Trust-building requires regular self-reflection
Last week I talked about 3 reasons why you need to build trust in your team. To help you do that, I suggested spending a few minutes in self-reflection each week answering 3 questions. The third question was: How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, I reminded you that your actions align with your values, ethics, and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
The team lost trust in me when I wasn't in tune with myself!
When my team started losing trust in me, I didn't understand what was causing the quickly dwindling trust. It wasn't until my coach asked me to identify my values, I started to put the puzzle pieces together.
While I said I valued some things, I didn't consistently demonstrate that through my behaviours, which means that I was not trustworthy.
When we say something and do something else, it causes people to step back and question our actions and our motives. When we advocate wholeheartedly for one thing but then turn around and do something completely different, it sends a confusing message to people. Or perhaps it sends a message that is loud and clear: Don't trust her!
Things changed when I began to dig deeper into my values.
Over the years, I have gone back to my values regularly. I identify where they show up, how they show up, and I work to use them to make decisions, guide my behaviour and as measurements to see if I am on track. Let me give you an example.
I used to think that family was my top value. The problem was that having "family" as my guiding Northstar meant it often got in the way of work. Because of that, I made decisions that did not align with me, saying it was #1. As a result, I constantly felt the inner turmoil of being off track. What's more is that others could clearly see both that I was not in integrity and that I felt crappy as a result, regardless of what I said.
Yes, I'm heading to the city again. Yes, I'll miss awards day at school. I know it's a bummer, but this meeting is crucial. I'll call my daughter at night and talk to her about it.
Can you feel the disconnect?
At the same time, I valued good quality work. I was an overachiever with high expectations for myself and others. This value often got blurred with perfectionism. Because I wasn't doing the self-reflective work to see where good turned to perfectionism, I often stretched myself beyond what was reasonable and expected that in others.
Finally, I valued wellness. I had done work to become physically and mentally healthier. I tried to ensure I worked out and ate healthily. But so often, that didn't fit into my schedule as easily as I'd have liked. To do so meant I'd have to give up other things, things that were of value to me.
I had too many top values!
In addition to my family, good quality work and wellness also valued lifelong learning, spirituality, honesty and nature. How on earth could I put all of those at the top, lead well and enjoy life? It certainly wasn't working for me.
Do you know and understand your top values?
How about you? What are your top values? Can you name them, and do you honour them in a way that feels good every day? If not, that may be where you feel much of your inner turmoil.
What's changed for many of my clients and me is getting a clearer picture of our values. It's not just a word, but as I say, it's verifying what that value means, how it shows up and knowing how to use it to guide your life.
I verified my values!
Doing the work in Values Verification, I realized that my top value is excellence. It encompasses being a good wife, mom and grandma. It also means I want to do the work to be in excellent health, do excellent work for you and be an excellent human being making an excellent contribution to the world. That means I can't be perfect at any one of those things, and I need to continually come back to all of them during self-reflection to make sure I am on track.
Clarity of values helps make decisions
I had a message from one of my adult kids the other day. They asked if they could have an hour of my time, during my workday, to talk about something very important to them. After considering things for a minute, my answer was:
However, when my daughter called me when she went into labour a couple of years ago, I was in the middle of a coaching call. The coaching call ended early, and I put excellent mamma at the top of the list quickly.
Those decisions were "easier" because of the work I've done understanding my values.
Verifying values has helped many of my clients
An example from a client is that they realized their top value is "simplicity."
The goal to lead with trust and integrity is to align your values, ethics, morals and how you speak about those with your actions and behaviours. To do that effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of your values.
When I turned things around, I realized three things:
The work I needed to do was to get reacquainted with my values, what they meant to me, and how to use my values to make decisions, drive my behaviour and leave my team. That's why I created the Values Verification course.
Are you ready to get clearer on your values?
This week in The Training Library, I'm encouraging the members to revisit the course Values Verification. Values are our internal compass and help us lead and live with integrity. To learn more about the Values Verification course, click here.
