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Motivational Speaker Blog

Generational Speaker on The Challenges with Facebook

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:33 PM

Facebook: Life Interrupted and Forever Changed
I told my 28 year old sister about a party I am throwing for our brother and she said, Can you update me about it on facebook?
What? Why? You’re sitting right across from me. I’m telling you right now.
What is this obsession? Love it or not, social networking is here to stay.
I’ll Facebook You
The first time somebody said this to me I thought she was cursing. Eventually everybody started threatening this. Now I find it hard to remember the good old days, when it was so refreshing to actually have a real conversation over the phone. Even email now seems like outdated technology.
Is this like some new cult or something? I think the most annoying thing about Facebook is that everybody is using it; you feel pressured to join the crowd.
With numbers estimated as high as 70 million, Generation Y (also known as the Millennial) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce and social networks are the number one way they prefer to communicate.
The problem is Facebook is a loose social network; a "friend" on Facebook might be someone you'd barely recognize in real life. It is also largely uncensored and it’s not like face to face conversation people can hide behind their computer screen (or iPod) and have the confidence to say anything they like.
There are no real rules to facebook. Anyone can say anything and the world can hear it. Yikes! Is this really what they intended when they built this software? (Yes)
This technology is so powerful it has changed the way we communicate and build and maintain relationships. I have heard and experienced some great stories of how people have found each other and reconnected by facebook. I want to focus this article on some of the irritating things about it. I am motivational person after all (teeheehee).

Facebook Foibles
The other day a friend cancelled lunch with me because she was sick. Later I noticed on Facebook that she was skiing with some friends. Ouch!
I hear about people calling in sick for work and than making moment by moment updates on Facebook about what their doing, effectively leaving a public record of their betrayal.
My aunt found out first that I had a baby boy on Facebook thanks to the disgusting birthing photos my fiancé thought would be nice for others to enjoy. They were posted on facebook and I hadn’t even passed the placenta.
My brother -in -laws girlfriend changed her status on Facebook to single. Unfortunately she forgot to tell him. Imagine his surprise when he found out from several of his friends and family he was now single!
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Tags: leadership, x and y generation, generational speaker

Banish Worry Now! Your Wellness Depends On it!

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:02 PM

If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. ~Don Herold
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Tags: stress, speaker, wellness, leadership, inspiration

Healthy Workplace Seminars- This Company is Causing Burnout

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 03:26 PM

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

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Tags: stress management, guest speaker, wellness, leadership, health seminars

Effective Leadership: the Closed Door Policy

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 02:31 PM

Recently, I was a motivational speaker for a group of financial leaders.  The group unanimously agreed that open door policies are death to personal productivity.

One manager actually has a sign that says, my open door policy is closed.

These financial leaders have grown tired of trying to solve everyone's problems. Never does a day go by where the revolving open door isn't constantly dragging problems to a leaders feet. Personal productivity plummets when you are constantly distracted.

When you have an open door policy people can take advantage of it and get used to not solving problems on there own.

An open door policy suggests come to me with any questions and challenges and I will help. This was reasonable 30 years ago where fear and intimidation made people afraid to speak up.

Today, not only are we encouraged to speak our mind but we are given the social media tools to broadcast our thoughts all over the world.

In some workplaces people are still afraid to ask questions but today it is so much easier to find answers.

Open door policies work if people are still encouraged and empowered to think through and solve problems. Miscommunication happens when people don't know the right solutions and then don't know they don't know.

Leadership: Is your door open or closed?

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Tags: leadership, motivational speaker for financial leaders, closed door policy

Why Women Make Better Business Leaders

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 02:13 PM

Career choices for women used to be limited; now women can do pretty much any job that men can. Why then are only 12 of the fortune 500 companies run by women?

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Tags: leadership, inspirational speaker for womens events, Women make better business leaders

Boost Morale: Understand these 3 Performance Styles

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 08:12 PM

Mediocre managers assume staff members are motivated by the same things. They assume employees learn in the same way and believe their role is to make sure employees conform to these roles.

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Tags: motivational talk, leadership, motivational speaker for financial services

The Dire Need for Leadership to Lighten Up

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 @ 09:29 AM

Research shows that managers with a sense of humor are more effective communicators, better salespeople, have more engaged employees, and earn more money(eventually).

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Tags: humorous motivational speaker, fun at work, leadership

Generation Y- Why they Want it All & Want it Now

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:26 PM

As a Generational speaker, I talk a lot about the Millenial generation attitudes and values.

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Tags: leadership, generation Y, generational speaker

Rethinking the 40 Hour Work Week

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Traditionally, people just worked whatever hours it took to get the job done. This is no longer the case as people demand that work not completely consume their lives. Organizations can't expect employees to put their lives aside for work.

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Tags: leadership, leadership inspirational speaker, leader

Healthcare Inspirational Speaker for Surgical Technologists

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Jan 04, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

On February 10, 2012, I am a healthcare inspirational speaker for the  Association of Surgical Technologists Annual Instructor’s Forum in Orlando Florida. The forum attracts an average of 300+ surgical technology educators, the people who train Surgical Technologists - those we depend upon to assist surgeons during surgical procedures.

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Tags: leadership, healthcare inspirational speaker, Surgical Technologist

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