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December 22nd, 2010
We’ve been writing this blog for almost 2-years and couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your participation.
This past year, we covered team alignment, meeting productivity, the importance of communication and emotional intelligence. Some of our favourite posts have been;
- The Highs and Lows of Emotional Intelligence in Conflict Navigation
- Emotional Intelligence and Teamwork
- How to Prevent a Loss from Destroying Team Productivity
Since we started blogging, our most popular post has been The Secret to Email Productivity for Executives.
What was your favourite post and why? Your comments help keep our blog alive.
Which areas would you like more insight on? Emotional Intelligence? Communication? Feedback and Performance? Accountability? Team Development? Leadership and Followership? Perhaps you have a situation about a topic we have yet to cover. If you’re experiencing a stumbling block or a particularly difficult situation, chances are that others are as well. We love hearing from you, so please keep posting your feedback, comments and questions.
Look for a new post early in the New Year.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
November 17th, 2009
If leaders combine a basic understanding of communication, feedback, team development, emotional intelligence, leadership & followership and accountability with an advance skill of applying their learnings daily they will great results! It requires a discipline to first learn, then apply followed by monitoring progress.
The old saying goes something like this: There are two types of leaders — those who practice their learnings and those who don’t.
I watch leaders of corporate teams everyday. I have come to learn that some leaders have a hunger to learn and more importantly, they focus on practicing and applying their learnings in their day to day experiences. These are the leaders who continually get results. There are others, who learn a competence and then seem to discount it. My assumption is – they consider it to be ‘basic’. They operate on an assumption about themselves that they know the skill and they use it regularly and yet, for some strange reason these are the leaders that seem to falter when it comes to results.
Whistler/Blackcomb opened her doors early this season. With a great dump of snow, we were invited to ski on Nov. 14th – one of the earliest season openers of all time. I jumped at the opportunity.
To give you some context on my skiing competence, I broke my leg while ambitiously learning the skill at the age of 2. I learned how to ski on Ontario snow-ice, raced on the Nancy Greene ski league for 6 years and was brought up in a family with two Canadian National ski team members, one a 1976 Olympian. Skiing was and continues to be a life-skill in my family. Needless to say, I can cut a turn, love to ski loud and fast and have both a high level of commitment and competence.
With every season opening, I discipline myself to review the basics. As I ski down the hill for the first few runs, in my head I am reviewing my body position, reconnecting with my ski legs and considering the finer points of this skill. If I don’t take the time to ‘re-learn’, practice and apply what I know, there will be consequences! So on Saturday, I focused on holding my frame – choosing not to be lazy by letting my left shoulder drop half way thru my turn. With this discipline of combining a basic skill; lazy shoulder syndrome with advanced focus of application; practicing with every turn of the day, I will experience more joy, ease and effortlessness skiing this season.
L.earn a skill, whether basic or advanced,
A.pply the learnings during day to day experiences; practicing, making mistakes, practicing again,
P.rogress - measure the progress of the efforts and then return to L to eagerly start again.
Ask yourself the question, will I get better results by doing a few LAPs today?
October 20th, 2009
When working with executive teams, I often discuss the importance of clearly articulating core values, identifying objectives/action plans and then driving performance results based on quantitative or qualitative measures – “if you can measure it, you can manage it”.
All of this proved itself true this weekend on my way to tree 71.
As I lay under my cozy duvet on a foggy, rain-drenched, Sunday morning, I realized that every fibre in my body was screaming in high resistance. I desperately wanted to cancel my Sunday morning ritual of climbing up the BCMC trail of Vancouver’s Grouse mountain.
Strangely, I heard myself utter to my partner Jim, “I will be ready in 10 minutes – you?” What was that? Where did that come from?
I turned to Jim, who had not heard a word from me all morning — very unusual for this chatty gal.
“Oh my god, I can’t believe it – I made it to tree 71! ”
“I was totally locked in my resistance. I completely faked getting here. When we started the hike, I went into autopilot. I actually had to motivate myself by calculating the 50% mark of the hike – tree 36. At some point, I stopped to take a break. While I was catching my breath, I looked up and noticed that I was standing on the roots of tree 37! Wahoo!! I was half way there – I could actually make it to tree 71. And look at me now, I just proved it to myself.”
Tree 71 had become my clear goal. Armed with my core values of maintaining my health and wellness, I was able to motivate myself with a smaller measure of success and before you know it, the results were mine. Now it was time to celebrate!
It’s true. If you can measure it, you can manage it. In business and in pleasure, we all need a tree 71!
August 25th, 2009
Managing interruptions and staying on top of daily multi-tasking each day is critical to being effective in business today. When business leaders discipline themselves to set clear priorities and communicate “norms for engagement” with co-workers productivity and results soar while overwhelm begins to decrease.
I recently had to find a new doctor. After I filled in the initial visit paper work, the receptionist handed me a document titled “Doctor’s Rules and Regulations” (norms for engagement). It clearly outlined the Dr. had only 10 minutes for each appointment. It directed me to bring one issue to the table at each doctor’s appointment. If I had two issues, I needed to make sure that I presented both within the 10 minute parameter.
The document then illustrated a time calculation: if each patient was one minute late multiplied by 45 patients per day equals the last patient waits an additional 45 minutes. He had clearly identified his priorities and this was his effort to communicate them to me.
Although my experience with the doctor was a little harsh, I recognized that he was clearly outlining his norms of engagement in my best interest. Think about it — one day I might be that last patient myself.
If you want to be more effective and manage your interruptions with increased ease, it is really important to sit down at the beginning of the day to consider your priorities. Whether it takes 5 minutes or 20 minutes – it is probably the most important time in your day
- to get clear on what you need to do,
- to be responsible for performance and results, and
- to clearly articulate your own norms of engagement to the people with whom you work.
That’s exactly what the doctor had done. He had clearly outlined his expectations of how I would prepare for the meeting, his expectations of how I would bring issues to the table. With this he clearly articulated our ‘norms of engagement’.
Take some time to identify what your priorities are for the day and to communicate them. Articulate your priorities clearly to others to establish “norms for engagement”.