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Have you thought about the type of leader you are?

Have you thought about the type of leader you are?

I am a student of leadership. First of all, I love the concept of inspiring, developing, and challenging others while imagining and driving towards a future state. But mostly, the dynamism of leadership and the continual advancement that takes place in the study of leadership challenges me to stretch and grow myself as new facets of leadership are advanced.

Last week, at a workshop for about 20 mid-level managers, we talked about management and leadership, and the thought that the “command and control” leadership style is (hopefully) a thing of the past. What has replaced it? A leadership style rooted in inspiration and trust, as highlighted in Steven Covey’s book Trust and Inspire: How truly great leaders unleash greatness in others, is a great place to start.

#WiseWords
“The manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.”
— Warren G. Bennis
Worth The Share

Talking about new leadership frameworks, Hitendra Wadhwa’s article, in the current issue of Harvard Business Review, does just that. Most of us learn about how to become a stronger leader by doing things like taking workshops, reading books, or doing online courses. Hitendra states that if you can “shift the emphasis from learning from the sidelines to leading in the moment, executives can achieve real breakthroughs”.

After extensive research and consulting work, he validated his approach of dynamic leadership that he calls leadership-in-flow, encouraging leaders to take as little as 10-15 minutes of preparation before a big event. Get yourself centered and be fully present so that you can appropriately respond in real time, and tap into the core energies as referenced below.

Built on “five types of energy, based on ancient wisdom and contemporary science”, they are:

  1. Purpose – committed to a noble cause
  2. Wisdom – calm and receptive to the truth
  3. Growth – curious and open to learning
  4. Love – connected to those you work with and serve
  5. Self-realization – centered in a joyful spirit

Read the article, Leading in the Flow of Work from HBR, or pick up the book “Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: How your five core energies hold the key to success”

And Finally...

In my last newsletter, I asked about your word of the year and was delighted to hear from many of you about your word, including elevate, fortitude, intentional, and thoroughness. Use this word to help guide you in 2024.

Building on that exercise, think about what type of leader you are. We are all, and can be, leaders at work, at home, with friends, and in our community.

Do you inspire others? Are you trustworthy and open-minded? Or are you leaning into the old models of leadership by being the type of person who sees the world as “my way or the highway”. Which of the five types of energy listed above do you want to further develop in yourself to become a more dynamic leader?

Have a great week,

Kind regards,
Mary Jo
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

What is your best time of day?

What is your best time of day?



We all have a time of day where we are most productive, although it varies from person to person. According to HumanResources online, here is how they break it down. We are most productive in the:

  • Early morning, 34% between 6-9am
  • Late morning, 31% between 9am-12pm
  • Early afternoon, 20% between 12-3pm
  • Late afternoon, 9% between 3-6pm
  • Evening, 5% between 6-9pm
  • Late night, 1% between 9pm-12am


If you can arrange your schedule to best utilize the time of day when you are most productive, you will be more effective and efficient, and have higher job satisfaction.

When are you least productive? For me and 9% of the people in this study, anytime after 6pm is not ideal. For 28% of those surveyed, after lunch is when they are least productive. Think about that the next time you are trying to rally the troops to solve big problems after they have just eaten.

Beyond your most and least productive times of day, think about the types of tasks that you tackle daily. When is your best time to meet with team members? When is your best time to do intense work, or the simpler tasks that require less brain power?

#WiseWords
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
— Michael Altshuler, Author
Worth The Share

There is an art to effective time management. Taking breaks during the day has an impressive ROI according to this Workforce Index done by Qualtrics of over 10,000 desk workers around the globe. Workers who regularly take breaks have 13% higher productivity, have 62% better work-life balance, are 43% better able to manage stress, and have 43% higher job satisfaction.

The research reported that 70% of desk worker’s time at work was productive, with times of day when they were most productive varying widely. Three in four reported that end of day, between 3-6pm, is unproductive. “This goes to show that productivity isn’t linear. Productivity happens in bursts, on and off throughout a day, not necessarily in prescribed windows of time, and definitely not for eight consecutive hours. The  ‘afternoon slump’ shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing; for many workers this could be an ideal time to take that break that will boost their overall productivity for the day” said Christina Janzer, SVP of Research and Analytics at Slack. It goes on to say that if you can optimize your focus time, collaboration time, and the time you spend connecting with others and taking breaks, you will be able to function at your best. What is the right mix for you?

