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Avoid bad people habits

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One of the things we hear a lot when growing up is to give people the benefit of the doubt but as we get older we see the same things happening again and again and the natural thing is to classify, judge and stereotype situations quickly. After all doing this is efficient and over the years often times your classifications, judgments, and stereotypes turned out right after all.

Successful people certainly learn from past experiences. But, they also realize it is dangerous to quickly dismiss people based on how a person dresses, initial conversation, or based on one person’s assessment. There are a number of things to be aware to avoid and this will help you in ensuring that you have good people habits.

Four things to avoid include the following:

  1. First impression: Be careful of first impressions with people. Do not make significant decisions off those first impressions. There are so many unknown factors in any meeting and understanding that we don’t know the full picture is important.
  2. Presume bad intent: People are generally good and are purposeful. Presume that a person has the right intentions. There will be cases when this presumption is wrong and once you have evidence that is the case act accordingly. However, quickly presuming bad intent in someone’s actions will result in poor relationships and generally result in you being wrong.
  3. Stereotyping: Even though stereotypes may prove correct sometimes avoid applying them to people. Stereotypes are dangerous, often times wrong, and if used incorrectly can make you look bad.
  4. Unwavering impression: Give people a chance to change. Don’t write a person off forever despite multiple bad impressions. People can always change and with time will often surprise you. We all go through different stages of our life and some of those stages are rough and don’t reflect the real us.

WLP Tip No. 4: Keep an open mind about people by not getting bogged down in first impressions, presuming bad intent, stereotyping, and impressions that do not change and be ready for people to surprise you because they often will.

Have an awesome week and remember to do something today to supercharge your success.

As always appreciate your feedback, emails, comments, likes, and re-tweets!

photo credit: Pensionati via photopin (license)

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Get “Balance Daniel-san”

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Many of us remember when Mr. Miyagi states “Balance Daniel-san” to Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid. However, how many of us really have good balance? Not the balance to do a one-legged crane kick but rather life balance.

When I speak of having good balance it really is aspirational. Sure there are weeks I get back on track and balance out things but often times my priorities are out of whack. I often work too much, I do not get enough sleep, I overly commit to charitable causes, I play too much golf (and bad golf at that), I eat too much, etc.

However, trying to find balance and realizing if you are not in balance are traits of successful people. That does not mean you always have to be in balance and you are not a bad person if you are not in balance. But, it does mean you have to have some self-actualization and do actions to better get balance.

For example, just like a lot of people I simply do too much and my mind goes rampant and this is not unusual for people. However, I realize that making a conscious effort to harmonize my mind with small meditation periods would be healthy and I have done just that. No you will not see me spending hours a day meditating but spending five or 10 minutes a day in silent meditation promotes good mental and physical health.

A few tips when trying to correct misaligned life balance:

  1. Stay positive: Don’t get down on yourself — be positive. The first step forward is realizing there is something that you can improve. Being down will only hurt your path forward.
  2. Small steps: Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make huge changes in your life to correct your life balance. This often times will lead to failure and depression. Take small steps and reap the rewards of the positive feeling of little accomplishments. These accomplishments will pile up and one day you will have the life balance you envisioned.
  3. Get support: Don’t hesitate asking for help and having others help you in your quest to better align yourself. People generally want the best for you. Personally I am lucky with to have a great wife and friends to offer support and honesty.

WLP Tip No. 3: Each day take the opportunity to self-actualize your life balance and staying positive and taking small steps to improve it with the support of your friends and family.

Have an awesome week and remember to do something today to supercharge your success.

As always appreciate your feedback, emails, comments, likes, and re-tweets!

photo credit: IMG_0152 via photopin (license)

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Process or die – the value of good processes

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Processes might not be sexy but they are important. One thing you learn very quickly as an information worker is that defining and executing good processes will provide efficiency, repeatability, and effectiveness.

Just like anything a good process is not easy to develop but time spent developing is usually well worth it. What people often don’t realize is that processes have a lifespan where they are born, they develop and they die.

  • Develop: Developing a process requires that you have the right people at the table. When developing a process always think about the primary purpose of the process. Keep in mind what are the necessary and repeatable steps to achieve that purpose.

It is essential to understand the lifespan of a process. Sometimes you may need to develop a process that you know will only have a short lifetime because of a change in technology and therefore the level of effort put into developing the process should be reflected in that shorter process lifespan.

  • Test: A process needs to be tested so that it does what it is supposed to do. Ideally there will be a quality metric and a way to measure that metric to ensure the process is performing per set standards. Testing is essential at both the initial process development stage but also developing ongoing testing is important to understand if the process is working as intended.

Some types of testing processes could be peer review testing, automated script testing, and quality metric verification testing to name a few. There are a lot of different types of testing that exist and you just need to ensure that initial and continuous testing needs for the particular process are established.

  • Document: Any good process is not developed until it is documented so don’t forget this important step. The process should be documented clearly step-by-step so that someone with the same skills as the person performing the process should be able to repeat it. Documenting the process provides value in not only helping ensure that knowledge is not lost but also that if audit comes a knocking you can happily answer the door.

Sometimes having a high-level and detailed process is warranted if it is a highly complicated process. The high-level process documentation will allow you to better communicate to executives and customers. The detailed process documentation will provide the detailed repeatable process.

  • Communicate: Not every process needs to be communicated but many do. If a new process is being put in place to help reduce customer fraud or increasing customer question resolution then take the opportunity to communicate this process. This communication may be internal and/or external depending on the circumstances. The degree of communication is really situation dependent but making a conscious decision on what to do regarding new process communication is essential step of process development.
  • Improve: No process is perfect from the start so there always can be process improvement. The more challenging question is whether resources should be spent improving a process or is it good enough. Not everything can be analyzed to the utmost degree but empowering and encouraging people executing the process to continue improving the process is essential to process improvement.

Having a process for process change is also important to layout for people to understand and follow. This would include things like determining if additional communication is needed if a process is changed and ensuring process documentation is updated with any process changes.

WLP Tip No. 2: Remember no matter who you are processes are important. Follow the process development steps of a) develop, b) test, c) document, d) communicate, and e) improve in order to establish efficient, repeatable, and effective processes.

Process development is not easy and not always fun but good processes payoff and will increase revenues, reduce risk, increase customer satisfaction, and much more.

Have an awesome week and remember to do something today to supercharge your success.

As always appreciate your feedback, emails, comments, likes, and re-tweets!

photo credit: Figure 2: Typical Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes via photopin (license)

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Your career sweet spot – passion meets skill meets market

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You hear people say love what you do and you won’t feel like you work a day in your life or similar phrases. Ok, yes if you love what you do you it will certainly feel a lot better. But, what if you suck at your job? Or, what if your job pays little? Certainly having passion for your job will bring you a long way but don’t sell yourself short.

Successful people truly know that their work must intersect in three ways:

  1. Passion: Truly successful people are utterly passionate about what they do. This does not mean that highly successful people have loved every job they ever had. But, they have realized that having passion for what they do means that they will commit themselves to doing it in the best manner they can. Having passion for what you do also means that you will certainly be happier doing this work.
  2. Skill: It might seem obvious but having skill in what you do is vitally important. You might have passion at something but if you suck at it then your ability to have a fulfilling and successful career is limited. Most of us have a misconception of our skills despite what we hear from others. Even those of us who realize our limitations often think that we just need to try harder and work on our weaknesses. Evidence is pretty clear that people that focus on their strengths are more successful then people that focus on compensating for weaknesses.
  3. Market: Even if you have passion for what you do and you have good skill to do it there is the all-important question of “what the market is for what you do?” The market for what you do will determine a number of things including key ones like compensation and work conditions. Reality is few of us are independently wealthy and work for the fun of it. Finances are a key situation on a person and her family’s lifestyle. If you are doing something that you enjoy and have good skill but you are still paid $35,000 a year with the hopes or needs of someone making $100,0000 a year this simply might not meet your financial expectations or needs.

There is also market from an industry or geographic perspective. Being in a hot industry or geographic region as respects to people with your passion and skills will further likely increase your work satisfaction. One thing that you might want to do is get into an industry that is being disrupted or alternatively get into a new technology industry or move to a city where these are occurring and the job market is hot. Putting yourself in a situation where market factors are in your favor will make you more successful.

WLP Tip No. 1: Remember life is short and take the time now to find a place where your passion intersects with your skill and these intersect with a strong market. If you are able to do this you will move yourself a long ways down the path of supercharging your success.

Look for WLP tips to make a regular appearance in future posts. Thank you David Quimby (@DavidQuimby) for the suggestion. Take the opportunity like David did and let me know how WorkLearnPlay can provide you more value.

Have an awesome week and remember to do something today to supercharge your success.

As always appreciate your feedback, emails, comments, likes, and re-tweets!

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