EP 52: Starting 2022 in the Best Way Possible with Laura Eigel

Starting 2022 in the Best Way Possible

As we approach 2022, it is important to elevate ourselves, take some time to reflect, and celebrate all of the amazing things we did this year. This will allow us to finish the year off strong and will bring us momentum, intention, and focus into the New Year. In this episode, Laura Eigel, Founder of The Catch Group, will be sharing her best advice to ensure you start this year off in the best way possible, both in your organization and in your life.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • How to pause and reflect on the year that we’ve had. (4:30)
  • How to have efficient and helpful year-end discussions with staff. (5:30)
  • The importance of celebrating our successes. (12:33)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals:

  • Don’t get stuck on processes. Instead, focus on connecting with your staff. (22:30)

Actionable Takeaway for Executives:

  • Approach self-reflection authentically. (21:45)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“Think about {year-end discussions} intentionally… spend some time reminding yourself of where you’ve made progress.” - Laura Eigel Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to the talent optimization podcast today we are chatting about starting.

Traci Scherck: 2022 in the best way possible and with That being said, we are so excited that we are on December 30 we are at the end of this year, and I want to celebrate it along with.

Traci Scherck: Ensuring that we step into this new year in the best possible way with our staff so with me today is Laura Eigle and Laura is with us from the cash group and we are going to chat about all things celebrating endings starting beginnings and driving through clouds so.

Traci Scherck: The show Thank you so much for having me, I cannot wait to dig into this topic it’s so it’s just such an important one.

Traci Scherck: I know so i’m going to start with driving through clouds and then we’ll back into you know really great and things and how to start really great, even if the ending wasn’t a great process right so with That being said.

Traci Scherck: As I shared with you, before we started chatting this morning Laura I drove home from we have a cabin about five and a half hours away and I drove home from there this morning and I drove through a cloud for about three and a half hours.

Traci Scherck: You know just total soupy.

Traci Scherck: um you know you can only see like two taillights in front of you, if that and when they don’t have their lights on, you come up on them and then the sonar catches you and slows you down and i’m like.

Traci Scherck: This kind of happens this way and business from time to time, where we get so you know focus with blinders on and just seeing.

Traci Scherck: Non what’s what’s in front of us, because we can’t even see that and then my Internet wasn’t working either, so I had no podcasts know using some of that stuff so it was like.

Traci Scherck: huh all the sensory things had gone so when we think about that I think it’s such a great analogy for.

Traci Scherck: In business how, when we don’t have all the things around us and taking that time to really.

Traci Scherck: Go inside and focus on what is that thing that we’re looking to create so with that analogy, and I know we chatted a little bit about what that analogy is i’m.

Traci Scherck: Closing out the year opening ourselves wide open with those conversations with our staff for the next year looks like and I can’t wait to hear your insights on us.

Laura Eigel: yeah I love that analogy so driving through a haze of fog the clouds like.

Laura Eigel: that’s kind of how this end of the year feels like you’re just like.

Laura Eigel: we’re trying to close out the year strong and me, you might be ending your fiscal year you might be in the middle of your fiscal year but.

Laura Eigel: You are racing towards the holiday season, the New Year, but very often times we’re in this very short term very isolated spot where you can’t you don’t see out.

Laura Eigel: Right, so I love that you that you use that as the analogy to start us off today, because often times as we’re closing out the year, we have a very kind of myopic view.

Laura Eigel: A very short term and lens to kind of finish it up let’s let’s get to our destination, but our world kind of feels smaller and what I hope that we talked about today is.

Laura Eigel: let’s take a minute let’s pause let’s reflect and let’s let’s open up let’s let’s try and get out of the cloud right let’s try and see through the fog.

Laura Eigel: i’ll give you a couple of tools, hopefully to do that today.

Laura Eigel: But that’s really what we’re we’re trying to do we have to elevate ourselves reflect back celebrate and remember all of the amazing things that we did this year, because this year was a long one, I think we’re still in this like covid timewarp.

Traci Scherck: Right like what what will happen this year yeah like what.

Laura Eigel: What was this year, what was 2020 What was it feels like it was 10 years ago so so yeah so let’s elevate out of the fog.

Laura Eigel: And i’d love to chat about a couple of ways that we can do that to pause to reflect on the year that we have had.

Laura Eigel: And then we can do that in a couple of ways, personally, and then also as leaders for ourselves, and then for our teams and usually that happens within like year and conversations right.

Laura Eigel: Within our performance management processes so let’s talk about that a bit and then also i’d love to after we talk about closing out the year strong, how do we talk about setting ourselves up for success in 2022.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and I think some of this is, you can drive through the fog right.

Traci Scherck: And that’s through those conversations and sometimes it’s sitting the fog out and waiting for it to lift.

Traci Scherck: mom you know so with that.

Traci Scherck: We have on our podcast and last couple of weeks talked a lot about how do we reflect on our Year, what does that look like and i’m really curious, for your take on those year end conversations, what do those look like.

Laura Eigel: yeah and you know I think there’s the way they can look in what they generally look like.

Traci Scherck: Right true story.

Laura Eigel: yeah true story which, which again if we’re in this fog sometimes these conversations don’t go as planned, because we don’t have a lot of time we’re not intentionally planning for them.

Laura Eigel: Right and so as leaders i’d love for us to like think about this intentionally setting up your first setting up your own.

Laura Eigel: Your own self for success what what was this year, like you know.

Laura Eigel: spend some time to really brainstorm actually look at your calendar like remind yourself what you did if you had a mid year process, you might not have even looked back since mid year like what where have I you know made progress since then.

Laura Eigel: And so we want to take some initial time for self reflection.

Laura Eigel: And I think that’s really in preparation for your own one on one so first and foremost, and as a leader in an organization look at your own performance.

Laura Eigel: So what are the what are ways that you can do that and set some time out and literally just list out some of your bullets right like what were what am I proudest moments, and what what.

Laura Eigel: Are those big things that I I set out to do in terms of my goals, did I meet them and what things that I learned along the way.

Laura Eigel: And, and as we are prepping for those do it, you know, in a in a brain dump and then let’s try to get it into.

Laura Eigel: bite size kind of highlight format that really showcases and it almost like an executive summary so that you can really communicate that in a succinct way.

Laura Eigel: And this is where I see some of these conversations fall flat these year and conversations, because you go in with this novel right it’s like.

Laura Eigel: I listed out all of the things that I did right but um but it’s really hard, then, to have a meaningful conversation with your manager.

Laura Eigel: And if they can’t decipher and you can’t concisely talk about what your big highlights were so once you’re able to do your brain dump prioritize and really focus on outcome first right, so what I what I also see.

Laura Eigel: A mistake is you know they somebody might write a lot of bullets about how they did something like they had three meetings to get to the strategic plan right.

Laura Eigel: And that’s true you did that, but I read more about the outcome, like what was your strategic plan, what right those powerful words right that, like I did.

Traci Scherck: That that difference between the output in the outcome right.

Traci Scherck: And so, for our listeners you’ve heard us talk about this in probably every other episode of the podcast and.

Traci Scherck: You know the outputs you need to get to what the outcome is.

Traci Scherck: But that outcome is really what we’re looking for, and you know as our listeners have heard me say probably 1000 times what are those business strategies that you’re looking to.

Traci Scherck: Create and then what is that business outcome, and one of those key things is when we get to the end of the year.

Traci Scherck: is going back to what did we say at the beginning of the year or the beginning of the quarter that we set our outcomes for.

Traci Scherck: And if we did hit them or I love what you said, which was you know, maybe those what we learn because here’s the deal if we didn’t hit an outcome we learned something along the way.

Traci Scherck: And we need to be able to take those learnings into the bite sized pieces that you talked about so that the entire team can learn from those learnings so we don’t make those same mistakes again because mistakes are launch pads into our future.

Laura Eigel: Success yeah and I love that idea of talking about learnings to to do things differently in the future and that goes into the second thing The second mistake that I see people make.

Laura Eigel: And they don’t talk about how they grew.

Laura Eigel: Right.

Laura Eigel: So loosely, so this is where you know you’re highlighting your personal growth your leadership, growth, you might have had an objective or goal to say Oh, you know i’m working on xyz for my.

Laura Eigel: For my professional development or executive presence, you know or.

Laura Eigel: and communicating more succinctly to business partners, whatever that might be, but this is the stuff and I think this is the gold really in this idea of self awareness around.

Laura Eigel: Especially these milestones that we did not hit or these milestones that we hit out of the park, what was the differentiating factor of your leadership.

Laura Eigel: And or what was the differentiating factor of your authentic style and what I love for people to do is to think through what you know what is their style, how do they come across what are their.

Laura Eigel: You know their hip pocket skills that they’re known for as I talk and coach to coach other leaders.

Laura Eigel: And the language they use is values, and so, what are your values How does that show, through your authentic leadership So for me, you know i’m a developer.

Laura Eigel: And I love growing people, and so, if i’m learning through the process or i’m coaching other people through the process.

Laura Eigel: That might be something that I highlight hey we we missed the mark here, but the team grew in their capability in this in this aspect or in this aspect, or I grew as a coach.

Laura Eigel: Because we work through you know these things that didn’t work out so we had to.

Laura Eigel: pivot right and so i’m talking about that, but also being able to talk about it in the way that is authentic to you is another key differentiator that you can put into some of these conversations, but how did you grow, how did your leadership, so differently.

Traci Scherck: yeah and one of the things I love about this is it’s it truly is a team conversation, because what happens is.

Traci Scherck: Not one person can do it all alone every single one of us has strengths and every single one of us has spots that are blind spots To us it doesn’t mean spend all your time on the blind spots right.

Traci Scherck: What it does mean is get a team together, where everyone can play to their strengths, because.

Traci Scherck: You know your weaknesses are my strengths and my weaknesses are your strengths and that way we can really elevate those things together.

Traci Scherck: And so you know these year end conversations it’s I look at it almost as three tiers and I think you do as well from the conversations we’ve had.

Traci Scherck: But we have, we need to do the individual reflection, because that also opens ourselves up to be to be able to receive from others right, and then we have the one on one conversations with individuals on our team.

Traci Scherck: And then the third and I almost put the third second right is that team conversation.

Traci Scherck: And literally saying around you know hey what is it that you appreciated about it, other of reaching these outcomes this year.

Traci Scherck: And as a team How did we miss on this outcome, and what do we need, then, it opens the brainstorm because sometimes we can’t see where some of those geniuses are within ourself that someone else.

Laura Eigel: yeah and I love that you just talked about this idea of team conversation and reflection so absolutely start at as a leader of your team start with yourself for sure.

Laura Eigel: And then communicate those things to your team, but then also have that broader team communication and the last thing I would say here that people miss the mark on in general is just celebrating successes.

Laura Eigel: We were in that cloud right or in that fog and often we do not.

Laura Eigel: When we finally get out of it we’re just moving on to the next thing we are not celebrating anything we’re not pausing or not reflecting.

Laura Eigel: And then pause for celebration, but then like you said also pause for learning, we know that as HR professionals, if you actually debrief a critical experience.

Laura Eigel: you’re you’re going that’s where you’re learning comes from right it’s not just about on the job experience but is about that debrief like what did we learn, and what are we taking with us.

Traci Scherck: mm hmm.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely yeah and so i’m sitting here laughing a little bit so we.

Traci Scherck: We always bring another third party to we call it a one on one talent strategy session but we bring in a third party and we do this for clients as well.

Traci Scherck: And one of those key things that came out of ours is we’re not celebrating success and so.

Traci Scherck: i’m You know, as I reflect that back and we chat as a team about it, and I said how do, how do we want to celebrate success everyone’s like I don’t know I don’t know like the shoulders go up and down I don’t know.

Traci Scherck: So you know in our.

Traci Scherck: In our team meeting that we have every week, you know we’ve got you know what is the success that we want to celebrate, so what were those wins this week, and how are we celebrating or so like I don’t know.

Laura Eigel: yeah it’s hard it’s hard to do it remotely to I.

Laura Eigel: found right.

Laura Eigel: And sometimes even just like you said, giving the team space to reflect on the wins is in and of itself a celebration right.

Traci Scherck: yeah and that’s essentially where we’ve landed it’s like what we just talked about it, like, I feel good that like we can share that now i’m like so so does this feed it yeah I think so all right great.

Laura Eigel: yeah it does and sometimes that’s all it is sometimes it’s a personal note.

Laura Eigel: To someone telling you the impact that it made on you personally.

Laura Eigel: And sometimes it, you know you can always do the gift card or the send somebody flowers are the those kinds of things, but oftentimes it’s that it’s the the it’s the gift of time and individual attention that people are really just craving.

Traci Scherck: For sure for sure.

Laura Eigel: But, but to your point this idea of holding space even weekly is wonderful I love that you’re doing that and it sets the precedent.

Laura Eigel: And the other thing that it does is basically reinforcing the behavior of whoa These are the things that are important to us, and these are the ways that.

Laura Eigel: You know you’re not highlighting the outcome you’re probably also highlighting the how you got there and so you’re you’re basically.

Laura Eigel: Giving positive reinforcement to the team on a habitual basis which is exciting for morale but it’s also pointing them towards Okay, as we move up move in 2022 These are the kinds of things that we all feel our wins.

Traci Scherck: Collectively yeah absolutely and so as we shift into this, you know let’s kick off and amazing your conversation, whether it is as a team, individually or one on one.

Traci Scherck: What are some of those key takeaways that are really important to ensuring one individuals understand what the vision is they understand the outcomes, so that we’re all aligned and marching towards that same wall.

Laura Eigel: yeah I think this idea of understanding strategic direction and what we’re doing this year is imperative.

Laura Eigel: So as a leader it’s communication communication communication to do people understand where we’re going as a team and then their impact of how we’re going to get there, so how do I individually.

Laura Eigel: Like what is what is my value to getting that goal right so as we start out the New Year, what is that strategic direction that vision other people might call it.

Laura Eigel: annual operating plan What are those team goals that ladder up to the organizational goals that I can then find personal meaning in that is the connection the piece if the days and i’m wondering why am I doing this or i’m confused.

Laura Eigel: Then I can find i’m getting clarity right you’re giving context you’re giving clarity and.

Traci Scherck: And I think the other side of that is ensuring that they really understand, so I was leading a mentoring class or a mentoring Program.

Traci Scherck: And one of the things we kept talking about was communication, so if I say hey Laura Do you understand our mission and you go uh huh versus hey Laura can you describe to me what our mission is Those are two very different questions, because we can all go uh huh yes.

Traci Scherck: yeah and not really understand it, but it’s also ensuring we’re not like two ships passing in the night that we think we’re on the same page or Absolutely not.

Laura Eigel: yeah or another question to build on that might be, what are you most excited to contribute to our team vision.

Laura Eigel: Our team goals what.

Laura Eigel: yeah I mean just seeing their connection like what is their understanding that’s a great one to like just check for understanding and then just seeing what they’re most excited about.

Laura Eigel: is also just another great way to.

Laura Eigel: figure out how to keep them motivated throughout the year, and another thing that I think is going to be really imperative here, you talked about the importance of vision.

Laura Eigel: But I think it’s also the how and when I talk about the how I go back to values so what’s important to us, how will we do that um.

Laura Eigel: I would take a minute and ground yourself back into the company’s either mission or values if you have them some companies have very explicit mission statements and values, but like what does that mean for the team.

Laura Eigel: And you know, sometimes it just looks like words on walls, but really that is that can be the heart and the soul of culture i’ve gotten a lot of leaders that are saying hey can I really build culture in a remote work or hybrid work, and I say yes.

Laura Eigel: I say yes, because it’s about these intentional moments, and having these conversations that Okay, what are our values, what does that mean to you personally.

Laura Eigel: And then, also for each team Member, you know what’s most important to you right now what values are most important to you so, is it connection.

Laura Eigel: Is it curiosity, you know, is it growth and development, and is it achievement like what are those and just having those individual.

Laura Eigel: conversations with TEAM members, but then aggregate that to a group discussion is really powerful as well, so, then you have the the vision of where you’re going, but the values to guide you how to get there.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely.

Traci Scherck: So anything else, as you close out those conversations and ensure you have those I want to say lamp post, but that is not the analogy i’m looking for the fence posts to kind of look at throughout the year.

Laura Eigel: yeah I really think it’s taking time like you said to to get out of that fog use that analogy, from the beginning.

Laura Eigel: set some intentional time one for reflection from 2021 and then another separate time and to connect on vision and values as an individual and then teams to really have that conversation, and to do it together intentionally and so that they feel like they’re part of the process.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and I think an important part of that reflection that you have shared Laura that you just bought a MAC and you’re switching over from PC.

Traci Scherck: And you know you had asked me at the beginning, hey, you have any suggestions you know, and I think one of those is not next thing from one year to the next year.

Traci Scherck: And it’s the same one that next thing from the old PC into the new map right that it is a very methodical process of saying what do I intentionally.

Traci Scherck: want to bring over from this PC to this MAC what do I intentionally want to bring over from 2021 to 2022 and what are those things that I just want to say thank you for serving me i’m going to keep you here.

Traci Scherck: And that’s something really important for each of us in celebrating a really strong ending and starting clean, so that we can move forward we’re not taking all the garbage with us.

Traci Scherck: and choosing hey These are the things that are so important for us because they’re going to get us where we want to go.

Laura Eigel: I love that so much.

Laura Eigel: And I resonate with that so much it’s like when you’re moving houses like.

Laura Eigel: let’s decide what we’re bringing because we’re not packing the things that we’re not going to unpack right, and so, so I think sometimes so I love that analogy and.

Laura Eigel: Sometimes it feels like you know this end of year beginning of New Year like we have to be perfect we’re going to do all these things in the next year, and you know this is just a point of time.

Laura Eigel: You can do you can do that reflection this start this.

Laura Eigel: reflection and start new and really anytime and we all just do it kind of end of calendar year beginning of next calendar year to right, so this idea of.

Laura Eigel: refreshed it’s not so all or nothing right so bringing in that mentality to and but I love that what do you what are you bringing into, and what are you, leaving behind that’s not serving you anymore.

Traci Scherck: yeah and the gratitude for how it served you up to this point.

because it allows it to stay.

Traci Scherck: yeah so as we close our conversation today what is a takeaway that you have for executives listening.

Laura Eigel: Absolutely, so I mentioned this idea of personal self reflection and I think that.

Laura Eigel: As executives think about it, it really comes down to how am I showing up as a leader in my in my authentic leadership.

Laura Eigel: And so I really urge you to do that authentic self reflection and to have these intentional conversations and with your folks everything that you do you’re modeling for your teams.

Laura Eigel: And they’re watching you, and if you are yourself if you come across authentically then it’ll give them the permission to do that too, so I would urge you to reflect on those that what you think is authentic to you and are you living those values.

Traci Scherck: mm hmm absolutely and then what’s that takeaway that you have for HR leaders listening in today.

Laura Eigel: yeah absolutely I am I love all of the conversations that we’ve been having about performance management and end of your comments, and like all of the things and sometimes I think we get stuck on process.

Laura Eigel: Right and we get stuck on Okay, you have to have your year end conversations and what are your next year and goals when, at the end of the day, I think if we can.

Laura Eigel: We can teach our people to just have really quality conversations and connections, so the advice that I would give there is to not get stuck on process but to to urge and coach your leaders to really focus on those one on one connections.

Traci Scherck: Absolutely, and so, with That being said, thank you so much for being with us today, and as we kick off 2022 we’re going to focus on mentoring for the month of January.

Traci Scherck: And if you as an HR leader are looking for a mentor or a coach for you as you step into that how are you being in this new year, and how are you being and really creating that culture for your staff, we have a.

Traci Scherck: We have a coaching program just for HR leaders inside of organizations, and this is a program that six months that kicks off in the end of January so with that Thank you so much for being with us, and we hope that you have a fantastic rest of your day.

Laura Eigel: Thank you.