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Better Leaders Get More Sleep

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. But, a lot of us are really bad at getting a full 8 hours. In fact, according to data published by the National Health Interview Survey, most adults get less than 6 hours of sleep each night. This might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to being a productive and effective leader, getting little sleep can cause big problems in the workplace. The next time you push back your bed time, think about the benefits that come with a full night’s sleep, like these ones:

Effective Problem Solving

When we’re tired, solving problems can become much more difficult. Without enough sleep, our minds might feel slow, making it hard to think through problems and coming up with solutions. Sleep supports our basic cognitive functions like recognizing patterns and making insights, or solving problem and coming up with solutions. When we’re fully rested, our minds can quickly picture scenarios and more effectively predict obstacles and problems, while coming up with probable solutions.

Being Present to Others

Communicating and working with others can take a lot of patience, especially in a workplace setting. When we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to overreact and misinterpret people’s body language, as well as verbal and nonverbal messages. As a leader, it’s extremely important to communicate with others intentionally and effectively. However, our ability to do so decreases when we aren’t completely rested.

Creativity and Innovation

Good leaders know how important creativity and innovation can be in a workplace setting. However, in order to exercise these skills, we need to be operating with a mind that is fully rested. When we’re tired and worn out, it can take all the energy we have just to get through the day.

Of course, getting enough sleep seems like a simple thing to do. However, a good night’s sleep requires more than just getting into bed. The next time you bunker down for the night, you might consider some of these tips to ensure a night of good, quality sleep:

  • Take time to calm down. It can be difficult getting to sleep if your body and mind are restless. Try avoiding exercise and eating at least 2 hours before you want to fall asleep. Digestion and exercise can actually energize the body, so give yourself plenty of time after eating and exercise before you hit the hay.
  • Avoid screentime before bed. It’s true that screens can affect our quality of sleep. The light and activity we consume from our screens can make it difficult to fall asleep. Try putting your screens away before you get into bed. Instead of watching TV or looking at your phone, consider reading a book or magazine instead.
  • Establish a sleep routine. Our bodies react best to habit, especially when it comes to getting quality sleep. Consider making a nightly routine for yourself in order to establish better sleeping habits. This could include a cup of decaffeinated tea before dozing off, or writing in a journal for 20 minutes.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how important sleep is, especially for leaders and business owners! What do you do to get more high-quality sleep in your home?

Why Workplace Conflict Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

We’ve all been there before. Whether the situation exists between you and another person, or two coworkers, we’ve all been witnesses to workplace conflict. While conflict has the ability to transform a healthy workplace culture into a toxic environment, it doesn’t always end badly each time. In fact, when conflict is done correctly, it can actually benefit team culture. So, the next time you sense conflict in the workplace, use some of these tips to steer it in the right direction:

Remember Respect

When the situation occurs around a topic that people are passionate about, emotions can run high. No matter the situation, it’s important to remember that respect should remain at the center of each conversation. This isn’t always easy, but when people feel disrespected it can cause the trust that was once there to disintegrate.

Learn From It

We can use conflict as a way to learn about ourselves and our teammates. Take time to recognize and reflect on how the people on your team handle stress and conflict. Do they get defensive? Are they peacemakers? Do they avoid the situation? And, how do you handle uncomfortable situations? Taking note of this can help you handle conflict differently in the future. Once we recognize how people react in conflict, we can better communicate with them and build relationships, not hurt them.


Get Creative

Try using conflict as a way to stretch your perspective. You might not necessarily agree with someone on your team, or perhaps you don’t understand where they’re coming from. When we try to see a situation from someone else’s perspective, it can help us understand others. The next time a conflict arises, if we immediately try to see the situation in a new light, it can help find solutions quickly and efficiently.

Allow the Conflict to Deepen Relationships

When we learn how to participate in healthy conflict, it can help us build trust. We won’t agree with each other all of the time, and that’s okay. Actually, when we disagree with each other, it often sparks creativity and innovation. When we engage in conflict with the same people, we start to understand that in the end, it’s going to be okay.

Conflict Helps us Grow

If we didn’t engage in conflict, our businesses and team relationships would remain stagnant. When we engage in conflict, we continue to build awareness of our workplace culture, our teams, and our products. It’s through conflict that we learn to question ourselves, and others, while making room for growth.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how difficult it is to engage in conflict. But, we also recognize its importance. If it’s time to dig deep and learn more about healthy conflict, contact us here.

Is It Time to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Business?

Whether you’ve had one or are considering one, you’ve probably heard the term “side hustle,” especially as millennials continue to enter the workforce. Simply put, a side hustle is just a hip word for another way to make money in addition to having a full-time job. It’s more popular than you might think. Actually, according to a recent survey conducted by Bankrate, 44 million adult Americans have a side hustle for a number of reasons. Some people are in it to supplement their income or save for retirement, while others are using a side hustle as a way to pursue a passion that doesn’t intersect with their current job or career. Regardless, side hustles can be quite lucrative. If you’re unsure about turning your side business into a full-time career, here’s what you need to know:

Know how you truly feel about your side business:

Side businesses are great for a lot of reasons. Who doesn’t like extra money coming in each month? Or, maybe your side hustle allows you to do what you’re really passionate about without battling the pressure of running a full-time business. If you’re thinking about taking your side business full-time, it’s important to think about what it would take. Are you willing to make sacrifices, both with your time and in terms of compensation? Is this something that will make you happy in the long-term? Starting a business takes resources, time, but most of all, it takes passion.

Plan it out:

 Just because you’ve decided to pursue your passion full-time, doesn’t mean now is the time. Before you put in your two weeks’ notice, think about how you can expand your side business without completely quitting your job. After all, your business might not be able to completely support you financially in the beginning.

Set goals and realistic expectations:

It’s easy to think about what your business will look like in 10 years. But for now, it’s important to think about first steps. Start with a business plan, gather input, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry. Surrounding yourself with people who’ve been down the same road will do nothing but help you long-term. You might even be able to avoid the same mistakes industry experts have made in the beginning of their career.

Failing is part of the plan:

Any person who has ever started a business knows that failures will happen! Instead of looking at small (or big) failures as bad omens, use them as learning opportunities.

If it’s time to take your side business to a new level, Quadrivium Advisors will help guide you through it!

Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

We often think and talk about the importance of a person’s IQ, especially within the workplace. However, as leaders and their teams seek to develop well-rounded and holistic teams that encompass many talents and skills, the discussion has moved from IQ to EQ (or EI). The workforce has begun to acknowledge the importance of a person’s emotional intelligence for a number of reasons. People who have a high EI are very aware of their own emotions and are able to read the emotions of others. This skill can help a team develop channels of effective communication, encourage diverse thinking, and participate in tough, yet fruitful conversations. If it’s time to start developing your own emotional intelligence, here are a few tips:

Start with yourself. If you want to learn how to read other people’s emotions more effectively, you have to start with understanding your own emotions. Think about the last time you reacted to something work-related. It could be the way you reacted to criticism, to a challenge, or to praise. Take a moment to reflect on how you felt initially and think about the thought process that led you to your reaction. Getting into this practice of understanding how and why we react in certain situations will help us understand how and why other’s react the way they do.

Observe. While first learning about emotional intelligence, it can be helpful to quietly observe people’s body language and nonverbal cues. The next time you participate in a meeting, try reading the other people in the room. This means paying attention to the way they react to certain decisions or statements.

Ask questions. When you sense that someone is reacting internally, take some time to ask how they are feeling. Using non-threatening questions to better understand people’s emotions will allow you to gain insight on who they are as a person and a coworker.

Practice. It’s common thinking that being emotional at work is a bad thing. However, sharing emotions can be a reflection of a person’s loyalty and commitment to their work. If you truly want to know how people are feeling, you need to share your feelings first. When people start to recognize this behavior, they will begin to catch on and mimic this practice. Sharing emotional reactions and feelings saves a team time. You don’t have to play the guessing game, and you won’t have to spend time cleaning up the mess made from poorly made assumptions.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how hard it can be to share emotions with team members. But, we also know how important it is. That’s why we help leaders and their teams develop their emotional intelligence. If it’s time to develop yours, connect with us here.

Resisting the Urge to Complain

We’ve all been there. Sometimes when work gets busy or a client or coworker is difficult to work with, it just feels good to complain a little. But, unfortunately for us, complaining can be a lot less effective than we might think it is. In fact, what seems like a harmless, no-risk way to vent about the day might actually be harmful to your productivity and the people around you. While complaining might feel really good and helpful in the moment, its negativity can linger, adding tension and toxicity into the workplace. This toxicity often results in negative long-term effects. So, the next time you feel like complaining try some of these coping mechanisms instead:

Address the problem

Keep track of what it is that makes you want to complain. Is it a specific coworker? Is it your boss, or the way specific situations have a pattern of being handled? Once you’ve been able to pinpoint the problem, the next step requires planning. Brainstorm ways you can address the identified problem. If it’s a person, such as a coworker or client, start thinking of ways you can address them that will be effective and respectful. Addressing the problem and coming up with solutions will help you decrease the urge to complain.

Think about how much time is being wasted

As an experiment, try recording a rough estimate of how much time you spend complaining each day or each week. You’ll probably be surprised with how much of your time is being used to complain about the situation around you. It might even be enough to make you stop complaining, or at least make you think twice.

Open the channels for feedback

Oftentimes, when people complain, they just want to be heard. This is why giving employees the chance to give feedback can be beneficial, especially when it comes to maintaining a positive workplace environment. If you notice employees or coworkers are complaining during the work day, try giving them an opportunity to speak up. Consider placing a suggestion box in the lunchroom, or host one-on-one or group meetings designed specifically for feedback.

Practice constructive complaining

Not all complaining is bad. The key to successful complaining is finding the right time and place to do so. When you have the urge to complain, write it down and come back to it. Consider rewriting your complaint in a way that makes you feel heard without sounding negative. This is a great practice for retraining your brain to sound less negative and more thoughtful.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how difficult it can be to bite your tongue. When it comes to complaining, what helps you resist the urge?



Quadrivium: noun[kwo-driv-ee-uh m]

from Latin quadrivium, which means 'a place where four points meet"

Bringing you to that perfect point.

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