Practical Practice Management

Monday Thought…. Do you remember?

The influence of others on our life is amazingly, amazing and can be suffocating.  I have met people who have told me that they are not doing what their hearts desire is, but they are doing what is expected of them by someone else.

I remember a friend of my son’s who wanted to pursue a different major at a college that was not the one his parents attended.  It was a horrible situation for all parties involved.

The young man was strong in his convictions and pursued his desire, but the effect on the relationship with his parents was devastating.

It is important that we be true to our self, pursue our dreams, because in the end we are alone to face the reality of whether we are satisfied or not with our life….

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Reversing Negative Momentum

The other day, I wrote about defining successful and how this is an individual experience.  Even though each person needs to define what success is to themselves, many have a hard time doing that.  They are stuck because of someone or something.  They can never see themselves being successful at anything.

My blogging friend, Kristen Barton Cuthriell, authored a book recently called “The Snowball Effect” which is about how people can reverse negative momentum into positive momentum so they may become successful in life.

Recently on her blog she posted a clip from an article she wrote called “Steps to Success.”  I have read Kristen’s book cover-to-cover and it is inspiring.   The article in full gives several tips and how to apply them.  A few of the tips she gives for moving in a positive direction are below.

1. Treat yourself with compassion.

2. Let go of resentment

3. Tolerate temporary anxiety

4. View rejection as a gift

5. Live with a vision

“Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.” ~ Richie Norton

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Hitting Your Target

I love this quote by Steve Jobs.  We can change more than we realize.  If you have something you feel deep down in your core being that needs to be changed, or be created, why not take the challenge to do it?

You will never know what is possible unless you take the steps to try to make it come to fruition.

Do you have something to lose?   What would that be that it is not worth trying to do what your hearts’ desire is to do?

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Define Successful….

Last week I went into our local Subway Sandwich store to pick up breakfast sandwiches for the office team.  It was early in the morning and there was one woman working the whole store.  I gave her my order and as she was making it, I asked her what time she had to come into work, she replied “that she worked from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.”  I commented that it was early to start, but then she got to go home early.  She said “yes, but then I get ready to go to my second job from 5:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.”

I think my mouth dropped open at this point.  I asked what she did for her second job and she told me that she cleaned the whole kitchen of a local fast food restaurant and then prepped food for the next day.  Then I asked her if she liked her work and she immediately got a big smile on her face and said “oh yes, I have three children who are 14, 16, and 18.  I am a single mother and am so happy to have my jobs to provide for my family.”

I could tell by her enthusiasm when she spoke that she was telling the truth and she was so happy as she told her story.  She was very proud of her accomplishment to provide for her family.

She told me that she worked everyday, but on Sundays she did not have to go to work until 5:30 in the evening and she could have the day to enjoy with her family and friends.  As I checked out I thanked Elisabeth for being such a great example of a strong, successful woman.  The smile on her face was worth a million dollars.

When I left the store, I could not help but continue to think about Elisabeth and her story.  So often, we find people who complain about all they would have to do to be successful in their eyes and how they will never reach it.  Not Elisabeth, she was excited about being a successful woman, able to take care of her family and home by herself.

I am glad that I got to meet Elisabeth and took the opportunity to talk to her, such a lesson I learned that morning.

Success is truly in the eyes and heart of each individual being, no one can measure it except for oneself.

Be inspired!

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Are You Stuck In A Rut?

We all have experienced a time, maybe a few, when we have gotten stuck in a rut.  We feel down, maybe sorry for ourselves, and just cannot seem to pull ourselves out.

Times like this may be triggered by some bad event or unhappy change in our life.

If we do not pick our self up quickly the issue can become serious, possibly requiring outside help to recover.

I was talking with a friend of mine who had been experiencing just such a time in her life, she was in a rut.  She had been transferred at work and was not happy about the change. Instead of trying to embrace it and getting to know her new coworkers she became resentful and withdrawn.

Her husband realized that something needed to be done to help her and he came across the challenge above and decided he would approach her with it.  He knew that his wife had been wanting to get some new flooring, and he had been holding off, but he knew that it would be worth the purchase if his wife could do the “grateful” challenge.

He challenged her and she was to find three things that she was grateful for each day for 21 days, write them down, and tell the family each night at the dinner table.  She not only had to tell them what she was grateful for but why.  His wife jumped at the challenge.

