Thursday, January 18, 2007

10 Ways to Eliminate Obstacles to Success

Boosting Productivity: 10 Ways to Eliminate Obstacles to Success

Can you recall ever working in a situation that you'd describe today as the "job from hell"? If so, even if you knew how to do the job well, you'd probably say that you lacked the essentials for getting your work done.

Many people suffer silently while they're really missing the authority, training, tools, job support, guidance, resources, information, or incentives to be effective. On top of these problems, people may encounter other road blocks to getting things done. Their hurdles might include tangled communications, non-supportive managers, a lack of cooperation, unavailable colleagues, and cumbersome procedures.

When people experience these situations, they're struggling with what I refer to as "burning hassles." Companies that tackle burning hassles head-on can systematically remove these frustrating, mind-numbing barriers to success. This article explains 10 ways to bulldoze obstacles so that you, too, can get rid of them. The benefits will include a visible increase in both personal and organizational performance.

What's Wrong with a Few Obstacles?

Companies that follow what I call a "tough love policy" perpetually expect personnel to find a way to work around nearly every problem they encounter. It's the model in which people are expected to do what they're supposed to do while maintaining a stiff upper lip. Can't the folks who complain about hassles or information holes just "get over it" and be glad they even have a job or contract?

The problem is, people spend endless hours of precious time fighting battles they may not win. Even if people know their jobs inside out, they're usually no match for the boulders that block their every move. And all the while, morale, productivity, and potential profits are simply disappearing down the drain.

10 Keys to Conquering Obstacles to Success

If people have skill deficiencies -- a true lack of job knowledge -- or not enough job practice, you would remedy those through training and/or more repetition on the job. But if people already know how to do their jobs and are facing hurdles, you can start removing these frustrating hassles by being alert for the opportunities below. (You can even adapt this list into a checklist or survey to poll your staff.)

1. Troubleshoot any clogged communications that delay or distort important broadcasts. These could be dragging down both productivity and morale.

2. Identify missing information, such as incomplete, outdated, or inaccurate procedures, standards, schedules, facts, or data needed to do a job. Supply the information as soon as possible, and be sure to maintain it regularly.

3. Be alert for poor cooperation from managers, peers, or suppliers. And by all means, don't "shoot the messenger" when people report these problems!

4. Check for any absent or inadequate tools, equipment, space, lighting, or supplies. These conditions can seriously reduce the ability to do one's job.

5. Uncover overly complex procedures that can be simplified, automated, or even eliminated. The simpler you can make your processes, the better!

6. Correct any work environments or conditions that are problematic or unsafe. Do everything possible to avoid accidents and liability concerns.

7. Recognize where task support ought to be coming from supervision, job aids, quick reference guides, or online assistance. If it's missing, supply it!

8. Look for and reduce extreme work pressure due to unattainable deadlines or workloads. People can't sustain their productivity under these conditions.

9. Be sure people have regular, complete feedback on performance quality, including timely access to data about customer desires and concerns.

10. Sort out any conflicting priorities or directions from authority figures. When people work on multiple projects, this type of confusion is common.

And Here's a Bonus Tip:

It's important to clear up situations in which someone has the responsibility to do a job but lacks the authority to act. Until that's resolved, work is an uphill battle!

In conclusion, are you unsure of where to begin identifying your burning hassles? Try asking your staff or colleagues what's impeding their work. Remember to use these ground rules: No blaming or accusing! Everyone should feel free to speak up without being criticized, and everyone can help brainstorm the solutions.


10 ways to get your client to love you

1. The first step to having a good relationship (in business of course) with your client is to take on good clients in the first place. Don’t feel obliged to chase down every client that sends flirting glances in your direction. You could be ‘jumping into bed’ with a client that others knew not to touch.

2. Some clients just aren’t right for you. It’s not you, it’s them. (a) Some clients are too big. You’ll be lured by the big bucks, but when they should decide to leave, remaining will be a gaping hole in the heart of your business. (b) Some clients are too small. If possible, check to see if they pay their bills (or request some upfront payment on larger invoices), and that you won’t be spending all your time and effort educating them on ‘the process’ of working together. Find the client that is just right, to avoid a painful divorce.

3. Anyone can compete on price, but not everyone will compete on service. To give yourself a more valuable position in the relationship you need to make the transition from being just a vendor with services to being a strategic partner with their business interests at heart. Make yourself indispensable from your clients selling process. The more valuable you are to the client, the more love will be returned back to you.

4. Find clients who believe that good design and advertising are important for the success of their business. You need to both be heading towards the same goal to achieve good results. You need the client to respect the good quality work you are striving to achieve, and you also need the client to be open and willing to share their knowledge of their market and industry.

5. Talk to others outside the relationship for ideas. Industry magazines and websites in your clients niche will be happy to talk to you as you are working with a company that may potentially place media advertisements. They may have research information that is advantageous to your client. Talking to others and reporting the free (but valuable) information back to the client will let them know you care.

6. Help to make their product or service better. Supply your expertise to overall improve your clients offering. If your clients business grows, so will yours along with it.

7. Make sure you respect yourself as much as the client by ensuring you are profitable. If a client respects your professionalism they will want to make sure you are getting paid fairly and on time.

8. Ideally have one point of contact. The less staff with the authority to approve your work the better the communication and process will be.

9. Don’t deliver late or spend more of your clients money as promised.

10. Pay attention to the little things. It’s usually not the big mistakes that will break you and your client up, but the ongoing many little mistakes.


10 Ways To Improve Your Health

Choosing a healthy lifestyle can benefit you in several ways. It gives you a boost of energy and makes your body feel more in tune. It is important to identify ways you can improve your health.

Following are ten things that you can do to promote optimal nutrition:

1. Watch what you eat. Your meals should consist of a healthy daily balance of foods. Knowing your nutritional needs and not eating too much or too little can lead to a more balanced lifestyle. There are several resources to consult in order to determine your body's needs.

2. Sleep. When you are sleep-deprived, your body begins to shut down. Make sure that you feel rested from getting an adequate amount of sleep. This will allow your body to function at a consistent and optimal speed every day.

3. Take vitamins and supplements. Paying attention to where your diet feels lacking. Once you have determined this, you can compensate with vi tamins and supplements.

4. Exercise. You should exercise at least four or five times per week. Exercise helps your body to build muscle, lose weight and can help prevent illness and disease.

5. Fight addictions. Avoid over or under eating. This can easily disrupt your nutritional balance and cause serious problems.

6. Keep learning. There are several different definitions of improving health. Improving heath not only means diets, but there are holistic approaches that can be a part of your lifestyle. Keep researching and studying to determine what is and is not effective to help you in improving and maintaining your health.

7. Stay motivated. It is easy to begin working on improving our health and it is also easy to discontinue once we don't see immediate results. A major aspect of improving your health is remaining consistent and motivated in your activities. It is important to make health care an every day priori ty.

8. Get the right body measurements.

Getting your body mass index taken, as well as finding where you need to focus your efforts in order to improve health can help you in staying motivated in improving your health.

9. Build a network. A network includes not only those that can provide information for you, but also support and assist you in building and maintaining health.

10. Consult. There are a variety of health care providers and nutritionists that can help you. If you are uncertain about necessary steps to take, get in touch with the right person to determine what you need to do.

You can help yourself to live a more fulfilled life by consistently working towards improving your health. By knowing what you need to do and by following those steps, you can be assured that you will attain better nutrition and energy

Your Miracle Brain: Dramatic New Scientific Evidence Reveals How You Can Use Food and Supplements To: Maximize Brain Power Boost Your Memory Lift Your Mood Improve IQ and Creativity Prevent an


10 Ways to Generate More Positive Emotions in Your Life

Positive emotions undo negative emotions and reduce the negative physical and psychological stresses of negative experiences. Negative emotions tell you that you are facing a win-loss encounter and need to take steps to engage with the obstacles. Positive emotions tell you that you are in a potential win-win situation. Positive emotions guide you to be more expansive, tolerant, and creative so that you can maximize the social, intellectual, and physical benefits of the situation.

