Start the New Year with a New Mindset

Ebenezer Scrooge learned his lessons the hard way. It required a harrowing night of visits from three ghosts to set him on a better path. Mr. Scrooge took his ghostly apparitions’ messages to heart, and bought the big fat goose for the family of his poor, bedraggled employee Bob Cratchit. He also thought more about how he could catapult his newfound enthusiasm for helping others from the joyful festivities of late December into the cold, yet ever-hopeful newness of January. He promised to make Cratchit’s life at work more purpose-driven and well-defined, and committed to starting the New Year providing better clarity for his team. You should do the same by asking yourself these questions:

What roadmap can you create to clearly define what you want to accomplish for both yourself and your team?

Perhaps, like Scrooge, you see bothering with a roadmap as a waste of time. Not at all! Think about the people with whom you work and what you can accomplish together. Creating a roadmap to define benchmarks and achieve your business goals will help maintain a clear focus and attain those measureable outcomes everyone loves so much. Start with the end in mind and work backward. Make sure you frame the end goal in a way that creates an urgency for change and rallies the troops.

How can you help employees understand their purpose in your organization?

While this question may be challenging, it is important to remember we are all more than the money we make. People want to know how they contribute to some greater good, so if you haven’t already, start with creating a clear vision of how your company makes an impact. This will help you translate that message to your employees. Employees who clearly understand how they help make an impact are more engaged than employees who have never been told their purpose in the organization or how their work maps to that purpose.  

How is defining team or company values helpful to employees?

Related: Do Ask; Don’t Tell

Never given that a second thought until now? It’s important to define your values — so it will be easier for both you and your employees to match your efforts to those values. Perhaps you have worked through a values process and defined your team values as resourcefulness, proactiveness and team-centric. Lead your team then by asking yourself: “How am I being resourceful, proactive, helpful? How am I being a teammate?” Employees should follow your lead. By asking these simple and values-driven questions, one can measure his own progress and due diligence. Also, when people need to have challenging conversations, talking about values can offer guidance and clarity.

How will you better develop your team’s capabilities?

The best bosses are those who truly see and hear each of their employees and recognize the talents they bring to the company. Making goals for each team member ensures they spend their time most productively. Work with your employees to create clear goals and then spell out agreements on how they can hold themselves accountable. Check these off your list: productivity goals, efficiency goals, educational goals and personal development goals, which should reflect the overarching goals of your team and organization. Each member of your organization or department should know their roles and how to meet expectations. I am always surprised at how often these haven’t been made clear.

How will you create a culture of learning, expertise and fun?

You may think training employees is a poor excuse for spending money as Scrooge once did. That’s definitely not true. Plan to think bigger, exceeding the expectations for employee development. A culture of learning is what inspires us to be better, do better and be creative. Developing a growth mindset (How can we achieve this big goal?) versus a limited mindset (We have limited resources and this seems hard) is a game-changer for employee productivity and ingenuity.

Only with a growth mindset will your employees begin to forge new ideas that can build outcomes and offer them a chance to delight in their own creative contributions. Training surely provides opportunities for growth, and a well-trained employee who has developed an inquiring mindset is a more engaged employee.

Related: Would You Like To Work For You?

As you well know, once Marley and the three ghosts made their compelling case for an urgent need to change, Mr. Scrooge vowed to keep his promise to be the very best boss and friend every day from that day forward.

May that be said of all of us. Happy Holidays! 

Tania Fowler

Tania grew up in San Francisco. She went to college at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she received her BA degree in Geological Sciences. Tania worked with Shell Oil Company in Houston, Texas in the early 80’s during the oil energy boom. She hit the ‘pause’ button on her work life to become the mother of three sons, thankfully not all at once, but one at a time. After staying home for twelve years and taking care of her precious, if not raucous brood, she received her real estate license and worked as a realtor for seven years in Sacramento, California, quickly reaching the select level of Masters Club. While selling real estate, she honed her communication, coaching, and people skills and decided that she was more interested in helping people realize their work dreams than their dream homes.

Tania has worked with hundreds of business executives and their teams, managers, and educators since 2005. She has received an Executive Coaching Certification from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive Ed Program. Additionally she trained with CTI (Coaches Training Institute) and NLP of California (Neuro-linguistic Programming). Tania has coached with internationally known business coaches Robert Hargrove (Masterful Coaching) and Mark Rittenberg (Corporate Scenes). She is also a certified Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator consultant specializing in Temperament and Interaction Styles. Tania has worked with numerous organizations including: CGI, Seagate Technology, EDS, California Public Utilities Commission, UC Berkeley Haas School of Executive Ed as well as many nonprofits and individual executives.

Interplay Coaching brings years of experience focusing on unbeatable performance by working with executive leaders and their teams to create a work environment obsessed with aligning their actions, communications, and leadership with their business purposes and objectives; essentially helping to build healthier organizations. Whether working with businesses or individuals Tania’s focus remains the same: to recognize and stand in the belief that the potential of an organization or an individual is even greater than what you see before you at any given time. If you want to be better she wants to help get you there.