Bill Clennan was known as the Dean of Canadian Motivational speakers. He was a mentor, inspirational speaker and friend.Read More
Boosting morale is not a one time shot. It takes time, effort and energy to keep an upbeat attitude.
Boost Pride & Professionalism. Have any shrinking violets at work? With meaningful work everyone should be proud of their role. If you don’t sense a spirit pride at work- you know people need to be recognized for their contribution. Regularily show employees why they should be proud and their work is meaningful. Highlight how you support the community and contribute to others.
Of the top reasons people leave their work- is they don’t feel appreciated. ACTION- Don’t leave this to fate, make sure people feel genuinely recognized. Appoint employees to this role.
Organizations that play together stay together. It’s trite but true. Playing around turns the routine into festive and encourages positive workplace rapport. ACTION- Add humor and play to meetings, custer interaction, and shift change. Motivational speeches that engage and inspire help but only if they are relevant.
Glean the element of surprise. People remember the unexpected (i.e. - Not many people will forget September 11th). ACTION- Create positive memories by engaging in the unexpected. Surprise people with activities, rewards, games, and recognition. Be creative, the more surprising the better!
Smiling Inspires Confidence. Smirk- it’s good for business. People feel at ease and comfortable when others smile. When your staff smiles it inspires confidence. ACTION- Spend time walking around smiling and encourage people to have fun at work.
Self development starts with a positive disposition.
Tell your story. Your organization has a purpose, history and vision… Share it. Your story helps people feel like a part of something important. ACTION- Communicate your story often at meetings and retreats. Appoint employees to act it out or tell it at company events.
Manage Expectations. High expectations can lead to disappointment. Define for your employees and customers reasonable expectations. ACTION. Clearly outline what others can expect from any interaction/ procedure or role. Under promise so you can routinely over-deliver.
Settle for No Less than Learning. Learning is a priority, so look for the lesson in everything. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities. Most people are doing the best they can, given the time and resources they have. ACTION. When mistakes happen don’t punish but make sure they are treated as a learning opportunity. Have a seminar that encourages people to discuss near misses and opportunities to improve.
Insist on Respectful Behavior. Disrespectful acts are instant morale crushers. ACTION. Clearly define and communicate what is respectful behavior and what is not. Acts of disrespect should be reprimanded. Challenge each other with respect.
Involve. The more you involve people in problem solving the more they will buy into the solution. ACTION. Create a system to solicit input and incorporate it before rolling out change.
Laugh, Lighten up and enjoy your Mind! New brain research by guest speaker, Dr Candace Pert suggests that when we laugh we use our brain to its highest capacity. Laughter immediately boosts endorphins, increases energy and decreases stress hormones. ACTION. Have laugh breaks to encourage the active use of humor. Put games, joke books, stand up comedy tapes in the lunch and break areas to help people engage their humorous side.
Hiring a motivational speaker can be a daunting task, especially if you have not seen seen or heard the speaker yourself- you are taking a risk.
You can go from good to bad days, sometimes at the snap of a finger
If you don’t let situations bother you, than humor and happiness linger
Humor has little to do with jokes it’s more laughing at common stresses
Here are some tips that may help to keep you out of some of those messes
A profound but simple saying I love is, everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end.
When I struggle or watch others struggle, it's usually a stuck in the middle anxiety that prevents awareness and movement.
With uncertainty about the future, it's easy to get washed away by a profound feeling that things are just not ok. Until the situation improves and uncertainty lifts, the mind reels thinking about what the future holds.
Science suggest that increasing happiness increases the likelihood of insight and increased anxiety decreases the likelihood of insight.
Your ability to perceive subtle signals declines as anxiety causes greater stimulation of the brain and the ability to focus declines.
The wrong answers prevent the right ones from emerging.
Solutions often appear after you leave a problem and come back to it.
A fresh solution won't come from trying to focus harder. Instead, leaving a problem and coming back is better. Looking more closely at a problem and analyzing it narrows your perspective and activates different parts of the brain that actually prevent fresh solutions from emerging.
Once a situation improves, you learn to accept it or you change your perspective about it; then the road to repair happens.
Life starts Hinting at a better day.
Stepping back and realizing how you think about your problems helps. Over analyzing and thinking longer and harder about your situation-doesn't help.
Reflect from a higher level, decrease anxiety and hold onto insights and positive engagement.
Socrates said the unobserved life is not worth living. When life is ok, we often stop observing. Only when life gets yucky and not ok are we forced to observe and change.
When you reach the end, the struggle subsides, uncertainty and anxiety goes away.
Things are ok.
How Fun is Your Organization?
Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?
Let fun at work happen, it will energize, motivate, and keep talented people on your team. Laughter’s invisible energy is a very powerful thing.
To be flexible and innovative in the face of leadership and change; take yourself lightly so you can take your work seriously.
Take this test.
How often do you hear people laughing at work?
A) Hardly ever
B) A few times a day
Select the word that best describes your organization:
A) Down to earth
A) Highly professional
B) Organized chaos
The more B’s you have, the more likely your organization is a fun place to work (if you have 2 or less B’s you may need help). Everything about fun is fluid, resilient, accepting, relaxed and engaging. The moment something becomes regimented, difficult, controlled or impersonal it is no longer fun. If you were playing a fun game and someone tried to control the outcome and regimented rules, objectives, timelines and personal quotas, the game would no longer be fun.
There is no objective to having fun, because fun is in the moment, you are not trying to plan or plot. The whole objective is just to be there in the moment and have a good time.
Control the Work not the People doing the Work
Organizations are built around goals and objectives- so is it impossible to have fun at work? If you have had fun working before- than you know it’s not. The nature of work itself should be built around objectives and goals but this doesn’t give you license to control people.
I was a guest speaker at a conference and the keynote speaker suggested, If a work community suppresses humor, it is likely that it also suppresses communication, teamwork, leadership because employees’ humanness is restricted.
Humor helps define the human being. Humor is a way people express their true, intimate core selves, including their vulnerable, foolish, irrational, ridiculous sides.
Humor and the fun make these regimented environments fluid, engaging and flexible. Fun adds balance to regime. Fun personalizes structure.
The more structured, organized, and planned a work environment is the more you need to have fun. Fun adds the fluid personal aspect that keeps people motivated and balanced.
Fun is an insurance plan
Without it when things go wrong, the structure and plan fall apart, this regimented work environment collapses (or the people do). Highly structured organizations rely on logical analytical cause effect reasoning where employees can be rigid to respond to changing situations
When work environments are fluid and people are used to being flexible, they can laugh in the face of challenge and adapt to the new environment.
Organizations that are highly regimented and controlled are usually not trend setting and innovative. They prefer structure to change. They avoid conflict because it affects the status quo.
Humor conveys membership and builds cohesiveness. When you walk into the office and hear people laughing and talking this is a great thing because it means people like each other, they trust each other and they enjoy working together.
Funny often means giving up control
Questions to develop your leadership potential
1. Do I use humor as part of my leadership style? Why? Why not?
2. How have your past use of humor influenced the expectations of your co-workers?
3. What kinds of humorous situations or stories have you found most effective at work? List some acceptable and unacceptable topics.
4. What works best for you: self-effacing humor or humor that is directed (positively) toward coworkers? Why?
Experiment with responding to others in a way that is lighthearted.
Look for the funny honey..
Human beings are strange, unexplainable, hilarious creatures. Just notice how people look, what they say, what their intentions are. Notice the gaps; notice that interactions and feelings are unpredictable and messy. We are all beginners, all amateurs at being human, at interacting with others. Life is Messy and people are funny because they can be prejudiced, predictable, and picky. Find the humor in it.
Remember: Every time you laugh you orient your heart and mind
1) Oh Lighten Up! Your quick, easy lighten up tip for the month
- View your life in context. Even world leaders realize they have limited ability to affect others’ lives. While we might think taking the weight of the world on our shoulders is admirable it’s not good for you.
- Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing
- throw a pajama party at work
2) Game Spot - a fun quick activity you can use this month at work
- Ask a group to brainstorm for five minutes on the qualities of the ideal team member and lists the qualities on a flipchart. The qualities range from having an excellent sense of humor, to being very serious about their work, to being an excellent goal setter and time manager.
- Present definitions for “skill” and “attitude” and have the group come to agreement: A skill is something we learn, like riding a bike or speaking another language. Attitude is how we feel emotionally about those skills.
- The group then decides if the items on the list are skills or attitudes (some may be both). Generally, attitudes dominate (approximately 85 percent to 15 percent)
3) Appreciation Station. A way to recognize, celebrate and appreciate people
- HUDDLE UP! Create a tradition, stop everything your doing and “huddle up” for recognition moments. Everything stops for a few moments to recognize a great associate.
- Simply stop. Stop chasing. Stop calling. Stop meeting. Stop worrying. Today, take a moment to stop what you are doing, call your people together, and give someone a much-deserved pat on the back.
- Or make it regular and Start every work unit meeting with praise for accomplishments and behaviors since your last meeting.
- A pep talk worth doing
4) Art of the Unexpected- Some funny simple tasteful pranks and other unexpected things you can try if you dare to throw people off guard and keep it fun
- When someone wins an award the next day send out a memo to say the award has been discontinued
- Go up to a complete stranger and ask if you can have your photo taken with them
- Get some water guns
- Get up, jog on the spot for 10 seconds and then sit down again.
- Go up to a cashier and tell them your dog told you bad things were going to happen today and they should be prepared
Jody Urquhart is a professional speaker who compels stressed-out and fed-up professionals to rediscover their passion, purpose & sense of play. To discuss having Jody speak at your next meeting please call us at 1(877) 750-1900 or email email@example.com
How much do Motivational Speakers Charge?
When Hokey Pokey Is “What It’s All About”
Funny Motivational Speaker Jody Urquhart
There are 3 ways to motivate people to work harder, faster and smarter:
1. Threaten them.
2. Pay them lots of money.
3. Make their work fun.
In today's workplace, threatening people has not been effective. Paying them lots of money (even if you can afford it) has only shown short-term success. Only number three, making the workplace enjoyable, has a track record of effecting real change. It is time leadership experts and managers learned how to create an atmosphere that is challenging and gives inspiration for creativity - a workplace that is fun for employees as well as for themselves.
HAVE FUN AT WORK- HOW FUN IS PRODUCTIVE
Imagine a motivated company where people love their work environment, and they are calm, stress-free and happy all day long. People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Their mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables them to think more clearly and creatively. They are more relaxed, more accepting of others, and more likely to share a sense of humor. It is an essential interpersonal skill.
Laughter creates a bond that brings us together; people like to be with people who are having fun. Creativity, intuition and flexibility are key to successful operation of organizations today; employees enjoy their time at work in stimulating environments, and they will also excel at work. Attracting and keeping customers is easier in an environment of hospitality. A fun workplace is not only more productive, but it attracts people for employment, it attracts customers, and it attracts profits.
