Monday, February 27, 2012

Improving Your Decision Making Skills

In reading How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, I’ve learned how to make better decisions.  Here are a few of the major discoveries:
1. Most decisions are emotional (unconscious), while we think they are rational (conscious).
2. We may think we are putting others first, but in most decisions, we put ourselves first.
3. Making decisions requires energy.  We make our worst decisions when we are tired, rushed, thirsty or hungry.
4. Since we often make mistakes in our decision making, it’s good to apologize for bad decisions.
5. Sometimes it’s better to go with instinct and sometimes analysis. We need to have the wisdom to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.” 
6. We never make a decision to get angry.  Recognize we all have quick fuses on some key issues. Learn what yours is.  Take responsibility for getting angry and know it’s usually not somebody else’s fault.
7. A good reason to have a coach, mentor or good friend at work is to be able to talk over past and present decisions and to learn from your mistakes.

If you haven’t signed up yet for the CEO Connect breakfast Memorial to Jeff Zaslow on Friday, March 2, please email me to reserve your spot.

Coach Rob

Monday, February 20, 2012

Macho or Mensch: The Male Dilemna

Last week when I attended Jeff Zaslow’s funeral, he was often referred to by family, friends and associates as a true “mensch”.  This led me to think about a dilemma many people experience as they struggle to succeed in the workplace, whether to be macho or to be a mensch.
To be tough and competitive (macho) or kind and thoughtful (mensch)?
To win at all costs (macho) or to do the right thing no matter what the cost (mensch)?
These are the challenges facing young leaders (male and female) in today’s corporate environment.
Here’s are some questions to ask yourself about which type of environment you are creating.
1. As a leader, are you doing all you can do to create an environment where you and your employees can act like mensches?
2. To what extent do you require your employees to be “macho”, tough, never showing vulnerability, and working as hard as necessary, no matter what the cost to themselves and their families?
3. Have you been able to find a balance between the two which works for your organization?
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the “macho or mensch” dilemma. Please join the conversation here or on my Facebook page. 

Coach Rob

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jeff Zaslow's Words of Wisdom

Today I attended the funeral of my friend, Jeff Zaslow. His beloved three daughters fought back tears to speak about how Jeff’s spirit will live on through his words and loving deeds.  Here are some of his words of    wisdom they mentioned:
1. Life is too short to stay mad all the time
2. Show your interest in people by asking thoughtful questions
3. Make people laugh loud and hardy
4. Learn to give guidance without telling people what to do
5. Always have time for the people you love
6. When you leave the house or hang up the phone, tell the people you love that you love them…because you never know…
I know many of you are fans of Jeff and are very sad about his tragic death. Please share your favorite Jeff saying or stories by responding through email, on my Facebook or here on my blog.  I will compile them and send to his family. I am also planning to host a memorial celebration for Jeff’s life on March 2, the day Jeff has been scheduled to speak at CEO Connect.

Coach Rob

Monday, February 6, 2012

Managing Stress

With money so tight, technology increasing at such a rapid rate, and fewer people available to do more work, people experience excessive stress in organizations. Try this experiment for the next month.
1. Keep track of at least three daily abundances in your life. Write them down in longhand rather than entering them on the computer.
2. Ask each of your direct reports to write down three daily abundances at work or at home. Review these weekly with your director reports and ask them what you can do to help them add more abundances at work.
3.Try the same experiment at home with your family members (and your pets, if you talk to them).

Daily abundances can include anything you feel good about: accomplishments, helping someone,              compliments, random acts of beauty and kindness.

I have been doing this exercise for the past 15 years and it has helped me be happier, more productive, and less grumpy. Please let me know how this experiment turns out for you.  I’m interested in hearing your suggestions on managing stress. Please join the conversation here or on my Facebook page. 

Coach Rob