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Showing posts from February, 2012

How to Get Things Done

I read a book recently about how to get things done. It was great. It's all about lists and having 43 folders. The advantage of getting yourself all organised is that you won't be stressed out because of having all those things on your mind and also you'll be more focussed and make the right decisions. The guy who wrote it, David Allen, suggests that there are five stages to managing your workflow:  

collect inputsprocess inputsorganize resultsreview options for next actionsdo a next actionNow that's all well and good, and I could go on about the whole book, but think of it like this, let's say you were to read a book that would teach you how to swim, or how to ride a bike in ten easy chapters, would you really be able to do same once you finished the book?  Well I wouldn't, but I do know that there are different types of learners and that some people would be able to do things on foot of reading a book.  I'm a visual person, I like mind maps, ones like this:

The Business of People

I'm in the people business. Communication, getting your message across and all that jazz. To some it's the crux of all business, to others it's fluffy stuff. The reality is this though - how you communicate your message decides a lot more than just the message. There are those who will tell you interpersonal communication is a nuisance. They wonder why they have to humour people when the message is xyz, crystal clear and who cares what the person receiving the message thinks? Others will argue that the message itself is irrelevant, it only matters that you know how to deliver it in a clear and motivating manner.
Me, I believe in a bit of both. But it's not as easy as that. When you work in a large corporation, especially an international one, there's more than just the message and how you deliver it, there's also corporate culture, political correctness and trying to say something in one sentence that will appeal to the mindsets of the 29 cultures you work with…

Best Advice Ever

One of those annoying forums that I've joined on LinkedIn, recently asked the question: what's the best advice you've ever been given?' I assume it was meant in a corporate sense, but the first thing that came to my mind was this: children need the most love when they're on their worst behaviour. 
Of course, this piece of advice was very interesting to the mother of three badly behaved children, one of whom was prone to major tantrums, so I decided to test it out. It was a normal afternoon. My daughter had just thrown the TV remote control at the window because I wouldn't allow her to cut her own hair with a nail scissors. That the window had cracked as a result didn't seem to cure her anger, so she did the rigid back and the big tears move, before throwing herself on the floor kicking and screaming until she managed to kick over a cup that hence spilled cold tea onto the floor. This was the part where I normally either started to join in by screaming myself…

My Day in Court

It's a bit like an extended family gathering: the judges, barristers & solicitors are the grown ups. They have that look of silent understanding that they are the world wisely stalwarts, pillars of society you might say. The Gardai, now they're another story. They sit giggling and chatting in rows like a bunch of teenage cousins, one trying to outdo the other with a smart comment or a jibe. Every now and then the judge will go 'shush' and they all shut up for a few minutes until the next bout begins. The defendants and the accused, well they are the outsiders who, for whatever misfortune, have been dragged into this family melee ( and pay attention to the word melee, it will reappear further down the page of this blog).  So the grown ups begin to mediate. First of all a Garda puts forward an appeal. A woman is appealing the fact that she has been disqualified from driving for three years. Granted, she was twice over the limit, she admits that, but she only had a ten…