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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – How are you making the Gift of Gratitude part of your workplace culture?

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Gratitude is a topic we are passionate about. We have been exploring with teams and organisations about how it can be bought in as part of the workplace culture. Call it recognition, praise or appreciation, what has stood out is that we need to take the time to show gratitude within and across the teams, we work with.

It’s been a big year of growth and opportunity for us all, and there is no better time than now to show your appreciation to others and create gratitude as a practice.

Many organisations focus on performance culture and not a culture built around gratitude. This can affect the level and deepness of gratitude that employees practice. I call this grey gratitude, it may not be intentionally stifled, but it’s not hitting the mark as part of what makes up the culture.

If you are looking for employees to go beyond the contractual obligation of their roles, expressing gratitude should be part of your leadership. Acknowledging the thoughts and efforts of people with gratitude shows that those people matter and this can build a culture around gratitude which I believe is vital.

Research shows that taking the time to develop an attitude of gratitude can:

  • Build a psychological immune system, making us more resilient to stressful situations
  • Accelerate positive emotions
  • Create a greater sense of achievement of goals
  • Fewer sick days and less stress
  • Greater collaboration and connection
  • Higher job satisfaction overall

So, what gets in the way?

Many times, people feel awkward, practising gratitude and may see it as fluffy and esoteric. The leadership team may not be on board and therefore, don’t foster openness and space to build this practice into the culture. Another key blocker is people may see gratitude as a weakness and may feel left out if they don't receive gratitude in return. Many don’t adopt the mindset.

We spend one-third of our life at work, that's over 90,000 hours, so it makes sense to incorporate the gift of gratitude into your workplace. Click To Tweet

Gratitude can connect people. It can create collaboration and anchor positive behaviour. It’s also one of the collective skills that make up resilience.

Feelings, actions and our mindset flow from the way we look at the world and how we think about the situation – to change our feelings, we can start by thinking about what we are grateful for. Often, we find our feelings scary and confusing, so we keep them at a distance. However, shutting off our feelings not only backfires, but it drains us of the psychological energy that is needed to build resilience. We need our feelings to find satisfaction, meaning and pleasure in life both in and out of the workplace.

Gratitude can maximise happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their negative emotional impact and lets in optimism. We can let challenges deepen how we are grateful – it can show us not to take things for granted.

Looking back is about learning and looking forward is about progressing.

Accessing and sustaining positive emotion is key to building resilience in organisations, needed now more than ever. Focusing our attention on how far we have come can provide positive reinforcement, and fuel our thoughts to overcome challenges and setbacks. It’s like looking in the rear-vision mirror of a car – what you pass goes by quickly, but it’s easy to miss a beautiful landmark or a life lesson that you could share.

Think about how you could flip what I call “Grey Gratitude” in your workplace to a clearer vibrant practice?

We have workshopped this question in a few companies, and I’d love to share a few ideas and tips:

Share 1 situation or person you are grateful for

  • Kick off a meeting/workshop/project review by each person sharing who or what they are grateful for in the workplace.
  • An option is to capture these on Yammer/Teams.

3 positives to 1 negative

  • For every negative, you or the team discuss workshop 3 positives.
  • This reinforces the face we often focus on what isn’t working instead of the things we could be grateful for.

Create a Gratitude wall-virtually or in the office

  • People can leave notes of appreciation for anyone.
  • Name can be shared, or this can be anonymous.

Ask a question

  • What capabilities, qualities and skills have got me to where I am today?
  • Individually of self or share as a team.

Be specific

  • When we aren’t specific when expressing gratitude, this dilutes the impact and intention.
  • Imagine replacing “I’m grateful for that” to ‘I’m grateful for the support you have given the team and I this month”.

It is ideal to have structured forums to share as well as spontaneous recognition and ways to show appreciation. Some subtle ways of sharing gratitude every day could be as simple as sending surprise emails to others expressing appreciation or creating a forum to share internal updates and encourage people to share.

Be mindful not to do ‘gratitude’ in overdrive – this can seem false and dilute the effects of authentically being grateful.

