Archive for commitment

What Brings You the Greatest Joy?

 “What do you do?” a new acquaintance asked me the other day. “I’m in the business of changing people’s lives,” I replied.

“Tell me more,” he smiled. “I use co-active coaching, positive psychology and the science of happiness to help people become healthier, more productive and to flourish,” I said.

I followed up by asking him what in his life brings him the greatest joy. “My partner,” he replied. “She is an amazing woman, and we have a wonderful relationship. Every day is a new adventure, and I cherish our every moment together.”

“What would it be like if you could have that passion in other areas of you life—in your career, for example?” I invited him to explore. “It would be great!” he replied. “I’ve never really thought that could be possible. The place I work at is so miserable. While I try to stay positive, there is so much negativity around me when I’m there. I don’t think I can make lemonade out of the lemons I’ve been given at Blankety-Blank Company.”

Isn’t that the way so many people feel? And what a shame. The thing is, each person has the option to control a good deal of his or her own happiness. Here’s where the science of happiness at work comes in. Because we can measure the key drivers of happiness at work (contribution, conviction, commitment, culture, confidence—coupled with trust, recognition and pride), we can focus in on the areas that need a boost. My business, Capiche, does this with individual coaching and team workshops. The results are impressive—both for the individuals and for the company. Individuals gain greater confidence, creativity, energy and job satisfaction. The company gains longer-term employees with 100% greater productivity who take ten times less sick leave, provide better customer service, make more accurate and better decisions, and are better team players.

Are you interested? I’d love to explore how the science of happiness can work for you. I invite you to contact me for a 30-minute sample coaching session to explore your personal happiness—either as it pertains to work or anything else. If you are a team leader and want to explore how your team can be happier, contact me for a free team happiness at work report that shows where your team could use a boost. Nothing to lose. No obligations. No kidding! I’m in the business of changing people’s lives. chris@capiche.us or 541-601-0114

 

What’s so Funny ‘bout Peace, Love and Understanding? Making Cross-functional Teams Succeed.

Have you ever endured a team meeting that went from productive to disastrous? Where the people from the departments that make up the team just didn’t seem to get it? They fought with each other, protected their own departments and were distracted by a bazillion side issues and personal problems? Did you drift off, thinking of Elvis Costello’s plaintive cry, “What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding?” Does it make you want to go back to the good ol’ days where each department did its job and didn’t have to worry about what was going on in other areas of the organization?

I hope not, because those days are gone and not likely to return. With your organization’s competition re-re-engineering, Six Sigma-ing, TQM-ing and getting even leaner and meaner, now is the time to get your cross-functional teams working better together.

A cross-functional team is made up of at least three people from different functional areas working toward a common goal. This team will have members with different functional experiences and abilities, and who will likely come from different departments within the organization. A team member might even be an external partner. A cross-functional team is typically responsible for all or some segment of a work process that delivers a product or service to a customer who is either external or internal to the organization. The work process requires input from several functional areas, therefore group collaboration is essential. When managed properly cross-functional teams provide flexibility, control and speed, coupled with multi-disciplinary knowledge. In fast-changing markets, cross-functional teams can quickly respond to customer needs.

So what can you do to get a cross-functional team operating at its peak potential? Start by establishing shared values and a common goal. Emphasize collaboration and team rewards. As a team, agree upon how you will operate. How you will communicate and how often? How will you hold each other accountable? How can you best help one another? Effective teams are committed to communication and collaboration as well as constructive conflict. People working on teams also develop mutual accountability for the success or failure of the team’s efforts.

What can you do to be a better team member?

  • Consider things from the point of view of your teammates
  • Think about how your work impacts the work of others on the team
  • Look for input, advice and ideas from others on the team, and don’t push your solutions on others
  • Share ideas freely; don’t be afraid to give away your “secrets”
  • Embrace the diversity of your team
  • Get to know your teammates—what they value, how they like to be recognized, their preferred methods of communication

What if you’re the team leader? Do all of the above PLUS take on more the role of a coach than a traditional manager. You champion ideas, but don’t command. You don’t give orders or assignments, but you rely on the entire team to take part in decision-making. You are not “over” the group, but rather a contributing member of the group. You promote performance and makes sure that the team efforts are in line with the goals of your organization. It is also your responsibility to be the liaison for upper management, suppliers and other outside entities. In a sense, you are the team’s key spokesperson that keeps a clear vision of the team’s goals and promotes activities to obtain those goals.

The return on investment will be increased productivity, creativity and efficiency. The end result will be better because you have developed a product or service that meets the customer’s needs and has the sales associates’ buy in. AND you will have improved quality and innovation because you are getting all the best ideas from everyone. Cheers!

