People who advance to the leading edge of performance have personal, interpersonal, organizational, and motivational mastery. Individuals with these four types of mastery tend to become superstars, and those who don’t tend to derail. Every enterprise can benefit from having a leading edge workforce filled with superstars. Here’s what superstars know:
PERSONAL ACUMEN - Mind, Body, Spirit, Results. People with strong personal acumen manage their mind, body, spirit and personal results. Personal acumen includes the ability to hold a proper attitude for learning new things. It involves seeing our connection to everything around us including when things go right and when things go wrong. It means staying focused and being prepared for every life event.
INTERPERSONAL ACUMEN – Connect, Communicate, Collaborate. People with strong interpersonal acumen are more productive because of their propensity to project a positive attitude, listen well, look for solutions to problems, and seize opportunities for collaboration. Interpersonally masterful people connect, communicate, and collaborate. They exhibit the capacity to get along with others while getting the job done.
ORGANIZATIONAL ACUMEN – Total Systems Thinking. People who have mastered organizational acumen exhibit an understanding of how their organization works and how things influence one another. They have knowledge of systems, people, structures, and processes that work together in an enterprise. And, they talk about the value chain: people, processes, inputs, suppliers, outputs, customers, and outcomes.
MOTIVATIONAL ACUMEN – Engage, Elevate, Energize. People who exhibit motivational acumen engage, elevate and energize others. They inspire people. And, they create an environment where people motivate themselves—to do their best work and perform with excellence. Leaders who have mastered motivational acumen promote sustainable achievement of individual and organizational goals.
Leaders can take action to expedite the rate at which people grow more personally, interpersonally, organizationally, and motivationally masterful by investing wisely in education, training, and development programs. My assertion--help every individual to build toward mastery in the four areas described above (if you’re not doing so already), and consciously recruit people who exhibit these four types of acumen. Then, do everything you can to help them further develop and leverage those strengths.
About Dr. Marta Wilson
Dr. Marta Wilson has dedicated her career to leadership consultancy while serving as board member, author, catalyst, coach, mentor, researcher, speaker, trainer, volunteer, and fundraiser. She holds a PhD in industrial-organizational psychology, specializing in leadership effectiveness, from Virginia Tech. As founder and CEO of Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI), she leads TSI’s dynamic group of possibility thinkers to help executives achieve bold enterprise transformation goals. For five consecutive years, TSI has ranked on Inc.’s “Fastest Growing Companies in America” list, and the company has also made the prestigious “Virginia’s Fantastic 50” list.
The Washington Business Journal named Dr. Wilson as one of the twenty-five leading businesswomen in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Wilson has authored several books including Energized Enterprise: Leading Your Workforce to New Peaks of Performance in the Public Sector and Beyond, Everybody’s Business: Engaging Your Total Enterprise to Boost Quality, Speed, Savings, and Innovation and Leaders in Motion: Winning the Race for Organizational Health, Wealth and Creative Power.
By David Notari, CEO, Innovation Health
Choosing health benefits may be one of the most important decisions you make every year. If you are one of the millions of Americans looking to obtain coverage before the enrollment period closes you should know that while choosing your health plan can feel like a challenging task - it doesn’t have to be. Affordability is an important part of the decision. But don’t stop there. Make sure the plans you are considering are easy to understand and use. These 10 tips are aimed to help you pick the best health coverage for you and your family and get the and peace of mind you need.
1. Understand the terminology – Become familiar with commonly used words. Start with the quick guide on the side, and find more at healthcare.gov. Many insurers offer glossaries, too, such as the one on aetna.com.
2. Make a list – Identify your current and expected health care needs, including prescription medications, planned surgeries or procedures for the upcoming year, to help you pick a plan that meets your needs.
3. What’s new in your life? – Did you get married last year? Have a baby? Retire? A new life event may impact your health benefits and change the kind of plan you may need.
4. Learn from the past – Think back to any problems you may have had with your previous plan. Now is the time to choose the coverage you wish you had.
5. Get a plan that fits you – Your plan should fit your lifestyle and health care needs. Many people are on the go. Mobile access to health care and even virtual doctor visits rank high on their list. Others may need a plan tailored just for their health care condition. For example, in Northern Virginia, Innovation Health is introducing a plan that is designed for diabetics that offers lower deductibles, more regular checkups and wellness options. Find a plan that works for you.
6. Know what you’re paying for – While there may be several factors involved in your health plan decision, cost is probably a priority. Make sure you understand all of the costs associated with your plan, beyond just the premium.
7. Is your doctor in the network? – Review the materials from insurer to note any changes from the previous year, and make sure your preferred doctors and hospitals are in the network.
8. Ask questions! – Ask your doctor questions about tests, medications, consultations and other health care services you may need over the next year to help you make a smarter decision. Take advantage of online information sessions and other resources to help you better understand your options.
9. Know your deadlines – Start now. Give yourself time to choose your benefits. You don't want to be scrambling for answers with a deadline looming. Here is a quick glance at deadlines for different types of coverage.
10. Keep it simple – Look for new plans that are designed to simplify how you choose and use your health plan, similar to online banking. Here are some features that may be available to you:
According to the report “Caregiving in America” from the Caregivers Library, approximately 1.4 million seniors over the age of 65 live at nursing homes and even more live at home, many of whom rely on caregivers for support. Alzheimer’s disease affects one in nine older Americans, meaning there are millions of caregivers helping loved ones who are struggling to live on their own.
While the role of caregiver has many rewards, it can also be overwhelming, confusing, and emotionally and physically draining. If you are the caregiver of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, it is important to know that you are not alone, and that there are techniques that can help you address behavioral expressions that often come as a side effect of the condition.
At Sunrise, we offer support for caregivers dealing with the impact of memory loss. Rita Altman, our SVP of Memory Care and Program Services, has spent years studying and applying Naomi Feil’s Validation Method (she is one of only 10 Validation Masters in the world), and believes it can be an effective technique to rebuild lines of communication and reduce stress for both the caregiver and person with memory loss.
What is the Validation Method?
According to Rita, the Validation Method addresses our basic human needs: to be listened to and heard, to feel loved and to have a sense of purpose. The theory behind the Validation Method is to empathize with a person, even if what he or she is expressing doesn’t seem to make sense. Feil, a geriatric social worker and researcher, says the technique involves “accepting whatever behavior the person has and trying to become a part of it.”
Listening is vital to the Validation Method, and in order to help the person who may be struggling to resolve unfinished issues, listening and showing empathy and respect is necessary so the person feels valued and not judged.
The Validation Method in Practice
Rita gave the following example of the Validation Method in practice to The Washington Post: A woman with advanced dementia was sitting alone, rocking her hands as if caressing a baby. Altman asked the woman if she loved to hold her baby. The woman, who was no longer able to communicate full sentences, looked her in the eye and said yes. Altman set a doll in the resident’s arms as if it were her baby, and together they hummed a lullaby.
Rita says that caregivers often try to reorient the person into reality or redirect them with an activity, which can potentially worsen the situation and cause anxiety. For example, if a loved one tells you a story that you don’t think actually happened, don’t correct them. Redirect the conversation, prompting them to tell you another story, even if unrelated. This encourages your loved one to express his or her feelings freely.
For additional guidance and tips for using the Validation Method, visit the Sunrise website.
Tips for Caregivers
Caring for a loved one with memory loss can be challenging and frustrating, but in order to succeed, it’s crucial that the caregiver take care of themselves as well. Here are three tips for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle while balancing caregiver duties.
At Sunrise Senior Living, we strive to help caregivers get the support they need throughout their loved ones’ journey. Visit our website for more information, answers and support. Also check out our Guide, to find a range of advice from Rita and other experts on caregiving tips.
About Sunrise Senior Living
Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based company, employs approximately 30,500 people. As of November 1, 2015, Sunrise operated 307 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 15 Gracewell Healthcare communities, with a total unit capacity of approximately 27,400. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss, as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by team members who are trained to encourage independence, preserve dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. To learn more about Sunrise, please visit SunriseSeniorLiving.com.