JJ's (Dec 2013) Tips in this issue:
1. Hope--Giving, Receiving & Influencing
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit
A reader wrote: With all the economic problems and layoffs we've faced in our company this year, many of the people who work for me are stressed with bigger workloads and limited time and funds this holiday season. How can I help them feel better about their situation so they can enjoy this wonderful
When I received my December Speaker magazine I read this from speaker colleague Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE.
"In December, ‘Hope’ springs eternal. The holiday season is filled with joy and optimism. If faced with professional or personal challenges or obstacles, you can find a way to overcome them.”
This prompted me to rerun my Tips newsletter from December 2003. It’s about Hope too!
Tips from JJ (Dec ’03) Giving, Receiving and Influencing
As the leader of a company, division or department, one of your most important responsibilities is to be a positive influence on the people around you.
The holiday season is supposed to be the happiest time of the year according to the songs on the radio. It's also a very reflective time of looking back at the changes that have occurred, both good and bad, and the challenges that had to be faced. Losses of headcount, jobs, money, health, loved ones, family, etc. can cause depression instead of joy and happiness.
Your influence can help others around you reflect on the things they do have now, and create the dreams of a better tomorrow, starting with the end of the year holidays.
All you have to do is think back to Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and remember what you gave thanks for with your family all around you.
Hopefully you did as we did this year. One by one we went around the table of fourteen, and each person said what they were thankful for that day. It became very apparent where each person's focus was as we looked back at this last year in their lives. Two of my grandsons said they were "happy for Grandma’s crescent rolls" which gave all of us a good laugh.
But everyone else mentioned people they loved, their health, jobs, new beginnings, etc.
If you look hard enough, you can always find something good that came your way, even from upsets, job losses and tragedies. The latter usually takes a while before you realize it.
I didn't have to look hard for what I was thankful for this year. Earlier in the day, in front of a houseful of family and friends, my boyfriend (of six years) surprised me with a proposal of marriage. And yes, he was down on one knee, and as he asked me if I would marry him, he also pulled the most beautiful multi-diamond ring out of his pocket. As you can guess, I said"yes, yes, yes!"
My two daughters and their families, as well as my boyfriend's son and daughter watched in awe at the proposal. It was a joyful, teary-eyed event that they shared with their friends and coworkers in the following days.
When my daughter Cassie was asked by a coworker how her Thanksgiving was, she said, "We had the most awesome time! How many times do you see a proposal, and especially one to your mother?"
Here's a side note to the story from five years ago. I was playing football with Cassie's then six-year old son Russell when he stopped, looked up at me and asked, "Grandma, how can you have a boyfriend when you're so old?"
That was the day I changed "boyfriend" to "significant other" which caused one person in a later audience to assume I was gay. Now I won't have to worry since he's now my "fiancé," and in a few months, will be my "husband."
You're probably thinking, how does this help you as a leader raise the spirits of others around you for the holidays and afterwards?
It's your job to create a memorable environment for your work family. Remember that the Generation X-ers working with you value camaraderie and a fun-loving work family more than other generations, especially during the family-oriented holidays.
You'll see that the laughter and smiles, and the loving, caring, sharing or nurturing that's in the hearts and minds of the participants will be what matters most. It won't be the material gifts that are given or received, but instead, it will be the spreading of good will and the wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year that really matter.
Create an atmosphere of joy by telling a happy story, perhaps one that gets people to laugh and helps them to be glad they're alive and working together with your group.
Because you make a difference in the lives of those who work for you, this season is a great time to start becoming the Manager, Supervisor or Company of Choice. That means your employees (associates) prefer to work for and with you because of the way you make them feel about themselves. They take that feeling of worth home where they share it with family and friends, and they make a difference in the quality of their lives.
Don't forget what you heard in my seminars and from my coaching about creating a great working environment. When negative comments are heard in your workplace. Say, "cancel, cancel" and replace the negative comment with a positive one.
And give your staff permission to say "cancel, cancel" to your negative comments too, if you should slip. Then change your comment to what you want to happen instead of the negative one you said. They'll love catching you and their other teammates, and you'll hear lots of laughter and smiles, AND a more positive fun-loving environment for the holidays.
For those people in your department who are strapped for funds to buy gifts this year, offer a few ideas of inexpensive gift they can make and services they could give instead of expensive gifts.
At that same time, tell them a few stories, yours or borrowed ones. Tell the ones that demonstrate how powerful these gifts have been to wealthy people who had everything. When you make something especially for them and their interest, or give a service they didn't expect, but would like, you warm their hearts and they treasure them for years or forever.
One of the best tips that was given to me during the holidays a few years ago was from one of my mentors in the National Speakers Association. Former NSA President, Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE said, "What are you doing that you DON'T HAVE to do? What are YOU doing that you really DON'T HAVE to do?
You can also share that much of the stress created during the holidays occurs because we think we have to do all the things we've always done, and in the same way, regardless of what is happening or has happened to us. Instead, urge those who need it to re-prioritize the important things, and not waste time or create more stress for themselves on the unneeded ones.
Good leaders will also find other people in their group to be their "elves" to keep the cheerful and positive environment going through the holidays and all year long. You'll find it cuts down on turnover and helps you become the"Leader of Choice!"
Be a positive influence and enjoy the holidays with ALL your families.
My December 2013 footnote: That holiday proposal was 10 years ago and my husband Scott and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary in January 2014.
Happy Holidays to you as you reflect on the past year, and give, receive, influence and instill hope for 2014!
"Learn from the past, prepare for the future, and perform in the moment."
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence."
"It comes down to building your own world out here on the road. It's who you surround yourself with. My band and crew are really positive guys."
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE in an area? Service? Sales?
EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)
JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales,
and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human
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