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Archive for Cause a Change Reaction – Page 2

How to Be On Time…And Why it Matters

I’m not going to point fingers or anything, but how many of us having serious problems getting anywhere on time?

It is a big issue for a lot of people and adds unnecessary stress in our lives.

No matter how chronically late you are, it can be fixed!

imagebotHere’s how.

  1. Put down the smart phone. Don’t check social media right before you have to leave. It can be a real time-suck!  Invariably, answering that last email or scrolling through your Facebook page will make you late. You’ll get caught up in things that have no real importance in what you are doing at the time.  Like the latest funny quote or a cute cat video!  These things can wait (or maybe even be skipped entirely). Social media and email is never life or death. If something is important, they will call you. I promise. Read More→

“You Wanna Bet?” Finding Satisfaction in Your Accomplishments

Superhero punch!We all have that internal dialog that tells us we can’t do something.  (I’ve named my inner voice Sasha)

“I can’t possibly lose those next 20 pounds! I’m exhausted.”

“I can’t get a raise this year. They have been really cutting back lately.”

“I can’t write this book. So many people have said this better than I ever could!”

This kind of inner talk is an immediate productivity killer.  

Negative language doesn’t have to be part of your dialog. I suggest trying the same kind of school yard motivation you did when you were in elementary school. Read More→

What cha thinkin’?

MC900059188The single best way to find out what kind of issues your staff is having in their jobs is to ask them.  However, we all know that not everyone is going to be honest especially when they are concerned that their answer will impact their job security.

There is a way you can reach out to your employees and learn more: The anonymous staff survey.

It is simple really. Draft a document that asks some general questions about their overall satisfaction. You can include things like.

  1. What do you like about your job?
  2. What do you dislike about your job?  
  3. How do you feel about the people you work with?
  4. What would make you happier at work?
  5. How do you stay motivated?
  6. If you were a car what kind of car would you be?

Okay, that last question is more for fun, but I think fun in the office is important too. Read More→

Office Naps For The Win!

Remember how Robert Fulghum said that he learned everything he needed to know in Kindergarten? Well, most of us did but for some reason we have forgotten some of the basics over the years. Here is another gem we learned as kids.

Naps.

Naps are restorative. They really do help us regenerate and reactivate but somewhere after Kindergarten it became taboo somehow to sleep for a short time during the day. But, some experts are suggesting it is the perfect antidote to the lack of workplace motivation in the afternoons.

“Maas says there’s a neurological reason power naps work. Though an EEG pattern—which measures the flow of electricity in the head—shows wakefulness while a person is excessively tired, the neurons involved in memory can be turned off, he says. So although a person is technically “awake” in this state of sleepiness, his or her memory neurons can go offline. Simply put, even though you’re awake, your brain isn’t.”

Do you have an empty room in your office? Most people have some space that would work in this manner. Spend a little time redecorating it. Use a comfortable cot or futon in the space. Or maybe a product like this one or this one. Add some soft lighting that can be easily switched on and off from the relaxation station. Also provide an easy to set but unobtrusive alarm. This is key to the napping process.

Naps in the workplace should not exceed 20 minutes. In the article linked above sleep expert Dr. Maas indicates that a longer nap will cause individuals to wake groggy rather than refreshed.

photo credit: RelaxingMusic via photopin cc

photo credit: RelaxingMusic via photopin cc

When you’re preparing your napping and relaxation room you should also take into account the needs of your employees who can’t quite shut off their brain long enough for a 15 minute nap. Include a spot to sit quietly or meditate. Provide a soothing noise machine to help facilitate mindfulness. Over time they may retrain their brains to rest more during the day which will not only help them stay motivated but will improve their overall health.

Once you have the napping room available to your employees be sure to encourage them to use it. The first step may be to lead by example. If your team knows that you make use of the room yourself they may be more inclined to give it a try.

Are you looking for more innovative ways to help your team stay focused and motivated during the workday? I can help! Contact me for coaching or motivational speaking services today!  

Join or start Accountability Group: How Culpability Can Help You Stay on Track

I firmly believe that whSuccessen you have a plan to do something big you need to share it with anyone who will listen.  This isn’t about bragging or boasting but it is about accountability. The more people you tell about your project or plan the more disappointed they will be if it doesn’t happen. You’ve given yourself one more reason to finish what you’ve started.  

Then I learned about Accountability Groups. There are a lot of potential applications and you find lots of resources online, but in my line of business they can be used for entrepreneurs, freelancers, or small business professionals together and create a network of accountability. (I always have at least one accountability group going for myself at all times.)

The rules are fluid. Accountability groups (also called MasterMind groups) can be as few as two people and as many as you could possibly imagine. They should be exclusive in that only people you know who are dedicated to making a difference in their own lives and potentially the lives of others should be invited.

The group should be made up of individuals who will provide honest feedback as part of the discussions and you should all be able to trust one another. Trust takes time to build but you want to have a good gut feeling that all the people in your group are trustworthy.  

Most importantly, an accountability group needs to be consistent and committed. The whole intention of the meetings is to encourage everyone to finish what they started so only dropping in when it is convenient is exactly the opposite of the process.

There are other things your group should be as well. It should be a fun place to get together and bounce ideas off of other professionals. It should challenge you to live up to your own goals so you don’t disappoint the other members of your group. Working with the right group of people can help you grow your business and stay organized and on track. It can enhance your life as well, giving you an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings with like-minded people.

