90 Percent

Project management, productivity, change management, and more!


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Is negativity affecting your team?

It’s not new that people talk or write about how it’s important to be positive in every aspect of your life. There are also thousands of examples of how/why positivity can a great impact on your life whether it’s in your personal life or at work. However, we often overlook the impact negativity has on us, and everyone around us.

Online project management technology research and review site Software Advice recently let me know that they conducted an online survey of 1,552 adults to reveal whether people observed negative emotions at work, and whether this impacted their personal mood and performance.

Key findings of their report indicated that:  

  • 84% witnessed a co-worker exhibiting negative emotions with varying levels of frequency
  • 73% witnessed a manager exhibiting negative emotions with varying levels of frequency
  • 75% reported both their mood and productivity would be affected by negative emotions in the workplace

You can view the full report here.

As a project manager, why should I care?

There are two sides to why this is important to any project managers:

1. This negative impact means it affects your projects

If team members working on your projects are unmotivated by the negativity, this means that the quality of your project will suffer. It also means you can expect overage and lack of support when the going gets tough. This can have a dramatic effect on a project if it’s not controlled. Software Advice’s report states that productivity can be affected up to 40%; this is a huge impact on your projects.

2. As a leadership role, you can spread this negativity

This is really important because it means you have a lot of impact on your team’s emotions. Make sure you are aware if you are being negative, otherwise you may be causing damage to your team’s productivity without knowing it.

What can we do as project managers?

The most important thing you can do is always have a positive attitude. The positivity will spread and help fight negativity. Furthermore, if you are constantly positive, and you need to have a one-on-one talk with a negative member, it will be easier to convince him.

If a project gets tough (or ridiculous) and you need to vent, either do it far away from your team, or do it with a smile and laugh about it; turn the situation into something you can laugh at as a team. Believe me, it works a lot more than complaining!

If you don’t think you can handle the negativity by yourself, have others jump in (managers, directors, team leads, etc.) and ask them to spread positivity; it will spread a lot easier if many jump-in.

Software Advice mentions a few other tips that are very interesting, namely: Track Your Team’s Emotions, Promote Emotional Intelligence, Be Attentive to Anger, and Have One-on-One Conversations.

In conclusion

Negativity is something we all face one day or another; make sure it doesn’t come from you, and make sure to do your best to eliminate it from your team. You will then notice that your projects tend to execute a lot better.

Spread the positivity, have any tips? 🙂

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Why and how to clear your mind

Ambiance

Source: earl53

One day or another, everyone feels like their head just do not have any space left for new information. This feeling is generally accompanied with a lack of sleep, more stress, a reduction of efficiency, and we tend to forget more often. Yet, we try to fill our head more and more, thinking it’ll pass. The reality is, it won’t.

Fortunately, there is a way to clear your mind and make room for more “thinking” and that is to transfer the information elsewhere, via writing. Many methodologies like GTD mention this but are generally more task oriented and how to note everything. In this article, I want to help to clear your mind of more than just what you need to get done.

Why you should clear your mind

Think of your mind as a box. Like any box, you can fill it up with anything, but at some point, you can’t add more stuff in it. If you need to add something else, you either first remove something from the box or use another. In our context, we’ll concentrate on removing stuff from the box rather than using another box which could be the equivalent of getting an assistant.

If you do not remove something from your mind, you will have a hard time learning/remembering/thinking. Having your head cluttered like this is not good for you, so avoid it.

How to clear your mind

As mentioned above, by writing, you can clean up your head, it’s actually quite underestimated. There are different “types” of information you need to clean from your mind and different approach:

Knowledge: Everyone good at what they do wants to share valuable information to others, it’s in our nature, so why fight it? If you feel like you have knowledge, tips, information, anything that should be shared, share it! How? Years ago, writing books was almost the only option, but today, you can write a blog, use social networks, commenting on various platforms, etc.

By writing that knowledge down, you’ll make place for new knowledge, and if you forget anything, you’ll know what to read to remember it. Teachers or coaches may interact with people to share information, but they still write down their plan before (if not, they should).

Things to do: People are more familiar with this one, but the basic of this is to note what you need to do. Have the information easily accessible (apps, cloud, computer). If you do need such accessibility or it’s just simple “today” lists, you a good old paper and pen. The idea is to never leave actionable information inside your head only. It’s also important to check this information at a reasonable interval, if you don’t, you’ll have a tendency to want to remember everything by heart, and it beats the whole purpose of the thing. You need to be able to trust your system.

Meetings/reunions/etc.: I separated this one from “Things to do” since they are more dependant on a specific time, so here you want to note in anything that can notify you of that date approaching. A calendar for example, or reminder apps. If you trust your tool to inform you when the time is right, you will liberate your mind of that date, and yet, you won’t forget it! The probability of you being on time for your meeting is much higher than if you depend on your mind to remember at the right time (which it probably won’t)

Emotions: This one is tricky compared to the rest, and depending of how you feel, writing will not do miracles, but it will help at the least. Clearing your mind of emotions is not new, people have been writing personal journals for years, so give it a try.

Keep in mind that what is key here is to never share this with anyone, it’s for your eyes only. That way, you will not hesitate to write what comes to mind exactly how it comes to mind, and that’s the trick. If you are scared that someone may read it afterwards, than burn the paper, delete the document, erase everything! Nevertheless, you’ll have freed your mind of it. It may feel awkward at first, but keep writing, and then, explore what you are writing/thinking, and write some more! If you feel like some information could be shared or should be noted elsewhere, then do it immediately and come back to writing how you feel right after.

In conclusion

Freeing your mind lets you stay focus, efficient, and makes place for new information. Do it and you’ll feel better, and will accomplish so much more.