Last week, I was at lunch with a group of women writers. We were discussing the state of the world and one woman said “Wouldn’t it be great if we had one month where no one could tell a lie?”
A month of truth! I was struck by her statement and thought about the workplace. Can you imagine a month in your organization where this was done? Everyone could speak only the truth. What do you think would ensue?
It certainly is a worthwhile exercise to consider this. It may uncover “truths” about your work that you already know and can act on. Imagine a month of truth at your work. Consider what and who might be different. How would you be different? Take what you learn and apply it. It can only make things better.
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How do you respond at critical moments? Your answer to this question can make the difference between success and failure. In many cases, critical moments can stun you or bring you out of balance, so you want your response to be a good one.
How you handle critical moments is a personal thing. You can find the way that is best for you. Do you jump right into action? Do you take a moment to consider what to do? Do you center to make sure that you do not panic?
Take a moment to think about your response at critical moments. These moments matter and you want to handle them well.
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In my training at The Coaches Training Institute, they introduced a concept called “Chunking It Down”. It is a very effective way of managing, organizing and dealing with overwhelm. Chunking it down is simple – you take a task that has multiple parts and break it down into small, actionable steps.
Anything you are working on now that could benefit from chunking it down? Give it a try. It keeps you moving and is great for reducing stress.
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Some situations bring you to the razor’s edge. You find yourself having to make serious judgments and decisions very quickly. The actions you take could have serious consequences and you have little time. What’s the best way to survive on the razor’s edge?
When you find yourself on the razor’s edge, be aware that you are on a thin precipice and have two ways you can fall. Do your best to stay centered and watch out for your best interests. Be aware of those around you who are involved in the situation. It’s a balancing act. You can do it if you know where you are and what is at stake.
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You are not a machine, you are a vital, creative and in-motion human. Do you give yourself the replenishment you need to keep going? Better that you do, or burnout and discouragement can occur. Without refreshing yourself periodically how can you stay productive? In reality, you cannot.
What refreshes you? Do it often.
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“It is folly for him to rule over others who cannot govern himself.” – Publius Syrus
Are some of you shaking your heads in agreement with this quote? How many of you have had managers who have little self-awareness and prove it, over and over again, as they manage others? So much of success involves knowledge of people and how they interact. How can you gain this knowledge without knowing yourself – what motivates you, what disconnects you, what you need to collaborate effectively?
How well do you know yourself? How well do you understand what motivates and engages others with whom you work? Your effectiveness as a team member or manager starts with you!
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Sometimes the amount of work you have to do starts getting to be over the top. There isn’t time and stress is building. As stress builds, you can lose perspective and focus while the work keeps on coming.
What can you do when work is overflowing and you don’t know how you can handle it all? Here are some ideas:
• Get yourself out of the way – step aside and look at the situation, rather than letting it control you
• Find some ways to lower your stress, right now
• Once your stress is lowered, realistically assess the situation – what is possible to get done and what is not?
• Take a break to regain focus and perspective
• And, the old standby ☺, remain fully in the present moment as you proceed.
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Dissonance: lack of agreement, consistency or harmony; conflict.
Experiencing any dissonance in your work lately (or forever)? Though work may not reach perfection, too much dissonance is unhealthy, unnecessary and inhibits your productivity. Best to minimize dissonance in your work and life.
Sometimes, you can become accustomed to dissonance or even encourage it, towards your own aims. Do so at your peril. To maximize your performance and work happy you need a work life that feeds you. Do an inventory of your work life (relationships and interactions, nature of your work, noise, expectations and time) and estimate the percentage of your time in which you experience dissonance. Is the percentage acceptable or unacceptable to you? If unacceptable, see what’s possible in terms of creating more harmony in your work experience.
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1. Be CEO of your career
2. Let no one else have control over your choices and decisions
3. See your work as a meaningful pursuit that shapes your life
4. Explore your options
5. Exercise your creativity and imagination often
6. See mastering your interpersonal interactions as a way to challenge yourself and grow
7. Know your truth about the place work has in your life
8. Get away often
9. Always honor your values and act accordingly
10. Make fun a part of every work day
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I am observing more and more often, people going so fast that they lose control. Do you attempt to travel at warp speed? Really – you can go faster than the speed of light? Let’s reflect a moment. Yes, the world is speeding up and there are many tools to help us travel with it. However, it is very easy to burn out.
If you are acting as if you can travel at warp speed, perhaps some adjustments are called for. Let go of super-size expectations that you cannot meet. Find ways to travel quickly but prevent yourself from burning out, which defeats the purpose. Key to this is centering. Stay fully present, balanced and aware of time. In doing this, you will be able to handle whatever comes along.
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