I’ve been in a good mood since last Tuesday with the success of the elections. Voters were unafraid to repudiate bigotry and racism. Diversity and inclusion may seem to be buzz words for the current environment and the truth of the matter is that different perspectives weaving throughout society brings humanity closer together. We are here to respect one another as equals with compassion and a level of curiosity that should lead all of us to better understand those who have had different experiences from us. Civil discourse is about respectful and factual conversation. We can disagree and yet still work to find common ground so that we can finds ways to help society. This was never meant to be easy. It’s hard work to listen to one another and to not discard someone else’s values. I have a difficult time doing it without getting emotional and that is something that I know that I must work on so that I don’t widen the divide. I recently saw an exchange on FaceBook where my peers were discussing gun control and I took lessons from it because it was civil and the person who I sided with in the exchange was respectful and acknowledged the opposing view. Patience is in short supply and I’ll take notes wherever I can find the most useful actions. I hope that you will also join me on this journey together.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
- My introduction for this week talked a bit about active listening. It’s having emotional awareness and the ability to acknowledge your own emotions, especially in the heat of the moment to bring it all together. I can usually read people’s reactions and try to work with that when in a challenging position. What I recognize is that when people who are close to me exhibit a type of behavior that I don’t agree with I resort to my more emotional side and get more stubborn. I’m a stubborn person by nature and having more emotional awareness tampers some of that willfulness. I’m going to have to keep this article bookmarked so that I can have it as a reminder for myself whenever I find myself in a situation where I need to improve. With the holidays fast approaching, you may want to use it when you find yourself in a heated discussion with your family.
- Emotional awareness really needs to occur at the team level. When you’re working together, you need individuals to feel that everyone on the team has one another’s backs. This creates trust and the ability to feel safe to create and collaborate. When a relationship starts to deteriorate or when mistakes happen (which is inevitable), how you re-build confidence in your team is critical to maintaining success and the level of trust needed to accomplish the work. Learning how you improve your delivery of criticism helps the team work towards problem solving versus defensiveness. Create the space and give feedback in a way that people can acknowledge their vulnerability without feeling threatened.
- Priorities, people – you know that you’re going to start figuring out your new year’s resolutions for 2018, which is really your priority list. When we “gained” the hour with the return of standard time, I used my “extra” hour to sleep. Starting to think about that list really helped to set priorities. Your wish list on how you want to spend your time should be how you prioritize your time. Schedule it and stick to it so that it becomes a habit. Being able to prioritize yourself should never be a question. You need to take care of yourself first before anyone else so that you can be the best person you can possibly be so that you can be that version of yourself to help others.
- Taking the same attitude about priorities also means that at your work, you need to protect your time. Our immediate response to people when they ask, “How things are going?”, we say, “Busy!” because it’s a thing. If we’re not busy then we’re doing…what exactly? Take back your time and make it impactful. You may not have the ability to control your schedule because you’re a junior member of the staff and you have to roll with everyone else’s schedules first. That’s OK – you can still manage your time by taking the blocks of time that you can control and prioritize the projects and work that will help with your team or your manager’s time.
- With so many things that can pull for your attention, it’s bound that stress will occur. Believe it or not, stress makes you stronger. It tests your ability to take multiple pieces of your life and create systems to address them. Whether it’s direct action in addressing the many facets or the mechanisms that you create so that you are working at optimal performance, you are taking stressful circumstances and evolving your actions and attitude to come through the other side. If you didn’t have a lot of stress in your life, adversity may be more challenging for you. When you’ve experienced a lot, you’re able to work through these difficulties because you’ve created the support system you need to function. These skills will help you better manage your stress when those times occur.
- This Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” certainly piqued my interest and not just because of the title. Charisma and confidence masking themselves as potential leadership qualities are propelling men into roles where transformational leaders are needed. Throw in bias and societies thinking that men are superior to women and we find ourselves in this current predicament.
- Does appearance really affect hiring decisions? I’m a believer in branding and that goes with the idea that I’m marketing myself and my work through a visual perspective as well as the work product. My sense of style is to be a little out of the box and the person who cuts my hair knows that I have a thing about not looking like everyone else. I want to stand out because I have a professional yet interesting haircut and an wardrobe aesthetic that says professional yet age appropriate with clean lines and far from cookie cutter as possible. When I pitch for clients, I want my work to stand out and my appearance to be the added benefit. A majority of my life has been spent making people aware that my outward appearance may appear to be one of a young professional who wears understated but finely appointed accessories with the experience of someone who actually has spent multiple decades in my profession. I may look younger, however my demeanor are going to point towards my actual numerical age. How do these factors increase already existing bias? It’s not only the people who go through the interviews, it’s also having diverse hiring managers who can look to diverse candidates for consideration.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for taking the time to read/share the post. See you next Tuesday!