(703) 763-3823

Contact Us Today

Categories
Training Training and Productivity Tips Wise Ways Consulting

The 2023 No Resolution List

The 2023 No Resolution List

Welcome to January and welcome to a new year!

Sometime after the new year begins, and the first day of work, many people create a list of resolutions – a list of personal and professional desires often encompassing habits, health, or wants. Then, sometime in the first week of February or sooner, all that positive energy fades along with the resolutions.

People consistently fail to see their resolutions to the end of the year. So, I ask, why are you setting yourself up for failure? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to stop smoking, eat more vegetables, land a new job, or any of the thousands of resolutions people make. You should try to be healthier and happier, but making a resolution is not the way to make it happen.

This issue of Wise Words provides articles and resources to reframe the idea of resolutions toward setting goals, intentions, and the power of small changes for big payoffs.

The beginning of a new year is a powerful time to assess areas of your life that you want to improve. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only time. Pick any Sunday, any first day of a month, or milestone. Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh.

The dictionary defines resolution as the act of determining. A goal is defined as the end toward which effort is directed.

Resolutions are ideas and goals are actions.

Consider a goal like a commute to work. You don’t wake up in the and then arrive at work, even if you’re working from home. You have a morning routine that may include pets and family members. You have a route to work that may need to change for meeting times or weather. As you complete one small task in your morning, you move to the next, and the next until you arrive at work. Because you’ve been walking through a morning routine and commute, whether it was to school or work for most of your life, you don’t think of the individual steps until something changes, like your car breaks down or you get a new job.

Why is it then, that we make lofty resolutions and rely on willpower and not small thoughtful steps and measurable results?

Reframe your resolutions as goals and treat those goals like a commute through the year. What one or two steps can you take to make slow and steady progress. Complete those and start again. Make sure to allow for unexpected changes. Forgive yourself if you miss a step, pick a new moment, and begin again. In this scenario, any day can be the start of your new year.

I wish you a healthy 2023 full of success however you define it.

P.S. Coaching is an excellent way to set measurable and meanings goals. Email Melissa today! [email protected]

Categories
EQ-i 2.0 Leadership Development Leadership Skills Training

How Do We Build Trust in a Team?

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” – Isaac Watts

One of the key components of effective team building is developing trust amongst the group members. An absence of trust in the workplace can make productivity an uphill slog and hamper progress on projects and performance.

Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing and you are willing to put yourself on the line in the belief of someone else. Without this sort of dependence within a team or organization, members can find themselves working at cross-purposes with each other.

As a manager, how can you build trust amongst your team and foster a strong bond that will enable productivity and cohesion?

The first step the leadership of an organization can take is to develop Emotional Intelligence. Taking the time to bring in a knowledgeable consultant such as Wise Ways Consulting, trained to administer EI testing such as the EQ-I 2.0 and EQ360 can help accelerate trust-building in the workplace.

Through self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation, and building social skills – the five categories of Emotional Intelligence – team leaders can properly develop and motivate their teams.

Once leaders know themselves, it is easier to find the strengths and areas for growth in others and work to develop those. The simple act of getting out from behind one’s desk, greeting people, and talking to team members while showing genuine interest in learning who each person is, will go a long way toward building trust.

When team leaders take steps to recognize successes, share failures, applaud people’s positive behaviors and individual growth, and respectfully address negative behaviors with constructive ways to improve, they set their team up for success by demonstrating the simple act of trust.

Can vulnerability build trust?

Absolutely! We have already discussed the intertwined nature of trust and vulnerability. The simple act of trusting that someone will deliver what is expected without micromanaging the process is an act of trust and vulnerability. Learn to sit with discomfort and allow team members to take the reins and prove they are worthy of that trust. Remember that they were hired because they are good at their jobs – allow them the autonomy to show you!

Being vulnerable is synonymous with learning to “sit in the discomfort.” This may simply be the discomfort of letting go, stopping controlling all aspects of the team’s mission, and giving ownership to the team in order to empower them in their roles within the organization. As control is released, teams become stronger as a whole and leadership are able to remove focus from day-to-day activities instead working toward shaping the organization’s long-term vision and strategic plans.

By employing techniques learned through completing the EI assessment, learning the concepts, and training the organization can work toward building trust and empowering a team.

Categories
Corporate Teams Effective Communication Government Agency Training Leadership Development Leadership Skills Personal Development Professional Development Training

The Bully Behind the Desk

Here’s some eye-opening news. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. A Yale University study found that victims of bullying are between two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than those who are not being bullied. The National Education Association reports 160,000 children miss school each day for fear of being

Much has been written in recent years about bullying; many schools have developed a no-bully policy. However, that doesn’t stop the behavior any more than a no-smoking sign outside a building stops people from smoking.

