Manufacture Your Day by BEING COURAGEOUS

Have you ever considered that making the time to rest and play takes mental strength and courage? 

Whenever I train for a long-distance race, I can tell you that rest days are a super important part of the training strategy. If I don’t rest, I risk injury and “overtraining”, and this means I cannot perform properly. 

The same is true in business but I still encounter companies that make people work 13 to 16 hour days. These long hours lead to mental exhaustion, lack of focus and productivity, countless mistakes and missed deadlines.

Can this really come as a surprise? 

Quarterly results are important but certainly not at all cost. 

The bottom line and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in any company tell an important story. It’s a story of leadership, mental strength, innovation, collaboration, creativity, team spirit and excellence, or the lack thereof. 

Numbers don’t lie. They show unity or division. 

It’s not about burning people out, it’s about igniting a fire in their heart. 

If you are someone who often feels exhausted at work, here is what you can do: 

  • Always focus on the most important outcome – multitasking is the enemy of the brain. If you want to do everything, you get nothing done. 
  • During your lunch break – leave work to go for lunch, go for a mindfulness walk, go to your car and take a 10 minute power nap (I used to do that). 
  • Take short activity breaks – walk, short meditation (app on your phone), talk to a co-worker, read something non-work related that stimulates your mind, call a friend, eat a healthy snack, drink a glass of water, talk to someone who makes you laugh, do short breathing exercises.  

I encourage you to be courageous and intentional when it comes to your mental and physical health. Take a break in order to be and stay at your best. 

I guarantee that you will 

  • work better,
  • feel better,
  • become better,

and this will impact every aspect of your life. 

Let’s work together to make exhaustion a deal breaker for the manufacturing industry. This has absolutely nothing to do with manufacturing excellence or world class manufacturing. 

Be aware and know that I care!

Manufacture Your Day by GROWING INTO THE PERSON YOU’RE MEANT TO BE

“A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches, but in the ocean it will grow to 8 feet or more. The shark will never outgrow its environment and the same is true about you. Many times we’re around small thinking people so we don’t grow. Change your environment and watch your growth.” – Unknown

If challenges get bigger, you have to become better. It makes sense, doesn’t it? 

Life is all about personal growth and today I would like to give you a few examples when people stop growing:

  1. Lack of self-awareness: You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
  2. Closed-mindedness: This often comes from fear and/or ignorance that prevents you from considering other people’s ideas and insights.
  3. The environment: If you are not encouraged to learn and to grow. Mistakes are seen as a failure instead of an opportunity to learn from them. 
  4. Victims of circumstance: If you think, you have no choice.  
  5. Fixed mindset: If you are so afraid of failure, that they don’t even try. 
  6. Destination Disease: If you have been promoted and you think you have “arrived” and there is nothing left to learn (arrogance and ignorance). 

Ask yourself, “Do I fall into any of these categories?”

If the answer is “No”. Congratulations. Good for you for being on a continuous journey of learning and growing. This is how you stay at the top of your game. 

If the answer is “Yes”. Congratulations for acknowledging it. If you acknowledge it, you can change it. Are you ready to follow my lead? 

Here are 3 steps how YOU can become a growing shark in the Ocean: 

  • Look for the positive in every person and in every situation: Think good thoughts and believe that everything in life happens in your favour. It’s impossible to live in fear if you focus on the good. 
  • Become curious about people and situations: Every person who crosses your path and every difficult situation gives you an opportunity to learn and to grow. Be curious instead of furious. 
  • Stay humble: If you think you’re the smartest person in the room, think again. Everybody is an expert in something. Find out what it is and learn from it. 

Let’s just entertain the following thought for a moment. What would it be like if you would start thinking and behaving a little bit better each day? 

End of workshop. Your biggest fan. 

Manufacture Your Day by THINKING OUTSIDE (NO BOX REQUIRED)

In Canada is a long weekend and we have “family day” today. 

My family and I like to spend as much time outdoors as we can. This picture was taken this weekend and it had minus 17 degrees. Being Austro-Canadian I know that it’s only a matter of wearing the right clothes to be able to do activities outside the house when it’s cold. 

  • I walk to connect with myself and my family.
  • I walk for stress relief. 
  • I walk for good energy and positive vibration. 
  • I walk to enjoy the present moment. 
  • I walk to keep my emotions in check. 
  • I walk to boost my immune system. 
  • I walk to be creative and innovative. 

