Mental Health Monday

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

bird singing

Britain’s Prince Harry went public this weekend with his mental health struggles. He spoke about the shutting down he went through after his mom died when he was twelve. It’s not a surprise that someone who was so young when he lost his mom in a very public and publicized accident might have some residual depression or anxiety. His disclosure also explains the Heads Together campaign I read about a couple of weeks ago. He’s started a mental health awareness campaign with brother Will and his partner Kate. Love or hate the British monarchy and all it stands for; fighting mental health stigma is a good thing in my opinion.

Harry’s story got me looking up some other mental health stories circulating right now. Read more

Geo Dog

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

Yesterday Tracy and I went geocaching. Miller came along as a distraction.

If you don’t know geocaching, welcome to the wacky world of getting excited about finding tiny containers in the woods. Or you might find one on a city street, in which case you need to be super stealthy so the Muggles (the uninitiated) don’t see what you’re doing. A rule of the game is to protect the caches for others through careful searching, so geocachers the world over are trying to avoid detection as they use GPS coordinates, narrative descriptions and clues to find things hidden everywhere you can’t imagine.

There is probably a geocache not far from where you are. According to the official geocaching site, there are over 2 million hidden in the world in over 180 countries. When I introduced my friend Jenn, after her first find, she breathed, “It’s like there’s a whole world people don’t know about!” That’s the fun. Read more

Writing for A Big Audience of One  

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

 

At heart, communications work is one to one. You may be tasked with writing for a large audience, but connection with that audience is built one person at a time. Think about them. Write for them.

Who is the one person engaging with your words? Where is that face in the conference crowd listening to your presentation? Who has their eyes on the writing- not racing, but reading?

Ask. Read more

I’d love to meet your dog. My dog wouldn’t

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

I love dogs, and enjoy meeting them if the dog wishes and their owners say ok. It’s not something I do with Miller. He doesn’t like dogs. Many dogs he growls and barks at on sight, even from a distance. It’s one of his things. He has fair reason. In the first few months that we had him, he was accosted twice (same dog) and charged by a third. I say accosted because it wasn’t a fight, but it obviously alarmed Miller.   Read more

The Twitter Twelve

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

rushing riverI was talking with a couple of friends recently about the “Twitter Twelve.” This is one of my tricks to balance social media consumption and sharing with productivity in offline work.

It is so easy to fall into the river of Twitter. You sign in and see surge after surge of information go by, pieces lumped together with hashtags, clogging up (trending!) things here and there, creating masses of information on the same topic. It is easy to get lost for an hour or more, following tags and trends. Read more

The Dance of Dog Training

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

The other day Miller trotted around a corner and encountered one of his people at a doorway. He growled a little. In Miller’s case, he didn’t do this to be “dominant” as some people might suggest (will that idea never die?), but because he was expressing discomfort with the situation. A growl was his way of saying “Too close.”

As I’ve written before, Miller needs space. We train* him to deal with it, using different cues and behaviours depending on the scenario. In this case, his human moved a step back, asked Miller to hand target, and he did. This moved him out of the compressed space in the process. Human and dog continued on their ways and all was well.

Space: Miller’s frontier. At every opportunity, we build Miller’s confidence and trust. Read more

Coffee, Connection, and Creativity

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

coffee cup upside downThere is no human requirement for caffeine in the diet.” I resist that statement, but I’ll accept it as physiological information. Socially, I reject it because of coffee.

Oh coffee, that tempting, full experience substance. A well brewed coffee is a friend with a good story that has the right amount of detail and depth to make you settle in and smile. A poorly brewed one is biting, the person who’s forever critical and unhappy.

Coffee is a lubricant in work and social worlds. “Let’s get together for coffee” might be the start of a project or a partnership. It helps new co-worker relationships have common ground. Read more

The Art of Steering Meetings Sideways  

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

I recently attended a meeting with an impressive agenda and we set out with great hope. Excellent presentations prompted conversation which slowed the agenda, but it was worth it. With many interesting minds in the room, we hit many, but not every agenda item.

The facilitator remarked on the fact that even though we weren’t progressing as planned, good conversations were happening, and he was right. You could see it on everyone’s faces- discovery and connection in the shape of smiles, nods and slightly pursed foreheads that go with new ideas bubbling just below the surface. It was that energetic mix of shared knowledge and possibility. Read more

What Coats Communicate To Your Team

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

Communicating between work mates is an important part of work culture. Anyone who has worked with me knows I think about how coats start the day. Coats? Yeah, coats – they signal change. Whether your work team is small or large, how you communicate internally is important, and coats play a role. Read more

What are You Looking At? Photo Policy Points to Ponder

Blog topics go beyond 9-5. For work related posts only, click the work tag or say hi on LinkedIn.

I read this great piece the other day about the use of photos on nonprofit organization sites. For anyone who has worked in nonprofits, you know the importance of fundraising, and nothing helps “please give” like the photo of a person benefitting from the organization’s services. You want donors to see the success in their support. But it isn’t always as easy as that. On the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Nancy Schwartz writes about establishing a photo policy that respects legal and ethical concerns. Read more