Feedback from students
These clients have completed the Values Verification course inside of The Training Library. Upon completion of the course, this is what other students had to say about what they learned about their values and how they see them differently:
Let me know how it goes!!
p.s. I'll end with a quote from Brene Brown "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it's choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them." Make sure you understand your values so that you can practice them!!
When my staff told me that I lacked integrity in 2009, what they were saying was they couldn't trust me. Comments on the performance appraisal prove that.
Don't just say you are supportive, but actually, be supportive!
My team lost trust in me
While they had been able to trust me in the past, the arrival of a large new contract changed that. Previously, I'd managed everything on my plate and did it with a level of confidence. But increased responsibility, travel, staffing, scope and budget all left me scrambling to hold things together.
Because of that:
I'd moved into survival mode
The one-word response I had on my performance appraisal in 2009 indicated I'd moved into survival mode!
What do you feel were your accomplishments over the past year? Survival!
It was time for me to rebuild trust!I was frustrated, hurt and discouraged by the feedback. Previous performance appraisals indicated I had strong trust with the team. How could things have plummeted so fast?
Here's the thing about trust. It's not static. It ebbs and flows based on relationships. When it drops, leaders need to double down on building it back.
Trust is all about relationships
Trust is something felt between people. And when you have a strong relationship with someone likely the trust is stronger. Likewise, when your relationship heads to rocky ground, your level of trust is likely to drop. When it's time to rebuild trust, it starts with rebuilding relationships.
Without trust, my team was falling apart!
When my team lost trust in me and felt I was out of integrity, they didn't feel they had a strong leader. Therefore, as trust in our team eroded, I lost followers.
The fact that I was losing followers was one reason I needed to focus on trust. There were others as well. If you are curious about other pitfalls of dwindling trust, tune into this week's podcast, where I share three reasons why you need to keep trust on your radar.
Listen to the episode here.
I had to put trust-building back on my radar!
Through coaching, I learned to build time to build relationships.
I spent time reflecting on the effectiveness of my trust-building activitiesI kept an eye on how I was doing at regaining trust through regular self-reflection. I journaled. I brought issues up in coaching. I planned my time with staff more intentionally.
If you want to build trust in your team, I encourage you to do the same!
If you want to keep trust strong in your team, do this:Put self-reflection time on your to-do list each week. When you take 15 minutes to consider what you've done to build trust, consider your answers to these three questions:
1) Where do you land on the surviving to thriving continuum?
The closer you are to survival mode, it is often that the level of trust in your team drops. In survival mode, we focus on getting things done and hanging on to appointments, tasks, reports etc., before we drop the ball on something. When we are in survival mode, we tend to spend less time building relationships, which is again key to trust.
Check where you land on the Surviving to Thriving continuum here.
2) How do your relationships with your team feel?
When you sense you are avoiding someone on your team or feel as though they are avoiding you, it's a good time to question your level of trust between the two of you.
3) How aligned do you feel with your values, ethics and morals?
When you lead with integrity, your actions align with your values, ethics and morals. You are leading with integrity when you do what you say you're going to do. The further you feel from your values, ethics, and morals could be a big warning sign that others will begin to lose their trust in you.
When you keep these three things top of mind, you were more likely to create a trusting work culture that thrives.
Tune into this week's podcast to listen for the three reasons why you must keep trust on your radar for you, your team and the clients you serve.
Putting time in to build trust may feel like more work, but TRUST me, in the end, it will help you to feel more on top of all you are responsible for!
P.S. If you want to make sure you are leading with integrity, start with verifying your values, what they mean to you and how you know when you are aligned with them.
We all know we have way too much work to do. However, saying no to that work isn't as easy as it sounds.
Saying no doesn't always involve the word no
There are many things we need to say no to and various ways we could communicate our no. These are all ways you may need to say no more often:
Here's why we struggle to say no
What gets in the way of this is not that we know we want to and probably should say no. Rather, it's our pesky thoughts that get in the way. Those thoughts keep us trapped in the pleasing, perfecting, performing and proving cycles.
How to get better at saying noTo get better at saying no to too much work, we need to uncover what thoughts are getting in the way. To do that, let's go through the Inner Guidance Cycle.
Take a few minutes to pause. Slow down so you can do some self-reflection.
In the Pondering step, we look at:
This moment of self-reflection allows our underlying beliefs, assumptions and values to become more evident. That gives us insight into what might be getting in the way of us saying no. Armed with the new understanding, we can pivot our perspective, create new beliefs, and honour our values more clearly.
The last step of The Inner Guidance Cycle takes us out of pausing and self-reflecting and puts us back into action. It's time to communicate our no!
To get a deeper understanding of The Inner Guidance Cycle, check out these free resources. Then grab Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system to go into a deeper dive of The Inner Guidance Cycle to boost your confidence.
I took Faith through The Inner Guidance Cycle
I talked to Faith the other day. She was frustrated because her staff passed over things for her to review. Reviewing is Faith's job. Doing it for them is not.
Because Faith wants everyone to like her, wants to ensure her program produces good quality work and is a bit of a perfectionist, she does do the work for her team rather than reviewing the document.
As Faith and I worked through The Inner Guidance Cycle, and she became aware of those thoughts and how they created that frustration. That new awareness helped her begin to shift her perspective.
Faith began realizing that, yes, it may take longer in the short term, to turn around and give feedback on what the employee needs to work on in the document; she was actually allowing them to grow. Faith realized that while the expectation was they pass it onto her for review, her team's unwritten rule has become just pass it on to Faith; she'll fix it up.
Without in mind, Faith could go back, proceed, and review documents without doing them. We spent the rest of our coaching session creating a framework for her to say no to doing the work and practicing how she'd communicate.
The Steps for Saying NO
If you want to get better at saying no to too much work, do this:
Step # 1 - Work through The Inner Guidance Cycle, discovering what underlying thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and values might be getting in your way of communicating your No.
Step # 2: Prepare and practice communicating your No
Step # 3 - Confidently and bravely communicate your No
Learning the Framework for Saying No to Too Much Work!
If you're looking for a framework to help you state your no, mean it and stick to it, check out the new course mini-course in The Training Library: Saying No to Too Much Work!
This new course builds ideas from the Willpower Essentials course helping you to learn:
To access Saying No to Too Much Work, join The Training Library as a monthly member. As a member of The Training Library, you will receive fresh, relevant, and new content every month to keep you engaged, excited and expanding your leadership capacity.
My goal is to help you become a competent and confident leader who is also happy, content & balanced. Learn how here.
A final reminder:
Leadership isn't always easy. Sometimes we have to have the short-term pain of having the uncomfortable conversation of saying no for the long-term gain of an amazing team and feeling fulfilled on our leadership journey! You can do it! I'm cheering you on!
Do you get frustrated with your team some days when they don't do what they are supposed to? It's a hazard of leadership for sure!
I was talking to Natasha the other day about a staff issue she brought to coaching. Her frustration was evident when she grumbled, "They know what to do! I don't understand why they are messing up so much."
As we explored Natasha's belief or opinion that the staff did, in fact, know what to do, we realized that perhaps some team members weren't clear on all the steps. Natasha had assumed that they understood what she had told them to do.
The key phrase to note is: Told them to do.
As we reviewed what had happened, Natasha realized she had basically told them what to do. She had not trained them, ensuring they were able to do it.
Told to do is unidirectional. It is information only going one way.
The most effective training is bidirectional. It is a back-and-forth process that takes time.
Natasha left the call understanding more about what she needed to do to support her team and on a mission to grab a book to help her learn how to facilitate her team's learning. I'll tell you about the book I pointed her to in a moment.
Do you wish you could train your team more effectively?
As you learn and grow in your leadership role, you might want to provide more effective training for your team. Bravo for you!
Don't make these 3 training mistakes!
Whether you are thinking about orienting new staff, training people on a particular function or role or more significant team training events, you might be making the following three training errors. As you read them, don't worry, because I'll also tell you how to fix those mistakes.
