3 Ways to Boost Confidence and Happiness by Moving Your Body

3 Ways to Boost Confidence and Happiness by Moving Your Body Nonverbal communication, such as body language, can be a powerful tool to communicate with others, but did you know your body language can change the conversation in your own brain? Your body reacts to your thoughts and emotions in predictable ways, smiling when you feel happy or grimacing when you stub your toe. What we don’t often realize is that the communication from brain to body that creates body language can work the opposite way, too. In other words, you can flex your muscles, change the position of your body, and boost your own mood. Here are 3 ways to increase your happiness with your body language right now. 1. Smile: Your Happiness Superpower When you smile, the tiny muscles in your face do some serious heavy lifting. According to Stanford research scientist Nicholas Coles, smiling actually sends signals to your brain to boost your happiness. It helps you recall positive experiences and feel greater joy when someone shares a funny story, for example. What’s even more interesting is that you can “hack your brain” because this works even when you don’t already feel happy. Try it next time you reach a low-energy moment in your day. Flex those happiness muscles—smile—and note the changes in your mood. Feel better? Smiles are contagious, too. What better way to spread happiness than to share a smile with someone else? 2. Boost Your Confidence with Power Poses Smiling isn’t the only way to signal our brains to boost our mood or change our feelings. Our brains also react to our posture and the position of our bodies. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says poses that open the body, like what’s been termed the “Wonder Woman or Superman Pose”—standing with feet slightly apart and hands on hips—make us feel more powerful. Try standing in a “power pose” for two minutes before a challenging meeting or social situation that would usually make you anxious. Note the difference in how you feel. 3. Become a Mirror to connect with others Building strong relationships is one of the keys to being happy. You can use body language to connect with others. Your body language signals alertness, engagement, and understanding of a conversation. Using eye contact and angling your upper body toward the speaker are good ways to communicate that you’re listening. You can also subtly mirror the speaker’s body language. What’s the energy level of the person speaking to you? Try matching that energy as you listen to them talk. For example, if they have a relaxed posture, relax yours as well. Quick tip: don’t overdo your mirroring, remain yourself to remain authentic. Learn About the Connection Between Happiness and Performance The benefits of boosting your happiness extend over nearly every part of your life. Better happiness can increase the quality of your relationships, health, and work productivity. Learn more about boosting happiness at work in our Happiness and Performance session. We’ll teach you key strategies to [...]

By |2024-02-27T19:31:16-04:00February 27th, 2024|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|0 Comments

Using Personality Profiles to Boost Growth

Using Personality Profiles to Boost Growth A personality profile is one of the most powerful tools to help you understand your strengths, preferences, and/or traits that come less comfortably or naturally to you and your team. These profiles can help you and your team members understand your natural talents, communication, and work styles, as well as identify blindspots and development opportunities for better collaboration. While this information mainly focuses on identifying and using our talents, it can also shed light on the source of misunderstandings, help pinpoint the team's unmet needs, and offer insight on leveraging growth opportunities. Here are some ways you can use personality profiles to optimize teamwork. 1. Helps Us Understand Individual Needs. A personality profile, such as the DISC profile, allows teammates to see how their values and traits impact how they relate to their role in the team. This might help explain why we have different approaches and expectations. For example, if one team member prefers using frank and direct communication and their colleague values tact, maintaining harmony, and using gentle words. Both approaches to feedback are valuable, and pairing these two teammates together to practice feedback may help them learn to give balanced feedback that's candid and gentle. 2. Celebrates Diversity. While it might sometimes feel tempting to build a team of people just like us, what we miss when we do that are the vast benefits of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that result from mixing things up and valuing perspectives different from our own. This is one of the reasons we should be careful if we offer a personality profile as part of an onboarding process or for a team-building session. These profiles aren't meant to judge or limit the abilities of team members. For example, it would be silly to route all new hires who are extroverts to a sales team, and all introverts to data entry positions. While personality profiles offer clues about a person's preferences and traits, they don't exhaustively define the person. Instead, they're a tool to help us understand how to work well together and identify growth opportunities. 3. Boosts Growth and Productivity for All. A personality profile can help you understand what environment and leadership style will allow you and your team members to be the most productive and happy. Would your team benefit from an open, collaborative workspace, or do they work best in a quiet setting with few interruptions? Understanding this can help you learn to balance the team's needs, which may mean alternating periods of quiet with collaborative meetings. Understanding your personality can also help you see the potential areas for growth and understand who might be a good mentor or "buddy" by sharing and using a strength you may not have. A very organized employee can offer strategies or tips to help you boost your organizational skills. A team member with strong tactfulness could serve as a sounding board, helping you refine your candid feedback to be tactful but direct. When we find [...]

