Category: Management

5 Performance Review Tips for Managers

5 Performance Review Tips for Managers

Now that we’re back to work for 2021, it’s performance review season! Whether formal or informal performance reviews or day-to-day coaching, it’s important you really understand how to discuss performance in a manner that serves the employee. Specifically, performance discussions must connect with and make a difference for your employee. Your people want to do a good job for you, and they want these 3 simple things:

  1. To feel safe on the employment journey
  2. To feel like they belong to a team
  3. To have the ability to learn and grow.

So, show them how! Use these 5 tips to make sure you’re having great performance reviews and discussions which encourage your employees’ growth and fulfillment in the workplace.

Make It Relevant

Performance reviews must be relevant and directly correlated to the employee’s experience and their growth journey. You should be discussing things you’ve covered with your employee all year long and, although you can and should talk about new places for improvement, make sure that’s not all you’re talking about. Remember it’s about their growth and their journey.  Help them gauge whether they’ve been aware and conscious of the feedback as the first step.  Have they corrected or improved their behavior and results since you last discussed? Remember: your people want to learn and grow so make sure they understand that you have their back and show them the way!

Make Them Feel Safe

Few people, unfortunately, enjoy and look forward to having performance reviews or discussions. That’s why it’s important your employee feels safe from the very beginning. The safer they feel the more they will receive the information and start to understand that these discussions are gifts along the journey.  As I mentioned above, your people do want to learn and grow. So, remind them that’s all a performance review/discussion is – an opportunity to discuss areas of improvement so they can be their best. Even if you’re giving a positive performance review for someone who’s exceeding expectations, there’s always opportunity to learn, grow, have an aha moment and do better. Make sure your employee understands the performance review is about them and not about you – you’re sitting down to mentor, coach and show them the ways where they can level up, create impact, and make a bigger difference.

Remind Them That You’ve Got Their Back

In order to make your employees feel safe during their performance review, show them you’ve got their back. Be vulnerable. Share your experiences and for God’s sake, demonstrate gratitude for their service. Everyone needs that type of empathy. In this new world of work, people want to work for bosses and managers who are authentic, transparent, and who demonstrate over and over again that they want to see their team succeed. That is what we call other focused leaders. A little reassurance goes a long way, especially for your Millennial and Gen Z employees. Focus on creating trust within the conversation. For a roadmap on what NOT to do, click here to check out a list of common behaviors that actually create feelings of mistrust.

Ask Deep Questions to Spur Thought & Accountability

Nobody likes to be talked at or even worse, talked down to. To ensure you’re being heard and understood, make sure to ask “great” questions. And not just any questions. Good, deep questions that are open-ended, nonjudgmental, supportive, and ask them to grow and become accountable, are what constitutes a “great” question. Understanding the art of the question is one of the most important tools a next gen leader can have in their toolbox. Practice it now during this round of performance reviews and daily thereafter. There is no more important skill a real leader can learn.

Use Our GPS Communication System

Systems really work. They are the best tools one could ever use. GPS is our favorite communication tool here at launchbox because it friggin’ works. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. Using GPS allows you to deepen your relationships with anyone through effective communication. With our teams working remotely during COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we get this right. Click here to check out more about our GPS communication strategy and download your free worksheet to put it into practice today.

Liked this post? Want more actionable ideas, tips, and tools? Reach out to us and ask about our virtual keynotes, remote workshops, and personalized one-on-one coaching. We can help every member of your team start creating success now. Get in touch!

8-Step Framework for Success: Execute “The Purposeful Comeback” for Your Organization

8-Step Framework for Success: Execute “The Purposeful Comeback” for Your Organization

With 2020 officially behind us, it’s time to focus on the opportunity of 2021! The workplace has a good, albeit flexible handle on the fact that we must provide new skills for employees, teams and cultures to meet the demand of the future. Let’s go 2021!

Remote, socially distanced, outside or in lock down, businesses and their leaders are ready to make up for lost time and navigate the future. The theme with which we are all approaching our comeback is a combination of gratitude, caring, people, community and impact for others.

Both individually and organizationally we are craving, wanting, needing, planning and orchestrating “The Purposeful Comeback.” It’s a framework to create next generation leadership that will see our organizations into the future. Mastering “The Purposeful Comeback” roadmap and tools below will help you create real and lasting success, growth, business results, and engagement for your people and workplace culture.

1. Winning Mindset and Energy

Companies don’t outperform their leadership and the same is true of teams. Creating a purposeful comeback in 2021 starts first with focusing on leadership using integrated purpose as the path to organizational success. We as individuals must show up every day as our best self. That means putting on your oxygen mask first – you can’t help anyone if you don’t first help yourself.

Mindset:

Your mindset really, really matters. Everyone from Marcus Aurelius to the Buddha to Victor Frankl and lately the best, Mel Robbins, has shown us how important thoughts and beliefs are in creating success for ourselves and others. To stage “The Purposeful Comeback” in 2021 we must cultivate a mindset that is positive, self-aware, growth-minded (see Carol Dweck’s phenomenal book, Mindset), and other-focused. Changing our mindset is about changing that talk track in our head.

