Planners’ Picks — May 16, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

This week we revisit positive intent from a different perspective, we expose ourselves to art, and make the essential effortless in our links.


:: Image of the Week

Five Minutes of Care 

Graphic showing a stressful day when you take care of yourself (short burst of stress) and a stressful day when you don’t take care of yourself (rest of day after stress occurs)

The days that we most need to care for ourselves are the days when it is the hardest to care for ourselves.

Small stressors only start small. Over time, if we continue to push off this all-important responsibility, the stress continues to build and build, leading to an even bigger sense of overwhelm, that in turn makes it harder to cope with challenges… creating a vicious cycle.

On these stressful days, we need an easy, achievable, and meaningful tool that helps us to care for ourselves. This is your new stress secret weapon: Five Minutes of Care.

Five Minutes of Care is the commitment to take just five minutes out of your day and do something that supports your well-being. It could be breathing, a quick walk, a dance to your favorite song, a delicious snack… anything that makes you feel rejuvenated.

It’s not just about the act of caring for yourself. It’s also about what it represents: a commitment that you deserve time in your day to care for your well-being, that you can and will find five minutes (even if they are spread apart throughout the day!) because you matter.

You do not need to overhaul your life or buy things in order to take care of yourself. You can take just five minutes to check in and ask, “What do I need right now?” or “What would help me right now?” and then offer it to yourself.

What will you do for your five minutes today? Hit reply and let us know.

From The New Happy Newsletter


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

5-Minute Breathing Exercises Can Improve Your Mood and Reduce Anxiety

Cyclic sighing is one of the most effective (and simplest) techniques I’ve ever learned.

1. Inhale through your nose, stopping short of the top of your breath.
2. Pause.
3. Inhale completely to fill your lungs.
4. Slowly exhale through your mouth.

Most of us don’t think about our breathing, but if we put our minds to it, it can make us feel better. “Respiration is the perfect interaction between conscious and unconscious,” said Angelo Gemignani, psychiatrist and neuroscience professor at the University of Pisa. Breathing is a way for both the mind and body to work together to help regulate our emotions.

A study in Cell Reports Medicine showed that just five minutes of breathwork each day for about a month could improve mood and reduce anxiety — and these benefits may be larger than from mindfulness meditation for the same amount of time. “We’re always busy doing instead of being,” said David Spiegel, an author of the study. “And it’s a good idea to just take a few minutes to collect yourself, commune with your body and help it prepare to deal with whatever you want to deal with.” Read on for more information and the mental health benefits of breathwork.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. —Jimmy Dean

What Art Does for Your Brain

In a new book, Your Brain on Art, by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross, they help explain why some of us might feel better due to being exposed to art. By focusing in on the science of “neuroaesthetics”—how our brains respond to aesthetic and artistic experiences—the authors make the case that art is good for our physical and mental health, and that we should all incorporate more of it into our lives.

Tips to Put Down Your Phone and Connect with the Real World

Our digital devices are important tools for engagement, and they can be powerful aids for happiness—when used mindfully. But, as most of us have experienced, spending hours staring at screens can leave us feeling disconnected, drained, or overwhelmed.

If you’re spending too much time looking down at a screen, and you want to lift your head up into the real world, consider these ideas from author Gretchen Rubin.


:: Resources on Remote and Hybrid Work

Face-to-Face Time with Your Employees Still Matters

With 2023’s economic turmoil and a remote/hybrid workforce, it’s important for leaders to be in front of their teams — and in person — as much as possible. This doesn’t mean rescinding virtual arrangements — all indications are that they’re here to stay as a preferred normal. Rather, for leaders, it means being creative and intentional to make sure you’re seen when it matters, rather than promoting a general “butts-in-seats” approach. This matters as much for the CEO as a first-time manager. The author presents four visibility strategies for leaders of hybrid or fully remote teams.

Ask These Questions to Develop Long-Distance Leaders

Working and leading remotely can feel radically different from the way work’s always been done. It’s not, of course, but it sure feels like it. To be fair, there are some key skills that need to be developed if we’re going to make a smooth transition to leading from a distance. But what are those skills and how do we develop them? Author Wayne Turmel talks about 3 questions you should be asking.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” ~ Joshua J. Marine


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Assume Obliviousness of Impact: Looking at “Assuming Positive Intent” From Another Lens

After reading last week’s article on assuming positive intent, Amanda Thornton replied to me with these thoughts:

“There are some downsides to assuming positive intent, especially for marginalized communities. It minimizes impact and can result in people gaslighting themselves and leaving themselves vulnerable to manipulation and harm.” 

While my thinking on posting about positive intent was on people’s quality of work output in a team environment, Amanda looked at it from a totally different perspective.

