Category Archives: DEVELOPING YOU!

TRIPLE III TIME: Finding the “I Can Help Sweet Spot”

I am not sure why…but more recently the everyday consultant challenge of Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot” for individuals and groups has become way more difficult.  I know…everyone who knows me…knows I always have ideas.  Whether the issue is dealing with performance, developing new service delivery concepts, customer recruitment, staff training…whatever I have ideas.  However sometimes even the best ideas don’t seem to be the right ones.

Picture1But then as I thought more about Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot” situation, I began to realize that this is NOT just a consultant challenge…it is an everyone who works with people challenge!

Today more than ever before it is critical to consider the “place” someone or an organization is before drafting and recommending alternative ways forward for them.  The problems and issues people/groups face today are not traditional or historic.  They are different and unique.

Next there is the question of “best fit”.  Based on YOUR experiences and knowledge YOU are confident that YOU can identify the best “I Can Help Sweet Spot.”  WRONG!  The most important consideration is THEIR experiences and knowledge and then how together find a best fit option to move them forward.

Finally, people who work with people need to be prepared to recognize that the Sweet Spot may move forward, backward or even side-to-side during the I Can Help process…and this is something no one can control.  It is just important to realize and accommodate.

So please keep these realizations in mind when Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot”! in your work/life.  Don’t think you are failing when your initial ideas and recommendations aren’t a winner.  Your authenticity and caring will be your most valuable asset.

TRIPLE III TIME: Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations:  “An organization or group a person belongs to based on involvement in a particular profession.”

As I have regularly discussed and encouraged professional development and keeping an accurate life-long record of where you have worked…your education credentials…special achievements and awards; I realize one area that I have “skipped-over” is identifying Professional Affiliations.  You all know what I am referring to.  I mean having a membership with organizations like:  Chambers of Commerce, alumni groups, education associations, Farm Bureau…and the list goes on.  And in most instances their value comes out during a job search action or career change.  Specifically Professional Affiliations are most often listed on resumes to demonstrate one’s involvement in personal development beyond a day job.

This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message however will go beyond just words on paper and focus on the “action value” of maintaining Professional Affiliations.  During my career I can not even guess the never-ending benefits I have obtained from my Professional Affiliation networks!  Example benefits include basic sharing and learning about new ideas, extending interests in a professional growth area, participating in a cool event and/or just obtaining independent advice on an issue or problem.  These are not just stagnant, readable benefits…they are activities that show how your Professional Affiliations are a vital part of your ever growing/changing career.

It is also important NOT to minimize any personal growth/development group you are or HAVE BEEN part of.  Being involved in a church choir, joining the FFA, becoming a band or National Honor Society member…and on and on!  You will never know when or where one of your Professional Affiliations (old or new) may help you.

Bottomline:  Take stock of your TOTAL Professional Affiliations.  Take action to appreciate their written and action value.  Finally keep building your Professional Affiliations in a diverse way…the benefits are endless.

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TRIPLE III TIME: Recognizing The Little Things As BIG!

Recently I was involved in the planning for an entrepreneurial event with a small Committee.  The Committee was made up of both public and private sector representatives and fortunately a rather wide range of professionals from different age groups.  All of course were/are very passionate about helping people start their own business and create unique products and services.  And as we discussed what kinds of “mini-sessions” we should have…the oldest gentlemen in the room suggested “how about a workshop on how we need to begin Recognizing The Little Things As BIG!”

