Sunday, October 31, 2004

New Feature - Email Comments/Questions

A number of you have been asking for a way to email directly from this blog page. So, I've added a new entry in the "Links" area over on the right side of the page that looks something like this:

**NEW** email comments/questions
Please feel free to use it to drop me a line and I'll see if it makes sense to keep the feature active.

Thanks! (And Happy Halloween!)

Thursday, October 28, 2004

What the Shadow Knows

Lunar eclipse last night - very cool. Saw it in the same grocery store parking lot I saw that truly magnificent rainbow in back in July, actually.

The shadow was awesome, wasn't it?



It got me thinking about the shadows WE cast - intentionally or otherwise:
  • Who walks in YOUR shadow?
  • Who's HIDDEN by your shadow?
  • WHAT ELSE is hidden in your shadow?
  • What shadows are you hiding IN?
  • Whose shadow is hiding you?
  • How might you shine a big fat spotlight on it so you can be seen?

Do yourself a favor and wonder about this for a while.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Name Badges as a Resource

I subscribe to a number of newsletters, e-zines, and email subscriptions, as I'm sure you do, too. A recent one that caught my eye was 'Tips for Trainers' - created by a UK-company named, Eureka! (David Gibson asked me to let you know that 'Tips for Trainers' comes out every 2 weeks and you, too, can register to receive them, free-of-charge, at http://www.eureka-tp.com/.)

"So often we use name badges for workshops and use them for the sole purpose of our learners writing their name upon them. This seems like an underused resource to me, so let's take a look at how else you might utilise them.

"Name badges take many forms from pin on badges to name tents. We've found that plastic card holders made to slide name cards into and hung around your learners' neck to be the best format. Why? They don't put holes in learners clothing, we use large cards so people can write on them, when learners move around (away from their group) their name card goes with them - unlike name tents that remain on the
desk. All the following ideas work regardless of the name badge type you use:

(Note: Although this particular Training Tip (#73) was written for the
benefit of those who conduct workshops, I think it's equally valid for those who
attend workshops, conferences, or training seminars, as well, so I took a little editorial license with the following...)
  • At the beginning of the program, write 3 things on the back of your name card that you want to be sure to learn. Refer to this list thought throughout your time there. At each break, put a percentage next to each one (to assess your progress) and ask specific questions relative to them as soon as you return from breaks.
  • At each break, also write 3-5 actions you want to take as a result of what you have just learned, on the back of your name card. Talk with others about these action points and ask them for theirs as well.
  • At the end of the workshop, transfer these actions into your workbook and to-do list.
  • Put your name card into an envelope and mail it to yourself as a reminder of what actions you said you wanted to implement.
Interesting ideas, yes?

So, if you're heading off to a workshop, or seminar, or conference - or even a networking event - that uses name tags, try something different. You might be surprised by how it helps you get more out of you being there in the first place.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

More on the Roller-Coaster

Pop artist Jem has a cute album called, "Finally Woken" and on it is a song called "Just A Ride" that's very much in keeping with the roller-coaster metaphor from the last GottaGettaBlog! posting. Here are the lyrics:


Life, it’s ever so strange
It’s so full of change
Think that you’ve worked it out
then BANG
Right out of the blue
Something happens to you
To throw you off course
and then you

Breakdown
Yeah you breakdown
Well don’t you breakdown
Listen to me
Because

It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It’ll take you round and round
Sometimes you’re up
sometimes you’re down
It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
don’t be scared
don’t hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don’t forget it’s just a ride

Truth, we don’t wanna hear
It’s too much to take
Don’t like to feel out of control
So we make our plans
Ten times a day
And when they don’t go
our way we

Breakdown
Yeah we breakdown
Well don’t you breakdown
Listen to me
Because

It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It’ll take you round and round
Sometimes you’re up
sometimes you’re down
It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
don’t be scared
don’t hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don’t forget it’s just a ride

Slowly, oh so very slowly
except that
there’s no getting off
So live it, just gotta go with it
coz this ride’s, never gonna stop

Breakdown
Don’t you breakdown
No need to breakdown
No need at all
Because

It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It’ll take you all around
Sometimes you’re up
sometimes you’re down
It’s just a ride, it’s just a ride
don’t be scared now
dry your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don’t forget enjoy the ride

And today's coaching question IS ... What would help you enjoy the ride?!

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Mr. Boffo and Perspective Shifting

I was reading the Sunday Chicago Tribune yesterday, more specifically, the comics section, and the Mr. Boffo cartoon caught my eye as a great example of a coaching process I used called Perspective Shifting:

Panel 1 - Man: Life is like a really super great roller coaster.

Panel 2 - Woman: Because you have ups and downs ... it's filled with thrills, exciting surprises ...

Panel 3 - Woman: And you never know what's going to happen next?

Panel 4 - Man: No ... there's a lot of waiting.

So if you were to take a look at something that's been challenging you at work or in life lately, would you say that your stress and strain are more from the ups and downs of not knowing what's going to happen next, or more because of the waiting? Regardless, it might be helpful to consider that you've actually got it backwards. In other words, maybe all those ups and downs, etc. are happening because you're waiting. Which begs the question: Waiting for what?

Or maybe you think you're waiting (read: procrastinating) but in reality you're actually busy doing other things - recharging your batteries, taking care of a bunch of little things that have been bugging you, working on something else entirely, etc. (I like to call this Productive Procrastination because it's not like nothing's getting done ... it's just something other than what you initially intended. If this is the case, give yourself a break because you ARE being productive.)

Maybe you aren't waiting after all - maybe you're just on a different ride and not even standing in the roller-coaster line. Which begs the question: What ups and downs, thrills and exciting surprises, or better yet, learning and insights, are currently going on inside you that you're not realizing? How are you waiting less than think?

Often times it's helpful to look at things from a completely different view. This Perspective Shifting often stretches your thinking in very meaningful ways.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

More on Shyness

On pages 182 and 183 of Shyness: What It Is/What to Do About It, Philip G. Zimbardo lists out a number of reach-out exercises designed to help shy people get used to socializing. In reviewing the list, many of the items seemed equally relevant to anyone wanting to do more networking, whether they're shy or not.
  • Introduce yourself to a new person in your office building, the grocery store, (Starbucks?) etc.
  • Invite someone who is going your way to walk with you.
  • Conduct a personal opinion survey. Ask ten people their opinions on a current topic. Ask one question about their opinions.
  • Call someone you know at work and ask about a relevant work issue.
  • Ask three people for directions. Shift at least one of them into general conversation for a minute or two.
  • Notice someone who needs help at the office or on the street at lunchtime and offer to help.
  • Invite someone to go eat with you - someone you have not eaten with before.
  • Say 'Hi' to five new people today whom you would not usually greet.
I invite you to experiment by trying some of these reach-out exercises and see what happens. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

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Friday, October 08, 2004

What to do about Shyness

A large number of people I work with consider themselves to be somewhat shy. It's no surprise, really, in that a survey of nearly 5,000 people by Philip G. Zimbardo of Stanford University, and as reported in his book Shyness: What It Is/What to Do About It revealed, "more than 80% of those questioned reported that they were shy at some point in their lives, either now, in the past, or always."

I found Dr. Zimbardo's ultimate message, as summarized on page 205 of his book, to be very coach-like:

+ You have control over what you feel and do.

+ You are responsible for those feelings and actions and for creating the consequences you want.

+ You have chosen to be shy and learned how to act like a shy person.

+ You can now choose NOT to be, if you are willing to UNlearn those old habits and substitute ones that work for your best interests.

+ You are free to do X, even when others say you cannot; you are free to refuse to do X, even when others say you must.

In talking about this with a client yesterday, he proudly said what he knew he needed to do: "I'm just going to find some people who are more shy than me so that I can still be myself, but be incredibly outgoing in comparison to those around me!"

Think about that. He'll probably have more fun, feel more confident, and be better able to be less shy in other circumstances he finds himself in.

That's pretty smart, don't you think?!

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

4qtr2004

Welcome to the 4th quarter of 2004, everybody! If there's stuff you wanted to get done before the end of the year, it's time to get serious about it.

Many people think that if something's not done by now, it won't get done by the end of the year. Maybe so, but just looking at this weekend's NFL games shows that half of the games weren't even decided until the 4th quarter. Teams, on both sides of the grid iron, scored a combined 165 points in the 4th quarter alone.

That's a LOT of points. And that's exactly my point - there's plenty of time left, but it's time to get going.

So do yourself a favor and make out a list of the 5 or 6 things you want to be sure to finish up before year-end ... And make a point of doing exactly that.