Spring Inventory

One of the consequences of working remotely during the pandemic is that some of your management skills may have eroded. Although you may have picked up some new ones, some of your old standbys may have atrophied.

Spring is the time for renewal, so why not use this time to take inventory of your skills? Everyone is different, so here are some questions to start your thought process. Chances are that these ideas will generate others that are unique to you.

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Wellbeing and Engagement

Gallup recently published an article, “The Wellbeing Engagement Paradox of 2020.” They report that in contrast to more normal times, the somewhat inverse relationship between wellbeing and engagement diverged in 2020, creating new challenges for leaders.

Not surprisingly, many Americans view their wellbeing as more distressful. The myriad pandemic related personal issues from isolation to stress to worry, as well as external factors, such as social justice issues all contributed.

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Good leaders know the importance of being present and listening well. Over the past year, these attributes have been further challenged since we haven’t been face-to-face. And the big change came when most conversations and meetings morphed into video.

We talk of “Zoom fatigue” as a general term applying to all video encounters. This is a real syndrome and it has multiple facets. For one thing, we’re staring at others on screen, which is looking at pixels which becoming tiring. It’s also not “normal” to be looking at everyone – and yourself – all the time, which would not be happening if we were in person or on a teleconference.

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Another Meeting?

Do you ever feel like you just can’t take one more meeting? People are becoming increasingly numb to them, especially those who are working remotely. The remote workplace has spawned more meetings, many of which are valuable check-ins for teams, while others are unnecessary wastes.

A lot of meetings were created in the early days of the pandemic for specific reasons tied to connecting with co-workers. Thoughtfully consider the relevance of these gatherings. The original purpose may have run its course and it’s time to “retire” it. Or, it may be time to repurpose, shorten, or reduce the frequency.

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Random Acts of Kindness

We are nearing the end of Random Acts of Kindness Week, which coincided with an especially challenging personal week for many around the U.S. I’m sure that many join me in knowing people who didn’t have power, water, or food during the horrendous storm that covered much of the country.

The whole point of performing a random act of kindness is to do something unexpected that has a positive impact on someone. Think of how good it feels when you are the recipient of such an action.

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Listening Is Hard Work!

There’s no way around this: you need to work harder at listening when you’re not face to face. Generally, your people will tell you everything is fine….even when it isn’t.

For example, you may check in about progress towards a particular deadline and people will say that they’re on top of it.

Maybe they are. But maybe not.

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Unpacking Remote Management

Many of us are a good ten months into managing a remote workforce. Although some have done well and even flourished, others are stumbling. This can be frustrating, especially if you felt successful when you were together with your team in the office.

Work will eventually return to an office environment, but it will not likely ever revert to the way it was a year ago. The managerial skills that make you brilliant in the office are different than the ones you need to succeed remotely. And whether you return to a conventional office environment or stay remote, the skills to successfully manage remotely will serve you well.

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New Year, Fresh Start

Welcome to the new year where things seem more like “same old, same old” instead of new and fresh. Although we’re still operating in a challenging external environment, you can create new energy that can result in a fresh perspective.

The new year provides a metaphoric reset, so take advantage of this. There are numerous things you can do now that will not only set your direction, but will create a new tone for the year and help boost morale as a consequence.

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How Are You Being Heard?

Isn’t it fascinating when you perceive that you couldn’t be clearer in how you communicated something and your co-worker doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about?

Communication snafus like this happen every day, and sadly, some people think that the way to resolve it is to say the same thing over and over (remember the definition of insanity…). Instead, consider how you can rephrase or use an example to make your point.

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Give Thanks

Next week is the quintessential American holiday, Thanksgiving. I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving because the celebration centers around food, family, and friends. What’s not to love?

This year’s Thanksgiving will be different because of the pandemic. Modifications in your traditional routines, especially the number of people around your table, may be disappointing.

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