A Discussion on Leadership and Work-Life Balance

Work life (work-life) balance concept.

USAMfgHour Twitter Chat Recap for March 5, 2020

This week, Jennifer Wegman of Service Caster Corporation (@SERVICECASTER) hosted a #USAMfgHour chat about leadership and work-life balance on behalf of Bill Garland (@BillGarlandSpkr), who had a last minute conflict and couldn’t appear live.

After brief introductions by participants, several of whom were new to the chat, we were off and running. The first item on Bill’s agenda was morning routines that prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. Not surprisingly, coffee was a popular response. Other responses included journaling, meditating, taking a walk, spending time with family or pets, and early workouts. @AxisNJ said, “I usually take a few minutes to plan the day ahead, and look forward with a positive attitude!,” which was a sentiment seconded by many of the respondents.

Bill’s second question asked participants what they like to do for fun outside of work that helps keep them going. Hiking, gardening, landscaping, exercising, traveling, crafting, woodworking, reading, writing, meditating, golfing and other sports, baking, kayaking, and photography were just some of the activities mentioned. @DuraTechUS added, “We have a wellness program here at DuraTech that helps employees find those healthy hobbies and activities, as well as life work balance.” When asked about the level of employee engagement, Duratech responded with, “It is really nice and we have a very high amount of engagement. We have a committee of employees that help plan a monthly calendar of wellness activities and an annual wellness fair.” [Who else wants a chat dedicated to employee wellness programs now?!]

Next, we talked about the demands of leadership and how challenges can arise at any moment. Bill asked participants how they keep their emotions in check in those moments. “Taking a breath” was the most popular response by far, preceded by pausing before responding and followed by walking away to pull yourself together if necessary. @SpecialTaps said, “Philosophically, I don’t believe there is any room for anger in the workplace. We are #WorkingTogether, and therefore are on the same team. Attack the issues, not each other.” And, @AxisNJ added, I’m pleased to say people around here keep cool heads. I think we all exhibit mutual respect and keep an understanding of circumstances in mind.” Others suggested assessing the situation before responding, adjusting your own attitude, having patience, and venting to a trusted colleague as potential options. However, @GroverPrecision emphasized the importance of communication in these situations. “Immediate communication saves confusion, which saves stress.”

At the halfway point of the chat, @SERVICECASTER added a mini question about what leadership means to the #USAMfgHour participants and got some great responses, including being a progressive part of team success (@torres_inklings), sharing ideas with others on the team (@FSCabinetDoors), building the team through communication (@CVTPlastics), leading by example (@SpecialTaps), and giving your all and but also relying on your excellent team to get the job done (@DCSCInc)

Our next question asked about mentors. Do participants have them? @BigelowBethany said, “I feel like many of you on here are my mentors. I’ve learned a lot from you all.,” which got a virtual standing ovation from other participants, who extolled the virtues of creating a supportive network through personal interaction, whether online or in person. While some participants have had mentors throughout their careers, several said that they’ve found that “seasonal” mentors often appear just when they need them. A few people mentioned that they also do what they can to give back by being mentors themselves.

Next on Bill’s agenda for the day: STRESS. How do participants manage their stress? Embracing self-care through time with family, exercising, volunteering, etc. was recommended for stress-busting, as well as short breaks, meditation, fresh air, listening to uplifting music, laughing, talking to colleagues, and petting office pets. Setting boundaries between work and personal time was popular, which included leaving the office at the office rather than taking it home with you.

So, what are our participant’s recommendations for achieving work-life balance?

@NesbitMarketing – Get enough rest.
@SpecialTaps – Spend time with the people who matter to you
@CVTPlastics – Prioritize what’s important and block out the time for those things and then fill in the rest as you go
@DuraTechUS – Just do it. Create it. Demand it in your life.
@SocialSMktg – Manage your goals by prioritizing tasks to help you reach them and spend a little time on each day on it
@FSCabinetDoors – Use your PTO because it’s there for a reason
@Torres_Inklings – Learn to say no to unimportant tasks
@PowerDrivesPDI – Set personal boundaries
@IEN_Now – Go home when your shift is over
@MezzGate – Find the outlet that works for you and use it everyday

To close, @SERVICECASTER shared a quote by Marissa Meyer, former Yahoo! CEO, that said burnout is about resentment and that you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful and then protecting it.

On March 12, 2020, Chris Giglio, the social media manager of Manufacturing Talk Radio (@MFGTalkRadio) will host a chat on brand development for manufacturing companies. We hope you can join us! In the meantime, go follow @BillGarlandSpkr on Twitter for more leadership tips.

The #USAMfgHour chat is founded by @DCSCInc @BIllGarlandSpkr @CVTPlastics @witzshared and @SERVICECASTER. Be sure to follow the official account for chat highlights, recaps, and information at @USAMfgHourChat and visit us on other platforms to keep in touch between chats.

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