How to Boost the Morale of Your Team

High morale is often the little recognized secret to success. Organizations and leaders that work to ensure the morale and engagement level of their people remain high, outperform those who don’t. Boosting the morale of your team is essential for maintaining productivity, job satisfaction, and overall team cohesion. High morale can lead to increased motivation, creativity, and a more positive work environment. High morale means lower turnover and far fewer personal issues, even in turbulent times. Here are some strategies to intentionally boost your team’s morale on a regular basis.

• Effective Communication:

• Keep an open line of communication with your team members. Regularly check in with them to see how they are doing both personally and professionally.

• Provide clear and transparent information about company goals, expectations, and changes. It is virtually impossible to over communicate.

• Recognize and Appreciate:

• Acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and contributions of your team members. Publicly praise their achievements, either in team meetings or through company-wide channels.

• Consider implementing a rewards and recognition program to formally acknowledge outstanding performance. People tend to do what’s required of them for pay, they do more than required for the recognition.

• Provide Opportunities for Growth:

• Offer opportunities for skill development and career advancement within the organization.

• Help team members set and achieve professional goals. Provide resources and support for their growth. If your people are not aware of their career path within your organization then they have no career path within your organization.

• Empower and Delegate:

• Trust your team members with responsibility and delegate tasks that align with their skills and interests.

• Empower them to make decisions within their areas of expertise, fostering a sense of ownership and autonomy. There is very little that can boost morale more than being trusted by the people above you in the organization.

• Work-Life Balance:

• Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Avoid overloading your team with excessive work or unrealistic deadlines.

• Promote flexible working arrangements when possible, such as remote work or flexible hours.

• Team Building:

• Organize team-building activities and events to strengthen team bonds.

• Create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose through team projects and collaborative efforts. Remember, the deepest relationships are typically built “off the clock” so provide opportunities for those relationships to grow.

• Provide Constructive Feedback:

• Offer regular, constructive feedback to help team members improve their skills and performance.

• Focus on specific behaviors and outcomes, and provide guidance on how to make positive changes. Your people NEED to know how they are doing, without direct input from their leaders their imaginations take over and that’s usually not helpful for morale.

• Lead by Example:

• Demonstrate a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and professionalism.

• Be a role model for the behaviors and values you want to see in your team.

• Address Issues Promptly:

• Address conflicts and issues within the team promptly and professionally.

• Show that you are committed to resolving problems and maintaining a positive work environment.

• Celebrate Achievements:

• Celebrate team and individual achievements, whether they are big or small. This can include milestones, project completions, or personal accomplishments.

• Use celebrations as an opportunity to build team spirit and show your appreciation.

• Provide Support During Challenges:

• During difficult times, such as tight deadlines or challenging projects, offer your support and help your team manage stress.

• Show empathy and understanding for their concerns and provide resources if needed.

Leadership is not a part-time job. Authentic Leaders know that like creating a solid culture, boosting morale is an ongoing process. It requires consistent effort, adaptability, and a genuine commitment to the well-being and success of your team members. By implementing these strategies, you can create a positive work environment that fosters high morale and team satisfaction.

That will make your life as a leader much more rewarding and much less stressful. But as always, the amount of effort you put into the morale building process is completely up to you. I hope for your people’s sake, you choose to put in a whole lot of effort.

How to Consistently Give Your Best Effort

I’ve always believed there are two areas of our lives that we have complete control over. Those two areas are our attitude and the amount of effort we put into accomplishing whatever it is we are trying to get done.

It may seem that controlling our attitude is the harder of the two but truly putting forth our best effort day after day is a significant challenge as well. Consistently giving your best effort is essential for achieving success and personal growth in various aspects of life. Whether it’s in your career, relationships, or personal pursuits. It may seem like a generalization but the reality is the more consistent you are in your effort, the more consistently positive your results will be. So here are some thoughts that may help you give your best effort even when you’d rather just say the hell with it.

• Start by defining clear and specific goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve? Having a clear sense of purpose will give you direction and motivation. Write those goals down. Share them with the important people in your life. Ask them to hold you accountable for achieving those goals in a given time frame. Develop a plan to achieve each one of those goals because it’s that process that will make your goals real.

