Unblock Your Perspective: Listen More, Learn More, and Get More Done
How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 2
Our ego wants to protect us from being wrong, and in our effort to be right, we may close our mind to other perspectives, supporting our isolated view even when we would benefit from seeing what things look like from someone else’s perspective.
Listen in (or read on) for two stories on perspective-taking – one imaginary and one true – that demonstrate how listening better and more often can help your organization move forward and get more done.
How Office Drama Costs Your Organization, Part 1
The story about a meeting meltdown and its aftermath continues...
In this second and final “episode”, you’ll see how the chaos spread through the management tier all day and well into the night.
As with last week’s Part 1, as you listen to or read the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and confusion.
This story about a meltdown in a meeting and the chaos that followed is based on a situation that occurred in an organization I worked with. As you listen to the tale, notice how – and how many – people were affected, and think about all the places where you hear time (and, therefore, money) leaking out of this organization due to a single moment of drama and the subsequent distractions and chaos.
The Isolated Leader
Unwritten rules are rules that we’ve created or adopted that govern our decision-making and our behavior patterns. They’re barely noticeable to anyone else, but when they’re challenged, they cause us discomfort, bring up conflict within us, and make us wonder – and judge – why other people don’t follow the same rules we do.
Listen in (or read on) to see how unwritten rules impact your relationships at work and at home and, maybe, hold you back from your full potential. And to hear the thing about my Christmas tree...
Don't Take It Personally
Isolation is a common thread among leaders who wish they hadn’t gone into leadership. The higher you move up in an organization, the less time there is to work in your area of passion and strength, the more you become the guard dog and keeper of secrets, and the fewer people you can talk to about decisions that weigh on your heart.
Listen in for six characteristics of isolated leaders plus three simple strategies they can use to re-engage with their work, their life, and the people around them.
How many times during the course of your day do you overhear things, see things, read things and take them personally? Choosing to be curious and to ask questions is the pathway away from drama and chaos. Join Beth as she uncovers why we take things personally and how you can disrupt that tendency. Just proclaiming “I will not take things personally!” isn’t enough to switch us. Instead, Beth explains how taking things personally is a practice, a choice.
Shut the Dang Door!
Hearing what someone said isn’t always enough – you may need to actually listen. Active listening takes a bit more work but will save you time and energy in the long run.
Listen in (or read on) for: an explanation of active listening, three questions you can ask to encourage a deeper conversation, how little of your undivided attention is needed to satisfy others, and how one of my daughters taught me all this when she was just two-and-a-half years old.
“You can only call me for three reasons…”
“I have an open door policy.” Oh my gosh, those words just make me shudder. Why am I opposed to an open door policy when it’s often pushed as the way to be a “connected leader”? Because an open door policy has the opposite effect. When you have an open door policy, you’re not connected to or present for anything.
Listen in (or read on) for how an open door policy hinders your productivity, robs the people around you of learning opportunities, and nibbles away at your time, plus 5 simple tips for setting things right.
Start With Strawberries: Lessons and Reflections from New CEO Cara Crye
Exhaustion and fatigue are common themes with many of my clients, and I’ve realized they haven’t given themselves permission to set boundaries. In fact, the tendency is quite the opposite. Somewhere along the way, we get the message to give all of our kindness, time, and energy to others and to keep none for ourselves. But nurturing ourselves first is the only sustainable way forward. Listen in for the surprising boundaries that set me free, a few words that create space, and one word that takes it away.
Anger’s Many Disguises
A special treat: An interview with Cara Crye, new CEO of the Farm Supply Company. Cara began working at Farm Supply fresh out of college and worked her way up through the ranks to follow the prior CEO’s 52-year tenure. If you’re looking to move up within your organization, or even tap into a leadership position in a new organization, you are going to hear some invaluable tips and areas to begin working on so you can increase your self-awareness and become a charismatic, engaging, and successful leader.
How to Get Rid of Your Anger
Anger is not a pure emotion, but a mask for painful emotions such as sadness, fear, and disappointment. At the same time, anger can hide behind numbness, defensiveness, or a feeling of power. Anger plays tricks on our ego, distances us from others (and ourselves), and can have a boosting effect as powerful – and as short-lived – as a sugar rush.
Read or listen in for more on anger’s many disguises, and learn how to dissipate your anger by asking yourself a few simple, yet powerful, questions about your situation.
Be Aware of the Witness Marks
When at work, many of us try to deny anger we’re experiencing because, well, it’s just not appropriate. But through that denial, more anger and resentment are generated, and our suppressed anger has a way of sneaking out when we’re least expecting it. Ultimately, suppressed anger can destroy our working relationships, stall our careers, and have our reputations going in unintended directions.
Listen in to learn three questions you can explore to get rid of your anger and two emotions that hide beneath it.
It's Just Like Sugar
Now, more than ever, we need to become more skillful at flourishing within the vortex of change. Be aware of clinging to the witness marks -- indicators of how things were previously used or implemented. When you resist change, you’re likely manifesting disconnection, isolation, and eventual -- and inevitable -- obsolescence and loss. Listen to stories about a client's challenges with change and what I face with my own business.
Build a Roaring Fire of Confidence and Power
Gossip is as addictive as sugar. It can also be damaging and slowly wear and tear at the vital framework that keeps a group or a team cohesive, a family solidified, and an organization moving towards its goals. Breaking the gossip habit is a powerful way you can positively impact your own happiness, even when you’re feeling powerless. Here's how...
Distractions as a Cover-up
Are you ever afraid you’ll be found out? You know what I’m talking about – that moment when you stop in your tracks and think, “What if they find out I don’t know as much as they think I do? What if they find out I’m not really equipped for this job?”
Well, if your answer is Yes, you’re in good company because most of us suffer from Impostor Syndrome. The Impostor Syndrome’s voice most often rears its ugly head when we...
Navigating the Holiday Effect
My experience in working with this young man taught me far more than I ever taught him. One of the biggest Ahas was how when humans – youth or adults – feel vulnerable about their skillset or abilities, and they are in an environment where they believe it isn’t safe to reveal those deficits and ask for help, they will create a distraction. In the world of work, this distraction is generally drama, chaos, and unhealthy conflict.
We are entering prime time, the big show, the period just before the Christmas holiday that extends into the new year – a time known for hustle and bustle and joy and, mixed in with it, our stressors, emotional triggers, anxiety, drama, and conflict. And as we’ve all experienced, sometimes it’s a little tough to tell which moment is going to contain which bevy of emotion.
Grace Is in the Space
So I have a question for you: Would you rather go for a leisurely walk on a flat paved path or would you rather bushwhack your way through new and uncharted territory?
For me, the answer depends on the day. It depends on how much energy I have, how much time I have, and what I anticipate the reward might be.
Don't Look at the Coffee
Today I want to tell you about one of my absolute favorite sayings. I actually think it’s a Beth Wonson Original because when I Googled it with quotation marks around it, only my own articles and writing came up in the results. So I’m going to go ahead and own it!
When I was a waitress (way back before they were called servers, and when every cup of coffee came with saucer under it), I struggled to get a full cup of coffee from one side of the dining room to the other without spilling any into the saucer – and customers strongly disliked getting a saucer full of coffee with a cup that was half empty.