A relative of mine who is a teacher went all year without hearing any affirmation from her boss. At the end of the year she asked her supervisor if she had done anything positive. “Sure, lots,” was the response. Why did the boss withhold this information all year?
Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019
The drama mavens would prefer that you to believe these fake narratives because they keep you small and afraid and willing to accept anything.
- Overnight success is just a click away
- Power builds safety
- Difference is the enemy
- There’s not enough to go around
- My beliefs are better
- Vulnerability is weak
- Life is a competition
- You don’t need anyone else
- Other people can make you feel good or bad
- A better phone camera will make you more popular
The Struggle Is Real
Struggle is not a bad thing. Conflict is not something to be avoided or used as a weapon. Diversity is not the enemy. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and fit into neat categories.
Compassion Headlines You Can Believe
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion fosters connection, innovation, and purpose. Here are some news stories you can believe.
- There’s a positive purpose for diversity
- Conflict is natural and produces energy
- The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy
- Connection, not division, is the key to our strength and survival
- Vulnerability requires courage and builds trust
- Leadership is about leveraging diverse gifts towards shared goals
- There is plenty to go around when you adopt an abundance mindset
- There are no shortcuts
- You are 100% responsible for your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- A better phone camera will reveal more of your imperfections
What if you embraced these true compassion stories for 2020. How could your life and your relationships change? How much better could you become as a leader?
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
With The Compassion Mindset Course you can stop the drain of negative workplace interactions turn that energy into greater connection, engagement, and productivity.
This year I launched my new podcast, OnCompassion with Dr. Nate. Learning leadership lessons from my guests has been so rewarding.
At the end of each episode I consolidate and share my top three takeaways. Here are several leadership lessons I thought were particularly rich.
The Action Is In The Interaction – Doug Conant
Leaders have 200-400 interactions per day of less than 2-min. Your legacy as a leader will be dependent on how you handle those interactions. Life is too fragmented and dynamic to rely on traditional approaches to communication – tomorrow’s leaders have to be fluid in the small moments.
Compassion Requires Boundaries – Laura Cole
Laura’s horse, Watson, has a habit of nibbling shirts. Yet successful executives at the top of their game allow him to bite holes in their shirts because they don’t want to be mean or don’t know how to stop it. Lack of boundaries isn’t nice. It deprives others of a more healthy way to interact with us and form a meaningful relationship. And, it invites us to form negative opinions of others who seem to disrespect our wants and needs.
Vulnerability Is A Secret Weapon – Jody Horner
With help from an executive coach, coupled with her desire to make more meaningful, positive connections with people, Jody went from believing that she needed to make sure there were no chinks in her armor – being professional to a fault – to showing more of her real self at work. What she experienced was that her credibility as a leader went through the roof.
Will you help me raise awareness of OnCompassion With Dr. Nate? Subscribe, rate on iTunes, and share with your tribe. New episodes will launch every month. Thanks for your help!
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
I do a lot of keynote presentations. I get between 45-75 minutes to engage and audience, inspire them to try something new, and give them practical nuggets they can use immediately. I’ve learned through experience that the best keynotes don’t try to cover too much material; one main message and one or two key takeaways.
I’m a guest on a lot of podcasts. Although we might cover a lot of content in 30-45 minutes, one of the most common wrap-up questions I get asked is, “What is one thing our listeners can do right away to bring more compassion to their lives?”
Here’s my answer, my one nugget that will make the biggest difference.
If you apply just one thing from my presentation or interview, do this: Disclose your emotional end-game.
Most of us want to feel happy, secure, safe, confident, connected, respected, competent, or valued. This is the emotional end-game, our emotional motives. These are OK. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel happy or connected or competent.
Much of what we do every day is in service of these motives. When they are threatened, we step up our efforts.
Very rarely, though, do we tell anyone about them. We argue in meetings, inexplicably advocate for certain outcomes, maneuver relationships, and engage in all sorts of passive-aggressive or passive-avoidant behaviors in service of our emotional motives. All while keeping the end-game secret from others.
Why we hide our emotional end-game
- Afraid that others won’t care about it
- Worry that others will reject us for it
- Don’t believe we deserve to get it
- We’ve trained ourselves to avoid emotions
Why it’s the right, best thing to do
- It’s the truth, so be honest
- It lets others help you
- It builds trust and connection
- It leads to better decision-making
- It cleans up communication
- It stops passive-aggressive and passive-avoidant behavior
Compassion means treating yourself and others as valuable, capable, and responsible. Disclosing your emotional end-game is the compassionate thing to do.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
What’s the difference between leadership and manipulation? This two-part series explores this very question using Donald Trump as the case study. In Part One I introduced the topic and shared three of the six tactics that skilled manipulators use to get what they want. Here are the other three, along with positive leadership lessons.