We all know that employee engagement at work is a problem. As a leader, if you can work with your team leads and team members to give careful consideration to what they can do to better maximize their time, there will be a myriad of benefits. Check out “The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity” to learn more.

And Finally...

As you reflect on your time management skills and areas for improvement, I have one more question for you. What is your WORD for the year? It is one of the things I consider annually.

This year, my colleague shared her word: RYTHM – at work, with her family, and with extra-curricular activities (she wants to take up dancing). Another friend is using the
word ACCCES, where each letter is the first initial of a focus area such as career, challenge and community for the three Cs. My word this year is ILLUMINATE – being open to new concepts and experiences, and being intentional with how I show up, serve and support others.

If you can’t think of a word, here’s a LIST of 300 possibilities, along with a meaning for each. Maybe before January is over, you’ll have your word for the year that reflects your values, intentions or vision for 2024.

Have a great week,

Kind regards,
Mary Jo
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

How deeply do you connect?

How deeply do you connect?

Currently, I am coaching a few engineers and other professionals who are on a journey to learn how to better connect with people. While that might sound peculiar, not everyone has the innate talent to strike up a genuine conversation with new people.

There are numerous reasons why this may be the case, such as upbringing, introversion, or anxiety in social situations. Recently, I attended a charity event where there were over 100 women in a room. When I sat down at a table, a woman asked me who I can with, and I said I was alone. Her response “that was so brave of you”. This incident prompted me to reflect on how challenging it can be for many of us to enter a room full of strangers and make a meaningful connection.

How do you establish a genuine connection with others? There are many techniques to try and see what feels most natural for you, but the heart of connection boils down to three things: the ability to listen attentively, display empathy and ask thoughtful questions.

To truly listen to another human, you need to quiet the story in your own head. To be empathic, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about the situation from their perspective. To ask good questions, be mindful about what you are asking so that the questions are more specific. For example, “What are you looking forward to this week?” or “What most excites you about the new year?” Asking thoughtful questions  and deeply listening to the answers can be a game changer.

#WiseWords
“Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
— Susan Sontag
Worth The Share

During the holiday break, I listened to compelling podcast from the Next Big Idea Club, with the author David Brooks whose book How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen was published last October.

He talks about connection and his own personal journey to become a more empathetic and caring person. In a interview on PBS he said: “People feel invisible and unheard… and for society’s sake, it’s important we get a lot better at the skills of building relationships and understanding other people.”

In the podcast, he goes on to say that we vary widely in our skill to read each other accurately, quoting research from William Ickes that strangers in their first conversation when meeting someone read each other accurately only about 20% of the time, and for close friends and family members, that only jumps to 35% of the time where we read each other accurately, on average. David Brooks explains that the reason these percentages are so low is because of our own natural egotism, that sometimes it’s anxiety and/ or  that we’re locked into our own viewpoint and can’t see the other person’s point of view. “We are naturally a bit self-centered”.

Since I so often work in communication, I found this work quite compelling. To learn more, check out the podcast or get a copy of the book.

And Finally...

Happy New Year! As you think about the year ahead, perhaps add to your list a commitment to better connect with your colleagues at work, in your community, and of course, with your family and friends.

It is staggering to think that last April, Gallup reported that seventeen percent of U.S. adults reported that they felt loneliness “a lot of the day yesterday”. And while these numbers are better than they were during the pandemic, 17% translates to 44 million Americans.

Be present, listen and ask thoughtful questions.

Have a terrific week and an even better 2024.
Mary Jo
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

The mad dash?

The mad dash?

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year on many levels, but it can also be quite daunting. Recently, I spoke with a small business owner who was feeling overwhelmed by the negative energy that seems to be all around us. While there are many reasons for this, I won’t go into them here. Instead, I’d like to remind us all that we have a choice in how we approach each day.

I had a client who was constantly complaining about things that were beyond her control. While it’s helpful to have someone to listen to our frustrations, we need to ask ourselves how useful it really is to complain all the time.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat negativity. Take some time as you wrap up your year-end activities to reflect on what you’re grateful for this year.

#WiseWords
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
— Denis Waitley, author
Worth The Share

As you know, I really enjoy the content from Harvard Business Review and today’s article is no exception. This recent piece is brilliant in its simplicity. It draws a parallel between the strategic planning process many of use in business with creating a plan for our life. Use Strategic Thinking to Create the Life You Want outlines a seven-step process that can be easily adapted to an individual:

  1. How do I define a great life?
  2. What is my life purpose?
  3. What is my life vision?
  4. How do I assess my life portfolio?
  5. What can I learn from benchmarks?
  6. What portfolio choices can I make?
  7. How can I ensure a successful, sustained life change?


