Step five. Step three. Step one. Nope.

I watched a sitcom the other day where one of the characters introduced the family to her new dog.  The look of confusion on their faces indicated having a dog made absolutely no sense.  But then she explained:

Step 5: She had a dog because .  . . .

Step 4: . . .  she was going to have a fenced yard.

Step 3: . . .  in the house that she was going to buy with her $50K paycheck.

Step 2: . . .  for being a surrogate.

Step 1: . . .  after passing her medical exam.

Some of you may have also watched this show and know exactly where this is headed.  This particular character had lept all the way to step five without ever passing through steps one through four.  Unfortunately, her plans fell apart at step one because she didn’t pass the medical exam.

How many times have we jumped all the way to the end of the process without working through the important steps along the way?  I know I have.  As a matter of fact,  I almost did it again just last week.

I heard that Google My Business is a great marketing venue.  I got very excited and started the process to create my Google My Business page.  But wait, I’m in the process of rebranding my business (new direction, new name, new client base, etc.).  How could I create Google My Business exposure without my new business name defined, my new website up and running, my rebranded logo, etc.   See what I almost did there?  I was too many steps down the path without having completed step number one . . . creating my new business identity.

Leaping over process happens with both my organizing and coaching clients on a regular basis.

My organizing clients rush out and purchase pretty bins and boxes before they know what they are keeping (purging is step one, containerizing is way down the line).

One of my coaching clients came to me with a big goal: quit my job and move to a foreign country.  Great, let’s move in that direction but don’t purchase an airline ticket before all the other pieces are in place.

What big goal are you working on that require multiple, necessary steps along the way?  How do you keep yourself from stepping over the important parts of the process?  Leaping to step five before completing steps one through four can be counter-productive, frustrating and a challenging use of resources.

If you need some help breaking those big projects down into manageable pieces, ask a respected colleague, friend, family member or any other support structure for some assistance.

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

International Coach Federation

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD

 

Salma Hayek Pinault: “I’m very hard on myself . . . “

I recently listened to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast with Salma Hayek Pinault.  Although the podcast was titled “More to Say About Harvey Weinstein,” I found the podcast had next to nothing to do with Mr. Weinstein but more about kindness, not only for others but for ourselves.

During the conversation, Oprah asked a powerful question:

“What’s the lesson that’s taken you personally the longest to learn in your life?”

Ms. Hayek Pinault’s answer resonated deeply with me:

“I’m very hard on myself and not too long ago I realized I detect what I want to change, and then I disappoint myself if I don’t change it right away, you know.  But it takes time for change. And I’ve noticed that if you really look, there are things that I don’t even remember that I was doing before and I didn’t like doing them because I’ve changed so profoundly that I don’t even remember I was like that anymore. And when I’m hard on my myself I have to remind myself that if I continue to believe in me and to be positive and to be kind to myself and to others, whether it will come, the changes that I want about myself, one day it will come.  If you disappoint yourself, sometimes you give up.”

Although I believe myself to be a very kind individual, I found myself wanting to take a closer look at the connection between kindness and happiness and, boy, is there a connection!

According to a Huffington Post article, the benefits of kindness are significant.

1) We are happier.

Doing something for someone else, makes us feel good, both emotionally and biologically. The reference to “Helper’s High” comes from elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, resulting in a natural high.

Kindness = Happiness

2) We are healthier.

Acts of kindness result in elevated production of oxytocin.  Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide which expands blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.

Kindness = Health

3) We age more slowly.

Back to oxytocin.  Oxytocin reduces levels of free radicals and lowers inflammation, both significant factors in the aging process.

Kindness = Longer Life

4) We have stronger relationships.

We like people that show us, and themselves, kindness.  Kindness creates bonds. Whether we are creating new bonds or strengthening existing bonds, kindness plays a key role.

Kindness = Stronger Relationships

5) We pass kindness on.

Kind people are inspirational. Think back to the last time you witnessed kindness, what was your next instinct?  Passing it on, right?  In 2014  a Starbucks customer paid for the drink of the drive-through customer behind her, resulting in a chain of 378 acts of “pay it forward” kindness.  Kindness is contagious.

Kindness = More Kindness

Kindness.  Can it be that simple?  Can being kind to others and ourselves be the ticket to health and happiness  Apparently so.

What’s your next kindness experiment?

 

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

International Coach Federation

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

 

What’s your gap?

When I start working with clients I ask them to describe two visions:

  1. Where are you right now?
  2. Where do you want to be?

With those two questions clearly understood, we can start the process of change that moves someone from where they are now, to where they want to be.  In essence, closing the gap between their two visions.

