Tag Archives: Company

DEALING WITH STRESS

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Since my last post on recognising stress. I have been asked if I have any more tips on dealing with stress. Here are a few more of my thoughts, They may not tick the box for all of you reading this. However it might help you to create your own strategy – after all if you ‘own’ the strategy, then you will have more change of success. If these do tick the box for you, then start that change process – NOW!

If you look at my previous blog, the main thrust of it, is that someone has a need to recognise the symptoms that are actually stressed. This in turn will then enable that individual to make two choices. Address the stress or simply get on with it. Remember me saying, that we all need a bit of stress to make us function as Humans, to create and achieve our goals for ourselves and our loved ones.

There are some simple things you can do to de-stress yourself:-

1.) Exercise.
This might take the form of joining a gym. When you do go, work at your own pace, do what you want to do. Be yourself and work to your needs not the people around you. Or simply put on your coat and go for a walk – whatever the weather.

2.) Take a snap shot of your life.
Simply look at some of those things that could be causing your stress. A sudden shift by you will not be sustained, as you will revert back to type in time. A small shift on a regular basis is all you need. Remember that phrase “If you do what you have always done, you will get the same result.” Therefore if you don’t tackle stress – you will still end up feeling stressed.

3.) Me Time.
When do you ever have ‘Me Time’? This is very important as you can give yourself some quality ‘Me Time”. By the very fact you are assigning yourself this time – will give to yourself a huge feel good factor. ‘Me Time’ can simply mean listening to music, going out with friends and/or socialising, or doing a bit of mediation or reading.

4.) Give yourself a Challenge.
You might decide to enrol at College and do a basic language course 1 evening a week. If this challenge is a physical one – this will tick this Challenge Section – the ‘Me Time’ Section and the Exercise Section. A win – win – win.

5.) Accept the things you cannot change.
This might be the most challenging aspect. Some things are completely out of our control, there is nothing we can do about them. So why stress about it? Accept the fact and work with it.

These are just some ideas to ‘kick start’ your thinking. If you want me to help you think through your new way of thinking – simply contact me via this blog.

This is your life – your body – your mind. You owe it to yourself to ‘own it’.

Have a great stress free day.
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Do Your Work Colleagues Work And/Or Think In Silo’s?

I visited a potential client the other day, who was a manufacturer. Had a tour round the plant by one of the Directors. Very clean, very organised – no out of date memos on the notice boards – you know the thing I mean.

I was collected by this Director in their reception area. We started our factory tour by putting on our high visibility vest, safety hat and ear plugs. I was shown one area near to the reception, where some goods are delivered. All quite neat and tidy.

We then went into another part of the factory, which in fact was another part of their manufacturing process – a storage area. There was a difference, still tidy – the notice boards were still organised – and it had information only about that area of the business – nothing else. I would go so far as to say, that the staff had a different attitude to the ones I had previously experienced.

My factory tour continued into the main production hall. The noise level here was higher than the other two areas – not surprising as this was the main hub of the whole plant. I noticed that the floor and corners of this area were not as clean or tidy, when compared with the previous department. There was a lot of shouting, and quite ‘robust’ language, people being quite aggressive with each other. They were not arguing or fighting – just a bunch of guys constantly in each others faces.

The final part of my tour was the distribution area. Once again there was a marked difference to the production area. I went with my host to the boardroom for a coffee. He asked me what I thought about his plant. I said that my first impressions were that there seemed to the four businesses under one roof. The delivery area, the storage area, the production area and the logistics side of the business.

The Director was interested and asked me to give to him more detail about what we were discussing. The main point that I made was that each area was so different to the other. Yes – we must have some differences. What I was alluding to was the attitude of the work force in those areas – the way they came across as I walked passed them.
This Director thought about what I had said and after some discussion he realised that the four areas reflected the Manager that ran them. In essence the guy running the production area was a former military man before he came to industry. His department reflected his management style, as did the other three departments.

These four Managers had created their own Silo’s or how that part of the business worked for them, It is important to have individuals who are what they are and not clones of each other. So that they are different as I am different to my host Director.

He then told me that they were having ‘communication problems’ between departments. That is why he contacted me and gave me the factory tour. He knew there was something not right, yet, could not put his finger on it.
I devised a plan to ‘De-Silo’ the Managers – the benefit will be that communication will be better. Thus ensuring that the needs of the external customer are put first – not the internal Silo’s. Quite a challenge – however, I will achieve a result for him.

If you need silo’s removing – then I can help you.

Have a great day.

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Doing Your Best In Business and Commerce

Sometimes doing you best is not good enough. You plan your sales calls, you make sure that you plan your route and get the most number of visits in the day. Your briefcase is full of literature, pens, note paper, brochures and maybe even a price list. You go about your business and at the end of the day; the potential clients had good meetings with you and did not commit to buy or even talk further – how very frustrating!

There are other days you just get out there. Meet people at networking meetings, have a coffee with them. They warm to you and the products or services you are offering. They agree to talk to you in their office about prices and specifics – why is that!

