What’s Holding You Back? For Many of Us, It’s Zoom Fatigue

Recently, I had a coaching call with someone I’ve had the pleasure of coaching over the last year. They’ve already made tremendous improvements since I first met them by using our system and tools. But with all the uncertainty that’s going on right now, I discovered they had gotten back into a place where they felt stuck and they didn’t know how to coach themselves out of being stuck. Often our thoughts are the biggest thing that holds us back from action.

A lot of us are feeling big time Zoom Fatigue these days. Harvard Business Review and Forbes have both shared articles on this topic in the last month. Going from video call to video call with no time in between to do our work, recharge, or even to just stop and think. And that’s really holding us back from being our best selves, from showing up with confidence and clarity to create impact for other people.

I know we all just want to get better, and in this time of social distancing, virtual work, and isolation, everything is compounded and we are more fatigued then ever and in a funk. So, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What’s standing in my way and keeping me from moving forward?” And, “Whose permission am I seeking to get unstuck and change my thoughts into action within this uncertainty?”

Changing your life and getting out of your own way come down to just factor: you. You are the only person you can control. You get to choose how you show up, how you behave, and ultimately what happens to you. As I always say, what happens to you is because of you. This is because we have the capability to question our own thoughts and motivations, which affects mindset. And mindset can eradicate fatigue.

So if you are struggling with Zoom Fatigue, use our tips to own your role in that and then make the changes that are going to best serve you and help you create impact.

Get Your Mind Clear

With everything that’s going on, we’re probably feeling a lot more anxious, confused, and tense than normal. While it’s ok to feel that way for a short time, we need to not get stuck. Your mind must be clear in order for you to show up to every Zoom meeting or call with confidence and clarity. To get your thoughts under control, start a meditation practice. Use an app like Waking Up With Sam Harris, Calm or Headspace to start your day with a guided meditation.

Change Your Thoughts

We all know mindset is key. But right now, we need to make sure we’re approaching every day with a positive mindset. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about your own performance or that of your team, it’s time to ask questions about that talk track in your head. Are those thoughts true? Usually they’re not. Actively use questioning to accept the real thoughts, fear, anger, etc. as reality and then move on to set yourself free to get into action. Try saying the positive aspect of the reality aloud and repeating each positive phrase for extra emphasis. You might even laugh which is a step in the right direction.

Own Your Calendar

One of the easiest things we can do to fight Zoom Fatigue is to take back control of our thoughts about our calendar. Don’t let other people dictate your day for you. Don’t let other people drag you into back-to-back meetings. Be firm and schedule 45 or 50-minute meetings instead of 60 minutes. This will give you 10-15 minutes at the top of each hour to take a breath, do a quick meditation, prepare for your next meeting, or even take a walk around the block to clear your head. You will approach the uncertainty with clarity of thought!

Assign a Communication “Czar or Czarina” for Your Meeting

If you’re like most of my clients, as soon as you get off a call you all immediately send follow up emails with your notes, lobbying your position about what was discussed and what the next steps will be based on the outcome of the discussion. But, there’s a better way. Meeting notes recorded on the spot creates immediate consensus and avoids time wasted relitigating positions. Appoint a communication “czar or czarina” to capture all the salient details of the meeting, agree on the points BEFORE the call is over, and then have that person quickly send a copy of their notes to all attendees. Wow, think of how much time and energy you’ll save!

Be Intentional About Making Time to Recharge

For many of us, exercise was built around routine and accountability. Now that gyms and fitness studios are closed, we’re finding it difficult to keep these habits in our schedule. And now, it matters now more than ever and we have the bonus of more flexibility to get it done. So do it. Be intentional about making time to recharge. You can’t serve others and show up well if you’re not taking time for yourself. Make sure you’re scheduling in time each day to do a workout, walk, or even just stretch. Something that forces you to move your body and work up a sweat. I actually do sets of push-ups, pull-ups or sit-ups between my calls. By the end of the day I have belted out hundreds of each.

Schedule Free Time to Think

When was the last time you took an hour just to stare off into space and think? In our fast-paced world, we’re increasingly driven by deadlines and the need to use up every second of the workday being hyper-productive. Taking time to sit and be alone with our own thoughts feels indulgent. It is absolutely critical to free your thoughts to grow and create innovation. It solves your challenges, both in the workplace and in your life. If you never get the space to just “think”, you will always be stuck in reaction mode. You need to create thinking space in order to start being proactive, rather than reactive. Google and many other amazing companies actually have policies of “20% time” to do or think about things that are meaningful. And, while many question whether that really exists or works, what we know for sure is that it does create a culture of wanting to be known for thinking time and innovation.

 

Need help stepping into confidence and clarity to own your story and create impact? Get a complimentary coaching session that will help you quickly get your life and business back on track. Just click here to claim yours!

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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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!

Deepen Relationships and Improve Communication With Our GPS Communication Strategy

The workplace of the future may look a little different, but one thing that’s not changing? Humans. We will STILL matter. In fact, we will continue to matter more than ever.

Which means we have to find a way to connect, to get along with each other, and to communicate effectively. It doesn’t matter if your team works remotely, has different shifts, or spends all day inside a single shared space – relationships MATTER. 

My favorite exercise to deepen relationships and improve communication is something we at launchbox call our GPS Communication Strategy.

GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Share Experience.

I’m going to break down what those three things actually mean (and how you use them in real conversations), but we’ve also got a great worksheet for you to download that goes along with this exercise. You can grab it by skipping down to the bottom. Or you can also follow along as I take you through our GPS Communication Strategy!

Gratitude

Begin by framing your conversation with gratitude. Communication is critical and gratitude is fundamental to having great conversations. Gratitude shows people that you care and that you have their back…even when you have to have a tough conversation with them. Perhaps most importantly, it gets them in the mood to start listening to you!

Sharing gratitude sounds like this:

-“I enjoyed having lunch with you.”

-“I found that advice you shared during our conversation the other day to be helpful.”

-“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow in order to serve you and the team better.”

-“The way you handled that interaction with a customer was awesome!”

-“It means a lot to me that you made time to show me that trick with the new program.”

-Or just a simple “Thank you!”

Permission

Before you get to the tough stuff, make sure you ask permission. Asking permission to share your experience demonstrates respect and tells the other person that you really care about them. 99% of the time, they’ll say yes without hesitation

Now the #1 thing I hear when I share this strategy with a room full of executives and managers is, “Dan, if I’m a boss why would I ever have to ask permission?”

And there’s a couple reason why you want to do that. Besides demonstrating respect and showing that you care about the person, it cedes a little bit of control to them. When they feel like they have more control, they’ll be a little more comfortable with what comes next. And it sets the listener up to really hear you!

Asking permission sounds like this:

-“Would it be okay if we discussed what happened yesterday afternoon now?”

-“I want to help you grow and deliver value to our customers. Can we go over a few things?”

-“Are you open to some feedback on your presentation?”

Share Experience

Okay, now it’s time for the tough stuff. Start by assuming positive intent (API) on the part of the other person and make sure that what you have to say is delivered without judgment. Stick to the facts, don’t make any assumptions about what was going on in the other person’s head, and make sure you deliver the message clearly.

One way to do this is to describe the situation and what you observed or experienced. Another way you can do this is to share a story of when you felt the same way and what you learned from it. 

Share experience sounds like this:

-“I’ve been able to experience your mentorship in this particular way – is that the way you wanted to come across?”

-“What you just said to me came across as harsh. Did you mean it that way?”

Have you used the GPS Communication Strategy in the workplace or at home? Let us know in the comments below. And if you haven’t grabbed our free worksheet designed to help you have great, other-focused conversations, just fill out the form below to get your copy!

Want a little help implementing this with your team? Reach out to us – we love working with companies and teams to help them bridge the gap and build connection!

