Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HR Motivational - Step Out of the Fire and Into the Light

Hatred of Anyone -- for Any Reason -- Sets the Mind and Heart on Fire, Makes the Blood Boil, and Causes the Eyes to See Red. In Short, In Case You don't Recognize the Signposts for the Place they Describe, be Warned: Hatred Is Hell.
 
By Guy Finley
 

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HR Quotes - Perseverance / Persistence

"The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on despite all opposition until they attain their goal. There may be no heroic connotation to the word 'persistence,' but the quality is to the character of man what carbon is to steel."
~~~ Napoleon Hill

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all." -~~~ Dale Carnegie

"There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the hard truths and saying, 'We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail.'" 
~~~ Jim Collins

"The true road to personal improvement is not miraculous; it is slow and calls for a great deal of perseverance, but it is indeed possible to progress along this road, and your effort will be amply repaid." 
~~~ David Fischman
 
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HR Amazon Store - Unbox Video Downloads

 
Action & Adventure, African American Cinema, Animals, Animation, Animation & Cartoons, Art & Artists, Art House, Biographies, Classic TV, Classics, Comedy, Cooking & Cuisines, Crafts & Hobbies, Documentaries, Documentary, Drama, Dramas, Educational, Educational & Learning, Fitness, Game Shows, Health, History, Home & Garden, Home Improvement & Design, Horror, Independent Film, International, Kids & Family, Life & Learning, Metaphysical & Supernatural, Supernatural, Military & War, Miniseries, Movies, Performing Arts, Mystery, Mystery & Thrillers, Nature & Wildlife, News Programming, Nonfiction, Outdoor Recreation, Parenting & Childcare, Parenting, Childcare, Personal Finance, Reality TV, TV, Religious & Spiritual, Romance, Science & Technology, Science, Technology, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Soap Operas, Sports, Talk Shows, Transportation, Travel, Westerns.
 

HR Policies - Web Surfing at Work--Can You Stop It?

It seems that no matter how many times you remind employees to stop personal use of the Internet, they keep on surfing. Today's expert has solutions.
 
Internet usage at work is tough one, says Laura E. Innes, a partner at the law firm of Simpson, Garrity & Innes in South San Francisco. But there are practical steps that employers can take.

Internet Use Policy

First of all, you definitely want a policy on this topic, but you also want to be very open with your employees about Internet usage. Let them know that you are monitoring it. Remind them that employees' Internet histories are periodically reviewed to ensure that your policies are followed and that people aren't using the Internet inappropriately during working time.
 
No Deleting Internet History

This is important, says Innes: Have a rule that employees are not to delete their Internet history. Remember, employees are smart, and they figure all this stuff out. So if you tell them that they can't use the Internet for personal Web browsing and that you're going to look at their history, they'll delete their history so it won't be there.
 
So you have to say, "You're not allowed to delete your history." Make that a violation of the policy.
 
What About Key-Loggers?

If you are going to use a key-logger program that monitors computer keystrokes, the situation is the same. Make sure people know that you monitor, and then make sure you actually do monitor.
 
Many of her clients have implemented a random system, Innes says. For example, "Two percent of our employees' Internet usage will be randomly reviewed every week," and do it.
 
If you find that someone is on a non-work-related Internet site, tell them: "We noticed that you were on eBay Tuesday afternoon, and there's no reason for you to do that in connection with your business for XYZ company. That's a violation of our policy. This is an oral warning. If you violate the policy again, additional discipline—including termination—could follow."
 
What to Do with Personal Information

With any kind of monitoring, you're going to get personal information. Don't go into it any more than is absolutely necessary to confirm that the employee was doing something inappropriate.
 
So, for example, if an employee on a delivery route diverged from the route without permission, and went 6 blocks away and was parked in front of some building for 2 hours, all you really care about is that she was off the route for 2 hours. You don't care whether she was parked in front of a Planned Parenthood facility, a counselor's office, or was shopping.
 
Similarly, when you see e-mails that clearly are not business e-mails, look at them enough to identify that it's not business e-mail, and then stop reading. You don't want to get into all of the details about hip replacement surgery.
 
No Personal E-Mail

Often employers say, "Do not use your e-mail account for personal business," or "We monitor e-mail and review employee usage records." By doing this, they hope to remove the expectation of privacy.
 
It is helpful to have such policies, but be sure to enforce your rules, says Innes. If you are tacitly allowing employees to use their business address for personal correspondence, you may not have diminished their expectation of privacy.
 
One approach is to say, "If you want to use our computers for personal e-mail, do so during restroom or meal breaks, and use a private e-mail account such as Hotmail or AOL."
 
Malware and Viruses

Finally, notes Innes, one additional reason to halt Internet browsing: Visits to certain sites can put malware—destructive programs like viruses, worms, and Trojan horses—on your system.