I could tell by the combined looks on everyone’s face that they were not sure how to respond or what questions to ask about his suggestion.  So just being me I blurted out:  “Ok…just what would we talk/train about in our Recognizing The Little Things As BIG mini-session?”  Well without hesitation he cleared his throat and began “How about stressing these things:

First tell everyone to treat EVERY customer like they were brand new.
Second be sure to show or tell customers about one new thing you are doing or selling.
Third don’t assume customers know your best product or service…tell them.
Fourth enthusiastically ask them why they stopped by today.
Fifth make sure your total customer service area is neat, clean and has a confident business feel.
Sixth send out one (1) hand written Thank You note to a customer each week.
Seventh co-promote partner companies as best you can because it’s the right thing.
Eighth give the 10th customer each day 20% of their total purchase or a complementary product/service.
Ninth explain to all that work for/with you that if they can’t smile and laugh on the job they will only help in the back.
Tenth set aside a small but prominent spot in your place of business to display why Recognizing The Little Things As BIG is your company motto.”

As you can guess there was a quick unanimous vote to incorporate a Recognizing The Little Things As BIG session in our entrepreneur event…because we already had THE instructor!

(P.S. He also reminded us that all 10 discussion ideas could work in a business/organization online or in person…with a wink.)

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TRIPLE III TIME: Responsibility “Roots”

Every once in a while some action or message brings back memories of the multiple life lessons delivered to me by my Dad.  And mostly they were provided not by words…but by assignments.  Assignments like:

  • Treating livestock the way I would want to be treated.
  • Maintaining farm implements so they would last forever.
  • Repurposing tools that have passed their original use.
  • Put equipment “to bed” for the winter so they were ready to go when we “woke them up” in the spring.
  • Oh yeah one more… to always shake someones hand like you mean it!

The size and purpose of the assignments changed with time… but the Responsibility “Roots” that were planted with me never changed.

I believe for the sake of quality personal and professional growth it is valuable to consider the source of your Responsibility “Roots”.  When and where did the initial Roots get planted in you?  Who was most responsible…what were they and how did you deal with them?  These are all serious questions that can assist in growing and nurturing the Responsibility “Roots” that are part of your everyday life and world of work.

If you have a solid foundation and longer-term network of Responsibility “Roots” the more prepared you are when new/different responsibilities come your way.  Think about it??  Do you have a habit of avoiding taking on new responsibilities and dread the thought of unique challenges?  Or do you have a “Bring It On!” attitude that welcomes new challenges and views them as continuous learning opportunities!?

I know I was fortunate to have (and still have) great people involved in planting and expanding my Responsibility “Roots”.  I believe it is helpful to periodically step back and review your entire history of Responsibility “Roots” development.  As you do you will identify the best…ones that were not so helpful…and then better map your example-setting future.  It is a very good history lesson.

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TRIPLE III TIME: Are YOU The Boss Of YOU?

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Just a little bit ago I was having an interesting conversation with one of my very young grandsons.  Most of the discussion centered around…”Grandpa what do you do anyways?”  Well as I tried to explain what I do to help people and groups…another direct question came blurting out:  “Grandpa Are YOU The Boss Of YOU?”  And even though I began a simple explanation “speech” to him about Boss-isms…I began thinking a lot more about his question.

In real life and work Are YOU The Boss Of YOU?  Without question the answer is forever “YES!”.  However as I tried to give this question the value it deserves, I couldn’t help writing down some prime time TOP 10 related questions:

  1. Do you set a good Boss example everyday for yourself?
  2. Have you been encouraging to YOU and those around you?
  3. Do you need to “pump-up” your Boss reliability factor?
  4. As Boss of YOU…have you taken the easy-way-out on important decisions lately?
  5. Have you been a good Boss listener to yourself this week?
  6. Are you an inspiring Boss (to YOU)?
  7. Are you a Boss that procrastinates?
  8. Do you often or even sometimes say “that’s good enough” (as the Boss of YOU) when finishing an important project?
  9. Do others seek you out to benefit from your Boss of YOU priorities?
  10. Finally at this Christmas time and end of the year…would you nominate yourself as Boss Of YOU…for the year?

Have a fun time with these Are YOU The Boss Of YOU? TOP 10 questions and enjoy your Christmas.

TRIPLE III TIME: Prepping For The “Pick Me!” Moment

IMG_2806Whether you are seated at a formal meeting, a motivational workshop, a team building session or just with a small number of co-workers are you ready for the “Pick Me!” moment?  Everyone knows what I am talking about.  That moment when the meeting leader calls on you to speak on an issue being discussed!  Some people don’t look up, some go for long bathroom breaks or even try to convince everyone that they have an urgent call to take in an effort to avoid being picked to share their thoughts.

Prepping For The “Pick Me!” Moment is one of the most important skill sets to attain during your professional career.  It is just common sense to understand that people appreciate and respect those that are not only prepared to respond solidly to a question/issue but also display a working knowledge on the proposed topic.

What does this mean in real life?

I believe that because Prepping For The “Pick Me!” Moment is a critical professional priority…everyone should give appropriate attention to the following TRIPLE III TIME suggestions:

  1. Be “armed and dangerous” with high quality information to share on the topic.
  2. Offer thoughts and suggestions by volunteering to participate instead of having to be picked for comment.
  3. Allow for questions at any point during your “Pick Me!” Moments.
  4. Appropriately add substance to the input of other attendees.
  5. Be an example of professional compromise on any challenging issue.
  6. Avoid “Pick Me!” Moment rambling.
  7. Take short but specific notes as a “standard operating procedure” during “Pick Me!” Moment discussions.
  8. Don’t limit your prep based only on YOUR views…but from others too.
  9. Prep for conflicting opinions…always.
  10. Finally always set a high level “Pick Me!” communication example.

OK…yes I used my TOP 10 TRIPLE III TIME message delivery format.  Give them all some thought.  You never know when the next “Pick Me!” Moment will arrive!

TRIPLE III TIME: Learning About “Emotional Intelligence”

Psychologist and author Deborah Rozman at one time made this important point:  “If you don’t manage your emotions, your emotions will manage you.”  And I have to be honest I really don’t remember where or when I read Ms. Rozman’s statement, but it wasn’t until recently as I strategized with a colleague consultant did the term Emotional Intelligence become a priority professional development issue for me.

Emotional Intelligence is defined as:  “the ability to understand, manage and express one’s emotions in healthy ways.”  Think about that definition and then apply it to yourself.  When you feel good about yourself and where you are going in life, your emotions help with appropriate energy and enthusiasm.  On the flip side when we are down-in-the-dumps and seem to be going nowhere, fear, anger, frustration, sadness and worry take a tremendous toll on our health both physical and mentally.  I believe Learning About Emotional Intelligence is something everyone should undertake.  What do I mean?  I mean allow personal and professional time to better understand your emotions and the emotions of those you live and work with.  Consider ways to…I will use the term harness…your emotions to possibly reduce stress, anger and move more quickly to positiveness.  No one enjoys being caught in life’s ups and downs roller coaster ride.  I believe these are the most critical times when understanding the impacts of Emotional Intelligence can lead to a quicker, positive life or work situation.

The goal of this TRIPLE III TIME message: Learning about “Emotional Intelligence” is just to create a greater awareness and understanding of this topic as a professional development tool.  Thanks to JK for sharing it’s basics with me and I encourage all III readers to do a little research and reading about it.

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TRIPLE III TIME: Reverse Accommodation?

This TRIPLE III TIME message is difficult to write…possibly difficult to understand…and maybe even difficult to agree with…but my “community of commerce” sense prompts me to finish my thoughts.

Hopefully we have gone past the prime of COVID negatives.  And during the last year or so we have asked a lot from the business and service industries regarding accommodations…right?  Having employees work remotely.  Spacing tables at six feet apart.  Putting up shields to stop infectious particles.  Purchasing tons of cleaning materials and masks.  Reducing the number allowed in certain franchises at any given time.  There are probably many more specific ones…but these seem to be the main required accommodations.  The result was lost work, revenue, customers and in some cases company closings.  Extremely tough times.

