Who do you wave at?

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My older brother recently bought a Jeep. When he was down for a visit, he let me take it for a spin. I’ll tell you, even when you’re an adult, you still feel cool when your big brother lets you drive his new set of wheels.

While we were driving, we met another Jeep on the road. “Watch this,” he said. “That person is going to wave at us.”

Sure enough, the person gave us a cheery wave when they drove past. Ever since he’d gotten the Jeep, other Jeep owners had started waving at him on the road. He knew none of them, but by virtues of his new vehicle, he’d entered a special club.

As humans, we strive to build communities with others. We want to find those who are like us and build a place to belong. And when we find those people, we go out of our way to connect, collaborate, share, and help one another. The logic goes, if I see that you are like me, I will help you because at some point I may need you to help me. This is the power of community.

The more we embrace the idea of finding and nurturing connections in our organizations, the stronger and better our teams will be. There is no driving force stronger than a group of people who feel like they are in it together.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What communities are you part of?
  2. What do you feel like when you are part of a community? What are the benefits?
  3. What can you do in your organization to build a stronger sense of community?

Taken for granted

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At one point I used to think everyone had the same type of imagination that I did. I took for granted that when someone else read a book, the words on the page disappeared and took the form of people, landscapes and events in their head just like in mine. It wasn’t until my husband informed me that this was not the case for him that I began to realize that the things I did naturally were not natural for others.

We do this all the time; forget that we and those around us have hidden skills. We can easily excel on tasks that others on our team would struggle with. And when we play to our strengths, it feels good. It makes winning easier.

Are you insatiable curious, organized, likeable, analytical, dependable, a risk taker, outspoken, determined, an optimist or a pessimist? There are jobs that are suited for each one of these traits and a hundred others.

The more we get to know the strengths we take for granted in ourselves and those hidden in our team members, the better we can do to align ourselves for success.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What do you do well that you may take for granted?
  2. What are some of the hidden skills of your team members?
  3. How can your team start aligning tasks to take advantage of these strengths?

Light up the sky

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Odds are this past week you had the chance to see some fireworks. Man, do we love them – the lights, the colours, the sounds. Unless you’re a nervous dog or a sleep deprived parent of a baby, fireworks are great.

What I think makes them so popular isn’t necessarily just the fireworks themselves, but the fact that they draw so many of us close in one place to see them. Like we used to huddle around fires in bygone days, we come together in the anticipation of the show. We like being part of something bigger than us. We like the feeling of community fireworks bring, even if just for a short time.

We’d do well to remember this in our workplaces too. What are you doing to bring people together? What promise are you offering to light up the sky with?

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. In the past, what “fireworks” brought you together with others while at work?
  2. What does it feel like to be come together as a community?
  3. What does your workplace offer to draw people close to one another?

Two and a half minutes

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While waiting in line for my caffeine fix this morning, the woman ahead of me ordered a sausage breakfast sandwich. The teller called back to ask if they had any sausage ready. “Two and half minutes,” their co-worker replied. The woman shook her head and said she couldn’t wait and ordered the bacon version instead.

I get it, we’re busy. I probably wouldn’t have waited the two and half minutes either. I was already running late.

Two and a half minutes is 150 seconds. Doesn’t seem like much. Seems okay to sacrifice sausage for bacon.

But what else do we sacrifice for the sake of saving 150 seconds?

In two and a half minutes we can offer a helping hand to someone who is frustrated. We can build a stronger connection by listening to a personal story. We can recognize someone’s hard work, talent or dedication. We can ask a question to gain clarification rather than just assuming we know. We can discuss the connection between a project and the bigger picture. We can throw around some new ideas and ways of thinking.

Turns out you can gain a lot in two and half minutes.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Last week, where would two and half minutes have made a difference?
  2. Where will you try to improve your work or relationships through two and half minutes this week?
  3. What can you do as a team/organization to build a culture where people take the extra time to build stronger connections and do better work?

Don't fear conflict

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Whether it be with your spouse, kids, boss or co-worker, conflict is something that most of us dread. And for good reason; we usually don’t handle it well. Our go-to resolutions like the silent treatment, passive-aggressiveness or anger aren’t much in the way of actual resolutions.

Why do we fear conflict so much? Conflict is a necessity of progress and innovation. We can’t have change without some amount of conflict.

Most of our fear around conflict stems from two reasons: we’re afraid of being wrong, and we’re afraid of the other person being mad at us because we’ve proved them wrong.

We see conflict as forcing someone to be wrong. And let’s face it, no one likes to be wrong. It hits the ego hard.

What if we looked at conflict not as proving anyone wrong, but simply as a mechanism for growth? As a tool to better understand ourselves and others.

If we end up in conflict with someone it just signals to us that we need to slow down and take the time to communicate more with one another.

To do this, we must be willing to:

  • Be open
  • Ask open-ended questions and listen to the answers
  • Examine our own beliefs, values and knowledge
  • Change ourselves if necessary
  •  Help others if they ask for it
  • Give ideas and solutions that benefit not just ourselves
  • Put forth effort and energy for positive outcomes

Conflict isn’t going anywhere, nor should it. The opposite of healthy conflict is stagnation. So, we better get better at handling it.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What’s your go-to way to handle conflict? How well does it serve you?
  2. What can you do to change how you view and handle conflict?
  3. What can you do as a team to encourage more healthy conflict?

Finding the right word

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Words are powerful. They provide meaning, inspiration and influence. Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 

Many words we use without a second thought to where they came from; words that play integral roles in our daily lives.

Company is one of those. I work for this company. You work for that company. We do business with the company over there.

But where did the word company come from? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word originates from the Old French word compagnie meaning “society, friendship, intimacy; body of soldiers.” It stands for companionship.

This makes sense even today. The best companies stay true to the original meaning of the word. They are places where employees find belonging with their co-workers and leaders, they trust and help one another, and they fight for something; they have purpose.

A company was never just a place where business is done.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What does your company do to help employees feel like they belong? What can you do more of?
  2. What have you done in the last week to help a co-worker?
  3. What can you do more of to help people feel like they have a sense of purpose?

The Clean Slate Illusion

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It’s not just about now.

There’s no such thing as living in the moment. We bring a lot of baggage with us to every interaction we’re part of.

Some of it we are conscious of, but much of it subconsciously affects how we think and act.

If you want to positively impact your interactions with others, be aware of the luggage you bring, as well as the possible luggage of those around you.

Examine your own feelings to see if the past may be colouring your actions in a way that isn’t beneficial. If you think someone is acting in a way that doesn’t fit with present expectations, consider exploring if there is something else going on with them that may be affecting their behaviour.

You may not know what other people have packed in their bags, but simply understanding that there is usually more depth to the moment than just today can go a long way to improving relationships.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Explain a time when past experiences influenced your behaviour with someone.
  2. What can you do to be more in control of how your “luggage” impacts your interactions?
  3. What can you do to be more aware of how other people's “luggage” impacts their interactions?

Why empathy isn’t great

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Empathy is a big buzzword in business right now. Every day we hear about empathetic leaders and teams striving to gain a new edge by tapping into our humanity.

And this is good news. Empathy is an important skill that we should all strive to develop and use. When we can see things from another person’s perspective, it allows us to strengthen relationships in good times and deal with conflict and disagreements in a way that doesn’t destroy them in bad times. Empathy is integral to building the trust that good teams and organizations thrive on.

But empathy does have downsides. First, it’s exhausting. Asking people, especially leaders who must interact with a many people every day with different beliefs, backgrounds and personalities, to constantly put themselves in other people’s shoes is mentally draining. There is only so much in our empathy reserves to draw from until we become drained. And an emotionally drained leader is not a good leader.

Second, empathy doesn’t come innately to everyone. It is a skill that can be developed, but some people have more natural capacities to build on than others. While we can all learn to be more empathetic, we may never be able to fully master it to the degree where it becomes second nature.

There is something other than empathy that we can bring into our workplaces that can be just as useful (if not more) without mentally draining people and that requires little skill or natural ability.

It’s compassion.

Whereas empathy requires us to feel what the other person is feeling and share in their emotions, compassion just requires us to feel for that person and have a desire to help them.

Compassion becomes more useful in building relationships because it’s possible to talk to someone who is experiencing something you’ve never experienced before, but still want to help them. Not having to actually suffer from the effects of negative emotions also allows you to maintain the energy necessary to give the best support.

Where empathy can be debilitating, compassion is uplifting. Studies have shown that compassion may lead to more positive interactions and more eagerness to help others in comparison to empathy.

So, the next time you’re struggling to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – don’t. Stay in your own shoes and put out your hand to help them instead.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Discuss a time you showed empathy and a time you showed compassion. How were they different?
  2. How could compassion be beneficial to your team?
  3. How can you encourage more compassion in your organization/team?

Who do you want on your team?

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Who’s the best person to have on a team?

Is it the person with all the skills?

Is it the person with the silver-tongue?

Is it the person filled with knowledge?

Is it the person who knows everyone?

While all these people can be valuable components of a team, the best person to have on a team is the one who can move it forward, rather than holding it back.

This is the person who listens and asks questions to draw out more information and ideas.

This is the person who makes others feel they are heard and have influence on the team.

This is the person who doesn’t shy away from conflict but brings it into the light in a respectful way and uses it to fix the shortcomings of the team.

This is the person who is open to differing opinions and is eager to build on the ideas of others.

This is the person who brings a positive attitude to the team.

The best person to have on a team isn’t the person with the most talent and know-how, it is the one who can see the unique value in their team members and draw it out for the benefit of all.

The only question you need to answer is, is this you?

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Think of a team you were part of that didn't work well together. What issues influenced this? 
  2. Think of a team you were part of that did work well together. What issues influenced this?
  3. What can you work on to be the team member that moves your team forward?

Strong leaders are kind leaders

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What makes a great leader?

We could list a hundred traits that a good leader has: vision, transparency, honesty, accountability, confidence, positive attitude, passion, communication skills, and the list goes on.

But a study by The Zenger Folkmam found one necessary trait that is usually left out of the leadership conversation but is crucial to leadership effectiveness and success.

The study tracked 51, 836 leaders and uncovered that those who expressed warmth were the most effective. Without the ability to be warm and kind, leaders were not seen as likeable and it severely reduced their ability to lead their teams well. This included building positive relationships, mentoring and coaching, encouraging cooperation and being a source of inspiration.

When a leader is kind, it improves trust, boosts employee health, increases creativity and reduces attrition.

There’s strength in kindness.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Being a leader is similar to being a parent, discuss how warmth and kindness impact these two roles.
  2. Describe a leader who has shown warmth and kindness, how did it impact you?
  3. How can leaders in your organization cultivate more warmth and kindness?

Leadership and lettuce

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh

When we think about leadership, we often think it is about getting stuff done. But leadership isn’t about what you do, it’s about what other people do. A leader’s job is not to complete tasks, but rather to create the right environment for tasks to be completed in.

This is done on two levels – company culture and individual needs.

Leaders craft the culture by showing what attitudes and behaviour are expected and allowed. They model the organization’s values and act as spokespeople for the mission and vision. Or they don’t. The overall culture of an organization will influence how committed employees are to one another and the organization, and how engaged they are with their work.

Leaders must also understand their team as individuals. They need to learn what makes them tick and work with them to ensure they have what they need to reach their full potential. Just as peppers have different needs than carrots, leaders must understand that their people are not one-sized-fits-all and adjust their approach accordingly.