Read the full article to learn how you can create a strategic plan for your life. The 
holiday season may be a great time to start.

And Finally...

And now, I am signing off for the holiday season. Yes, it is a mad dash to the finish line, but I for one really love this time of year. My Christmas cards may be late, the perfect gift still on the shelf at some store, (or a warehouse at Amazon, or a craft table at Etsy), and my Christmas dinner will probably not be gourmet-worthy. 

That said, I will enjoy reflecting on 2023, on the many clients I have had the privilege of coaching, the dozens of workshops I co-created with clients, or the consulting projects that solved business challenges. Working with Deb Graham and Teresa Vaughn for SHRM was a standout, as was spending time each month with my Columbia Mastermind Group (You know you all rock. Thanks for coaching me!).

I’ll be back in touch in January, but until then, I wish you and yours a magical and joyous holiday season!

Happy Holidays,
Mary Jo

P.S. In full transparency, I did use AI to sharpen up some of today’s newsletter. What a cool tool.
 
 
 
 
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Do you really listen?

Do you really listen?

While it does not surprise me, it saddens me that so many of the my clients and so many of my workshops include some discussion around listening. Overall, I would say that most of us are terrible listeners. When I led national sales teams, it was apparent that my sellers were lousy at listening and often missed the opportunity to connect with their clients. They thought that they knew better. The sellers would smile politely and nod, but then they would jump into their sales pitch, often ignoring what the client just said.

Listening is a skill that can be learned. I feel that if we were all better listeners, the world would be in a better place. But what makes a good listener? When coaching clients, I lean into the Co-Active Coaching framework on Listening Levels, describing them this way:

  • Listening Level 1: when you are listening to someone else, but your mind is preoccupied with other thoughts, such as wondering when the speaker will stop talking or thinking about sending a message to a colleague.
  • Listening Level 2: when you quiet your mind and give your full attention to the other person. You’re consciously listening to every word, processing it, and responding accordingly. You are fully receptive to what they are saying.
  • Listening Level 3: when you are fully connected with the other person, and every aspect of your being is in sync with theirs. Listening “as though you and the client are the center of the universe.” This is an intense and powerful level of listening.


As an Executive Coach, I spend most of my life listening to clients at Level 2 or 3 and it can be transformative. Truly listening to another person is a gift. Give it a try!

#WiseWords
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m
going to learn, I must do it by listening.”
— Larry King
Worth The Share

From my work in change management, I know that changing the culture of a company is quite difficult, but when I read this article by Gallup, I was pretty surprised. The article, “What Leaders are Asking” focuses on the questions that leaders should be asking and what those questions really mean.

Consider these stats from Gallup, the comments are mine:

  • Globally, one in four employees strongly agree their opinions count at work (Is anyone listening?)
  • About two in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that the leaders of their organization has clear direction for the organization (Yikes!)
  • Fewer than two in 10 American workers indicate their company is agile. (What year are we living in?)
  • Fewer than one in four U.S. employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work every day. (Where is the gap?)
  • On average, a third of employees strongly agree that their associates are committed to doing quality work. (Where is the standard of excellence?)

Read the full article to uncover some ideas and strategies to make a positive impact on your company’s culture.

And Finally...

Speaking of the Gallup Organization, I encourage you to take the CliftonStrengths34 assessment if you haven’t already. And if you took it a few years ago, take it out of your file cabinet or find it on your computer and dust it off.

What I love about CliftonStrengths is that it challenges us to focus on our strengths, to understand them, to benefit from appreciating our own uniqueness and to learn how to live our best life. My top five strengths are: Connectedness, Positivity, Activator, Relator, and Responsibility. For anyone who knows me well, this comes as no surprise. That said, these strengths remind me daily of the benefits and pitfalls that are tied to them, and understanding that hopefully makes me a better person and a better executive coach.

If you would like to learn more, reach out anytime.
Have a great week,
Mary Jo
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

How good of a storyteller are you?

How good of a storyteller are you?

Stories are powerful. We all know that, and can easily recall a favorite movie or video, a song or book. So how come, in business, we rarely use storytelling techniques? We regularly talk in business speak, using a dry vocabulary and lots of facts to sound smart and impress our colleagues and clients.

