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Communications: Simple as Magic by Vinh Giang

By Vinh Giang | Jul 08, 2021 | Comments Off

Making the Impossible, Possible.

World-Class speaker and magician, Vinh Giang shares how he teaches others to communicate better by using his 5 core communication foundations and that they are actually quite simple.

A key principle, Vinh shares, is your voice mastery and learning to amplify
yourself, among other techniques. He also teaches strategies on storytelling,
body language and much more.

So how do magic and communication relate for Vinh?

Magic is about illusion, the illusion makes the trick feel impossibly complex.

However, when how the illusion works is revealed, the process is actually quite simple. Communication is the same – it can be easily learned by following simple principles and applying them with confidence.

Vinh teaches his core foundations of communication to audiences around the world in his keynote: Mastering the Leader's Instrument.

Communication is as simple as magic. Learn more.

 

Corporate Change Post-Covid: A Cultural Audit by Heather R. Younger

By Heather Younger | Jul 06, 2021 | Comments Off

Maybe we should be considering how right now after so many unexpected turns of events, it might be the perfect time for change.

The Hitch With Change

Human beings are often complacent creatures. How many of you want to make little, or big life changes and lack the motivation? So often we think tomorrow I will eat healthier, be more productive, wake up earlier, make the right choices, and so often we continue to live in our comfortable patterns. 

On a grand scale our world just went through a dramatic and unexpected change. Covid-19 threw everyone into a turmoil. Many times, when people go through a sudden life change, they come out with a new perspective on life. Take the current labor shortage for instance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April alone, 4 million people quit their jobs. Four million people! That’s insane. It is the highest quitting rate since the Bureau was created in 2000. This flux of people leaving their jobs is a direct response to the effects of the global pandemic.

Is this the Perfect Time for Change?

Maybe we should be considering how right now after so many unexpected turns of events, it might be the perfect time for change. As so many employees are leaving their workplaces, it really is a crucial time to listen to and meet the needs of the employees you still have.  Many of the employees who are returning to work, and are not quitting, still have changes in mind that they would like to see. 

When was your company’s last cultural audit? I recommend that you immediately begin to run cultural audits to assess the wants and needs of your newly returned workforce. If there’s one thing we learned from this pandemic, it’s that there should be no more waiting until tomorrow. I encourage you to encourage your entire organization to present any and all ideas for changes, no matter how big or small, that they have on their minds. 

STEP ONE: Listening

The first step in running a cultural audit should be listening. Gather as much feedback as possible. Host listening sessions. Make sure to discuss any insecurities about the future of the workplace whether it’s returning to in-person, hybrid or staying remote. 

Some employees are less likely to speak up at a round-table or in a company orchestrated listening session, so accompany this action with a survey series. Promote anonymous feedback. The more details you can extract about changes people want the easier it will be to enact those changes. 

A large oversight when organizations tune in and begin listening throughout their ranks, is the things that remain unsaid. What isn’t being talked about? I think of the expression, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you,” well in this case, it can. The more you can learn about your employees, the better you can serve them, and the better they will serve the company overall. 

Part of the listening process is recognizing that your employees don’t always respond to surveys and audits. The reality is, many will feel uncomfortable and unsafe, and some just won’t care enough to respond. When the majority of employees are more comfortable leaving concerns unspoken, it is a clear indicator that the work environment is more toxic than safe. 

So work to create a culture of listening where less things remain unspoken, your employees feel safe, and you are able to tailor your response and plan for change better. Show your employees you really care about uncovering the truth of the matter. 

STEP TWO: Action

Once you unearth as many of the unsaid things as you can, it’s time for the action planning. Because what you don’t act on, can and definitely will hurt you. I discuss this extensively in one chapter of my book, The Art of Caring Leadership.  

The last part of The Culture of Listening is connecting the dots. Where your organizations’ leaders must take all the feedback and intentionally mull it over, make an action plan, and then communicate back to their employees each step of the way. 

By beginning the cultural audit process with in-depth listening you won’t leave any stone unturned. The cultural revival occurring in our societies will not only take place outside the walls of your organizations. It probably has already entered them by way of your employees and needs to be cared for and supported as new or improved cultures take root. 

The Next Step

If you are interested in improving your company culture by way of listening more, then feel free to take advantage of this free lesson in listening that I’m offering from the Caring Leadership Academy. 

 

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The Best Advice Stephen Covey Ever Gave by Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | Jun 21, 2021 | Comments Off

It’s not about you - it’s about them!

What Is the best advice you have ever received?

Was it a coach telling you, “When you quit, you fail.”
Or maybe it was a friend who said, “It’s ok to say no.”
Or perhaps it was your Mom who told you to wear clean underwear.

In any case, advice from the right person at the right time can often change our perspective.

That is what happened to me the first time I met Dr. Stephen Covey.

The advice he gave me at first seemed specific but I have found it to be more general and has shaped my mindset.

When Stephen Covey found out I was writing a book he told me “Make sure you write the book for the reader, not the writer.”

Let that soak in.

It’s great advice for a writer and I have thought about it often as I have written my four books.

But the thought has more application when you think about it as a mindset.

It’s not about you - it’s about them!
The focus of an influencer is always on the audience.

If you are in sales – it’s about your customer or prospect.

If you are a leader – it’s about the people you are leading.

If you are a teacher – it’s about your students.

If you are a parent – it’s about your children

If you are a speakers - it's about the people listening to you

Almost everyone has this backwards. They think being influential means they need to become polished or powerful. Influence, though, is all about the audience. Be it an audience of one or one thousand. When it’s about them, they get it, and we grow in their eyes.

By thinking out instead of in, by concentrating on others instead of on us, a tremendous transformation takes place. We go from inner-directed to outer- directed, from taker to giver, from self-centered to others-focused, from tight-fisted to generous, from short-sighted to farsighted, from selfish to selfless. We begin to see and act on behalf of others' needs ahead of our own; our thoughts are in terms of "we" instead of "me."

That’s what Stephen Covey taught me with what seemed to be a simple piece of advice. “Make sure you write the book for the reader, not the writer."

 

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How to Determine the Current Status of your Employees by Clint Pulver

By Clint Pulver | Jun 16, 2021 | Comments Off

The 3 Questions You Need to Ask Your Employees Right Now

So here’s kind of a sad story? One day a talented employee gets hired at a business, and she’s full of excitement about the future. But over the weeks and months that promise doesn’t pan out, and she starts to feel stuckFinally, she’s had enough—she hands in her notice. And on her last day, her manager invites her into his office, sits her down, and asks her a question that comes way too late. He asks her, What could we have done to keep you here?”

Tragic, right? I see it all the time, and it breaks my heart! The absolute worst moment you could ask an employee what they want in their life is at an exit interview. It’s like a hospital keeping its heart monitor in the morgue. The best companies we’ve worked with are checking their employee’s vitals all the time, before they get tired of their job. And they don’t just do it with stuffy performance reviews that are more about what the company wants than what the employee wants. They do it with a status interview. This is one of the best practices I’ve seen for consistently maintaining an accurate measure of how your employee is feeling and what they need to perform at their best. And it has three specific elements that might seem in conflict but aren’t: it’s informal, it’s in-the-moment, and it’s comprehensively planned and targeted.

The Status Interview

  • Informal
  • In-the-moment
  • Planned and targeted

Done well, a status interview is not about the company; it’s about the employee: the focus is on being an advocate, and asking what they need and what you can do for them. You need to get the information that will help you plan a route forward, and we’ve found that the most effective way to do that is with three very specific questions: “What can we do to keep you here?”“What’s getting in the way of you reaching your maximum success?”; and “How can I help you get where you want to go?”

The Status Interview Questions

1. “What can we do to keep you here?”

2. “What’s getting in the way of you reaching your maximum success?”

3. “How can I help you get where you want to go?” 

Each one of these questions achieves a different goal, and has to be approached in a specific way. Let’s take the first one: “What can we do to keep you here.”

This is how you acknowledge your employee’s value: that you appreciate what they bring every day. Set them at ease by pairing this question with some vocal praise, like, “Hey, you’re really important to this company, and I want to make sure that you’ve got what you need to be successful. What can we do to keep you here?

1. “What can we do to keep you here?”

  • Inspires loyalty and trust and value
  • Pair with vocal praise 

Asking this question before there’s a problem inspires loyalty and shows them they matter—and adding in that praise lets them know right away that this isn’t a conversation about a problem.

Then that next question shows your employee that you’re invested in boosting their skills and getting them to their goals: “What’s getting in the way of your maximum success?” Here’s what you’re really asking: What skills do you want to learn? How’s your schedule working out? Is anything going on with your health or your family that might be causing you stress? And, most importantly, what can I do as your manager to connect you with resources and get you past those obstacles?

2. “What’s getting in the way of you reaching your maximum success?”

  • Shows support for an employee’s goals
  • Pair with offers of help, training, or resources 
  • Then, you cap it off with the kicker: “How can I help you get where you want to go.”

 As a leader and a mentor, your job is to connect your people to their dreams, even if those dreams have nothing to do with their work. Asking an employee how you can help them get anywhere they want to go in life demonstrates to them that you are their advocateShowing support for an employee’s personal projects actively taps into their excitement. It will re-engage that person, so they can bring that energy and incorporate it into their work. And the beauty of knowing what your employee wants is that you can play to those strengths, and find opportunities within the company to that will move them further toward those dreams.

 3. “How can I help you get where you want to go?”

  • Demonstrates advocacy
  • Pair with help in finding opportunity

But there’s one more critical element to the status interview that you cannot forget—and that’s a relationship that can bear the weight of truth. Your employees need to know that they can tell you what they’re really feeling without risking any anger or retribution from you. You can’t create that kind of strength and confidence just in that moment—you build it over time, through all those little daily deposits of trust that you’re making with your people. It’s true that some employees will never tell you the complete truth, but even then, I promise you that it will have so much meaning that you at least asked, and that you asked authentically and with open intentions. Just remember that this is not your moment to criticize or bring up performance issues. This is support—a check-up, a heart monitor. You’re looking to create that healthy stability, and you’re taking action if you spot any sign that things aren’t great.

So today I want you to look at your schedule for the month ahead, and slot in time for a status interview with every one of your employees. Ask those three questions, pair them with praise, and figure out how you can support their dreams now, even if it seems like everything’s fine. Because an employee’s last day on the job is absolutely the wrong time to find out what could have done to keep them in your company.

 

Clint-Pulver-Undercover-Millenial-Speaker

Three Things Leaders Must Know about Automation by Mike Walsh

By Mike Walsh | Jun 14, 2021 | Comments Off

The real question is: how do we make sure the future of work fits the world we want to live in?

Futurist and best-selling author of The Algorithmic Leader, Mike Walsh explains that there are three things leaders need to know about automation:

1. Automation redefines the capabilities of your workforce
Rather than replacing people, automation offers the chance to reimagine work roles. When a lawyer uses AI to read trust documents and contracts, or a financial advisor leverages an algorithm to create a personalized financial plan - they haven't made themselves obsolete. Quite the contrary. They have merely shifted the boundary of what human-shaped work should be. Enhancing capabilities through better tools rather than squeezing more effort out of your workforce - is the most sustainable way of achieving productivity gains.

2. There is a difference between complexity and ambiguity
Organizations are decision-making machines, but not all decisions are born equal. Some decisions are complex but inherently suitable for automation because they follow well-defined rules. Other decisions may appear simple but involve a high degree of ambiguity that requires human judgment. In this video, I discuss the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order decisions - and the role that AI and automation can play in each.

3. Automation is the start, not the endpoint of your journey
Deterministic automation is a powerful tool in getting your digital transformation started. The exercise of mapping your processes, linking your enterprise systems, and unlocking more insights about your operations will not only increase your internal clock speed, it will provide contextual data for more sophisticated machine learning tools to optimize and enhance your business. By all means, go for the quick wins offered by automation, but don't stop short of the real prize that comes with reinventing yourself as an AI-powered organization.

READ FULL ARTICLE 

 

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Simple Ways to Foster a Culture of Mastery by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Jun 01, 2021 | Comments Off

You and your teams are closer to mastery than you think. Here are some simple steps that will raise the level of performance in your organization considerably and will cost you nothing.

Consider this…

  • Most people know what they need to do, and just don’t do it.
  • Most people have the tools they need, and just don’t use them.
  • Most people know that toxic thoughts sabotage success, but do nothing to change them.
  • Most people look for the cool new philosophy and the latest tactic when mastery is always about a relentless focus on fundamentals.
  • Most people are surrounded by others in your organization who are experts at what they need to learn, and just don’t ask.
  • Most people are experts at something others need to learn, and just don’t share.
  • Most people are content with the level of acceptable, good enough, or what’s required, and quit far short of personal best.

So, how do groups and individuals become masters?

First, DON’T BE LIKE MOST PEOPLE!

True masters are different; they swim not just against the tide but above it. This is a mindset you can inspire, creating a culture of Outliers. Mastery is a higher calling.

Masters know that real success comes long after it would have been prudent to quit after the “smart people” have all given up. An Olympic gold medalist was asked how he became good enough to win? He said, “Well, on mornings when I felt good I worked hard. And then on mornings when I didn’t feel good, I worked hard.” ‘Nuff said.

So… the most simple step toward mastery? Don’t be like most people!