MISTAKE # 1 - Training people too quickly
We are a time-poor sector, and we're often squeezing training moments in between everything else going on. As a result, we often lack clarity of what we are teaching. We do a high-level overview and missing key points.
THE FIX: Slow down and be clearer.
MISTAKE # 2 - Quickly checking in to see if they got it.
Again this connects to the first point with the keyword - quickly.
Do you say these when you are training?
Here's why questions like those don't work so well. The unspoken assumption is that your employees want to look good. They want to appear capable and know you are busy, so they don't want to bother you too much. Therefore they're going to nod their head and say yes, that makes sense, and no, I don't have any questions.
THE FIX: Slow down and ask better questions.
Try questions like these that will get at what they still need to learn:
Most often, when we learn something, we do not learn thoroughly by knowledge alone. We have to try it and fail and fumble and learn from our mistakes. Too often, we're trying to rush through training, and once again, we need to slow down and ensure that they have it.
THE FIX: Build in time for them to practice and for you to give feedback
Here's how to become a confident trainer or facilitator
Training, orientation and facilitation are all part of a leader's role, but rarely have we've learned how to teach, orientate and facilitate. When that happens, we are doing something and often feeling self-conscious, inapt, and lack the confidence to do it effectively.
Don't do it alone!
Once again, I'm going to remind you you do not have to do leadership alone. It's OK to ask for help! That helped can come from a variety of ways… Including a book.
Get helpThis week on the podcast, I interview Beth Cougler Blom, an expert who creates effective and engaging learning experiences. In our discussion, we review the three C's of designing a great learning experience and touch on her book.
You need to know how to facilitate, train and do good orientation. But that competence doesn't automatically give you confidence. You must then practice using your courage to get out and fail and fumble as you continue to learn and grow. That's when you'll develop the confidence to thrive in your leadership.
I wonder if you might need to hear what Isabell took away from her coaching session this week. If you, like Isabell, are struggling to get people on your team to do their job, it might be helpful to hear a bit of our coaching conversation.
Do you micromanage more than you want to?
Let me back up. Isabell supervises a team of 5. The team is all working from home now, so Zoom is the way of "doing work." Isabell finds it challenging to keep track of what they are doing and at the same time feels she borders on micromanaging them.
I asked Isabell to imagine the "perfect team."
Would you like this kind of leadership experience?
Then, Isabell rattled off the following:
I could see Isabell was a bit stumped, so I offered her a metaphor.
You get that by being the captain of your ship
If you are on a ship with your team and are the vessel's captain, would it make sense for you to be down in the bowels rowing with them?
Therefore there are times you need to wear different hats. There are times you need to be steering, and there are times you also need to go down and check on your team.
You need to
That's nice, but...
Isabell sighed. I spend a lot of time watching over their shoulder and correcting them. I need more time for strategic thinking and planning. But here's my problem, if I don't do that, who will?
You trust them to do their job. I answered.
When they don't, you address the issue.
How do you address poor performance??
Have a system in place (i.e. regular supervisor meetings with an ongoing agenda to track what they are working on) that allows you at intervals to check in on them. The sessions aren't only about what needs "addressed" but also what they want to talk about. It should be focused on their growth and helping them use their strengths to reach their full potential.
Create a high-performing team
Imagine having a team of high performers, all using their strengths and spending the majority of time excelling. That happens when you focus on that part of their work, not only their mistakes and where they aren't measuring up.
Stop standing behind them, waiting for them to make a mistake.
Use this system to lead your team
At this point in our coaching, Isabell and I moved over to the Staff Supervision That Transforms template. The template in this course helps you do the work of a leader while still holding your team accountable AND helping them reach their full potential!
This is what one member of The Training Library said about the Staff Supervision That Transforms template in a recent coaching call:
I am loving the Staff Supervision Tool! Here's why:
✏️Each day in your daytime, journal or notebook for a week, answer this question
At the end of the week...
Look back over the week and find your average.
