by Rachel Strauss
A friend of mine was going through a period of hardship, battling mental health issues while trying to balance all the other aspects of her life. She confided in me that she needed to take an absence from work because, as she declared to me, “her mental health matters.”
This struck me as emotional, eye-opening, and courageous...to have the awareness to be able to recognize exactly what she needed at that moment. Taking care of yourself should always be a top priority, although life often gets in the way. The tricky part is how to accomplish taking control of those priorities.
Here are Four Tips on How to Prioritize YOU and Prevent Burnout:
1. Create Boundaries
One of the most important factors in prioritizing yourself is creating boundaries in every setting, especially those you spend most of your time on, such as work. Some of these boundaries might include separating work and personal life. By doing so, you will ensure the two do not overlap and you are still given the “personal space” you need. By setting a specific time and creating a ritual to end the workday is another boundary that can help prevent overworking and allow more time for other activities. By creating boundaries, you will allow yourself to not be over-consumed and feel refreshed going into each new day.
2. What Do You Need?
It is often a struggle to figure out what exactly you need to better or help yourself. It is said that the best advice-givers can never take their own advice. Self-care should be of the utmost importance in one's life practice, though we all know how easily that can fall off the tracks. Figuring out exactly what you need is difficult, though taking time off can be extremely beneficial to your mental health. With time off, you might open the door to exercising regularly, eating cleaner and feeding your body with nutrients, making sleep a priority, and straightening out priorities.
3. You are Not Alone
The National Institute of Mental Health states that one in every five adults experiences mental health struggles. Knowing you are not alone is important- there is always help available and people to talk to no matter the case. Some good resources for this might be a therapy support group or even reading blog posts on others' challenges and how they are handling their challenges.
4. Mindfulness Matters
The idea of mindfulness is to be completely aware of the present and surroundings. By being mindful of the present, you will have more awareness of how you are feeling at specific moments in time. Reduction of stress and increased relaxation are common outcomes of mindfulness. By paying attention to, and becoming one with your thoughts, you will lead yourself to a calmer, stress-free life.
Whatever it is we are looking to achieve, prioritizing ourselves, being mindful, and creating boundaries are the first steps. Being kind to yourself is so important. Ready to prioritize you?
Here we are, once again: the year-end sprint. A winning strategy to slay this season will help you not only survive, but make the most of the time you have to focus on everything for which you’re grateful, make memories, and strengthen the relationships in your life that you value most.
Here are eight things to keep in mind and cross off your list with the holiday crunch shifting into high gear:
1. BEGIN WITH YOUR BUDGET IN MIND – Set limits for holiday gifts, entertaining, decorations and activities and stick to them so that you are not facing a blue January when the bills come rolling in.
2. TAKE INVENTORY – Make a list of the people in your life whom you need to thank with a greeting card or something of monetary value, such as a gift card or present:
d. Service providers
3. SHOW SOME HEART – Not all gifts need to cost you big bucks. If you have baking skills, consider giving homemade cookies in a decorative tin. A dear friend once delivered to me homemade Irish cream in a beautiful glass decanter with a fancy, sparkling bottle top. It was one of the most thoughtful, glitzy and delicious gifts that I have ever received, and my family has the bottle now to refill ourselves and fondly remember the gift.
4. PEN YOUR THANKS – Take the time right now to write out personalized notes of gratitude related to 2021, and make sure they’re delivered by year-end.
The best gift that you can give those whom you appreciate is to speak your truth about the difference they have made in your life. If Covid taught us anything, it’s the importance of our relationships and our loved ones. Make this a priority and give the ultimate gift of connection…a genuine, kind word.
5. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE – Shopping this year is proving to be tricky, to say the least, with the supply chain being tested to the limit. Get out to your favorite local businesses—sooner rather than later—with shortages likely and finish your online shopping right away to allow for shipping time.
And a word to the wise: Get a few back-up gifts, such as bottles of cheer, boxes of fine chocolates, hand cream or other grab-and-go gifts for that last-minute someone who accidentally misses making your list or surprises you with a present.
