604.724.0353 [email protected]
Leading Effective Virtual Meetings

Leading Effective Virtual Meetings

The dynamic of our workforce is continually changing. The current situation of COVID-19 has many organizations making quick, on the spot decisions. For instance, it is no longer safe for employees to work in their usual office spaces. So how are businesses adapting? Thankfully, many companies can offer remote work options – meaning that group operations, such as team meetings, are conducted virtually.

As companies navigate through these unpredictable times, at-home offices and virtual meetings have become the norm. The sudden shift from in-person meetings to virtual meetings require organizations to quickly find a solution – from finding a reliable platform to upholding productivity. Both employees and employers always need to be flexible and adapt. When faced with significant changes, it is crucial to utilize emotional intelligence. Using emotional intelligence enables one to empathize with others and is also the key ingredient in recognizing an individual’s own emotions to make better, informed decisions.    

Leading Effective Virtual Meetings

 

Whether virtual meetings are the favourite or most dreaded event in the workday, the question of “How to lead effective virtual meetings in times of uncertainty?” remains. Let’s be honest – when living in unprecedented times, it’s normal for employees to feel unmotivated and disengaged. To combat this, we put together our top three emotional intelligence tips to help kickstart productivity, engagement, and, ultimately, lead effective virtual meetings! 

1. Schedule Connection

 

The first step is to ensure that your employees are set for success for virtual meetings. Utilizing a meeting agenda is excellent at outlining purpose, updates, topics, and decisions. However, leaders need to ensure the schedule sets aside time for connection and collaboration. It’s easy to deliver a task over email, but purposeful conversation and direction happen face-to-face. Although teams cannot meet in person, leaders can put aside time each day for check-ins, recognition, and sharing positive news!

Set allotted time slots for each item to ensure employees are not losing opportunities to connect with colleagues. A leader can act as the gatekeeper to keep everyone accountable and ensure everyone gets a chance to be heard during the meetings. Even though there may only be one individual leading the discussion, that does not mean that it is a solo mission! 

Connecting is essential and helps employees build trust in the organization. When leaders can bring a level of trust in the organizations, they feel obligated to participate since they genuinely care about their opinions. Therefore, building trust is the most significant step towards effective meetings and a productive work environment.

Furthermore, your workforce likely spans across multiple generations, all with varying skill levels. Leading effective meetings means everyone has to participate. Leaders need to ensure all employees have the resources to participate in virtual discussions. Encourage younger generations to meet with older generations and help them through the challenges of setting up virtual meetings. By understanding the different levels of skill in the organization, leaders can provide the proper support to all generations. Leaders will eliminate stress and supply employees with the new skills and knowledge required for the upcoming virtual meeting! 

2. Flexibility and empathy go a long way

 

Working from home proposes a unique situation as professional lifestyles and personal lifestyles blend. You do not know what is happening behind the scenes of your employees’ lives. Therefore, it is critical to act and lead with empathy and flexibility.

When leading virtual meetings, remember that everyone has a different work situation. For instance, some employees may have a nice, quiet space, ideal for working, while others may need to prepare a meal for their kids first before attending the meeting. As a result, remember to be patient and kind towards all team members. Make it an effort to check in and learn more about their situation and then ask how best to support them. Try incorporating check-ins at the beginning of your virtual meetings to understand the team members’ emotions better even though apart. 

Once leaders understand the different circumstances each of their team members are in, they will adapt meetings to be more effective for everyone. For example, maybe before virtual work meetings were at 9 am, but now half of your workplace has to homeschool their children during that time. Leaders need to be aware of their team’s schedules, so they can make meeting accommodations that benefit the entire team. Not only do leaders need to improve on flexibility, but team members need to as well. It is time to be patient and understanding! If a team member is five minutes late to a meeting, invite them with open arms. Similar to leaders, team members also need to trust that their colleagues are doing their best.   

When leading virtual meetings, be empathetic and flexible. Remember, everyone is not in the same boat, but rather the same storm.

3. Set Rules but Be Open to Change 

As mentioned above, team members may be unfamiliar with virtual meetings; it may even be their first time attending one! To help the team ease into virtual meetings, layout the guidelines in an email and delegate time at the beginning of the meeting as a reminder. Examples of online etiquette for consideration include having cameras on, punctuality, and dress code. Once these norms are established, virtual meetings will become less intimidating as the team members know what to expect. 

