Meeting facilitation BLOGS & PODCASTS

Using Play to Help Your Team Work Brilliantly

Do you love learning through games and play? A colleague of mine Bette Gardner developed a to­tally fun game that helps teams learn to work creatively and cohesively, instead of getting lost in arguments about stretched resources and priority conflicts.

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Looking for More Time in the Day? Focus Your 1:1 Meetings

It doesn’t seem to matter whether the economy is booming and work is pouring in, or the economy is down and you’re scrambling to keep clients and get everything done with a lean staff. There is a perpetual Big Squeeze for time. Nearly every business leader I coached last week was facing the same dilemma: where do you find more time when you’ve been over-committed for years and there’s nothing left of your life to squeeze more time from?

One of the executives I spoke with last week described how her organization had advised everyone to block out 30% of their time for the unexpected. Sounded like a wise plan to me. But she reported her “unexpected” workload regularly far exceeded that 30% figure. When I probed on exactly what the unexpected work looked like, it turned out that recent layoffs and reorganizations were causing even more impromptu 1:1 meetings and phone calls than usual. “It’s where I lose the most time every day,” she told me. “People drop by my office unexpectedly, my calendar is crowded with 1:1 meetings. I never know how long these things are going to take. They eat up my whole day.”

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Key to Efficient Consensus Decision-Making For Community or Business

I was just watching NBC News and the “Making a Difference” segment caught my attention: a clothing swap being organized in my home state of Michigan. Whenever the car industry tanks, it takes the whole Michigan economy down with it. In April, Michigan had the highest rate of unemployment in the country, 12.9%. What struck me about the clothing swap story was how the idea was spreading–more and more women were choosing to organize their own swaps. I think it’s the upside of a down economy. I don’t wish unemployment on anyone, but watching people come together to share resources in creative ways can only be good for community and the planet.

The news segment left me wondering what the organizing meetings looked like. I have been working and living collaboratively in a variety of ways since I was 19 years old (see About Me on this blog site). If you’ve ever been in a community group or been part of a team at work, you already know that making decisions with other people is not always the easiest thing. In particular, consensus decision making can be the most time-consuming and painful–though the benefit of having a really well thought out decision that everyone buys into is often worth the effort.

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Related Articles

Renewing Your Career: Fine-Tuning vs. The Big Leap

In the past year I’ve trained and coached over 500 people on how to manage their career. I find most people who want to re-invigorate their career assume the choice is either to put up with what they h … [More]

Using Play to Help Your Team Work Brilliantly

Do you love learning through games and play? A colleague of mine Bette Gardner developed a to­tally fun game that helps teams learn to work creatively and cohesively, instead of getting lost in … [More]

Coming Alive: The Journey To Reengage Your Life And CareerReengaging Your Career!

Have you ever had someone introduce you to just the right person? A long-time client just recently introduced me to Ruth Ross, who is fast becoming one of the leading champions for the “reengagement r … [More]

Related Podcasts

Stress Weighing You Down? Find Energy and Motivation in Work When You’re No Longer Inspired or Fulfilled

How do you keep going when life is stressful and challenging? Where do you find the will and energy to continue? When your work no longer inspires and fulfills you, but it just isn’t possible to find a … [More]

Balancing Career Change and Family – Interview with Donna Marsh

Learn how a successful professional uses three key tools from the Passionate Professional process to balance a career change with being a mother of a special needs child and a military spouse. … [More]

Supercharged Path to Finding Work You Love – Interview with Greg Peters

From layoff and unemployment to exciting new career direction—learn how this professional speeds through all three phases of the Passionate Professional process into work he truly loves. … [More]

Success Stories

Patrick Summer, Life and Business Coach

Success Story: “Jane practices what she teaches. She is a true artist, both literally and poetically speaking. Her ‘canvas’ is her life; be it her unique custom home and lifestyle, her creative entrepreneurial ventures, or her actual working with metal to create sculpture in her studio. More than anyone I know, Jane creates her life using the same tools and skills and concepts that she gives to the people she works with, to help them create their own life as an artist might craft a work of art. Let Jane midwife the masterpiece that is your life ready to be born!”