Innes's anecdotal experience suggests that half of her clients' difficult computer system problems come from employees using the Internet for personal use and downloading some sort of malware or virus.

In the next issue of the Advisor: Policy considerations for Internet usage and some good news—your Internet policies are already written!

Since When Is Your Office Surf City? Part 2

BLR offered tips for controlling surfing on company time; today we've got a list of key issues to consider when you write your Internet policy.

Here are particular topics to consider for your policy on Internet usage:

-- Security. Are all files downloaded from the Internet scanned for viruses? Are hard drives routinely scanned for viruses? Is virus software routinely updated?

-- Software. Can employees install downloaded "freeware" or other programs from the Internet onto their office computers?

-- Privacy. Do you inform employees that their use of the Internet may be monitored? Do you state that employees' computers are subject to inspection to determine whether there is a virus present, whether there is pornographic material present, or whether there is personal software present?

-- Games. Does your policy prohibit installing games on your computers?

-- Solicitation. Does your company policy regarding solicitation apply to the Internet? Do you prohibit the sale of personal items through advertising that is placed during working hours on the Internet? Do you prohibit the use of e-mail over the Internet to solicit during working hours?

-- Harassment. Does your policy explicitly forbid the use of the Internet to harass employees, vendors, customers, and others? Is there a method for tracing the origination of an abusive message over the Internet?

-- Abuses. Does your policy define what you consider to be abuses of the Internet, such as sending advertising, viewing pornographic material, or downloading movies or music?

-- Blogs. Does your policy address the creation of personal blogs at work or using company facilities?

-- VOIP. Does your policy address the use of Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) services? (VOIP services convert a voice into a digital signal that travels over the Internet.)

-- Monitoring. Do you tell employees that you can monitor the sites visited and the amount of time spent on the Internet?

-- Confidentiality. Do you require that documents sent via the Internet be encrypted?

Thanks to BLR

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HR Motivational - Believe While Others…

Believe While Others are Doubting.

Plan While Others are Playing.


Study While Others are Sleeping.


Decide While Others are Delaying.


Prepare While Others are Daydreaming.


Begin While Others are Procrastinating.


Work While Others are Wishing.


Save While Others are Wasting.

 

Listen While Others are Talking.


Smile While Others are Frowning.


Commend While Others are Criticizing.


Persist While Others are Quitting.

 

By William Arthur Ward / ZigZiglar Newsletter

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HR Restructuring - Love Your Team: Restructures and Downsizing

The George Bush era is almost over.  No matter what side of politics you're on, there's no denying the downfall of a man who went from enjoying the highest approval ratings in history during his first term to being officially declared the worst President of all time in his second.

 

And it's all because of the mismanagement of trust.  Three big events occurred during Bush's presidency that deteriorated the level of trust that people had in him:  The financial crisis (trillions of dollars wiped from world markets), Hurricane Katrina (275,000 homes destroyed), and the War in Iraq (4,500 Coalition lives lost).

 

A similar situation unfolds in workplaces undergoing restructures and downsizing, but instead of losing money, homes, and lives, employees are losing jobs, colleagues, and responsibility.  An unintended consequence is that the trust employees have in their leaders is eroded, and it's always because one or more of the following were at play:

 

Lack of Communication:  The people's trust that the Iraq War was necessary was damaged when it emerged that there weren't any weapons of mass destruction and that Iraqi leaders didn't have any associations with Al Qaeda.  Likewise, if you're not communicating honestly and credibly, your employees simply will not trust you.

 

Lack of Care:  Despite Hurricane Katrina being the most devastating natural disaster in US history, Bush, Cheney, and Rice stayed on vacation.  They were absent when the country needed them most.  Similarly, if your employees feel that their wellbeing has been sacrificed for management's personal gain, they will not trust you.

 

Lack of Competence:  The financial crisis in the US had been brewing for years, yet the lax in accountability and inadequate regulation continued unchecked.  Your employees are assessing you as much as you're assessing them.  If during trying times you're neglectful or react in a knee-jerk fashion, they'll think you're incompetent and… will not trust you.

 

When you go through tumultuous periods of downsizing and restructures, what's far more important than cost-cutting or project efficiency is trust management.  In this time of presidential transition where the contrast in leadership style has never been starker, it's pertinent to ask yourself whether you're more like Bush or more like Obama.

 

By James Adonis

 

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Did You Know?

 

A survey of 7,500 workers across three continents has revealed that 75 percent of employees trust their managers, as opposed to 60 percent who trust their top executives. Source: BlessingWhite

 

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Quote

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."
~~~ George Macdonald