In return, leaders should also be open to feedback regarding meeting structure and logistics. Encourage participation whenever possible to keep team members engaged. As team members are participants of the meeting, their opinions should be equally, if not more, valued like their leaders. Cultivate a culture of open communication. After the virtual conversation, discuss (if time allows) or send out a follow-up email requesting their thoughts and feelings on how the meeting went. 

Like acting with empathy, be mindful of how to tailor meetings to best suit employees’ needs. For example, if team members feel that they are experiencing screen fatigue, dedicate a few minutes throughout the session to take a quick stretch break. As a leader, do not be afraid to ask for help from your team members. While operating through times of uncertainty, take this moment to collaborate and learn together; leading effective virtual meetings are a collective effort!  

Benefits of an Effective Virtual Meeting

 

Leading effective virtual meetings allows people a chance to feel connected, appreciated, and fulfilled at their job. Right now, everyone is struggling to feel genuinely connected to their workplace, and productivity is at the lowest it has ever been. When leaders embrace the importance of connecting their employees, their productivity, innovation, and overall positivity will significantly improve. Emotional intelligence gives leaders the tools to communicate with their employees on a deeper level and run meaningful meetings for everyone in the workplace. 

If interested in learning more about leveraging emotional intelligence to lead remote teams in times of uncertainty, check out either of these workshops, Leading Remote Teams with Emotional Intelligence or Leading Effective Meetings. Also, check out our Virtual EQ Retreat, specifically designed to assess and develop a team’s emotional intelligence through a remote learning platform! 

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, to stay up-to-date with our blogs!

How to Mentor in the Workplace

How to Mentor in the Workplace

Learning how to mentor in the workplace is an important skill to learn. A mentorship relationship is indeed a two-way street. The mentor has to be willing to help, advise, and coach the mentee, and the mentee has to be willing to put in the effort in order to get the most out of the relationship. Of course, it is the, for the most part, the mentee’s responsibility to get the ball rolling in the right direction. After all, mentees are the ones who require the mentor’s help to propel and accelerate their professional development.

So what do mentees need to know about being a mentee? The following points will highlight what it means to be in the mentee’s shoes and what etiquette they need to mentor in the workplace.

How to Mentor in the Workplace

LET GO OF YOUR EGO

As a mentee, you are the one asking for guidance and assistance. Proper mentor-mentee relationship etiquette is to let your mentor take the lead. Consider this relationship as being dance partners – one person leads, and the other follows. Remember, your mentor’s experiences count for a lot; they are credible and they hold an incredible amount of information power. Trust in your mentor’s abilities to guide you in the right direction. They have walked miles in your shoes, so let them show you the way.

ACTIVE LISTENING GOES A LONG WAY

How do you let your mentor take the lead? Through active listening. But what is the difference between listening and active listening, and why is active listening important? It’s crucial to go further than just hearing what your mentor is saying. Practicing active listening in your mentor-mentee relationship shows that you are absorbing what your mentor is saying, paying attention to their advice, and comprehending their messages clearly.

If your mentor is a successful professional, chances are they are extremely busy outside their mentorship relationship with you. Active listening not only shows your enthusiasm for the opportunity to work alongside your mentor, but it also shows that you are able to take direction well, even amidst all the busyness.

BE PREPARED

Your time with your mentor is precious and valuable. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find someone with who they are so eager to work alongside and actually be given the opportunity to do so. Showing preparedness by clarifying from the very beginning of the relationship what you are expecting from there, what your goals are, and what you are willing to do in order to achieve those goals shows not only your respect for your mentor, it also shows the respect you have for yourself. Coming prepared with goals and expectations for your mentorship relationship will help in building an effective and efficient connection.

DON’T GET DEFENSIVE

Your mentor has years of first-hand experience, that’s why you want to learn from them, right? As a mentee, it is crucial that you ask for feedback constantly. Although criticism is difficult to take in sometimes, it is an integral part of our personal and professional development. What is important to note about feedback, is how to interpret them as constructive criticism. As a mentee, you should be able to separate your personal insecurities from what your mentor is trying to communicate with you. Often, we are unable to take criticism constructively because we project our personal insecurities to the situation instead of directing the comments strictly to the event.

Mentors will oftentimes have a different point of view from you. Try not to get defensive because they are there to show you alternative ways to criticize situations and tackle situations. Appreciate their honesty with you. If you have concerns with their suggestions, discuss them openly to arrive at a consensus.

RESPECT YOUR MENTOR’S TIME

Working with mentors can test your ability to multitask. Recurrently, your mentor may give you a variety of work to be completed; this is because they want to give you as much work experience in the field as possible, and they also have less time to dedicate to their own work after taking you under their wing. Respect your mentor’s time and complete work promptly. This also extends to your communication efforts. Returning their phone calls and emails promptly allows them to schedule extra help or reorganize their personal schedules in the event that you are unable to complete assigned tasks or if you are otherwise unavailable to do so.

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

This section goes hand-in-hand with respecting your mentor’s time. If you are in business, your mentor is likely a successful business person. If you are a teacher, your mentor is likely a successful professor. If you are in culinary arts, your mentor is likely an extremely busy executive chef. Whatever your field is, it is important to take your mentorship relationship seriously. Again, it is not often that mentees are able to choose their own mentors and be given the opportunity to work alongside them. So, take it seriously!

Consider looking at your opportunity from the perspective of a person who did not get the same chance as you. Perhaps it is because they could not commit the time. Or, maybe it is because your mentor, out of all the individuals who had approached them, chose you to be their mentee. Be gracious that you are able to learn from your mentor because there are others who may be willing to work harder than you but were not given the break to.

SHOW GRATITUDE

Mentors have a great impact on their mentees’ lives. They are the ones who develop their critical thinking skills so that their mentees are able to take on challenges in their professional careers in ways that direct them to success. When you write our graduation notes to be printed in your high school yearbook, many of us thank our teachers, family, and friends for helping us get through the five years of secondary school. Why not do the same for your mentors? Mentors do a lot for you – they may invite you to sit in meetings or go to conferences and networking events that will connect you even more so with individuals in your field. Those are opportunities that not very many people get. It is important that you show your gratitude to your mentor because without them, you would probably have to take the long route to your destination.

Respect Your Mentor’s Confidence

Your mentor’s experiences are priceless. They have likely worked with numerous organizations, with each one giving them more knowledge. With every endeavor your mentor has gone through, they gain more confidence. Respect their sureness and be open to their suggestions. If you do find yourself questioning the legitimacy of their actions, talk to them directly. Everyone comes with their personal beliefs and values, and mentors are there to open your eyes to different solutions, not to challenge your principles.

Let Your Mentor Invite You In

First and foremost, your mentor is there to be your professional role model. They are there to show you the ins and outs of your career so that you may accelerate yourself to your professional growth and development. However, because some mentorship relationships require both parties to work closely together for long periods of time, it is inevitable that professional relationships become more personal. If this is the case, let your mentor invite you into their lives. Remember, as a mentee you are there to learn from their professional experiences first.

Keep The Doors Open

When you stay in relationships that no longer have a purpose, it is doing the other party and yourself a disservice. Eventually, your mentorship relationship will run its course, and you, as a mentee, will need to leave the relationship.

It is important not to burn bridges when you leave any mentorship relationship. Keeping the doors open between yourself and your mentor allows an opportunity to work collaboratively again in the future.

Learn more about creating positive two-way communication within a mentor and mentee relationship with our online courses! 

To learn more about the power of emotional intelligence and the benefits of coaching and mentoring in the workplace, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

3 Ways Mentors Can Change Your Life

Have you ever considered taking action in pursuing something totally different from where you are now, but were unsure if it would be the right move? Have you ever thought of how to make that move, but were unsure of how to do it? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you may want to think of finding yourself a mentor.

Whether the life changes you are debating to make are large in scale, for example, jump-starting a career change or beginning a new business venture, or if they are as simple as purchasing new furniture or deciding new hobbies to take on, having someone there for you can clarify your decisions and enhance your experience.

The value of mentorship in your personal and professional life

1. Pulls You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you ever observe young children, you would see the keenness in their eyes when they see someone that shares their interests or acts in a way that they desire to act. For instance, their fascination with magicians.