Want to build better relationships in work and in life? You have to make it about others first - the audience is the hero of your story! Use these tips to change the conversation:



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Why Workplace Stress is a Worldwide Epidemic That Prevents Us From Being Happy at Work

In America, we’re famous for working. Working long days with little time off and taking pride in it. So it should come as no surprise that many of our employees are overworked, stressed out, and burned out. And it’s costing us dearly in terms of lost wages, lost productivity, and lost impact. According to a study from Mental Health America, almost 70% of workers reported missing some days at work each month due to stress. But it turns out that workplace stress isn’t just an American problem: it’s a world problem.

Take this recent article from The Atlantic, which explores stress and depression in the Japanese workplace. While work has grown more global and connected us in ways we could never have imagined, it’s also caused a clash of cultures. And it has forced rapid change on both sides of the generational divide.. Which leaves a generation of workers in Asia who are being forced to assert their opinions and establish themselves as individuals without ever having gained the skills to do so. In essence, they are suffering the “consequences of a nation transitioning from a culture of collectivism, in which they have to accept their rank within a family, to a capitalistic workplace where they have to forge their own path.”

For the last year, I’ve been fortunate to travel to Singapore many times to conduct in-person training workshops for a client. I’ve met many wonderful, talented, and bright Millennials and Gen Z employees over the course of my travels in Singapore. And I’ve also experienced firsthand how the challenges facing the worker of the future don’t just exist inside the bounds of the United States.

Technology is changing absolutely everything about the way we live and work. And one of the primary ways it’s changing the workplace is that it’s putting increasing emphasis on employees as individuals. It’s not enough to follow the rules, blend into the crowd, and get the job done. Now we’re told we need to bring our best selves to work every single day, exceed expectations always, and find ways to stand out from our co-workers. That creates massive amounts of anxiety as we question if we’ll actually be able to keep up with the pace of change, if we’ll have the skills necessary to compete and succeed in the future, and if what we’re doing actually matters anyway.

After training more than 20,000 Millennial and Gen Z employees and their managers around the world, we’ve come up with a 3-hack system employers can use to combat the crushing wave of workplace anxiety:

1. Turn Your Workplace Upside Down

Start anywhere, but principally at the bottom and actually talk to your employees. Find out what they’re struggling with, what they need help with, and come up with a plan to support them as individuals. Remember that one size doesn’t fit all so take the time to talk to each employee one-on-one or at least do a survey. Demonstrate you care by listening and asking great questions.

2. Create Meaningful Work

While all work isn’t necessarily meaningful, make sure your employees understand how their assignments and role fits into the larger picture of the company. Make sure they know why something is being done and what goal is being served. Make sure they stay connected to the vision of where the company is going and the impact you’re having on the world around you. And help them grow – that is meaningful at its core to them.

3. Reskill Your Employees on the Basics/Emotional Intelligence

While we can’t control what the future world of work will look like, make sure you’re providing your employees with opportunities to grow and develop crucial, transferrable skills like emotional intelligence. As technology continues to shift the landscape of our world, we know people are going to matter more than ever. Make sure you’re supporting your employees to become better, more empathetic humans.

To learn more about our 3-hack system to guarantee workplace success, click here to read our recent blog.

As an employer, you’ve got to figure out how to help your employees relieve workplace stress. It costs you too much in terms of lost labor, employee turnover, and poor productivity to continue to allow your employees to fight it out on their own.

Need some help? Reach out to us to schedule an exploratory call with one of our experienced coaches!

5 Steps to Keep the Multi-Generational Workplace Human

With the increased digitization of our businesses, it’s easy for employees to start feeling isolated and forgotten, like they just don’t matter. Where we previously had to pick up the phone or walk across the office if we wanted to talk to one another, now we can communicate with just a couple keystrokes. Where co-workers previously spent all day sitting in adjacent cubicles, now team members can be spread across the city, country, or even the world.

While technology has allowed us to work faster and more efficiently, it’s also contributed to higher levels of stress and anxiety among workers. Because as technology has changed the way we work, we’ve kind of forgotten the most important element: the people.