• Organize your tasks and responsibilities. Create a to-do list or use a task management system to prioritize your activities. This will help you focus on what’s most important and avoid wasting time on less meaningful tasks. Remember, there is no bigger waste of time than doing well that which doesn’t need to be done at all.

• Manage your time effectively. Allocate dedicated time for important tasks and avoid procrastination. Use techniques like time blocking to ensure you allocate sufficient time to high-priority activities.

• Plan ahead for your tasks and projects. This includes doing research, gathering necessary resources, and creating a step-by-step plan. Proper preparation can significantly improve your performance.

• Cultivate a growth mindset, which means believing in your ability to improve through effort and learning. Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.

• Keep your workspace and environment organized. A clutter-free and well-structured space can help you stay focused and reduce distractions. Do not fool yourself into thinking that mess on your desk somehow makes you more productive, it’s exactly the opposite.

• Focus on one task at a time. Multitasking can reduce the quality of your work and lead to errors. Concentrate on the task at hand and give it your full attention. All multitasking really does is give you the opportunity to screw up multiple tasks at once, so avoid it at all cost.

• Learn to manage stress effectively. High stress levels can lead to burnout and hinder your ability to perform at your best. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, or deep breathing.

• Avoid overworking yourself. Take regular breaks to recharge and maintain your productivity. Short breaks can help you regain focus and creativity. Do not kid yourself into thinking that things like eating lunch at your desk makes you more productive. It actually makes you less productive later in the day. You NEED to recharge throughout the day!

• Solicit feedback from peers, mentors, or supervisors. Constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into areas where you can improve and help you refine your efforts. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we’re giving our best effort when others can clearly see that we are not.

• Commit to lifelong learning. Stay updated with industry trends, new technologies, and best practices. Expanding your knowledge and skills will enable you to excel in your field. I’d actually recommend blocking 15-30 minutes every week for the purpose of learning something new. If you can’t answer the question, “what have you learned lately?” then you may not be giving your best effort even if you think you are.

• Understand that giving your best effort is an ongoing process. There will be challenges and setbacks along the way. Maintain your determination and resilience to keep pushing forward. This is the hardest part, you’ll need to stay far away from negative emotions or you’ll risk allowing other people and events gaining control over your level of effort rather than you.

• Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Recognizing your successes can boost your motivation and help you maintain a positive mindset. Remember, all progress is progress and even tiny progress begets more progress.

• Regularly reflect on your performance and assess what is and isn’t working. Be open to making adjustments and refining your approach to consistently improve.

Consistently giving your best effort is a lifelong commitment to personal and professional development. It requires discipline, dedication, and a willingness to adapt and learn from your experiences. By trying these ideas and staying committed to your goals, you can maximize your potential and achieve success in every area of your life.

Receiving Difficult Information

Receiving difficult information can be challenging, but it’s an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s bad news, such as being laid off, criticism, or other unwelcome information, how you handle it can greatly affect your emotional well-being. It can also negatively impact your ability to make informed decisions. Here are some steps to help you deal with those times that difficult information comes your way.

Stay Calm: When you first receive difficult information, it’s normal to have an emotional reaction, such as shock, anger, sadness, or fear. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but try to stay as calm as possible. Deep breaths or a moment of solitude can help you regain composure.

Seek Clarity: Make sure you understand the information correctly. If it’s coming from a person, ask for clarification or details if needed. Misunderstandings can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Give Yourself Time: Don’t feel pressured to respond immediately. Take some time to process the information and your emotions. This may mean waiting a few minutes, hours, or even days before you decide how to react or what steps to take.

Lean on Support: Reach out to friends, family, or a trusted confidant to talk about what you’ve heard. Sharing your feelings and thoughts can provide emotional support and a fresh perspective on the situation.

Journal Your Thoughts: Writing down your thoughts can be a helpful way to process difficult information. It allows you to express yourself without judgment and can help you gain clarity on your emotions and thoughts.

Consider the Source: Assess the credibility and reliability of the information source. Sometimes, people may convey information that is inaccurate, exaggerated, or biased. It’s essential to evaluate the source’s trustworthiness before taking any action. This is especially important when receiving criticism about yourself or your performance. And by the way, I’d recommend largely ignoring criticism that comes from anyone who’s advice you wouldn’t accept.

