“I care about being a good manager. But I’m just too busy with my real job to deal with everyone’s needs.”
If that sentence resonates with you, I have bad news…
The bar for what is expected of managers in 2021 and going forward has officially been raised. In previous years we lauded “leaders”; developing acceleration and visibility-enhancing programs for people who already held positional authority. Management was viewed as less glamorous. Now–and thankfully so–effective and inclusive managerial practices and expectations are being centered. Now, likely more than ever, managers of people are being spotlighted for the unique and incredibly important role you play in so many aspects of your organization’s systems and practices. YOU are the glue, the enabler, the doer, and the first and most consistent point of contact for almost every aspect of your organization.
Take just one of the many roles that...
I'm sure you have a million things on your mind. There are so many things happening at once. Some folks are just now starting to settle into virtual routines, others are moving from one physical location to another to allow for deep cleaning and preparation for larger groups, and some are actively planning your re-entry strategy. In addition to just keeping up with all of the expectations associated with planning, many people have been expressing to me how just doggone tired we are. I'm tired, too.
So for those of you who, like me, are feeling exhausted, I want to share 4 simple Cs to remember as you communicate: 1) Clarity, 2) Consistency, 3) Care and 4) Continuity. Though they sound pretty straightforward, I encourage you to think about how you can use simple structured approaches to help make your lifting lighter. Read on to get some ideas.
Be clear about what is happening, even when you’re not certain about all of the details. This is particularly...
In reference to the Coronavirus pandemic, I keep hearing "new normal” this and “new normal” that. When I listen carefully to what people are saying, I often agree with their point--things have shifted, and fast. But the language of “new normal” implies permanence; exactly what we don’t want to apply to this current and temporary crisis. Language is powerful. It affects how we view and make meaning of things that are happening around us. It also colors the way others perceive these experiences. So, I would like to propose some alternatives for “new normal”:
1. Reframe the way you are processing this situation. Yes, it’s filled with fear, uncertainty, loss, and grief. However, we can’t get swallowed up by those things. We can also look for the gifts. For example, the outpouring of kindness and generosity demonstrated over the last few weeks has been amazing. This is particularly powerful in the wake of what has been...
This is week 3 for many of you. This Monday marks the beginning of the third week of living and interacting in a very new reality. You have likely, in weeks 1 and 2, made sure that your employees have access to the internet at home, know what shared tools will be used to communicate, and assigned short-term projects that can be completed away from your typical work environment. You have also, hopefully, exhaled.
In parallel, this is also the week when many are starting to experience personal losses due to the Coronavirus of family or friends. If this is the case for you, please know that I extend my heartfelt condolences.
In the midst of all that has happened and is happening, I encourage you to focus your energy with the end in mind. What do we want to be the experiences, the lessons learned, the triumphs that we take from this difficult time?
You've already learned that working from home takes a very different type of energy. As we are transitioning to virtual, many of us are...
Here we are, the beginning of Week 2. I know that the Coronavirus has been around longer than 2 weeks, but last week was, for many people in the U.S., the beginning of what has now become a massive shut down of our schools, businesses, and life as we’ve known it. Every day there are new restrictions the timeframe for them extended.
I’ve been talking to people from coast to coast about making tough decisions, communicating during crisis, and centering issues of equity and our shared values. In the midst of all the conversations about taking care of others, I want to insert a reminder to take care of yourself.
Your sense of personal well-being might be comprised right now. You may be concerned about:
The past few weeks have been tough. You have likely been consumed with deliberations on what to do about the coronavirus. With the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic and President Trump’s recent travel restrictions, anxiety seems to be only on the rise.
Many of you are making tough but considerate choices to cancel large gatherings and close facilities. I know you, like us, are worried not just about immediate health concerns but also implications for employees who will feel the very real repercussions of these decisions. I don’t have the magic answer. We are living through this real-time with you. However, I do want to take this moment to share a couple reminders.
1. Show up as the leader you want to be.
When we are stressed and adrenaline is racing through our bodies, our natural response is to avoid pain or uncertainty. As leaders, take this moment to center yourself, reconnect with your intentional leadership philosophy, and show up as helpful,...
Have you ever been worried you're using outdated words to describe people and groups? Are you concerned that it may impact your client and professional relationships? Perhaps even offend someone?
Language sends a strong message to our colleagues, especially given the current level of public calling out of people for using words that are perceived as offensive or dated.
Inclusive managers are encouraged not to make assumptions about language preferences across groups, even within your group.
What is inclusive language? Inclusive language is communication that avoids using words, expressions or assumptions that exclude people across gender, language, culture, religion, race, ability, family structure, marital status, sexuality, origin, class and/or organizational classification.
Why do we use inclusive language?
Being intentional with our words conveys a genuine effort to truly see and honor people in a way that is most appropriate for them. It is an attempt to address the...
Growth happens in small doses. Does this sound familiar: It’s the fourth quarter and you’ve been working long days and weekends to complete performance evaluations for all of your direct reports. You are trying to capture—heck, sometimes even remember—all of the high (and low) points of the year. The expectation is that you document your employees’ achievements and areas for improvement for delivery during a “performance meeting”.
You come to the meeting nervous about how each person will handle the input; whether you’ve described it in ways that lead to learning.
Your employees, on the other hand, come to the same meeting often feeling disempowered or vulnerable. They may even express confusion or frustration with some of your comments, citing your own limited understanding or access to their work. Each person leaves the meeting feeling thankful that it’s over. The appropriate paperwork is submitted to HR. And we begin again,...
“To what extent are we willing to push people into, what I like to think of as productive discomfort, in this work? Are you we going to water things down so we can, at least, get people to the table? Are we just going to call it equity and put it off to the side? Or are we going to dig in and say no, decolonization, white supremacy, oppression? Where are we going to fall on that as a group? And if it means that some folks say hey, I'm out that's not for me, maybe we take that chance... some folks said when they first entered into this work they thought that the equity conversation was supposed to be a side conversation, it wasn't supposed to be a center conversation...but I think for me, I would not continue to be a part of this conversation if equity weren't a central part of the conversation.” - April Hathcock, virtual group debrief, May 21, 2019
To read more about April’s reaction to the meeting read her blog post
Expectations of leaders...
“The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference”
-Elie Wiesel, writer, professor, political activist, Holocaust survivor
I often tell people, “If you want to influence people to do something for you, you have to start by having a clear ask.” Well, I want white people to stand up, en masse, and end racism. I know it’s a bit of audacious of me, but hell, being called audacious is the least of my concerns right now.
I, as a black woman, have been working my tail off for years to end racism and every other form of oppression. I won’t stop doing my work, but let’s keep it real. I can’t end racism.
I need white people, people with white privilege, to exercise that privilege—in the service of ending racism. Now is the time to stand up, take a deep breath, anchor to your values, push through the fear, and find the courage to dismantle the system of racism that benefits you and greatly oppresses the rest of us.
So, what is race?