Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge. Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, ...
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  1. Wise Leadership Defined
  2. Wise Leaders in Uncertain Times -The Process for Tough Decisions
  3. Uncertain Times, Wise Decisions
  4. Tough Times, Wise Decisions
  5. Great Leadership in Times of Crisis
  6. More Recent Articles

Wise Leadership Defined

Wise Leadership Defined

 

Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge.

Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process.

“Wisdom is not just about maximizing one’s own or someone else’s self-interest, but about balancing various self-interests with the interests of others and of other aspects of the context in which one lives, such as one’s city or country or environment or even God.” ~ Robert J. Sternberg, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Wise leadership is a combination of elements, including intelligence, self-awareness, acknowledgement of personal limitations, humility, patience, and emotional resilience. To put it in the simplest terms, wise leadership is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience and understanding, to make good decisions.

According to Sternberg, “leaders are much more likely to fail because they are unwise or unethical than because they lack knowledge of general intelligence.”

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. - Blaise Pascal

In Health, Wealth and Happiness,

Maynard

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)

San Francisco Bay Area

I coach emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture who produce results.

Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

Top 5 Clifton Strengths – Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Individualization 

VIA Character Strengths – Love of Learning, Social Intelligence, Bravery, Gratitude, Appreciation of Beauty&Excellence

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

      

Wise Leaders in Uncertain Times -The Process for Tough Decisions

The Process for Tough Decisions

 

Simple systems are extremely predictable and require few interactions or interventions. And while complicated systems have many moving parts, their operations are predictable; there are clear patterns. Complex systems may operate in patterned ways, but their interactions are continually changing.

Wise leaders continuously assess and adjust for new data, as well as all of the possible consequences of a change:

  1. Identify subject matter experts and resources. A wise leader relies on data, but also ensures that the right questions are being asked, to (and by) the right experts.
  2. Collect accurate, verifiable, and reliable information. Recognize interests, goals, and values to create context for the data.
  3. Evaluate and annotate findings. While you may be tempted to discard information that may be unreliable, incomplete, biased, etc., save the information with notations for future reference.
  4. Create time and space to reflect on the information. Examine it with your mind, gut, and heart, by asking yourself:
    • “What is socially just?”
    • “Who stands to benefit the most?”
    • “Who is most at risk?”
    • “How will this impact the future?”
    • “What are the impacts today?”
    • “What is the right thing to do, right now?”

Sometimes, taking more time before acting is the wisest thing to do. To be sure, action is important. But give yourself time to embrace the elements that make you wise, as well as the paradoxes:

  1. Recognize your limits, and ask for help when needed. Act with humility and courage.
  2. Acknowledge feelings, practice temperance in expression, and strengthen your emotional resilience.
  3. Allow time and space for others, as well as self. Be patient, forgiving, and show mercy.
  4. Practice compassion and fairness. View situations as they are, with a dispassionate, clear eye of human nature.
  5. Demonstrate your ability to cope with adversity: be brave, persistent, and act with integrity.
  6. Embrace ambiguity, practice gratitude, and cultivate hope that more shall be revealed.

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. - Blaise Pascal

In Health, Wealth and Happiness,

Maynard

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)

San Francisco Bay Area

I coach emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture who produce results.

Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

Top 5 Clifton Strengths – Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Individualization 

VIA Character Strengths – Love of Learning, Social Intelligence, Bravery, Gratitude, Appreciation of Beauty&Excellence

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

      

Uncertain Times, Wise Decisions

Tough Times, Wise Decisions

 

In a time when “flattening the curve” requires universal participation, when, how, and who to re-open requires tough, wise decisions. Wise business leadership is needed more than ever before.

There’s no shortage of talks, posts, or tweets on our need for wise, capable leaders who pursue the common good; who balance big-picture thinking with next-step management. But predicting outcomes becomes much more complex as systems and people interact in unexpected ways.

We need our leaders to do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. The real stand outs can navigate intrinsically complex circumstances, make smart decisions, and inspire others to do the same.

