Apr 26, 2013 - Spring forth with gratitude!
Each year I look forward to spring and all of the promise it presents. As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, I am aware of how beautiful my physical surroundings are and what I am most grateful for. Practicing an attitude of gratitude has always been a very important part of who I am. I like to see every glass presented to me as half full -- no matter how empty it may appear at first glance.
Being grateful has not only helped me maintain a state of well-being, but it has also helped me to remain in a positive direction professionally. By appreciating all of the gifts that my staff and colleagues have to offer, I have been able to see challenges in a positive light and have experienced tremendous support in my projects, plans, and vision. It has also helped fuel my passion to help others grow personally and professionally to their fullest potential.
Practicing gratitude has also been a simple way to stay happy. Everyone can attain this positive state. By creating a daily habit of consciously taking inventory of the positives in your life, you will soon see that there is very little to be unhappy about.
As you spring forth with gratitude this month, get into the routine of choosing at least one aspect of your life that you feel blessed about. These blessings can start with family members and grow to include professional friends and colleagues. Keep in mind, gratitude does not have to be centered on the people in your life but also your surroundings. Open your windows or take a brisk walk and enjoy the beauty of a flower or the smell of fresh cut grass. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are limitless!
Jan 23, 2013 - Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! As every New Year comes with the promise of change, it also comes with great possibilities for the future!
This year my amazing team (Team TTC) helped me launch an upgrade of The Mentoring Connection (a web-based solution for implementing, matching and tracking formal mentoring partnerships). The Mentoring Connection celebrated its 10 year anniversary this past year and it was time to give her a new look and feel. It wasn’t easy – but well worth the effort!
As I reflect back on making this significant technological change, I realized that I learned quite a bit both personally and professionally. I thought I would share a few lessons learned:
- Make sure the change effort is necessary - Without a compelling need to change, it would have been really hard to keep focused on the end result. I was fortunate to have the positive support of a few inspiring clients. I would replay their feedback and encouragement in my head … daily!
- Be realistic with deadlines – My optimism would sometimes get the best of me. I really needed to temper my deadlines with reality. At times it would be very easy to envision the perfectly completed project while overlooking the fact that many of the detailed steps required additional time to perfect.
- Take care of yourself – I say this often in my workshops, but I really had to practice what I preached – especially during the last few weeks before we launched. Eat right, drink plenty of water, rest, and take time to play. When I did all of these things, I found I had plenty of energy to work the long hours that were necessary.
- Stay positive – Some of the technology challenges associated with this endeavor gave us plenty of twists and turns along the way. There were often moments when I got overwhelmed with all of the unknowns. I would frequently need to give myself a good pep talk and remind myself of a quote my mentor would say, “you can’t do your best swan dive while replaying in your minds’ eye your last belly flop.” I really needed to focus on the positive rather than worrying about what wasn’t happening or whether or not we were going to meet our proposed deadlines.
- Embrace disruptions – During the past two months it seemed as though no two days were alike. I realized early on that what I thought I would be working on would often change based on what really needed to happen at that moment. It was important that I made peace with that fact.
- Diagnose process problems quickly– I have an amazing team, so the problems that we bumped up against were “process problems” rather than “people problems.” Once I realized this I created processes to help overcome any obstacles in our process.
- Recognize and celebrate success! – Each team member (and strategic partner) on this project stepped up to the plate at just the right time. I’m so proud of their hard work and dedication. If there was one thing I have felt the most inadequate about, it was sharing my gratitude with them. I hope I do better with this in the future!
As we enter the New Year, many of us begin to envision those projects and plans that will improve our current organization and highlight our special skills and talents. In taking on such an ambitious endeavor towards the end of last year, I realized that patience and perseverance were the most important ingredients for a successful launch. Patience was not only important in the process of the project, but it also had to be practiced with the people that surrounded me. Without harmony on the team, deadlines simply would not have been met. Perseverance was also key. Throughout the project it was very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the details and unknowns. But staying focused and positive got us to our end result!!
Now is the time for you to make your plans for 2013! Jot down what your goals are and share them with your mentor. Then take the necessary steps to realize that goal.
All the best in 2013,
P.S. One last thought, in honor of National Mentoring Month, be sure to take a moment and thank a mentor who has made a difference in your life!!
Aug 07, 2012 - You Deserve a Break—It’s Summertime!
I love summertime!! Not only is the weather wonderful (yes, I am happy even when it’s hot and humid) but there are so many opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and travel to new and exciting vacation destinations. The summer months give us permission to take that much anticipated and well deserved summer break! Whether you have scheduled a week at the beach or a relaxing break at home, there are a few professional ‘loose ends’ that should be tied up before you leave to ensure that that your summer escape is completely relaxing.
The following is a check list that Team TTC uses to ensure that on-going projects run smoothly while someone is away:
1. Communicate to your key stakeholders about your pending travel or absence. Give colleagues and customers specific dates of your vacation and let them know how best to communicate if absolutely necessary (email or message to the office). Be sure to also give them a direct point of contact if their question or problem is urgent.
2. Meet with staff a few days before you leave. During this brief conference, outline the responsibility of each team member and communicate your expectations of what loose ends will need to be accomplished during your absence. Delegate daily tasks and email each member a summary of what needs to take place while you are out.
3. Modify your voicemail greeting and auto-reply message on your email. Include the date of your return to the office and points of contact for the caller in the event they need immediate attention.
4. Clear your desk. Before you leave, be sure to file papers and resolve pending actions. This will ease your mind during your vacation and give you a sense of accomplishment before you leave. It is also a great feeling to return to a clean and tidy desk!
5. Enjoy your time away. Do not spend your precious days worrying about what needs to be done. Instead, channel that energy toward your own rest and renewal. This is the perfect foundation for clearer thought and new possibilities when you return!
“A vacation should be just long enough that you're boss misses you, and not
long enough for him to discover how well he or she can get along without you." ~ Unknown
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KATHY WENTWORTH DRAHOSZ, B.S., is the founder and President of The
Training Connection, Inc., and author of The Keys to Mentoring Success. Kathy brings over twenty years of experience in business, product and people development. As a Certified
Professional Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) Kathy has helped thousands of individuals worldwide experience the power of her training programs and services. A strong focus of Kathy's work has been assisting federal agencies and businesses in developing effective, formal mentoring programs. In addition to personally presenting numerous national training programs in the mentoring field, Kathy is the developer of Dynamic Mentoring Connections, Discovering the Mentor Within and Strategic Career Management; three practical approaches to unleashing human potential. Her most pioneering endeavor has been the development of "The Mentoring Connection," an innovative web-based delivery system designed to offer businesses and other organizations a tailor made, comprehensive, effective and cost-efficient method of establishing and managing formal mentoring programs and partnerships.