Archive for the Teamwork Category

Here one of the biggest time wasting questions you can ever ask:

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on February 22, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


“Why did you do that?”

Our parents asked the above question so many times that we often use the same question when correcting other people.

I hope you’re not using the same question.

Please realize that the “Why did you do that?” question solicits an answer for something that occurred in the PAST (de-motivating), whereas good motivation is about the future, not the past. Not only that, the question puts the other person on defense.

Picture a basketball team who wants to go to the Final Four. Will they be better off if they work on strategies for next week’s game or last week’s game? Clearly, they’ll be better off investing their time in preparing for next week’s game (the future). You’ll also notice that when the other team is on defense, you have to work even harder and that takes more time.

Here are four timesaving suggestions:

#1: When correcting someone, move your question to the future. Example: “We know what happens when that occurs (the past) so, if it happens again, how would you see yourself handling it? Note that you’re moving the thinking from the past to the future.

#2: When you’re being introspective, do you ask yourself, “Why did I do that” questions? Or, do you ask yourself, “If that happens again what strategies would help me? Clearly, you’ll be better off if you focus on strategies for the future.

#3: Replace “Why?” questions with “What were you accomplishing by ____?” questions. This will help you learn specifics and prevent de-motivating, defensive explanations.

#4: Reserve “Why?” questions for information about creative matters (Why are you telling me this, Chuc”).

I’m telling you this because when you focus on the future, you’ll come up with better ideas that help you move forward—and you boost motivation.

Does this make sense? Please write you comments here.

How slowing down helps you improve your perspective!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on January 4, 2015 by Chuc Barnes


It was early in January on almost the same date as today, and my wife and I were excited about getting to stop and see the Grand Canyon again.

As soon we got out of our car we could sense that something was different.

Looking in the canyon, we were surprised to see that a large cloud had settled inside the canyon itself. That cloud was so large that it blocked the usual “view” of the brilliant colors, unusual formations, numerous trails, and vast size you would ordinarily see. We laughed because that “view” of the cloud in the canyon was one more “view” of the canyon we had never seen.

Looking around us, we heard people say, “I thought the canyon was supposed to be something big and beautiful. How disappointing! Let’s hurry on to Vegas.”

It saddened my wife and me to realize that the people who hurried away left with the impression that the Grand Canyon was only a big hole with a cloud in it.

(And, by the way, the cloud left the canyon a few hours later. What a glorious sight that turned out to be!)

It occurs to me that life is like this. We often get in such a hurry that we draw the wrong conclusions about the remarkable people and experiences that are around us, and we quickly move on to other places and items that are not nearly as important to our life experience.

Wouldn’t it a lot better to slow down and appreciate where we are and what’s around us? I think so. What do you think?

Please leave your comments here.

Why don’t people listen today?

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Presenting, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on November 29, 2014 by Chuc Barnes


Can you remember when your mother spoke to you and said, “Listen to me.” Perhaps your mother even said, “Look at me when I’m talking to you.”

Your mom was not just teaching you a skill to use with her. She was teaching you a crucial skill to help you save time when dealing with other people too.

Karen Anderson is a friend of mine and a mom. She also is a teacher, speaker, and consultant. Karen constantly tells her students and clients that “good leaders LISTEN.”

I agree with Karen–and I agree with your mom. Good leaders listen!

Simply try to imagine how can you effectively lead a group in a meeting or any endeavor if you’re not listening to them and paying attention, not just to their words, but also to their body language?

As a former Marine, I can tell you first hand that a good leader, whether in battle or not, is constantly watching his or her team in order to “listen” to what’s going on. And when in battle, leaders and team members use signals so they can communicate without the enemy knowing what you’re saying.

This also is true in sports. When playing basketball or baseball, isn’t it true that players on a team receive messages from their coach from signals (a method of communicating and LISTENING) in the middle of a game?

OK, forget battle and sports for a moment. Think about yourself. Are you a good listener? Do you pay attention to what other people are thinking and saying?

Do you listen to what your customers are saying?

What about your friends? Do you actually listen to them?

And what about today’s politicians. Do they listen? If so, why do they have such low favorability ratings?

Realize that young people “listen” differently than you do. They communicate with friends by sending messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. (Text messages are enormously popular.) They therefore “listen” to words and they look at photos and videos. Thus, they don’t use much body language.

I’m writing this post right now to remind you, as the leader and self-manager that you are, that LISTENING is a crucial skill — a time-saving skill that too many people are overlooking today.

Do you agree with what I’m saying about listening being a time-saver? If you do, great! If you don’t, that’s OK. Either way, I’d like to “listen” to your opinion so please jot your comments here.

Your life is a lot like the Grand Canyon.

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on April 14, 2014 by Chuc Barnes

CWBGrandCanyonI speak for a variety of audiences and last week I told a speaker friend, Marian Madonia, that I like to talk about The Grand Canyon in my keynote presentations because 1) even if people haven’t been to The Grand Canyon, they quickly relate to its enormous size, and 2) I love to hike and float through The Grand Canyon myself (as you know from the things we’ve discussed in this blog).