By |2024-02-06T10:55:57-04:00February 6th, 2024|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Using Personality Profiles to Boost Growth

’Tis the Season for Employee Recognition and Appreciation

’Tis the Season for Employee Recognition and Appreciation As we near the year's end, we reflect on its many highs and lows. The year may have brought unexpected hardships and losses along with successes and victories to celebrate. As we process and reflect, it’s important to remember the team who navigated the ups and downs of life this year and share with them the meaningful ways they contributed to helping us maneuver around setbacks and achieve our goals this year and to take a few moments to offer employee recognition and appreciation. The fact is, in our post-pandemic world, a little encouragement can go a long way. Forbes recently published an article detailing how employee recognition elevates employee loyalty (which, incidentally, has a significant impact on creating customer loyalty and business growth). It also creates a sense of purpose and belonging—knowing our work matters makes us feel like an essential part of a team. Here are 4 tips for recognition to keep in mind. 1. Acknowledge Challenges This may have been a challenging year, from economic changes to staffing issues, but your team has navigated these waters together. It’s okay to acknowledge that there were rough patches and thank them for staying the course and leaning in to help the team reach the other side. No matter what your team faced this year, you met it together, and now you stand on the other side, looking back at the year together. Acknowledging that you asked team members to go above and beyond or saw them handle unexpected challenges shows that those contributions matter and serve an essential purpose. 2. Recognize Individual Contributions Take some time (put it on your calendar if need be) to think over your team’s performance this past year. Are there instances when a team member’s new idea increased efficacy or workflow? Who went above and beyond when deadlines loomed? Is there someone who stepped up when challenges arose? Offering team members a Christmas bonus or raise is a wonderful way to show appreciation, but if you don’t have the resources to do this, offering employee recognition and appreciation is another powerful way to let your team know you appreciate them. You might write and hand out individual holiday cards or make a point to speak to your team, sharing with them examples of how their contribution to the team positively impacted the company and met a need you had. Make sure your feedback is specific and inclusive. 3. Celebrate Successes Take advantage of the holiday season to create a celebration of your own. Take time to celebrate your team’s successes this year. This doesn’t have to be a huge event, just something celebratory and above the ordinary. It can be as simple as calling a team meeting and providing donuts and coffee for everyone. At the same time, you take the opportunity to recap the team’s high notes and successes or as fancy as a catered lunch or party at a lovely venue. Any of these [...]

By |2024-01-08T10:46:32-04:00December 18th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on ’Tis the Season for Employee Recognition and Appreciation