Physical Energy:

We know that moving your body daily has a positive effect on the mind. Studies have shown that “exercise improves brain function, structure, and connectivity. These brain improvements are directly linked to improved learning, memory, and cognitive function.” Showing up as a leader in 2021 starts with taking care of the temple and setting aside time for the essentials: exercise and nutrition, adequate sleep, and recharging. We must make them a daily habit.

2. The Audience is the Hero of Any Story You Tell…So Make Them One!

Want to become a real purposeful leader? Figure out how to create meaningful followers.   Create meaningful followers through this simple basic tool: learn how to build relationships from the inside out. First, with yourself and then with others.

You know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. But do you know and understand the Platinum Rule?

The Platinum Rule says this: treat others how they want to be treated. It’s other-focused and becoming other-focused is what you need to really succeed in the year ahead. Putting the focus on treating others how they want to be treated will help you build stronger relationships and relationships are the key to success. Make them the hero because they are! Use these two principles to help you:

-Remember WIFTHEM: This is an acronym for “What’s in it for them.” In every interaction, positive or negative, you must consider what the other person wants and how they are looking to benefit.

-Consider the Action: What action do you want your audience to take that can and will benefit them? This action will benefit you, too, of course.

3. Know Thyself to Help Others

Impact is created by working from the inside out. If you want to help others you must Know Thyself. If you don’t know or understand yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to get it wrong with others.

So, how do you start? First, just START. We teach the following framework to our clients inside our new on-demand coaching product, Hooga. Knowing yourself comes from really understanding and being able to articulate the following four core concepts about yourself:

  • Strengths
  • Values, Passions, and Skills
  • Brand
  • Story

This is the value you bring to others and the world. Getting really clear on this allows you to demonstrate your value to your peers, team, and clients.

4. What’s Your Story?


Humans have always told stories. From huddling around a fire to hieroglyphics to books to the vlogs, blogs, and podcasts of today, we have an innate desire to share our own stories and discover those of others. Storytelling allows you to captivate an audience, shape thoughts, and communicate purpose and value.

What do you do? Why do you do it? What impact do you create? Why does it matter to you, to your client, to the world?

Remember, your story is not a script. It’s not static or boring. It recognizes the audience and what’s important to them, then captivates them through the use of humor, drama, and narrative arcs. Want to learn to create impact? Then become your own best storyteller.

5. The New ABC’s “Always Be Connecting”: Bridge the Gap

We all come to the workplace with different life experiences, skills, and values. We come from different generations, cultures, and backgrounds. We are driven by the need for human interaction, to belong, to be part of a community. We are better together, and we know that (more on that in a second), yet technology, socioeconomic disparity, and generational differences easily divide us.

To seize the opportunity of 2021, we have to find a way to bridge the gap between us so we can pull together and connect. COVID-19 and remote work certainly hasn’t made this any easier. It’s also forced us to acknowledge the diversity (or lack thereof) in our workplaces and community64% of applicants say that they consider diversity and inclusion when considering a job, yet only 55% of people think their organizations have policies to promote it. Even more troubling, 90% of them say they’re not treated with respect at work, discriminated against, and even harassed.

This means it’s even more important that we make this the year we figure it out once and for all. Learn how to connect pure and simple. There are so many ways. Just one way we devised is our B.R.I.D.G.E. the Gap system, an integrated six-step plan that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and your workplace.

We cannot do it alone. You know that and I know that. Yet the greatest dysfunction of teams persists in our workplaces today. For some organizations, getting their teams to work together efficiently and in harmony is one of their greatest challenges.

Solving the team divide starts by focusing on and ensuring these principles are present in your workplace:

6. It’s Better Together: Teams

  • Do your people feel safe enough to share their ideas, true opinions, and feelings?
  • Is your workplace culture one that empowers, connects, and inspires?
  • Are your employees engaged and connected to the purpose and impact of their work?
  • Is everyone on the team working in alignment with the team’s values?
  • Is there a culture of trust in your workplace?
  • Do people communicate with each other effectively, openly, and often.
  • Do you empower accountability? Do you ask great questions?
  • Got a strategic vision or plan and is it shared universally?

7. Make Culture Last: Sustainability

In order to drive and sustain “The Purposeful Comeback,” you need to do the work and then create a system. An integrated system to sustain culture and engagement is necessary for our organizations.

Your system will need different parts, so ask yourself what that system would look like in your organization and what it should include. We recommend having systems to create and sustain purpose, to grow the next generation of leaders and develop their skills, to share in a purposeful vision and story and that all employees be able to articulate it and their own value, and to further coach employees to be their best, work from the inside out, and deliver on the organization’s core values.  Start now by devising your system.

8. Pay it Forward: Cultivating Disciples

Seizing the opportunity of 2021 and creating “The Purposeful Comeback” is about looking to the future of your organization. What comes next? Who will lead in five years? In ten? How will you continue to evolve and stay relevant in a changing world?

Create those next generation leaders (your disciples) from within. Get clear on your purpose, define it, live it, and then empower your people to buy into that purpose. When you can do that, then you’ll become known to clients, the market, and even potential employees. Look at all the top companies of today. Most were once unknown operations working out of someone’s garage. They got really clear on their purpose, wove it into the fabric of everything they do, and then the world caught on and embraced them.

