Progress!

nice lunch!

Can you believe that 2015 is half way over?! This year has been flying by.

Harken back to January when we were diving into creating actionable, thoughtful, and meaningful goals for the year.

How have those been going? Have you been making some fabulous progress? Have your goals been getting lost in the end of quarter goals?

Next week, to celebrate that you’ve made it to July, give yourself a little break to celebrate you!

Take your self out to a nice lunch or an afternoon coffee break. Spend an hour thinking about your goals for the year and what is one action step you can take to keep the momentum going (or jump start your focus again!).

Even when things are busy, you still deserve to spend some time on you.

Advertisements

But They are Boring….

Bored

There are SO many things on your plate right now that having another conversation with [insert that person’s name here – oh, you know who they are!] seems unbearable.

Yes – they deserve your respect, and you DO respect them. But talking to them is just. so. BORING. It feels like you have nothing in common and you’d rather undergo a root canal than getting stuck talking with them at the company happy hour again.

This week we have the treat of having Coach Brooke O’Shea with us to share some tips on what to do if you are talking to someone who you are finding boring.

Take it away, Brooke!

Brooke O'Shea-  Word BubbleDear “Bored”,

From time to time we all find ourselves in scenarios where it is difficult to make meaningful connections with others.  I would encourage you to ask yourself a few questions when in these situations:

  • First, what is your desired goal of engaging with this individual?  
  • Second, what is your counterpart’s potential goal of engaging with you?  
  • Third, are the difficulties you are experiencing based on language barriers, personality types, beliefs, gender, generational differences, etc.?  
  • AND finally, have you considered all options in finding common ground?

Assuming that you and the other party have mutual benefits for connecting, the next step is to consider what barriers you are encountering in finding a common interest.  

While exercising caution to avoid becoming an interrogator, continue to ask open-ended questions around topics you enjoy until you find that thing that the other person’s eyes light up about! I personally find that by asking more questions, I can typically find a topic we both find passion around.   

My “tip” for those who find small talk awkward, prepare a few subjects that interest you ahead of finding yourself in those difficult social situations. Plan to discuss a current book you are reading, a TV show, an exercise routine, upcoming travel plans, the town where you grew up, or where you hope to retire – those can get your juices flowing!

Thanks, Brooke!

Let us know how these tips work for you!

Talk to me

Talk to me

You hate it to admit it, but you’re… well – shy.

That word makes your cringe – but it’s true. Working up the courage to speak when you’re in a meeting is a challenge. You’d rather not go to that company happy hour because it seems like you have NOTHING to say the minute someone comes up to talk to you. And you’re just not that person in the front of the room telling the engaging story at the start of company events.

Today, your day has been busy running in and out of meetings.

As you are on your way back to your desk, your direct report stops you saying, “hey, I have been meaning to talk with you about….”

As they are talking all you can think about is the next thing you hope to say.

This week, we’ve got one of our great Coaches, Karen Coplan, here to share some recommendations to do if someone is shy and finds it hard to respond to what the other person is saying.

KarenFirst, know that you are not alone! You likely work with many shy or introverted people, but may not realize it because they have found ways to ‘flex’ their styles. Being shy doesn’t mean that you don’t have important or interesting ideas to share, but it may mean that it is more difficult for you to do so.

There are a few tips that may help you to feel more comfortable in talking with others.

  • Before a meeting or a networking situation, try to identify a few topics that you could bring up in conversation. For example, scan business periodicals or websites (eg, Wall Street Journal or Harvard Business Review) to identify a few interesting or thought provoking topics.

  • Come up with a brief summary of what you are currently working on – and practice talking about it – OUT LOUD.

  • Also, try to keep eye contact during the conversation, nod, and look interested. Many times people don’t need a response; they just want to know that they are being listened to!

  • Finally, I recommend that you watch the Ted Talk by Susan Cain called The Power of Introverts. It will likely help you to feel less alone in your shyness and to realize that you bring a lot of value!

Thanks, Karen!

So, try out one of these techniques or watch the Ted Talk Karen suggested and let us know what was impactful to you!

Cutting In Line

Interrupting Image

Your day has been busy running in and out of meetings.

As you’re on your way back to your desk, your direct report stops you saying, “hey, I have been meaning to talk with you about….”

As they are talking all you can think about is the next thing you are going to say. You even find it hard to let them finish their point because you are so ready to jump in.

If this is you, then this week we’ve got some tips for you!

One of our great Coaches, Helen Cooper, is here to give us some tips on what to do if you tend to think about your next point while the person you are talking to is still finishing.

Take it away Helen…

 

Helen Cooper- Blog“Thinking ahead is a natural response in a fast-paced environment.

It requires focused behavior to understand and acknowledge another thought/opinion.

I use a couple of tricks to ‘slow down’ mental responses.

  • Try to engage differently by ‘listening’ more intently.
  • Focus on the key points the person is trying to make.
  • Don’t formulate a response immediately.
  • Use visual cues, they are really helpful.
  • Try to maintain eye contact when the person is speaking.
  • Don’t be distracted by texts or devices, stay engaged in the moment.
  • Check your understanding by paraphrasing the key points.
  • Think back to research or school days when trying to understand the key learning points in a lecture (really try focusing on content!) before thinking about a potential application!

Thanks, Helen!

If this is you, then this week then try out of Helen’s tips and let us know how it goes!