Don’t Be Mean – Part Two . . the 5 step solution for leaders

I am a big fan of Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services.  She is a great coach and passionate about developing leaders that make a difference.  She is also thoughtful and nice.  The kind of person you trust as soon as you meet. 

I had the privilege of doing a two guest posts on her blog around leadership development and coaching. 

Here is the link to the second part of the post: 

I am a big fan of Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services.  She is a great coach and passionate about developing leaders that make a difference.  She is also thoughtful and nice.  The kind of person you trust as soon as you meet.  I had the privilege of doing a guest post on her blog around leadership development and coaching. 

Here is the link to Part 2 of the post.  http://www.aspire-cs.com/don%e2%80%99t-be-mean-part-2

If you missed it, here is the link to Part 1 of the post.  http://www.aspire-cs.com/don%e2%80%99t-be-mean-part-one?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Don’t Be Mean – Part One

I am a big fan of Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services.  She is a great coach and passionate about developing leaders that make a difference.  She is also thoughtful and nice.  The kind of person you trust as soon as you meet.  I had the privilege of doing a guest post on her blog around leadership development and coaching.  Here is the first part of the post.  http://www.aspire-cs.com/don%e2%80%99t-be-mean-part-one?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Developing Resilience – 4 Ways to Process Pain

Lifting a Mini car Above my head. Total weight...
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The top three most stressful events in life are:

  1. Death
  2. Divorce
  3. Job Loss

Right Management, an outplacement company and division of Manpower tells those experiencing #3 to do three things right away:

  1. Exercise
  2. Get a schedule
  3. Journal

When I share this with people trying to process a career shift or a plan #3 often stands out and evokes the question “Why?”.  The reason -pain needs to be processed to add to the tools/weapons that build resilience for future events.  Are you dealing with some event below the top 3 above.  Here are other ways to process pain/challenge:

  1. Executive coaching – A safe place to process, reset, and plan to move past it.
  2. Peer network – Few things are more comforting than knowing you are not alone in your challenges.  ALL managers and above NEED to develop this for themselves.  Don’t wait for your employer or HR team to do it for you.
  3. Read how others have done it – Like #2, finding a person with a good perspective can be comforting and will help you process things.
  4. Spouse/Best Friend – Having a ‘here is where I am’ discussion with someone who cares for and understands you is priceless.

Being alone with a challenge is not a good place to stay.  Go find a friend.

Resilience – 4 Steps to NOT make it another initiative

Resilience is the new word for 2011.  If you have not heard it yet you will.  There is risk in using it because the definition sounds hard.  Mirriam-Webster’s dictionary presents resilience as  an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.  Can you hear the chatter over coffee or lunch already?  This as the potential to be a great Dilbert comic strip or episode on The Office.

So what would be the benefit to your team if people spent 50% less downtime after a major change?  Are you concerned about burning out key people?  Do you see no immediate end to the pace you are asking your teams to work?  It is time to address how an organization can use the resilience discussion to give their leaders more energy and provide their teams with new skills to deal with the realities of a difficult business environment.

  1. Be transparent about your concerns:  If everyone is feeling the stress and strain of an uncertain today or tomorrow then talk about it.  People are more likely to take it seriously if they hear their leaders discussing it openly and making personal changes/efforts to increase their own resilience.  
  2. Focus initially on self awareness / team awareness:  A basic discussion about stress and how it happens for each of us is a good place to start.  Just the knowledge of how each of us reacts to stress and how our teammates react allows discussions to happen in a way that people can help each other as they help themselves.
  3. Bridge awareness to ‘How do I cope?’:  There is lots of research around the effect of exercise, yoga, friendships, and many other things that allow people to relieve stress or gather support.  The key is to have people pick something and do it.  For executives, this is often where coaching becomes a key tool so they can have a safe place to deal with their individual needs and support in making a change into a habit.  For others, the support of a team or a few key friends at work is critical, so assist in building those relationships.
  4. Continue the discussion:  In one on one meetings leaders should follow-up on commitments made to pursue friendships or get exercise.  Maybe even pushing people to leave at lunch or make their 5pm yoga class.  In team meetings – spend a few minutes at the beginning of the meetings hearing about key wins and key stress points this week.  If someone sounds particularly stressed out make a habit to check in with them.

Resilience is a timely discussion given the current economic realities.  Just don’t make it an initiative, make it a habit.  How relevant is this topic to what you are seeing or hearing or feeling?