What do I mean by “the gap?”

“Steve” wanted to get a job that better fit his strengths and ADHD diagnosis.  His current job involved phone sales 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM with very little in-person contact and a lot of sitting.  His vision of the perfect job involved travel, in-person communication and a high level of flexibility. “Steve” had a very clear vision, he knew where he wanted to be, but there was uncertainty about the process to get there.

“Kathy” wanted to take more control of her life.  Her current routine was highly irregular and impulsive.  She would go to bed and wake up “whenever,” with little direction for how her day unfolded.  Most days she went to bed frustrated because she had little to show for her waking hours.  “Kathy” wanted a more productive life she could feel good about.  She wanted to go to bed by 11:00 PM, get up at 7:00 AM and have a robust, attainable schedule for her day.  A very large gap from where “Kathy” was and where she wanted to be, but there was passion about getting there, one step at a time.

“Susie” wanted to have a home she could be proud, one to which she could invite friends and family to visit.   Unfortunately, the current state of her home was very cluttered, disorganized and in some rooms, not physically safe.  She continually brought additional items into the home without moving any items out.   Her vision was of a home that reflected her many life experiences but was not so overwhelmed with clutter that she was in constant fear of tripping.  This gap was physical, but closing that gap would open up a world of social interaction that hadn’t been experienced in a long time.

Each of these clients had a clear vision of where they were now and an even clearer vision of where they wanted to be.  The disconnect was the gap.

Closing the gap is different for everyone, but it almost always involves a significant emotional component.  And a lot of time, that component is fear.

Fear of being rejected in our job search so we settle for the status quo.

Fear of failure and sometimes even fear of success.

Fear that if we get our lives a little more in order even more will be expected of us.

Fear that if we let something physically go, the memories attached to it will go too.

Fear of the unknown.

What do you want to change?  Where are you now?  Where do you want to be?  What’s your gap?

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

Taxes stressing you out?

“Yikes! I’m not even close to getting my taxes done and so stressed out about it!”

Not surprisingly, this time of year creates a lot of stress and anxiety for people . . . . especially for those that may have some procrastination, organization and motivation challenges.

Generally speaking, taxes are frustrating, confusing, and sometimes moderately depressing.  Therefore, we tend to procrastinate when it comes to filing our taxes.  According to Wolf Tax, there are five general reasons we procrastinate when it comes to filing our taxes:

  • Excuses:   We can come up with lots of circumstances as to why we don’t do things, especially if the excuses are self-serving and other people around you are doing it too.  “Groupthink” anyone?
  • Thrill-Seeking:   Sometimes waiting until the last possible moment to do something gives us an emotional high.  Generally, this is a short-lived payoff.
  • No obvious penalty: There’s no penalty for dropping them off at the post office at 11:59 PM on April 15.  Why hurry?
  • Work better under pressure: Actually, people are less effective and more prone to make errors when working under pressure.
  • Perfectionism: Often referred to as “perfection paralysis.”  We don’t want to start a project because we fear the outcome may not be “perfect.”  Perfect stands in the way of progress.

Hopefully, you’ve already filed your taxes, received your refund, and none of what I’m presenting applies to you.  If so, nicely done!

If you are still waiting to file your taxes, here are your next few steps:

  1. Call For A Tax Appointment: Stop reading right now and call for an appointment with your tax preparer.  If you don’t have one, now is a good time to do some research.  There are, of course, a plethora of tax preparation options. You can do an internet search on “tax preparation services,” but now may be a great time to use that social network you’ve been building.  Ask your friends and relatives if they have anyone to recommend.  In addition, there may be some free tax preparation services available depending on your age and income. Search “free tax preparation services” and you will get a lot of
  2. Gather Your Documents:  By now you should have received all the documents required to prepare your taxes.  These documents may include, but are not limited to:
  • W-2s from your employers,
  • 1099-MISC forms for self-employment income,
  • 1099-INT (interest) and 1099-DIV (dividends) forms,
  • 1099-B forms showing brokerage trades in stocks and bonds,
  • K-1 forms for income from a partnership, small business, or trust,
  • 1099-SSA form showing Social Security received,
  • Documentation of charitable donations.

Other great sources for documents you may need to prepare your taxes:
Tax Preparation Documents for Homeowners
Documents To Take To Your Accountant

  1. Create A Reusable File System To Track And Maintain Tax Documents: Once you’ve gathered all your documents, create a simple filing system (it may only be two file folders or envelopes) that will allow you to repeat this process year-after-year (generally tax documentation requirements will be the same from year-to-year unless there are major life changes).