The Gift of Gratitude should not be underestimated and is one of the 12 gifts we can build on when we adopt a Gift Mindset®.

With the year-end upon us, take the time to explore the Gift of Gratitude with your team and organisation, say thank you and reflect on who and what you are grateful for.

As always, we would love to hear how you are incorporating gratitude into your workplace!

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program, and you can read more about that here.

Be one of the first to receive a copy of Renée's latest book, Gift Mindset®. It is available for pre-order on Amazon,  and Booktopia.

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do, and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you in moving up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker. She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – 5 Questions to Turn a Performance Review Into a Proactive Preview

As 2020 is almost at a close, what better time than now to take stock of the year that has been, and look forward to what is ahead.

With so much talk of performance reviews being obsolete, I think there is still a place for them but with a different focus. Many clients we work with have annual or six-monthly check-ins, and I liken these to getting your car serviced. It’s what happens in between the services that determine how much work is done on the car.

If you regularly coach your team, the process of the actual performance review or preview (as we call them), should be effortless and there shouldn’t be any surprises. Coaching ensures there is ongoing and consistent feedback, and this results in real-time dialogue on what is working and what needs to change before it’s too late.

Ongoing feedback helps individuals and teams understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to manage them. Within the workplace, one of the best ways to promote self-awareness among employees is to foster a culture of peer feedback in conjunction with input from management. I am passionate about encouraging and educating others to share feedback, have open conversations, and bring in coaching to foster empowerment, awareness and ongoing growth to maximise performance.

Feedback is a great vehicle to promote self-awareness in and out of work. Be open to giving and receiving it so you can expand your self-awareness, as well as the self-awareness of those around you.

People are either internally or externally motivated.

Internally Motivated – When making a decision, internally motivated people will listen to feedback, but have usually already decided for themselves and will go with their original decision.

Externally Motivated – Those who are externally motivated will view feedback almost like an instruction, taking it entirely on board when making their decision.

Externally motivated people tend to like and need feedback.

Many senior leaders I come across tend to be internally focused, especially if they have been in a role for a long time. They rely on their intuition rather than seeking feedback from others. The danger of this is that they can become blinded to opportunity and miss out on feedback that could be helpful.

Ensure you give people feedback the way they like it. Some people like a lot of feedback, and some want less; some even prefer to receive feedback publicly.

When conducting performance reviews or appraisals, I believe, there should be a focus on “previewing” what’s next as opposed to spending time doing a total review on what has already occurred. You need to learn from the past; I believe 20% of the time should have a focus on the review. And 80% as a preview on what can be proactively planned and implemented.

The past is about learning, and the future is about progress.

5 simple questions to look at what’s next:

  1. Where are you now?
  2. What’s available to you?
  3. Where do you want to be?
  4. How will you get there?
  5. How will you know you are getting there?

I’m a huge advocate of learning from the past. 2020 has provided a forum for us to learn so much about ourselves and those around us. Take the lessons and meld them into what you want to happen next and who you want to become.

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé


PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection – Building mental fitness through a culture of gratitude

Limitless Leaders Connection Building mental fitness through a culture of gratitude

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Over the last few months with many leadership teams, we have explored the topic of gratitude and how this is being expressed in the workplace. Call it recognition, praise or appreciation; what stood out is that we need to take the time to show gratitude within and across the teams, we work with.

Many organisations focus on a ‘performance culture' and not a culture built around gratitude. This can affect the level and deepness of gratitude that employees practice. I call this ‘grey gratitude‘, it may not be intentionally stifled but it’s not hitting the mark as part of what makes up the culture.

If you are looking for employees to go beyond the contractual obligation of their roles and build mental fitness, then expressing gratitude should be part of your leadership. Acknowledging the thoughts and efforts of people with gratitude shows that those people matter and this can build a culture around gratitude which I believe is vital.

Research shows that taking the time to develop an attitude of gratitude can:

  • Build a psychological immune system, making us more resilient to stressful situations
  • Accelerate positive emotions
  • Create a greater sense of achievement of goals
  • Fewer sick days and less stress
  • Greater collaboration and connection
  • Higher job satisfaction overall

What gets in the way?

