Monday, June 22, 2015

Connecting challenge

For this glorious week of June which includes the longest day of the year and unbridled desire to sit on patios instead of at work stations... Can you make at least two (2) connections for folks this week and give them the excuse to sip a beverage in the summer air?

Whether it is helping work colleagues find someone with an answer, a lead, a similar project - or friends looking to expand their social circles - a simple introduction can be all it takes to go from hoping to happening.

I usually an email with the following format:
X meet Y. Y, X.

X, Y is a (descriptors of what might interest X) plus I find him/her to be (personal story/descriptor since you're using your own reputation as the introduction base)

Y, X is a...

I hope you share a very interesting beverage together!

You get the idea? No one has ever said no. If I'm unsure I check with folks in advance before sending the email.

Mainly we are waiting for permission to talk with each other. Give someone permission this week?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Just my opinion on speed mentoring....

....but speed mentoring is not mentoring any more than speed dating is real dating.

The exercise has its time & place:
* quickly meet a lot of folks for later follow up
* receive multiple answers to a specific question (or set of)
* stretch your comfort level with approaching strangers
* encourage being prepared for conversation you'd really like to begin

However, you wouldn't put speed mentoring as an achievement on your resume. It can't take the place of the one/one conversations and long-term planning that a mentoring relationship supports.

Try all tools. Enjoy all experiments.
(I don't recommend teaching your kids to date via speed dating)

The two activities are alike but not as a replacement for the real thing.

Change is no laughing matter?

I think humour is an essential part of planning and managing change.

Let’s assume we are all good at our jobs. Let’s also assume our jobs are not simple. Understanding when to laugh is like evaluating risk – if it’s all BIG and all RISKY, teams and projects would quickly become paralyzed.

As a leader, you need to help your folks blow off steam. Depending on your style, that can take many forms; humour is a recommended outlet.

Here’s a starter kit of jokes for you:
  • Any project can be estimated accurately (once it's completed).
  • Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.
  • At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out.
  • Right answers to wrong questions are just as wrong as wrong answers to right questions.
  • Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient is the correct one.
  • How many change managers does it take to change a light bulb?
    How many do you have? – we’d like to hold a meeting to discuss all the ramifications of the change.
    None, it’s better to keep employees in the dark.

    "You were supposed to have changed that light bulb last week!"
And check out these cartoons:
Make ‘em laugh – thanks Donald…

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Complaining about time - a time waster

Dear Similar Circles,

How do you handle time? There just never seems to be enough.

Sitting Thinking Openly Pausing

Dear Stop,

The truth is that time is short – and the wait is long. How’s that for a platitude?

I only think I’m 17 but my body is 104. Today is dragging by (like parts of my anatomy) but I’m not sure how it got to be the summer already.

Time is the most valuable thing we’ve got and we squander it with less thought than we give to pennies. It is a non-renewable resource. If you had $20 and $40 of choices, you could go find more money. If you only have 20 minutes and you need 40, there are still only 20 minutes…And we’ll blow 15 of them complaining about the lack of time.

Once I figured out how much time I wasted complaining, I realized I had enough to take a lunch break. Which renewed me enough to squeeze an extra 10 minutes of work into the 20 minutes I actually had. Which makes no sense but just goes to show that time is a loop. Time is elastic. And a calendar’s days are numbered.

Now that you’ve read this and smiled, go show them how time is on your side.