6. BEAT THE RUSH AT THE POST OFFICE – Mail holiday cards and gifts with extra time to colleagues and loved ones, knowing that shipments will become slower and more costly the longer you wait, and many people leave town during the last week of December.
7. SCHEDULE SWEAT SESSIONS TO REDUCE HOLIDAY SEASON ANGST – We all can get anxious when we’ve heard Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” on the music channel one too many times. Anticipate that feeling now and plan times to work out. Who could be your walking buddy during the last couple weeks of December? Is there a favorite cardio class that you love but tends to book up fast? A sweat strategy could not be more important than during the season of caloric indulgence, high expectations, financial pressures, and stacked commitments.
8. BLOCK TIME TO SMILE OR YOU MAY FALL VICTIM TO YOUR TASKLIST – Schedule days to:
a. Prepare for the big days
b. Enjoy time with loved ones
c. Carry out a fun tradition, such as a New Year’s celebration with friends
d. Sit with your journal and a cup of hot cider to really be thoughtful about your lessons learned from 2021, resolutions for 2022, and commitments that could positively impact your life well-beyond the near-term
This high-speed holiday train is not stopping! Make the most of the remaining days of this year to enjoy the ride.
For a successful start in basketball, getting to the championship game starts back in the locker room, on the first day of practice, before you even lace up your shoes. Once the ball goes up in the air and the clock starts, victory hinges on what you bring to the game and whether you can unite the team.
Just like positions in basketball, when you are chosen for a management role – whether in your current company or a new one – you were picked because the “coaches” know you have the talent and capabilities necessary to help build a winning season.
Here are ten tips for a successful start with your new career move:
1. There’s No “I” In TEAM
Games can’t be won without support. Connections are everything in the fast-moving, often-isolated workforce of today. Develop a mindset that prioritizes networking because the need for allies, advocates and even favors is inevitable. What’s more, CEB says that companies now view “Network Performance” (“contributions to the performance of others”) as equal in importance to individual, task-based contributions. Even Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson to win his six NBA championships.
2. Jump Out Fast And Get Into A Rhythm
Be intentional about launching into your new role, and make meaningful connections quickly.
3. Preparation Is Paramount
Just like practicing skills on the court, day in and day out, and visualizing play execution before a game, read up on your new responsibilities, the state of the business, and the issues with which you’ll be faced before you set foot in your role. Identify the latest technologies, lines of thinking and trends related to the position so that you can be a leader within your organization and your industry.
4. Get Back On Defense
Regardless of whether you just scored or turned the ball over, get back on defense. Forget about any mistakes, and don’t slow down.
5. Keep The Ball Moving
by realizing that sometimes your teammates can help you score, even if you’re not always handling the ball. Identify who can fill voids to make positive moves that advance your team’s goals.
6. Celebrate Your Wins
and encourage your team members – it gives you strength, too! Expand your impact and results by cheering on those within your network, even if they’re not currently on your team.
7. See The Floor
Become aware of your organizational context, including the hierarchy of relevant stakeholders and patterns of influence. Seek to navigate these relationships for your benefit skillfully and achieve optimal team performance. Within almost every organization, people’s ability to do their work effectively is impacted by their relationships with other individuals, teams, and groups.
8. Identify Team Captains
and empower them with the ability to weigh in on important decisions. Place your focus on “opinion leaders” who can help influence and drive a positive and impactful culture.
9. Cross-Functional Collaboration
For athletes, cross-training is a great way to avoid burnout and build new strengths. Similarly, cross-functional collaboration can make you and your teammates more agile. It also generates creative ideas, such as new ways to meet business targets. Additionally, embracing and encouraging work-life balance is key to ensuring all team members reach their peak performance on the job.
10. Prioritize Health
Great players know that spending hours on the court requires fuel and rest; before and after…even the best players need time to recharge. In the past, taking on a new role often equated to over-indexing on work, with no balance or attention paid to health and well-being – not anymore! To be successful, prioritize your health, as well as the health of those around you. “Load management” isn’t code for lazy; it’s a recipe for success.
