Employees are burnt out, disengaged, and unmotivated. Add to this the number of distractions that technology brings and we have a workforce that’s out of focus and overstressed. The data are in regarding what the meditative disciplines can do for us: from increased concentration, creativity, and productivity, to healthier team communication and collaboration. Developing a corporate culture of mindfulness benefits you and your workers. And they’ll thank you for it.
With all this talk about working at your passion, many still aren’t. The data show that most don’t enjoy their work. There’s a piece missing. Doesn’t evoking passion allude to something spiritual? The term “calling” can be helpful. The concept has been sequestered in the religious world; we need to bring it back. Maybe if we knew what our calling was, we’d be more creative, stress less, and enjoy our work.
Leading the Personalities
Checking your personal self at the office door is so 20th century. If we’re going to function effectively as teams we’re going to have to understand the whole worker. A little understanding of the psychology of personality can go a long way in resolving the conflict that may be occurring on your team. Understanding each other’s relational preferences strengthens productivity.
Let’s get you on the TED stage. Let’s summon your most authentic, creative, and persuasive self and put it in front of an audience. You play hardball with all your other competencies, why wing it here in the very arena where everyone judges that competence? Let’s awaken the rock star within.
John Naisbitt, in his 1982 bestselling book, Megatrends, coined the term, “high tech, high touch.” He was referring to the need we have to stay emotionally connected in the midst of our tech-driven world. Being the subject-matter expert isn’t helpful if you can’t manage your emotions or recognize them in others. EQ is an array of skills and tools that drive leadership performance. Understanding your team’s EQ is the next step in their professional development.
Core competency for the 21st century; “plays well with others.” Chances are you’re collaborating more today than ever before. It’s where we’re all headed: a team, united in vision, committed to one purpose. Function-based structures are fading; team-based structures are on the rise. Are your people’s collaborative skills ready for what’s ahead?
Culture happens. Whether you like what develops or not. You may as well be the one to shape it. Everything we do repetitively within our corporate structures has the potential to enshrine itself in the culture. Analyzing which elements are positive and which need to be weeded out is critical to maintaining a healthy work environment, one in which employees thrive. Understand the tools with which you build your culture, and build it right.
Building community and networking are what social media is all about. Hierarchies are giving way to networks of relationships across industries. Harnessing the power of those networks among your team members is an asset to be tapped in the 21st century. Instead of fighting it, let the social networks work for you.
Are you getting “meeting-ed to death”? Are all these meetings necessary? Four-hour agenda-less sessions kill productivity. If we’re going to continue to remain competitive on the global market, cranking up productivity has got to be on the “must do” list. Understanding good meeting design, facilitation, and the proper use of communication modalities will free your time and increase production.
Can’t we all get along? Well, some of the time, no. Most teams are dysfunctional to some extent. Conflict happens because we’re human. Understanding how to resolve that conflict and get back to being a productive team is crucial to meeting your goals. What we need are tools to monitor, analyze, and resolve conflict before it robs us of productivity or brings our project to a screeching halt.
With so many voices on the team, it’s difficult to make your own heard. Assertiveness isn’t just about saying no and holding your ground. It’s finding room for your own voice in our collaborative/consensus-driven environment. It’s getting your thoughts and ideas out on the table for further discussion without demanding that others recant their position. It’s displaying the confidence you have in your skills and talents.
Persuasion and Influence
One third of leadership’s holy trinity is the art of persuasion. Getting buy-in from your teammates, clients, and colleagues can be difficult, as so many messages vie for attention and mindshare. Casting a vision that is compelling and powerful will galvanize your team to purpose and productivity. And isn’t it time you drew out your natural charisma?
Adult Learning Styles
“I said it. Why didn’t they get it?” Because we all learn differently. If you want your team to learn new practices or procedures effectively, you’re going to have to present it in a way they understand. You’re going to have to speak their language. Some like it visual. Some like it audible. Some like it hot. Mix up these modalities, and they’ll be sure to “get it.”
Moving at 120 mph and barking orders is not going to get your team where you want them to go. Employing active listening skills will increase your chances of capturing some creative solutions and enhance productivity. Learning to focus and listen is one half of the communication process. Getting better at it helps resolve conflict, promote team unity, and increase emotional intelligence.
Leadership is about casting a soul-stirring vision. It takes passion and insight. It takes emotion and care. It takes development of your leadership style and using it to unite your team in purpose. It takes you taking action to engage the whole worker, heart and soul, skills and gifts, dreams and goals.