It Pays to Praise

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2021

 

Part of being a purpose-driven leader is understanding that people really are your greatest asset.  If you take care of them on many different levels, they will take care of you and your business in ways you can’t even imagine.

 

This means recognizing not just the work of their hands, but also the heart that goes into their work.

 

Stephen Covey believed that there were four needs with regard to being human.  They were Physical needs, Mental needs, Social/Emotional needs and Spiritual needs.

 

I don’t expect that work has to meet all these needs, for all the people, all the time, but it is pretty easy to meet some of these needs in all of the people most of the time.

 

I’m talking about praise and recognition.

 

Praise and rewards can do wonders to bolster an employee’s self-confidence and morale. No one can deny the myriad of positive effects praise and recognition can have on people.  There are as many ways...

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Kindness: It's For Everyone

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2021

Kindness isn't trendy. It isn't a hot button topic. It doesn't get as much press as happiness, passion, or purpose. We think about it, but it's not something we strive to acquire. I know this because I just did a little poll on Facebook and the data was conclusive: we want to be thought of as kind, but no one had “to develop kindness” as a goal.

 

That seems a shame to me because kindness doesn't just help the people around us, it helps us, too. It is a proverbial win-win.

 

As humans and as leaders, it wouldn’t hurt to develop more kindness.  And the beautiful thing about it is that it doesn’t have to take much time or any money.  The trick is to consciously think about doing someone a kindness until it becomes habit to be kind.

 

To that end, if you are interested in simple ways to invite kindness in your life, consider these nine random acts of kindness.

 

  1. Give Someone A Genuine Compliment

This is a great habit to get into...

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5 Reasons to Embrace Your Imperfections

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2021

Nobody’s perfect-- I’m fairly certain everybody reading this article has heard this at one point or another in their life.

It seems to me there’s two aspects to it; the first is that I’m not perfect and the second is that other people aren’t perfect.

While I think people believe this at a certain level, I don’t see them living out this belief very often.

The common belief, in my mind, is that people think “I know I’m not perfect, but let’s not advertise that to the world. I want them to think I’m perfect.”

In times of prevalent social media that looks like everyone seeming intent on ironing out imperfections, from using filters on selfies to consciously curating their lives to show only the high points.

This leads to the corollary of nobody’s perfect and that is “I know I’m not perfect, but, dang, everyone else seems to be!  What’s wrong with me?”

It appears that any level of...

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5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Cool During Work Conflicts

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2021

One of my core values is harmony.

It’s a perfectly lovely value to have, but it does have one major downside: it means I don’t like conflict.

Oh, I don’t think anyone actually likes conflict, but when you value harmony, dealing with conflict can be extra hard.  It’s like having to go against your value in order to get back to living your value.  Let’s just say it causes a lot of internal strife!

Conflict is inevitable if you deal with other people.  You can’t even escape it with the humans that you created, so why do people think they can work with all their coworkers in perpetual bliss and harmony?

Whether you’re the CEO or a cubicle denizen, chances are you’ve had a conflict at work. While some good-natured debate can be a good thing, sometimes these conflicts get overheated fast. Whether you’re in management or not, you’re going to need to know what to do when conflict arises. Add to that the fact that you...

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Seven People You DON'T Want in Your Inner Circle

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2021

What is this inner circle of which I speak?

Well, it’s the people around you that you spend a lot of time with: the people you live with, the people you work with, the people you play with (think hobbies here!).

To some extent, we can’t banish our immediate family and our co-workers from our inner circle, but this week I’m talking more about members of your inner circle that are 100% your choice.  That inner circle shouldn’t be huge, so it must be chosen carefully, and filled with people who spark you... not drain you.

While it’s important to include strong personality types within your inner circle, do it only if those strengths are positive ones. Negativity will ruin your inner circle and render it useless to support you and your growth, just like I talked about in last week’s post about critical people.

Here are a few of the negative personality traits you should avoid having close to you in any way.

The Ego: The Ego loves to spout their...

