous R-O-I.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Month in a Minute

How is it possibly August already?

Goodbye old friend(sniff)
July was a fairly quiet business month, but it was a challenging month for me personally. I was able to come to an agreement with the buyers of my home mid-July, which left me about 2 weeks to get everything done to close the sale by the 28th. I thought I had done a lot of packing. I thought I had cleaned out the closets, drawers, and kitchen to the minimum so the final steps would not take too much time. I was SO wrong. It took 4-6 people four solid 15-hour days.

 Moving is stressful for everyone, and this one was really tough for me. I think part of the reason why is that house is the place I lived the longest since I was a little girl. It was where I raised my kids. It saw some of my happiest times and my darkest times. I wrote two books in the home office. When I moved in 12 years earlier, I had pictured us having big family gatherings with our grandchildren there. I know it is stupid to get an emotional attachment to an inanimate object, but it did feel like I was losing an old friend. Like I was packing up my things and leaving her behind. 

Everything I own now fits in two PODS
I will tell you I was so ashamed of myself when I saw the dozens (and dozens) of trash bags we took to the dump. I keep a pretty clean house that is never cluttered, and yet I had so much garbage (old textbooks, 8-year-old school work from the kids elementary years, paint cans, 10-year-old Christmas cards, games with missing pieces, dried up bottles of nail polish, etc) lying in junk drawers, under the bathroom sinks, in the garage and the basement. Why hadn’t I gone through and cleaned some of that out years ago?
We also donated 7 or 8 bags of old clothes and about half of the furniture in the house. Why did I think I needed so much stuff? It really forced me to consider how much is enough and the importance of cleaning out and donating unnecessary items. Now that it is behind me, it feels good to have closed that chapter. I am excited about the new house I am building with David in Arizona. I am committed to decluttering and minimizing my possessions (okay, maybe not shoes).

So, if you had to move out in 2 weeks, could you do it? What is cluttering up your life that is no longer needed?