A TEST: IS YOUR STAFF SUFFERING FROM TERMINAL SERIOUSNESS?
Scan your workplace and take note:
Do you regularly catch people laughing or smiling at work?
When something funny happens, do people stop and appreciate it?
Does your organization have fun activities at least monthly?
Do you have tools (fun giveaways, draws) to invite patients to participate in having fun in your environment?
Are managers usually optimistic and smiling at work?
If you answer no to two or more of these questions, your staff probably suffers from “terminal seriousness,” which negatively affects morale and productivity.
More Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
Funny inspirational speaker, Dr. Norman Cousins said, “Laughter is an igniter of great expectations.” Children laugh an average of 400 times a day and -sadly- that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35. Preschoolers must know something we don’t. Laughter releases endorphins (a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine) into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise. Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress.
Humor also levels the playing field to create an atmosphere encouraging honest dialogue, open communication, and increased risk-taking. Creating more equality in power or control shows people respect and builds pride in their work. Shared laughter is a team building exercise!
This is just a sampling of the benefits of having fun in your workplace. Hopefully now you are convinced you could use a “fun injection” in your own place of employment.
Help people belong to your organization and not just work there by giving them a way to solidify and build rapport.
THIRTEEN STEPS TO CREATING A FUN WORKPLACE:
1. Give up the notion that professionalism means being serious all the time.
It’s possible to take yourself lightly and still be competent and productive. Start to promote the benefits (health, productivity, inspiration, etc) of humor in the workplace.
2. Define what fun is in your workplace and what it is not.
(For example, harmful humor, off-color jokes, sexual humor, humor tarnishing the organization - not funny.)
3. Organize a “Fun Committee” for dreaming up fun “stuff” to do during and after work.
4. Add fun to meetings.
Bring in fun things such as Nerf balls, a basketball and hoop, or party blowers. Start a meeting with a humorous story or joke. Invite a funny motivational speaker to pump people up.
5. Collect and share your favorite cartoons and jokes.
Create a Joke Board or a Humor in the Workplace newsletter. Send a Joke-of-the-Day email at lunchtime. Look for tools to disseminate fun and funny things daily.
6. Let customers know you are a fun company.
Do something just for fun (organize fun customer events, dress for fun, share funny things with customers) and give employees tools to inspire a fun relationship with customers (stickers, candy for children, dog biscuits for dogs, humorous buttons with the company logo). These activities make work more fun for employees and strengthen the relationship with customers. Dick Snow of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream says, “We believe that we’re in the entertainment business and selling ice cream is just a part of what we do. In our stores the counter is our stage and the customers are our audience.” Sounds like a good motivational speaker. Disneyland has the same kind of approach: Disney employees are part of an entertainment experience, and they aren’t just doing a job. They are "auditioned" for a job. Humor in the workplace begins with letting people in on your secret.
7. Gather your co-workers for the “Joy of Work” hour.
Here everyone must talk about inspiration at work. Take turns telling stories about the things that make work a joy. Each person should contribute ideas on how to make work more fun.
8. Have a fun recognition program.
Fun is not a reward for performance, but fun can be a way to encourage employees to perform. For example, you could create “games” out of productive activity . . . who can motivate the most patients in a hospital to smile and say something funny to the head nurse. Playful and goal-oriented fun is best. Fun is spontaneous and the best, most memorable recognition should be unexpected. Fun and recognition go hand in hand.
9. Respond to fun when it happens.
Funny things occur all the time, but if you are obsessed with left-brain analytical thought, you might find it hard to stop and respond. Natural spontaneous humor is a blessing! Stop and take a moment to give employees and customers an opportunity to see the fun in the event. As a humorous motivational speaker the best speaking moments are the unexpected playful humor that naturally erupt.
10. Commit to being fun and it will change your approach to work.
Start slowly with a few activities and communicate your desire to create a more relaxed workplace. Don’t expect things to turn around overnight.
11. Put fun things and activities in the staff/break room.
This allows people to take their mind off of the seriousness of work for a short period, so they come back to work more refreshed, with a more positive and balanced perspective.
12. Encourage staff to leave work behind at the end of the day.
Employees shouldn’t be so consumed with work that it affects their family life and leisure activities. Find fun ways for employees to “unload” at the end of the day or week. Encourage employees to create a ritual like writing a “to do” list at the end of the day and posting it on the board. By doing this, you commit to not thinking about the things on the list until the next day - and, as an added benefit, the next day will start off more smoothly if it's preplanned.
13. Encourage employees to develop their own style of having fun.
A nurse anesthetist at a hospital in Michigan often sings to his patients to help them relax prior to surgery. Patients have appreciated this so much that they have told family and friends about the experience. It is not uncommon now for the hospital staff to get requests for “The Singing Anesthesiologist” when they are scheduling their surgery.
Remember that employees create fun in the workplace, not managers. It’s a manager’s job to orchestrate fun activities (and not get in the way of them) - to provide an environment that welcomes humor.
Looking for keynote speaker ideas? Jody Urquhart is a funny motivational speaker who helps professionals create meaningful and fun work environments. For more information call us at (877) 750-1900 or see our website at www.idoinspire.com
Humor is a way for people to interact in a playful manner; it enhances group identity and enforces social norms. Yet it can have the opposite affect- what makes one person laugh makes another person groan. What is funny to one person may be insulting to another.
Have you ever considered whether your humor helps or hinders your relationships? We’ve all probably lost a few points over the years by joking around at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
Before undertaking a humor in the workplace program, consider the different types of humor in your analysis…
In a Leadership program with Leadership and Diversity motivational speaker Debra Long and Arthur Grasser (1988) recorded a number of episodes of the Tonight Show and found the following Types of Humor (more exist but these are some of the main ones)
What type of humor do you use most?
Overstatement and Understatement- Changing the meaning of something by changing it with a different emphasis
Irony- The literal meaning is opposite to the intended meaning
Satire- Aggressive humor that pokes fun at social institutions, politicians or lawyers
Sarcasm and Put Downs- Aggressive humor that targets an individual
Self Deprecation- Humorous Remarks targeted at yourself. This may put the audience at ease or demonstrate modesty.
Puns- the Humorous use of a word that evokes a second meaning.
(i.e. - I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me)
A practical joke is a joke put into action. (i.e. - A bucket spilling when a door is opened)
Black Humor- Humor based on easily offensive subjects like making love, body parts, and bodily functions.
What type of humor are the following?
May I have a glass of water?
Why, are you thirsty?
No I want to see if my neck leaks.
I sold the memoirs of my sex life to a publisher. They are going to make a board game out of it (Woody Allen)
Did you hear about the new morning after pill for men?
It changes their blood type
What’s the difference between Windows Vista and a Virus?
A virus does something
How does a man show he’s planning for the future?
He buys two cases of beer instead of one
I decided that becoming a vegetarian was a missed steak.
I love being married. It's so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life
My Dad has a deep and abiding respect for human life…unless it gets in his way
I could have gone to Yale or Harvard
Had I been accepted
Excessive sarcasm used over and over in close relationships can have a very detrimental affect. Sarcasm is a put down, use it sparingly.
Before motivating people to use humor in the workplace understand that some humor is harmful and some is helpful
Things to Ponder…
Be aware over the next few days…. what type of humor do you use the most?
What type of humor does your spouse or colleagues use?
Does this humor help or hinder your relationship?
The Levity Affect
I first saw a funny motivational guest speaker talk about humor in the 90's he suggested we switch back and forth between serious and playful states of mind throughout the day ( Michael Apter, 1991). The humorous and playful state of mind is a heightened state of awareness where more oxygen is present in the brain.
Whenever we laugh at something we are experiencing an emotional high that is rooted in the biochemistry of our brains.
A playful state of mind activates the reward network in the limbic system in the brain (Mobbs, 2003). The same parts of the brain are activated when we do pleasurable things like eating, listening to music, sex…This neuro chemical cocktail has further effects on many parts of the body including the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, digestive and immune systems (Fry, 1994)
There is no better way to create a more carefree and flexible environment than through some shared levity.
Some people say, "I'll play when I feel better." One Funny Motivational Speaker, Clay Osborne says, "You'll feel better when you play!" Kansas Women's Leadership Conference Fox News
Play is valuable because it brings about whole brain thinking. Using the logical left brain and creative right brain together enables you to see the big picture. In the book IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE the speaker states, "Success is a function of one's ability to innovate, which in turn is a function not of one's capacity for focused, analytical logic - but freewheeling flights of fancy." This is the kind of thinking people indulge in when they think humorously.
Creativity leadership expert Roger Von Oech, author of the book A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD has this view: "If necessity is the mother of invention, play is the father. It's when you're not taking yourself seriously that your defenses are down, your mental locks are loosened, and there is little concern with the rules, or being wrong."
Another perspective on the value of play comes from Dr. George Sheehan: "We need play to leaven what we do. Without play, work is labor; it is doing something for money. But if we have work that's play then we have beaten the system."
Healthy people tend to be the most productive and laughter contributes to good health - mental and physical. Laughter improves circulation, fills the lungs with oxygen-rich air, stabilizes blood pressure and causes beneficial changes in the chemistry of the body. Leadership Laughter Pioneer, Dr. William F. Fry has been studying laughter for more than 40 years. He says that 20 seconds of intense laughter, even if faked, can double the heart rate for three to five minutes, an accomplishment that would take three minutes of strenuous rowing exercise. Motivational speaker, patch adams had a movie built around his hospital designed to help children heal with humor.
Why we need to have more fun at work:
- Studies on show staff want to work in a fun, lighthearted environment
- Humor and Fun increase energy and inspiration for the job
- Laughing ignites whole brain thinking that enhances creativity and productivity
- Hearty laughter speeds up the heart rate, improves blocked circulation, accelerates breathing and increases oxygen consumption
- Laughing instantly decreases stress, increases wellness
- Happy employees create happy customers. It enhances interpersonal skills
- Fun broadens your perspective and enhances leadership skills.
- A sense of humor is one of the essential leadership qualities. Leadership looks like they know what they are doing when they smile. It inspires confidence.
- People with a good sense of humor are easier to get along with
- Humor builds self confidence when you are able to laugh at yourself it makes you less afraid to communicate mistakes
- Well placed humor softens criticism
- Humor and Laughter defuse tension
Also, watching Dr. Fry give one of his inspirational speeches he says laughter stimulates the production of catecholamines, the alertness hormones.
The How To’s:
Including fun and play in job descriptions will be more common in the future as employers realize how cost effective it can be. How about a late afternoon break for employees to play a video or computer game? How about a joke telling break?
Humor should always feel good ( happy, relaxed, effective)
Humor should poke fun at stressful situations not people
Humor has very little to do with jokes (less than 12% of what we laugh at is joke like) and more to do with laughing at common stresses
Humor should not be used to insult or sarcastically get away with inappropriate comments
Consider starting your meetings with humor. As humor becomes more a part of your business, the more it will be perceived as acceptable. With humor in every meeting there would be a portion that everyone would look forward to. Humor, as a natural part of communication, also helps.
When you send out your next memo, write it in a light-hearted fashion.
Adopt a fun and playful attitude
Hire a Funny Motivational Speaker. Fun in the workplace speakers can inspire the funny bone in people show you how to keep it alive.
The best way to use humor is to have the self confidence to laugh at yourself. Make sure people understand why you are encouraging humor, most people have only one way to deal with stressful situations and it is a negative response you are training them to see things in a positive way.
Studies show that we spend 75% of our time in work related activities! So, if we spend 75% of our time somehow involved in work, shouldn’t it be fun?
Jody Urquhart is a funny motivational speaker who for the last fifteen years has motivated and inspired professionals to use humor to change there lives. Please contact us to see how we can recognize and inspire professionals at your next event.
"fun puts you in the moment where their is very little stress" Funny Motivational Speaker
If you want to have more fun and literally save your sanity just and look for ways to be a bit offbeat and do the unexpected. Leadership experts, do something that makes no sense at all, that’s throws off people’s expectations (and puts them in the moment, which is stress free). Remember the key to any humor or practical joke is to establish your competency first. I suggest you try any of the below fun things with people you know well.
For those of you who take yourself seriously or are skeptical here is why doing the unexpected literally saves your sanity:
Motivate others by Doing the Unexpected, Silly and sometimes outright Ridiculous:
- Puts you and others in the present moment (which is stress free)
- It balances your perspective
- Literally forces you to lighten up and not take things so seriously
- Produces Humor which makes you laugh, which has hundreds of positive benefits
- Increases creativity
- Allows you to play as an adult
- Mixes work with pleasure
- Add humor in the workplace
The unknown freaks a lot of people out (me included) so just be cautious especially in the beginning.
Give yourself permission to take a risk, do the semi ridiculous and see what happens. If you feel silly remember that’s the whole point, so lighten up!
Here is an exhaustive list of unexpected things you can do to create unexpected fun. Some of them are rather prank- like and some are just plain funny
- Make up a word… and keep throwing it in now and again and see what people do. Or finish every sentence with blah, blah, blah
- Write someone a note to meet you outside in 10 minutes but don’t sign the note
- Wear something weird on the weekend. Mini skirt and leg warmers, if you’re a man
- Go up to someone and say” I support you no matter what other people are saying”
- Page yourself over the intercom and recognize what a great job you have been doing
- Walk around in circles around your office –look very perplexed People will wonder what you are doing.
- Add items to someone's written reminder list (-i.e. buy condoms)
- Make noises when people walk by
- Stand really close to people, stare at them and walk away
- Bring a meeting speaker in that is a funny inspirational speaker
- Stand really close to someone and say…Did you do anything in the last week you would like to confess to?Do you have anything to tell me? Are you sure?
- Put outrageous price tags on office equipment. (i.e. - $30,000 for a computer mouse)
- March up to someone and tell them they need to help you with something and say. “If we don’t get this done right away were both completely screwed”
- Say there is a new sexual harassment policy that says you’re not allowed to make eye contact at work
- When someone wins an award the next day send out a memo to say the award has been discontinued
- Go up to a complete stranger and ask if you can have your photo taken with them
- Get some water guns
- Get up, jog on the spot for 10 seconds and then sit down again.
- Go up to a cashier and tell them your dog told you bad things were going to happen today and they should be prepared
- Give away your place in line. In a long line at the grocery store, I was second in line, I looked to the last guy in line and said “Heah, come here… “He sheepishly walks over, I said “here you can have my place in line”, and I went and stood at the back of the line. He was speechless and so was everyone else. Just for Fun!
- Make a funny face
- Be unreasonable. When your spouse says lets go to Costco say, I can’t possibly go there until I get my hair highlighted. (It makes no sense and that’s the point).
- Stand up at your desk and spell your name with your hips- do it right now we dare you
- Fill a phone booth with people
- Take an invisible dog for a walk
- Talk only in famous catchphrases from movies.
- Verbally Abuse your office furniture
- Stand facing the corner at work until someone asks you why
- Yell to someone, “here catch…”and throw an invisible ball
- Run franticly down the hallway
- Cut out photos and paste them on Popsicle sticks and have a puppet show
- Fake an accent
- Laugh out loud for no reason
- Write your name in permanent marker on all your underwear
- Break into a friend's house and clean it
- Give names to your body parts
- Kiss your elbow, if you can.
- Lay a long straight line of masking tape on the floor. Now spin around really fast then try walking on the masking tape.
- Let helium balloons float to the roof and throw stuff at it to pop it
- When someone comes out of the bathroom ask them if they washed up
- When someone talks to you say I know you are but what am I?
- Repeat everything someone says
- Make random observational comments (“I love pastrami” OR “Dryer Lint tastes bad”)
- Run up to someone holding your throat and say I swallowed a paperclip
- As soon as someone starts talking to you start talking at the same time
- When talking on the phone, start pressing the buttons
- Write a memo to someone and use horble spelling
- Walk into work and announce “I don’t know where I am”
- Speak excruciating slow
- Walk into a restaurant and order something not on the menu
- Tape a post it note on your back saying funny things
- Wear 3 outfits all at the same time
- Make a trash can a basketball hoop
- Using heavy duty packing tape- tape someone to the wall
- Sit at your desk with your left arm sticking out until it goes numb
- Snap your fingers for no reason
- Make the most trivial or confusing complaint to a coworker.
- Talk in circles
- Keep saying... “Like I said” and says the same thing over again
- Turn on the T.V. put it on mute and make up dialogue
- Every so often pretend to trip on an 'invisible' wire
- Find some crutches and pretend to have a broken leg
- Ask someone what there goal in life is and laugh hysterically (make sure you know the person well)
- Collecting all bad news from newspapers and making a ritual campfire to burn
- Have a lemonade sale at work
- Greet someone with “Happy Tuesday” when it’s Thursday
- Get food all over your face at lunch and don’t wipe it off
- Leave copious amounts of jujubes with your tip at an upscale dining establishment
- Bring your old clothes to work and give them to people
- Make gingerbread men and decorate them so they look dangerous
- Name every item in your workspace an odd name
- In the cafeteria dare someone to eat Jello without utensils
- Wear a tiara to work
- Hire a funny motivational speaker for your meeting
It's a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll have the strength to break them when you're old.
Deep laughter lowers our levels of stress hormones, raises our pain threshold, increases our ability to fight upper respiratory diseases, relaxes muscles and reduces anxiety. Cracking up even has cardiovascular benefits. Studies done at Stanford University found that a two-minute belly laugh is equal to 10 minutes on a rowing machine in terms of boosting your heart rate.
Anybody can use laughter as therapy. There are no limitations in how often it's done, and there's no cost involved. It doesn't even have to be a real laugh. The body doesn't know the difference. If you pretend to start laughing, then you start really laughing. The following is only a partial list of the benefits of Laughing:
Laughter takes the focus off your problems
A sense of humor helps us gain a fuller and more realistic perspective of the world
Laughing invokes feelings of happiness and joy. Instead of being gloomy and frustrated
It’s easier to think creatively around a problem when our mind is lighter from laughter
Shared laughter promotes bondage and unity within the group.
Laughter also opens the door to more real and risky communication.
Humor can dramatically change the quality and outlook of our lives. Humor is an easy way to get in touch with your feelings, and control them in difficult situations.
Laughter is not the same as humor. Laughter is simply the physiological response to humor.
Laughing makes us feel good for a reason. The physiological effects on our body do some pretty amazing stunts. For instance:
- Laughter appears to reduce levels of certain Stress Hormones
- Laughter boosts the Immune System and Lowers Blood Pressure
- Laughter may lead to hiccuping and coughing, which will clear the respiratory tract by dislodging mucus plugs.
- Laughter also gives your diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory and facial, leg and back muscles a workout.
- There also has been some belief that laughter may help preventsome life-threatening diseases
Share some humor today. Give yourself permission to REALLY
Jody Urquhart is a professional speaker who for the last ten years has motivated and inspired professionals to use humor to change there lives. Please contact us to see how we can recognize and inspire professionals at your next event.
Our monthly newsletter Fed Up? Lighten Up! is written with the intention to help you live life with more passion and purpose and less stress and worry. With informative articles, humorous insights and great resources, Fed Up? Lighten up! is guaranteed to provide you a motivational kick in the butt while giving you a giggle or two along the way. To sign up send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the newsletter where playing more and stressing less is taken seriously.
Remember life doesn't care whether you are having fun or not. You should. The only person stopping you from having more fun is you.
According to research, if employees are busting their gut -they’ll bust their butt.
A fascinating but totally boring study found that 85% of employees at the best companies are having a great time and having fun at work (from the leadership gurus at the Great Place to Work Survey). The study found fun directly added to productivity. It also found that people learn very little when they are bored while humor increases memory and recognition. Motivate company employees with humor in the workplace. A great corporate leadership speaker will always incorporate humor to create rapport.
Consider that stress reduces blood flow which delivers oxygen to the brain, an important thing you would look for in a productive employee. Just looking forward to a lighthearted event increases blood flow to the brain and reduces levels of at least 4 Neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress (University of Maryland Study).
A manager who hasn’t cracked a smile since the 1980’s is shown to have less effective leadership skills. The leader who laughs and smiles a lot is shown to be more inspiring, trustworthy, and indicates a stronger bottom line. People work harder for people they like and when people like each other they tend to laugh more together.
Leading with levity is about a lightness of attitude that engages and inspires others. Humor is an effective way to move business forward.
Would your employees and customers call you (or your organization) fun to do business with? If not, here are some suggestions borrowed from some of the top great places to work to create fun at work.
At Microsoft -everyday a person signs up to blast a song up across the room at 3 PM when energy levels are lowest.
At Lego -managers zip around in little mini scooters
At Prudential financial -managment set up a Mini Golf course at work
At a recent presentation on leadership a company suggested they hold Studs N Suds car wash where male managers wash employee’s cars
At Sprint -leadership have been known to incorporate a rap song into a corporate memo
One Company holds a spontaneous company wide fun shopping spree where they escort them their by limo
At Boston Pizza- to introduce a new menu the leadership dresses up like anchovies (or other food groups). The switchero is another program that was filmed on national television – the CEO of Boston Pizza swaps place with a server for one week, he took the bus and did split shifts for a week.
At one fortune 500 company a secret signal, like a thumbs up or the happy dance which indicates, “Its all good” that can be used at anytime by any employee as a universally recognized way to decrease tension.
