Archive for the ‘Flexibility’ Category

I had an experience this morning that reminded me of some EQ skills. Social Responsibility and Flexibility.

From time to time, I ride public transportation to and from work. This morning, I rode the bus. Instead of taking the suggested route, I took a riskier route that makes my transfer between busses very short. I’ve made the transfer each other time I’ve chosen this route, but this morning, a vehicle in front of our bus chose to wait for an unusually long time letting vehicles leave a busy parking lot. This minor delay was just long enough that I missed my transfer.

I had no choice but to be flexible and find a different way to work. Other than arriving later than planned, this was no big deal.

While it isn’t a perfect fit with social responsibility, this got me thinking… I wonder how often I make a decision or do something that negatively affects another. The driver of the car in front of the bus was trying to be kind by letting a bunch of cars enter the road at a busy junction, but it caused me to miss my transfer. Surely the driver was completely unaware of some of the consequences of his/her actions.

Luckily for me, there really was no one to blame for this circumstance, for it was no ones fault (although, you could argue that if anyone were to blame, it’d be me). Knowing when to roll with the punches and when to fight back is a great EQ skill to develop and one that I constantly have to work on.

Also being aware of how my actions can affect others is an area that need to be better in. Luckily, I’ve got things like the EQi and DISC to help me know what areas I can work on.

Everyday, I consider myself lucky to be able to work with such great leaders and consultants who help companies and individuals become more efficient, engaged and profitable.


Read Full Post »

FlexibilityRecently, at an EQnomics Series “Pulling the Stress Plug” event I discovered at the last minute that the LCD projector’s cords were not in the bag. I realized one of my colleagues may have inadvertently put them in her/his laptop bag at their last presentation. While normally, I would double-check the cord was there, however, this time being in a hurry I neglected to do so assuming “It’s been there every time and so, of course, it’s in the bag now”. This minor omission of cords left me unable to do a major part of the visual presentation including the really cool HeartMath® bio-feedback computer demo. This was frustrating and no one at the venue had extra cords. What to do?

First of all, a little background first. I have been speaking, training and presenting for over 15 years. I believe strongly in caring for my participants’ experience and their time by presenting high impact, fun, informative, practical and memorable presentations. I do this in part through meticulous and careful preparation. Thus, for every presentation I have contingency plans, built-in equipment/material redundancy, and an over-preparation mindset. For example, I bring extra extension cords, a power strip, black gaffers tape for taping down cords and loose table draping, my own folding fabric screen as some venues have projection screens that are too small for optimal visual impact, fresh dry-erase markers, and so on. I also prepare additional activities as back-ups so we can then draw on other approaches in case we discover that the feel and/or needs of the group have changed. Further, I balance this careful planning with being comfortable with presenting on the fly, and being flexible for whatever may arise for the inherent differences of each venue.

So, what to do? The solution was simple. The training that day was “Pulling the Stress Plug.” I figured, what a great opportunity to model the EQ skill of Stress Tolerance through the EQ skills of Flexibility and Problem Solving. So, while disappointed for a brief moment of not being able to offer the presentation as planned, the EQ skill of Flexibility allowed me to adjust to the situation. Flexibility reminded me that the way things are planned do not necessarily determine the way things actually are. As a result I was immediately able to re-write my presentation and approach in my mind and move forward with a great workshop without any perceived hitches. Preparedness (through content and experience to draw from) aids flexibility greatly.

The outcome? Rather than being stressed, I saw it as an opportunity to adjust, adapt and offer the participants other great approaches to manage their stress. The EQ skill of Flexibility helped me see solutions and opportunities to enjoy instead of just a problem to endure.

So, call me at 801.787.8014 or email me at jonathan@peoplesmarts.biz and we’ll arrange a free and fun no-strings attached Training Demo on any of the great EQ Skills to help your team more effectively manage the stresses they experience.

Jonathan Sherman
Director of Training and Development

Read Full Post »

Getting Fresh!

I stumbled onto this clip on YouTube and was blown away by the magnitude of changes flying around us. I’ve known that technology is changing at the speed of light, but I hadn’t quite fathomed what that meant until I saw the factual information captured in this video clip, Did You Know.

So, what does all of this mean for us in the workplace? It means we have to be really good at opening up to change, or we’ll be passed by, or over, or around. The good news is that with this plethora of information we have learned that we can train our brains to be more open to change. It just takes effort on our part.

Every day our experiences are stored into short term memory and processed there. Important events we move to longer term storage. Routines we move to our basal ganglia, where we can habitual do things without having to think about it too much. That’s why we can drive home without focusing on the route, or get through our morning routine without remembering if we brushed our teeth. Moving routines into the basal ganglia makes life easier for us – we don’t have to think as much.

Processing new experiences requires more effort – we have to think about those. When we are stressed and overworked, we try to minimize our efforts by creating and building routines so we can get our work done quickly. If we create too many shortcuts, it means we’re losing our freshness, or more importantly, our openness to change. We’re building ruts, and wiring our brain for ruts.

If you want innovation and creativity from yourself and your team, build in freshness. Make sure you create space and time for new experiences. Here are a few ideas to build a routine of freshness:

  • Plan a freshness meeting once a month where each team member teaches the group something new – from knitting to how to make sushi, just make sure it’s something new and different.
  • Have a “Get Fresh” agenda item at meetings where staff can talk about something new they did at work or at home.
  • Change seats at team meetings – get a different perspective
  • Create a work assignment that requires team members to go outside or to another work location.
  • Give a work assignment that has nothing to do with current projects, such as create a future frame for the business, or design the perfect relaxing chair, or create a playlist of songs that captures the current work environment, or design an Olympic sport that your team could win.
  • Plan field trips to other businesses and discuss how your team could borrow something from their processes, or style, or customer service.

It doesn’t matter what fresh, new activity you plan, just so long as you practice having new experiences. The more you practice the more you open your mind to processing those new sensations and brain connections.

Todays employees need to keep adjusting to changes. Build a work environment that will help stimulate the mind and enhance your staff’s ability to make those adjustments. A staff that gets fresh together, stays fresh together!

Read Full Post »