Jumanji: A Study in Strengths-Based Teams

by Anita Polite-Wilson, Ph.D., CPC, Executive Coach & Consultant for Parrish Partners

Building the Strength of Your Team

In the interest of your commitment to employee engagement, ask yourself three questions:

  1. How can I recognize and leverage potential strengths inherent in my team members?
  2. How can I create individualized, meaningful stretch assignments aligned with business objectives?
  3. How can more effective, real-time coaching for performance be enjoyable for me and my team?

If you struggled to quickly answer the questions above, you could benefit from the Strengths-Based Organization philosophy.  I have coached and helped leaders and their teams across several industries realize that leveraging the power and richness of diverse strengths, perspectives, and approaches will accelerate individual, team, and organizational performance.   If you could use a win-win-win solution, then read on.

To help your team perform amazing feats on a regular basis that will move your business forward, here is a one-word solution:  Jumanji.  And, here are three thoughts that will guarantee a transformative shift:

Change Your Frame | Change Your Focus | Change Your Future©

Re-frame business goals into adventures that focus less on the task at hand and more on the strengths of the people who will complete the tasks.  One major “win” will prove out this new paradigm and renew a sense of faith among team members enabling everyone on the team to consistently rise to the occasion in the future.

An entertaining illustration of this is the movie Jumanji because it recounts a story that plays out often among teams:  people fail to recognize and leverage their strengths by conforming to a persona that doesn’t suit them just to meet the expectations of others, i.e., managers (ouch!).  Not good for them or for business.

Without spoiling the movie for you, let me link some key movie themes with the questions I posed above:

  • Recognize and leverage strengths inherent in your team—Honor people as they are and refrain from trying to make them “well rounded”. Let them shine as they are, not who you think they should be.
  • Create individualized, meaningful stretch assignments aligned with business objectives that showcase what people do really well. You’ve seen it in them.  Help them, and those around them, see it too.
  • Coaching for performance can be enjoyable for you and your team when everyone knows and values everybody else’s strengths. Team coaching will evolve when contributions are attributed to strengths.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to plan a teambuilding event featuring the movie Jumanji (and popcorn!).  Have the team count the number of times the word “strengths” is heard in the movie and have a discussion afterward.  Then, plan a Strengths-Based Organization training. Contact michele@parrishpartners.com for a discovery conversation and to discuss customizable options for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Copyright Anita Polite-Wilson, 2018, All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Anita Polite-Wilson is a Gallup Certified Strength Coach and a Certified Professional Coach with a background in human and organization systems, organizational leadership, and management.   As the newest member of Parrish Partners, we encourage you to reach out to Dr. Anita for any number of Strengths-Based solutions, from the coaching of your early to mid-career professionals, to devising team charters, to facilitating strategic leadership off-sites focused on leveraging individual strengths that accelerate organizational performance.

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Making Anxiety Work for You

Harnessing Anxiety for High Achievement

by Leah Moon, Consultant and Executive Coach with Parrish Partners

As a high achiever in the workplace – whether you are a managing director in a corporate setting or an entrepreneur who has built a business – there is a high likelihood that a healthy dose of anxiety was a key ingredient in achieving your goals.  That anxiety tapped into the adrenaline needed to perfect a presentation to investors, the focus to win over a major client, or the passion to paint the vision for the company or your team.

What I have just illustrated is anxiety working at its best.  However, at its worst it can manifest in feelings of nervousness, increased heart rate, an inability to problem solve, or even completely freezing during key moments on the job.  But there are ways for anxiety to remain an asset.

Here are five key steps to harnessing your anxiety for good, instead of allowing it to work against you.