Envelope #1 Current Year Taxes:  This envelope will contain a checklist of all the documents that were required to file the current years’ taxes, plus all backup documentation.

Envelope #2 Next Year Taxes: This envelope will contain the checklist of documents you need to gather for the next year’s tax cycle.  Using this previously-created and tax preparer-approved form will make it easier to ensure you have all the documentation you need for simple tax preparation come year end.

I suggest using sturdy, plastic folders or envelopes for this purpose, that way you’re not replacing them every year.  Plastic File Folders or  Plastic Envelopes

Filing taxes isn’t always fun and rewarding, but the consequences of not filing (or not filing on time) can be expensive and stressful.  Don’t procrastinate.

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

“If only . . .” = Change

“He says he doesn’t care about being fashionable, if only he dressed more like Michael.”

“She is really good at her job, if only she wanted to stay home with the kids like my mom did.”

“I know life will be perfect if only I could only lose a few pounds.”

What we mean when we say “if only” is there is a need for change, in someone else or ourselves.

As part of my coaching practice, my clients focus a lot on change.  Not only do people want to make changes in their own lives (which I fully support), but they want to make changes to other people too.  Don’t get me wrong, most of us have things about ourselves we’d like to change and I support that 100%.  But what does it say about us that we feel the need to change others?

Let’s take each of the above statements just a little further:

“He says he doesn’t care about being fashionable, if only he dressed more like Michael.”

He didn’t care about fashion when you met him, why should he care about that now?  Why should you?  What changed? Why bring someone else into your relationship?  What kind of pressure are you putting on Michael to maintain your level of perfection?

“She is really good at her job, if only she wanted to stay home with the kids like my mom did.”

My guess is that one of the things that attracted you to her was the drive and determination she had for her job.  What changed?   How much is her job a part of her?  What happens when you ask her to give up something that’s important to her?  Are your needs more important than hers?

“I know life will be perfect if only I could only lose a few pounds.”

Comments like these hurt me to the core.  I struggled with self-image issues when I was younger (actually, still do) and I was certain that my life would be perfect if only I lost 25 pounds.  Then I lost 25 pounds and low-and-behold, life was not perfect.  What I found was that the people who truly loved and cared about me thought I was perfect just the way I was.  They didn’t see a need for change, why did I?

How much happier would we be if we could eliminate “if only” from our lives and look at others, and ourselves, as perfect just the way we are?

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

Important vs Urgent

I feel fortunate and blessed to have created a work-style and life-style that supports a flexible schedule, but the past couple of months have been a whirlwind of guests and travel that has my head spinning . . . and my “to do” list expanding by the day.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling pretty darn guilty about all the stuff I’m not getting done.  Some of it is personal, but much of it involves things I really, really want to accomplish to support my business and clients.  After beating myself up a bit, I revisited the Urgent vs Important grid (thank you Stephen Covey!) to help me through the “what to do now” decision process.

Important & Urgent: Things that really, really need to be dealt with right now (house on fire, etc.).

Important & Not Urgent: Things that need to be done, but don’t need to be done right now (long-term planning, etc.).

Urgent & Not Important:  Things that probably never need to be dealt with, but take up our precious time (telemarketer calls, etc.)

Not Urgent & Not Important:  Not only do these things not have to be done right now, chances are they don’t need to be done at all (watching videos of dancing cats on Youtube, etc.)

With the limited amount of time I’ve had in my home and office the past couple of weeks, here’s how I broke down a few of the outstanding items on my “to do” list:

  1. Pay bills:  Important & Urgent
  2. Complete coaching homework required for certification: Important & Urgent
  3. Listen to teleclass before it expires: Important & Urgent
  4. Ironing:  Important & Not Urgent
  5. Office Filing: Important & Not Urgent
  6. Unsubscribe from unwanted e-mails: Important & Not Urgent

I generally don’t put Not Important stuff on my “to do” list, so two of the categories were easy to eliminate.

Granted, there were a lot of other things on my list, but these represented hours worth of things I wanted (not needed) to do.  The result:  #1-#3 got done; #4-#6 will be saved for another day.

Suffice to say, with my list prioritized, I’m feeling much better about getting the important stuff done, leaving the other “not urgent” things to be tackled at another time and focusing on being thankful that I have the ability to spend time and energy traveling and enjoying our guests.

How do you prioritize your “to do” list?

