Prepping for Fall

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 2.52.24 PM.pngCa you believe that it’s ALREADY September 1st?

We can’t!

It seems like just yesterday we were talking about You in 2017 and the words you were going to use for this year.

Now that we are jumping into fall, let’s take some time to look at those words or phrases you chose and think about what else you want for the rest of this year!

Step 1: Grab your calendar and block off 30 minutes

Step 2: Look at the word you chose for your professional life. Write down a couple of ways you’ve seen this word show up in you (purposely or not!). Now, write down a couple of opportunities you might have to grow in that area in the coming months (only 4 more full months of the year!!!).

Step 3: Look at the word or phrase you chose for your personal life and do the same reflective activity.

Step 4: Look at the hobby or interest you wanted to grow or expand on. Did you have a chance to? If so, AWESOME! If not, look at what you could do in the next few months to accomplish that. J

We find that just after the fun and chaos of summer is the perfect time to take some time to reflect and reset on what you are hoping for the rest of the year!

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You in 2017

You in 2017

We’ve made it – welcome to 2017!

Have an aversion to New Year’s resolutions?

Try something new with us to measure success in 2017.

We’ll be thinking of three words that relate to a specific part of our lives. These words will be our words of encouragement, challenge, or continuation of growth in 2017!

Ready? Let’s begin:

The first word (or phrase) will relate to your professional life.

In thinking about where you are and where you’d like to go, what is one word that you want to be able to use to describe your professional life throughout 2017?

Here are some words to get those juices flowing:

  • Grow
  • Hitting New Goals
  • Delegator
  • Communicator
  • Emerging Leader

As you are making decisions, taking on new projects, and working with others, use the lens of your word – pushing you to further greatness!

The next word (or phrase) will relate to your personal life.

In thinking about your personal relationships, hobbies, and interests, what is one word you’d like to use to describe that through 2017?

This could be something like:

  • Thoughtful
  • Assertive
  • 10k Finisher
  • Emerging Artist

AWESOME!

Now on to the last word (or phrase). Your last word is something new you want to try this year.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel to New York, but never have.

Or you’re not totally comfortable speaking in front of people and want to work on that.

Or maybe you think that people who have herb gardens are really cool, but you haven’t had one (and secretly, you’d like to try!).

We ALL have those things. So, think about what it is for you and choose a word that represents it!

Got your words? Now – write these down and stick them somewhere you look often. Write it in cool letters and frame it, or even just throw it on your computer desktop.

Come back next week for some next steps!

The Art of Influencing: Your Boss

The Art of Influencing: Your Boss

You know that you’ve got the next big idea for what could really help your team.

You’ve played this scenario over and over in your mind and are only more convinced that this idea is the way to go.

Now the hard part – getting buy-in from your boss.

Learning how to influence your boss is an art!

As you are preparing, check out this article from The Muse.

Below are two of Jo’s suggestions that we really resonated with!

“1. Understand your leaders and their goals”

Really take the time to think about your boss.

We recommend to ask yourself: What have I seen my boss value or what are those key phrases or points I always hear them coming back to?

“2. Communicate in a style that they find persuasive”

Try out a couple of different communication techniques to learn what your boss REALLY hears. Maybe try:

  • Assertively asking for what you want using “I would like ___ so that ____”
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Prep your Boss with material before and then discuss

Leverage what you learn to communicate in the best way for them!

We’d also recommend to leverage your meetings strategically.

If you already have regular meetings with your boss, think about how you can use those as an opportunity to influence, where you come prepared and ready with ideas!

Developing You

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.45.34 AM

If you could have more of one thing in life, what would it be?

…………

Did you answer with time or money? If so, you are right up there with about 85% of Americans.

We are all. so. busy.

And now, we are suggesting that you take more time out of your day to develop you. If you haven’t been with us the last few weeks we’d encourage to check out our past two posts on why to spend the time and where to start.

This week, we’ve got the VERY exciting chance to talk about WHEN to actually do this.

Some days it can be so hard to find the time to make a pit stop in the bathroom, let alone take a class or work with a Coach!

But, if you just continue to do what you have been, chances are you won’t continue to grow in the ways you hope to. (I know… this post is getting all serious!)

The best way to find the time to develop you is to set aside the time and don’t let anything get in the way.

I can almost feel the eye rolls happening and hear the “But….”

Maybe you need to schedule yourself to “leave” work an hour early once a month but instead of going home, stop by the library to work on your class.

Or maybe instead of hanging out in the break room for lunch, go down by the park and read.

LITTLE tweaks can make a really big difference.

