Have you ever been in a meeting and while you do your best to focus on the content, you can’t help but think of all the other things floating around in your life? Or someone’s comment puts a thought in your mind and you find yourself stuck on it? Sure you have!
It’s always the most random stuff too. Did you ever hear back from that person? You’re out of laundry detergent. Someone recommended a book and it reminded you of that other book you bought and have been meaning to read.
While a simple concept, ensuring you always have a parking lot ready will capture all those random thoughts and keep you present where you need to be.
What is a Parking Lot?
Self-awareness is all the rage lately. Emotional IQ training. Meditation. Journaling. We’ve made self-awareness trendy.
And that’s not a bad thing.
Slowing down to figure out how we are affecting the world around us is more productive and expected as we interact with each other.
I learned the Left-Hand Column Exercise years ago at my first full time job and it’s been a valuable tool for me over the years. Whether a tense verbal conversation with a coworker or customer or an uncomfortable interaction that you can’t quite put your finger on why it was awkward, this exercise will help you identify factors you may not have noticed or considered before.
One of the biggest complaints in today’s modern communications is there are too many emails. We step away from our inboxes for an hour and BOOM! Thirty more emails. And then, we start to dig in and have to use extra energy and focus just to get to the main point of each message.
Let’s be honest – we’re all friends here. You’ve read an email and thrown your hands up asking, “What the hell do you want?”
Whether the email is too wordy or the asks are not clear, we easily get flustered when reading a message simply because… if it is taking this long to figure out what this person wants, how long is it going to take me to get through the rest of my inbox?
The reality is you may be the culprit as well. You may be sending emails that cause this anguish and frustration. While we can’t please everyone, we can certainly aim to write the best emails possible for the masses.
That’s where these simple tips come in.
Unsurprisingly, email tends to be most workers’ biggest headache. Whether it’s a burning desire to document everything or senders just like the ease of email, we are inundated with messages at all hours of the day.
How do we manage the chaos?
Well, first, start thinking of your inbox as a tool, not the bane of your existence. There are a lot of functionalities built into email clients to make our lives easier – we just have to discover them or actually use them.
So, set some time aside today and let’s get organized!
In today’s work environment, odds are you have at least one team member who works remotely. Whether it is you, your boss, or a peer, remote teams face unique challenges and success relies heavily on everyone working together to build trust and be productive.
What is usually the culprit to dysfunctional remote teams? Communication.
I know. This is surprising to literally no one.
But what does this look like? What tactics work well? How do you get on the right path to success?
Here are five impactful tips to ensuring remote teams work well together.
Be honest… how comfortable are you with public speaking?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. 74% of adults experience some form of public speaking anxiety, which makes it the most claimed fear – over spiders and death.
I’m guessing if you’re reading this you’re seeking ways to build your skills and therefore, your confidence as a public speaker. Which is good news because confident speakers demonstrate more passion, provide more insight, and use more inclusive language. Why? Because they aren’t distracted by their internal anxieties.
So how do you build confidence and effectiveness?
In a past role, I supported an executive with digital marketing materials for events. Our firm hosted a number of networking events as well as a large annual meeting. At any given time, we would have invites out for two or three events and sometimes there was overlap in invitees. Meaning, communication could easily get muddy.
Then I learned a trick that forever changed my email efficiency.
We’ve all been there. An email is sent to a large distribution list and suddenly – ping! ping! ping! A flood of replies ensues.
Then here comes my favorite email, “Can everyone stop hitting reply all?”
Ha! That’s super helpful!
The sad part is this onslaught of emails is usually well-intentioned. Think about the last time this happened to you. What is the common message?
My very unscientific estimation would be 99% of the time the responses were words of congratulations. Sweet, right? Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t need to read those words of celebration.
So, the question is – how do we escape the tsunami of “Reply All” emails?
Okay, you made it. You’re at the end of the interview and you’re feeling pretty good. The vibe between you and your potential new executive is positive and you feel like you have a pretty solid knowledge about the company and the job duties. Then she asks…
“Do you have any questions for me?”
You choke for a minute. Your brain is spinning. Was there something we didn’t cover? What will sound clever? Ugh – a million questions, but what’s appropriate right now?
You take a deep breath and the only comment you can muster is a chipper, “Nope! Not at this time.”