Keeping Things Moving

There’s a difference between movement and activity. You can keep your day active, but how do you make sure you are moving forward? One way is to identify your goals for the week, with a deadline for each one. This is a simple and well-known approach, but  goals are not always front and center during a busy day. Use your deadlines as markers of your progress during the week. Another way is to set daily priorities and order them according to their importance. At the end of each day, review how you did and set your priorities accordingly for the next day.

A day’s distractions and interruptions, as well as frustrations and energy drains, take your focus away from your goals and priorities. Identify “911” signs that you are losing focus, so that you don’t stray too far. If your day becomes unfocused, develop a ritual to refuel and regain your focus.

Keeping things going requires that you maintain your focus and attention on your priorities. Not always an easy thing to do, but a sure-fire way to keep things moving.

photo: Tom Curtis,

Who Do You Listen To?

When it comes to managing, whom do you listen to? Answering this question may provide insights regarding the current state of your managing skills. Who do you consider to be your “advisors” on the art of managing? What aspect of management do they focus on – teamwork, getting ahead, strategy, tools, emotional intelligence, expertise in subject matter, communication, leadership or something else? What does your answer tell you about your priorities when it comes to managing? Is your listening getting you where you want to be?

photo: Jeroen van Oostrom,

Reining In Your Judgment

judgment: an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought; the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought; the act of judging something or someone; the ability to make good decisions about what should be done 

All of us spend time and effort developing our ability to judge people and situations in a manner that serves us. Sometimes, however, judgment can impede us. It is important to have the discernment to identify the nature of our judgment. Is it fair or biased? Different situations call for different types of judgment. Some require fair and impartial judgment and some require judgment that serves our best interests.

We are emotional creatures and will always have our own ways of looking at things. Too often, however, when there is a need for stepping out of our biases, we do not. We let our emotional, and not always rational, thoughts influence our judgment. Time and effort are well spent in developing the ability to discern what forms the basis of our judgment. There are cases when our personal biases may serve us well. For example, when we are trying to strategize within the maze of office politics or to decide what is best for us. There are cases when impartial and fair judgment is called for. For example, when disciplining a team member or making a decision that will impact our team’s well being.

Take a look at your use of judgment. Are you discerning what is called for in each situation where you exercise it? Do you use your judgment effectively and exercise its power well?

photo: ddpavumba,


Uncovering Underlying Agendas

The agendas people have in the work world can undo the best of your intentions. Uncovering an underlying agenda of a colleague is not an easy task. However, one thing you can do is to take off the rose-color glasses and develop your ability to “read” a situation accurately.

In my early career, I had the best of intentions and often gave people the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to get along and be a good team member. After several disappointing wake-up calls, when underlying agendas caused me harm, I worked at getting smart about agendas. I did not want to swing the pendulum to suspicion or cynicism. I wanted to balance the pendulum, by getting wiser about people and being able to spot their agendas.

I started a practice that helped me quite a bit. I first found my neutral gear in assessing people. Instead of seeing what I wanted to see in people and letting that skew my judgment, I let people show me who they were. I reserved judgment until they did. I also, when I encountered a problem with someone, would write a “What I Know” list about him or her. That list had only facts regarding a person’s actions, not opinions or suppositions. I was surprised how much this helped and how much, in actuality, people would reveal their agendas. By taking off my rose color glasses, I was much more able to see a situation clearly and determine my next steps.

photo; holohololand,

Ten Times That It’s Best To Stay Silent At Work

1. When you do not have the facts of a situation

2. When your emotions are running high

3. When you have nothing to say

4. When a situation is volatile and you haven’t thought through the risks of speaking up

5. When you are tired and there’s no request that you speak up

6. When the person you would speak to is highly emotional and you see a way to avoid or delay speaking with them until things calm down

7. When someone is making a fool of themselves

8. When you have nothing good to say

9. When what you’d like to say will needlessly cause harm

10. When the person won’t hear you, even if you do speak up


photo: stock images,

What Do You Do When A Project Stalls?


It happens – projects can slow down, stall or come to a halt and it is up to you to get them going again. The first step in dealing with the inevitability of projects going at varying speeds is to have a system in place to recognize (quickly) that a project is slowing down. A basic project management or tracking system will do this for you. Sometimes, you or a team member can be slow to recognize a project slow-down or be reluctant to reveal it, because of perceived repercussions. Better to get it out in the open, so you can deal with the cause in a timely and forthright manner.

To get a project back on track involves identifying issues and root causes, bringing in the right people to get it going again and solving problems. Avoidance compounds your problems and serves no purpose. You may need time to find solutions. Best to face a project slow-down directly and do what you need to get things moving again.


photo: Witthaya Phonsawat,

What Is the Source Of Your Creativity?

The ability to innovate is closely tied to sustaining the source of your creativity. Creativity can come from going within, accessing your intuition, keeping your mind active or being stimulated by outside sources or experiences. There is no set formula for creativity.

What’s important is being aware of your innate creativity and doing what you need to maintain it. Do you know the source of your creativity? What is your latest creative act as a manager?


photo: Stuart Miles,


Ten Ways To Change Your Relationship With Time

Time management is an oxymoron – you cannot manage time, but you can manage your relationship to it. In a previous post, Is Time In Control Or Are You?,  I provided some questions to help you assess your relationship with time. Now, here are ten ways you can begin to change your relationship with time.

1. Stop at several specified points in your day to assess how you are dealing with time. Are you in a good relationship with it or a stressful one?

2. Be realistic about what you have planned to do in the day. Do you have time?

3. Practice mindfulness and being in the present moment.

4. Heighten your awareness of emotions you are experiencing. Often your emotions are a first indicator that something is awry.

5. If an emergency or something unexpected occurs in your day, stop and adjust your expectations accordingly.

6. Identify the signs that tell you that you are in overwhelm and time is getting the better of you.

7. Work on balance. With balance, you relate to time from a centered place.

8. Take breaks every once in awhile, so you do not push yourself too far.

9. Be aware of how your choices affect your relationship with time.

10. Remember that time is finite and plan accordingly.


photo: Chaiwat,

How Do You Get Started In The Morning?

The first hour of your morning can set the tone for your whole day. How do you get started in the morning?

When you wake up, you have the opportunity to establish your outlook for the day. A wide range of emotions is yours to choose from: optimism, expectation, happiness, confidence, worry, anxiety, overwhelm.

It really is a mind game. Will you let your mind run away into negative emotions or guide it into the day in a positive manner? Practices help – you can set aside some quiet time, find ways to release negative emotions (journal writing, physical exercise, being in nature) or do things you love to start your day.

Give it a try tomorrow – start your morning well and make the day a fantastic one!


photo: gubgib,