A Day of Gratitude

Long time readers of this column know that I love Thanksgiving for its simplicity of coming together as friends and family with no commercial agenda. Engaging in spirited discussion, eating too much, and rooting for football teams are hallmarks of a day of contentment.

I always marvel at the variety of ethnic adaptations that different cultures bring to the day. If you didn’t hear “The Sporkful: Thanksgiving is for Eaters”, it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Beyond the holiday elements, I think of Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude. It’s a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the things that mean the most to you.

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Managerial Consistency

How does a manager stay on top of the myriad details that her employees oversee? Unless you’re a supernatural micromanager, it’s impossible. No matter how organized and detail-driven you are, your staff is accountable to do their jobs. How you manage them will make the difference.

Consistency is one of the key factors for successful outcomes. If you are all over the map, no one will know what to expect from you. Here are some ideas to consider:

Communication: Of course, all roads lead back to excellent communication. If you aren’t precise and clear in your direction, you can’t expect your staff to follow the path of your expectation. Be clear verbally and in writing.

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Resiliency in Change

Change can cause massive turmoil, especially when you least expect it. Organizations undergo restructuring, management shifts, and new job responsibilities without even realizing the whirlwind of confusion and bewilderment that can follow.

When you layer on employees’ concerns, dissatisfaction, and fears from such changes, it can become a leadership nightmare.

Leaders need to learn how to assess situations, make decisions and take action often without the benefit of collaboration or advice. Simply put, you need to rely on your inner knowledge and wisdom to lead your staff and manage the change.

This isn’t easy and it takes practice. Like anything else, clarity about what you face ahead can bring you a long way on your learning curve.

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The Respect Factor

When tensions run high in the workplace, the issue of respect often rises to the surface. People become angry when they feel ignored, dissed, or talked to in negative ways. They don’t feel respected, and the resulting resentment seeps into many conversations and activities, whether or not relevant.

Being respected is more important than being liked. The two are not mutually exclusive – you can respect someone, but don’t necessarily have to like him. On the other hand, you can like somebody, but may not have respect for her. Think about it – would you rather work with a person you respect, or one who you like?

Leaders need to be mindful of the respect factor, because when disrespect creeps into the office environment, it can become viral. When this happens, life at the office can border on toxic.

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