 

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

What’s your story?

I just finished Brene’ Brown’s Rising Strong.  In the book, she encourages her readers to think about “the story I’m making up” and explore other perspectives.  What does she mean by that?

Read the story about the total disconnect she had with her husband while taking a swim on a long-awaited family summer vacation.  I assure you, you will have an “ah-ha” moment before the story is through.

Acknowledging “the story I’m making up” can be a real communication life-saver.  How has “the story” manifested for me?  Here are a few examples:

Scenario #1:  A friend and I took a road trip together.  We’ve known each other for a long time and have a very sarcastic repertoire.  Basically, we flip each other sh&! all the time.  The day after our road trip I saw a meme on Facebook that said “The definition of bestie: someone who opens their mouth just to insult you.”   The story I made up was, “How funny is this?  This is the perfect description of our super-fun road trip yesterday. My friend will think this is so funny.  I have to send it to her right now!”  Well, the story my friend made up when she saw the iMessage two weeks later was “Cindy must hate me and think I am a horrible friend.”  It took her a full week to get the nerve up to send me an e-mail letting me know that she would try to be a better friend.  Same message, two completely different stories.  Had my friend called me and said: “the story I’m making up is that you think I’m a mean friend” could have been easily explained away.

Scenario #2: A couple of years ago a client poured her heart out to me in a text message.  She displayed a lot of vulnerability and raw emotion.  The text never came through to my phone.  However, at about the same time I was in Costco and texted my client asking if she wanted me to pick up some of her favorite pencils.  Unfortunately, my response to her vulnerable text was “I’m in Costco, want me to grab some pencils?”  She never replied to my text.  The story she made up was “Cindy is ignoring my painful text because I crossed the line of professional boundaries.  I wonder how this is going to change our relationship.”  My story was “Well, I guess she doesn’t need any pencils.”  Same texting miscommunication, two completely different stories.  Had my client called and asked about my strange response to her text, she would have saved herself a week of concern about our potentially-damaged relationship.

Scenario #3:  I managed the Northwest Harvest food drive for my department when I worked at Macy’s.  I was passionate about giving back to the community and loved this part of my job.  One year it looked like we were going to fall a little short of our goal.  I was discussing the situation with one of the senior managers and he said: “just put me down for whatever we are short.”  I felt he had already given plenty so my response was “You’ve already given so much, why don’t you let someone else pick up the slack?”  To that, he curtly responded “Don’t tell me what to do with my money. If I want to give more, I will give more.”  Because I very much respected this person, I was crushed.  My story was “I failed to rally the troops enough and this very generous person is having to pick up the pieces as a result of my failure.” His story was “We’re close, I’m okay giving a little more. Why is she questioning how much I want to give?”  If I’d had my wits about me I could have simply said “Wow.  I didn’t expect that strong of a response.  Where is that coming from?”

Can you see similarities to your experiences in these stories?  What’s your story?  What’s their story? What story can you create together with thoughtful and vulnerable conversations?

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

Labels: Helpful or Harmful?

I recently read a great book called “The Organizing Sourcebook” by Kathy Waddill.  As an organizer, the entire book fascinated me, but Chapter #5 drilled home the point on how labeling can give us direction, but it can also hold us back.

Even before reading the book I was a big fan of labeling things.  My P-touch labeler is always close at hand and there are lots and lots of labeled containers in my home and office.  Labeling keeps things clear. Labeling provides order. Labeling creates a vision based on experiences.

But I never thought about the drawbacks of labeling until I processed the information in Kathy Waddill’s book.  How is assigning a label to something standing in our way, not only in the organizing process but life in general?

Paraphrased below are a couple of her examples:

Do you prefer to use the normally-unused dining room as your home office, but are handicapped because you can’t bring yourself to put a filing cabinet in it?  Well, change the label on that room to home office, position a visually-appealing file cabinet and move on.  You will still be able to use it during infrequent dinner parties, but you will use it every day as your convenient home office.

As an empty-nester, are you struggling to reclassify your children’s room into areas you would truly use, like craft room or home gym?  If so, change the label and start enjoying the rooms in support of your current lifestyle.   Invest in a comfortable sofa or wall bed for the occasional overnight visitor and start using the room in the way that supports your lifestyle today.

These examples got me thinking about how using labels can be detrimental to a happy and healthy life.  For example:

Because we have a “favorite restaurant,” does that hold us back from trying new cuisines?

Does our “favorite exercise class” keep us from trying the new Nia fitness trend?

If you think you have a “nosey neighbor,” would you view them differently if they were your Neighborhood Watch captain?