At Scripts the company had a lighthearted race on children’s tricycles at a motivate company event.
It’s hard to believe fun can bring greater productivity but it does. Here are some of the reasons why why i think humor impacts productivity:
1. Humor in the workplace reduces hierarchy and formality- Levity removes the ‘us and them’ divide as long as you send the message that policies and procedures apply to everyone in equal measure. Humor demonstrates you can balance work demands with a sense of levity.
2. Levity Softens the Blow- humor softens the damaging edge of tough information. Things can be said in jest that might otherwise give offence. The result is communication of difficult information in a less personally threatening way.
3. Humor can facilitate learning -If people are to learn anything, they have to be interested; and if they have to remember it, they have to be involved emotionally. Nothing can compare with humor for this power to facilitate learning
Positive humor has been shown to have many beneficial effects, including ( here's what the research shows):
1. Lower experienced stress in response to stressors (e.g. Abel, 2002; Kuiper et al., 1993; Lefcourt et al., 1995), including quicker physiological adaptation (e.g. reduction in systolic blood pressure) to stressful situations (e.g. Lefcourt et al., 1995).
2. More positive mood and emotional responses (e.g. Abel and Maxwell, 2002; Lehman et al., 2001; Moran and Massam, 1999; Szabo et al., 2005).
3. Reduction of anxiety levels (Szabo et al., 2005; Abel and Maxwell, 2002).
4. Lower levels of exhaustion and burnout in stressful occupations (e.g. Killian, 2005; Mesmer, 2001; Talbot, 2000).
5. Higher levels of psychological well-being and lower frequency of psychosomatic illnesses (e.g. Fry, 1995; Cavanaugh, 2002; Sanders, 2004; Francis et al., 1999).
6. Higher self-esteem (e.g. Martin et al., 2003).
Remember it’s more important to have fun than to be funny. Seeing the humor in the day to day work is our only goal. Less than 20% of what we laugh at is anything joke- like.
Jody Urquhart is a funny motivational speaker who compels stressed-out and fed-up professionals to rediscover their passion, purpose & sense of fun.
Silliness for silliness sake is an interpersonal skill that fosters a sense of wonder and amusement and adds creativity and spark to your life. Simply being silly will foster fun at work.
You don’t get happiness from success,
You get success because you are happy. Thomas Flindt
A company that can laugh at itself goes a long way to building confidence and respect. Leadership that can inject levity into the day to day rule.
To be irreverent actually means to show disrespect. Yet leadership that appropriately laughs at itself does not decrease or take away from respect, it enhances it. It shows people you are confident enough to flaunt your downfalls. In flaunting them you downplay them showing that you are in control.
In organizations it works the same way, to laugh at your dilemmas and shortcomings shows your human. Organizations become sterile when things are routine and ordinary.
You can squash a seemingly sterile work environment by looking for ways to poke fun at your regime, leadership and (cautiously and in a good natured way) others. The key to using humor in the workplace is to establish your competency first, error on the side of caution, start off light and increasingly use humor as you “test the waters”
We have racked our brains (not as painful as it sounds) to come up with some things you can do to Lighten up your workplace immediately: Print this up and Keep it for future use…
Motivation in the Workplace Tools:
Props and Diversions to add inspiration for Humor in the workplace:
Leave Fun (cheap- dollar store) Toys on your desk- distribute throughout the day
Have Nerf basketball in the break room
Install a Gum ball machine
Pool and Ping Pong tables add fun
Foam dart fights after leadership meetings
Have a fun seminar. Include inspirational speeches on the agenda ( yes leaders can give inspirational speeches)
It is a good start but it’s not enough to add toys and diversions though. Humor should be used to diffuse stuffiness, awkwardness and other corporate tensions. So think of tense situations and find ways to use humor….
Have a good ice breaker that diffuses awkward business moments (i.e. – a funny photo on the wall, fun events, etc)
At a fun at work seminar,create Silly Job Titles, Humorous training films, Ritual dances at the completion of a project.
Put humor in documents and signs
( ie- Bad Day in Progress… Send Chocolate, If you think there is good in everybody, you haven’t met everybody, I don’t get even- I get odder, To err is human to forgive is against company policy, Chaos, panic and disorder- my work here is done! I’m not tense just terribly, terribly alert, If you run out of sick days call in dead)
Want people to read a manual? Write on page 11 that the First 11 employees to mention the page receive a gift (the gift is a T-Shirt that says ask me about page 11)
Issue dollar fines for excessive whining, leaving up the toilet seat in the bathroom, neglecting to recycle, etc. Use the proceeds to have a party.
To inject fun a work, Don’t be predictable…. Make meetings, agendas and routines fun. Humor has to be unexpected
Start up company-sponsored softball, volleyball and football leagues in which anyone can join and play for free. Non-sports-playing cheerleaders are welcomed as well
Competitive FUNdraising- Keep things fun and interactive by pitting departments against each other. Each department in the company competes to see which team can raise the money for a charity, with the winning team receiving tickets to a sporting event.
Have an impromptu champagne reception at the end of the work day (not the beginning!) especially if people have been doing overtime
Lessen the hierarchy and allow things to be open for discussion
Take the blame when an employee fails
Celebrate Screw Ups- Allow people a means to feel its ok to say I screwed up
Have kids run the office for a day (a scaled back version of work. Kids always add inspiration and humor
Eradicate the ailment week…i.e. too much paperwork, bring out ideas and laugh
Ok that’s about 15 I think.
Organizations that play together stay together, when you encourage fun you inspire employees, customers and your community. To quote a funny motivational speaker Brad Garner,You cannot be a dysfunctional organization internally and project an exceptional attitude on the outside. Customers can tell what kind of attitude employees have.
Increase your impact immediately by tapping into right brain bold thought.
Constant worry about what’s around the corner is a waste of energy and can cause stress and anxiety. Your quality of life will improve a great deal when you take time to live in the present moment. You do that best when you play.
Recently I walked into a guest lecture presentation on leadership about the value of play and fun at work. The audience looked tentative and skeptical. Finally a man says, “You must be joking, we are professionals we take ourselves and our work seriously” (I hear this a lot). The following question usually helps people see why play and fun are important…
Imagine you got up right now and played a game for the next 30 minutes with your colleagues. You laughed joked, poked fun at each other and were really engaged in the activity- what would be the result?
Increased “feel good” endorphins
Increased Oxygen (increasing energy and focus)
Increased rapport and comrade
Have better social skills to relate to others
Increased creativity…. Just to name a few benefits.
The sum result of all of this is when you go back to work you would have more energy, better teamwork and be more productive. No I’m not kidding.
As a funny inspirational speaker my mission is to compel people to light up all the time but it has to be spontaneous. This is not a program but a philosophy. Fun is spontaneous- it doesn’t necessarily happen on schedule; it grows in a culture that fosters its existence. You can’t plan to have fun you just have it.
The definition of play is, ‘a physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective'. (Play Therapy International)
The use of play engages people in the moment. Time flies when you’re having fun because fun is in the present moment. It is positive, healthy, and vibrant and it is right here right now. When you play you usually laugh -Laughing heightens the experience of being in the present moment because it involves the emotions, the body, and the intellect, all at the same time.
The Power of Now. When you are in the moment you have an infinite source of energy, it’s a state of flow where things are easy. You are in the present, and it’s the most dynamic, fluid awareness.
Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego (Landreth, 2002). In addition, play allows us to practice skills and roles needed for survival. Learning and development are best fostered through play (Russ, 2004)
Below is some inspiration and resources from Generational Speaker, Jody Urquharts Column and Blog to help you manage the X and Y Generation.
"Young people today have no work ethic!" "The over-the-hill crowd is clueless." "Workaholics? Get a life!"There is a new face to workplace diversity. Elders, boomer's, X's and millennial share different values and work styles that present new challenges in the workplace. Learn practical solutions and insights for bridging and overcoming these generational differences.
4 Tips to Lead Someone Older than You
How not to manage x and y generation
x and y generation complacency
Develop a Leadership Program for the Generations
When Gen Y Starts a Job, Get them On Board Fast
How Technology Shapes Younger Generations. Generational Speaker
3 Diversity Workshop Activities
Gen Y Needs you to Keep Score Says Generational Speaker
Leadership Speaker Conversation on Generational Diversity
Generational Speaker and Teen Sexting
Succession Planning Leadership Success Story
When Leadership Shouldn't Give a Motivational Speech
As a keynote speaker one of my most popular speaking topics is, I Love My Job, it's the People I Can't Stand.
Unbelievably, many prickly people have no idea of their toxic attitudes. Their outbursts help them get what they want and it's come to the point where they don’t even realize they are doing it. As psychologists suggest, knowing is half the battle because you can’t change what you don’t know and you can’t see.
I did a conflict management workshop, where one leader got into a huge fight with one his employees in front of everyone. After shouting for five minutes, he still couldn't figure out why he needed to take this seminar.
How do you help cranky people to "fess up" to their mood swings? Can you hold up a mirror so they can see the villain inside? The reason difficult people are difficult is- we let them get away with it.
Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Names Will Never Hurt Me
Remember, nobody can ruin your day, unless you give him or her permission. Only you, ultimately, control the way you respond to situations and people. This is very powerful, as you are the only one who determines your mood and your responses. The next time someone loses it, and tries to take it out on you, before you get upset or take on the blame, remember that you have a choice.
Do you let this person upset you or not? Most things don’t warrant your attention. If you work with someone who habitually flies off the handle, you will have to learn to fight back, without the fight.
Success Motivation- TIPS TO DIFFUSE CONFLICT:
• Diffuse hostility by relating to the other’s point of view.
• Anger is not productive and the sooner you can calm the culprit down the better. Use statements like, “I can appreciate what you’re saying” or “I’ve felt that way,
too” or “That’s what I thought for awhile” or “While that may be true…”
Once you’ve calmed the other person down, you can discuss the situation on a more
reasonable level. If you can win them over, they will start to see you as an ally and trust your opinion. This is how you can gain the power to influence their future behaviour.
•Stay calm. Going straight for the throat is the worst thing you can do because people tend to mimic your behavior. If you get angry, they get angrier, the anger escalates, and you have just helped to fuel their behavior. When under fire in such a situation, use deep breathing, positive affirmations (e.g. “I will remain calm,“ or ”I can handle
this”), and focus on the resolution.
• Back out gracefully. We are all human. If someone is on
the attack and you’re not in the mood or a position to defend yourself,
try diffusing the attacker and back out gracefully. “I can
see you are upset, and we need to discuss this, but now
is not the time. Let’s talk about it later.” It is far better to come back to that person after a time out, when you are
both better able to discuss the situation.
• Use good body language. In situations of conflict, body
language betrays your frustration and anger. Indicate
you are listening by making eye contact, nodding,
smiling, leaning forward, and paraphrasing what you
hear. One of the best leadership skills is great body language.