You can do the same in your organization. You have all the tools you need. Start now with this roadmap to cultivating your Purposeful Comeback in 2021 and if we can help, please reach out. You control what happens to you, your team, and your organization this year. Start now to make it the best year yet and maximize your impact!

The 5 Tools You Need for Great Communication and Feedback in the Remote Workplace

The 5 Tools you need for Great Communication and Feedback in the Workplace

We get inquiries all the time from people who are seeking strategies and tools to deliver effective communication and feedback in the workplace. Why? Because we all generally (technical term here) suck at communication and relationships and they really, really matter. Now more than ever in this new era of remote and disconnected work, we must hear each other clearly. With 60-93% of all communication happening nonverbally (depending on which study you’re referencing), there’s not a lot of room for mistakes. We must be able to effectively communicate with others, no matter what the medium, if we want to be successful in the rapidly evolving future world of work.

Below, we’ve compiled 5 of our best tools for the most effective communication and feedback in the “new” workplace:

Listen More Than You Speak

One of the most important tools for effective communication and feedback in the workplace is to practice the art of actually listening to the person you’re speaking to. Too many times we ask questions without bothering to listen to the answer. Your ears are the #1 most important communication tool you have! Yet, we’re often too busy thinking about what we’re going to say next or worrying about something else entirely to really listen to the person who’s speaking. So, make the commitment to listen more than you speak – it will shift your focus from “self” to “others” which is a critical component of relationship building.

Give Feedback 365

The old way of annual performance reviews is dead and has been dead for a long time. The workplace changes too rapidly, especially in this era of forced remote work, for annual reviews to be of practical use to us. Instead, give real-deal feedback in the moment when it’s needed. When you give continuous feedback to employees, peers, clients, and even your bosses, you allow for iterative micro-adjustments. We’re not always going to get everything right or have the correct response for every situation. Feedback allows for those tiny shifts that can add up to massive change to actually happen.

Ask Great Questions

You’ve heard me say this over and over again. Learn how to ask great questions. It is one of the most effective communication tools in your toolbox. Great questions are open-ended, nonjudgmental, supportive, and help you go deeper to mine for the crystals below the surface. The power of the question can move a room, create trust in an instant, create empathy and connection immediately. Questions are a lifeline in communication, and don’t forget to listen to the answer for the follow up of a whopper question. If you’re not sure how to ask great questions, pick up a copy of Chasing Relevance or reach out to us for help.

Communicate Better

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for ways to up your communication game and learn how to better connect with others. One of the most effective ways to do that is to change the way you communicate. Adopt our GPS Communication Strategy and watch how your conversations and relationships change. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. It’s a framework you can apply to every conversation, but especially the tough ones. Click here to check it out. Let’s practice anytime you need it.

Recognize What is Needed from Your People and Celebrate Success

Finally, we must make a habit of recognizing the good and bad and speaking of them and celebrating all the wins from big to small. Beyond fostering stronger relationships with our team members, recognizing the status, fatigue or challenges and speaking of them creates trust and empathy. People feel heard and part of the tribe. Of course, recognizing the successes throughout and the wins also allows you to give positive feedback in the moment (remember Feedback 365) and reinforces the behaviors you want to continue. Plus, everyone likes to feel like they’re understood and doing a good job, that they’re making a difference, and that what they do has meaning.

When it comes to effective communication and feedback in the workplace, it isn’t something you perfect overnight or that you ever even master. Instead, it’s something that needs constant attention and cultivation if you want to reap the benefits. However, with the right tools, tips, and strategies at your disposal, you can up your game quickly and create success. If you liked the concepts we shared in this article, reach out to learn how we can support you with personalized, on-demand coaching, workshops, and training for yourself and your team. Make sure to ask us about our new coaching product, Hooga!

What Your Millennial and Gen Z Employees Need From You Right Now

For the younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be particularly profound. For some of them, too young to feel the full weight of other recent, life-changing events like 9-11 and the 2008 market and jobs crash, this pandemic is their first exposure to real hardship. And, the most profound hardship most of us for any generation have experienced; it’s taking away the in-person human connection that is our primary source for safety and belonging. For other generations, the effects of the last recession, 9/11, wars, swine flu, still haven’t faded away.

As the employer and future employer, to the next leaders of our world and your workforce, you must truly understand this younger generation’s experience. And what they need from you in the workplace or the marketplace. They currently account for 38% of the workforce and by the end of the decade, 58% of employees will be either a Millennial or a Gen Z. If you and your business want to continue to survive and thrive in the new world of work, it’s not an option to ignore the needs of the younger generations and the effects the pandemic is having on them. You must meet them where they are and give them what they want in order to build your high-performance team and extend their reach to connecting with your clients. These generations actually account for 3 trillion dollars worth of annual spending!

Really, what Millennials or Gen Z employees want from their employers is no different than what any of us want. They just tend to be more vocal about it and more insistent that they get the support they’re seeking. This is one reason I love working with young people – they are absolutely determined to make it a better world and they’re not shy about going after it.

