Planners’ Picks — April 25, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Are you curious? It might help you get through an otherwise bad situation.
Are you happy? It may be because of your sense of smell.
What emotional stamp are you leaving on those you encounter? Is it confidence and hope, or frustration and resentment?
All this and more in our weekly Planners’ Picks.


:: Image of the Week

If something angers you
you can respond with anger, 
you can respond with resentment,
you can respond with contempt,
or you can choose curiosity and compassion.

When Nancy Depcik spoke at the UW-Madison Administrative Professionals Conference earlier this month, she told a compelling story about her older brother, and his dying wish for her to “Stay Curious” in all she did. It was his way of dealing with the muck of life, and wanted Nancy to have that tool in her toolbox. It eventually dug her out of a hole and got her to where she is today.

The graphic from The New Happy above, shows how being curious can ward off other less desirable emotions or reactions to situations, and in fact provide a roadmap to better relationships if taken regularly as your path.

How might you be more curious today? With a co-worker who’s upset you; with a family member; with the person who cut you off on the commute…

Some psychologists argue that anger is a secondary emotion. What they mean is that it covers up another emotion — one that is more vulnerable, like sadness, fear, pain, or another form of suffering. It’s a lot easier to feel mad than it is to feel sad.

Unfortunately, our mad feelings also have a big impact on the people around us. I’m sure we can all relate to times where, in feeling angry, we responded in ways that were hurtful to others: with more anger, or with resentment, or with contempt.

Looking at our anger through this lens can create a profound shift, as well as giving us a useful tool. The next time you’re feeling angry, try this:

First, give yourself a chance to pause and calm down.

  • If you’re angry in a conflict with someone, say “I need ten minutes to calm down before I can show up in the way I want to.”
  • If you’re angry about something you read online, put your device away for ten minutes.
  • If you’re angry about an event in your life, do something that grounds you, like taking a walk or a shower.

Then, once you have centered yourself, look at your anger with curiosity: “What pain is this anger covering up?”

You might discover that, underneath that anger is something a lot more tender: a wound that hasn’t healed. When you see that tenderness, it’s a lot easier to tap into your self-compassion and to respond to whatever made you angry in a wiser way.

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon—instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” — Dale Carnegie


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

The #1 Thing That Makes Us Happy

While writing her book, “Life in Five Senses,” Author Gretchen Rubin discovered some surprising ways that our senses can help us to focus more deeply, live longer and spark happiness. Check out this short article on to make sense of it all!

(Thanks to CSN member Jen Tratnyek for suggesting this article — You ROCK!)

“If you’re not humble, Life will visit humbleness upon you.” ~ Mike Tyson

4 Ways A Single Word Has The Power To Positively Change Your Perspective

Depending on how we view a situation, it can be negative or positive. Psychologists call this “reframing” because it helps create a different way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts, and emotions to find more positive alternatives which influence your thoughts and behaviors.

And surprisingly, just a single word can make a massive difference in positively changing your perspective. Amy Blaschka tells us about it.

5 Ways to Develop Kindness Towards Others

Many people appreciate that being kind is synonymous with showing you care about others.  On the other hand, others sneer at kindness in business and express the belief that if you’re too kind, you only set yourself up for others to take advantage of you. In fact, many people often show more kindness to animals than they do to fellow humans.

I believe that whether it’s business or life in general, we’re dealing with other humans, thus there are always ways we can show kindness.


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

The Emotional Stamp

What type of stamp are you leaving on people? As leaders, it is incredibly important to be intentional about the emotions we are driving in our team members. But this isn’t just important for leaders. It is important for any relationship. See this sketchnote and post from Leadership Coach and City Manager Danny Langloss.–fb84b7000565e2b62701d721c9b03689eec98c9c?skip_click_tracking=true

“98% of the words we hear come from people seeking to profit from our decisions. Seek, instead a happier, more meaningful life by listening to your own heart.”~ Clark Finnical

How to Be a Great Teammate

Read this short story from Jason Holzer on being a great teammate. His reference to a selfless act on a football field speaks to looking at the whole team over your own personal needs.


:: Resources on Change Management

Change is Here to Stay

Learn how to turn uncertainty into opportunity by joining FranklinCovey’s senior leadership consultants and change experts, Marché Pleshette and Andy Cindrich. Come away with an understanding of the different zones of change and be empowered with the knowledge you need to succeed.

Change: How to Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity is FranklinCovey’s latest book. Congratulations to Curtis Bateman, Marché Pleshette, Andy Cindrich, and Christi Phillips, Ph.D. on this milestone!


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Twelve Habits of Effective Managers and Professionals

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Right in the middle of the quotation is the importance of our habits. A habit is “an acquired mode of behavior that has become our common practice.” Our habits mold our character and ultimately determine our destiny in the world. Want to further develop your character and develop into a highly effective person and manager? Intentionally pursuing and building worthwhile habits is the key. In the wake of the CSN-sponsored presentation on Atomic Habits this month, we will continue to talk about developing habits to be more effective in our roles.

Following are twelve of the habits of highly effective managers and professionals shared by Wes Friesen.