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

HR Coaching - Transformative Coaching

Traditional coaching takes place primarily on a horizontal dimension - coaches assist their clients in getting from point "A" to point "B". Yet lasting, sustainable change nearly always happens in the vertical dimension - a deepening of the ground of being of the client and greater access to inspiration and spiritual wisdom. While this has generally led to an either/or approach to success and personal growth and a sharp division between therapy and coaching, transformative coaching - or, as I like to call it, "Super-Coaching" - uses the vertical dimensions to create change on the inside while you continue to move forward towards your goals on the outside.

The kinds of "Vertical" changes that transformative coaching leads to can be usefully viewed in three levels...

Level I - Change in a Specific Situation

Often, people will hire a coach (or go to a counselor or therapist or friend) to get help with a specific situation they are struggling with. They may want to deal with a difficult person at work, succeed at an important negotiation or job interview, or stay motivated as they train to beat their personal best at a sporting event.

This kind of "performance coaching" has long been a staple of the industry, and long before "life coaching" and "executive coaching" became common terms, people were using coaches in this capacity to help change their point of view, state of mind or actions. At this level, people go from fear to confidence, from un-ease to comfort, or from inaction to action.

The impact of this kind of coaching is generally project-specific. Once the difficult person is handled, the interview completed and the race run, the person gets on with the rest of their life in much the same way as they did before.

Level II - Change in a Specific Life Area

Sometimes, we're less concerned with a specific event than we are with a whole category of events. This is why you will find coaches specializing in any number of life areas: relationship coaches, sales coaches, parenting coaches, executive coaches, confidence coaches, presentation coaches - the list goes on and on...

People hire these coaches to help them develop their confidence and increase their skills in whatever area they may be having difficulty. Like a performance coach, these coaches will help with specific situations, but they tend to measure their impact not just by how one situation changes but by their whole category of situation changes.

Level III - Global Change

The ultimate level of change is transformation, or what I sometimes call "Global Change" - a pervasive shift in our way of being in the world. At this level, it is not enough for us to develop a skill or change a feeling, it is our intangible "selves" we want to change, and in so doing we change our experience of everything.

Let's take an example. Bob is a customer service rep for a medium-sized manufacturing firm and he's having a really bad day. When we ask him what his biggest sticking point is, he tells us it's a phone call he needs to make to a supplier he's been having difficulties with in Dagenham.

If I were to intervene on level I, I would probably work with his state of mind by getting him into a better, more confident state. We might role play a phone call with his supplier and I would offer him tips and techniques to better handle the call and get the outcome he most wants. We might even choose to script the call, or at least the beginning of it, to help boost his confidence and resolve the situation.

But let's say I want more for Bob - I don't just want to assist him in getting through this one situation, I want to help turn him into a more effective employee, one who can handle a wider variety of customer service situations. At that point, I could give him books like How to Talk So People Will Listen and Listen So People Will Talk. I could teach him rapport skills like "Matching and Mirroring" so he could use body language to effectively allow people to feel more comfortable around him.

In time and with practice, Bob might well be able to turn things around and maybe even become the best customer service guy in our whole company. But in another way, nothing will have fundamentally changed. Because in order for something to change at a fundamental level, that change has to happen from the inside out.

At level III, our coaching interventions are no longer about the supplier from Dagenham or even about customer service. At level three, we're dealing directly with Bob - the way he sees himself, the way he sees his job and the way he sees other people. And when any one of those things change, Bob will not only become more effective at his job, he'll become more effective in his life.

Here's another example, one that might hit closer to home. Imagine you are having difficulties with your resident teenager. You want them to help out around the house and be more respectful of you and your partner, but they seem determined to set a new world record for "most dirty clothes piled up in one corner of a bedroom".

At level I, you could go in guns a-blazing and order them to pick up their dirty clothes "or else". You might even try a subtler approach - a dangling carrot of a trip to the cinema or a shopping trip to the local high street in exchange for a cleaner room.

At level II, you would read parenting books that would tell you how to handle discipline problems with teens, or even one on how to handle difficult people at work in hopes you could map it across to your own children at home. (Of course, if you come across a copy of What to Do When You Work for an Idiot in their bedroom, chances are they're planning a little level II intervention with you!)

But at level III, you would know that what's called for is a shift in perspective - a new way of seeing the situation. Perhaps your child isn't just being stubborn or argumentative - perhaps they're lonely, or confused, or frightened, or overwhelmed by their burgeoning lives but too proud or disconnected from you to share what's behind their misery.

If nothing else, you might remember that every teenager is on drugs - and even though the vast majority of those drugs are dealt by nature (things like testosterone, estrogen, dopamine and serotonin), the impact on their nascent nervous systems can be pretty difficult to deal with.

If you play with this model over time, you will find that each level maps across to a certain kind of intervention.

  • When we want to make a change in the moment or in a specific situation, we apply a technique.
  • When we want to make a change in a broader context, we work with teaching and installing new strategies.
  • When we want to actually change lives, we offer up a whole new paradigm, or perspective - a new way of seeing.

Today's Experiment:


As a general rule, it is simpler and faster to put a band-aid on a bruise than to alter your diet and nutritional intake to help prevent bruising than to alter your lifestyle in such a way as to build the kind of super-immunity and moment-by-moment awareness that makes bruising a near impossibility. So it is with the 3 levels of change. The basic dictum is this - put the band-aid on first!

1.   Find an example of 3 changes you want to make - one for each of the 3 levels.

Example:
Level I - I want to perk up before a dinner party tonight
Level II - I want to feel more at ease in job interviews
Level III - I would like to be a more loving person.


2.
Think of at least one change you would like to make, and imagine what it would entail at each of the 3 levels.

Example:
Cindy wants to become a better actor. At Level I this might mean that she spends an extra hour working on her scene for class tomorrow, at Level II it could mean that she creates a daily training program to develop her voice, movement, emotional expression and script analysis skills, and at Level III it might be that she works on being more authentic in the way she lives her life on a daily basis.


3. The next time a friend, colleague, or client presents you with a problem, goal, or change they would like to make, notice at what level they are currently thinking about it. If it's appropriate, make suggestions or guide them into a Level One "Band-Aid" change that will free them up to take on levels two or three if they still want to when whatever is "bugging" them is taken care of.

Of course, if you want to practice doing a bit of "transformative coaching", you can guide them in an exploration of other ways of seeing the situation they are in.  Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • How else could you see this situation?
  • How would an alien who had just arrived on earth see it?  What would they make of it?
  • What would Jesus (or Buddha, or whoever represents the highest epitome of your spiritual belief system) see?

Have fun; learn heaps, and happy exploring!

 

By Michael Neill

 

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HR Quotes - Perception - Opinion

"The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is." 

~~~ Kahlil Gibran

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions." 

~~~ Albert Einstein

"Fix your eyes forward on what you can do, not back on what you cannot change."

~~~ Tom Clancy

"New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common." 

~~~ John Locke

 

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Monday, November 10, 2008

HR Motivational - Where is Your Paint Can?

A man landed a job painting the yellow line down the center of the highway, by hand. After three days his foreman complained about the job he was doing. "Your first day out, you did great," he said. "You painted that line for three miles. Your second day wasn't bad. You painted two miles. But today you painted only one mile, so it looks like I will have to fire you."

On his way out of the foreman's office, the employee looked back and said, "It's not my fault. Everyday I got further and further from the paint can."

# # # # # # # # # # # # #

This humorous story illustrates how we can complicate our lives at work and at home, if we are lacking insight into how we create additional stresses in our lives. Many times we look to a time management seminar or a book to tell us how to gain more time. Perhaps, we might do better to ask, "How can I simplify my life?"

Here is a brief questionnaire that can be used to evaluate whether you are unnecessarily making your tasks more difficult.