To help your Millennial and Gen Zs learn to be resilient from all the change we’ve had over the past few months and thrive, focus on these simple things:

 

Help Them Feel Safe

This is a big one and we covered it in our last blog. People need to feel safe at work. Physically safe (make sure they know the steps you’re taking to protect them from the virus), but also emotionally and psychologically safe. They need to know the workplace is a safe place to speak up, to tell it like it is, and to call out toxic or damaging behaviors. The depth and spread of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements have shown how much the younger generations value creating spaces of inclusivity, equality, and safety. As I tell all of my clients, listen and listen like a trampoline, meaning bounce back with even better questions.

 

Help Them Feel Like They Belong

We all want to feel like we’re part of something that matters and again, Millennials and Gen Zs are no different. They place a high value on finding workplaces that allow them to do work that is meaningful. And it’s up to you to make sure they can clearly see how their work has meaning and how it’s contributing to your overall organizational goals. If you need help, we’re here. We’ve helped hundreds of organizations and teams solve the crisis of disengagement by helping connect team members to their personal and professional purposes (their why) threaded to your corporate missions through our flagship online program, Strengths & Story.

 

Provide Access to Mentoring and Coaching Opportunities

Though COVID-19 has done away with a lot of our traditional ways of providing professional development through the method of sending our people off to workshops and conferences, the younger generations were craving something different even before the pandemic. In a recent blog, we discussed how today’s young workers want the freedom and flexibility to seek out their own mentors and coaches, to learn on demand and in the way that suits them, sometimes even informally. They also need to take ownership in their mentoring relationships. With our teams working remotely and feeling isolated, helping your young people access new mentoring and coaching opportunities and techniques is critical.

To help, we recently launched our online portal, Hooga, to provide a virtual and on-demand coaching options for your people to learn the principles of our Strengths & Story workshops. Reach out to us to find out how you can get access!

 

Show Them How to Build Resilience

With all the uncertainty and stress that’s invaded our lives recently, one of the most important things Millennial and Gen Z employees need from you is to learn how to build and cultivate their own resilience. Sometimes called “grit” but even deeper, a person’s resilience is simply a measure of their ability to bounce back quickly when things get tough. And things have never been tougher for our workers than the challenges of COVID-19.

We have a 3-step system you can use to help them build better resilience. Click here to check it out now.

 

Reskill Them on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is key for success in the future world of work. And with so much stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, people need people. We need to feel connected to each other and that we have strong relationships, whether it’s with our bosses, coworkers, clients, or friends and family. Make sure your younger employees are equipped with the skills they need to up their game when it comes to their own Emotional Intelligence. Learn how to reskill them and coach them on Emotional Intelligence here.

 

Your Millennial and Gen Z employees need you to step up and help them in the wake of COVID-19. Start here with these five ideas. If you need help implementing any of the above strategies or would like a personalized recommendation for your team, reach out to us to learn how we can support you to success.

Where’s the Free Food and Ping-Pong Table? What New Hacks Will Solve the Innovation Vacuum in the Work-From-Home Economy?

The work-from-home revolution has been unleashed. While it’s true that the workplace and worker of the future were both already changing prior to our current global pandemic, this lockdown has cemented a new era.

Big headlines from some of the largest tech companies in the world are just the beginning of this new era. What will it do to our workplaces?

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both Twitter and Square was the first to announce their “work-from-home forever” policy change. Other companies soon followed suit and last week we had the announcement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the tech giant’s employees may also continue working from home indefinitely.

So what does this mean for cities that currently enjoy prestige as tech hotspots like San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Austin, and others? And more importantly, what does this mean for companies who have invested years and hundreds of thousands of dollars creating campuses stocked with free food, gyms, ping-pong tables, and more in an effort to attract the best and brightest employees in the industry?

That is the question that has been on my mind the last few weeks as I work with my own clients, including executives from some of the largest companies in America. It’s been well documented that perks like free food do more than attract rock star employees. A 2015 study from Cornell University found that when crews of firefighters eat together, they perform better on the job than crews who eat alone. This didn’t escape the leader in free food and organized socialization, Google, or the thousands of other companies that have followed their lead. For tech companies, offering free food has the same effect. Science dictates that it brings people together and fosters friendships, ideas, and innovation.

Prior to CVOID-19, the ubiquitous new age “dining hall” that could be found at many tech companies created a natural space for innovation. Where people gather and come together, there is always the potential for the creation and spread of new ideas. And it’s these new, innovative ideas tech companies relied on to stay one step ahead of the competition. Summarily, food and eating together creates safety and belonging , which creates trust, which creates innovation.

Here’s one thing I know: the work-from-home revolution and less human-to-human gatherings will create a safety and belonging gap which will lead to an innovation vacuum in your company unless you take steps to prevent it. Even now, your employees likely are not sharing meals together. They’re logging off of Zoom or Slack to go eat alone in their own kitchens. Ideas are not being exchanged and innovation is stalled.

