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Responsiveness: The difference between Succeeding and Failing

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/responsiveness-the-difference-between-succeeding-and-failing/

With the amazing advancements of technology, we receive more messages than ever before that allow us to get connected, get updated and receive requests almost immediately, from both clients and team members. How do we respond effectively?

Why it matters
Running a great business is about so much more than offering a great product or service. Your responsiveness to prospects, clients/customers and others can be a huge difference-maker in whether you succeed or don’t succeed as a team or even a business.

Leadership Insights
Responsiveness is absolutely critical for creating better relationships, trust, and rapport with clients and the people on your team. Responsiveness doesn’t necessarily mean immediately; it means having a system or structure in place so you can respond to inquiries within a reasonable time frame.

Leadership Strategy
3 practices to improve responsiveness:

  1. As a team, create an agreement to what your standards need to be around responding to clients, team members and other stakeholders.
  2. As leaders, scan through your e-mails received in the last 24 hours before you shut down for the day to make sure you didn’t miss something. At Awesome Journey, we call this Completing Your Day.
  3. Determine priority. We get more messages than ever before, but don’t let the overwhelming number of non-essential messages get in the way of healthy and necessary responsiveness.

Awesome Read:
The Importance of Responsiveness

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

Importance of Completing Your Day

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/importance-of-completing-your-day/

Why it matters

It’s no secret that being a powerful leader involves effective communication. Without proper organization, you won’t be fully present to listen fully to support your team.

 

Leadership Insights

Overwhelm is one of the biggest factors in why we don’t communicate, and more specifically are not able to listen fully, which stops us from being the leader that others expect. Completing your day is not only about finishing your day. It is also about designing your time for successful tomorrows, to be fully present for others.

 

Leadership Strategy

Completing your day includes 2 big questions you need to be able to answer yes to at the end of your day:

  1. Are all my commitments and promises for today complete or scheduled?
  2. Does your calendar for tomorrow reflect the future (a.k.a our priorities) that you are co-creating with others?

 

Leadership Challenge!

For the next month, schedule the last 30 minutes of your day to “complete your day” and practice answering the questions above at the end of your day with the goal of answering YES to both.

 

Awesome Read: Leaders: Stop saying you’re “so busy” all the time

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

That Thing Called Work-Life Balance

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/that-thing-called-work-life-balance/

Work-life balance is the idea that a fulfilling life outside of work helps improve work performance while reducing stress. The time a person spends working should be balanced by time spent with friends and family, keeping fit, traveling, and doing other fulfilling hobbies.

Why It Matters

With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities, and squeezing in outside interests, it’s no surprise that more than one in four workers describe themselves as “super stressed”; that’s not balanced—or healthy.

Leadership Insights

What we see with many of our clients is 2 main reasons for not having a ‘Healthy” balance.

  1. Something is in their way of saying “no or stop” at work.
  2. They make a choice to focus on others or other things rather than themselves

Leadership Strategy

This month, take a look at your calendar or scheduling tool. Does it reflect an “In-balance” in your world, filled with meetings and work commitments and little to no time set aside for “you” activities.

Start adding “you” activities to your life and thus into your calendars and to do lists.

Make you a priority.

Awesome Read: Work Life Balance: For a lot of people, the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance seems like an impossible goal

Have an Awesome month Leaders!

Getting Back to Working in an Office

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/getting-back-to-working-in-an-office/

As business and countries start to re-open, companies are faced with the task of figuring out how to successfully transition staff back to the office. It is going to be important for companies to address this and develop a “return to work” plan.

Why it matters?

While some staff may be excited about returning to an office, there are some who would prefer to stay working remotely due to safety, risk of infection or to avoid the office environment all together.

Leadership Insights

Your company will need to be patient and have an adjustment period, most are calling it “flex time” for now.

As leaders you will need to have a conversation with your people to understand where their mindsets are and which side of the fence they are on (i.e.: “lets get back to it” or “lets just stay home”). Remember to address concerns that staff will have about embracing change; the change of coming back to the office will require well designed intentional conversations to disappear their concerns, issues, and fears.

If staff feel forced back, it may harm your Company’s culture and employee morale.

Leadership Strategy

If getting back in the office is your company’s goal, try making it attractive to come back to the office. Things like a workout area, free breakfast, lunch parties and upgraded computer equipment, are all awesome ideas that one of our Montreal based business partners is doing to attract employees back into their downtown office space.

Awesome Read

How to Attract Employees Back to the Office

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

Why Giving Feedback is an Essential Leadership Skill

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/why-giving-feedback-is-an-essential-leadership-skill/

One key characteristic of a good leader is that they are able to reach organizational goals by motivating others. Giving constructive feedback helps individuals grow by learning how they can improve and by reinforcing the activities they are doing well.

Why it matters?

  • Feedback supports employees to see their blind spots that impact their performance
  • Feedback helps employees achieve their goals
  • Feedback builds trust between the leader and employee
  • Feedback influences employee engagement
  • Feedback reinforces individual accountability

Leadership Insights

If I asked your leaders what they are working on, their gifts and/or areas of opportunity, could they answer? Would it match what you would say? The answer should be the same and if its not, you have some work to do (feedback).

Challenge: Have ongoing conversations with your leaders to provide feedback like someone did for you in your leadership journey. It may be a difficult conversation, but the benefits are endless to them as a learner, you as leader and your company in achieving awesome results.

