Be Kind First, Be Right Later

Comment

Be Kind First, Be Right Later

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

James Clear wrote a great article on “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds”. It explains why bad ideas live on and why we may be very reluctant to give up our ideas for what appears to be a good idea.

Our mind is a curious thing…. James helps us see a possible window into it to help understand why we cling to ideas - sometimes without reason (or facts).

Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds

The economist J.K. Galbraith once wrote, "Faced with a choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof."


Comment

Prey or Hunter?

1 Comment

Prey or Hunter?

“You need to be working on your business, not in your business “

We hear this all the time and we know it’s true. Yet, here we are still “in” our business. Time, money, apprehension, staff (did I mention money?) all keep us from jumping out. When I owned a mid-size tech company, it probably took 5-7 years before I was able to pull myself out from writing code. Even after I took a toe out, I still felt the tug daily to get back into it. I’m not sure I ever fully got out, but at least I had two other partners in the business who were great at working on the business. But now I’m the sole owner with two part time employees. Nobody but myself to lean on, and nobody to blame but myself. I am truly working in the business daily - sitting at the front desk, trying to grab 10 – 20 minutes here and there to build the company. As you all know, that doesn’t cut it. When I finally get 4 hours outside of the day-to-day with one of my assistants working the desk, I’m usually out trying to sell – which also isn’t working ON the business but still IN the business.

 

So, who has the answer?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this. All of us probably have competitors with both a war chest of money and teams working ON their business. I know I do, and I’m not very comfortable being bait. I’d prefer to be the hunter!

4 Ways Delegating Can Grow Your Business -

As a small business owner, you need to be working on your business, not in your business. Making calculated, strategic moves is the key to success and you're not able to do that if you're knee-deep in handling the day-to-day details. Many small business owners believe it's challenging to grow their business because expansion means ...

1 Comment

How is your strategic plan going?

Comment

How is your strategic plan going?

Went I was running a large tech company it seemed natural that we had a strategic plan and that we reviewed and updated it regularly. Sure – when I started Clearly Coworking I put together a detailed plan and laid out where I expected the business to be over the course of 5 years. But honestly, I have not gone back and done anything with it since then. Now that I’m running a small business with myself as the only full-time person and two part-time workers, the thought of setting aside several days to work on this seems daunting. As businesses owners, we all know our days are already 12 hours long! In our heads, we know everything including where we want the business to be 5 years from now. Right?

But how much has changed to the environment around me since I started and first put together that sparkly strategic plan? A lot! Coworking was in its infancy back in 2013 when I founded the company. There were only a few thousand coworking spaces around the world at that time. Now, there is one in almost every city around the world. So I’m guessing if I went back and looked at my original assumptions and plans, I’d find them to be outdated and/or incorrect.

Most of us face the dilemma of “working IN your business vs being able to work ON your business”. Writing a strategic plan clearly falls in the camp of working ON your business.

So sharpen your pencils and get to work.

What Is Strategic Planning?

The top challenges for small business owners in 2017 were: Strategic planning misconceptions There are many misconceptions with strategic planning. From not having enough time or thinking it only benefits larger businesses, to fearing you'll put your business on the wrong path, there are a variety of reasons why business owners may be wary of strategic planning.

Comment

Comment

Are you ready to embrace digital nomadism?

If businesses are to embrace digital nomadism, they may also need to change how they people-manage, she says. “You still have to manage the individuals but in a different way, using technologies to keep in regular contact. It is not about presenteeism but about what they are actually producing.”

#Digitalnomad

#remotework

Rise of the digital nomad - Raconteur

Much has changed since 1980 when Dolly Parton released the song 9 to 5. Most people in Europe work less than a 40-hour week, according to the EU Labour Force Survey, and the average is falling. Remote working is also rising.

Comment

7 real-life tips for better 1-on-1 meetings

1 Comment

7 real-life tips for better 1-on-1 meetings

I’m not sure when the “1 on 1” meeting came into favor. I know when I started working back in the stone age we didn’t have “1 on 1” meetings. Or at least we didn’t call them that. Somewhere along the way in my prior company I adopted holding 1 on 1 meetings with my direct reports. I think we all truly hated doing them but felt compelled to hold them.  

What I find interesting is when we were in the start-up mode (the first 5 years) we never held 1 on 1 meetings  - and low and behold – we all knew what was going on and stuff got done.  Those days were collaborative efforts and everyone knew the goals and objectives of the business. But by year 10 and 200+ employees, 1 on 1s crept into the agenda and somehow we all felt the need. 

So what’s the purpose of a 1 on 1 meeting?  When we step out of the meeting, what should we be charged with?  Who is the meeting for and who should set the agenda?  Should there even be an agenda?  Is it a time to personally connect with your coworker or a time to get a recap of projects? 

I like the suggestions from Atlassian’s blog on this. Spoiler: it’s not for status updates!

7 real-life tips for better 1-on-1 meetings - Atlassian Blog

Subscribe now 1-on-1 meetings are an opportunity for managers and team members to build a strong rapport and help each other become more effective. For the team member in particular, they are critical to professional growth. It's easy for 1-on-1s to fall by the wayside.