Do the inner work. It's what will help you get out of survival mode and thrive!
Do you know why you avoid conflict?
We tend to avoid conflict because we are not comfortable with the emotions involved in a conflict. When we deal with conflict, we try to shut our feelings off, which doesn't work!
Withholding our emotions only works to a point.
One day, when you are tired, have had a few too many demands, are on a deadline and your fingernail breaks, or some other trivial thing, you suddenly snap, fall apart, say something you regret, or beat yourself up over the way you communicated it.
Where do the emotions come from?
Here's the thing, what may have started as a conversation or disagreement can quickly turn into a conflict. Why is that? The reason a disagreement turns into a conflict is that we attach meaning to the two sides. For example, they're wrong, and I'm right, and that feeds into our emotions.
Let me give you an example.
Paperwork is supposed to be done on time. That's black and white, right?
When an employee is consistently late with paperwork, it becomes a problem for many of us.
You might've addressed the late paperwork the first, and second and maybe even the third time it happened, to no avail. As the problem persists, you attach a story to it, meaning to it or a narrative around it, which provokes emotions.
Those emotions fester—annoyance, disgust, incredulous, frustration, and perhaps anger.
You put off the conversation.
When it gets to this point, you know that you're not likely to have a calm, rational conversation.
You want this person to get motivated, take the initiative, and do their job without you having to nag them. You know, somehow, you "should" be able to lead them in that direction. But......
Subconsciously, you aren't so sure you can have that conversation and maintain your composure, get your point across, and leave feeling like you've motivated and inspired that person, so you put it off.
Here's how to do it with Emotional Intelligence
In the webinar How to Prepare for a Tough Talk, I teach you the TIP method for dealing with tough conversations. The tip method is
If you try to have that conversation rationally and ignore the emotional triggers that show up, it likely won't go the way you hoped.
Here's what you can do
To identify your triggers
And plan how you will deal with them when they show up.
Want more help?
To get a deeper understanding of the emotions connected to conflict, listen to this week's podcast with Sarah Albo.
In episode # 51, Sarah and I unpack The Emotions of Conflict.
When you tune in, you will learn how emotions play a role in the progression of disagreements to conflicts and gain awareness around how you can manage those emotions to deal with conflict more effectively.
To begin to apply this in your leadership, grab Mastering Confidence and work through the exercises. You'll find that in no time, you'll be feeling more confident about addressing conflict before it becomes too big of a deal! When that happens, your team will feel supported and encouraged. And, instead of feeling like you spend your days chasing people down, you'll feel empowered to help them grow!
Do you believe that because you can deal with conflict matter-of-factly without getting emotional, you are good at dealing with conflict?
Or do you believe the goal you're aiming for if you want to be effective at conflict resolution is to do it without getting emotional?
You may get through conflict this way, but is your conflict resolution as effective as it could be?
Here's what some women leaders do or try to do: Before some women leaders address a tough conversation, they gather evidence, collaborate their story with others, and pull the appropriate policy out. Armed with their documentation and evidence, they present it to the employee.
Knowing they need to balance that out with treating the person as a person, they make empathetic statements to the employee about what might have stopped them from doing what they were supposed to do.
Let's try it with an example:
I want to talk to you about your PPE.
I saw you show up with your client yesterday, and you didn't have your mask on. I've heard from others that you have a habit of pulling down your mask to have a drink but forget to pull it back up for long periods.
Insert the empathetic statement: I know we are all tired of wearing masks; however, it's mandatory.
We reviewed the mask policy at the last meeting. It's required, and I need you to be diligent about wearing it.
It seems like a clear-cut conversation, right? No need to get emotional.
Read that example again. Did you feel empathy?
Or perhaps, did you feel annoyed?
I mean, come on, we are working with adults here, not children. How many times do you have to remind them of the basic rules, heck laws?
Aren't you tired of reviewing PPE policy? Is this the second, third or 4th time you've reminded someone in the last two weeks?
I suspect that empathy is not at the top of your list of what you are feeling! Inserting an empathetic statement is different from feeling empathy.