Two challenges commonly surface in complex circumstances: unintended consequences and difficulties in making sense of a situation. Unfortunately, many leaders tend to overestimate the amount of information they can process: humans have cognitive limits. More than ever, leaders need input from others to grasp complexities and determine how they affect other parts of the system.

A leader must be able to keep the big picture in clear view, while attending to all of the small executions that will lead to the right outcomes. They need wisdom.

Wise Leadership Defined

Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment, and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge.

Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process.

Wise leadership is a combination of elements, including intelligence, self-awareness, acknowledgement of personal limitations, humility, patience, and emotional resilience. To put it in the simplest terms, wise leadership is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience and understanding, to make good decisions.

Six Abilities

Professors Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi shared their research on the six abilities of wise leaders in the Harvard Business Review article, “The Big Idea: The Wise Leader.” They found that it isn’t just uncertainty that challenges leaders. It’s leading people to adhere to values and ethics with six essential abilities:

  1. Perceive the true nature of the reality and the underlying issues.
  2. Make decisions about what is good for the organization and society, and act on it; moral discernment.
  3. Enable symbiotic learning by providing opportunities to interact closely with—and between—others.
  4. Use applicable metaphors and stories so all can understand.
  5. Nurture wisdom in others by mentoring, apprenticeship, and distributed leadership.
  6. Embrace the paradoxes of life, refrain from either/or thinking, and cultivate a both/and mindset to bring people together and inspire them to take positive action.

The Process for Tough Decisions

Complex systems may operate in patterned ways, but their interactions are continually changing. Therefore, wise leaders continuously assess and adjust for new data, as well as all of the possible consequences of a change:

  1. Identify subject matter experts and resources. Rely on data, but ensure that the right questions are being asked, to (and by) the right experts.
  2. Collect accurate, verifiable, and reliable information. Recognize interests, goals, and values to create context for the data.
  3. Evaluate and annotate findings. Save all information with notations for future reference.
  4. Create time and space to reflect on the information. Examine it with your mind, gut, and heart, by asking yourself:
    • “What is socially just?”
    • “Who stands to benefit the most?”
    • “Who is most at risk?”
    • “How will this impact the future?”
    • “What are the impacts today?”
    • “What is the right thing to do, right now?”

Give yourself time to embrace the elements that make you wise, as well as the paradoxes:

  1. Recognize your limits, and ask for help when needed. Act with humility and courage.
  2. Acknowledge feelings, practice temperance in expression, and strengthen your emotional resilience.
  3. Allow time and space for others, as well as self. Be patient, forgiving, and show mercy.
  4. Practice compassion and fairness. View situations as they are, with a dispassionate, clear eye of human nature.
  5. Demonstrate your ability to cope with adversity: be brave, persistent, and act with integrity.
  6. Embrace ambiguity, practice gratitude, and cultivate hope that more shall be revealed.

The Wisdom of the Crowd

Research from Duke University indicates that their aggregate knowledge of subject matter experts will exceed the knowledge of any one individual expert. But there’s a caveat:

  1. Diversity: your subject matter experts should bring diverse perspectives. For example, one expert may focus on short-term goals, and the other on long-term goals.
  2. Process: your subject matter experts should not be influenced by others before sharing their findings.

When making decisions, you’ll also need to decide how much weight you give to their wisdom, as well as yours. In October 2019, Harvard Business Review author Laura Huang published an interesting article on the topic. According to Huang, it’s important to recognize two factors: what is the level of unknowability, and what is the context.

When there is just not enough information (when the level of unknowability is high), and, when there is not a proven model or schema (when there is not a map or context), you’ll need to use your inner wisdom.

In the February 2020 issue of Decision, researchers shared how averaging the wisdom of the inner crowd can boost accuracy of confidence judgments. Of course, navigating through a pandemic is new for most leaders. But, wise leaders are keen observers, have learned how to recognize patterns, and rely on mental models. They challenge themselves to make tough decisions and learn from the consequences.

Wise Leadership and Emodiversity

In the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers published their findings on emotions and wise reasoning. In the past, theories suggested that the downregulation of emotion may lead to better decision making. But new research finds that recognizing and balancing emotions stimulates insights, and better reasoning.

Emotional awareness is key. Knowing what you feel, and how often you experience the feeling, may be more effective than knowing why. If you aren’t already, keep a journal. Give yourself permission to write your thoughts and feelings for a minimum of five minutes, without any editing: no grammar, spelling, or content corrections. Allow yourself to go longer, if needed.

A journal will also allow you to track your inner crowd. As Dan Ciampa wrote in Harvard Business Review, “The More Senior Your Job Title, the More You Need to Keep a Journal” (July, 2017), learning what is important and what lessons should be learned happens after the fact. It allows for more meaningful, and productive, exploration of alternative solutions.

Balance Positive and Negative Emotions

Wise leaders understand that both positive and negative emotions work in the decision making process. Positive emotions open us; they expand our social, physical and cognitive resources. Negative emotions serve to limit our thoughts and behaviors; they help us to focus and act more decisively in times of stress or crisis. But an imbalance can sap our energy and lead to brain fog.

Research conducted by organizational psychologist Marcial Losada, PhD, along with psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, finds that a 3:1 positivity-to-negativity ratio is ideal for optimal functioning. Wise leaders track their ratio, and when needed, increase positive moments.

To reduce the impact of negative moments, practice mindfulness meditation; observe your thoughts without judgment. If you are getting caught up in negative thinking, try these tips suggested in Fredrickson’s book, Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive (Crown Archetype, 2009):

  1. Recognize and counter negative thinking habits (always/never, most/least, internal/external).
  2. Distract yourself from rumination.
  3. Limit your exposure to bad news streams.
  4. Avoid gossip and sarcasm, and increase positive feedback to others.
  5. Practice gratitude, and smile more.

Wise leadership envisions the best possible future for everyone. As Stephen S. Hall writes in Wisdom (Random House, 2010),

“In an age of reason, thought will seem like wisdom’s most esteemed companion. In an age of sentiment, emotion will seem like the wisest guide. But when human survival is paramount, social practicality and science are likelier to lead us through to better times.”

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)

San Francisco Bay Area

I coach emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture who produce results.

Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

Top 5 Clifton Strengths – Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Individualization 

VIA Character Strengths – Love of Learning, Social Intelligence, Bravery, Gratitude, Appreciation of Beauty&Excellence

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

      

Tough Times, Wise Decisions

 

Tough Times, Wise Decisions

In a time when “flattening the curve” requires universal participation, when, how, and who to re-open requires tough, wise decisions. Wise business leadership is needed more than ever before.

There’s no shortage of talks, posts, or tweets on our need for wise, capable leaders who pursue the common good; who balance big-picture thinking with next-step management. But predicting outcomes becomes much more complex as systems and people interact in unexpected ways.

We need our leaders to do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. The real stand outs can navigate intrinsically complex circumstances, make smart decisions, and inspire others to do the same.

Two challenges commonly surface in complex circumstances: unintended consequences and difficulties in making sense of a situation. Unfortunately, many leaders tend to overestimate the amount of information they can process: humans have cognitive limits. More than ever, leaders need input from others to grasp complexities and determine how they affect other parts of the system.

A leader must be able to keep the big picture in clear view, while attending to all of the small executions that will lead to the right outcomes. They need wisdom.

Wise Leadership Defined

Socrates believed that wisdom is a virtue, acquired by hard work: experience, error, intuition, detachment, and critical thinking; and that the truly wise recognize their own limits of knowledge.

Wisdom is also a paradox: based partly on knowledge, shaped by uncertainty; action and inaction; emotion and detachment. Wise leadership reconciles seeming contradictions as part of the process of wisdom, for wisdom is a process.

Wise leadership is a combination of elements, including intelligence, self-awareness, acknowledgement of personal limitations, humility, patience, and emotional resilience. To put it in the simplest terms, wise leadership is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience and understanding, to make good decisions.

Six Abilities

Professors Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi shared their research on the six abilities of wise leaders in the Harvard Business Review article, “The Big Idea: The Wise Leader.” They found that it isn’t just uncertainty that challenges leaders. It’s leading people to adhere to values and ethics with six essential abilities:

1.     Perceive the true nature of the reality and the underlying issues.

2.     Make decisions about what is good for the organization and society, and act on it; moral discernment.

3.     Enable symbiotic learning by providing opportunities to interact closely with—and between—others.

4.     Use applicable metaphors and stories so all can understand.

5.     Nurture wisdom in others by mentoring, apprenticeship, and distributed leadership.

6.     Embrace the paradoxes of life, refrain from either/or thinking, and cultivate a both/and mindset to bring people together and inspire them to take positive action.

The Process for Tough Decisions

Complex systems may operate in patterned ways, but their interactions are continually changing. Therefore, wise leaders continuously assess and adjust for new data, as well as all of the possible consequences of a change:

1.     Identify subject matter experts and resources. Rely on data, but ensure that the right questions are being asked, to (and by) the right experts.

2.     Collect accurate, verifiable, and reliable information. Recognize interests, goals, and values to create context for the data.

3.     Evaluate and annotate findings. Save all information with notations for future reference.

4.     Create time and space to reflect on the information. Examine it with your mind, gut, and heart, by asking yourself:

o   “What is socially just?”

o   “Who stands to benefit the most?”

o   “Who is most at risk?”

o   “How will this impact the future?”

o   “What are the impacts today?”

o   “What is the right thing to do, right now?”

 

Give yourself time to embrace the elements that make you wise, as well as the paradoxes:

1.     Recognize your limits, and ask for help when needed. Act with humility and courage.

2.     Acknowledge feelings, practice temperance in expression, and strengthen your emotional resilience.

3.     Allow time and space for others, as well as self. Be patient, forgiving, and show mercy.

4.     Practice compassion and fairness. View situations as they are, with a dispassionate, clear eye of human nature.

5.     Demonstrate your ability to cope with adversity: be brave, persistent, and act with integrity.

6.     Embrace ambiguity, practice gratitude, and cultivate hope that more shall be revealed.

The Wisdom of the Crowd

Research from Duke University indicates that their aggregate knowledge of subject matter experts will exceed the knowledge of any one individual expert. But there’s a caveat:

1.     Diversity: your subject matter experts should bring diverse perspectives. For example, one expert may focus on short-term goals, and the other on long-term goals.

2.     Process: your subject matter experts should not be influenced by others before sharing their findings.

When making decisions, you’ll also need to decide how much weight you give to their wisdom, as well as yours. In October 2019, Harvard Business Review author Laura Huang published an interesting article on the topic. According to Huang, it’s important to recognize two factors: what is the level of unknowability, and what is the context.

When there is just not enough information (when the level of unknowability is high), and, when there is not a proven model or schema (when there is not a map or context), you’ll need to use your inner wisdom.

In the February 2020 issue of Decision, researchers shared how averaging the wisdom of the inner crowd can boost accuracy of confidence judgments. Of course, navigating through a pandemic is new for most leaders. But, wise leaders are keen observers, have learned how to recognize patterns, and rely on mental models. They challenge themselves to make tough decisions and learn from the consequences.

Wise Leadership and Emodiversity

In the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers published their findings on emotions and wise reasoning. In the past, theories suggested that the downregulation of emotion may lead to better decision making. But new research finds that recognizing and balancing emotions stimulates insights, and better reasoning.

Emotional awareness is key. Knowing what you feel, and how often you experience the feeling, may be more effective than knowing why. If you aren’t already, keep a journal. Give yourself permission to write your thoughts and feelings for a minimum of five minutes, without any editing: no grammar, spelling, or content corrections. Allow yourself to go longer, if needed.

A journal will also allow you to track your inner crowd. As Dan Ciampa wrote in Harvard Business Review, “The More Senior Your Job Title, the More You Need to Keep a Journal” (July, 2017), learning what is important and what lessons should be learned happens after the fact. It allows for more meaningful, and productive, exploration of alternative solutions.

Balance Positive and Negative Emotions

Wise leaders understand that both positive and negative emotions work in the decision making process. Positive emotions open us; they expand our social, physical and cognitive resources. Negative emotions serve to limit our thoughts and behaviors; they help us to focus and act more decisively in times of stress or crisis. But an imbalance can sap our energy and lead to brain fog.

Research conducted by organizational psychologist Marcial Losada, PhD, along with psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, finds that a 3:1 positivity-to-negativity ratio is ideal for optimal functioning. Wise leaders track their ratio, and when needed, increase positive moments.

To reduce the impact of negative moments, practice mindfulness meditation; observe your thoughts without judgment. If you are getting caught up in negative thinking, try these tips suggested in Fredrickson’s book, Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive (Crown Archetype, 2009):

  1. Recognize and counter negative thinking habits (always/never, most/least, internal/external).
  2. Distract yourself from rumination.
  3. Limit your exposure to bad news streams.
  4. Avoid gossip and sarcasm, and increase positive feedback to others.
  5. Practice gratitude, and smile more.

 

Wise leadership envisions the best possible future for everyone. As Stephen S. Hall writes in Wisdom (Random House, 2010),

“In an age of reason, thought will seem like wisdom’s most esteemed companion. In an age of sentiment, emotion will seem like the wisest guide. But when human survival is paramount, social practicality and science are likelier to lead us through to better times.”

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)

San Francisco Bay Area

I coach emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture who produce results.

 

Our services:

Executive Coaching

Mindful Leadership

Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)

Attorney and Accountant Coaching

Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

Top 5 Clifton Strengths – Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Individualization 

VIA Character Strengths  Love of Learning, Social Intelligence, Bravery, Gratitude, Appreciation of Beauty&Excellence

For more information, please go to
http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

      

Great Leadership in Times of Crisis

Great Leadership in Times of Crisis

The men and women in charge of our organizations are now faced with unchartered challenges: leading their organization through a global pandemic. In this time of crisis, most leaders are doing their best to step up and inspire people to do their best. And they’re doing a great job.

One of the challenges is the evolving new normal. Rapidly changing guidelines, mandates, and infrastructure require continual monitoring and adjustments. Leaders are in a constant state of discovery, decision making, designing, and implementation. This requires resilience, collaboration, and great communication.

Those who are able to adapt quickly and wisely are best positioned to lead their organization, and in many cases, their entire nation, in novel ways. Great leadership in a time of crisis will see us through to the other side.

Business continuity management is more important than ever. Based on the conversations I’ve had with leaders, developing, refining, and implementing contingency plans is well underway. With careful attention to employee safety and preparedness, leaders can minimize risk, and in some cases, position themselves for post-crisis growth. Below are a few leadership best practices. Are you taking these steps?

Legal Obligations

First, and foremost, focus on employee safety. Review policies, and then identify actual practices. Ensure you have adequate communicable-illness plans and practices in place.

Credible Authorities and Resources

Depending on the size and reach of your organization, these may need to be local, regional, national, and global, and could include CDC, WHO, EUCDPC, Singapore and UK.

Contingency Plans

Identify a crisis management team with the authority and autonomy to work through bottlenecks. Identify cross-functional alternates in different scenarios to: stabilize supply chain, monitor and test financials, protect the workforce, engage customers, and coordinate communication.

  • Review your absence policies.
  • Empower and equip remote/telecommute work. Identify tasks that can be completed remotely, and who is capable of completing the tasks.
  • Determine measurable performance metrics
  • Identify data-security issues and resolutions.
  • Establish communication protocol.

Communications

Clear, factual, and reliable communication is vital. Test your process to verify communications will reach all employees, and that all employees are able to have questions answered.

Develop messaging for different scenarios to inform coworkers or third parties about increased risks or exposure, along with a current phone and email contact list by location for health reporting.

Designate and train person(s) to promptly notify local public health authorities about confirmed as well as suspected cases of the coronavirus.

Thoughtful, intentional, and honest communication is a vital strategy to navigate a fast-moving crisis. Avoiding or burying bad news serves no one in the long run. Transparency requires preparation for the “worse before better” reality.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are a great tool, even to have those difficult or controversial conversations. As a leader, all participants will look to you to set expectations and boundaries. Model the behavior you would like to see.

  • Prepare, practice, and test.
  • Whenever possible, meet via video, with an option of audio/dial-in for slower bandwidth. Consider having a virtual meeting assistant or facilitator.
  • Send an agenda before the meeting, with all needed materials and instructions. Be clear on the meeting objective, and monitor time and focus.
  • Allow for instruction and if needed, practice time. For any meeting lasting more than 50 minutes, build in breaks.
  • For smaller groups (<20) have all participants introduce themselves by name, role, geographic location (town/city) and surrounding (my home office). During the meeting, ask people by name to contribute. Use use polls and voting (raise your hand) to encourage engagement.
  • Just like your in-person meetings, allow adequate time for questions, and discussion on next-steps: deadlines, roles, and when to expect updates.

Manage Stress and Build Resilience

Building mental resilience requires intention and practice. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a great method to practice this. UMass Memorial Medical Center is just one organization who offers an 8-week online live course.

Guided meditation is also a great option, and there are many Apps available to help, including Insight Timer and UCLA Mindful.

Some Buddhist communities are also offering virtual, online “sits” to support others with their practice, and remind us of our human connectedness. Trike Daily, The Buddhist Review Tricycle.org, offers a great exercise for leaders: relax the problem solver.

Make Better Decisions

Threats to our well-being, uncertainties, and awareness of our lack of control elevate anxiety, stress, and lead us to make short-sighted decisions. Unwittingly, many of us feed uncertainty by consuming more negative news and rushing to action. Here are three techniques you can use to slow down:

  1. Calm your mind. Use a four second breathing technique. Slowly breathe in for four seconds. Hold your breath for four seconds. Slowly exhale for four seconds. Pause for four seconds. Repeat.
  2. Rest your eyes; if possible, gently gaze out a window. Give your mind space to unhook from screens, images, and headlines.
  3. Find new ways to connect with others. Meaningful connection begins with compassion. The practice of compassion starts by asking, “how can I help this person?” The great paradox is that by opening ourselves with this one question, we actually build mental resilience and manage stress.

Leaders who slow down, deliberate with data and reason, make better decisions. Take the time to read, verify, reflect, and check before making personal and business decisions. A qualified executive coach can help.

Mitigate Anxiety

While it’s important to be transparent in communications, be mindful that anxiety and fear are contagious.

  • Prepare yourself. Before you speak, write, or hit send, take a minute to center yourself. Pause, and breathe.
  • Imagine. What has been the experience of others? What are their challenges and needs? Acknowledge this in your message.
  • Validate. Share information that is credible. Be mindful and clear with your word choices. When you don’t know, say so.
  • Identify the next action step for you and your audience. This provides an opportunity to unite, contribute, and take action, all supportive to a sense of purpose, meaning, and control. Be prepared to answer questions through this process, and acknowledge feelings.

Be Present and Focus on the Now

To focus on the now, ask your team:

  • What do we want to accomplish?
  • What did we do yesterday that worked well?
  • What do we need to do today, based on any new information?
  • What do you need from me to accomplish this?

Plan for Later: Think Ahead

Leaders who are able to think ten steps ahead collaborate, partner, and foster innovative solutions.

Think of the wide range of innovators who recently mobilized to address the serious shortage of critical equipment needed to treat the coronavirus. Through online messaging platforms, they worked together to build innovative protective gear and ventilators. This form of crowdsource designing is the next level of modularity, diversification, and innovate solutions.

New business models will continue to emerge to address the challenges of prolonged social distancing (multiple world model, transformation economy), the need for sterile delivery (decentralized autonomous organizations) and the strain on our healthcare (crowd economy.)

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach
Trusted Leadership Advisor

Professional Certified Coach (PCC), International Coach Federation

Board Certified Coach (BCC)

San Francisco Bay Area

I coach emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders to cultivate trust and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture who produce results.

Our services:

  • Executive Coaching
  • Mindful Leadership
  • Neuroscience - Conversational Intelligence (CI-Q)
  • Attorney and Accountant Coaching
  • Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workshops

Top 5 Clifton Strengths – Maximizer, Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Individualization 

VIA Character Strengths – Love of Learning, Social Intelligence, Bravery, Gratitude, Appreciation of Beauty&Excellence

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252

      

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