Planners’ Picks — September 21, 2021

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Welcome to autumn! As the leaves begin to turn and the temps start to drop, let’s focus on warming up to creativity, empathy, vulnerability, and more in our latest installment of Planners’ Picks. But first, some warm praise for this newsletter:

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for sharing these bits of advice and wisdom…I read these emails top to bottom every week, and my team of supervisors have identified some of your curated articles to share with staff particularly as we have dealt with a lot of change this last year and a half. Many, many thanks for the work you do; it is much appreciated.”  – CSN member R.P.

Aw, Thanks R.P.!  We CSN planners volunteer our time to this committee (this is not our main work responsibility), and we do this out of love of sharing valuable information, and developing ourselves and others. What motivates us to continue is hearing positive stories from people like you that our efforts are going to good use.


||| Resources on Work Culture & Team Development |||

Instead of Micromanaging, Try This

One of the hallmark traits of great leaders is their ability to build great teams with the expertise to help the organization achieve its vision and, in the process, fulfilled its purpose.

“Your role as a leader is to bring out the best in others, even when they know more than you.” – Dr. Wanda Wallace

How Creativity Can Benefit Your Organization

It is well accepted that creativity in the workplace — more commercially referred to as “innovation” — has significant benefits to the economic health of an organization. New products, services, and improvements, driven by human creativity, typically yield improved bottom lines.

However, what may be overshadowed by the tangible benefits of profit is the significant benefit creativity has on employee morale and retention. Making it possible for employees to create and contribute in creative ways taps into the highest level of human fulfillment and results in maximum satisfaction.


||| Resources on Imposter Syndrome |||

End Imposter Syndrome in Your Workplace

In a follow-up to their February 2021 article challenging the commonly understood definition of imposter syndrome, authors Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey offer actionable steps managers can take to end imposter syndrome in their organizations. Doing so will require work at both the interpersonal and organizational levels, and success will depend in part on gathering data and implementing real mechanisms for accountability. The authors call on managers to stop calling natural, human tendencies of self-doubt, hesitation, and lack of confidence “imposter syndrome.” Those who want women to lend their full talents and expertise must question the culture at work — not their confidence at work.

How To Increase Your Self-Worth As A Woman

It’s sometimes so easy to see the greatness in other people, while at the same time struggling to see it in ourselves. It’s for this reason that it’s not uncommon for a person to have a perception of themselves, which completely differs from that of the people who love them. Where your friends see strength, you may see weakness. Moreover, where your family sees perseverance, you may see failure. If you’re constantly feeling as if you’re not quite measuring up to the goals you have for yourself; or as if your opinion, of who you are, is worse than how others see you; implementing these 8 tactics may help you on your journey to a better and more self-confident you.


||| Resources on DEI |||

How to Make the Leap from Inclusion to Belonging

There is a famous quote by Verna Myers, a leading diversity and inclusion expert that says, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”

We’d go one step further. If diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion means being asked to dance, then belonging is being asked for input into the playlist for the dance music and feeling free to ask anyone you want to dance with you. And even more importantly, that next step to belonging is not just a nice thing to have, it’s where you start to get the real benefit when it comes to team and business performance. Check out this article by Michael Sietchik (written before the pandemic) about leaping from inclusion to belonging.

“Oh the places you’ll go…and will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed!” Dr. Suess

Make Your Meetings a Safe Space for Honest Conversation

“People don’t just want to belong, they want to contribute.”

You can increase the freedom, candor, and quality of conversation in your meetings by focusing on two key areas: giving permission and creating safety. Permission to say or ask anything is priceless. It allows us to fully express ourselves: to seek what we want, to give feedback, to speak up about issues when we find the need.

Empathy and compassion go a long way in connecting with people. In fact, without them, I’m not so sure that a genuine connection can be cultivated. This is a great article on how creating space for people to show up authentically and speak honestly will cultivate connectivity in the workplace.


||| Resources on Self-Leadership Development |||

Leaders: Get Vulnerable!

“Vulnerability is our biggest barrier to brave and the gateway to our most powerful self. Being brave involves navigating vulnerability, not trying to avoid it. Vulnerability triggers chemical reactions in our brain that produce warning signs and body sensations that are often disproportionate or misrepresentation of the true risk we face.” ~Kimberly Davis, Author of Brave Leadership

Check out Rich Gassen’s book review (written last year) on Kimberly’s great guide for leaders at any level. Her advice on being our vulnerable, authentic selves is priceless. She also talks about our super objectives and having real connections with those in our care.

Empathy Is An Often Misunderstood Value — Here’s Why

Although soft skills often go undervalued in the workplace, empathy and other emotionally intelligent behaviors can create a more positive, productive work environment. Read this Thrive Global article on empathy to better understand how an empathetic employee can understand and connect with the emotions of their coworkers, and apply that awareness to their interactions and leadership style.

“Don’t ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Author Howard Thurman

Garry Ridge’s Late Summer Reading Series: The Art of Caring Leadership

Now that we’re easing our way back into some semblance of ordinary workdays again – your mileage may vary – many of us are asking ourselves what wisdom we have learned over the last 18 months or so. And how are we better for the experience that we all shared on a global basis, while no two experiences were alike? As leaders, are our skills up to snuff? Are we kinder, deeper, more empathic as a result of this shared human adventure into frontiers of uncertainty that no one could have predicted?

What was needed from you as a leader, say, December 2019, is not entirely what is needed from you as a leader in the late summer/early fall of 2021. A philosophy of caring will carry you through this next phase of “Oh my gosh, what’s next?” If there was ever a time to deepen and broaden your capacity for empathy, now would be it. But how to start creating a development program about something so nebulous, so subjective? Check out this interview with WD40’s CEO Garry Ridge and Heather Younger, author of CSN’s Summer Book Club book The Art of Caring Leadership. 

World Gratitude Day is TODAY!

World Gratitude Day is today (Sept. 21). If you haven’t yet, consider taking a minute or two to express your gratitude to someone in your community you appreciate. The science shows that you will also get a boost from your efforts in thanking others, so it’s a win-win situation!


||| Resources on Financial Wellness |||

Here’s a Bright Idea: Give Yourself Some Financial Love!

The bright idea for this week is to replace your old light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and maybe even update that outdated showerhead to save water too. UW-Madison partnered with Focus on Energy to offer exclusive discounts on energy-efficient ENERGY STAR products such as LED lightbulbs, efficient showerheads, water aerators, and more through October 4, 2021. Check out the highly discounted products at this link: