The most effective strategy I have used to calm myself down from worrying about money, failure, and success has been to read biographies of people long dead.  Within this therapy lies the realizati…

Source: Work, Success, Reversals, and Death

Leadership…in the making! Incredible perspective.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

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If you want a kick in the entitled pants, this documentary will do it for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIsQ0B43Q9Y

If you think this is just another, “eat-your-vegetables-kids-are-starving-in-Africa” post, maybe it is, but it sure helps me with perspective.

Complaints about family, school, work, or your country club? Call the third-world-country hotline or 1-800-get-a-clue.

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Whether in business or your personal life, speak for intended as well as unintended audiences.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

So many hurt feelings, betrayals, and communication issues occur because we expect other people to have the same sensitivities, preferences, and communication language that we do. Before we judge another’s motives, it might be helpful to review the following list:

  • Have you ever said something unflattering behind someone’s back…primarily because you thought you couldn’t say it to their face?
  • Have you ever been accused of being insensitive about something that seemed so innocuous to you?
  • Have your motives ever been misunderstood?
  • Have you ever avoided someone to prevent a confrontation?

We are all trying to get around the block with the least amount of pain. The growth challenge is to learn about perspective differences before we judge.

Give peace a chance.

photo courtesy of lucacix.diviantart.com

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Seek first to understand…

Two-Minute Tune-Up

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Even if you have been thinking it for a long time. Especially if you have been thinking it for a long time.

Ever run into a brick wall trying to reason with someone? So frickin’ frustrating!

Ever notice that sometimes you are the brick wall? Especially when someone dares to have a contrary opinion to yours?

It’s taken a while, but I am learning to say, Tell me more about that, or That’s interesting before I start my reBUTtle. Consequently, I have found out I am wrong more often than I thought; improving, only because I was willing to peek over my brick wall and discover an overestimation.

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Hallowed Halloween Reflection

Two-Minute Tune-Up

The roots of all man-made (or woman-made) terror:

  1. Hatred
  2. Duplicity
  3. Greed
  4. Jealousy
  5. Bitterness
  6. Arrogance
  7. Deception
  8. Ignorance
  9. Selfishness
  10. Bigotry

And nothing is more terrifying than when I find these things in myself.

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Have a happy (and honest) Halloween!

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In reference to a prior blog on “The Review”, this process is often challenging and ineffective in terms of generating the desired performance improvement that Managers are seeking.

The traditional performance appraisal reviews past performance, and is often an inaccurate reflection of true performance due to:

  • inadequate preparation or effort,
  • poor documentation or record keeping,
  • any number of biases.

I believe that what really matters to is to provide your employees with input that leads to the development of their skills, which ultimately benefits them personally as well as serving the organization’s future.

There is much discussion in HR circles about eliminating the annual or semi-annual review process altogether. Such a change should foster more frequent conversations and updates about an employee’s performance, which is what most workers want.

ConstantONGOING coaching and feedback is one of the keys toward achieving continuous employee growth and development.

I’m not saying micro-management, but rather taking the time to ensure that every employee:

  • understands the clear expectations surrounding their role and responsibilities,
  • knows where they stand in terms of their performance,
  • and has a vision of how to grow and improve.

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In his seminal work,  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen Covey introduced his philosophy on empathic communication…Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Dr. Covey notes that there are five types of listening: Ignoring, Pretending, Selective, Attentive and Empathic.

Exceptional communicators strive to achieve that pinnacle stage of becoming an empathic listener, i.e. “putting yourself in the other person’s proverbial shoes”. This means paying attention to the level that we truly understand their feelings and emotions.

The physical act of hearing is different that the mental act of listening. Listening with empathy requires a concerted effort to commit your undivided attention to the speaker. Sounds easy, does hard!

Fortunately, we can develop the skills to become better listeners, and communicators.

One technique that has helped me improve in this area is to conscientiously “listen with my eyes.” By maintaining comfortable and consistent eye contact with the speaker, it helps me to focus on them and to better concentrate on the message they are trying to deliver.

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Years of experience in “enduring” the employee performance review process, coupled with facilitating many training sessions to client businesses on the topic, has validated one common denominator: the Managers and Employees alike involved in this ritual have a general, mutual dislike for this obligatory activity!

Performance management entails a desire to develop individuals who have the necessary competence to achieve organizational and individual objectives.

Performance reviews are one element of this development process, with the ultimate goal being for the employee to improve the quality and efficiency of their contributions to the organization.

If conducted properly, this will serve as a springboard for elevating that employee’s productivity and morale.

The frustration surrounding the review process typically arises from a combination of factors including:

  • seeing the procedure as a task versus a development opportunity
  • unclear expectations surrounding job responsibilities
  • insincere feedback or evaluations
  • poor preparation
  • lack of diligence in documenting ongoing performance
  • inconsistent communication
  • not caring!

Give this some thought during your next round of appraisals to consider if you can possibly yield more meaningful results that will benefit both you and your team.

Inspiration from Pam Boyd’s Two-Minute Tune-Up blog.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

On this day (which happens to be the day I arrived to an already crazy, mixed-up, caring, and passionate family in Long Beach, California) I want to do what I was born to do; give love and be love to this world in my (very specialized) way.

Freud says that every human must have two things: love and meaningful work. I struggled to find both until finding this: when I quit struggling and just gave willingly (no strings attached), love and meaningful work came to me.

Birthdays used to be difficult because they never met my (wanting to feel special) expectations. Now, they are marvelous because I changed the question to…

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Today I am inspired to do what fellow blogger, StephJ suggests. Check it out in her Acts-of-Kindness blog…

https://scalesimple.wordpress.com//?s=acts+of+kindness&search=Go

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Close Doors Coehlo

Personality assessments indicate that I am a driven and targeted individual, the type of person who tends to be more “task” oriented than “people” focused.

Folks like me tend to maintain a detailed task list…some form of grass catcher document that is potentially used to control our personal and professional life.  However, a challenge arises when our overachiever mindset creates a manuscript that neither Superman nor  Tony Robbins could get accomplished!

The essential component in making this tool an effective resource is to thoroughly review, and consequently prioritize, the activities that we are focused on accomplishing.  The process I’ve used for decades is the A,B,C,1,2,3 ranking method promoted by the likes of Day Timer and Steven Covey.

This philosophy prescribes that we must focus on the most urgent, important actions that will deliver the maximum benefit to ourselves, our business, our world.

The key is to discern between what’s truly important versus the trivial, and then have the self-discipline to concentrate one’s energy on those activities that will get you somewhere.