I told Marian that I enjoy saying to audiences that there’s no need to run at The Grand Canyon because wherever you are at The Grand Canyon, you’re already there.

Marian has a very fast mind and she immediately said, “Chuc, The Grand Canyon is a lot like your life. It’s right there for you to see and experience, but you can’t see it all.”

I loved what Marian said because in my way of thinking Marian is right.

Marian went on to say that lots of people spend lots of time focusing only on the steps they need to take and that, if you only focus on your steps at The Grand Canyon, you miss out on the big picture and the richness of the entire experience.

I loved that comment too because it also is true.

When hiking at The Grand Canyon, it of course is important to watch the steps you take because trails are steep, rocks are apt to be in the way, and you could even step in a hole or fall off the trail. What’s just as important, however, is not just to watch your steps, but to look around to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and vastness of the canyon.

Isn’t this also true of life? I think so.

The Grand Canyon is so beautiful, so awe-inspiring, so vast that you simply can’t see all of it in a moment. Even if you fly over The Grand Canyon, you can’t see the flowers, smell the fragrances, feel the temperature changes, examine the caves and ancient dwellings (See the photo at the top), and you certainly can’t experience the true depth of the canyon. It is simply too big to see it all at one time.

I propose that your life is mighty big too. I suggest that your life (just like mine) is right there in front of you and me to see, experience, and enjoy. And, if you agree with me, wouldn’t you say that it’s a good idea to make a plan for your life so you can follow the trail that takes you where you want to go? Likewise, wouldn’t you say that it seems silly and wasteful to do all the hurrying that everyone is doing? After all, why hurry when hurry makes you miss so much?

Everyone has their own perspective about the way they see The Grand Canyon and the way they see their life. For example, my sons and I were standing on the edge of the South Rim of the canyon and admiring the beautiful colors and formations when a bus full of tourists pulled up. The tourists got out of the bus to look at the canyon and my sons and I laughed when one man looked at the canyon and said, “Boy, that sure is a big hole. Ok, let’s go on to Vegas.”

Pretty funny.

I think planning is important, whether you’re exploring the canyon, traveling to Vegas, or trying to make the most of the minutes in your life. I think teamwork, scheduling steps at the right time, prioritizing and taking breaks are important too.

How about you? Do you have an opinion? If so, please share your thoughts here.

Here’s some ideas to help you value your time!

Posted in Balance, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on December 11, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


If you believe time is money, as most people do, I’m sure you’d also agree that it’s a good idea to save as much time as possible, right? After all, why waste a lot of money?

Ok, now let’s do some math.

Let’s say that you earn $50 an hour (for talking purposes). This means that if you save one hour a day for every day of the work week, you’ll end up saving $250 in the week ($50 an hour times 5 work days in the week), right?

So if you save $250 in one week, it’s also obvious that you’ll be saving $1,000 in one month ($250 a week times 4 weeks in the month), correct?

Good for you. You’ve just saved $1,000.

Now let’s keep the math going.

If you save $1,000 a month, you’ll obviously save $12,000 a year for yourself ($1,000 a month times 12 months), correct?

Ok, you now are either agreeing with what I’m showing you here or you’re not agreeing.

If you are agreeing with me, notice that by saving one hour a day, you’ve just saved enough money to now hire a part time helper who you can pay $1,000 a month to help you get more done. (And, if you earn $100 an hour, you now just saved enough money to hire two people.)

If you are not agreeing with me, please tell me what’s wrong with the math I’m showing you here.

The problem with what I’m showing you here is not with the math. The problem is that time is not money. People say that it’s money, however.

So now let’s now apply common sense.

Time is not money. Time can’t be given to anyone. Time can’t be put in a bank. Time can’t be compounded and you can’t earn interest from time. And one other item: Time sure can’t be won on a game show.

Let’s face it. Time is not money. It’s your most valuable asset, however.

Time is your life.

I suggest that when you stop worrying about time and begin focusing on ways to create positive memories and experiences for your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, your friend, your neighbor, your co-workers, your customers (and even for you) you’re making your minutes count. And isn’t creating meaningful memories and positive experiences what maximizes life?

Does this ring true to you? Please leave your comments here.

Trust Is A Time-saver & Broken Trust is A Time-waster.

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Organize, Planning, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on October 14, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


Think about this for a moment.

The dictionary defines “Trust” as;
1. Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. Confident expectation of something; hope.
3. A person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
4. The condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

In the above definition note that “reliance, confidence, surety, and hope” are words used to describe trust.

Now realize how fortunate you are to be able to trust a partner, associate, teammate, service provider, friend, or family member. Notice how people you can trust actually save your time.

Now think about how you feel when you deal with people who can’t be trusted. For example, when someone says they’ll show up at specified time, and then they show up late. Is that trust? No, it’s a violation of trust and the violation wastes your time.

Perhaps you work with someone who tells you they will have a file ready for you on Monday, but they don’t have it for you on Monday. Doesn’t that lack of commitment on their part break trust and waste your time?

You don’t want that, do you?

