driving [working] is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving [working]. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers [employees], passengers [colleagues] and bystanders [customers], and cell phone use [multi-tasking] is the number one distraction behind the wheel [desk].
Imagine you’re in sales leadership and you’re in discussions with a training and consulting firm to provide much-needed skill development to improve individual, team and, most importantly, corporate performance. The discovery process is going well and there’s strong alignment between training objectives and Sales vision. And then suddenly the quarter comes to a close, sales are down, and funding for this (and other) training initiatives is suspended.
If you’re looking in the right places, such as Forbes, Huffington Post, TED, Harvard Business Review, NPR and the like, there is a heightened focus on the need to “prepare leaders” for the challenges of running businesses in today’s global marketplace wrought with highly complex, intensely competitive and rapidly changing environments.
Mindfulness is a hot topic. Just in the last three months, articles abound in The Guardian, Business Standard, Huffington Post, New York Times and Reuters. What is it and why would we want to exhibit it?
Mindfulness is a practice of focusing on the present rather than dwelling on the past or ruminating on the future. When we focus our attention in this way, we become calmer, more productive, and engaged.
Ever watch one of the talent, dance or voice reality shows? As a guilty pleasure, I’ve seen them all at one point and after every performance a panel of celebrity judges gives the performer feedback. Each judge has their own style and some have become infamous (think Simon Cowell and his no-mince opinions and harsh tones). From my perspective, some judges are better than others at structuring and expressing their feedback.
When you’re involved in a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement with someone there are a multitude of factors that can affect the process and outcome. One of the more significant variables is relationship. In the midst of ongoing discussion - negotiating a contract, persuading someone to share your perspective, offering feedback, resolving a conflict – the status of your relationship with the other party can swing the pendulum dramatically.
Assuming you agree that time is valuable, ask yourself these questions:
Have you ever wondered how you could be more influential in situations in your life? Having studied, observed, practiced and taught best practices to being influential for decades, I believe a good start is to first influence yourself and then you can be influential with others. If you go into the situation without having influenced yourself first, you may be unprepared and resistant and find that getting to a good outcome is tougher that you hoped. To me, influencing yourself first means putting yourself in the right mindset and planning a little so the conversation will flow in a positive direction.
To a consultant's delight, the first quarter of the calendar year can be quite busy from a sales perspective as existing clients and prospects are heavily engaged in matching their organizational needs to a training firm's offerings. A company's budgets, goals, and other internal and external factors drive the process. Key personnel from relevant parts of the organization get involved to facilitate buy-in.
Often times, the process becomes more of a drive-thru experience where components are quickly selected from a plethora of menu items without enough thought as to what goes together, how to pace, and what happens afterwards.
There is something so inspiring about Olympic athletes. There is a concrete takeaway that I can actually apply in my daily life, which these top performers exude. I call it the olympic mindset and it goes well beyond the technical skills of their sport.
With Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, I had the experience of watching a game that I enjoy but without the emotional attachment to an outcome. My favorite team was not playing so I didn’t feel the stress and pressure, the internal emotional pull, for a particular team to win. I cheered when a good play happened and listened when a questionable call was reviewed, calmly considering my own opinion of which way it should have gone. I could sit in the place of objectivity and not be swept by strong emotions in either direction. What a concept!
The host of a program on NPR recently asked the guest that common, conversation-starting question, "If you could have lunch/dinner with 3 famous people dead or alive, who would they be?" Maybe I'm influenced by the time of year and the recent commemoration, but when I ask myself who one would be, I think of Martin Luther King, Jr., humanitarian, and leader of the civil rights movement.
Many news agencies are reporting on the “polar vortex” this week. It’s an evocative phrase and I wanted to add to the conversation, from my non-meteorological perspective.
How do you handle family tension during the holidays? Draft a "pre-game approach" and draw up your "game day strategy" to stay positive and achieve harmony during the season!
The Millennial Generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, have recently been praised for their ability to multitask and criticized for having a lack of effort. Accordence takes these generalizations with a grain of salt and looks at how companies can uncover their young employees' identities and motivators to create a gratifying workplace for them.
How often do we hear about the need for bringing the right attitude or finding a better one? Have you ever been told that you weren’t bringing your best or considered that same thought about someone else? I believe attitude is critical for making progress in our lives.
In managing conflict, the most effective strategies are often those that knock the other party off balance by being unexpected, contrarian, or counterintuitive. If ordinary, conventional conflict mediation approaches aren’t breaking down the wall between you and an adversary, try these six surprising ways to get their attention and eventual agreement instead.
It seems there has been a recent wave of repercussions from communication issues: civil strife in Syria, a government shutdown in the US, and striking school bus drivers in Boston. We are social creatures and heavily depend on our ability to communicate to make our way through the world. Since communicating is a primary competency to job performance, let’s do it more effectively and we can enhance our relationships rather than strain them, get our needs met, and make progress in our work lives.
Two summer articles in The Boston Globe focused on the ongoing competition between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts and their mutual desire for aggressive marketing regionally, nationally and internationally. This prompted me to consider, if you are in sales and you represent a dominant brand in constant competition with another popular brand, how do you begin to win market share from the other company?
Using our best negotiation practices, here are a few ideas that we have seen work.
There are key areas in life where one needs to fill up and I’m bringing the word "plenish" back in the form of a blog to focus on stocking up in the workplace on ideas, knowledge, and support for a more successful experience.