I’ve got a new newsletter all about my Lifestyle of Purpose blog!
When leaders make an ask of another leader, there are many things that they need to consider. Below is a checklist to keep working relationships healthy!
Give Enough Time
Give them a respectable amount of time to do what you have requested and if you are unable to give them that amount of time, at least acknowledge it.
Remember, They are Providing Needed Help
Don’t in any way insinuate that you are doing them a favor by allowing them to do something for you. Acknowledge the ask for what it is and appreciate the interconnectedness that makes us better.
Entertaining Questions with Open Arms
Expect them to have questions, and if the turnaround time is short, expect those questions to come quick and maybe not in a sugar-coated way. You are the one making the ask in this short timeframe, and should have provided all the details. Think through the logistics for them, so they need to do very little work.
Do the Heavy Lifting
Don’t expect them to do huge amounts of prep work, especially if giving little notice. Prep work takes time and they will need to calendar time to get the work done.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communicate with them. Check in with them. Ask if you can provide support. You should do this in a way that allows them to feel comfortable and more at ease.
Ask via Phone, Maybe Email, but Never Text
Pick up the phone to make the ask. It may be faster to text or even email, but a phone call is always better. It allows them to ask questions right away while you are fully present.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Be kind. Our world has gotten so fast paced. Don’t make assumptions and if you do, always give them the benefit. Highly qualified leaders/professionals don’t have time for unprofessional behavior. Keep your emotions in check, appreciate people, and see your organization thrive.
These are just a few things to consider when working with other leaders and making requests of them, especially with quick turn arounds. These tips will make the situation easier for both of you, the process will be more efficient, and the results will be more productive.
We often think tolerance is a one-sided coin. How much more loving and better the world be if we saw it as a two-sided coin.
We think people should be tolerant of us – our beliefs, our time, our quirks, and our opinions. Other people need to accept my schedule, my ideas, my space and even my mistakes. Others need to accommodate. When we think of tolerance, we rarely think that it only works when it is shown by all. I need to be just as tolerant as I want others to be of me. What would happen if we began to think of tolerance as something that we too had to show and exhibit? Tolerance and acceptance go together.
Respecting Names, Accepting Others
I have a diverse group of friends and I want to be respectful of their names. Names are so personal. I love it when someone calls me by my name. It says so much. It says that:
They remember me and my name.
They care enough to use my name.
They are speaking directly to me.
I haven’t always been the best with names. I used to excuse it by saying, “I am not good with names” and just expect others to tolerate my shortcomings. I decided that I want to stop making excuses for not showing others the respect of using their name properly.
Avoidance of saying their name seemed reasonable until one day you have to say it and you can’t. Then what? I need to take the time to ask, as uncomfortable as it is, “How do you pronounce your name? “May I try it, and will you please help me if I say it incorrectly? I really want to say it correctly and honor you.”
The first time I tried this, it felt awkward at first. I said, “Thank you for correcting me,” which was the wrong thing to do and probably made her feel not so great, but she practiced tolerance. She gave me grace.
This allowed me to have some confidence when I had to do it again, and this time, I said, “Thank you for helping me say it correctly. That was really important.” That was so much better. Had the first tolerant soul not shown me tolerance, I wouldn’t have gotten better. Now, I feel great about opening up to more people, asking more and learning more.
“Politically Correct” Language
Language changes so quickly in all spaces and everyone gets so offended when we don’t use the right language. Yet, when we ask directly, everyone seems to show tolerance and is thankful that we took the time to learn.
Lesson for me, ask directly. People want to be included and no one wants the awkwardness of being excluded because we are uncomfortable.
Don’t get offended when the right language isn’t used. We may know the language in our space, but the “correct” language changes all the time. Assume people mean the best when the wrong language is used, unless it is hate speech and then that is never okay.
Show Others the Same Tolerance We Want to be Given
I find that I am more tolerant when I am rested, fed and happy. It is on us (no one else) to care for ourselves in order for us to give the best version of our selves to the world. Our best selves want connection and kindness, I truly believe that. In a world that is fast, angry, and so crazy – be the difference. Be tolerant.
Working remotely has become the norm for many these days. Some days, it feels a little crowded in my house. How about yours? I love having my family around, and this has been one of the greatest consequences of COVID for me. Yet, I need space to center myself. Every time I take a stretch break or go for water, a request awaits or the noise in the next room causes me to fear I might be missing out on something.
Hey mom, can you fill out that lease? Mom, can I pay my tuition? Can you fill out and sign this? Do you want to do a TikTok with me? Hey mom, the dog is being so cute – did you see my Snapchat? Where is the…?
I love this and want to spend all my time being with them, but it is hard to get work done and to find the space to center myself. I also feel selfish for feeling drained and exhausted when so many others have it much worse. The guilt then comes over me, swallow it and muddle through.
Pre-COVID, we are told that these requests are short lived and seldom and we should cherish our time with them because our kids won’t be around forever. In full disclosure, my kiddos are 17-24.
But now, some combination of kids are around all the time. How do we balance it all, while also not feeling guilty? I can tell how many hours I am logging. It isn’t always pretty. I stop my watch every time I am interrupted or take a break. The breaks are double and the interruptions are often.
Part of me knows that I need to savor all of this. I never thought I would have all my kids under one roof again, or a combination as some are heading back out of the nest again as restrictions lift. I will forever be thankful for this time with my family.
At the same time, I am giving myself permission to acknowledge the challenges. What is it costing our country and us personally? I am recognizing that COVID has often been two conflicting things to many of us. For some, joy for this time to slow down, and for others, frustration and sadness for the challenges.
Caring for Ourselves
We must take time to care for ourselves now. Whether we feel it yet or are still on autopilot, it has been a year with consequences not yet fully known. We are allowed to feel what we feel, without justification.
What are you doing to fill your bucket? Let’s make a list now of all the things we love to do. What energizes you?
Lately, I find myself with my laptop on my lap all hours of the day. Going forward, I will commit to shutting down at dinner time. I will put the computer away and enjoy my family and some true ME time. I’ll make a list of all the activities that I love and I’ll do a couple each week.
- Hallmark movies
- Baking with kids
- Gardening with the hubby
- Hiking with the fam
- Snuggling with my old doggie
- Hot bath and a good book…
What about you?
While I’ve only been moderately inconvenience by COVID, our household all suffered from the virus in various forms. I also recognize that it has taken an incredible toll on many in the world.
Which leads me to one final thought…
How do I reframe interruptions into blessings? My kids actually want me to be in their Tik toks. That is crazy, right? My kids actually want to tell me my dog is cute, have a family Snapchat with me, and have me as a friend on their social media accounts!
I never thought I’d ever get this time with my semi adult kids, all under one roof again. That has been heavenly.
How do we reframe as leaders? How do we help others reframe? How often do we contribute to the drama and negativity in this world? There is so much.
What are we putting out there? What are we putting on social media? Check your accounts. Check your conversations. Check your attitudes. Society is so toxic. What can we do to reframe? Care for yourself and others, and when possible – see the blessing in the interruptions!
I’ve come to realize that life isn’t about how much we accumulate or our job title; it is about the difference we make.
Life is Like a Board Game
Get From Here to the There – Life is about what we do from here to there; it is the journey. Obviously, I am not the first one to write about this.
I started to think of life like a board game, the joy comes in playing the game and the choices we make while playing. I realize there is an actual board game named Life, work with me here.
A Few Rules
The rules are simple – get from one side to the other. Along the way, every player will receive challenges. And no matter what, you play until you get to the end. How you define the other side, the end, is definitely dependent on how you were raised and your beliefs.
One interesting point worth making, in an actual game we find challenges fun. But yet in life, they aren’t always so fun. We expect them in a game, but in life they can feel like we are being punished or that we are less fortunate than others. But remember, we don’t see the whole challenge in others’ lives, the reality behind the curtain. If we had an inside view of others’ lives, the challenges in their lives would be just as messy and unwelcome as we often feel about ours.
Three Truths that Apply to Everyone
Time is finite and yet unknown. None of us know how long we have to complete the journey. Time is the one asset we can’t accumulate and we never know how much is left.
Life will come to an end. Regardless of the energy we put into wandering, the end will come. There is no argument for living life “later”.
Life is never fair when we look at it from only our perspective. Someone else will always appear to have more, appear to have it easier. The reality is we honestly don’t know if someone does or doesn’t. We make these assumptions with very little knowledge or input from the other. Our thoughts are only one perspective of an uncountable number of perspectives out there.
5 Strategies For Getting the Most Out of Life
Play with purpose, every second of every minute. Know why we are here and put that into the world. Live with passion in all we do. Share our gifts and strengths with everyone we encounter.
Play hard. We don’t get time back and we can’t buy more time. We simply don’t know how much time is left. Play hard, love hard, give hard. Leave it all behind.
Don’t compare lives. Take the life given and play our game. Use our unique strengths, loves, and yes – challenges. A board game would be so boring if there were no challenges; they are expected. Some challenges we face in our lives are awful and tragic. It is hard to wrap our minds around the hurt sometimes. But we mustn’t compare lives, life is tough at times for everyone. Instead of comparing, just assume everyone needs our love and kindness. We will be better for it.
Help others along the way, as many as we can. Don’t be the challenge in someone else’s board game. Do you want to be a ladder helping someone or the slide that causes someone to slide backwards (think CandyLand)? Choose to be the ladder, offer help to those in need. Find joy in knowing we helped others on their journey. If people don’t want us, walk away.
Influence as Many as Possible
Life is a team game; the journey is not meant to be done in isolation! We are interdependent and need one another. I believe every strength is connected to a weakness. Which means, I should try to spend as much time in my areas of strength and surround myself with people who complement my weaknesses. People who are different than me are a blessing, a gift, the helpful advantage along the journey. Not allowing people who complement our weaknesses into our lives is like losing a board game because we stubbornly decided not to use the blessings of drawing the “get out of jail free card”, or taking the free parking money when we land on it, or not rolling again when we roll doubles. We are here to serve and love one another, love so passionately and uniquely us.
Progressing through the Game of Our Life
Along the way, we choose to use our uniquely given gifts and talents for good or for bad – to help others or to harm others. Everything we do has consequences. Why not intentionally choose to make this world a better place, with purpose and passion? We all put energy into the world, with everything we say and do. What energy do we want to put into the world? There is no justification for being mean to others. That is only an indication of our character. Be the ladder always or be nothing, but never choose to be the slide to someone else.
Life is so much more joy filled when life has meaning; when we have a purpose.
We spend so much time trying to be happy and in the end, serving others is what life is really all about. Get to the end and take as many people with you. Go!
Leaders take in what is around them, clean it up and put out something better. They act like an air-purifier! This is what defines a leader; they feel it is their responsibility to make this world a better place. I think leaders are defined by their ability to make others and the world better, nothing else really. We are all in positions of authority, but do we make society better? Do we lead in our various roles?
So much is happening in the world right now. It overwhelms me.
People have gotten so comfortable judging others based on assumptions, even those once trusted. Assumptions are made without all the facts and often without any facts. People who know us, people who should assume the best, who should ask and engage in dialogue with us, but because our world has made judge first and ask later okay- the assumptions and judgements persist.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not using this as a way to defend wrong doing. But having no interest in dialoging before making assumptions, will only cause divide and will do nothing to better society.
Leaders want to make the world a better place but their honest desire to do so means they will make mistakes, be misunderstood. We can’t be afraid to make mistakes if we want to be our best selves. In a society where it is all too common to not wait for clarification, seek understanding or offer loving kindness before killing with judgement, leading is challenging. Why would a leader want to lead? Often great leaders retreat, turning down high profile roles.
Hating others who think differently only puts more hate into the world. Throwing anger on anger only creates more anger. Making assumptions when people make (what we think are) mistakes, denies everyone the opportunity to learn and to grow.
I was watching a movie with my daughter a while ago and a character said something so profound. When life gives you something negative, recalibrate the universe by doing something to counteract that negativity. If someone cuts you off in traffic, go out of your way to let someone in next time you are in traffic. If you lose your wallet or it is stolen, make a donation to a charity. Recalibrate the universe. Can you imagine what this world would be like if we all practiced this?
Go recalibrate the universe folks!
Leaders build teams utilizing people’s strengths and encouraging every individual to be uniquely themself. There is a difference between supporting someone and enabling someone. Supporting others and recognizing the uniqueness in others is important! But, enabling others is exhausting and unhealthy.
Let’s talk a little about enabling. Enabling others is a lot like carrying their baggage when they are very capable of carrying it themselves and we already have our own baggage to carry.
It is important that we put kindness into the world and show compassion towards others. Let me be clear – I am not referring to holding space for others or showing compassion. I am talking about us taking on others’ baggage when it is not ours to carry.
I am talking about continuously cleaning up messes for someone, protecting them from the consequences of actions, making excuses for them, and feeling like we have to enter into every discussion with them and about them. We can accommodate so much for someone that we lose ourselves.
When we do this – the weight is great and will eventually take its toll. We are usually left with all the “yuck” that comes with it? The resentment, the anger, and the exhaustion…
Top Reasons We Need to Stop
One – people want to solve their own problems and be appreciated for who they are.
Allow people the space to be themselves, to learn and to grow. When we have a problem, do we want others to solve it for us or to simply listen and show support?
Two – it is not our narrative.
Allow others to speak for themselves. It is not our job to speak for someone, unless we are their guardian. In that case, help them learn how to self advocate. This article is written for adults and about adults. When others come to us about someone, we should always say, “it isn’t my place to speak for (person), you should talk to them directly”. That is the best way we truly support someone. Regardless how much we think we are helping, don’t talk about anyone when they aren’t around and definitely don’t think it is helpful! Expect adults to deal directly with each other.
Three – we become known by the weight we carry.
Those around us see the toll of the weight, but they don’t see the baggage. They see the struggles, us being resentful, maybe even wanting to be thanked or appreciated. They see us tired and cranky. We become known by the weight of someone else’s baggage and not by who we are.
Four – usually we aren’t even asked, we just do it.
It is one thing to help, to hold for a bit when we see someone struggling. But we should always ask before we pick up someone’s bags. They may not like it or need it. Don’t place value on helping someone, unless you know for sure that person wants your help.
Five – we aren’t allowing others to grow and learn.
People need to figure out life, to deal with consequences. We can support and hold space, but never shield someone from becoming their best selves because we send the message that they aren’t capable.
We’ve all carried someone’s baggage at some point. Put down the baggage. Let them go through their own bags and deal with it how they need to deal with it.
Carrying others’ baggage allows us to hide from our own baggage and all the lessons and growth that await us. Hum, maybe that is why we are so quick to carry other’s baggage… because we don’t want to deal with our own.
Again, build teams utilizing everyone’s strengths and encouraging every individual to be uniquely their best self. Remember, enabling others is not helpful and it is exhausting and unhealthy.
Some people think group coaching is a less expensive, more diluted way to experience coaching. Actually, group coaching is a very different experience than individual coaching.
Group coaching is an experience that mimics the interconnected world we live in and work through. It is an opportunity to work with other individuals; people very different from us, but around a topic of interest. Think about this. It means that a group of people come together around a topic, but everyone comes with a different way of looking at it, a different personality, and a different natural inclination of how they approach it.
Group coaching lets us do a number of things.
One – we explore a topic.
We talk about something of interest and we learn from each other, with a facilitator (that’s me). It is a time to connect in a safe space with others from different industries, different perspectives and from different areas of the country.
Two – we get to self reflect.
We have exercises that allow for personal reflection. It gives us time to go deep within and find strengths and areas where we may have been stuck. This personal insight is invaluable to our growth and if we are willing to share, it can be extremely useful to the group.
Three – we share insights with the group.
This gives us the opportunity to learn from each other, help unblock each other, normalize certain fears and celebrate others’ unique strengths.
Four – we experience an individual coaching session.
This allows us to work through anything in a private coaching session. I recommend these take place during the month/s of the group coaching sessions in order for you to share your growth and insights, if you choose. However, you are free to schedule your individual coaching session at your convenience.
Five – we get a network of support.
This may be the best benefit of group coaching, a group supporting us around a topic of interest. Cheering us on, there when we need a lift. I use a coaching platform that allows participants to engage with one another and many go on to stay in touch.
Some additional session information.
Some group coaching sessions include a personal assessment. These sessions delve into your assessment and explore the meaning. Most sessions last four weeks long and take place on a Friday during an East Coast lunch time. Eat your lunch while we meet, or breakfast if you are on the west coast.
Try one if you haven’t. Check out our schedule on our website.
Are we leaders?
What do we contribute to society? Do we give more than we take? Do we make the world more beautiful or uglier?
That is the difference between being a great leader and being a leader by default of having followers. Think of the greatest leaders of all time. How do they handle situations? How do they behave in difficult situations? How do we handle our difficult situations? Justify our behavior or take ownership and try to make the world better? Power and influence does not create an effective leader – humility, inclusion, sacrifice, and courage make an effective leader.
I am not saying we have to accept harmful and hurtful behavior or being treated poorly – walking away works too, not engaging works also. As soon as we engage, we have the potential of putting more toxic words and behavior in society. But, walking away and continuing to create toxic energy instead of actuating kindness is just as bad.
I am going to write about something that some may take political. I don’t usually write about politics but politicians should be leaders, so it is hard to not touch on it.
No one is exempt from leadership.
I was disappointed in the presidential debates. Whether I expected more from one or both or how I feel politically will remain unstated and is irrelevant. For those that would like to have an honest conversation about moving this country forward towards a more loving and compassionate place for all – I’d welcome that conversation, that includes listening, empathy and appreciation of differences. That is what makes us the United States of America. While I wrote this immediately following the first debates, I sat on it to ensure I wrote from a place of leadership and not toxic energy. I hope I succeed. The leadership thoughts remain the same for me, regardless of how long ago the debates transpired.
People believe in their party over kindness, in their person over values. He did this so…. The media did or didn’t so…. I would have X. It is time someone did Y.
I’ve said so many times what I believe defines a true leader is the ability to make the world better. The ability to hold on to and implement our values at all costs.
Give back better.
A leader takes what they are given, processes it and puts out something better. If someone’s bad behavior justifies our own bad behavior – then we are all justified to walk around and cause damage to this world and to others. How does that leave this world and each-other? Very damaged, very hostile and very broken.
A leader defines her/his values and lives by them in every situation. A leader is so resolute in them; so-much-so, no one individual or instance should result in default to compromise. We as leaders can walk away. If we feel that will cost us votes because our voters won’t like that, that says more about our voter’s values than ours and why would we care. And if we are afraid to walk away – that means we value votes over integrity. We have a choice.
No one makes us say things. Yes, something might slip out, but we can say “I am sorry, that isn’t my character and I am not engaging in this” – in the moment or the days that follow. We have sole equity over our behavior and mustn’t continue to blame our choices on others.
I also believe in grace. I only hope leadership; where kindness and strength, empathy and policy, compassion and fairness will find a way into politics and unite our great country that we love.
What is it that truly makes us happy?
We see a lot written about finding our own happiness, putting the responsibility of happiness on each individual. If you aren’t happy, make difference choices and then you can be happy.
And while I agree there is value in everyone trying to find the joy in our circumstances and love in our relationships. I do think external factors influence us and to deny that is harmful.
I also think not feeling a sense of responsibility or obligation to our fellow man’s happiness is a bit selfish and even dangerous – look at our world. If we are responsible solely for our own happiness, then we should do only what makes us happy. Mother Teresa found joy in helping the poorest of poor, but from accounts of her journals – she also had some very dark moments, some that almost kept her from becoming a saint. In other words, she didn’t always do the things that made her happy in the moment. She did what she felt was right and that brought her a deep sense of joy, but I am sure at times watching humanity suffer was difficult.
Placing responsibility on others to find their own happiness, may not be the best answer and it may not bring us that deep inner joy we desperately long for and need. And, those going through tough times may feel extra grief from this judgement, that on top of everything else – they can’t even make themselves “happy”. Not all circumstances are easy to see around in the moment.
Caring about others, what they feel and how they hurt has been shown to bring a deep sense of joy and connection. It may be inconvenient, and it may not always be sunshine and flowers, but focusing on others might bring us joy and, in the end, bring us more happiness than focusing solely on us.
People need us to hold space for them. To be there without judgement. To accept, to love. Not to offer advice and not to judge. As leaders, take in others suffering and offer back love and kindness. Make this world a more compassionate loving place.
May our quest for happiness be a quest for our fellow man’s happiness and in the end may we find a deep sense of joy.
May the wellbeing of others always be our responsibility and may we find joy in caring for humanity. And how ironic would it be if the deepest sense of happiness came from the quest to make others happy, not at our expense – but with us.
How often do we work on teams and find ourselves frustrated with team members?
How do you handle it?
For many of us, we are probably the ones carrying the extra work load or ensuring everyone stays organized. But, sometimes we are the ones that might not be our best selves or contributing all that we had hoped.
I had an experience, a humbling experience, when I wasn’t the best teammate. I had to apologize. I showed up not as prepared as I would have liked. I had a migraine coming on. I also had a whole lot of “other stuff” going on.
I apologized. The team was one that I didn’t know well, so being vulnerable wasn’t easy. I sent an email after the meeting, apologizing again. We met a second time. I apologized again. The experience wasn’t good and I felt terrible.
It reminded me of a few things…
One – don’t make assumptions.
How often do we make assumptions about people? The point of accountability is to speak directly to someone, to go directly to someone when we have an issue. It is very possible our assumptions aren’t correct.
Two – don’t talk about others when they aren’t around, talk directly to them.
When we choose to talk about others without including them in the conversation, when we choose to solve the problems that involve someone else without including them in the conversation or the solution – we will never create an environment where people can be their best selves or where we find the best solutions.
Side note – I get it. For years I thought so many things were easier if I just did them myself. Relationships were better if conversations were avoided. But, I was wrong.
If we personally need to discuss something, we have to have the difficult conversation with the person. We have to ask the peer, co-worker or employee about the deliverable, the issue or the situation.
If someone comes to us about another person, we have to ask them if they first had a conversation with the other person. We can’t let them talk about others when the other isn’t there to defend themself. We have to shut it down and refuse to listen. We have to encourage and mentor that person to go to the other person and have the conversation.
Three – allow others to do things their way, it might not be our way but it might also be better.
Know that by always doing things ourself, no one else ever learns, builds confidence and no one else is ready to step up should something happen.
Accountability is hard, but it is also beautiful. It isn’t always the leader that holds the team accountable, peers holding each other accountable is the sign of the most productive teams. Leaders should foster this kind of team.