If you don't feel empathy, don't try to fake it
So that comes to my next point. If you are angry, annoyed, irritated or ticked off and insert an empathetic statement, you come across as inauthentic.
The thing we want most from our leaders is that they are authentic. With that authenticity comes a sense of trust. Part of that means that I can trust them to be honest about what they are feeling.
So if you are annoyed with me and pretending to be empathic, I lose a bit of respect for you.
But don't try to be unfeeling either
Perhaps we take the empathetic statement out. Ummmm...that's not so effective either. Then, you run the risk of coming across as cold and unfeeling.
Ugh...your damned if you do and damned if you don't, right?
Yes, only because you are trying to be unemotional.
You can't take the true emotions out
In attempting to remove emotions from the conversation and come across all business-like, you forget that I am a person, and so are you. We have emotions all the time. They never go away unless you try to numb them out, i.e. wine, beer, over-the-counter and prescription medications, recreational drugs med, Netflix binging, social media scrolling, keeping very busy etc.
Despite your attempt to numb out your emotions, they are still there. Those bottled-up or stuffed-down emotions will rear their head at some point. Likely it will be at the most inopportune time or with the wrong person!
You need to manage the true emotions you feel
Turning down emotions or not getting emotional is different than managing emotions. Managing your emotions is also known as emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent leaders are high on the list of those we respect and feel loyal towards.
If you're in this sector, it's probably because you care. You care about your clients. You care about the work you're doing. You care about the impact you're having.
Turning around then and having a conversation with an employee and trying to stop caring doesn't make sense. What does make sense is to manage how your expression of that emotion comes out.
You care, AND You are angry!
Sometimes you care so much about your client's safety, your program being respected in the community or what your funder sees that you are angry that your employee is messing things up.
The whole point is that you care immensely. And because you care, you feel frustrated, annoyed, angry or irritated.
You feel emotions in your body
Emotions are felt. They are called feelings because you're experiencing something in your body. Consider these examples:
So I ask you to consider for a moment:
When you are honest with what you are feeling, I trust you
Because, here's the thing, if you are really expressing empathy, compassion understanding, then you feel it. And when you feel it as a leader and share the words that go with it as your address my performance, I know you feel it. Because of that, I trust you more. I may not like the message, but I trust that you are honest with me.
Alternately, consider what frustration, irritation or annoyance feels like in your body. Imagine expressing that emotion in a way that was honest and manageable.
Let's try it again, with the same example...
I want to talk to you about your PPE.
I saw you show up with your client yesterday, and you didn't have your mask on. I've heard from others that you have a habit of pulling down your mask to have a drink but forget to pull it back up for long periods.
I need to be honest with you. I'm getting tired of addressing this issue, not with just you, but in general. Forgive me if I come across as a bit resentful. I'd much rather be talking with you about programing for the outreach program. I know you, and I are both passionate about that work. I hope you can see how critical PPE is and find a way to remember to be diligent about it. I want to spend more time focusing on what really matters for our clients!
You are honest that you feel angry
In this example, if you feel annoyance and resentment in your body, it will come across. THAT'S OK. It's supposed to. It is how you manage your expression of it that is critical. It's not bad, wrong or even ineffective to feel annoyed, frustrated or resentful. The key is HOW you express it.
This is how you become emotionally intelligent
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and then manage your emotions, and it's a skill worth learning! How are you developing yours?
Resolving the myth
The myth that effective conflict resolution requires you to shut your emotions off is just that, a myth. The truth is, effective conflict resolution happens when you express your emotions in a managed manner. It means you convey what you are feeling respectfully and authentically. And, it takes work!
Do the inner work! It's worth it!
You can find more resources to help grow your emotional intelligence here:
This week I started a four-week series teaching home visitation supervisors strategies for virtual supervision.
The challenges of virtual supervision
We talked about the typical challenges in virtual supervision; distractions, internet capacity, and a lack of tech-savviness. However, one of the biggest challenges identified was the difficulty in connecting to the people they supervise.