Evaluate Your Options: Consider what options are available to you in response to the difficult information. Assess the potential consequences of each option and how they align with your values and goals. This is not a bad step to take before you even receive the difficult information. For instance, if you were to be laid off what are your options? What are the immediate implications for your ability to pay bills and just survive? Where will you look for work? How will you reach out to your network and work colleagues to let them know you’re looking for work? Do you have a current resume prepared? Having a “just in case” plan can go a long way to limiting the stress that comes with receiving difficult news like a lay off notice.

Consult Experts: Depending on the nature of the information, it may be beneficial to seek advice from professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, or financial advisors. They can provide expert guidance and help you make informed decisions.

Practice Self-Care: Engage in self-care activities that help you manage stress and maintain your overall well-being. This might include exercise or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy. I don’t want to sound like a goody two shoes here but getting hammered is generally NOT considered effective self-care…just saying.

Develop Resilience: Building resilience is crucial for handling difficult information in the long term. Work on developing coping strategies, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving skills. These will help you better navigate challenging situations in the future.

Acceptance: Sometimes, you may not be able to change the situation or the information you’ve received. In such cases, practice acceptance and focus on how you can adapt and move forward. Understand as well that the difficult information is often not a reflection on you or your personal ability. It is more likely a reflection of a set of circumstances that are mostly beyond your control.

Take Action: Once you’ve processed your emotions and evaluated your options, take appropriate action. This may involve making decisions, setting boundaries, seeking solutions, or seeking further information. Taking action will do more to eliminate the stress associated with receiving difficult information then almost anything else you can do.

Remember that dealing with difficult information is a skill. Like all skills the ability to receive, process and deal with difficult information can be developed over time. It’s okay to seek professional help if you find it challenging to cope with difficult information on your own. Additionally, surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends and family can make a significant difference in how you handle such situations.

Overcoming Major Disappointments

Overcoming major disappointments can be a challenging and emotionally taxing process, but it is essential for personal growth and well-being. Here’s a bit of a news flash for some people reading this post… men are emotionally affected by disappointments every bit as much as women. They think they have to “man up” and hide the emotions.

That’s not only silly, therapists would tell you it can be dangerous. It’s definitely unhealthy. Sooner or later everyone will face a significant disappointment in their life. Especially if you’re a New York Jets fan. Here are some steps you can take to help you cope with and move past major disappointments.

• It’s important to acknowledge and accept your feelings. Yes fellas, you too. It’s okay to feel angry, sad, or frustrated. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss or setback. Suppressing your emotions can lead to long-term issues.

• Talk to friends, family members, or a therapist about what you’re going through. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can provide emotional relief and offer different perspectives on the situation.

• Take time to reflect on the disappointment and try to understand the root causes. What led to this outcome? What were your expectations, and were they realistic? This self-reflection can help you gain insights and learn from the experience. Its important in this step to keep in mind the difference between “reflect” and “dwell.” “Reflect” comes with some healthy time limits. “Dwell” can become a trap that’s very hard to escape.

• Some disappointments result from circumstances beyond your control. Accept that there are certain things you cannot change. Focus on what you can control and work on adapting to the new reality.

• Use the disappointment as an opportunity to reassess your goals and priorities. What do you truly want to achieve in the long term? Set new, achievable goals if necessary and create a plan to work towards them.

• Disappointments can be valuable learning experiences. Consider what lessons you can take away from the situation. How can you use this knowledge to make better decisions in the future?

• Maintain a positive mindset as much as possible. Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more optimistic ones. Surround yourself with positive influences and focus on the things that make you happy.

• Be kind to yourself and avoid placing blame solely on yourself or others. Disappointments often involve a combination of factors, and it’s rarely one person’s fault. Self-blame can hinder your ability to move forward.

• Overcoming major disappointments may take time. Break down your recovery into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate your progress along the way, no matter how small it may seem.

• Healing and moving on from a major disappointment is a process that varies from person to person. Be patient with yourself, and understand that it may take time to fully recover. People who tell you to “just get over it” may mean well but they probably aren’t helping.

• If you find it challenging to cope with a major disappointment, consider consulting a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance, support, and coping strategies tailored to your specific situation. There is absolutely, positively no shame in asking for help, if fact when you do you’re showing strength and courage that other people will envy.

Remember that everyone faces disappointments at some point in life, and it’s how you respond to them that matters most. I encourage you to use these strategies to build resilience and come out of the experience stronger and wiser. You’ll be glad you did.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month.

