Less is More! Do you……

Less is More! Do you……

It’s a fine balance between less or more however less is more. It’s so easy to tip the scale and give too much, do too much, care or consume too much.

As a frequent public speaker, I’m always consciousness for my audience. I attempt to strike the right note each time with my objective to deliver just enough information. It’s a difficult equation to solve especially on the fly. Be prepared to make adjustment based on the response of your audience albeit a small team of 10 or a room full with hundreds. Keep an eye on their hands and eyes, figgity movements requires a coarse correction before you loose them.

Your goal is to deliver the right message at a cadence that allows for maximum effect. Over the many years of attending conferences, the Advisory Board speakers are generally the best presenters in style, cadence and delivery however their materials are often too much, too high level and too dense to bring back to your own team for replication. It is important to have the whole package. The message, the cadence, your body language, and most importantly content that your audience can metabolize.

I will be a student for life as my struggle is to find the right cadence and giving too much information.

As a countermeasure, I have shortened my talks to only 30 minutes max focused on a single topic and allowing ample time for Q&A.

Less is More, just ask your audience or a trusted friend!

Live life with Positude!

-W

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Reacting vs. Responding?….Do you?

Reacting vs. Responding?….Do you?

All too often, we react to an event instead of responding to an event. What’s the difference? Just think about it for a minute. In any conversation, do you start formulating an answer while the other person is still talking to you? Most of us do, subconsciously or consciously, it is a bad habit which prevents us from actually listening to the other person. We are all guilty of this each day and actually do ourselves a disfavor by not making a greater effort to listen first and responding second.

It’s likely that you have random thoughts swirling through your brain as you read this blog. Problem is that we as humans can barely chew gum and walk at the same time. We certainly are not capable of reading, writing, listening and responding at the same time.

Next time you are on the phone, try writing at the same time and assess your own ability to effectively listen and process the information coming through the telephone while writing notes. If you are honest with yourself, you will clearly see your own limitations. You are missing information and at times critical information that could have negative consequences downstream.

Break your habit of doing more than one thing at the time and start by truly listening to what is being said, allow the information to be processed before you respond. You will see an immediate improvement in your effectiveness in communications with your team.

To form this new habit, make a commitment to take a “Time-Out” before responding back albeit an email, text or a conversation. Allow the information to sink in and look at it from different angles before providing an appropriate response. Often, you are better served by asking a clarifying question versus reacting based on your instinctive interpretation rooted on assumptions and emotions.

Don’t forget, to form a new habit, it will take anywhere from 21-90 days of repetitive action before it is your new norm.

You only fail if you stop trying!

-W

 

 

Dog Therapy….it really works!

Dog Therapy….it really works!

In November of 2017, I make a choice to leave a busy NYC Academic Hospital for Quest Diagnostics in Teterboro, NJ. It’s only been 4 months although at times it feels like a life time. I have an awesome team, a clear mission and on a journey to developing a high performance and high reliability team top down, bottom up.

There’s one thing I miss more than anything else. During the first few months, I had a strong desire to visit patients at the bedside however that faded as time passed. I’m still a Medic and continue to treat patients on a weekly basis providing me the “fix” I need.

What I really miss is seeing,  petting, cuddling and observing the joy of our therapy dogs. No matter what happened before or the stress your carry with you, a dog provides instantaneous relief and brings a smile to your face. I have seen patients just about rise from the dead when the dogs enter the room or re-ignite an employee when he/she gets to spend a few minutes with the dogs. It’s truly inspirational.

Maybe its time to think “Outside of the Box” and bring therapy dogs to your businesses no matter the services you provide. It’s a known fact that a few minutes of distraction by cuddling with a dog will release enough dopamine in your brain to lift up your spirits and reduce your stress.

Go online, google “Pet Therapy Dogs” and see what services are available in your area. Just a few hours per day will do the trick. I can’t wait to bring it to Quest soon.

Live life with Positude, find creative ways to relax and energize your staff!

-W

 

Focused Living… Do you?

Focused Living… Do you?

From the minute I rise out of bed in the morning, I can sense the “Noise” that interrupt my thought processes and workflows. If I could only have two seconds to myself to complete a thought or task! Wishful thinking that is or is it?

Why do we  live our lives like “Morse Code”? A life with constant interruption and noise!  We certainly don’t make it any easier on ourselves with carrying a 24/7/365 breaking news source on our hips. Between tweets, snaps, pings and rings, we are overloaded with external noise that makes us highly inefficient and likely ineffective in our relationships and at work.

We can barely “chew gum and walk” at the same, forget about “listening and writing” at once! However, we are doing it all day long. In reality, we are missing out, cause avoidable errors and take much longer at a task than necessary. If we were only paying attention to ONE-thing at the time.

Earlier this week, I caught myself doing just that but instead of ignoring it or covering it up by asking for clarification (code for “I didn’t listen the first time”), I admitted that I was trying to multi-task and didn’t really pay attention to what was being said. I was disrespectful of her time and caused rework for both of us leading to an inefficient moment.

As positude leaders, we are making a promise to focus on ONE thing at the time in order of priority each and everyday. We will identify that ONE thing that is most important each day that will get us closer to our end goal whatever that may be.

I suggest that you should isolate yourself from all external noise factors, remove all people living rent-free in your brain and focus on the task at hand. To form a new habit, you will need to exercise thit new approach for 21-90 consecutive days. Hold yourself accountable when the brain start wandering or tweets, pings or rings interrupts your flow. Forgive yourself and start over.

Go from “Morse Code Living”: ___.___ ..__….._____..___…_._._____.__

To “Focused Living”:                  __________________

You will save hours in a day which will allow you more time on next level priorities.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

-W

 

 

 

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Dream BIG, Act SMALL….Do you?

Dream BIG, Act SMALL….Do you?

Is it true that those who dream BIG are more successful? If we look at some of the more  iconic figures in the tech industry, I’m pretty sure that each dreamed about becoming billionaires while struggling to find seed money working in their basement on innovative ideas. Think Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg!

Same holds true for you, if you dream BIG, you too will be more likely to be successful versus those who dream small.

The answer is to dream BIG but act small by taking daily, weekly, monthly steps towards your BIG goal.

This simple principle holds true for all new processes you are trying to implement as well. You should have a pipeline dream on what it should look like in your “Ideal State”, however you need to start very small.

For example, if you want to be a LEAN organization, you can’t just adopt the words and call yourself the next Toyota. It will take a strategic plan, governance and oversight as well as support from the top executives to the front-line worker. It’s a journey that must penetrate through all levels of the organization and cause meaningful change to those who are actually doing the work.

Driving transformation and change is one the most difficult things to do because we are not only changing our technical skills but asking our staff to change their habits. It’s often the human behavior factor that is most difficult to transform.

Knowing this, we need to dream BIG (Toyota) but act small every day! What is the ONE thing we can do each day to get a step closer to our goals. What can we do each day to change our behaviors? We know that “WINNING” is a big factor in engagement and satisfaction. Think of ways that you can breakdown you BIG dream into smaller components that can deliver quick successive wins that will allow you to build momentum towards your BIG dream.

Our front-line staff is looking for tangible changes that will make their job easier thereby creating bandwidth to spend more time interacting with their customers to build loyalty.

Go small, go deep into the organization and let the domino effect take place!

-W

Recommended reading: Gary Keller “The ONE thing”!

Trust but Validate!….Do You?

Trust but Validate!….Do You?

 

Let’s keep is short and sweet!

As positude leaders, we empower our staff to execute and perform. We learn from our failures and alter our actions when we desire new results.

A vital part of empowering your staff is to “Trust but Validate”. We don’t micromanage or intervene however we do need to validate on a regular basis that your empowered staff is doing what they say they are doing. It’s being accountable to self and your company.

Don’t wait until it is too late or too much time has gone by.

Use peer pressure to your advantage by being transparent. Transformation will only take place if all wheels are in motion and are aligned in mission and vision.

-W

 

 

Staying Calm Amid a Storm!

Staying Calm Amid a Storm!

Ones true character come out when under duress albeit in your personal or professional life’s. “A Leopard doesn’t change its spots” which is most evident when anger and frustrations hot buttons are being pushed. Only if you have great self-awareness and diligently work on controlling your emotions, can one learn to manage a stressful situation from the positive side of the brain.

Think back to a stressful moment in your life at home or in the office, how did you react? Do you become quiet, defensive, angry, frustrated, or even raise your voice? It’s natural for this to take place and often if not aware of self, you might not see this as a negative reaction. Not knowing or understanding your own response mechanism will lead to missed opportunities in the future.

Reflect back on your last difficult conversation and think about how you processed the information both in your brain, physically through your body language and spoken word.

Did you use your “Active” listening skills before responding or do you become defensive by arguing a counterpoint? Do you become quiet and shutdown amid the storm? Do you change your body posture and raise your voice?

Be self-aware and reflective to make improvements on how you are perceived by others.

“Active” listening involves a three stage process of receiving information by allowing the speaker to finish his/her thoughts completely, process the information in your brain before formulating an appropriate response from your positive brain. At times this will include admission to doing less than stellar work, a well-placed apology or asking for clarification if you are not clear on information received.

Catch yourself formulating a response while the other person is still speaking! This, by far is the most difficult thing to do however crucial to improving your ability to listen and respond appropriately. Also, remember that the unspoken word is equally as powerful.

Creating “Calm Amid a Storm”, requires practice, self-awareness, full body control and utilizing your positive brain. It will take practice including learning from your failures. You will not get this right on the first try. Trust me, it’s a struggle even after years of practicing the skill of “Active” listening.

It’s a journey of learning, failing and trying again!

-W