Workplace Inefficiency…

wkplaceI was recently in line for coffee and overheard the lady in front of me on her cell phone make the comment, ”I was in meetings all day yesterday, did not get anything done.” I am certain most of us have heard this before and felt it ourselves. This is further evidence of my continued assertion that the workplace today is one of the most inefficient operating system. If our computers or any technology worked the way we did, we literally would throw them out the window. So it seems quite paradoxical that our expectation of efficiency with technology is at an all-time high often complaining about one device being just seconds slower than another, yet we have enormous tolerance for wasting hours and days in traditional modes of doing business with each other in the workplace. Continue reading

Myth of “2 sides to a Story”

3sidesAll of us have used to the term “there are 2 sides to every story.” We have used it to make equal the perspectives of two contrasting sides. And there is truth to this. We see things not as they are, but from where we are. The latter is based on our past experiences, our intelligence, our current or immediate-past emotional state, the opposing argument, the history of the opponent, and a number of other variables that collude together to blurr our view of what is actually happening on both sides. The problem with this term, however, is that it often implies that though their are indeed two sides to every story, that somehow they are both equal. It is my contention that in fact, one is almost always more right than the other.

Continue reading

Your Leadership Brand

brandWhen you think of any great athlete you admire, there is usually one or two adjectives you think of when you describe that person. The same could be said of your favorite actors, each one having a different set of descriptors. If you extend this thinking to the workplace, there are some good leaders in your organization at all levels that you have met that you can find words or phrases to best capture what you like about them.  Think of these terms as brand labels for each person. Continue reading

Think differently …

brainI think I was in my very early teens when I first heard someone say that we are using but a very small percentage of our brain and that we achieve far less than we are actually capable of. The comments were made in a philosophical manner with goodwill. As I collaborate with neuroscientists from all over the world today, I am happy to share that those comments are scientifically true and we are now living in what many are calling the Golden Age of Neuroscience.  Why should this topic be relevant to you? Because you have a brain and we are underutilizing it. Whether you are a business person, an athlete, or just someone who wants to explore the capacity of your potential, this topic is for you. Continue reading

Just ask …

askThere are countless stories in the workplace of successful products, innovations and business practices. I am certain there are many in your organization right now. Did you ever wonder how that happened? Where they came from? Who caem up with the idea? How did they do it? If you have been around long enough, think back, and if not, ask someone who has been around a while. You might be surprised to learn that most, not all, of the things that make your work life easy or comfortable did not come out of some major think tank or require a massive amount of capital. They came from people who saw barriers to their work life, had ideas and somehow found a way to institutionalize them. Continue reading

Virtual Behavior

VbehaviorFor the past few years I have been following several workplace studies all showing a troubling trend – workplace conflict is on the rise. Many are blaming use of technology, more virtual interactions, more diversity of participants in those interactions in a more connected world, and the shear stress of doing more with less. We have seen the research on how 90% of traditional face-to-face communication is non verbal. Our behavior while communicating has always been just as important as what we are actually saying. Continue reading

Remove Barriers

barrierI was contacted recently by the CEO of a company who I had worked with in her first year in office about 3 years ago. She said the last two years were enormously successful as she implemented countless new changes. She said that as she begins her fourth year, her list of what she wanted to get done had shrunk coonsiderably and wanted to pick my brain on how she might continue to be an effective change agent and a leader. Continue reading

Goal Setting Trick

goals2014This time of the year is the time to get annual goals. The beginning of the year seems like a natural starting point to do that and track it until next year at the same time. Whereas there really is no scientific reason to set goals in January, as opposed to any other month, it does seem to draw many of us to contemplate what it is that we might what to accomplish this year. When I coach athletes and executives alike, there is a “trick” I use with my clients that has never failed in achieving goals no matter when they are set. Continue reading

Lunch – Most Important Hour of Workday

lunchMarketing of several energy drinks that are loaded with sugars and caffeine target the mid-afternoon fatigue common in the workplace. It is the drowsy feeling, the yawning, and the heavy eyes that eventually lead to fatigue at home in the evenings which can manifest in all kinds of behavior that is potentially unhealthy for the family, not to mention the drop in productivity in the afternoon hours. I am not a fan of these drinks or other similar supplements as remedies to this chronic issue. There is a easier, better, and healthier way to address this. Continue reading

Laugh a little …

laughFear is the most powerful emotion (hormone – cortizol) in our body. It serves an invaluable role when we are being attacked or threatened and sets up the defense mechanisms that we need to live another day. Without it our reaction to a fast car coming at us, for example, would be too slow. But as I’ve discussed many times now, the concentration of this hormone in most of us is awfully high and disproportionate to others. This imbalance keeps us from many equally important experiences to our survival. One of them is laughter. Continue reading

One-Year Rule

innovIn a recent conversation, I was reminded of a visit I made with an organization I was working with. We were contracted to work with their high potentials and part of the on-boarding process was to assess their business and cultural model. Upon arriving on their campus, my colleague and I got a tour of the impressive sprawl but what caught our attention was an operating mantra that they feverishly lived by. It is called the One Year Rule. Simply described, they frequently ask themselves the question: Is there anything we are doing today that we did exactly the same way a year ago? Continue reading

30-Minute Meetings

officemtgI was coaching an executive recently and she said she had no time to think strategically. She showed me her calendar and she was right – her day was slammed from one meeting or call to another all day long. I took a deeper look and noticed that all her meetings were one-hour long. I asked her why?   Continue reading

Manage Your Talent

talentAs a coach, one of the more frequent areas of improvement for most leaders I find is in how they manage talent. Specifically, in allocation of time, resources, and sheer emotional energy – who should get how much of it? I have never coached a leader who had too much time on their hands. The function of their role involves a tremendous amount of multitasking and comes with pressure and stress. So it is easy to let managing of talent to become a secondary priority and reactive one at best. Here is a way to streamline managing talent. Continue reading

#2

emotional-safetyThe obsession with being #1 is worth exploring. I understand how one company wants the highest market share for a product or an athlete or team wants to be ranked #1. But this passionate quest should not be confused with the individuals in an organization competing internally to get to the top spot – either as a business unit or individually in a role or title. Continue reading

Boss

boss.jpsA good friend of mine who is also in the human capital business asked me a few months ago what the most over-rated relationship is that most people have in their lives. I confess, I had never been asked that nor had I given that much consideration as I think like most, I tend to focus on the important relationships, not the overated ones. My responses were guesses and wrong. “It’s people’s bosses,” she argued. Continue reading