  1. Drop the plural in “priorities” and focus on a singular priority.  Prioritization requires that some things are more important than others. Being intentional and thoughtful will help you determine which value or action is paramount, sometimes referred to as one’s “true-north.”  While your true-north value in life may stay constant for long periods; your true-north action items will likely change throughout your life and career.
  2. Stop obsessing. Sometimes psychologists refer to this as ruminating – that is, going over and over (and over) the same thoughts, typically negative, on a loop.  This behavior is also labeled a “racing mind”- one’s mind keeps rapidly repeating the same, repetitious thinking.  Recognize that you are obsessing; develop and stick to a plan with action steps to break the redundant cycle.  Better yet: return to your “true-north” priority to ground you.
  3. Build resiliency. Practicing certain activities on a continuing, disciplined basis can provide relief from excessive anxiety. Concepts and activities that build resiliency in our brains include mindfulness, meditation, regular exercise, yoga, improving eating habits and taking on a new hobby or area for learning. If you’re wondering what mindfulness is, there is a lot to learn. Simply defined, mindfulness is a self-calming process that requires focusing on the current moment and becoming more aware of your feelings and bodily sensations.
  4. Know when to step back. Your anxiety may be controlling you. Living with excessive anxiety, stress and worry take its toll. You may notice that you are caught in a loop of “busyness” (such as, repeatedly checking your email) or idleness.  Neither of these states is productive.  Hit “pause,” step back, and regroup.
  5. Learn more about yourself. As you regroup, you’re probably wondering: But what does this look like?  Well, for each person it looks different.  For some, it’s drawing a diagram across a whiteboard with your team, while, for others, it’s reaching out to their coach and verbally talking through the thoughts racing through your mind.  Regardless, learning how you process information is the way to shortcut anxiety. The better you know who you are, what you want, and understand how others react to you, the less excessive your anxiety will be. With less anxiety, you will be better able to harness your stress for achievement.

Enacting these five tips is a start.  But if these tips were the master key to success, everyone would be harnessing their anxiety without fail.  This is just the beginning of the process for those who excel.  An accountability coach can help you channel your anxiety into more productive avenues and more effectively practice these five critical steps.  This combination is the edge that will access control over your own anxiety.  At Parrish Partners, we consider your anxiety to be a potential positive – not a hindrance.  Through our customized leadership tools, leadership tools, and one-on-one coaching, we provide uniquely tailored services that meet your true needs and desires.

 

 

Copyright Leah Moom 2018.  All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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Surefire Ways to Get Promoted

Surefire Ways to Get Promoted

Surefire Ways to Get Promoted

Wouldn’t you like to know how to secure an upcoming promotion? Imagine being able to tap into your supervisors thought processes and learn what it takes to get promoted. These tips will enable you to understand more of what bosses look for as they make their promotion decision. Stand out and you’ll find yourself in a new role by doing the following:

Do the right thing.

Supervisors likely promote those that do the basics well. In other words, do the right thing when it comes to showing up on time, not gossiping, and treating everyone with respect.

Set your mind on the big picture.

One way to get promoted is to think like the owner with a long-term vision. The big picture is important and your supervisor will note you are thinking ahead rather than just about the day to day tasks of the company.

Play nice with others.

No one likes to work with someone who is difficult to get along with. Work hard to be a team player. Your boss and coworkers will appreciate it and respect you more. Be present when the workload gets hard rather than shirk from the responsibility.

Take initiative whenever you can.

If you want to get promoted, then you’ll want to be seen as one who takes initiative. Accept tough assignments, don’t complain, and give your all to the tasks you are to handle. Your boss will be looking for someone who is willing to step up to the plate rather than one who must be asked repeatedly to help.

Be a leader.

Promotions often go to the employees that are considered leaders. You can show your strengths by extending advice, a hand, or your skills to assist others. People will take note when you have expertise in a variety of areas. Lead by example and be sure you follow the company’s policies and procedures.

Allow your passion to be evident.

You are hungry for advancement and passionate about the company. Make sure that you allow our passion to shine through your work each day. Don’t be shy to let people know you want to lead, grow, and advance your career in ways that benefit the team.

Networking is the key to your success.

Spend your time networking with the people that can help you learn more about the role you hope to secure. In other words, try and find team members that have been in that role before or supervise the person who has that position. Networking will enable you to learn more about the role which will give you a better chance to secure the position.

Need more tips on how to get promoted? Contact us for a complimentary consultation

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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The Future Workplace Experience: Is Your HR Department Ready?

The Future Workplace Experience: Is Your HR Department Ready?

The Future Workplace Experience: Is Your HR Department Ready?