Many times, people feel awkward practising gratitude and may see it as fluffy and esoteric. The leadership team may not be on board and therefore don’t foster openness and space to build this practice into the culture. Another key blocker is people may see gratitude as a weakness and may feel left out if they don't receive gratitude in return. Many simply don’t adopt the mindset. 

We spend one-third of our life at work, that's over 90,000 hours so it makes sense to incorporate the gift of gratitude into your workplace. Click To Tweet

Gratitude can connect people. It can create collaboration and anchor positive behaviour and it’s also one of the collective skills that make up resilience.

Feelings, actions and our mindset flow from the way we look at the world and how we think about the situation – to change our feelings, we can start by thinking about what we are grateful for. Often, we find our feelings scary and confusing, so we keep them at a distance. However, shutting off our feelings not only backfires, but it drains us of the psychological energy that is needed to build resilience. We need our feelings in order to find satisfaction, meaning and pleasure in life, both in and out of the workplace.

Gratitude can maximise happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their negative emotional impact and lets in optimism. We can let challenges deepen the way in which we are grateful – it can show us not to take things for granted.

Looking back is about learning and looking forward is about progressing. Click To Tweet

Accessing and sustaining positive emotion is key to building resilience in organisations, needed now more than ever. Focusing our attention on how far we have come can provide positive reinforcement and fuel with our thoughts to overcome challenges and setbacks. It’s like looking in the rear-vision mirror of a car – what you pass goes by quickly, but it’s easy to miss a beautiful landmark or a life lesson that you could share. 

Think about how you could flip what I call “Grey Gratitude” in your workplace to a clearer vibrant practice?

We have workshopped this question in a few companies and I’d love to share a few ideas and tips:

Share 1 situation or person you are grateful for.

  • Kick off a meeting/workshop/project review with each person sharing who or what they are grateful for in the workplace
  • An option is to capture these on Yammer/Teams

3 positives to 1 negative

  • For every negative, you or the team discuss, workshop 3 positives 
  • This reinforces the face we often focus on what isn’t working instead of the things we could be grateful for

Create a Gratitude wall-virtually or in the office

  • People can leave notes of appreciation for anyone
  • Name can be shared, or this can be anonymous

Ask a question

  • What capabilities, qualities and skills have got me to where I am today? 
  • Individually of self or share as a team

Be specific

  • When we aren’t specific when expressing gratitude this dilutes the impact and intention
  • Imagine replacing “I’m grateful for that” to ‘I’m grateful for the support you have given the team and I this month”.

It is ideal to have structured forums to share as well as spontaneous recognition and ways to show appreciation. Some subtle ways of sharing gratitude every day could be as simple as sending surprise emails to others expressing appreciation or creating a forum to share internal updates and encourage people to share.

Be mindful not to do ‘gratitude’ in overdrive – this can seem false and dilute the effects of authentically being grateful.

I would love to hear how you are incorporating gratitude in your workplace!

Lead to be limitless…

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on Facebook, Instagram, IGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset Culture

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Creating a Gift Mindset culture photo

Many organisational cultures do not encourage or condone the sharing of challenges or failures and even sometimes the sharing of successes. Culture is about the shared beliefs, values, customs and social behaviour of a community. Therefore, if the culture you work within is against sharing lessons it may be something that never enters your mind, especially if that organisation is all you have ever known.

In our home life, this is the same. If you are bought up not to share failures and to just suck it up and get on with it then chances are this same behaviour will play in your life. If you are encouraged to share successes and challenges at home, at school and amongst your social network, you will be more likely to be open to The Gift Mindset®.

Not everyone works in an organisation that is open to the idea of being reflective – something which can be particularly difficult to do in the workplace. When there is a lack of support from management who don’t see the reflective practice is important, then being open and sharing your lessons can go by the wayside and be challenging to navigate. I come across companies like this, not too many which is a great thing, but enough to know the challenges people face within them who want an open, self-reflective and sharing culture.

