Hi Folks, Phil here again with a few more 'personal growth' focused tips that can easily be applied to the workplace.
New Habits – During this past week, while Blue Tiger Leadership was on vacation, I wanted to build a new habit around using some kettlebells, that I got from a friend, for working out at home.
There are tons of great books about habit-building, and I decided to use similar concepts from two of my favorites: Atomic Habits, by James Clear, and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
From The Power of Habit (and from MIT research):
Habits work in 3-step loops: Cue, Routine, Reward.
From Atomic Habits:
To form habits you must make them Obvious, Attractive, Easy, and Satisfying.
New Habit - Start swinging kettlebells.
To cue using the kettlebells, I simply leave them out in plain sight. They sit on the corner of an all-purpose mat near where I work. I see them early in the day and walk past them multiple times. When I see them, I think, “Have I swung them yet today? If not, pick one up!”
I then engage in my routine, using them to do a basic beginner's workout that I can repeat as many times and I'm feeling up for. I spend the next hour or so noticing that my joints feel looser and I feel better. My Reward!
Leaving out my kettlebells makes them obvious, and easy. The fact that they are new to me and a novel way to exercise makes them attractive and satisfying.
Thanks to the guidance in these books, and a little bit of willpower, I've met my goal of using the kettlebells at least once per day every day since July 1st. What should I try next?
Compete or Collaborate - Or, How a stuck Brita filter provided a cool glass of reflection.
Living and working under the constraints of safe distancing and the challenges it introduces has required vastly increased problem solving for many of us. How to parent? How to be a friend/be social? What “going” to work looks like? How to keep from turning into a slug after a day in Zoom? We’ve all had many challenges to contend with and address productively as we try to solve for the new normal.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that when my second Brita filter in a row stopped letting any water pass through it, I got a little irritated. I wanted justice. I wanted them to be wrong, me to be right, and them to send me two (or more!) replacement filters. I found the customer service form on their website, and settled in to write an angry email, conveying my irritation and convincing them to send me some new filters ASAP. But a funny thing happened.
As I angrily typed, it occurred to me that a) they, being the filter manufacturers, might actually have some good tips for fixing the filter, b) I hadn’t tried solving the problem myself yet, and c) that the filter in my dispenser was my last, so even if they sent one by mail, I’d still have no filtered water until it arrived. Suddenly, the idea of being ‘right’ or 'winning' felt like shooting myself in the foot, and like it would keep me from collaborating with them, the experts, on what I really wanted - a solution that would get me filtered water right away.
I erased what I’d written and shared only the facts, asking for guidance or replacements if we couldn’t make it work. Then I hit send.
I stood up, no longer wanting to ‘win’ but to solve the problem, which I remembered I could do for/by myself. I pulled the filter out, gave it a shake, flushed it, replaced it, and sure enough, water flowed again. Two hours later, I received a response from Brita giving me the exact same advice, plus a few other things to try, along with an offer of further assistance if these didn’t work.
I’m now thinking about the places where being tired, frustrated, or skeptical that I’ll get help puts me into a competitive, win/lose mindset, and how much more I’m living my values and being productive when I'm in a collaborative, problem-solving mindset. I’m surprised to have gotten this reminder from a silly water filter— it didn’t say anything about good attitude on the box—but these days, I’ll take all the help I can get.
If you’re looking for a great resource on mindset, take a look at the book of the same name, Mindset, by Carol Dweck.
Your Biweekly Does of Upliftment – Michelle found video of a music teacher who wrote a song we feel perfectly captures the mood of the past four months.
Please let us know if you find any of these to be helpful and share how you put them into practice. Also, if you have a tip to offer, let us know and we will include it in a future email or video.
We wish for you to find your special ways to thrive through this unprecedented time.
Michelle, Phil, Jaclyn & the Blue Tiger Leadership Team
May You Be Well –
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