Supporting Colleagues in Difficult Times

notice-what-people-do-well-and-suggest-how-it-might-meet-a-need-in-your-community

My employer has announced it will be laying off up to 300 employees within the month.

This kind of uncertainty takes a huge toll, both for individual employees and for the organization as a whole. I’m amazed and inspired to see how many among us are bearing it with grace and compassion, if not without fear. Whether we personally stay or go, it’s going to be hard either way when “the announcements” are made.

The truth is, though, that the days of relying on employer to get us through a lifetime of work have been vanishing for decades. Personal creativity is more important than ever. Unfortunately, employment itself is so demanding that it leaves little time or energy to cultivate our true passions; and so few are given the encouragement and means to cultivate their creativity. It can make facing a situation like this truly frightening.

My own situation has taught me a lot about uncertainty in the last few years, so I’m probably in a better place mentally than many. I’m trying to focus on ways to inspire curiosity about what opportunities may arise, and maybe even serve as a kind of creativity consultant / life reset resource for friends and colleagues.

One of my favorite practices is to take note of what people do well – whether it’s related to their job description or not – and compliment them on it. Where I can, I try to suggest how it might even meet a need in our community, and open up new avenues of possibility for them!

As an administrative professional, I touch so many people’s work. I impact morale every day, either by decision or by default. It is my choice to be a force for good. Eloquence is a great asset in this, but it’s not everything. People always sense when someone cares, so the intent is far more important than the form of the words.

For those of you who, like me, are in uncertain times, my ask of you today is this: spread hope where you can.

Please share your ideas and thoughts for how we can support and encourage each other in the comments below.

Providing Effective Feedback

One of the most important skills for us to develop – both as mentor and as a protege – is the art of giving constructive feedback.  In this presentation from December 2015, I review some principles and techniques for effectively delivery evaluations in a way that both upbuilds the recipient, while still offering specific suggestions for improvement.