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Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 85 total)
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  • in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8009

    Good afternoon all.  I assume that most if not all of you have become involved here like me through some form of professional training or development program; seminar, webinar, in class course etc.  Truth be told, I have not attended college myself, so all of my training and development has been self taught, through OJT or attending these day(s) long sessions.  And when it comes to leadership courses I try to attend all that I can; I need input!

    When I read the descriptions of ‘what the student will learn’ in the various seminars, I find they are all lacking any mention of acknowledgement.  While attending these seminars I specifically ask about acknowledgement as a tool to become more empathetic and get the best out of the employees.  I get a positive response from the facilitator that ‘we will get to that later’, only to never get to it at all.

    Example; I received a brochure for a class on criticism and discipline skills for managers and supervisors.  The course description details how the student will learn to recognize bad attitudes, unskilled workers, misdirected workers, and even asks if your team has ‘dead weight’.  The brochure goes on to say that with the skills gained in the seminar, the students will be able to get the problem employees to pull their own weight.  That sounds awfully negative.  There’s no mention of empathy.

    Now I’m not trying to say that there aren’t any employees who fit these descriptions.  After all, I’m a retired Chief Petty Officer from the navy.  I know disgruntled.  But it seems that these classes miss the boat when it comes to improving leader’s empathy towards employees who display the attitudes needing attention.  I have found recently, that the power of acknowledging people on a real time, realistic and heartfelt way has a positive affect on the recipient regardless if they are disgruntled, or gruntled!

    I now bring up acknowledgement as a tool during training sessions, and even company meetings.  The good news at work, the company is listening.  We had a dinner meeting last week where cross-functional teams from all departments gave the senior staff presentations on our perception of  communications within the organization and how to improve. Acknowledgement was brought up a s one way.  In fact I was not the first presenter who mentioned it! And the staff are actively pursuing some of the ideas presented.  I am happy to say they are looking at the possibility of having some folks take Judy’s course on the power of acknowledgement.

    I say all this to you because, like we told our senior staff,  good solid communications between departments and between all echelons of leadership are needed to be successful.  And how does this relate to the training?  Simple.  I suggest that when you attend a seminar, training session, formal class or just an internal company meeting related to improvements on leadership, be bold and vulnerable.  Communicate the topic of acknowledgement to the facilitators, and attendees as a great way to improve communications, leadership and empathy with the workforce and among themselves.  Be ready to discuss it with the president/CEO, department head.  They are the ones who can best make it happen, but are least likely to know anything about it.

    Have a great weekend!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7942

    Judy, I just shared my parents photo on the center for grateful leadership facebook page. They were about the same age when they married, as my wife Terri and I were when we married.

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7939

    Hello everyone. Today, I am honored to share an acknowledgement that has taken a very long time to set up. It’s an acknowledgement that cannot be made often, in fact it is a once in a life time event so I must take every advantage to do so. And social media is such a great tool to communicate with so many friends and associates. I delivered this acknowledgement over the phone, due to the long distance travel necessary to make it in person. Then I shared on facebook. It is to my parents, with a picture of them on their wedding day, June 1, 1957.

    “Wow. These are my heroes. My parents were married 60 years ago today! I love them both very much. Got to talk to them both this afternoon. Wish I could be there with them, but phones work good enough. God has blessed them so much!”

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by TKiley.
    in reply to: OK, fellow Grateful Leaders, I need your help! #7932

    My desire for this is to be a self assessment, for personal growth. One could share it if they wanted to.

    The management team here is trying to become a team, full of team mates willing to help each other. There will be a learning curve since this is unfortunately, more of a paradigm shift than a fine tuning. We do not acknowledge ourselves and co-workers well, if at all. That much has been agreed upon. That in itself is a great start. Now, the questions being asked are the basic ‘how to’ questions. My thoughts are that this could be a way to self assess how ‘I’ am doing, not how ‘you’ are doing. And like I said previously, empathy is difficult at best to assess, to measure, to quantify. And I’m not sure if it is even best to try. But if the desire to assess oneself in order to improve oneself is present, why not?

    in reply to: OK, fellow Grateful Leaders, I need your help! #7927

    You know, empathy is a difficult thing to capture in a metric. Growing up, my parents and priests always said that feelings are neither right, nor wrong. They just are. It’s how you act upon them that counts. So, putting this to task, my boss and I are looking at a metric based partially on April’s idea. (Thank you again April!)

