Posts Tagged ‘work’

Fall in Love with Change or Stick with Stuck!

November 5, 2015

Autimn leaves by road (360x244)

Autumn leaves are a great reminder to get rid of the old and make way for the new. It’s a good time to unclutter your desk, clean out your closet or change up your exercise routine.  Hmmmm…. I wonder if I could shed my old skin, would I look like my baby self?

Doing business today is WAY different than it used to be. Technology is old after a week, the generational gap in the workforce is at its widest in history and corporate cultures have to get with the program to attract and retain talent. 

But the biggest change has to come from within our mindset. 

I have a 61 year-old friend who was given the pink slip from an oil company where she made a healthy piece of change for many years. For the past three years she’s looked for a job without any luck.  

Over qualified. Translation: too old.  

After the proverbial time period of wanting to throw eggs at corporate America, she decided to try something completely different and took an online course to learn how to demonstrate food & wine in supermarkets at $11/hour. Maximizing her people and communication skills, she’s now happily living a stress-free life without the pressure of an impossible workload with an impossible deadline. She meets all kinds of new interesting people every day and has nights and weekends free to enjoy herself.

Imagine that.

Changing her thinking, changed her life. Her perspective of low paying jobs was turned around when she began looking at the positives and broadened her routine job search.

Becoming unstuck means letting go of the familiar and embracing the new.After all, if change wasn’t a good thing we’d still be living in loin cloths with no cell phones.

Now imagine THAT.

– Read more about motivational speaker Theresa Behenna at: www.TheresaBehenna.com 

Why the Pope rocks at business & how you can too

September 29, 2015

Pope Francis touching child in America (220x124)Regardless of your religious beliefs, social economic position, field of business, political views or your personal whereabouts last week, you heard about Pope Francis’s historical visit to America. Also regardless of all the above, you have to admit he crushed it. He knocked it out of the park. He rocked.

Why?

Because he connected with the masses. Not just the high brows. Not just the politically correct, the famous, the leaders. He genuinely cares about all people everywhere and it showed. His humility is so endearing yet so powerful, he influenced millions of non-Catholics in a very short time (are you listening Donald Trump?) His message was about inclusion, unity and compassion. Simple. Effective.

Why should you care?

When you express genuine concern about your team members, co-workers, customers and people in general, you can impact their lives in ways you never dreamed of. A few words of praise or appreciation can instill confidence,  attract more customers, boost teamwork and improve performance in the workplace and can seriously be life-changing for someone needing support and encouragement during tough times. As a motivational speaker I constantly hear about people joining companies but leaving bosses because they don’t feel valued.

Smart business is about connecting with people and building great relationships. The Pope totally gets that. Do you?

Reach out and touch someone. You never know where it could lead.

Hark, can you hear the angels sing? No, wait. It’s the sweet sound of success.

The Power of Passion for Profit

June 4, 2015

If you ask J J Watt, Bill Gates and Taylor Swift what they have in common they will all tell you they started with the same thing: they had a passion for what they do.They will also tell you there is no such thing as an overnight success. These guys have been at their game since childhood and put in their 10,000 hours worth of practice while we were all watching re-runs of Will & Grace.

Do you love your work? Or are you one of the 74% of Americans unhappy with their job?

If you’re one of the latter with no options in sight, try this tip: find three reasons to fall in love with your organization.

As a motivational speaker I get to travel the country speaking to a variety of professionals in corporations and associations. Recently I was the closing keynote at a conference in Dallas for a group of accountants (yeah I know, right up there with engineers on the fun scale) These people were ready for a snooze fest after two days of stats and facts but I have a ‘no nap’ guarantee for my presentations that works every time: I play piano to emphasize points and involve the audience in the music. Result? Maximum engagement, very entertaining, high energy, fun for all.

We talked about how passion is the beginning of all success because when people love their work, they’ll do whatever it takes. I asked this group of number crunchers to give reasons they love their company and the three main answers were:

1) People. Most of them said they like their team members or bosses.

2) Fulfillment. Whether it was doing a good job for the team or knowing their work resulted in helping people, many said they liked the sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

3) Benefits. A steady paycheck sure helps reduce stress levels, health insurance is a great perk and bonuses never lose their sweet taste.

How about you? List three things on a post-it note  you really like about your organization and stick it on your computer to see every day. Be grateful you have a job.

Passion comes in more than fifty shades of gray.