It’s been the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. A time when leadership really matters.
In May 2019 we launched The Compassion Mindset at the Association for Talent Development International Conference and Expo in D.C. We’re going all in with TCM. We are bringing every ounce of knowledge, experience, faith, grit, and optimism we have to this thing. We have high hopes of breaking into the biggest markets in the world and are passionate about the impact we believe TCM can make in the world. It has been like starting a whole new company from scratch. Exhilarating. And scary as hell.
ATD was awesome! After four years exhibiting at this conference, this year was the best. Clearer message, more interest, stronger leads, better networking.
Cloud nine, baby!
Returning from D.C. we diligently and enthusiastically began our follow-up and sales work. We faithfully executed our go to market strategy for TCM.
May evaporated. June came and went. What even happened to July? Only a small trickle of newly booked business. Nowhere near our projections.
What have we done? When will it take off? How long can we hold out? Why isn’t our plan working? This summer was supposed to be the best ever!
These questions started to dominate the conversations. Anxiety began to creep in, along with forecasts of gloom and doom.
Thank goodness for leadership. This time it didn’t come from inside our company. It didn’t come from me, the CEO who is suppose to have it all under control. It came from Stephan Mardyks of SMCOV, the consultant we hired to help us build and launch TCM. Here’s how Stephan is helping us carry our vision and ourselves through the ups and downs. It has nothing to do with his immense knowledge and expertise, and everything to do with great leadership.
Stephan believes in us and encourages us, even when we doubt our dream and our own abilities.
Stephan genuinely respects each of us, including our unique backgrounds, personalities and skills.
Stephan is not just positive by nature, he has cultivated a discipline of optimism that embodies a growth mindset.
It’s easy to lose focus when things aren’t going great. It’s tempting to grab at straws for anything that might get a quick result. Stephan helps us distinguish what matters from what is noise.
Stephan sees the big picture. He shows us how each activity, each day, contributes to the long-game.
Stephan reminds us that great things take time and there are no magic bullets.
No matter what we say or do, Stephan is fully with us. No judgment, no criticism, just validation of our experience.
Stephan doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t sugar coat things. He gives us helpful and honest feedback without attack.
Stephan is generous with his time, energy, and wisdom. Every time we finish a phone call with Stephan or pay a bill, we feel grateful and blessed. How is that even possible?!
Turns out Stephan is much more than a consultant. He is a leader and a partner in our success.
My guess is that any leader could be ten times more effective if they added these qualities to their resume. It’s certainly something I want to emulate.
This past weekend our team gathered in Colorado for a company retreat with the goal of stepping back, regrouping, filling our tanks, and re-aligning ourselves with our purpose.
We are going to be OK. We are going to change the world. Thank you Stephan.
Several years ago I was working with company in the long-term care industry. I was doing focus groups with employees on their experience of the work culture and relationship with managers. I asked them about the performance review process. One woman shared her negative experience and compared it to “picking scabs.” I kid you not! The whole room nodded in agreement.
Why do employees hate performance reviews?
Does faith have a place in leadership? Absolutely!
Faith is believing in something you can’t yet see. Faith is moving forward even though you don’t know how it will turn out. These three acts of faith work together to support great leadership.
Leaders get a bad rap for firing people, as if they enjoy it. Most leaders we work with dread it. They agonize over the decision. They hate the impact that their actions can have on a person’s life, their team, and the company. They want to make friends, not enemies.
Yeah, there are those few ruthless leaders who get rid of people way too soon. They’re the exception. Usually a leader keeps people too long.
Why don’t leaders make the call?
- They are afraid of the conflict.
- They blame themselves.
- They don’t want to admit a poor hiring decision or inability to correct the problem.
A leader’s job is to;
- Foster a safe, supportive environment so employees don’t hold back.
- Facilitate collaborative problem-solving so employees take ownership for performance.
- Clarify purpose and goals so employees see how they fit into the big picture and what you want from them.
So, ask yourself:
- Have you provided a safe, supportive environment where they can tell you what’s really going on?
- Have they been give clear feedback about their behavior or performance and how it’s affecting others?
- Have they been offered resources and support to change?
If the answer is yes to all three and the behavior still hasn’t changed, it’s time to let them go. If you answer NO to any of these, it’s time to look in the mirror.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2018
This is the second part in my series called New Year, New Default Settings. In my previous post I shared my new year’s decision to reset some of my default settings that were holding me back. The first one was from “I’m the only one” to “I’m not alone.”
The second default I am resetting is,