I was working with a client this week, let's call her Divya, to develop her quarterly goals.
The Goal: Reduce hours working
The Outcome: Increased work-life balance
The Strategy: To delegate more
It's time to delegate more!
Seems simple enough, right? If you have too much to do, give some of it away. We all know that it's not quite that simple, so I asked her what roadblocks might get in the way of that?
It's not that easy!
Quickly Divya indicated she was worried about overwhelming her staff if she delegated more to them. If that's the case, then she's going to fail at her goal before she even starts. Even though Divya wants to reduce her hours and wants to delegate more, her thoughts will get in the way, and she won't do it.
Our beliefs get in the way!
Our coaching turned to examine her beliefs. A belief is a thought you keep thinking. In this situation, Divya kept thinking she would overwhelm her staff if she delegated more to them. This assumption had become a habitual way of thinking. When we looked more closely at that perception, Divya realized there was some truth to it, but there was more to the story.
A belief is a thought you keep thinking
Our beliefs aren't always right!
After some coaching, Divya came up with these 4 realizations.
You may need to change what you are thinking!
The thing that Divya was missing, and that I am guessing you might be missing is that to achieve a goal, you need to not just look at the outcome you desire and the strategy that you will use to get there but that you will also look at what mindset shifts you need to make.
The Goal: Reduce hours working
The Outcome: Increased work-life balance
The Strategy: To delegate more
The Mindset Shift: Delegating helps not just me, but my managers and our team
Use the Inner Guidance Cycle to shift your mindset
We then worked on operationalizing this goal into a daily habit that would lead to Divya achieving success. Divya realized there was no magical number of things she needed to delegate or even types of things. It was more about being intentional about her workload and the process of delegation. She created a habit to help her proceed through the Inner Guidance Cycle.
At the end of the day, Divya will work through the INNER GUIDANCE CYCLE:
The Goal: Reduce hours working
The Outcome: Increased work-life balance
The Strategy: To delegate more
The Mindset Shift: Delegating helps not just me, but my managers and our team
Daily Habit: Note where I delegated, thought about delegating or struggled to delegate and what my thought was about that
It's your turn!
Take time to work through your goals for the upcoming quarter. Notice I don't say for the year. A year is a bit long to really do the deep dive work here. You can set annual goals, and you should. But then break them down to how you will work on that goal each quarter.
Make this year the year to achieve some remarkable leadership goals!
Remeber, there is more to goal setting than just writing a sentence down. Also, strong leaders develop their own personal and professional goals AND work on them! Please don't assume your performance appraisal goals are enough. There are likely more details that need flushing out to help you truly feel more confident, composed and comfortable leading with integrity!
If you need help with that, message me here!
Women leaders: It's time to review 2020
It's time to take stock
Regardless of what's happened, as each year comes to a close, most of us take stock.
You may do some of this reflection in bits and spurts throughout the coming days. That's a good start. Talk to those around you as well. What's been meaningful, hard or joy-filled for them?
Set time aside for intentional reflection
I also encourage you to do a bit more of a formal review of your year. Without sitting down being intentional about it, you'll miss opportunities to see where and how you've grown. Snippets of reflection may leave you hopping over key lessons or significant moments of happiness, pride, joy and connection.
I strongly encourage you to find an hour in the coming days to review 2020. If you can, take out a piece of paper, a journal or a document on your computer. Note key areas you want to review and then take some notes.
Want to dive even deeper?
If you are in The Training Library, I just released this month's session: Goodbye 2020. In it, I included a worksheet with several questions to reflect on.
If you aren't in The Training Library, feel free to join now. It's a great time to dive into some of the lessons, worksheets and training to help you put your best self forward in 2021.
When you join, you'll get the first two weeks free to check out everything, try out the courses and decide if it's right for you.
I'm convinced it will be if you want to have someone on your side available and support you and your leadership growth in the new year.
You get the best of my work!
The work inside of The Training Library is my passion, my love, and I put my heart into each of the sessions. I want you to excel, transform and live and lead in the most authentic way you can!
Are you ready to make 2021 your year?
Make 2021 the year that you put your personal and professional development a priority. When you do, you'll find that you will begin to really enjoy impactful leadership!
A leader's job is to stay positive all of the time. WRONG!
A leader's job is to lead a team
Sometimes that means you're positive. But more often than not, it means you're honest.