The business world is focused on the need to innovate today. Try to be more innovative with your company’s culture, leadership style, technology goals, strategy, etc…

One thing that often doesn’t get as much traction is Human Resources. The future workplace experience is changing. How does your HR department measure up? Are you ready?

The Future Workplace Experience

If you want to have an Innovative HR department, then you check out The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees by Meister and Mulcahy. This great read is helpful for both workers and human resources to see the innovative workplace changes.

The book focuses on the trends in the future from a fresh perspective.

In recent years, people began to consider the opportunity of employees to work from anywhere and on a flexible schedule. They seem to have forgotten the employer though. There is still a need for hiring managers, recruiters, and the HR department.

The Employer Side of Things

This book will shed some light on the employer side of things and the future of work. Specifically, it focuses on 10 trends that will change the way employers recruit, train, and the manner that they use freelancers for projects.  The goal is to embrace an innovative approach where you focus less on the 9 to 5 parameters of one’s day job.

Employers should shift their thinking to attract top talent and give them work that is designed for their particular skill sets. The book encourages employers to rethink the entire hiring process and to switch gears on leadership styles as appropriate.

Worth the Read

Meister and Mulcahy’s book is absolutely worth the read. Their findings are geared toward the audience of “gig economy” employers. The material is sure to give ways for leaders to implement innovative strategies for management and HR departments.

This book is different than other business books on the market. The key focus is on people. Technological innovation is great but if you miss the mark with people, then you don’t have much left. The best practices in this book will enable others to see the future workplace in a different light and give their business the opportunity to thrive.

Need help getting your HR ready? We can help!

Follow us on social media for daily education and inspiration.

Contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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New Laws Banning the Salary History Question

New Laws Banning the Salary History Question

New Laws Banning the Salary History Question

These laws are becoming more prevalent in order to counteract the disadvantages that salary history requests put on women and other minority groups. Often employers do not intend to use the info given about history against the candidate but bias opinions can creep in if the history is discussed.Potential new laws are on the horizon that would ban employers asking questions about salary history during the interview process. Restrictions in Massachusetts, Delaware, Oregon, New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia have already passed legislation that prohibits employers from requesting salary information from job candidates. Hefty fines will be imposed on those that do not comply.

Here are some recommendations to ensure that you adhere to such laws and prepare in advance for those that may come into play in your municipality.

Employers should avoid asking about salary history.

Once the information is out on the candidate’s pay history, it can never be taken back and could affect the thought processes of the employer. The gender gap is a real problem and minorities suffer too when it comes to prior salary history. Let it not even become a factor and simply don’t discuss it during the interview process.

Focus on the open position and the pay expectation.

Rather than discussing salary history, employers should talk with their candidate about the responsibilities and skill sets necessary required for the position. The conversation should be a two-way street where both of you discuss the expectations when it comes to salary.

Be sure that Human Resources have made the salary amount clear as far as what the company will pay. Go into the interview ready to discuss options with your candidate. Previous salary history should not have a bearing on what they will get paid.

Know that this is not just for female candidates.

The laws banning the salary history question are not only to protect women. In fact, this is important for all candidates and an essential element to a company’s culture. Avoiding these questions shows that you are unbiased and pay based on what suits the role and candidate that accepts the position.

In any situation, you want to be sure that you handle salary questions with attention and detail. The laws that have been put in place and are coming in the near future will help to protect candidates and keep employers an unbiased mindset. The compensation discussion should be beneficial to both the candidate and company. Work to keep these conversations positive with the goal to eliminate any unfair practices.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners for a complimentary consultation.

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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SHIFT Into A New Way of Being Using Your Strengths

by Anita Polite-Wilson, Ph.D.

Most people make a new year’s resolution, which is admirable.  However, studies show that most resolutions are broken within the first 30 days of the new year.  Instead of worrying about making your new year’s resolutions stick, let’s try a different approach and get better results all year long.

I suggest spending time focusing on how to shift your way of being, by getting to know yourself better.  I’ve created a model that works for everybody.  It’s called the SHIFT model and it’s an acronym for Self-assess, Hone-in, Investigate, Fix, and Team.  The premise is simple, yet powerful.

