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Archive for June, 2012


Happy Independence Day

Productivity depends on getting the right things done efficiently and effectively. Part of being able to do that depends on how well you take care of yourself.

Use this Independence Day as an opportunity to give yourself some downtime. Don’t check email or voicemail. Don’t bring work home. Declare a day of independence from work and give yourself some well-deserved downtime. You will be surprised how much more productive you will be when you return to work refreshed and ready to tackle the work day.


Working With Multiple Managers

Inevitably, when working for multiple managers, you will find yourself swamped with tasks that all need to be done at the same time. It is critical to know whose tasks get top priority. Sometimes, it might be a certain type of task that takes priority, regardless of who assigns it to you. Here are some tips to help you juggle multiple managers:

  • Be direct and specific. Make sure you know what your job description entails and use assertive communication skills. Remind people making requests that you have multiple priorities, and you will make a judgment call as to which one is your TOP priority.
  • Ask for specific deadlines to help you prioritize. Be sure to get a specific date when something is due. “ASAP” is not a date! If a manager cannot or will not give you a specific date, give the manager a reasonable deadline by which you can get the work done.
  • Speak up about scheduling and deadline conflicts. When multiple managers want their work done at the same time, let each manager know there is a conflict. Try asking them to work it out and tell you what work should come first or ask for enough authority to set priorities on your own.
  • Know who your ultimate manager is. This person has the authority to ensure you are not overwhelmed and can operate at peak productivity. If you have 12 people pulling you in 12 different directions, it is a given that your productivity will suffer. You can be much more productive if you do not have to communicate with all of them every time a potential change comes up.

Refer my post “Juggling Multiple Managers” at  for additional tips.


The Value of Reframing

Reframing is used to alter the meaning of something. When you use reframing, you look for something positive in everything that happens, regardless of how bad it might seem initially. In every situation, you can learn something to help you grow. Reframing can work wonders and keep you in a positive state more often. To reframe, you need to:

  • Change the meaning from negative to positive.
  • Identify what you can learn.
  • Focus on the benefits to be gained.

For example, let’s say your manager tells you that you sometimes sound demanding and abrupt on the phone. People have mentioned this, and she has noticed it, too. Instead of feeling defensive and resentful, look for something good about it. In this example, this feedback can be used to help you temper your communication style to be more approachable and friendly. In this way, you can get along better with your team, peers and customers. You can change your negative response by reframing the situation and looking for the benefit.


How Well Do You Represent Your Manager and Department?

Everything you do at work reflects not only on yourself, but also on your manager and your department. You are a representative, and your behavior must be appropriate in every occasion. Here are seven tips to help you be the best you can be at all times:

  1. Freely express appreciation and give people credit for what they do.
  2. Always respond to requests graciously and promptly.
  3. Project a pleasant, approachable attitude.
  4. Be considerate of people in the workspaces around you.
  5. Be approachable and make other people feel comfortable.
  6. Refrain from gossiping and making judgmental or critical comments.
  7. Keep personal problems out of the office.