A leader's job is not to stifle emotions
I coach leaders all the time who want to turn people's moods, perspectives or feelings around.
They want to take a difficult transition or a change that's happening and make everyone see the positive out of it.
You can't ignore your team's emotions!
Let me give you an example
My friend recently lost his wife. He took care of her for months while she battled cancer. In the end, she couldn't talk, and he spoke for her to visitors. They had been together for over 30 years and were soulmates.
That's a difficult situation. I cannot say to him...
I know it's hard, but look at the positive:
Indeed, you can see how heartless that is 😳
Similarly, we try to do this with our teams
We take a difficult situation and try to hop them over the grief, loss and pain and suffering that they are experiencing.
2020 has been hard!!
Grief and loss are what we have experienced this year. Those feelings are not something you can move through quickly, get around or avoid.
What you can do is experience them. You can move your way through the emotions surrounding grief and loss.
Learning to let your team feel the hardness of this year
How do you sit with the icky feelings so that you can move through them?
Note: The opposite is to stuff emotions down, hide them or shove them away.
My guess is you probably already know this may work in the short term, but longterm, it has some serious consequences.
You're becoming an emotionally intelligent leader
The ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and those of others is a sign of an emotionally and socially intelligent leader.
Leaders do set a vision,
but they also help their team get there!
Yes, your job as a leader is to help teams see the other side
A leader is taking a team a direction via a powerful vision. You'll need to be motivating and inspiring to get there. And sometimes getting them to that vision will be hard on them.
What you can do
When it's difficult, we need to sit down beside our team and talk about how hard and difficult it is.
Are they ready to move on?
Sometimes they are ready, and we can then be positive again.
Sometimes they need more time.
If they get stuck, we may need to nudge them along a little bit with hard truths, inspiration, and motivation.
Someone once wisely said:
There is a time and a place for everything!
Practically how do you do this?
👉You slow things down.
👉You'll allow space for frustration and disappointment in conversations about the pain and agony.
👉You acknowledge the emotions rather than trying to push them away.
EXERCISE: Try this with your team
On this week's podcast, I talk about looking back over 2020. If you're looking for an exercise to do with your team to help acknowledge all of the rainbow of emotions that have happened, get them to listen to the podcast.
First, ask them to reflect on the questions I offer in the episode such as:
Next, sit down and discuss the answers together. Remember to allow and acknowledging what you have all been through how you've grown as a team.
Then, when the emotions have been acknowledged...smile and gently bring on the positivity...if the time is right!
Take a moment to consider your energy level, mood and ability to focus.
How are you doing?
This year has added incredible challenges both at work and in our personal. We've been stretched in ways we never knew we could.
So many individuals, teams, and organizations have risen to the occasion like troupers! My guess is you are one of them. And I bet you are also tired.
I hear that a lot lately. We've done well…but we are tired.
I hear you! I am tired too.
As a leader, we not only engage with the rainbow of emotions from our teams (Social Intelligence) we also have our own feelings, moods and emotions that we must manage (Emotional Intelligence).
In Emotional Control via Emotional Literacy, I teach you how to understand all of your emotions and that by naming them, you can tame them.
That's why it's essential I didn't just jump to gratitude (My # 2 VIA Signature Strength Character Strength) I need to name all of my emotions first: Anger, sadness, worry, anxiety and fear
We must name our emotions to tame our emotions!
That gratitude, along with my VIA Signature strengths of Hope and Spirituality, have been lifelines for me.
AND….I also get down.
✔️ I cry.
✔️ I hurt.
✔️ I fall apart.
Then, I pick myself up and step back into leadership once again.
Today I wanted to remind you that you don't always have to be strong, stable and stoic. In fact, you can't. Not if you're going to be at your best.
You must create space to feel in a safe environment.
How to create a safe space to feel your emotions
Go for a drive and scream and cry in your car.
Rant into your journal all that is unjust in your life.
Get out for a walk and let the anger seep out of you.
Lean into a friend or loved one and ask them to hold you.
Then, when the wave of hard emotions has passed, perhaps several waves, remind yourself of your strength, determination and capabilities.
Say a little prayer… and step back into the world of leadership.
You can do it! I'm here cheering you on, and so are those that need you to be at your best!
Don't take so long next time to allow yourself to fall apart.
It's ok and in fact, a necessary part of leadership! If you don't create safe spaces to do that, you'll fall apart when it's not helpful for you or your team!
