At the best of times professional writing is challenging. Status reports, official correspondence, and project proposals are only some of the documents you may have to write on a daily basis. Looming deadlines can contribute to making writing even harder. Do you work in a high-pressure writing environment? If you do, then learning to master writing under pressure is essential.
Consider the example of Joel, a business analyst with a venture capital firm. He’s working on a seemingly endless report, while other work piles up. His manager calls him with another job that must be done as soon as possible. In the last half hour, he received a lot of e-mail. …
Writing under pressure can be a stressful experience, as deadlines loom or the workload unexpectedly increases. So it’s important to relax before and during your writing. This can help you to achieve your writing goals more effectively.
Relaxation has several benefits when you’re writing under pressure. It clears the mind and relaxes the body. It also reduces anxiety. And just as important, relaxing helps ideas and words flow more easily.
There are many activities you can undertake to help you relax. For example, taking a short break helps refresh you for the writing task ahead.
Similarly, you may find taking a walk on your lunch break, outside the confines of your workplace, can help put you at ease. Taking a break from the office environment can be a very effective way to alleviate stress. …
Maybe you’re a scientific genius or a world-class athlete or a groundbreaking entrepreneur… or maybe you’re not. Either way, whether you realize it or not, you’ve got talents and skills that set you apart from everyone else. These are your personal strengths that enable you to perform at your best.
The thing is, though, many people never discover what their talents and skills are — either because they don’t think they have any or they don’t think it matters. But it does matter. …
It’s important to react if you spot a defect or problem with something you’re working on. If you’re following Lean principles, you can use Jidoka — a four-step process for problem-solving.
Let’s start with the first step: detecting an error. This could occur through observation, delays, or changes in pattern. Many problems — such as broken parts or distorted graphics — may be found through visual inspection. Sometimes an odd smell or sound may also alert people that there’s a problem.
Pay attention to delays because they’re often an early indication that something isn’t right upstream. If ignored, they can cascade downstream and create significant backlogs. …
Time management is a way to assess and prioritize your time to organize your work processes for maximum efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. Successful businesspeople appreciate the value of their time. They realize that time needs to be managed just like any other valuable asset. These high achievers understand the importance of a clear set of goals. There are many benefits of setting goals:
If you’re looking for a way to help your organization adapt, innovate, and align its actions with strategic goals, the Hoshin Kanri methodology for setting and managing strategic direction can help you do just that. With Hoshin Kanri, you envision an ideal future for your business and then develop strategies to bring that vision to life.
Ever heard of Plan-Do-Check-Act, or PDCA? Just like Hoshin Kanri, it’s a dynamic approach that focuses on continuous improvement. In fact, Hoshin Kanri maps to the various stages of the PDCA cycle.
Let’s break it down. In the planning phase, you assess and define the problems your organization is facing. When troubleshooting a problem, it helps to determine the root cause. Figure out why the problem exists and then develop a strategy for dealing with it. Consider the management team of a specialty coffee shop that decide to implement Hoshin Kanri in an effort to boost sales. …
Time spent looking for an important tool or document is time wasted. It’s a known fact that disorganized workplaces slow people down. By comparison, people make fewer mistakes in an organized setting and they’re more productive because there’s no time or effort spent searching for materials.
You can put a workplace in order using a Japanese five-step process, known as 5S. Translated into English, the five S’s are: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain.
When tackling a disordered workspace, it’s best to start by sorting through all tools and materials. Mark anything you don’t need with a red tag. Once you’ve documented all tagged items, decide if they should be stored or discarded. How to track your progress? …
A key difference between criticism and corrective feedback is that criticism is typically given for larger issues, rather than for isolated incidences of performance. To be effective though, criticism must be constructive.
Constructive criticism is far more productive than criticism that’s destructive. It encourages cooperation and mutual respect, which is vital when you’re dealing with workplace issues that could have major consequences if not dealt with correctly.
Giving constructive criticism involves delivering criticism in a reasoned, professional manner that’s designed to help the recipient overcome a problem. It involves offering suggestions or positive feedback.
This creates an atmosphere of mutual respect between the person giving the criticism and the person receiving it. So it facilitates the smooth and effective resolution of the problem. It also creates a positive working environment, which makes things easier for the recipient and the person who gave the criticism. …
In almost every decision-making group you take part in, you will probably run across someone who gets under your skin. To avoid being sidetracked, you need to know how to handle such people.
You can apply the following strategies:
Ignoring a disruptive person only causes his anger and insensitivity to fester. You should show you are willing to hear him out and that you are interested in a peaceful resolution.
Try to assume a neutral stance. The last thing you want to do is appear aggressive or defensive this will intensify conflict rather than defuse it. Repeat the person’s — complaints to show you are taking him seriously. Use short phrases like You think I made a mistake? …
Arbitration is hearing both sides of an argument and then deciding between them. It is a useful way to manage disputes in the organisation because by exercising authority in this way, the manager contains the conflict.
A couple of colleagues who cannot agree may ask co-workers to help them resolve the conflict. But it is different when a manager acts as an arbiter — managers are more like referees. When managers arbitrate: