PoPP – Chapter 9 – Here and Now

here and now

In my purple peril, somewhere along the way, I decided not to worry about the past or future but to stay in the present.

The past is finished. Hind sight is 20-20. Terms like could have, should have, would have are just ways to hang on to things that are not there.  They emphasize judgements around failure and success. In reality my past has taught me many lessons and helped make me who I am today.  The past is peppered with some good and some bad, but seasoned perfectly for me!

The future is not here yet.  Why worry or anticipate things that are not real?  I am preparing myself for the future but I am open to the possibility of what may manifest.

In the here and now I can live my life fully.  When I stay present, there are no fears or worries.  I live in full appreciation of all the wonders offered – sounds of the birds, rustle of the breeze through the trees bringing refreshing coolness and carrying spring aromas, scents of hyacinths by the door, feel of the beautiful crystals I am working with, taste of a smooth sip of water, rubbing the silky ears of a dogs, the companionship and conversation with a good friend, and all of the other moment by moment blessings.  In this moment is when I can hear my muses.  I am open to receive any inspirations that come to me and in the moment share these inspirations with others.  I appreciate every breath and with my mind, body, spirit centred and calm I can enjoy this state of living meditation.

Building Strong Business Relationships

Here are some tips to help you build strong Business Relationships-  Team, Customer, Peer, Management

1- Strong Relationships go a long way.

How do you build those?  Make some effort to get to know your customers, teams, managers, peers personally.  This will take time but will definitely pay off in the end.  Always be truthful. If you become known gets as truthful and caring, when you need to deliver bad news it will be more accepted. When you are asking for a bit more, people will be more willing to give.

2- Use Good Will Deposits.

There are times when opportunities will arise to under promise and over deliver.  There are times when there you will be able to help your client behind the scenes or open doors that a peer may need.  Whenever you do something like this , you are making a “good will deposit”.  You can also make withdrawals.  As long as you have a credit, when you have to make a withdrawal, it is a lot more successful  (and vice versa).

3- Be fair

Make sure you understand both sides of the story.  You can demonstrate this through active listening. taking accurate minutes to you meetings, taking the time for a one on one call or meeting.  People have different preferred styles of communication.  As you get to know your teams, match your communications up to their style so that they can “hear, see, feel” your message.  As the conveyor of the message, it is up to you to ensure the message is heard.

4- Be clear

Be clear about what it is that is required or needed.  If composing a message in an email, ask for what you need up front.  Keep communications short. Stay away from acronyms,sayings, technical terms or corporate culture terms that are used as norms, unless you define them.

5- Be transparent

If you are having issues delivering what you said you would, be honest.  Things happen and not everything goes according to plan.  Your customer, teams, peers, managers will be better able to relate if they know what is going on behind the scenes.  There are times you may not want to choose to air items that might embarrass your company or cannot share some inner corporate challenges, but share as much as you can.

6- Be empathetic/ compassionate

Try and understand what is driving your teams.  They have goals they have to meet and bosses they need to please. As a service provider, we are here to help each team member, customer, peer, manager  be successful.

7- Remember people have things going on in their personal lives as well.

Make notes on your clients, refer to those notes.  Pay attention to the personal information and cues teams give you.  Some people will openly share, others will be more guarded.  When your customer/ peer/ team member or manager  shifts gears, that may have a personal issue that contributes to how they react.  Do not take their reactions  personally.

8- Be humble

Make sure you take the time to acknowledge the contribution of others.  Do not take all the credit for success for yourself. I have found it also is appreciated when you take the share  praise for a key contributor with their managers.

9- Get back to your customer  when you say you will.

Whether or not you have a complete answer for them,   even if it is not what they want to hear from you  or even if you need to defer again for a complete response, respond when you say you will.

10- Apologize when you have missed the mark

If you personally miss a deadline, apologize.  When your team misses a deadline, apologize. Pointing fingers, blaming others is not what anyone wants to hear when something is off course. As professional managers we just need to get things back on track as fast as possible.

