Ideas to Inspire Your EXTRAORDINARY
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Almost everyone that I know looks forward to the holidays despite our favorite complaints that we gladly share in commiseration with others - the impossible to please mother-in-law, the sibling's know-it-all spouse, the over-bearing Dad, the out of control nieces and nephews. Despite the hustle and bustle, these months contain our happiest days of each year, according to the research of Matt Killingsworth, founder of Track Your Happiness.
So if we are our happiest selves during the holiday season, what can employers extract from this knowledge and use in the workplace to gain the quantifiable business benefits of happiness [Forbes, 2017]? I offer you three suggestions on infusing your culture with holiday spirit throughout the year and taking your employee experience from ordinary to EXTRAORDINARY.
1 - Express Appreciation
Admit it. At one time or another, we all have done the Michael Scott math when giving and receiving gifts. And when it comes to feeling appreciated, your employees do this math too. Adopting a consistent and targeted practice of simple, genuine, and specific expressions of gratitude, positive feedback, and personal acknowledgment creates a culture in which people feel valued and directly connected to the success of the company. The payback for you - people who are willing to give more of their effort and intellectual capacity, which leads to tangible results such as customer loyalty and profitability.
2 - Reflect and Celebrate
Success is never one giant leap. There are always a series of progressive steps forward, be they big or small. Sometimes each step requires much effort and time. Waiting to celebrate success at the very end neglects opportunities to motivate and encourage those working incredibly hard to make progress happen. Taking stock of the "small victories" and coming together as a community to acknowledge our "wins" can give people the added motivation to maintain or increase their effort. An added benefit is the opportunity to identify and share best practices and avoid repeating previously identified mistakes and pitfalls.
3 - Emphasize Renewal
It is these rejuvenating effects and their mutually positive impact on productivity that have made vacation time a standard employee benefit. Despite this, research conducted by Project: Time Off reports that only 51% of employees fully utilize their vacation time. The most commonly cited reason is perfectly captured in this Dilbert cartoon.
Here's the reason you want to be a leader in bucking this trend. Project: Time Off reports that employees at companies that encourage vacation use are much happier with their jobs as compared to those who work at places where either vacation is discouraged or managers are ambivalent about taking time off. Be cautioned, however. Words alone are insufficient to create this kind of cultural change. Companies need to delve into and dismantle the indirect cues that often hold more significant sway with employees and implement broader changes in policies and practices to create a new cultural norm.
Additionally, vacations can be more enjoyable when you use my friend Shay Evans, Cruise Planners of Louisville, to help you plan the perfect getaway. Her knowledge and access to special deals, not to mention having a go to person while you are on vacation if something goes awry, is a free gift to yourself.
There you have it, three ideas for creating holiday happiness in your company all year. I wish you and your families a safe and peaceful holiday. I will be back in the new year with more ideas to Ignite Your Extraordinary!
I have an addiction to audiobooks. I listen while cooking, cleaning, exercising, and more. My love of audiobooks began years ago when I spent many hours driving my daughter to sports competitions. So when The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum popped up on my recommendations, I couldn't resist making this story my companion for my Thanksgiving road trip.
This week I want to share a few insights that struck me, but first a quick refresher.
All of the characters whom Dorothy befriended were seeking traits they already possessed.
As I think about my role as a business coach, I am often like Dorothy. I'm a temporary visitor in someone else's company. My relationships with clients share the camaraderie and commitment demonstrated by Dorothy and her companions on their journey. I am like Oz, seeing the potential in others and giving them the confidence to let it shine. And every once in a while, I'm like Glenda the Good, offering knowledge or insight that turns possibility into reality.
It is no wonder that I love what I do and have made this my lifelong career. This Thanksgiving, I was reminded of my fortune in being able to continue a job that I love.
How do you relate to The Wonderful World of Oz? Are you on a quest in 2020? Whether you need a trusted thought partner, an infusion of confidence, or the magic of a fresh insight, I'd love to link arms and help you get there faster.
It's the final installment of my three-part Thanksgiving Meditation: Being Grateful, Expressing Appreciation, and this week, Living in Joy. I firmly believe that the energy we put into the universe returns to us, also known as the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life.
You can observe this in emotional transactions. When someone is angry and frustrated and speak to others in an attacking way, the majority of the time, the person they are attacking responds back in anger. Similarly, preschool teachers use calm and quiet tones to focus the class on their learning activity - calm invites calm.
For our purposes, we are attracting joy into our lives. Full transparency - this doesn't abolish anger, hurt, disappointment, and other negative emotions from our lives. Cultivating joy, however, gives us a greater resiliency in navigating the challenges of life.
MEDITATION 3: JOY
Merriam Webster dictionary defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” It is an internal state that comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are, and how you are.
Set a timer for 5 minutes (a fixed time allows you to focus without interrupting thoughts and ideas). Select one of the following visualization categories for your focus.
> What intentions fill you with joy?
> How do you want to show up each day?
> What resentment/negativity needs released?
> What boosts your self-esteem and fulfillment?
> How do you fill your life with positivity?
Intentions that fill me with joy:
Hopefully, you are returning this week after practicing your daily 5 minutes meditation on Being Grateful. If you are new, jump right in; there is not a right or wrong way to practice reflection. This 3-part series is simply a prompted meditation designed to help you establish a practice of acknowledging the positive energy and influences in our lives. So here we go. Still your mind, know your heart, and celebrate the cycle of giving and receiving in which you have participated.
MEDITATION 2: APPRECIATION
The meaning of appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. In other words, appreciation relates to being, not doing. It is about celebrating who other people are and how they show up.
We all tend to critically assess ourselves and others. Similar to the physician's model, we focus on identifying the problem or the flaw and fail to mention the more lengthy list of good things.
Don't forget to update me on how you are enjoying this meditation series by commenting here or on social media.
My friendships appreciation list:
For many of us, November is a month of reflection, an opportunity to count our numerous blessings on more than just Thanksgiving day. For the next few weeks, I offer you a series of simple meditations and invite you to still your mind, know your heart, and celebrate the cycle of giving and receiving in which you have participated.
MEDITATION 1: GRATEFULNESS
The meaning of grateful is feeling or showing appreciation for something done or received.
I am confident that this gratitude meditation will fill you with energy, happiness, and a sense of fulfillment. Please take a moment to share your experience by commenting here or on social media.
My statement of gratitude to all of you