Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Do You Trust Your Boss? Maybe This Will Interest You

The article below ran in the Raleigh News and Observer on Sunday...something to think about no matter where you work.

Managers don’t fare well in worker survey

BY MARCIA HEROUX POUNDS (South Florida) Sun Sentinel

Eighty percent of employees say managers are unnecessary, a national survey on manager-employee relationships found.

The survey of more than 2,000 employees by Ultimate Software found that 75 percent of employees say approachability is the most important quality in an effective manager, but only half of 10 employees say they have an approachable manager.

For 93 percent of employees, trust in their direct boss is essential to staying satisfied at work, and over half of employees surveyed say that if they aren’t satisfied at work, they can’t put forth their best effort.

Ultimate Software, based in Weston, Fla., said the employee-manager relationship “matters a great deal when it comes to job satisfaction and retention.”

The survey, released Monday, is “a wake-up call for companies of all sizes to get serious about better training, coaching, and guidance for managers, so these relationships remain strong,” said Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate Software, which specializes in human resources software.

Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization in Austin, Texas, said the results “highlight the long-standing belief that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” He said the issue is a “serious concern that affects everyone in the workforce and it’s something all companies should focus on fixing before they end up losing great leaders and valuable talent.”

Ultimate’s survey pointed to a significant gap in managers’ and employees’ perceptions: 80 percent of managers surveyed think they’re transparent with their direct reports, yet only 55 percent of employees agree. And while most employees say they feel comfortable communicating, 57 percent of managers wish their employees would be more open with what’s on their mind.

One problem, according to the survey, is that less than half of managers report having a mentor who gives them guidance on how to be a better leader, and 45 percent have never received management training.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I'm Afraid!!!!

How many folks do you know who would admit what I’m admitting? Hang with me and see if this message takes you somewhere helpful.

This morning I was talking with one of my smartest friends about fear.

We were agreeing that so much of what is going on now in the country is based on fear. As a nation, it seems that we are in the middle of a tornado of change and most people are naturally fearful of change. 

(Cue the cliche machine!) We all have changes going on in our lives. If nothing else, the person we see in the mirror every morning is changing—not just daily, but second to second. That thought, alone, kicks up fear in a lot of us. 

So, how do we deal with the fear?

Here are 3 simple suggestions for getting a handle on that Oh No! feeling in your life:

1. Understand that everyone—Ev-er-y-one—has fears. You are not in this alone.

2. Read through the acronyms below for F.E.A.R. Find one that works for you and take a few moments to think it through. Think about each word, separately, and then consider the whole phrase. You’ll find inspiration in each one.
- Future Events Appearing Real
- False Expectations Appearing Real
- False Evidence Appearing Real
- Face It, Explorer It, Accept It, Rise Above It
- Face Everything And Rise
- Face Everything And Run (Actually, I’m kinda partial to this! LOL!!)
3.  Name it. I’m betting your biggest fear comes in one of these areas: Health, Relationships, Work, Money, Social, Spiritual, Community. And yes, I understand that you have a lot of things going on in all the areas, but what is going on in one of the areas that seems to be a real dragon?

Now that you have some focus use the link below to check out the different ways you can deal with, lower, handle and, maybe, alleviate some of your fears.

Friday, November 17, 2017

John and Jillian…here’s how life works…or should...

“You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Coach John Wooden

I believe that we all wonder, every now and then, if the good things we do when no one is watching come back to us…you know…the karma thing.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful example that they do.

I was in a meeting that did not look like it was going to end well. As things wound down a staff member came in with some information that totally changed the direction of the meeting; turning it into a huge win.

Jillian is one of those “easy to like” folks. Always positive and up-beat, she showed initiative in finding the information needed to take the meeting to a different level. 

There are tons of people who would never have gone to the trouble. They either aren’t aware or avoid anything that doesn’t directly impact their job and them.

Jillian didn’t have to step up, but she did. I don’t know if her actions were karma payback for some of my efforts or…and this is even more interesting…a good deed that I’m supposed to return. 

Look around, what simple, good deeds can you perform? Open a door, pick up a piece of trash, let someone in a line on the highway. I’m convinced that the little, good things mount up.

Whatever the process, thanks, Jillian…I’ll keep it going.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

If you’re like me you’re about 99 percent tired of all the political silliness, intrigue, lying, posturing and down-right slithering-in-the-mud low-lifeness.

Seriously, don’t you think the sentence above encapsulates what’s going on?

Over half of Americans are worried about what’s going on the country today. 

According to Time Magazine, The American Psychological Association (APA) just released the results of its annual Stress in America survey. The survey showed that the biggest stressor for 63% of us is the state of the U.S. 

The other two top vote-getters were money (62%) and work (61%).

The tough thing about all this is that when it comes to our thoughts about America we are getting more and more polarized in terms of what we watch, who we talk to, who we believe, what we think and what we say. 

And, that ain’t helping!

Here’s a simple start to getting a grip: It’s one question, a suggestion, and one more question.

When folks start spouting the stuff you disagree with, simply say, “That’s interesting. Why do you believe that?”

Now, here’s the suggestion: Don’t automatically assume they’re an idiot or a bad person. They simply have a different take on the situation than you do. One of the biggest problems for us right now is belief that folks who think differently are idiots and/or bad people. When we think that our feelings and thoughts about them take off into some dangerous territory (Ex. let’s do away with them to make the country better…sound familiar?)

Finally, here’s the second question (and it’s a tuffy): Can I resist telling them what I think if they don’t ask? Too often the only reason we engage people is to tell them what we think…or complain…over half of our conversations are of a negative nature…so, think about it.

That’s it…question…suggestion…question.

If you are concerned about where America is going and you seriously want the future to be better, actually listening to each other is the first step.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

“So…what’d ya think was going to happen?”

That’s the question I always want to ask folks who come to one of my programs without anything to write with nor anything to write on.

I get that fact that it could be any of these issues:
Lots of folks aren’t in meetings or educational opportunities very often. 
They aren’t in jobs in which tools like pads and paper are used.
They don’t have a very high opinion of continued education or staff development training
They didn’t have positive experiences in earlier educational settings 

But, my take on it is that anytime—as an adult—you are in any sort of meeting you can’t rely on your memory.

So, for work meetings, doctor’s appointments for yourself/children/parents/etc., parent/teacher conferences…anything in which you need to remember information…

You need something to write with and something to write on.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Tomorrow I'm Dressing Up As the New Mike...How About You?

As I’m sure you know, tomorrow is Halloween. 

If your costume for Halloween was the “New You” what would it be like? 

Here’s the interesting part: Give a thought to what your outside would look like…but, spend more time on what your inside would be like.

Think about your life in terms of Fun (easy to tell what is most important to me by what comes first), Mental/Intellectual, Physical, Spiritual, Financial, Relationships, Career, Community.

What new habits in these areas would you exhibit in your life?

What’s the New You like?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Being Thrown From the Boat

"My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out on the lake and threw her out of the boat. That's how she learned how to swim. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" Comedian Paula Poundstone

Is your history that the only way you learn is through pain and hardship. Maybe there's an easier way.

Maybe you could look for better ways to learn and try some of them.