How to Come Back to Work After Vacation without being Miserable

July 16, 2014

Folders work pileWork after a long vacation is like Monday on steroids.
Here’s how to tackle the work that’s piled up–even your overflowing inbox.
Vacations are great, but they exact a price. You come back to such a pile of work that you wonder if going away was worthwhile.The answer is probably yes, but even so, there are ways to make re-entry less traumatic.
1. Plan ahead.
Managing the post-vacation plunge starts before your vacation does. You may be tempted to pile on meetings and projects as soon as you get back to make up for lost time, but a better approach is to stagger the catch-up work over a longer period. At least don’t aim to do it all on the first day. Accept your limitations. A lot of stuff can wait.
2. Set boundaries you can live with.
I work for myself, so no one ever “covers” for my vacations. That’s why I don’t see anything wrong with working for a few hours, especially over longer trips. If you really need to get away, or if vacation work upsets the people you’re vacationing with, then disconnect. If that doesn’t describe you, then maybe every other day you get up early, and work for half an hour on only the most urgent matters. Then you disconnect for the next 47.5 hours. That trade off can make the post vacation plunge less plunge-like.
3. Come back before you absolutely have to.
If you’re going away for a week (or two!), there’s a lot to be said for returning Saturday instead of Sunday. Not only do you get a chance to unpack, catch up on the laundry, and sleep off jet-lag, you can do a few hours of work on Sunday night. Getting a grip on the week’s schedule, and triaging your inbox, can help you feel more on top of things.
4. Keep the out-of-office message on.
Speaking of that inbox, if you’ve created an out-of-office message for your vacation, keep it on for an extra workday. Sure, the people sitting next to you know you’re there, but there’s no need for the world to figure that out. An extra day gives you space to get things sorted out without new expectations piling on. Of course, you can also just . . .
5. Delete everything.
This technique is only for the brave, but you could just make a quick skim of the inbox stack-up, flag a handful of messages you do want to read, and delete everything else. Chances are, if it’s still important, someone will follow up with you. And if they don’t, you can just miss an opportunity. Getting to take a real vacation may be worth the trade off.
6. Schedule something fun after work.
The first day back can feel like a slog. Plan something you genuinely enjoy for that first post-work evening–even if it’s just watching a favorite TV show–so you have something to look forward to. It’s not quite as good as a vacation, but it’s not a bad way to end the day, either.
Written by Laura Vanderkam nationally known writer and blogger for Fast Company.

 

From Russia With Love: How The Olympics Can Boost Your Work Performance

February 19, 2014

Olympics 2014 NBC logo
The Winter Olympics are in full swing as the world watches athletes dreams being realized and shattered depending on their performance.

Your work performance may not get you a medal but there are relevant lessons to be learned from Olympics coach Bob Bowman – the guy who trained THE most decorated Olympian – swimmer Michael Phelps.

1. Ditch the ‘one size fits all’ attitude
Managers need to learn what motivates an employee.
Some respond to logic, others want to be left alone to
work their way. There’s no cookie cutter approach.
2. Determine your gold standard
Each organization has a certain standard that
everyone needs to buy into. Be a little better today
than you were yesterday and you’ll live up to it.
3. Continue to develop your skills
Good judgement comes from experience and experience
comes from bad judgements. You learn the most from mistakes
as they are opportunities to change what’s not working.

Olympic Medals

The Russians put on quite a performance to show the world they are a power player.

Show your organization you’re a team player by taking these tips to bring home the gold!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy, blah blah blah

October 1, 2013

Dog laying down Monday is Over

What is it about Mondays that people dread?

The truth is, they’re never as bad as we think they’re going to be just because it’s the first day of the work week.

90% of the stuff we worry/fear/lose sleep over never happens so it’s really a huge waste of energy. Anticipation is mostly far worse than reality.       

As a self employed motivational speaker, I try to walk my talk of how to be happy and successful in life by shifting focus from negative thoughts to unlimited opportunities.   

Change your perspective about Mondays by thinking of all the possibilities for good things to happen…encounters of the nice kind, unexpected good news, a fun invitation, a new client, a productive chat, a check in the mail, a tasty treat.

Woof.

Wah! Wah! My Coffee Is Cold

September 24, 2013

Soldier crouching sad

Recently I read about returning soldiers having a tough time being civil to people complaining about their jobs, their kids, their life.

As a motivational speaker during my presentations I talk about taking risks to reach new levels of success professionally and personally. Stepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new software program can feel uncomfortable. Going to unfamiliar places to meet different people and make new friends can be scary to some.

Really?

The men and women in our military that risk their lives for our freedom are the people who truly understand fear, courage, discipline, teamwork, leadership and living in hardship.

Next time you want to whine about having to attend a meeting, another project on your desk, cold coffee or running errands, stop and think how lucky you are to be living in this great country where women can go to school, diverse religions thrive, government is elected fairly and people can speak out.

Really.

Make Nice, Make Money

May 8, 2013
Motivational speaker Theresa Behenna speaks on being fearless to realize more success in your life. This blog from Fast Company tells the story of one man’s courage to reach out to strangers for help…
 
HOW KINDNESS MAKES OR BREAKS CAREERS              life line
Cap Watkins is now the design lead at Etsy, but before that he was a lonesome Louisiana-bred web designer living in Oakland, working from home and not knowing a soul outside his small startup.

