Archive for the ‘Stay Focused’ Category

The games people play…

Monday, November 8th, 2021

The Games People Play

Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, many people play games in the workplace. When I say “play games,” that isn’t exactly a compliment. I’m not referring to workplaces that have bean bags and foosball tables.

For instance, if your supervisor asks you to get something done, and you pretend later not to know about the assignment, and at the time that it’s due, you start to ask questions? That’s not going to go so well.

When bank employees play games in the workplace, it isn’t a good thing because what they’re doing is basically pretending not to know. It’s also called passive-aggressive behavior. Pretending not to know you are engaging in passive-aggressive conversation and behavior is not attractive in adults.

Get Conditions of Satsifaction

Instead, whenever you are unclear about something, get your conditions of satisfaction that we discussed before. And if it looks like you might be missing a deadline, negotiate well in advance and let your boss know well in advance that…

  1. there is an obstacle
  2. what it is
  3. what you’re doing to get around it
  4. and what your new intended deadline would be.

Ask if that is acceptable, because sometimes just because you’ve negotiated for it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to be a “Yes” answer from your boss. Maybe you have to reprioritize something else to get it done.

That cleanliness in how you have that conversation makes a big difference in the relationship and the outcomes of your job. Be very thoughtful about keeping your conversations clean, make direct requests of people, fulfill on those, and if you blow it for whatever reason, just say these beautiful words, “I blew it.” It’s that simple.

Everybody knows that everybody makes mistakes. That part’s okay. Granted, that obviously can’t happen every day, all day long. But when you make a mistake, how you handle that mistake defines who you are to everyone around you. It is a sign of your character. So, next time you blow it simply say these 3 words, “I blew it.”

Here’s my massive corrective action plan:

Number one, make sure it never happens again.

And number two, make sure this gets corrected and caught up.

“What does ‘done’ really look like?”

Monday, November 1st, 2021

Before you start the next project, think about the conditions of satisfaction.

What does that mean? That means that whoever it was that gave you a project probably has some idea about what they want to have done with it; they have an outcome in mind.

They also know what procedures have been followed in the past.

They know where things can go wrong, what you should be managing around, and when this thing is due, and what “done” looks like.

By getting the conditions of satisfaction before starting a project, your likelihood of having to do it only once AND having somebody give you a high-five at the end goes up substantially.

Sadly, here’s how it works for most people:

  1. they hear there’s something to be done
  2. they start running wildly toward that direction, not understanding…
    1. the when
    2. the how
    3. the goal, what the outcome is supposed to look like…

And then, when they deliver something to their boss— or worse yet, have it sitting on their desk or in a folder on their computer, that is NOT a recipe for getting things done.

When we don’t find out the conditions of satisfaction first and then come back afterward and ask, “Did this meet the conditions of satisfaction?” What we’re doing is creating chaos in the workplace.

Listen, nobody needs to be working nights and weekends doing rework— not you and especially not your boss, because if they keep having to do your work over again, likely that does not bode well for your career. So, every time you’re given instructions about what to do, first just stop.

Ask a lot of questions to get the conditions of satisfaction before moving ahead.

But move quickly once you have them and bring it back and ask if this meets the conditions of satisfaction.

“Out of the frying pan and into the fire”

Monday, October 25th, 2021

It’s the great turnover tsunami of 2021 and you’re thinking, “hmm… should I be looking for another job?”

Think about it.

So many people are wanting to move from one job to another because they think this job is stressful. And yet, they’ll be moving into a new job where they don’t know how to do the work, where likely that new company is also experiencing the “Turnover Tsunami,” and they probably won’t hear about it until after they’re there.

Which means?

Truth is, sixty percent of people think that they want to go get another job.

Let me remind you what my mother once taught me: the expression “out of the frying pan and into the fire” is very real. You’re probably going to be doing the work of three to four people. Now, you just left one job and your resume has a big old dent because you just moved and if you move again, that’s not going to look good.

So now let me ask you this: Do you suppose that’s less stressful?

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

I don’t think a lot of people are thinking about the concept of making sure that they make what they have good. Yes, it has definitely been a stressful year for everybody. Everyone has more to do than they have time and hours to do it. Everyone has had all the pressures from COVID that have created craziness in almost everybody’s lives.

When we make a decision out of fear as opposed to making a decision out of love— that’s when we end up always having a bad experience. What do I mean by that? If we’re making a decision to leave one place, based on the fear of, “this isn’t working” and “I’m not happy,” and “this isn’t going to work,” then maybe all you need to do is change your attitude about where you are and maybe you need to be grateful for what you have and decide to just be happy because happiness is a decision.

Yes, I understand it can be difficult.

That’s why they call it a “job” and not a “Disney.” That’s why you’re not paying an admission fee to get in the office every morning. It can be very difficult sometimes. Do you really want to go someplace else with people you don’t know and love (nor know and love you), to take on what will now probably be the job of two or three people because they too have the “Turnover Tsunami” which means now you have to learn a new job and all the new skills and all of that added stress as a result?

So, think clearly before making your decision.

Why don’t you decide today to love the one you’re with?

How to Spot a Pot-Stirrer

Friday, October 15th, 2021

Have you ever watched a pot-stirrer at work?

Yeah, they exist everywhere and in almost every organization, and they really can bring down the spirit of everyone around them because pot stirrers make it unsafe to just have great days and lots of sanity and things that work.

They say things that sound innocent but aren’t intended to be innocent at all like “do you know Julie just got that project, do you think that’s fair?” or “gosh, I don’t mean anything bad by this, but Jim Bob just got promoted and I sure think he doesn’t have what it takes to make that happen”.

Those kinds of statements create all kinds of craziness within an organization because they’re not direct requests of someone who can make a difference.

Ask yourself if you ever stirred the pot and, if you have, forgive yourselves of everything from the past because you can’t change that. What you can do, alternatively, is decide never to be a pot-stirrer again.

Your workplace needs you to bring the highest level of integrity to what you do. And so, it can’t just sound like it seems innocent, it must really be innocent – and you know the difference.

Your Circumstances Do Not Define Your Destiny

Monday, October 11th, 2021

My dad gave me $20 to go to college. I was 17 years old. I didn’t have a backup plan. I didn’t have somebody I could call home to and say, “Send the check.” At that point, I knew I had to figure it out.

I had three jobs while going full-time to college, it was just what I did because it was an opportunity. I realized that my past circumstances were no indication of my destiny.

I got to choose my destiny of what’s next based upon the fact that I was not going to accept what I had, but I wanted to have something better to move forward.

The same opportunity is there for every one of us, every day. Our past circumstances are not necessarily going to drive the trajectory of the rest of our lives.

We simply have to intervene and decide what we want and decide to roll up our sleeves, get busy, make that happen, and develop ourselves in such a way that people will give us the chance to make those things happen.

Your past circumstances are simply that. They are not your destiny.