Overwhelm rolls in over the top of so many people in the workforce – professionals, small business owners, construction workers and other tradies, CEOs and executives and all those workers in all those organisations called on to do more with less.
To those who feel overwhelmed, there seems to be no way out, other than to resign and for most leaving their job without another to go to is not an option. Any way, are there any jobs today where overwhelm is not a pervading presence? Probably not, but it is possible to learn ways to manage, even beat, overwhelm and feel productive and in charge of your life at work.
Here is a short 12 minute audio I did of how to beat overwhelm. Listen to it here or download it to your MP3 player.
Time management is the bane of our lives. We constantly complain that we never have enough of it. We don’t have time to do what we need to do, let alone what we want to do. Not having it is our excuse for everything. Ironically, even if we had another few hours in the day, it wouldn’t alter a thing because we would fill that up also and still not have any time.
Yet, if we don’t manage our time well, it has major repercussions for our personal and professional lives. Apart from us always feeling stressed and stretched, never having time for the important people in our lives or what’s really important in our businesses, we lay ourselves wide open to heart attacks, strokes and an early death.
Time does indeed fly, but you are the pilot. You make all the decisions about what happens with your time. You set your priorities. Here are 13 challenges to your time management and 13 ways to overcome them.Read More
Micro-managing yourself can be the road to empowered leadership and management. That dirty word – micro-management – can actually be something good. So many of you are so focused on doing leadership and management that you spend little time working on, even trying to understand, what the BEING part of leadership and management is. This is the self-leadership part, the part that says, you have to be able to lead yourself before you can lead others. To develop the self-mastery that is inherent in self-leadership, all of us, me included, have to micro-manage ourselves from how and when we get up in the morning and start our day, to the way we work and relate throughout the day and to the way we finish our day.
So in this case, micro-management is a good thing. As all of us bring together into congruence the DOING and BEING of leadership and management, the need to micro-manage our professional and leadership development will fade away. We will be efficient, productive and high performing automatically and naturally at being the empowered leader.Read More
It always amazes me when I talk to leaders and employees alike about turning things around in their organisations, restoring morale, energy and enthusiasm to their businesses and work, that I am met with a feeling of powerlessness. Leaders tell me they don’t have the money to put into it and employees feel that what they think and feel doesn’t matter to management so what’s the use.
Neither leaders not employees need to think big. Small things can make a big difference.
I want to give you three ideas for how small things make a big difference.
Becoming self-managing and developing self-mastery is the second step in becoming the highly sought after emotionally intelligent professional. We all want to preserve our professional credibility and we know that we will do damage to it if we mouth off at someone who presses our buttons. So we learn to control what we feel while we are in front of them. What happens next though is what brings us down. We head back to the tea room and let fly about that person and what they said and did to all who are there. We then go back to our desk and stop at our colleague’s office on the way and go through it all again. When we get home at night – some 6 hours later – we are still churned up inside and fuming and our partner gets it all for the next hour. We take the other person’s critique of us on board as if it is true. We let it wound us and we don’t seem to be able to stop the bleeding. This person is only controlling her emotions, not managing them. There is a difference.Read More
Like it or not, emotions are an intrinsic part of our biological make-up,
and every morning they march into the office
with us and influence our behaviour.
– Shari Caudron.
What Shari Caudron says is so true. We all have to understand the emotions we carry with us everywhere. We need to become aware of them. The way we express them brands us in the eyes of everyone looking on.
What do you do with the emotions you have about a poor performance discussion?
A natural reaction for the emotionally unintelligent would be to leave the room and explode to anyone who will listen. You could bad-mouth the manager. You could go on social media and talk about the injustice. You could completely disengage and work to rule for the next 3 weeks. Or you could become completely emotional, crying a lot, taking sick days, becoming quite depressed. All of these responses will do nothing to grow your career or enhance your personal brand, and they will destroy your professional credibility and certainly not encourage your manager to refer you for another job.
So how could you turn this devastating situation around and make it work for you by responding in an emotionally intelligent way?
Emotional intelligence is a career enhancing attribute, a career maker. Equally so, being emotionally unintelligent can be a career breaker. It is for this reason that every leading business school in the world has a course on emotional intelligence. If you can learn to recognise what you are feeling at any given time, can name that feeling for what it is, you can then manage it in a way that will enhance rather than destroy your professional credibility. Once you have learned how to manage your own emotions, you then become very adept at identifying what others are feeling. This means you respond in much more appropriate ways to achieve the response you want from those others. In time you become the highly sought after professional for the way you can manage the people issues in your organisation. You become the CEO of Relationship Management.Read More
Learning how to be resilient and bounce back when things go wrong is one of the most important soft skills for leadership today. If you are a leader today, or aspire to be one, then working on developing resilience will equip you well to manage the change, uncertainty, unpredictability and ambiguity of this new economy in which we are now working and living. Resilience is the psychological inner strength, the mental toughness, we bring to the events and experiences of our life. It is what helps us bounce back from every adversity to move forward again to achieve the goals we have set for our professional and personal life. Resilience is not something that can be learned theoretically in a training course or by following particular strategies meticulously over a few days or a week no matter how committed you are. It can only be learned in practice, by facing setbacks and obstacles and working through them. The old adage – Practice makes perfect – is never more true than in the development of resilience.Read More
Many people would see Anger as a “personal emotion”, not something that may impact on their career or professional development. Managing anger is something they attempt to do very privately. In fact, many of us see all emotions as “personal”. In fact, many of us see all emotions as “personal”. They are inside us, belong to us and most of the time we like to think we are in control of them. The worst thing someone could say to us, as a professional, is that we are “emotional”.
Trouble is that if we are often not aware of our emotions, neither are we aware of how public they are. As Shari Caudron says, they march into the office with us every morning and direct our behaviour for the day.
Managing anger in an emotionally intelligent way is a very important soft skill for leaders and managers.
As I was thinking about how I could improve my organisational skills in this new year, especially how I could better organise my office, I was reminded of the simplicity of how it was all done back in primary school. Every Friday afternoon in Grade Six we had to clean out our school desk. It became somewhat of a ritual and it went on into Grade Seven because we had the same teacher. She had this mantra which still rings in my ears: “Clear the clutter, clear the mind”. Her belief was that the physical clutter around us reflected the clutter in our heads – inability to concentrate, jumbled and incoherent thinking – that prevented us from producing the kind of work she expected of us. It was seen as a priority in those days. One of the few text books we had was called Clear Thinking. We studied it chapter by chapter and its primary purpose was to teach us to keep our mind and our thinking clear and organised. I still hear her words whenever I let things get out of hand and find myself surrounded by clutter.
One very productive exercise I did came from a live stream I watched from Marci Shimoff and Debra Poneman. They were talking about the need to let go of “stuff” that is cluttering our lives. Their message was: If you clear the clutter, you clear the way, make space, for what’s important to enter your life. They gave us this exercise which I finished yesterday.