Friday, March 23, 2012

Maximize a Coaching or Mentoring Meeting

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian Scientist (1893 – 1986)
Interestingly enough, too often, we meet with team members and colleagues for coaching or mentoring only when something is going wrong. Perhaps there is a reason or two for not meeting with them when things are going well…sure, people are focused, even “busy”, but for some, it is because they do not think about it, and if/when they do, they are not sure what to cover.

When meeting, even if it is one that is last minute or seemingly casual or just a quick question, you can follow the guide below for ensuring effective communication, and getting to the points desired to discuss:

1. Agree on the amount of time you have available together
2. Ask what are the 2-4 things you would like to discuss
3. Share the 2-4 things you would like to cover
4. Ask the mentee to prioritize the combined list you both just created
5. Start at the top and work your way through
6. End on time
7. Schedule a next meeting to address the other topics (if any remain)

This collaborative approach serves both the Coach/Mentor and the Coachee/Mentee in having a methodology, respecting time, and getting things accomplished.

So, go ahead, book that meeting or schedule some time for “mentoring” or “coaching”, and enjoy the productive experience!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Make Your Own Luck!

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

- Seneca, Roman Philosopher
With St. Patrick’s Day nearly here, there is a lot of casual talk about “The luck of the Irish”, and more about being lucky. Even when it’s not the eve of the greenest day around, we often wish people “Good luck!”. Is it luck that is needed to wished or sent your way, or it there a way to create your own luck?

I believe you create such “luck” through the combining preparation and opportunity. The intersection between the two is luck or the good fortune outcome that results from your efforts and the situation!

Both of the factors – preparation and opportunity can be managed. You can consciously, or sometimes even unconsciously, increase the amount of preparation you do. You can also increase the amount of opportunity in which you place yourself. Adding both together, you can dramatically increase the probability of good fortune arising.

Luck still exists when the good fortune outcome defies the odds of preparation and opportunity. Every week someone wins the lottery in spite of infinitesimal odds. And sometimes the best laid plans go awry. But by and large, the degree to which you prepare and place yourself in opportunity’s way are the surest ways to achieve “luck.” So, perhaps instead of wishing people “Good luck”, or attribute something/someone to “being lucky”, we may just want to wish them to “Do your best!”, and compliment them on being prepared and seizing the opportunity! Whatever you decide to say in the future, now I wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

20 Seconds to Stress-less-ness

"Pressure and stress is the common cold of the psyche."
~ Andrew Denton,Australian Producer and Radio Host, b. 1960
Many people are feeling the crunch of work, home and other expectations. That's okay...sometimes that "crunch" becomes a driver, and it pushes us. But, other times, that "crunch" can feel like pressure and evolve into stress. If the latter is ever the case, please consider incorporating the following four quick steps:
1) Taking 3 breaths (in through nose and out through mouth)
2) Picturing something that is calming or sweet to you
3) Holding that thought and continuing that breath for 15 seconds
4) Smiling on the last breath to lock in that feeling of stress-less-ness
Isn't 20 seconds worth making that "crunch" get in line to allow you to stay calm and get the results you want?

Here's to a world that is not stress-free, rather filled with stress-less-ness!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Non-Traditional Organization = Traditional Success!

"Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. Like beams in a house or bones to a body, so is order to all things."
~ Robert Southey
English poet (1774 -1843)

Recently at a workshop on Assessing and Organizing for the New Year, I shared the following tips and tools. It was asked that I include them in the next newsletter, so here they are!
Often organization can seem daunting, and knowing that, these tips and tools are non-traditional...ways to assist you with organization for you, about you. Please use what fits, and consider incorporating a few as you continue on a successful path for 2012!

Establish a sleep time & a wake time (within an hour each day) for consistent rest. A well-rested mind is an organized mind!
Be a Project Manager (instead of a Project Do-er). Let others shine, and share in the opportunities.
Schedule clean-up time each day or clean as you go. Figure out which suits you, and embrace it.
Have an accountability partner who is supportive, and does not "let you off the hook". Be the same in return.
Schedule a time to return phone calls & emails (instead of constantly interrupting yourself).
Create a decompression routine for the shift from work to home (could be a song, a dance, a "reward", a scent, or a combination of these).
Book weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly appointments now, and schedule work/clients/meetings around those times. Taking care of you is being well and organized for others!
Cut 15 minutes out of each meeting or book starts for 10 or 15 minutes after the hour.
Do some mental fun-ness exercise each day like Scrabble or word search or Facebook - keep it positive!
Do worst things first so you do not procrastinate doing them. Then, reward yourself with doing something you enjoy next.
Recycle. This gives you something organized already.
Workout. People who schedule and stick to workouts are likely organized, energized, and even fit!
Cut yourself some slack. Adopt the "progress...not perfection" motto. This is not lowering the bar, rather celebrating small successes!
Act like a kid again to remind yourself life is fun!
Follow your heart...and your head will follow! Give logic a break once in a while, and let your "gut" be your guide to an emotionally organized approach!

With these non-traditional organizational tools, you will likely find traditional success...and more!