Remember that a game isn’t won with a single shot, and a season isn’t won in a single game…it takes sure footing along the way. For a successful start, executives amidst on-boarding manage their boundaries and leverage their networks to create mutual wins for all.
This article was originally published by The People Development Magazine: https://bit.ly/3p7W970
Coach Omar Linton was a legend in our town. He taught my boys about LIFE and happened to do so while teaching them the great game of basketball.
Omar also always took the time to be gracious to me, their mom. He stopped, he connected, and he built a relationship of trust and respect. Whenever I asked Omar how he was doing, his answer would steadfastly be, “I am so blessed, and I am grateful.” Omar Linton lived his life with the highest degrees of integrity, values and faith. As my boys would say, Omar was a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)!
For almost a decade, before he was called up to the big hoop game in the sky, Omar would work with my boys on the court. They would do drills and learn to focus, to defend, to dribble and to shoot. I loved overhearing the practice when I would come to pick up the boys. Omar would get into not just the fundamentals of basketball but also, and more importantly, the inner game of what was swirling in their heads. What were they thinking? What were their fears? What was holding them back? Where did they need to reframe their mindset and do some hard work on themselves?
According to Bob Anderson and Bill Adams in Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results:
We are always playing two games—an outer and inner game. The outer game of leadership consists of using all of our knowledge and experience, as well as our technical, managerial, and leadership competence, to accomplish results. The all-consuming outer game is obviously where most leaders spend most of their time, since the day-to-day requirements of the outer game are fierce and the learning curve is steep.
Most efforts to develop mastery in leadership focus on the outer game of competence with little focus on the inner game of consciousness. Yet what we hold in our consciousness tends to manifest, meaning that the inner game runs the outer game. Until we take a more balanced approach—one that evolves both the inner and outer game (consciousness and competence) simultaneously—we will falter in developing leaders at the accelerated pace required.
Omar understood the importance of balancing the outer game of competence with the inner game of consciousness, and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for imparting that priceless wisdom to my boys.
Omar left us on August 12, 2021, and we are all still reeling with shock and heartbreak. To see my boys achingly bid farewell to someone they loved and experience death for the first time was just tragic, even though it paled in comparison to the pain we saw in the eyes of Omar’s amazing family.
A beautiful tribute, even the service was planned to focus on the inner game and the importance of our mindset. At the service, we received a lovely note that Omar prepared. In it, he shared:
“….There are rocky roads ahead for you and many hills to climb,
Together, we can do it, taking one day at a time.
It was my philosophy, and please, I’d like for you to give unto the world
so the world will give to you.” -Levar Omar Linton
Coach, thank you for the inspiration that transcends death.
In your honor, we will lift each other up, and we will pay close attention to our inner game to play our best outer game. The photo of you hanging on our wall will forever remind us to do good and give all we can to this world. Your life was a slam dunk.
Build positive energy inside of you by focusing on what is right and good with every situation and every person
By Leigh Ann Errico, Executive and Team Coach at LAeRRICO & partners
Energy. AKA vibes. Why do interactions with some people infuse you with happiness while others drain your joy?
The answer is energy…it’s contagious. Energy transfers from person to person. You can choose to transmit good vibes—or if you’re not intentional about choosing, you may unintentionally steal others’ sunshine.
My teenage daughter talks about “vibes” and “vibing with people” all the time. This word takes the form of a noun and a verb in her friend orbit. When these younger people are getting along well, they say; “We vibe.” When things are not feeling right0000, I hear, “Oh, Mom…that is not the vibes!” There is something to this youthful interpretation of energy that is worth examining.
Developing and maintaining positive energy involves more than thinking happy thoughts. Shifting to positive vibes—positive energy—is a skill to be mastered. It requires the ability to see the possibilities that are available to you every day, with each interaction.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which relies on the importance of focusing on what is right and good with people and situations, is a strategy for organizational change that can also be harnessed on the individual level.