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6 Ways to Deal with Critical People

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2021

Constructive criticism is fine, healthy even!  You know the type: they tell you there’s a typo in your presentation, but still get the message you were trying to communicate.  On the other hand, some people are so relentlessly negative that they can suck the joy out of life. No matter what happy news you might have, they are guaranteed to find the cloud to fit your silver lining.

 

Just got a promotion? They’ll tell you how burned out you will be.

 

Just had a baby? They’ll tell you about the sleepless nights, endless worry, and the cost of college.

 

There is no escaping critical people, but there are ways of handling them when you have to deal with them.

 

Here are 6 strategies you can use to deal with hypercritical people.

 

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

It’s a safe bet that it's not you, it's them. Some people hug their negativity around them like a security blanket, and that colors their view of the world. They...

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Five Rules You CAN Break

Uncategorized Jun 01, 2021

It goes with the territory of being an engineer or at least having an “engineer brain”:  We follow rules.  And when there aren’t any rules, we like to make them up.

It brings order to a chaotic world and frees our brain up to work on important things.  Like discovering microwaves and inventing the microwave.  Or figuring out how to make the “popcorn” button on said microwave actually pop the corn and not char the corn…

Regardless, rules usually start with a greater purpose in mind, but they often don’t keep up with changing times or changing thinking.  What's more, we don’t really THINK about changing them; we just sort of keep on moving forward with that rule set firmly in our mind.

This week, I’m going to talk about breaking rules.  Specifically, five rules that have become almost legend in our society here in the United States.

Breaking certain rules can cause the skies to open and rain down...

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How to Make Easier and Faster Choices

Uncategorized May 25, 2021

Let’s face it.  In the society we live in, we are busy!  As humans moved from an agricultural economy, to an industrial economy, people knew what they were going to do because every day was pretty much the same. 

 

Now that we live in the knowledge age, the only consistent thing in most of our days is that there will be a lot of information coming in and very little time to process it. Meeting after meeting, sometimes double or even triple booked. We’ve barely processed the last load of data when the next one hits us!

 

Humans used to make just a few decisions a day; now we make hundreds of them a day.  We are trying to decide what needs our attention right now.

 

Full disclosure, here; I am not immune.  I constantly have to fight to make and then keep decisions.  Turns out I like to make decisions, move forward, second guess that decision and go back to make it again.  Sometimes it sticks, sometimes I change my...

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The Joy of Laughter

Uncategorized May 18, 2021

 

"Laughter is the best medicine" is a phrase that dates back to biblical times as an old Proverb, and it's still widely used today all over the world. There’s even a section of the Reader’s Digest by that title that has been going for as long as I have read the magazine (and that's a WHILE!)

 

We say it and use it simply because it's true!

 

You may wonder why I always close my blog post out with a touch of humor.  Well wonder no more: it’s because laughter is good for us!  Not to mention, sometimes life hands us a lot that isn’t even remotely funny and sometimes our brain just needs to unwind a bit with a funny joke, picture or meme. 

 

Let’s face it, I like me some science and I love to let my readers know what’s really going on inside of us.  This week, let's take a look at what happens inside your body, mind, and spirit when you laugh.

 

Laughter's Effect on Your Body

 

Endorphins are...

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Four Ways to Tweak Yourself Out of a Rut

Uncategorized May 11, 2021

 

If you're a human, a routine is good for you!  The human brain loves routines because it can “power down” a bit when you are doing something that is repetitive. It doesn’t matter if the repeat cycle is once a day, or once a week or even once a month.

 

But, to me, a routine can become a rut in the blink of an eye.

 

One day you are all fired up by your morning routine and reading your anthem, and the next day, you are reciting the words to your anthem while making a list of all the things you should be doing instead of reading your anthem.

 

Or is that just me?

 

If you feel like parts of your life have become predictable, unfulfilling, or boring, maybe it’s time for a fresh start. Deciding to make a change doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down, but it is an opportunity to stand back and revise your current way of life.

 

I like to call this “tweaking” your life.  Not a major change,...

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