Education

Three Tips For Getting In The Zone

Three Tips For Getting In The Zone

Featured, Focus
You're standing at home plate. Your bat is back and ready to swing. The pitcher throws the ball. It looks like it is coming towards you in slow motion. You aim the bat and take your swing. You connect and the ball goes flying towards the outfield where there is no one to catch it. The entire situation takes less than a second, but it feels like a long time. You are in the zone. Hopefully everyone has experienced being in the zone at least once. When you are in the zone you feel like you can accomplish anything. It's useful in business to be able to slip into the zone when things need to be done. How can you get there? Try these three steps: Get rest: You cannot…
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Project Confidence in Your Next Presentation

Project Confidence in Your Next Presentation

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Many of us feel anxious when we’re speaking or presenting at a big meeting, but there’s lots of research on what you can do to look confident and competent in front of an audience. The key is to pay special attention to your body language. Make eye contact and avoid looking at your slides. A few glances are OK, but not at the beginning of your presentation. Also, keep an open posture with your arms uncrossed and your palms turned up. Remove any barriers — such as a lectern or a laptop — between you and the audience. And find areas of your presentation where gestures would help highlight key points or emphasize a concept. For example, if you’re listing a number of items, use your fingers to count them…
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Always Ask Why

Always Ask Why

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
In our coaching sessions, we find that people are reluctant to ask why. Poor managers take the question as a challenge to their authority. Good managers know that why clarifies goals and streamlines operations. Asking why is about determining the reasons behind things, whether it is a project, your career, or any decision. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why gets down to the real goals and the core of what you are trying to accomplish. The better you understand why you are doing something, the more effectively you can successfully complete your tasks. The question why also eliminates waste. If the answer to why is because we've always done this, it is past time to determine if that project is still useful. Why is one of the…
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Coaching an Employee to Solve Problems in New Ways

Coaching an Employee to Solve Problems in New Ways

Communication, Featured
Sometimes an employee gets stuck while solving a problem. They try once and, when they fail, either give up or try again with the same method. You can help a direct report expand their tool set and consider new approaches with coaching. Start off by asking a few questions: What problem are you solving? What concerns you about it? What frustrates other people about it?Your goal is to get the person thinking about why their efforts aren’t working. Repeat their answers back to them. Once they understand why their plan of action is flawed, ask what else they might try, based on what they know about the problem. Encourage them to think about what type of solution would make sense for this type of problem. Remember, your role here is not…
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Make the Most of Leadership Coaching

Make the Most of Leadership Coaching

Attitude and Mindset
Executive coaching can be a big boost to both your performance and job satisfaction. But before you start working with a coach, you need to ask yourself whether you’re ready to do the work. To truly reap the benefits of coaching you must be able to tolerate discomfort and be open to experimentation. You’ll need to proactively embrace new ways of behaving, even if these approaches don't come naturally to you. You also need to be ready and willing to take responsibility for your shortcomings, rather than blaming your organization, your boss, or your team. Deflecting responsibility will stymie your growth; acknowledging your failures will help pave the way for your development. Finally, it's essential to ask for support when you need it. You’ll progress faster if you make yourself…
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Close The Loops

Close The Loops

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
In the book Getting Things Done by David Allen the author talks about closing the loops. This is an important part of both the GTD method and the Businetiks system. In today's hyperspeed stressful world it's a useful lesson for anyone to learn. So let's take a closer look at what this means. When we make a decision to do something, it opens a "loop" in our minds. Each loop represents a project, anything from creating a new marketing plan to cleaning the garage. When there is ambiguity about a project, the loop remains open. Open loops are a source of stress. So how do we close the loops? Define the project: What is it that you are trying to do? What do you need for the project? Decide on…
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Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
To make good decisions, it’s important to think critically. And, yet, too many leaders accept the first solution proposed to them or don’t take the time to evaluate a topic from all sides. To guard against these mistakes, there are several things you can do to hone your critical thinking skills. First, question your assumptions, especially when the stakes are high. If you’re coming up with a new business strategy, for example, ask: Why is this the best way forward? What does the research say about our expectations for the future of the market? Second, poke at the logic. When evaluating arguments, consider if the evidence builds on itself to produce a sound conclusion. Is the logic supported by data at each point? Third, seek out fresh perspectives. It’s tempting…
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Clear Your RAM

Clear Your RAM

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
You've seen it happen. You have too many browser windows open or too many programs running and your computer slows to a crawl. That's because your computer is trying to keep too many things in its RAM (Random Access Memory). To get things running again you need to close the programs or windows and clear things out of the RAM. Your brain works the same way. When you keep too many things in your head, your brain slows down trying to manage it all. For you to operate at peak performance, you need to clear your RAM. Here are some ways to do it: Write it down: Don't try to remember everything. Have a calendar, to do list, daily planner or legal pad. Whatever system you use to track things,…
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Start With The End In Mind

Start With The End In Mind

Featured, Process
Anything you start has to have a finish, a final goal that the action or project you are embarking on is meant to achieve. In most projects you reach a point where you can stop but the results aren't perfect. Many people simply end a project when the deadline hits whether it is finished or not. To maximize your productivity, you need to define what done is when you start. For each project, whether it is redecorating a room, writing a presentation, or building a business you need to imagine what the final result looks like. You should define the result in as much detail as possible. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and why you are doing this. A useful tool for this is asking why five…
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Stop Thinking Work And Life Are Two Different Things

Stop Thinking Work And Life Are Two Different Things

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
For years people have talked about work-life balance. Books have been written, speeches made, presentations given about how to balance work and life. Of course none of them work and people keep looking for ways to balance the two. The reason that methods to balance work and life fail is that they start from a faulty premise. Work and life aren't two separate tings. Work is part of life. It doesn't stand apart from it. One reason that people encounter so much stress is that they are trying to silo work and treat it differently. When you understand that work and life are part of the same thing, you can start to manage it all better. Start with tools: The tools we use to manage work, like to-do lists, accounting…
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