Please Stop the Whining

no-whiningWe have all experienced the “Debbie Downer” character in our personal or professional worlds. Complaining has been elevated to a high art by these individuals and while entertaining at times, it’s more frequently draining and off-putting. Fault finding is valuable when you identify what’s not working and look for a solution. Occasional whining may be acceptable but if it rises to the level of chronically finding fault, it’s time to take stock. When crankiness has become an end to itself and a legitimate issue actually does arise, how likely will others respond to it?

Life is imperfect and for some people, complaining is a way to get or even deflect attention. Notice your own behaviors:
• Are they energy draining or energy building?
• Are you feeling powerless in a situation or a relationship?
• What is your typical response?

Chronic irritability distances you from others. If only they would change, then you might not have anything to object to. Focusing on what others need to do rather than on your own actions avoids the possibility of personal transformation and empowerment. Turn that critical eye inward.
• Identify what you would like to create
• What are you choosing to modify or eliminate?
• Channel the energy
• Ask for support from others
• Create a plan of action
• Engage


Ignore the Small Stuff

5475688_m_-_crowd_gesturing_silenceYou have only so much energy. Spend it wisely.

Some things just aren’t worth your time and energy. Perhaps a co-worker refuses to greet you in the morning. Maybe a customer uses a sharp tone of voice. Your partner may forget to do an errand, sending you over the edge. Is it worth stewing about it, replaying the incident, slight or misbehavior endlessly? Possibly, but more often than not, we expend much more effort on minor grievances that can take on a life of their own, relinquishing our power to someone or something else

Think about how much time you’ve wasted on what really amounts to minor irritants when you could have used it to redirect your thinking and avoid getting trapped. Are you willing to carry along the annoying experience in the AM, through your day, only to share it in the PM with family or friends? How much “rent” can you charge to that earlier incident for taking up premium space in your head?

One effective strategy for managing frustrating situations can be as simple as counting to ten before engaging or responding. Try it when you’re sitting in traffic and before you lean on your horn. Another technique is to change the geography by physically moving to another space or area before reacting. Sometimes that action alone can make a huge difference.

Get smart. Don’t spend $10 worth of energy on a 10-cent problem. Learn to identify the higher value issues and act accordingly.

“Do not let trifles disturb your tranquility of mind…life is too precious to be sacrificed for the nonessential and transient…ignore the inconsequential.” ~ Grenville Kleiser

Making New Year’s Resolutions

adderall-shutterstock_170892518If you are contemplating setting a New Year’s resolution, here is an alternative. This year, go for your dreams!

• Do you dream of doing less and having more?
• Do you want to be more successful and less stressed?
• Do you want to be healthier or in better shape?
• Do you want more quality time with family and friends?
• What about a new job, more passion, more money and more FUN?

Dreams like these have a far better chance of survival than resolutions which are based on what you don’t want. Why? Your dreams and desires have more power than your doubts and dislikes.

There is a very different energy and joy when you are moving toward your dreams rather than when you are trying to “fix” something. For example, if your dream is to look and feel good, this energy is quite different than that applied to the drudgery of getting rid of weight by diet and exercise. In other words, developing a healthier and more powerful body will be easier than losing weight. Similarly, building a successful business is more exciting than getting rid of debt.

• Writing things down is more weighty than holding the ideas in your head
• Make a broad list
• Narrow it down to 3-5 goals that are really important to you
• Choose one to start!


Give a Work Presentation

speaker presentationDoes the thought of public speaking throw you into a state of panic or is it another terrific opportunity to demonstrate your ease in front of an audience? Most of us are called upon at some point to speak to a group and/or present materials to share information. No matter your skill level, with focused persistence, proper preparation and timing during a workday, you can increase the odds of a positive result. In fact, it’s not only what you say in that meeting with your boss, but when you say it.