• Verbally move the “complaint” along. Some people
need to complain, so let them. Most people will get it out
and move on while others may see this as an opportunity to
drag someone else through the mud. The best way to
stop the complaints is to move it along. “OK, yes,
alright… I hear you...” Once you get the gist of
the argument, quickly reiterate their concern and move
onto the solution. You don’t have to be a victim of others’
complaining you are trying to find resolution. Motivating people to stay positive takes time.
• Listen for words and emotions. When people are
emotionally charged, they color their words with their
attitudes. It is important to stay focused. What are they
getting at and what does this mean to you? It helps to be straightforward and ask, “What are you trying to tell
me?” Try to understand their basic needs and respond
to them. Your responses may not solve their deeper
life issues but they will set a positive tone in your
• Be solutions-oriented and not problem-focused. Leadership Experts agree behavior that gets recognized gets repeated, good or bad. If you
spend too much time wallowing in the problem it may
just grow. Understand the situationand sum up the problem, then
immediately focus on the solution.
• Use the “How can I help?” approach. “You seemed
annoyed and withdrawn at the meeting when we really
needed your input. What’s wrong? How can I help?”
Most frustrated employees really want to talk about the
situation so they can move on.
• Never blame. When someone is upset, placing the
blame back on him or her is dangerous. They are not in
a position to recognize their faults. Avoid phrases such
as: “You should have, you didn’t, you can’t…”
These accusatory statements will only put others on the defensive and no resolution will be reached.
FOUR STEPS TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR
1. Diffuse the anger by relating to the problem. “I notice
you seemed irritated by my patient and I can
understand. Sometimes she is hard to deal with.”
2. Talk about what you saw. “I saw you get really upset
with Ms. Jones because she wouldn’t take her
3. Ask for what you want. “The next time this happens, can
you just politely explain why the medication is important
and assist her in taking it?”
4. Wait for agreement.
5. Sit down if possible when delivering criticism. Arguments
tend to escalate when people are standing.
Imagine this. A frustrated employee tries to provoke a
co-worker. It works; he’s mad, but instead of flaring up as usual, he stops and realizes he’s angry, reflects on the reason and responds with an honest expression of his emotion. He says, “I want to understand what you’re saying and I’m feeling frustrated that we can’t come to terms with this. I don’t dislike your idea; I’m just finding it hard to concentrate because we are both so emotionally charged.” There is nothing more
disarming than an honest and clear expression of emotion.
Honesty disarms crankiness.
Humor in the workplace, used appropriately will inspire people to decrease tension and stay positive.
Do you feel your ideas are not heard at work? Do you find you put forward your suggestions only to have them ignored or, worse, rejected? Before deciding, “Oh, well, I just won’t bother” consider these six techniques. An idea is only as important as you make it. In today’s work world if you don’t fight for your ideas you weaken them.
I discovered the other day that I can simultaneously conduct official business on the telephone while waxing my car and drinking Kool-Aid. It’s true that, like most people, I multitask a lot - and who can blame me? There are only 24 hours in a day. I also need inspiration, just to keep motivated, and I need to be doing several things at once.
Can you tell if someone loves their job? Absolutely.
How frequently do you deal with someone who truly loves their job? Rarely.
What is your Leadership Thinking Style?
Employees don’t join an organization with the intent of being average, yet some can so quickly be converted. Why? To answer this I’ll share with you an analogy.
Don't Rain on my Parade- How to Deal with Negative People
Have you noticed negative or difficult people around you are affecting your otherwise cheerful disposition (and how unfair is that)? Someone who knows nothing is making your life miserable. Why do Negative Nellie’s feel they need to unload their pent up vex at an unsuspecting person? What is up with the negativity causing conflict?
Studies by the institute of Heart Math suggest that we all give off energy that is either positive or contracting. Some people increase energy when they leave a room, and suck energy from the environment when they come in.As a conference keynote speaker i find that one negative person in an audience has the power to affect alot of people. Inspiration plummets when one person enters or leave the room.
The unfortunate part is we tend to become like the people we are around the most. For instance, when you visit somewhere and people have accents you tend to take on the accent, people in groups tend to dress alike and take on similar characteristics.
The conflict comes because this may mean because you are around negative people you may become negative too! Yikes.
Listen to people complaining endlessly about work, and you'll find yourself starting to do the same. Add to it that negative emotions exert a more powerful effect in social situations than positive ones.
Unfortunately you can’t eliminate the negative person, but you can garner inspiration and find ways to deal with them. If you were around someone with an infectious disease you would probably take steps to reduce the risk. Negativity is infectious so it makes sense that we should ward it off.
Negative behaviors are defense mechanisms; they protect people from developing relationships, from taking risks, from getting in trouble or making mistakes. If you can permeate the wall there defenses hold up you have a hope of diffusing toxic emotions.
Make ‘em Smile!
Anger and negativity usually stem from the anxiety, fear response in the brain, -one of the oldest, most primitive parts of our brain. Also responsible for the fight or flight response, It reacts without thinking. From a Society for Neuroscience article on Bliss and the Brain: A scrutiny of brain activity indicates that individuals with natural positive dispositions have trumped up activity in the left prefrontal cortex compared with their more negative counterparts. "Happy people think more logically. If you can make someone smile or laugh you literally force them to use a different part of their brain that is more logical and reasonable. A person cannot be negative and smile or laugh at the same time. To be an inspiration; laugh and smile more often.
Let it roll off your back
Some people are just ANGRY. Negativity, hatred and disgust are boring and not worth your time. Sometimes these people are out there to help you develop your resolve to stay positive no matter what.
Distance yourself from negative people by taking a detached, impersonal view. The more you can see them as separate from yourself, the less likely you'll be to interpret their behavior as being a personal attack against you. It's just the way they are; you had nothing to do with it!
Adjust your tolerance. People who are easily annoyed have a low level of tolerance for inconveniences or frustrations. Think of yourself as “buoyant” and resilient in the face of stress and respond that way. Find out what triggers your anger, and then to develop strategies to keep those triggers from tipping you over the edge.
As a guest speaker at a conference, we role play negative situations to give people practice. In the heat of the moment this practice run will be your saving grace.
If you are confident and feel good about yourself you are more likely to be buoyant to negativity and be a force for change.
Negative people try to validate their victim hood by pulling others into their warped view.
Don’t be their prey! Think of it this way, If someone were to say “Nice job of handling that”- what would you have done to deserve that comment?
Interrupt Negativity- When someone is heralding negative assumptions simply do something to distract from it or stop it. I love to do the unexpected because it literally halts a persons point of view and gets them thinking about something different. It is the whole premise of humor. It has to be unexpected to be funny (which is why you don’t laugh at a joke if you’ve heard the punch line before). As a humorous motivational guest speaker I have alot of experience with humor decreasing tension in a large room,it is a real morale booster.
Pass some perspective please.
Who says criticism requires anger? Who says doing overtime is a bad thing? It all depends on your perspective.
Negative accusatory people are likely inferring things that aren’t true. Their flawed assumptions are creating a negatively warped picture. Clear up the facts so you both see a clear picture.
Do you Fight? Or Flight?
My experience is under stress people either fight back or retreat. It is the classic fight or flight response at play. Your mind tends to respond to stressful situations as dangerous and immediately fights back to protect, or your retreat( run away, disengage) Physically within your body adrenaline pumps into your blood stream and stored fats turn into sugar for energy, your digestive and immune systems suppress and your focus become fight or flight.
This response was very useful for cavemen but much less adaptive for today’s society and acute sources of stress. For example, one of the key sources of dissatisfaction in the workplace today is lack of appreciation and our stress response to feeling unacknowledged would have us fight or retreat, making the situation worse. As long as all stress is seen as dangerous, which for a lot of people it is, than this fight or flight reaction can wreak havoc on your life. Prolonged continuous flight or flight reaction takes a strong physical toll on your health. The degenerative wear and tear leads to heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more.
The best thing to do is short circuit the fight/ flight response by refusing to react.
- Respond to stress by recognizing your pattern. Under stress do you typically fight (get angry, lose your temper) or flight (disengage, give in, or become passive)
- Reframe your attitude to perceive the stress as a challenge not a threat. If you feel a lack of appreciation challenge the situation and yourself to recognize why you are upset and how can you get the recognition you deserve.Seek out inspiration
Have a good laugh- we often laugh hardest when we have been feeling most tense. Just because you laugh doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously.
Remember positive people ground your outlook so find inspiration from positive people and be around them.
The next time someone tries to rain on your parade and affect your sunny outlook you will know what to do about it.
Make Your Life a Grudge Free Zone • Live Today with Wisdom, Power & Self Expression • Delight in the Mystery of Tomorrow • Care with Character • Love Deeply • Grasp a Deeper Understanding of the Role you Play in the World • Know your Beautiful • Reflect on Life • Know you can Confront Anything • Life’s Joys and Sorrows Provide us with an Opportunity to Decide how these Experiences will Shape our Lives • Discover Your Gifts • Be Clumsy •Have Flexible Plans • Embrace Your Inner Fool • Get Back to Nature • Celebrate the Simple • Be Intrigued with Everything • Appreciate • Recognize the Good in the Bad • Say Hello to Humor & Goodbye to Burnout • Be a Good Parent • Take Action Today for a Better Tomorrow • Reveal a Powerful Strongpoint • Embrace Your Faults Be Straight Up • Follow a Hunch • Forget Perfection • Laugh … at Yourself • Pretend to Love the Worst Part of your Work • Act with Courage & Conviction • Be Shockingly Focused • Smile when your Blue • How are People Better Having Known You? • Recognize what part of your Life is Flat and Colorless • Marvel at Your Spouse • Recognize this Moment is Rich & Rewarding • Remember your Biggest Impact comes from the Little Things • Observe… Yourself • Decide what is your Work Ethic? • Don’t Drag Your Feet • Have Fun. Have Purpose • Be Brutally Honest • Help a Stranger • Be Proud of Your Work • What are your Strong Willed About and Deeply Committed to? • Abandon your TV
- In the short term, working over 21 hours continuously is equivalent to being legally drunk. (International Leadership Research Institute, Evan Robinson)
- Life today is on average 44% more difficult than 30 years ago (IHM)
- The number of workers calling in sick due to stress tripled from 1996 to 2000 (Journal of Organizational Development)
- 60-80% of industrial accidents are due to stress (NIOH&S)
- Depression has doubled with every generation since the 1920s (Cryer)
- 5 Hours ( Average Amount of time it takes me to write this article)
These facts are not to depress just to inform. Most people don't have a good handle on their stress. They focus on the unpleasant, and usually unexpected, things that happen every day. That's not just stress, its life.
Most people attribute stress to outside sources but it’s actually the way we look at situations that produce stressful reactions. When people distort their perception, this causes a stressful response.
Common ways we look at a situation and distort our perception which produces a stressful reaction:
-Negative Thinking and Self Talk- When every change, scenario or suggestion is skewed to be perceived as negative. (Example- My life would be fine if it weren’t for other people, or this just sucks)
-Over generalizing. When small negative things influence the way we perceive other situations.
-Overanalyzing. When you focus on small negative details you lose site of the bigger picture reality. (Example- My manager said I did a good job on that report but I don’t believe him, he’s just trying to be nice or he wants me to work overtime. Leadership hates me.)
-Self Blame. When you continually feel you are not good enough (Example- Why did I say that? Only a moron would say something like that!) If you are too busy worrying about how to react you miss the spontaneous inspiration of the moment.
-Rigid Exaggeration. When you only think in extremes ( black/ white, yes/ no, always/ never). Example- Leadership never notices the work that I do (even though they often does)
‘‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’’ ( John Milton)
How does chronic stress (caused by the above perceptions) negatively affect your health? It can do so in four ways:
1. It causes long-term wear and tear on your body, reducing its resistance to disease
2. It can directly contribute to illness, from headaches to heart attacks
3. It can aggravate existing illnesses
4. It can lead to unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking, overeating, and not getting enough sleep.
The hormones released during stress literally wear down your body.
Self Development Stress management techniques
1) ‘‘Ignorance is bliss.’’
As a public speaker, One of my favorite stress management techniques.
A key source of stress is feeling out of control. However, it’s not about how much control you actually have but how much you think you have. Here ignorance IS Bliss, if you believe you have control over a stressful situation even if you don’t, your right. For example if you were forced to work a bad shift but you did not know it was a bad thing, it might not matter to you one way or the other and you would experience no added stress.
Another example, if all of your colleagues dreaded a visit from corporate office but you didn’t know what that visit meant you might be excited about the visit instead of dreading it. As a professional speaker i would rather not know everyones opinion of me, only the authentic critical comments matter.
2) Think Positive
Catch yourself in any one of the above thought/behavior patterns and THINK POSITIVE. The moment you choose positive thought you instantly release the stress in your body and it balances all of the above thought patterns that distort our perception and cause stress.
Positive thinking is a choice; your brain is wired to think predominantly positive or negative. When you make a conscious effort to think positively you alter your neural pathways and your thinking patterns change (in a positive way). As an inspirational speaker I always take in other inspirational speeches when I can because they are great reminders. You need the reinforcement.
3) Laugh at it
Humor instantly halts your bodies stress response. Humor also helps you reframe a situation to see it as less threatening. When all goes wrong and you have no control anyways, go ahead and laugh, add years to your life- your body will thank you.
You can add up to 20 years to your life by choosing to gain control over your stress response. (in a Seminar from the Stress Management Institute, 2001)
So when that car cuts you off and it’s barely a miss
Don’t give them the finger, just blow them a kiss
Instead of being angry you can chuckle at their reaction
Hopefully the “road rage” will now be a retraction
On the bus where the only seat left is somebody’s lap
Because some loser filled a spot with all of their crap
Instead of being angry and staring them down
Offer to help move their stuff to the ground
When you’re parking to shop at your favorite mall
And you see a deadbeat take a handicap stall
Just give them a wave as you calmly walk past
Call security; let them ticket their ass
While you’re there spending your hard earned money
And the cashier is miserable try calling them “Honey”
Of course that only works when you’re opposite sexes
But it’s better than shooting them like they do down in Texas
When you’re out at the golf course enjoying your day
And the people behind you think you’re in the way
Just let them go past, do your best to ignore
When they’re ahead, count slowly to three, and then yell “fore!”
When you’re sitting at home and you just want to relax
But the kids are going crazy; you can’t get them off your back
Don’t get upset and tell them to “get out of your hair”
They grow up too fast, soon they won’t be there
When you’re all dressed up to take your wife on a date
As usual she’s slow and you don’t want to be late
Give her a break; go get some fresh air on the deck
Remember, men only have to shave their face and neck
When your neighbor lets their dog poop on your lawn
You can’t keep watching out for them dusk to dawn
You might have to pick it up, and yes, that's a drag
But they’ll think twice when it's on their step in a bag
Funny Motivational Speaker
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
-- Jim Horning
Putting all self development instruction aside, when everything goes wrong the very last thing I feel like doing is to be positive!
“Look on the bright side,” others will say. Because it’s illegal to kill them, I have had to consider this fluffy inspiration and advice - to try it and assume it will be a success.
I am a motivational speaker! I have to believe in this Pollyanna stuff. One of my favorite motivational speeches is a spoof on all this Rah-Rah inspiration. We know from experience that we can't just push the conflict under the carpet and pretend it's not there.
Yet when I look back at any tough times I have had, I see that's where I have learned the most. It had to get bad to make me uncomfortable enough to have to want the change, and in the end the change was for the better.
‘A satisfied need ceases to motivate,’ said Maslow.
When things go wrong it causes breakdown that is difficult, but that creates equilibrium in that situation.
If things we wanted were easy to get, we probably wouldn’t even want them anymore. We aren't made to enjoy and respect cherry-picking for any length of time. We have to go through challenge to appreciate what we have and how far we've come.
The reason we have conflict is because we care. If we don't care, we won’t get upset in the first place. If it does not matter to us and if we have no investment in the outcome, then the outcome just doesn't matter. Leadership and change happen when we care and we have the courage to face reality.
We have to go through the challenges of life to gain wisdom, and not until you experience something can you really appreciate it.
A motivational speaker who suggests that life is to be perfect all the time, despite reality, misleads the audience. That speaker is wrong.
Sink down lower than you’ve ever sunk
It may be a cliche, but it's true: When you hit the bottom there is nowhere else to go but up. While you are building back up, you are building character through success. When you go through really tough emotional times, it can help to remind yourself that life can only get better from here. The next time things go wrong, you know that you can handle it, that you’ve done it before and were a success so you can do it again. Life is about change. All of life is about change, from the seasons to plant and animal lifespans. You and I are changing every minute of every day, fashioned by every experience and every exchange we have with others. Like it or not change happens, and when you realize that it's usually for the better, it delights you with the motivation to face new challenges and life goals.
As a motivational speaker, I give these three ideas about change:
Character. Change creates challenge, and challenge has the capacity to teach people about their limitations and their gifts. When things go wrong or mistakes are made it builds humility; when we overcome new obstacles, we build our gifts.
Wisdom. A new level of sensitivity and relating to others comes from surviving life challenges.
Gratitude. When we have it all, we tend to take it for granted. When what we have is taken away, we often gain a new appreciation for what we had and a new recognition of what we still have. When you fail to appreciate life you lose your Joy.
By confronting problems you can find healthier solutions. In the midst of chaos, loss and frustration you may be learning to:
- Balance toughness with sensitivity
- Go deep inside and embrace fear for real self development
- Build mental and emotional toughness
- Persevere toward success
- Be on purpose when your off balance
- Be hard on problems and soft on people
- Manage perceived threats
- Deepen social support
- Believe, have hope, and find inspiration
- See change not as interruption, but as opportunity for leadership and self development to steer your life.
It is easy to disengage and detach from life when things aren’t the way you want. It can be easy to avoid struggle. However, distancing yourself from conflict, leadership, and change only makes the situation worse - it prolongs the change and postpones your date with responsibility. Passivity leads to a victim mindset, and soon complaining takes over while you feel your life is controlled by others.
Develop compassion for yourself given the circumstances, understand there will be some good in this bad. Take a deep breath and decide how you are going to handle the change in your life!
Don’t Just Do Something- Sit There!
How mindfulness can transform your work
For most leadership the most difficult five minutes of your day would be to sit still and nothing. Don’t think about work stress, your priorities or other people.
Sit Still. Many professionals feel very uncomfortable doing nothing and suggest they thrive on stress. Nobody thrives on stress. What we thrive on is being mindfully caught up in our work and focused on making a difference. You are mistaking an intense life for a meaningful one. Inspiration builds when purpose shines in everyday activity.
Even as a leader,In your work you tend to chase after problems and focus on the stress of what goes wrong, leading to negative cyclical thought patterns. This mental thought pattern, pinpointing problems can destroy relationships at home and create conflict. Mistakes and fault finding can easily become wrapped up in your character.
Constant hurry translates to hurrying others thoughts and speech finishing their sentences.
When we worry, stress and fear our jobs we are in a very distracted stressful mindset. This creates a rigid black and white thinking pattern. Fiercely pursuing goals and agendas and always trying to go somewhere and never really getting there… welcome to the rat race. You need a motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river.
Cut back on mindless thinking and worrying, control your attention and place it where it matters most.
Psychologists define mindfulness as flexible, slow, nonjudgmental, reflective, thinking that is open to novelty.
This slow mindful thinking slows down your nervous system and be sensitive to people and situations. Instead of being focused on yourself and your stress you will start to be aware of others and your environment and the impact your decisions make.
Slow down and apply mental alertness and engagement to even the most monotonous and routine activities. Think about what you’re doing while you’re doing it and its greater impact. Say to yourself I love doing this – even if you don’t.
The positive mental energy you put to the task will start to naturally change how you feel and think about your work.
Leadership today realize that Faster is not better.
In an effort to create more fun at work, many organizations create games to add challenge and motivation.
Games have 3 design elements that make them motivating
1) a limited timeframe
2) a small challenge
3) a score
Tasks can become fun games when your racing against a clock. Break larger ( annual) goals into smaller, even daily ones to make it even more motivating.
A good example of this from the book Change Anything suggests this type of game works with kids with diabetes.
Newly diagnosed diabetics must give themselves 6 painful shots every day. No fun. Until they transformed it into a game. Several times a day kids put a drop of blood on a meter which gives them a score.
They know they're winning if they keep a score of 60 & 120... A healthy blood sugar level. Now they are playing a game. They have a limited timeframe...each reading, a challenge, and a goal.
Games played at work with these elements can be meaningful too. As long as you remember creating fun at work is an attitude, it's a vitality.
The program or game shouldn't be a lot of work to implement, track or maintain. Also as soon as any reward is attached, this can create entitlement.
Games can add friendly competition, as long as they don't pit people against one another and they are used in the spirit of fun and increased productivity.
Click her for Tools to hire a motivational speaker.
Wellness Guest Speaker, Jody Urquhart
Below are some major organizational sources of stress - followed by a chart offering antidotes . . . suggestions for what employees can do to manage that stress within their spheres of influence.
Just imagine a workplace that relies on fraud, deceit and regular scams as a way of doing business. Its niche is carved out of false promises and open lies. Thankfully, most organizations like this only enjoy a very brief existence. Contrast the very corrupt organization with one holding a spotless record and unblemished past, and it becomes logical that many organizations fit somewhere between these two extremes. Tenuous balances of trust and stress underlie all business activity.