So if you want to continue to spur innovation inside your company, as I know you do, use these ideas to foster safety, belonging, and innovation in the workplace:

 

Bring People Together

One of the most important steps to fostering innovation during the work-from-home revolution is to be intentional about replacing the cafeteria. You must find a replacement for your company’s dining hall, happy hour, or mixers that fits our new normal of social distancing and working remote. Rather than getting off of Zoom or Slack for lunch, encourage people to stay on and eat together as they would at the physical office. Schedule virtual happy hours. Randomly assign or encourage small groups to form and meet weekly over video chat to check in with each other and talk. As regulations allow, have people meet outside of work in small groups to walk or go for a hike. In fact, creating small bonded teams of 6-8 works for the Navy Seals. They create a brotherhood of safety and belonging, which yields the highest performance. Our millennial/Gen Z networking groups at launchbox, encourage participants to form a “tripod,” a small group of three people that meet for lunch and check in with each other between monthly meetings. No matter what you choose to do, you must be intentional about encouraging the human-to-human connection.

 

Ask Your People What They Need From You

One of our favorite workplace hacks to create and build strong teams and companies is to simply ask your people what they need from you. Are they feeling Zoom Fatigue with too many meetings already? Are they isolated and feeling distant from their team? Are they experiencing challenges at home that are interfering with work? Regular check-ins with your people will help you solve problems, build strong employee loyalty, and ultimately create the space people need to innovate. Unhappy, stressed, scared people do not create game-changing breakthroughs. Happy, confident, supported people do.

 

Foster Resilience

If you haven’t checked out our blog on mastering the 3 components of resilience, read that next. Our 3 C’s of Confidence, Commitment, and Clarity will help your people create resilience. As I said above, unhappy employees do not innovate. Help your people meet the challenges of the work-from-home revolution by teaching them the skills to build and maintain resilience. It will change the way they show up for work, their team, and your clients.

 

The work-from-home revolution has arrived and it’s now our normal. We do the work with business owners, executives and workplaces to help them find, build, and share their Strengths and Story to build high performance cultures through safety and belonging. What could be better? Click here to book a free session with us today!

Back to Basics With These Two Steps That Are the Key to Foundational Resilience!

We believe the formula for human success through RESILIENCE is the exact same formula we’ve been coaching our clients on over the last five years. And it’s the same formula we’re still going to be coaching on after the curve has flattened and we’re all back to work:

SELF + OTHERS = RESULTS

SELF

Success starts with you. Take control of you!  You’ve got to figure out who you are, what you stand for, and then how to articulate your value to others. That creates real resilience by simply knowing with immense CLARITY who you are and want to be and how you show up and impact the world.  That simple.  Once you’re solid and are CONFIDENT with owning your foundation you’re ready to be tough and spring back or recover from anything. That’s resilience!

So understanding you (SELF) allows you to move on to the second part of our success formula.

OTHERS

Figuring out yourself is the basis for cultivating better relationships with others through connection. Relationships are what make us happy and help us live longer.  And, as humans we need connection!  COVID-19 shows us that now more than ever.   Relationships are built and created on connection and meaning, which is why the CLARITY and CONFIDENCE in knowing who you are and the real deal value (IMPACT) you have to offer is most important – it’s the not-so secret tool to finding ways to connect with other people.  Understanding what impact and meaning you are and want to pursue is the fuel.  What is purposeful to you? 

Connecting with others is the secret to impact and life.  As Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” We all want everything so we can make the world and ourselves better. Both at work and at home, which we now see is the same thing.  YEAH!

Therefore, the most critical skills we can build are mastering SELF + OTHERS.   Such mastery will lead you to results, and you get the opportunity to define those results for yourself:  

  • Is it more resilience?
  • More meaning?
  • More relationships?
  • More money?
  • Better work/life balance? 
  • A promotion?
  • More confidence? 
  • More ideas?
  • More impact?

Whatever result you’re after, you’ll get there by first working on yourself, then your relationships with others.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be creating bite-sized learnings to SHARE our success formula and offering new ways for you to develop the skills you need to get results as we beat the *&%$2! out of this global pandemic. We’re planning to offer our signature Mindset exercises, tips and tools and our Foundational Strengths & Story workshop as a virtual course to help you master SELF & OTHERS with CLARITY, CONFIDENCE AND IMPACT.

So if you’re:

  • Starting a new career
  • Figuring out your purpose and impact
  • Looking for a way to expand your business or opportunity
  • Trying to build engagement and resilience for your employees
  • Want get clear on your value and connect with others better
  • Or want more confidence

 Reach out to us if you’re interested in joining the wait list.

Also, if you’re looking for personalized coaching and attention to help you up your game and get the results you’re after, give us a call at (858) 314-9867 – right now we’re offering complimentary coaching sessions because we want to help you succeed and thrive.  You just need to step up and request a free session!

3 Steps to Effectively Lead Your Remote Team Through Crisis

Our employees are overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed out. And that was before the Covid-19 crisis! Now they have a whole new mess of problems to deal with: worrying about the virus, fear about what will happen to the economy, working remotely for the first time, trying to manage their kids at home, struggling to adapt to new technology, increased conflict with their partner from being cooped up inside…it’s A LOT. Meanwhile, we’re trying to get them to be as productive as possible and G.S.D (Get Shit Done).

