I was presenting a workshop on the Power of Pause at a business association conference for HR professionals earlier this month. During the workshop, a person asked me two questions, “How does one start being mindful? And, how do I bring mindfulness to my workplace?”
I paused before I responded. Then I said that if being mindful is about cultivating one’s ability for moment-to-moment awareness without judgment, then it starts with self. My thought behind that is, how can I bring that presence to my work if I’ve not given time to cultivate that internally? [Read more…]
Last week was a lesson in mindfulness, of being aware that I was not aware, that resulted in a personally embarrassing situation.
I was at a client to facilitate their leadership team meeting. As people came into their small conference room, Sue (not her real name) walked in. I’ve known Sue for a year or so and we’ve met several times. When I looked at her, my mind told me she was pregnant. Well, guess what came out of my mouth? “Sue, you are pregnant,” I said with a joyous tone. Sue was startled, and with her face flushed she replied with sternness, “No, I’m not.”
Oh my, these are life situations that you wish you could take back and do over. Has this ever happened to you? [Read more…]
There’s a lot of uncivilness going around – people being rude, pushing their own agendas, hearing but not listening, unable to honor differing opinions or ideas from their own. So, what are we going to do about it?
Maybe we need a model to practice in being civil in our working and personal relationships.
Well, I have just the thing for us to practice – a mindful communication methodology. [Read more…]
In my recent work with a client in developing a workshop on coaching for managers, we came upon a handbook that offers an insightful and effective framework for providing feedback called FAST Feedback by Bruce Tulgan.
FAST Feedback “is a practical method for giving employees the kind of feedback they need the most.” It is based on the formula FAST, an acronym that stands for:
FREQUENT – Giving employees feedback at their individual rates of need.
ACCURATE – Giving feedback that is correct, balanced, and appropriate.
SPECIFIC – Focusing on concrete action steps.
TIMELY – The sooner, the better.
The handbook addresses why FAST is important, the causes for and consequences of managers who are not effective coaches, and guidelines to be a good coach. At the end, the handbook offers The FAST Feedback Manager’s Tool Kit that contains four worksheets and planning tools to prepare and implement each of the four coaching elements.
This handbook packs a punch if you are serious about coaching. And, there is no dispute that a serious flaw for many managers is their inability to coach effectively.
So, get this book for every manager in your organization and do it FAST!
Watch Bruce Tulgan talk about how managers are to be coaches. He is inspiring.
What is your crutch?
This month, I had the privilege to facilitate a workshop at the Central Iowa Chapter Association for Talent Development (ATD) Career Development Day. My workshop was “Quotes to Inspire, Questions to Inquire.” This is the title of a card deck that contains 52 cards. Each card has a quote and the flip side has several questions that relate to a core idea in the quote.
I had an engaging group that plowed right into dialogue in pairs with the cards. Several talked about how the quotes and questions engaged them to dialogue at levels that were personal and more in-depth than what a casual conversation would be. One woman cried in response to her card because it ushered in emotional memories of an event long ago. Yes, the power of quotes and questions was very evident with this group.
I shared with them my favorite card. [Read more…]
Meditation: The Foundation of Learning to be a Mindful Leader
In November, I attended a 2.5 day Mindful Leadership Summit in Arlington, Va. What an experience it was with 600 people!
Each learning session started with a 1-2 minute silent meditation. Why? What is the purpose of meditation?
- Its purpose is to learn to be present; to acknowledge our distractions and still be “present.”
- Breathing helps us do that.
- Being “present” in the moment allows us to “see” things we wouldn’t otherwise see, and in turn, we can guide/lead others to do the same.
It was clear from the presenters, that meditation is the basis to learning to be a mindful leader. Here are a few highlights from several speakers. [Read more…]
“One can die at forty and not get buried until ninety.” Ouch! Oh my, this quote rings true when we don’t deal with change positively, whether it’s a job change, personal change or organizational change that impacts us. There are many ways and methods to respond to change positively. One approach is to become change-resilient. Its definition is “to consciously adjust with courage and confidence whenever ‘It’ happens. . . while achieving the best possible outcome for yourself, others you care about, and your organization.” The “It” is whatever the change you are facing is.
I’ve been working with a new program called “Make Change Work™ For You” that has 5 action steps in helping us become change-resilient. [Read more…]
How to bring mindfulness to the workplace
Last week I facilitated a session on The Power of Pause – Practical Mindfulness for Leaders to about 60 people currently participating in leadership development programs or graduates of the programs.
Toward the end of the session, a person asked, “As a leader, how would I begin bringing mindfulness practices to my team?” I paused to consider his question. I then responded that I think it begins with SELF. [Read more…]