Home > Archives for October, 2012
First, spare us all the shit sandwich approach to management. The shit sandwich technique consists of generally complimenting someone, then following it up with a sharp criticism, and then closing with another placating missive. Most of us have been on the receiving end of this type of feedback, and I’d wager very few of us can remember the complimentary bread in this shit sandwich. The only thing that sticks with you is the shit, and that is pretty much the taste you have in your mouth every time you deal with that supervisor until the end of days.
I’ve managed and been managed. The key to good leadership is empowering your team. Provide a list of tasks and let them choose which one they want to do. I notice people take more personal responsibility and pride in the outcome when they choose to undertake a project rather than being commanded to do so. Don’t hate, delegate. If a person’s performance is lackluster, give them the respect of telling ’em straight instead of couching the scolding in some insincere padding. Not only does the shit sandwich feel calculated to the recipient, it undermines the integrity of the supervisor.
One more note in our Monday morning seminar, don’t write passive-aggressive emails in professional situations and then sign off with “love & light.” “Love & Light” has to be the single most annoying adieu popularized in the last ten years. Signing off several paragraphs of rambling droning managerial bitchery with “love & light” doesn’t soften the blow. In fact, it only reminds me of Ashlee screeching “love and light bitch!” at Danielle Staub after snatching her weave on RHNJ a few seasons ago. Love & Light Bitches, DC
Many of us are living with hand-me-down pots and pans, and that’s fine for a time. When you get serious about cooking, you start to get equally serious about your equipment. A few years ago, I received a set of Rachel Ray cookware as a gift. The set is okay, but not spectacular. The hard-anodized pans are better than the enamel non-stick. Despite this collection, what I really love and use daily are my copper pots and cast iron skillet. My copper pots heat quickly, cook evenly, and nothing sticks. Why bother with the potential hazards of teflon and flaking non-stick coating? As far as I’m concerned, copper and cast iron is all I need.
After some healthy snowfall, I stayed in today and spent several hours organizing. As much as staring at a heap of clutter induces anxiety, cleaning up the mess feels equally, if not more, stress relieving.Today I focused on the office. To the extent I can, I try and go paperless, for the trees and to reduce the management of physical paperwork. However, one cannot transact all biz electronically. Set up a home filing system so you have a place to put the records that must be kept. Deal with paper as it comes in by sorting it into categories for recycling, shredding, requiring action, and filing. Invest in a filing cabinet. Document storage furniture can be pricey new, but there are always an abundance of options on craigslist and 2nd hand stores that are more economical. If you do want to spring for a new one, these from CB2 are pretty enjoyable.
You guys juice? I go back and forth. I definitely feel more energized and hydrated after a good juice. To clarify, when I say “juice,” I mean self-squeezed from my home juicer. Juicing is an efficient way to include a variety of produce. When done at home it can be relatively cost-effective. Some claim juicing has profound health benefits. I would like to believe that is true, but I’m not aware of anything more than anecdotal evidence to back this claim. Juicing has its drawbacks too. When done at home, it’s annoyingly messy. When done at juice bars, it’s annoyingly expensive. Juicing requires work, preparation, and clean-up. Just gathering and cleaning the fruit and veg can feel like a pretty daunting task. I know some super hardcore everyday juicers. I don’t have the devotion for all that, but occasionally getting some fresh juice in the system can do a body good. By the way, you can juice a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and the taste can be rather bland. Include ginger for spice and digestion, and add some lime without the peel for zest.
I’m not a person who traditionally invests in massages or bodywork. Even though I recognize the value of the service, truthfully it always felt a little self-indulgent. Recently, an interesting colleague approached me with an offer of a trade. In exchange for instruction in my given area of expertise, she would provide bodywork – specifically craniosacral and Thai massage. Knowing that massage is not something I’m likely to invest in of my own accord, I accepted her offer. We’ve met consistently over the last five weeks. I’ve noticed legitimate short-term change in my body. If nothing else, I leave our time feeling more open, relaxed, and in a better mood.
While lying there during our sessions, I often think about how there aren’t very many opportunities for non-sexual touch nowadays. How often do you receive without reciprocating? At times, I almost feel guilty savoring the utter luxury of the sensation. Pathetically puritanical, I know.
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