Wants and Needs

An average nights sleep being constant, we dutifully approach each day with relatively equal amounts of vigor. We have about sixteen hours to do it all before we sink into our next bedrest. Society splits our days into two sections. Work and Out of Work. Work being a job, whatever form that takes for you, and life outside of work alluding to the common phrase of work/life balance. I’ve had a problem with this phrase for a while and I’ve landed at a few conclusions as to why.

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Should You Say Something?

I believe that leaders can be anyone, regardless of title, who are willing to invest time and energy in others in the pursuit of growth. That aside, let’s be more specific to leaders in title, or managers. These managers set the tone for the rest of the team and are held at a higher standard. One expectation of managers, and probably one of the toughest, is giving feedback. These conversations require tact and keen observation in the moment. What’s troublesome is that most managers are either unequipped or unwilling to have these conversations. Although it’s an older Harvard Business Review article and the population was small, the numbers still surprised me. Two-thirds of the managers surveyed are uncomfortable in this setting.

As the article suggests, on the opposite end, employees yearn for valuable feedback. Teammates in their first or second position are especially interested in feedback. They’re on their maiden voyage in unexplored waters.

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Life’s Thresholds

No impactful decision comes without contemplation, evaluation of opportunity costs, and weighing pros and cons. It consumes even more energy when it’s for the first time. I think of these as thresholds – like through a door. The physical doors in our life can play tricks on us. We’ve all walked into a room and immediately forgotten our thoughts or why we walked in there the first place. Just the same, the metaphorical doors can have the same effect. You can scheme up a hundred possibilities but no matter how many practice rounds you take, it never goes exactly like you’d imagine after you stepped through. Once you’re in the arena, emotions take over rationale and you’ve forgotten it all. Luckily, understanding this truth is an amazing first step.

I separate these types of situations into two different terms. Experience thresholds, physically participating in an event for the first time, and relationship thresholds, the first few conversations with someone new. You can only do something new once while each relationship is unique.

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Show Up Sunday – Can Bad News be Worth It?

On the daily, we’re inundated with information. Casual conversations, TV, social media are all sources of information but some are cast in darker shadows. In these “I’ve got bad news for you” moments our body braces, senses heighten. Hearing less than good news or living through unforeseen circumstances can be overwhelming but I believe in every bit of bad news, there is something to be gained.

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Don’t Be a Mario

This is going to be quite an elaborate metaphor. It works if you stick with me. As a avid gamer, I know the name Mario is synonymous with Nintendo’s Mario. Spanning decades of games, Mario is legendary and has been the company’s mascot since the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Mario is portrayed as a princess-saving hero in fiction but if you think of Mario as a leader, his actions perfectly illustrate how some fail to motivate a team.

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