Sunday, July 12, 2009

No ACE in the Workplace

Have you ever heard of that ad jingle, “Ace is the place for your helpful Hardware Store?” I’m picturing a jolly John Madden across my computer screen. Giggling! Well, I’m going to teach you a new way to approach Ace (no offense major hardware store chain). In this week’s blog, we will chant our mantra, “NO ACE in the WORKPLACE.”

So you’re asking, “uh, what?” ACE. I like acronyms, to the dismay of many of my clients and friends…but hey, it’s a good memory point! ACE, for sake of this discussion, stands for:


I came up with these three “vices,” for lack of a better term, after looking inward at some of my weaknesses in the last few months. Women especially – we have a tendency to put “our all” into things, business and otherwise. Unfortunately, that passion runs the danger of putting too much stock in ideas, presentations and/or outcomes.

So this week, I want you to chant the mantra, “No ACE in the WORKPLACE.” When I say “ACE,” here’s how those three little vegetables in the bowl of Work Salad relate to keeping a clean palate:

1) ASSUMPTIONS: When we assume an outcome or answer from someone, it will usually end up in what I call a “Frying Pan to the Head” moment – meaning, you didn’t see it coming, but that assumption got thrown to the wind. For instance, if you walk into a meeting assuming a bad outcome such as a lost account…it will show on your face and wreak havoc on your game….most likely ending up in you losing the account. So word to the wise: don’t assume! Keep an open mind in any situation.

2) CONDITIONS: Much like assumptions, conditions are tough little animals. As my very wise Yoga instructor Sarah says, “When you put a condition on a relationship, situation or dilemma, you are choosing the receiving party’s answer for them.” Imagine yourself going on vacation (we’ve all done this) and saying, “I’ll have fun, but only if Aunt Sally doesn’t try to discipline my kids.” Poor Aunt Sally – she’s doomed, based on the condition you just put on her. Drop the conditions, again keeping an open mind…and be surprised at how cool “Aunt Sally” can actually be with your kids this time.

3) EXPECTATIONS: This is the top of the pyramid on vices…and the most common. We put expectations on everything we do – and that’s why so many self-help books have flooded the market…because we very rarely can live up to the high expectations we set for ourselves. Think about what you expect out of yourself, your family/kids, your relationships with friends, your job- and then think of how many times you actually had those expectations MET ? Drop the expectation game for ONE WEEK – my challenge – and you will feel a massive weight lifted off your back.

Did you get that there is an element of surprise to all three of these outcomes, if you drop ACE in the WORKPLACE? Yep, like I said, try it for a week. You will be, not only surprised, but I’ll go as far as to say AMAZED – at the very positive outcomes you’ll see by being so open. Don’t worry if you stumble here and there – it’s worth the learning for sake of the journey.

All the best, ROCK STARS - DKC

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