If you’re anything like the clients we’ve been talking to over the last few weeks, you’re struggling just to keep your own head above water let alone be the kind of leader your remote team needs right now. While there’s no manual or precedent for dealing with a large-scale global epidemic in this modern age, we’ve been coaching our clients on how to pivot and adapt their businesses while leading their teams to success. No matter what industry you’re in or what catastrophe you’re facing, there are only three things you need to focus on as a leader to effectively manage your workforce and cultivate high performance.

1) Decrease Fear

Your people are scared. They are facing the unknown just like you.

As their leader your most important job is to decrease their fear. Even if the future looks bleak, your people want to know you have a plan to take care of them and see them safely through this storm. They want to know they can count on you, that you’ve got their back, and you’re here for them. 

One of the most effective ways to decrease fear is to ask your people what they want from you. Start by listening and leaning in. It may be different for every person, but you owe it to them to take the time to ask great questions, be an even better listener, and find a way to meet them where they are. Then authentically contextualize your mission and vision in a way that employees can relate to and find meaningful. And communicate, communicate, communicate. Take a look at our 4 C’s of Connection in Virtual Work – scroll down to get a free copy of our Remote Management Toolbox.

2) Increase Safety

Along with decreasing fear, you need to increase every team member’s sense of safety. When you start by turning your workplace upside down and listening to your people, you’ll have a good sense of where to begin.  Understand that people need people and that we are interconnected beings. The biggest challenge is the lack of community and perceived empathy.

But even more importantly, you’ll have taken a big step toward decreasing their sense of isolation. If your team is working remotely for the first time, they’ll quickly start to feel alone and adrift in the world. It’s up to you to make sure your team is connecting to you and with each other on a regular basis. Have at least two real connections per week that asks how they are doing.  And make sure to use video – verbal communication is only 7% of total communication!  Additionally, appoint a communication czar to make sure it works well with your team.

Start now. Implement daily or weekly video calls. Create a Slack channel where people can check in with each other during the day. And spend time demonstrating you care by coaching your team members through their specific challenges. Let them help each other and create a buddy system. 

3) Solve the Emotional Component

In times of turmoil, it’s normal for emotions to run high. As a leader, you need to make sure you’re helping your team process their emotions in a way that is healthy and productive. Make sure you’re regularly addressing these five areas on your check-ins with your remote team:

1) Self-Care: Discuss the importance of self-care and share strategies for individual success.  Routines, schedules, and how to deal with kids at home and connections.

2) Learn: Make sure your team has the tools and resources to support their learning and development with new skills for the virtual workplace and great communication tips.

3) Growth: If there is down time, encourage personal and professional growth along with real creativity.  What are some great ideas they can come up with for themselves to add big value for a future which will be super different and better than what we’ve experienced?

4) Mindset: Share practical ways each person can work on reframing their thoughts and help them through any mindset blocks. Remember, we need connection and help.

5) Connect: Illustrate the importance of connecting person-to-person and encourage team members to communicate over phone or video instead of email and text.

If you focus on just these three things and follow our hacks and tools, I guarantee you will see dramatic improvement in the performance and productivity of your remote team. While we are all being challenged to work differently, there is NO reason your team cannot continue to execute at a high level.

Need help implementing these strategies? Looking for personalized help for your organization? Reach out to us – the first session is always complimentary! We can deliver virtual keynotes, online workshops, and remote high-performance coaching to help your team continue to succeed and thrive. 

We also recently hosted a webinar on this same topic – click here to watch the replay. It will only be available for a limited time so don’t wait to watch!

    Download our Remote Management Toolbox including Our 4 C's of Connection to help you lead your team to success!


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    Two Predictions Shaping the Work(er) of the Future: Reality Hits Sooner

    Last year we made some predictions for the future workplace. We predicted (i) technology is going to continue to evolve and drive change, and certainly (ii) people will matter more than ever. Our new Coronavirus reality further demonstrates the importance of both these points.  So as we enter this next decade, we’re gratified to see that new interviews and evolving research continues to support our predictions for the future workplace.

     The Wall Street Journal recently published an article called, “The Workplace of 2050.” It featured interviews with five experts at the top of their game making bold predictions for the future. All five talked about the way evolving technologies will reshape their industries – and the important role humans will play in the future of work.  

    David Baszucki, CEO and co-founder of Roblox Corp, talked about the gaming industry as a whole. Alongside tremendous technological innovation, he envisions teams getting larger and transitioning to remote work with employees spread out around the world. While not mentioned directly in his interview, we know that communication between humans will be critical. As teams stop reporting to the same central office and start logging onto Slack from their couch, being able to articulate your story, demonstrate your value, and build relationships will become key factors for success in this industry.   

    In the medical field, the need for technological expansion is particularly great. Dr. Esther Choo, ER doctor and Associate Professor at the Oregon Health and Science University, expects we’ll see “a lot more options for communicating with patients, monitoring them, connecting them to needed care…and streamlining things.” She also expects increased integration among the many electronic health systems doctors and patients are currently using. Although these innovations will certainly help healthcare providers improve job performance, what’s really driving this shift is a desire for better communication between patients and doctors in order to create meaningful change.