Look in your area for groups that are already in place designed to help people like you achieve their goals. If you don’t find one, start one. Talk to other small business owners and people who work for themselves and pitch the idea of getting together. You can talk about your individual goals and provide encouragement for each other throughout the process. Imagine the celebrations as each of you accomplish what you set out to do! 

email-but-off-iconIf you want another way to motivate yourself, throughout the month of August I am offering my “Work Your But Off!” program for free. If you “Like!” my Facebook page before August 31st, 2013 you will be signed up to receive the program direct to your email for 30 days! Be sure to tell your friends, co-workers, and anyone you meet at the coffee shop.

For more ideas on motivating yourself or coaching to keep you on the right track, contact me today! 

Make it a Game: Motivate Yourself with Goals and Rewards

I always find it so surprising that as adults we tend to forget the simple wisdom we knew as children. When you were a child the idea that you would receive some reward at the end of a required task was enough to keep you on track. We abandoned that mindset as we grew up but don’t you think it could still be applied?  

Can you turn your task into a game to get and stay motivated? I bet you can!  (think GOLD STAR!)

Of course, as adults we don’t have teachers or parents to give us kudos or prizes so we have to do that part for ourselves. Note:. . .  it is important to keep yourself from rewarding good habits with bad habits (i.e. a double chocolate milkshake after doing a Zumba class).  This, of course, is pretty counter productive.   So here are some real world (and healthy) ways to play the motivation game and keep yourself on track.

Step 1:

Determine Your Goal.

It is very difficult to remain focused when you don’t even know what you’re playing for. Don’t just keep a goal in mind – write it down. Put it somewhere you will see it every day.  ( I write my goals on my bathroom mirror with an eye pencil or lipstick.  Keeps it top of mind and a good reminder at the beginning and end of my day.)

Step 2:

Establish the Tasks.

To result in the accomplishment of your goal there will be a set number of tasks that take you from nothing accomplished to everything accomplished. Write these down too. That way you know where and when to focus your energy.  (I’ve written a 30 day program that breaks down how to do this.  Click here to learn more about “Work Your ‘But’ Off!”

Step 3:

Establish Rewards.

Now you need to know the prizes. Each task along the way should be paired with a small prize. When we were kids we would get things like smiley face stickers or lollipops, but as adults we may have to be a little more creative. For each completed task perhaps you reward yourself with a walk around the block in the gorgeous summer weather. This means you have to stay indoors until the task is done and checked off the list. You may find yourself gazing out the window daydreaming about the sunshine but the sooner you finish the job the quicker you can be outside.

For the larger goal, you can establish a bigger reward. Consider the nicest thing you can do for yourself within your means. If you want to go to Vegas but you don’t have the budget you’ll end up with a negative result overall. Think about what you really want that you can do and when you can check the very last task off the list you can treat yourself. Maybe it is shopping for a new pair of shoes. Or a weekend at the beach condo. Or dinner and drinks out with friends.

So, is a game just the reward?  Not necessarily. There are other ways to make your tasks into a game. Tasks don’t have to be arduous and unfun!

Challenge yourself as you’re working to make them fun and exciting. Set a timer and try to beat the clock as you accomplish a task. Or, if you know the task will take around an hour pick a CD or playlist of your favorite music and get the job done before it is finished. If you’re working with another person establish an easy going competition to see who can get their part done faster but not cut any corners.

Consider all the ways you can turn your goals into games and challenge yourself to make it happen! 

If you’re looking for additional ways to motivate yourself or your employees, contact me to find out more about motivational speaking and management coaching.

 

How to Give Your Employees Ownership of an Idea

Your company makes widgets. You sell widgets to clients who use them to make contraptions.

Yesterday, an employee named Frieda came to you with an idea for a new widget that would make the customer’s contraptions even better.

Conventional wisdom says you have two choices. You determine that the new widget is not something you want to produce or you decided to take Frieda’s idea and put the new widget into production.  Because she works for your company, her intellectual property belongs to you.

But what if there were a third solution that would help your company and Frieda.

Allow Frieda to take full ownership of the design and engineering of the product.

“What?” you say. “But Frieda works in packaging! She doesn’t have the skills to design and engineer a widget.”

Well, how do you know until you see what she can do? Frieda might not be an engineer, but she has access to your best and brightest employees and maybe she can put together a team and manage the process. She can be the mini-CEO of her project that might just result in a major innovation for your business. An innovation that only Frieda could have implemented and she deserves credit and recognition for that.

A website and organization called CEOFlow suggests just that. By trusting your employees to take ownership of their own idea and oversee the project from start to finish you are engaging them in your business in a more complete and thorough way. Get your employees to care about the success of your business as much as you do.

Here are four simple things you can to do give your employees ownership of their projects.

  1. Make sure they are clear about the end result.
  2. Reward creative thinking.
  3. Allow all decisions and discussion to be open and transparent.
  4. Encourage collaboration.

Take a good honest look at your business and see where people could be contributing more. Assess their talents and allow them ownership of new projects or processes.

As a manager, are you looking for more ways to engage your employees and make them happy on the job? I can help you with that. My name is Cheri Britton and I offer management coaching and dynamite motivational speaking for your office or meeting. Contact me today to learn more.