Time to shake things up
Aug 07, 2017
It's Monday. The start of your week. Are you doing the same thing you do every Monday? Your alarm goes off the same time. You hit that snooze the same number of times (zero is a number.) You fix yourself the same breakfast, take the same route to work, and stop at the same coffee shop, having the same flavored coffee fixed the same way...again.
It's Monday, so that means a staff meeting, answering emails, reporting the same stuff to the same people using the same words and the same communication style--expecting the same response from the boss and your peers.
Are you sure that's what you want to do? Maybe it's time to shake things up. Try something new.
Let's start with that status report you make at the Monday morning staff meeting. Instead of providing a snapshot of where things are, how about giving a report that helps others really understand what's going on, and, perhaps most importantly, what it means to them!
Status reports tend to look like your bank balance -- simply a snapshot of a moment in time. It's not a realistic look at your banking situation. It doesn't show the deposits not yet deposited or the checks not yet taken out. It doesn't reflect that check that you're confident is coming in on Tuesday.
Instead, wouldn't your boss rather have an understanding of what it all really means?
Instead of "waiting for information from XYZ department," how about telling them when you expect the information and what will happen when you do. "XYZ is scheduled to have this information to us by Wednesday so that we can do the ABC and have it to the customer by the first of the month deadline." Your manager and peers want understanding, not simply a snapshot that is, at best, outdated, and at worst, misleading.
While you're at it, how about switching things up to focus on how things in your department affect others -- as opposed to how they affect you and your team. Anyone else tired of hearing people talk about themselves in their reports while we wait our turns and make our to-do lists?
Instead of "I'm going to tell you how hard our team is working and what we're doing that's so important to us." How about, "You'll get an update on some of the projects that may impact what you're working on so that you can make good decisions about your projects and use of your resources." "Here's how it affects you..."
And if you're the manager running a meeting where people go around the room telling you what they're doing without relating it to everyone else in the department,-- it's time to stop wasting others' time! How much time, money, and energy are you and others spending in seemingly irrelevant meetings?
If you want to know the status of projects, meet with people individually. No need to waste everyone's time as you go around the room to hear everyone's reports while others wait their turns. If you want others to learn how one project and its resources can affect others' projects and resources, make sure that's what gets reported.
One of my coaching clients has done this recently. To hear her tell it, this one change has take their meetings from a snooze-fest to a highly interactive collaboration. People no longer dread the Monday morning staff meeting because it helps them effectively and strategically set their weekly priorities, leverage others' efforts, and manage their resources more efficiently.
Wouldn't you love it if people would focus their reports on information that you and others can use? Well, this is your chance to be a trend-setter. Do your peers, your manager and your team the favor of making every meeting valuable to them.
Let me know how it works for you!
Laurie Richards is an accomplished international speaker who works with thousands of executives and association leaders. Known for her practical, interactive, and entertaining approach, Richards works with leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, sales people, and other professionals on improving communication at every level. She also lends her voice to video and audio programs in voice-over work. Richards’ experience as an international speaker and speaker coach comes into play as she helps clients strategically plan outcome-based presentations, put power into a PowerPoint (no more bored audiences), prepare for media interviews, manage crisis (before, during, and after), grow morale, build stronger teams, and improve everyday communications to directly affect the bottom line -- including new business pitches, state-of-the-organization addresses, sales presentations, and meetings. Many of Richards’ programs include personality profiling using proven Myers-Briggs, DISC, Social Styles, and other valid instruments to help clients work better as teams, improve efficiencies, select best candidates, and coach employees. Richards began her career as a legislative correspondent for Public Broadcasting. She managed leader communications for the National Pork Producers Council—the nation's largest commodity organization and originator of the successful, “Pork. The Other White Meat” campaign. Richards has hosted radio and television shows, managed one of the nation’s fastest growing public relations agencies, launched award-winning public affairs programs, and managed highly effective grassroots lobbying efforts, and facilitated professional development programs for Fortune 500 companies and associations. Richards is described as "enthusiastic, professional, effective, practical, savvy, inspiring, and enlightening." Clients note her strengths as “an innate charismatic style coupled with the ability to really connect with her audience and bring practical real-life experiences we can use immediately.” Her business clients span throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia giving her first-hand experience and cross-cultural awareness. To remain relevant, Richards’ learning material includes current information reflecting today’s high-speed lifestyles, cultural changes, technological advancements, and shifting priorities. Richards has degrees in communication and business management and has earned masters’ degrees in business management and psychology. She has a variety of certifications in micro-expressions and psychological profiling. Richards is currently working toward her PhD in industrial and organizational psychology.