Stay Connected

I recently read an article about communication in a professional working environment. One comment struck me as an opportunity for me to improve. It was about building a personal communication plan.

It seemed so simple at the time. This week, I am scheduling time for my 2019 reflection, and it is a perfect opportunity to implement. I want to create an annual communication plan to define what actions are needed to stay connected. It is simply a plan with four elements:

1. Who. Who do I want to communicate with on a regular basis. Make a list.

2. Why. What is the purpose of the communication? Why is it important?

3. Frequency. What is the best frequency for each of these people or groups? Create a plan and get it on my calendar.

4. How. What are the best methods for this communication. Is it text messages, emails, phone calls, meetings,  or even a presentation?

Important communication needs repeated, and it needs to be conveyed in more than one manner. I usually find myself wishing I spent more time on communication. My hope is this plan will help me fill in some gaps. What is your plan to improve communication in 2020?

The Backdrop of Empowerment

If you are leading a team of any kind, you have experienced the increased potential when you begin to empower others. In addition to the obvious benefits, empowerment creates a special environment in three keys ways.

  • Energy. When you empower a team, you increase the overall energy level. People become engaged.
  • Excitement. When you empower a team, you increase the excitement level. More people become interested in where the team will take them. The team members become excited about the future.
  • Personal Investment. When you empower someone they feel more responsible for the outcome. Their commitment level increase, and they become personally invested in achieving the goals.

Take advantage of the momentum you create from this environment. Evaluate where you need to expand the empowerment for your team.

Also, if you have not yet scheduled your year end reflection and planning session, get it on your calendar. Find the time to invest in yourself.

Life Gets Busy

Life gets extremely busy at times. Deadlines at work clash with activities at home, and you run out of time to get things done. It is stressful, but we must admit it is unavoidable. Like most things in life, it is how we react to a situation that defines us and our ability to cope. Here are a few things we should remember.

1. Keep your perspective. When you don’t have time to think or plan, and your day is tightly packed with specific activities, it is easy to lose perspective of the overall day. Make sure you have at least five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening to reflect and plan. Keep your focus on the bigger picture.

2. Don’t stress. This is easier said than done. The truth is that most of what we do is not a life or death emergency. If you remain calm, you will actually achieve more. Taking time for a smile instead of a grimace will yield results. You can be a positive example for your team.

3. Don’t give up on what’s important. When time is limited, you will miss a few deadlines. When you can least afford it, the unexpected will steal even more time.  Know your priorities and allocate time. You may miss the initial target, but you will be able to charge back strong if you make small continual progress. Don’t give up.

If we never experienced life without challenges, how boring would life be. Embrace the busy times. Enjoy the ability to slow down and share a positive attitude. Never forget to find fun in what we do.

A Leader’s Daily Checkup

If we want to improve our skills as a leader, we need to evaluate our current environment. Here is a simple list of attributes to check your conduct as a leader.

1. Consistency. Are you providing a consistent approach that allows your team members to function at their best? Is the environment you created conducive for excellence?

2. Courage. A leader needs the courage to provide breakthrough success. This means doing things differently. Does your team recognize you as courageous?

3. Unwavering. Are you unwavering in your leadership? Are you decisive when it is needed, and yet patient in letting the team provide options?

4. Committed. Does your team feel your commitment to excellence? Are you setting the example for your team?

5. Humility. Do you approach challenges with humility? Are you capable of listening and evaluating fairly all contributions?

6. Passionate. Does your passion for your project, your team, your goals shine through daily?

Sometimes our view is not enough to test our abilities. This week’s challenge is to sit with someone on your team and have them help you review your actions in these six areas. It may enlighten you, and reveal opportunities to improve.