Keep Your Records Up-To-Date (WT721)

Keep Your Records Up-To-Date (WT721)

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WT 721 Keep your records up to date

If you’ve ever done any advertising on Facebook, you might have heard the term “look alike audience”.

A look alike audience is an audience that Facebook creates for you based on an audience you already have.

I’ve been learning how to do Facebook advertising. It sounds easy and I so appreciate the work Kellie Obrien used to do for me because I’ve found it challenging.

One of my biggest challenges though wasn’t writing the copy or selecting audience interests. My biggest challenge was my lack of organised record keeping.

For someone who is a systems consultant and trainer, it’s embarrassing to admit that.

The thing that held me up with Facebook was the fact that I couldn’t easily export a list from my database.

It took me a few days to get the information together, wasting valuable time and resources, not to mention time to advertise the upcoming online courses for Leadership Fundamentals and The Loyal Lieutenant.

It was a great wake-up call to get my own systems in order.

It’s a bit like the plumber with the leaky taps at home or the carpenter with a million repair jobs to fix around his house.

Putting systems in place is critical to save time.

There’s an acronym for the word SYSTEMS which I think sums it up:

Save

Your

Self

Time

Energy

Money and

Stress.

Don’t get caught out like I did with an out-of-date database.

Keep your records up-to-date.

Create and implement systems.

I can tell you from experience, it’s costly if you don’t.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Do The Next Task (WT720)

Do The Next Task (WT720)

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WT 720 Do the next task

I just love working with my clients.

I learn so much.

This week I want to share something I learned from Bob.

Bob is a leader who loves to share his wisdom and experience with his team and luckily for us, with me too.

Many years ago, Bob trained for the ironman competitions. His mentor at the time told him that if he missed a training session not to worry about it.

“It’s counter productive to try and catch it up, so the best thing is to move on to the next days training and do that well”, he said.

Bob adapted his training to his work.

He mentors his team and reminds them, that if they get behind in their schedule for any reason, not to go back to the unfinished task with a negative or tired mindset, but to move to the next task with a fresh mindset and energy.

If there is time, you can go back and catch up the task or continue tomorrow.

Unexpected things always happen at work and at home so whilst it’s good to have structure and a plan for your day, if you find yourself off course, keep going.

Do the next task.

Get your mind and energy back on the job.

It’s the quickest way to work effectively and efficiently.

Thank you Bob.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Let’s Talk About Systems (WT709)

Let’s Talk About Systems (WT709)

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WT 709 Let's talk about systems

The past few Weekly Thoughts have focused on mindset and leadership.

This week we need to talk about systems.

I’ve been working with a couple of clients the past few weeks, helping with recruitment and creating new finance systems. It’s been a big reminder to me of the value of having systems and processes that others can follow when key people are absent.

Let me give you some examples.

Client #1 – a key support team member resigned after having worked with the company for 3 years. A team of sales professionals relied on the support and whilst they are actively recruiting for a replacement, the sales team now find themselves having to complete the administrative tasks as well as focus on sales.

Client #2 – it’s the end of the school holidays and a long term employee wanted to take a week’s leave to enjoy with her children. The employee works in the finance team. Obviously not everyone in the team has the same permissions to access the company finances so the employee ended up logging in just about every day to complete some tasks.

These companies represent most of the companies I work with.

Most are small, family owned businesses, unlike the then NSW Department of Motor Transport, where I was employed as a 17 year old typist.

After a few years working in the one motor registry, I transferred to what was known as “Relief Staff”. This meant that I travelled around NSW, relieving workers who were on holiday or sick leave.

Every motor registry had the same systems and processes so I could turn up at any registry and do the work.

I was shocked when I left the government to work in small business.  “Where’s the relief staff?” I would ask. “What do you mean my work will be waiting for me when I get back?”

This never happened in the motor registry.  The relief staff did the work and for the most part, when we finished each day and balanced the cash register, we went home and forgot about work until it was time to do it all over again the next day.

This doesn’t happen in small business.

There isn’t the luxury of extra staff because there aren’t enough offices or roles to keep someone employed relieving for 11 months of the year.

So, talking systems, processes and procedures, the best ones are those that are documented in such a way that anyone could follow the procedure and get the desired outcome, even if they have never done it before. They might be slower at first, but at least they could finish the task.