Earlier this week, I worked with a group of senior leaders on communication skills and we talked about storytelling. It was affirming to see how quickly all the participants latched on to various techniques to share the power of stories. They grasped the concepts quickly and told me that they valued learning this new skill.

Go ahead. Try it. Add some drama or tension to grab the listener’s attention. Paint a picture to bring the situation to life so that the listener can imagine in their mind what you are describing. Use names for people, places and things. Sprinkle in some emotion to tug at the listener’s heart strings and help them connect deeper to you and the characters in your story, maybe even helping them to identify with those characters. Add luscious details to help them fully immerse themselves in your story – color (fuchsia), texture (like sandpaper to the touch), sounds (the lapping of the ocean), or a myriad of
hundreds emotions such as joy, panicked or epiphany.

#WiseWords
“Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s
arsenal.”
— Dr. Howard Gardner, Professor Harvard University
Worth The Share

When you tell someone a story, you can light up six or seven parts of their brain, but when you tell them a fact, you light up one or two parts of their brain. In Your Brain On Stories from Psychology Today, you will learn about why this occurs.

When you read something that is fact based, two parts of your brain light up – Wernicke’s area (where words are processed) and your visual cortex. If you hear something, Wernicke’s area would light up as well as your auditory cortex.

But, if you are told a compelling story – many areas of your brain would light up, the three mentioned above (Wernicke’s area, auditory and visual cortex) AND maybe your motor cortex, olfactory sensory area and the empathy areas of the brain. The author, Susan Weinschenk Ph.D., summed it up this way. “You are literally using more of your brain when you are listening to a story. And because you are having a richer brain event, you enjoy the experience more, you understand the information more deeply, and retain it longer.”

Plus, when you add tension to a story, it will sustain the attention of the listener, ultimately releasing Oxytocin which enhances social bonding.

And the bottom line is that stories make a big impact on RETENTION! People connect with stories and remember them. Read Your Brain on Stories to learn more details.

And Finally...

What is your favorite story? For fun, I thought I would check out the top stories (not movies) of all time, and what I learned is that these are some of the greatest works of literature ever written, according to Britannica:

Anna Karenia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, 100 Years of Solitude, A Passage to India, Invisible Man, Don Quixote, Beloved, Mrs. Dalloway, Things Fall Apart, Jane Eyre, and The Color Purple.

How many have you read? Can you remember the story?

Have a great week, tell a story or two and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

How often do you deal with it?

How often do you deal with this?

About a month ago, I facilitated a workshop for a women’s group in Charleston and the topic of Imposter Syndrome came up. Last week, I facilitated two sessions for Women In Defense, and imposter syndrome came up again. What exactly is it, and who does it impact?

Apparently, imposter syndrome was first written about in the 1970’s by psychologists Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance, and was thought to impact only high- achieving women. Subsequent research has found that 70% of us will experience it at some point in life, and it transcends gender, race, socio-economic status, skill level or degree of expertise. It’s a thing.

When talking with both groups about imposter syndrome, we discussed various ways to cope with imposter syndrome including being aware of and quieting the negative stories in your head. Negative self-talk, such as “I’m not enough”, “I can’t do this” and “No one listens to me” is not useful, yet is very common. Owning your achievements by understanding and appreciating who you are and what you have accomplished helps. Talking it out with a trusted friend, being sure not to compare yourself to others and watching how much social media you consume can all help to diminish imposter syndrome. How often do you deal with it?

#WiseWords
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
— Stephen Covey
Worth The Share

Imposter Syndrome: Why You May Feel Like a Fraud, is an article from VeryWell Mind that provides a comprehensive overview of what imposter syndrome is and some solid ways to overcome it. The author, Arlin Cuncic, MA, breaks down imposter syndrome into five different types:

  1. The Perfectionist: believing that you are not as good as others might think you are
  2. The Expert: believing that you don’t know everything there is to know about the topic
  3. The Natural Genius: feeling like a fraud because you are not naturally intelligent or competent
  4. The Soloist: feeling like an imposter when you need to ask for help
  5. The Superperson: believing that you need to work harder than everyone else

While imposter syndrome can act as a motivator for some of us, for others it can cause anxiety and have a negative impact on our health and well-being. While it is not recognized as a mental health disorder, the anxiety it causes can be problematic. If  imposter syndrome is negatively impacting your life, you might want to seek help from a mental health professional.