Lack of trust will undermine any leadership strategy. If employees don’t feel trusted, they will guard their words and be reluctant to offer input. The job becomes All Work & No Say as soon as a lack of trust steals the inspiration away.
Symphony of Trust
A leadership skill many don't talk about is trust. How much do you trust your staff and why does it matter? Trust affects the bottom line: the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat clients. If it’s acceptable that an organization or leader doesn’t have to keep promises, then you can almost guarantee employees won’t be keeping promises to clients either.
“People do business with people they trust.” You’ve heard this before. A client’s trust in an organization starts with a leaders trust in its employees. As Leadership Expert and Motivational Speaker, Lance Secretan quips in Reclaiming Higher Ground, “Our society is suffering from truth decay.” He holds that, especially in teams, telling the truth is essential to good business. “If the members of a symphony lie to each other, they will play awful music,” he maintains. So it goes in any leadership team environment. Another compelling advantage for telling the truth is that it’s efficient. Over a third of an organization’s budget may be devoted to administrative functions such as controls, reports and procedures. Many controls exist because leadership doesn’t trust employees. What if we could nix some of these controls and have our leadership strategy to be trust each other to do our best? It would be much less expensive and much more efficient.
EXPLODING THE TRUST MYTH:"WE TRUST EACH OTHER"
Many organizations think that trust isn’t a concern. On the surface everything is fine, but on closer inspection one might discover that employees are seeking to satisfy only their basic immediate needs. Their inspiration and passion is lost in the details of the job. Over time, working in such an atmosphere precipitates lethargy for some, and for others, illness. Workplace wellness declines.
Boost Morale and Make your job and the people around you more interesting by cultivating your curiosity at work.
Tags: boost morale
Early on in my career as a guest speaker, an audience member suggested that to be a great, it takes both audacity and humility.
Best selling author and leadership speaker Warren Bennis provides some excellent reminders on leadership.
What do noble prize winners, artists, performers and well adjusted children have in common?
They play enthusiastically.
What do mass murders, abused children, burnt out employees and depressed people have in common?
They systematically lack play in their lives
- 1989, fun at work Conference Speaker from Institute for Play
Laughter always contains the hope of redemption
We need people to bring us levity when times get tough
-Jody Urquhart, fun at work speaker
Do you want to enhance your interpersonal skills,create wellness, balance, have fun at work and decrease stress? Than you will need inspiration to gradually quiet the chatter in your head.
Consider all the thoughts and judgments you have when you walk into work everyday. To improve the quality of your day, let go of judging yourself, conflict in your job and with others and let go of your attachments to outcomes. Stop thinking so much.
I have a friend who analyses the heck out of everything. In the process something starts as a small problem and turns into a monumental conflict. Her reality gets skewed and diminishes in a storyline that is unrealistic. I remind her it is far better to discount off base assumptions and focus on reality (what happened, who said what). Always give the other party the right to clarify what they mean.
The foundation for reducing stress is to accept life as it is and not fight it. It is amazing how many people fight reality. When you hear people say things like, I hate my job, I hate this constant workload and deadlines, I hate that I don’t get much acknowledgment at work, this is the fight. These are all reality but the time we spend fighting it, grudging it and worrying about it contributes more to our stress than the actual reality.
Accept the present, let go of judgment, and trust yourself and others.
Mind chatter gets in the way of listening and undermines other leadership qualites and interpersonal skills.
All thought is made up of what you hear, what you think you heard, what you think the other person is trying to say, your agenda, what is important to you, what happened in the past, etc etc. Do you really hear what others are saying?
Listen beyond what you want to hear
Don’t judge others ideas as good or bad just something to work with. I like to approach listening with the concepts of improv which accepts every idea is an offer and the rule of the game is you have to accept it even if you don’t agree.
In the business world if leadership could approach others ideas as offers that we have the opportunity to accept; we would create more open, fluid, listening work environments. The next time someone says something, see this as an offer you can do something with and not a source of conflict to get rid of.
Even the stupid ideas deserve respect
Accept all ideas. This way you show people you are listening and willing to consider their ideas. When you say no or disagree with an idea the flow is killed, inspiration is shot. Instead say yes and add to the idea or alter it to make it work. When you say yes you are rewarded with action when you say no you are rewarded with stilted ideas, a loss of energy and motivation.
Chose a positive and fun attitude
Even on the worst day you could choose to take on a positive attitude and it would change the outcome of the day. Even if your not a motivational speaker.
Take the perspective of fun.
When you are having fun you are not judging ideas or people. You are in the moment. The more playful an environment is the more fluid, creative, fun and real it is. Fun is open and inclusive and invites people to be involved.
Play is the state of being where you have the most inspiration and feel most alive
Most people don’t have enough fun at work and yet so far I have never met someone who has been work- deprived.
What blocks ideas, creativity, inspiration and energy in your life?
Here are some things leadership experts agree companies do that cripple your leadership program and strategy by undermining employee trust. Answer yes or no to the questions below to test your trust leadership Qualities:
Does acknowledging your employees impel them to explore their potential further or is it more of a mindless clacking of cliché expressions? Is your recognition program a superficial ploy encroaching on your staff’s need to be candidly recognized and inspired? Don’t be disheartened because many organizations suffer the same twisted fate. Employee Morale boosters hinge on how well leaders recognize staff. Everybody likes to be appreciated for their efforts, but only if they are rewarded and acknowledged in a way that is genuine.
Include employees’ say in the way you salute their efforts. Most companies have a formal way of acknowledging employees with annual award banquets, including keynote speakers with motivational speeches,top sales awards and certificates. If your award program doesn’t invite a thunderous reception, it may be because it is too generic and not an inspiration
COMMON PITFALLS TO LEADERSHIP AWARD PROGRAMS
There are some major pitfalls to generic leadership award programs:
- The reward is handed down from leadership and reinforces imbalances in power.
- It can be patronizing to receive a small award for a large accomplishment.
- The leadership recognition program falters because the accomplishment is often a team effort. It fosters resentment when just one person gets the reward.
- They cause competition and conflict
- The reward usually occurs annually or semi-annually,thereby greatly postponing inspiration andrecognition for superior daily performance.
- Salary raises are nice, but seldom motivate people to consistently achieve on the job.
- Top performers are often the same people every month. A formal award system may become a program that neglects secondary achievements. How is this helping the rest of your staff? You may be causing resentment, conflict.Formal award nights with humorous keynote speakers may not speak to the heart of recognition for the whole team
- The most common flaw of leadership award programs is that they often reward people for doing work they were supposed to do anyway. It creates entitlement.
Why are formal award systems so popular as a leadership strategy then? The main advantage to formal awards is that they are easy to administer. All you need to do is calculate how close (or how far) people get to their goal, find the “top achievers” and acknowledge them with your standard reward.
This advantage is also the major disadvantage. Formal awards are a “mass acknowledgment” program. They can be very impersonal and don’t take into account the strengths, accomplishments, or efforts of individuals. They don’t take into account employees’ say.
Formal award systems recognize one narrow aspect of the job (such as increased revenue, Morale, sales or productivity) and those few employees who are good at achieving that goal. By contrast, informal recognition programs focus on spontaneous and personal appreciation of employee efforts.
THE ART OF APPRECIATING OTHERS:
Four Qualities of a Good Acknowledgment
Appreciating others is a brilliant and creative act. Leadership strategy needs to notice and nurture consistent acts of achievement. Yet many leaders don’t consider showing appreciation a part of their leadership skills. Other leaders realize that acknowledgment is important, but they botch the process. Spouting hollow praise too often will bring discouraging results.
There is an art to showing appreciation for others. Employees won’t be impressed by trite and generic compliments. Most leadership could use a bit of practice with thoughtful acknowledgments. Possibly a leadership seminar or workshop with a motivational talks to practice the 4 keys to a good acknowledgement. According to B.F. Skinner, a good acknowledgment has four qualities. It is consistently:
- Specific: Talk very specifically about what you saw the person do. General motivational clichés like “good team player” will have a lukewarm effect.
- Immediate: Obviously praising someone for something she did nearly a year ago is a waste of time because the best acknowledgment is immediate. “Catch” someone in the act of doing well and compliment the behavior on the spot.
- Personal: Use the person’s name and talk about the qualities they bring to the team.
- Spontaneous: Never script compliments or they won’t sound sincere.
I would add to this always link individual performance to the overall good of the group. Here is an example: “Mike, congratulations on how you handled that difficult patient just now. He was nasty and not about to give up, but you sympathized, calmed him down and set him straight.” This acknowledgment is specific, immediate, personal, and spontaneous.
Next, link individual performance to the good of the group. “Your taking the time to explain things to that patient builds understanding and agreement and makes that patient so much easier for the rest of the team to deal with.”
According to a study done by Robert Half International Limited, a lack of praise and recognition is one of the primary reasons why employees leave their jobs.
Acknowledgment doesn’t have to come from a leader. Train and encourage all employees to recognize each other. Train in the four steps above and have employees role-play to acknowledge one another. Create a culture of appreciation (see below) where employees regularly recognize each other’s contributions.
Rewards That Increase Say and Engage Employees
Increasing the say factor in your organization means increasing employee input to their jobs. Leaderships Motivational Speeches should Reward people individually and in a personalized way for their accomplishments instead of generally addressing the whole group for its performance level. Take time to find out what specifically motivates each of your employees and then see what you can do to make those things happen. How do you find out what motivates others? Ask them.
Increase the say factor in the job by getting people talking about what inspires and motivates them and engage them in the reward process. When people get rewarded in the way they want, they will be much more satisfied. Involvement equals commitment. The best management is what you do with others, not to them.
FOUR STEPS TO CREATING A PERSONALIZED REWARDS SYSTEM:
- Create an acknowledgment committee. This is a fun volunteer position and it should rotate regularly so all staff have an opportunity to participate. The acknowledgment committee is responsible for acknowledging other staff members weekly.
- Have the acknowledgment committee create a form that helps them get to know employees. Ask employees things like, “Share your favorite color, your biggest pet peeve, something interesting about your family, your hobbies...” Anything unique about a person that they would offer to share is valuable.
- File these forms away and every week (or month or however often) the committee randomly draws an employee’s name and checks the list to find interesting unique ways to acknowledge him. (e.g. Jason loves telling jokes so buy him a joke book). The “reward” is fun and does not cost a lot (usually under $10).
- The committee now has to catch Jason in the act of doing well and acknowledges him with the personalized item. You may even create a fun ritual, motivational talk,chant or saying when delivering acknowledgments.
Leadership Speaker shows you how to acknowlege others/blog/bid/44318/4-Tips-to-Lead-Employees-Older-than-You
I was a guest speaker hired to give a motivational speech to an organization to help them enhance wellness.
