32 Words That Can Change Your Life

Do you realise that a change in approach to business ethics could result in a positive change to every aspect of your life?

We all have ways of testing opportunities that enter our lives.  Some of us just dive straight in based on feeling; others walk straight into what they know is right by a gut feeling or intuition.  And if it’s not gut feelings or emotions that are the tests of opportunities, it is the logical mind persuading us to ignore those feelings and emotions and test it with our reality of reason.

Most of us do not have a predetermined strategy for testing opportunities, or even more generally, to test the actions we take and the choices we make in our lives.

There is an easier way to determine if the choices we make and the opportunities we receive ‘pass the test’.  This simple 32 word statement of business ethics was first created in the 1930s and was originally used to turn around a failing company.  These four questions were applied by each employee to each and to every minute detail of the company’s workings.  This little list of four questions from Rotary International, a humanitarian business organization, is the most widely printed, translated and reproduced piece of business ethics today:

“Of the things we say, think or do:

1.    Is it the TRUTH?
2.    Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3.    Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4.    Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

If we built businesses and our lives based on these very simple questions, we would be coming from a place completely the opposite to the competitive mind and the lack mentality.  As you can see, these questions prompt you to choose what is true, fair, and good, making choices that can build friendships and goodwill.  It helps us to see how the choices we make can be beneficial to all concerned.

Because of our societal influences, we most often are inclined to make choices and act based on a competitive mind.  This comes from the perspective of lack, scarcity, and ultimately greed.

Any opportunity based on the model of competition and lack will simply not pass the test.  Competition promotes strife.  It embodies winning one spot, taking it away from all the other people who want it.  It misleads people to believing there is only one chance for success, when in reality there is plenty for all.

The competitive model encourages people to rely on a source outside of themselves to give them what they need.  This denies the power of their own ability to create what they want.  This narrow focus shows they are choosing to ignore the possibility of creating this opportunity in their own lives, instead of trying to win the spot from millions of others.

This simple testing technique takes us completely out of the competitive mind of greed, scarcity and lack.  It turns our thoughts and choices toward the positive, realizing there are opportunities we can take that can provide increase for all concerned.

I invite you to use these questions to test your actions and opportunities in your own life.  If you are seeking opportunity, these questions may help you see things in a different way.  In doing so, perhaps you will find opportunity in your life which truly allows you to benefit the world; it is likely to also help you reach and to achieve your own personal dreams, goals, and desires.


Team Building Activities

How can we make team building activities that are fun for everyone?

The number of fun team building activities you can utilize to improve productivity at work are limited only by the imagination. Activities may range from more simple and traditional games and sport-related activities, to more elaborate adventures drawing inspiration from popular reality TV shows; there are many ways to have fun while learning to work together as a team.

Aspects that tend to be involved in many of the activities that give you and your team a chance to get to know and appreciate one another better as people outside of your typical environment include: creative and critical thinking, trust-building, problem solving, conflict resolution, to name only a few. These activities help strengthen and revitalize work relationships. Some popular ideas include scavenger hunts, music and rhythm exercises, and other physical activities or games that require people to interact, work together, and have fun. Even a team cooking activity can provide a valuable team building experience. Many approaches to team building incorporate humour as an essential component to helping people lighten up, relax, and explore their potential as a group working together.

Some of the essentials to building an effective team include:

  • helping each individual feel like a valuable member of the team with a unique purpose to fulfill, that contributes to a common goal;
  • encouraging open, non-threatening communication;
  • overcoming any barriers to group cohesiveness;
  • providing safe ways to manage conflict;
  • facilitating group interaction.

There can be many reasons for undertaking team building activities.  These may include but are not restricted to you having:

  • a new group of people who need to quickly get to know one another in order to form effective working relationships;
  • a need to renew an atmosphere of enthusiasm in a work environment that has grown stale or unproductive;
  • to tackle some difficult issues such as the need for restructuring;
  • to working on inter-personal conflict.

Whatever the reason, there are many fun and helpful activities that can help accomplish these goals.

Depending on the size of your organization, the seriousness of the issues you need to address, and your current leadership capabilities, you may want to bring in a professional consultant, or order products you can implement on your own. Try browsing some of the latest ideas in fun team building activities online to get inspired and start considering the best approach for your team. Although the right solution will depend on the finer details of your situation, most team building activities are designed to suit a wide variety of groups, and can generally be adjusted to accommodate your needs.

What are BIG’s tips when it comes to team building?

Enjoy getting your group together for some quality time outside of the office, and bring new vitality and cohesiveness to your organization. This investment in your people will have innumerable rewards in improving job satisfaction, reducing employee turnover and the associated expenses they involve. It will also help to create a better working environment for everyone so why not take advantage of some proven strategies to creating a more effective team, and have a little fun along the way?


Managing Upward

How can you get the most out of working for your boss?

For the purposes of this article, we shall be adopting the colloquialism of ‘boss’ to describe the person who you directly report to; in terms of company hierarchy, we will assume that you are not currently in the ‘top job’ in your organization.

With this in mind, we must recognize that in challenging times, sometimes your boss’s behavior becomes erratic. They may over-manage or under-manage you and your work.  Equally, they may lose sight of all the things you are working on and you may not be sure what your boss’s priorities are as they may appear to change daily.

There are many costs associated with this unfortunate situation, including: missed deadlines and opportunities, working on unimportant tasks, avoidance, frustration, the appearance of incompetence, stress, and burn-out.

What can you do to ensure you are working with your boss rather than against him or her?  

There are three key options you should consider in terms of positioning your relationship with your boss:

Option #1: Get in Front

Take time to understand your boss. How does he or she consider the following:

Goals – what are his or her aspirations and how can you help your boss to achieve them?

Problems – what common problems prevent your boss from being more effective? Are any of your boss’s problems your strengths? Can you take responsibility for meetings, communication, planning, follow-up, etc?

World – describe the world from your boss’s perspective. Who are the players?

Pressures – what pressures are placed on your boss? How might these pressures affect him or her? How might they affect priorities? How might they affect your job?

Personality – what kind of a boss does your boss work for?  How might this affect them?

Consider proactively approaching your boss with ideas about how you can help solve one of his or her problems.

Option #2: Get Behind

Recognize that your boss is in his or her position because of past successes and demonstrated competence.

Attitude –  are you supportive or do you complain?

Ego – do you really have a difficult or incompetent boss or does your boss have difficult or incompetent employees?

Support –  show support and encouragement; be specific in your positive reinforcement and always provide constructive feedback in person and in private.

Success –  recognize that your relationship with your current boss is critical to your future success.

Option #3: Get Alongside

Understand and work with your boss’s style:

Doer –  give the “doer” boss results and do not waste time.

Speaker – support the “speaker” boss’s intuition and need for recognition; provide assurance.

Listener – accommodate the “listener” boss’s need to talk things out before getting to business.

Thinker – present the “thinker” boss with logic and detail.

Teamwork – recognize that your relationship with your boss is a relationship of mutual dependence by two human beings with strengths and weaknesses. Identify the strengths and weaknesses that exist in both of you.

Management – if your boss comes to you with a crisis, remain calm and collect pertinent information: what is really wanted; who needs the information; when is it needed and how will it be used?

Communicate – be clear about what you are doing, especially information that may impact your boss (customer problems, project slippage, etc.) Your boss should NEVER be caught by surprise resulting from your failure to communicate.

Resolutions – when raising problems, come with alternative solutions and your recommendation already identified.

What is BIG’s main tip when it comes to managing upward?

Always be honest and dependable. Be the employee that you would want your employees to be. Model the behaviour YOU would expect from YOUR employees.