Tips and tools to help you thrive at work.
I am at a loss for words this week.
The last several days have been filled with hurtful words, painful scenes on unfolding in city streets and TV screens, and challenging - but heartfelt and important - conversations with friends and family. I find myself struggling to find the words to support and lead through days like these.
If you are leading people right now, you have probably found yourself in a similar place. Every day brings a new challenge, so how can we know what our people need from us? When they look to us for leadership, will we be prepared to answer? Great leaders are forged in crisis, and we are certainly in the middle of a leadership crisis right now.
The simple truth is this: in a crisis of humanity, the solution is human values. We need to connect with each other as people, more than as coworkers. Many of us have spent careers learning and perfecting every intricacy of the modern workplace...
Two months ago, how many of us knew the best spot in our house for a video call? How many of us knew how to share our screens or choose a virtual background? How many of us had ever attended a "virtual happy hour," or even heard of such a thing?
The last few weeks have been unusual, to say the least, and it appears that we're in the early stages of returning to something that resembles business as usual. So as the homeschooling winds down and video calls begin to dwindle, you might consider: Are there any components of this time that I want to continue?
That question might have sounded crazy in March, when everything was unfamiliar territory. Weeks later, though, some of us have started to find a new routine. We've adopted new schedules, picked up new habits, even tried to learn new skills. Surely some of those are worth keeping, right? Let's take a look at some of the common themes from this period of isolation.
Former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt said, "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." After the last few weeks, I suspect we're all starting to feel like Ferdinand Magellan, the Portugese explorer who sailed all the way around the globe in 1519. Perhaps some days you feel more like the famous castaway Robinson Crusoe.
Whether you're feeling like an accomplished mariner or still finding your sea legs, rest easy knowing that you are facing down the same challenges as millions of other leaders around the world. That's really overwhelming, isn't it? Millions of leaders, all trying to solve the same set of problems. I have good news for you: millions of leaders are all trying to solve the same set of problems.
The global scale of our circumstances means that there are global truths in our circumstances. We're all stressed. We're all uncertain. We're all adjusting to new routines. Once again, the good news: when we all face similar problems, we can all...
A Simple Checklist for Well-Being, from Alloy Solutions
Your guide to managing your physical, mental, and emotional health during isolation.
Time marches on, doesn't it? As these unprecedented times continue, our team has been inspired by the community reaction around the globe - millions of people have shared their insights into living under uncommon circumstances. With that in mind, here's a checklist for some basic daily activities to maintain your well-being:
Don't Skip Personal Hygiene
Years from now, we will probably look back and wonder why everyone decided that staying home meant shirking certain practices. Kick-start your daily productivity by sticking to this daily routine. Take a shower, brush your teeth, and face the day with confidence. Your family members will thank you.
Fuel Your Body
We all know that America runs on Dunkin, but your body runs on water. Make a point to get a few glasses of water each day, rather than a steady diet of coffee. The...
One Word . . . have you chosen your one word for the year 2020? Are you thinking maybe I should change it given the circumstances we are living? This idea for me was inspired by a book written by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page called “One Word that will Change Your Life.”
During my career in sales, marketing, facilitating and coaching, I have used many acronyms to keep my mind and behavior engaged positively toward making a difference in others’ lives. I haven’t done it perfectly and sometimes my actions may not have provided positive encouragement as desired. However, by following the instructions provided in this book, I have seen positive strides in my thinking and behavior.
Before I share with you my word selected for 2020, here is a word for you to consider adopting in your daily practice. This word adopted 15 years ago has dramatically impacted a positive change in my life. HALT - are you Hungry, Angry...
We are truly living in history. As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold around the globe, circumstances are changing every day and the leaders among us have been called to sort out how we move forward through these unprecedented times.
After 20 years as a counselor (I still maintain my license), I cannot help but watch the local and global reactions to this crisis through the lens of a mental health professional. I spent years watching people deal with all sorts of situations in their personal and professional lives, and it occurred to me this week that I recognize what's happening on a local and global level. This is grief.
Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross first outlined her five stages of grief in 1969. More than fifty years later, the Kubler-Ross model is still playing out in front of our eyes. Let's take a look at how these stages of grief are presenting themselves through this...
Imagine, if you can, suddenly finding yourself with some extra time on your hands. Perhaps your office is closed to the public and you are working from home for the next few weeks, wiping out hours of commuting and meetings from your schedule. How will you spend this newfound time?
Certainly, you will have to adjust to your new surroundings and adapt your habits to fit new routines. Would you use this time to learn a new skill or knock out some chores you have been putting off? Maybe you're a personal-growth junkie like me, and you need something to keep your mind occupied so you can stay focused and motivated. To that end, I surveyed our Alloy team members to create a list of our favorite books on personal growth and professional development.
You can see the list for yourself, and if anything speaks to you, go ahead and grab a copy for yourself from Amazon (links included below).
This is Part 1 in our Reading List...
“Mama said there’d be days like this,” sang The Shirelles in 1961. While no one could possibly have predicted the mass emergency declarations, corporate policy changes, and major event cancellations that we’ve seen nationwide this week, those words do ring true. Times of major change and uncertainty do, and will, continue to come upon us. While the breadth and depth of all of these changes at once may have us in unchartered waters, dealing with change itself is not new territory. In fact, there are learnings we can apply from the seas of change we’ve sailed before. Here are a few strategies to keep your physical and mental health boat afloat as we head into some choppy and sometimes scary - though not completely unchartered - seas.
1. When you can't do something about the situation, do something with it.
Let’s face it – there’s a significant feeling of loss of control in this...
This is the third and final piece in a series from Jamie Hansen, focused on how a new leader must develop his or her communication skills in order to maximize their impact. You can find the first installment here, the second installment here, and receive the rest of the series in your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.
Welcome back to the Leadership Toolbox! This series focuses on skills that leaders should develop in order to maximize their effectiveness. Whether you are a new or experienced leader, these skills will increase your influence as you connect with the people around you. We have highlighted four critical skills already, and we have two more to complete this list:
5. Connecting with Curiosity
Great communicators have learned, often the hard way, how assumptions can throw a conversation into a downward spiral. Our desire for efficient conversation, combined with past experience with...
This is the second piece in a series from Jamie Hansen, focused on how a new leader must develop his or her communication skills in order to maximize their impact. You can find the first installment here, and receive the rest of the series in your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.
Welcome back to the Leadership Toolbox! Today, we are focusing on two additional communication skills that leaders must develop to effectively lead the people and teams around them. If you have already read Part I of this series, you know that the first two skills are Assertiveness and Listening. Leaders absolutely must possess the courage to say what needs to be said, and the patience to hear what must be heard. Next, let's examine two more communication skills for leaders:
3. Proof in Paraphrasing
I call this the drive-thru skill. Anyone can "phone it in" or act like they're listening while their mind wanders. Most of us have...
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