After completing a self-assessment tool or, or intentionally reflecting on an area for improvement, hone-in on what stands out to you.  Next, investigate the implications of what you’ve found.  Then—and this is key—spend some time fixing your self-perception and your self-talk.  Finally, identify someone to team with to help you.

In the previous newsletter, I mentioned that StrengthsFinders 2.0 is my favorite self-assessment tool.  However, just sitting down and contemplating an area of your life for improvement is also an effective form of self-assessment to begin implementing my SHIFT model.    Below is an example of how this works in addressing interpersonal challenges at work.

I happen to be coaching a young woman whose top strength is Empathy, and she has a hard time being firm with co-workers who see her as the “last-minute-go-to-gal”.  This self-assessment revealed that, while she wants to be viewed as a reliable team player, she allows others to take advantage of her.  She honed-in on this feeling and decided it wasn’t healthy for her.  After investigating the deeper implications, she determined that she needed to set some boundaries with her co-workers.  She fixed her self-perception from being an enabler of irresponsible behaviors in others, to being empowered to help others find their own solutions and she decided to fix her self-talk accordingly.  Then, she asked me to team with her to craft a few phrases that would protect her relationships as she balanced her support for others with self-care.

This new approach has proven effective for her.  While she is still relied upon to make things happen in a pinch, she is confident that her co-workers will have done all that is within their power prior to coming to her.  And when she is really needed, they give her more lead time to ensure that everyone is successful.

Whatever you find yourself facing – be it understanding how you may be unconsciously getting in your own way, or how co-workers may be unintentionally contributing to some of your frustration – take the time to reflect and implement a SHIFT!


Dr. Anita Polite-Wilson is a Gallup Certified Strength Coach and a Certified Professional Coach with a background in human and organization systems, organizational leadership, and management.   As the newest member of Parrish Partners, we encourage you to leverage Dr. Anita for any number of Strengths-Based solutions, from the coaching of your early to mid-career professionals, to devising team charters, to facilitating strategic leadership off-sites and focused on leveraging individual strengths that accelerate organizational performance.

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Is Your Business Ready for Change?

Is Your Business Ready for Change?

Change is inevitable. The question should never be if it will happen but rather when it will happen. Everything changes from the weather to the seasons to our opinions and preferences over the years. The world is evolving, transitioning, and changing around us faster than we even realize.

What does this mean for you and your business?

Questions to Consider

In your business, are you stuck in a rut or open to change? The fast-paced world around us waits for no one.

Consider the following questions:

  • Am I open to change for my business?
  • Is it time to make some changes?
  • How would change help my business stay competitive?

Answer the question as to whether you are willing to take the plunge and make changes. If so, why do you find it necessary to switch things up?

While there are lots of reasons people go into business, the main reason is to make a profit. As you brainstorm on how you’d like to change your business, you will want to answer these questions for yourself.

  • What is the purpose of making a change?
  • How long will any disruption to operations linger?
  • Will the change be for the better?
  • If so, what would improve?

Really take some time and think through these questions. Get your thoughts down on paper and bounce your thoughts off of someone you trust. While change is good, you should make calculated decisions and work to stay a few seconds ahead of your competition.

Reasons to Make a Change

Continue to ask yourself how your business would improve by making changes. There is a difference in the words improving and changing. To improve something, you are making a change for the better. In order to change something, you are making it different.

If all is going smoothly for your business, then don’t switch things up just to do it for the sake of change. However, you will want to make changes if you are:

  • Not making the money that you want
  • Are overly stressed
  • Are handling more drama than real business issues

If any of this sounds like your situation, then change is necessary. You can take actionable steps to pull off your goals, but you’ll need to be intentional.

Daily Time to Reflect

As a business owner, you need to carve out time each day to focus on your company. Success doesn’t just happen. Take some time to do the following each day and think about and make notes about your business.

  • Find a quiet place without interruptions
  • Don’t accept calls, emails, or texts.
  • Write down any business goals and ideas as they come to mind.
  • Think through your staff and write down what’s working and what’s not.

