Whether your organization is actively moving forward or treading water just to sustain the business, keeping teams healthy and engaged are worries on every leader’s mind. Among the various economic and health challenges keeping leaders up at night is ensuring the people who work for our companies are doing what is best for the organization and, more often than not, focusing their energies during working hours there. Bringing focus, energy and inspiration to the people we pay to get the job done requires attention and discipline like never before.
The plague of poor employee engagement, unwanted workplace behavior and ineffective leadership is not a new phenomenon, however its impacts are vastly spotlighted by the economic and health impacts of COVID-19.
Keeping people focused on doing what matters most and teaching people to respond proactively to constraints are keys required to unlock the wealth of talent in your people and get your organization to the other side of this pandemic.
Tapping into the potential of your workforce requires connecting employees’ hearts and heads to the work they are doing. Among all of the distractions and all that there is to do and handle, every leader’s top priority needs to be connecting to the people most relied on to keep the train on track.
The inside out approach to gaining trust, partnership and performance is where the magic happens.
Begin With Yourself
If you want to help others be their best and rise above the current chaos and uncertainty humanity is facing, it’s important to begin with yourself. Do your own work. Understand yourself and how your thoughts are impacting your emotions, moods and effectiveness. Once you gain clarity, you can then serve others in the same manner.
In part 1 of this brief series, we’ll explore how you can better understand the nature of your thoughts, especially in challenging circumstances, and how adopting the inside-out mindset can pave the way for more effective leadership of and engagement in your teams.
With everything happening in the world today you are likely significantly more worried about life, work, your future, your children, your parents, and your health and welfare than you have ever been before. Like it or not, this nagging worry takes its toll on your resilience, health, focus and performance. It can’t not.
Adding insult to injury, under current conditions it has become easy to pay less attention to your personal well-being and slide from “handling it all” straight into the trap of hopelessness with no stopping. When the slide happens, it is insidious – one moment everything is fine, things are good, the next it’s awful. For some of you, hopelessness may only last a few minutes; for others it could be days.
Your Thinking Creates Your Experience
The trap is that most people experience their mood, feelings and emotions being caused by COVID-19, or other external stimuli like the current economic climate or the political and health issues swirling around our society. The truth of the matter is that the only thing that ever causes our emotions, feelings and moods to shift is our thinking about what is going on.
Our well-being always and only comes from the inside. When you feel stressed out, anxious, angry, afraid at work or about work, it is never actually caused by the work itself. Stressful thinking has triggered the wall of thought preventing you from operating at your highest effectiveness. That’s right, your personal thinking is 100% at cause for your experience at work, and in life.
Nothing can enter your consciousness without first entering as a thought. As Descartes said in 1637, I think