Appreciative inquiry devotes attention to strengths rather than weaknesses. According to David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney, “Appreciative Inquiry is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them…AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.”
In short, AI is about appreciating processes that already work well; envisioning how things might work well in the future; prioritizing those processes; and sustaining positive changes. Applying AI to our daily thought process can electrify us with positivity that makes those around us light up, as well.
At my gym, there are many different instructors who teach classes every hour, on the hour. There is one instructor named Trevor whose classes always have a sold-out waiting list (while classes taught by other instructors have plenty of availability). The difference? It’s how Trevor makes you feel. He smiles. He gives you a knuckle bump. He finds and highlights the positive in you. Then he teaches you how to be better. That grueling, one-hour sweat makes you want more.
The secret is not endorphins (otherwise, the class instructor would be irrelevant). The secret is Trevor’s thought process. We can all be a Trevor when we focus on the good.
Here are five tactics to manage your vibes and put positive energy out into the universe:
1.Start and end each day with gratitude
To shine when you rise and as you close out each day, jot down three things for which you are grateful in that moment. By focusing on what you have to be thankful for, you trigger a state of mind that generates contentment and joy.
2. Create positive energy, from the inside out
Movement, exercise, stretching and breaking a sweat—tending to the wellness of your body—is a sure way to feel good on the inside, which will be perceptible from the outside.
3. Schedule smiles into your days
Often times, we neglect that which sets our souls on fire. We are the hamster on the wheel, fighting the good fight to make a living and cover all of our responsibilities…but we forget that we are also responsible for our own happiness. Make a list of what makes you smile (Cuddling up in your favorite sweatshirt with a book? Enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend? Watching the sunset by the lake or ocean?) and then book those things into your schedule, just as you would a dental appointment.
4. Pause to power up
We tend to run from event to event, or Zoom call to Zoom call. There’s not enough buffer between appointments and obligations to reset, map out our next steps and envision positive outcomes to ensure that we are bringing the right energy into every interaction. The point is, always pause so that you can show up in a way that conveys your best and highest self.
5. Make eye contact to connect
Looking into someone’s eyes says more than words. How do you feel when someone stops what they’re doing and gives you eye contact when you’re speaking to them? When they don’t? Eye contact makes the difference between someone feeling priceless and feeling worthless. Get comfortable with eye contact and use this superpower to forge human connections, whether in-person or on Zoom calls. The energy transfer is immediate.
As author Emily Maroutian said, “When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you buy that experience…Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive…”
Focus on what is right and good with every situation and every person that you encounter, and positive energy will build inside of you as a result. Your good vibes will leave every person that you meet better off, and all the good things—from friends to opportunities—will be on YOUR waiting list.
Read the article on Thrive Global's site: https://bit.ly/3mF2C6I
These strategies can encourage leaders to make the most of difficult performance and other conversations–and enhance the greater good.
By: Leigh Ann Errico
At every level in the corporate world, there are dreaded responsibilities that are just part of the job. For many top executives, the tough conversations about performance and career trajectory have long fallen victim to procrastination, but connecting on a personal level is even more challenging now when a report is on the other side of a screen, rather than the other side of a desk.
With mid-year performance reviews upon us, here are the top four reasons why executives are apprehensive about this type of dialogue and what HR leaders can do to transform these tasks into opportunities:
1. They never received direct feedback themselves, so they don’t know what behavior should model such a discussion.
It really is surprising how few executives have been on the receiving end of a rave review. And some have never even taken part in an in-person performance review session, so they lack a picture of what one looks like–regardless of whether the report is great or grim.
AdvertisementHR executives can ease the pain by providing a tip sheet of phrases to open the conversation and transition between positive and negative feedback. For example, a manager could say, “There must have been obstacles to achieve all that you have; I’d love to take a moment to explore the challenges you’ve encountered and share some of my own observations.” Or, “We are all on our own developmental journey, and to that end, I’d like to share my thoughts on growth opportunities for you and hear your valuable perspective, as well.”
A short video role-play could also be created and shared with managers as a refresher before every season of performance reviews.
2. They do not properly prepare for review sessions.
Many leaders underestimate the time it takes to plan a meaningful feedback session and skip steps that are necessary to both understand and be understood.
HR leaders can help managers shape productive conversations by creating a one-pager that prompts them to think through one-on-ones well in advance. Consider including suggestions, such as:
HR leaders can relieve the understandable angst that comes with performance reviews by sending a company-wide memo before they begin to calibrate expectations. Key points include:
Let’s face it … in our time-crunched world, “What gets measured is what gets done” – and I might add “and gets done better!”
Most organizations do not assess how well their leaders facilitate performance reviews and help their reports map out their career trajectories. If HR executives push for their companies to tie this skill to compensation, improvement will come. For example, direct reports could rate multiple aspects of their performance reviews, and managers could receive bonuses that correspond with their average rating. Like magic, managers will pay more attention to their own performance during these exercises.
For the majority of executives, it’s human nature to avoid interpersonal conflict with the employees they’ll have to face around conference tables, in the break room, and on Zoom calls. But HR leaders can step up to solve the problem with invaluable guidance for effectively confronting difficult conversations with clear, confident action. Tough career conversations may be viewed as necessary evils, but when done right, they absolutely enhance the greater good.
Leigh Ann Errico is a Georgetown University-certified leadership coach, Corentus-certified team coach and the founder of LA Errico & Partners.
Read the article on Human Resource Executive's site: https://bit.ly/3xIHY9V
By Leigh Ann Errico
After being practiced for thousands of years in the Far East, meditation has finally taken off and enjoying its popularity in Western culture. Beyond its deep ties to mysticism and spirituality, science shows that there’s something very real to this magical practice.
I’ve been an Executive Coach for 15 years and have long known intellectually that meditation is valuable, but I didn’t give it a spot on my schedule until 2020. It took my doctor pointing out how off-kilter my adrenals were for me to wake up and decide to take charge of my health. And ZERO regrets. My morning ritual is now to wake up at 6AM and immediately put on my meditation app, so I can swim in my intentions for the day. My bonus little luxury? I sip warm water with lemon and do light stretching to ease my body awake. I’m six months into my new practice, and I can already say it’s been a true life-changer.
There are many amazing benefits to meditation. Don’t just take my word for it – let’s dig into the data and see why you should add meditation to your daily routine:
1. Lowers Stress Levels
The purpose of meditation is to reduce stress and calm the body and mind. Both mental and physical stress lead to elevated levels of cortisol. Too much of this stress hormone can create a toxic cocktail of inflammation and a compromised immune system.
High cortisol levels can also interfere with our sleep, cause anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure and create fatigue and cloudy thinking.
But good news: Our new friend meditation can decrease feelings of emotional and physical tension, especially in those with higher levels of stress, according to a study involving over 1,300 adults.
2. Reduces Depression
Meditation fights off the blues. A study that involved 400 students (13-20 years old) found that those who followed an in-class mindfulness program were reported to have reduced rates of anxiety, depression, and stress after six months.
Another study from the University of California involving people with past depression discovered that mindfulness meditation lowers ruminative thinking and dysfunctional beliefs. Wow – powerful stuff.
3. Calms Anxiety
Meditation reduces stress and anxiety. An eight-week study demonstrated that the practice of mindfulness meditation lessened symptoms associated with social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, paranoid thoughts, and panic attacks.
Meditation also helps people in high-pressure work environments manage their anxiety and stress. A study involving nursing students proves it.
4. Improves Rapid Memory Recall
Harvard Medical School’s research on the effect of meditation on retaining information showed that people who meditate have more control over alpha rhythm — a brain wave that screens out everyday distractions, allowing for more important information to be processed and saved.
“Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” said Catherine Kerr of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center, both at HMS.