We can't physically connect to them
Without the physical connection and closer proximity to the person, it feels challenging to have strong communication. Yet, that is what we need as leaders. We need to be able to hear them clearly and communicate to them effectively.
Here's a strategy I teach
I taught them three strategies for virtual supervision. I wanted to share the first one with you today because I think it will be valuable to help you transition from zoom call to zoom call.
Strategy # 1 - Connect before you continue
There are two components to connect before you continue.
Why you need this strategy
As we move from call to call, meeting to meeting and email to email, they tend to blur together. And what happens is thoughts, emotions, and anxiety about things we need to do as a result of that call, email or meeting carry from one meeting to the next.
I call this residual leftover! And if you don't consciously let go of that, it will affect your next engagement.
Connect before you continue means to connect to yourself more mindfully.
We need to be very in-tuned with what's happening
It is more challenging to communicate in this virtual world. We have to be more mindful to tune in to nuances. We need to be more present to watch for body language, hear subtleties of voice tones, and pick up on what's happening beneath the words.
To do that, you need to let go of what just happened and become present in this moment. You need to connect with yourself before you continue.
The tool to use
The approach I use for this is to take a few deep breaths. One tool I suggest is box breathing. As you breathe in and out, your finger goes around an imaginary box on your desk.
There are many versions of breath counting. Some like an even square four counts of inhales and exhales. I instead encourage you to have the exhale longer than the inhale. It is the exhale that takes our bodies out of fight-flight-freeze mode, where our sympathetic nervous systems are in overdrive and calms us down, activating our parasympathetic nervous system.
Connect before you continue.
When you connect before you continue into the next meeting, you will find that the virtual conversation will be more effective, and I'm guessing more enjoyable!
Do you want training for your organization?
If you are interested in team training for your organization, just let me know! I love to connect with groups and grow them so that they can do their mission-driven work with confidence! I'll also share the other two strategies with you.
Need more help?
Here are some extra resources to help you connect before you continue into that next supervision conversation.
From the Surviving to Thriving Podcast
From my YouTube channel
3 tips to rock your virtual leadership conversations
From The Training Library
If you are a member of The Training Library, here are a couple of webinars you might watch or rewatch! If you want to learn more about The Training Library, you can do that here.
When you do the work to develop yourself, you become more competent, thus confident. And that my dear, is what will move you from surviving to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
Let me know in the comments what other challenges you are facing with virtual supervision. You are the one in the trenches. Let me know what it's like so I can support you!
I used to come to the office each morning with a dance in my step and a smile on my face. I often hummed the last song I heard on the radio as I shared a good morning with everyone. My team would, in turn, greet me with their smiles, their energy and, of course, their current challenges!
But let me tell you it was not always like that!
I started to fall apart
At one point, when the programs expanded quickly and extensively, the stress hit me like a ton of bricks. I was overwhelmed, overworked, and overloaded and falling apart!
As that stress built, my mood dipped. I was scrambling to stay on top of things. I was grouchy and fearful I would drop the ball, fall apart or worse, for the world to realize I was not competent in my role.
I was tough on my team!
As a result, I worked harder. I held my staff to a high standard and came down on them hard for mistakes. I also became more guarded, again, worried someone would see how inept I really was.
Gone wear the morning sing songs. As the relationships deteriorated and people started not to like me so much anymore, I resented them. I'd blame them for not helping out, doing their part or causing more trouble.
From thriving, I went to barely surviving.
Our team culture deteriorated
At the same time, the culture of our team deteriorated rapidly. From a group that enjoyed working together, were loyal and committed, we became a team that gossiped, backstabbed and where everybody fended for themselves.
A leaders mood affects the team's mood
See, here's the thing, when the leader is in survival mode, it affects everyone on the team. Survival mode isn't something you are experiencing alone. It affects everyone on your team, and sadly, in your life!
It started with meI was able to take my team culture from toxic back to thriving only when I found my way out of survival mode. It started with me!
