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What We Appreciate ...

by Aubrey Patterson 

 

People want to work with those who truly value them, right? 

Gratitude can and often does start with anyone, but it’s highly impactful when leaders set the tone for the team. An attitude of gratitude prompts qualities that are crucial to a positive work culture: humility, empathy, and compassion.

Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life. - Rumi

Experiencing gratitude fuels our souls; expressing it shows those around us how much they matter. 

Saying “thank you” and publicly complimenting people for exceptional work in real time can instantly affect morale and culture. 

As an emotion inside a journal, gratitude is fleeting. As an action in the outer world, it lasts. 

Making someone feel appreciated is one of the greatest gifts we can offer. - Adam Grant

One of the best gifts we can give is sincere...

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Swing Thoughts

by Aubrey Patterson

 

It's very common for a golf pro to ask a student, “What's your swing thought?”

A swing thought is the message in a golfer's head while addressing the ball. 

Unsurprisingly, a positive swing thought often leads to a more positive result. 

We can also choose this mindset tool to be more impactful without ever setting foot on a golf course. 

Carry Your Weather

We've all worked with people who seem to brighten every room they enter. 

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. - Rumi

Consistently using swing thoughts like these is an excellent way to proactively carry warm weather into our conversations:

When answering the phone, think: they should hear my smile through the phone.

When walking into a meeting, ask: what's my weather?

 When entering a 1:1 conversation, remember: choose a kind voice.

Kind words...

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Touch People Before Paper

by Aubrey Patterson

 

What do you do upon entering your workspace each morning? 

We can choose how we show up. We also have it within our control to decide how to begin our days, and this doesn't need to include being immersed in email or a pile of paper. 

One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity. (Dan Ariely)

Leaders are more impactful in person, and most experience greater productivity in the first two hours of a day. Imagine if we could maximize those precious hours and dedicate them to building a remarkable culture.

How great would it feel to be that leader who truly puts people first?

Touch People Before Paper

We always have an opportunity to be a thermostat by setting the temperature of the room.

It's always a good move...

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Leading in Sync

by Melody Stacy

 

Fireflies flashing in the woods. Starlings murmuring in the sky. People, even strangers, rocking in chairs. What do these have in common? 

They all (yes, even us humans) have a tendency to synchronize behaviors.

This interesting, yet surprisingly common, phenomenon found all throughout nature has some particularly important implications for leading and working in teams.

Being in sync has powerful effects.

It all goes back to millions of years of evolutionary tendencies which aid in our quick response to possible threats. With this comes a synergy that, when harnessed, can mean seemingly impossible results for advancing our mission and goals.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.   - Martin Luther King Jr.

We are deeply reciprocal beings.

The unfortunate truth of our synchronous, progressive tale is that our brains tend towards the negative. It’s why gossip and toxicity can so easily take hold.

So...

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Staying Curious

by Melody Stacy

 

Curiosity killed the cat.

A useful illustration of why we shouldn’t be nosing around in situations that don’t involve us? Maybe. But as leaders, we may want to take a different perspective.

Curiosity sparks the trust, growth, and joy.

Certainly not as catchy. But this version is leadership gold.

Curiosity is a powerful mindset.

We were all born with an inquisitive approach to our world that, unfortunately, tends to dwindle as we age. As we move along in our careers, things like our ego can completely squelch any remaining glimmer.

Be curious, not judgmental. - Walt Whitman

If we can nurture this pilot light, we can spark many powerful elements for ourselves and our teams.

Stay curious a little bit longer.

One way to nurture curiosity is to focus on asking questions. As we do, we are forced to slow down, unlocking a simple yet powerful leadership strategy.

When we listen more and talk less, we can avoid missteps while building empathy....

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Dandelions and Orchids

compassionate May 10, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Most accept that we are a product of both nature and nurture.

In 2005, Dr. Tom Boyce and Dr. Bruce Ellis introduced the flower metaphor of orchids and dandelions in an influential academic paper.

They concluded that children who are less sensitive and more resilient are like dandelions, which tend to thrive in any circumstances. Very sensitive children, conversely, are more like orchids that need a nurturing environment in order to flourish.

So what about you?

Of course, we'd all love to be more like the dandelion.

Why doesn’t constant trampling defeat the dandelion? The key to its strength is its long and sturdy root, which extends deep into the earth. The same principle applies to people. The true victors in life are those who, enduring repeated challenges and setbacks, have sent the roots of their being to such a depth that nothing can shake them. - Daisaku Ikeda

Most of us are somewhere...

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I Can Count on You!

by Aubrey Patterson

 

People expressing they can count on us is one of the best compliments we can ever receive.

Being dependable, reliable, and consistent are qualities that speak to our level of dedication.

When we are dedicated to anything or anyone, we become a credible person. 

Commitment, Consistency, and Credibility

It's certainly frustrating to deal with people who say they are making a commitment but refuse to offer a time frame. When there is no clarity regarding what will be done and when, there really is no commitment or reliability. 

Much more damaging is when team members consistently don't meet agreed upon deadlines and trust becomes an issue. 

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. - Dr. Stephen Covey

One Commitment at a Time

Credibility takes time. There aren't any shortcuts to developing it.

How we do one thing Is most often how we do everything. 

...

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Let's Brighten 2022!

by Melody Stacy and Aubrey Patterson 

 

It’s that time of year.

A time for deep introspection.

A time for a celebration of the hopeful optimism of all that’s possible in the new year.

Interwoven into the fabric of all great leaders is an unrelenting commitment to be even better. What naturally follows is reflection and unwrapping how we’ve performed as leaders.

As we consider where we are in our leadership journey, it’s tempting to start setting goals for the new year since we’re conditioned to measure “all the things.”

But this year, we may want to focus on setting our identity rather than setting new goals.

Ask what kind of leader you hope to be. There is powerful inertia in this reframe.

Do you want to become a great leader? We can begin by being a leader who…

is compassionate, showing curiosity and seeking to understand;
 is constructive, being intentional with our time;
is courageous, modelling and building...

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Leading with Gratitude

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Early in life, most of us are taught to count our blessings, but this lesson all too often fails to become a habit. When calamity knocks on our door, many of us are not accustomed to acknowledging the good that still surrounds us.

We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count. (Neal A. Maxwell)

Luckily, gratitude is a muscle we can exercise.

Leading with Gratitude

Gratitude and optimism work hand in glove; we can learn to be thankful for the past and present while hoping for something better in the future.

But gratitude and optimism are not equally effective as strategies.

Leading with gratitude increases the likelihood that we inspire thoughtful conversations and compelling action. While optimism is critical to goal-setting and wonderful for visioning, gratitude has a better chance of surfacing our exciting next steps.

Gratitude is one of the few things in life that simply cannot be overdone.

People feel and express...

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Clarity and a Kind Voice

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Of course, the scenario you're about to read is all too familiar, but are you fortunate enough to know someone who leads like Carla?

Like a Duck

The day is just beginning and the telephones are lighting up.

Line 1: A teacher is calling in sick.

Line 2: An angry parent.

A whimper and crying eyes staring up: A little one is seeking an ice pack.

A tap on the shoulder: The new teacher asking where to find a student’s file.

This would be an awfully eventful two minutes for most.

Carla politely puts the teacher on hold and pages the assistant principal; she then offers a kind greeting and exquisite manners to a slightly confused and well-meaning mom; gives a hug and an ice pack to poor little Michael (while offering a silent thank you to her principal for the phone headset); and gives wide-eyes and a smile while mouthing, “just a sec” to the teacher waiting for that file.

With every action and word, Carla communicates compassion,...

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