Exit the Scramble Spectrum

The timing of Thanksgiving was a week earlier than usual, and it feels like we have an “extra” week before the onslaught of the December holidays. Even if you haven’t thought about this, it’s not too late to take advantage of it.

Many of my clients are on some part of what I call the “scramble spectrum.” If your work reaches a crescendo at year end, then you’re definitely somewhere on this continuum. Let’s take a brief quiz:

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Listen and Ask

I’m a student of the art of asking questions. My experience is that the quality of the questions you ask can make an amazing difference in your professional (and personal) discussions.

Leaders who ask great questions have more interactive dialogue with their team members and hopefully create an environment where questioning and curiosity becomes the norm, not the exception.

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The Home Stretch

It’s the beginning of November, and in honor of the recent World Series, let’s call this the home stretch. It’s a good time to review what you wanted to achieve this year, your actual accomplishments, and a realistic assessment of what you can do in the next 45 days.

I’ve talked to a few people recently who are ready to “write off” their results for this year for various reasons. I’m always surprised to hear such comments but have no doubt that their results will reflect this attitude.

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Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

I’ve worked with some very successful intelligent and creative people. I’ve also worked with intelligent and creative people who aspire to success, but don’t quite make it. One of the important things that differentiates the two groups is “the secret sauce,” that is, implementation.

The creative or entrepreneurial mind becomes excited and stimulated by bright, shiny objects, which often leads to new ideas and inspiration. Here’s the challenge: if new ideas distract your attention and you forget to implement what you’re already working on, overall, your results will be weaker.

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May I Have Your Attention…Please?

Recently, CBS Sunday Morning featured a story on our shrinking attention span. Obviously, this is not a new topic; in fact I’ve been writing about it for years. That said, were a few takeaways and reminders worth highlighting.

Psychologist and attention span researcher, Dr. Gloria Mark, provided an interesting statistic. When her team researched attention spans two decades ago, on average the people in the study shifted attention every two and a half minutes.

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The Power of One Strong Goal

It’s that time of the year where you’re wondering what the heck happened to the year…how did it go by so quickly…. and … how am I going to complete everything that I committed to do in 2023?

Well, there are about 80 days left in this year. The biggest challenge is falling into the trap of trying to do everything that you didn’t accomplish all year. If you turn into a whirlwind, you might make a little progress on several things, but may end up feeling dissatisfied because you didn’t get a great result on an important initiative.

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What Has Happened to Civility?

Have you noticed that more people are behaving badly these days? I’m not going to speculate about the triggers, but how to deal with bad behavior has crept into many of my conversations with clients.

It seems that the offenders don’t hesitate to be contentious, whereas previously they would have been more patient or conciliatory to reach consensus. Here are a but a few of the examples that have surfaced recently.

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Good Old-Fashioned Dialogue

How do you engage your people to be more involved in their work? The old cliché about the carrot and the stick comes to mind. Some managers feel that they need to be tough, demanding, or unrelenting in their approach.

Well, barking at your employees or dictating to them or condescending to them is usually more detrimental than effective. And if you randomly schmooze with them, people may feel good, but this doesn’t portend more engagement.

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