Sliding into 2019.
For those of you who know me well, you know my husband is German. Thus I’ve been working on learning German over the past few years in order to converse with my in-laws, extended family and friends in Deutschland. One phrase that I have learned and love is their salutation for the New Year: Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr. Literally translated it means you wish someone a “good slide” into the New Year aka: a smooth start to the year.
On that note, whether you’re an entrepreneur, manager, restaurateur or chef I want to wish you a smooth start to your New Year. So here are three tips for doing just that:
1. Acknowledge Yourself:
I always remind my coaching clients that they are #1. If they’re feeling good, they will radiate that to their team and if they’re feeling uncomfortable, insecure or stressed they will also radiate those feelings to those they lead. So it’s very important to acknowledge yourself by taking a moment to reflect on what you do well and what parts of your life might need some TLC. Self-acknowledgement is a moment of pause, a moment to breathe and contemplate yourself. And it is an important part of leading others.
In an article titled “How Self-Reflection Can Make you a Better Leader” Harry Kraemer, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, states that “self-reflection allows us to understand what is important, and focus on what might be done differently” which helps leaders gain perspective as they move forward. He goes on to say that “the reason many, many people have trouble balancing their lives is that they have not been self-reflective enough to figure out what they’re trying to balance.” So if you’re in charge, self-reflection is essential. In the article, he offers a number of questions to pose to yourself including “what am I proud of?” “what am I not proud of?” and “if I lived today over again what would I change?” These questions are all good springboards for understanding the most important person in your operation: you.
2. Acknowledge Your Team:
The end of the year is a great time to take a moment to connect with your team members. It could be in a one-on-one meeting, in a note or email or in a daily or weekly meeting to share your appreciation for the team’s work this past year and inspire them for the year to come. While acknowledging your team is important for you as a leader it has been proven to be incredibly impactful for your team.
According to a study conducted by the leadership expert Mark Murphy and his company Leadership IQ, employees need their boss to engage with them regularly. The optimal time, they discovered, is 6 hours a week per person. While that may seem like a lot, remember that you can make this a goal: to connect with your direct reports (not your entire team) up to 6 hours a week. Teams that have this optimal amount of contact with their boss were shown to be 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week. This is a lot of impact. And just making an effort will go a long way in strengthening your relationships with your employees and reports.
3. Acknowledge Enjoyment:
We’re always very clear on what we don’t like to do. That’s easy! But taking a moment to identify and linger in what makes your job fun & enjoyable will serve to feed your soul and inspire you to do more. Take time to find the fun and enjoyment in your work and also in your relationships, your home, your community, and your family and friends. Randy Pausch, known for his inspirational speech “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” reminds us to “never, ever underestimate the importance of fun.” Remind yourself why you got into this line of work in the first place and find some fun in your day to day.
So take a moment to enjoy the moment you’re in right now, the moment you created. This small mediation on joy, fun and enjoyment can serve to reignite your passion and purpose in your work and life. And that will go a long way in fueling yourself for another challenging, enjoyable & successful year ahead.