The best way to avoid having your ideas met with blank stares and stifled yawns is to schedule your presentations on Tuesdays, around 10:30 AM. According to Andrew Bradbury, author of Successful Presentation Skills, “In the midmorning, early birds are still going strong and the night owls are getting into the stride of their day, meaning everyone in the audience should be energized and receptive.” Furthermore, in a recent survey commissioned by the staffing agency Accountemps, Tuesday was found to be the most effective day to show off Powerpoint skills. I can hear the groans already but when strong visual are called for, it does not mean that “death” by Powerpoint will follow. People are in the full swing of their workweek and not yet distracted by the upcoming weekend. And, with a Tuesday presentation, if follow-up is necessary, there is still a cushion of three more workdays. Given that you managed all else, to ensure the most receptive audience, timing really is everything after all. Remember to smile. The audience is on your side, they want you to be successful.

Consider both personal and professional circumstances where timing strategically made a difference.
• Did you notice the receptiveness of your audience?
• How will you factor time and day into future presentations?
• Schedule something ASAP based on these suggestions
• Compare a Tuesday AM meeting to another day and time

© 2016 Maureen Weisner

Managing Your Weaknesses

triathlete_by_whimsy3sh-d5z74chI can say with confidence that I am not a baseball fan. My husband and son are quite knowledgeable, even if they root for opposing teams. In New England it is sacrilege to be a Yankee fan, but growing up in New York gives this branch of the family a pass on divided loyalties. What I do know about baseball is quite limited, except for the Joe Pepitone home run ball caught by my husband on one of the most exciting days of his youth at Yankee Stadium. It has a special place and a special case, prominently displayed in our den.

So, even if I don’t care about baseball currently, there must be some childhood memory of growing up around it and the importance of it in our culture. At that time Sandy Koufax was a legendary World Series MVP, an All Star and Cy Young Award winning…pitcher and NOT a hitter. With this talent, no one expected him to hit home runs, just make some contact and not get hurt in the process. In fact, a tongue-in-cheek assessment of his skills came from rival Whitey Ford who said, “I know Koufax’s weakness, he can’t hit!” As an all-time great, no one would ever think of him as a weak batter. His strengths as a pitcher, made his weaknesses as a hitter insignificant. Legendary business analyst Peter Drucker said it best:

“The effective executive…knows that one cannot build on weakness…To make strength productive is the unique purpose of organization. It cannot, of course, overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed. But it can make them irrelevant.”

Weakness is not a “dirty” word and we all have weaknesses. Even if you are good at something you hate to do, it can still sap your energy. Don’t dwell on what you’re not good at or obsess over how to “fix” it. You’ll probably never get to a high level of performance around these areas regardless. Workplace research data taken over decades bears this out. People who play to their strengths daily are much more engaged, less likely to quit and much more likely to contribute to high performing teams. Should you ignore your weaknesses and only focus on your strengths? Think of the tri-athlete whose strength is not swimming but who bikes like the wind. She will focus on learning the most efficient way to manage the swim component because it is an integral part of her overall time. Since biking is her strength and she probably enjoys it the most, she can also train harder on improving her technique or even purchasing new equipment for the event. It’s also possible that with positive attention to managing/improving her perceived weakness, it could even become a strength!

• List 10 things you are good at
• List 1 area you would like to improve

©2014 MWeisner

Who Do You Want to Be?

Importance-of-Networking-and-Events-300x199Are you sleepwalking through your life, waiting for the next thing to happen only to react when “it” inevitably does? You see, there really are two ways to face the future; with apprehension or with anticipation. Let’s throw in avoidance and we are looking right into the yawning face of fear, fear that we may lose control, fail and more. It’s an old and familiar story. The pursuit of control actually, the illusion of having control, is the consummate time waster. We create multiple ways to manage what is yet to happen and spend so much time living in the future that we may miss the present entirely and that is the place we live.

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be?

It has also been said that there are three kinds of people in the world.
1. Those who wait for things to happen
2. Those who make things happen
3. Those who wonder what happened

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be?

The analysis paralysis is a common default behavior. Consider the following:
Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?
Answer: Five! It’s the difference between deciding and doing.

Who do you want to be? Who are you choosing to be now!

Our thoughts determine our feelings and hence, our actions. When we remain in the present and not the future land of worry we can refocus our energies to better serve us:
• Each day make a list of 5 things you are grateful for
• Speak them aloud
• Carry the list with you as a reminder!

©2014 Maureen Weisner