    It will be a self assessment on 2 factors; how many acknowledgements did I receive, and how many acknolwedgements did I give in one week. This could be charted on a scatter point graph with the X factor being zero through say, five. The Y factor would be the days of the week. We could then get the total for the week, and also an average per day (total / 5 days). Above median would be green. Median would be yellow, and below median would be red. The results would indicate how we employ empathy in our work relationships with co-workers, vendors, customers, and management teams.

    Again, empathy is not easily measured in metrics. This is just a way to measure the number of instances, which should give us an idea of how often empathy is employed during our work routine. It will not measure the quality of the heartfelt acknowledgement.

    If you have any feedback on this I would greatly appreciate it.

    I need input!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by TKiley.
    in reply to: OK, fellow Grateful Leaders, I need your help! #7926

    Thank you April! I was actually thinking long the same line; do I acknowledge those I collaborate with, and do they acknowledge my efforts? Thank you notes would definitely be tangible evidence of that.

    Judy has also mentioned to me that the Grateful Leadership 360 assessment might be a possibility. I guess it’s time for me to do that and find out.

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7872

    Hello all! Well, today, I was going to say something appreciative of my wife on our 31st anniversary (only a little narcissism here!). But instead, I am very encouraged by something that is happening here at work, related to the “6th C”.
    I have been spreading the concept of acknowledgement around the workplace quite a bit lately; interjecting, one on one discussions with a few folks, etc. Coincidently, there have been strategic vision meetings with staff, discussions on employee well being and work place atmosphere, and other gatherings to help improve the work place EQ environment, for lack of a better term. And I was ready to bring up acknowledgement and recognition as one way to improve. But I think I got beaten to the punch. There were others willing to bring it up alongside me, and to be honest, I wasn’t the first person to say something about the lack of acknowledgement here. The good news, it opened the door to interject grateful leadership as one way to help. And, whether or not we go with GL, it appears we are going to try to motivate people through acknowledgement.
    Example: we had an issue with a piece of equipment that was causing a bottleneck for production flow. The operator realized what the problem was, and made suggestions that were followed. It worked. This was discussed at our morning meeting today, and the operations manager offered that this would be a great way to start recognizing these kinds of efforts, “like we discussed yesterday”. The flow manager asked how he could make this recognition. The answer was our electronic bulletin boards around the plant. Just submit a short thank you for the operator and it can be posted on the monitors for all to see. Simple, painless, positive, heartfelt and effective.
    Don’t look now, but I think the contagion is spreading!

    Have a grateful week.

