What are you doing to navigate these stormy waters?

In recent months we’ve been bombarded with the phrase “we are all in this together.” Not only does it relate to the world at large it can also relate to the organization where we work. In speaking with a colleague earlier this week she made an interesting statement: even though we are all in this together we are in different boats. Some people are in an inflatable raft, some in a cabin cruiser or some a yacht. When we work for an organization its true as well. Think of the place you work for as the body of water and your role in the organization is the boat you are guiding to get you to the destination.

We all face stormy weather and how we navigate the storm is independent of the type of vessel you are guiding the difference is how you guide the craft. The way you pilot your boat is what will make the difference in the outcome of your day, your month, your career, not the type of boat you are steering. Without the skill, knowledge, and ability (SKA’s) to sail stormy seas, you will run aground even if you are in the most expensive yacht. Are you willing make the time to improve your SKA’s? Your investment in your SKA’s is what will give you the ability to successfully guide your boat to its destination.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Listen to podcasts or the read the blog posts of leaders in your industry.
  • Let me recommend Michelle L. Steffes podcast: Your Journey to Greatness Through Routine.  Here is a link:https://ipvconsulting.com/podcastpage/
  • Take time each day to disconnect from news and social media.
  • Create a plan to strengthen areas in which you already excel.
  • And of course find time for self-care using things like meditation and exercise.

What strategies do you use to continue to be your best and guide your career to its maximum potential? Post those ideas here.

Three Steps to Living a More Empowered Life

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” This applies to the way you feel about yourself as well as your response to what others say about you. I’ve spent a good deal of my life worried about what other people might think of me and consequently created a lot of negative self-talk that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, attractive enough. You get the picture. Until I learned the opinions of other don’t matter. All that matters is my opinion of me and aligning my actions around my vision and giving myself grace in the process.

A vision is the big picture of what you want your life to look like. Creating a vision statement is useful to guide decisions about your daily life. Consider using one of the following to help you craft your vision statement. Pick a date in the future, maybe the day you retire or your 70th birthday. There will be a celebration and at this party someone asks you to tell them about your life and some of your significant accomplishments. What do you want that answer to be?

Or you may prefer to write out what the ideal day looks like in your life 5 years from now. Where do you work? Who do you interact with? What does your office look like? Write as much detail as possible to get a clear picture of the perfect day for you.

Now, do your day to day, week to week, activities line up with your answer in one or both of those exercises? If not, what will you change to make your dreams come true?

Read your vision statement out load each morning so you can take action on making it happen. An accountability partner or a coach can help you keep on track. We often break promises we make to our self. We often keep promises we make to others especially when we know we will have to share the action we or did not take.

Mistakes and setbacks will occur. Be kind to yourself. Avoid spending time complaining about what didn’t work out or beating yourself up because you failed.

When Edison was working on inventing the light bulb, he didn’t consider his previous attempts failure, just ways that didn’t work. Lucky for us he didn’t let those attempts stop him from discovering a way that did work. Write about the mistake in your journal or tell the story once to one close friend. Avoid the temptation to repeat the story to anyone who will listen or replay the scenario over and over again in your mind. Learn from it and then move on. Take the next action that will move you in the direction of your goal. 

Need help crafting a vision statement? Request my free resource Creating a Vision Statement here.

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A New Era For Performance Conversations

Until the middle of March this year most of us reported to work outside of our home. Now more than half of the people who are still working log on to our computers to report to work each day (56% according to a recent study by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com). This same group estimates about 30% of jobs will now be remote as opposed to 3.6% before COVID19. Most people and the organizations they work for are adjusting and in many cases productivity has improved. A survey conducted by YouGov in partnership with USA Today and LinkedIn 54% of respondents (ages 18 to 74) reported an increase in their daily output. Meetings have shifted from in-person to virtual along with conversations with customers, vendors, and co-workers. This will mean that conversations regarding performance will shift as well.

Managers from a variety of industries have expressed concern about virtual performance conversations. The biggest being the inability to read body language if the conversation is audio-only. The remedy? State meeting expectations up front. Use the virtual platform provided by your company. And most importantly prepare for the meeting. Make a note of your talking points using the following framework.

Craft your opening line. You could use one of the following: “As your supervisor, it’s my job to help you be successful and I want to discuss your lack of progress on the ABC project.” Or I want to talk to you today because you are an important part of this team and last week you failed to turn in your progress report.” Be clear and specific. Avoid starting with a question. Use a statement that describes the reason for the conversation.

Describe the impact their behavior is having on the team, the project, or the organization. You might say: “When you fail to meet the project deadline, that impacts our ability to meet customer demands.

The goal of the conversation is to gain agreement on they will do differently in the future. Allow them to create a plan of action to remedy the problem. Ask for a specific timeline and get agreement on next steps. Then set a date for follow up.

If you would like a copy of my 12 Points to Master a Performance Conversation, send me an e-mail with 12 Point Plan in the subject line and I’ll send it on its way.