So if you care about keeping your humans happy (and you should because happier employees are more productive and successful at work) make sure you’re taking these five steps to keep your multi-generational workplace human:  

Communicate Like a Human

We have the power of speech for a reason: to communicate! So instead of texting your employees, actually pick up the phone and call them (yes, even your Millennial and Gen Z employees). Or better yet, drop by their desk and have a real conversation complete with facial cues and body language. Yes, it’s inefficient and yes, it might not be the most productive use of time, but real human communication is essential to forming better relationships and bridging the gap in the multi-generational workforce. Which brings me to my next point:

Face Time Not FaceTime

You’ve got to encourage your people to have meaningful face-to-face interactions. That means coming out from behind the computer screen and planning regular in-person meetings, going to lunch, or grabbing coffee together. As a boss or manager, one of the most valuable things you can do is plan one-on-one meetings with each of your employees. And when you’ve met with them all, go back and start over again.

Provide Individualized Mentoring for Career Success

One thing we hear over and over again from the young Millennial and Gen Z employees we coach and train is that they want personalized mentorship from their bosses and managers. They don’t want to feel like just another cog in the machine. They want individualized support to help them learn, grow, and achieve their career goals. As we previously discussed, mentoring and coaching is the new leadership development training. So make sure you’re giving all your employees the right support and not just a one-size-fits-all solution.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Work is a big part of our lives. But it’s not our whole life. So encourage your employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Don’t give them grief if they ask to leave early to catch their kid in a school play or need to come in late because their dog got sick. If they’re not feeling well, tell them to stay home and rest even if you’re in the middle of a big project. Tell them to have a great vacation and actually mean it. Respect your employees enough to trust that the work will still get done.

Show You Care

Our #1 tip for keeping the multi-generational workplace human? Show your employees you care. Take an interest in their lives. Ask how their weekend was, how their spouse is doing, what their kids are up to. And then actually listen to the answers. Say “Thank You” and “Good Job!” Get to know them as people and demonstrate that you really care.

 

Keeping the workplace human in the age of technology isn’t hard. It just takes conscious effort and systems that are designed to encourage it. If you’re struggling to provide a human workplace that keeps your employees engaged, reach out to us. We’ve developed systems and frameworks you can implement in your multi-generational organization to make sure you’re meeting the needs of your people. Click here to schedule a discovery call with one of our high-performance coaches!

Coaching and Mentoring is the New Leadership Development Training, But How Do You Create That System?

In our launchbox laboratory, we’ve had the pleasure of training and coaching more than 12,000 millennial and Gen Z employees – the workers of the future. And one thing we’ve noticed from working with this group? They want mentoring and coaching on-demand. Not old school leadership development training and conferences. They are hungry to learn, but they want it on their terms.  And they want you to really show them all the rules and systems.

As a business owner or manager, it’s your job to turn your organization upside down, listen to what your people want, and then give it to them. Start now and understand that if coaching and mentoring is the new leadership development training (and we think it is!) how do you give your employees more of what they want and less of what they don’t want?  And, under terms they will understand and be able to adopt with the new training?

Allow Them to Seek Out Their Own Mentors

You may have your own coach or training program that resonates with you. Which is great. But don’t expect that what works for you will work for everyone on your team. Yes you should send them to conferences and workshops you believe will benefit them. But if your employee comes to you about an event they’d like to attend, let them. Trust me, your people are smarter than you probably give them credit for. If they’re self-motivated enough to find a mentor they like and want to learn from, the best thing you can do is have their back. Give them what they think they need to crush performance for you. And then get out of the friggin’ way!

Embrace On-the Spot Coaching in the Workplace

Do you keep a mental checklist of all the things you want to talk to your employees about at their next performance review? Here’s a radical idea: instead of saving your feedback for a formal review, embrace on-the-spot coaching. If one of your people does something wrong or something you don’t like, correct them right there and then. Don’t wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar. And if they do something you DO like, make sure you tell them about it! Don’t keep it a secret!

Make Space for Personal Development During the Work Day

Did you know that the average worker only has only 24 minutes per week to learn something new? That’s a new skill, new technology, or new tools for their own development. So as a boss, help them out. Rather than leaving it up to them to get the mentoring and coaching they need outside of work, allow space for it during the workday. If they need to leave a little early to go to their networking group or if they can only do calls with their coach at 1pm on Wednesdays, let them. Don’t just tell them you care about them and have their back, show them!

