Planners’ Picks — May 25, 2021

Planners’ Picks:

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Let’s talk about building better relationships and partnerships, motivating the team, and doing some spring cleaning.


4 Lessons for Building Diverse Teams

Companies often hire the exact same type of employee over and over. The thinking is that if employee X is doing a great job and everyone gets along with them, then the smart thing to do must be to hire more people exactly like them. This mentality leads to hiring managers seeking out candidates that identically mirror their existing workforce. They’ll look for the same educational background and skillsets, source from the same narrow list of companies, and look for similar personality traits during interviews. Before you know it, you end up with an entire staff that looks, thinks, and — to a degree — acts almost exactly the same. Not only does this tend to result in a reduction in diversity of thought (among other aspects of diversity), but it can prevent the company from realizing its true potential. Fresh new perspectives are necessary to bring forth bold new ideas, challenge long-standing internal thinking, and provide a more complete internal representation of the customer base.

The Most Important Leadership Skill You Possess

“Every single interaction with another human being is a leadership opportunity.”

Bill Fox of Forward Thinking Workplaces interviews Simon Heath on leadership and asks some powerful questions throughout.

How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change an innovation happen naturally?

Simon Heath: I think that’s an interesting question because I don’t believe that change and innovation happen naturally. I believe leadership is required for change and innovation to happen. For leadership to be present, the leaders have to be creating a culture where people can bring their full selves to work.

What is the most important question leaders should ask employees?

Simon Heath: this is simple and pragmatic. What can I fix for you? If you’ve given people a sense of clarity and direction, people are then mapping out their sense of accomplishment against that sense of clarity and direction. They’re trying to do an excellent job because they believe in what they’re trying to do. If they encounter problems they cannot fix, they need their leaders to fix those problems for them.

Check out the entire nugget-filled discussion here, and check out the Interviews Tab on his site for more great and inspiring conversations:

Influencing for Professional Success – Forging Meaningful Partnerships

Your power to influence is impacted by your ability to affect another’s actions, decisions, or thinking. Regardless of your role in the organization, or level of work experience, influence plays a key factor in your performance and success. Additionally, your ability to influences others in the organization has a strong impact on the organization’s effectiveness and reputation. You have it in yourself to be influential.

An essential component of building influence is your ability to forge meaningful partnerships with others in the organization. These partnerships will help you gain support for your initiatives and better collaborate across departments.

Boost Morale with These 11 Motivating Phrases

Communicating in a way that rallies your team to move forward and overcome challenges as a unit isn’t easy to figure out. According to an engagement and retention report by Achievers, a workplace recognition and engagement platform, 82 percent of employees surveyed wished they were recognized more regularly.

Although managers and other members of leadership influence team morale, peer recognition, and feedback increased employee performance by 14 percent, according to Achievers data. Whether your coworker is having a rough workweek or you’re a manager looking to motivate your team, certain phrases encourage morale and raise confidence in the workplace.

Building Strong Work Relationships

“Managing execution is another way of practicing and building relationships since both are geared towards the same outcome – the success of the organization,”  This from Kierson and Tomlinson in their book Discovering Execution. Why this statement is so compelling is that, despite the importance of relationships at work, very few organizations dedicate any time or resources towards trying to develop and improve on them. Monte Pedersen shares more on this topic on LinkedIn.

This is How Small Wins Add Up to Big Accomplishments

A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,” one Cornell professor wrote in 1984. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.” Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.

Three Tips for Project Management Spring Cleaning

For many families, spring is not just the season of renewal; it is also a designated time of the year to clean house. Scott Converse of the Center for Professional & Executive Development tells us that spring cleaning was on his mind when he looked at an organization struggling with the projects they were working on at the time. Read this article for some advice on moving forward with your projects.