She went on the write, “Yes, there are times where it is very advantageous to assume positive intent, for your own sanity if nothing else. Even assuming people are unaware of the impact of their behavior can release the anger we feel when we assume harmful actions are intentional. I guess I would update it to “assume obliviousness of impact” rather than positive intent. That gets folks into a more productive conversation about impact and making the person aware they are causing harm, and setting expectations for future behavior. Impact > intent.”

I appreciate that our newsletter sparks conversations and allows others to see that our own views and perspectives are not always the whole picture. Here is a related article about why assuming good intent sometimes backfires.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Frustrated with Your Team

Today’s managers are under a lot of pressure. When it’s a constant strain to get work done, it’s easy to have a short fuse. When expectations aren’t met, the brain short-circuits to judgment and reaction. This is exactly the opposite of what your employees need. In healthy workplace cultures, leaders know how to balance accountability for results with empathy. One way to do this is to aim for reflection instead of reaction. These six questions will help managers revisit their expectations and make sure they’re centering empathy in their attempts to encourage performance.

“Expectations are premeditated resentments.” – Alcoholics Anonymous

Leading From the Heart

Experience and evidence show that the most effective leaders have learned how to lead from their hearts. Heart leaders are great at making people feel special, giving them a sense of purpose, and making them feel appreciated for who they are and what they do. Leading from the heart is consistent with the servant leader philosophy that results in positive relationships and better results. Leading from the head by getting tasks done via planning, organizing systems and processes, and holding people accountable is needed. But for maximum results, we need to follow John Maxwell’s advice that we “go to touch a heart before asking for a hand”.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

How Friction Makes the Essential, Effortless (by Removing the Non-Essential)

Greg McKeown tackles habit development in his 1-Minute Wednesday Newsletter.

Setting boundaries and increasing friction for habits we want to eliminate are powerful tools for achieving our most important goals. What barriers do you have in place for the not-so-good habits you’re trying to rid yourself of?

Live with Grace and Dignity

Do you find that there’s less dignity and grace today? There’s no escaping folks who rant on social media, flaunt their success, and rip you apart if you’re not in complete agreement with their views. Most people believe that they’ll be viewed positively if they act with dignity and grace. True. But it’ll also dramatically affect the way you view yourself. Before Challenging Others, Challenge Yourself.


:: Resources on Communication

How To Listen (Really Listen) To Someone You Don’t Agree With

Listening may not be the most exciting part of a conversation, but it’s essential if you want to have a meaningful exchange with another person.

Think about a time you felt misunderstood by somebody. Did you defend yourself? Correct them? Or simply disengage? Regardless of your response, you likely didn’t feel comfortable with them.

Now think of how it feels to be understood — you can relax, you want to open up, and you feel more trusting. When you listen in a way that makes the other person feel heard, they are more likely to share information with you. And when you are actively listening, you are also more likely to take it in.

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Cycle of Active Listening: How to Use it for Relationships & Negotiation

Get ready for an engaging and informative discussion with Danny Langloss and Heather Younger about the 5-step Cycle of Active Listening. Danny is a keynote speaker, Culture Doctor & Coach, with a wealth of experience in unlocking the power of influence and leadership, while Heather specializes in leadership development and workplace dynamics. Together, they explore the critical role of the Cycle of Active Listening in building strong relationships, resolving conflicts, and creating positive organizational cultures.

Drawing on Danny’s past experience as a police officer, he dives into how active listening is used in hostage negotiating and criminal interrogations, from basic levels of law enforcement to high-stakes FBI negotiations. With real-life examples and practical tips, you hear the nuances of effective listening and show you how to become a better communicator in all areas of life.


:: Resources on Battling Perfectionism

It’s Okay to Be Good and Not Great

“Good is the enemy of great” is one of the most popular self-improvement expressions there is. It’s the first sentence of an international bestselling business book, the title of another self-help book, and a mantra that NFL superstar J.J. Watt has used in press conferences. It sounds appealing and rolls off the tongue nicely, but there’s a good chance it’s downright wrong.

Far too often we suffer from magical thinking, convincing ourselves that we’re in a better place than we are. Or we ignore our problems altogether, either numbing or distracting ourselves or striving to make things better without ever acknowledging our true starting point. Though this may save us some short-term pain, it’s not a good long-term solution.


:: Upcoming Events

Where do I get my CSN Gratitude Pack?

Q:  Where do I get my CSN Gratitude Pack, full of thank you cards, a journal, and other swag from the Campus Supervisors Network? 

A:  At the CSN Summer of Gratitude Kick-off Event: The screening of the movie Gratitude Revealed! 

Grab your very own pack of motivation and encouragement when you attend this film on May 24th. Seats are still available, so register today! 

Gratitude Revealed by acclaimed filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg, takes us on a transformational, cinematic experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude through his intimate conversations, revealing gratitude is a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives. Enjoy some popcorn as you watch the film on the big screen. Please bring your own water bottle!

May 24, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00 pm (doors open at 12:30)
Union South Marquee Theater
Invite a friend!!

More on the Summer of Gratitude here: