Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Walk the dog when your brain gets tired

 A good friend said to me a while back: “Close the computer and go walk the dog.” Deadlines were looming. Vendors were calling. Regulators were conferencing. Meetings were piling up; email exploding; decisions delayed…forgot to eat… smacked my fingers with the drawer… raining….

Sound familiar? 


I hit a metaphorical wall and, just to be sure, I hit it again. Did you know that we have a finite capacity for making decisions in a day? That you can get “decision fatigue?” Psychologists and researchers have just started examining this phenomenon (officially called Ego Depletion) but many of us already know it exists and live it more often than we prefer.


Once we hit that wall, our stress reactions take over and those are different for everyone. Some will just start saying “no” to everything. Some will take the first options they see. We’ll procrastinate or avoid or use anger to deflect. Our brains continue to flood with stress hormones and there is no rest in sight.


That’s Exactly when you should walk the dog. Or colour with the kids. Or go for a run. Take a hot shower. Watch Jane the Virgin. Whatever will let you disengage for 30 -60 minutes and allow your brain a moment to process the chemicals from the stress. We can’t power our way through this; our brains go on strike no matter how smart, efficient and productive we may be.


Our brains don’t differentiate between work and personal decisions either. Once we have decision fatigue, the topic is irrelevant.


These days I’m trying to do my decision making in the morning, listen and research in the afternoon, and make a few more decisions in the early evening. I walk my dog a little more, throw in 10 minutes of yoga even as my schedule turns red, and call a friend when I need to laugh. 




Monday, August 10, 2020

A monthly letter/column as written for & published also by Women in Transportation Services

Dear Dennie,

I tend to make sure I dress “invisibly” when I’m presenting. I don’t want to distract the men, take focus from my message, or have anyone question my credibility. Should I counsel my mentoree to do the same?

The Invisible Presenter

Dear TIP,

There is definitely something to be said for not distracting from your message. But aren’t you also part of that message? That’s a great discussion to hold in a mentoring relationship.

Supporting your message may not be about erasing or being invisible. Supporting your message may be in people feeling they can ask you questions, have further discussions with you, ask you for more guidance. 

We sell our messages with:

  • ·       Tone and volume of voice
  • ·       Facial expression
  • ·       Gestures
  • ·       Word choice
  • ·       Attitude… and
  • ·       Our visual presence

As long as you’re not trying to be deliberately provocative (unless that supports the message), ask yourself if you’re cutting out a form of communication that could help you create the change or conversation desired. 

Now, ask me anything.... :-)


Monday, July 27, 2020

Your intro opens a door

Can you answer this question: Why would you call you?

Brand is your reputation and you have the ability to steer it towards what you want it to be. 

Find 6 words to use as the ingredients that show you - within the context you find yourself for an introduction.