Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

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Archive for the category “meetings”

Busy is bad


Busy is bad 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Brett Blair’s book “From Autopilot to Authentic”. It proves the point that slowing down is what we need rather than just doing more stuff

Multi-tasking is multi-wasting (click to tweet this). Perhaps it’s no myth to you, but it so pervasive in our culture that the vast majority of people probably do not even know that they overdo it. Multi-tasking is when you attempt carrying out all sorts of tasks and thoughts at the same time, or at least in close progression of each other. It has a few terrible side effects.

When your mind is racing because you want to get as much as possible of your stuff done, you no longer think about how much sense there is in doing them in the first place. When we are in motion we are just not making high quality decisions. Just think about the ruckus about texting while driving, and also being on the phone while driving. We are distracted when we do any of these things. Don’t just take my word on it. Here is Coach Brett Blair’s blog post on the same topic.

Here we are multi-wasting instead of multi-tasking and the time we saved may have been a total waste of time. It’s best to make a weekly and even better daily list the day before we actually have to do anything. Make sure to have some quiet time to really contemplate how important the tasks are. Assign a priority to them. Think about if you actually have to do them. Can you perhaps delegate it? Sometimes you may find that you don’t have all the information you needed in order to do the task. Some of the tasks will not end up on the list. You will end up erasing them because they no longer make sense now that you had time to think about them. Finally, some of the tasks take so little time that you get them done after your planning session (beware of scope creep though).

Don’t waste away precious time. Sometimes it is better slowing down instead of speeding up. Your friends and family will enjoy a happier you and at work you will be recognized for being extremely effective. Effectiveness beats busyness any day no matter how hard you think you work (click to tweet this).

Ralf

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How about recycling “thinking outside the box”?


How about recycling “thinking outside the box”? 

I do not know about you, but I am tired of hearing the term “think outside the box”. It is supposed to encourage abandoning old-fashioned and railroad track straight thinking. Instead the recipient of the tag line is encouraged using creativity in order to find new ways. Problem is that it is totally overused now.

The biggest problem I have with this concept is that I am to assume that there was a box in the first place. How dare we put ourselves into this metal box? I suggest we assume that there is no box. Rather than asking people to think outside the box, ask them better questions. Here are few that can help people use there God given creativity:

  • What will make everyone better off in our situation?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • What is holding us back?
  • Who do we want to become?

Next time someone asks you to think outside the box, think of better fitting questions. Do not put yourself in a box where there was one in the first place.

Ralf

Revenge of the Ugh people


Revenge of the Ugh people 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

“Ugh”. That is how many social media posts start. The people who author these type of posts try venting about another day or situation having gone awry. Does this help them any? I doubt it, but it is almost like they are getting a quiet revenge in on the people who read this. Anyone who reads it gets invited to drift – the post has their full attention and it may make you respond to it, or at a minimum it can get you all stirred up. All of a sudden their Ugh-day turns into yours as well.

Bottom line is that after all the “Ugh-ing” is said and done you are still no better off than before. I even argue this kind of mental griping does the opposite. Nothing positive can come out of moping around like this. You are not your thoughts; you have a choice to think a different thought. I am not inviting you to go around Pollyanna style and ignoring may be happening right under your nose. I am inviting you to not participate in this negative practice carpet bombing us with one “Ugh” after the other. Instead focus on the things that you can impact and you will find that there is a lot more control over the things that you may realize. Instead of “Ugh” say “Isn’t that fascinating” and then put the odds in your favor and to stay positive on and off social media.

Ralf

Death by meeting part III – web conference calls


Death by meeting part III – web conference calls Ralf on phone

If regular meetings are not already enough to endure, most of us need to participate or schedule web conference meetings. Technology keeps pushing the limits as to what is possible short of being there in person. The newest Apps, e.g. GoToMeeting, even allow for you to participate on your mobile device while you are travelling. There is so much that can go wrong with them though. It ranges from technical difficulties to the locations people choose to participate from. Here is an awesome video that captures this issue very well: web conference in real life.

Your call does not have to end like that example though. There are a couple of best practices that can help you holding a very productive web conference call.

  1. Hold a trial run call. If this is for a really important meeting then preparation is king. Set up a meeting with all participating parties to make sure everyone can participate.
  2. Select a web conference software that works for everyone. Very often you will find that some of your participants have firewall issues and other corporate IT related challenges. You may have to be flexible in having to switch to a platform that you did not have. So far GoToMeeting and Skype for business have been the most successful for me. Cisco Jabber and others may also work for you.
  3. Silencing the echo and feedback effect. When sending out the meeting invitations with your web conference tool select the phone only option. This eliminates the echoing etc. It may cause a time delay of your audio especially when you have international callers. Start out this way and then slowly introduce computer audio. If you do not do that this way you will have some folks participate with the computer audio running and calling in anyway. That is when you have the bad echoing spoiling your meeting. Select a software that allows for you to mute participants. This way you can at least silence some of the issues.
  4. Turn on the camera. Seeing the folks you want to collaborate with you does a few things for you. First of all you get to genuinely see them participate. Second, you limit folks do other tasks while participating.
  5. Share your files or screen. Nothing beats being literally on the same page. Always strive for using software that allows document sharing and collaboration. The best platforms will allow other participants to make edits and even show their own work.

The most important take away for avoiding death by web conference call is preparing your participants for the call. The vast majority of issues are of technical nature shortly followed by the participant’s lack of computer competencies. If a software does not work for you, be brave and switch to whatever works. Technology keeps changing and this will definitely continue with this type of meeting style.

Ralf

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