In an earthquake, rocks move past each other along fault lines. These shifts are often explosive in energy and can result in minor to major changes to the landscape. In organizations, we often experience the same slips, slides and shifts. In the last 4 months, I’ve come across multiple teams who are struggling to find their way. They became very fractured during our recent political season. Should we find ways to address the divides or is it best to adopt the “we don’t talk about politics in the office” stand? [Read more…]
Are you being sucked into workplace drama? Are you being pulled into a problem focused management style? Drama can drain the energy right out of you. Infact,
- Managers can spend up to 40% of their time focusing on workplace drama.
- U.S. employees spend 2.1 hours per week involved with conflict, which amounts to approximately $359 billion in paid hours (based on an average hourly earnings of $17.95), or the equivalent of 385 million working days.
Every team is a mix of Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators and Guardians according to a recent article in Harvard Business Review. Authors Johnson-Vickberg and Christfort, write that every team is a mix of these four personality types. Their article in the New Science of Teamwork issue makes the case for “pulling your opposites closer” by encouraging unlikely pairs to work together.
This work is grounded by the research of Helen Fisher. Her research on the “brain systems that that drives human personality, attraction and love” is now a cornerstone of this new team science. Her work helped shape Match.com and now is the foundation of a tool used by Deloitte. The tool gives managers a common language for understanding how people work. The theory is that by understanding the unique personalities of workers that leaders can better manage their staff resulting in higher performing teams. [Read more…]
Bombogenisis! A weather term that seems to be used quite frequently this winter. California experienced the “pinneapple express” version of a bombegenisis where rivers of moisture intensified into massive rainfalls. Today, the east coast is waking up to a rapidly intensifying storm as it passes over the ocean and brings extensive snow to areas that were already teased into spring fever. Bombogenisis meets Nor’easter. What does this weather phenomena have to do with your workplace? [Read more…]
Perhaps you remember the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song…”Who can turn the world on with her smile? ” Indeed, a silly 1970’s TV show song and yet, I can still recite every word. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Minneapolis where Moore was a bit of a folk legend. Or just maybe, Moore’s character of an independent working woman planted the seeds of finding a career that made me happy. Mary Tyler Moore recently passed away and was remembered throughout the press as a “positive, optimistic, and charismatic woman.” She role modeled a smart, professional, happy career woman for a generation of girls growing up in the 1970s.
I once had a boss who wanted a Mary Tyler Moore poster on his wall. I secretly made fun of this request but just maybe, he was on to something? Happiness is now a research topic at major universities. The University of Pennsylvania has the Authentic Happiness Center to help us understand happiness at a deeper level. Positivity Psychology is a trend in organizational development and “happiness speakers” are all the rage at conferences.
The University Penn site is a wealth of information to help you assess your happiness factor at work. There are even a variety of a questionnaires to analyze your authentic happiness at work and home. [Read more…]
If your body had a fuel tank like a car, what would your tank say? Is it full? Half a tank? Almost Empty? Beeping at you with red lights because it’s so empty? Take a moment to think about how full is your personal energy fuel tank.
Listen at work and you might hear a colleague or friend say: “I’m so tired but I’ve got so much work to do, I just can’t stop for lunch” or “I worked all weekend” or “I feel so depleted”. These are all flashing lights that your fuel tank is moving towards empty. Clearly, sometimes we just have to push through a big project, but can we push smarter and think more intentionally about our energy? [Read more…]
David Emerald (Womeldorff) wrote the book Power of TED to help individuals and teams move away from the “dreaded drama triangle” and towards empowerment. In his short fable on self-leadership, Emerald offers readers a pathway to shifting away from the drama triangle. It is a fast, easy read with big ah-ha moments.
Think about a recent drama in your workplace or home. For example, think about the “kitchen” at work or home, a frequent drama location. There are certain people who tend to clean up and others that pile up. Let’s say you are the clean up type. One day you arrive in the kitchen and there are dishes piled up, no coffee left, and the counter is dripping with a sticky combination of sugar, yogurt and spaghetti sauce.
You start cleaning up while grumbling to yourself, “Why am I always the one who has to clean this up?” The cycle has just begun and you are the victim. Ten minutes into cleaning up a colleague comes in and puts a dirty cup by the sink and says “Wow, I really need a cup of coffee”. One of your just washed cups is filled and a trail of cream, sugar and coffee drips are left behind. All of the sudden you become the Persecutor….”Great, have a cup of coffee, I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes cleaning up your mess and because of you I’m late for a meeting. Couldn’t you just once clean up after yourself?” Zoom… you shifted from victim to persecutor. The next employee walks into this escalating drama and says….”Hey, let me help out here, I’ll do the dishes, no worries, I’ve got you both covered. Go on to your meetings, I’ll clean up”. A rescuer is born and then sends out an email to everyone…” I spent 30 minutes cleaning the kitchen this morning. If you have left anything in the refrigerator claim it today because at 5pm, I’m dumping everything as our kitchen has turned into a mold experiment.” The rescuer became the victim and the cycle continues.
This type of drama cycle happens in our homes and workplaces. What story line comes to mind for you? [Read more…]
Abbess Fu Schroeder, of the Green Gulch Zen center wrote “We are not like-minded but we are like-hearted….take that to the streets and make that our world”.
Teams, groups, families, communities often notice their differences. Celebrating differences is actually a strength. Yet often, we let our differences divide us rather than bring us together. The challenge is to recognize that we are indeed NOT like minded yet we are like-hearted. That is indeed a strength.
What does like-hearted look and sound like in your community or organization? Perhaps it begins with learning to look for hope. Getting clear about what we mean by hope is a challenge and yet that there are so many small glimmers of hope if we look. It’s like looking at a reflection of a mountain in pond. If we look carefully at the reflection, we see so many new features of the mountain we had not noticed before. [Read more…]
Our choice of words matter. We can use words dis-empowering words such as: might, try, should, maybe and but or we can use empowering words such as: can, and, choose, and will. Which do you find yourself using more?
Scare resources in your organization? Low morale in your community or business? Listen for the cues for dis-empowered language. Have you heard people say… “We don’t have the resources”. “It’s one of too many priorities I can’t get done”. “It’s not my responsibility”. “That won’t work”. “I guess I’ll just do it myself”. “but…..”
Taking time to listen for dis-empowering words becomes the first step to empowerment. Third River Partners coaches it’s clients in the difference between dis-empowering and empowering language. Their supportive, values based leadership model turns teams from dis-empowerment to empowerment by noticing word choice. Words do matter. [Read more…]
Our goal is to create a beloved community and
this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.