And Finally...

When doing the workshop on Emotional Intelligence last week, we discussed Stress and the impact that it has on our lives. We all have stress, but the amount of stress is what matters. The Yerkes-Dodson Stress Performance Curve, from 1908, is worth considering. Too much stress leads to burn-out while too little stress impacts performance. Where do you fall on this scale?

When discussing this scale with an Executive Coaching client who is the president of his company, he shared that the company is having their best year yet, and are set up for a successful 2024 too. As a leader, he is thriving. Guess where he is on this scale? In optimum stress. Another client realized he has too little stress and is a bit bored. Where are you on this curve? Where do you want to be, and what can you do to make a shift?

Have a great week and a Happy Halloween!

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

How quickly do you?

How quickly do you?

How quickly do you trust another person? I would imagine that for most of us, it would depend on our life experiences.

According to Psychology Today, when addressing if most people can be trusted they wrote that “because motivations and responses vary widely across situations, it’s likely not possible to say whether or not most people can be trusted all of the time. However, the belief that most people are generally trustworthy, known as “generalized trust,” appears to be correlated with higher intelligence, better health, and overall life satisfaction.”

Trust is critically important in both our personal and professional lives. I am working with a team of four that lack trust in each other, and building back trust is hard. Trust matters for the long term and is consistent. Honoring commitments, respecting others, being vulnerable over time and giving others the benefit of the doubt all play a role. Trust is a key element of someone’s moral character. Trust is the foundational, non-negotiable aspect for teams in Patrick Lencioni’s classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. When you think about your most trusting professional relationships, what stands out for you?

 

#WiseWords
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
— Stephen Covey
Worth The Share

There are many reasons that explain why organizational trust erodes. In their brand new book: Move Fast and Fix Things (a direct hit on Facebooks famous mantra: “move fast and break things”) authors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss discuss ten reasons that destroy organizational trust. Each relates to one of their three pillars of organizational trust: “that you care about them (empathy), that you can actually meet their needs or deliver on your promise (logic) and that you will do what you say you are going to do (authenticity).”

Aversion to making choices: This can be chronic in some organizations as they become watered down and lack focus. Trust Pillar: Logic Reliance on heroic employees: Not everyone is a is very driven and wants to work 24/7. Design work loads for real people with real lives. Trust Pillar: Logic Shiny object syndrome: Focusing on the next new thing can be very distracting for the organization as it follows the latest new idea or project, while losing focus on what matters. Trust Pillar: Authentic Disengaged middle management: When middle managers are overlooked by the leadership, not part of the solution and ground down by the realities of the business. Trust Pillar: Empathy
Casual relationship with other people’s time: This is a classic problem when managers waste their employees time with outdated software or unnecessary processes. Trust Pillar: Empathy

If you would like to read more, go to 10 Pitfalls that Destroy Organizational Trust or pick up a copy of their book.

And Finally...
To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Last week I had the privilege of partnering with an industry colleague and friend, Deb Graham, on a full day workshop for 70+ human resource professionals at the South Carolina SHRM conference. Teresa Vaughn, another industry colleague and friend who is very involved in SHRM, gave us the opportunity. The topic was “The Art of the Shift: How to Successfully Lead Organizational Change”.

As I reflect back on the work we did, I am struck by the amount of trust that was involved at every level. Teresa trusted us to show up and deliver a compelling program, Deb and I trusted each other, that we do what we said we would do, and most importantly, the 70+ attendees trusted us with their precious time, with the hope that they would learn something new. The importance of trust abounds every day in our lives.

What can you do or change to show up as a more trustworthy person? Maybe be more consistent, readily admit when you are wrong, say what you mean and mean what you say, respect others, be vulnerable with others (which can build over time) and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Have a great week,

Mary Jo

How are you curious?

How are you curious?

The other day, I met a recruiter who works for a large, global company. She specializes in recruiting entry-level employees out of college or those with a newly minted MBA. We talked about confidence, and I shared how so many of my clients of all ages and levels of experience talk about their own lack of confidence. I was curious about what she has witnessed in her job as a recruiter. Her word…arrogance. She said it was a big problem with MBA graduates in particular.

From showing up with a lack of confidence to being too sure of yourself and showing up as arrogant, what is a good way to approach a high-stakes situation like applying for a job? I encourage you to try leaning into curiosity. Being curious is such a powerful tool!