As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Sharing is caring

Think about the return on investment and start small. Maybe initiate small activities at team catch ups to share wins and/or challenges. Maximise online platforms such as Zoom, Yammer and Teams to create space for sharing. Cultural change takes time as it starts with the people.

Comfort and fear are the enemies of progress. Click To Tweet

Shadowing and sharing the best practice of success and lessons learnt from challenges is one way to promote gradual cultural change to adopt The Gift Mindset®. This can also be done by not just talking and/or observing someone but instead really encouraging interactive conversation and questioning. What this does is allow the learner to understand the underlying reasons behind someone else’s actions, making it easier to adapt what’s learned to a new situation or task.

Involve and discuss

There was a study done in May 2012 that found that pharmaceutical development teams were better able to translate and learn from another team’s past experience when they invited members of the other team — the “sharers” of knowledge — to actively participate in their discussion and problem-solving (vs. a “learner” team simply identifying the “sharer” team’s knowledge and then trying to replicate it on their own).

Expectations create reality

Remember that our expectations can create our reality and the stereotypes we hold can directly impact our behaviour and therefore impacts culture. Psychologist call this process “stereotype threat”.

Imagine you are running a session at an SLT (Senior Leadership Team) meeting for the first time. Your manager has stressed the importance to get it right and the impact on your leadership brand, team and so on if you don’t. You are aware of the stereotype “new kid on the block” so anxiety arises about potentially making a mistake. Your manager even introduces you by reinforcing this is the first time you have presented at this level. You get distracted from your focus to present an effective presentation and instead focus on the technology not working, not coming across clearly or having your message diluted by nerves.

This is a basic demonstration of how stereotypes have the power to impact our behaviour. This means that if we place concern on a situation such as a culture that doesn’t encourage sharing of success and/or challenges we are confirming a negative stereotype. This will disrupt the ability to focus on a particular task that will lead to adopting a Gift Mindset and sharing best practice across the business.

How can you instil The Gift Mindset® in your organisational culture today?

Lead to limitless

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.

 

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Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Supercharge Working Remotely

Limitless Leaders™ Connection: Supercharge Working Remotely Photo

In today's workforce, managers can often be seen as the unsung heroes. Pivotal to an employees performance, motivation and happiness at work, they have the power to influence how engaged employees are. In essence, they drive how people may think, feel and act, therefore impacting the culture of the organisation they work within.

Whether managing teams on site or remotely, leadership can be learnt and built upon. Limitless Leadership™ is based on the premise of learning, unlearning, forever evolving and having an infinite mindset of what could be.

As I write this the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues to force many workplaces into lockdown yet again with employees continuing to work remotely from home in shifts or on a full time basis.

Many of my clients are working remotely, my brother has lost his job, my sister is in isolation as having cancer treatment and my Mum has just had her business shut their doors. Many of those around us are in a state of flux, fear and anxiety. The familiar smiles from the coffee shops are fading, the roads are quiet and there is a strange energy in the air as we remain uncertain of our future, our health, our work and all that we had planned.

In these times of uncertainty, change and disruption, as leaders I believe this is an opportunity to shine and level up in our leadership through new ways of working, thinking and collaborating. With a major pivot, we can all get through this. Personally, we have had the majority of our work postponed and we have been working feverishly around the clock to change HOW we deliver what we do.

Going from chaos to calm is important as we navigate a landscape we have never seen before in our lifetime. Click To Tweet

Supercharging your leadership is needed now more than ever.

Leading remote teams has fast become the new normal while working during COVID-19 and the accessibility of technology, better working practices has seen a downturn in the need to invest in expensive offices. Some businesses access all they need from a backpack. Whoever would have thought this was even possible?

A report from the UN International Labour organisation found that while many employees are more productive when they work outside of the conventional office, they're also more vulnerable to working longer hours, a more intense work pace, work-home interference, and, in some cases, greater stress.

The challenges are real

Recent research from Soapbox indicated that remote managers experience retention challenges six times higher than on-site managers. They also discovered that remote managers struggle two times more than on-site managers when getting their teams to collaborate. This is due to distance, time zones and other factors.