Develop a Practice of Open and Transparent Communication

You owe it to your people to be honest with them not only about their current job performance, but about their career goals too. If you know that one of your employees eventually wants a management position or that they’d like to move to a new team or department, be transparent with them about what it’s going to take to get there and help them if you can. Yes, even if that means they may eventually leave you. When you demonstrate that you care and you show up for people in the way that they need, they’re going to want to give you their best for as long as they’re with you.

 

Want help providing coaching and mentoring opportunities for your employees? Reach out to us – we can help! And if you’re local in San Diego, send your team to one of our upcoming Strengths & Story workshops.

Coaching and Teaching Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Why it Matters and How to Achieve Success!

IQ, AQ, SQ, EQ…there are so many acronyms that get thrown around in business. And, yes, when it comes to developing the high performing worker of the future, the one you most need to know is EQ, which stands for emotional intelligence.

According to the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is one of the top ten most in-demand skills listed by employers. It even beat out such stalwart skills as negotiation and service orientation. And there’s a reason why emotional intelligence is ranked so highly – in this changing world of work where technology and automation are rapidly shifting the landscape around us, people who can connect with themselves and connect with others will win. 100% guaranteed.

But before we dive into the increasing importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace and how you coach it in your employees, we need to first start by defining it.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Generally speaking, EQ or emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and those of others. The term was created by two researchers, Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, and later popularized by a book of the same name by David Golemon.

According to Golemon, there are five components that make up a person’s emotional intelligence:

-Self-Awareness

-Self-Regulation

-Internal Motivation

-Empathy

-Social Skills

These five components work together to determine how you relate to yourself and others. Some people are naturally predisposed to score higher on assessments that test components of emotional intelligence, while others struggle to relate.

But one of the great things about emotional intelligence is that it can be developed and increased. It’s not a fixed data point. With the right tools and strategies, you can increase your skills and “xFluence” those around you to do the same.

Why Does Emotional Intelligence Matter?

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. Technology is rapidly advancing and things like A.I., machine learning, automation, predictive analytics, and more are forcing our work to change and evolve. According to The McKinsey Global Institute, as many as 375 million people around the world will need to change occupational categories by 2030 due to automation

So what does that mean for us? It means we need to increasingly focus on the human element: the worker of the future! Research proves that since the beginning of time and forever, it’s the people that will matter in this new world of work and we need to find a way to make them more human. Success requires new skills that teach all employees how to actively connect with themselves and own who they are so they can connect with and manage those around them. It’s the only way.

How Do You Coach Emotional Intelligence?

If emotional intelligence will matter more than ever in the future, how do you develop it in the employees you have now? How do you coach them to be their best selves so they can show up and crush it for you at work?

First, you’ve got to find a way to connect. HACK 1: Start by turning your organization upside down and finding out who your employees are and what they need from you. When you listen, when you look for opportunities to form a connection, and when you model that behavior in everything you do, you will xFluence those around you to do the same.

Next, encourage self-awareness by creating a safe workplace environment free from politics and bs. Support your employees in being vulnerable and sharing their truth. They have to be able to connect to who they are inside to be able to connect to others – including your customers. Encourage your employees to get vulnerable and do the work of increasing their own self-awareness.

Finally, put in the really hard work and engage in workplace mentoring and coaching. Obviously to do that, you have to first invest in yourself to increase your own emotional intelligence. But if you do enough work on yourself, you’ll soon be able to identify where those around you are struggling. Coach and mentor them on the spot. Today’s employees relish constructive feedback delivered in an informal manner so don’t wait for your next quarterly review to offer advice!

Doing the work to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace is simple but it isn’t easy. And it’s especially not easy when you have a whole team of people that needs improvement if your company is going to make it.

That’s where we come in. Click here to schedule your free introductory coaching session with us today. We offer both individual and team coaching to help you succeed in the future world of work.