#WiseWords
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make
sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something
you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.”
— Stephen Hawking
Worth The Share

When I think about being curious, I think about being inquisitive or interested in something or someone. But when I started digging into the subject, I learned that it is not simply about being curious, but about answering the question: How are you curious?

There are five different types of curiosity, according to HBR’s series on why curiosity matters, and they run the gamut. Which of these five most resonate with you? If you are not sure, check out the article because it includes a quick assessment you can take.

  1. Deprivation Sensitivity: Those who need to solve a problem, or they will stay up all night thinking about it. They are coming from a place of deprivation.
  2. Joyous Exploration: Those who look around the world with a sense of wonder.
  3. Social Curiosity: Those who actively talk, listen and observe others to learn.
  4. Stress Tolerance: Those who “accept and even harness a level of anxiety”.
  5. Thrill Seeking: Those who take physical, social or financial risk.

The authors also correlate the different types of curiosity to work outcomes, stating that Social Curiosity and Stress Tolerance are particularly relevant. People who are socially curious are good for collaboration and building trust and cooperation, while those who can handle stress seek challenges, can manage limited resources and are not afraid to speak up.

Take a minute and check out: The Five Dimensions of Curiosity

And Finally...

One of my current clients is a fairly new manager at a tech start-up that has a couple of hundred employees. They are a disrupter, and doing quite well as they have quickly pivoted to adjust to the changing marketplace.

“Brad” has mentioned his own lack of confidence over a dozen of times on our calls. We just reviewed his 360 report, and it was impressive. He is committed to his team and their professional development. He is passionate about his own professional development. On every measure he seems to be doing very well, so how come he lacks confidence?

By reframing his lack of confidence, and leaning into curiosity, Brad has been able to approach things differently. Try it. Next time you don’t feel confident, maybe try to be curious instead. See how it works for you.

Have a great week,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com

Are you open to learning?

How resilient are you?

A funny thing happened to me the other day. I was in a class to dig deeper into the fifteen skills that make up emotional intelligence and the EQ-i, and I was paired up with “Virginia”, a really cool woman who worked for the FAA.

We talked briefly about our careers and I mentioned that I was a former national sales manager for almost 20 years, and a happy IC before that (individual contributor). She said “wow, you must be really resilient”, and shared her respect for sales people. In her experience, sales professionals are fairly optimistic people and yes, resilient. Virginia went on to confess that she is not a very resilient person.

I never thought of myself as especially resilient but digging into the skills that impact emotional and social functioning of the EQ-i, optimism is defined as “an attitude and an outlook on life. It involves remaining hopeful and resilient, despite occasional setbacks”.

How resilient are you?

#WiseWords
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
— Maya Angelou
Worth The Share

In this article, written by Kendra Cherry, MSEd, the author does a good job of providing an overview of resilience – the types of resilience such as mental or physical, the causes of personality traits that help us remain “unflappable in the face of challenge”, the impact of having resilience and how to become more resilient.

She also shared that people who are resilient have a set of characteristics that include:

  • A survivor mentality – knowing you can make it through tough situations
  • Effective emotional regulation – the ability to manage emotions in the face of stress
  • Feeling in control – feeling that our actions play a part in determining outcomes
  • Problem solving skills – looking rationally at a situation and coming up with options
  • Self-compassion – the ability to treat yourself with kindness, especially when it is difficult
  • Social support – having a solid network and being able to ask for help

Read: How Resilience Helps You Cope With Life’s Challenges including the tips on how to bounce back from hardship, they are also quite useful. My favorite technique is “reframing”, something I talk about often with my coaching clients.

And Finally...

Building on the importance of social support when it comes to resilience, The Secret of Building Resilience from HBR stresses the importance of social networks.

In June 2023, the Roots of Loneliness project, with their own research and pulling data from a variety of other sources, reports that 52% of adults in America feel lonely. Social networks   are critical – whether it is a group at work, a special interest group for your profession, a service group like Rotary, a networking group like BNI or a church group. My various social groups are very important to my personal growth and feeling of connectedness.

According to the article, our networks can help us learn to make sense of the world, see the path forward, advocate for ourselves, show empathy, laugh more, remind us of our “why” and broaden our perspective. As we all go “back to school” this September, what can you do to strengthen your resilience? What social group can you join?

Happy a great week,
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at info@mjrcac.com