  1. What systems do I have, or need, that will make sure that I use my time, resources and materials in a practical manner?
  2. In what ways am I making my job more difficult because I walk back and forth between the unfinished "yellow line" and my paint can?
  3. Have I let a habit lock me into a routine that is not only counter productive, but also costs me time and a peaceful existence?
  4. How can I further simply my life at work and home so that I feel more in control and more productive?
  5. What unnecessary steps can I eliminate at work that will reduce the stress that I feel?

Like the man painting the yellow line by hand, if we fail to plan how to accomplish a task. We then lose sight of our ability to re-evaluate our activities and we may find ourselves walking the same path over and over again, but accomplishing less and less. If this becomes a habit, we may find ourselves on the road to burnout.

Taking a few minutes to analyze situations in which we have left our paint can far behind, rather than bringing it along, can lead to a happier more productive life.

Affirmation:
"I live and work in a simplified manner, and I frequently look up and survey my life to determine if I need to make adjustments." 
 
By Mary Rau-Foster

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

HR Safety - Winter Wonderland? Or Hazard Trap?

The approaching winter can mean weather woes for you and your workforce. Because the week of November 10-14 is "Winter Hazard Awareness Week", you'll probably want to emphasize some winter safety tips in safety meetings next week. Here are some suggestions:

Keep your workers safely on their feet. Preventing slips and falls is a major concern for everyone when outdoor surfaces are wet or icy, and slippery under foot. Here are some suggestions to help your employees prevent falls and possible injuries:
  • Wear appropriate footwear with nonslip soles on wet, icy, or snowy days.
  • Take extra care when walking on wet, icy, or snow-covered walkways. Walk slowly and slide your feet on slippery surfaces. Avoid turning sharply when you walk on a slippery surface.
  • Hold onto the railing when using outdoor stairways.
  • Be especially careful when carrying packages, equipment, materials, etc.
  • Wipe your feet when entering a building so that your wet soles won't cause you to slip on indoor flooring.
  • If you slip and start to fall, limit your injuries by bending your elbows and knees and using your legs and arms to absorb the fall.
  • Or roll into the fall, if that's more appropriate.

Make sure they're safe on the road, too. Whether employees drive on the job or just commute to and from work, safe driving during the winter months is a major safety concern. Remind workers of these safe winter driving tips:

  • Carry snow and ice removal equipment and traction materials in your vehicle, including a container of sand or cat litter for traction; an ice scraper, snow brush, and snow shovel; and a blanket to keep warm while waiting for help after a breakdown.
  • Clear snow and ice off windshield, windows, hood, roof, and lights before driving.
  • Use windshield wipers and defroster to keep windows clear while driving.
  • Reduce speed and stay at least 4 seconds behind the driver in front in wet, icy, or snowy conditions.
  • Brake gradually, pumping your brakes gently to slow down. (With anti-lock braking systems (ABS), however, drivers should apply steady pressure to the brake pedal during the entire stop. ABS will automatically pump the brakes, if necessary, to keep the wheels from locking.)
  • Watch out for icy patches. Bridges tend to ice up faster than other road surfaces. Shady spots stay icy longer. Winter roads are most dangerous when the temperature is just above freezing, since ice and snow melt, leaving a wet surface on top that is especially slippery.
  • If you start to skid, take your foot off the gas and steer gently into the skid. Keep your foot off the brake.
  • Watch out for other drivers. Many people drive poorly in snow or ice.

Share these safe snow removal tips. Whether employees must remove snow at home or at work, and whether they use a shovel or a snow thrower, there are a number of safety rules to keep in mind. Snow shoveling can be hazardous to your heart if you are out of shape, if you smoke, or if the snow is very deep or heavy. Heavy, wet snow can also be a killer on your back. Remind employees of these snow-shoveling safety tips:

  • Bend your knees to fill your shovel and then lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Don't twist your body when you toss the snow from the shovel.
  • Take only a little snow with each shovel load if the snow is heavy.
  • Take frequent breaks to rest and stretch your back.
  • Don't overexert. Get help if the snow is extremely heavy or deep.
  • Be sure to sand icy walkways, stairways, and ramps immediately.

For employees who clear snow at work or at home with a snow thrower, emphasize these safety tips:

  • Inspect the path you intend to clear and move foreign objects out of the way.
  • Never remove or disable safety features such as guards, shields, or deflectors.
  • Keep children and pets away from the area, and stop working if someone passes by on foot.
  • Keep face, hands, feet, and clothing away from concealed, moving, or rotating parts.
  • Never clear the discharge chute with the engine running.
  • Shut the engine off and remove the key when you leave the equipment unattended.
  • Don't fill the fuel tank while the engine is hot or running.

Why It Matters

  • Winter weather hazards result in numerous health problems every year, including broken bones and back injuries from falls, heart attacks from shoveling snow, amputations from snow throwers and other mechanical snow removal equipment, and fatalities from road accidents.
  • Injured employees may be out of work for days or weeks.
  • Depending on the severity of injuries, medical costs can run into the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per employee.
Thanks to BLR
 

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HR Humor - Only in America

There have been many lists like this one circulating over the years, and they always make me chuckle. We humans are, in some ways, the most ridiculous creatures on the planet! I hope you see yourself in at least a few of these and have a good laugh! 
  • Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes and candy bars at the front.
  • Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
  • Only in America do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
  • Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
  • Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
  • Only in America do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.
  • Only in America do we have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.
 

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HR Quotes - Aristotle / Dr. Schuller / Norman V. Peale / William James

"We become what we repeatedly do."
~~~ Aristotle

"You are what you think about all day long."
~~~ Dr. Robert Schuller

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
~~~ Norman Vincent Peale

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind!"
~~~ William James
 
 

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HR Motivational - Opportunity in Times of Chaos

While I'm enormously proud of my country for our peaceful elections and the way we come together once the votes are counted, the fact remains these are chaotic, difficult times.

We are constantly warned of threats to our well-being--economic problems, job lay-offs, home foreclosures, the annual flu scare, and even warnings about a new glut of spam and email viruses on the loose. Sometimes I wonder why I get out of bed if the world is obviously falling apart and "going to hell in a hand basket!"

And then I remember a wonderful quote from Will Rogers: "Hardly Any of the Things I Worry About Ever Happen." What a magnificent insight! We listen to the news, we worry and raise our blood-pressure (sometimes even give ourselves ulcers!) and for what? At the end of the day, we come home and the house is still standing. The kids and the dog still love us. We have dinner, watch a little television or put the kids to bed, and life is good. But what about all that "danger" out there?

I've often joked that for all the violent movies, news stories and the billions spent on "security" it's been a long time since anyone shot up my neighborhood with a machine gun. As a real problem, it simply doesn't exist. (I'm afraid James Bond and I live very different lives!) In my world, most of these fears are just "news" designed to make money for the publishers--and perhaps create business for the "stress reduction" industry.

For me, chaos is best used as a motivator to help me review my priorities and insure my future. Specifically, here are a few things my coaching clients and I have been talking about:

1. Assess Actual Risk. Are you, in actual fact, over extended or exposed in any area? Are you carrying too much debt? Is your job at risk? Does your investment portfolio need to be adjusted? Facts and numbers rarely lie. Face the truth and if you are at risk, take action. Talk with experts and get good advice. Assess your level of actual risk and protect yourself. As the kids say, "Like, Duh!" Get this done!

2. Relax and Enjoy. I use the example of storm watching. Most of us prefer warm sunny days to cold rain, but resorts on the Oregon coast do their best business during winter storms. People throng to the coast to watch the power of the wind and waves. Later, they sit by warm fires, eat great food and talk with friends. It's wonderful to be warm, safe and comfortable while you watch the storm. View these times of crisis that way. If you're protected, relax while you watch the storm from the safety of your own hearth.

3. Chaos Creates Opportunity. During this recession, thousands of new businesses will start. Millions of people will change careers, move to better communities, simplify their lives, or discover talents they never knew they had. What opportunities are available to you? Instead of watching hours of bad news, read a book, enjoy dinner with the family, or sketch a new business plan and take action.

Most people will (sadly) let this recession happen "to" them. Readers, on the other hand, will use whatever comes their way to their advantage. They'll see and seize the opportunities chaos always provides.

This week I heard that the common, ordinary stick was inducted into the "Toy Hall of Fame." (Who knew there was such a thing!?) The point was that kids have never needed fancy dolls, expensive toys or electronic gadgets to have fun. Give a kid a stick, let her imagination loose, and amazing things happen.

If the news and the "warnings of impending doom" are inspiring your imagination to create awful images in your head, CHANGE THAT! Stimulate your imagination to create images of what's possible, what's new and creative, fun, loving and empowering. Remember, "we become what we think about all day long." In times of storm, think about the rainbow.
 
Thanks to Philip E. Humbert, PhD

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