Let’s move past the tender school years and jump into the workforce. A 2014 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI,) reports that twenty-seven percent of workers “have current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work.”  Not surprisingly, managers are the majority of offenders.

Now, let’s connect the dots. If students are missing school and contemplating suicide, how does that translate to working adults? Students can and should report all incidents of bullying to school authorities. But what does a worker do if the consequences are professional retaliation or job loss? Not everyone is in a position where he or she can just get another job.

First, it’s important to recognize and define workplace bullying behavior. WBI defines it as conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating and includes actions that lead to work sabotage. This can come through verbal abuse or written text or emails.

If you think that these behaviors walk the line between bad actors and legal actions, you’re right

  • Document the activities, names, dates, events, and witnesses if applicable
  • Report activities to human resources or the highest authority above the person who is the bully
  • Seek the advice of an attorney
  • In extreme cases, call the police

Most of all, realize that you are not alone. The schoolyard bully does grow up, yet unfortunately, may not outgrow his or her reprehensible behavior. No one has the right to abuse another person on the playground or at work.

Wise Words Newsletter – read the rest of the April newsletter here!

Categories
Effective Communication Personal Development Professional Development Training

The Important Role of the Right “Q” in the Workplace

As leaders, one way we make predictions about potential success is through IQ, intelligence testing. First developed in the early 1900s, these tests have become standard tools for the military, school placement, and human resource departments. But what do these tests measure or really predict? If you took the SAT as part of your college entrance application, and didn’t do well, but still graduated with top honors from a university, you experienced first-hand that human intelligence cannot and should not be bound by a number.

If we simply ignore IQ and build our teams with a balance of race, gender, class, and culture that would be what many experts tout as a diversified workforce. But putting diversity aside for a moment, we still have to remember that each person, regardless of his or her diversity, is unique. Each person has experiences, a personality, and abilities. Hiring managers and teams still need to make personnel decisions based on traits and abilities that do not always include technical abilities.

In my book, How Not to Act Like a BLEEP at Work, the protagonist, Louise Jackson is a technically astute middle manager who has inherited a diverse team. She’s annoyed by their personal problems, and their need to share the ups and downs of their client interactions, and fails to see how she is losing control of her project. She suffers from a lack of interpersonal skills, particularly empathy. She is sent to work with a mentor with the dark cloud hanging over her head and unless there is improvement in her leadership and team, she’ll be looking for a new job. She confides in her mentor that, Some people at this company are just too thin-skinned. They expect you to worry about their feelings and what is going on with them outside of the office. This is work, for goodness sake. You come here to get the job done.

Lou needs to learn about EQ or emotional intelligence.

What is EQ?
Emotional Intelligence is arguably a more critical element of success than IQ in determining a cohesive productive team in the workplace.  The Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology lists three major models of emotional intelligence, Mayer-Salovey, Daniel Goleman, and Reuven Bar-On.  The Mayer-Salovey model defines this as the ability to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions to facilitate thinking.  The Goleman model views EQ as an assortment of emotional and social competencies that contribute to successful managerial performance and leadership.  The Bar-On model describes EQ as an array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills, and behaviors that impact intelligent behavior.

There are five composites of Emotional Intelligence that makeup the Bar-Ons EQ-I 2.0 model; self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision-making, and stress management.  Arguably, the most important for successful leadership is interpersonal skills. Healthy engagement with these proficiencies allows you to understand, connect and relate better with others and become more successful in positions that require social connection and esprit de corps.

Yet many leaders bristle at the use of the term empathy. Some find it difficult to care about things outside of the production of work, but as the workforce becomes more diversified, empathy and EQ skills are essential for success.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Workplace?
You hear the term company culture thrown around frequently in modern organizations. Any research on values and goals tells you that when values and goals align in the workplace, organizations are more successful.

From a management standpoint, if you are working at cross-purposes with your employees, your productivity will be stunted. It may be easier to quantify and calibrate technical skills but the behavioral skills found within EQ fuel the growth of your business.

Organizations can benefit from bringing in a knowledgeable consultant to facilitate EQ growth by utilizing assessments such as EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360 to evaluate emotional intelligence in management, employees, and teams. From there, an interactive program to work with individuals and teams will cultivate valuable resources to improve effective communication. In the case of my struggling protagonist, Lou, she participates a formal mentoring program. Through stories, I show how she learns how to work with her team and increase organizational productivity. Those strategies will work for the real characters in our offices too!

Wise Words Newsletter” read the rest of the October newsletter here!

Sign up for our Newsletter to find out about the latest Leadership Trends