     Other CEOs and founders echo Baszucki and Choo, predicting an increasingly prominent role for technology in industries ranging from restaurants to talent acquisition. But for all this focus on technological innovation, Free the Work founder Alma Har’el sums up it up best: “At the end of the day, the heart of the work is really about connecting on a human level, and that’s never going to change.” No matter how an industry is disrupted or what new technologies they choose to deploy, at the heart of all this change is us: people. We still matter.

    To help you create success and shift to a culture of high performance, we introduced our 3-hack system. Many of our clients have already reported tremendous success after implementing it in their organizations. How will you keep the future workplace human? What choices will you make to make your employees matter? How will you empower and lead your people to high performance? Reach out to us for a free consultation. Through our dynamic keynote speeches, game-changing workshops, and bold coaching, we will inspire your people to up their game and help you create a high-performance culture.

    5 Tips to Help You “Do the Work” to Be More Successful in the Multigenerational Workplace in 2020

    WOW! The new decade is here! And boy is there pressure to make resolutions and improve. Our tips are simple and they endure, not relative to the new year or decade but just plain and simple tips that if you “Do the Work,” you win! So, in order to help you crush performance and be more successful at work this year, we’ve compiled our simple 5 best tips that you can put into practice today. Our tips are real, actionable, and highly impactful – try them for yourself and see!

    Tip #1: Relax and Smile

    Most people want to like you and want you to succeed! They’re actually rooting for you.  So, it should be simple to make a connection.  Right?  Well, wrong.  The root to connection is simply smiling and being open, however, most of us (technical term here) suck at that. Myself included.  And, if you’re stern, preoccupied, or just not present you tend not to smile. Not smiling makes you seem cold and unfriendly which means people are not going to be able to connect with you. However, a super simple easy way to connect is just to smile.  Try it. I talk about this with executives and Millennials alike. Smiling more is so simple, yet tough to implement,  

    If we really want to be a productive worker of the future we need to create connection through trust. Smiling communicates to someone that you’re positive, approachable, and possibly someone they can trust (and we know how important trust is). So if smiling doesn’t come naturally, make sure you practice! That means you should smile so much that your face hurts. Even though we know smiling creates more serotonin and improves our mood we still believe we’ll look dumb or awkward.  Just try this simple tool for a few days and coach yourself to smile.  You will notice the difference and that difference will help you immediately relax in the workplace or in a client meeting. That relaxation will in turn allow your intent and impact to naturally shine through.

    Tip #2: Positivity – Yes And

    People love people who are positive. And while us humans generally are predisposed to thinking negatively, it’s all about your mindset which you can shift. You have to choose to be positive, think positive, and create positive experiences for those around you. As a matter of fact, science shows it takes 4x the positive statements to counteract the negative ones! According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, “a negative event or emotion usually has at least three times the impact of a comparable positive one.” So, this year, make a point to intentionally practice positivity! While that’s a very general statement, one tip we have is to read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and live by them.

    Tip #3: Better Not Best

    Best can be seen as an artificial barrier, mostly because best is arbitrary and always a moving target. Therefore, doing and being your best isn’t realistic because it’s based on the events surrounding it. An author we met through Heroic Public Speaking showed us that the alternative, “better” is something we can achieve everyday. We can be just a bit better than we were yesterday or last week. We can always strive to improve our performance incrementally. If our mindset is growth-based like Carol Dweck teaches in her book Growth Mindset, we can always be focused on trying harder and measuring ourselves to a higher standard each time. Better every day and in every moment will move the needle much further for you on a daily basis.

    Tip #4: WIFTHEM – Audience

    As humans we’re built in survival mode, which is mostly self-focused.  That results in every person shaping all inputs as: “how will this affect me?” People only care about themselves. And while you might want to argue about the nuances and certain relationships in the workplace, it’s fundamentally true. We are wired for SELF-preservation. Which means we’re constantly looking out for ourselves, no matter how altruistic we might want to be. Everyone is me focused or lives by the WIFM method – what’s in it for me?  Our twist is to focus on the audience and make it about them. We know that in order to succeed we need to understand and provide empathy to the other person so we put WIFM on its head to create instant connection.  Voila. WIFThem – what’s in it for them?

    So, whether you’re providing a service, doing a sales call, trying to get a promotion, or persuading your partner or friend to do something, make sure you’re showing the person you’re sitting across from what’s in it for them! It’s not about you, it’s about them and what you can do to help them get what they want. If you know WIFThem and practice it, the world will be yours.  For more tips on how to do that using our communication tools, click here to download our free worksheet with our GPS conversation strategy.

    Tip #5: Story – Currency

    Your story, your identity, who you are and what you’re here to do, is your connection currency.  It’s what will bind you to others instantly.  But we suck at it. Personally and professionally we don’t have the skills to connect instantaneously.  From the executive boardroom to our next generation workers, we are horrible about sharing our stories. And it is so critical.  Critical to combine our personal why with our corporate purpose and value so we can transact great business.  Whether a Millennial, Gen Z or a Boomer, knowing your story and articulating it in a way that serves others is the only way to connect and build relationships. It’s what you trade with others to build stronger and better relationships, which is the #1 most important skill in the world!  Learn how to tell your story with a free copy of our book – click here to get it!

