Remember these 5 words that create a great team

Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress;
working together is success.

-Henry Ford

1. Leadership:
For a team to work well together there needs to be a person in the leadership position. Someone who will motivate, inspire, and make sure everyone is moving in the right direction. Be certain everyone is on the same page about who is leading the team.

2. Clarity:
There should be a clear understanding of the purpose of the group. What are the team’s goals? What is the team’s purpose? What are we striving to accomplish? Having clarity will make it easier for people to stay on track. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how often and easily people will get off track.

3. Responsibility:
Each member needs to have a clear understanding of what they are responsible for doing. Everyone should know what their job is, when it will be expected, and what the parameters are to work with. This is another common sense tip, yet my experience has shown it’s necessary. Take time to define each person’s roles and responsibilities.

4. Feedback:
This is very important as people begin to share their ideas in the group setting. It should be supportive and whenever possible positive. This will help to create a comfortable environment where the team will take chances and be more creative. Learn how to give and receive negative feedback and criticism in a professional and respectful way. It is amazing what people can accomplish when they believe in themselves and are confident in the group.

5. Diversity:
This is the most important one. Having diversity is what makes a team stand out. Support the differing strengths of your teammates. Allow each person to bring their unique qualities to the project. There can be some incredible surprises when we are open to doing things in new and different ways. Provide a safe environment that supports alternative ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. People often have a way of surprising you when they have room to be themselves.

Use these five teamwork tips to make the most out of your sessions and get your team to work well together. An inspired and confident team will be a successful team.


How to Negotiate Effectively

1. People – Separate the people from the issues. There is no need to personalize the issues with remarks about the person on the other side of the table. Stick to the issues. Recognize that there is emotion and investment on both sides and be prepared to listen well. You know what Steven Covey says, ‘Seek first to understand, then, to be understood’. Be soft on people and hard on issues. This way you can keep the relationship AND a mutually satisfying outcome.

2. Interests – Focus on the interests of the other, rather than the position. Behind each position lies compatible as well as conflicting interests. For example, when negotiating a raise, a wise person acknowledges that the interests of the company are to be progressive while making a profit. The wise boss acknowledges the interests of the employee to accelerate on his/her career path while making a contribution to the company and supporting his/her lifestyle or family. Negotiations do not take place in a vacuum. Each person has a real life going on, with real needs and interests.

3. Options – Work with the other party to generate a variety of options from which to create a solution. Brainstorm possibilities without judgment or comment. You’d be surprised how many good ideas can surface when this is allowed to occur. Make no decisions until you’ve exhausted your list of possibilities. Then, look for areas of agreement. Where are your interests shared? Where are the interests a good fit? Explore options that are of low cost to you and high value to the other party and vice versa.

4. Criteria – It is imperative to negotiate within mutually agreed-upon standards of fairness. Otherwise, negotiating can turn to street-fighting! These criteria may range from current market value to procedures for resolving conflict. They will allow you to create an equitable solution while keeping your relationship intact. Want proof? Try it at home!

5.  Before entering into a dialogue of negotiation, be clear about the
outcome you prefer. Be able to express this preference well with
supporting statements that will make sense to your partner. Be prepared
to listen more, or, at least, as much as you speak. Listen for common
interests and possible options. Know what you are willing to give as
well as what you would like to receive.

Happy Negotiations!

5 Steps to Master Your Time

Let’s face it. Information is coming at us faster than ever before. We are constantly receiving a steady flow of emails, text messages, phone calls and voice mails. The downside of communication technology is that it is making everything URGENT. It takes real discipline to determine the difference between what is really important from what is just urgent. But it’s this difference that gives you the ability to be really productive, as opposed to just really busy.

The 5 key steps to gain control and mastery of your time include:

Identify what you want to change. You’ve got to be honest with yourself about what you are doing that’s keeping you from mastering your time. The more you recognize about what you are doing, when and why, the easier it will be to recognize what you need to do differently.

Determine the new habit you want to develop. One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself “What’s the one thing that I’m not doing now or could do differently that would have the greatest impact on how I manage my time?” Once you’ve recognized what that is, develop a realistic action plan that includes specific steps to be taken.

Practice. Start with one action plan that is within your control, not overly difficult and you feel confident in your ability to accomplish. Then take the actions necessary on a consistent basis. Research shows it only takes 21 days to change a habit. Set yourself up to succeed.

Ask others to help you. Few of us make significant changes in our lives without the help and support of other people. Ask for assistance when you can and where possible, make yourself accountable to other people for following through on your action plans.

Reinforce, celebrate and start again. Once you’ve accomplished your first time management goal, feel good about it! Reward yourself or celebrate. Then pick a new goal and keep going. Time mastery is not a one-time event. It’s a continual process.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a greater sense of control, personal freedom and a lot let stress. You’ll feel as if you really can manage it all, and this greater sense of expansion will enable you to accomplish more in less time and with less stress in the process. All the best to you!

via 5 Steps to Master Your Time.

