Planners’ Picks — March 28, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

In like a lion, out like a lamb. March ends with longer days, better weather (hopefully), and another chance to grow in our leadership. Look at ways to be a better mentor, say the right things to your staff, and deal with adversity. Got a great article you want to share with this community? Reach out to our planning committee with your suggestions!


:: Image of the Week

It's messy until it's not.

It Feels Messy at the Start

If it feels messy, overwhelming, or hard, that doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. It feels messy, overwhelming, or hard because that’s how it works: it is always going to feel this way when you’re trying something new, making a change, or building something.

It’s the process of engaging with the mess that actually allows us to turn it into something else. Through our attention, we can transform it into something beautiful, interesting, and authentic. The next time you are struggling with this, try treating yourself with compassion.

Say, “This is how everyone feels when they’re facing a mess. We all struggle with this. It doesn’t mean I’m not talented, capable, or resourceful. It just means I’m a human, going through the messy parts first.”

Read more:


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

48 Exercises You Can Do at Home

Start your week with these exercises to be energetic for the whole day. Infographic on Linkedin showing dozens of simple movements.

13 Things Science Says Will Make You Much Happier

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with happiness. After all, the “pursuit of happiness” is even enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. But happiness is fleeting. How can we find it and keep it alive? Travis Bradberry tells us in this edition of his newsletter Leadership 2.0.

Psychologists at the University of California have discovered some fascinating things about happiness that could change your life. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky is a psychology professor at the Riverside campus who is known among her peers as “the queen of happiness.” She began studying happiness as a grad student and never stopped, devoting her career to the subject.

One of her main discoveries is that we all have a happiness “set point.” When extremely positive or negative events happen—such as buying a bigger house or losing a job—they temporarily increase or decrease our happiness, but we eventually drift back to our set point.

The breakthrough in Dr. Lyubomirsky’s research is that you can make yourself happier—permanently. Lyubomirsky and others have found that our genetic set point is responsible for only about 50% of our happiness, life circumstances affect about 10%, and a whopping 40% is completely up to us. The large portion of your happiness that you control is determined by your habits, attitude, and outlook on life.

Ted Lasso Talks Mental Health to the Press

Jason Sudeikis and other members of the Ted Lasso cast advocated for the importance of mental health and well-being at the White House recently, and while Ted acknowledged that he and his team are “not real,” this issue definitely is. If you haven’t already seen the recording of his 4-minute presentation, catch the whole thing here:

:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

5 Keys to Being a Good Mentor

Mentoring doesn’t get a lot of attention at many firms, but experts say it has some unexpected key benefits. According to a CNBC survey, for example, workers at practically every level (individual contributor, manager, senior manager, and vice president) are significantly less likely to consider quitting if they have a mentor.

A mentor is a trusted person who can give advice and confidentially discuss both work topics and personal topics. And developing a mentorship relationship is a choice on both sides. “Mentors can help more junior people navigate the complex culture of the workplace, including institutional knowledge, organizational dynamics and politics, and potential land mines,” says Sondra Levitt, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance.

But establishing these relationships isn’t always easy; unless there’s a formalized program, mentors have to wait for mentees to seek them out for advice.

Ensure A Diverse And Inclusive Workplace

In the modern world, there has been an incredibly valuable push to make society a more accepting place for everyone. The business sector is no exception to this as many companies strive to ensure that employees from every walk of life are represented and treated with complete and total fairness and equality. This isn’t something that’s always easy to do but it’s absolutely worth it if you want the best possible results from your employees and your business as a whole. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“Success isn’t that difficult; it merely involves taking twenty steps in a singular direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.” – Benjamin Hardy

Coaching Your Team as a Collective Makes It Stronger

Until recently, coaching was considered primarily a one-on-one practice. But no matter how effective employees are on their own, they can only contribute to the real power of the collective if their managers provide them with coaching as a group. In this practice, which the authors call team coaching, a leader’s role is to support the team as an organic unit, providing guidance, setting routines and practices, and creating constant opportunities for group learning. In this article, the authors describe three of the tools and techniques of team coaching that they’ve found to be the most important for fostering accelerated learning and successful outcomes.

What Kind of Thinker are You (and Your Employees)?

Can knowing what kind of thinker you are make you more productive, happier, and smarter?

Different people tend to be either ‘verbal’ or ‘visual’ thinkers. Verbal thinkers do most of their thinking through inner dialogue whereas visual thinkers think in pictures and spatial relationships and can have a hard time translating concepts into language. People aren’t exclusively one or the other — but most tend toward one or the other.

Think about this in the context of staff interaction, training, and development. How might you present information differently to your team? How might you train a new employee in multiple different ways?


:: Resources on Communication

How To Know What People Want at Work & Exactly What to Say to Them

In this video, Phil M Jones, author of Exactly What to Say and Heather R Younger, author of The Art of Active Listening come together with Weaving Influence for this special webinar: How To Know What People Want at Work & Exactly What to Say to Them. You’ll learn how to mesh the tactics of Phil and Heather together for an organization that seamlessly understands their people and knows what their customers want.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

:: Resources on Hybrid and Remote Work

Linkedin Learning: Balancing Work and Life as a Work-from-Home Parent

Working remotely can be hard enough, particularly during a time of crisis. But when the worlds of work, parenting, and school collide, recovering your equilibrium can feel nearly impossible. Andrea Bonior—a clinical psychologist, best-selling author, and mom of three—has been living out these same struggles for months. In this course, she shares tips for juggling your job and your life as a work-from-home parent. Using behavioral research, her expertise as a psychologist, and her personal experience working through these same challenges, Andrea details how to establish a concrete personal plan to reduce stress, set boundaries, and embrace each day with new motivation. Learn about the most common enemies of time management and how to conquer them. Discover how to set boundaries that lessen intrusions, boost your productivity, and keep your work time from trickling into your family time. Plus, learn how to extend compassion to yourself.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Growing Your Circle of Influence

In our circle of influence, we want to become known as someone who can be counted upon to deliver results. Someone who does what they say they will do, someone who executes. How do we do that? Investing in those around us is the most significant commitment anyone can make in their work. When I say “us,” I’m talking about those people directly within our sphere of influence:

* the people we report to,
* those that report to us, and
* those peers we work most closely with.

These are the people with whom our success ultimately resides, our teams, and those key relationships we hold. Because of this, they require our full attention. Read more on this topic from Monte Pedersen.

4 Ways to Bounce Back from Adversity

Dr. Richard Davidson from the Center for Healthy Minds, a pioneering resilience researcher, maintains that “the amount of activation in the left prefrontal region of a resilient person can be thirty times that in someone who is not resilient.” Scientists have been exploring this question for decades, and as it turns out, it all boils down to how your brain perceives and handles stress. The kinds of emotional and behavioral characteristics they’ve used to describe a “stress-resilient” person–optimism, a strong social support system, having a purpose in life – aren’t surprising. But more recently, they have begun to examine the neurobiological mechanisms of resilience.

Melissa Hughes writes about Dr. Davison and covers how resilient people think differently.

“A fish cannot change the water in its bowl, but can tell if it’s clean or dirty.” – Miles Kierson

Resiliency: Making Sense of Chaos and Growing from Adversity

Listen to a replay of this Hacking HR Panel Discussion event with several well-known speakers talking about how to be more resilient and honest with yourself about doing the work you do, and functioning in today’s work environment. Many great takeaways mentioned – have a notepad and pen ready!


:: Upcoming Events

Join the Leadership Improv Group this Friday!

Friday, March 31, 2023
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Union South (TITU for room)

Leadership Improv provides a safe space to practice leadership concepts based on fun, improvisational comedy routines. Their vision is to make everyone aware of the shared core competencies between leadership and improvisational comedy, and how practicing improv skills can help you improve one’s leadership competency. Their unique approach enables participants to become comfortable in their leadership, communications, and challenging situations. We do this by borrowing several concepts from improvisational comedy to teach concepts of leadership in a fun way:

  • “Yes, and…”
  • Stagecraft
  • Presence

No prior experience necessary – just show up and participate!

More details at: