Archive for August, 2010

What I DIDN’T do on my vacation is why I’m ready for work on Monday

August 22, 2010

 I just completed part II of my ‘staycation’ . I had taken another week earlier in July.  I didn’t make any big vacation plans this summer so part of me was wondering if I should bother at all – especially since I know the next few weeks are going to be so busy. I was tempted to work through it and get a head start.

Boy am I glad I didn’t. My seemingly ‘boring’ vacation at home was exactly what I needed. I did do some of stuff on my list (a bit of golf, cycling, movies, friends, reading, etc.) But what stood out for me this time was what I DIDN’T do.

I didn’t work.

In past times when I’ve stayed home for ‘staycations’, I’ve often used some of the time to catch up on some of the work stuff I don’t get around too. It’s usually things I enjoy doing and want to do more of  — e.g. like blogging, updating my website, starting new creative programs, etc. This year was no different in that I had a lot of that kind of stuff beckoning me.  But my wiser self knew that this time I truly needed to STOP. 

Like so many others, I work hard and my brain is always going. When you are self employed, you are always thinking about what’s next, planning, networking, etc.  But just as important (whether self employed or you work traditionally) is self care. If you are run down, that’s a risk to the business.

So my only commitment this past week was to ‘go with the flow’ and truly listen for what I felt like doing.  It was mellow.  And well, in the midst of that, because I wasn’t fussed up about ‘achieving’ anything this week I did have a wonderful discovery stumbling upon some old journals and allowing myself to linger as I read them (more about that another time…it actually was a big thing for me).

Confession: While tomorrow is the first day back at work, I did intentionally set aside this past Friday to quietly catch up on my emails and get myself ready for the heavy lifting of the week ahead. This was part of my plan. I find it hard to dive back into a maelstorm of work without preparing. So I gave myself that quiet time on Friday and was able to enter the weekend feeling at peace and able to enjoy these last two days.

So Monday (and September) here I come! My attitude is now TGIM-ready! 

How about you? What kind of self care do you need to be ready for what’s ahead this autumn? What do you need to put on your ‘to not do’ list? What about year-round – how do you build in time to refresh, pause and rejuvenate? What boundaries do you need to declare around work and ‘life’? How do you make sure these get respected?

To work and rest in your TGIM worklife!


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In the News: Ramp up the ‘People’ part of your Leadership

August 22, 2010

I was invited by the Globe and Mail Careers to respond to another Mentor Minute question from a reader. They published the column in Friday’s paper ( I wrote it a while ago).

The Scenario: The readers asks…

“I’ve just completed my first year in a leadership role and had a disappointing performance review. My boss acknowledged that I have good skills in advancing projects but he said he wasn’t seeing enough effective leadership. He wants to see me ramp up the “people” side of the job. I’m at a loss. What is he looking for?”

My Response: The Mentor Minute columns don’t get posted online but I did scan a copy and you can read my response here!

It seems performance development is becoming quite a theme in my coaching business of late. I have been invited to contribute an article to Canadian HR Reporter on ‘giving feedback’ (I will post it as soon as it’s published). As well, I am doing some work for a College in Ontario – developing and facilitating a training module for leaders at the college on performance development. Specifically, I will be teaching a myriad of coaching skills that are increasingly becoming recognized as a valuable leadership competency and fundamental to the performance development cycle.

Check in again for more updates on this area.  In the meantime, here’s another Globe and Mail Mentor Minute article I contributed related to Performance Reviews.

Here’s to a TGIM Work-Life for you and your team!

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