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Too much to do? Slow Down!

WHAT?!?!?!?  How does that help me?  I’m working on slowing down now and I am finally seeing the results – it works!  There are two things at play here:

One is how your brain works when it’s overwhelmed – it’s ineffective. Effectiveness comes from being focused and relaxed.  Are you focused and relaxed when you’re overwhelmed? Yeah, neither am I.

The second thing at play is what are you working on? How do you know what’s the most important thing you should be doing?  For me, I do a brain dump of everything I need to do ON PAPER.  As I get it all out of my head, I categorize – family, house, boss, project, marketing, etc.  Then, I look at 3 criteria for each – urgency, importance, and impact.  This gets to the heart of why you need to slow down.   These three criteria will find the assumptions you’re making about what is really a priority.  But most importantly, it allows you to use your intuition on where you need to focus.  (this is the gushy part: this is slowing down, this is living intentionally, this is mindfulness)

From here – you can make real decisions.  What is the most urgent/important/impactful thing you need to be doing now, today, this week? What can you delegate?  Once you answer those questions for yourself, you can get soo much done on your list.  You’re free from anxiety as you work because you KNOW you’re doing the right thing. 

Try it – it can’t hurt and it just might help you find that illusive balance.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

Case Study: B2C Troubles

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
I started with a retail supply company shortly after they had lost their good standing with Amazon for 5 days, costing them approximately $80,000. B2B had been their bread and butter and was operating normally through their warehouse. Their B2C dropship channel was in dire straits. Their core physical problem was their order process required a manual interface between the vendor and the warehouse. For B2B orders that are one order for thousands, this was manageable. But dropships are thousands of orders for one item and that became too cumbersome. Automation was attempted but was unsuccessful. Their core strategic problem was there was no strategic thinking.

—READ MORE —

 

What is team work anyway?

brainstorm imageGetting a project out the door is easy – each person does their part ensuring they aren’t called out as a problem and everyone looks good.  Isn’t project management about team work? NO.

Let’s look at a family and their camping vacation.  Wife packed the food and clothes; Husband packed the gear; Kids packed the games. Overall goal – have fun.  But, everyone has their own agenda and their job matched it – Wife wanted their needs met, Husband wanted to have fun, and the Kids didn’t want to be bored.  That’s a great project and the goal was most likely met…easy, peasy and NOT what teamwork is. Each person worked individually toward a common goal.

Same family, same vacation – tragedy strikes.  On the drive, lightning starts a fire and the highway is blocked.  People are stuck with construction ‘jersey walls’ on both sides.  The winds shift suddenly and the fire heads towards the cars.   300 cars: all kinds of people – old, young, babies, disabled, and pets. Everyone must get out and get to the nearby lake to be safe.  Tweens work together to get the pets.  Women get the mobile elderly, talking calmly to ease their fears – they work with the moms to get the little ones and their critical stuff gathered.  Men work together to carry the disabled and the very slow. Everyone contributes where their strengths lie, and agendas are woven together.   THIS is teamwork.

Brainstorming events are fabulous team work events when individuals speak to their strengths.  If people shared their ideas/their strengths in every endeavor and if they were heard with openness, then our agendas would be woven together, and a better solution would be created.

This is possible.  I’ve seen it and I’ve created it.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

(forgive all gender generalizations in this narrative)

Bullies In the Office

I have had three true bullies in my career – all women. Each situation was different, and each woman was a bully for different reasons and in different ways.  Only one of them was my direct manager.  All made my life miserable and difficult despite my attempts at trying to make things better – part of my job as Project Manager and part of my personality.  Despite every Lifetime movie showing that bullies can be ‘turned around’ – that’s not true for the office where you have no insight into their personal world where the damage is being created.  Forgive me my HR friends, there’s nothing you have done in any of these situations – for the same reason.

Bullying is one of those toxic situations with no way out – like narcissism.  So, what DO you do?  The internet is filled with tactics to help you survive.  But, I think the real answer lies in looking in the mirror and deciding what you want to do with your life. Forget the bully – What is in your best interest?  Do you like what you’re doing? My guess, what you want to do is hard to do.  There are kids, spouses, money, or knowledge in the way.   Most likely there’s fear too.  Change is scary, but change is our only option.

Twins looked at each other in the womb and say “It’s so scary out there.  It doesn’t matter that I can barely move – it’s safe here.”

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

Team Building Exercises – Worth It? Yes AND No

Team Building Exercise

Depending on the exercise, you might be learning a lot about communication – unless your boss is the competitive type then it’s all about who wins.  All work on communication is awesome – regardless the venue.  This environment can break down barriers that your team members have been experiencing -which is always a good thing!

Now, you’re back in the office – can you apply what you just learned?  If you and your team were struggling only with working together, most likely you can.  However, there’s a lot more going on within your team than human interaction.  You also have expectations, the need for good automation, processes, and external communication that creates stress on your team.   

Managers who see these team building exercises as ‘fix-it events’ will not get what they want.  These exercises don’t ‘build teams’ – they build (hopefully) fun memories and relationship bonds that people can fall back on when times get tough.  Use team building events as rewards only.

If your team is not on the Same Road, at the Same Time, and going in the Same Direction on a regular basis – ask for help.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

#teamwork, #teambuildingevents, #FabricofTeamwork