Remember , as a project manager or customer service manager you take the blame and the team gets the glory!


PoPP – Chapter 8 – If at First you Don’t Succeed…

Many of the great and successful entrepreneurs have said that just as they were considering giving up, they succeeded.  If they had turned from their path a bit sooner, they would not be the success they are today.

In my journey I have kept this in mind.  What is worth pursuing and what is not? How was I to tell the difference?

My experience along my life’s path has found that if you are pursuing something that puts a spring in your step, a smile on your face and makes it worth getting up every morning,  put that in the category of “continue to pursue”.

When I have found myself pursuing what I perceive as chores and drudgery, I needed to let that go.

Also keep in mind that the way you feel about things may change along the way.  That is OK. Possibility can come in strange packages.

Over the course of my journey, I have found that it is more important to me to spend time doing things that make me happy and to find ways to make those successful.  To those things I will apply, “If at first you do not succeed, try, try, again.”

PoPP – Chapter 7 – Do unto Others

In my travels I have found that the universe works on reciprocity.  What you hand out, you get back.

If you take the time to help others, coach, mentor, practice random acts of kindness,  that positive energy will find its way back to you.  It may not be from whom you expect or in a form you expect just leave  yourself open to possibility over the course of  your journey. I have found myself to be more often than not, pleasantly surprised.

I have found that what I think about the most, tends to show up.  It is important to surround your self with positive supportive energy.  I found that when I was around energy based on fear and lack,  that is what I thought about, and that is was I attracted.

In my journey I slowly shifted to surrounding myself with a more positive flow. That is what I thought about and that is what I attracted. My journey is much more enjoyable now!

When you change what you read, what you watch, what you talk about, what you listen to, what you participate in – essentially the overall energy and environment that you immerse yourself in,  your life will head in that direction.

PoPP – Chapter 6 – Those who live in glass houses…

Comprehending the expression of “Those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones” became glaringly clear in my travels.

I found my judgements of others along the way were the stones I would throw at them.  I sometimes lost the compassion towards my fellow travellers.  I found it was important to understand that each traveller had a public face and a private face.  The private face is where they held their personal challenges, sorrows and issues.

The old crabby traveller was the one who just had to deal with splitting from their partner. The over zealous, over cheerful traveller hid tombs of sorrow from an abusive home life. The traveller who always wore the funky, frumpy outfits had just lost their home to fire.  The over dramatic, attention seeking traveller just found out they had a short time left on this planet.

I am turning over a new leaf and when I catch the flitter of a judgemental thought, I gently cleanse and re- invent the thought. Hanging those cleansed thoughts out to dry like a load of freshly washed laundry laundry and creating a breeze of positive change.

Just like the scent of fresh laundry, this breeze of compassion carries forward and spreads, bringing positive, healing energy into the world.

My stones are being transformed into a stunningly beautiful rock garden and I am throwing less and less hurtful projectiles out into the world.

It will take practice and persistence, but I know it will make my journey more successful and powerful.

Developing and Working with International Teams – Ten Tips

There can be hurdles developing and working with International teams.  Here are some tips to help you.

1- Do not assume your team members have the same sense of humour that your do. Sometimes what you find amusing may offend someone else.  What your language, some cultures can be offended with your “norm”. Think about the expressions you use and what they may mean to someone else. Try and use up straight, clear language and leave out the nuances and entendres … at least until you get to know your team.

2- Do not assume that your team members understand or relate to your analogies.  We have all been raised with certain stories that are used to illustrate and augment what we are saying.  Not everyone can relate to them as they were not raised in the same culture.  Do not take language short cuts by using analogies.  Speak/ writ it out to keep things as clear as possible and to try and keep everyone on the same page.

3- Do not assume your team members know the same acronyms.  Acronyms change from country to country, industry to industry, company to company.  Spell / speak them out until you establish acronyms that your whole team understand.