When they first see magicians, children become in awe. They are amazed at what magicians can make disappear and appear out of hats, and magicians’ ability to cut people in half. For a while, after the children leave the magic show, they try and emulate magicians, putting on magic shows at home for their family and friends. Too often, though, those same kids can’t seem to master magic, lose interest, and move on to the next thing. Why is that? Well, when magicians perform their shows for children, they do not get the chance after the show to teach these children their magic tricks. So, for these impressionable children, they do not get to develop their magic skills from someone that shares their interests and has skills in an area they want to grow in.

Adults are no different. Do you want to grow an interest into more than a hobby? If someone has something you want, you need to learn how he or she got it. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” How we perceive ourselves and who we are can be defined by whom we surround ourselves with. We all too often become comfortable with where we are sitting and never really leave our comfort zones and venture out.

Mentors normally have something you want – whether that is knowledge, a different way of thinking, or connections in the industry. For instance, a company mentorship program can help extend your horizons, build, and strengthen your relationships with other people who have more experience in an area you don’t. When we finally get out of our comfort zones, then we are able to see where we are falling short, and realize where we can improve, and that is where the magic happens.

2. The Nudge – A Different Perspective

Mentors have been doing what you want to be doing, sometimes, for many years. They have previously experienced things that you are now just beginning to face, and have already put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears. They have the wisdom you need; you can learn from their mistakes. This is why, if the right mentor has been chosen, they can give you the nudge to start on your pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment.

We are all social beings. We are attracted to people that have similar values, beliefs, and life experiences, which help build a strong foundation of trust. Finding a mentor that understands where you are coming from – your strengths and development opportunities and where your goals and aspirations lie – will make it easier for you to push through the challenging times that may lie ahead.

Mentors have a way of igniting the passion for their mentees by giving them a different perspective. Those that may have thought little about their abilities and how far their skills could take them might think otherwise if only they had a mentor behind them to push them to strive for greater things. The importance of mentorship lies in its ability to shed light on how you could do things differently, which could accelerate you in the right direction.

3. Expedite Your Journey

When we look at mentorship from the lens of a writer, we can see that writers are well versed in articulating their ideas and stories; however, it is their editor who gets their work from good to great. Mentors, much like editors, can help you go through your work with a fine-tooth comb – they can help you navigate your way.

Mentors are not people that tell you what to do. Mentors are people who help in guiding you in the right direction. For individuals trying to progress higher and leap forward, it may take years and years for them to get to their destination. However, having a mentor can shorten the learning curve required to get up there.

Mentors help us avoid mistakes that can be costly and time-consuming to our personal and professional progressions. They help in making sure that we don’t reach a point where we have to say, “If I had only known back then, what I know now.” It is important to take seriously what your mentors have to say. After all, they have been walking in your shoes for much longer than you have.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to build employee mentorship programs within your company, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Regardless if you are the CEO of a company or a super successful entrepreneur, there is always room for personal and professional development. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our job, friends, and family that we forget to take care of ourselves.

When is the last time you took time for yourself?

This is an important question for two reasons. One, it allows you to reflect on how you treat yourself, both mentally and physically; and secondly, it shows how much you have invested in self-management for both your personal and professional life.

You could be very successful in your business life, but if you are not looking after yourself as an individual, it will soon catch up to everything you do.

Improve your well-being with self-management and emotional intelligence or else…

  • There will be a decrease in your mental and physical health
  • You have the potential to lose valuable relationships
  • Your work ethic will decrease
  • Your motivation decrease

Emotional Intelligence gives people the ability to manage their emotional and social awareness well-being and build up their emotional muscles.

Now, I know life gets in the way; we get stuck in routines that it almost becomes impossible to spend time to improve our well-being. Emotional Intelligence has 15 competencies of which 4 of them are the key to self-management and self-care.

1. Emotional Self-Awareness

Understanding your emotional cues is vital to self-management, but can only begin by paying attention to your emotions. What makes you angry, sad, happy, excited? Discover your feelings at the moment. When a situation arises, stop and analyze:

How did you react when first presented with the situation?

What are you feeling?

What outcome do I want?

How can I approach this?

