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October 01st, 2009
Right now you’re probably buried with work, right? Even so, you took a quick break to check out this post. But if you’re like most executives, you probably need more “time out” from your workload to recharge, build relationships and trust, and maintain maximum productivity.
Believe it or not, most executives are not nearly as productive as they could be. So if you have another 80 seconds right now, check out this video on the importance of increasing productivity and building trusting relationships by simply taking a time-out within each day.
- For 30 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. shut off all electronic devices. Unplug from the business imperative that you must always be in touch. Instead be in touch for energized pockets of time,
- Make personal contact with people. Have 5-minute check-ins. Walk around, say “hello”, “how is it going?”,
- Peak at the ‘paper’ in the reception area – get the scope on who is waiting for a meeting with one of your colleagues and why?
- Take a colleague for a coffee or lunch. You can re-energize, build relationships, solve business problems and have fun all at the same time!
What else do you do during the day to recharge and improve your productivity? Let me know.
September 01st, 2009
There are incredible benefits to leveraging diversity in organizations. Broad expertise, knowledge and judgment can create major communication challenges or outstanding opportunities!. To benefit from diversity, we need to work together and be effective in navigating our differences. We can do this by taking more ownership of our side of the communication, our side of the two-way dialogue.
I recently worked with an extremely talented CEO who was visually impaired. To improve communication and team effectiveness within his organization, I facilitated a number of teaming experiences in which his associates were blind-folded. Once they experienced what “visually impaired” truly meant, they started to utilize different ways of communicating to complete the task at hand. They also started to recognize how their CEO had to work differently to get things done. They had more empathy for him. End result, they became more aware of how they could increase their communication with him by being more responsible to their side of the dialogue.
I’m now working on a team with a deaf woman, and it has been a most incredible learning experience for me. I’ve learned to adjust my own communication style, to apply different techniques in an effort to respect the wonderful diversity she brings to the group.
- I have realized our ‘communication loop’ reflective listening competence; in which the receiver of the communication re-phases what they heard from the sender, is as effective when she re-types as when we re-phase,
- I have learned how ‘instant chat’ can trump email for effective communication,
- I have learned to write more in my blog posts as opposed to simply uploading a video,
The most important thing I’ve learned is that I have to be responsible for my part of the communication, for my part in this relationship. So I’ve started to learn expressions in sign language. Even though I am not great, not perfect, she can still understand when I say, “Good morning, how are you?” She can understand when I say, “Can you repeat, I don’t understand.” She starts to be able to communicate with me because I am working to improve my side of the dialogue. As a manager, leader and co-worker I have to draw people out and help them understand the message I’m delivering.
For me, diversity just means we are different. We’re different because we have limitations. We’re different because we have strengths. We’re different because we come from different places and we have been brought up with different norms.
It takes self-awareness and initiative to recognize these kinds of communication challenges and courage to make them opportunities. When you consider the diversity in your teams, can you see opportunities to improve the way you communicate? Can you take more ownership of your side of the dialogue and become more effective in the process?