Are there times this week when you’ve been angry? Feeling hopeless? Afraid
Are you managing all of that with composure? Kara wasn’t!
When Kara called yesterday, she was vibrating with anger. As she discharged her furry, I knew her heart was racing, and her blood was hammering through her veins.
For several minutes at the beginning of our coaching call, Kara spewed forth a myriad of legit complaints, frustrations and indignations. She had every right to be angry. As I heard the story, I could feel my fury building too!
Stress has been rising for everyone. The pressure is building around us and closing in.
You are in the middle of it. It's nuts. Crazy. Saying it is stressful doesn't even cut it. In many cases, it's about life and death. It's about yours and the people around you, livelihood.
So, it makes sense that you would be soooooooo angry at times; you are about to explode! But you can't blow. Well, you can, but first, it's not going to be pretty. Second, it's not what those around you need.
They need you to be composed.
Another leader I talked to yesterday couldn't stop crying. She was devastated. She feels helpless. Each of us can only do so much. Those that care for the vulnerable sector have to keep going. In other programs, it is clear it is time to cease operations. So clients have no service and employees have no work. The leader, perhaps that's you, feels helpless, hopeless, and crushed.
But your team doesn't need you weeping uncontrollably.
Your team needs you to be composed.
And then there is fear. We all feel it. It hangs in every conversation. Fear screams from the grocery stores. Social media reeks of fear.
But your team, your loved ones, don't need you reacting with mad fear.
They need you to be composed.
These are real emotions that you will be feeling now, along with a zillion others. It's not the emotions that are "wrong." It's how you deal with them.
You need to be angry.
Hopelessness will enter your space again and again.
We are in a time of great fear
The question is NOT: How do I shut my emotions off?
The question IS: How do I manage my intense emotions and still maintain my composure during a pandemic?
Three ways to help you maintain your composure
during a massive crisis
1) Create a safe time and space to release emotions.
If you don't release it, you will explode or implode. You can not continue to let it build and build.
Author Rick Warren suggests that we "vent vertically." Prayer doesn't need to be sweet and kind. Feel free to tell the big guy/gal what you really think! That's part of strong faith. Release it all to God.
When you let off steam, it will take the pressure off and help you to be composed when you need it.
2) Take care of yourself
Yes, this is a crazy stressful time. AND more than ever, you need rest, healthy food, sunshine, movement in your body and something to feed your soul. You need to breathe in a way that releases the adrenalin surging through your body. When you use your breath to settle your nerves and calm down your raging emotions, you will be able to respond, rather than react.
Taking care of yourself and using your breath to regulate your emotions will help you to be composed.
3) Be honest, but composed
You are angry, feeling hopeless and fearful. It's ok to say that. It's ok to feel that. Pretending to be otherwise will make you feel inauthentic, and the people around you will feel that and lose faith in you.
Here are some examples of how to be honest:
If your tears flow or you speak with managed anger or fear, that's ok.
That's not a lack of composure. That's anger, hopelessness and fear flowing out of you.
When you allow them to leave your chest, heart and head safely, you make room for compassion, hope and courage, which is precisely what you, your team, your loved ones and the world needs more than ever!
Developing your employees isn’t always easy and can be time consuming!
I’ve been sharing how to deal with complainers on your team. In my last blog, I encourage you to practice turning them back to their ability to take action rather than bellyache.
Click here to review the 3 steps for dealing with complainers.
In that video, I shared a bonus step in that article and want to highlight it today. After you've encouraged the complainer to take responsibility for impacting change, the bonus step was to ask:
Remember, it won't work!
Before I jump into that bonus step, I want to remind you that the three steps and the bonus step won't make your employee stop complaining.
To make a lasting difference in your employee's behaviour, you need to create a habit of responding in this way Once won't cut it.
To make it work, do this:
To create that habit, you first need to practice this new way of interacting with them. Your practice needs to be what is called deliberate practice. By deliberately practicing new ways of interacting that may feel weird and awkward, you are developing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
If your habitual way of responding when someone complains is to sigh, remind them the same thing you told them 10x before and then answer the question for them, they won't change. They won't change, because you haven't changed either!
Be patient with the process!
As you learn to hold them accountable for their part of things they can impact, they will learn to take responsibility for changing their situation.
But it all takes time.
It also takes a lot of patience - yours!
In time, your team members will become more responsible
To grow and change the culture of your team from one where people tend to complain more than they take responsibility, you will need to work at improving your behaviour, individuals behaviours and your team vibe or culture.
A powerful way to cultivate that type of change within your team is to create a growth mindset atmosphere. When everyone on your team is committed to self-improvement, growth and development, your team will grow and mature.
This will help you avoid a toxic work culture
Too many teams stay stuck in old ways that lead to toxic workplaces if you aren't careful. Ineffective patterns of communication, unproductive meeting styles and inadequate use of resources leave people frustrated. Discontent people lead to complaining, gossiping and will have your good people looking for a new job fast!
As the leader, you set the tone in your workplace
To make sure that doesn't happen to you, install a growth mindset culture. That's one where everyone is committed to learning, growing and developing themselves. You are the one to set the tone for that type of workplace culture.
Build in accountability
This brings me back to the bonus step when you are dealing with complainers. Not only do you need to ask them what you can do to hold them accountable, but you also need to hold yourself accountable.
Here is the thing to put on your AGENDA
I'm suggesting using your team meeting agenda to hold everyone, including yourself accountable!
Yes, the agenda.
The title of this post was "Quick, put this on your agenda." That is because I am encouraging you to put individual growth and development on the agendas of your staff meetings.
This will take time. Yes, I am repeating myself!
I also want to caution you that this is a long-range strategy. One that will take a bit of time to implement and will morph as you go. But that is entirely the point.
Commit to ongoing growth for you and your team
Leadership is an ongoing growth journey. Commit now to ongoing personal and professional development, deliberate practice and patience. As you do all of that, you will develop your growth mindset and strengthen your leadership capacity.
Back to the team meeting agenda strategy:
Get rid of the things on your agenda items that could be an email. When you do, you will make time for cultivating a growth mindset on your team.
Here's how to do it
Have everyone give a 1-2 min report out on what they are learning, how they are growing, or what skill they are developing in themselves.
You could share these examples when you introduce the concept:
How does all of this help you practice?
Remember, I said this exercise would morph.
Initially, you may keep your growth updates to safe topics such as you are attending a conference.
Then step outside of your comfort zone!
Over time, though, you may become braver. You then may courageously note what you are working on that is more personal development related. When you do this, you'll set the stage for others as your team adopts the growth mindset and builds trust.
For example, in time, you might say:
It's by using your team's agenda to do updates on personal and professional growth that you'll hold yourself accountable.
Ahhhh...making sense now?
In a nutshell:
Leading in a new way takes practice.
Practice takes time.
Practicing over time takes patience.
But it's all sooooo worth it when you have the impact you desire, your team grows, and you all do the work to change that part of the world, that you were meant to change!
One final reminder:
Ongoing personal and professional development is your path to success in both leadership and life! #growthmindset
To hear more about putting this staff development strategy into action, watch this video.
Last week we were talking about bellyacher's, and in this video, I shared three quick tips to deal with the complainers on your team but it may not have worked very well for you!
Let me go through the steps again!
3 tips for dealing with complainers:
Let me refresh your memory. When someone on your team is complaining, I suggested you try these three things:
1) Acknowledge their pain
Genuinely, with compassion and empathy, acknowledge how what they are complaining about is affecting them.
2) Ask them about their desired outcome.
Instead of focusing on the problem and whose fault it is, help them to focus on what outcome they want for everyone.
3) Ask them what action THEY can take to move towards that outcome.
When they point to someone else, gently bring them back, reminding them that "You can't change others. You can only change yourself." So even if they want someone to take a different action, help them see how they could positively influence someone's behaviour.
BONUS STEP: Ask them: How can I hold you accountable in a way that won't come across as nagging, negative or micromanaging?
Some of you replied to me with: That didn't work, Kathy!
Others responded with: That worked once, but they keep complaining! If it's not about this, then it's about something else. It is as if they look for something to complain about.
Trust me! I hear you. I have those people in my life and on my team too! They can zap my energy if I let them! The key point here (and the one I made last week) is that I can be response-able for the way things impact me.
But before I finish that thought, let me go back to my crappy advice.
Why my advice didn't work
If my advice didn't work, it's because I forgot to share the second half of the puzzle: What do you do when it redirecting a complainer doesn't work?
Of course, it won't work! Here's why:
Let me be completely transparent. Most of the time, what I suggested to you above won't work. At least not initially.
You and that team member have created a habitual way of interacting.
