Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tip #5: Be a Self-Starter

from "82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace."

Look for a gap in the organization and fill it. Become known as the employee who initiates projects and engages others to participate even if beyond the scope of your job. Get the support of your supervisor and be sure these projects add value to the organization and/or clients. This is a great way to develop your leadership skills.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tip #4: Manage Up

from "82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace."

Advance your objectives by advancing those of your organization and those of your boss. Ask how you can help. Also, let your boss know what your goals are so you can get support achieving them.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Transformation Anyone?

Listen to this voicemail message from a young woman, Shaw, I befriended last month. We both attended the Landmark Forum last weekend and it was indeed transformational for so many of us there. Many have opined on the Landmark Forum. For those who have experienced it, the Forum is deeply profound and, well, transformative. I found it to be quiet, sobering, essential. Shaw left this message for me yesterday.

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, September 15, 2005


If you signed up to get email updates when I post, you will now receive notification from FeedBlitz rather than Bloglet. You don't need to do anything. Your subscription has been transferred.

Also has been retired although I continue with my athletic endeavors. I appreciate your interest in my postings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tip #3: Seek Solutions

from "82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace."

Offer one or two solutions or approaches when identifying problems and challenges. Your ideas and suggestions demonstrate your ability to make a constructive contribution and magnify your value to the team.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Humane Society Katrina Rescue Project

Support the Humane Society Katrina Disaster Rescue Project

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Communication Mistakes

The following excerpt is from an article I edited about women and communication mistakes they (we!) make. See credits below. Forward this post to the women in your life.

Uptalk is the singsong speech pattern that has a rising inflection at the end of a sentence. It sounds as if the speaker is asking a question instead of making a declaration. A rising inflection at the end of a sentence sounds tentative, as if posing a question. This is a real credibility killer. Women will not be taken seriously with this vocal pattern.
Why? Because uptalk makes you sound as if there are other options! To speak with authority, practice bringing the voice down at the end of a sentence. American intonation patterns use a downward inflection to declare or demand and a rising inflection to question or indicate uncertainty.

Weak Language
Are you a victim of Weak Speak? Do your words betray you?
You are minimizing yourself when you say, "This is just a thought," "I'm only a beginner," "I'd like to make a suggestion." Wimpy words such as if, hopefully, suggest, feel, might, sort of, kind of, and I think, weaken your conviction. Imagine a salesperson saying, "Hopefully, I've shown you that if you buy from us you might be able to increase your income." The potential buyer will walk away when hearing this type of message. The real message is "Don't buy from me. I don't believe what I'm saying."
Weak Speak consists of tag lines, modifiers, wimpy words, and apologies.

Tag lines
Some communicators make a statement and then ask for validation. "This is a good idea, don't you think? "We have the best team, right?" Tag lines weaken conviction and authority. Eliminate them.

Words such as some, just, only, hopefully, and guess minimize the message and the messenger. "This is just a thought." "I'm only a beginner," "Hopefully, I've done a good job," "I guess I have a question" are weak statements. They signal a lack of confidence and tell the listener that it's not very important. Constant apologizing is not appropriate and will have the same effect. Weed out wimpy words and replace them with powerful language. This is most commonly a female pattern.

Wimpy words (I LOVE THIS ONE!)
Women often use language differently from men. In the workplace too many tentative words will undermine the ability to lead. Don't wimp out. Take a stand. Turn these wimpy words into power words.
Wimpy words vs. Power words I feel vs. I know I believe vs. I'm confident If vs. When, By Suggest vs. Recommend It's sort of vs. It is Might vs. Will, Definitely Problem vs. Challenge Worried vs. Concerned Share vs. Discuss

Too much head nodding (THINK OF BOBBLE HEADS)
Women's natural ability for empathic listening can be a strength or a liability if overused. When women nod in a conversation or business meeting, they mean "I hear you," "I understand." However, men interpret head nodding as agreement with their ideas. Continual head bobbing creates a subliminal message of submissiveness. Women need to learn to nod less often, and men need to clarify the meaning.

Don't apologize or put yourself down. Excessive use of the word sorry will make you sound weak. If you've made a mistake, take responsibility and move on. Skip the drawn-out apologies.

Allowing interruptions
Men jump in and say what they think. They tend to interrupt more than women. Women are more likely to allow themselves to be cut off and lose credit for their ideas. Instead, it's important for women to stick with what they are saying. You can say, "I'm not finished," or "Please hold your questions."

Leverage public speaking
There are two equalizers in life — money and public speaking. One of the biggest mistakes women can make in their careers is avoiding public-speaking opportunities. Public speaking is an opportunity for visibility, expanding networks, and equal exposure. Your ability to speak confidently and intelligently in front of any audience (large or small) could be the differentiating factor that sets you apart from your co-workers. You can gain credibility and exposure by speaking at industry conferences, presenting at company orientations, speaking on panels, and training clients. Confront your fear, prepare effectively, get some coaching, and get out there and shine.

Edited from an article by Diane DiResta, an internationally recognized expert on the fine art of public speaking and commanding more influence at work.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tip #2: Listen Actively

from "82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace."

Listen without thinking of your next response, finishing someone’s sentence, or interrupting. People know when they are truly being listened to. It’s one of life’s rarest treasures.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Our Gulf War

As to be expected, reports are coming in indicating this gulf coast tragedy here in the US could have been averted. Having no control over Mother Nature's inclinations, we ought to have some control over the infrastructure we build to protect ourselves and our citizens. In order to make sense of the Gulf War abroad, I've tried at times to rationalize that in the future looking back, sense will be found in what often seems like a senseless war. My fantasy is that we will say (or our children and grandchildren will say) "A dictator was eliminated and a democracy was installed." I try to look at the loses with that degree of projected optimism.

But today that's changed. To live in a world where the end justifies the means is inhumane and doomed. It’s one thing to focus on progress but how do we rationalize the cost to current generations? We are putting too much of our man and woman power and dollars into developing another region’s infrastructure when here in our own country our residents are suffering or living in vulnerable conditions. Take the levees for example. Documents on the books predicted this kind of disaster pending certain conditions. Who was in charge of gambling with Mother Nature? Projections declare it’s only a matter of time, due to global warning, for example, much of our coasts will be below sea level. Brings me back to Mother Nature. Could our choices, both personal and legislative, put Mother Nature and us back on the same team where ever possible?

In today's news a city representative declared that the upside of this disaster will be a surge in employment opportunities to rebuild these coastal towns. I'm willing to bet my beachfront property he didn't lose his home or his family members.