Another finding was that managers leading remotely found hitting team goals almost twice as hard as when leading onsite. It was also discovered that managers with more than 50% of their team working remotely struggle with providing value to employees in one-on-one catch ups. Another key finding was that 56% of employees surveyed believe that managers need to adapt their skills to lead a remote workforce.

As leaders, we need to step up!

Having worked and led teams remotely for over 20 years I’m highly aware of the challenges above. In conjunction with these challenges, many other barriers block our way to successfully lead teams and businesses remotely.

Here are a few key tips on leading teams and businesses remotely:

Lead with empathy

Empathy requires us to lean in and really feel what other people are going through.

Don’t assume everyone is seeing the world the same way as you. Take the time to be present and have deep and meaningful interactions with your team and peers.

Examples of simple questions you could ask are; How can I support you right now? Would you like me to talk or just listen? Is there anything else I can help you with?

Mindset

A change of mindset can be a barrier. An adaptive mindset around creating new norms is crucial when we go from an office environment to working in isolation. When we shift from what know there is uncertainty and as humans we aren’t good at dealing with the unknown so reframing expectations is vital here.

Remember thoughts and what we tell ourselves lead to how we feel and therefore what we action. Be conscious of what you are thinking and the story you are creating. Talk to yourself as a friend would.

Sole or group environment

In the workplace, there are those that lean towards working in a sole environment and most probably will usually adapt more easily to working remotely than someone who is motivated by people around them. Many people struggle to stay motivated working alone, even with access to online collaborative tools and new ways of working.

Ensure you tap into each person and amplify technology as a conduit to collaboration and don’t assume that everyone has adjusted to working remotely in the same way.

Set new expectations

A change in working conditions can lead to unclear expectations, boundaries and ways of working. For an employee having no direction or leadership is like driving somewhere using Google Maps without inputting a destination. There is nowhere to aim for or reach which can stifle action, motivation and overall morale.

Unclear purpose, objectives and expectations of the business, team and roles are widespread especially when new norms aren’t in place and accepted.

Ensure expectations are discussed as a team and everyone set boundaries for what they will and won’t stand for (such as working hours and breaks).

Set up your environment

The environment we work from can be a barrier. Lack of room, light, interaction, systems and processes can stifle our productivity, motivation and overall performance. Communication can become fragmented when a team is split up. Many people experience a lack of training in new systems and tools needed to do their job from home and this can impact confidence and productivity.

Ensure workspaces are set up for success and the technology and systems are assessed, understood and utilised.

Self management

Managing time and prioritising is another common challenge and distractions from visitors, loved ones and even the family pet can get in the way.

Many people find loneliness creeps in, we are wired to connect so this can be a natural and common occurrence. Speaking to a client recently who has relocated to a home office from a fast paced open plan office said she feels like she has FOMO, fear of missing out and being out of the loop as not in her normal environment.

Manage self to manage time and ensure everyone has a work plan and boundaries around this.

Use physical disconnection to drive connection

Human beings are wired for connection, it’s an innate need to belong and be part of a community. Ensure as a leader you are jealously protecting time for 1:1s (often first to be forgotten), team catch ups and quick check in calls to keep the lines of communication open. Be innovative and have virtual lunches, themes of the day and different times you catch up.

Use a variety of tools to connect and leverage the technology available.

Coach and grow team members to facilitate team catch ups so you aren’t always in the driver's chair.

I really believe there is a gift in every situation and now is your time to shine as a leader, collaborate more deeply with your team and look at new ways of working to lift performance.

The world needs you, now is the time to step up and supercharge your leadership.

Lead top be limitless

Signed Reneé



PS: Want to skyrocket your success from working anywhere? We've launched our new online program and you can read more about that here.

Ever wondered what Reneé gets up to when she isn't with working with her clients? She's doing this.

 

If this article has resonated with you in any way – I’d love to hear your thoughts – get in touch.

Being in service to my clients is why I do what I do and your feedback, insight and any suggestions are always embraced.

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker, She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

Follow Renée on FacebookInstagramIGTV or Twitter, or subscribe to her blog here or new podcast here.