Whatever it is you’ve chosen to do, it is time to make the choice that you continuing to grow is just as important as you getting your job done.

So.

Take out your calendar and choose a time- block it off.

Then, go talk to whoever you need to help keep you accountable to that (maybe it’s your team so that they know they really can’t bother you during that time or your boss or your spouse or trusted friend).

But, tell someone what you are committing to.

We are excited for you to continue to grow and we’d love to hear about what you’ve committed to!

Developing You

Developing You

You basically skipped into work this morning because it was the first day in weeks when it looked like you actually had a calm day.

Only one meeting scheduled?! Unheard of! You can actually get work done today (you know… be able to cross things OFF your to-do list instead of just adding)! You even scheduled in a couple of minutes just to think about you and where you want to go in your career.

And then the fires started up. Again. By 10:00 a.m. – the reality that your hopes of “getting everything done” today is looking like just a dream.

It’s hard to find and TAKE the time to step back and really focus on you: your growth, your path, your development.

With that in-mind, we’ve got a question:

Why does your development matter?

Take a minute and think about why your development matters to you.

Write that ‘why’ down somewhere to make it real.

If you don’t know WHY something is important (other than you should be doing it) then it becomes much more difficult to prioritize the time to make it happen.

After you know why your development matters, come up with a short phrase like:

  • I want to be better than I currently am
  • I am committed to growth
  • I believe in myself enough to believe I can do more

Take this phrase and put is somewhere you’ll remember! Knowing why this matters to you will give you more of a push to keep going.

Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll give you some more practical tips on how to continue to work on your development!

Navigating Your Workplace

Murkey Water

Organizational politics.

I know… those two little words made you shutter. No matter how large or small an organization is—all of them have politics. Regardless of where you are in your organization, navigating these can be tricky!

Terry Hildebrandt, PhD, PCC is back to Middle Seats to share some tips on becoming more political savvy.

Here’s what he’s got to say:

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.14.22 PMPolitics do not need to be negative. In fact, one can use political savvy in a very ethical and positive way to expand one’s influence and increase the probability of getting what you want at work and in life.

 

Here are some steps:

 

Step 1: Recognize Key Players

 

In any given scenario there will be key players. The obvious players include the executive sponsor, the team members, any relevant customers or suppliers, and supporting staff. What is less clear are the hidden players that work behind the scenes to influence the stakeholders to make certain decisions or take certain actions.

 

Best Practice: Create a Stakeholder Map listing each of the key players and their roles and relationships.

 

Step 2: Identify Interests

 

Each of the key players identified in step 1 will have their own interests that need to be understood. It is your job to build relationships with the key players in order to understand their true motivations. This will require some time and networking skills to talk to those close to key stakeholders to understand their perspectives.

 

Best Practice: create a table listing all the key players and their interests as they become clear to you.

 

Step 3: Understanding Authority and Power

 

Understanding who has authority (those empowered by the organization to make decisions) and who has power (those who have the ability to influence those in authority to make decisions) among the key players will help you understand how influence flows in an organization, how decisions are made, and how resources get allocated.

 

Best Practice: creating a power and authority map of who has access to the ears of key managers can help you better understand how power and authority flow in your organization.

 

Check back next week for Terry’s final two steps!

Moving Forward on Your Goals

Wunderlist

 

How have your 2015 goals been going? Making some progress? Hoping to make some headway soon?

Sometimes (we’re not pointing fingers here!) it’s hard to remember the goals or deadlines we’ve created for ourselves. It’s also exponentially harder to get things done if we don’t have some accountability.

Want to create that accountability for yourself? We’ve found some apps for that job!

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll review a productivity/tracking app road-tested by one of our teammembers that will help you focus on (and hold yourself accountable to) the goals you’ve created.

Let’s check out App #1: Wunderlist

Who tested it?

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.59.43 PM

Ashley Clark

  • Program Manager for 5, global, complex projects
  • Lover of learning and thinking strategically
  • Wife, frequent Instagrammer, and Mom of 2 kids (under 2 years)

 

Why I like it?

  • Multiple to-do lists for today, this week, this month, this year, etc.
  • Sharing capabilities for some (or all) of your lists with your friends
  • Simple layout, making it very user friendly
  • Easy task management that includes due dates, reminders, stars, and list groups
  • It’s free!

What could be better?

  • No sub tasks on created tasks
  • No option for reoccurring tasks

Ashley’s bottom-line:

This app is very easy to use for both you and sharing your goals with others!  I found it easy to create to-dos and it was helpful in keeping track of all the different things I have going on in a day!

Stay Tuned: More reviews coming your way next week.