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success.

Here’s the link to my Twitter… https://twitter.com/leadtoday

How to Stop Procrastinating

I was going to write this post a while back but… okay, so that’s just too easy a joke for such a serious topic. Procrastination kills a whole lotta people’s chance at success. It’s almost like an addiction. Stopping procrastination can be incredibly challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can overcome it. Here are some ideas to help you stop procrastinating right now.

• Start by identifying the reasons behind your procrastination. Is it due to a lack of motivation, fear of failure, task aversion, or something else? Understanding the root cause can help you address it effectively.

• Clearly define your goals and break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to stay focused.

• Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on high-priority tasks first, and tackle less important ones later.

• Write down your daily tasks in a to-do list. This helps you visualize your workload and stay organized. Cross off tasks as you complete them to gain a sense of accomplishment.

• Establish deadlines for your tasks, even if they are self-imposed. Having a sense of urgency can motivate you to start working on your tasks sooner.

• Techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working hard for a set amount of time (e.g., 25 minutes) followed by a short break, can help you maintain focus and prevent burnout.

• Identify and remove distractions from your workspace. This may include turning off notifications, silencing your phone, or using website blockers to prevent access to distracting websites.

• If a task feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks. This makes it easier to get started and maintain momentum.

• Pay attention to when you are most alert and focused during the day, and schedule your most important tasks during these periods.

• Share your goals with a friend or colleague who can help hold you accountable. Alternatively, you can use productivity apps and tools that track your progress.

• Create a system of rewards for completing tasks. This can serve as positive reinforcement and make tasks more enjoyable.

• Developing self-discipline is crucial for overcoming procrastination. This involves training yourself to stick to your commitments and push through resistance.

• Be kind to yourself. Everyone procrastinates from time to time. Instead of berating yourself for procrastinating, focus on learning from your experiences and making positive changes.

• Overcoming procrastination is an ongoing process. It may take time to develop new habits and strategies, so don’t be discouraged by setbacks. Stay persistent and keep working towards your goals.

Stopping procrastination is a journey, and it requires consistent effort and self-awareness. Start by implementing one or two of these strategies and gradually build upon them to create a more productive and focused daily routine.

You can do it, just remember, the sooner you eliminate the scourge of procrastination from your life the better your life will be.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month.

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success.

Here’s the link to my Twitter… https://twitter.com/leadtoday

How to Deal With Worry and Stress

Dealing with worry and stress is essential for maintaining mental and physical well-being. While it’s natural to experience these emotions from time to time, chronic worry and stress can have a ton of adverse effects on your health. You likely won’t like hearing this but the truth is, most of the stress in our lives is self-inflected. We over commit, we allow others easy access to our time, and we struggle mightily to say the one little word that is a proven stress killer…no.

But sometimes no just isn’t appropriate, like when the boss “encourages” you to say yes. So here are some other ideas that can help you manage and reduce worry and stress.

• Start by pinpointing the specific causes of your worry and stress. Knowing what’s triggering these feelings can help you address the root of the problem. Looking in the mirror is a great place to start. Before anything else, make certain it’s not you who holds the unrealistic expectations of what you can and cannot do.

• Get away from the source. Even a short break from the source of the stress can make a ton of difference. That’s why it’s so important to NOT eat lunch at your desk. It may seem to be productive but it’s often the most counterproductive thing you can do. You need to recharge, even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes. You’ll finish the day with more energy and less stress.

• So, I don’t have a lot of credibility here but people who know about this stuff swear that physical activity can release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. They say regular exercise also helps reduce stress hormones in your body. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

• I’m getting better at this and can vouch for the fact that a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can positively impact your mood and stress levels. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which can exacerbate anxiety.

• Prioritize getting enough sleep each night (typically 7-9 hours for adults). Lack of sleep can make stress worse, so establish a regular sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

• Organize your tasks and prioritize them. No one has more time than you. But if you’re constantly stressed out it’s likely because you don’t have well defined priorities. Create a to-do list and break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Do them in order of importance…this is why you NEED priorities. This can prevent feeling overwhelmed.

• Some goals need to stretch you to your limits. If they don’t you’ll never know what your limits truly are. But don’t set yourself up for failure by making every goal overly ambitious. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a given timeframe.

