As “The Workplace Therapist”, Brandon Smith wants every workplace to be more productive and less anxiety-ridden. On this week’s episode Brandon joined the CWK community for ‘Workplace Happiness 101’. He taught on how to eliminate workplace dysfunction, take control of your workplace happiness, and be the best leader you can!
Because we spend the majority of our time at work it’s important to have a job that makes you happy. Brandon boils workplace happiness down to 3 parts – the right job, the right culture, and the right boss (which is most important).
“The key to knowing if a job and boss are right for you is asking the right questions. In your next interview ask ‘Tell me about your favorite rock star team member?’ and ‘Tell me about the last time someone wasn’t a good fit for your team?’ If you’re ok with living up to their expectations it’ll be a good fit, if not, keep looking.”
In my 10 years of being a business owner, I’ve learned that as a leader you’re not always going to be liked. I was curious to get Brandon’s take on how to keep a positive rapport while balancing the hard decisions as a leader. He shared it’s most important to make your intentions clear. Though employees may not like your decision or your delivery, they are more likely to respect it knowing you have their best interest at heart.
As work goes “back to normal” it seems the sense of urgency to get things done has gone from zero to a hundred! Brandon’s “hot sauce principle” shared in his new book, ‘The Hot Sauce Principle: How to Live and Lead in a World Where Everything is Urgent All the Time’, is just the solution we need.
“Hot sauce is great for adding focus and flavor to a meal but if everything from the salad to the dessert had hot sauce on it the food wouldn’t be enjoyable. In life you have to manage how much urgency, or “hot sauce”, you’re allowing to be put on your plate and how much you’re putting on other’s plates.”
If you’re in a position where you have a ‘hot sauce culprit’ on your hands who pushes their urgent agenda on you, Brandon says set boundaries by explaining you don’t have the resources to meet their request.
“Use client management techniques in your relationships. You wouldn’t want to tell your client ‘no’, but you can explain that the request is outside of the scope of work promised. Allow them to help you reprioritize their requests or get you more resources.”
As we discussed in detail the best and worst kinds of leaders, Brandon shared a common thread he sees across the board with the latter – unclear or constantly changing priorities.
“In a survey I conducted, inconsistency was the most voted in describing the worst kind of leader to work with. That’s because you can’t manage inconsistency.”
He explained the way to beat the inconsistency is by driving clarity. “Be as clear as you can by sending them in writing a synopsis of the conversation and what you plan to do, so if there was any miscommunication it can be corrected early on.”
I could see this technique working for every and any relationship!
Clarity in business expectations should also include your company’s values.
Here’s Brandon’s company value breakdown:
One of my favorite questions to ask CWK guests is if they have coaches or mentors. So far I’ve been met with a resounding ‘Yes!’, and Brandon answered the same. He also broke down the difference between coaches and mentors and how we could use them to our advantage.
“A relationship with a coach is usually formal, for a set period of time, and under the constraints of a contract or program. A relationship with a mentor is usually informal, develops over years, covers topics beyond work, and led by the mentee.”
*Pro tip: Download my free giveaway ‘5 Ways to Supercharge Your LinkedIn’ for a top notch LinkedIn profile so your coach or mentor is equally as impressed with you as you are with them!
Homework: From now on, never send an email on the weekends!
Do you have a regular practice for updating your resume? I’m hosting a mini-training on resume building next week just in case you’re needing a refresher! After talking with Brandon about bad bosses and Selena about advocating for yourself I thought now would be a great time to dust off those resumes and make sure they’re in tip top shape in case an opportunity shows up unexpectedly! Invite a friend or two I promise it’ll be fun.