The Intensity Of The Holidays

holidayspixabayYour awareness of the strength of emotions, personal demands and impact of the holidays is a starting point for managing through them. The holidays are not business as usual.

How are your colleagues, team and you yourself doing during the holidays? Are people keeping their focus, maintaining productivity and collaborating well? Or, are you noticing changes, gaps or problems caused by the holidays? The holidays call for adjusting the way you manage yourself and others. Best to realistically assess what can get done during the holidays as well as what must get done and plan accordingly. Doing so will serve you and your team well and let you begin 2016 on top of your game.



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Creating Bridges

pexelsbridgeA bridge is a structure that goes across something or connects things. Figuratively speaking, you are creating bridges every day – among people, projects and ideas.

What is involved in creating bridges? To do this successfully you need insight, people skills, emotional intelligence, clear intent and goals, strategy and the ability to overcome obstacles. In my coaching, I often create bridges by getting to know clients and asking questions or offering insights that help them change their perspective in positive ways.

What bridges have you built this week? What would you say are your best bridge-building skills? What skills have you yet to develop? Creating bridges keeps you and your projects moving. Put some focus on your role as a bridge-builder and see what happens.


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Free: Four Gift Cards to Choose From. Click Here.

Merry Christmas! Gift a gift of Chrysalis for Free Happy Hanukkah! Gift a gift of Chrysalis for FreeHappy Holidays! Gift a gift of Chrysalis for FreeA-Gift-For-You-Chrysalis-Kwanzaa150

Start Over

DTSPpaperSometimes things just don’t go right. When this occurs, do you push on, ignoring what’s not working or do you stop and reassess? Sometimes, the best approach is to start over. Yes, it is a drag to erase all the time and effort you have already spent, but continuing may take more time and effort, with no results.

Starting over can apply to projects, members of your team or your own performance. How do you decide when it is time to start over? Some things to consider in your decision are: whether further action, on the same course, will make any difference, what results you have seen so far, what obstacles you are facing and whether they are surmountable, if there is a better way to accomplish your goal and what may happen if you do not start over.

There is nothing wrong with starting over. What matters is getting things done and if starting over will get you where you want to be, go for it.



Out Of Sync

ID-10083660Your work thrives when people and events work well together. At times, however, things can go astray. How do you respond when your work, team or projects get out of sync?

Disruption and chaos can pull you in and cause you to lose your center. Personalities can take over, obscuring what is happening and causing things to falter more. When something gets out of sync, you need clear vision in order to assess what has happened and to course-correct.

The next time something gets out of sync, what will you do? How will you regain your center when things go awry? How will you manage your own behavior to minimize the damage that occurs when something is out of sync?


photo: ddpavumba,

Do You Create Fear In Others As You Manage?

ID-10096213In a past post, Do You Ever Feel Fear At Work? I looked at how feeling fear can be a destructive force.  The flip side is if we, as managers, create fear in others. For me, creating fear serves no good purpose. It is effective for some in maintaining control but, essentially, it is bullying that has no place in our workplaces.

Good managing involves building a team, not breaking people down. How do managers create fear in others? They create an environment of insecurity, where team members do not know where they stand and feel their position is tenuous. They threaten people, subtly or overtly. They let their emotions run wild, intimidating others. They create uncertainty, without providing leadership.

Do you think you create fear in others? Is it intentional? Could you be creating fear subconsciously? It takes courage to manage openly, respecting others and maintaining your and their integrity. Do you have the courage to eliminate fear from your workplace?


photo: Victor Habbick,

Manager Coaching Skills: Encouragement

ID-10060465Encouragement is a powerful element of coaching your team. Encouragement can be employed in a variety of ways: to lift a discouraged team member, to motivate, to get a difficult message across, to build confidence or to give support or advice.

Encouragement is not a once-in-awhile thing. It should be used regularly, but not disingenuously. It can be provided one-on-one or in the presence of others. It may be in the form of words, gifts or notable mention in a document or e mail. True encouragement requires attention, emotional intelligence, empathy and observation.

Without encouragement, your team can wither. With encouragement, your team is lifted up, what you value is made known and collaboration is enhanced.


photo: digitalart,

Free Flow Management – 5 – Increasing Structure Where It Is Needed

ID-100113680Free Flow Management honors freedom and calls for a balance of freedom and structure. What happens if you have a team member who cannot “handle” freedom and whose performance suffers without a balance that overly favors structure?

Flow is the centerpiece of Free Flow Management. In this situation, honor your team member’s need for structure, initially. If their performance is suffering, ask them what they need to bring their performance up again. Co-create a structure with them to do this. At the same time, coach them to find ways they can become more comfortable with freedom. One of the premises of Free Flow Management is that freedom leads to creativity, innovation and fulfillment. Help your team member align with your balance of freedom and structure.

You do not want to regress and do not have to increase structure permanently just because one team member needs it. You want to keep things flowing. Obstructions need to be addressed and flow regained.


photo: sritangphoto,

Navigating Rapids

dreamstime_xs_41472300Odds are, as a manager you’ll be hitting some rapids in upcoming weeks. Navigating them skillfully, for both you and your team, will make the difference between an exciting ride or capsizing. What can cause these rapids? Many things, including: unexpected obstacles, personnel changes or problems, budget cuts, pressure to perform beyond capacity, overwhelm for you or your team, or over-the-top expectations from upper management.

What do you need to skillfully navigate such rapids?

• Presence of mind to make the best decisions

• Realistic expectations – knowing when to push and when to say no for you and your team

• As often as possible, being fully present in the moment

• Focus on priorities

• Awareness of how your team is doing

When you are navigating rapids you are dealing with unknowns, encountering obstacles, captaining your “ship”, assuring the well being of your team and identifying your destination. Success relies more on your inner being than on controlling outside events.

Navigating rapids requires you to be in the moment and at your best, so that you are ready to handle whatever you encounter.


photo: Strahil Dimitrov,

10 Ways To “Tip The Scales” In Your Favor

ID-10095922Tip The Scales: to make something more or less likely to happen, or to make someone more or less likely to succeed 

For your own success, and the success of projects you undertake, here is some advice for tipping the scales in your favor:

1. Be at your best – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually

2. Spend adequate time preparing

3. Bring the right people into your team

4. Objectively assess the environment you are working in and how to succeed within it

5. Clearly define the goal of your effort

6. Define the outcome you are going for, in detail

7. Create a plan and update it regularly as the project progresses

8. Don’t push forward when it is evident that a strategy is not working

9. Regroup and revise when it is called for

10. Acknowledge when you succeed or fail and debrief on the experience to inform future endeavors

photo: Kittisak,

Manager Coaching Skills: The Ability To Inspire

ID-100295019We all need inspiration, especially when we are stretching ourselves. Team members may come to coaching discouraged or unmotivated or daunted by what is expected of them. One very effective way to inspire is to lead by example. Show your team members that you are willing to do what it takes to excel and that they can too. Be a role model. Another way to inspire is to help individuals to see their strengths and the possibilities that lie before them. Show your faith in their ability to excel and face challenges. Inspire them by providing insights and suggesting strategies that help them move forward. Show your enthusiasm for their advancement.

Inspiration, by its very definition, makes someone want to do or create something they may not have considered before. Coaching is about advancement. Developing the ability to inspire is a win-win for both you and the team members that you coach.


photo: chatchai_stocker,