Archive for October, 2007

If You Attended Today’s CICA Webinar….

October 29, 2007

Thank you to everyone who attended the Webinar I presented today at the CICA exploring TGIM worklife with Emotional Intelligence! It was a great turn-out (more than 400 attendees!) and based on the questions I received at the end – a very enthusiastic group indeed.

I thought I’d post the links to some of the articles I mentioned that might be of interest (rather than having you search for them). So here are a few:

1) Emotional Intelligence at Work — an article I wrote for HR Reporter that provides an at-a-glance summary of some of the concepts I explored today about EQ.

2) The Lizard who wouldn’t eat…. About using your Signature Strengths to feel gratified at work.

3) Tips to Make the “Bigness of Monday” Just a Little Bit Lighterwhen you could use a little boost. And the Globe and Mail article “Thank God it’s Monday“.

4) Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

5) Is HR Prepared to Keep the Keepers — another article I wrote for HR Reporter on employee engagemeng for high performers and high potentials.

6) Employee Engagement – Respect

AND….there was one participant who asked about self employment as a career option…so for those that might be interested, my reflections starting my 10th year in biz

AND…there’s much more so I invite you all to have a look at the blog…and visit again! Also – I did mention that I’d be introducing a tele-class program in January for leaders who want to develop more resilience at work (to navigate and deal with the ever-increasing load and work-life hurdles we talked about).

More about that later but if interested, please let me know by email or a call and I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as I confirm the details (with no obligation of course).

Of course, if interested in exploring how you can learn more about developing a TGIM worklife for yourself and/or others you work with….please do get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

To a TGIM worklife!

Eileen

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Are You Addicted to the “Yes Habit”?

October 28, 2007

How often do you find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no? Can you take on this extra project? Would you join our volunteer committee? We know its last minute but can you organize next week’s meeting? Would you like to get together with so and so (someone perhaps you’d rather not)?

Obviously there are many times when these kinds of invitations delight and deserve a resounding ‘yes.’ And of course there are also those times when we simply have to suck it up and step up to our responsibilities. The distinction I’m making here is to consider how often you say yes when you really do have a choice, a desire — and a right – to say no. Instead, you say yes because….

Because why?

(more…)

The Silver Lining in Disappointment…

October 17, 2007

Disappointment can be hard but if you are the reflective and resourceful type – and draw on some of your emotional intelligence, often you can find a silver lining in the experience. Perhaps it comes in the form of new learning and/or an insight that moves you forward in some way….or keeps the door open for a bigger or more meaningful opportunity.

That seems to be what happened with Martin Slofstra, who has been writing about his job search journey in an ongoing series of columns in the Globe and Mail since July. Recently, he was interviewed for what he thought would be his dream job. He came in close (second candidate) — unfortunately not close enough to get the offer. Ouch. That was disappointing for Martin.

But with some soul searching – he discovered something important. The experience gave him additional awareness of what his career interests and passions were….it moved him forward in his journey towards a meaningful worklife by having greater self awareness; more focus and intention — and even some renewed faith that he’s getting closer.

I have been following Martin’s journey since July and have been in touch with him a few times these past months. On occasion he actually quotes me or includes a tidbit in his column about something we’ve talked about…..i.e. a nugget of advice I’ve offered, or some questions to reflect on.

Today Martin quoted me in his article. Unfortunately there was a small typo in my name (it’s Chadnick not Chadwick) — but just the same I was delighted that he took away something meaningful from our last exchange.

You can read the article here today while it’s still online (or buy a copy). And sometimes these get posted on Workopolis for a while as well.

But if you miss the article, here’s part of the nugget I shared. It starts with a quote from the renouned, Kim George – author of “Coaching into Greatness’ and a tremendous coach, mentor, visionary on all things related to “Abundance Intelligence” (which is very connected to emotional intelligence).

 “What’s meant for you can’t be lost”

…that is of course if you are doing all that you can do and being who you can be (authentic and living your greatness….unique strengths, gifts, values, aspirations, etc.).

There’s much more lying beneath that quote of course….you can read more by logging on to Kim’s blogs and website — or better yet, read the book….and most certainly do catch up with Martin’s columns. He’s very reflective…very articulate…and I think we can all learn a lot from his journey.   

So what about you? Are you dealing with disappointments in your worklife (or personal life) right now that might offer a silver lining? What are you learning from the challenge? How is your own self awareness and resourcefulness growing as a result of this experience? What about past disappointments? If you fast forward to where you are now, did something better come along? What lesson did you learn about ‘toughing’ it out? Or giving it time?

Well that’s it for today’s post. Till next time….and to a TGIM Worklife!

Eileen

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To Things That Matter….

October 12, 2007

NOTE TO SELF….WAS INSPIRED BY MY CLIENT YESTERDAY….MUST BLOG ABOUT IT…

Well, today’s post is indeed inspired by one of my coaching clients. I don’t usually share details of a coaching conversation …..but I will share a post that Michael (my client) has written on his own blog about some insights he had from our conversation and his subsequent reflection. So add this to your ‘to do list’ and read Michael’s post Getting Things (that matter) Done” on his blog. Very inspiring, entertaining and well worth a read.

(Photo courtesy of Ebby on Flickr)

Our conversation and his subsequent reflection related to the topic(s) of how one organizes themself, their day/time/tasks, etc. To do a ‘to do list’ — or not ‘to do’? What goes in; what stays out; how do you stay accountable to your goals and intentions?  How to find a system that works for you…..

For those that have been here before, you’ll see this builds on a previous post I wrote a few months ago (“Oh yeah, that balance thing…when I have time).  

So rather than recreating/re-writing it all….I invite you to check out both posts…

…if you have time, of course:)

To things that matter — and to a TGIM worklife!

Eileen 

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In the Spirit of Gratitude…

October 5, 2007

This is the season to be thankful….it is (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend afterall. But is gratitude really meant to be seasonal?

(courtesy of Mary on Flickr)

Personally, I think gratitude is in style all year round. And it’s not just the right way to be in terms of good manners. It’s downright good for you! Your ability for gratefulness is deeply connected to how you experience your life…your work….your personal wellbeing. Your ‘mojo’ – your heart and soul! The whole kaboodle. And yes, verrrrrry connected to your ability to experience a TGIM worklife:)

I am blessed. Gratitude happens to be one of my top Signature Strengths, according to Martin Seligman’s assessment on the Positive Psychology website.  Even before taking this assessment I always knew I had (at least) two sets of gifts: one set represents all the good stuff I have in my life (my wellbeing, family, friends, my skills/aptitudes/talents/abilities, work opportunities, etc, etc, etc…..loong list).

The second set of gifts is the ability to recognize all of this – and appreciate it all….and express thanks, internally and to others. That is indeed a gift. That is what puts the wind in my sails.

Afterall, if you can’t appreciate what you have and who you are — how can you want more?  How can you become more?

The Via Signature Strengths assessment says about gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express thanks.

The thing about gratitude is you don’t have to be in ‘a good place’ to exercise your gratefulness. In fact, it doesn’t even have anything to do with your ‘luck’, circumstances, wealth or any other measure of ‘the good life’. Research has revealed that many people who are dirt poor are still able to be grateful…..and they are happier than many of their wealthier counterparts.

And the good news about gratitude is that even if it doesn’t come naturally to you (yet) — it is an aptitude that can be developed. It is simply about creating the habit of gratitude. And I say it’s a habit well worth exercising each and every day!

So how about you? What are you thankful for this season and for today? In your work life? In your personal life? About your own unique gifts, qualities and circumstances? No item is too small to mention!

Here are a few ways to exercise gratitude and develop that ‘grateful habit’:

  1. Daily (or at least a few times weekly): write down or at least express in some way at least 3 things that you are grateful for….in your work-life (and personally too). Nothing is too small for this list. Nothing is too ‘corny’. Acknowledge anything and everything. Don’t stop at 3 items….if you like, acknowledge anything that comes to mind. And don’t be shy to repeat things on your list…..it’s okay to be grateful for all the things that are part of your life each and every day:)

  2. Express your gratefulness to others: Sometimes I think “thank you” are the most under-rated words.  Pay attention to  how often you say thank you — or don’t. Are there opportunities to express appreciation to those you work with and/for? For work well done; for one’s effort and attitude; for anything…… Small opportunities and larger ones…they all count.

  3. Notice how you feel when  you do take the time to say thank you — and how you feel when receive a ‘thank you’ from someone else. Again, this isn’t just about good manners. It’s about making a difference to your own ‘joie de coeur”…not sure if I spelled that right…but your own ‘heart and soul’ — and that of others.

  4. Remember to acknowedge not just the good things outside of yourself…..but also your own inner being qualities. Do you have special ability to laugh and to make others laugh? That’s a gift. Acknowledge it! Do you know what your talents, gifts, abilities are? Perhaps some….but I bet if you spent a bit of time reflecting you’d realize there’s much more to be grateful for. We tend to get so busy we sometimes lose sight of who we are…..reconnect, remember and give thanks.

  5. OTHER IDEAS? I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of other ideas….I would love to hear them and I’m sure others too. Please email and/or post a comment.

Now as I get ready for my Thanksgiving weekend, I am going to spend some time making my ‘list’ of gratitude. Specifically, I am going to focus on all that I am grateful for as it relates to my ‘tgim worklife’. I know it’s going to be a very loooooooooong list so I better get started.

Till next time – have a happy, healthy, wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving!

Yours in gratitude!

Eileen

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See today’s Globe and Mail for more on…

October 3, 2007

…further to my post yesterday, check out the career section in today’s Globe and Mail. That article I mentioned is published today (“Welcome mat’s out — for mom”). I was interviewed for it but my ‘quotes’ didn’t make it in. My tips, however, did (albeit they weren’t attributed). I’m on the fly at the moment but wanted to flag the piece. I’ll try to write up some tips in a separate post at later date for those that don’t have access.

Till then…..have a great day!

Eileen

Executive Mom – re-entering work after the baby…

October 1, 2007

CBC TV interviewed me again for their show Living in Toronto. This time it was for a segment offering tips for women going on maternity leave – and to those returning to work. How to stay engaged while at home so that re-entry is a little easier? What to do upon return, etc.  The show airs tomorrow (Tues, Oct 2) at 1pm if you happen to catch it. Apparantly it also airs on the internet in real time.

This seems to be a hot topic these days.  Last week the Toronto Star featured a study sponsored by TD that revealed women are making inroads in the workplace and will continue to do so. The article said “The 1950’s era is gone” (no kidding) as two-income families make up 63 per cent of households. More women work and they are making huge progress in the workforce. Still, the study found women that progress in the corner office is slower…and they are still earning less than their male counterparts. This gap is not about lack of experience, education or smarts — but possibly more reflective of the impact on women’s career when children come into the fold.

Having a career – and a family — can be hard on women. Unfortunately, many smart, talented women end up opting out of their careers — or ‘slow-tracked’  if they don’t have supportive employers. 

The article quoted a spokesperson as saying: “Employers are going to have to work really hard to retain and attract women, even after they’ve gone out of the labour market to have children, because it will be an important skills set for them keep as we move towards a shrinking population base.”

I say amen to that! But not all employers walk the talk. Those that don’t will find themselves on the short end of the talent war as competition for talent heats up (as all the economists and gurus are saying it will).

Care to read more? I wrote an article last year on this topic for Canadian HR Reporter  See Executive Mom.

I’ll be back with more tips on this soon …another major newspaper recently interviewed me for an upcoming article on this topic so I’ll let you know when it appears. Stay tuned…or if anxious for tips sooner than later, get in touch!

As always – would love to hear your thoughts!

Eileen

Speaking of Emotional Intelligence…

October 1, 2007

…which is what I was doing a little over a week ago at a conference for an organization called Extendicare. I spoke to a group of about a hundred dietary managers and program managers about navigating one’s work-life (and personal life) with emotional intelligence. This was connected to the concept of TGIM (thank goodness it’s Monday….or any other day of the week)…i.e. about being engaged with your work and dealing with the hurdles, the challenges, the ambiguity….no small feat!

I had a chance to meet with many of the participants before the presentation. As I walked around the room introducing myself, I asked people “how’s your work-life?” 

Nine out of 10 responses said the very same thing – literally in one word: “BUSY!!” It was as if they had rehearsed it! This particular group has been experiencing tremendous change over the past few years: new demands; more pressure; not enough time……yada, yada.

 Sound familiar? No matter what profession it seems this is true for anyone working these days….managing heavier workloads; faster paces; ambiguity…..and doing double duty with responsibilities in your home and personal life.

Work is getting harder. And it’s not likely to let up.

Ask Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of ‘Blink’ and ‘The Tipping Point’….or pick up a copy of today’s Globe and Mail. In an interview with a reporter from Report on Business, Gladwell says if you feel work is getting harder, you are not imagining it. The mental demands of the workplace are steadily growing — and we’re all going to have to smarten up if we want to succeed. As well, he said: “I’m quite prepared for the possibility that the next revolution is not going to come from a machine…..it’s going to come from creating a more thoughtful work force and giving people the opportunity to be thoughtful.”

Hmmmm. Sounds very ‘EQ-ish’. I fully agree that takes a whole bunch of smarts to cope with the demands and complexity of work (and life) today. Technical work smarts are important (and will always be) but they won’t be enough.  There’s a plethora of skills associated with social, interpersonal and emotional demands of today’s worklives. Fluency in these areas will be key indicators of one’ potential to cope and/or thrive as work (and life) gets harder.

Think this is just about soft skills? Think again….

Problem solving. Interpersonal skills. Self management. Resilience. Optimism. Empathy. Flexibility, social responsibility….and much more.

These are just a few areas within EQ that will need to be shored up in individuals and workplaces to cope, compete and survive work as work-life gets tougher, harder, faster…..

And the good news is these skills can be developed. EQ can be measured….and it is coachable. Smart companies will consider that in their leadership development, training and overall ‘people development’ programs. Yes, I know that is a self serving message given my line of work is very tied to EQ coaching (I coach leaders –of varying levels – and organizations on success and engagement issues)….but I truly believe it to be true.

I know in my own personal experiencing navigating my work-life (and personal life) that so much of my own growth and resilience has come from developing the EQ side of things.

Want to hear more, read more? For starters, see my article on EQ at Work in the “In the News” page of this blog; and get in touch with me if you are curious about how to measure and develop your own EQ and/or that of those you work with.

For now, let me leave you with a question or two: 

What is your workplace doing to support the development of more emotionally intelligence workforce? What are you doing individually to develop your own EQ? What difference would it make if those  you worked for and/or with had more EQ skills? What would it be like to navigate your work-life with more ease, joy and peace?

Comments always welcome….in the meantime, to a TGIM work-life…with EQ!

Eileen

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