7 Tips To Beat The Clock And Get More Of The Right Things Done


1. Take Stock – keep track of what you are spending your time on. Here’s a simple exercise for you. For the next week, keep a tally or journal of how you spend your time each day. In detail. Record your activities every hour of what you did. I’ll bet you’re saying “I don’t have time for that!” Just do it, OK? You have to measure something if you want to change it. After a week, count up how many hours you spent on each type of activity such as email, phone calls, marketing, meetings, etc. I guarantee an “Ah Ha” moment.

2. When you Think it, Ink it – Get things out of your head and onto paper, into your schedule or onto your computer. Humans have somewhere around 60,000 thoughts a day, so if you think you’ll remember everything later, guess again. I carry a digital voice recorder with me so I can capture important ideas and to do’s when they come up. I keep a journal with me too. When I get home, I move these important thoughts and ideas into my planners.

3. Eliminate Distractions – Turn of you cell phone, unplug your office phone and shut down your email. Unnecessary or untimely distractions are the biggest time wasters in your day. I promise you won’t die if you don’t check email for an hour or two. If you share an office with someone or work in an environment where other folks like to pop in and say Hi, then shut your door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it and request your office mate not talk to you when the door is closed. You’re working.

4. Prioritize Your Activities – Control your day, don’t let it control you. Have a list of tasks you want to accomplish each day. Rank them in order of importance. A) Must do today. B) Want to do today. C) Might be nice to do today. Then rank them A1, A2 etc. in order of highest priority. And here’s a hint. Some of the A’s should be marketing and business generating activities. Don’t let others determine what you do, their emergency or lack of planning cannot dictate your schedule.

5. Block Your Time – One of the most time consuming things in your day is starting and stopping an activity. Block off an hour or two for each task you plan to work on. An hour for phone calls, two hours for marketing, and hour to reply to emails, etc. Only work on that task during the appointed time block. If an idea interrupts your or you remember something your forgot to do, write it down and return to the task at hand. I like to use a kitchen timer to help track my time blocks. When the timer goes off, I can reevaluate spending more time on that block or moving on to something more important.

6. Multi-Tasking is a Myth – You can’t do more than one thing at a time. Sorry. Multi-tasking is just moving between two or more things and not doing any of them very well. Focused attention on one objective at a time is the best way to do a great job on that activity. It’s true that women are better multi-taskers than men, but that just means they do a better job at being inefficient than men.

7. Stay Organized – Part of your day should be devoted to keeping your work space, calendar and projects in order. Fifteen to 30 minutes of organization and planning can save you two hours of wasted time that could be used for accomplishing ‘A’ priority tasks. If you are spending more than 2 minutes looking for a document or phone number, or if you frequently miss or are late for appointments, then it’s time you got organized. Do it before you call it quits for the day. I promise, you’ll thank me tomorrow.

© 2007 Steve O’Sullivan

See all articles by Steve HERE

11 Stress Reduction Tips

1. Get enough sleep (7- 8 hrs) at the proper times (go to bed before 10 PM).

2. Eat primarily fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and healthy sources of protein.

3. Practice an effective stress-reducing meditation.

4. Avoid overloading your senses, especially in the evening before sleep.

5. Listen to relaxing music.

6. Get a massage.

7. Remember to make time to play and relax each day.

8. Exercise regularly.

9. Practice deep abdominal breathing rather than shallow chest breathing.

10. Write out an ongoing list of your “to-do’s” and concerns so you can calm and free your mind.

11. Share your concerns with a friend or loved one, talking about it helps. Also, ask for help when you need it.

“Eating for Health and Success: Part 2: Protein and Fiber”

In the article “Eating for Health and Success Part 1” I discussed the two macro-nutrients “Carbohydrates and Fats”. This article will explain in more detail the macro-nutrient “Protein” and the essential nutrient “Fiber”. Besides it’s protective qualities, fiber helps to promote efficient intestinal function and regulate the balanced absorption of sugars in the blood stream.

Dietary fibers are broken down into two categories: soluable and insoluable. As North Americans we normally consume about 12 grams of fiber daily. It is recommended that we eat 25 to 30 grams (“more than double”) of fiber as stated by the American Heart Association and the National Cancer Institute. An increase in your dietary fiber will result in a decrease in your body fat as well as caloric consumption.

The next macro-nutrient I would like to discuss is “protein”. It is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Your body uses protein to make structural and biochemical reactions that are required for muscle contraction, cardiovascular system, and the immunity from disease. The energy yield of a protein is 4 calories per 1 gram. The ultimate value of food protein or protein supplements is it’s “amino acid” composition which plays a major role in both performance and recovery.

There are two types of protein we consume on a daily basis and they are complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins like milk, eggs, beef, chicken, pork, whey, and casein carry all the essential amino acids. Incomplete proteins like vegetables, fruits, rice, grains, seeds, and nuts are deficient of one or more of amino acids.

The amount of protein you should consume daily depends on your body. As a serious weight lifter, I normally take in 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per 1 pound of body weight. When designing a meal plan I would divide my total number of protein grams by five or six (“number of meals per day”).

When you eat more protein then is required your body will store the excess as fat. The conversion from protein to stored fat is done by the liver. The thing you need to consider if your are planning to partake in a “high protein” diet program is the duration of time you will be doing it. There is a condition known as “urea” (“a highly toxic form of ammonia”) which may develop if protein intake is too high over a long period of time. Normally, the urea in your body is excreted, but if an over abundance occurs it can place strain on your liver and kidneys. Also, excess urea is often responsible for a form of arthritis known as “gout”.

There is a lot that one needs to know when dealing with protein intake. Individuals involved in heavy resistance training do require more protein but you still need to be careful not to overdo it. People should drink lots of water when taking protein as this will help in the repair of tissues that are damaged during training.

In conclusion, I would recommend doing as much research as possible before taking any kind of protein supplements. There are many different brands on the market today so special care should be taken. The more information you learn the better understanding you will have. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. If you are unsure about anything regarding what you should be doing, consult your doctor and nutritionist. As I mentioned earlier, the body requires 6 essential nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. The key to everything is balance and moderation. Your body will give you what you give it!

Jeff Garofalo

By Jeff Garofalo BA, CFT, LFC

See more articles by Jeff Here

“Eating for Health and Success: Part 1: Carbohydrates and Fats”


Whether you are a person who leads a sedentary lifestyle or someone who trains regularly, one of the most important things you need to focus on besides exercising is nutrition. The key is you should eat 5 to 6 small meals daily so that your blood sugars and insulin levels always be maintained (“as well as your energy level”). Planning your meals ahead of time may take some work on your part but the benefits in the end are quite rewarding. By doing this you are able to keep track of just how much you are eating per meal.

A caloric ratio that I was taught and seems to work well is one part fat, two parts protein, and three parts carbohydrates. Depending on the intensity of your training program and your daily schedule, you may need more or less carbohydrates for energy.

Fat is also another form of energy your body uses besides carbohydrates and it’s something your body needs to maintain proper health. It may sound strange to some people when you tell them that fat is important in both your diet and in the makeup of your body, but it’s true! Besides the health maintaining principles, fat is required to manufacture certain hormones in your body, so don’t eliminate it from your diet. The key here is to keep saturated fats (“from animal sources”) low and unsaturated fats (“from canola oil or olive oil”) predominantly high.

Carbohydrates are considered to be the best nutrients when it comes to our body’s energy supplier. A balanced nutritional program will consist of about 50% to 60% carbohydrates per daily intake. They are classified under three categories: monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Simple sugars like glucose and fructose fall into the monosaccharides category. Disaccharides can be best described as table sugar (“sucrose”) and a sugar found in milk (“lactose”). The third and final carbohydrate is the polysaccharide or more commonly known as the “complex carbohydrate”. These starches or starch like sugars (“dextrins, cellulose, pectin, and glycogen”) are found in whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and certain types of fruits and legumes.

The energy yield of one carbohydrate is 4 calories per 1 gram and the one thing you should be aware of is that our bodies can only absorb monosaccharides (“glucose, galactose, and fructose”). Once absorbed through the small intestines into the portal vein; it is then circulated into the blood stream through the liver as blood glucose. Normally, the body burns glucose three ways: 1. immediately for instant energy; 2. stored in the liver and muscle (“80 to 100 grams in the liver and 300 to 600 grams in the muscle”) depending on muscle mass. In most cases liver glycogen supplies energy to the entire body and muscle glycogen supplies energy to the muscle. 3. excess glucose, if all other areas are full, is converted to fat by the liver and stored as adipose tissue (“body fat”). These excessive fatty acids can be burned as fuel.

So in conclusion, the body needs six nutrients in order to survive. They are best known as “macro-nutrients” which include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and “micro-nutrients” which include vitamins and minerals. I would also like to mention that water is classified as the sixth nutrient which I discussed in one of my previous articles. My next article will talk mostly about the needs for protein and fiber.

Eating for a healthy successful lifestyle requires planning and careful consideration. A balance of both the micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients will result in a person running in peak performance. If you are unsure about something, talk to your doctor, nutritionist, or pharmacist. The better you treat your body, the better your body is going to treat you

Jeff Garofalo

By Jeff Garofalo BA, CFT, LFC

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