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7867

    Howdy to you all! This week, I have had the pleasure of cleaning the ‘wounds’ on the bottom of my chin, caused by my jaw hitting the floor a couple of times in the span of about 5 minutes. Maybe 10.
    Where I work, there is not a lot of acknowledgement given by any level of management, or by employees on the floor. So when I was called into the boss’ office, the first thing I said jokingly was “what did I do wrong this time?” (Glad he saw that as a joke as well!)
    To set the stage, we had earlier had a peer discussion over the results of an employee survey, on how employees feel about their work environment, and their feelings about management, etc. The discussion was a good one, which brought out a lot of really deep feelings and concerns that don’t always get discussed with ‘the boss’. And of course I had my few pennies worth.
    So now I am in his office with the door closed. We hadn’t seen eye to eye in my previous role here at the company, so I was transferred to a new position doing project management work; a role that was new to the company, and definitely new to me. Although I have had a lot of experience with several projects all through my years, I had never been a project management kind of guy. I have been self teaching since then; OJT.
    He then begins to tell me how much he appreciated all the work I have been doing to improve the conditions around the plant updating equipment (VERY OLD equipment), installing new equipment, being a strong voice in safety improvements, etc.
    He went on to tell me that I my contributions in this new role have made a positive impact on the facility and that my taking on this role was the right fit for the plant and the right use of my talents.
    You see, he is not a person who acknowledges well, and I believe that is because our company does not have a track record at all in acknowledging anything more than time in service. I told him that we do not acknowledge our folks well if at all outside of the annual dinner where we give plaques for time in service. And he agreed.
    And I told him that as a result of that, the different departments become very protective of their own, treating their departments as if they are ‘the pillar which keeps the place going’. I said that eveyone is hugging their pillars so tight, and keeping them so strong in their own eyes, they don’t look around their pillars to see that the other pillars are crumbling to the ground. He agreed again.
    So, when the fog cleared from my vision, and I ensured there was no tremendous blood loss from my jaw, I brought up the idea of incorporating Grateful Leadership into our fairly new professional development training program. I had already spoken to our training coordinator, giving him the address to this web site. And I briefly discussed what we are trying to do here, and that through this communication board, and Judy’s help I am now in contact with the corporate key contact person in IIL (Thank you also Ilona!)
    So, at the end of ths discussion, said he would talk to the training coordinator about Grateful Leadership and if it could be a useful tool for us.
    At that point, the pain in the chin was gone, and I felt great! I received acknowledgement from someone who doesn’t normally acknowledge, I proposed the idea of bringing Grateful Leadership into the company, and through this board and with the help of, well actually all of you here, my place of work may get involved as well. I felt strongly compelled to share this with you. And again, thank you all for the insight your stories and experiences bring to me, and to us all. It is your willingness to share that makes me want to continue improving my emotional quotient, and spread Grateful Leadership to my work place, and to wherever it helps.

    Have a fantastic week!

    in reply to: Acknowledgment as an antidote to depression #7856

    Roxy I am happy for you. It’s amazing how showing gratitude for even the smallest effort can bring out a big smile. And I find that those smiles are very contageous. Even just reading this post brought a smile! I make an effort now to thank everyone involved with the improvement projects I put together in a simple, yet personal way. Your idea is actually a great one. I hadn’t thought to send notes to those I miss. Instead I counted on my memory to thank them ‘the next time’ (as long as there is a next time). Instead I can send them a note, or hand them a note if there is not enough time to speak to them. Thank you for the idea!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7811

    Wow. Judy, I am truly humbled by your words. Thank you so very much. I’ll be honest in saying I am at a total loss of words. So I will not try, except to say again, thank you for your kind words. I will try to live up to them as best I can.

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7809

    Hello again all! I did say I would let you know how the interview process turned out. Unfortunately for me, they chose a person other than me to meet their needs. I did take the opportunity to spread some acknowledgement anyway. I responded to the email that, although I was disappointed in the outcome, I appreciated the time they took to meet me and discuss the possibility of being employed by them. And I expressed my hope for success with their new employee.

    So the world continues to encircle the sun.

    Have a great week.

    in reply to: Introduce Yourself! #7729

    Andrew, I hope you don’t mind if I share a little with you here, and to all of those who read I hope you will allow me some feedback to Andrew.

    Andrew, first let me say I think it is so brave of you to open up about this issue.  I know from personal experience how difficult it is to express difficulties related to family issues, as I will share.

    It seems you and Ilona are facing some difficult issues.  I could touch on the military need for the power of acknowledgement.  In my 22 years as a US Navy Submariner who worked in the nuclear weapons systems on board, the missile technician rating had (has) extremely high standards of performance and conduct.  It was the lack of acknowledgement in my military job, which I brought with me as baggage to my civilian roles, that got me involved with this group in the first place.  I can tell you there is great potential for grateful acknowledgement in the military, which is why Chaplain Davis, a member here, is taking the concept to the military.

    But I think there is so much more in what you are saying here, that a simple response may not answer everything.  So, I would like to share some experiences I have with you.  I do not share the same point of references you have regarding your family situation.  But I can say I truly empathize tremendously with you.

