As a year comes to an end, there always seems to be a period of reflection. We ponder on the missed opportunities we could have capitalized on and experiences and habits that we wish to avoid (or pursue!) moving forward.  There’s a natural craving to hit the “reset” button and charter new frontiers.

We naturally prioritize setting our personal resolutions before we think about doing the same with others - but both are critical for success. Group resolutions can be equally as impactful, especially with a built-in accountability system. If you haven’t participated in team resolutions before, here are four examples of good places to start to get your team ready for 2019 and beyond.

Be present and respectful

We’re all guilty of showing up to meetings a few minutes late, or even feeling distracted because we have some important project or one of our areas of responsibility is on fire and we are itching to get out of that “pointless” meeting. There are a few opportunities here.

The first is to show up on time, be fully present and leave an impact by engaging in the discussion. When you leave another person or a group of people waiting, it can seem that you value your time more than theirs. No multi-tasking, especially checking your phone or furiously typing away on email. If you want an efficient meeting, then stick to the agenda at-hand and reel in the focus of the group when needed.

The second is to speak up when you feel as though you should not be included in the meeting. Explain to the organizer that this meeting will not be a good use of your team’s time, but be sure to back it up with legitimate reasons. We shouldn’t get into a habit of skipping the challenging meetings.

Showcase empathy and understanding

Mistakes are bound to happen. People and processes are going to change. Distractions are going to appear. It's up to us to choose how we respond to shortcomings. Flex those emotional intelligence muscles and make an effort to be more understanding of each other. Look at mistakes as learning opportunities to first seek understanding before placing unnecessary blame that will only heighten emotions in the room. This will allow your team to see other people’s perspectives, understand the blockers that existed and why decisions were made, as well as prevent them from happening again.

Be open with communication

It’s pretty standard to see our colleagues frequently. We may even have small talk or email consistently… but do we actually communicate well consistently? Depending on what structure your organization has, there could be a lot of barking orders coming down the chain rather than discussions - no dialogue, no exchange of ideas. If so, leave more questions open-ended so the other person’s thoughts and feelings can be heard.

It is equally important to keep the way we deliver and receive feedback as neutral as possible. Hearing the news that our performance was subpar can be pretty hard to swallow. However, if you’re delivering the tough news or reality check, the most useful thing you can do is be honest, explain compassionately and offer constructive criticism. Key takeaways leave room for growth, rather than leaving the interaction in an awkward state where feelings can be hurt.

Root for Wellness

Don’t be afraid to celebrate your peers and wish the best for them. We should all want vitality for those around us. The more balanced our team,  the more productive that we will likely be. If you’re a natural leader, be a maven and guide less experienced colleagues towards positive wellness outlets. Invite them to a class with you, share some healthy recipes with each other or even start a group discussion around a wellness topic in the workplace.

If you’re on a team, you all win together and lose together. So root for those that are around you. After all, we are the average of the people that we spend the most time with, and, usually, that is our work fam. Make it a point to set some useful resolutions and stick with them. It can go a long way towards a brighter year!

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