3 Things that May Happen If You Become A More Mindful Manager

Mindful Manager

Who is a mindful manager?

Regardless of where you are in your career, in your company or in your relationships outside of work, we can use mindfulness to positively influence the actions and attitudes up the ladder, down through our teams and across to our peers.

Mindful management is the singular most powerful way to make a difference. Mindful managers make the most of their opportunities. They maximize the abilities, talents and opportunities of their teams. They make progress. They make an impact. They matter.

To manage mindfully means being in tune with your needs, intentions and ambitions as well as those of your teams, your leaders and your peers.  

These three things may happen if you become a more mindful manager.

  1. You will get where you want to go. It’s all about starting where you are. Regardless of where you are in this moment, this moment is a part of your whole story. There is purpose in the journey and this journey is the story of how you reach your ultimate goal, your future, your vision. Don’t despair but do take action.
  2. You can get people to do what you want (and not compromise your values). Mindful managers lead with love and sincerity. Enough already with the cut throat, survivalist, reactionary corporate status quo.
  3. Your creativity and productivity will increase. You will be the best possible steward of your talents, your vision, your inspiration and that of those you live and work with.

So how?

The key to becoming a mindful manager is to tap into your values and exercise them without compromise. This is what makes the great leaders truly authentic - and authenticity is impactful.

This is fundamental to being impactful and influential and it’s the groundwork you need to lead (with love, respect, and self respect) and get others to do what you want.

We will be diving into the specifics of “how to get others to do what you want” next in the Mindful Management leadership series, starting right here.

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With love, joy & gratitude, Tarah

How to Get Off on the Right Foot with a New Boss

Authenticity + Consistent Communication + Manage Up, Down & Laterally with the same

Authenticity + Consistent Communication + Manage Up, Down & Laterally with the same

As an external consultant, I’m often called in to help clients whose projects are in crisis. Immediate alignment with the internal stakeholders is mission critical.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the client decision maker is not the project “boss” so it’s virtual relationship ground-zero and time is never an affordable luxury.

Here are a few of my personal hip-pocket tools for entering new projects when political environments are extra sensitive and personalities are especially trying.

One of my Fortune 500 assignments in recent years was textbook relationship and communication crisis management. The underlying turbulence was directly attributable to my new boss’ (let’s call him NB) predecessor. NB had inherited a team of lackluster, burnt-out execution leads and enterprise-wide stakeholders who were openly hostile towards the program and this particular project after having survived back-to-back years of incomplete, costly, delayed and defect-ridden delivery.

My role was to get the troops in line, research, analyze, design and deploy a plan for successful delivery, and ultimately help NB establish sustainable and scalable functionality and framework to execute year over year going forward.

Your first objective is absolute authenticity. When the goal is to deliver results, ass-kissing does nobody any good, kisser or kissed. I shared my personal story and background, my why (@simonsinek), admitted my known personal strengths and gaps (framing them as asks) to support my mission in the project. This is a beyond the number-of-kids-and-how’s-the-weather ice breaking conversation. This is personal and true: no fluff. He reciprocated and we had the beginnings of an authentic working relationship.

First, understand the risk's root cause. Then, determine a proposal to solve. THEN, take it to your boss. 

First, understand the risk's root cause. Then, determine a proposal to solve. THEN, take it to your boss. 

The next key tool to working really well with your new boss during crisis mode, is a consistent communication plan. Throughout on-boarding, NB and I had daily stand-ups (eventually they became weekly as trust grew and risks were wrangled). I kept a running list of questions and asks and reported follow ups as closed or in progress. This may seem really elementary but in my experience, consistent execution of stand-ups like this are rare and highly valued by the highly influential. You build immediate trust and credibility when you show up consistently and follow through on items previously discussed.

Third is really a basic rule to being a good human: Do not say anything unless it’s true, necessary and kind. Impactful communication requires clarity. When I met with NB and had an issue, risk or needed advice - I was very clear to call that out (e.g. “So my ask is for you to advise me on _”), and always present it with recommendations.