4 Ways to Create a Collaborative Team Culture

4 Ways to Create a Collaborative Team Culture Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” It’s one of the best serendipitous qualities of a collaborative group. What began as an ordinary or half-impossible idea can round a brainstorming circle and become a genius solution in the hands of a collaborative team. Creating a collaborative team may take a little effort, but the rewards the team receives are more than worth the investment. Here are 4 ways to create a collaborative team culture. 1. Encourage Open-mindedness and Respect The first rule of creating a collaborative team is that the team must be a safe place to speak up. If team members can’t openly share their ideas, even the bad ones, they’ll withdraw from the discussion. Not only will you miss out on valuable input (even a bad idea can spark a trail of ideas that lead to a good one), but you’ll also miss out on something even more critical: engagement from your team members. Set the expectation of respect and make team meetings a safe space for new ideas. Set an example in the way you relate to the group. If someone shares an opinion that won’t work, thank them for their contribution. If you see team members speak down to one another, redirect the conversation, take the person aside privately, and encourage them to work on their open-mindedness. 2. Focus on Meaningful Priorities People can only focus on a few goals at a time, so limit the team’s focus to three or fewer specific goals at a time. Decide on a few inspiring and meaningful goals as a team. Make sure every team member understands how they can contribute and how achieving these goals impacts/benefits them. Set in motion an action plan and start tracking the team’s progress. 3. Get Everyone Involved in Problem-Solving Give your team a chance to build rapport with one another by involving them in team problem-solving tasks. This allows them to listen to each other and brainstorm together. It also helps get buy-in and builds engagement in the solutions the team devises. Ideally, don’t try to rush things. Whenever possible, let the discussion proceed until a consensus is reached. This can take time, but it allows everyone the chance to be heard. It will enable people to disagree and change course or forge meaningful compromises, which generates buy-in, a must-have in creating a collaborative team. 4. Invest in Your Team’s Development A team that advances in skills, advances their goals, and finds greater success. How will coaching or training add value to your team as a whole? How do development skills benefit individual team members? Investing in your team’s growth, both personally and as a whole, shows your team you care about their career growth. Providing that support can help reduce attrition and boost team members’ motivation at work. Get the Best from Your Employees Are you getting the most [...]

By |2023-10-30T10:49:29-04:00October 30th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Ways to Create a Collaborative Team Culture

3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance

3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance Employee productivity depends on effective performance management. The best managers use a combination of strategies to draw upon the full potential of their team and get consistent top-performing results. How do they do this? One powerful tool great leaders use to optimize performance is motivation. The Pygmalion effect explains how and why setting high expectations for employees yields excellent results. Here’s how to use the Pygmalion effect to optimize performance among your employees in 3 steps. What is the Pygmalion effect? The principle is simple. People tend to perform to our expectations, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we have high expectations, they perform better. When we have low expectations of people, they often perform below their capability. 1. Define Your Expectations Take a moment and think about each member of your team. Think about each person and your performance expectations. Do you think this person is capable of learning new tasks easily? Can they complete more than the tasks they’re given now? Do you have low or high expectations for this person? How well do you think they’re aware of your expectations? As you evaluate your expectations, also consider whether they’re realistic. Having high expectations of your employees only works when those expectations are achievable. If you set your expectations too high, the team may give up before they’ve even had a chance of success because they feel the target is impossible to reach. In summary, when you set expectations, think positively, but don’t depend on the power of positive thinking. 2. Boost Communication and Positive Feedback How do you communicate your expectations to your team? In life and work, communication determines so many outcomes. Remember that communication isn’t only the words you say. Sometimes, what’s unsaid speaks much more loudly. For example, when a manager is distant and uncommunicative, their team often assumes they are uninterested and have low expectations of their team. The fix is simple. When you see your team doing a good job, notice it and tell them. Don’t assume your appreciation is apparent. Make sure you’ve communicated it to your team. 3. Lead with Self-Confidence and Develop Yourself One of the critical factors that determines how successful employees are is the confidence level of their management. Do you believe you can coach and support your team? Do you believe in your abilities as their leader to achieve high performance? Are you using your full potential and investing in your own development? If not, what’s holding you back? Identify the barriers and find ways to remove them. Do you need more support from a coach or mentor? Ask for the help you need. It might be as simple as that. Are you lacking in a particular area of expertise? Find a way to get the training that will help you round out your leadership abilities and boost your confidence in yourself. Get the Best from Your Employees Are you getting the most from your team? Learn key [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:14:34-04:00September 11th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 3 Steps to Use the Pygmalion Effect for Performance