The Iceberg Model: Looking Under the Surface to be More Intentional

“If we do not have the courage to look under the surface of the iceberg, we have no place in trying to lead others.” This is Purpose & Performance Group’s latest podcast series on “The Iceberg Model,” a metaphor designed to help us become better leaders.

The part of the iceberg above the surface of the water represents the things we do that are visible to the people around us. Under the surface are all the factors that influence us, starting with our personality and the things we have experienced. Have you taken a dive below the surface yet?

“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” ~ William James

What Must I Say No To?

To be your best self now, and to start moving towards the next version of who you are and the life you want, there’s a single powerful and provocative question you need to ask yourself: What must I say No to, so I can say Yes to what matters?

In Michael Bungay Stanier’s weekly newsletter, he says that he wrestles with this question pretty much every single day. He’s wired to saying Yes as a default, and that’s left him over-committed and overwhelmed way, way too often. He goes on to say:

“The price I’ve paid for that goes beyond me feeling depleted and flat. The real price I pay is not doing the work that I’m most called to do, not having the full impact I most want to have, not finding the richness of meaning and connection that could be available to me.” Is this a price you’ve paid too?

Here are three levels at which you might engage with this question. First, personalize the question: “In order to say Yes to [insert something you want here], what must I say No to?”

Then, begin with tasks. What tasks must you say no to? If you hold in your head and heart your desire for something more … where would you start saying no? Pick one thing, an easy thing. Then another. And keep going as long as you can.

Inside that first question lies a harder thing to wrestle with: who must you say no to? Saying no to someone can cause confusion, frustration, disappointment, anger on their part … But keeping things “nice” comes with a price: you, at best, are only ever able to half-heartedly say Yes to what matters most to you.

And inside that second question lies the hardest thing to wrestle with of all: what parts of you will you say no to? Even as we hunger for our growth and evolution into the next best version of ourselves, we are deeply and firmly attached to who we are right now. What parts of Present You do you sacrifice to allow Future You to come forth?

What are your “No”s?
What tasks?
What people?
What elements of you?

Michael’s website:


:: Campus Awards Nominations

Nominate your outstanding IT colleagues by May 12

We work with excellent people who do awesome things. It’s time we tell their stories and recognize them for how amazing they are: Nominate someone for the 2023 IT Recognition Awards! Below are the award categories to use when writing your nomination(s). You may review a detailed description of each award as well as the rubric used by the selection committee.

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Community Engagement
  • Team Achievement
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Transformational Achievement
  • Rising Star
  • Unsung Hero

Nominations are due by May 12, 2023, and should be no more than 500 words. Check out our guidelines for tips on how to anonymize and write a great nomination. Nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of your peers. Awards will be presented as part of the IT Professionals Conference on June 2, 2023. If you have questions about the awards or process, please contact

Submit your nomination

Still Time to Nominate Someone for a University Staff Recognition Award!

This reminder from John Lease at University Staff Shared Governance:

Nominations are still being accepted for the UNIVERSITY STAFF RECOGNITION AWARD.  We will be accepting nominations until April 28th at 1:00 pm.

You can submit nominations directly to me. I’ll pass them along to the Awards Selection Committee Members for their review. Ultimately, that five-person committee of University Staff shared governance, will select 10 winners.

Each member of the Awards Selection Committee is free to review and interpret the submitted nominations as they see fit, and come to their own conclusions independently, as well as to discuss their analysis in a collective way within the confines of a committee meeting. While there are no specific requirements to include in a nomination, when preparing one, the Committee asks that you consider these qualities –

  • Promoting the image of the department or university through the continual extension of service and courtesy to students, employees, and the public
  • Consistently promoting excellence in him/herself and colleagues
  • Exhibiting leadership and maintaining grace under pressure/deadlines/crisis situations
  • Initiating/recommending innovative ideas which are implemented and result in better service or efficiency
  • Community service outside the university or within the university but not part of job responsibilities
  • Behavior or personality that makes the workplace more pleasant.

You can send the nomination directly to me, as a Word document. Be sure to include your name and the name and job title of the person you are nominating. Beyond that, simply tell their story in up to 600 words.

John Lease
Secretary of the University Staff
271A Bascom

PS – Ten winners will be named, and everyone who is nominated will have their name placed on a published, ‘Roll of Honor’.


:: Upcoming Events

CSN Presents: Gratitude Revealed

CSN is kicking off its Summer of Gratitude by hosting a screening of this full-length film on the power of gratitude in nature and in our lives.

An epic journey forty years in the making, Gratitude Revealed from acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, the director of Fantastic Fungi, takes us on a transformational, cinematic experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations with everyday people, thought leaders, and personalities revealing gratitude is a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives; disconnection from ourselves, our planet, and each other.

Come and join your peers on May 24th, 2023, at 1:00 pm as we start the Summer of Gratitude with this amazing production. Enjoy some popcorn as you want the film on the big screen in The Marquee Theater at Union South. Please bring your own water bottle!

We’ll also have some giveaways at the event—thank you card packs, gratitude journals, and other CSN items. This will be epic!

May 24, 2023
Union South Marquee Theater
Bring a friend!!
to give us an idea of interest

Video Trailer:

More on the Summer of Gratitude here: