Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Employee Engagement - Part II


As a leader it’s tempting to believe one or more of the following half-truths. Each of these half-truths relies on the assumption that the people you lead know your intentions. And in the busy life of a leader that is a very tempting assumption. Unfortunately, they are half-truths – so you might have great intentions – your people will judge you by your actions and your engagement with them! 

Last week we talked about the first five half-truths, here are the rest:

Half Truth #6: My people understand that I give feedback when I can.

As a leader, you may feel like you’re too busy to give feedback. However, feedback is an important tool in demonstrating that you value your people. Leaders can increase engagement in the workplace by thinking of feedback as the norm, not the exception.

Half Truth #7: My people understand that I give coaching when I can.

Coaching your people is an invaluable experience for both yourself and them. However, it can be challenging for leaders to find the time to conduct formal coaching sessions. Instead of allowing coaching to fall by the wayside, it’s important to take advantage of real-time opportunities to coach.

Half Truth #8: My people understand that I make the decisions.

Your people will always expect you to make the final call on any decision. Even so, encouraging members of your team to step up and brainstorm winning ideas means that they will be more fully engaged in working towards the ultimate decision.

Half Truth #9: My people know they can trust me.

One of your most important goals as a leader is to consistently and intentionally increase trust between yourself and your team. Trust is hard to build but easy to break, which means that you can never assume you’re done working towards trust.

Half Truth #10: My people know that I’m here to help them.

From the perspective of your team, there’s a difference between knowing you exist as a resource and watching you actively look for ways to help. That might mean setting your people up for success with clients or putting in a good word when somebody’s up for promotion.

By letting go of these half-truths and instead focusing on intentional communication, leaders can tune in fully to their teams and promote high-level engagement.



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Employee Engagement - Part I

 As a leader it’s tempting to believe one or more of the following half-truths. Each of these half-truths relies on the assumption that the people you lead know your intentions. And in the busy life of a leader that is a very tempting assumption.

Unfortunately, they are half-truths – so you might have great intentions – your people will judge you by your actions and your engagement with them! 

Here are the first five: 

Half Truth #1: My people understand that I have a very demanding job.

From your own perspective, it may be clear that sometimes, you are too busy to spend time with your team. However, your workload might not be immediately clear to your team, and if they’re looking for more of you than they’re seeing, your team might feel undervalued.

Half Truth #2: My people know that I need them.

Team members who feel valued are more likely to stay with your company, but it can be hard for leaders to meaningfully demonstrate their importance. One way you can accomplish this is by practicing active listening by putting away your phone or laptop and making a point to be fully present.

Half Truth #3: My people know that I care about them.

The way you demonstrate care to your people may not necessarily be the way they understand care. Demonstrating care in a way that’s meaningful to each specific member of your team is a valuable skill to hone, whether that means giving constructive feedback or asking questions about weekend plans.

Half Truth #4: My people know that I appreciate their need to be autonomous. 

As a leader, it can be challenging to delegate tasks and risk a result that falls below expectations. That might mean you’re giving your team less freedom than you think. To mitigate that issue, it can be helpful to bring focused instruction to each task before granting autonomy.

Half Truth #5: My people are clear on my expectations that I have for them.

Consistently expressing your expectations promotes a higher level of engagement within your team, no matter how well your people already understand those standards. What’s more, this type of dialogue nurtures accountability, allowing you to grant your team greater autonomy.

Our goal is to help you be the best leader you can be.



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Visionary Leadership


News about Virgin Galactic's successful space flight is everywhere - in the news, in newspapers, and soon to be in magazines as a history changing event. 

This British millionaire, Richard Branson,  first took tourists to the sky back in 1984 flying aboard a US jumbo jet repainted with the logo of his upstart company Virgin Atlantic airlines. He called that the dawn of a new space age, aiming to send tourists there too. 

On July 11, Virgin Galactic made a giant leap toward commercial suborbital spaceflight. The company launched its first fully crewed flight of its SpaceShipTwo space plane Unity with a special passenger on board: the company's billionaire founder Richard Branson.

Branson says, “I have dreamt of this since I was a kid, and honestly, nothing could prepare you for the view of earth from space.”

Richard had been dreaming and envisioning this moment since he was a kid. He started his company as a private space tourism company that aims to fly well-paying tourists to space — as soon as next year.

Not only did he create a vision and make it come true but there were 60 civilians at the launch that have been chosen to go on his first tourism flight to outer space. Without a vision that was executed and communicated well, there would not be followers who believe in the vision too. 

So whether you have a dream in your heart, you are running a company or you are trying to figure out how to inspire those you lead - take note of Branson’s example.

Some of the leadership lessons we can learn from Sir Richard Branson are those of having a passion and pursuing it, not quitting when obstacles stood in his way and enroll others into the vision of the end goal and there will be a line of people waiting to jump on board.

I am excited to hear what vision you are envisioning.



Tuesday, July 6, 2021

How to be more Empathetic


Empathy, or our ability to understand each other’s feelings and perspectives and show compassion toward them, is one of the building blocks of healthy relationships.

When we are able to stand in another person’s shoes and see life from their point of view - a situation, a belief, a struggle - we are then better equipped to connect, without reactivity, on a human level.

It is, in a way, a sign of generosity; not in the material sense, but rather it’s a spirit of generosity. By leaning into this generosity and learning how to be more empathetic, we cultivate an attitude of openness, and we train our minds to be less judgmental. No wonder empathy can positively impact our relationships, with ourselves and others.

As Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, puts it: “Empathy does not require that we have been through the same thing as another person, simply that we meet them where they are now.”

Empathy may seem like an all-or-nothing emotion; in a way, that is true. Being able to recognize and relate to the feelings of others does not come in degrees. Like any skill, it is there, or not. But the good news is that empathy is a quality that can be nurtured and learned. Discovering how to become more empathetic is a life skill with benefits extending across all areas of life. Once you master how to have more empathy, you are better able to connect with and understand partners, loved ones, colleagues, and even strangers. 


Existing in the world can come with a bit of sensory overload. A lot is going on out there, and it’s no wonder that we become preoccupied with our mind’s chatter. So often, our thoughts and emotions take over, leaving little space for those around us to feel seen or heard. And when we do migrate toward social interaction, we tend to stick to our birds of a feather.

All these behaviors can lead to an empathy deficit — where we’re only exposed to those similar to us — and being able to show compassion for people and perspectives that are different than ours becomes difficult, if not impossible. It can all seem a bit frustrating and disheartening. 


Empathy has multiple components: the cognitive, where you understand the person’s thoughts or feelings; the emotional, where you can share these feelings; and the compassionate, where you go beyond sharing concern and actively try to reduce someone’s pain.

If you’re in the process of learning how to be more empathetic in a relationship or everyday life, the main thing to do is give your interactions a makeover: Talk to new people from different backgrounds and walks of life. Actively listen to those around you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable in relationships. Focus on the interests and needs of others. Try not to make assumptions about those around you. 


You’ll have stronger relationships, be happier, have higher emotional intelligence, and do better at work.