• I once went to Urgent Care with a sore arm. The doctor asked me when the arm hurt. I said whenever I move it like this. He said, “okay, don’t move it like that.” I wanted my copay back. But I got his point, if something is causing pain then stop doing it. The source of the pain might fix itself in short order. It works that way for stress too. If possible, avoid or limit exposure to situations, or environments that consistently cause stress. This might involve setting boundaries or making lifestyle changes. If you’ve identified certain people around you as a source of your stress limit your time around those people as much as possible.

• I have a personal “rule” that there must be some fun in everyday. It’s a top top priority for me. It should be for you too. So invest some time doing activities you enjoy and that help you relax, whether it’s reading, painting, gardening, or listening to music. These can serve as healthy distractions.

• Regularly remind yourself of the things you’re grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones. The new iPhone operating system makes it incredibly easy to keep track of what you’re grateful for. This is unscientific but I’m pretty darn sure stress can’t find its way into a grateful heart.

• Sorry friends but booze might hide stress for a little while but it doesn’t do a thing to eliminate it. In fact, excessive use of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Moderation is key, and reducing or eliminating these substances may be best.

Remember that managing worry and stress is an ongoing process. It requires a fair amount of intentionality. What works for one person may not work for another, so experiment with different strategies to find what suits you best. Consistency and patience are key to long-term stress management.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month.

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success.

Here’s the link to my Twitter… https://twitter.com/leadtoday

How To Know if Someone Trusts You

Have you ever had the feeling that someone didn’t trust you? Since you’ve never done anything to cause them not to trust you it can be baffling as to why they wouldn’t. But many people don’t trust automatically. They wait to see if someone is trustworthy.

So instead of asking yourself what you might have done to lose a person’s trust a better question might be, what have you done to earn it. What actions have you specifically, intentionally taken to prove your trustworthiness to the people around you? That’s an important question in business but even more important in life.

Determining if someone trusts you can be a nuanced process, as trust is a complex and subjective aspect of human relationships. It’s important to remember that trust is not always explicitly expressed. It may manifest differently in different individuals and contexts. However, there are several common indicators that can help you gauge if someone trusts you.

  • Trust is often built on open, honest, and transparent communication. If someone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you,  without fear of judgment, it’s a positive sign that they trust you.
  • When someone trusts you, they believe you will follow through on your commitments and promises. If they consistently rely on you for support, assistance, or collaboration, it suggests a level of trust in your abilities and character.
  • Trust often involves a degree of emotional vulnerability. If someone is willing to be vulnerable around you, share their insecurities, and show their true selves, it’s a strong indicator of trust.
  • Trust is also built on consistency. If your actions and behavior are consistent over time, people are more likely to trust you. Inconsistencies or unpredictability can erode trust.
  • If someone shares sensitive information with you and you respect their confidentiality by not disclosing it to others, they are more likely to trust you with future confidences.
  • When people trust your judgment, they may seek your advice or opinion on important matters. They value your input and believe that you have their best interests at heart.
  • Trust often involves emotional support. If someone turns to you for support during difficult times and you offer empathy, it indicates they trust you to provide comfort and help.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice. Someone who trusts you is likely to exhibit relaxed and open body language. They maintain eye contact, and have a warm and friendly tone when communicating.
  • When trust is present, both parties can provide constructive feedback without fearing a negative reaction. If someone is comfortable giving you feedback or is receptive to your feedback, it suggests a level of trust in the relationship.
  • Engaging in shared experiences, both positive and challenging, can deepen trust. These experiences create bonds and demonstrate that you can navigate difficult situations together.

It’s important to note that trust is not always binary; it can exist on a spectrum. Additionally, trust can be fragile and may take time to develop but can be easily damaged or lost. Building and maintaining trust in relationships require ongoing effort, consistency, and respect for each other. 

If you’re unsure about someone’s level of trust in you don’t sit and wonder. Consider having an open and honest conversation to clarify and strengthen the relationship. That demonstrates an even greater level of trust.

Want more of LeadToday? I’ve changed things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. I recently began publishing two or three videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Sometimes a bonus video pops up at other times during the week. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $4.99 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month.

If you’re interested in taking a look, head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success.

Here’s the link to my Twitter… https://twitter.com/leadtoday