Tips of the week

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Tips of The Week – May 13th

Stress Management

Stress occurs when situations control you instead of you controlling them.  Sometimes it is the way we react to events, and not the events themselves, that trigger stress.

Nine ideas to increase success in managing stress include:

  1. Identify the sources of stress in your job and in your personal life and minimize them.
  2. Find ways to best cope with stress that can’t be eliminated… proper rest, exercise, nutrition.
  3. Avoid burning out because of too much challenge
  4. Avoid rusting out because of too little challenge
  5. Calculate the number of hours you are capable of working and limit your hours accordingly 
  6. Balance your life; find time for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual well-being
  7. Identify the priorities in your life and include daily activities related to your priorities.
  8. Eliminate time wasters.
  9. Use coping self talk to control anger:
  • Is this worth getting angry about?
  • Is getting angry going to help?
  • Will this be important in two years, two months, two hours?
  • What would a calm person do?


2013-05-13T17:28:13+00:00 May 13th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – May 6th

Staying Professional:  Un-emotional & Problem –Solving Oriented 

We have a choice in terms of how we can respond to difficult situations.  In challenging situations we can respond with anger or frustration if we are not practicing professionalism.  Our objective should be to consistently deal with challenging situations in a calm, productive manner.

Six ideas to increase success in staying unemotional problem–solving oriented include:

  1. Recognize your body’s physical warning  signals that remaining unemotional will require extra effort, .i.e. a tightness in your neck or shoulders or chest or  hands or stomach;  a flush in your face or  body
  1. Take a step back mentally.  See the bigger picture.  Will this be important a week or a month from now?
  1. Take a step back physically.  Reduce the extra adrenaline through movement.
  1. Buy time.  Say:

                    “I need to consider this.”

“I need to think this through.”

“I want to give this some thought”

  1. Anticipate your frustration with repeat offenders and plan your reaction to them.
  1. Smile and say “I don’t sweat the small stuff”… and smile again.
2013-05-06T16:03:15+00:00 May 6th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of The Week – April 29th

Overcoming Negativity

You are what you think.  While everyone has negative thoughts, it’s part of being human, you can be a captive or a captain of your thoughts

The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you have.  A positive approach results in fewer problems, less stress, improved health and greater success.

We own our thinking and we can make it work for us.  The key is to focus on positive factors that exist.

Four ideas to increase success with overcoming negativity include:

1.   Change: “I want to… but… “     To:  I want to… and…

2.   Change: “I can’t… because…”      To: “I won’t… because…”

3.   Change: “If it weren’t for… I would…”    To: “I won’t… because…”

4.   Change: “I have to… because…”       To: “I choose to… because…”

2013-04-29T19:50:27+00:00 April 29th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – April 22nd

Providing Feedback Artfully

Feedback can accomplish three important objectives:

  1. Provide recognition
  2. Boost morale and motivation
  3. Correct performance problems

Feedback answers the question, “How am I doing?”

Feedback requires no complicated forms and shows you’re there to help.

Five ideas to increase success with providing effective feedback include:

  1. Make your feedback neutral, free of value judgments.  Stick to facts.
  1. Provide feedback as soon as possible.
  1. Provide feedback frequently.  Like a vitamin pill, use the following guide: one positive feedback per person per day.
  1. Focus on significant issues.
  1. Be certain feedback is accurate, concise and readily usable.
2013-04-23T17:45:35+00:00 April 23rd, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – April 16th

Coaching Skills

Coaching a perfect team is a dream, not always a reality.  In many situations there is a need to work with team members who lack either commitment or interest in their job.  These people will demonstrate their feelings through ineffective performance, a lack of performance or totally unacceptable performance.  An effective coach is able to shape the performance of many “diamonds in the rough”.  Turning less than desirable performance to acceptable and acceptable performance to superior performance is a most satisfying experience for any one who acts in a leadership capacity.

Five ideas to increase success with coaching include:

1.  Create a motivational climate by:

    1. Allowing team members to challenge the way things are done.
    2. Share a team vision… make certain that everyone answers the question “Why are we here?” in the same way.
    3. Enable team members to act by building their self esteem; make them feel good about themselves.
    4. Encourage them; recognize accomplishments; forgive mistakes
    5. Model the way
    6. Value a unique relationship with each team member; no favourites.
    7. Develop yourself; be a work in progress, growing changing, improving.

2.  Demonstrate the most respected leadership qualities: honesty; decisiveness; leading by example; delegating; recognizing others; being objective; tolerating disagreement.

3.  When providing feedback, capture “real” behaviour.   Focus on facts; not judgments.

4.  Ask… don’t tell.  Hold them responsible for solutions to performance problems. Ask:

    1. Is there a reason?
    2. Is there an explanation?

5.  Focus on the future, not the past. Ask, “What can be done to fix it for the future?”

2013-04-15T18:17:39+00:00 April 15th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – April 8th

Listening Skills

Listening is the most underutilized skill we possess.  We have increased our activity levels, frequently multi-tasking and need to re-learn the singular act of effective listening.

