Why this company has chosen hybrid work over in-person

Build ambivert skills to improve your leadership | practice (split each time) | Why this company has chosen hybrid work over in-person
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May 17, 2024
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Leading the Way
Build ambivert skills to improve your leadership
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Introverted leaders are good listeners, observant and compassionate, while extroverted leaders have charisma and confidence and are often thought to be natural for the role, writes Suzanne Degges-White, a professor at Northern Illinois University, who invites us to consider another type of leader -- the ambivert, who has the strengths of both introverts and extroverts. Any leader can develop ambivert characteristics by learning to trust their gut, embracing teamwork as well as solo work and taking risks to boost confidence, Degges-White suggests.
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Put it into practice: You could be an ambivert if you enjoy quick chats with your team but also make time for deeper discussions, you trust your instincts but also appreciate input from others, and you relish time alone but feel your best with others around, writes Degges-White. Working on your weaknesses in these areas can transform you into an ambivert, Degges-White advises.
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Why this company has chosen hybrid work over in-person
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WatchGuard CEO Prakash Panjwani writes that his company has not required its employees to return to the office because they have discovered that by normalizing hybrid work, fostering a culture of belonging and creating a system of intentional collaboration and accountability, their company is thriving without in-person policies. "From my vantage point, being a hybrid organization is an advantage, not an obstacle, to building a culture that enables us to grow, innovate, and meet the needs of our customers," Panjwani concludes.
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Put it into practice: Hybrid work models require a strong level of accountability, which means "managers need to get creative in the way they manage the employees who are underperforming in a hybrid model," writes Panjwani. "However, forcing RTO as an excuse to elevate performance is unfair to those whose productivity is actually higher than before in the hybrid environment."
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Being pulled aside by a senior executive during a public sales meeting early in his career was stressful for Paul Walker, the CEO of FranklinCovey, but the incident taught him that three things are essential when you need to have a difficult conversation with someone: intent, timing and urgency. Walker writes that his boss stated his intention up front and timed his approach so scheduling it for later wouldn't make Walker feel worried and had felt his corrective advice was urgent enough to address it at that moment.
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Put it into practice: Practice these three steps the next time you have a difficult discussion coming up: be clear about your intention from the start, don't make the other person wait to hear it and clearly convey the urgency of your message. "That difficult conversation helped me see I was capable of being a change agent and that I had a role to play in growing the company and improving its culture," Walker writes.
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With summer just around the corner, registered dietitian Brierley Horton offers six seasonal foods that are healthful in perhaps surprising ways. The lycopene in tomatoes, for instance, may help boost sun protection and watermelon could help with hydration during hot days, according to Horton.
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Daily Diversion
Nimble dog wins Westminster agility competition
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A 6-year-old mixed-breed dog named Nimble won the agility competition at this year's Westminster Dog Show, beating 50 other dogs to become the first mixed-breed to win the competition. A border collie named Truant, which won last year's agility competition, is also owned by Nimble's trainer, Cynthia Hornor.
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew

I just had a discussion last night with a group of people about feeling like either an introvert or an extrovert. I have always considered myself an introvert, not because I don't like interaction but because I need alone time to recharge my social battery. Extroverts, on the other hand, get their energy from being with others and feel that solitude can be depleting.

My partner, Beth, and I had just finished hosting an open mic at a local restaurant when the discussion arose afterward. I sang a funny song I had written about being an introvert, and afterward, an audience member wanted to know how an introvert can get up and perform in front of others.

That's when it hit me that I may have some ambivert qualities. I told him I feel like a "performing introvert" who loves to be behind the the mic but, afterward, wants to return to solitude to recharge.

That's one of the attributes of being an ambivert: enjoying time with others but also needing some alone time to reboot. Extroversion and introversion, like most things, are on a continuum, and we each have a bit of both.

Fostering those ambivert tendencies that Suzanne Degges-White outlines can help us all improve our performance, whether we're singing to an audience or leading our office team.

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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