Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Employee Engagement During Unusual Times

 Please click the link to begin this 45-minute recorded webinar

https://www.bigmarker.com/middle-tennessee-shrm/Employee-Development-in-Unusual-Times?bmid=00b3582945c5


Many employees are working from home.  Sometimes, it might feel like they are missing in action.  Well, it feels that way for them too!  Keep them connected, committed and engaged with a few practical tips.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

B.L.E.N.D. Your Virtual Meetings with These Must Dos

 

Yesterday CNN reported that a top executive at NY Times lost his job.  He was fired because of inappropriate conduct.  He was doing some unmentionable things during a zoom meeting.  

It just goes to show that common sense is not so common.  Your coworkers and clients don't want to see you smoking and drinking.  They don't want to hear you yelling at your kids or going to the bathroom.  They don't want to see your underwear or your husband's shirtless body.    

Think of it this way:  the things you wouldn't do during a meeting AT the office you shouldn't do during a virtual meeting either. 

Here are a few tips to make your virtual meeting as professional as possible:

B – Background. An empty background (such as a blank wall) is better than a cluttered or busy background. Try to make sure there is no movement in your background, if possible.

 

L – Lighting. An easy way to improve lighting is to take the shade off a lamp or two and place it behind your computer. You will look better and it will fill out shadows. Note that bright sunlight from windows can cause lighting issues.

 

E – Elevate (or eliminate) your behavior.  Don’t leave abruptly.  Don’t do things that are distracting to you or others.  Think about what you would and wouldn’t do if you were in your boss’ office or sitting in a conference room with others.

 

N – Noise. Improve sound quality by connecting a set of headphones that have an integrated microphone to your computer. Headphones that come with smartphones work well. This eliminates echoes and improves sound quality when you speak. They can also drown out background noise.

 

D – Dress. Always dress professionally to portray leadership, commitment, and presence for your audience and participants.  You are still making an impression, even if it is a virtual impression.

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

No One Is More Invested In You Than YOU!

My client told me she was disappointed her boss didn't take an active role in her professional development. I explained that while it would be nice to have that level of support there are plenty of things she could do to foster her own development and get noticed.  We created a list and here are some of the things she did to take charge of her future:


Enroll in a professional development program.  We identified a 9-week program focused on executive presence and influence.  These types of programs typically take place at night or on the weekend.  My client invested in this out of her own pocket. She decided she was worth the time and money; and no one else had to give her permission to invest in herself.  On the job, she would share what she learned with her boss.  She also demonstrated new skills of which her boss took notice.   The fact that she was committed to her career and growth was pretty impressive in and of itself.  Her boss was so impressed he offered to reimburse her for the cost of the program.

Engage in mentorship. Anyone with more than 10 years professional experience is in a prime position to be a mentor and have a mentor.  We often hear about the benefits of having a mentor. The benefits of being a mentor are just as strong. You have an opportunity to engage with someone who may have a different generational or demographic background.  Being a mentor presents an opportunity to learn what other people value and need in today's workplace.   And there's an opportunity to develop your own leadership skills in this formal or informal role.  There are professional organizations that help connect mentors and mentees too.

Find a professional organization specific to your field.   There are professional organizations for most careers.  I have had clients in nursing, education, engineering, accounting, technology, nonprofit management, finance, entertainment, government, and manufacturing.  All of them participate in profession-specific or industry-specific groups.  If you don't find one that suits you, do something about it.  Start a group on LinkedIn, Facebook or Meetup to attract and invite like-minded professionals in your arena. With just a simple search, I found organizations for women in construction; African Americans in human resources; and brown girls in politics.  Start engaging others with whom you identify and then schedule regular meetings to share ideas, solve problems and address needs.

Your career, as well as your development is yours to own.  You have the power.  Don't let anyone take it away.

Have a professional development or career question?

Want to arrange a complimentary laser coaching session?


Also, ask us about booking a speaker or facilitator for your next corporate learning event.

www.yourenhance.com   |   info@yourenhance.com

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Carving Out Time for What Matters Most


Recently my friends came over for our monthly brunch. As is customary for the season, we carved pumpkins. We weren’t simply carving snaggletooth faces. We carved images of ghosts, cats, and bats into our giant gourds, which is a lot of work.  I realized we weren’t just carving pumpkins; we were carving out time for what matters to us.  Things that matter are worth the effort. After some self-reflection, I was reminded of a few things that are important enough to me to carve out time.

Learning 

Whether listening to a podcast or attending a class, learning is a real passion of mine. Therefore, not only do I invest time and energy into my own learning, I share that passion with others.  I teach college classes, fitness classes, corporate workshops, and I teach life skills for women and at-risk youth. It matters to me because I see how it makes a difference in my life and the lives of others.  I know that education -- whether formal or not -- can change perspectives, change behavior, and catapult a person into an entirely new direction.  I am now carving out time to read two books each month. One book I’m reading for entertainment.  The other text focuses on self-development. 

Relationships
Most of my family is more than 500 miles from me.   Fostering relationships with others is essential for me. It ensures that I have a community I can count on.  Whether its attending book club meetings, riding with my cycling team, or hosting dinner parties, I'm committed to staying connected.  My latest commitment is to pay attention to others’ communication preferences.   Typically, I only have phone conversations with my mother, brother and significant other.  Phone calls are not my preferred means of communications. But I have friends who prefer talking live, so I am committed to calling them.  I have relatives who prefer texting, so I'll text.  I find that when I meet people where they are, our relationships flourish.

