How to Manage a Chronic Complainer

Today’s Tip 
How to Manage a Chronic Complainer
Chronic complainers can have a damaging effect on those around them. So what should you do if you manage an employee who’s prone to perpetual pessimism? First, be realistic with yourself about the situation. If the person is truly a chronic complainer, offering sympathy or solutions is unlikely to change their behavior or mindset. You need to set clear boundaries instead. Tell your employee that you’re prepared to listen and discuss whatever is bothering them, but that your conversation needs to focus on a specific issue that can be resolved. Going over the same, unsolvable problem repeatedly won’t do either of you any good. If the issue at hand doesn’t have a solution, or is entirely out of your hands as a manager, urge your employee to change their perspective and reframe their thinking around appreciation and gratitude for the things that they value. Of course, fostering this kind of a behavioral change takes time and may require support from a coach or therapist. Present these options to your employee, and explain that while you care about their wellbeing and happiness, you may not always be the best person to help them work through all of their personal struggles.
This tip is adapted from “Managing a Chronic Complainer,” by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

You Don’t Need to Unplug to Recharge

Today’s Tip You Don’t Need to Unplug to RechargeWe all need to take breaks to recharge. And while it’s good to take screen-free respites, such as going for a walk or exercising, sometimes you just can’t step away from your device (or you just don’t want to). The good news is that tech-based breaks can give you some of the same benefits as the offscreen variety, especially if you’re able to include some combination of physical movement, social interaction, and brain stimulation. Here are some suggestions for ways to take a break without unplugging:
Try an on-screen workout class.Listen to an audiobook or podcast while finishing a chore, or read an article or book on your phone.Call or FaceTime a friend, or even spend some time texting someone you haven’t chatted with in a while.Play a game. Research suggests that casual video gaming during a work break can reduce perceptions of stress. So yes, you can refresh and sharpen your brain with a little midday Words with Friends.This tip is adapted from “Taking a Break Doesn’t Always Mean Unplugging,”by Alexandra Samuel

Develop a More Flexible Plan for Your Future

Today’s Tip 
Develop a More Flexible Plan for Your Future
With all the uncertainty of the pandemic and its fallout, it’s never been harder to make a long-term plan. At the same time, planning is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and anxiety about the future. Micro-planning (or breaking down your vision into smaller chunks) can help. There are six key elements of micro-planning:Purpose: Identify a high-level purpose that motivates you in your professional life.The Year: Make a big-picture plan for the coming year that aligns with your purpose, based on the best information you have available.Quarters: At the beginning of each quarter, reassess your performance. Set specific goals to ensure that your work is still aligned with your purpose.Months: Each month, take a look at your goals for the quarter and assess where you stand with them. Do you need to make any adjustments?Weeks: At the start of each week, make a weekly to-do list, rather than a daily one that’s a mile long and leaves you feeling defeated when you shut down for the day.Days: Finally, track your energy on a daily basis. Gathering data about your physical, mental, and emotional energy at the end of the day can give you powerful information as to how to optimize your workflow.

A Good Leader Does Penance

I do not know if the title of this writing is born out in everyday life but it should be. A good leader – someone who expects others to follow him or her – needs to lead by more than words and Power Point Presentations. A good leader needs to lead by example. An obvious example of this when it comes to the business world is that if a CEO expects his or her managers to be good leaders then he or she must be a good leader. For an organization to work well managers need to lay out expectations, terms of reference to their teams. An indicator that this will happen is if the CEO is doing this with his or her managers. The managers will lead others by the example that is given to them. 

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and nights in order to prepare for his public ministry. While in the deserts he fasted and prayed. He did works of penance. Did he need to do these? No! Why did he do them then? 

Jesus did works of penance for a number of reasons. Jesus is not just a good leader but a perfect one. Jesus will teach his apostles in the near future that they must do penance or perish. 

Jesus did works of penance in order to show everyone in his time, and you and me, how to over come the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. 

Jesus did works of penance that we need to – united to Him – repair the damage cause by sin. Just as we work off a debt we incur by labor so we “work off” or repair the damage we cause by our sins by works of penance. The caveat is that these acts of penance are united to Jesus Christ. 

Jesus did not need to do penance. Do you and I need to do penance? We sure do! We need to do penance for the reasons I’ve just laid out. While all of us need to be doing works of penance it is the leaders who need to, well – lead! Who are these “leaders?” 

Priests (which includes Bishops and the Pope). We are spiritual fathers and leaders that Christ has chosen to be in positions to lead people to God. We need to do penance. 

Husbands and wives who may be fathers and mothers. Children need to see the example of their parents doing penance and that works of penance are not things that make them miserable but actually more cheerful. 

Teachers and anyone else in a position of leadership and responsibility needs to be doing penance. They don’t need to make a show of it (they shouldn’t) but it might come out and then they should not hide it. 

So – as Lent begins let us take up the call of Jesus to live the three types of penance: 1) Prayer, 2) Fasting and 3) Almsgiving. 

Lead by example! 

Fr Hamilton 

Today’s Tip Ensure You’re Paying Employees Fairly

Today’s Tip Ensure You’re Paying Employees FairlyAs a leader, one of the most important questions you can — and should — ask yourself is: “Am I paying my employees fairly?” To answer this question, you may need to conduct a pay equity audit (PEA). This means comparing the pay of employees doing “like for like” work (accounting for reasonable differentials, such as work experience, credentials, and job performance), and investigating the causes of any pay differences that cannot be justified. If your organization is small (50+ employees), you may delegate this audit to HR. Or, if your organization is large (500+ employees), it may be a better practice to hire a consulting firm that specializes in pay and rewards. According to a 2019 study, most companies find that up to 5% of employees are eligible for an increase. Addressing pay inequity in your organization isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s crucial for your competitiveness, shareholder expectations, and legal compliance.This tip is adapted from “How to Identify — and Fix — Pay Inequality at Your Company,” by Amii Barnard-Bahn

Stop Overthinking Big Decisions

Today’s Tip 
Stop Overthinking Big Decisions
Thoughtful deliberation is an essential leadership quality that can help you make better decisions and produce better outcomes. However, it can also devolve into overthinking, which can be paralyzing. Here are three ways to avoid a thought spiral that can slow you down:
Curb your perfectionism. Perfectionism is one of the biggest blockers to swift decision-making, because it operates on faulty all-or-nothing thinking. To curb this tendency, ask yourself questions like: What’s one thing I could do today to bring me closer to my goal? Or what’s the next step based on the information I have right now?Pay attention to your intuition. When it comes to difficult decisions, your gut reaction is often an important data point, particularly when time is short or when you don’t have all the information you need. Research shows that pairing intuition with analytical thinking helps you make better, faster, and more accurate decisions and gives you more confidence in your choices than relying on intellect alone.Construct creative constraints. Determine a date or time by which you’ll make a choice. Put it in your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, or even contact the person who’s waiting for your decision and let them know when they can expect to hear from you.
This tip is adapted from “How to Stop Overthinking Everything,” by Melody Wilding