4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work

4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work Being assertive at work means voicing your opinions and ideas with confidence. Assertiveness helps us set boundaries and ask for what we need without being rude or combative. Communicating assertively increases job satisfaction and creates win-win situations with our coworkers. It also allows us to recognize our feelings and build honest relationships with teammates. Here are 4 more reasons to use assertive communication at work. 1. Keeps the Focus on Your Idea, Not You One common problem we face at work is thinking we’ve communicated an idea more effectively than we actually have. For instance, if you share an idea in a meeting or email, and the tone is too soft, your comment may get lost in the conversation. Your teammates may not recognize that you’re asking for or proposing something. On the other hand, if you pitch an idea too forcefully, the idea gets lost as people react more to your delivery than the idea itself. Assertive communication uses clear, direct speech to explain an idea, allowing the idea to hold centerstage for discussion. 2. Gives You a Sense of Empowerment Assertive communication provides you with tools to make your needs heard. It helps you zero in on what you will and will not do so that you can state that clearly. Setting boundaries offers you a sense of control and autonomy. That sense of empowerment makes a big difference in your happiness and resilience at work. 3. Helps You Earn Respect One of the critical components governing the level of respect you have at work is how often you do what you said you’d do in the time you promised to do it. Here’s where assertiveness comes in. If you cannot ask for the resources you need to complete your work, it won’t get done. Assertive communication gives you a vehicle to ask for those resources and clearly state what you can do so the team can plan accordingly and count on your contributions. Assertive communication also helps those in leadership to set priorities and expectations so that team members know which tasks to focus on and what to do if they encounter problems. 4. Reduces Stress No one likes feeling unheard or as though their needs never make the priority list. It’s true in family relationships, and it’s true on the job, too. If you feel unheard as a leader or team member, assertive communication can help you break through that wall. Learning to speak up and state what you need firmly and clearly allows your coworkers to adjust their expectations and offer the support that helps the whole team succeed. Knowing you have a path to being heard reduces stress and ensures you have a safety net in your ability to speak up. Expert Training on Assertiveness at Work Mastering the balance of speaking assertively without being rude can be tricky, but it’s a skill worth learning. Our Assertiveness workshop teaches communication and conflict resolution styles and how to [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:16:33-04:00August 9th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Reasons to Be Assertive at Work

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees Happiness at work is essential to today’s workforce. What’s especially great is the fact that happiness in your employees creates benefits for the company they work for, too. Happier employees complete their work faster and are more creative. They’re also less likely to quit their jobs, even if they’re offered more money somewhere else, according to this analysis from Gallup. Having happy employees doesn’t happen by accident; it doesn’t simply mean hiring people with a positive attitude. Fostering and maintaining happiness in your employees is a deliberate effort. Here are 5 ways you can create a work environment that increases employee happiness and delivers the benefits of a happy crew to you. 1. Set the Example of Happiness Start your day on a positive note. Think about something you’re looking forward to doing or experiencing at work today. Smile and greet your team members, and be as genuine as possible. Smiles, like happiness, are contagious, foster open communication, and help to lift the mood of the people you encounter. 2. Show Appreciation Make a point to recognize a job well done on a regular basis. The simple act of saying thank you and taking note of a team member doing well not only boosts their confidence and self-esteem but also sends a message to the other team members that you’re engaged and you notice their work. 3. Be Flexible Whenever Possible Offering employees choices about where and how they accomplish their work gives them a sense of control. Allowing them to choose their hours and break times also promotes a sustainable work-life balance and means they will be more focused and productive during the time they’ve set aside to work. 4. Create Comfortable Collaboration Spaces Having a comfortable in-person or virtual break room is a significant benefit for your team. It creates a space where employees can disconnect from work for a few moments and mentally reset, and it provides a space where team members can collaborate, solve problems, and build relationships—all activities that benefit the health and happiness of the whole team. 5. Communicate with Transparency What’s your vision for your team? How do your team members contribute to that vision? What are they doing that’s making a difference in the world? Talk to your employees about your organization’s bigger picture and how their work contributes to the overall goals. Giving them this insight helps them feel significant and invested in the outcome of their work. Expert Training on Happiness at Work It is not difficult to be happy at work and foster happiness in your employees. You simply need to know the guiding principles. Our Happiness and Performance workshop teaches the variables most often correlated with happiness, including the role of work itself. Deepen your understanding of what promotes job satisfaction and dissatisfaction and what to do for team members who want to be happy or happier. Contact us today to set up a training session on Happiness and Performance [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:17:28-04:00June 30th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 5 Ways to Increase Happiness in Your Employees

