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Are You An Inclusive Leader? by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Apr 26, 2022 | Comments Off

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

My daughter had a tough middle school year. She agonized over how she felt left out of circles and discussions and events. I would often coach her to look past it all and realize that many of her classmates were going through similar things.

Her situation felt different. She told me that she felt like her classmates looked past and through her to talk to and include other people. She was really hurt, and so was her self-esteem. I supported her and told her to hang on a little longer since she would be graduating. Then, one weekend, she looked at one of her social media pages and noticed that one of those classmates had a birthday party that included mostly everyone from her class but excluded a few.

She was not invited. And although this was not a new occurrence, it still hurt.

I get it!

Everyone has the right to invite whomever they want to their parties. However, social media changes the impact in many ways because people can celebrate and exclude others in a more public way.

I can’t help but think about how Inclusion plays a similar role in the workplace.

Are there people inside your organization who feel passed over and looked through? Are there high-performing employees who have great things to say but don’t get a chance to say them?

How inclusive are you?

Do you make sure that unpopular voices have a seat at the table? Are they in the room but not really recognized as an important voice? Do you look through certain people to cater to those who look a certain way or speak a certain way?

Below are five considerations if you are striving to be a more inclusive leader:

1. LISTEN AND ACT

Who do you listen to? Do you consider the narrow view of just a few, or make sure you include people with varied backgrounds? Do you act upon the most common voices, or are you courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback?

Inclusive leaders both look for and listen to diverse perspectives and take certain actions to show that those perspectives are valued.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, listen to everyone and commit to taking action on much of what you hear.

2. EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

Who is in your inner circle? Leaders who take the time to ensure that their circle is only homogeneous in values and purpose and not based upon the same physical characteristics or background are simply more inclusive.

Some years ago, I had a diverse coaching client who recalled a time when her boss held a firm party and excluded her. She found out about it, because others in the office were talking about it and brought gifts back they received at the party. She felt like an outsider and did not understand why it happened. Her boss never gave her an explanation.

Was this type of behavior typical for this leader? Most likely, yes! We are often more comfortable with people who share our same lived experiences. But, unfortunately, when we surround ourselves with people like us, we create more blind spots and minimize our chances of creating more innovative teams.

Inclusive leaders go out of their way to include people who might challenge their thinking and bring innovative ideas to the table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, review and expand your inner circle.

3. COLLABORATE OFTEN

To collaborate means to admit that you alone don’t have the answers. Instead, the best solutions spring from the back and forth at the collaboration table.

If you want to be a more inclusive leader, dare to invite many different types of people to the table because that is when the fun begins!

4. AUDIT HIRING AND PROMOTION PRACTICES

Affinity bias is real. It is when we are inclined to include those around us who are like us. When hiring and promoting team members, this type of bias can be a barrier to real Inclusion. Audit your hiring and promotion practices and consistently ask yourself whether you are letting bias get in the way of including others who aren’t like you.

5. MONITOR THE LANGUAGE BEING USED

To be an inclusive leader, we must consider the language we use around those inside or outside our circle. To include also means to make someone feel welcome or like they are important. If we are or someone in our circle is using words that exclude, then we have a problem. Take the time to evaluate and research the right things to say and how to refer to certain situations and people in your space. So often, we or those around us initiate microaggressions against those in marginalized groups and harm them by our words.

Inclusive leaders monitor for this and tweak and adjust along the way.

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Someone once told me that “diversity is being invited to the party, and Inclusion is asking them to dance.”
So, let’s all commit to being the kind of leaders who ask many people to dance!

 

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The 5 Attributes of Today's Leader by Clint Pulver

By Clint Pulver | Apr 19, 2022 | Comments Off

“You’re either the number one reason why people
are staying, or you’re the number one reason why they are leaving.” - Clint Pulver

So often, organizations wonder why their turnover rate is high. But the truth of the matter is, as a leader, you’re either the number one reason your people stay, or you’re
the number one reason why your people are leaving.

Roughly 60% of the employees interviewed by Clint’s Undercover Millennial research program were currently looking for new employment. How do you get your employees to love their job and want to stay and grow with your company?

The diagnosis is with you – the leader.

Employees are not quitting companies—they’re quitting bosses.

The answer to employee turnover is easier than you think and is why Clint Pulver’s keynote and book, “I Love It Here,” are resonating with so many companies and audiences – the diagnosis begins with your leadership.

From the thousands of millennials and younger workers interviewed with the Undercover Millennial program - what they loved or didn’t love about their job - the most prominent answer for being satisfied was that they, “loved their boss.” Although there are many leadership styles Clint has identified from his program, the Mentor-Manager is the top proven way for leaders to engage with their employees.

The top 5 attributes of this style of leadership are:

  • One-on-one coaching, focusing on personal growth
  • Shifting the focus to the employee and their personal and professional goals
  • Helping the employee establish their path, values and purpose—both within the company and outside of it
  • Putting focus on the people within the ship, instead of just where the ship is headed.
  • Standing next to others and walking the path with them.

“Great mentors have the ability to communicate a person’s
potential and worth to the point that the person begins to see it in themselves.”

With this in mind, never underestimate the power of a Mentor
Manager, and your ability to move people—both physically and mentally.

Learn more about why Clint’s message is inspiring and moving people to action, young and old. His years of research, proven application and incredible strategies for engaging employees are at the core of his bestselling book, “I Love It Here,” his Mentor-Management keynote message and his drum experience. You don’t want to miss it! 

Learn more about Clint Pulver

Diversity and An Inclusive Culture by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Mar 21, 2022 | Comments Off

 

"Organizations that want to bear great fruit include the voices of all employees and enlist them in the change that they're looking to do." 

Learn More About Heather R Younger >

Let’s talk about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging - and in the context of your “Why?” Understanding why you are embarking on the journey is just as important as understanding any of the steps after that.

What I want to talk to you about today is using the voice of your employees to really gauge the proper direction of your organization. What often happens in organizations is that the leaders talk amongst themselves and maybe to the level right below. But, organizations that want to bear great fruit include the voices of all employees and enlist them in the change that they're looking to do.

1. DO A CULTURAL AUDIT OR DEI SURVEY
So, have you done a cultural audit or a Diversity, Equity Inclusion and Belonging survey recently? You want to do that because you want to be able to listen in aggregate and gather the themes that are important to the employees of your organization and use that as a way to drive everything forward. Then, you can move forward to create a strategic plan.

2. CREATE A STRATEGIC PLAN
Right now, you don't know what you don't know. And so, if you're consistently committing to using the voices of your employees as a barometer for whether you are in the right place or not - also as an information hub, to make you smarter on this journey - you are going to garner a lot more success in the process.

Remember, creating a diverse and inclusive culture is a journey.

Focus on the next best step understanding that you are on the road to success. And, you want to be focused on improvement, not perfection.

 

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How To Keep OTHERS Up At Night by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Feb 21, 2022 | Comments Off

 

A Secretary of Defense for the US was once asked a very revealing question: 

“What keeps you up at night?”

That’s important to know, right? What are our weaknesses, what are the threats? 

His answer completely rocked me.

He said, “Nothing. I keep others up at night.” 

What a revolutionary mindset! 

In essence, the safest, most successful approach is to be the one to whom others react, rather than vice versa. 

For my business clients it made me think of the many different approaches and mindsets they each have toward change. Most tell me they are managing change, embracing change, or adapting to change, with entire trainings and programs centered around those. 

These are noble aspirations… if the best you hope to do is survive. 

If, instead you want to thrive, to grow, to profit, to lead, I am inviting you to elevate to a new mindset.

It’s time for you to stop managing change, and start to create change… to lead change. 

I want you to be the ones who define the curve, rather than follow it.

Imagine the transformation you could create if all the time, money and effort you spend teaching your teams how to react to change, you instead spend teaching them to proactively create change - to discover, create and act on new opportunities pre-emptively?

You’d be unstoppable. 

This is the essence of the “What IF Mindset.” 

Yes, sometimes the unexpected happens and we must respond by managing, embracing or adapting. Please recognize, though, these are all reactive postures and we want to move back to proactive change quickly. 

To do this I want you to leverage an interesting phenomenon: When you boldly create and lead change, your response to outside change naturally strengthens, evolves, and in many cases becomes unnecessary. 

In essence, the best defense is a good offense. 

How do we create change? By constantly asking “What if we could that? What if we didn’t do that?” By adopting the “What IF Mindset” for innovation, creativity, radical problem solving, you harness your team’s sense of purpose.

You are surrounded right now by opportunities that you’re missing. From billion-dollar innovations that change the world, to simple productivity changes which supercharge your bottom line.

Together, let’s discover and act on those opportunities by elevating your organizational mindset to one of creating and leading change.

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

How To Manage When An Employee Is In Crisis by Clint Pulver

By Clint Pulver | Jan 24, 2022 | Comments Off

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1 big idea

When someone on your team is in the middle of a crisis, sometimes it’s all you can see; you get nervous, you waver between hovering and avoidance; you might even feel guilty for worrying about the work.

But here’s something to remember that can help you push past that awkwardness: Your employee is more than their crisis.

2 insights from our workplace research

  • As much as you might wish those thoughts away, it’s natural to have secret worries about errors or schedules when someone on your team is struggling with an awful event. But when employees tell us about the bosses who earned their loyalty in tough times, they talk about the ones who arrive with compassion first.
  • How can you manage that when all you feel is stress? You keep things separate. To your employee, you show care, support, and a listening ear. When you’re with your peers, that’s the time to unload all those concerns about deadlines and dropped balls.

The best managers we’ve met always saw each of their employees as a whole person—especially during a crisis. Whatever they’re going through, make sure it isn’t the subject of every conversation you have. If you used to talk about sports or kids or movies, keep doing that. If work is helping them hold it together, follow their lead and discuss the work, just like before. Treating an employee in crisis like they’re still who they always were can help them feel more like themselves too.

1 moment to master

A great way to stay on track when someone on your team gets sideswiped is to have a plan at the ready. This week, take some time to review the supports your company offers, like paid time off, counselling, loans, or an EAP. Then, get familiar with the terms and what an employee would need to do to access those benefits.

Also, assess your team’s readiness to act as a support network too:

  • Do you have a phone tree or chat group that could quickly raise a meal-delivery or fundraising army?
  • Who could you call on to step in or take on extra duties if needed?
    • Keep privacy in mind: always get permission from the employee before revealing any personal information.
  • Sketch out what your team can do before a crisis hits to help avoid brain lock later, when emotions are high.

 

Clint-Pulver-Undercover-Millenial-Speaker

Change is Inevitable, Adaptability is Essential by Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | Jan 21, 2022 | Comments Off

The new normal seems to be a never-ending, changing target and so we have to learn to be flexible.”

There has never been a point in time where adaptability - the ability to deal with change - has been more essential.

The new normal seems to be a never-ending, changing target and so we have to learn to be flexible.

But why is change so hard?

One word - fear.

Change triggers a fear of loss. Giving up what we know, what we enjoy and what is comfortable.

What happens in our mind when we face the unknown is we ask, what if? And our mind tends to answer with a worst-case scenario response.

Our minds are actually trying to protect us and so it helps us to see what we need to avoid but it creates a fear that isn’t necessarily real and, more importantly, it is debilitating.

The problem with fear is it stops us from taking action and effective change requires action.

So, when we play the What If Game in our mind, we have to consciously and strategically answer with a positive response.
We need to see that change leads to growth, new and better results. And use that vision to take action toward creating that reality.

Managing fear is a very real thing for each of us and our teams.
To navigate the constantly changing landscape, we need to be action oriented and understand how to push past fear.

Adaptability is an essential skill in today’s world and it operates much like a muscle. It grows with use.

Managing fear is the first step. Then with consistent action, we grow our adaptability muscle.

 

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3 Ways to Fill Your Cup in 2022 by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Jan 11, 2022 | Comments Off

 

"It’s so important to give our mind, body, and soul sustenance so we can put forth the best versions of ourselves." 

What Does it Really Mean to Fill Your Cup?

Coming into a new year, filling ourselves up and understanding what this means for us will make all the difference with how effective we will be in 2022. Filling your cup is taking the time to care just as much for yourself as you do for others. It’s so important to give our mind, body, and soul sustenance so we can put forth the best versions of ourselves.

We cannot give what we do not have.

Someone once gave me the metaphor of a cup on a saucer. As we keep pouring into our cup, eventually it will overflow onto the saucer. If we continue to give from inside the cup and not from the overflow, what happens? The cup runs dry. We run dry too.

Implementing Positive Daily Changes

My best advice is to calendar everything that you do. Personal or work-related. Build those physical, mental, and spiritual health time blocks into your day. Mind Over Latte gives great examples on how to sprinkle small changes into your day to give yourself the personal time you really need.

Nourishing Your Body, Mind, & Soul

Take the time to move your body, whatever that means to you. When we feel good about ourselves physically, we feel good mentally. Everything is connected.

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a yoga class
  • Stretch for five minutes
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go swimming

The most important thing you can do is give yourself grace. As easy as it may be to forgive others, remember to also forgive yourself of your imperfections. Giving yourself this grace and keeping your mind positively stimulated plays a huge part in your mental health.

  • Listen to an inspirational podcast
  • Read for fun
  • Call a loved one
  • Write a journal
  • Go for a coffee with a friend

Take quiet time to reflect, meditate, or pray. Think deeply about your day or week. In this new world full of chaos and drama, take the time to be quiet and sit with yourself.

  • Meditate for five minutes
  • Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths
  • Write down what you are grateful for
  • Attend prayer service
  • Cuddle with your children

Make time to move, be quiet, and give yourself grace. There is power to be found in the silence of your mind; cherish it and fill up your cup in this new year!


 

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How to Attract Top Talent in 2022 by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Nov 29, 2021 | Comments Off

 

"Listening is actively listening, it’s seeking to understand" 

Video Transcription
After over 25,000 surveys and years of working with organizations to transform employee engagement, here's what we've seen over and over. When you know how to listen, employees will tell you exactly what they need to bring their full selves to work. When they feel seen, heard and valued, they will do whatever it takes to help the organization be successful.

You can’t reimagine a better workplace or move forward a new project unless you recognize what's not being said inside your culture. So, how do you feel when someone listens to you, and I mean really listens to you? When they take time out of their day to listen to your thoughts, your concerns and your ideas. It feels good to be heard, doesn't it?

When we feel heard, we feel understood, we feel valued. We feel validated. So, for the last several years, I have been on a mission to help organizations understand the impact of listening, and I mean really listening.

Some years ago, I worked at an organization where I led customer experience and I loved my job. Then one day, I got the news. They were going to be merging our company with four others. Now, I'm sure you could imagine what that brought up. Mistrust, anxiety and fear.

There was a lack of communication that was going on all around and no one knew what was going on. So, I had gone to the head of HR and I said, “You know what? We have got to do something about employee engagement, something about our culture. It's going downhill fast.”
And she said, “You know, you're right. You go do that.”

I’m like, “I'm in customer experience.” So, I took her up on it and I created an employee engagement council. Inviting people who were from the other companies who I thought might be open and receptive to being around the table - trying to get to the bottom of what would make this merger a success.

But, it needed everyone. And the leadership team? They looked outside. They didn't get it. They didn't get that there were people right there. Five companies. Ready and willing to give them all they needed to know to make this merger a success. But they didn't know how to listen.

So how do we do it? How do we get there? Well, there's a process. The first thing we have to do is recognize what's not being said. How do you do that? Well, you have to be kind of aware enough to say, I know there's something I don't know. And that's because probably people aren't safe enough or don't trust me enough to tell me what I should know. And, I know that because I don't know it. There's a blind spot. That's a problem.

So, I need to acknowledge that first, before I can even move on to listening. Listening is actively listening, it’s seeking to understand - it’s digging deep and removing my own ways, removing my filter to be able to step into your shoes and understand your filter. So, we’ve got to get there first and then we seek to understand and then we actually listen.

When we’re thinking about diversity, inclusion, belonging and we're thinking about the things we can influence and control - we can control this. We can control how we seek to understand and how empathetic we are and the compassion we exhibit for people in their shoes. And we can decide to be courageous, when it's necessary.

We all agreed earlier that when we hear people's stories, we learn, we get better and we grow. It’s the action behind the act of listening that makes our voices come to life, makes us realize we matter and that action is the same thing as compassion.

You can own a part in this process and you can use it to ensure that those that are in your presence feel listened to, feel valued, feel validated.

This is the future of work. When you invest in your people, they invest back into you. They will tell you everything you need to know to be successful and to get the outcomes you're looking for. Let's get to listening.

 

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Why Your Business Needs More Change by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Nov 16, 2021 | Comments Off

Hall of fame speaker, Mike Rayburn asks, “How do you open up more possibilities, solutions and ideas for your clients and your customers?”

He explains that when we ask, “What If,” we open ourselves up to the world of possibilities. Your clients and customers are coming to you for newer and better ideas and they love it when you open up more possibilities for them.

WE MUST CREATE MORE CHANGE
We are reluctant to accept or create more change. But, Mike says that the only way we can manage change is to create more change. To create more success, we have to step out and be the one who defines the curve.

WE ARE GOLDMINES OF UNTAPPED POTENTIAL
“I believe that we are each capable of far more than we ever believed possible. I believe that regardless of our level of success, we are each a goldmine of unrealized potential.” 

OPPORTUNITIES ARE EVERYWHERE
“We are surrounded every moment of the day by opportunities to access that potential. You are now walking through life no longer looking for reasons you can’t. Your default is to be the one who looks for reasons you can.”

THE TIME TO START IS RIGHT NOW
“I believe the time to open yourself to more possibilities is right now – you will generate more success by starting with the question, ‘What If?”

 

How Leaders Can Identify Microaggressions at Work and Shut Them Down by Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Nov 08, 2021 | Comments Off
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"Ending Microaggressions Promotes Employee Retention" 

Creating a safe work environment is imperative if leaders want employees to stay with the organization, innovate, go above and beyond for the team, and exceed customer expectations. If employees don't feel safe, they will not feel loyal or committed to the team and seeing the organization succeed. Acknowledging microaggressions and protecting employees from attacks on who they are is a major move toward making the workplace safe for everyone.

Read Full Article (PDF) >

This article originally appeared in HR NEWS
https://www.ipma-hr.org/stay-informed/hr-news-issues/hr-news-issue/hr-news-october-2021 (members)

 

 

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