When leaders tend to these two areas, everyone reaps the benefits.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. In your opinion, what are the responsibilities of a leader?
  2. What makes a leader “great”?
  3. What are the top three skills/abilities a leader should have?

How people tick

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If experience teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t change people. This is especially apparent in the workplace where we often work with people with different personalities, backgrounds, and goals.

While you might not be able to change people, you can influence them. Where logic and facts fail, we can affect change by understanding how people tick below the surface. Simple changes in your behaviour and actions can have surprising impacts on others.

Don’t have a great relationship with a co-worker, but it would make your life so much easier if you did? Ask them to do you a small favour that is simple for them to do. If we do something nice for someone, our brain convinces us that we must like that person because why else would we do it?

Want people to be excited about an upcoming change? Make sure that you look happy and excited whenever you talk about it. Humans mirror the emotions of those around them. If we see someone else smiling, we smile. If we sense someone is worried or upset, we start feeling the same. Also, when we are uncertain about something, we look to what other people are doing. If you are confidently discussing how good a change will be, people are likely to follow suit.

Need to have a difficult conversation with someone and are worried things might get tense? When you sit down, sit beside them, not across from them. It’s easier to be angry at someone the farther away they are, especially when there is a physical barrier like a table. Not only does being close make it harder to be angry, but it also creates a sense of being on the same team.  Sitting besides someone says we’re in this together.

Want to build stronger relationships and make people feel appreciated? Ask a question. And then another one. Not only does asking questions make you look interested and engaged, people feel like you’ve chosen them because of their knowledge and expertise.

Skill development is an important aspect of any job. Increasing your understanding of human behaviour and improving your people skills will not only impact your success at work, but your life as well.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Think of someone you've had difficulty working with in the past, what made it hard?
  2. Think of someone you've enjoyed working with in the past, what made it easy?
  3. What "people" skill (communication, relationship building, etc.) would you like to improve? Why?

Surprise and admiration

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P!nk is a singer who amazes fans with her high flying aerialist feats.

Robert Fiore is a tattoo artist who does his work at weddings.

Geovanny Valdez owns a Brooklyn bodega and runs a radio station out of the basement that brings the community together.

Edgar Paloma is a nurse at a children’s hospital that uses his white board art to bring light and cheer into his small patients’ days.

Kareem Wells is a hip-hop artist who is also well-known as the King of the Mitzvahs.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all probably been to a circus before. Cirque du Soleil has been amazing people with their modern version of the circus for decades now. I once heard that what people love about the circus is the mixture of surprise and admiration it brings to audiences.

P!nk, Robert, Geovanny, Edgar and Kareem have all found a special way of bringing an outside passion and talent into their work in a way that no one else can replicate. They’ve brought surprise and admiration to it. This is a magic we are all capable of creating.

As P.T. Barnum once said, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Who is someone you know who brings a unique spin to the work they do?
  2. What outside passions or abilities do you have?
  3. How could you potentially apply these to the work you do? What impact would it have?

Dig deeper

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“What’s your story?”

While on vacation a few weeks back, this was the question one of our trainers asked as many people as she could – other travelers, hotel staff, restaurant servers, tour guides. She wanted to know what their lives were like beyond the mere transaction, underneath the “Hello”, “How can I help you?” and “Nice weather, isn’t it?”.

The response she had was always the same: people were surprised to be asked, but happy to share about their lives. And most of all, they were pleased someone wanted to know about them.

We’re all the same in the end, we like people to be interested in us. We feel good in the glow of the spotlight, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable at first.

It isn’t just a question for strangers either – co-workers, bosses, friends, parents, children – we all have stories we keep tucked away until someone takes the time to care enough to ask.

Not only does this simple question make people feel special, but it helps us get to know others on a deeper level. It’s an exercise that allows us to build our people skills. We gain a better understanding of why other people think and act in certain ways and the different things that motivate us. This helps us learn how to interact with all kinds of people to build stronger relationships.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It’s not the length of life, but the depth.” If you take the time to dig a little deeper with others, you never know what you’ll uncover. And at the very least, you’ll have made someone feel special.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. When was the last time you had an inside-look at someone else’s life? How did this impact your relationship?
  2. When was the last time someone truly asked you about your own life? How did it feel?
  3. How can you commit to learning more about others?

What fuels you?

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Want to know the secret to motivation?

You already know the answer, there isn’t one.

Whether it’s motivating your kids to get ready in the morning, pushing a team towards the finish line of a project, or tackling your own work, motivation is personal.

While there are some things that motivate all of us, by and large, motivation is not one size fits all. Many factors contribute to fueling our desire to get work done.

Time of day, mood, reason for the work, skills and abilities, confidence and more, influence what we bring to the table.

When it comes to motivating yourself, take some time to see what’s happening when you are doing your best work, and what’s going on when you’re stuck in a rut. Isolating what factors contribute to your own motivation can help you replicate them more regularly.

Being motivated not only helps you do great work, it makes you feel great too.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. How do you feel when you are motivated? And when you are not motivated?
  2. When was the last time you were truly motivated? What factors contributed to your motivation?
  3.  What can you actively do to feel more motivated on a daily basis?

 

Before you become a leader

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1. Understand your job is no longer about tasks – it’s about people.

Before becoming a leader, your performance is judged based upon how well you do your job. When you are a leader your performance is judged upon how well you get other people to do their jobs. That’s a big difference.

2. Be ready to not be liked.

Eric Geiger said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Go sell ice cream.” There will be times when you must deal with conflict and make unpopular decisions. That’s okay. You may not always be liked, but you can always act in ways that maintain trust and respect.

3. Be prepared to be disappointed.

There will be times when people don’t do the things you expect. There will be times when you don’t live up to your own expectations. Leadership comes with disappointments. Learn the lessons and move forward.

4. Be ready to change.

To be a good leader, you need to constantly be open to learning and changing for the growth of your team. Leadership is about being a student of human nature – personalities, communication styles, motivation, conflict, appreciation, etc. To be a leader is to always be learning.

5. Have a vision.

Leaders paint a picture of the future for their teams, so they understand what they are working for and what they need to do to get there. A leader needs a clear image of where they are going.

6. Play dumb – you probably are.

If you hired competent people, trust they know what they are doing. Take a step back and allow them to give input and have a role in making decisions that directly impact their work. They hold more knowledge than you may think, take the time to listen.

7. Know how to give recognition.

Appreciation and recognition are the most underutilized tools of leadership. Don’t underestimate the impact just a small amount of recognition can have on your team. Learn how to give proper recognition as soon as you can and be generous doling it out.

8. Care.

This can’t be said enough. A good leader cares about the people they are leading – professionally and personally. They see their potential for greatness and do their best to provide opportunities and remove obstacles to help them realize it. They care about making their people feel like they belong, are appreciated and are living lives they are proud of.

Being a leader isn’t (and never was) about following rules or procedures or the latest leadership craze.  It is simply about serving those who believe enough in you to follow you. If you give to them, they will give to you.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Who was the best leader you've had in your life? They could be from work, school, a sports team, parent, etc.). What made them great?
  2. Who was the worst leader you’ve had in your life? What made them difficult to follow?
  3. What leadership attributes can you leverage for the benefit of your team? (Even if you don’t hold a leadership title, we can all benefit from more people taking an active role in the future of their teams.)

What are you saying?

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Communication is a skill that transcends industry. It doesn’t matter what job you have – you need communication skills. Forget even about using it for work, communication is a life skill. Whether speaking with a spouse, parent, child or trying to get an answer from a customer service rep on the phone, how well you communicate will heavily influence your outcome.

And yet we ignore the importance of communication. Once we learn the fundamentals – speaking, reading and writing – usually by the age of nine or so, communication training is largely ignored. Sure, you might learn how to write an opening paragraph for an essay or various English language lies like ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’, but these are trivial in the real world.

Far more important communication skills are left untaught, like how people gain more understanding from your body language and tone than any of your words, how your emotions largely dictate your message, how your interpretation of someone’s words can be completely different from their intent, or that you should rarely ever use the “Reply All” function for emails.

Communication is the backbone of all our relationships.  If you want to make a drastic positive impact on your life at work and home, dedicate time to improving your communication skills.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. Describe an instance in the last week when you could have communicated differently to have a more positive outcome?
  2. What is one thing about your communication that you could improve?
  3. How could you as a team/organization promote better communication skills in your team/organization?

Be the best in your shoes

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The beauty of human beings is that we are all unique. Our diverse talents, skills and experiences provide an unlimited source of ideas and executions of those ideas. We've all traveled different paths.

While Einstein didn’t actually say it, the quote: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” is no less true.

The more we can do to promote our individuality – rather than forcing everyone in the same box – the more innovative and competitive our organizations will be, and the happier employees will be.

Gone are the days when having everyone do the same things the same way is an advantage. Now it’s our differences that give us the edge.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What talents, skills or experiences do you bring to your team that no one else does?
  2. How can you use those differences to elevate the performance of the team?
  3. What can you do as a team/organization to encourage more people to feel comfortable sharing/using what makes them different?

Culture isn't always fun

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When we think of great cultures, we think nice digs, free snacks in the kitchen, massages at lunch and dogs at work. We think of excited, inspired people having fun at work.

But you know what? A strong culture is awesome, but it isn’t always fun.

Building and maintaining a healthy culture is difficult, dirty, uncomfortable work. This is the reason every workplace doesn’t have one.

It’s having the tough conversations when expectations don’t meet reality.

It’s letting short term opportunities pass us by because they don’t align with our values for the long term.

It’s admitting when we haven’t kept up our end of the bargain or simply don’t know what to do next.

It’s putting the needs of others before our own.

A great culture is feeling comfortable admitting a mistake. It’s being able to ask for help. It’s trusting that your co-workers (and the entire company) have your back. It’s being able to take a risk. It’s knowing you can speak up. It’s being able to have conflicting views and that’s okay.

A great culture isn’t stuff, and it doesn’t always feel good. But it’s worth it.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What does a great culture look and feel like to you?
  2. What is your team/organization currently doing to support a strong culture?
  3. What does your team/organization need to change to support a strong culture? How can you, as an individual, contribute?

The lamp, lifeboat and ladder

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We build strong cultures and successful companies by bringing out the best in each person. We all bring unique strengths, skills and vision to the team. When we are encouraged to put it all on the table with the contributions of everyone else, the potential for greatness is unlimited.

Each of us has the ability to help those around us achieve their potential. We can reach out a hand, offer a shoulder or provide a leg up to support one another.

In the wisdom of Rumi, here are three ways you can help those around you grow.

Be a lamp

Sometimes it can feel like we are all alone in the work we do. We can become lost and not know which direction to take in the dark. By choosing to be a lamp for someone, you can help point them in the right direction or provide meaning for the work they are doing.

Be a lifeboat

Work’s stressful. Life’s stressful. We all need someone to occasionally pull us from the current when we are treading water. Lend a helping hand. Offer a solution. Help solve a problem. Or spend a moment just genuinely listening.

Be a ladder

We rise by lifting those around us. When one of us takes a step forward, we all do. Give those around you a boost. Recognize hard work and accomplishments. Mentor someone. Be a strength advocate and leverage people’s unique abilities so they shine.

When we care about one another, we create an environment that allows us to be our best. In the end, fierce compassion is a powerful force. Harness some today.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. When has someone else been a lamp, lifeboat or ladder to you? How did it make you feel?
  2. How have you been a lamp, lifeboat or ladder to someone else in the past week?
  3. What can you do as a team/organization to encourage more people to be lamps, lifeboats or ladders in your team/organization?