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2021 Wrap Up Series, Part 4 | Investing in Yourself for a Better 2022


Welcome to the last part of our 2021 Wrap Up Series. We designed this series to help you start 2022 off by starting your transformation from an overwhelmed, stressed-out supervisor into a confident, empowered, and authentic leader. If you’ve been following along as we’ve gone, thanks for taking this journey with us. If you missed any of the first parts of this series, you can watch them all at https://www.strengthsuniversity.org/2021wrapup


Let’s quickly recap everything we covered. First, if you’re struggling trying to juggle your role as supervisor and that giant pile of work on your desk, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you. It’s because you haven’t gotten the training and support you needed. Most of us started out supervising with nothing more than a pat on the back and the codes to the copier. From there you tried using the skills, the subconscious programs you’d developed over the years to piece together a system that would give you success. You probably also asked other people for their advice - your supervisor, HR, trusted colleagues, etc. The problem is, most of those systems and sources weren’t based on effective practices. That means everyday you’re doing things on automatic pilot that aren’t getting you where you want to go. In fact, they may very well be taking away from success.


If you’re struggling at work, your conscious mind might know there’s a problem and even started looking for solutions. The problem is we’ve been taught that we can find the answers in books, podcasts, more training, etc. And while that’s an important start, our conscious mind is only in charge of our thoughts, feelings, and actions 1-5% of the time. Learning the information doesn’t bring change. In fact, it can make you feel worse about yourself. After all, if you know what you’re supposed to do but keep doing what you’ve always done, then there’s something wrong with you, right?


Wrong. The problem is not only did you not get the right supervisor training; you also haven’t been taught how to work with your brain to make meaningful changes. Our subconscious mind is a powerful tool that was designed to conserve our energy and help us survive. It does that by automating the things it believes will help us stay alive. The subconscious mind controls your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors 95-99% of the time. The problem is most of the programs you have aren’t aligned with your current goals. When you’re not where you want to be in life, it’s because your systems need an upgrade, including the ones you have for your unique talents.


In order to get this upgrade, you need to first identify what isn’t working. That includes doing the energy log we talked about in the first part of the series; assessing your systems which we discussed in part two; and understanding how your talents are helping you be productive and getting in your way. All of this involves becoming conscious of what your subconscious is doing that 90-95% of the time. Then your conscious mind can decide what’s working for you and what isn’t, both with your supervisor role and really any other aspect of your life.

When you add the right training to this awareness, you get the information you’ve been lacking so you can upgrade your systems in a way that has been proven effective. Like we talked about in the third part of the series, a weakness is defined as “a shortage or misapplication of talent, skill, or knowledge that causes problems for you or others.” You need a training that’s going to give you the knowledge and then the skills you need to be an effective supervisor.


Even more so, you need a training that’s going to help you learn how to maximize your talents, so when you implement what you’re learning it’s going to be a system that works for you. The more you invest in your talents, the more often they’re going to show up as strengths. This is what will transform you into an authentic leader. And that means you’ll stop worrying about doing things right, and focus on doing the right things, to paraphrase Warren Bennis.


In a nutshell, by getting the right supervisor training, you’ll be able to implement new, effective systems that focus on doing the things that more quickly get you to your goals. That includes aligning those systems with both your talents and your goals. It also includes cutting out all of those things you do that aren’t helping you succeed. That’s how you do less work and achieve more. It also makes you feel more confident and empowered. That means when your supervisor, the administration, or even students suggest/demand another program or initiative, you’ll be able to better advocate for yourself and your team.


My question for you is, do you want 2022 to be better than 2021? By that I mean, do you want to feel less overwhelmed and stressed? Do you want to be able to focus your energy on the things that matter most, instead of putting out fires? Do you want you and your team to be more productive while at the same time having balance in your lives?


If you said yes to any or all of those things, then you need to take the first step towards supervising differently. We’ve been talking a lot about getting the right training, so it would be pretty awful of me to just stop here and wish you luck finding one. Alicia and I were so frustrated with our own supervisor experience, we wanted to develop exactly that type of training. We’ve been working for the past three years to get all those elements in place. The result of all of our research and labor is the Supervisor Strengths Institute.


The Supervisor Strengths Institute is an 8-week program that combines online asynchronous learning, with both group and individual success and accountability coaching. You’ll also get a code to take the CliftonStrengths talent assessment and get the CliftonStrengths Report for Managers. That’s the only report that gives you your top 10 talent themes.


We start off the Institute on Tuesday, January 11, at 2PM with our first group success and accountability call. You’ll get to meet us and everyone in the cohort. We’ll also give an overview of the program, and discuss how you can get the most out of your experience. Then each week you’ll work through an online module at your own pace. It includes homework and self-reflection prompts that both help you make the subconscious conscious, as Jung so brilliantly stated. This will also help you connect what you’re learning to your talents. You get access to these online modules for a full year, so you can go back and review anything you might have missed or just need a refresher on.