To make a long story short she not only got her new floors, but during the process she became grateful for her new job and coworkers.  He said about two weeks into the challenge she was coming home telling the family about her new job and how much she was enjoying the new challenges it brought.

I think this was one smart husband.  I also think that this challenge is a great one and you do not have to be in a rut to take it on.  How much better would each of our lives be if we did this challenge everyday?

Are you up to it?  Let me know what happens.

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Be More Optimistic

If you asked 100 people if they would like to be happy at work what do you think they would say? I am sure they would love to be happy every day at work. I try to promote happiness each day at the office. If I had to work in a place or for people where there was oppression and apathy I would just hate it.

We know that finding a job where it is total nirvana while you are there is probably not going to happen.  But, you can do the next best thing and bring a little bit of happiness and sunshine with you each day you go to work.

Start by evaluating your behavior and attitude toward work, it is good, do you like going to work and what you do? By starting with self-evaluation you can make sure that you are not someone who comes into the workplace with a “half-empty-glass attitude.”

People in the workplace who are generally happy and have a positive attitude tend to be more productive and creative at their job. This of course makes pretty good sense because when you are feeling good and optimistic you are motivated in most other areas of your life.

Self-motivated employees are highly desired by employers, because of the many benefits that they bring with them to the workplace as a whole. People naturally gravitate toward happy people; they enjoy being around them because they make others feel good.

Here are three things that you can do to inspire a culture of happiness at your workplace.

1. Be more optimistic.

2. Focus on getting tasks done with a smile on your face. (Smiling is infectious)

3. Offer solutions to problems.

We spend a third of our Monday to Friday workweek actually at work, a third sleeping and a third taking care of our personal life. That is a lot of time invested at work so wouldn’t it be better if it was a happier place to be?

The article below is excellent. Take a few minutes to see what the Happiness Officer has to say about being happy at work.

10 Reasons Why Happiness At Work Increases Productivity

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Workplace Culture Is Not Created Overnight

In my consulting business I often encounter business owners who think running a business, developing a company culture, hiring the right people, making them happy and productive should be an easy task.

What is wrong with this picture? All of the above take time and effort and then more time and effort just to begin developing the right business culture that you desire to have.

A good, solid and sound business culture that will embrace employees, lift them up and give them the tools to be successful is not created over night.
Most business cultures and environments are developed after an employer or supervisor realizes what was in place to begin with is not working and they need to figure out how to make it work before the business crumbles.

If this sounds like your business or the one that you work with, know that not all is lost. There are things that you can do to build and create a great work environment that you and employees will thrive in.

The article attached from Inc.com gives 7 great key tips in creating an awesome work culture that will take your business to where you envision it to be.

Creating Your Workplace Culture 

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How Can Employees Produce More?

With so many different aspects to managing a business, managers and business owners have a hard time knowing what should come first in order to keep things running well.  An article on the Forbes website titled “The Open Secret to Motivating Employees” asked the following question of business owners; “Could a 5 minute interaction with an employee increase your weekly production?” What do you think, could spending 5 minutes with an employee improve their overall production at work for the week? You may be surprised, but the answer in most cases is ‘yes.’

What type of interaction is needed to take place in that 5 minutes in order to make a difference that employees would want to produce more? There are three major factors that will influence employees and make them want to jump onboard and produce more at work.

1. Task significance – Everyone needs to know what the need of the company is and how is it that they can help achieve the goal in order to make the company they work for successful. This must be individualized for each employee so that they can see what it is that they can do to help achieve this. Knowing how their job has a meaningful, positive impact on others (those they serve, i.e., customers, other employees or their boss) makes employees happier and more productive. They see and understand their purpose.

2. Face-to-face interactions – When employees are told directly, not by e-mail, memo or a phone call what it is they (personally) do that contributes to the success of the company it make a tremendous impact on how they feel and that translates into what they do, which is higher job performance.

3. Reinforce employees’ awareness – Employers need to create ways that reinforce employees’ awareness of whom they are serving and the benefits that they personally are providing customers, co-workers, their boss or the company as a whole. Collect and tell inspiring customer stories, take pictures of happy customers, show them the profit and loss report when things are improving. Whatever you can think of that will show your employees what they contribute to the overall success of the business will make a big difference to how they function and desire to produce more.

Five minutes really is not that much time, even if you have 100 employees it only comes to approximately 8 1/2 hours for a weeks worth of interaction with the most important assets you have for your company. Isn’t it worth the investment?

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