Category Archives: Work / Life Blending

12 Lessons Learned from #IntegrityCoaching

This morning I attended the graduating class for our Integrity coaching program @ConsumersCU.  

Michele, Julie, Aashna, Carmela, Lori, Stephanie all presented their learnings from the 2 month program.  I went through Integrity Coaching when I began 5 years ago and it was awesome to re-engage with the steps that build and reinforce leadership skills.

 There are bookends to the 5 Integrity Coaching steps:  Planning for the Coaching and Follow-Up/Accountability must wrap around each of the steps below: 

•Ask

•Listen

•Coach

•Praise

•Challenge


Graduates today focused on their greatest take aways from each step of Integrity Coaching. 

1) Listen without judging.   Strengthen your  leadership skills by opening up and listening.  

2) Ask open-ended follow up questions versus telling someone what you think they could or should do.  
3) The best way to help someone change their behavior is to understand it first.

4) Reward behavior you like to see in your team.

5) Delegation is a critical part of leadership skills. Allow others to learn and follow your lead, then let them take the lead themselves.

6) Leadership is a work in progress. We all need to work daily to enhance our leadership skills. 

7)  Say the word ‘challenge‘ when coaching.  “I challenge you to …. I challenge myself to….”  (And then hold yourself and other accountable) 

8) Know that leadership is challenging in itself. Work to make each day a great one and learn from the past.  

9)  Make time to be involved and present with your team.  Roll up your sleeves

10) Coaching doesn’t have to be formal.  Practice  “in the moment” coaching style. 

11) Create an agenda for every coaching session including Ask | Listen | Coach | Praise | Challenge

12) Tell your team when they do great things. Don’t be shy.  It makes encouraging improvements easier.
Integrity Coaching is a part of our learning at Consumers Credit Union.  The title explains the results. When you coach with integrity everyone wins.

Where Did Human Kindness Go? 

February 1st came and so did sunshine. I thought this would make us all smile a bit more and treat each other a bit kinder. Alas, the sunshine didn’t mask an anger that some cannot seem to let go. We wake up daily to news reports (fake or not) about the latest protest – turned riot. We are short if any customer service we are confronted with does not meet up to our expectations. We then take out our frustrations on the individual trying to serve us.
My work involves serving both members, employees and our communities. 

Strike that.  

My work involves serving Steve, Elora, Kevin, Scott, Kristen, Carol, Rob, Denise, Jennifer, Brenda, Joe. (You get the picture)

 

I read in Bryan Kramer’s work that B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) service disappearing. Why? Because there is no such thing anymore. Instead, the purest form of service is something that has always been here’ H2H (Human to Human). Where did we lose the human touch of compassion, empathy, listening, and most importantly, caring for each other? This post isn’t about politics. It’s about how we treat each other in every day life. 

In the past 24 hours I’ve seen people posting on company facebook pages using horrific language and blasting something they feel is wrong. The vulgarity and pure hatred spews off the page.

                           
 Bette Midler sings in I Think It’s Going To Rain Today,  

                         Bright before me the signs implore me:

                         Help the needy and show them the way.

                         Human kindness is overflowing,

                         And I think it’s gonna rain today.

We all need to pick up the umbrella for Kindness.  For my work, it’s to focus on our guidelines that help ‘show us the way.’

Consumers Credit Union has social media posting guidelines. The guidelines help us all (members and TEAM) help each other. The guidelines are below. If we fall in the “NO” categories we will remove posts and we will send private messages why posts removed. If we fall into the “Yes” categories we will all have a much calmer, nicer day. 

  • No Vulgarity
  • No Name calling 
  • No Naming an Individual rudely 
  • No account information 

————————-

  •  Yes ask for help
  •  Yes make us all smile
  •  Yes tell us what helps YOU succeed
  •  Yes be kind

Technology can be a divider creating the opportunity to bully. Technology can also be a bridge creating the opportunity to connect and improve lives.

I choose the latter. And I like the term #H2H in day to day living. #Human2Human. Isn’t it interesting the word Humankind is full of Human and Kind 🙂 Let’s all try in our everyday interactions to #SimplyBeKind.

To read Bryan’s book link here:   http://www.bryankramer.com/there-is-no-more-b2b-or-b2c-its-human-to-human-h2h

The Code Word is Asparagus. A Simple Idea for Teamwork and Support

Code Word: #Asparagus
Code Word: #Asparagus
The story goes like this. A brother new to college takes his little sister (a year younger and still in High School) to meet his college friends on campus. Before leaving for the evening they create a code word. The code word is Asparagus.

Asparagus is spoken when the sister feels uncomfortable and is in need of “rescue” from dull or overbearing conversations.

Asparagus is mouthed when the brother feels it’s time to be pulled from a group he may have visited with a bit too long.

Asparagus is shouted when the sister and brother want to support each other in a new environment or just plain laugh for no particular reason.

The code word and the decision to create it was told at lunch the next day. With infectious laughter both brother and sister told one story after another on how Asparagus was used and the results that transpired.

Code Word: #Asparagus. What a simple concept to help us create synergy, trust and team work.

What code word can we create that will synergize our workflow?

Code Word: #Asparagus. That’s good enough for me.

There is No Life Without My Dad.

Recently dear friends Dads passed away and each asked if they would ever get over it.  Today, on Father’s Day I share my answer;

Dad holds Luke in March 1996. Casey in Background.
Dad holds Luke in March 1996. Casey in Background.

You will never have a life without your Dad. He is right around the corner. He is in every breath your child blows upon your cheek at night as they close their eyes to sleep. Your Dad is holding your hand right now. Can you feel it?

See that rainbow just behind the cloud? Know that nagging feeling when you know you shouldn’t be doing something – yep that’s him too. Dad is giving you his two cents and then some. Dad is laughing when you swear because your car won’t start. Dad is howling when you slip and fall and look to see if no one is watching.

Dad is reaching for your hair right now. He’s brushing it back from your face. Hey see that grin your kids get right when they do something naughty? Yep – he’s right behind it. Feel your heart burst with pride as they grab their diploma, marry their sweetheart, he is the fireworks inside.

Look in your your husband’s eyes – the man you married and know how the same eyes shine with pride and love right through to you. My God you will miss his physical presence. Not a day will go by that you won’t want to hear that laugh or “dad tone” and yet deep inside, with each success you have in your life, and each tiny misstep you just know he is there. Holding. Reaching. Caring. Loving. Just being the Dad that is yours alone.

It’s been 18 years since my Dad died on a beautiful August day. Will I ever get on with my life without my Dad? My Dad is always with me. Here is is in living color:   Robert J. Jarman

 

Full Screen Life

I just read a blog focusing on the fact that there is no such thing as a “balanced” work / home life.  The blogger went on to say that if you don’t like what you do- change. The remarks to the blogger were the most eye-opening for me.  They referred to the writer as “pompous” and “unrealistic” and focused on negativity in the workplace with no hope in sight.   I thought of the below post written in 2012.  The same holds true today – except we are now packing up our 5th of 6 kids to head to college (YEAH!)   It’s easy to become negative.  It’s easy to get into a rut at work or home and feel you are a hamster on a wheel.  It’s hard to pick up your spirits if they are down and look at the big picture.
A full screen view of Lake Michigan, Holland State Park
A full screen view of Lake Michigan, Holland State Park
Last night we went to Holland, Michigan to see Lake Michigan.  We shopped in town, relaxed at dinner, watched a sunset and ended the night with Ice Cream. It captured the meaning of a “Full Screen Life” as listed below.   Enjoy!

 

 September 2012:

I’ve been spending the morning preparing for a cleaning out of now college freshman Emily’s bedroom.

She did a great job packing and sorting.   The left behind is her childhood memories that will be stored away until she’s ready to re-open the fun in her own home someday.

 

My Sunday’s are often spent preparing.  I indulge myself with readings all morning  while I ponder the task list in front of me.  Today’s task that looms ahead is one that is exciting and yet melancholic at the same time.  Two of the articles I read hit home with me today as I prepare for the challenge:

 

The first is from http://zenhabits.net/ and it explains how we need to begin living a Full Screen Life.

 

In it author Leo Babauta explains how we often are doing two to three or four things at once:

 

“We’re doing one work task while trying to stay on top of email, text messages and social media. We’re talking with a friend while seeing what we’re missing on Facebook and Instagram. We’re eating while planning. Making love while thinking about work.”  Babauta shares his concept on living a “Full Screen Life” by focusing only on the one task you are doing.  If you are engaging in a discussion with your daughter – don’t think about work – truly engage in the moment with your daughter.   He showcases how to do this and encourages practice.

 

The second reading came from a review on Gretchen Rubin’s new book,  Happier at Home:  ”Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiences in the Practice of Everyday Life.’   Rubin dedicated a school year to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort and love.  I would love this book as a Christmas Gift (Hint Hint) and in the meantime have reviewed the reviewer and know that Rubin is on to something.  (‘Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life’ by Gretchen Rubin http://mymindonbooks.com/?p=6142)

 

Perhaps it is because our home has gone from a loud and open door place where 6 kids introduced us to every form of friend and foe into a quieter more grown up house with two teenagers who rarely fight and revel in playing games with their ol’ Mom and Dad.  Perhaps it’s because I’m about to clean out a post-high school girl room and bring more space to what was once a very overcrowded home while celebrating another pretty successful push from the nest.  Either way the two readings that I came across today I believe did not show up by accident.

 

The funny thing is – when you are in the midst of the madness of raising kids and raising career goals is when you really need to live a Full Screen Happy Life.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in any way thinking my life was not full and happy –  I am saying there is comfort in intentional happiness and full attention at work and home.

 

I’m excited and humbled at this juncture in our lives.  My work is compelling, challenging and just plain fun.  My life is less stressed with school activities and more open to new learnings and opportunities.  I’m taking the two readings from today and combining them at work and home.  Get ready to practice with me…. let’s jump into a Full Screen Happy Life!

 

Tip #1 for Full Screen Happy Life:    Cards, Dice and Game Boards belong on every table – both office and home – not hidden in closets or drawers!