Planners’ Picks — November 7, 2023

Planners’ Picks 

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

We’re making friends, providing psychological safety, and speaking up today in PP.


:: Image of the Week

TIPS FOR WELL-BEING 1 cultivating gratitude 2 connecting with nature 3 getting enough rest 4 setting boundaries 5 staying active 6 connecting with others 7 practicing self-reflection 8 finding your purpose

CSN members recently presented on the topic of well-being. It’s important to recognize that well-being comes in many forms, from connection to rest to boundaries. How are you ensuring that your well-being needs are being met?


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Supervisor Recruitment Toolkit

A new Supervisor Recruitment Toolkit is now available from the Talent Acquisition team in the Office of Human Resources.

The toolkit is designed to guide UW–Madison managers and supervisors through an equitable and inclusive hiring process for Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, and University Staff employees.

If you have questions or comments, please connect with your unit’s Human Resources team or email

Help Your Team Embrace Growth Mindset, with Eduardo Briceño

Eduardo Briceño is a global keynote speaker and facilitator who guides many of the world’s leading companies in developing cultures of learning and high performance. Earlier in his career, he was the co-founder and CEO of Mindset Works, the first company to offer growth mindset development services. Previously, he was a venture capital investor with the Sprout Group.

His TED Talk, How to Get Better at the Things You Care About, and his prior TEDx Talk, The Power of Belief, have been viewed more than nine million times. He is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow, a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network, and an inductee in the Happiness Hall of Fame. He is the author of The Performance Paradox: Turning the Power of Mindset Into Action*.

Many of us have heard the invitation in recent years to have a growth mindset — but how do you establish this for an entire team? In this episode, Eduardo and I explore his research on systemizing the learning zone to help teams perform at the highest levels. Plus, we explore tactical shifts that managers can make in order to align intention with reality.

5 Tips for Making Friends at Work

Loneliness has already been labeled an epidemic, and the upcoming holiday season presents risks of further isolation. How to build work friendships. With the approach of the holidays, often a time of increased loneliness, experts say workers should strive to build friendships. But how?


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

The Surprising Ways Your Mind Influences Your Health

A new book argues that we can harness the connection between our minds and our physiology for better health.

In 1979, Harvard researcher Ellen Langer invited elderly men to spend a week at a retreat designed to remind them of their younger days, surrounded by the art, music, food, games, décor, and more from the late 1950s. Afterward, the men were tested and found to have made significant gains in hearing, memory, dexterity, posture, and general well-being. It was as if being in a place signaling their younger days made them physiologically “younger.”

Maybe you, too, have had an experience where your mind seemed to affect your health. It turns out there’s a reason for that, according to Langer, author of the new book The Mindful Body. Your mind is not separate from your physiology, and changing your mindset in various ways can lead to a happier, healthier life. Read this article about some of the findings in Langer’s book.


“A tree’s beauty lies in its branches, but its strength lies in its roots.” -Matshona Dhliwayo, philosopher


Never Forget Your Worth

Don’t underestimate your value – remember what you’re capable of. Never forget your worth! When life throws us curveballs, sometimes we forget that we’re capable of so much more. We have the power to choose how we respond and take control of our lives. Charles Clark talks briefly about this topic.


:: Resources on Psychological Safety

What is Psychological Safety?

The team at Leader Factor has been working hard to make this a practical, applicable resource for everyone who downloads it, regardless of your title or position. So trust me, there are plenty of new gems in this version.

Take a look at the table of contents:

  • What is Psychological Safety?
  • The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety
  • Psychological Safety for Early Adopters
  • Psychological Safety for Individuals
  • Psychological Safety for Teams
  • Psychological Safety for Managers
  • Psychological Safety for Leaders

Find the document at


:: Resources on Communication

Unlocking Genuine Connection: Battling Digital Noise in the Age of Distraction

Have you ever had a crucial moment hijacked by pings and digital distractions?

A few years back, a colleague I hadn’t seen in years tapped me on the shoulder during a visit to Stanford University. I eagerly engaged, but within moments, he was emotionally and intellectually gone. He had become distracted –  lost in a text exchange on his phone. After a brief wait, I returned to my work. Although he eventually re-engaged, the disconnection lingered.

This situation is all too common. And we’re all guilty of being on my friend’s side of this scenario.

Digital distractions create noise that hinders meaningful face-to-face interactions and robs us of deeper connections.

Of course, there are many strategies to remove digital distractions:

  • Designate phone-free times or zones.
  • Activate Do Not Disturb during deep work sessions.
  • Physically separate from your device by leaving it in another room.

And while these strategies are all effective, I’ve found one technique I use when I really want to elevate my ability to listen to someone deeply: sketch the ideas being shared.

This visual representation sharpens my concentration and keeps me focused, allowing me to delve into the essential layers of the conversation.

The surface of any conversation is shallow. The things that really matter live many levels down. Noise, whether digital or otherwise, resets our conversation to the surface. So, to build better relationships and deep connections, we must practice the relentless elimination of noise.

What steps can you take to eliminate digital noise and prioritize genuine communication in your relationships?