 Then something changed: He decided to meet creative folks in San Francisco.

 “I did the only thing I could think of,” he writes, “I made a list of web sites I thought were well-designed, figured out who designed them, and sent a cold email to the designer telling them I was a new designer in the area and asking if they’d like to get coffee or a beer sometime.”

He sent between 20 and 30 emails. He got one reply.
 
Daniel Burka, who was then the creative director at Digg, said sure, he’d love to grab coffee. Coffee turned into rock climbing, which turned into a cascade of introductions and friendships. Whether he knew it or not, Burka had facilitated a ton of relationships.
When someone asks you to lunch (or rock climbing), say yes.

“Suddenly I wasn’t all alone in Oakland anymore,” Watkins writes.

Though he’d be let go from this startup job a few months later, he had friends who could help him find contract work while he sought out a full-time gig. Eventually he was introduced to the folks at Zoosk, and suddenly he was “off to the races,” designing products for millions. And after that, Formspring, Amazon, and Etsy.

The lessons

Watkins writes that he gets “overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude” when he thinks on all the people who helped him–though they totally didn’t have to. So now he answers those cold email messages that come his way every so often–that was him, then.

There’s a lot to be learned from his story:  

  • As 99u observes, when you’re kind to people–and thus open up opportunities–you can change their lives.
  • You need a lot of hustle–and coffee dates–to be let into any industry.
  • Kindness is a form of networking. 
  • As John A. Daly writes in Advocacy, when someone asks you to lunch (or rock climbing) say yes.

Be kind. 

News Flash: Your Emails Are Offending Everybody

April 22, 2013

We motivational speakers are continually writing, researching and building our brand. This blog from Fast Company is useful advice for everyone…

We miscommunicate plenty when we’re talking face to face. And on the faceless Internet, it only gets worse. Here are 3 guidelines to help you out.                                                                                                angry man  

If you’ve ever found yourself pacing around your room trying to decide whether to end a text message or email with an exclamation point or a period (or maybe no punctuation–edgy!), then you are intimately familiar with the scarcity of signaling in virtual communications.

We feel even more clueless about communication online than in person because of the paucity of contextual information available. Take work, for example: If you are having an all-hands meeting, hiearchy will be represented by the way people order themselves (CEO in the center, interns on the roof). These signals are not available during a conference call–which is probably why you hardly ever hear the folks lurking via phone pop in with a question.

So we need to supply some kind of signal. Here’s how:

1. Speak the same language: Even if you are all culturally identical (most firms replicate themselves, after all) , there will still be a modicum of diversity in your language patterns.  

HBR writer Keith Ferrazzi says that being down with your Myers-Briggs types can help us learn each other’s languages. Another option is to try to meet people in person and just listen to them, and use that context later in written missives.

2. Give ’em more signs: “Nothing is ever obvious,” Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote for Fast Company, “unless you made it obvious.” To that end, spell things out: Instead of leaning on generalities like “circle back to me,” actually provide precise instructions of the next step.

 3. Respond quickly: Even if only to say that you’ll reply later, shoot a note over now. Ferrazzi says that since we have little clues for context–aside from that time stamp–waiting a long time to reply can make people feel like you don’t value your relationship with them, which sucks. So be prompt.

Are You Headed For Prison?

April 18, 2013

                      cell                

The Boston Marathon bombings have shaken
each of us to our core and left us wondering where it will all end….
Once again fear is at the forefront of the news.
 
As a motivational speaker for business groups at meetings and conferences, I talk alot about being fearless – taking risks to succeed at work and be happy in life. Fear can make us a prisoner of our imagination.
 
Terrorists are yellow-bellied cowards filled with hate and fear of anyone not like them. Chances are you don’t know one.
 
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is trying to prove himself using provocative nuclear and missile actions. Odds are you’ll never meet him.

Know-It-All Dictator Boss
doesn’t leave room for disagreements out of a sense of personal insecurity, arrogance, or both. The loyalty of the few cronies he or she has is built on fear, and so it isn’t authentic friendship. You may be familiar with this one.
 
I believe people’s insecurities show up as aggression, shyness, controversy, aloofness, arrogance, bullying, incessant chatter, rudeness, and otherwise unwanted traits.

At the essence of this defense mechanism behavior is the fear of not being good enough. The common result? Isolation, emotional instability, unhappiness.

The first step to solving a problem is to admit it exists. Do you see any of these traits in anyone you know? Errr, yes….especially if you take a look in the mirror.

Don’t let fear build walls around your ability to live, laugh, love and be happy.

Love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like there’s nobody watching, yada yada yada…