I came across a study by Latham & Yuki (1975) where a hypothesis was tested.

Which was:- ‘People who are given the hardest goal should perform best.’

They had three sets of workers who were given the task of cutting and transporting wood, working in small groups. They were called ‘Do your best group’, ‘Assigned group’ and ‘Participative group’.

The ‘Do your best group’ was not given a specific goal to achieve.

The ‘Assigned group’ were assigned a hard goal to achieve.

The ‘Participative group’ were tasked to set their own specific hard goal.

The results were very surprising:-

The ‘Do your best group’ moved 46 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The ‘Assigned group’ moved 53 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The ‘Participative group’ moved 56 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The participative group worked as a team, were motivated as a team, were motivated by setting their own high goal, they were motivated to achieve it – as they had set it.

Working towards a goal – however high is a must for people in business and commerce. To stretch oneself and the team will forge a work ethic that will be beneficial to the business. It will keep people aware of what is needed, it will maintain output, and it will increase sales and therefore profits – ultimately leading to job security for the workforce.

So what are your goals – what are you working towards?

If you are in business, what is your long term goal?

Is your plan to sell after X years?

Is it to still remain part of the business and put a management team in place?

Are you looking to franchise what you do, or float it on the stock market?
To do your best – you need to look at that big picture. What are you doing all this for? What will you be hearing when you have achieved your goal, and how will that fell for you?

This is not ‘airy fairy’ stuff – you need to know where you are going – what you are about and what you will have achieved when you get there. Clearly a lot of hard work and planning has to be done. Key Performance Indicators have to looked at to ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Companies like mine can help business people focus their attention on what is important in setting that end goal.

OUTCOME – EFFORT – REWARD

Have a great day

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Influencing in Business

Influencing in Business is vital to its survival – that’s obvious I hear you say. Well here are some thoughts for you to ‘wrestle’ with.

The OED sees the word influencing as:-

“The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.”

Influencing to some is about one person telling another what to do and how to do it. I can remember countless examples of this in industry where a Manager has adopted this approach. It might stem from them being higher up the ‘food chain’ than the person being ‘influenced’. The person on the receiving end of this ‘influence’ does not question or seek greater understanding. They may be concerned that if they asked a question they would be considered stupid or not on board with the company policies. They could in fact be fearful that they will lose their job. So they carry out the allotted task to the letter, they may simply do what is asked of them and no more. This creates behaviour from that other person. I am sure you have heard “I did exactly what you asked me to do!” The co-worker has not failed the task or has not completed it. However they have not had any input as to its outcome and could be disengaged. The result is a behaviour that is not helpful.

On the other hand, the person doing the influencing, takes on board the other persons skill set and works with their motivations. The result will be much better. You do this by stepping into their world. This way you use what they are about to best effect. I am not an expert in martial arts – however there is a school of thought that says – use the others persons momentum, not your own, for you to gain the upper hand. This is the same technique when you are influencing – use their momentum to best effect, to get the job done – to achieve the outcome. The influencer is using the character and development side of the OED definition seen above.

If a person is a mover and shaker – then use that attribute.
Remember not to squash this with your own stuff. Work with their energy and drive to get the end result.

If a person is a thinker – then that is their strength – so use it.
You may have some of the answers, and they might have that little nugget of an idea that will make all the difference.

If a person is a process person – they will have a methodical approach to the task. This is their strength – it may not be yours – so again, use it to best advantage.

Just taking the three examples above – you may not see yourself doing these things. However, if you can step into their world – influence – then step back from their world. You will find that they will walk through a wall for you. By doing this technique you might feel that you are not influencing – maybe you might think you do not have control. In fact you have all the control – as you are conducting the orchestra – not the other way around.

Have a good and very productive day!

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Motivated People

I am sure that you have come across motivated people in the past. They come from all walks of life and from all sectors. The one thing that they have in common, is that their motivation have been sparked by something.

That something is a connection with what they are doing and what is important to them. Sounds simple does it not – not so simple as we would all do it. We have people in industry who are motivated by climbing the corporate ladder. To get a better job and reap the rewards that those roles bring. However some of them are being motivated by what they think the company wants. Not necessarily in line with what that individual is truly motivated by.

They will give the appearance of being motivated by success, achievement and / or money. In truth they are individuals who are really motivated by people first – then money / achievement second. These are people to are tigers in the office – driven and can come across as quite rude or aggressive in the role they play for the company. Then when they go home, they give themselves a hard time about how they have treated the staff that day. This is an internal conflict – not good for anyone to have going on for them.

I am sure we can all put our hand in the air and say “Yes – I know someone like that”. The truth is they are operating out of what I call conditioned values or conditioned motivations. As I said before, they are acting this way – because they think that’s the way the company wants them to behave. rather than their own personal motivations.

This internal conflict can lead to stress, excess use of alcohol, short fuses and the like. These issues can be sorted by identifying the individuals motivations first and then align them with the company’s. This way the person concerned knows where the boundary’s are – making a calmer more motivated employee.

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