I am not sure about you but I have never had a great idea while sitting in the office. 

My ideas come when I spend time in nature, when I run, skate, ski or when I go for a long walk. 

I am waiting for that day when I see more walking meetings in organizations. This would be such a creativity and collaboration booster. 

If you have too many ineffective and/or boring meetings, they can suffocate productivity and employee morale. I have also heard that sitting is the “new smoking”. 

Ready to consider something different? 

Here are some awesome reasons why you should take your next meeting for a walk: 

  1. Employee Health:Walking helps dealing with emotional situations and it is great for our mental and physical health.
  2. Side by side: A greater connection can be established when managers and employees walk side by side.
  3. Get ready to be inspired: The outside environment can inspire creative thoughts, and people have a better opportunity to inspire each other. Yes, even in the winter. 
  4. Walk to connect: People who walk and talk together have better energy, and collaborate better. 

Are you ready to walk and talk? It will be a life changing experience.

Manufacture Your Day by BEING COMPASSIONATE

We make mistakes and that’s o.k. as long as we learn from them. We are human. 

Today I would like to share four “life positions” with you that are critical for the way we think and communicate with each other. These life positions are basic beliefs about ourselves and others that have been developed in our early childhood, which are used to justify our decisions and behaviour.  

  1. I am o.k., You’re o.k. This means that a person had no severe problems or issues during his/her childhood, and had normal relationships with other people. These people recognize the significance of others in their life. 
  2. I’m o.k., You’re not o.k. This life position happens when someone was often ignored as a child. In this position a person believes that he/she is right and everyone else is wrong. Blaming can become a big part of it. 
  3. I’m not o.k., You’re o.k. This life position is the most common one and gets created when individuals feel inferior to others. They believe that they can’t do things that others can do. These people tend to complain a lot and are often dissatisfied with their life. 
  4. I am not o.k., You’re not o.k. These people lack an interest in living. They may have been neglected by their parents and they feel life is not worth living. 

Why do I want you to think about this? 

With all the terrible things happening in our world, it is important to develop a greater awareness where our own beliefs and actions come from, and to become more observant of others.

How can you influence your current character life position?

Challenge yourself  by starting to do things differently. Acknowledge that it may serve you well to evaluate what your inner “little voice” tells you about yourself and at others. 

You may not understand others, but you can accept them and their point of view. One of the biggest part in my work as a coach is to be non-judgmental. It’s not always easy but it is very important that I hold myself in that space. 

If you get into the mentally healthy state of “okayness”, it will help you to become more tolerant of others, and this will have a tremendous impact on how you communicate with the people around you.

I encourage you to give yourself and others the permission to be human because the world needs more of that.

I wish you a super weekend!

Manufacture Your Day by BECOMING AWARE THAT YOU’RE POSSIBLY NOT AWARE

I am so glad to see you back to talk a little bit more about mental strength. Mental strength begins in our mind and how we think about things, circumstances, ourselves and others. 

Some people are really afraid that everyone is out there to get them. Others are may be too trusting and think everyone is their friend and means well with them. 

I belong to the second group and I have to admit that in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t want to live life any other way. 

I like to trust others and I like to look for the good in people. 

Awareness about our thought process is everything, and some people are not aware that they are not aware what they’re thinking. 

There is a “radio station” (heard this expression once and really liked it) running in the back of our mind. It’s that little voice that consumes us with constant chatter. 

If you ask yourself right now, “Little voice, little voice – what is she talking about?” That’s the voice I am talking about. 

How do you talk about yourself to yourself and to others? What do you really believe about yourself? Do you tell yourself that you’re useless or not that smart? 

There are so many people who think that they aren’t good enough. 

Please believe me when I say that you are enough of everything. 

Let’s get started with something that sounds easy but can be very difficult. 

  • Be kind to yourself. 
  • Make sure that you don’t put yourself down. 
  • Be aware how your internal dialogue affects your health and well-being. 

Self-love and self-acceptance is a great way to get started. 

You deserve it because in my eyes, “You are awesome”, “You are smart” and “You deserve the best.”

I told you! Now it’s your turn to tell yourself. 

You’re welcome!

Manufacture Your Day by BECOMING MENTALLY STRONG

As someone who was called an “underdog” (a person with less power, money, resources, etc. than the rest of society and little chances of getting ahead of the game), I can tell you that it doesn’t really matter what other people say as long as you believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself and your abilities it is a great start to learn something new every single day and start the journey of self-improvement. 

