Thoughts4Action

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Check In Before You Check On

Step One: Take responsibility for your own state of mind.

Check in before you check on.

Checking in means having a meaningful conversation.


Uncertainty tends to breed anxiety, and for most people, uncertainty is the only certainty there is at the moment.

We all thrive on a bit of uncertainty; it spices up our lives. But it needs to come as just that—a spicy addition to an otherwise solid foundation of certainty.

When there is more uncertainty than certainty, it’s easy to drift into victim mode—which is what we also call going below the line. If we do, it tends to spread as we suck others into our drama triangles.

If you have two or more people reporting to you, you’re a team leader. As a team leader, you need to think about what you can do to keep yourself mentally fit and above the line because the last thing you need now is for a victim atmosphere to spread to your surroundings.

The only thing more contagious than COVID-19 is a negative emotion. It spreads...

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Employee Experiences and Why You Need to Focus on Consequences

In the last blog post, you looked at how progressive organizations are focusing on managing their employee experience as a way to ensure the best possible customer experience. From the Service Profit Chain‘s point of view, this makes perfect sense.

You can create super sophisticated employee career journey maps, but you could also only look at what a day looks like on your team from the point of view of an employee experience. What are the emotional highs and lows in a day? You looked at how managing positive ending has a huge influence on how the whole day is perceived.

In this blog post, have a look at why managing the end of the day is just as—or maybe even more—important than managing the start of the day from a motivational point of view.

A reasonably accepted definition of motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

That reason—called the activator—for doing or not doing something can come from...

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You Won’t Get Results by Pussyfooting Around the Issues!

It's not personal. It's a challenge.

No feedback, no progress.


I’ve been reading a fascinating book by Ed Catmull called Creativity Inc. Now, you may not be familiar with the name Ed Catmull, but if I tell you that he was one of the three original founders of Pixar, then you’ll probably have an idea of who I’m talking about.

In the book is a chapter where Catmull describes the process behind making a successful animation movie. Catmull writes, "Early on, all our movies suck!" This makes sense when you think about it. But when you see their fabulous animation film, you often forget how that represents three years of hard work from an awful lot of people. Of course, that rough idea was not born a box office hit. It was worked, reworked, and polished endlessly until it became that work of art.

It's one thing being a lone genius—a Picasso or a Rodin—tirelessly and self-critically continuing something until you get it right. But how does that work...

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A Team Leader's Key Instrument: Conversations, Not Small Talk

Great conversations have a powerful impact.

What is a quality conversation?

Who are you talking to?

How often are you having quality conversations?


Before you plunge into this, take a moment, and think about leaders that you have admired in your life. This could be a teacher, scout leader, sports coach or boss. Go on. Do it now.

When you think of a leader in your life that you've admired, does a specific conversation come to mind?

I think most people can remember at least one—maybe even several—conversations that they have had with a great boss. A conversation that somehow shifted something in their thinking, understanding or behavior.

Great conversations have a powerful impact.

But great conversations are also time-consuming. For exactly that reason, they're also often the most neglected part of your leadership toolkit. Most people don’t seem to find the time.

That's a shame because when you neglect your conversations, you miss out...

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