4- Different nationalities will have different accents, analogies and more.  Do not hesitate to ask for clarification for yourself and overall for the rest of your team.

5- Speak slowly and enunciate.  Ask your team members to do the same.  Minimize back ground noise and ask your team members to do the same.  When holding a meeting ask your team to stay focused and not try to multi-task. This will save everyone form missing key messages and repetition!

6- Use tools such as virtual rooms , prepare agendas in advance so your teams can follow along visually and not just rely on verbal communications.

7- All meetings need minutes.  Send them out promptly. Clearly indicate the action items and who they are assigned to. Set deadlines for delivery of those actions. Highlight any overdue items.

8 – Be aware and sensitive to different time zones, holidays, cultural observations.  If you are respectful of what is important to your team members, they will usually reciprocate.

9- Take some one on one time to get to know each member.  This will help you to understand their strengths and weaknesses and overall build a stronger team. When your team member does something exception, take the time to acknowledge that!  That can go a long way.

10- No matter where a team member is from, some will get along better than others, some will not get along at all.  Remember this is about delivery, service and quality.   Take the time  to remind your teams of  the common end goal of delivering what you were brought together to do.


PoPP – Chapter 5 – Where there is a will there is a way

Time to shift from floating along with the masses to doing my own thing.  How to move myself from this massive stream into my one stream.  This task seemed insurmountable at first.  Little by little I found ways to move to the edges of the stream and from there grabbed small toes holds to make my way to the surface an the banks.

Step by step I pulled myself out of the stream and back onto my own path.

I now had a vast pool of knowledge to draw upon and could now travel my own path with more agility, creativity and confidence.

Where there is a will there is a way!

Popp – Chapter 4 – Sometimes you have to go with the Flow

I have discovered that sometimes you need to pick your battles. Over the course of my travels when you need to make a decision, deal with an issue or risk, you need to weigh your options.  Sometimes it is better to go with the flow and sometimes it is not.

In the situation I was in I jumped into the mainstream to see where it would take me.  To discover what the norm was, to see what options or ideas I could discover while flowing with the masses.  I have found the experience to be somewhat relaxing yet stimulating.

Like and like together can generate the exploration of new possibilities.   It certainly opened new doors and chapters in my life.  Helped me learn more about myself and this world we flow in!

In this neutral grey space I would discover the colour and passions of my life!

PoPP – Chapter 3 – Waste not Want Not

Strolling forward I noticed that my waist band was a bit frumpy.  Gravity was making a grab and trying to pull me to earth and leave behind some exposures.

I found a piece of string and tried to rig up a correction.  It did not work too well.

As it turned out that duct tape might not be the solution to everything after all.

What I needed to find was some elastic.  I am sure that in my past life I must have had such supplies. Surely I would not have wasted them and thrown them away.  It seems like elastic would be a staple in my world.

I did not really like turning back,  but I would move forward more effectively if I was comfortable.

I entered the dwelling I started in and YES there were appropriate materials.  I pieced myself back together.  In thinking about my upcoming journey, and what other essentials I might need, I pulled together a small back pack.

Now I could once again move forward and know I had covered the bare essentials and provided myself with some supplies for contingency.

A secured waist provided excellent coverage and comfort and all from wee scraps that could easily have become deserted or discarded.

Waste not want not was a valuable lesson for me to tuck into my repertoire!

PoPP – Chapter 2 Fake it ’til you make it

What next?  Not feeling particularly confident or happy, I knew I needed to get moving in some sort of direction.

I pasted a smile on my face, straightened my back, pulled back my shoulders, took a deep breath and started to move forward.  I began to climb out of the basement and  darkness.  As I climbed it became brighter, easier, I could start to see shapes out of the shadows.

My attitude started to match my posture and I found myself humming a wee tune.

I learned a bit more about me – I love music and writing.  Something to incorporate in my identity search.

This turned out to be more than an identity search but a journey of self actualization.