Staff Meeting Week

This is staff meeting week at Intercon Messaging.  At our morning huddle on Monday we decided the best use of our two staff meetings was to help our people stop beating themselves up.  People beat themselves up with the chatter in their head about…I should have, I should not have…well I’m just not that…I’m just not this…  I’ve read 4 books in the last two weeks, relevant to this topic.

  1. ‘10 Mindful Minutes’ by Goldie Hawn
  2. ‘Change Your Questions Change Your Life, 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work’ by Marilee Adams
  3. ‘Do The Work’ by Steven Pressfield
  4. 'Choosing a Good Road, High School Success' by Jonathan Brennan

Both of our staff meetings have the same agenda and we work hard to duplicate the information for both meetings.

To help us dispute the destructive chatter in our heads we each created an affirmation.  The process we use is to have each person sit at the front of the room on a stool while the rest of the team shouts out kind words about them.  We write a whole flip chart page of words for each person.  While they are at the front they are encouraged to simply smile and say Thank You…and “receive the recognition”. When everybody has a list we ask them to take five minutes of reflection time, and write a positive affirmation using this format:  I am a ______ _________ _________ person/ mother/ friend/ partner/ leader/ etc. 

Certainly, each of the books, talks about our negative inner chatter.  In the book Do the Work, Steven Pressfield suggests ““Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.”  THE ENEMY IS RESISTANCE  “The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/ shouldn’t/ won’t do what we know we need to do.””  He says “DO THE WORK, START BEFORE YOU ARE READY.”  He calls the negative chatter our dragon brain, Goldie Hawn calls it our guard dog, and both Jonathan and Marilee call it the Judger.

I am also working through John Kehoe’s Mind Powers CD training set. He says dispute your negative chatter with several minutes of your positive affirmation until you effectively change your mind.

The never ending challenge is to quiet the negative chatter and listen to the quiet inner knowing within, which Steven calls The Knight, Marilee and Jonathan call the Learner and Goldie calls the Wise Old Owl.

Is this stuff easy?…NO!   

Once everyone has an affirmation, we share them. First we agree on the order each person will speak and make sure that everyone is aware that no other conversation is permitted.  This is an emotionally moving exercise.

A few years ago we recruited 22 people (most of which were men) to our community and helped them get a class One Drivers License.  We did this exercise and as each person in the room read their affirmation I could feel the energy shifting.  I suspect, that for some of the participants this might have been the first time in their life that they were conscious of having a positive inner conversation.  It was a deeply emotional experience.

   

 

Lifelong Learning

Intercon Messaging’s highest priority is education.  Education is first on our list of values, also included is innovation, fun, flexibility, respect and Integrity. I either read the quote or heard it somewhere but really started to understand that: “If people knew better they would do better”.  From that day forward I started looking for ways to help people know what they needed to know to be the best they could possibly be in their workplace and in their life.  That quote was the continuation of a journey to teach personal and professional development in our workplace.  Intercon encourages lifelong learning. 

In 2011 several of our people had the opportunity to attend courses and conferences away from the office.  They had the opportunity to learn via webinars, conference calls and in house at staff meetings. We have 2 staff meetings each time so that information is available to all members of our team.  We also had Elizabeth Manuel, a happiness expert come for 2 days so all staff had the opportunity to participate in Elizabeth’s very fun, interactive and meaningful happiness seminar.  There are strategies and choices each of us can do and make to fundamentally increase our level of happiness.  Probably one of the easiest is to say Thank you.  Thank you for today, thank you for all the people in my life, thank you for the privileges and opportunities of living in the greatest province in the greatest country in the world.  It is impossible to be unhappy if you are sitting and thinking about ten reasons to say Thank you.  Chips are down?  Times are tough?  Find some things to be thankful for then it is easier for the tough to get going again!

For Intercon we will continue to provide opportunities and motivation for our people to progress on their own personal and professional journeys of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

Characteristics of lifelong learners are: 

  • They seek out formal and informal settings. They learn both in & out of a class setting.
  • A desire to set a better example and be the best they can be.
  • Goal setter; a lifelong learner has the ability to establish visions and directions and set goals to achieve these visions and directions.
  • Change agents; Learning requires change. They embrace change by being willing to adapt, try new things, explore new ideas and change to grow more as a person
  • Is a mentor for their peers
  • Are teachers themselves
  • Like to feel challenged in their work and personal life
  • Are insatiable knowledge seekers; curious – they wonder about how the world works and how to do things
  • Never think of themselves as the ultimate expert in anything; always keep a beginner’s mindset
  • Self-Awareness - they realize when they are actually learning and when they need to work a little more on an assignment
  • Honesty - this goes with self-aware, because effective learners won't skip over work just because it is hard, or tell themselves that they know it better than they really do
  • Expand their horizons through travel and/or learning about different places and cultures
  • Expand their network and meet new people in theirs and other fields
  • Ability to Be Self-Directed - they are able to motivate themselves and do the work without anyone telling them to do it
  • Don’t simply just take in information - they analyze, synthesize and or apply what they’ve learned
  • Willingness to Risk Mistakes - when you make a mistake, you learn a lot about why that didn't work and also about how to correct the mistake and do better next time

At Intercon we believe that if you grow your people, your people will grow your organization.

Personal Responsibility

As we begin a new year I ask myself the question; “Are we on track?”

Our first staff meetings of 2012 focused on personal responsibility and what could each of us do to “Step Up.” Last year we asked “Things would work better if”, and then we compiled great lists of suggestions but did not see any great improvements.

So this year, the new question is “Things would work better if” AND “This is what I am willing to do about it”. Waiting for someone else to take action is lame and unproductive! 

We will keep working on this for 2012.  Maybe forever because changing behavior is a lifetime challenge and I know I have to keep reminding myself!  Easy to expect someone else would do it or fix it, and easy to default to that place.  Easy to hide on the couch under a blanket and wait for someone else to take charge!  Real easy!

Life Lessons

As employees in the emergency response field, we are reminded daily of how fragile life can be. I am grateful for this, as it supports us to live our biggest lives. When your career is constantly reminding you that everyday could be your last or a close friend or relatives last, it only fuels the desire to live your life to the fullest.

Intercon Messaging as a company is committed to fueling our aspirations as well. With educational opportunities always available to employees whether they are in the telecommunications field or for emotional intelligence, Intercon would never deny an employee the opportunity to better themselves, professionally or personally.

Through the many traumatic situations I have been faced with through my career, one of the most valuable lessons I personally have learned is take pleasure in the simple things and always make time to spend with those you love. I have grown in my relationships with my family in large part to my career. When I was having difficulty communicating with my family, Intercon Messaging gave me the great pleasure of attending a seminar called 21st Century Leadership by Extraordinary Learning, and my life has not been the same since. My eyes were opened in a way they never had been before, and I have been grateful everyday Intercon gave me that opportunity.  

How many people can say that about their work environment? Not all that’s for sure! That’s just one reason why Intercon Messaging stands above the rest!