Archive for the ‘Employee Engagement’ Category

Positivity at Work

October 28, 2013

NOTE: This was originally posted on my Big Cheese Coaching blog:

I’ve been swimming blissfully in the study and application of positivity for quite some time and lately have ramped it up a notch. I have always been hugely interested in and engaged with the science of positivity. I think it’s part of my innate DNA — but also very much a learned skill too.

professional

Recently, I’ve joined a group of global participants in an eight week  learning opportunity: a master class on positivity lead by the Barbara Fredrickson, the pre-eminent expert on the science of positive emotions and author of Positivity and Love 2.0.  This has been an amazing experience (and we’re not yet done).

I’ve also had the opportunity to bring the topic of positivity to several workshops and presentations lately (talking to staff at Sick Kids Hospital, UoT, Administrative Professionals Conference, Red Mountain Resort) and have more on the horizon.  It’s been tremendous fun and the participants seem to have really enjoyed the sessions. Check out the recent testimonials.

I just wrote an article for the Globe and Mail on the positivity advantage  (as part of my “Brain Works” series). It’s been getting a ton of buzz. You can read it here.

I’m learning so much  (from my studies and ‘living it’). Here are just a few tidbits.

1) Positivity matters: It is not just a ‘nice to have’. It is truly an essential ingredient to your success and well-being. There’s over 20 years of hard scientific evidence that links positive emotions with better health, improved brain and cognitive function, greater personal efficacy, a heightened ability to connect and a spark plug to boost your mojo (and much more….but hey, that’s plenty to convince me).

2) It’s in us already – we just need to tap into it with new habits: Positivity isn’t dependent on circumstances. Positive emotions can reside side by side with a range of emotions – even the not-so-positive. We just need to be intentional and learn easy yet authentic ways to tap into our positivity reservoir.

3) We need a steady and diversified diet of positivity: Good nutrition tells us to get a steady and ample diet of fruits and vegetables (and other essential food groups). Likewise, for well-being, we need a steady, ample diet of positive “moments”. Most people go with less than the recommended allotment. It’s not as hard as one may think to get your ‘dose’.  It can be just a thought away – or an intention to be present to moments that might offer you joy, gratitude, inspiration and more.

4) Positivity comes in moments: It’s not about getting to a permanent state. Positivity comes in moments and are fleeting. Still, if we get enough (a minimum of 3 positive thoughts to one negative) we will benefit from all the rewards.

Curious? Want more? Here’s how to tap into this further:

1) Read my latest Globe and Mail article for some high-level ideas and tips.

2) Get ready for Ease, my upcoming book soon to be released. It includes a lot of strategies on how to hone the positivity advantage.

3) Invite me to speak to your people (conference, employees, etc.) Have a look what others have said about my sessions.

4) Engage in coaching – this is my sweet spot and I’d love to help you hone your positivity advantage!

More to come but lots to dive into RIGHT NOW!

Enjoy and may you live with Ease and Well-being.

Eileen

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Webinar: Bogged Down and Overwhelmed?

February 29, 2012

UPDATE (DEC 2013):  if the topic of managing overwhelm is of interest to you – I just launched a new book called, Ease – Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy. You can get it at most online book retailers. Read here for more!

WEBINAR: Bogged Down and Overwhelmed? Tips and Strategies to Help Cope With it All. March 27th at 12:30pm (EST) — or listen to the recording anytime if you register. Cost: Free! Courtesy of CICA/CA Source Webinars.  Register here!

Email overload? Work pressure piling up? Too many requests – not enough time? Yeah, me too.

Having too much to do in work and life seems to be the new normal. The pace and volume of work-life demands is at an unprecedented level these days.  So when the CICA invited me to do another Webinar this year and asked me to suggest the topic, I thought this would be timely. Everyone I talk to these days seem to be juggling so much on their plate and dealing with frazzle, stress and overwhelm. And I have to confess – I do too!

The CICA (CA Chartered Accountants of Canada)  has been generous and opened up registration (for free) and for all. Thank you CICA!! You don’t have to be an accountant to join in. You simply have to register here. If you can’t make March 27th at 12:30 – no worries! If you register, you can listen in to recording afterwards at your own leisue.

I will be sharing oodles of tips and strategies. Some that I’ve learned from own practice having to cope with an incredibly busy work and life. As well, I’ll be drawing on great content I’ve learned in my studies in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. How to stay productive and on top if it all when each day gets busier and busier? How to maintain your optimism, resilience and Mojo? How to tame that darn Overwhelm Gremlin — and more!

Want to flourish — even when it’s crazy, busy? Sign up and join in!

Oh and by the way, if you are interested in some of the other CICA webinars I’ve done on ‘Giving Feedback’; “Addicted to Yes? Learn to say ‘No'”; “Beat the Worklife Blahs” then check out the archives here for recordings.

To a TGIM WORK+ LIFE — even when it’s too busy!

Eileen

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Making the Most of a Lost Opportunity

May 4, 2011

Ouch! Ever experience this…?  You are going for a promotion or a particular job, investing a lot of time and effort and it is looking good but in the end it doesn’t happen. Frustrating — yes? But sometimes you may end up all the better for it. In fact, a recent scenario from my coaching practice inspired my latest Mentor Minute” column in the Globe and Mail Careers just recently published.  

The Scenario:I thought I was in line for a promotion to a leadership role, and with my supervisor’s encouragement, I invested my time and money in developing my skills and took on more responsibility. My supervisor just told me the promotion is on hold due to unforeseen organizational changes and not my abilities. I am feeling frustrated and wondering if my efforts were wasted and if I should consider moving to another employer”.

The Advice: Here’s what I offered in the column as suggestions — read the article here.

In the real situation, there was more involved, with one-on-one coaching to support my client in reflecting on these and other questions specific to her situation. In the end, she ended up with substantial more clarity for a career path that will better suit her than the initial opportunity at hand. And in turn, rather than feeling defeated, she experienced a renewed sense of optimism.

Sometimes a missed opportunity can be a gift in disguise. Go figure! How about you? Where have you found the gift in a setback or loss?

Other Featured News Coverage: If you are new to this blog, you can check out some other Mentor Minute columns and various other articles I’ve written and/or been quoted in. See the “In the News” section.

To your TGIM Work-life!

Eileen Chadnick

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If You Attended the IFCA Conference…

October 18, 2010

On Monday, I presented the opening keynote presentation at the IFCA Conference A group of about a 100 communications professionals who work in the financial and insurance industry in North America gathered in Montreal for their annual conference. The topic of my presentation was “TGIM Work-Life” (sound familiar?).  It was a great group and I had a superb time exchanging ideas about ‘what it is to love your work’ and strategies for a TGIM work-life!

I promised I’d put together a package of past posts that reflect further on the ideas I presented. 

Here they are – enjoy! (and no worries if you were not at the conference, they are relevant for anyone interested in creating more success and fulfillment at work and life).

BY THE WAY…I also just discovered a cool new feature available now on this blog (thanks to WordPress!). If you send a comment on any of my posts, you will have the option of subscribing to this blog and receiving all future posts by email. Cool, eh? 🙂

The Perils of TGIF  

Tips to Make the Bigness of Monday Just a Little Lighter

 The Lizard Who Wouldn’t Eat (strengths)

Thank Gd it’s Monday

 Happiness is Contagious

 Bring Thanks to a Thankless Culture

 Ramp up the People Part of Your Leadership

 Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

Coaches Don’t Always Demand More Push-Ups (About Tribute Communities)

Are Smart Goals Dumb?

 To a TGIMworklife every day of the week!

Eileen

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Giving feedback that fuels success.

September 12, 2010

Giving feedback is a critical part of a leader’s job. I’ve written quite a bit about the importance of positive feedback and acknowledgement (see a few links below). But what about those times when you have to give some critical feedback? Perhaps an employee is falling short on their performance or their attitudes and behaviour aren’t up to par? How do you deal with those situations? Do you see feedback as a necessary evil and something to get over with quickly? Or do you see this as an opportunity to invest in your people and strengthen both the performance and maybe even engagement.

Canadian HR Reporter invited me to contribute an article for these scenarios. It’s just been published and I’m delighted to share it with you: Giving feedback that fuels success

I’d love to hear your feedback and any additional tips and experience you may have had. In the meantime, I am getting ready to deliver a workshop to a group of leaders at an organization related to this very topic this week. I will be focusing on “Performance Development” and teaching coaching skills that can be very helpful in the continuum of leadership development and particularly the leader’s role in developing people. We will be focusing on both actualizing conversations as well as those seemingly more difficult situations.  More about that in future posts.