From Greg McKeown’s weekly 1-Minute Wednesday newsletter:

Embracing Failure

Share your failures with your team and encourage team members to do the same. When we all embrace failure together, it creates a greater sense of psychological safety. Sharing a failure learning should be chalked up as a win because it means you’re advancing. More on this at


“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”   – Theodore Roosevelt


:: Resources on Change Management

Who Are Your Organization’s Influencers, And How Do You Identify And Activate Them?

Introducing new technology, practices, or standards within an organization is a complex task. Even in the best of times, the most well-intentioned improvements can backfire if employees aren’t informed of, and excited for, the change.

This is even more true today when so many internal conversations happen on private and direct channels. How, then, can a busy communications professional effect positive changes during these fractured times?


:: CSN’s Book of the Week Recommendation

Brave Leadership by Kimberly Davis

While we may think that we need to follow some kind of prescription to get results, the most amazing leaders are those who dare to be their true selves, powerfully. People want to give their best. But in a business world that’s so competitive and uncertain, how do you connect with others more authentically to tap into their elusive want? Brave Leadership is the essential guide for leaders in today’s ever-shifting world. Wherever you are in your leadership journey—new, seasoned, young, or old—if you aspire to be the best leader you can be, then this book is for you. It will help you—

  • Uncover your barriers to brave
  • Escape overwhelm and frustration and learn to manage stress and anxiety
  • Prepare for high-stakes meetings and conversations
  • Have the influence you want to have
  • Set the direction of your career
  • Connect powerfully
  • Feel more confident, courageous, satisfied, and purposeful
  • Tap into the wants of the people you lead to get the results you need

Brave is being your most confident, powerful, and authentic self.


This book is full of great nuggets for you to improve your skills as a leader, communicator, presenter, and more. A few things that stood out to us in our review:

Davis recognizes the carrot-and-stick approach to managing doesn’t work and recommends a different approach to motivating others.

She also states: “To be a brave leader, it’s critical to challenge how you might be limiting yourself and others due to confined thinking.” This is also important since so often we are either functioning with imposter syndrome or undermining our own progress with pessimism, procrastination, or some other method of resistance. Changing your view to a more optimistic approach can open doors you never thought were possible.

The best thing about this book is you learn how truly authentic Davis is in real life. She’s an actor by training, but this isn’t acting anymore; instead, it’s genuine, real ideas from her heart about being brave in today’s world. And, she lives it every day!


Chapter nine covers vulnerability, and references Brené Brown’s work in this area. Davis says: “Vulnerability is our biggest barrier to brave and the gateway to our most powerful self. Being brave involves navigating vulnerability, not trying to avoid it. Vulnerability triggers chemical reactions in our brain that produce warning signs and body sensations that are often disproportionate or a misrepresentation of the true risk we face.” 


Kimberly Davis focuses a large portion of the book on developing a super objective. A super objective puts you on an active path to be your most confident, powerful, and authentic self. It doesn’t make life easier; it makes you and your results better. She has an entire worksheet on how to develop your own super objective and then put it into practice. She states: “You need not be a CEO or a celebrity to work on your purpose. Everyone can make an impact.” Super objectives help you hone in on your purpose and move the needle.




:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

How to Take the Fear Out of Making a Career Change, Put Things into Perspective, and Take Control of Your Career

Many people who want to make changes and improvements to their careers, hold themselves back because of a past adverse experience that they have blown out of perspective.

They may not even realize that this is what is holding them back.  They just know that having gone through a previous bad experience; they are not going to put themselves in a similar situation again. Check out this article from author Carol Stewart on how we may end up stuck in a rut which can lead to low motivation and stress if left to fester.


“Our lives improve only when we take chances—and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”  —Walter Anderson


:: Take Five*

*Note: CSN occasionally adds “Take Five” articles to take you off the beaten path. Articles are 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 relax for a moment!

A critical look at the Chazen Museum’s most significant works of art

There are 24,299 pieces in the collection of the Chazen Museum of Art. The oldest object is a relief fragment from the tomb of Ptahhotep II at Saqqara, which is about 4,300 years old. As with most museums, only a fraction of the collection is in the public galleries at one time. Even with 1,000 pieces on display, it’s a lot to take in. If you limited your interaction with each one to a one-minute perusal and a meditative “Hmmm, interesting,” you’d be wandering the galleries for nearly 17 hours — not including bathroom breaks and a trip to the gift shop.

So what are the highlights, the must-sees, the handful of pieces that are guaranteed to stick with you after your visit? Read this article from OnWisconsin to find out.


:: In Gratitude

How Do You Share Planners’ Picks?

We got this message shortly after sending out our newsletter last week:

“I just want to say how great these emails are! I always share them and encourage people to sign up. They contain so much positivity, again thank you!”  ~ Kate

Are you sharing PP with your teams? We’d love to hear about it! Send a message to Rich Gassen with your stories. We are grateful for Kate and others who continue to spread the word about valuable training and resources for staff. We also welcome leads to articles and resources to share out to the group.


“The point is not to pay back kindness, but to pass it on.”  —Julie Alvarez