Have you ever visited the site, Mind Tools? A friend told me about it and it is a great resource for managers. It has information and tools relating to problem solving, time management, conflict resolution, decision making, communication skills and project management. You may find it useful. I have.
Archive for May, 2008
When I was running New York City’s Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team, my husband and I often dreamed of making radical changes in our lives. I loved my job, but with it came stress and time demands that sometimes were hard to keep up with. We would talk about escaping to a rural area and opening a restaurant. We thought by taking away the pressures we were experiencing, all would be well. I address this desire to escape in my e book Power Stories.
In a story titled, Joni and the Forest I write about a woman who dreams of escaping her job. In the story, Joni realizes she is not facing the realities of her situation. She is only trying to block out the present moment by dreaming about escaping. Are you thinking about escaping? If you are, take a moment to come fully into the present moment. Identify what is working and what is not. Create concrete ways you can improve your situation. Fantasy is just that. It’s not a place from which to change your life. Determine how you want to live your life and make it happen.
How has your pace been in the past two weeks: breakneck speed, out of control, just right? Sometimes a fast pace is necessary, but it can’t go on forever — you can’t sprint a marathon. Develop the ability to know when you must take a break. One thing you can do is identify some signs — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual that it is time for a break. Name some ways you can refresh yourself when you need to. Accept that breaks are necessary to maintain a productive pace — you need fuel to sustain yourself.
Exercise: In the next week, take a 4 hour break and replenish your energy. Make sure you stop and do not do work. Observe how easy or difficult this is to do and how you feel once you’ve taken a break.
A teacher once said to me that growing older is a process of learning to discriminate. I have noticed that as my life goes on, I have to make more choices regarding how I spend my time. I discriminate by choosing carefully who I am involved with and what I give my time too, particularly concerning my business. There are so many opportunities and requests available to all of you. Most likely, you cannot do them all. Do you try to do more than is possible? Do you feel guilty when you say no? It helps to set some parameters for what you get involved in. These parameters may address staying focused on your goals, not trying to do it all, putting your time where you will get the best return on your investment or assuring balance in your life. What are the criteria you use when deciding what you give your time to?
A friend of mine, Alicia Rodriguez of Sophia Associates has developed an interesting niche: learning services and coaching for the Millennial Generation. Members of the Millennial Generation are the leaders of tomorrow. Alicia takes a customized approach to their specific characteristics and needs. I like this. Instead of one type of leadership fits all, Alicia is seeing the uniqueness of this generation. It’s a step in the right direction to recognize and address their characteristics. We are individuals and we lead and manage influenced by our own experiences, values and preferences. As a manager, do you manage one-on-one considering the strengths, weaknesses and special characteristics of each person who works for you?