Community
When I was a teenager, my summers didn't consist of working a summer job.  My summers consisted of volunteer service.  I was a Volunteer In Public Schools. VIPS -- as we were called -- read to younger kids and aided teachers in the classroom.  I even worked in a hospital where I rocked babies and visited with patients. These days I volunteer my time to support cancer research and support domestic violence survivors.   It makes me feel like I'm living up to my full potential when I can help others do the same.   This season I will carve out time to deliver food and blankets to the
homeless.  With all the divisiveness that exists today, a sense of community is uplifting and enriching.

Health

Most people who know me, know that I'm a bit of a health enthusiast.  Ever since my days as a dancer in high school, I've been conscious about my nutrition and exercise.  My mother still fondly recalls the days when I would snack on rice cakes and granola in between dance performances and drama rehearsals.  If health really matters to a person, it will show up in how much that person invests in it.  My newest commitment is to carve out time for at least 4 hours of activity each week; and take a friend along with me.

Finding what matters 
What really matters isn’t the same for everyone.  Therefore, the process of discovering what matters starts with knowing oneself.  Some people say that what matters to you is evident in your bank account. They say that what you spend the most money on is what matters to you most.  If you spend a lot of money clothes shopping, maybe your wardrobe is very important. If you spend a significant portion of your income on vacations, it's possible travel is an important thing to you. I've said before that I believe time is a more valuable resource than money, because you can't make more of it. So, when I'm reflecting on my priorities, I look at how I spend my time. If you ever feel like you could be doing more to enrich your own life, the lives of others, or perhaps have a bigger impact outside your own household, examine how you spend your time and money.  The answers likely lie there.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Your Most Precious Resource: How Will You Spend It?

In one of my workshops, I asked participants to imagine they've been given $86,400. I asked them to decide how they will spend every dollar. I told them they couldn't save any of it and they couldn't give it away.  Some workshop participants told me they wanted to invest it, save a portion for their children or put some aside for a rainy day.  But I assured them that would not be allowed. I watched them ponder and review their options in painstaking detail.  After they had made their decisions, we talked about the purpose of the exercise. 

It's really not about money, it's about time.

There are 86,400 seconds in every day.  Many of us spend our money very carefully and thoughtfully. But with our time we're not as astute. We waste it, we throw it away, we spend it on the wrong people and things, and we use it in unfruitful ways.

Money has a known and distinct value for most people. And we know what money is worth. We just don't always seem to know what the value of time is.


They are decidedly different in many way:
Image result for time
Can make more:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can count how much you have:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can save some for later:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can give it away to those who need it
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can earn it:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can borrow it:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

Can find it:
Money - Yes;  Time - No

What you can do with both is invest it instead of just spending it.  To invest your time, you need a plan of action.  Be intentional as you plan how you will use your time.   

Here are some tips, experts say help us make the most of our time.

  • Designate small amounts of time each day for things that are not important; like social media, and tv shows.  When that designated time is up, stop.
  • Start each day by planning for the day and for each week by planning for the week.  During this time, determine your top priorities.
  • Be willing to say no to things that don't align with your priorities.  
  • Make time for connecting with friends and family, exercise and self care.  Related image
  • Remember, that they only moment you have for sure, is right now.  

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Overnight Failure Is As Fake As The Overnight Success

It's been said that there's no such thing as an overnight success. I tell my coaching clients there's no such thing as an overnight failure either.  The outward signs of "failure" -- like financial ruin, toxic relationships, business dissolution, or scandal -- can appear overnight.  However, typically there is a series of actions, in-actions, and decisions that lead to those overt outcomes.  Many times, drastically dreadful results come from continually crummy choices.  As a coach I guide people through a process of discovery. They discover how their decisions have led them to where they are. Additionally, we discuss actions and decisions that could help them get where they want to go.  

Here's one such process:  
Coach: "describe your current situation - something that's concerning you a -- good or bad."
Client: "I was recently promoted to supervisor at a tire manufacturer." Coach:  "Let's rewind 12 months.  What were you doing 12 months ago to prepare you for where you are now?"
Client: "I wasn't doing anything special.  I was just showing up to work and doing my job."
Coach:  "Did you tell anyone you wanted to be a supervisor?  Did your boss just come to you and offer you the position?"
Client:  "I told my boss during my last performance review that I was looking to get promoted.  He told me some areas I needed to work on to be considered for a management role."
Coach:  What did you do with that feedback?
Client:  "I took some training classes."
Coach:  "How did you apply what you learned?"
Client:  "I volunteered to take on a big project and offered to lead our team meetings."
Coach: "Great. Anything else you were doing a year ago?"
Client:  "I sought out a mentor."  
Coach:  "How did that work out for you?"
Client:  "Great.  She taught me a better way to handle conflict and build relationships."


The coach might then ask what the client was doing 6 months ago, and 3 months ago and so on.

You can usually backtrack and figure out some things you've done to contribute to a success you've had.  Likewise, you can backtrack and identify ways you've contributed to situations that didn't go well.  

If you can stay focused and be honest with  yourself, you can think through this process on your own.  If not, find an experienced, certified coach and start talking through your actions, their impacts and subsequent lessons.  They could help you find new behaviors that could lead to better results.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Saying No Tactfully

Saying no to the requests of others can be done with diplomacy and tact.  Here's how to protect your time and priorities from other people's emergencies.