I had to start building my confidence back
I increased my competence in certain areas, built my confidence up and learned to focus on what was truly important in my personal life and at work. Most importantly for my team, I had to work to repair relationships.
Relationships are the foundation of team culture
Relationships are the foundation of team culture. But if you're stuck in survival mode, the last thing you want to do is talk to people. What you are likely doing is keeping your head down and work on your to-do list, responding to email and attending meetings....without any break, pause or moment to catch your breath.
The impacts on your team
Far too often, we think no one notices, can't tell how bad it is or isn't affected that much....um..you might be wrong there! In this week's podcast, I talk about five impacts on your team when you're stuck in survival mode. On the next podcast, you'll hear about how to turn that around.
Start by seeing where you land
To see where you land on The Surviving to Thriving Continuum, grab the download here. Then listen to the podcast and make notes of where this shows up for you and perhaps on your team.
If you want to start getting out of survival mode, begin by taking care of yourself. It's the adage about putting on your oxygen mask first.
Ready to get out of survival mode?
If you are ready to ditch survival mode, you'll need to start by doing the inner work:
You can listen to the first few chapters of Mastering Confidence here.
Need more help?
If you realize you aren't where you want to be on The Surviving to Thriving Continuum, start taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Wellness during your workday is foundational for you to survive in both leadership and life. And remember, thriving is foundational for you to develop relationships with your team members, which creates a thriving culture!
Do the inner work! It's where you need to start to return to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
Do you ever wonder, is this employee relationship salvageable?
Good employee... to problem employee
There comes a time in our career and leadership where one of our employees starts to take a dip. They may have started as a star employee, but something goes wrong.
At this point, you may wonder if it's just time to cut ties and let them loose. You've tried things like having conversations with the employee, reminding, nagging them, maybe even corrective discipline.
And you'd just like to see them gone!
What's going on here?
The truth is we all have times in our careers where we ebb and flow between loving our work and not wanting to be there.
Is it too late?
It's probably not too late.
In most cases, it's never too late. But you have to be willing to do some work. And it's not going to be all easy work.
It starts with you! One of the biggest things you have to do to turn an employee relationship and engagement around is taking a good, hard look at yourself. Yes, you, not them.
Work through The Inner Guidance Cycle
Recognizing where you get triggered is the first step to turn in that relationship around. You realize you've been triggered often when you take time to pause and then ponder. I teach you how to do that inner work in Mastering Confidence.
The thing is, they've probably done some things to hurt team members, jeopardize programming, impact clients, or annoy the crap out of you! That triggers you, hence the judgments you have about them.
Do the inner work to maintain your composure.
If you're going to build that relationship back and create an engaged employee relationship again, it starts with you managing your emotions. Yes, emotional intelligence.
It will do you no good to go into that conversation faking compassion and caring when you feel contempt.
Look at the employee with a new lens. Next, start to look at their strengths, gifts and talents, particularly what you were most impressed, inspired and interested about when they started.
Then have a conversation with them. Do not include this conversation in any correct of action conversation. Simply a conversation to invite a rekindling of what they loved and probably still do about the work.
IMPORTANT: Set the agenda ahead of time so they know exactly what the purpose of the conversation is.
Here's your script:
Remind them: This conversation is about you and what you love about the work you do. Let's just stick to that for this conversation. We can talk about those things at another time, and if you'd like, we can schedule that in right now, but for our time today, I just want to talk about you.
Can you feel the difference?
Can you imagine if someone had done that for you? Maybe someone did. Perhaps that is why you are in the position you are in now because someone cared enough about you to overlook the flaws, to see the good underneath and shine a light on it.
If you want to turn your employee around, try that kind of conversation.
To do this, do the inner work necessary!
Here's the thing, though, those kinds of impactful, positively emotionally charged, and transformative conversations come when you've done the inner work.
When you learn to:
Do the inner work. It's worth it!
EXTRA RESOURCES To hear more about reducing nonprofit turnover, listen to To develop your confidence:Do the inner work. When you do, you will rediscover that you do enjoy impactful leadership!
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.