There is some good news in the project management world. In 2017, PMI reports, they started to see a decline in project failures. Project failures are still significantly expensive, but this is an important improvement. There are a number of things to which this can be attributed. Read my latest newsletter to see my thoughts on four ways incorporating health and wellness into the fabric of an organization's culture can lead to improved project outcomes.
It turns out that feeling gratitude, according to a new study will help heart patients heal more quickly. One of the things that I think about a lot is the health damages caused by workplace stress. All too often, I have seen a key leader or innovator felled or sidelined by a health issue (I don't think it is entirely coincidental that I had breast cancer as I was getting ready to leave an exceedingly stressful job). This study leads me to wonder - if gratitude can heal a heart more quickly, can it also cause the heart to stay healthier? As a HeartMath(tm) Coach, I spend a great deal of time helping people to learn how to experience feelings of gratitude and appreciation and it works in terms of reduction in stress. Research from the HeartMath Institute also indicates that HeartMath improves health outcomes such as reducing blood pressure.
Therefore, it seems logical to me to suggest that taking a moment or two from a busy work day to experience a feeling of gratitude or appreciation for someone or something in one's life could make us healthier, less stressed, and even more productive and effective at work. There's no downside and no cost for trying it. Here's my suggestion.
Each day this week, as you are waiting for your computer to boot up, your coffee to heat up or a meeting to start, jot down five things for which you are grateful.
See if it impacts how you feel. Then, try it again the following week. I'd be really interested in hearing your experience in the comments below or contact me directly.
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Yesterday I had a free consult with a marketer and web designer. I understood that his purpose was to try to get me to sign up for his services and intellectually I recognized that his approach was designed to make me to do that. I have read chapters in books that describe the approach exactly. Yet, as he ripped my website to shreds and insulted me personally, I found myself devastated, disempowered, and sad. Fortunately, after a run and some fresh air, wisdom prevailed. I consulted with others who I trust and made most of the changes this person had suggested. When I talked to my graphic design team and other trusted resources, they offered much of the same advice but in the context of what you have is good, and we can help you figure out how to make it really good. They explained to me what they meant and why they were suggesting it. I got off those phone calls feeling excited and motivated.
Maybe it’s gender, maybe it’s personality, but I choose not to take the approach of getting business through talking as if everything is wrong. I will treat others as I like to be treated. When I talk about my services I will discuss the value proposition and I will discuss the ROI. I will even talk about some of the common challenges I’ve seen in organizations – I have a lot of relevant experience and it’s great when people learn from others who have gone before them. What I will not do in my business is attempt to make people feel shame either personally or professionally for where they are. I will talk to them about how we can help them to move forward, move to the next level, achieve goals or otherwise be supported. But, I will not do that by shaming or humiliation. If this means I lose clients, I am okay with that.
What are your favorite marketing techniques? What works for you when you are the client? What works for you when you are the marketer?
Break Through Consulting
Check out my latest newsletter to see all of my tips about Email.
Do you grimace every time you hear your email alert ping? Some Coping Strategies - http://eepurl.com/bdI_7b
Since publishing it I've gotten great feedback including learning about a great tool called Boomerang - an add on to gmail to that lets you schedule and follow up on emails. What works for you? How do you manage your email?
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4 More Tips for Dealing with your Email (Part 2)
Last week I identified four tips for dealing with email. It seemed to resonate for a lot of people, so here are four more tips!
Use your Phone to Talk to People Responding to important emails from a smart phone, unless absolutely necessary, often leads to miscommunication. Most of the time, for important issues, it is better to have a moment to think about it rather than responding on the run and responding on a larger device is easier and will enable you to be more thoughtful.
Do Not Require a Reply. Compose your email so that it does not require a reply. Often even something as simple as scheduling lunch, whether for business or pleasure, can require a 20 email exchange. “Where do you want to meet”, “I don’t know, what do you think” “I can do 11:30 but would you prefer 12:00”? Instead try short declarative sentences. “I’ll meet you at Whole Foods for lunch at 11:45 in front of the salad bar unless I hear from you otherwise” You can even take it a step further as a friend of mine does and say “No Response Necessary”
No Affect Allowed. Remember that email does not convey affect. If you are in the midst of a frustrating email conversation, consider that the other person or people might be equally frustrated. Pick up the phone and call or walk down the hall.
Copying is not Always Best. Be thoughtful about who you copy (and especially who you bcc – in fact, I recommend never using bcc unless it is to hide the membership of a large distribution list.) Unnecessary copying will only increase your email volume
Sign up here for my upcoming webinar on organizational change and health and wellness
Do you find these tips helpful? Sign up for this blog or contact me to learn more about what I do.
4 Tips for Adopting Organizational Change
When I was in graduate school, we read an article entitled “Implementation: The Hardest Part.” I don’t remember the substance of the article, but I often think about how true the title is. All too often, regardless of what is being implemented, there are roadblocks that are often caused by resistance to adoption of organizational change. A keystone of organizational change that is often overlooked is supporting employees and demonstrating in words and actions a commitment to the employees and their well being. This often results in increased employee resilience and capacity as well as successful adoption of organizational change. A health and wellness program or component incorporated into an organizational adoption methodology can increase the pace, acceptance, and robustness of change in the organization. If your organization finds that change is difficult to implement, that the attitudes and behaviors in the organization do not reflect its core values, or that there is high absenteeism and decreased productivity, the recommendations below may resonate for you.