It was clear the attendees were stressed out, cynical, burnt out and at the end of their ropes. As a guest speaker, I had to fill out a third report to itemize the second report I was required to complete, I began to understand that this company is the root cause of its own burnout. People become cynical when they have to fill out reports to explain mundane things like why they need a bathroom break.
Burnout is often built into the very structure of an organization. Tell tale signs workplace wellness is suffering:
- Impossible goals
- Just-plain-stupid policies and procedures that show a lack of trust
- Lack of clarity in roles
- Pointless meetings
- Consistent attempts to take the human element out of the work
- Lack of inspiration, appreciation and recognition
Changing the dynamics of an organization like this usually requires an entire culture shift, with the biggest shift is toward a new perspective. It starts with giving people the benefit of the doubt, honoring staff wellness, clarifying roles, reducing meaningless rules and paperwork, establishing policies that give leeway for trust, recognizing the human element and appreciating people a lot. Changes like that don't happen overnight and require a strong commitment from leadership.
Restructure to Decrease the Workload
The result of overload are resentment and frustration. If employees are overworkedand the organization wants to focus on wellness and be more healthy and productive, the staff needs to have less work. It’s contrary to popular belief, but less work allows for the time spent on work duties to be more focused, more productive with fewer mistakes. Employees will be happier, healthier and more positive. Stress management tecniques that encourage wellness will become a priority.
People often spend time at work at the expense of their families, even though we can get new jobs and we can’t get new families. One of the best managers I have ever had wrote employees' important “family dates” on her calendar (soccer games, vacations, recitals) and made sure those shifts were covered. The employees who worked late consistently were told to go home. That manager understood that the bottom line is if employees spend too much time at work it puts pressure on family which puts pressure on the employee wellness and lowers productivity . . . and everyone loses. Reflecting on their lives, nobody ever says "I wish I spent more time at work;" instead, we hear "I wish I'd spent more time with family."
At a conference the guest speaker quoted Evan Robinson's article, "Why Crunch Mode Doesn't Work." I looked up the reference:
More than a century of studies show that long-term useful worker output is maximized near a five-day, 40-hour workweek. Productivity drops immediately upon starting overtime and continues to drop until, at approximately eight 60-hour weeks, the total work done is the same as what would have been done in eight 40-hour weeks.
In the short term, working over 21 hours continuously is equivalent to being legally drunk. Longer periods of continuous work drastically reduce wellness and cognitive function and increase the chance of catastrophic error. In both the short-and long-term, reducing sleep hours as little as one hour nightly can result in a severe decrease in cognitive ability, sometimes without workers perceiving the decrease. (Evan Robinson)
Sometimes work can just be restructured to reduce workload. For instance, people who are more focused on results than on policies that require paperwork are more productive.
Clarifying roles and establishing meaningful goals decrease workload and emotional stress related to work. Very often work roles are redundant, inefficient and unorganized. Get to the bottom of it by letting employees - those who actually do the work and understand the flow - restructure their own roles and goals. The result will be leadership, increased wellness and employee ownership.
Appreciate the Human Element
There is nothing worse than being treated like a machine, designed only for function. The more you try to replace the human element with technology and functional outcome, the less human an organization becomes. Our customers, our employees, and our shareholders are all human. When we introduce technology to simplify our work it often requires people to multitask (do several things at the same time), but research shows we can only really focus on one thing at a time. The result is that we don’t do as well with the job and mistakes often occur.
When we focus on technology and quick results, we lose the human connection. It takes time to slow down and connect, build rapport and really establish relationships based on people, not productivity and results.
And in the long run it’s worth the effort.
As an employee in an organization like this, recognize there is only so much you can do. If you are being pushed to the limits and in the throes of burnout that no stress management seminar could fix, your first action should be to take time for yourself, to engage in some deep self-reflection and look for the root causes of the burnout issue. Then, consider action steps to reduce or eliminate the degree of burnout you are experiencing. Also be a wellness advocate and speak to company employees the virtues of stress management.
Workplace Wellness Guest Speaker Jody Urquhart
Nobody wakes up and says, I think I'll lie or cheat someone today. So why do so many people participate in unethical behavior? Why are so many people challenged to do the right thing?
Your Passion Plan at Work..
Leadership and Diversity Expert, Jody Urquhart,
Passion is the single most powerful competitive advantage and inspiration an organization can claim in building its success
Many organizations possess the same technology, resources, equipment, and expertise, but it is the organization that runs on diversity and passion that thrives. The passion-driven organization inspires its diverse employees, invigorates its customers, and reaps the benefits of their shared enthusiasm in its success. Authentic morale boosters boast passion.
Need Inspiration? Passion Matters
Both employees and customers have feelings that compel them to act the way they do. Employee’s performance can be directly linked to their feelings toward their work. Customers do not buy just anything. They make their decisions based on emotional responses to products and the organizations that provide them. We all operate on emotion, we make decisions on emotion.
Passion is something deeper than policies and practices that give an organization meaning, life and inspiration. A passion for what you do makes every day invigorating and rewarding.
A recent study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal Leadership Edition revealed that customers gravitate toward companies that appeal to them on an emotional level (Alsop, 1999).
To attract customers and employees, compete solely on price the relationship has no loyalty the relationship ends when a better financial reward is found. To have people committed during the ups and downs of business you need to build loyalty with passion. Passion builds advocates for your business.
Passion is uncommon. Not many people jump out of bed fueled by their passion to go to work. More often in organizations people are disengaged, cynical and cranky.
Many leadership methods alleviate the symptoms that afflict the modern company; few treat the disease that causes them, lack of passion.
Benefits of Passion
Provides direction and focus
Attracts employees and customers
Unites the organization
Provides a critical edge
Brings the organization to a higher plane
The benefits of passion are obvious, so why don’t more organizations harness it? At some level there is passion present in most organizations, but it does not form the framework. Leadership may feel it, but not understand how to communicate it. Employees may sense it, but be uncertain or confused as to how to act on it. Customers may detect it in products and services, but may not feel it is consistent or compelling.
Somewhere along our journey we lose sight of what inspires us. We compromise our passion to get the job done. Unbridled growth, increasing technology, multitasking, fierce competition, labor shortages all have forced business to do more with less and what suffers is passion.
Define passion and have a way to sustain it. What is the core thing that people can be proud and passionate about? Link this to your overall business operations. Communicate it often.
(IDEA- Have regular team leadership workshop“huddles” where employees communicate what they are most proud of)
Brainstorm- What specific acts communicate passion? (i.e. - going out of your way for a customer, recognizing other team members, celebrating success, smiling, skipping down the hallway….( as one CEO does)
Keep overall enthusiasm and energy high. Strive to increase overall energy in your work environment. You need this energy to fuel passion. Smile, laugh, and engage in fun activities to keep energy levels high.
Fake it until you make it. The trick is to act passionately even if you aren’t, eventually it becomes a habit and in the meantime your energy will lift everyone up. Fun at work will follow, like it or not.
Everyday our body language comes through loud and clear. Is yours the inspiration that fuels confidence and energy in others or is it tired or just uptight?
Be innovative. Try new and different approaches to your work to fuel passion
Sharpen your skills.
What are you insanely great at in your Work? Recognize people for their contribution to your organizations purpose.
Stay Tuned for More ideas on keeping passion alive in further articles.
Downsize or Invest in People?
If an organization is trying to cut budgets investing in people is usually not their first course of action. Often it is the opposite; let people go, leaving more work spread among fewer people. Those left behind have to work harder, become burnt out and cynical resulting in even more turnover.
We Need Each Other
Organizations need people (for their energy, effort, and talent); and people need organizations (for the many intrinsic and extrinsic rewards they offer), but these needs are not always well aligned. When the fit between people and organizations is poor, one or both suffer: individuals may feel neglected or oppressed, and organizations sputter because individuals withdraw their efforts or even work against organizational purposes. Conversely, a good fit benefits both: individuals find meaningful and satisfying work, and organizations get the talent and energy they need to succeed.
Remember work like all relationships are give and take, both sides need to feel satisfied or one side pulls out.
1) Oh Lighten Up! Your quick, easy lighten up idea for the month
Use laughter and humor in the workplace throughout the day. Laughing with others is a great way to promote peace and fun in the workplace. It takes 16 muscles to frown and only 3 muscles to smile. Which would you prefer?
2) Game Spot - a fun quick activity you can use this month at work
Ask participants to stand in a circle and introduce themselves by first name and one adjective that begins with the same letter as their name—for example, “I’m brilliant Brad.” He than adds a simple movement or gesture, such as a bow, a two-handed wave, or a dance step. Go around the circle and keep adding on until people can’t remember.
3) Inspiration Station. A way to recognize, celebrate and appreciate people
Try creating an award for people who aren't usually in the limelight. This award can be any form of recognition that you choose, but it needs to have a specific name and be given to people whose work is usually out of sight or low profile. Call it something like the Backroom Award, make a big deal about it, and present it on a regular basis (once a month or quarter).
The company newsletter is the ideal place to recognize employees. Submit employees’ names, inspirational quotes and photographs to the newsletter with a story about what they have done really well. Be as specific as possible, tell the story about what they did, what qualities they have
4) Art of the Unexpected- Some funny simple tasteful pranks and other unexpected things you can try if you dare to throw people off guard and keep it fun
- Verbally Abuse your office furniture
- Walk franticly down the hallway
- Cut out photos and paste them on Popsicle sticks and have a puppet show
- Give Inspirational Speeches
- Fake an accent
- Laugh out loud for no reason
I have been a motivational speaker for over 15 years.
When I started my career, I gave leadership speeches called the Joy of Work. The intention was to help people rediscover the joy in their work.
I was a motivational speaker for a group of school business officials.
One of the school board guest speakers led a discussion about an increasingly entitled younger generation and how the school system is to blame.
The way his argument unfolds is kids no longer have authority figures in their lives. As a result, they lack discipline and work ethic and feel entitled to the same if not more reward as others; without doing the work.
The school system-riddled with Paperwork, policies and overbearing parents gets in the way of a teacher or principles ability to discipline. Thus kids do not get the direction and leadership they would from having authority figures in their lives.
The speech advanced when the guest speaker suggested many Parents today don't stand in a position of authority. Instead, they often act like friends to their children, leaving boundaries for attitudes and behaviour wide open.
This lack of direction and authority could create a generation of undisciplined future leaders.
On January 26, 2015, I am a motivational speaker for the National Credit Unions Gala. This event attracts over 500 Credit Union leaders from across the USA.Read More
Save Yourself and Stop Irritating Others
On December 3, 2014, I was a Motivational Speaker for the Canadian Insurance Claims Manager Association Toronto, Ontario chapter. This special event brought together over 50 managers of claims adjustors in ontario.Read More
On November 23, 2014, I was a motivational speaker for the Career Education Society. The event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, BC will drew over 400 educators from across BC.Read More