The Power of ‘Thank You’; Using Social Media to Acknowledge Those Who’ve Helped You

Just taking that one brief moment to acknowledge the source—be it from an article, contact, or colleague—not only shows good etiquette, but helps us foster trust, strengthen our network relationships and invite others to participate in the conversations our content ignites.

Recently, one of my career coaching clients really embraced building her social media presence. To cultivate credibility with peers in her industry, she began writing articles offering insights and advice based on her experience and knowledge.

My first thought was, “Great way to pay it forward!” However, I could not help feeling that she had missed an important opportunity to recognize those who’d helped her along the way.

In social media, we all share opinions, facts, and advice. We absorb the information and make it our own. Content inspires us to take the idea further or use it as a launch pad to share our own opinions or insights. Sometimes, however, we forget to reference the original source and credit those who have inspired us.

Just taking that one brief moment to acknowledge the source—be it from an article, contact, or colleague—not only shows good etiquette, but helps us foster trust, strengthen our network relationships and invite others to participate in the conversations our content ignites.

With social media being an open forum, you have a terrific opportunity to publicly recognize, credit and thank those who help you. For the recipient, being appreciated reinforces that he or she is important and making a difference in your life. People remember and value small acts of generosity.

Here are three important sources to thank and acknowledge:

    • Those who provide you with facts. Social media content is filled with facts, figures, trends and insights. Reference these in your own posts by sharing or linking to the original article. Acknowledge idea originators in your post with the @ symbol before their social media handle, which will notify them that they received a mention.
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    • Those who provide ideas and inspiration. Next time you read something that gives you an “a-ha!” moment, before you publish your view, give the original author credit. “Recently, I read a post from Joanne Smith about an important topic.”
    • Those who help you in your career. When someone helps you in your career, thank them. Recognize them and their contribution. Show your appreciation by citing them in an article, tagging them in a post or sending them an instant message. Share what value they have brought to your life and celebrate their investment in you. Who’s helped you along the way? Did they offer advice? Inspire you to take a risk? Help you gain a new networking contact or inside track on an employer? Promote you to a target employer? Offer a strategy you adopted?

Just like my client, appreciate that none of us does it alone. Show your gratitude, and you will be astounded by the power of a positive feedback loop to forge stronger, more meaningful bonds.

About the author

Susan Baushke is an LHH career transition coach and President of the marketing and career development firm Marketing Sonar™. Susan leverages her Fortune 20 marketing background to build and promote individuals as unique brands. She is a Sherpa for her clients, helping them navigate ambiguity and propelling them along their career journey with confidence.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

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Dealing With Excess Manpower

There will be times that a company will experience an excess workforce. Also called a ‘labor surplus,’ this means the business has more available workers

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Why Work-from-Home Model Won’t Fix Toxic Workplace

After listening to a senior leader leading a virtual team, I started to realize that not only was his team not benefitting from remote work, but the whole experience of virtual collaboration may be amplifying the problems that existed when teams were being formed or transformed.

Alex Vincent, Ph.D., SVP, Global Executive Client Partner, LHH Tweet
At the outset of the pandemic, there was a strong expectation that the whole work-from-home phenomenon would provide a respite from all of the stresses that come with working in an office environment.
 
The early days of remote work appeared to live up to those expectations. Freed from the stress of things like the daily commute and office politics, working from home seemed like the perfect solution. Initially, productivity surged. And for those working in a truly toxic office environment, it was a chance to avoid bosses and colleagues who create the feeling that we’re constantly under attack.
 
And then, reality set in.
 
We quickly learned that many of our assumptions about the nirvana of remote work were simply unfounded. New, pandemic-based stresses replaced some of the old ones we associated with the office environment. The tools we were employing to stay connected created as many problems as they were able to solve.
 
And most importantly, we learned that remote work is not an antidote for toxic work culture.
 
That was certainly the realization one of my clients came to recently. In the middle of the pandemic, I got a call from a C-level leader who was concerned about the dynamics of a team of senior leaders he brought together just before workplaces were locked down. It was an impressive collection of executives, all of them boasting extensive technical knowledge and years of experience.
 
However, early on the leader started to realize there was a problem. Members of the team clearly did not trust each other. Open dialogue and collaboration were in short supply. Even though they were working remotely, there was omnipresent friction that started to drain the team of its strategic and problem-solving energies. Work was simply not getting done in the manner that moved the team forward.
 
What started out as a promising initiative to make the company more agile and productive quickly turned into an episode of Survivor, with small groups of allies breaking off into cabals that worked to undermine each other.
 
Listening to the leader and others, I started to realize that not only was his team not benefitting from remote work, but the whole experience of virtual collaboration may be amplifying the problems that existed when teams were being formed or transformed.
 
It all started to make sense. Many of our assumptions going into the pandemic have been largely undermined by the fact that the social and economic restrictions that prompted remote work have gone on much longer than anyone anticipated. As our virtual work experience became more the norm and not the exception, stress fractures began to appear.
 
As I started talking to more leaders, a few fundamental issues started to come into focus.
 
Toxicity had manifested in many teams in a number of ways: passive-aggressive or aggressive communication (either through emails/texts or in video meetings); frequent off-hours communication often to criticize or even undermine team members; toxic leaders who take all the credit for successes and absolve themselves of any role in a setback; cliques that seek to exclude certain members of the team from key conversations; a lack of balance from increased demands and expectations at work.
 
Many teams have also suffered from the fact that, despite the dramatic increase in the frequency of texts and emails between team members, there were far fewer “detoxifying moments” of interaction: casual conversations; social events; the opportunity to tell a joke or an amusing family anecdote.
 
Like a safety valve, these moments help to de-escalate conflicts that may be brewing. Unfortunately, even though we’ve tried to use things like Zoom happy hours to replicate these important contacts, it does not have the same beneficial effect.
 
I started to wonder how I was going to help the leaders that I work with.
 
Although there are solutions for team toxicity, they are much more difficult to deploy in a virtual environment. Ultimately, I began to modify some of the solutions I would recommend to teams who were able to meet in person. While some were easily amended, others required a significant shift in approach by the senior-most leaders who oversee team dynamics and performance.

1. Virtual Should Not Mean Less Contact

In a virtual world, one-on-one contact between the senior leader that oversees the team and its members is more important than ever. Leaders need to connect with key team members one-on-one to find out if there are any problems. And it has to be done at much higher frequency; the twice-a-year performance review just isn’t going to cut it in the Zoom era. You need to reach out for quality time with key team members at least bi-weekly, and the entire team at least once a month. Make social interactions part of team meetings; make it part of the agenda every time you have a virtual gathering.

2. Team Members Still Need To Know Who They Are Working With

It is essential to set aside time for team members to share some personal details so they get to know each other. Does anyone have kids and are they home-schooling? Do team members have spouses also working from home? Are some being asked to care for elderly parents? Do they have any particular health problems to deal with? These may seem like mundane details, but they help to humanize the team members. Sharing personal information builds trust, which leads to less interpersonal conflict and better overall performance.

3. Preach Independent Problem-Solving

You need to make it clear that the team must be chiefly responsible for problem-solving.  Senior team leaders can provide oversight and feedback, but it’s essential that your team can focus on finding its own solutions. A team that is constantly asking a senior leader to mediate disagreements or choose from a range of solutions is a dysfunctional team. Independent problem solving is the hallmark of a healthy team.

4. Problems Need To Be Fully Aired

Good teams do not hide from their setbacks or flaws. But to do that, they must be in a space (even a virtual space) where people can talk openly about problems without fear of reprisal from colleagues. Some of this can be accomplished in the one-on-one sessions mentioned above. But at some point, team leadership needs to create a safe environment for team members to speak openly about problems. Set aside time in every meeting specifically to discuss setbacks or mistakes and what could have been done better. A truly safe team environment is one where everyone can discuss each other’s mistakes without fear of recrimination or embarrassment.
It is important to note that in some instances, a team can only become better by removing one or two members, or even a team leader, who is particularly toxic. Overall, however, most teams do not require invasive procedures to go from dysfunctional to functional, or even good to great.

In this topsy-turvy world of work that we all find ourselves in, all that most teams need is a focused, methodical effort to build the healthy interpersonal relationships that are the foundation of all great teams.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

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employee retention and excess manpower
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Dealing With Excess Manpower

There will be times that a company will experience an excess workforce. Also called a ‘labor surplus,’ this means the business has more available workers

Read More »

Six Steps for Coping With Stress and Anxiety During a Pandemic

Here are six science-based tips to help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re finding yourself with increased levels of stress and anxiety in the past few weeks as the coronavirus has taken its hold on our world, then you’re not alone. Recent research suggests many people experienced moderate to severe psychological impacts during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China. This is a very normal response and one we can take some practical steps to manage effectively. It’s important that we do this for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, managing our stress levels has a significant and positive impact on our immune system and the World Health Organization has emphasized that boosting our immune system and taking adequate preventative care plays a crucial role in fighting the Coronavirus Improving our ability to cope with the situation will therefore also improve our overall well-being and the likelihood of fighting the virus. It’s also likely that this situation will continue and possibly worsen in the weeks to come; it’s important that we put strategies in place to deal with stress now so it doesn’t overwhelm us, and we can continue to be there for our families, our friends and our colleagues. Here are six science-based tips to help you maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Know how you’re feeling

The first step to dealing with heightened stress and anxiety is recognizing that you’re dealing with it in the first place. Stress can manifest itself in many ways including sadness, confusion, irritability, procrastination, physical tension and body pain, lack of energy and even problems sleeping. We all have a different response to stress, and it’s important to know ourselves and check in with ourselves physically and mentally on a daily basis to know how we’re feeling and to recognize the symptoms of stress. Skipping this step and ignoring how we are feeling impedes our ability to be able to manage our stress.

2. Making Sense

It’s tempting to try and dismiss our feelings especially at a time like this when we’re all trying to cope and stay strong for those around us. But the reality is that stress responses are our bodies’ way of protecting us, and early warning signs such as feeling angry or tired can be crucial indicators that we need to intervene before the stress becomes overwhelming. The human body has adapted over many centuries to be able to react and protect itself from external threats such as a global health pandemic, so it’s perfectly normal to experience a stress response at this time. Create a habit of making time for yourself every day to notice this in yourself and make sense of the situation in order to avoid overlooking your stress.

3. Small Changes, Big Impacts

The good news with dealing with the early signs of stress is that often small changes to our daily routine can often make a big difference. These daily rituals and routines will differ for everyone and will depend on your typical stress response. For example, if you typically experience stress in a physical way such as feeling tired or tense in your body you may decide to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual or take time for a relaxing bath.

4. Avoid The Common Thinking Traps

An important element to building these strategies it to recognize what you can control and release the need to control what you cannot. There are practical things we can all do in the current situation to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This includes good personal hygiene and practicing social distancing, but there is also a lot we have no control over. It sounds simple; but ruminating on these things won’t help. So take a moment to acknowledge those things, and then let them go. Try to be mindful of the many myths that are out there that may be misleading and stopping us from focusing on what is in our control. Avoid catastrophizing and blowing situations out of proportion; or the other common thinking trap which is where we predict a future state that is based on our biggest fears versus the facts of the situation.

5. One Small Step

Increasing our level of exercise can be one of the easiest and most effective ways of boosting our mental wellness and strengthen our immune system. While it may not be possible to get outside and go for a brisk walk, there are lots of routines we can do in our own homes to help get us moving. And, even better if you can have a family member or friend join you either in person or virtually.

6. The Human Connection

While we all practice social distancing, it’s important not to overlook the need for human connection at this time. A more useful way to think about it could be physical distancing so that we don’t neglect the need for social connection with our friends and family – as this is another important building block in combating stress. Checking in with others through a phone call or video chat can also serve a dual purpose as it could be that the other person may also be in need of a friendly human connection. 

Now more than ever, we must prioritize our individual health – and that includes our mental well-being. Leverage these six tips to recognize your feelings and maintain your overall mental health as we navigate COVID-19 together.

These tips are designed to be educational in nature and in no way a substitute for professional clinical support. If you notice that your signs are difficult to manage, please consider seeking professional help.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.

employee retention and excess manpower
transformation
admin

Dealing With Excess Manpower

There will be times that a company will experience an excess workforce. Also called a ‘labor surplus,’ this means the business has more available workers

Read More »

Uncertainty on Job Security

business transformation
business transformation

Any kind of job instability is nerve-wracking for anyone. The looming unknown feels more damaging to our health than losing the job itself.

The brain usually recognizes this kind of psychological setback as a threat; our fight-or-flight response is activated, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Muscles tighten, breath gets quicker, blood pressure rises, and heart rate gets faster.

Learn how you can cope with uncertainty through these steps.

Accept The Things You Cannot Control

In the grand scheme of things, nothing is certain in this world. The same goes for companies who undergo transformation. It may sound bleak, but every end is a new beginning.

Coming to terms with the expectations you have for your company and the career path you’ve chosen to take can help release the burden of living in fear. It may even help you become more resilient during challenging times.

Strategize With What You Currently Have

Perspective is the most important thing you can control when you’re in a situation you can’t control. Your company may be undergoing a panic-inducing business transformation, but it’s crucial to stay calm and level-headed even in this type of case.

Check current job listings to see what employers are looking for today. Explore your current skill set and sign up for workshops, short courses, or certification exams. Update your resume and polish up your portfolio with your best work.

Train Yourself To Fight Stress Signals

It’s one thing to tell yourself everything will be okay—it’s when you take care of the mind and body even when you’re stressed that makes it a different ball game.

Adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms will never do you any good. Let go of the victim mentality that workforce transformation is the reason why you’re miserable; instead, empower yourself by not letting the disruption define you. Keep working on yourself.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Most importantly, give yourself a break. Overthinking about drafting your back-up plan may eventually lead to rumination, prolonging stress, and ultimately damages the telomere: a crucial part of our DNA.

Find time to bring simple joys into your life even when you can’t help but be worried. Immerse yourself in hobbies you enjoy, or talk to your friends and loved ones over a nice meal.

Open yourself to better opportunities with the right coaching from LHH Philippines. Lee Hecht Harrison is a world-renowned human resource consulting company with over 50 years of experience, and more than 50,000 clients served here in the Philippines.

Curious? Shoot a message and discuss how we can help here.

LHH helps individuals in building better careers, better leaders and better businesses.