Alternatively, beg them to SHUT UP

Someone at Harvard Business Review has had enough and decided to write a Very Heavily Pointed article that even now they are innocently forwarding to the one of the bosses who will for god’s sake not shut up.

The article points out that there may be some things you can do about a boring boss, starting with:

Diagnose the problem. Many senior leaders are long-winded in some situations and not others. Does your boss tend to deliver an Oscar acceptance speech only when big clients come to the office and meet you in the conference room? Will your biggest client complain for hours about his divorce case over lunch, but not if he stops by the office? Are management monologues more likely to occur when there’s no formal agenda, if you’re on a phone call with no time constraints, or when no one asks any questions?

Take note of when your culprit tends to dominate the conversation so you can change the setting or circumstances. All of these clues can indicate what the core problem is — and help you devise a plan of attack.

Advice for Dealing with a Long-Winded Leader – Joe McCormack, HBR (9 January 2015)

Read the full piece.

Make a quiet spot in your day

I love newsrooms, I love production offices, I utterly adore popping in to schools where 100 bored kids and 3 stressed-out teachers expect me to perform in some useful way. I love being busy, busy, busy. But I do get more done when I am alone.

Actually, this is becoming a theme day. I write the most and I think I write my best when I get up at 5am in the morning – and today is the 250th day I’ve done that.  Plus I’ve mentioned before that there is a single quiet moment for me on Christmas Eve that I look forward to. And now I read this in Psychology Today:

Creating pockets of solitude is a powerful way to refuel and energize your life. Make it a priority. Build it in. You’ll feel better and more equipped to manage the challenges of your day.

5 Ways to Find Quiet in a Chaotic Day – Polly Campbell, Psychology Today (10 December 2013)

That’s an article in the site’s Imperfect Spirituality section and, just as an aside, isn’t the internet great? I’m not a spiritual person, I have no faith, I wouldn’t have looked in this section at all. Wouldn’t have occurred to me that I’d find anything there of interest. But a noodling Google search as I felt for this issue that’s been on my mind today, led to this. I like it.

…My ability to be well in this world is dependent on a certain amount of solitude. It’s where I find my balance.

It’s good for all of us: Solitude is the root of innovation and creativity. It is restorative. Quiet time eases stress and promotes relaxation and concentration. Often it fosters greater appreciation for others and enhances social relationships. It also delivers a dose of perspective and helps us become better problem solvers.

Campbell talks a little about the benefits but then acknowledges how hard it is to get this type of quiet time and gives plenty of advice about it. Examples:

There are only two (and-a-half) rules: Be alone. Be quiet. And here’s the half – be still at least part of the time. A quiet walk, gardening alone in the silence, cooking alone without music or the television are all powerful ways to access your alone time. But it’s also important to just stop doing, to be still and to notice what comes up.

Here are five other tips that can help you carve out a few moments of quiet in your day:

1. Plan for it. Ask for it. My husband is always willing to help me find time because he knows now that most times, an hour or two to myself each week (more if you can get it) keeps me from becoming a raging, crazy woman.

2. Make it a priority. Like brushing your teeth or taking a shower, 10 minutes of quiet time a day packs health benefits that will contribute to your peace and well-being. This is not a luxury. It is part of taking care of your body and cultivating your spirit and it’s just as important as eating vegetables and working out.

Read the full piece for much more.