Image by digitalart

 

 

 

Most employee problems are directly related to . . .

I’m presenting tomorrow at the University of New Mexico’s Mentoring Institute Conference on Leveraging the Science of Happiness at Work. Excited! Also doing a poster session and getting my paper published in the proceedings. A copy will soon be on this website.  

Today’s offerings opened with renowned researcher and publisher David Clutterbuck. I was pleasantly surprised that most of what he said was a refrain of the learning and research I have been doing – always nice to confirm!

He is colorful and has some pretty interesting points of view. 
1. Most employee problems are directly related to their supervisors. 
2. If succession planning works, then why do the wrong people keep getting to the top (I think his next book is on succession planning). 

Also, he shared some very powerful questions to use in coaching. 
1. What’s the risk in succeeding?
2. How many lies are you telling yourself about this?

He noted that men and women consistently tell themselves different types of lies. I invite you! Who wants to guess what the differences are?

 

Playing to the Edge in Las Vegas

What an incredible week as I attended the International Coaching Federation’s international conference! The theme was Playing to the Edge. With more than 1,000 coaches from around the world, we gathered together to continue our studies in the art and science of coaching and share perspectives on how we can help businesses and employees achieve their potential in our global economy.

Some of my personal highlights:

Having returned from the conference, renewed and invigorated, I was today’s guest on KCMX 880AM’s “Southern Oregon Live,” where I talked about happiness at work. In the next few weeks, I’ll be speaking at the 2011 Mentoring Conference at the University of New Mexico’s Mentoring Institute; return as a guest to KCMX, where I’ll appear on the “Open for Business” program; and also address the members of the Southern Oregon Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Managers in Medford, Oregon.

If Happiness Drives Performance, How Do I Get Happy at Work?

In Happiness at Work: Maximizing your Psychological Capital for Success (2010), author Jessica Pryce-Jones takes her research with more than 3,000 respondents from 79 countries and gets to the heart of what drives happiness and (this is so cool!) found that happiness drives performance.

Happiness at work is defined by Pryce-Jones as a mindset that allows individuals and organizations to maximize performance and achieve their potential. This happens during the highs and low—when working alone or in teams. By mindfully making the best use of the resources you have, you overcome challenges. This not only builds your happiness but also that of others—who will be affected and energized by what you do.

Happiness predicts employee time on task, intent to stay in job, sick time, motivation, engagement, satisfaction, self-belief, and respect for self and others. The Performance-Happiness Model, which was developed based on the above research, has been successfully applied in more than 8,000 cases.

The Performance-Happiness Model

Performance Happiness Model VAt the center of the Performance-Happiness Model is believing that you are achieving your potential. This is important because that belief makes you happy, and the statistics around happy versus unhappy employees are staggering.

Pryce-Jones’ research (2010) shows that the happiest employees compared to their least happy colleagues:

  • are 47% more productive;
  • take on average 1.5 sick days per year compared to the United States average of 6 days per year (in the public sector the sick days range from 11 to 20 days per year);
  • are 108% more engaged;
  • are 50% more motivated;
  • have 180% more energy;
  • have 82% more job satisfaction;
  • are 25% more efficient and effective; and
  • have 25% more self-belief (pp. 28 – 29).

The five strong factors important to achieving your potential at work are the 5Cs: contribution, conviction, culture, commitment, and confidence. Three vital sub-themes giving additional perspective of happiness are trust, recognition, and pride.

Stay tuned as I explore the 5Cs, trust, recognition, and pride in upcoming blogs. And please share examples from your workplace on how you’ve seen the Happiness-Performance Model in action.

 

References

Pryce-Jones, J. (2010). Happiness at work: Maximizing your psychological capital for success. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

 

 

Empower Your Team to Boost Performance

Do you stay out of your employees’ way and allow them to problem solve?  If not, consider that you are likely the sort of boss who is a top-down, micromanager. The command-and-control model works well in the military but results in tremendous dysfunction for work teams. Hierarchical control often results in a vicious cycle in which the work team is rendered ineffective and unvalued.

If you are a leader, remember that you have nothing to prove. Let your team be the problem solvers, and show them that you have ideas and advice when needed. Stay out of the way.

 The best leader is the one who listens more than talks. Watch your body language and maintain eye contact with the person speaking. Try to minimize distractions.

Welcome divergent viewpoints and disagreement. Problem-solve as a team, asking for input. Assure your team that all perspectives and solutions are valued, and be sure not to shoot down any thoughts that are shared. Remember that you are not the only one with the answers.

Successful leaders trust and rely on followers to maximize team effectiveness. Your behavior as the leader can either strengthen or destroy the work team. Engage and empower your team, and your organization will enjoy enhanced company performance while increasing team morale and commitment.