Refresh Your Mindset for the New Year

Last time we looked at what worked and what didn’t work for you in 2022. Today we’re previewing the new year with a focus on refreshing your mindset.

The end and beginning of the year are typical times that people think in terms of a fresh start. To have a successful fresh start, you will benefit by rebooting your mindset.

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Foreshadowing Empathy

Sometimes you need to make an announcement or take an action that will likely cause discomfort. Leaders who recognize this in advance can shape the message by foreshadowing empathy.

This means that although the impact of the bad news may be hard, you understand its effect and are standing in the shoes of the people receiving the message.

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“I’ll Take it and Run with It”

How often do you hear those words in the workplace? Not as frequently as you’d like, I imagine. Instead, often, you probably hear either silence or those career-limiting words, “it’s not my job.”

People who are eager to help and take on new responsibilities are primed to advance in your company. They don’t think about whether it’s what they were hired to do; rather, they see these situations as opportunities to learn and grow in their jobs.

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Breaking Up with an Employee

No one likes to fire an employee. It’s uncomfortable – even distressing – depending on the circumstances. But it’s one of the realities of managing. In fact, the rest of your staff will take note of how you handle it.

The key to dealing with a prospective termination is to be brutally honest about the situation. Objectively assess the person’s performance and determine if the situation can be salvaged. In some cases, the employee may not have been trained properly; in others she may have floundered due to bad (or no) management.

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Behavioral Goal Setting

To set and attain goals is an important process for nearly all high-achieving leaders. Whether you go through a formal process to set and monitor goals, or informally record your aspirations, the desired outcome is the same.

People typically identify tasks or activities as the stepping stones for goal achievement. For example, if you want to achieve a certain revenue number in your department, you can divide that number among your employees resulting in a goal of x dollars per employee.

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Do You Have a Strong Bench?

The OMICRON variant of COVID is hitting different parts of the country in waves. New York City, for example, has suffered quite a bit as the level of contagion has been higher and more aggressive than previous waves of the virus.

To illustrate, at the end of December a third of the New York City Fire Department was out on leave because of the volume of people who had contracted the virus.

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What’s the Alternative?

Leaders are faced with all sorts of decisions daily; some are innocuous, others significant. Most decisions are made primarily on autopilot. You’ve done something a million times, a similar situation arises, and you act on it quickly without giving it much thought.

Other decisions, however, take a lot more effort especially because they are out of your day-to-day comfort zone. This could be a decision to hire or fire a key employee or to embark on capital expenditures that are higher than you’ve authorized in the past.

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Welcome to 2022

I hope your first week of the new year is going well and has set the tone for productive, meaningful, and healthy weeks ahead. We talked about goals in December, and presumably you’ve come up with some that suit your outlook for the months ahead.

Goals involve identifying tangible factors that will presumably be achieved at some point in the future. Some people are successful working towards these kinds of objectives; others lose attention early in the process. Goal setting and achievement is largely a cognitive process, so you rely on your brain to get you to your destination.

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The Winter Solstice

The winter solstice took place in the northern hemisphere on Tuesday, December 21. Although many people simply think of this as the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, it is a day that is celebrated in different cultures.

Psychologically, some believe that this is a time to release anything that doesn’t align with our highest purpose. Although presented somewhat differently, last week’s column discussed using year-end as a time to identify what you want to keep, what you want to add and what you want to eliminate from your life. Sounds similar, doesn’t it?

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