In August, I was in Chicago working with a senior care retirement community in a 53 story high rise two blocks from the John Hancock building and four blocks from Lake Michigan. All the community’s managers gathered on the 53rd floor, overlooking Lake Michigan, for a day focused on building relationships and finalizing their community’s mission and values. One couldn’t have picked a better visual sight for a day of engagement. [Read more…]
A client asked me to facilitate a three-hour learning engagement on Relationship Building for Managers. So, where does one start?
After reviewing several books and lots of content, I came up with three attributes that I consider critical in relationship building for managers. [Read more…]
I’m a sage advisor to an Executive Director for a nonprofit. We met the other day and the Executive Director said (I’m paraphrasing), “I feel like I’m in a helium balloon. Every day, more helium is being let in to the point that it’s going to explode.” Then, he wondered out loud if he was the right person in his role right now.
When too much helium gets in our balloon, the effect we feel is frenzy, which is how the Executive Director described it. We can’t focus, we are quick to make decisions that are prone to error, we move from one thing to another, and we can’t catch up. It affects our sleep, attitude, desire to be engaged, and our sense of control. This is exactly how it affected the Executive Director. [Read more…]
I received as a gift from a coach a card deck of quotes and questions. There is a quote on one side and several questions on the other side that challenge us about the quote. Quite clever, I thought.
Earlier this month, I used the card deck with a client at a staff retreat. I pulled 10 cards from the deck of 50 that were relevant to the purpose for the retreat – deepening our understanding of each other. They did 3 rounds in pairs, each pair selecting one card and dialoguing about the questions for 10 minutes. Then, we came together to find out what they learned about each other and how do the quotes and questions speak to where they are as an organization.
We started first from a personal perspective and then related to the cards from an organizational perspective. Here is an example from one card that was selected:
Quote: “Nothing is more desirable than to be released from affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a CRUTCH.” (James Baldwin) [Read more…]
“If you want to learn, be willing not to know.” (Julio Olalla, president of the Newfield Network, a coaching school and consulting company in Latin America and the United States)
We strive in our businesses and life to KNOW and to be RIGHT! Leaders, in particular, are faced with this dilemma in dealing with change and in making financial decisions. The reality is ambiguity and uncertainty are present in our work and lives. The question is, “Can I give myself permission not to know?” [Read more…]
A number of years ago, I attended a workshop on management and supervision. The presenter started the session with this question, “A show of hands. How many of you think that you supervise people?” A lot of hands went up. The presenter then drew a large circle on the easel pad and responded, “No, you don’t supervise people. Your primary role is to create, maintain and foster a work environment that enables people to be a success. It’s your responsibility to identify what needs to be in the work environment (the circle) that will enable people to be a success. And, it all starts with YOU.” [Read more…]
Danny Meyer, who owns several top-rated restaurants in Manhattan, believes and hires employees whose skills are divided 51-49 between emotional hospitality and technical excellence. He refers to these employees as the “51 percenters.” [Read more…]
In our western world, the predominant way of thinking is the “well-practiced pattern of knowing most things by comparison,” i.e., “either/or.”
Is it good or bad? Are you with me or against me? I’m right, you are wrong. [Read more…]
I’m working with two clients this month using the World Café method.
What is it? It is “an intentional way to create living network conversations around questions that matter.” Okay, so what really happens and what is meant by “questions that matter?” [Read more…]
Feeling scattered? Pulled from here to there? Not enough time for…? Do things faster? “To do” list getting longer?
Why is it so difficult for us to focus on one thing at a time? This has been one of my biggest challenges in life. Anxiety sets in and I get sidetracked on projects.
“Being conscious of engaging fully in one task at a time” is a mindfulness practice. This takes practice, attentiveness, and a commitment to change. My way to deal with this was to try to do more, work longer hours, shorten lunch time or get up earlier. I realized this was delusional thinking. It was nothing more than a trap. I was fencing myself into a place that I did not enjoy.
What do I enjoy? Flow, space, acceptance, trust that all will work out, engagement, creativity, and clear mindedness. Now, I recognize these traits will not always be present for me. But, this is what I strive for in my daily life which creates space for me to be attentive to my family, friends, clients, and the work I’ve chosen to do.
So, how can one move to “being conscious of engaging fully in one task at a time?” [Read more…]