    In 3 weeks, I will be celebrating 31 years of marriage to my lovely wife, Terri.  We have gone through many ordeals, through being a military family with all the separations and transfers from one city to another, and state to another, even across the US from east to west.  But the biggest challenge we face will be with us for the rest of our lives.  Terri’s mother succumbed to complications from multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2001 or 2002.  In 2004, Terri started to show signs of fatigue similar to MS.  In 2007, she was formally diagnosed as having MS.  She has lost most of the ability to walk.  I have been her strength, her drive, her walker, her cook, her everything she needed.  In January of last year, I was diagnosed with MS.  It is not rare for 2 people with MS to fall in love and marry.  It is very rare for 2 people to be married for so long then both be diagnosed with this.  I have yet to suffer any symptoms.  I found out when I had an MRI for an unrelated issue, and the lesions were found.  Fortunately I am still fully capable to do all the functions I need.  And I still am serving as Terri’s caregiver.

    I say all this because after reading your post I found that you asked the same questions we asked ourselves.  We are still learning too.  We both need the silence to let things go, but then realize these things don’t go away just by not recognizing and dealing with them.  I did share in another post how I recognized I was not acknowledging Terri enough for the things she can do.  And I have improved my ways of acknowledging how she takes care of our family finances, and even how she cares for our animals (6 horses, 4 dogs, 1 cat andany stray that comes along!).  It is difficult for a person who can only get around on a scooter to deal with feeding and watering horses, but she does it, and she makes me so proud of the way she has adapted to her handicap.  But I was not acknowledging her accomplishments with anything more than, as you put it, “Good Job Soldier”.  That isn’t enough.  That will never be enough if it is the norm.  Again, I empathize with that.

    So, is there something to this POA?  Absolutely.  Will it work?  Tough question.  There is only one person who can answer that.


    Let me close by thanking you for yor honesty, and frankness.  And I thank you also, for allowing me to share my personal issues as well.  I sometimes need to share my challenges with others.  I find it very helpful to get things off my chest, even with people I have neve met.  It helps me realign my perspective.  So, thank you for helping me realign.

    in reply to: Putting POA and GL into practice in our families #7697

    Wow.  What a great share.  thank you for sharing this personal experience with us.  I do have a long standing issue with my family backin New York. I am 3000 miles away from them in Washington state which makes it even harder to communicate with them.   And you ask a great question, which I am still trying to figure out.  I have applied the 5 C’s to communicate with my siblings and parents, with mixed results.  It sounds like you are definitely full of the courage to make it work.  I find the commitment to be the challenge.  I have been contacting them as if nothing occurred, again with mixed results.  I have come to realize that fixing a problem with distance between us makes it easy to hide behind the distance.  So I conciously continue to communicate.  I don’t know when things will change, but I am certain they will change someday.

    I don’t know if this helps, but I think your heart is in the right place, and that will get some answers, some day.  I hope things work out for you.

    in reply to: Introduce Yourself! #7655

    Hello, and welcome Ilona!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #7616

    Howdy all!  This week’s effort to meet the challenge occurred during a job interview.  Yes, I do look for new ways to improve my position in life and in work.  I was asked one of the basic questions that can open a pandora’s box of vulnerability.  “What would you say is a weakness of yours that needs improvement?”  In the past, I would use the old ‘nautical’ mantra; dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with (a 2 syllable word with a b and an s).  But since my involvement with the center of grateful leadership and all of you, I have opened myself to be more vulnerable, and able to be true to myself, and with myself.  “Acknowledgement of other’s performance is where I find myself in need of improvement.”  No hesitation.  I discussed my previous issues in the navy of excellence being a standard, the lack of expectation for acknowledgement of deeds, how I brought that into my civilian career, and how I finally recognized my weakness.  And I was especially happy to speak of this group, the center of grateful leadership, as my source of correction.  In previous interviews I would get that nervous “what do I say without making me look like an idiot” feeling and hope I don’t sound fake, or uncertain of my humanity.  I mean let’s face it.  If we don’t have a weakness, we aren’t human!  This time, I was actually confident in my answer and came right out with it.  And it felt good to let it be known that I am flawed!  (Although I didn’t go overboard with that; I was still trying for a new position after all.)

    If interested, I will let you know how it all turns out!

    Have a great week!

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