It is important to generate and build the experience of positive affective states rather than simply extinguishing negative emotions. Positive affective states create an "upward spiral" and become the fuel and the raw material for growth and development, exploration and discovery, mastery and successful interactions in the world, and developing and leveraging your strengths.

Positive emotions move you toward happiness. As you generate positive emotions, you will broaden and build upon them. You will become more successful in your world (whatever success means for you) when you align yourself with happiness.

Here are the top ten ways to generate more positive emotions.

1. Increase your happiness about the past by experiencing gratitude.

Gratitude amplifies savoring and appreciation of good events gone by.

Gratitude about the good things in the past intensifies your positive memories about the past and therefore engenders more positive affect and the sense of happiness about the past. Satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, pride, and serenity - all aspects of happiness about the past - require the experience of gratitude.

Research just completed shows that engaging in a Gratitude Visit has lasting and substantial happiness benefits. This intervention required participants to write a letter and then read it to someone telling them how grateful they were for something the other person had done for them – or just for who they were.

People engaging in the Gratitude Visit were found to be significantly happier and less depressed after the visit and for at least one month afterwards.

Take every opportunity to express authentically your gratitude about past experiences to those around you.

2. Increase your happiness about the past by practicing forgiveness.

Forgiveness undoes bitterness and the desire for vengeance about past transgressions that block your feelings of happiness about the past.

Negative memories can induce bitterness. When these negative memories predominate, the emotions of contentment, satisfaction, serenity and peace are not experienced and happiness about the past is not available.

When negative memories about the past are fostering negative emotions, the way out is to rewrite your negative memories. Forgiveness is a tool for rewriting our memories of past bad events and opening the door to happiness about our past.

Studies show that adults who use an effective forgiveness tool have less anger, less stress, and are more optimism and report better health and more happiness.

3. Increase your happiness about the future by building hope and learning to be more optimistic.

The sense of happiness about the future is embedded in the positive emotions of faith, trust, confidence, hope, and optimism.

Optimism is more than just sitting around and thinking positively about things.

Optimistic people have an optimistic explanatory style, which is permanent, pervasive, and personal. Optimists who make permanent and universal explanations for good events and temporary and specific explanations for bad events tend to recover quickly from troubles and get hooked on success.

Learning to be more optimistic builds hope, gives greater direction, and supplies energy for successful future interaction in the world.

Leveraging learned optimism opens the way to experience a sense of happiness about the future and produces the positive emotions of faith, trust, confidence, hope, and greater optimism.

4. Increase your happiness about the present by enjoying the pleasures of the moment.

Pleasures are a route to increasing your experience of positive emotions in the present and opening the gateway to the experience of the sense of happiness in the present. By enjoying the pleasures in your life you pave the way for increased positive feeling throughout your lifetime.

Pleasures are tied to the satisfaction of your biological needs. Pleasures can be honed, nurtured, discovered, and supported. They can be sharpened, amplified, and brought purposely into your experience.

Pleasures are perceived and experienced through your senses and expanded and amplified in your emotions. Pleasures heighten your momentary experience but may not build reserves for the future. Although pleasures are an important contribution to present happiness and increased positive feelings, they are not the route to lasting happiness.

You can enhance your experience of pleasures in the moment and increase your happiness in the present by engaging in a simple practice. Set aside a free day every now and again to indulge in your favorite pleasures. Don’t get distracted by all of your practical responsibilities. Design your day of simple pleasures and carry out the plan. Repeat as necessary.

5. Increase your happiness about the present by experiencing gratification.

Gratification results from engagement in activities that exercise your natural strengths. Engaging in the world in a way that produces gratification produces total absorption in the moment and results in a state called flow. Flow builds psychological capital that can be drawn on in the years to come.

A state of flow arises when:
You are involved in a task that is challenging and requires skill
Your natural strengths match the demands of the situation
The goals of the task are clearly outlined and you know them
You get immediate feedback about your involvement with the task
You have a deep, effortless involvement with the task
You experience a sense of control with regards to the task
You lose the experience of a separate sense of self
You have the experience of timelessness

These components result in the experience of gratification and happiness in the present. Identifying, developing and using your natural strengths in as many aspects of your life and as frequently as possible will increase your experience of gratification and enhance your happiness in the present.