A time of daily reflection will enable you to think more clearly about your business. Don’t get so busy that you don’t make this a priority. Be open to change and watch your business both improve and thrive in the days to come.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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The Importance of the Human Element in Your Hiring Process

Hiring has changed extensively over the years. These days’ companies are working even harder to find the most talented candidates for their teams. In fact, in the United States, the average time it takes to hire is almost 23 days.The Importance of the Human Element in Your Hiring Process

We live in an extremely social day and age. Technology networks us in constantly and yet we somehow missed the human element because of screen time with our devices. The hiring process must stay human and less technology focused. People are relational and like to stay engaged with hiring managers during the interview process.

Adhere to these tips for how employers can move forward while maintaining a personal approach while hiring. You’ll find that the process will take less time and you’ll secure more talented individuals for your company.

Employee Referrals

Encourage your top talent to refer people that they know for your open positions. Often they travel in circles with similar top performing personalities. They can network with you and if they produce a great candidate, you can reward them for their referral.

Promote from Within

When you get a notice, try to promote an employee from within your company. Professional development encourages people in their career paths and makes them want to stay longer. No need to constantly struggle to fill positions, rather move your talent up and find a new candidate to fill their shoes. You can save money on training because your newly promoted employee can train their replacement.

Applicant Tracking

Get organized with an applicant tracking system. Select a software provider that will help you schedule interviews, calls, assessments, and follow-up. No need to go this thing alone! Utilize technology to help you stay engaged which provides the important human element that people crave.

Interactive Screening Techniques

Even with the need for a human touch, technology can be useful. Interactive screening is quite popular and effective. Phone calls are wonderful but adding video to this type of interview adds a human element that is welcomed.

Video interviews are convenient and easy to schedule. You are able to visually see the candidate and assess their skills while seeing their professionalism.

Hiring is time-consuming, but the timetable can be reduced by keeping the human element intact.

Companies should be sure to keep candidates engaged so that they feel informed, comfortable and enticed to work on your team. Reducing your time to hire will enable you to save money and improve employee morale too.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Why Top Salespeople Leave, Stay and Join a Company

At some point, every company struggles with how to secure top talent and get them to stay for the long haul. There are some common reasons for why the best salespeople leave, stay, and join a company. Consider the following and perhaps change your strategy in order to attract and hold on to the best candidates.Why Top Salespeople Leave, Stay and Join a Company

Reasons to Join Your Team

  1. Attractive compensation package

People that are in sales want to keep things simple and a package that is overly difficult will not be a perk for them. They want a plan that simply rewards their efforts as they drive sales. Top performers want something clear and straightforward.

  1. Coworkers they identify with

If you have a top candidate on the hook, then they most likely know others in their network that would benefit your company too. Offer referrals for your salespeople to refer other dynamic performers. They will appreciate the extra income and will enjoy helping to select colleagues they like to work with.

Why People Stay

  1. Professional development

Salespeople want to be invested in. They enjoy attending conferences and training sessions in order to network with others, learn, and just be able to stay on top of their game.

  1. The right tools

Top salespeople want to have the tools to do their job well. If you make that available and provide them with the latest and cutting-edge technology, they will stick around longer. They want to be able to go after sales and to do it without the frustrations that come from lack of proper equipment.

Reasons Salespeople Leave

  1. Lack of advancement

If salespeople don’t see the company offering a career path that has the potential for advancement, they will look for an opportunity to leave. In order to keep your top talent, your company will need to mentor, coach, and train them. They are hungry for sales, advancement, and a lucrative career. Give them what they want so they won’t leave.

  1. Money

Salespeople are driven by money. If they are not happy with their compensation package, they won’t stay. Touch base with your top talent and try to gauge their satisfaction levels. Listen closely to them and be open to change as needed. As the saying goes, money talks.

You have to entice the best job seekers to consider your company and then try to keep them. Be sure that you provide outstanding compensation packages and professional development opportunities in order to secure and hold onto top talent.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, and/or hiring needs, contact Parrish Partners today!

Copyright protected by our associate Gary Sorrell. Sorrell Associates, LLC All rights reserved worldwide. 

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Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year

Posted in Business Coaching, Communications, Consulting, Culture, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Executive Coaching, Executive Search, Goals, Leadership, Leadership Blog Post, Management, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment