In the Harvard Business School 2015 winter term, Frances Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management at HBS, and Amy Schulman, Senior Lecturer in Technology and Operations Management, also at HBS, taught a new course “Why You Should Care: Creating the Conditions for Excellence” to a group with equal numbers of law and management students. The purpose of the course was to help the business and law students help each other define and achieve their own interpretations of success.
I hope that everyone is taking advantage of the summer weather. My reflection for this week has to do with taking actual vacations from work in just as meaningful and purposeful a way as tackling a major project or presentation. This is a new approach to vacations for me because recently I have become rather half-committed to cutting ties with email and thinking about work while away.
Today’s Tuesday Reading is a short video Emotional Intelligence in Tough Conversations from the Harvard Business School’s “The Management Tip” series. The presenter is Susan David, CEO, Evidence Based Psychology and Codirector, Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital. David is also co-author of Emotional Agility, which appeared in the November 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Asking Questions, is an essay written by Diane Weller, shortly after the April Tuesday Reading series on asking questions. Diane is a member of the Information Technology Services Staff at the Pennsylvania State University and is an alumnus of the MOR Leaders Program.
Two weeks ago I began a series of Tuesday Readings focusing on feedback. In the first reading, I suggested that feedback was the sharing of information between co-workers about the impact of their behavior on the team’s results, its processes, and/or its relationships. This past week I focused on giving feedback and suggested six simple, one-word questions –
1 What? What was the behavior that you observed?
2 Who? Who was involved?
Last week we began a series of Tuesday Readings on the subject of feedback: Feedback in the workplace is the sharing of information between co-workers about the impact that their behavior is having on the team’s results, its processes, and/or its relationships. It can be positive in the form of affirmation of specific good work a co-worker is doing. Or, it can be in the form of correction needed in specific aspects of the work being done.
Returning to work after our second session, I felt like I was coming back not just with new tools, but with new lenses and sharper vision. But would that have an impact? I think it has. Here are three mini-reflections focused around new things that happened in my leadership because of lessons and tools I acquired through MOR:
Stop Getting in Your Own Way
My big takeaway from our first set of meetings has to be to “get on the balcony.” Related to getting on the balcony, I recognized through our reading and activities that I need to delegate more, give work back, and say no more. Once I condition myself to make a habit of doing these things, I will have carved out the time for me to be on the balcony.
A couple of years ago I had my kitchen remodeled. During the process, I, along with my young boys, reveled in the tools the contractors had at their disposal, and their skill in using them. They had so many tools - some for general use (hammer) and others more specialized (router) – their truck looked like an aisle at The Home Depot.