He walks into the room full of energy. He bounces along, coffee in hand, with a big smile, “Good Morning, how are you doing?” and “What did you do over the weekend?” A few colleagues respond with the same good cheer and stories of weekend adventures and the energy builds in the room. Yet, there is often someone who does not respond with a “Good Morning” and rarely talks about the weekend. This person may work right through this “chatter”. Positive has just met deliberative and the communication chess game has begun. [Read more…]
We walk, we amble, we wander, and we think. One wonderful way to capture this concept is through the phrase “Solvitur Ambulando,” Latin for “it is solved by walking”.
John Muir and Henry David Thoreau have long been known as the writers who advocated for walking. Muir wrote: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Thoreau wrote, “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
Now Stanford University and others have conducted studies on the values of walking. Stanford researchers explored creativity and walking. They write “we’re not saying walking can turn you into Michelangelo, but it could help you at the beginning stages of creativity.”
Have you ever watched a surfer twist and turn and respond to a wave? Surfers are famous for pivoting, or carving, on the crest of a wave. Surfers have a whole set of lingo for describing nimbleness and the ability to pivot.
Lately, I’ve heard several people asking two questions…How can we be more nimble? How do we pivot more quickly? Organizational jargon can be distracting and overused at times, and has even been summarized in an entertaining slide deck by Forbes .Yet, in these times one has to wonder about the value and importance of being able to “Pivot” and be “Nimble”. Perhaps, surfers can be our instructors. [Read more…]
Vulnerability is a word loaded with baggage. It is a word that often connotes weakness, confusion, even “being stuck”. Yet, if we look at vulnerability with more curiosity we can see that it potentially is one of those great pivot point words. If we pivot away from the judging of vulnerability, we can actually shift towards connection, collaboration and opportunity.
Try this on. Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you feel a little vulnerable admitting the mistake? We all make mistakes, yet, in the workplace, we are often cautious to discuss our errors. We are not intentionally trying to make mistakes, we are just human! We can often feel vulnerable when we make mistakes and fear being judged or dismissed. Yet, as Amy Rees Anderson from Forbes wrote “good employees make mistakes, great leaders allow them to”. [Read more…]
Imagine you are sitting down with a colleague or supervisor and said…”what I really need from you in order for me to thrive in my role is______” Fill in the blank with any hosts of needs, such as:time, quiet, honest conversation, data to analyze, problems to solve, tasks to complete or even someone to mentor. In order to truly leverage our strengths, we must ask for what we need. Asking for what you need is one of the finer arts of negotiation.
We often think of negotiation through the lenses of salaries and benefits. SheNegotiates helps women with the art of negotiating.They believe that “the world needs what you have to offer.” Their training and coaching services help women to strategically work towards their professional and financial goals. SheNegotiates fills a critical role in helping women learn the art of negotiating. The team at SheNegotiates understands the importance of asking for what you need. [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…]
When was the last time a friend or colleague said to you: “You are a good listener” or “That is a great idea, thanks” or “ I appreciate your insight and time, that was super helpful.”
For many of us, sharing out talents and strengths with others comes very easily. We generously give our ideas, hearts, abilities, knowledge, expertise and experience to others. What would happen if you turned that same generosity on yourself? What if you turned your talents on you? [Read more…]
Four thousand people a day, log on to the Gallup Strengths Center to take a 35 minute, 120 question online assessment to get a “strengths finder report”. The report names an individual’s talents, preferences, knowledge, skills and strengths. Upon receiving the report, people often have a burst of energy and enthusiasm. However, that energy often dissipates because people don’t know what to do with the results. [Read more…]
What words do you think of when you hear the word Ecology? Nature? Water? Animals? Soil? Plants? Air? Ecology is not just one of these elements, it is rather the interconnection between all these elements. An ecological system is a brilliantly woven tapestry of thriving elements. It is a system that grows stronger by inter-connections.
Ecology is by its very nature is so big and comprehensive that it is almost impossible to define. Yet, ultimately, ecology is about three things: balance, strength and tightly woven interdependencies.
Ecology also reveals the secret to thriving organizations, teams and leaders. We can turn to hundreds of books on leadership and teams, journals and courses to unlock the secret to thriving employees and organizations. Or, we can turn to the most time tested systems in the world, our natural systems. Our ecological systems are the greatest teacher we have on how to create, support, and sustain balanced and strong organizational systems. I call this learning from ecological systems the Ecology of Strengths.