    Over the next few weeks we will deliver real coaching stories so you can see these tips in action. Stay tuned!

    Want more tips like these? Need help implementing these in your own life so you can be successful at work? Schedule your free coaching call today to ensure this year is the best one yet! Click here to book your call.

    The Workplace of the Future is NOW – Do You Have a Plan to Solve Employee Disengagement and Anxiety?

    Our clients tell us they can’t keep up because the world is changing so rapidly. The word “change” actually seems insufficient to describe the rapid transformation affecting all our businesses. And yet we’re more connected than ever.  One misstatement, misstep, miscalculation of impact and a disgruntled person’s tweet can go viral at a moment’s notice. We’ve never felt more vulnerable to the opinions of others and it’s affecting our businesses.

    Not a stretch for any of us or our businesses, just look at what happened to Peloton recently. When its holiday commercial failed to strike the right note with its customers, the company’s stock dropped more than 10% after a storm of criticism helped its infamous commercial go viral for all the wrong reasons.

    But it’s not just our customers that are challenging. Our employees live in this world and they are challenged by the change too. They’re also confused. Hence, most businesses are facing a two-headed crisis with their employees: (1) disengagement and (2) anxiety. Just when we need our teams to pull together, crush performance, and be stronger than ever, actually the opposite is happening. Our employees are instead disconnected from each other or with their bosses. Rampant anxiety is hurting their individual performance. And high turnover is costing us serious money.

    At launchbox, we’re all about finding solutions to help you solve disengagement and anxiety to ignite your team and company’s performance.  We’ve developed a 3-hack strategy you can use to ensure your company is meeting the demands of the changing workplace. Follow along as we show you how we’re helping three clients solve their own unique organizational problems:

    Asking Questions to Solve for Disengagement

    One of the clients we work with had a modern challenge that needed solving: many of their employees worked in the field at customer sites while others remained behind at the company’s main office. Not surprisingly, they were struggling to keep their remote employees engaged.

    When they came to us for help, we coached them to start by conducting an assessment of all their employees to help them figure out what the specific problems were. Turns out the employees that spent a lot of time in the field were having trouble remaining connected to their peers, the company’s mission, their contribution, and ultimately their own career path.

    With this information in hand, we were able to help the leadership design and implement specific engagement strategies through coaching individuals and the team to create increased engagement. The solution? Double down on understanding the employees needs and then solve them at the individual and group level.  Model behavior, downstream techniques, and stand for the employee. The result? Greater engagement and increased retention across the entire company.

    Helping Employees Find Meaningful Work

    Another of our clients, a respected financial advisory firm, sent one of their talented young employees to get coached by us. This young man was struggling to find real meaning, purpose and contribution in his work. The company’s mission of protecting their clients’ assets and growing wealth just wasn’t cutting it for him. He was looking for something deeper, more meaningful, something to feel he was a part of and that would allow him to make a difference.

    In working with us, he learned about himself, his own why, and the impact he wanted to have. It was critically important for him to have belief around his impact and tangibly see the results of his work (in the form of seeing his clients’ wealth grow) in order to feel connected to what he was doing. We talked about how he could better communicate that to his bosses in order to get some help to create bigger results for all of his accounts.  He was predisposed as many millennials are to create impact.  We tied his ambition and work to philanthropy that was created by the growth of wealth. Once he became aware of this meaning, he could articulate it as his value and extend it to his clients.

    Can you guess what happened next? He got the help he needed from his supervisors to recast his own meaning and impact in order to contribute to the team. This in turn helped his clients AND his company’s bottom-line.

    He also discovered how to live his own values and find greater purpose and contribution by seeing the positive things his clients were able to do for both their families and for others as a result of their increased wealth. How’s that for a win?

    Reskilling Emotional Intelligence

    Management at one high-end health club came to us because they were frustrated with the performance of their younger employees. They felt that many of them didn’t display the warmth and friendliness they wanted to see in such customer-centric positions.

    After instituting hacks 1 and 2 above, we dug deeper to create a system of skills to help employees connect more readily to the company’s mission. We helped the employer bridge the generation gap by showing them how to reskill their young employees on the basics of customer service, making it about teaching, learning and growing. We encouraged them to train and coach young employees on connection. This gave their young people skills they could see they would use forever. It also made them feel that they had power over their own future, that they were creating their own path to success. Finally, we encouraged management to illustrate how their role was absolutely vital to the entire customer experience and that how they showed up as individuals made the ultimate difference.

    The culture at the health club became one that was focused on others and giving value. As a result their young people began to flourish. They learned new skills and changed the way they communicated with clients and their peers. And ultimately, they took ownership of their own self-development and growth in order to provide the best possible experience for the customers they saw every day.

    As we enter the next decade, one thing is for sure: the workplace will continue to rapidly evolve even faster. In order to keep up and achieve even greater success in the years to come, make sure you’re solving problems for both your customers and your employees. If your company could use a little support in igniting growth like these three clients, book a free call with one of our coaches today!