Tag Archives: teamwork

Conflict Resolution - Performance Management

Performance Management: Is Your Workplace in a Pickle?

Like over 30 million other Americans, I have been playing pickleball. I am bad. I don’t say that to be coy, modest, or kind, I am truly not a very good player. What I love about both my husband and the group I play with is they are very, very encouraging. I hear on the pickleball court in the evenings what I hear in organizations during the day, both the good and the bad.

For the most part I hear encouragement like “Good idea!” which is a lovely way to say, “You missed it, but you at least know where to stand.” Or “Good try!” Or “Now you’ve got it.” I am both amazed and impressed by the different ways this supportive group encourages.

One night I had a new partner. She was so kind and supportive of me, but when she herself missed the ball, she called herself an idiot, stupid, or a loser. Another player suggested, “If you start encouraging yourself the way you encourage Karen, your game will improve.” She heard the feedback and I can only imagine that her play has improved as well.

Sadly, not everyone in our group is so supportive. One member said to me “You have absolutely no hand eye coordination. You should hit against a board about 200 times a day, every day for about 3 months and then come back. My spouse did this and it helped.” My takeaway from that interaction was, “You need to learn about Carol Dweck and the growth mindset.”

Carol Dweck wrote a Mindset: A New Psychology of Success. In the book, Dweck says that those who see learning as an ever-evolving and fun process have greater life and career satisfaction. They aren’t expecting life to be easy so they aren’t easily frustrated when life becomes challenging. I discuss Dr. Dweck’s research in my programs and I use it in my life. I notice during performance discussions that those who are expecting work to be challenging are more open to feedback.

Now on the court I say to myself, “I don’t serve consistently, YET.” It’s helped my game. What growth mindset phrases have helped you in your work and life?

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Diversity and Inclusion - Employee Engagement

Juneteenth is 61 Days Away

Holidays have a way of creeping up on me. It’s springtime now, and before you know it, it will be summer. I know that I often have the best of intentions to commemorate special days, but often I fall short on the delivery. It’s suddenly Father’s Day and I haven’t even thought about organizing a family event. Or it’s Veterans Day and I forgot to send the special cards that I purchased for my friends who are Veterans.

If you are working in an organization that recognizes holidays with special programming, there are 61 days until Juneteenth. The past few years we have sent out suggestions for ways to honor this special day, but we heard from our readers that they came too late to include any of the amazing options in their plans. Here are some ideas and suggestions in advance, so you can put one or more in place before this important day.

Watch Videos Together:

Social Inequities Explained in a $100 Race

The Sounds of Slavery

“Stand Up!” from the movie Harriet

March, March

Distribute Articles and Host a Discussion Group:

Corinne Shutak, 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Ibram X. Kendi, The American Nightmare

Daryl Austin, George Floyd’s death has to be a tipping point. White people like me must fight racism.

Tim Wise, Code of Ethics for White Anti-Racists

Nikole Hannah-Jones, The 1619 Project

Howard Ross, Everyday Bias article and presentation

Karla McLaren, How to Support Antiracism in Yourself and the World

Washington Post Magazine, Visualizing Racism

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Jane Elliott‘s Blue eyed/Brown eyed exercise

Display Quotes:

“The opposite of ‘racist’ isn’t ‘not racist” . . . Success for the anti-racist is a world where power and policy support equality of opportunity for all. This equality of opportunity will produce equality of outcome.”

— Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Anti-Racist

“We are persons classified as white in this society. As aspiring anti-racist allies/collaborators, we seek to work with people of color (and follow their leadership) to create real multiracial democracy. We do not fight racism on behalf of people of color, or as an act of charity. We oppose white supremacy because it is an unjust system, and we believe in the moral obligation to resist injustice.”

— Tim Wise, Code of Ethics for White Anti-Racists

Black Lives Matter

I Can’t Breathe; 

No Justice No Peace”

— Millions of people all over the world

Provide Books:

Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility 

Layla Saad, Me and White Supremacy

Other Options and Activities:

Play Juneteenth Jeopardy with questions related to Black history.

Plan for a Lunch and Learn and invite a university professor or professional speaker to talk about Black history, music, or culture.  

Learn about soul food and cook authentic recipes.

Tour a Black culture museum or exhibit.

Read a book about civil rights and host a book discussion, or invite the author to speak to your organization.  

Host a movie afternoon and show a movie or TV show, for example:

  • Miss Juneteenth
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Black-ish
  • Atlanta
  • All American: Homecoming
  • Sherman’s Showcase
  • Watchmen
  • Harriet
  • 13th
  • Malcolm X
  • I Am Not Your Negro

For more resources, click here for a list compiled by my racial diversity peer group. I am just starting to read and listen to these sources. I am sharing this list and I have seen it in several places, but I cannot endorse the materials.

We hope this list will give you both ideas and time to create an event that will bring your employees together to commemorate this special day.

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Mindset - Performance Management

How to Actually Do “Done is Better Than Perfect”

Almost 2 years ago a colleague of mine, Mike Schmidtmann, shared his explainer video.

Like you, I had seen them before. But his was fantastic, and I thought it was a good idea to explore. I soon hired a company to create one. Their contract said that the finished product would be complete in two weeks. At the time, I was very busy creating a year-long customized training program, so I modified the contract, omitting a deadline altogether.

Was this a good idea, or did I create my own procrastination dilemma? For those of you who are frequent readers, you know that about the standing desk.

Although I often say “done is better than perfect,” sometimes I don’t listen to myself. The contract sat on the side of my desk for almost two years.

While this project of an explainer video was significantly more time consuming than opening the standing desk box, it didn’t deserve two years of desk and mental energy space. With my team, Keri and Mary, and the quick turnaround time of the video company, we were able to put together the finished product in about 20 hours.

When I showed my husband the finished product he had some suggestions. I said, “Done is better than perfect.” What do you think?

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