6. Increase your positive emotions through appreciation.

For years, New Age self-help books have been telling you to write down things that you appreciate. Turns out they are right. Science verifies the wisdom of that advice.

Research shows that sustained experience of appreciation results in highly ordered brain and heart rate patterns. Appreciation is one of the emotions that reflects order in your neurophysiological systems and produces what is called "physiological coherence."

During states of physiological coherence, your body systems are synchronized, more efficient and in greater harmony. You experience better cognitive performance, more emotional stability, and enhanced emotional and social functioning. In addition, when your body is in a state of physiological coherence you feel more at peace and experience a sense of security.

More new research shows that practicing appreciation does indeed increase your happiness. People who write down three good things that happened during the day every night for one week and answer"Why did this good thing happen?" experience happiness benefits lasting at least three months.

Happiness and satisfaction is highest for those who consciously direct their attention to appreciation.

7. Increase your positive emotions by identifying and nurturing your strengths.

Psychology has discovered that human strengths act as buffers against suffering and ineffective functioning and are pathways toward a meaningful life.

Identifying and nurturing your strengths leads to resolution of ineffective behavior, protects against the occurrence of dysfunctional behavior, and eventually leads to a life of "flourishing."

Break out of a weakness spiral and focus your attention on your natural talents and strengths. Your greatest resources for achievement, performance and growth lies in the area of your natural strengths.

Identify your natural strengths by taking the VIA (Values in Action) Survey at and the Strength Finder Profile at

For greater happiness identify your natural strengths and then nurture and develop your top strengths.

Identifying your strengths is not enough, however. You have to use your strengths...

8. Increase your positive emotions by using your top strengths every day in all areas of your life.

To generate any significant experience of happiness, you have to use your strengths.

People who used their top strengths in new ways every day for only one week experienced substantial happiness benefits for up to 3 months.

The good life is experienced by using your top strengths as much as you can in all areas of your life. By designing different life areas so that your top strengths can be more frequently and more fully exercised, you open the way for the experience of increased positive satisfaction and successful engagement with the world.

Increased life satisfaction comes through being able to use your top strengths every day in win-win situations. Once you are aware of your top strengths, it is possible to design your life and work around your strengths to leverage and capitalize on their unique combination.

9. Increase your positive emotions by leading with your strengths and compensating for your weaknesses.

The old paradigm was that knowing your weaknesses and correcting them would help you improve the most. Now, the fascination with weakness is beginning to fade. Focusing on your strengths is proving to be a more effective paradigm.

Major strides in prevention of dysfunction have resulted from systematically building competency, rather than correcting weakness. Simply correcting your weakness often leads to a dead end. Challenging yourself based on your natural competence with your personal strengths gives you a path to follow and tools and techniques to use that are natural to you.

Leading with weakness, dysfunction and problems has a retrospective view and focuses only on what to move away from. Looking for, finding, and developing your strengths gives you something to move toward.

Your difficulties and problems are best looked at through the filter of your existing strengths. By identifying and developing the strengths you already possess these strengths can be leveraged as the means of good management of your weaknesses.

Do not simply ignore the dysfunction or weakness. Instead, focus on what strengths you have to leverage to set a new trajectory and to compensate for your weakness.

10. Increase your positive emotions by developing more of the "Key Five" strengths.

The jury is still out on whether or not it is possible to develop a strength that is not one of your natural top strengths into a top strength. However, through learning and development, it certainly is possible to bring more of a particular strength into your life – even if it can’t be turned into one of your top strengths.

Some new research suggests that there are five strengths that are key to leverage for the experience of increased positive emotions and life satisfaction. These Key Five are gratitude, optimism, zest, curiosity, and the ability to love and be loved.

Find yourself a coach, a counselor, a personal development consultant, or a good self-help program and spend some time and resources in bringing more of the Key Five strengths into your life.