You have to be patient and consistent
We know change takes time. To elicit a consistent new response from your employee will require repeated different responses for you.
If you follow my suggestions, you will be practicing a new way of interacting. The problem is, it's soooooooooo easy to return to the default mode after one or two tries of doing something differently.
You can't try once and stop
But, once isn't enough to cut it.
Strong Leadership = Continuous growth and development
Leadership is about growth and development. It is a continual exercise of learning, failing and getting back up and practicing again.
We won't master new ways of communicating and influencing our team by trying something out once! Mastery comes with practice. A lot of practice! In fact, to master something, science has shown you need to invest 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. That means not practicing something you already know how to do, but practicing something you don't know how to do. That something is often way outside of your comfort zone.
It's time for you to respond with practice
So to change your staff's behaviour, you need to change the way you lead. This comes back to being response-able. You can respond to their complaints in a different way. But to entirely overall that relationship (they complain, you roll your eyes…), you'll need to practice responding consistently in a different way.
Are you committed to ongoing growth and development?
It's time to practice that! It's about mastering a new way of leading. This takes time and a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development.
To get a better handle on where you are and what you need to work on as you move towards mastery, read this article. Then grab the guide sheet to identify where you are on the continuum of apprentice to master. On the page, you will also find two videos to deepen your understanding of the path to becoming a masterful leader.
I'm here to guide you on this journey!
You can do it! I’m here to help you. So as always, if you have any questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Do you need a roadmap to guide your journey?
If you are ready to commit to intentional and consistent growth and development, join The Training Library. Inside pick the courses you need to take to grow your skills. Then systematically work through the lessons, bit by bit! Five minutes here and 15 minutes there, will fast track your journey towards mastery! I'll be there with you every step of the way!
Commit, my dear, to being in it for the long haul! Some days will be challenging. Knowing you are growing and expanding your capacity makes those days worthwhile!
Have you ever had someone in your life that won't change? They want things to turn around in their life, but they refuse to take responsibility for any of those changes. I have one of those people in my life now. She's driving me crazy!
Ugh! I want to shake her and say:
I've tried to help:
I have encouraged her, coached her and given her tons of resources that will help her start turning her life around.
However, she won't take it:
Instead of utilizing those resources, she sits in her pity party, belly aching and complaining about others, blaming them and waiting for them to change.
You can lead a horse 🐴 to water,
but you can't make them drink.
So….my mantra has become:
I am not going to give up my happy because you can't find your happy!
I became responsible for my happiness
I'm taking responsibility for my life and my experiences, even though she chooses not to.
I also recognize I do the same thing
This experience has been a great reminder to me of where I, too, put myself in that place of complaining and belly aching. What about you? Like me, do you sometimes have your own pity party?
Do you wait as I do?
Women like us are strong, capable and confident, except when we aren't. If you are like most women and like me, there are places we show up full of courage and determination.
We wait, blame and finger point...at least I do
Can you think of any areas in your life where you are doing that?
I can! I can see where I wait for someone else to "do it with me" for the money to "do it" for the time to "fit it in" or for the person to get out of my way, so I can "do it."
Let me give you some examples
EXAMPLE # 1
I've spent the last year looking for places that might interview me for podcasts, but have found few that "fit" me. However, the truth is, when I pause and ponder, I see different perspectives and realize that it is just an excuse.
EXAMPLE # 2
Another example is where I've wanted to remodel my daughter's bedroom and turn it into my den. She moved out almost a year ago. But, it wasn't the right time to do the renovations. We didn't have time, and of course, she might move back. Then, I didn't have my husband's help, and it would cost money.
EXAMPLE # 3
Here is another way I've not taken responsibility: There is a person on my team who isn't pulling their weight. They only show up for some meetings. But they are always unprepared. What's more, when you ask them to take on a task, they say they will. But you can bet there is a 90% chance they won't do it, and someone else will have to pick up the pieces.
And what have I done about it? Nothing! I complain. I hope they will change. I wait. Waiting leaves me feeling like a victim of their incompetence, their insensitivity to others and their lack of commitment. And that sucks!
When we don't take responsibility, we become victims
When we become victims, we feel powerless. At times, we try to force things, push people and make them do something, so our lives and situations are better. We try to have power over them. That creates more tension and turmoil.
We need to take our power back...our inner power!
Instead of feeling like a victim, we need to take our power back. We need to become responsible for what's going on.
I call it response-able.