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills The core of great leadership is understanding people. It’s understanding how to motivate them, how to find their strengths and harness them for your team. One powerful tool leaders use in effectively motivating and communicating with their teams is emotional intelligence. This is the skillset that helps leaders read the room and change their approach based on the kind of feedback or direction their team members need in the moment. One of the key pillars of emotional intelligence is self-reflection and self-awareness. Counter to what you may be thinking, the way to get better at self-reflection isn’t through introspection. When we rely only on our perceptions of ourselves, we often get it wrong. Why? We have a tendency to be our own blind spots. We already know and understand our own perspective, but what’s missing, without the input from others, is how what we say and the way we say it makes them feel. Though we may have meant something as a straightforward statement of fact, it may have come across like a cutting insult depending on our timing and facial expression as we delivered this information. When we ask for feedback from others, it helps us to fill in those blind spots. It gives us new information to consider, and it helps us understand the gap between what we tried to express and the message others received. Here are 4 ways to build better self-awareness and boost your emotional intelligence. 1. Choose Feedback Givers Who Can Afford to Be Honest Flattery isn’t honest feedback, and it certainly won’t be helpful in allowing you to build accurate perceptions of yourself. So, who do you ask for feedback? Ideally, you ask people who can afford to be honest. Choose people who don’t need something from you rather than people who are depending on your feedback on an employee review or a critical piece of a collaborative project. If you’re asking people to evaluate a specific situation, it’s best to ask someone who was actually in the room when it happened. That way their reaction isn’t impacted by your version of events, which will always be limited to your perspective. Ask multiple people. Your team members and the other people around you are not a monolith. One person might find a comment you made to be deeply offensive while someone else maybe didn’t even catch that you said it. Asking multiple people gives you the opportunity to spot a trend. If multiple people were uncomfortable with something you said or did, it’s likely a situation you need to take a look at again so you can accept responsibility for anything that was out of line. 2. Ask Open-ended Questions We’ve all had those conversations where someone asked a question in such a way that made it clear there was only one right answer. If you ask leading questions, you’re more likely to get biased answers. (You don’t think I was being too harsh [...]

By |2023-11-24T19:18:45-04:00May 15th, 2023|Happiness Tips, Leadership Tips|Comments Off on Emotional Intelligence: 4 Ways to Build Your Self-Awareness Skills