Awesome Read:

How Successful Leaders Give Honest Feedback That Inspires People and Does Not Hurt Their Ego

Have an awesome month leaders!

Upgrading Communication to Stay Connected

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/upgrading-communication-to-stay-connected/

Great leaders are masters at communication because they understand the importance it has on a healthy team culture. When we are limited by our current environment and can’t control where we interact (like working at the office), it’s important for leaders to upgrade how they communicate to fill this gap.

Why it matters?

As our worlds start to “kick back-up”, a new normal is established, and companies are moving from a survive mindset to a thrive mindset, overwhelm for our people continues and it needs to be a part of leader’s responsibility to address.

Leadership Insights

Effective communication is about more than just exchanging information, it’s about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information. As well as being able to clearly convey a message, you need to also listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what’s being said, and makes the other person feel heard and understood.

Challenge: Over the next couple of weeks, take some time to understand others (emotions and intentions) in your meetings before “taking control” or “getting right at it”.

 Awesome Read

8 Phrases That Help Us Communicate More Effectively

Have an awesome month leaders!

Turning Complaints into Requests

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/turning-complaints-into-requests/

“We criticize people for not giving us what we ourselves are afraid to ask for.”
 – Marshall Rosenberg, PhD

In this crazy upside-down world, overwhelm seems to be the norm for most of the workforce, and it becomes very easy to get stuck in a complaint about what is going on around us.

Why it matters?
It is important to recognize that complaining is a pattern that undermines teams. It keeps you focused on the past and not building or exploring possibilities for the future.

Leadership Insights
Managers and leaders can become empowered by interrupting and redirecting complaints into powerful, actionable requests. If you want to achieve awesome results, leaders need to start looking for the hidden requests behind these complaints.

Leadership Strategy
Redirect the complaint by…

  1. Listening and sympathizing but do not get sucked into the complaint.
  2. Ask some follow-up questions to get into action and out of a “victim” mindset like:
  • Do you have any thoughts on how we correct this?
  • What would you suggest we do next?
  • What support do you need to address this?

Awesome Read
How to Complain While Still Being Professional offers some action steps that can support you in taking the lead and getting out of the complaint conversation and moving forward to results.

Have an awesome month leaders!

Slowing Down to Acknowledge Small Wins!

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/slowing-down-to-acknowledge-small-wins/

The key to success is realizing that our big goals are not going to happen overnight, in the next week or maybe even the next year and that is okay. We tend to focus on the end goals, rather than the small and significant steps we take to get us to that goal.

This is why it is important to acknowledge and celebrate small wins.

Why it matters?

In the book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, authors Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, discuss how even seemingly small steps forward on a project, can make huge differences in employees’ emotional and intellectual well-being.

Leadership Insights 

Acknowledging small wins over a long period of time, despite how these moments may seem insignificant to the larger goal and accepting that you only have the moment you are in, allows you to see it is the combination of moments over time that achieve big wins.

Challenge:
Take 15 minutes at the end of the week to identify 5 small wins, acknowledge the wins with others and notice the impact it has.

Awesome Read

Have an awesome month! 

Moving from Surviving to Thriving

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/moving-from-surviving-to-thriving/

The blunt reality is that even the most sought-after careers bring some stress and frustration, often daily. This may cause us to work in a “just get through today” or as we call it at Awesome Journey, a “survival mindset”. This can stop us from being the co-creators that we were meant to be.

Why it Matters?

As a leader, you are now the person that others come to when under stress and frustration. Many times, this comes in the form of a complaint which can negatively impact culture and potentially cause poor results.

Leadership Insights

We have a saying at Awesome Journey that we use with our clients: “Behind every complaint is a hidden request, can you hear it?”

When we are in a complaint, we often do not take the time to figure out what requests need to be made. It’s easier to just stay in the complaint, then to do the work to turn it around.

Challenge:

Next time one of your teammates comes to you with a complaint, empower them to see what request they need to make, to move out of a “survival mindset” and into a “thriving mindset”. (hint: most times it is creating a conversation that they should, but do not want to have!)

Awesome Read

The link below offers some action steps that can support you in turning a complaint into a request.

The Next Time You Want to Complain at Work, Do This Instead

Have an Awesome Month!

Overwhelm – How quickly can you see it in yourself?

https://www.awesomejourney.ca/overwhelm-how-quickly-can-you-see-it-in-yourself/

Feeling overwhelmed is hardly unique to executives; yet leaders often deny, ignore, or push away the feelings. They accept it as part of their role or assume that they “should” be able to power through it.

Why it matters?

As a leader, you are the go-to person for others when the going gets tough. But what happens when the going gets tough for you, and it starts to affect how you lead?

Leadership Insights

BE MORE – Do Less!

Be more, self-aware as to the various ways, how overwhelm can manifest itself in your life like below examples:

  • Emotional volatility
  • Inability to concentrate or listen
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling pervasive dread
  • Constantly irritated or annoyed
  • Numbness or withdrawal (from people or activities)
  • Physical aches and pains — headaches, back pain, digestive issues, fatigue and more

Challenge: Over the next couple of weeks, work on identifying Overwhelm in yourself. If you can “see it” then you can “take action”.

The link below offers some action steps that can support you in getting over overwhelm.

Awesome Resources:

Have an Awesome Month Leaders!

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