But today this TRIPLE III TIME message wants you to consider…are workers/employees prepared to help and make Reverse Accommodations?  What do I mean?  I am thinking about staffs coming in to work a little early and staying a little later…just to help.  Possibly helping in another area of work besides their own to help the company.  And not fighting the importance of returning to work…IN PERSON…because my experiences says it matters.

During these recovery times it is vital to help local businesses rebuild, rejuvenate and become more competitive in their area.  Their ability to stay open, be prosperous means more jobs for you and those coming after you.

People talk a lot about “getting back to normal”.  Well that means not taking advantage of COVID era world of work “accommodations” and assuming personal responsibility relating to your job, your opportunity to work and how things would change if those opportunities disappeared.

TRIPLE III TIME: “Stretching Flexibility”

Yes it is the start-up of a new college semester…and yes I am again teaching a couple classes in American Government & Politics.  It is satisfying to know and see all of the students in person and again draw on their real attendance energy when in the classroom.

It is always my practice to spend the first class period as a “get-to-know-you” moment.  Of course we cover course expectations but before we end that first class I always try to give them a special word…phrase…or sentence that specializes the learning time that we will share.  So this semester I told them we will discuss the need and importance for every professional to begin:  “Stretching Flexibility”

What does this mean to the students…why is the combination term “Stretching Flexibility” so major that each student would talk about it after they complete the class?

flexibleWell first as I continually stress to every class that American Government & Politics impacts everyone and everything in their daily lives… “Stretching Flexibility” actions must be applied.  For example in the area of education, we must continue to learn and teach with more of a non-traditional mindset.  Likewise with the speed of medical science…we must be more open to the fact that quality treatments can be developed in shorter time periods (i.e. stretch our capacities to be flexible in trying new medicines).

The class will also regularly talk about the magnitudes of technology in all fields of employment and how only by Stretching YOUR Flexibility will you be able to effectively and efficiently work in the new economy.  Additionally during the conduct of every class session we will address the quiet, increased personal/professional value of Stretching and being more Flexible in applying your observation and listening skills.

As we near the end of the course hopefully they will know that “Stretching Flexibility” means that CHANGE will be the most constant occurrence in your life.  And finally in my pursuit of theming “Stretching Flexibility” for the class, I will challenge them to look around and see if they can locate a local, regional, state, national and/or international Champion who “Stretches Flexibility” everyday…EVERYDAY.

It will be a good semester.  I wish you all could join us!

TRIPLE III TIME: TIME MANAGEMENT

As you age the challenges of managing your time seem to grow more every day.  I guess this should not be a big surprise because the older you get…the more you realize that your “time” is limited.  So maybe it’s appropriate for this reason and maybe more for all of us to give TIME MANAGEMENT some special attention this week!

First think about where time management challenges come from.  Are most of them generated by employment…family…personal finance…or unforeseen life issues?  Second try and determine if certain circumstances drive more time management issues to you or does your life/work style build the incidence of endless challenges and thereby rob you of quality time.

Hour glassI believe everyone…EVERYONE should seriously assess and personally redesign their own TIME MANAGEMENT strategy…monthly!  Creatively addressing the issue of TIME MANAGEMENT on a “keep it fresh” and pre-planned basis is a professionally strong activity.  We talked about it before…the speed of change…advances in technology…and a global economy…all demand a persistent TIME MANAGEMENT effectiveness review.

Ok, ok…I can hear the question:   What specific TIME MANAGEMENT considerations do I employ?  Well, consider these:

  • Prioritize completing tasks that enable co-workers to advance their work.
  • Perfection doesn’t exist…so do a good job and move on.
  • Take on a leader mindset…and don’t allow for time wasting distractions/discussions.
  • If you are unsure of what tasks are most important…ask management.
  • Minimize multi-tasking…it often reduces product/service quality.

One last thought:  My grandpa used to remind me to not waste or give away your time…”cause it comes to you in a limited amount”.

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