Eight ideas to increase success with listening include:

  1. Value the interaction; you can’t learn less. Listen for ideas.
  1. Assume responsibility.  Even if the speaker is boring or redundant, work actively at listening. Confirm and clarify when appropriate
  1. Make it ­­­easy for someone to speak to you.  Maintain eye contact. Maintain a positive facial expression & posture. Provide non-verbal signals like nodding to show acceptance and interest.

4.  Clear your thoughts.  While you can listen six times faster than anyone can speak resist distractions; stop clicking your inner channel changer and stay with the speaker.

  1. Tune in with more that your ears.  Listen with your eyes and your heart as well.
  1. Take notes.  A short pencil is better than a long memory.
  1. Keep an open mind.  Keep listening even if you don’t agree… there may be more commonality than you initially realize.  Be aware of your biases and prejudices.
  1. Be prepared to paraphrase to demonstrate your understanding; this practice will actually increase your listening ability.
2013-04-08T12:27:36+00:00 April 8th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – April 1st

Increasing Team Cooperation

Effective teams build your organization.  Instilling team spirit, creating a cooperative climate and channeling group effort are keys to productivity and success.

Six ideas to increase success with team cooperation include:

  1. Ensure that team members understand the total problem.
  1. Ensure that team members understand how they can contribute toward solving the problem.
  1. Make team members aware of the potential contributions of the other project team members.
  1. Discuss openly and recognize the problems facing team members in order to aid them in making their maximum contribution.
  1. Pay attention to how team members treat each other.  Accept nothing short of respect.

6.  Use specific problem solving models to aid the team to solve problems.

2013-04-01T15:51:22+00:00 April 1st, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – March 25th

Project Management Skills

Project management is a systematic approach essential to achieving goals with respect to schedules and budgets.

Four ideas to increase success with projects include:

1.   Every project needs a sponsor. Do not begin until there is someone who is responsible for:

  • Approving the team and defining the responsibilities
  • Providing information and resources
  • Clarifying critical issues
  • Acting as key communication link between departments


2.   Every project needs a clear statement of the expected outcomes, the approach, the timelines and the budget.  Do not commence any activities related to completing a project until the initial planning process has provided a statement that has the sponsor’s approval.


3.   Every project needs a plan. The purpose of the plan is to:

  • Outline responsibilities, and duties of the team members
  • State how the project will be managed in terms of the time cost and performance
  • Summarizes the resources required (human, electronic, external, physical)


4..  Projects can benefit from the application of the following tools:

  • Project team cooperation checklist
  • Planning and organizing checklist
  • Responsibility assignment matrix
  • Gnatt charts
  • Critical Path Mapping
  • Contingency planning charts
  • Follow up evaluation questions
2013-03-25T12:40:55+00:00 March 25th, 2013|Tips of the week, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – March 18th

Making A Positive First Impression

You have 90 seconds to make a positive first impression

Seven ideas to increase your success with a first impression include:

  1. Dress respectfully.  This means be as formally dressed as they might be.  It’s always easier to dress down than to dress up; to remove a jacket or roll up your sleeves.
  1. Get feedback from people you trust on your handshake.  Too firm or to lax can easily be corrected.
  1. Be on time.  Allow extra time and anticipate potential delays.
  1. Start with a smile.  Let your warm personality melt any initial resistance.
  1. Make eye contact and remain focused on their face until you know the colour of their eyes.
  1. Build rapport by using their name.  Be careful not to overuse this practice.
  1. Use the headline technique; keep your sentences short.  You will be asked to elaborate if they are interested in more detail.


2013-03-19T20:48:10+00:00 March 19th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments

Tips of the Week – March 11th

Negotiating Skills

Everything is negotiable.

Seven ideas to increase success include:

  1. Determine your primary objective?  Clarify what is important to you.  Be specific.  Also consider your secondary goals.
  1. Try to anticipate the other person’s objective.  Prepare questions to help discover their objectives.  Never assume….always seek to clarify and confirm.
  1. Establish mutual benefits and be prepared to communicate these to motivate the other person to see the value of your position.
  1. Know “when to fold ‘em” i.e. when to walk away… set specific limits. It’s OK to say, “That’s more than I ‘m prepared to do.” or “That’s more than I‘m prepared to spend.”
  1. Use silence as a technique to gain more information and more power.  The other person will fill the silence with information that will be potentially useful to you.
  1. Think of compromise …the 50/50 split, as your secondary strategy.  A collaborative effort where you both uncover common ground and mutual benefits is the best approach and will produce a better outcome for both of you.
  1. Ask questions like:
  • What will it take to resolve this conflict?
  • What will it take to earn your trust?
  • What will it take to satisfy you?
  • What will it take to fix this?
  • What will it take to close this deal?
2013-03-11T17:35:21+00:00 March 11th, 2013|Tips of the week|0 Comments