Sweltering August days and barely cooler August nights are the ideal time to slow things down. It’s been another intense and exhausting year for communicators and the last five months of 2022 are bound to bring a fresh set of challenges. Before gearing up for fall, use these last weeks of August to self-reflect.
What’s your focus for the second half of this year? Where do you want to be at this time next year? Those big plans, goals and benchmarks you’re planning in September and October will benefit from your own review of what’s been working, and where improvements can be made. Tweak what you can now so you end the year on a high!
Try identifying the ABCs with your team:
- Achievements: What have you done this year that hit or exceeded your KPIs? What are you most proud of?
- Blessings: What are the things, people or situations in your life and workplace that you are grateful for?
- Commitments: What will you commit to for the second half that will get you to success for 2022?
High, Low, Weirdo is another reflective exercise we find valuable, especially in a team setting. Each person gets a piece of paper where they’ll illustrate three moments with a simple drawing (no need to be an artist here!). Then they each take a turn to share their high point of the year so far, the low point and the “weirdo” point.
No surprise, the weirdo point can be so insightful! It’s the surprising “whoa,” the random fact or thing that happened to bring on something good in an unexpected way. It usually sets off a productive conversation around how to get creative and bring more positive momentum into planning for the future.
Another easy-to-execute idea is to organize a Gratitude & Goals team meeting. This is a meeting where every team member has the opportunity to look their colleagues in the eyes, tell them what they appreciate about them, and give examples about how they have had a positive impact on their work this year. After they’ve gone around the room expressing gratitude, it’s time to brainstorm one thing that each team member can do to help achieve team goals and create success for the rest of the year.
What’s important is to use the August slowdown as a chance to pause and take an honest look at where you are today. The challenges, the opportunities, the progress, and the silver linings, too! Doing so will provide the perspective you need to design your “future” seat at the table in a way that works for you and your unique leadership style.
In the coming months, I will be writing about how to level up your leadership skills and refine what’s next for your career journey. But for now, keep that open dialogue with yourself and your teams as you take a breath before tackling the second half of the year. The best is yet to come. Enjoy!
Mary Olson-Menzel is the founder and CEO of MVP Executive Development and co-founder of Spark Insight Coaching.