Month: November 2013
I sat quietly and closed my eyes. So much pain today with my family as I watched violence acted out once again. I could blame it on my father and yes part of that is true. However, we all have choices today to do it differently.
Dad: You’ve done well on your journey, Mary Lynn. Do you want it to end this way? Dig down deep and look for my spirit?
I didn’t have the energy to dig down deep. I was too enmeshed in the other’s pain. I feel it all and find it difficult to separate. The emotional turmoil of my family is great. It saps my energy and to do this work energy I need. I am shut down from spirit and love and wanting to find my way back there. Keep seeing him in human form and I was stuck there. Today, the music kicked in…
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I’ve played Empire Avenue since May of 2011. I’m highly competitive. When I started I didn’t have large networks, and I still don’t have them. Facebook was my largest network, with about 1500 friends. I really didn’t use any other social media sites. I found the game side at that time highly addictive, and I wanted to do well. Facebook is the only social media product that I understood, but it wasn’t enough.
Two and a half years later, I find myself with multiple accounts to keep track of, and limited time. I tried so hard to only have original material when I started. I would tweet 100 original tweets a day. I would post 20 original photos to Instagram and Flickr a day. I would try to play facebook games and get people to interact with me constantly. I was fighting a losing battle that lead me to burn…
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It can be hard to find time for reflection and thoughtful conversation at the office, but work is more rewarding when it involves some level of discovery. Here are a few tips to encourage your team’s desire to learn:
Write agendas as questions.
People are more likely to engage in discussions when they know they can affect the outcome. Presenting your agenda in question form invites everyone at the meeting to contribute.
Instead, try to find ideas for improvement. Without reprimanding your employee, ask him what he thinks should be done to get a project back on track. This allows him to take accountability and add value.
Embrace all learning.
Employees usually feel that they should only ask for educational resources that are explicitly work-related, but all learning is valuable. Practicing curiosity can benefit your organization in unexpected ways; an employee requesting funds for a photography class, for…
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When someone derails a meeting, it’s easy to assume that they’re the problem and the solution is to rein them in—but your assumptions may also be off-track. For smoother meetings, try these techniques:
Define what will be covered. If your team doesn’t explicitly agree on the meeting’s purpose and topic, interpretations will differ. Start your meeting by saying something like, “My understanding of the purpose of this meeting is X; does anyone have a different understanding, or think we need to add anything?”
Take a breath before a new topic. To reduce the chance that people will reintroduce issues that have been fully discussed, ask if anyone has something to add before moving on to a new topic.
Make fresh connections. If you’ve agreed on what to discuss and someone still seems off-track, ask her to explain how the topics are related. You might learn of a correlation that you…
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We all have blind spots – otherwise known as cognitive biases – but how can we overcome weaknesses which, by definition, we’re unaware of? Start by recognizing that full self-awareness lies at the core of great leadership, and take steps to remove your blinders.
To counter the effects of two of the most common biases, use these tactics:
Confirmation bias refers to our tendency, when receiving new information, to process it in a way that it fits our pre-existing narrative about a situation or problem. It’s possible to temper it by challenging and testing your own assumptions – or by enlisting a devil’s advocate to help out.
Hindsight bias causes you to “remember” that a previous decision was simpler than it actually was, impairing your ability to draw accurate conclusions. Check your selective memory by keeping a journal and recording minutes from meetings. When you have written proof, it’s harder…
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To capture any audience’s attention, you must frame your message properly. Whether you’re making a presentation, composing an email, or talking with your boss, here’s how to convey your idea:
Start with what you want. Busy colleagues don’t want to wait for the punch line. Provide the most important information up front.
Explain the complication. Give the specific reason for your message. What prompted you to deliver it?
Connect to the big picture. Explain why your audience should care. Point out what is relevant to them and how it links to their goals.
End with a call to action. Once you’ve set the context, reiterate what you need.
Adapted from Guide to Managing Up and Across.