Archive for May, 2009

Managing Up

Do you bombard your manager with questions the minute she walks in the door? Managing up is the ability to understand and appreciate your manager’s roles, responsibilities and stresses. Find out how to balance that with getting the help you need.

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more about “Managing Up |Leila“, posted with vodpod

Categories: employees, learning, respect

Show ‘Em Your Inner Rockstar

One of the most powerful things a leader can do to build a strong organizational culture is to just be himself. For us lucky Double-Take employees, we have a great example at the top of our organization.

Four or five times a year, Double-Take Software CEO Dean Goodermote makes a drastic wardrobe change to entertain his clients. His necktie is replaced with love beads. His suit is replaced with a tight, sleeveless T-shirt, capri pants and bright orange-and-blue sneakers – an homage to the company colors.

Cluster-Funk at Tech Ed from DBTK on Vimeo.

Read more about ClusterFunk’s rockstar performance last night at the Conga Room in Los Angeles for the 4th year in a row at the Microsoft TechEd event.

Toxicity Strikes Again!

May 12, 2009 1 comment

I was just blogging on my personal site about this topic, and thought it was applicable to work, as well.

Often, we sign up for various activities, groups, classes, etc. and eventually begin to feel annoyed that we have to go attend yet another meeting, or wonder why we aren’t getting as much out of it as we used to. We wonder if fellow participants enjoy wasting our time, and our minds wander as we figure out who to talk to in order to get out of this ridiculous training.

Well, here’s why you have that toxic attitude:

By: Andrea Moore, CIASTD 2009 President

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Recently, I found myself feeling disconnected from a group I meet with one evening each week. I found myself placing blame on the group participants and thinking about aspects of their personalities that were not allowing me to connect.

Knowing, however, that I am responsible for creating the experiences of my life, I took a step back and reminded myself of the part I am playing with this group. I asked myself, “What am I doing to connect with these people?”—and what I realized is that I was not fully showing up with this group. Once I put myself out there and shared what I was feeling, the connection returned.

In what way are you participating in your life?
How can you take more responsibility for what you are creating?

Andrea is a senior consultant at FlashPoint, a multidiscipline HR consulting firm in Indianapolis. As a certified professional in learning and performance and a certified empowerment coach, she focuses on the growth and development of individuals, work teams, and leaders.

Master the Art of Emotional Control

We all do it. It’s a curse of being human and unfortunately no matter how hard we try be perfect, hardworking, efficient workerbees who come in to do the job and then go home…

Our emotions get the best of us. At some point or another, life takes it toll and we react. We blow steam in the office, go off on a rant during lunch, mutter under our breath. It happens. We’re human. I get that.

But are our reactions appropriate? Justified? …Expected? Even better: are your reactions INTENTIONAL? Do they further your position?

Consider the last time your emotions got away from you and you reacted in a way that didn’t serve you or the organization best:

  • What was the trigger that set you off?
  • What was the emotion that was expressed? What was the emotional trigger behind the emotion? (hint: the trigger may not be the same as the emotion was expressed. Fear may be expressed as anger)?
  • Where did you feel that emotion (may be anywhere in the body. There is a reason we use the term “gut reaction” for example)?
  • How did you really want to react to the situation?

Next time you have to react, press PAUSE. If not PAUSE, hit the 5-SECOND DELAY. Give yourself some time to let the rational thinking section of your brain dissect how you feel vs. how you’re going to react.

This type of emotional control takes practice. A lot of it. Start by asking these questions in real time as you feel your emotions getting the better of you, before you react. With practice and a few deep breaths, you may be able to hit the pause button and become more intentional with the emotions you use in the workplace — they’ll push your agenda much further than flying off the handle ever will.

Employee Engagement Requires More than Just Throwing Around a Buzz Term

During tough economic times, you’ll hear rumblings about “employee engagement” from various levels of an organization. Employee engagement is the hot buzz word that just won’t go away, primarily because it does have an impact on how well (or poor) a company comes out of a downturn.

However, while everyone is buzzin’ about employee engagement, how many of you actually know what drives, creates, and sustains it?? If you can name at least 3 *without peeking*, you get an A for the day.

Get a little deeper on what drives employee engagement:

  • Trust and integrity – how well managers communicate and ‘walk the talk’.

  • Nature of the job –Is it mentally stimulating day-to-day?

  • Strategic Direction between employee performance and company performance – Does the employee understand how their work contributes to the company’s performance?

  • Growth opportunities –Are there future opportunities for growth?

  • Pride about the company – How much self-esteem does the employee feel by being associated with their company?

  • Coworkers/team members – significantly influence one’s level of engagement

  • Employee development opportunities – Is the company making an effort to develop the employee’s skills?

  • Relationship with one’s manager – Does the employee value his or her relationship with his or her manager?