Planners’ Picks — July 18, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Today, we focus on active listening to help those in your care feel seen and heard. We also work to avoid the summer slump and tweak our habits to be more productive throughout the day.


:: Image of the Week

“Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued, loved and supported.”

“Be the reason someone feels welcomed, seen, heard, valued, loved and supported.” This quote stood out as it relates to our current book club featuring The Art of Active Listening by Heather Younger. When you truly listen to someone, they are seen, heard, and loved through your actions.

“Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.” – Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

The Playbook for Navigating Uncertainty

The world is full of uncertainty. Instead of letting worry grind you down, focus on your mindset. When you can navigate uncertainty with confidence, you become more alive, engaged, and impactful even in the eye of a storm. Read this helpful article for ways to navigate these times in your personal and professional life.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

It Will Be Sunny One Day

Actor Stephen Fry on getting through the bad days:

“I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather. 

Here are some obvious things about the weather: It’s real. You can’t change it by wishing it away. If it’s dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can’t alter it. It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row. 

But. It will be sunny one day.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. “Today’s a crap day,” is a perfectly realistic approach. It’s all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. “Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.” 

Posted on James Clear’s weekly newsletter. Original Source: It Will Be Sunny One Day (edited lightly for clarity)

Take a Microbreak

What do you do when you feel scrambled? The next time it happens, try one of these ten microbreaks. For such a small activity, they have a profound impact: studies show they help you to improve your energy and well-being.

1. Take a few deep breaths. Breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which can minimize your stress response.

2. Be kind to yourself. Put your hand on your heart and say, “You’re doing a great job, [NAME]. This is hard right now, and you’re being really brave.”

3. Catch yourself rushing — and slow down. Rushing is so counterproductive: it ends up creating lower-quality results and increases your stress at the same time. Move 10% more slowly.

4. Stand up and walk around (if you are able) or stretch your body however you can. A few minutes of movement can help you to release the stress on your body.

5. Set a timer for five minutes, and look away from the phone or a computer until it goes off. Pay attention to the room you’re in, the people around you, and any nature you can see.

6. Talk to someone for a few minutes. Call a friend or loved one and tell them you only have five minutes, but you wanted to say a quick hi.

7. Sometimes, stress can manifest as boredom and a struggle to pay attention. Set yourself a new goal to focus your attention.

8. Express gratitude. Take five minutes to send a quick text or email to someone who has helped you recently.

9. Put on a song that makes you happy and dance or sing along.

10. If you are feeling really overwhelmed, write down all of your thoughts on a piece of paper or document, under these three heaxders:

  • “Things I Can’t Control”
  • “Things I Can Influence”
  • “Things I Can Control”

From there, choose one thing from either the Influence or Control lists and take an action towards addressing it.

From the weekly newsletter The New Happy:


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

5 Ways to Avoid a Summer Slump at Work

Who wants to stay indoors with spreadsheets and business strategies when they could be outdoors enjoying sunny weather, sandy beaches, and delicious barbecues? In a recent Korn Ferry survey, 46% of professionals said that the quality of their work slumps in the summer. That drop in focus can be a drag—not only on an organization’s productivity but also on an employee’s career.

“Failing to stay motivated can cause problems later in the year in terms of meeting goals, and it can negatively impact the image and personal brand within the organization,” says Mark Royal, a senior client partner for Korn Ferry Advisory. Given that productivity has declined in four of the last five quarters, improving efficiency is on the minds of executives everywhere.

Korn Ferry experts offer their advice on how to stay engaged as the summer heats up, and even take advantage of some unique opportunities during the June-to-August period.

How to Manage: Being Taken Seriously

If you’re a woman who’s a new manager, people will probably push back on your authority. As difficult as defiance is to face—especially when you’re settling in yourself—we have ideas for making it clear that you’re in charge. McKinsey’s Lareina Yee recounts the actions that senior leaders took that affirmed her position. Kelsey reflects on the disrespect she felt as a first-time manager, as well as her discomfort with power, and Amy B helps her make sense of those experiences and feelings. If you manage a woman who’s a new manager, this episode is for you too! Listen to this Harvard Business Review audio broadcast from their Women at Work series.


:: Summer of Gratitude Resources

Can We Outthink Our Emotions?

Why does rejection hurt so much? Why do we feel imposter syndrome sometimes, like we’re not good enough?

Self-proclaimed neuroscience geek and author, Dr. Melissa Hughes, helps us understand why our brain responds the way it does sometimes, as well as some useful tips on how to overcome our own emotional triggers, good and bad, as she meets with Mark Reid on his Zen Sammich podcast.

Try Metta Meditation for Gratitude Development

Loving-kindness meditation, also known as “Metta” meditation, focuses on cultivating feelings of love, compassion, & kindness towards oneself and others.


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Mindset: Embrace Challenges While Helping Others

This season of the podcast Magic in the Room is all about Intentional Leadership. This week they are starting a series on mindset. Mindset is our assumptions about the world that impact our first reaction to any situation. You can think of mindset as the “habits of the mind” that drive our behavior. Sometimes our mindset can be helpful, but sometimes it may hold us back or bring us to undesirable outcomes. The good news is that we can cultivate a healthy mindset with intentional work.

“One of the things that accompanies leadership and power is the privilege of enhancing the lives of other people.”  —Dacher Keltner

Your Brain Will Perform Better If You Shift Into This Mode Of Working

Have you noticed how busy is the new black? Many workplaces recognize and reward being fast-moving or adaptive. Yet really, they’re white-collar sweatshops, pushing people beyond their limits. The result? Stressed and burned-out employees.

In a culture that values hard work and productivity, we’re “winning” when we are going hard. Being busy increases our level of (self-) importance and can become addictive. We feel guilty or ashamed when we aren’t doing lots of stuff at work or on our weekends.

 “One person with passion is better than 40 people merely interested.” – EM Forster


:: Resources on Developing Better Habits

1 Habit That Will Change Your Day

From Greg McKeown’s Weekly Newsletter: Do you know what matters to you today?

Recently I spent time with 1,200 senior business leaders. During our discussion, I asked these leaders, “Who here today spent 10 minutes making a list of what matters to you and put it in priority order before you hit your day?”

Between all of those people, I would say less than ten people had done it.

That’s shocking to me.

But, on the other hand, it’s not because I’ve been there.

Life gets busy. We start living out of our inboxes. The last thing you do at night is email, email, email. Then, first thing in the morning, it’s checking on what’s happened in your email overnight.

When we live this way, we live reactively instead of purposefully, and we miss opportunities to refine and improve our lives.

Rob Dyrdek put it perfectly when he said, “You cannot evolve if you do not have time to reflect.”

It’s not that you, I, or the 1,200 business leaders don’t have 10 minutes to try and connect the dots of our lives. It’s that it’s not built into the routines, rituals, and habits of our day.

Whether you are the CEO – or the CEO of your own life, taking time to reflect on what matters to you each day will change your day. And when you do this consistently, it will change your life.

10 Minutes to Change Your Day

  • Block out 10 minutes at the beginning of your day.
  • Make a list of what matters to you today.
  • Put the list in priority order.
  • Reference this list throughout the day.
  • Reflect on how you did.


:: Upcoming Events

Coaching: The Language of Leadership

Date: Jul 26, 2023
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm
Online (link below)

In this interactive session with the team from Purpose & Performance Group, you’ll learn how the slightest shift in communication can dramatically improve communications between leaders and their teams. From 1-1 interactions to developing stronger teams, learn key strategies to using a coaching approach to communication. With hosts Chris Province and Stephanie Licata, you’ll walk away with tangible ways to communicate in a way that empowers those around you.

Gratitude Nature Walk at Allen Centennial Gardens

Help CSN celebrate the Summer of Gratitude by joining us at the beautiful Allen Centennial Garden on the UW campus. Network with your peers while strolling the grounds, and express your gratitude for nature in this hidden gem. Come anytime between 2:30-4:00 pm. CSN will also have a small supply of Gratitude Packs to hand out.

Dogs are welcome too! Well-behaved dogs are welcome if they remain on a leash and on the path at all times.

More details on the gardens can be found at:

Date: Thursday, July 27
Time: 2:30-4:00 pm (come anytime!)
No registration is needed for this event, just add it to your calendar.