Other articles I’ve written that you may be interested in:

 Ramp Up the People Side of Your Leadership

Bring Thanks in a Thankless Environment

That Time of the Year – Performance Reviews

To a TGIMworklife!

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As well,

In the News: Ramp up the ‘People’ part of your Leadership

August 22, 2010

I was invited by the Globe and Mail Careers to respond to another Mentor Minute question from a reader. They published the column in Friday’s paper ( I wrote it a while ago).

The Scenario: The readers asks…

“I’ve just completed my first year in a leadership role and had a disappointing performance review. My boss acknowledged that I have good skills in advancing projects but he said he wasn’t seeing enough effective leadership. He wants to see me ramp up the “people” side of the job. I’m at a loss. What is he looking for?”

My Response: The Mentor Minute columns don’t get posted online but I did scan a copy and you can read my response here!

It seems performance development is becoming quite a theme in my coaching business of late. I have been invited to contribute an article to Canadian HR Reporter on ‘giving feedback’ (I will post it as soon as it’s published). As well, I am doing some work for a College in Ontario – developing and facilitating a training module for leaders at the college on performance development. Specifically, I will be teaching a myriad of coaching skills that are increasingly becoming recognized as a valuable leadership competency and fundamental to the performance development cycle.

Check in again for more updates on this area.  In the meantime, here’s another Globe and Mail Mentor Minute article I contributed related to Performance Reviews.

Here’s to a TGIM Work-Life for you and your team!

Back to TGIMworklife homepage

Eileen

Nothing says ‘thanks’ like….

June 17, 2010

Ever been in that crazy work mode and feel like it’s all for naught….a thankless work culture? Well not me! Sorry to gloat but I just received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a client for a project I’ve been working on with them. It was mid afternoon and just as I was feeling the wear and tear of a busy week (and craving a snack), I get a delivery of  a beautiful bouquet of flowers…even better, chocolate-covered fruit that look like flowers! Doesn’t get  better than that!! Yummo!

click on picture to see this up close….easy on the drooling…!!

Honestly though…chocolate aside. Nothing is better in my books than knowing you are making a difference and you are appreciated.  All too often, we all get so caught up in the frenzy of our work and life that we forget to say ‘thank you’.

Thank you’s of all kinds (from flowers to a simple verbal ‘thank you’..or an email’) can make such a powerful difference. Especially when you are working hard as it seems everyone is these days.

I feel blessed that my hard work (and contribution) is appreciated and that I am making a difference. This, I must confess, is my second ‘thank you’ bouquet in a month. I received a bouquet of fresh flowers from another organization with whom I’ve volunteered some of my time and professional ‘stuff’ this year. I worked hard for them too….but it was worth it because they appreciate it (and it’s a good cause).

This ‘business’ of thank-you is serious stuff. In fact, I was just chatting about this with a coaching client of mine who was reflecting on how important it is to show appreciation for her team.  And studies (and experience!) have proven that the act of showing appreciation has a positive impact on both the giver and the receiver.

There’s loads more ways — formal and informal — to show appreciation. If interested in a few ideas of how to create more of this appreciation in your work-life, check out my article,  “Bringing Thanks to Thankless Work Culture” which was published in the Globe and Mail.

And for all of you who stop by, read my stuff and who are part of my TGIM work-life, THANK YOU!!

To a TGIM worklife filled with gratitude and appreciation.

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Are SMART goals dumb?

April 26, 2010

Are SMART goals dumb? Well, yes, if you want to do GREAT work. At least that’s the conclusion of a study by the Leaders IQ consultancy, which found that so-called SMART* don’t always correlate with success.

Photo: from Flickr/js3pt

(* Smart goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive. )

According to the research, goals crafted within the parameters of SMART (see above) can be impediments to doing great work. They make us play it too safe; lack the impetus to make us reach for bold challenges and end up encouraging us to to mediocre performance.

The research looked at more than 4,000 workers from nearly 400 organizations and looked at what goal-setting processes lead them to achieving GREAT work. They came up with 8 attributes:

1. I can vividly picture how great it will feel when I achieve my goals.
2. I will have to learn new skills to achieve my assigned goals for this year.
3. My goals are absolutely necessary to help this company.

