Make 2024 more meaningful with help from a mentor

Squeezed by holiday stress? Give the gift of relaxation | practice | Make 2024 more meaningful with help from a mentor
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December 13, 2023
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Leading the Way
Squeezed by holiday stress? Give the gift of relaxation
(Pixabay)
Minimize your team's stress during the holidays by providing flexibility in their schedules, balancing their workload, encouraging bonding during inclusive holiday parties and showing appreciation for their hard work, writes Harvard Law School's Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio. Leaders can reduce their stress by recognizing that avoiding challenging situations can create long-term anxiety while confronting them with skill and compassion can dissipate pent-up frustration, writes Dan Rockwell.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (12/12),  Leadership Freak (12/12) 
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Put it into practice: Help your team manage their holiday stress by scheduling some activities such as yoga or mindfulness training, Cecchi-Dimeglio suggests. Assess difficult situations you've been avoiding, Rockwell advises, and address them. "Confronting stressful situations causes more stress in the short term and less in the long term."
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SmartBrief on Leadership
Kick up your abilities in the new year by finding a mentor: an experienced adviser from your company or field who can guide your specific needs, consultant and speaker Denise Lee Yohn says in this video. "Identify your goals, strengths and areas for development" and pinpoint what you most want help with so you can best select a mentor -- such as seeking one who has "vibrant, healthy relationships with co-workers, family members and friends" so you can do better in that area too, Yohn suggests.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (12/12) 
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Put it into practice: Once you've chosen a mentor, "set clear expectations for how each of you will engage -- who will initiate meetings, how you will decide on topics to discuss, what confidentiality is expected," Yohn says. "Commit to listening well, being transparent and providing constructive feedback."
Read more from Denise Lee Yohn on SmartBrief on Leadership
Supporting pet ownership = happier employees
Attracting, retaining and engaging quality employees of all generations are three leading challenges that companies face in today's employment landscape. Luckily, supporting pet-owning employees improves their work experience—and positively affects these key metrics for employers.
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Smarter Communication
A great business coach knows how to move colleagues through failure, helping the resulting opportunity outweigh the disappointment, Deborah Fulghum of The Center for Sales Strategy writes. Intentional phrasing and timing can help, Fulghum explains, adding that the best coaching should be "in the moment, specific, clear on next steps and encouraging."
Full Story: The Center for Sales Strategy (12/11) 
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Put it into practice: Fulghum suggests a conversation that might sound like this: "I really like that you ... And that you ... It may have gone better if you ... Knowing you are so good at XYZ, I wish I had seen ... What do you think would happen if you tried ...?"
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In Their Own Words
Data and AI can help leaders understand and tackle problems, turning them into opportunities for improvement, says Lydia Wu, senior director of people strategy and operations at Panasonic Energy of North America. "You almost have to drill yourself into [the] discipline of looking for the problems to be able to propel the organization forward and do better for your workforce and the organization," Wu says.
Full Story: Betterworks (12/11) 
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Daily Diversion
Need to move a 220-ton building? Lather it up!
(Pixabay)
An old Halifax, Nova Scotia, hotel -- built in 1826 -- has been saved from demolition and moved to a new location with the help of 700 bars of soap. Construction crews say the softness of the soap helped roll the 220-ton building across its frame, and it will be moved again soon when the foundation in its new location is complete.
Full Story: United Press International (12/8) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Maybe it's a coincidence that the inspiration for Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, died in December 343. Where was he born?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
I landed my first radio news reporter and anchor job in my early 20s. It was my second job in radio, my first being a part-time evening DJ at a small AM/FM combo in my Georgia hometown. The news director at a nearby station filled in for a vacationing DJ, and we got to be friends. He hired me when they had an opening.

To say I was green as a reporter is an understatement. Going into this job was like being thrown into the pool's deep end, but my new friend quickly turned into my mentor. He helped me hone the skills needed to interview newsmakers, write reports and put together newscasts. I would later be a reporter and anchor in the Atlanta radio market, eventually landing an editor and anchor job at CNNRadio (now defunct).

This mentor spotted something in me and was willing to take me under his wing and teach me the business. It's because of him that I was able to succeed.

If you want to improve your skills or learn something new in the coming year, take Denise Lee Yohn's advice and find a good mentor. Their generosity and guidance could be just what you need to succeed!

Have you had -- or do you currently have -- a mentor that has made a difference in your life and career? Tell me about them.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.
Anne Carson,
poet, essayist, translator
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