Challenges, Leadership, Tips, Working Women

Dealing with Change: Action, Reaction, Pause

As we all know, the ever changing landscape of the work environment can cause angst at times. New leaders, an organizational shift or restructure, changing priorities and projects – all of these things can create feelings of uncertainty within the organization. During these times of flux, leaders have the responsibility to ensure that there is crisp, clear, and consistent communication on what’s important, what’s the focus and the roadmap – even if it’s a short term road map.

In my experience, people respond to organizational changes in three distinct ways – they either take action, they react, or they pause. The people that take action are the most agile – they quickly adapt and embrace the change. The action people ask what needs to be done and quickly get into a “move forward” mode.

The reaction people spend a tremendous amount of energy worrying about the change and the impact to them, the organization, and the work they were doing up until the change. This group of folks can spend a great deal of time in turmoil and this is harmful to both their well-being and their brand. There are degrees of reaction people – some process in a few days and are back on course quickly. Others spend forever in the turmoil – seemingly resistant to come out of it. 

The final group are the pause people – they wait and neither act nor react. They wait and take a pause in their work until someone gives them new direction. This is the most interesting group, as they seem to manage the change cycle well personally (no stress; no angst) yet they pause professionally – not willing to jump in or, at the very least, continue on the journey they were on prior to the change.

We have all experienced playing any one of the above roles at times during our career. The fast pace of business today requires agility and ability to be in the action space. As leaders, we need to demonstrate the best and most positive approach to action. 

Change is not easy – it certainly is not easy when it recurs. Change management is an organizational discipline and a behavioral discipline that can support people and organizations through the ever changing business climate. Leaning into change requires leaning onto one another – as leaders, as colleagues and as friends. As I always say – it takes a village!

Challenges, Empowering Women, Reflection, Work/Life Balance, Working Women

It’s a Monday kind of thing!

Changing my blog post up this morning given my happenings of the day: so I realized this morning (after I was in the office for about 30 minutes) that I had left my cell phone either in my car or at home. 

I typically would have picked this up quickly as I have usually tried to make calls enroute to work or send a text (or two) in the morning before I leave my house. I am trying to do things differently for some better balance and peace of mind. I haven’t watched CNN in the morning in days – the news can set the day up sometimes in the wrong way for me. I have instead chosen to start my day having coffee at the table and looking out of my slider into the beautiful backyard we now have and simply enjoying the view.I have also started listening to acoustic or indie music on my way to work in order to set an intention for a day of purposeful meaning. That helps me think and gets me ready for the day ahead.

So today there was no reason to expect my cell phone would be right on my person. I had no true need for it until I got into work and then set up my stuff for the day – after a casual conversation with a colleague. No cell phone – oh my. Went out to check the car – not there. Hmmm – yes, I realized it is likely still on the counter at home. It’s a Monday kind of thing – that was the email I sent out to peers and my team and indicated if they want to reach me, my office number or IM is the best course of action. I actually had to ask someone what my office number was – I didn’t even know.

Usually I panic if I forget my phone, however today is different. I am embracing the disconnection from the tethered device. I haven’t checked Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. I haven’t received or sent any text messages from family or colleagues. I haven’t checked the stock market or the weather.

Today at work I am present – I am able to be focused on the task at hand and not the buss of the phone or the ding of a text. Have I really accomplished more in 2 hours than a typical Monday? It feels that way.

So this freedom of being present and being focused is actually a great way to learn and practice disconnect from technology. It’s not comfortable, but it is more than manageable.

Instead of being stressed, anxious, or feeling out of control – I am adapting and am chalking this lesson up to “It’s a Monday kind of thing!”

Empowering Women, Leadership, Tips, Working Women

Your Work Journal: the art and benefit of taking notes

Seems silly right? Who doesn’t take notes? Go to a meeting – take notes. Join a conference call – take notes. Meet with a client – take notes. We try and listen to the call, pay attention in the meeting, and ensure engagement with a client. Add in the rigor of taking notes – well each of us is likely to miss something in the discussion and conversation. We all listen for what is important and what matters to us specifically. That information we capture.The meeting ends and someone inevitably sends out a follow-up from the meeting – you scan your notes. You don’t even recall that follow-up, never mind that topic of conversation. Yikes – now what?

I have found this occurring recently and have identified a “meeting buddy” (unbeknownst to them) and after the meeting (or call) will ask to share notes or to validate what I captured and if I missed anything. This has been a tremendous help as we hasten the pace of business actions and initiatives – assuming everyone captures every item.

I like the discipline of taking notes. I like capturing the experience in words and phrases that mean something to me and that can easily generate recall. But again, like many of us, I miss taking notes on certain parts of a call or a meeting.

My next experiment in this art of capturing information will be to ask someone overtly to be a “meeting partner” so we can debrief and fill in gaps we may have each missed during the conversations.

Empowering Women

Leadership Moments of Truth

In a couple weeks, I have the opportunity (and responsibility) of bringing in a new leader into my organization and into Comcast. As I have been preparing for her arrival, I have had the opportunity to reflect on what was one of the most amazing onboarding experiences that I have ever had …. coming into Comcast.
I was welcomed into the organization with a well thought out plan for my first few weeks (a daily schedule) and a mentor and sponsor assigned to me. All of the meet and greet sessions were scheduled for me and facilitated by the HR organization. I was able to be carefully introduced to the senior leadership team and my direct report team in a structured but casual manner. I was provided all of the necessary tools and information to help me get comfortable quickly. Every detail was literally scripted out for me and as a new leader entering an organization and a company – that foundation was refreshing!

So I fast forward to this moment, this moment that is in my hands to create a leadership moment of truth; to do what was done for me and pay the “onboarding experience” forward; to ensure every detail is well thought out; and to ensure every key player on the team has a role in the process of welcoming the new leader to the team.

The details matter – ensuring her office is ready to go and all of the IT equipment is ready, creating moments of connection with peers, colleagues and her new team. Ensuring the time daily to do a check-in on how things are going and get a pulse on the acclimation process.

A well thought out onboarding process is not for the faint of heart – it takes a lot of preparation and organization. After you hire the right person, ensuring the onboarding effort is as thorough as the hiring effort is critical.

This is truly an opportunity as a leader where you can create a “moment of truth” and it can be a lasting memorable moment for your new employee. Don’t waste the moment – make it fabulous!