If you’re like me, you could use some streamlining in a world of information overload.
5. Increases Attention Span
Research shows that our attention spans are shrinking, but focused-attention meditation strengthens the capability and endurance of your focus.
One study demonstrated that workers in human resources who practiced mindfulness meditation on a daily basis were able to stay engaged with a task for much longer. They also remembered the details of their tasks much more clearly than those who did not devote time to periods of deep thinking.
Finally, meditation can even help reverse brain patterns that lead to worrying, mind-wandering and poor attention.
With the world now facing so many new and unique challenges, it’s never been more important to give meditation a place in our self-care toolkits.
Ready to find your zen? Check out helpful meditation related resources to help you get started.
Leigh Ann Errico is an organizational psychologist, a Georgetown University-certified leadership coach, a Corentus-certified team coach, and the founder of LAErrico & Partners. Leigh Ann is also currently working to complete her Health & Wellness Coaching Certification at Georgetown University.
This article was first published by All Wellness Guide: https://bit.ly/2OfS2Gk
By Leigh Ann Errico, Executive and Team Coach at LAeRRICO & partners
“Start saving more money.” “Lose 20 pounds.” “Get a new job.” We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions…and we’ve all broken them – or, at the very least, we’ve put them off. In fact, approximately 80 percent of resolutions fail by THIS WEEK (the second week of February), according to U.S. News & World Report. Here, we discuss instead of resolutions, using intentions to create change.
Don’t Procrastinate – Intend
Some may paint putting off the pursuit of their resolutions positively as “goal setting,” but in many cases, it’s just procrastination. Every day that we postpone taking action is 24 hours that we will never get back. Take a moment to review your resolutions or goals for the next 30 days, the next six months and the next year.
Next, reframe each one as an intention. The very word connotes power. The power of intention is a focused mind. When directing our brainpower toward specific actions to achieve the desired result, our mind is positioned to perform at its maximum capacity. Using intentions to create change is powerful.
The same concept can be applied to business, investing, education, and even our family life:
The point is: Priorities and procrastination are incompatible. Leverage to your advantage your most valuable resource: your time. If you want something badly enough, don’t wait…start now. Especially if you’ve already started to drift from your resolutions, what can you do today to put your action plan in motion?
Resolutions Lack Power
Our New Year’s resolutions lack the power needed to create change when we approach them with wishful thinking when we don’t put thought into a plan for how to achieve them when we hope to get around to them “soon.”
Stop being someone who has the same New Year’s resolutions every year. Be part of the eight percent of resolution-makers who achieve their goals, according to a study by the University of Scranton. You absolutely can find success by reframing your resolutions as intentions before another day passes.
This article was first published by People Development Magazine: https://bit.ly/3b2Td34
By Leigh Ann Errico, Executive and Team Coach at LAeRRICO & partners
No one can deny that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way the world works. One positive of the current dynamic that we can harness to improve our lives: While waiting for widespread vaccine distribution, we still have time to focus on things that weren’t even in our line of sight a year ago.
Instead of wishing away the rest of the pandemic by watching series after series on Netflix while eating junk food, why not use the time to our advantage? Why not devote energy and attention to our mental and physical health?
Remember that regardless of what we do during the pandemic, the time will pass, so we might as well make the most of it.
Think about healthy, productive and stimulating ways to use time so that when we look back on the pandemic, we’ll realize that we actually made the most of it and developed new habits – a mentally and physically healthier way of life – so it doesn’t end up being the worst year, after all.
The fabulous coaching question coined by Scott Eblin helps frame intentions:
“What can we or should we be working on or doing today to put us in a better position one month from now, three months from now or six months from now?”
Here are eight undertakings to consider now that can put you in a better position post-pandemic:
Whatever we want to achieve while our social activities are limited, we can be kind to our future selves and, as Nike says, just do it! There is no better time than right now to take steps in the right direction.
This article was first published by Thrive Global: https://bit.ly/3bLt9LQ
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Leigh Ann Errico