What are your systems, processes and procedures like?

Are you using looms or other screen capture applications to show people what they need to do?

Are you using programs like otter.ai to transcribe an audio or video recording?

Are you using document management systems like TKO to keep all of your procedures in one place, that’s available 24×7?

Are you automating your processes or still wasting time doing things manually?

It’s time to talk systems and if you’re interested to follow the method I use when I consult with systems clients, you can purchase a copy of my book The Loyal Lieutenant: How The Second-In-
Command Brings The CEO’s Vision To Life by going to https://shirleydalton.com/books or you can search Amazon for an electronic copy.

It’s time to talk to systems.

Let 2024 be the year you get yourself, your team, your work and your business systemised, so you too can go on leave and fully rest and recharge without thinking about work.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

To AI or Not to AI (WT679)

To AI or Not to AI (WT679)

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WT 679 To AI or not to AI

You’ve probably heard all the hype and excitement lately about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ChatGPT4 in particular, so I thought I’d trial ChatGPT4 to write my Weekly Thought.

Here’s what I asked:

i write weekly thoughts. they are a dose of inspiration, education and support. Please write me a 200 word article on the difference between having ai write my thought and me actually writing the thought.”

I can’t help myself. Even though I know it is a machine, I still use my manners. Mum would kill me if I was impolite at any time.

The article that came back was too long, so I asked for it to be reduced to 100 words.

Here’s the response:

Title: The Essence of Thought: AI Assistance versus Human Expression

In the realm of thought creation, a juxtaposition arises between AI-generated and human-written musings. While AI can produce coherent content, the distinction lies in the authenticity and emotional depth present in human expression. Human thoughts are infused with personal experiences, unique perspectives, and genuine vulnerability, fostering connections on a deeper level. The act of personal creation taps into imagination, intuition, and introspection, allowing for exploration, inspiration, and cognitive growth. Collaborative synergy further enhances human-written thoughts, as diverse perspectives and feedback foster evolution and innovation. Embrace the symbiotic relationship between AI and human creativity, combining their strengths to shape a world where thoughts thrive with a harmonious blend of technology and the human spirit.

Wowza!

That’s certainly not something I would write.

Firstly, there are too many polysyllabic words (words with more than two syllables). When writing in Plain English, we want to use less syllables, e.g. instead of “receive” use “get”.

Sentences should be limited to no more than 14 words, which is why my Weekly Thoughts often have one sentence to a line.

When communicating, you need to write for your reader and the Weekly Thoughts are not meant for publishing in an academic journal.

They are simply my thoughts that I share in the hope they inspire you or educate you and certainly encourage you to think about the topic.

Whilst I am a fan of ChatGPT4 for creating checklists and giving me content, I won’t be using it to write my Weekly Thoughts. Afterall, writing the thoughts is like journaling and it’s a form of therapy for me.

And just in case you’re wondering what GPT means, it’s “Generative Pre-trained Transformer” and it’s used to generate human-like text, complete sentences, or even whole articles based on a given prompt or context. GPT models excel at tasks such as text completion, language translation, question-answering, summarization, and generating conversational responses. They leverage the knowledge and patterns learned during pre-training to generate creative and contextually relevant outputs. (Source ChatGPT4)

There you have it, to AI or not to AI. For me, it’s a blend of both, just like ChatGPT4 said:

Embrace the symbiotic relationship between AI and human creativity, combining their strengths to shape a world where thoughts thrive with a harmonious blend of technology and the human spirit.

P.S. Today is the last day to save with the Early Bird Discount for the next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience in August. Find out more here https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/.

P.P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Are You Shirleying Me? (WT676)

Are You Shirleying Me? (WT676)

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WT 676 Are you Shirleying me?

Thirteen years Lucky!

Today we celebrate 13 years of Weekly Thoughts.

I can hardly believe it myself. Cancel Cancel that negative thought.

I am so proud to say I have not missed one week in all that time and today is no exception, so here’s your thought.

I was coaching this week with a client, we’ll call him Jack, who was explaining how he did his best to reassure one of his employees that everything would be alright. The business is undergoing some changes. The client is a Coach personality and the catch phrase of the Coach is “we’ll figure it out”.

The employee is a Counsellor type personality and that phrase does not reassure them. The Counsellor wants certainty. The Counsellor wants a plan. The Counsellor wants to know it has been figured out before taking action NOT taking action and figuring it out.

I listened to Jack and when he had finished describing the situation, I reminded him that even though his intention was pure, telling a Counsellor type personality that they’d figure it out was actually a roadblock. It stops the conversation.

It didn’t come as any surprise to me that their conversation ended up with the Counsellor walking off, leaving the situation unresolved.

Fortunately, both Jack and the employee have completed my Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience, so I reminded Jack of the skill of active listening.

Jack’s eyes widened as he got the Aha. “Yes, of course. OMG! Right, active listening. I’m going back to work and I’m going to active listen”.

Bravo!

So we practised to refresh his skills.

A few hours later I received a text message. “Employee to Jack, ‘Are You Shirleying me here?’ Thanks. Appreciate you.”

That little text message made me so happy. It brought tears to my eyes. It’s the reason I do what I do. I want you to be able to listen to each other; to really hear and understand each other and to be able to demonstrate that to each other. I want you to be able to get what you want and to have deep meaningful relationships and conversations with each other.

My belief is that there is nothing that can’t be cleared up in conversation. It just takes you to be willing to have the conversation; to revisit the conversation and to listen; really listen to understand what’s going on for the other.

We’re all different personalities so it also helps to understand that too, both for your personality type and the other.

If you’d like to learn or improve your skills, the next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience starts in August. Early bird discount ends 30th June. Click here for more information https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/.

I’d love for you and your team to be able to recognise and appreciate when you’re being “Shirley’d”.

And to celebrate 13 years of a weekly dose of inspiration, education and support, I am giving away a spot in our next Loyal Lieutenant Masterclass Series. Retailing at $1997, it’s a 9 week online course led by me where I teach you my methodology for streamlining operations and you practise and we debrief your work so that you are getting it done during the course.

If this is of interest to you, all you need to do is reply to this email and answer the question, “What do you get out of reading the Weekly Thoughts each week?”

The winner will be announced next week.

Thank you sooooooo much for being part of my community. I am so grateful to you because without you, there would be no-one to write for.

P.P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

P.S. Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience starts Thursday 3rd August. Save $1,000. Early bird discount ends 30th June. Thursdays, 3rd, 17th, 24th and 31st August. Find out more here https://shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-may2020/.

When You’re All Over The Place (WT671)

When You’re All Over The Place (WT671)

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WT 671 When you are all over the place

I have a feeling this week’s thought will resonate with many of you.

Let’s talk about how to focus when you’re all over the place; when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you have too much to do.

You know that horrible feeling you get when you just can’t focus. You can’t seem to prioritise or get into your tasks.

What do you do?

I have a few “go to” strategies that I turn to:

  1. I tap. (I use Emotional Freedom Technique, not tap dancing.)
  2. I breathe.
  3. I meditate.
  4. I go for a walk.
  5. I sit and have a cup of tea and stare out the window.
  6. I chant the phrases for Ho’oponopono.
  7. I write.

When we’re in this state, which David Bayer calls the “Primal” state, we can’t think. 

We can’t solve our problems.

We’re not creative because all our body and brain are doing is looking to survive.

Should I stay and fight? Should I run? Should I freeze?

When this happens, the first thing to do is to stop what you are doing and notice that you are in the primal state.

Awareness is the first step to moving out of it.

Take a breath. Calm yourself.

It sounds counter intuitive because you have so much to do and yet you’ll achieve far more and be more efficient and effective if you take a few minutes for yourself.

Another strategy that helps me is what I call my “Data Dump” method. I list everything that’s on my mind.

If I can, I use the whiteboard.

When I can see it, I can prioritise it.

I create a plan for when things have to be done.

I look to see who else can help. What can I delegate or request support for or negotiate an extended deadline?

Allowing yourself to stay in the primal state is a choice. It’s similar to worry.

There are many strategies and tools that will help you to focus and get back into the “Powerful” state.

What will you choose?

If you’d like to learn more, our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience starts next week or you may prefer individual coaching.

Remember, next time you can’t focus and you’re all over the place. Stop. Become Aware. Choose.

P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox.
Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts

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