I had a friend whose famous response to “how are you doing?” was always “I am stressed for success!” with a big smile on her face. I would imagine that right now many of you feel the same way (maybe minus the smile) as you begin the process of closing out the year. Adding to the long list you promised yourself you would do before the end of the year probably seems ridiculous.
Stay with me for a minute. The two things I’m about to describe will not only help you zero in on the most important things to get done before the end of the year, they will also make you feel good, and set up a less stressful next one.
- Do a Wrap Up Round. This is a process where you take time to reflect on the year and ask yourself and perhaps your team some questions like:
- Will we achieve our desired outcomes for the year, or will we by December 31st?
- Did we reach our goals?
- What went right?
- What didn’t?
- What patterns in our behaviors emerged during the year?
- Knowing what we know now, what will we do differently in 2018?
- What should we start doing in 2018?
- What should we stop doing?
- What do we need to continue doing that worked?
- Take the 30 day “Thank You” challenge. Close out the year strong by turning on your highest level thinking. In order to do this, you need to amp up appreciation. I’m not talking about giving out bonuses (although I know many of your team members would LOVE that, if possible). What I am referring to is making a point to give specific appreciate feedback to 30 people over the next 30 days.
Maybe you send a note to one person. Another might get a card from you. Perhaps you spend a day going up to individual team members and letting them know how much you appreciate something very specific that they contributed this year that made a difference.
However you choose to demonstrate gratitude, for the next 30 days, towards individuals that work with or for you, know that it will be great for your emotional and complex thinking part of your brain as well as theirs. In a study a few years back, researchers found that “grateful brains showed enhanced activity in two primary regions: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC).” Appreciation is the antidote to anxiety. By exercising your appreciation muscle more, you will feel better and so will the recipient of your thoughtfulness.
Will you take the challenge with me? I’d love to hear about your experience. Let’s work together to ensure that the end of this year ushers in a great new one!
If you want your team to experience team training that doesn’t insult your intelligence and that actually sticks, check out our Cortex Leading a Winning Team program. If you are outside of Roanoke, you’ll love our new Quick Start program. Contact Courtland for more details at Courtland@cortexleadership.com.