4. I actively participated in creating my goals for this year.

5. I have access to any formal training that I will need to accomplish

my goals.

6. My goals for this year will push me out of my comfort zone.

7. My goals will enrich the lives of somebody besides me (customers, the

community, etc.).

8. My goals are aligned with the organization’s top priorities for this year.

Notice no mention of ‘realistic and achievable’; nor of time-sensitive and measurable. Hmmmm.

Not that I’d throw out all those attributes. I think different goals will serve different purposes. But there is an important lesson here: if you are wanting to step it up into doing GREAT things in your work and life, you need to step it up on creating goals that are more than just SMART.  They need to get your heart pumping and have a bigger impact beyond yourself. They must touch and benefit others too.

The researchers coined a new acronym. Instead of SMART – they suggest you go for HARD. This stands for: Heartfelt (will enrich others lives); Animated (I can vision how great it will be when achieved); Required (these goals are necessary and make a difference to others) and Difficult (I must learn new skills and leave my comfort zone).

I know I am in the midst of creating some new programs and am so excited about these. Interestingly, to keep me moving forward, I inadvertently have been thinking about many of these things the research suggests. I’ve been visualizing; thinking about the impact and contribution to others; and learning (always in learning mode) — a whole bunch of stuff to help make this happen.

Hmmm. Maybe me and my goals are smarter than I thought 🙂

How about you? What goals need to be shined up a bit…or a lot!?

To a TGIM work life filled with wonderfully HARD goals that inspire you to success and fulfillment – and make a difference to others as well!

Eileen

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2,500+ People said Yes…How about YOU?

April 16, 2010

My goodness. I just had word that more than 2,500 people have registered for my upcoming Webinar, hosted by CICA: “Are You Addicted to the Yes Habit?” (April 21 at 12:30 est).  Yikes – and Yay!

This is one time when saying “YES” is the right thing to do IF…

….You find yourself too frequently saying yes when you really want to say no? Can you take on this extra project? Would you join our volunteer committee? We know it’s last minute, but can you organize next week’s meeting?

The ‘Yes Addiction’ can be tiresome and get in the way of your fulfillment and your success. 

This webinar will offer tips and strategies to manage your ‘yes habit’ and learn to say “No” when it matters most — and without the guilt, trepidation and risk of compromising relationships and success. Best of all — it is FREE and open to YOU if interested (courtesy of CICA – thank you CICA!). All you have to do is pre-register online (takes just a moment)

Hope to “see” you there!

To a TGIM worklife!

Eileen

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Are You Creating a Great Place To Work?

April 15, 2010

What makes a great place to work? Is it the people? The management? The relationships? The culture? All of the above and more!  And according to the Great Place to Work Institute – there are many great places to work in Canada – as they just announced their 2010 list.

Congratulations to Environics Communications for placing first in the list!  Kudos to Bruce Maclellan, president and founder of Environics Communications (and a friend of mine who was my very first boss when I began my career in Toronto many years ago). Bruce created a workplace culture that has earned this recognition along with the energy, loyalty and passion of a great team that does great work. I first met Bruce, when he was my first boss at Hill and Knowlton (who also placed on this list) and then I worked with him Environics Communications in the very early days of its start-up.   I know him to be a great guy – very smart and very dedicated to creating superb work for clients. He knows you can’t do that unless you create a great workplace so people can bring bring their best to the task.  So a well-deserved shout-out of congrats to Bruce and the whole gang at Environics – well done!

So what does it take to become a ‘great place to work’? According to the Great Place to Work Institute’s 20+ years of research, they say: 

At the heart of our definition of a great place to work – a place where employees “trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do, and enjoy the people they work with

They measure the quality of the three, interconnected relationships that exist including: 

  • The relationship between employees and management.
  • The relationship between employees and their jobs/ organization.
  • The relationship between employees and other employees.

So, how’s that going for you in your workplace?

If you want to create TGIM attitudes, aptitudes and altitudes – then time to pay more attention to these and other factors.

Btw, and btw, I can help……if you think you’d like to do a bit better in any or all of these areas 🙂

To a TGIM work-life!

Eileen

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