1 Comment

Running effective meetings: a guide for humans

Comment

Running effective meetings: a guide for humans

Do you know the difference between an effective meeting and an efficient meeting?  So many articles are written about structuring your meeting in a particular way to make them the most efficient.  Let's face it - we all have too many meetings and a little efficiency would be good right?  I have been in "efficient" meetings and it felt a bit militaristic and not very human-friendly.  We spent more time worrying about structure than we did about the actual topic of the meeting. 

Sarah Goff-Dupont does a great job in this article transforming an efficient meeting into an effective meeting.  She has several great suggestions for keeping a meeting "human" and accomplishing the goals and objectives of the meeting.  

Effective meetings keep attendees engaged

"It’s ok to start the meeting by setting the expectation that everyone is 100% focused on what’s going on in the room. Let the group know that if someone has work that is so pressing they’d be tempted to multi-task, they have permission to go do that work and catch up on what happened in the meeting later. They’ll produce better work, and you’ll have more engaged participants. Win-win"

This is a huge pet peeve of mine:  people on their cell phone or laptop doing other work (or Facebook) while in the meeting.  I once had a direct report who spent the entire meeting tweeting to his friends.  I would have to send him a text message in the middle of the meeting to tell him to put his phone down!  Why bother coming. 

 

Running effective meetings: a guide for humans - Atlassian Blog

Subscribe now Running effective meetings isn't simply a matter of doing the obvious things like sharing the agenda and starting on time. While those things are important, they're just table stakes. The real key to effective meetings is organizing and running them with a human touch - not like some corporate management automaton.

Comment

Eight Simple Recommendations for  Good Acoustical Etiquette in an Open Plan Office

1 Comment

Eight Simple Recommendations for Good Acoustical Etiquette in an Open Plan Office

Eight Simple Recommendations for Good Acoustical Etiquette in an Open Plan Office

Thomas R. Horrall, FASA


The number one facility-related complaint expressed by people working in the open plan office environment is inadequate acoustical privacy from neighbors.  The increasing trend of lower cubicle wall heights directly contributes to the transfer of more unwanted sound from one cubicle to surrounding ones.  The single most effective acoustical tool for reducing the annoyance of this sound transfer is adequate background sound, usually generated by an effective sound masking system.  However, even the best sound masking system may not be able to fully reduce acoustical annoyance by itself.  If implemented, the following recommendations will go a long way toward further enhancing acoustical privacy.

1. Never use a speakerphone.  Not only is speakerphone sound an annoyance in itself, but people usually speak louder when using a speakerphone, causing further annoyance to their neighbors.  The office noise transmitted to the external party by a speakerphone is also an annoyance to them, and may even degrade their ability to hear the conversation.  Pick up the telephone handset or use a headset.

2. Develop a softer telephone voice.  Many telephones have an adjustment called “sidetone” which can help with this.  Sidetone is the amount of the telephone user’s own voice that he hears in his receiver.  If it is set too low, the user usually speaks louder than necessary, annoying his neighbor.  Many telephone vendors don’t take the time to adjust the sidetone properly during installation, and they may have to be called to make the adjustment.  There are also “stoplight” type monitor devices available that remind the user to keep his voice down.  

3. Adjust telephone ring loudness.  If your phone has an adjustable ring loudness setting, make sure it is only as loud as necessary.

4. Set cell phones and pagers to minimum ring volume, or better still, vibrate mode.  If vibrate mode is not feasible, make sure the ringtone setting is subtle and that the phone is as close to the user’s work position as feasible so that it is audible at a low volume setting.  Don’t leave the cell phone when going to lunch – take it with you so that ringtones don’t annoy neighbors  when there is no one to pick up the phone.

5. Take cell phones to a break room or other private space if a call is likely to be protracted.  Also consider letting voicemail take a message and return the call from a landline. One of the worst breaches of office etiquette is those people who make long, loud personal calls at their cubicle desks instead of stepping outside (or into a more private area).

6. Listen to any music over headphones, not loudspeakers.  Music listening in the office is increasingly acceptable, but remember that one person’s music is another’s noise.  If it is frequently necessary to hear colleagues entering your office while listening to music, use “open air” type headphones, or even a single earbud, rather than one in each ear.  Don’t hum or sing along to the music.

7. Use Instant Messaging.  IM is also becoming commonplace in the office.  Do you really need to go have a verbal conversation with a colleague or would a brief IM do just as well, or maybe even better.

8. Don’t make unnecessary noise in the office.  Gum-cracking, coffee-slurping, ice-chomping, pen-tapping and, most offensive of all, full-bellied belching potentially annoy all of your neighbors.  A cubicle is a public area, and those working inside should act as they would in any other public area.


1 Comment

How to fire a horrible Client

Comment

How to fire a horrible Client

Do you know the difference between a terrible client and a challenging client? 

Take a look at this article and get some advise on how to get rid of those terrible clients (we all have them!).

How to Fire a Horrible Client - SMALL BIZ AHEAD

When you first started your small business, you were probably overjoyed when you landed your first customer. You were grateful for the work, and their belief in you validated the reason you became your own boss. Then you got your first bad client - you know, the one that makes you cringe when they call.

Comment