06 Jan The Best Blog Posts of 2016: Highlights and Top Takeaways
As we get back into the swing of things and start planning for a new year, it’s also a good time to take a look back at what we’ve accomplished and what was being talked about most in our workplace community.
For me, I’m passionate about sharing information, tools and techniques that will foster the development of stronger, more unified and ultimately successful teams. From one of my favourite topics: gratitude, to awe, passion, mindfulness and assumptions, let’s take a look at my top 10 posts from the past year.
Here they are:
Some people just naturally draw and keep your attention. It’s almost like they are magnetic. You want to listen to them, you might even want to be involved with their ideas and take action on their words.
All humans share the desire for attention, the desire to be acknowledged. Acknowledgment helps people feel that they are understood, that they belong. With the sense of belonging comes the feeling that they are a part of something bigger. They become engaged.
In my work as a speaker and facilitator, I’m passionate about helping teams and team members tackle their biggest challenges. Over the past 6 years, I’ve surveyed my keynote and workshop audiences about their toughest issues. No matter what sort of organization I’m working with, the challenges they face are surprisingly similar.
When I’m in the wilderness, I love looking up into the sky and feeling awestruck by the magnitude of the universe. It blows my mind when I try to comprehend that that every star is a sun like ours. I feel both tiny in comparison and connected to infinite possibilities.
We’ve all experienced awe. We have those experiences that stop you in your tracks, catch your breath and open your heart and mind. As a manager, you can create experiences that inspire awe as a way to engage your team and bring them closer together.
Distractions can come from being interrupted by colleagues, phones or emails and social media. It can also come from switching between tasks without completing each one before moving on to another.
Mindfulness is an awareness of the present moment, acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts without judgement. As a practice, pausing to tune-in to the present can have lasting tangible effects on our well-being and performance.
If you’ve ever been on public transport in morning rush hour, you can see how most people view going to work. You rarely see people who look excited to go to work. Turns out, only about 30% of people are.
Time spent at work takes up a huge portion of people’s lives. The environment and culture of the workplace can be the difference between an engaged, productive workforce or stressed, unhappy workers who are costing the company in loss of turnover, productivity and increased health costs.
Engagement, or a lack thereof, has a real impact on an organization’s success. Don’t miss the bonus download 5 Powerful Positive Psychology Hacks To Transform Your Team at the end of that article!
When I ask people about how and when they are working best, their answers are always a direct result of their happiness at work.
“My manager seems to care about me and I feel like a part of the team.”
“I feel valued and invested in.”
“I feel connected to who and what I am working for and I love the culture that has been created.”
In my discussions with managers and team leaders, I also hear some interesting assumptions about building engagement in their team and organization.
I was thrilled to give an interactive keynote at the Discover Your Personal Brand Conference here in Toronto last Summer. The conference was dedicated to helping participants build and clarify their personal brand so they can make a positive mark on the world. As I was preparing my speech, I realized I wanted to touch on a fundamental question that we all ask ourselves at some point: am I living my passion, have I answered my calling? And if our personal brands are a reflection of ourselves and our careers packaged as a brand, how do we define and live this?
What if your expectations were the most powerful factor in the success of a project? What would happen if you began a change process with very high expectations? What if your expectations were low, and you kicked off the process with skepticism? How would your level of confidence affect that outcome?
A person’s expectations and beliefs are extremely powerful. The placebo effect is an astounding phenomenon that continues to surprise researchers.
Last year I was a guest at a course on Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology focuses on creating more of what is right, rather than the traditional approach that focuses on fixing what is wrong.
I love the Positive Psychology model because it combines science-based research with related disciplines like cognitive neuroscience, mindfulness, contemplative studies, and mind-body medicine.
My favourite discussion was about the difference between what distinguishes good and poor relationships. They found that how people respond to good news is a huge factor in the quality of a relationship.
Gratitude exercises improve well-being through the development of a greater sense of appreciation, broaden mental flexibility, improve memory and help solve problems which require more complex cognitive processes.
But an even greater impact is that my quality of life has improved. By focusing on what I have to be grateful for, my happiness, contentment and general satisfaction has skyrocketed.
The idea of being grateful seems so simple that it can be easy to underestimate the impact it can have. However, with a consistent gratitude practice the results can be transformational. They have been for me.