Sunday, May 31, 2015

Project: Talk To The Hand

The ‘90s. 

Is the fashion worth recycling? No. Do we have a Pandora station dedicated to ‘90s Hip hop? Yes. Do we revert ‘90s vernacular? Duh.

A most memorable catchphrase the youth used (and overused) when encountering topics, conversations, peoples or obstacles they did not want to face the circumstances:

Talk to the hand!!!

However, it gets better - because this colloquialism was not just uttered. The hand was lifted, and the head was dramatically turned away, “Talk to the hand…because the face just can’t understand.”

While this catchphrase may have died and become obsolete and extinct one thing has held on steadfast.

So that is the body language. It may not be so overt. It may not be so dramatic. But it gets the best of us when we clock in and we work alongside co-workers who far too often we see as the opposing force. Co-workers are team members but when every encounter provokes topics and conversations that seem like insurmountable obstacles our body language soon assumes a talk to the hand pose.

We become stiff. We avoid meeting their eyes; we roll our eyes. We avoid them in the halls. We give them our back.

Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end. Perhaps you’ve been the generous benefactor.

What causes this alienation?

It stems from unsolicited advice. We all know the type: The person who is too eager to offer advice.

Here are a few quick questions to ask yourself when you think you have something wise and witty to say. This guideline that will help you know when people are more likely to be receptive to information. It might take you awhile to redeem yourself, but it is time for your team to pull together. Here’s a good place to start:

  • Is there a problem or is it just an opportunity for you to express your opinion?
  • Will it inspire your people?
  • Will it enhance the work culture?
  • Will it build your team’s relationship?
  • Will it open the doors for creative collaboration?
  • Will it encourage your team’s strengths?
  • Will it be a wise use of your time?
  • Will it utilize the tools your company provides?
  • Will it benefit your community?
  • Will it give an opportunity for a teammate to play devil’s advocate?
  • Will it be okay if it fails?
  • Will it encourage people to step up to be leaders?

Are you ready to lead your team to a new formula of FAQ's?

If you have any questions for us, we are always eager to encourage and inspire!

-The Green Couch

Friday, May 15, 2015

Project: It's Focus Time!

There are innumerable things that can distract us in life, or depending on our personalities, that we can use to distract others.

For some of us we are very intentional about our time and how we use it to get to the finish line.

However, if our eyes are on the finish line, are we paying enough attention to the projects at hand?

Are we allowing the finish line to be one of the distractions? Is the deadline distracting us from quality over quantity?

It is time to prioritize our focus and be intentional in the small details, so there are no loopholes to our structure, and the integrity of our work is something of which we can be proud.

It is time to check ourselves before we check off our tasks:

Do only what needs to be done. That is not an excuse to be lazy or do the bare minimum, but do not do as much as you can just because you are capable of doing it. If it can wait until tomorrow, let it wait. Do what you are supposed to do today, and do it well. Do not let things that can be done tomorrow distract you from today’s perfection.

Schedule everything that requires your presence. Never overestimate your memory. It is far too easy to overstress yourself mentally, but it is worse when you overbook yourself. It is impossible to be in two places at once or take two calls simultaneously. Color code everything in your virtual calendar for billing, meetings and any information that needs your attention. Use specific colors for team meetings, internal meetings, joint meetings, external meetings, phone conferences, etc. Your brain is already over stimulated, so you need a visual of what is going on to hold you accountable.

Use as few contact methods as possible. The more methods you allow people to reach you, the more methods there will be for miscommunication. If you email with one person, try to email consistently with them, at least for the remainder of that entire project. It is much easier to track the progression of the conversation as well.

Be on time, every time. And not just to the office or to a meeting. Be on time with your presentations, with your proposals, with your projections. Whatever your work entails, be on time, as it frees up space mentally and physically for the next batch of work to resume. Not only that, but it is the professional thing to do. You know, what you were hired to do?

Enjoy what you do. If, like in school, the only thing you like about your job is recess or lunch, then it is time to reassess what you do. If you cannot love what you do, your focus is clouded through desperation to get out. Not a victorious finish line.

Ready to reevaluate your workweek and focus on the in-the-now "focus time" and not just the finish line?

-The Green Couch Project