Switch Off

7 04 2010

I think in today’s online environment we are bombarded with information. If you do a search on any topic via the web, you’ll get hundreds of references, some relevant, some not so relevant, for your topic of choice.

This morning I came across a blog from Nic Askew which has inspired me to simplify a few things in my life right now (and I encourage you to check it out).

You would know by now I am an advocate of making time for your people and meeting their needs. So this next comment could seem a little contradictory.

Switch Off Your Life……..

I have often been met with resistance from managers when I suggest they allocate an hour each day to switching off. No mobile. No e-Mail. No Teleconference. No Multitasking. No To-Do List. No Interruptions. Just an hour to think about your needs.

Get a nice pen,  a journal with good quality paper, and write out what ever comes up for you in the moment.

It is in these moments of allowing yourself to switch off from all the distractions, to just be in the moment, when you stop trying to think about how to innovate, that you are some times at your most innovative.

I challenge you to take an hour out of your day for yourself, and just be.

Let me know what comes up for you!


Responding vs Reacting – Bob Burg

23 02 2010

I’m impatient. I can be impulsive. I’ll admit I get a tad annoyed when the car in front of me goes too slow for my liking!

It’s a challenge most of us face each day. To reign in that little red devil who sits on your shoulder and whispers “go ahead….have a crack back at them!!”. I admire people who can sit back and let personal attacks wash over them like the proverbial water off a ducks back. I have made an effort over the last few months to let less of the little things annoy me, and be grateful for the things I have. Ok….it’s a work in progress.

I’d like to share a short article I came across by Bob Berg.

Bob Burg (www.Burg.com)

People ask, “Isn’t Responding and Reacting the same thing?” Actually, though the words are similar, the difference is significant. For example, as Zig Ziglar asks, “did you respond well to the medication your doctor prescribed, or did you have a bad reaction?”

Here’s a look at the difference between those two concepts. Recently I was pulling into a parking space. Being too hurried, and not paying attention as I should have, I didn’t notice that the car parked in the next space had a man coming out of it. I braked in plenty of time, but it gave the man a start. He immediately looked at me in a way that communicated true anger.

He reacted. Who could blame him? Now I had a choice; would I react to his reaction? … or would I respond, thereby diffusing an otherwise uncomfortable (and potentially nasty) situation, and hopefully turning a potential enemy into a friend? I chose to respond. I immediately raised my hand with a sincere smile and mouthed, “Sorry, my fault.”

He then responded with a smile and a wave of his own. Funny thing is, when I got out of my car, his words to me were actually, “Sorry, I should have looked before getting out of my car.” Can you believe that??!!

I see two results to that situation; One is that a potential (and too typical) argument turned into a friendly exchange. Secondly, next time he is in a similar situation, there’s a good chance he will respond instead of react, turn a potential enemy into a friend, and begin his own chain reaction of kindness and friendship.

Check out more from Bob Burg

So this journey of mine to become a little more patient, a little more tolerant is a slow one. I do know I feel that much better when I choose to respond with a smile, rather than react with a whole hearted, self justified, point proving bleeeeeeet of the horn.

Will you Respond, or React today?

People and Business – Challenges for 2010

29 01 2010

There were many challenges in 2009 for businesses, most prominent to our minds is the often touted “Global Financial Crisis”. So how are businesses planning on moving forward in 2010? HR Coach Research Institute has released their latest HR Quarterly Index Dashboard Report (for a full copy of the report click on the link). I’ve included a brief excerpt below:

“The Institute has identified that in anticipation of an economic rebound, businesses are moving into preparation  mode.

The top 3 critical issues facing business have remained the  same over the past year – Lack of Work or Sales, Cash-  Flow  and the Economic Climate. Businesses are  primarily  looking to resource this trend with existing  employees. Thus employee retention is the key  strategy for productivity improvement”.

Costs and Time…never enough

The cost of replacing employees can be up to three times their annual salary, when you consider the recruitment, training, probation periods, and a range of other costs you’ll probably not be aware of until months after you’ve hired your new golden star!

Often business owners will continue to spend time working IN their business (ie the day to day tasks) rather than working ON their business (the creative stuff we all dream of doing). As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel that you are the only one who knows your business well enough to make decisions, let alone come up with creative idea’s to improve performance. There just isn’t time!

Get Your People INVOLVED

Some of the greatest break through’s in new ways of doing things has been to sit down for a full day with a sample of people from all across your business, and spend the day brainstorming, talking, action planning, and generally building a sense of direction. This can be difficult for staff when the “boss” is the person facilitating the sessions. Unless the boss has spent time to build confidence and trust from his/her people, then you’ll waste alot of time working through irrelevant issues that your people want addressed BEFORE you get to the creative stuff.

A Couple Of Suggestions

Staff SurveysThis approach takes time. You’ll need to work on a range of issues if it’s your first survey, and I’ve found it can take months of working on small issues before you have built enough trust with your people to have them feel safe enough to talk about the big items – like how to improve your business, and not “the toilet paper is too rough” (yes, I have actually come across that as a serious team issue!). There are a range of survey providers out there, you’ll need to do your research. I’ve come across another item from HR Coach that I believe is a valuable survey system – Star Workplace System. I see it as a little more comprehensive than just a survey tool, however I’ll let you be the judge, and I’d encourage you to start there.

External FacilitatorIf you have limited time, sitting down with someone from outside your business who is experienced in workshop development and facilitation can help you get some traction from the start of your workshop session. Some of the benefits are the facilitator can be seen an impartial or neutral party, and if they are good at what they do, they can involve the “boss” as part of the group. In addition an external facilitator can sit down with you prior to the workshop and you can agree on some direction for the sessions, so as the “boss” you have some control over the event (you don’t want to waste time and money), and also interact as a participant in the event (which is a great way to build some rapport with your team).

So 2010 is being touted as a year of growth for small and medium business. How will you involve your people in growing – not only growing your business, but growing as individuals and members of your team.

Surveys or facilitation? If your interested in the above, contact People Motion (Geoff) and we can talk about your needs, and the the best coach for your business.

Photo “grafico’ by djcodrin sourced at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo “call_me” by Michal Macol sourced at FreeDigitalPhotos.net