This is why the Slacker Manager is Mr. Smart and Cool.

Bren does it again.

If you are blogging or thinking about blogging click over and read his post. As I’ve said so often before, I learn a lot from Bren.

Directing traffic (metablogging post) on Slacker Manager.

Come to think of it, you’ll also want to read what Bren has written if you are a new blog reader who would like some criteria for picking out the professional/savvy bloggers from the careless ones. (And in my opinion, both newbies and ‘seasoned bloggers’ fall into both categories.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d better make sure all of Talking Story is in order ” Managing with Aloha Online too …

Seize your opportunity for virtual coaching.

“What you’re saying here Chris is revolutionary, because you’re effectively saying to the companies ‘I am a client, and I prefer personality over consistent branding.’” — Jay

“It’s always been my belief that people want to work with a living, breathing person with feelings. Why does that seem so hard to translate in the corporate environment?” — Robin

“ ” come out from behind your company’s name and brand and tell us who you are and how your experiences contribute to creating a Soulful Workplace. You just might find a new passionate customer is waiting.” — Chris

Aloha Ho‘ohana Community,

Please take the time to read The Alchemy of Soulful Work today and get a dose of inspiration. Learn the secret to business success that is real.

JetBlue’s Cultivation of a Soulful Workplace.

While you are there, be sure to click into Jay’s Renaissance Girl for more reading: both Jay and Nigel are doing some soulful writing of their own:

Being a More Complete Person by Jay

Same Wellspring, Different (but parallel) Message by Nigel

Such talent in the Ho ‘ohana Community. Such thought. Such heart. Immense aloha. I am filled with a sense of mahalo and ha‘aha‘a for being just a small part of it.

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Another Take on Meetings: The 5-Point Plan.

In our Reinvention Forum last week, Lisa Haneberg very succinctly described common feelings about a certain staple of the workplace with her haiku:

The Staff Meeting Haiku
Another Meeting
So bored, my heart’s stopped beating
Wake me when we’re done

Lisa followed this up with a great suggestion. If you missed her post, catch it here.

I have to tell you that while it is easy for me to remember scores of boring staff meetings, when it came to be my turn to run them and I learned to do them right, I loved ‘em.

Mostly because it was far easier to mobilize the troops in one meeting versus 8 to 10 individually held conversations, and it was a golden opportunity to make collaborative decisions versus arbitrary or dictatorial ones. When the expectation was clear that we were going to end the meeting having achieved a collaborative result, staff meetings ended up to be extremely useful and productive. They actually saved time.

The time I devoted to individual one-on-one meetings could then be highly focused and personalized. One-on-one meetings are for talent and strength coaching, for individual project delegation, and especially for the Daily Five Minutes.

In my coaching practice, executives do ask me for ideas on bringing new life to their regularly scheduled meetings, and these brainstorming conversations centered on their current focus and objectives turn out to be pretty energizing for both of us: They get excited about the possibilities of what can actually occur, and I’m able to get more of the clues I need in coaching them toward leadership breakthroughs specific to their business. Fun stuff.

Meetings are your opportunity to take advantage of having a captive audience, so just ask yourself, is that what do you? When you consider meetings your chance to reach agreements faster and with complete buy-in, you can amaze yourself with how creative and far-reaching you can get in their actual execution.

Business meetings are like all other business processes: They have to result in something if they are to prove useful, and worth the precious time of the people sitting in the room.

How can you ensure that every single meeting you hold is productive, and everyone looks forward to them as much as you do? (Okay, as I did and as you will.) By setting yourself up for success every time:

1. Prepare and plan them well. Meetings should be premeditated and result-oriented. As Stephen Covey said so well, “Begin with the end in mind.”

2. Don’t get so ambitious that you can’t walk out of the meeting with some definitive result. This is a 5-point plan, not 5 points on the agenda.

3. Keep meetings as short and as focused as possible. Concentrate the energy, don’t drain it. Increased meeting frequency may be better: Repeated zingers are far better than laborious operations.

4. Get everyone there to weigh in and participate in some way —if you don’t see that happening for certain people, don’t invite them. There must be a reason for them to be there: observing is not good enough. No bench warmers.

5. If the first four things are not virtually guaranteed, cancel the meeting.

Number 5. is probably the best advice I can give you. It must become part of your company culture that you only hold productive, result-targeted meetings, or not at all.

If these five points happen with every meeting you hold, there will be an entire new level of excellence in your group-think and in your team initiatives. More will be brought to the table because the effort is well worth it and contributions are valued. Potentially explosive ideas will no longer die unspoken.

Have a meeting. Get something done. Enjoy the experience.
All three phrases do belong together.

I love meetings.

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An April meme preview.

Mahalo nui to those of you who responded to my open letter to bloggers.

I huddled with a few people in our Ho‘ohana Community over the course of the day and came up with a thought for our ‘Apelila Ho‘ohana — an idea whereby more bloggers can participate in our Ho‘ohana „¢ for the month of April if they choose to.

Here’s a preview for you on the Ho‘ohana „¢ prepared for April:
It will be called Bottom-Line Aloha, the Art of the Sale

Check back with Talking Story on April 1st, and you’ll read more about it. Selling is something all of us in business simply need to make happen, and we can all get better at it. Bloggers get a lot of practice at selling themselves, and if you are a blogger I believe you have a lot to teach and share.

I’ve set up some watchlists, and for the entire month of April, I’ll be looking for posts that bloggers have written about selling, making the sale, and business sales in general (as opposed to marketing, unless you’d like to talk about sales versus marketing, that’d be cool).

Share a story of aloha where someone sold something to you, and it was great transaction. You can think of it as a month-long meme on the Art of the Sale.

The Talking Story Art of the Sale Meme

1. In April, write about Selling with Aloha and the Art of the Sale.

2. Send a trackback to this post so the Ho‘ohana Community and I can find you, or email me your link.

3. If I like what you’ve written, you can be sure that more links will show up for you here on Talking Story as a recommendation to the rest of the Ho‘ohana Community. And who knows, they may come to play with you in your comment conversations.

First and foremost, we have always been a learning community. Let’s talk story.

Mahalo nui for your aloha, and I look forward to reading your posts!

If you are new to Talking Story, Ho‘ohana „¢ is the monthly newsletter of SAY LEADERSHIP COACHING, sent on the first of each month to our email subscribers. Talking Story is home to the Ho‘ohana „¢ online edition, and we explore more on the newsletter’s theme periodically through-out the rest of the month. The best way to sort out the Ho‘ohana „¢ posts from the others, is to click on the Talking Story category link named Monthly Ho‘ohana: they’ll appear from newest to oldest. This month, our theme has been Reinvention.

The Ho‘ohana Community is the name given to our community of readers and subscribers.