If you could change your mindset around an “anxious” emotion to embracing  “eager” instead, in what way would that change how you feel?

Labeling. Whether it’s helpful or harmful is entirely up to us.

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

Me Time

“Rest and self-care are so important.  When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.  You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”                   — Eleanor Brownn

My husband and I just returned from a week’s vacation.  Not only was it lovely to go from 40-degree weather in the Seattle area to 80-degree weather in a tropical climate, it was nice to leave behind the worries of work, pet care, and our leaky garage roof.  All things I couldn’t manage from hundreds of miles away.

Settling into the new routine, or more appropriately no routine, allowed me some much-needed me time.

I spent my me time focusing on my life balance.  Spending time just hangin’ with my husband was magical.  We played a couple rounds of golf.  We took a walk together. I read two books.  I went to the gym. I meditated outside (easier to do in 80 degrees than 40 degrees). And, we spent a lot of time just lounging by the pool, basically doing nothing.

I asked a few of my friends what me time looked like to them and here is what I heard:

  1. Getting up a few minutes before the rest of the household and just enjoying the quiet.
  2. Reading.
  3. Taking a walk by themselves.
  4. Meditation (this is a big one for me too).
  5. Exercising
  6. Trying out a new restaurant with friends.
  7. Getting a manicure/pedicure.
  8. Joining a book club.
  9. Turning off the electronic devices.
  10. Calling a friend.

Why worry about me time?  WebMD has some thoughts on this.   Although this article is biased toward women, I think men have the same challenges.

“There’s a tremendous amount of stress and pressure put on women: being parents, being daughters, mothers, wives, professionals. All of these roles combined leave many of us not taking adequate care of ourselves — which is what sustains us and gives us the energy to take care of all these other responsibilities that we have,” says Randy Kamen Gredinger, a Wayland, MA, psychologist and life coach specializing in women’s issues.”

Whatever your thoughts about me time are, experts agree it is important to schedule it.  I know with my clients, if it’s not on the schedule, it just doesn’t happen, even with the best of intentions.

So, here’s my challenge to you:

Look at your calendar and set aside at least ten minutes of me time every day.

How will you spend your me time?

Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC

 

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter Vice-President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Resource Member

 

 

 

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.

 

Tough Conversations

I needed to have what I perceived to be a tough conversation with a health care provider recently.  I wanted a specific course of treatment that I wasn’t sure she was going to be in favor of.  I did the research to support my request, but still worried and fretted over that upcoming conversation for the better part of the week.  When I actually had the conversation, there was no push-back from the health care provider at all.  She was fully in support of my request and was more than willing to prescribe what I’d requested.  All that worry was for nothing.

How can you ensure your tough conversations go that well?

1. Do the research: If you want the outcome of a tough conversation to go your way, do the research.

  • Want a raise? Be ready to explain why you deserve it. What have you done to contribute to the bottom line?  What are comparable employees in similar industries being paid?
  • Want a better deal with your cable company? Know the current price of comparable packages and be prepared to explain how long you’ve been a valued, pay-on-time customer.
  • Want a prescribed treatment plan? Detail the reputable resources you utilized to come to your decision about the treatment plan and why you believe it will work for you.  Starting the conversation with “this guy on one of my blog sites said I needed to do this” may not be your best lead.

2.  Know what you want:

  • If you want a raise, be specific. “Based on the information I’ve provided I deserve an extra $5 per hour” is much better than “I want a raise.”
  • If you want a better cable deal, saying “I see your bundled package for new customers is $125/month. How can I get that same deal?” is better than “I need you to reduce my monthly bill.”
  • If you want a different prescription, say “I would like to try Adderall because I understand the side effects are less severe than Concerta.”

3.  Be polite: No matter what you are requesting, it is better to be polite than confrontational.  Keep a calm tone of voice, call the person you are speaking to by name, don’t argue, say please and thank you.

4.  Talk to the decision-maker: If you aren’t happy with the response you received, ask to speak to a supervisor.  Understand that each person has a prescribed level of authority and if they can’t give you what you are asking for, possibly the next person up the line can.

5.  Write a Thank You note: If it makes sense, write a thank you note to the person or company that has been of assistance.  The power of a thank you note cannot be overstated.

Cindy Jobs, COC

 

 

www.organizetosimplify.com

 

 

National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, Seattle Chapter

National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President

 

 

Certified Organizer Coach

Coach Approach for Organizers

 

 

 

Institute for Challenging Disorganization

Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.

Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.