PRO TIP
If you encounter a new risk, research it first and strive to holistically understand its root cause well enough to raise it hand-in-hand with a recommendation.

If you don’t have a solution, ask for thoughts from the SMEs, seek counsel with stakeholders, and dig up historical documents for context. This helped me educate NB (who remember was new to his role too) on context and gave him the ammo he often needed to escalate up to his leadership. Also, when it came to implement the solutions, he and I were already aligned on the business case and requirements.

Asking for direction, decisions and support is very different from complaining. If you hear yourself saying “I just need to vent,” and you’re talking with your boss, know that they’re thinking, “Why don’t I just do this myself.”

To build lasting credibility and loyal teams - only say what's true, necessary AND kind. 

To build lasting credibility and loyal teams - only say what's true, necessary AND kind. 

The fourth strategy is to manage down and across with the same authenticity, consistency and communication vigilance. For the project supporting NB, I oversaw other matrixed delivery teams and project leads. When NB met with the other teams’ leadership he heard and knew that I was leading them well, addressing questions and concerns before he ever had to hear about them, solving internal conflict without escalation, and transparently, proactively reporting status and risks up to him before they became issues. I was making him look good.

Making your new boss look good, making their life easier and building an authentic, mutually beneficial relationship is the key to getting off on the right foot with your new boss and to creating a reputation that will continually elevate you throughout your career.

If you encounter a challenging boss, client or coworker, Tarah Keech Consulting is here to help.

Our clients leverage our workshops and coaching to gain the communication and relationship strategies and tools that enable them to:

  • Save at-risk client relationships

  • Manage tricky client and internal “personalities”

  • Navigate politically turbulent execution environments, and

  • Transform stagnant, underperforming individuals and teams into engaged and enthusiastic producers

  • Approach and close key business development new sale and up-sell targets

With 15 years in advisory, coaching and leadership roles from startups to Fortune 50s, Tarah Keech Consulting is an executive communication and relationship strategy agency. For more information, reach out at tarah@tarahkeech.com or find us on Twitter @tarahkeech.

 

Your Field Guide to Difficult People: 10 Questions to Win Them Over & Get Ahead

Your Field Guide to Difficult People: 10 Questions to Win Them Over & Get Ahead

Your Field Guide to Surviving, Thriving & Working with Difficult People: 10 Questions to Win Them Over & Get Ahead

Your Field Guide to Surviving, Thriving & Working with Difficult People

Confident, change-making, powerful communication is totally doable. Your field guide to surviving, thriving and working with difficult people. 

Confident, change-making, powerful communication is totally doable. Your field guide to surviving, thriving and working with difficult people. 

It's hard to be a human today with your drive to succeed and achieve, and your desire to be authentic, be heard, be valued, and be appreciated. 

And then life throws in a really, really difficult person. 

You know when you do all you can but with some people you just can’t get through? Either they don’t trust you, don’t listen to you, or don’t take you seriously. It is frustrating, demoralizing and flat-out exhausting.

I'm here to help you be truly heard, understood and appreciated by the difficult people you live and work with. 

Confident, change-making, powerful communication is totally doable - I know this because I help my clients do just that - every.single.day. I've got the communication tactics and tools to give you game-changing advantages when it comes to working with the pains-in-the-butt, mean-girls, and horrible-bosses in your life.

Good communication is a game changer. Be heard, be understood and be appreciated. Your field guide to surviving, thriving and working with difficult people. 

Good communication is a game changer. Be heard, be understood and be appreciated. Your field guide to surviving, thriving and working with difficult people. 

Leave a message here - let me know what is the single biggest challenge you’ve ever faced with a difficult person in your life? 

Stay tuned for next chapter in this “Field Guide to Difficult People” series and if you want more ways to take control of your personal brand with your clients and coworkers, reach me directly at tarah@tarahkeech.com. 


If you are interested in more ways to lead, engage and motivate, check out the preview of my new book (releasing early 2017), “How to Be a Bitch Whisperer: A Guide to Winning Over Difficult People” by clicking here