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills Interpersonal communication refers to the methods we use to communicate thoughts, feelings, and needs to other people. On the job, this includes things like reporting the status of a task we’re working on, asking for information for a task or job, and resolving conflict between team members. When we think about communication, we often think of the messages we’re sending out using words, such as our verbal or written communication, but interpersonal communication includes so much more than that. There are four types of interpersonal communication: verbal, non-verbal, listening, and written. We use all four types of communication daily, even in a single meeting! Here are 4 ways you can boost your interpersonal communication skills so you can more quickly understand others and be understood. 1. Practice Active Listening Active listening sounds basic, and it is quite simple: listening with the goal of understanding what someone is saying. That said, it’s easier said than done and most of us need to improve this, especially in our fast-paced world. It means listening without thinking of your response or forming rebuttals. It means using your body language to signal attentiveness. To make sure you are truly listening, make sure to make eye contact, focus by removing notifications and distractions. If possible, take notes and ask questions to show that you are present and interested. 2. Use Assertive Communication Using assertive communication means speaking in a respectful way that is clear and direct. “I” statements can help you strike the balance between being direct and respectful. For example, “I need more time to complete this task” is better than, “You didn’t give me enough time to finish.” Instead of using words like “should” and “could”, try rephrasing with more positive words like “will” and “want”. Not only is this better communication, but it will also give you more of a sense of empowerment. There’s a big difference between, “I should get most of my emails answered today,” and “I want to reply to my important emails. I will do this by tomorrow end of day.” 3. Check Your Body Language Nonverbal communication makes up a big part of our conversations, whether we consciously realize it or not. We look for clues in our listeners that show they’re paying attention, understand what we’re saying, and clues to help us assess how they feel about our ideas. We also read the body language of people as they’re speaking to us. Maintaining eye contact tells listeners that you’re speaking directly to them. Good posture communicates that you have confidence in what you’re saying. On the other hand, crossed arms or legs tend to signal discomfort or resistance to the ideas in discussion. Looking down or away from the people you’re speaking with suggests distraction or insecurity. Checking in with your body before and during a conversation can help you make sure your unspoken conversation matches the words you’re saying and signals your confidence and connection with your [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:30-04:00March 24th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Great Ways to Boost Your Interpersonal Communication Skills

4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams

4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams If your team is like most in the workforce today, it’s made up of members of multiple generations. Each generation is characterized by different values and priorities in the workplace. It can be challenging to make sure everyone’s needs are understood and met, yet doing so means greater investment in your company and greater satisfaction on the part of team members. Here are 4 great ways to support intergenerational teams in your workplace. 1. Provide Flexibility One thing the most recent three generations—Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z—have in common is a desire for flexibility. The value looks a little different in each generation, though. For example, members of Generation Y often want the flexibility to work at least part of their hours remotely. They and Generation Z value the opportunity to work outside a traditional 9 to 5 time block. Baby Boomers don’t place as high a value on flexible time schedule, though they may wish to cut back their hours as they near retirement. 2. Vary Benefits Packages Instead of a traditional “one size fits all” approach, try to offer options. As Baby Boomers age, the likelihood of their facing long-term health challenges increases, so healthcare benefits are increasingly important to them. For younger employees, such as Generation Z members, benefits packages that include mental and physical health, like gym memberships can be a higher priority. Offering a variety of benefits options gives each intergenerational team member the ability to set their own priorities. Feeling that their needs are important to the company is especially important to Generations Y and Z. 3. Feedback is Still the Breakfast of Champions All generations want feedback and especially positive feedback. People need to feel appreciated, and recognition is almost always welcome. That said, the younger generations prefer quick, “on the spot” feedback where older generations are more used to performance appraisal meetings a few times a year. 4. Emphasize Development and Mobility Especially for the younger generations, having career path options and clear understanding of upward opportunities within the company are key. While Baby Boomers tends to invest more loyalty in the company they work for, younger generations value personal development and mobility above loyalty to a job. If they find themselves in a position where they feel “stuck”, they’re more likely to search for opportunities elsewhere. Establishing mentorship, training and/or coaching programs within your organization can help create opportunity for personal growth and development while also giving employees a sense of community and connection. Learn to Make the Most of Distinctive Talents in Intergenerational Teams It can be challenging to manage or work with people who belong to different generations. You may find it difficult to understand their needs and understand how use their unique strengths to create a strong intergenerational team. Get comprehensive training on how to meet the needs of your multigenerational team. Learn what each generation needs and how to boost excitement and productivity with our Intergenerational Teams workshop. [...]

By |2023-03-24T12:01:44-04:00February 15th, 2023|Leadership Tips|Comments Off on 4 Great Ways to Support Intergenerational Teams

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