Get the toxic people outta here!

Angry-Customers-7.3.12Are you working with someone who’s negative energy is affecting your performance and everyone around you? Its no fun and actually costs your organization more money that you can imagine. Did you know that last year 25% of workers said that they called in sick due to work stress and almost ALWAYS it was caused by a toxic person in their work environment. The resulting cost in the U.S. of absenteeism, lower productivity, medical and legal fees, is estimated to be $300 billion per year!  It’s an unbelievable number I know, but you better believe its affecting your business too no matter how big or small.

I believe that each of us has a responsibility for striving to create a work environment in which we can succeed. It can’t always be up to management to resolve the problem since many times they don’t even know it exists. So here are 5 tips that you can implement immediately to handle your “toxic person” more effectively.

Try not to see the Toxic Person as your enemy. This will always create a barrier between you that you will never get over. Rather, look at the Toxic Person as someone who needs help and support in changing their behavior.  Modeling productive, professional behavior is the best way you can help them.

Avoid playing the victim and blaming yourself. A Toxic Person’s behavior has nothing to do with you. This is their way to gain control or exert their power.  This temporary difficulty with this person is not your fault, it will not ruin your life unless you let it.

Visualize the outcome that you want to achieve with this person when you have to work with them, confront them, or talk to them. Visualize their negative words and actions just bouncing off of you. Expect that a positive change can happen rather than labeling this person and their behavior.

Never rise to meet their level of anger, frustration or rage. Once you do that, you have given up your control. Almost every time without fail, if you stay calm and do not rise to meet them, they will eventually tone it down to meet you where you are. This is a brilliant strategy I have used many, many times.

Walk away or take a break. No one has the right to bully or be abusive to another person. In a situation where I feel threatened or disrespected, I let the other person know that when they are ready to talk with me in a professional, respectful way – they know where to find me. Then I walk away.

It doesn’t matter if your toxic person is your boss, a co-worker, a vendor or customer. These strategies will work in any situation.

Just remember you will never get a different outcome with this person if you never try something new. You can do it!

A Focus on Five

Beautiful female Blue eyes   “Decide ~ based on your strengths, weaknesses, and passions ~ on five major areas of focus for the year.”

I know you are winding down and checking out from work for a few days and my wish for you is to experience moments of peace and love surrounded by people you care about.

I also want to encourage you to take some time to close out 2012 by writing down both your accomplishments and goals you may have missed. To make it easy, journal on these 3 questions:

  • Overall, how did I feel about my year? Was this a building year for me, a transitional year or did I take it to another level this year?
  • What were some of my specific accomplishments both personally and professionally?
  • What were some goals that I missed?

Sit with a cup of warm tea and read over your answers. Take in a deep breath of gratitude.

YOU are an amazing creator.

Whatever happened or didn’t happen for you in 2012 was on purpose. Perhaps things happened to teach you, push you or open you up to see a new path for yourself. Next, I want you to choose five major focus areas for 2013 to pave the path to productivity and help you get the right things done. By focusing on five major things next year you’ll:

  • limit your options and make clear choices about what’s important and what’s not.
  • have confidence in saying “no” to all the opportunities that are thrown your way if they are not aligned with your five focus areas.
  • easily be able to construct a calendar and be more realistic about what you can accomplish.

Focusing on five key areas for 2013 is the best way I know to chart a clear path to success. It is simple, straightforward and effective and represents a strategic plan for growth. If you think this method could work for your business and you would like support, give us a call – we’re here to help.

Activities to Use in a Workshop

Workshop Activities

If you are thinking of building a workshop and offering it to your clients, you also need to consider what activities you will use to help people learn. There are a variety of ways that work well in helping adults understand and apply what they’ve learned. In most situations, you will want to use more than one method during a training workshop. Make sure that you keep it engaging and FUN or you’ll lose your participants attention that they won’t learn a darn thing!

If you want people raving about your workshops, here are some activity methods that I recommend:

  1. Warm Up Activities: These are activities that you will do in the beginning of the workshop. It helps participants get to know one another and “warms them up” to learning.
  2. Partner Activities: This is where two people partner up to discuss a topic, brainstorm solutions to problems or share insights with each other. Too keep it safe for participants you always want to start with smaller group activities before moving to larger group activities.
  3. Small Group Case Study: Once you have given an explanation of a new process, skill or task, you can put people into small groups of 3-5 people and provide them a situational activity or case study to work through. Each group shares their solutions and insights with the class.
  4. Simulations: Participants create or participate in a life-like situation where they have to apply the skills they have learned.
  5. Self assessments: I like to start the workshop or introduce a new topic using this method. It immediately engages participants in their learning when they can self discover their opportunities for improvement and then tie that to what they are about to learn.
  6. Teach back: This is a great way to have a large group summarize their learning and teach it back to the rest of the group.
  7. Role Plays: Although I always get eyes rolling on this one, it can be the absolute best way to practice skills in the workshop so that they know how to apply outside of the workshop.
  8. Games: Board games, card games, quiz show games, competitive games can all help participants learn. You can make this fun by giving away prizes and other fun awards.

I hope you find these helpful as you think about creating your workshop. Most adults learn kinesthetically or by doing so be sure to have activities be a very integral part of your workshop.