Archive for the ‘Workplace Performance’ Category

How the Mood of a Leader Attributes to Workplace Behaviors and Culture

If you’re like most people, you have probably worked in an environment that was less than positive, perhaps even toxic. Workplace environment and culture are critical elements for workplace happiness. One can love the work they do but, if there is misalignment with the environment, then dissatisfaction will result.

The mood of a leader attributes to the environment and for how employees behave; they set the tone for the type of culture overall of the organization. Since they are the one in charge, how they think and act will not only set the tone but model behaviors of their workers. If John comes in to work in a bad mood because he didn’t sleep well, then that negative mood will set the tone for the day: employees begin to spread the word that ‘the boss is in a bad mood so keep on the down-low.’ Now the office mood starts out with fear and dread. Not a good way to get the day going.

As is our natural tendency, we do take on emotions and energy from others – some individuals are more affected than others, i.e. empaths. A leader’s mood and behaviors can either have an adverse or a positive effect on how and when the work gets done. It can also be a predictor for absenteeism, turnover and high levels of disengagement which all affect the bottom line of the organization.

If you are a leader, it’s time to check your mood before you walk in the door:

  • is there anything bothering or stressing you out (deadlines, bills, family, etc.)?
  • can you resolve the situation prior to the workday or after (solutions)?
  • what is the tone you want to set for the day and for your workers (calm, energized, fun, etc.)?

Being aware of how your own mood and behaviors is the biggest step to take in creating a workplace culture of happy and high-performing workers. We are not always aware of how we come across to others so self-awareness is critical to creating happy workplaces. Wake up and determine it will be a great day and you will be walking in the door with a smile on your face; watch as the mood and behavior of workers follows.

If you’d like help in developing your leadership skills, or in your organization, contact us today for a free Discovery Session to learn more: Be the leader you’re meant to be!

Are You Creating a Culture of Fear in Your Organization?

I was talking to a coaching client the other day who discussed changes going on in their organization and how they were seeing ‘odd’ behaviors from employees, which included being less engaged in their work and more demanding in their wants and needs. Upon further exploration with this client, it became apparent that they were  (the organization) was creating a fear-based culture.

When change occurs, it is a natural response to resist it to some level; for some, it can be an immediate rejection while for others they may need some time to mull over changes and their implications – some will embrace them while others will reject in the end.

When an organization is undergoing any type of change from the norm, or the ‘what has always worked’ it can be hard to accept the new, particularly if that is unknown. This was the elephant in the room that no one in the organization was discussing: communicating any changes with employees regarding what they were, what would change, what would now be implemented, and how the organization would help employees through the change.

When employees are unaware and uninformed it can create anxiety within employees as well as misperceptions and assumptions that can spin out-of-control if not addressed. “Will I lose my job?” “What if I don’t like the new boss (policies, systems, etc.) they bring in?” I like my routine – how will it change?” These are just a few of many questions employees may be wondering; if no answer comes from above they will find their own – which is not good overall.

To alleviate any misunderstandings and help employees adapt and adopt to any changes, the easiest and most effective way it to talk to them. When workers feel that they are cared about and communicated with they will perform to a higher level. Letting them know why the changes are occurring is a big step to alleviating any resistance; other steps to take would include: what will the new change be (within a range if unable to divulge), what their roles will/won’t include, when the changes will begin to start as well as allowing them time to voice their opinions/concerns.

Helping employees to navigate changes will help the organization navigate them as well.

If you’d like help with change management strategies, call today for a free Discovery Session to learn more: where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter.


Ever Heard of Positive Organizational Scholarship (or Appreciative Inquiry)?

In many organizations, a big focus is on problems and areas that aren’t going well, which can include: the processes, systems, work being done, projects, as well as work behaviors (think of your yearly employee evaluation). It seems that problems are always pointed out first, doesn’t it?

I see this all the time, and not just in the workplace. How many times do you point out to your spouse/partner/child  when they have not done something you’ve asked them to, i.e. the dishes, pick up their clothes, take out the garbage, etc.? When we place our focus on things we don’t want, we will get more of them as we don’t see the good in people or situations.

The concept of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) places the focus on what is right; the concept of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) does the same. Focusing on what is going well will lead to getting more; POS “develops human strengths, fosters vitality and resilience, and unlocks potential” (Robbins & Judge, 2016, pg. 12). When we hear praise, compliments and the like, we tend to feel more optimism, tap into our strength and keep working towards the things we are doing well. The end result? Higher performance and engagement; getting noticed for the work you do which can lead to bigger and better opportunities to advance either within or outside the organization.

Here are 3 key questions to ask yourself (or employees if you are the supervisor):

  1. think of a time when you were at your best – how did you feel and what exactly did you do (strengths, skills, knowledge)?
  2. what is going well in my work? – look at the positives in how you structure your day, how you perform your work, and how your relationships and interactions are with others
  3. what is going well in the organization and how can I be a contributor to that success?

Start today to focus on all that is going well in your work (and your life) and watch how more positive you become in your outlook and your performance.

If you want help to increase your POS or your performance, call today for a free Discovery Session to learn more – take control of your career today!

Commit to Learning One New Skill This Year

I don’t know what you’ve listed on your goal sheet for this year, but I encourage you to add to learning one new skill during this year. If you want to advance your career opportunities, becoming a master at a skill is one of the best ways to standout and get noticed.

The skill can be an existing one or one that you’ve desired to learn. Employers today are hiring for specific skills so being the best at one can lead you to work on bigger projects or become the problem solver when issues arise. In this crowded market, you need a way to stand out not fit in. Essentially, you will be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a particular area that is needed by an – or your- employer.

  • Take an inventory of all the skills you possess currently, such as: project management, computer coding, financials, inventory, or business analysis to name a few. Look at your current job duties to see which one you use the most.
  • Take an inventory of all the skills you may be lacking in or have an interest in (I’ve always wanted to learn that….) to see what you need to learn, get practice at, or develop further. These might be problem-solving, decision making, coaching, conflict management, or communication.
  • Taken an inventory of skills your employer (or what is ‘hot’ in the marketplace) wants or needs; what skills are they hiring for. Look at their niche area, the types of training they offer or require, as well as looking at the skills that top management has as to how they moved up within the organization.
  • Take an inventory of what is current regarding workforce issues, such as leadership development, generational issues, or diversity. You can find blogs, chat communities, books and publications that address these. Become well-read and versed in workplace issues, looking at them as how you can be a problem-solver.

Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can now decide on the best course for learning the skill you’ve chosen. This could be going to school or taking a course or training, going to a conference or workshop, or reading about it. You may need to hire a coach to help you develop the skill or find a mentor who can guide you. Begin to put the skill into practice throughout your workday as ‘practice makes perfect,’ as the saying goes.

Becoming an expert in a skill takes making the commitment to learning and honing one. I encourage you to begin today.

If you’d like help to enhancing your skill set to move forward in your career or business, call today for a free Discovery Session to learn more.


Are You Investing in Yourself/Your Career?

As I’m all about careers – which includes working for yourself or others – I often find that a majority of workers do not pay much attention to their career until something happens. The threat of a job loss or having too much stress are typical situations that elicit attention; but what about the positives of being on top of your career, such as a new job opportunity, a promotion, or taking the leap and going out on your own.

These are great reasons why investing in yourself is the biggest payoff you could make. You are the key and most important person in a job, mainly because no one else can do the work you do. You got hired because of your skills, aptitudes, passions and experiences for a specific role and job tasks so nurturing them will keep you and get you ahead. The door is open for you to walk through to having a great career and a great life.

When I talk about investing in yourself, which does include your personal development (i.e. overcoming the fears and doubts that often arise; being a better communicator, decision-maker, negotiator; being happy, etc.) it’s about taking the time and making the commitment to focus on enhancing the skills you already possess while working towards your goals to achieve them. Most people cruise along – do you want to be one of the ‘most people’?

Here are some suggestions to begin investing in your self and your career:

  • take advantage of classes or training your company offers for free
  • look at outside classes you can take, such as through your community colleges, adult development programs, or look on the web as you can find a host of free or low-cost programs
  • read – there are many books on business, careers, communication, conflict, and personal development; there are magazines to increase your knowledge and skill base, such as Success Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Inc. Magazine.
  • attend professional association meetings in your field as these are a great way to meet colleagues, learn top trends, find or be  mentor, or serve in some capacity on a committee or leader role
  • go to networking meetings, such as through your local Chamber of Commerce or through a Meet-up group. These are great ways to learn on a variety of topics as they always have speakers (you can always be one as well) and  network with locals in the business community
  • volunteer for a local organization in need; philanthropy and giving back raises self-esteem and confidence levels while meeting new people and working for a good cause
  • serve on a Board, which can give you different perspectives on how businesses are run, which increase your skills and knowledge-base as well as getting connected to high-level business leaders

I’ve given you 7 ways to invest in yourself and your personal/professional development so I hope you take advantage and begin today to commit to yourself. I think you career and your life depend on it. You deserve to live your best life – it all starts with one decision, one commitment, and one step forward. Will you make that today?

If you’d like help in making the decision and taking the step forward, contact us  today for our Complimentary Discovery Session to get started now:

Spend Time with Those Who Are Where You Want to Be

If you want to stand out, get noticed and move up in your career, then start spending time, or be around, those who are where you want to be. It is said that we are defined by the company we keep, so it is important to be aware of exactly who that company is.