It means we are able to respond.
Too often, women like us feel like there is nothing we can do about it. We wait, hope and pray things will change. We moan and groan to whoever will listen (my poor hubby!)
But when we take our inner power back, we gain the confidence, courage to become response-able to make changes in our lives, on our teams and in the world.
Take control of your thoughts
Our thoughts create our worlds. I can spend time getting angry and frustrated with that individual in my life that is driving me nuts.
I can feel like there is no place to share my ideas on podcasts that "fit" me.
I can wait for the right time, help etc. to redecorate my daughter's room.
I can wait for that person on my team to change.
Instead of feeling powerless, become response-able.
If you need some help with this learn more about becoming response-able here. You will also find a worksheet to help you take back your inner power here.
In case you haven't figured it out yet you teach your team to take responsibility when you role model it to them :-)
If you are like most leaders, you struggle to run effective meetings. In this post you’ll discover 15 resources to help you run better team meetings. The urge will be to scroll to the bottom and grab them.
To make those resources even more effective, take a moment to step into Cindy’s kitchen….
Imagine a young girl, Cindy is in the kitchen with her grandma, who is teaching Cindy how to bake buns. Cindy hopes to learn how to make buns that the whole family raves about as they do her grandmas.
As the older lady hovers over Cindy’s shoulder, she guides Cindy through the process.
Yet, after all that guidance, Cindy’s buns flop!
What the heck!
Go back to that movie in your mind of the scene in the kitchen. Look a little closer at Cindy as she was being taught how to bake. Did you notice she had earplugs in her ears? As her grandma was teaching, mentoring and coaching her, Cindy never heard a word her grandma said! Cindy just did it her way.
If you could get into Cindy’s head, you may have even heard her say: Hurry up, Grandma, I’ve got things to do outside!
It’s no wonder Cindy struggled to learn how to bake stellar buns!
Cindy now leads a team of frontline workers in a small nonprofit. Instead of trying to figure out how to bake buns, Cindy is currently struggling with team meetings.
Each go-around, Cindy brings her agenda and stacks of handouts to the meeting. As she works her way through the items, the room is relatively quiet. No one participates. They don’t volunteer ideas or add value to the conversation. Team members don’t offer to help out when she asks for volunteers, so Cindy assigns tasks.
When Cindy gets to the sensitive topics, she feels everyone tense up, and Cindy prays that no one will push back today as has happened during the past.
Cindy hopes things will change
Each go-around, Cindy goes in, hoping something will be different.
But nothing changes. After the meeting, Cindy tosses her stack of notes on her desk and lets out a sigh. Another one done. Cindy doesn’t have to worry about team meetings again until the next one.
Hope without action is futile!
Here’s the problem, if Cindy wants something different, she needs to do something different.
If Cindy desires increased team engagement, buy-in and action, she would need to change something she is doing. Last week, we talked about hoping things change. And we learned that without action, hope is futile. Hope alone won’t make the difference.
Are you like Cindy?
Cindy is like many women leaders. They don’t take the time to learn new things. Despite tons of resources, guides, coaches and mentors available to them, many leaders tune the learning opportunities out.
I get it...Nonprofits are tough!
Nonprofits are notorious for being crisis-driven. There is always something demanding your attention. If it isn’t a client crisis, it’s team drama, the fundraising event, a shortage of staff, proposal or grant writing, year-end or accreditation time. Stress, busyness and crises never end.
2 beliefs that don't help
Therefore, most women leaders believe they don’t have the time to step back and learn how to run better meetings, create more engaged employees, improve team culture or find improved work-life balance.
What’s more, they often don’t believe nonprofit specific resources and training are readily available.
Let me provide insight on both of those points.
1) You won’t find the time. You need to make time.
What’s more, it won’t take a lot of time, just intentionality.
2) There are a plethora of nonprofit resources available.
There is no lack of training, books, courses, blogs, podcasts, trainers, coaches or mentors available to nonprofit leaders. But if the podcast is never listened to or the course never worked on, you won’t learn.
If you don’t invest the time (action) to learn and then the energy to practice (more action), all the hope in the world won’t change the outcome of your team meetings.
To improve your team meetings, you need to do 3 things:
1) Take responsibility for improving your team meetings.
No more waiting, hoping or blaming.
2) Commit to growing yourself.
In this week’s video I talked about how to think your way to thriving. In the video you will learn how to use your growth mindset to organize your learning and growth.
3) Add action to your hope.
Start with the resources below.
When you commit to ongoing personal and professional development you’ll find more success leading highly engaged and effective teams.
Oh, and bonus….you’ll be happier!
Do you want to be more focused and intentional about your growth and development? Join me on Feb. 20th for this month's webinar: Develop Your Personalized Curriculum for Leadership Development
15 resources to help you run better team meetings
Beth Kanter’s Blog
The Small Nonprofit Podcast
Me on…The Meeting Leadership Podcast
Blogs post on my website
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In a recent coaching session, Annabel said to me, I just pray things will change. I pray "they'" will quit, so I don’t have to deal with them. Then, things can get back to normal.
I took a breath, then gently said:
Perhaps Annabel, instead of praying for someone else to do something, you could pray for help to be a better person, in fact, a better leader.
Annabel was quiet, but I could feel how incredulous she felt
I continued, suggesting that instead of asking for a miracle ⚡️like that person quits, that Annabel instead ask for help, support, guidance, strength, insights, and courage to be more patient, brave, direct, clear, inspiring, or motivating,
Again, Annabel was quiet, but this time, her quietness seemed open to hearing more, so I went on
I reminded her of the lesson we learned early in life, but rarely seem to heed: You can’t change anyone else. You can only change yourself.
Do you rely on hope?
Leaders often hope others will change. And hope alone is pretty useless.
Let me explain.
The dictionary defines hope as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
Is hope one of your top character strengths?
I’ve often suggested to you to complete your Virtues in Action Signature Strengths test. If you have, you may have found, like me, that one of your top character strengths is hope. But let me share their description of hope as a character trait:
Most nonprofits live in crisis management mode
Most days, as a leader, things are less than perfect. Your team probably needs some work. The sector throws curve balls left and right. Clients and customers bring new challenges. As a result, you are left playing whack-a-mole, trying to decide what fire to put out first.
But hoping tomorrow will be a better day, only goes so far.
You must MAKE tomorrow a better day.
You can't hope your way out of crisis mode!
You are probably saying, but Kathy, it’s not like I haven’t tried! True. You’ve probably tried very hard!
Here's what to add to hope:
Here’s the thing though, it might be time to try something different. Instead of fixing your team, solving the problems, putting out fires, dealing with the crisis of the day, it might be time instead to focus on growing you!
Back to Annabel
Annabel’s plea, Dear God, please just fix things🙏🏻is echoed across nonprofits every day! Her hope that things will change gets dampened day after day. And, if she’s not careful, her hope will turn to cynicism, bitterness and she will lose all faith that she can do much more than just survive each day.
I asked Annabel what kind of impact she wanted to have with her staff.
Annabel needs to focus on her growth
Perhaps I suggested that you would need to be a leader who inspired others and motivated them. I went on to talk about the traits of inspiring and motivating leaders such as compassion, patience, courage, fairness, humour, perspective, humility, the ability to self-regulate and to see things from different perspectives.
Annabel sighed. I don’t remember learning any of that in college.
Nope, they typically aren’t taught in your social work class, rehab degree, or when you got your fundraising certification.
That doesn’t mean you can’t learn them.
Do you have these same mistaken beliefs?
Where many leaders get caught up is these 3 mistaken beliefs:
You won’t find the time to work on yourself. You have to make the time
You don’t need to know how you need the willingness to figure out how
Soft skills don’t just count. Soft skills ARE Leadership. Leadership isn’t doing things; Leadership is being the type of person who inspires and motivates people towards a future vision. That’s about the kind of person you are.
Being a strong leader starts with your mindset. It would help if you believed you could grow and learn.
Where many of us are, is stuck with a fixed mindset. I’ll never learn to address conflict. I can’t set boundaries. I’ll never be able to be organized enough to pull agendas together two days before staff meetings.
Your fixed mindset keeps you stuck where you are, hoping, but losing faith.
Remember, you need hope + action. That requires a growth mindset. Instead of being fixed and stuck, a growth mindset inspires you to figure it out.
When you have a growth mindset, you believe that with effort, time and hard work (and hope) that you can learn new skills and ways of being.
Notice your thoughts this week. How often do you say, pray or plea that something outside of you will change? When you do, flip it back to yourself and ask a question like this:
These kinds of questions will help you develop your growth mindset and enjoy impactful leadership. Learn more about how to adopt a growth mindset here
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.