Planners’ Picks — November 29, 2022

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

We’ve hopefully gotten over the effects of Tryptophan and our holiday meals. Now it’s time to ramp up for the end of a semester, the start of the larger holiday season, and the end of a calendar year. Let’s give some feedback, recharge our batteries, and push through the resistance. Are you ready to end strong?


:: Image of the Week

Life is a series of thousands of tiny little miracles. Notice them.


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Notes of Appreciation Can Boost Individual and Team Morale

“Positive attention is 30 times more powerful than negative attention,” as Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall have shared. “People don’t need feedback. They need attention to what they do best…A focus on strengths increases performance. Therefore, a focus on strengths is what creates growth.” If, as a leader, you want to accelerate the growth of your team, you’ll need to play to the strengths of both individuals and the collective. That begins with knowing not only your own strengths, but also the strengths of each person on your team. And it can start with a simple, well-considered note of appreciation.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

How to give middle managers the support they need

Middle managers are exhausted. They’ve lately been tasked with enforcing return-to-office plans, ramping up productivity in the face of a faltering economy, responding to layoff anxiety among their teams, communicating company stances on social and political issues, shouldering greater responsibility for the wellbeing of their teams, and fielding numerous other complexities. In Future Forum’s latest pulse report, some 43% of managers described themselves as burned out, more than both individual contributors and more senior leaders.

To understand the evolving pressures on middle managers and how workplaces can mitigate them, Charter staff reached out to Cara Allamano, chief people officer at the people-management software company Lattice. Here is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for space and clarity. There are a lot of hidden gems within this interview!


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

5 Ways to End 2022 Strong

Experts say the last few weeks of 2022 will be a critical time for employees to demonstrate their value. “Given what’s happening with the economy and some pending changes in how companies are doing business, it’s more important than ever to find ways to set yourself apart, to be successful and shine,” says Sondra Levitt, a Korn Ferry Advance career coach. But making an impact in so little time is no easy feat, especially with many colleagues winding the year down. Here are some tips:

The Path of (least) Resistance

The truth is that our lives are comfortable. We must do less physical work than ever in recorded history. This has more than likely led to many of the collective health challenges and lack of motivation we see today, especially in the western world.

We are living a life of comfort and pleasure over even minuscule amounts of discomfort. Our thresholds to Resistance are probably at their all-time lows.  Read this article from Tuomo Vauhkonen on pushing through to meet your goals.

“To grow yourself you must know yourself.” – John Maxwell

You’ve Taken StrengthsFinder. Now What?

CSN recently presented on the StrengthsFinder Assessment and how to use the information you harvest from this exercise to improve your personal and professional life.

Your strengths give you your cutting edge. They’re the difference between good and great. They’re obvious enough to set you apart, yet versatile enough for you to shape and develop them into your secret advantage. Yet they never stop growing and adding value to your life. How? Because we know that what it takes to turn your talents into strengths is simply investment. And investment never ends. Using your strengths — really keeping them in mind every day — can quite literally change your life for the better. Check out this link from Gallup on steps to take individually or with a team once you have your assessment in hand.


:: Resources on Communication

Elevated Talent Podcast: Feedback Is A Gift with Sarah Gibson

“Feedback is a gift…in addition to that, it gives you the gift of change.” -Sarah Gibson

Sarah Gibson, Executive Coach and Traci Scherck talk about how to give and receive feedback as a gift in this podcast episode. Feedback, even if it is hard to hear, can accelerate you and move you up in your organization and bring about that positive change you may need! Sarah has been a presenter at UW-Madison leadership conferences in the past, and worth following on Linkedin.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —Norman Vincent Peale

5 phrases that make people discount what you’re saying

If you’re looking to advance in your career, thinking about the way you communicate is a good place to start. After all, it’s a skill that’s always in demand and goes a long way toward shaping others’ perceptions of you.

But a handful of irritating—and common—words and phrases can undermine your hard work. While it’s impossible to police every word you saythere are better options to consider.


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

How to Recharge Your Battery

This short post from Kacy Maxwell talks about how leaders are focused on serving others, but need self-care too. See how you should recharge YOUR battery.


:: Linkedin Learning Courses

Linkedin Learning: Daniel Pink on Motivation

The central task of leaders and managers is to help their people perform at their best and contribute the most. In this course, join #1 New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink as he shares science-backed methods for effectively motivating others. With his trademark clarity, Pink distills the crucial research on human motivation. And he shares practical takeaways in the three key areas lead to enduring high performance: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Pink teaches a group exercise to help surface your team’s purpose, then shows you how to create a sense of connection. He explains the secrets of effective feedback and how to promote progress using simple 90-second practices. And since offering employees space to make small changes in their jobs can dramatically boost engagement, Pink walks you through how to carve out small islands of autonomy to spark your team’s innovation and deepen their commitment.


:: Take Five*

*Note : CSN has added “Take Five” articles occasionally to take you off the beaten path. Articles will be about local or regional areas of interest, but not necessarily focused on leadership development. The intent is for you to take a break from being a leader and relaxing for a moment!

What’s in a name? Chance encounter proves inspiring for CBS News reporter

Steve Hartman named his daughter Meryl after Meryl Hubbard, who he met at a pee-wee shuffleboard event in Ohio more than a decade ago. Hubbard is now a journalism student at UW-Madison. This is a nice story about kindness and character focusing on a current UW-Madison student.