While we all want to have good working relationship and to fit in, it may mean distancing from those who exhibit adverse, or sometimes negative behaviors so as not to be aligned as ‘one of those.’ Now this does not mean that you can’t be continue to be friends with Sally or Joe, who may not have good work habits; these are relationships that you have outside of the workplace.

But being around the ‘rainmakers’ lifts you up to their level which increases your performance and your outlook. It deepens your level of involvement in your work so you want to do more and be better. When those above you begin to see your new attitude and outcomes from these new-found actions, it will lead to more opportunities in both challenging work and promotional opportunities.

Here are three action steps you can take to increase your leverage and reach:

  1. Assess your social circle at work: who is a high – good-low performer and what is your relationship with them; unfortunately, we are seen as being around the company we keep so if you align with Joe, who may be surfing the net, with Sally who tends to gossip, your chances of being seen as one-in-the same is high. Again, this does not mean that you can’t be friends with them but you will want to be aware of when and how you are seen.
  2. Make a list of your brand and how you want to be perceived, as this will lead you to seek out the people who have those traits and get connected. Look at other high performers or leaders – both within and outside your organization – and see who ‘speaks’ to you, in the sense that you silently say “I want to be just like them.” Look at how they plan their day, how do they present themselves and interact with others, how do they dress and conduct themselves. Doing this will make you stand out, which is when you will get more recognition.
  3. Go find them; how you align with those you’ve identified does not have to be complicated as it should come naturally (so you don’t come off as a brown-noser) so you are accepted easily. When you are in meetings, sit near that person, or persons, you want to be seen with which will put in you their circle; volunteer for projects or committees which will put you in direct contact with them; greet and acknowledge them – saying hello or good afternoon often leads to more conversation, which is your opportunity to get to know them better; use your networking skills to strike up conversations and begin to learn about others which will then lead to you answering the question of ‘what do you do?” One last suggestion would be to look for mentoring opportunities with them which can boost your profile and your career.

Being recognized on the job is desired by everyone; spending time with those who are will lend much to your credibility and profile. When opportunities arise, you can be on the top of the list if you follow these suggestions, act authentically, and perform at your best.

Ready to get recognized? Contact us today for your complementary Discovery Session to learn how we can help: Take action and move your career forward!

How Important are Values within an Organizational Setting?

If you ever find yourself feeling out-of-line with your job and/or workplace, you might want to check yourself and see where you stand on your values as this is one of the biggest problems I see when I hear discontent in the workplace. When values clash, problems result.

Values can be defined as “important and lasting beliefs one has about what is good or desirable, and what is not; values have a major influence on a person’s attitudes and behaviors and serve as a guideline in situations.” ( Often, our beliefs are developed early and usually are those we take on from our family of origin; they can come from school or associations/clubs/groups we belong to.

The bottom-line is that beliefs are hard to change, so values lie deep and can cause friction or discontent when dealing with those who don’t share the same ones. In the workplace, values are often the mission statement and what the company stands for; however, leaders have their own as they manage the company or department which can lead to conflict. Coworkers and customers also have their own which can lead, again, to misalignment of some type.

The best way to deal with any misalignments that might lead to a level of unhappiness is to be sure you are aware of your values and how strong they are. Some values may be more strongly felt than others; for example, if your value is hard work and you see a coworker not doing their share then frustration will occur. If you’re not sure about your values, here are some samples to get you thinking deeper:

  • Acceptance                       Determination                    Passion
  • Abundance                        Directness                        Patience
  • Accountability                    Empowerment                   Productivity
  • Accuracy                           Enthusiasm                      Recognition
  • Affection                            Excellence                       Respect
  • Ambition                            Fairness                           Romance
  • Awareness                         Flexibility                          Safety
  • Balance                             Forgiveness                       Service
  • Being the best                    Fun                                  Strength
  • Belonging                           Happiness                         Tact
  • Bravery                              Harmony                           Thankfulness
  • Capability                           Humor                              Trust
  • Caring                                Independence                    Timeliness
  • Calm                                  Integrity                            Understanding
  • Competence                       Kindness                            Wealth
  • Competition                        Love
  • Cooperation                        Loyalty

This is just a partial list but I’m sure this will give you an idea for you to check what your values are and how they may e leading to not just job unhappiness but to any and all relationships you have. Knowing this will definitely help to change your current status as well as ensure you find a company who ‘fits’ as you are in your job search. I encourage you to spend time uncovering your values and to look at situations that have been conflicted, even within yourself, to see when you might not have been honoring them. When you are aware and live by them, you will have career happiness. I’d love to see your thoughts on this!

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