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Little learning is known to occur in the month of December as the holidays add a layer of stress that prompts more of a focus on mere survival. Yet, in the face of crazy times we’re all encouraged to enjoy, work still happens and leadership is still needed. And, in a stroke of completely intended happenstance, the nine nifty tips in today’s Monday Moment will positively impact all three areas: a little learning, minimizing the holiday stress, and learning how to lead through it at both home and the office! So, let’s take a look at the nine nifty tips:
1. Stay Patient
If this is a trait that you’ve found lacking in the past, December is the time to reacquaint yourself with its value. Patience prevents you from leading out of frustration. Patience keeps you from making situations that require more time to be spent on controlling the damage when words of anger or haste are spoken. Take deep breathes. Stare blankly for a moment. Keep those snarky comments and muttered mentions to a bare minimum and stay patient.
2. Find Your Happy
Impersonate a Who from Whoville if you must or even take inspiration from any cast member’s mood at the end of a Lifetime holiday movie. Whatever your source of joy, lead yourself to your happy place as often as possible. You’re juggling a lot and likely under more stress as the year ends and you’ll lead far better with regular doses of things you enjoy and that make you happy.
3. Think Longer
Tied to patience, thinking longer on big decisions can be a leader’s life saver during the holiday times and others. Take the time to consider factors you might not often consider. Look into how all members of the team will interpret your message or actions. Think about timing, heightened sensitivity, long and short-term impacts, and the needs of the business before leading or finalizing big decisions.
4. Start Fresh Daily
There are enough family matters and things we don’t discuss that threaten to rise to the surface, without the boss or manager at work also holding on to some grudge. Let stuff go. If she snapped at you in a meeting yesterday, assume she had a temporary moment of crazy and move on. If he didn’t talk to you at the holiday party, assume he has no clue what he’s missing and start fresh with your attitude, demeanor, and patience, daily.
5. Plan Now
It does seem there is a time warp in December and the days just start spinning by faster and faster. 2020 and January will be here quick and what you’d like to achieve or reach needs to have a plan in place. If planning makes you happy, consider this a two-fer. If planning is drudgery, then time’s a wastin’ dear leader. It’s time to put a plan in place not just for your quotas and number, but the people you have the privilege of leading and how they will grow and develop going forward.
6. Become a Gatherer
This time of year may not afford you the luxury of leading your way through your normal routine, so adapt and gather small bits of information as they come to you. Maybe you need to share details on upcoming changes with the team. Gather up the details one by one and email them to yourself or text yourself or write on post-its that all get put in the same place, until you can sit down and pull all the intel together to make a cohesive message. The risk of not gathering information is you put off important actions because in your role of leader you simply don’t have the time to spend hours on project in one sitting.
If you’re in a meeting, instead of just being cc’ed in an email, and have mental capacity to spare, start clarifying and thinking through specifics in these three areas: expectations, goals, and resources to get you there. What do you expect, specifically, of each person you have the privilege of leading? What are the goals you have for each person? And what can you share with them for guidance, direction, training, development, or inspiration so that the goals are achieved faster or more effectively. Use your windshield time or boring meeting time to think in ways that are productive.
8. Actively Apply
Instead of learning new items and skills, though there may have been one or two in this message, actively apply what you know needs to be done to improve your leadership. Do the things you know need to happen. Write down the information you know you need to gather. Have the conversations you know need to happen. Push through and apply the leadership skills you know you already have so that when the holidays do arrive, you can actually relax.
9. Be Your Own Santa
Whether the celebrations are jubilant in your office or quiet, the home fires filled with bunches of family members, or just your favorite pet and small stocking, treat yourself kindly. Be your own Santa instead of waiting for others to give you presents. Be your own deliverer of good tidings in spite of others who appear certainly on the list that is naughty. Survive if you must but thrive if you can and take a moment at times, to have a twinkle in the eye that is merely observing the mayhem.
Monica Wofford, CSP develops leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm designs and delivers leadership training for those managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.