Deprecated: Function jetpack_form_register_pattern is deprecated since version jetpack-13.4! Use Automattic\Jetpack\Forms\ContactForm\Util::register_pattern instead. in /home/customer/www/ on line 6078
Exploring Patterns - Page 28 of 31 - Taking the time to think about what could be in a world of what is….

Gate N1

The kids were hanging onto this man as if life itself stood before them.

And he just won’t let go. You see the three of them stood before Gate N1 as its passengers boarded the plane. The girls hugged this man and he, in return, kept assuring them in his own quiet way, it was going to be just fine.

The passengers slowly disappeared down the ramp to board the plane.

The girls and their father kept talking. Him on bended knee; them desperately trying to drag him down the ramp to the plane.

And he kept talking and reassuring them.

In the midst of the story sat a man. He sat with his head down, never that far away from the three, looking up every once and while with a face of reassurance, yet with profound sadness.

I caught his eye. We had a short conversation. Turns out his best friend was putting his daughters on the plane to send them home to his former wife. After a month with his daughters, this was a tough morning for his friend. His friend would likely not see them form another good six to eight months. Yet, those are the rules and his friend would honour the agreement.

The boarding area was now empty. The final passenger had vanished down the ramp to the plane.

It was time for the girls to board the plane. He quietly took his daughters to the gate, gave them one final hug, handed the staff the boarding passes and paper work and then watched them disappear down the ramp.

And as they vanished into the darkness of the loading ramp, he slowly walked back from the ramp towards his friend.

As he turned to look at his friend, the ball cap did it’s best to cover the heart break and tears that covered his face.

They just stood there. Nothing said, yet the silence and look of pain their faces at that moment said it all.

As they both watched the plane slowly taxi away from the gate, nothing was said. Yet, in that moment, everything was said.

Life is made up moments of caring. Caring deeply for the people we call our family, caring deeply for those who make us part of their family.

To the friend, the father and the girls, their experience at the airport remains a caring moment in time.

It is a moment that demonstrates the best in people that I shall treasure for life.

For it represents what it means to care deeply, to be human and to be our very best when it hurts.

And it is that ability to be our best, despite all that is happening in our lives, that makes us truly human.





Managing E-mail

The e-mail inbox.

I’m often asked if there is a way to manage the large volume of e-mail that arrives every day. I know the question often comes up during the summer season when people dread the large number of e-mail messages waiting in their e-mail box when they get back from holidays. Here are a few tricks to consider as you deal with the challenge of e-mail.

  1. Tell people early if you are going to be away. That allows people to plan ahead so they make sure you have time to answer their questions well before the final day you are in the office.
  2. Make a decision about what you will do with e-mail when you are away. Are you going to answer messages, not answer messages, ask someone to answer messages, etc.? It is important to let people know what you will with e-mail when it arrives when you are away.
  3. If you take your smart phone with you, turn off the chimes, bells or any other alerts. Take a few minutes, two or three days in advance of your departure, to change the settings so your smart phone will not sound or alarm when you are away on your vacation.
  4. When you return from vacation, take the first two days to listen to what has happened while you away. Balance the time between answering the e-mail and spending time with staff and colleagues. Mixing up your e-mail and phone conversations can make the process of “catching up” fun and engaging.
  5. When sifting through large stacks of e-mail, try to sort out what needs to be done now, what can wait and what can be passed on to anther colleague. “Now- Wait – Ask” can be a simple rule to help quickly sort out what really needs to done quickly upon your return.

Vacation is a great time to take break, catch your breath and step out of the pace of the workplace. Consider “re-entry” with your e-mail as an opportunity to see how the rest of the world spent their time when you were away. Careful attention to planning ahead, managing e-mail while you are away coupled with a retry plan can help take the stress out of managing your e-mail.

Have a great vacation!


Planning Ahead for the September 2011

With summer here, September will soon be around the corner. Here are four tips that can help make your transition from the summer into September as smooth as possible.

  1. Plan ahead. If you are interesting hosting a special event (e.g., planning retreat), start exploring potential dates and locations during the summer. People can get dates and locations into their calendar during the summer and be prepared for the fall.
  2. Organize your Personal Calendar. July is a great month to sit down with your calendar and identify key dates that will be important to you and organization in the fall. For example, I like to mark in calendar the key dates when government reports are due (e.g., September 30th). That allows me to book time in my calendar to complete reporting requirements etc.
  3. Resource Forecast. Review the financial performance of your organization during the months leading up to June. Will the organization end the year on budget? Do you anticipate some challenges ahead? Thinking now about resources challenges can help identify where to focus your work in the fall.
  4. Fun Factor. Don’t forget to include fun into your plans for the fall. What are the fun activities you and or your organization will undertake in the fall?

Enjoy the summer. It’s a great time to take a break, make a plan and reflect on the accomplishments of the last six months.