The Norcal Nomad

Traveling in Northern California

Written for Radio Slot

Written By: Deborah Linnekin

This page features the posts I’ve written for Radio Slot. Check it out at www.radioslot.com

Collaboration in the Workplace

A new solution

No one wants to attend another meeting. They’re redundant, repetitive and sometimes just downright boring and unproductive. The same people are telling you the same things, again. You tune out.

There’s always one coworker that just has to make a statement to be heard in every meeting. It can be off topic or inconsequential, but they have to say something to prove their worth and attendance. Then there’s the person who didn’t prepare, or failed to bring the items they prepared to share: they’ll email them later. My favorite is the person who claims that someone related to the success of the project never called back: turns out they didn’t know they should because no one called them in the first place. This is not the best use of time; it creates dissention and occasionally competition where collaboration would produce the best results.

What if you could change that format and create a platform where everyone felt they heard and connected to the content of the meeting and the project or mission of your company? Would you attend a meeting to forge that? Sounds like a big boast, right.

There’s scientific research that backs up this boast. Other companies are using this method with great success: they retain more employees who are more productive and happier with their jobs. Sick leave time is reduced. Smiling increases. Increased productivity, happy employees that function as a team and reduced sick leave all from attending one more meeting.

We eat a balanced diet (or know we should), we take supplements to ensure our health and yet we neglect that part of us that needs connection. Long work hours and long commutes cause people to feel alone and unheard. It leads to unbalanced living. We need to bring things back in balance to create teams and connections and better networking.

My solution is simple: have a company like Rhythms for Success or Freedom Drum Circles facilitate a time with your team to drum together and get in sync with one another. There is something about it that just builds every participant up and creates a bond between people that forms without thought.

If you want to build success into your organization and get everyone listening to the beat of the same drummer you should try hosting a drumming circle with a trained facilitator to lead you to better connection and collaborative communication that lasts long after the drumming is over.

By Deborah Linnekin

www.norcalnomad.net

Acquiring Friendship Habits

I was shuffling cards the other day and smiling as I thought: “the Shannon shuffle”. My friend shuffles cards from the side in a very beautiful cascade and I picked it up and added it to my bag of friendship habits. It reminds me of her when I shuffle and I always smile as a result of those memories.

Do you have some of those habits, too? I know I picked up the phrase “It is what it is.” From a favorite coworker and didn’t realize I had until he smiled and said “Hey, that’s what I always say!” I guess I’d heard him so often that I picked it up too.

The truth is we start to sound and act like those we are around frequently. Do you have a favorite phrase or a distinctive way of doing something that people around you are starting to imitate? It’s flattery, when that happens.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” is a proverbial expression dating back to the early 19th century, although it is associated with Marcus Aurelius because it appeared in Emperor Marcus Antonius his conversations with himself by Jeremy Collier and Andre Dacier in 1708.  In 1824 Charles Caleb Colton also used the phrase in his tomb called Laco, or, Many Things in a Few Words, Addressed to Those Who Think.

It is still quoted in many modern works and I believe it is still true. You pick up those things you admire either intentionally or unintentionally and pretty soon they become your habit as well. I like to think of them as friendship habits; they are the things we acquired by having friends.

Delegate and Relax this Weekend

By Deborah Linnekin

It’s Friday night and your wife just let you know that those weeds you’ve been calling a lawn are way too high: Tomorrow you need to mow those and by the way. Your honey do list just grew again. Your plans were completely different. Or, maybe you need your dog walked, your grocery shopping completed, some excel spreadsheets filled in? I have a solution for you.

With all the unemployment and underemployment the country is experiencing there’s a wealth of talent in your community that is going untapped. Sure, you can post on Craigslist, but you never know who or what will come to your door that way. You’re not the only one thinking that way. Taskrabbit.com was formed to help you, and your free spirited neighbors with all those things you can’t quite get to or just plain don’t have the ability to do.

The people you hire from Task Rabbit have had their backgrounds checked. There are reviews from former task-listers who hired the task rabbits, too, so you can check them out before you hire them. There are several ways to hire someone too. You can let the task rabbits bid on your work, or you can post a quick assign task.

There are lots of categories available to you: handyman, care-taking, creative, events, computers and tech, deliveries or office work are available. I’ve seen tasks like usability testing or uploading photos to a website as well as actual programming assistance needs listed in the tech and computers category, so there’s a wide variety of work listed and task rabbits that can help you with your needs.

If you want to free up your time, then delegate some of those lingering tasks to your local or virtual assistant from taskrabbit.com. Have a great week!

Finding Gratitude

By Deborah Linnekin

It’s easy to grouse about our lives, until we see something that reminds us how fortunate we are. It doesn’t matter what the thing is that reminds us, it just matters that we take note and try to capture that gratitude. Why does it matter? That’s what I wanted to know. Here’s the simple answer: it makes us happier.

Wow, too simple, right? How often have you seen or heard someone saying that to be happy you just have to <fill in the blank> and it usually requires you to purchase some program or join some group. It usually costs you money and promises you greater abundance and a better future. The truth is much simpler: you need to find out what you already have that makes you happy.

When I started remembering those things and people I started to smile more. I slowed down in traffic so I could arrive home more relaxed. I wrote down the reasons I wanted to become “more” and focused on the reasons instead of my desires and I found something that had been missing all along: peace. It all started with gratitude. I’m not suggesting that you find one thing, give thanks once and your problems will all go away or even that you’ll find peace this way as well, but it’s free, so you have nothing to lose. It’s a place to start. Why not give it a try right now? Just stop and think of one thing you have or one person in your life that you are glad is there. It might become a habit, a way of thinking that brings you joy.

My list started out pretty simple, but then, I found myself thinking about things in a different way. I am really grateful I have hot, running water every morning for that shower I enjoy. I am really grateful I have a lawn to mow and I’m really happy to have a computer that allows me access to the internet. Take a moment, find one thing you love about your life and say thank you. It could change your perspective about your commute (because you have a job when so many don’t) or about your children who are annoying you because they are loud and insistent. My mother had a poem about being grateful for the dirty dishes; it meant we had food to eat, and the slamming screen door meant the children were healthy enough to play. I don’t have the poem anymore, but I do have the gratitude she instilled in me.

May your life be filled with beauty and joy. Thank you, Radio Slot, for the chance to write and become visible and be heard.

 

Getting the Image You Seek

You decided to create some bling for your business or personal social media page but have no idea how to find the time to take photos or create drawings. Getting the quote or message on the picture and posting it is not the issue, right? How do you find that perfect image without spending a fortune?

Stock houses used to cater to big accounts and pictures could sell and resell for hundreds of dollars. That was good for the photographer or designer, but not advantageous for the small businesses. It’s one more thing that has undergone serious changes with the adoption of the internet. If you query “stock images” you will get many results. Some of them offer lots of freebies, so the list is worth going through. However, if your time is at a premium, you might want to limit your search.

I have been really happy with the work onwww.dreamstime.com and www.deathtothestockphoto.com . The premise is simple: designers and photographers offer their work for a small fee and you get to use it royalty free. There are some limitations, but for the most part, you buy it and use it as you like. Most of the images are priced very reasonably, under $2.00 each so you can afford to get a few and fancy up your space. This is a quick and easy way to acquire an image library for your business so that you always have great presentations and posts on social media and your website.

For a list of more recommended sites you can try Stock Photos that Don’t Suck at https://medium.com/design-ux/stock-photos-that-dont-suck. The list is updated frequently, so check back when your needs change. Enjoy your pictures!

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