I value TRUST very highly and I think most people do.

Here are two suggestions:

1) If you can’t arrive at the time you agreed, call before the agreed on time and tell the person when they can expect you. This will help change the expectation and it will help the other person make full use of their time.

2) If you can’t have a file or project ready when agreed, tell the other person in advance so a new time can be agreed on.

Life of course would be so very nice if everything always worked out perfectly. Life isn’t perfect, though. Changes occur constantly. That’s why it’s essential to respect other people by keeping commitments and letting them know–in advance–if you need to change a commitment. This then helps everyone get full use of his or her time.

As I said, I like dealing with people I know I can trust, and I’ll bet you feel the same way.

Do you trust me with this? Please put your comments here.

It’s essential to arrive on time–or early!

Posted in Balance, Customer service, Leadership, Management, Planning, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on September 16, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


Clients keep telling me how much frustration they have with other people who arrive late. They tell me they believe arriving late a sign of disrespect.

You have a right to your own view. And, yes there are a lot of obstacles that get in the way today of arriving on time.

Now think about a job interview. If the candidate you are scheduled to talk with shows up late, would their tardiness be something you’d consider? And suppose you want to purchase new insurance and the agent who says they will talk with you comes late, will that have an effect on your decision?

Now think how you feel when you are at the airport waiting at the gate so you can board your flight. It is time for the plane to board and suddenly, the gate agent tells you that your flight won’t even arrive for another hour. Do you now feel like the airline really cares about you and your schedule?

Entertainers and athletes know how important it is to arrive AHEAD of time. In fact, they say, “If you just show up on time, you are late.”

Suggestion: Whenever you make an appointment, determine not just when you need to arrive, but – more importantly – when you need to LEAVE so you can arrive on time. When you determine the time you need to leave, you’ll anticipate the probable obstacles – in advance. That will help.

Do you have an opinion? If so, please say so here.

How much time are you really losing?

Posted in Balance, Organize, Self-management, Stress, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on August 11, 2013 by Chuc Barnes

aa020053There’s no question about the fact that you’re confronted today with more interruptions and last minutes schedule changes than ever before.

Just think the many interruptions you’re dealing with:

● text messages
● e-mails
● voice mails
● schedule changes
● emergency meetings
● people who leave unclear phone messages such as “give me a call”
● social networking
● waiting, etc.

Realizing that these interruptions are taking place, now ask yourself, “How much time am I losing from all of this?”

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll discover you’re losing from 2 to 3 hours a day from your interruptions and schedule changes.

Now think how much this lost time totals.

Two hours a day times 5 days a week equals 10 hours a week of lost time. Ten hours a week times 4 weeks equals 40 hours a month (a full week). A full week a month times 12 months equals 1/4 of a year of wasted time. That’s a lot of time to be wasted: A full quarter of a year!

Suggestion #1: Compute your own lost time so you’ll realize how much it truly totals and thereby motivate yourself to plug some of these time wasters.

Suggestion #2: Set a personal goal to reduce your lost time by one hour a day. That can be accomplished by setting up strategies to deal with your most common interruptions.

We’ll talk about ways to deal with interruptions in future postings.

Here are two questions that will help you and your team!

Posted in Customer service, Leadership, Management, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on July 7, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


When working with a large group of professionals last week, we discussed the differences in generations and the way each generation seems to have a preference for the way they like to communicate.

We agreed that:

 “Matures” like to use Voicemail.

 “Boomers” tend to like E-mail

 “Gen X” like to use Text

 “Gen Y” (Millennials) like to use social media such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and LInkedIn.

These conclusions of course are not “absolute” because there definitely are exceptions, yet even so, we agreed that there are differences in communication preferences based on age group.

Suggestion: if you work with a team that’s made up of different age groups, you’re apt to discover – just as we did — that it’s very helpful to you and your group to ask each other the following two questions:

1) What’s the best way for us to communicate?

2) What can we do to save time for each other?

When you ask these questions, you are apt to learn that even though you might like Voicemail, your team might prefer Texts. By the same token, you might like E-mall, yet your team might show you how Tweets might be more effective for the group.

The point to all of this is that by asking the above two questions, the answers can help you and the entire team, and — after all – that’s teamwork.

I say that teamwork is time management. Do you agree?

Does this suggestion make sense to you?

Why not set up a family calendar?

Posted in Balance, Management, Organize, Self-management, Teamwork, Time management, Time management/Self-management on March 11, 2013 by Chuc Barnes


After speaking for a group of families at a nearby school, I was told by several parents that they love my suggestion to hold weekly family meetings where they (the parents and their kids) talk about all key events they plan to take care of in the upcoming week. I proposed that they schedule each family member’s major events on a calendar, which they put on the family refrigerator.

The parents told me they love this idea because it requires everyone in the family to listen to each other and to recognize each other’s priorities. They also said this helps them (the parents) see what kind of school assignments are coming due for their kids.

If you like this idea and perhaps want a good calendar, you can get a good, free, printable calendar of nearly any size at

Seem like a good idea to you? Please let me know.