Dog-Gone It, People Like Me

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I spend a fair amount of my day breaking up spats between my children.  It typically starts over the possession of a toy and, before I know it, has escalated into hair pulling, pushing, and slapping.  My default punishment is separating them into their timeout zones.  But now, I have a new idea.

In a management session several months ago, our CEO had the team participate in an exercise.  He handed out a simple spreadsheet listing everyone’s name, “What I like best” and “What I admire most”.  We quietly groaned.  It’s very difficult to apply rose-colored glasses when you find yourself at odds with the same people everyday.  The following afternoon each manager received a report listing out all of the positive qualities others had identified.  It was nice to take home an affirmation sheet, but I realized that the exercise wasn’t meant to be an ego boost, it was about focusing on the value others offer.  This exercise allowed me to funnel out the negative and think only about the positive.

Did the affirmation exercise eliminate conflict within our organization?  Certainly not, but when conflict does arise, before I jump to negative thoughts, I remember the positive value points I listed about that person.  I’ve even adapted this exercise into my own team.

Instead of my punishment default maybe now I’ll offer an affirmation alternative.  Who knows, it could work!  I’ll let you know.

Have you participated in exercises that you believe is relevant?


Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.

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