We have found that when the organizational change includes direct benefits to employees, they are more likely to embrace it; when employees feel better, they are absent less, more productive, and more effective; and when employees are involved and they see their impact on an element of an organizational change, they feel empowered to positively impact the corporation’s bottom line. Linking organizational change and health and wellness increases the likelihood of success for the organization:
Are you in the midst of change? It is 2015, so it is unlikely that any viable company is not. Try the following to see the impact of incremental steps towards effective change adoption:
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About Wendy Kuhn
I am a strategic planning and implementation consultant with extensive experience helping government, business, and non-profit organizations achieve their vision. I have more than twenty years of experience in management and IT consulting, facilitation, program management, business relationship management, business process redesign and IT Service Management development. I am also a Certified Health Coach and HeartMath™ Mentor.
About Pamela Erskine
Pam Erskine has more than 15 years of leadership experience with a focus on IT and service transformation through clear vision and strategy, process improvement, and purposeful steps to address cultural adoption. Pam is the author of “ITIL and Organizational Change” which covers best practice in gaining acceptance of changes in the workplace and gives practical advice on applying organizational change models to a Service Management initiative. Visit www.adoptitsm.com for additional information
This is the first in a series of three blog posts about strategies for managing email. Sign up for my blog to be sure you don't miss any of the parts!
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When I talk to people about work life balance and strategies to manage their energy to achieve their goals, the subject of email inevitably arises. It is a stresser and a pressure, it interferes with other work, and often interferes with non work activities. It is also a key element for work productivity.
According to the Radicati Group, more than “100 billion emails are sent and received per day. Email is the predominant form of communication in the business space. This trend is expected to continue, and business email will account for over 132 billion emails sent and received per day by the end of 2017.”
To be effective at work, it is often necessary to respond quickly to emails. At the same time, a response to one email then generates many more – like a multi-headed hydra where one head is cut off and two more appear. In addition, many people manage their personal lives, especially at work, through email.
There are a number of tools and strategies available to reduce your email load. Just because emails are delivered instantaneously, does not mean that we need to respond instantaneously, especially when involved in another task whether it is a conversation or driving. These tips may prove beneficial to you.
Health and Wellness is good for your bottom line.
All too often, health and wellness programs are shuffled off to the side, assigned to a committee with little budget or power. In other companies, they find that at the end of the year health and wellness benefits are left on the table. Both of these factors have a negative impact on organizational interest in enhancing their health and well program or in taking steps to incorporate it into the fabric of their culture. It is hard to study the impact of health and wellness programs, but there is evidence that they have a positive impact on an organization's bottom line. Consider the fact that self insured companies have more robust and more effective health and wellness programs, they are able to see the benefit directly in their reduced healthcare costs. This is only one element, though, of the positive impact of health and wellness programs. Here are just three studies on the topic, there are many more
Four Tips for Being A Healthy Leader
One of the transitions I made career wise was from being a consultant to an organization to becoming an employee of that organization. As a consultant, you come in from the outside, complete your engagement and leave. Regardless of how effective you are, you are an outsider and are viewed as such. When we go to the zoo to visit animals we may admire them and be intrigued by them, but we do not, generally, imitate their behaviors or seek to understand those behaviors too deeply. In some ways, as consultants we are like those zoo animals, an observed curiosity. As a manager or a leader, though, within an organization, it becomes quickly apparent that they dynamic is very different. It took me a long time to understand how closely my behaviors were observed and the impact that my choices had on those who worked with and for me. In fact, it was in observing how closely others modeled my boss' behavior that I truly recognized the depth of this impact. In this instance, a boss who yelled and cursed led his employees to do the same and to treat others with the same type of disdain with which they were treated. One great element about modeling healthy, rather than unhealthy behaviors, is that it is better for you. Moreover, the science is that if you treat employees with kindness, you will be a more effective leader and they will be more productive. Here are four tips for being a healthy leader:
- Be mindful. If you are feeling tired and frustrated in a meeting or a discussion, odds are the others involved are as well. Suggest a quick break, a stretch, stepping outside, or, if your team is trained in HeartMath ™ a scientifically based stress reduction technique, take a moment to do HeartMath. Be respectful of other people’s time
- Eat and Drink Well and Don’t Smoke. If you bring unhealthy foods or beverages to meetings, people will not only copy that behavior in meetings, but elsewhere as well. If you are only available for consultations during smoke breaks, people will spend time with you while you are smoking. Even if they don’t smoke, they are experiencing the negative impact of second hand smoke. If you regularly do business at bars, you will find that your staff is hungover more often and is more likely to drink to excess.
- Exercise – however you define that. Consider walking meetings, stretch breaks, even putting things in inconvenient locations in your office so that you are forced to get up and move around during the day. Even better, provide opportunities for employees to exercise during the work day or to bond during an after work or weekend event such as a bike ride, hike or 5 K.
- Practice work/life boundaries. The best way to ensure that the people who work with you respect work life boundaries is to ensure that you do. Just because access to your work is ubiquitous, it does not mean that you need to access it all of the time. There is strong science that demonstrates that using computer or other screens in the hours immediately before bed, negatively impacts sleep. And, increasing evidence that sleep is important for your health and your well being.
As a strategic planning consultant and a health coach, I understand how a healthy organization incorporates health and wellness into the fabric the organization's culture and how this results in tremendous benefits to the bottom line, to employee longevity, to productive and to successful implementation of projects, strategic plans, and organizational changes.