Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

The Mindful Workplace – December 6 & 7, 2013

The 24/7 demands of business are leading to greater absenteeism, less effective decision making and lower employee engagement and productivity. While the hectic pace of business has been acceptable in the past, there is a growing need for a more mindful workplace. This workshop explores why mindfulness is critical to engagement, focus and productivity.

Click here for further details or to register.

 

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Quotes of the Week

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. ~ Theodore Roosevelt, Former President of the United States of America

Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~ Norman Vincent Peale, Author

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson, Poet

Mankind is made great or little by its own will. ~ Friedrich Schiller, Philosopher

The power of imagination makes us infinite. ~ John Muir, Author

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! ~ Audrey Hepburn, Actress

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? ~ Robert H. Schuller, Author

Quotes of the Week

Image courtesy of Photography by twobee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. ~ David Brinkley, Newscaster

Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso, Painter

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln, Former President of the United States of America

Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching. ~ Tennessee Williams, Writer

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ~ David Frost, Writer

Quotes of the Week

None of us is as smart as all of us.  ~Ken Blanchard, American Author

We must all hang together or most assuredly we shall hang separately.  ~Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

Teamwork is the ability to work as a group toward a common vision, even if that vision becomes extremely blurry.  ~Author Unknown

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.  ~Henry Ford, Industrialist

No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet

In union there is strength.  ~Aesop, Writer

Quotes of the Week

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“There are few, if any, jobs in which ability alone is sufficient. Needed, also, are loyalty, sincerity, enthusiasm and team play.” –William B. Given, Jr. Author

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” –Betty Bender, Motivational Speaker

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” –Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

”Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” –James M. Barrie, Scottish Author and Dramatist

“The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.” –Thomas Aquinas, Catholic Priest

Inside Inspiration

Staying inspired at work can be, to put it slightly, trying. Perhaps we’ve had a slow week or month ,maybe we’ve been working on the same tasks for some time. Whatever the case, it doesn’t mean werenot good or committed to what we do, we might just need a little boost. Though the quick response isoften to look to your management for inspiration, there are things we can do individually for a jolt of lasting inspiration.

Find your Inspiration

Even if you’re not anywhere near a senior position you should still feel a personal connection to your work. To feel more than just a cog in a wheel, try talking to your manager to understand their outlook and priorities in their position. For example how do they effectively manage employees while also meeting the needs of their superiors? How do they stay connected to their position? For you to be inspired to commit to this task you must find that greater responsibility that supersedes your job description. (David Silverman, Is “Employee Motivation” an Oxymoron?, HBR, Sept. 2, 2008)

Push Yourself

One of the best motivational tools I’ve come across is also the simplest: push yourself harder . When you feel like things are getting slow or too routine, push yourself just a little more. Perhaps the task you’ve come so accustomed to always takes you an hour to complete. Instead of dreading the thought of another mundane report, try and do it in half the time. By giving yourself an added goal besides merely completing the task, you’ll test your skill, speed and accuracy (all while impressing your boss). Further, once you succeed in cutting your time, that success will fuel a positive attitude, and, in turn, motivate and inspire you further.

Focus on your Personal Story, Not a Paid Goal

Instead of focusing on goals that revolve around advances in title and compensation, focus on your personal story . Ask yourself, what type of person am I? What type of person do I want to be? Consciously deciding what type of person you want to be and working toward that is a fantastic motivator when it comes to our daily actions. Staying at work just because you’re getting paid will probably not garner much enthusiasm. However, staying at work because you want to help and assist in the growth of the company, or helping a co-worker overcome an obstacle adds to your social capital and works to fulfill your personal story.

Looking for more Tips and Tricks? Try these great books:

achieve HBR Reinvent

Miscommunication is the Source of Much Confusion

Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” An inability to communicate can be disastrous for any organization.  As a result, it is not only up to managers, but also employees to ask questions that further their understanding.

These simple tips are designed to extract valuable information from any assignment. Whether from an employee or employer (the leader, the manager, etc.) both parties should bridge communication gaps.

Use Goals as a Guide for each Assignment. Both managers and employees need to have a clear understanding of each project’s and task’s goals. Managers and leaders need to remove barriers to goal achievement (Judith A. Hale, The performance consultant’s fieldbook: tools and techniques for improving organizations and people) while employees need to ensure they are clear on the goal of their project not simply their role. Here are simple questions both parties can ask:

Employee:

What is the ultimate goal of this project?

Employer:

How can I help you achieve our common goal?

An employee may want to post the goal somewhere visible so they don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. The employer should outline the goal, and other expectations, in writing and arrange a meeting to ensure that the employee is well equipped to achieve the project/task goal.

Take Note of Due Dates. Manuel Ortiz Braschi, author of Time Management Strategies for Ultimate Success, states “Time is unchangeable and intangible – only our attitudes towards time can be changed.” You cannot control your deadlines. What you can control is how you use the time before this date. Again here are simple clarifying questions:

Employee:

What are the milestone dates for the task/project?

Employer:

When would it be helpful for us to check-in so you can update me on the project progress?

Employees should create project lists to ensure they understand what activities must be finished at each phase before they move on to the next. Employers should also schedule weekly or monthly (depending on the size of the project) check-in meetings where employees can share what they have accomplished to date.

Be aware of everyone’s roles and who you can go to for help. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”- Henry Ford. You are all working towards a common goal, so why not “work” towards it together?

Employee:

Who can I approach should I have a question? Who will I be working most closely with?

Employer:

Who will you go to for help if I am not available?

Employees should make sure they have at least one other co-worker that they feel comfortable asking for help. This will ensure that their concerns are addressed in a timely manner. Employers should clarify how they want their teams to ask questions and how they can get their questions answered most efficiently (e.g. email, phone, texting).

Looking for more Tips and Tricks? Try these great books:

dialogue so people listencommunication skillstalking so that people will listen

Getting Buy in for Your Idea

With the new year in full swing you may believe that it is your time to make a difference. Perhaps stepping out of the shadow of your coworkers or showing your supervisor what you can do. In How to Get Your idea Approved, author Amy Gallo reveals the 3 essential strategies to utilize when seeking approval for an idea.

Two Heads are Better than One

Before scheduling that formal meeting with your supervisor, I would ensure that your ideas are complete. Gallo suggests testing the theory by asking colleagues which in my opinion allows you to gauge whether after each conversation the idea is ready to go or needs more tweaking. If fellow employees can find faults with the idea, imagine what a boardroom full of executives with strict budgets and zero tolerance would do. Speaking with individuals who are “responsible for giving the green light” holds 3 purposes according to Gallo:

-Builds curiosity and establishes a need

-Demonstrates that you value feedback and recommendations

-Helps to seal cracks in your proposal and reveals areas to improve and expand

I strongly believe that the more you take in from your audience the better you can prepare and build a strong case for your idea.

Build on what you know

Writing out a detailed outline of your proposal would aid in uncovering any areas that key stakeholders might pick at in a formal meeting. If you come across a section that you cannot elaborate on then it’s likely that you have not thought it through. Gallo believes it is best to think about any possible concerns that your boss may have with your idea.

In Buy-In, Lorne Whitehead and John P. Kotler consider the 3 techniques that people use to bring down an idea:

-Asking confusing questions and for unnecessary detail

-Raising suspicions, fear and doubt

-Not taking your idea seriously and putting it off

Instead of dodging these attacks, Gallo recommends welcoming such questions and developing concise, honest responses to match. If there ever comes a time when an unfamiliar topic surfaces I suggest thinking calmly of what you know and building on it.

Establish a Need

I like to start my presentations off by establishing a need through careful research of company goals and values. Your superiors must realize that a change is required otherwise your idea is dead from the get go. Gallo considers following with the essentials like how you propose a change and how your idea benefits them. I walk the audience through my thinking process so that each step refers to the goals of my proposal. Including a tangible timeline allows the board to consider the costs that will be incurred and allows me to explain how quickly they will be recovered. But, Gallo recommends not overwhelming them with too much detail; it can distract from the main goals and can inadvertently kill the “positive mindset” that you’re trying to build.

Tips for greater productivity

Image courtesy of sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Take time to Plan- At the end of each day, create a list of your next day’s activities. Make sure to highlight the important tasks that must get done each day. Planning is the difference between reactive and proactive. When you don’t plan, you end up responding to the day’s events as they occur.

2. Ask for input- When you get input from others you make sure you are covering all the informing and resources and not missing out on anything.

3. Manage time spent on emails and voice mails- Make sure you get your task done without being too distracted by emails and voice mails. Plan the times when you check, perhaps 3 times a day, so you don’t respond to every email or cal and get thrown off by everyone else’s priorities.

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