 2. Stress Tolerance

Stress is something everyone experiences in their daily life. Having high stress levels dramatically decreases your mental and physical health. When you are presented with situations that increase your stress, stop what you are doing and breathe to remain calm- you will be surprised how helpful taking 5 deep breaths will be. We are all busy people, but it is important to take a little time and de-stress. Some things you can do are:

  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Talk it through with your mentor
  • Mediate
  • Exercise
3. Impulse Control

Impulses, everyone has been a victim of acting on an impulse. Maybe it was that chocolate bar that was right by the checkout or that new gadget that you need to buy right now!

Although not every impulse ends in a negative outcome, they contribute to the decrease in your overall well-being. It is important to control your impulses and rationally think about what you are about to do.

4. Interpersonal Relationships

Even if you are a workaholic and your job takes up 90% of your time, it is important to create and maintain friendships outside your work life. If you are surrounded by business 24/7, it will start to weigh on your mental health. When you leave work, leave everything work-related, including your work-related thoughts, behind. It is great to make work-friends, but just remember when you meet outside of work, don’t talk about it. Surround yourself with people that are going to lift your spirits; who understand your beliefs, opinions, and will support you through all aspects of your life.

Self-management is a never-ending process. Remember that taking care of yourself first doesn’t mean you are not looking out for others; rather, it demonstrates your passion for your self-worth, which is an important value to have!

Take our EQ Assessments to learn more about yourself and your well-being.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to improve well-being, self-management, and emotional skills, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Invest in Your Teams with Emotional Intelligence Training

Invest in Your Teams with Emotional Intelligence Training

Looking to make an investment in your employee development? Not sure what to train them in next? How about Emotional Intelligence training? But first, let’s answer a question: What skills do you want your employees to have?

  • Decision Making?
  • Stress Tolerance?
  • Anger Management?
  • Empathy?
  • Trust?
  • Assertiveness?
  • Presentation Skills?
  • Accountability?
  • Flexibility?
  • Customer Service?
  • Communication?
  • Change Tolerance?
  • Teamwork?

Emotional Intelligence Training

Ideally, we would like an employee to be all of those things but realistically, no one is all of those things, and no organization has the time or the budget to be able to train every single employee in every one of those skills…right? Well, if you look at the root of those skills, they all actually stem from one thing…Emotional Intelligence. Thankfully, through Emotional Intelligence and resilience training, you can actually give your employees the foundation to be great in all of those things. Right now, Emotional Intelligence is the single most important investment that your organization can make in your employees.

Emotional Intelligence is something that all of us have – no matter what our role in the organization.  The difference between being a great leader, versus being a good leader, is understanding and utilizing our emotional intelligence.

In this day and age, when talent is in high demand, do you find that you are losing your top people to your competition?  Worse yet, are you losing your people to disinterest and apathy?  Are they just showing up and doing time to get to the weekend? By helping your people understand their intrinsic motivators, desires, successes, and interpersonal skills, you are demonstrating your investment in them, and that you are an Employer of Choice.

So what is the most effective way to do Emotional Intelligence training in the workplace? Here are two things you can do…

Have your employees take an EQ Assessment.

The fascinating thing about taking an EQ Assessment is that it tends to show people their hidden attributes and allows them to see their true potential; whilst creating a road map to get them from good to great.

Leaders are put in place to lead their team, but how can they successfully lead a team if they don’t know their own strengths and weaknesses?  It is common for leaders to stick to what they are good at – however, it is their development opportunities that are most important to recognize and learn from.

Having your employees take an EQ Assessment will show them the specific areas that they need to improve in.

Invest in a customized EQ training program.

Once your employees know the skills that they need to work on, now you can provide them with the training to improve on those skills. There are two types of EQ training that you can find, Live Training, and/or Online Training. Both are highly effective programs but are communicated through different platforms.

Emotional Intelligence Live Training is a great option if you are looking for training that happens at the workplace, face to face, in person. It allows for multiple employees to be trained together on the same skill sets. If you are looking for a program that stimulates team bonding, then this is the more suitable option.

Emotional Intelligence Online Training is a great way to get more employees trained at once, at a lower cost. Employees can do this online training at home, and/or at work, at their own pace and convenience. This is more ideal for a company that is looking to do some training but doesn’t have a lot of time or resources to do so. This type of training can allow for the program to be customized to each employee and the specific areas that they are trying to improve in.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more! 

If you’re looking to invest in your staff with emotional intelligence training, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!