Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Corporate Valentine

It is here again - Valentine’s Day! Roses, chocolate, intimate dinners, handholding, gazing into each others eyes - it is so wonderful to connect at this intimate level with a loved one. It really is a little piece of paradise - a cloud of wonder and delicious bliss that surrounds us at that moment.
Ok - so you are at work, and you don’t have a loved one to share a moment like that with. No reason to cry the blues, because here is the good news…you are ALWAYS in relationship, whether you have a lover or not. If you are at work, you are certainly in relationship with a number of people and concepts. Booooring - you say. No romance here. Well yes, abstaining from office romance may be a good thing - depending on your corporate etiquette.
What I am talking about is taking a close look at relationships around your place of work.

First, what are the relationships like with the people at work? What about your business partner? How would it be if just for today, you brought a little more of YOU to those people…what if you showed up with a side of you that your colleagues don’t know and would really enjoy? You just may give opportunity to some transformation to a relationship. All relationships are work in progress - any positive input you provide will generate a positive return - whether you see immediate rewards or not.

Secondly, let’s look at your relationship with the work you do. What kind of leadership are you exercising over the way you manage your job? Is what you are doing congruent with what you want to be doing? Where are you in default mode? What results might you achieve if you were intentional about those areas? Effective leadership, personal or managerial, means self-awareness and a measure of control. Look closely at why you chose the work you do, and how you feel about it currently. Analyze the gap.

Last but not least, how is your relationship to your employer - the firm or corporation that you trade your waking hours with for pay? How committed are you to their goals and strategies? When you contemplate that question, do you feel blah, or are you energized by reconnecting with their core business mission? What is it costing you and the firm to have you feel the way you do? What would it take to improve this?

How engaged you are at work every day is based on your overall commitment to the company and/or its people. Engagement has so very much to do with commitment - and every solid, successful and profitable relationship has commitment right at the very core. As corporate coaches we see how people’s business relationships can be rescued from a downward spiral, once they are addressed. Maybe you don't feel much commitment at all towards your employer or the people you work with - there is much information there as well. You always have the relationship with your Self. What are YOU committed to? What do YOU stand for? What are the “Must Have’s” in your life?

Today, on Valentine’s Day, go and indulge a relationship - have some fun, show up with a hidden side of you, and transform someone’s day, as well as your own. That is a surefire way to have a Happy Valentine’s Day, no matter where you are.

"The true voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Revisiting the New Years Resolution - 3 Steps to make it happen

Here we are almost at the end of January. What's happening to your New Years' Resolution? If you are like me, you have started it with some success, but the resolve is waning. Things come up ... old habits creep in ... I am definitely not defending my new routine with enough fervor. Yikes! The "old" reality is taking over, before the "new" one has had a chance to get established. Why do we permit for this to happen time and again? No matter. Enough of the pity party. Let's get back on the proverbial horse and focus on the resolution we made for this year.

I believe the secret lies in the concept of "preparation". (Right now I am clearly suffering from lack thereof.) Preparation means staking out the terrain that leads to our goal. What and who is involved in the successful achievement of my goal? Today, let's focus on the "who".

Most parts of our lives are connected to other people. Ergo, other people are also interconnected with our goals. It is a matter of involving these key people, and identifying what may keep us from involving them. We need to have conversations. Are we afraid of embarrassment? Shy? Or maybe there are unresolved issues that keep us from talking to someone? Even fairly simple changes in routine can lead to conflict and frustration when we don't have clear buy-in from those who are intertwined with our routines.
So, here are 3 steps towards a successful New Year's Resolution.

Step 1: Identify the parties on your path.

  • What are the main causes of your procrastination?
  • Who is the person/people involved with that cause?
  • Who is presently an obstacle in the achievement of your goal?
  • Who are the key people that can support you in reaching your goal?

Step 2: Assess Roles and Level of Involvement.

  • What do you need from the person to support you?
  • How might enrolling them affect your relationship?
  • Who might you enrol instead of the ones who refuse or don't participate?

Step 3: Preparing for the Conversation

  • Check for any assumptions you are making about the person, and consider assumptions they may have about you.
  • What might they need from you in order to support you? What are you willing to offer?
  • What happens when they do/don't support you? What is your best alternative?
  • Be clear on the ideal outcome of the conversation. How do you effectively communicate your message with this person? Be clear on what the 2nd best outcome is.

Success may hit us as a surprise some of the time - but it's rare. Mostly it takes many little steps - many little conversations - strategic involvement of various people and stakeholders, to reach a goal.

So, now that I've convinced myself of all this I need to clear my calendar to have some very important conversations! Let me know how your journey towards your New Years Resolutions is coming!

Integral Insight...

"A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." (Harvey Mackay)