Then each Tuesday, we’ll have another group success and accountability calls to review the week’s content. It’s an opportunity to ask any questions and to share both success stories and areas of frustration. It’s also a great prompt to ensure you’re keeping up with the curriculum. We know how many distractions you deal with on a daily basis, so we wanted a little positive peer pressure to keep you on course. All of our group calls for the spring institute will be on Tuesdays at 2PM (CST), but don’t worry. We record them each week, so if something comes up you can watch them later. We also added a private Facebook group to help the cohort connect and ask questions throughout the week.


We also know that you may not want to talk about everything in front of the group, so we’ve included three individual success and accountability calls. You get one 30-minute session for the first four weeks of the program, one for the second four weeks of the program, and then one to use after the end of the program. You can use these calls to go into more depth about your specific issues, ask questions, and make sure you’re working to implement what you’re learning.


We wanted to make sure you have all the support you need to not just learn better ways to supervise, but to develop those new systems that are going to allow you transform yourself and your team.


We only do this workshop three times a year – once a semester and during the summer, and we’re enrolling now for our spring session that starts on January 11th. We already talked about how busy you are, and maybe you’re thinking as great as this sounds it’s just not the time. We know you’re busy, that’s why this is so important. Going back to that quote from Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Being as busy as you are isn’t just how it is right now, it’s because your systems and talents aren’t aligned with your goals. And I just want to add, including your goals to be less stressed, have more balance in your life, and feel like you’re the confident, empowered leader you really are.


If you want things to be different, you need to do something. Yes, it would be great if circumstances would suddenly change, but how likely is that to happen? The pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going away quietly, enrollment isn’t going to suddenly increase, your supervisors and administrators probably aren’t going to suddenly say, “You know what? We’re asking to much of our folks, let’s hire some more people and start cutting some of their workload.” That means it’s up to you. And since we only offer this three times a year, can you afford another semester like the ones you had in 2021?

Okay, so you’re probably wondering how much all of this is. We wanted to make this affordable for everyone, even if your institution won’t cover the cost. Hopefully that’s not the case, but we know how professional development budgets are usually the first to go. If you break out the cost of each of these elements: the 8-week online curriculum, the group coaching calls, the individual coaching calls, and the CliftonStrengths Report for Managers, it would have a value of over $2,500. But we’re offering it to you for just $795. And if you register by Friday, December 24th, you can get a discount of $200. That means you can get everything we just talked about for only $595, but only if you sign up by midnight on Friday, December 24th.


We wanted to make sure we were giving you a great value, but you might still be thinking that’s out of reach given your professional development budget – even with the $200 discount. We definitely understand how that feels. Honestly, before I stopped working on campus, I thought about my professional development in the same way. What was my budget, and how much is what I wanted to do? After I left, I realized that if I wanted to do get coaching or do a training, it was all on me. I was my professional development budget. That’s when I pivoted and realized I had been letting someone else control my development. I started to think less about the cost and more about the value I was getting. We talked about how supervisors who don’t have effective systems in place lose a full day of personal productivity. What would you give to get 52 extra days each year? What are you already paying in overtime you’re not being compensated for? What’s the cost of being so stressed and overwhelmed all the time?


Now that being said, I worked on campus long enough to know that even though your budget may not have anything in it, that doesn’t mean there’s no money. I knew if there was something I wanted to do, I would ask my supervisor and even HR if they could finance it. More often than not, when I made a compelling case about how that opportunity was going to benefit the institution, I got the money I requested. I say all this because I’m tired of so many of you feeling the way you feel and working as hard as you do without the support you need. I don’t want there to be any barriers between you and your growth as a leader.

If you need specifics to bring to your supervisor or anyone else, you can get details on our website here - https://www.strengthsuniversity.org/supervisorstrengthsinstitute. I’ll just add that if you want to register and your institution needs an invoice instead of just a doing a reimbursement, we’re happy to do that for you. Just email me at anne@strengthsuniversity.org and we’ll get you registered now so you take advantage of the discount and possibly the bonus I’m going to mention next...


I know it’s right before you leave for the holidays and you’re probably busy getting things finalized before you’re off for a well-deserved break. Just to prompt you into action so you don’t forget to register by Friday and take advantage of that $200 savings, if you register by Monday at midnight, that’s Monday, December 20th, you’ll get a bonus individual coaching session. Instead of three 30-minute coaching sessions, you’ll get four! You can use that extra one during or after the 8-week program to help move towards your transformation even faster. Here’s the link to register - https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eiqz4m7524943bb9&oseq=&c=&ch=


Thank you so much for being part of our 2021 Wrap Up series. We hope you learned a lot about yourself, your brain, your talents, how to start tracking your energy, how to assess your systems, and more. But don’t forget that just learning that information isn’t going to bring the change you want, so we hope you’ll join us in January. If you have any questions about the institute or anything we covered in this series, please don’t hesitate to contact us at anne@strengthsuniversity.org.


And until next year, stay strong.

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