  • Do the thing you know you need to but just haven't.
  • Fully use the tools you have right there in front of you (many of my clients have this challenge)
  • Bravely refuse to entertain toxic thoughts
  • Always, intentionally and always focus on fundamentals
  • Create opportunities for your people to share best practices
  • And, most importantly, get everyone to make what I call “The Virtuoso Decision,” to become a virtuoso, to pursue mastery and personal best beyond what’s required.

Begin creating your culture of mastery today!

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

Transforming America’s Workplaces: An Infertile Place for Microaggressions by Heather R. Younger

By Heather Younger | May 26, 2021 | Comments Off


Microaggressions

Have you ever witnessed or been the recipient of a microaggression? If you are unsure, the answer is probably yes. These small acts concealed by their habitual nature are dangerous for our culture and especially for our workplaces.

Microaggressions are the brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental dignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group (Younger 109).

I pulled this definition from my book, The Art of Caring Leadership, but it originates from Chester M. Pierce, MD, a Harvard psychiatrist in the 1970s. Microaggressions are based on assumptions that historically biased stereotypes have ingrained into our culture. They are extremely hurtful, whether by word or action, to the person from the marginalized group. 

Instead of spreading the message of inclusivity and belonging, microaggressions are like glaring flash signals that indicate there is space between two people (or groups). This space can be culturally, socioeconomically, racially, educationally; the list goes on. 

The Data

In a survey conducted by Gallup on microaggressions in 2020, 32% of Black adults responded that “people acted as if they were better than [them]” very often. Some examples of microaggressions:

  • A non-Black person asking to touch a Black person’s hair. 
  • Someone volunteering an Asian colleague to bring fried rice to a company picnic. 
  • When a Black person is articulate, a White person says, “Oh my gosh, you articulate so well!”
  • telling a thin person that they should eat more food
  • using outdated and offensive terminology, such as, “That’s so gay”

Some of these examples are from my book, others I found here. Actions such as these demonstrate presumptions about people from minority groups. For workplaces to function efficiently and while being inclusive and belonging, there can be no space for microaggressions. What does this mean for our workplaces comprised of people who are unaware of the harm they might be inflicting?

A Resolution

First of all, how many believe that ignorance means innocence? That’s an idea I am familiar with because of my faith. It holds some truth—you are not culpable for your mistake if you didn’t know it was wrong. However, ignorance does not preclude your personal improvement. Just because you are unaware of the harm you may have caused, it does not negate the wrongness of the action itself. You can only claim ignorance for a slip-up once; then, you should know better and must learn from it. 

Secondly, it does not fall upon the shoulders of the person or group of people you are offending to educate you. I would advise you not to seek out lessons on microaggressions from your peers who identify as a minority in some way. If they freely offer information on this topic, by all means, listen to their experiences. It is a great way to learn, but do not put the responsibility of resolving this issue on their shoulders. 

Lastly, we must transform our workplaces into Psychologically Safe Spaces where microaggressions desist as people learn to avoid discriminatory behaviors. Simultaneously, we must create a comfortable and safe way for employees to report bad behavior. 

A Psychologically Safe Space 

You can learn more about this in Chapter 7 of my book, which I mentioned above. I will provide you with a summary of steps to take to achieve this. 

  1. Earn their trust: seek to get to know your people on a deeper emotional level. Always be honest and transparent. Let them know they can rely on your word. 
  2. Encourage speaking the truth: invite people to share their experiences and feelings. Provide focus groups, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and forums. Also, go a level deeper and create a seamless, safe, and anonymous system for reporting incidents. 
  3. Show openness to hearing the hard things: This step goes hand in hand with accountability. If the organization is going to make mistakes (disclaimer-it will) then they must own up to those mistakes. Instill accountability at every level of the organization. The highest leadership tiers especially must be held accountable, so the rest of the organization sees what kinds of behaviors will and will not be tolerated hands down, no grey areas here. 
  4. Acknowledge when people speak up: This step is crucial. If you encourage people to share, you must recognize their willingness and helpfulness to come forward. Always connect the dots and communicate back to the person what actions the organization is taking in response. 
  5. Provide educational resources: Encourage your whole organization to educate themselves on these issues. Make it mandatory. Once the proper behavior has been learned, and resources to learn are available, I encourage you to no longer tolerate any microaggressions in your workplace. You will have a system to report them and a system to hold people accountable; use these to eradicate microaggressions. 

While my book details many more steps to aid you in fostering a psychologically safe space, I will not get into each one here. I encourage my readers to go forward seeking to lead with your hearts and engaging in inclusive, compassionate, caring, and empathetic behaviors. I look forward to creating more caring workplaces worldwide with your help! Join our Community of Caring Leaders here

 

 

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Top 4 Things To Do this May long – by cmi

By cmiadmin | May 20, 2021 | Comments Off

VictoriaDay-link-tw-fb-virtual

Wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy May long 2021! 

There are still some awesome things to do this May long weekend, but we will have to do them safely and in accordance with Alberta’s Health Orders. We’ve put together our Top 4 things to do this weekend that include a reserved trip to Zoo Nights, a visit at the Heritage Park Opening, a reserved fire-pit picnic, or a wonderful walk in the beautiful outdoors around Calgary.

What is Open Closed in Calgary
Due to COVID-19, many attractions are closed, all indoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.

1. Heritage Park Opening Weekend

Exciting outdoor-only experience awaiting you beginning May long weekend, including the brand new Prospect Ridge area – an exciting new addition that will take visitors on a journey through Western Canada’s energy past. The S.S. Moyie is back in the water and ready to welcome you starting May 22! All programming will be moved outdoors in and around the historical exhibits.

  • Details
    May 22 to 24, 2021 | 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB, Canada
    $12.95 to $24.95

2. ZooNights

ZooNights is a regular day at the zoo – with extended hours – so you can enjoy your favourite animals and the outdoor zoo grounds a little longer. While there is no extra charge for ZooNights (daily admission rates apply), you may find some special entertainment around the park during the evening and there will be adult beverages and special concessions items available for purchase. You can think of it as the 3 B’s – booze, bento boxes and buskers!

  • Details
    May 21 & 22, 2021 | Extended hours from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
    Open daily and Open on Victoria Day | 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Drive NE
    Regular Admission.

3. Outdoor Fire Pits

Enjoy a picnic at the outdoor picnic areas. The city of Calgary introduced reservable fire pits in various parks last fall so that Calgarians can reserve them for a safe outdoor gathering with their bubble. The city has reopened the pilot program once again for this spring and summer.

  • Details
    May 14 to October 11
    Various Parks
    Free

4. Go for a walk

Spring has sprung. It’s time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. And lucky for us, Calgary has a lot to offer in that department. Check out one of these 25 Nature Attractions and Parks in and around Calgary. There are hiking and biking trails, picnic spots, off-leash dog parks, birding areas, and much more.

Full List of Things To Do

Calgary List of Things To Do

Get Calgary Weather Report

Weekly Weather Report from Government of Canada

 

NEW PRESENTATION: Getting Ahead of Burnout by Tim Sanders

By Tim Sanders | May 18, 2021 | Comments Off

Burnout is a threat to companies in 2021—the pandemic’s new world of work is showing collateral damage including turnover, loss of productivity and a lack of creative energy.

Many of your best people are on the verge of suffering professional burnout. They’ve stepped up the number of working hours, partially due to the new work-from-home environment, but mostly because they need to get more done with less.

Researchers declare that burnout is a threat to companies in 2021—the pandemic’s new world of work is showing collateral damage including turnover, loss of productivity and a lack of creative energy.

The good news is that burnout can be prevented and alleviated in the early stages through designed workstreams and personally managed through the development of boundaries and wellness habits.

In this presentation, Tim provides insights on what it takes to restore work-life integration in 2021. He’ll share the latest research as well as best practices from companies and wellness advisors.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Spot the early warning signs of burnout in individuals and groups. 
  • Design workstreams to ensure load-management of key talents. 
  • Leverage resources such as the work marketplace to offload tactical burdens. 
  • Coach others to reduce stress and recharge energies while they work from home. 

 

 

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Embracing Failure - Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | May 07, 2021 | Comments Off

"Ninja is the perfect metaphor for Success."

I think most people see success as one direction and failure in the exact opposite direction but I don’t think that is true. 

My experience has taught me that you have to pass through failure to find success. In other words, they are the same path. 

The problem is that failure stops us and so we don’t get far enough down the path. 

Successful people learn to embrace failure, learn from it, and use it as fuel. 

Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, is someone who understands this mindset. When Sarah was growing up, her family would have family dinner every night. But unlike most families, their discussions weren’t just about the events of the day or how school went. Sarah’s father every night at dinner would ask the family, “How did you fail today?” 

That question spurred their conversation and they would share their failures. They would discuss what they learned. How it felt. I’m sure they would laugh with each other and sometimes cry together. 

I find it fascinating though, that the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world learned at a young age to embrace failure.

I don’t think it is a coincidence. 

I think that a mindset that embraces failure and uses it as a stepping stone allows us to move further down the path to reach the success we are seeking. 

 

Ty-Bennett-Keynote-Speaker