I don’t think I have always been mentally strong but during tough times you can really see what you’re made off. If I want something, I have learned to hold on to it like a dog to the bone. 

  • Have I ever felt sorry for myself? Oh yes!!! Blaming, moaning, whining, crying, close to depression – I have experienced it all. However, at some point I realized that playing the victim doesn’t serve me. “Snap out of it Karin” is one of my key phrases. 
  • Have I expected faster results than I was able to achieve? Yes but I have learned that everything worthwhile achieving will take some time and some effort. There are no shortcuts on your way to excellence.  
  • Have I ever felt hurt about how other people treated me? Yes, yes, yes!  There were people who told me over and over again, “call me next week again” or “now is not a good time but in 6 months we will get started”. What I didn’t know at the time was that these people had absolutely no intention of doing business with me, they just wanted to get rid of me and they didn’t think I would call again after 6 months. However, I did and this made me so resilient you wouldn’t believe. 
  • Have I ever been stuck in the mindset that I have to please every prospect and give them what they wanted? Yes. However, these days I have amounted the courage to say “no” if it isn’t aligned with my mission and my values. 

What’s my point? 

I have learned something from every miserable situation I have been in and it paid off. If I could do that, you can as well!

Over the next few days (maybe weeks) I want to spend more time on mental strength strategies and how YOU will be able to live a happier, healthier and more productive life. 

Here is how it works….. Reading my messages is not enough. Taking action is important. If you wait for someone else to improve your life circumstances, you will wait for a very long time.

If there is something that you would like to improve and it speaks to you through my messages, make it your personal mission to become a little bit better each day. Push yourself out of your comfort zone because that’s where the magic happens. 

Interested? 

I thought so. Let’s do this TOGETHER. See you tomorrow again.

Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING THE ESSENCE OF A SINCERE APOLOGY

I like to believe that the average person is not mean and out there to hurt people’s feelings on purpose. 

Having said this, I have observed that many people don’t really know how to apologize in a sincere way. That’s why they prefer not to apologize and they hope everyone will tolerate and/or forgive their misbehaviour. 

Many of us have a very strong sense of “right” and “wrong”. However, it is important to realize that what seems to be “right” for me, may not be “right” for you. Based on our upbringing, values and experience we have a different outlook on things and that’s o.k. 

In the manufacturing industry stress often gets in the way, and when we are stressed we become very different people. 

However, when you apologize and add a reason why you behaved the way you did, it takes away from the apology. 

In other words, say “I am sorry” and not “I am sorry but”….

Apologies don’t need a reason. It’s all about owning up to it, not matter what. It has been said that we should never ruin an apology with an excuse (true for our personal and professional life). 

Don’t allow your ego to get the best of you. 

Apologize from the heart and expect your apology to be accepted. Deal?

Manufacture Your Day by BELIEVING IN THE POWER OF “YET”

Happy Monday!

I have 2 favourite words. The first one is “together” and the second one is “yet”. 

I truly believe in the power of both. 

I would like to remind you about another mental strategy that has to do with the way we think and speak. Positive communication is important. 

The word “yet” is one of the most powerful words you can add to your vocabulary. So many people get discouraged too easily when things don’t work out right away. 

We have to teach our children and the people around us that there is a lot of power in the word “yet”. 

This little word changes a sentence, and it certainly change the way how we can feel about something. 

If someone asks you a question, you can also answer with “not yet”. 

Have you found a solution to this problem? Not yet but I will. 

Can you see how powerful this response would be? 

This is a mentally affirmative statement because you expect it to happen. Hoping for something is great but expecting it is far more powerful. 

Next time you want to say “I can’t”, make sure to add the word “yet”.

That’s how it works. Now make it work for yourself. 

Manufacture Your Day by IMPLEMENTING THIS SIMPLE CONCEPT

Happy Friday! 

Isn’t it an awesome idea to charge people less money if they are polite? I am all for it.

People often ask me about the difference between a Manager and a Leader. 

My answer is simple:

  1. Managers are getting paid to lead. Their title gives them authority. If you are a Manager, ask yourself, “If I wouldn’t have a title, would people follow my lead?”
  2. Leaders don’t need a title to influence people. They lead by example, they lead the way and they have basic life and social skills. 

Leadership = influence, character, growth mindset, controlled emotional response, mental strength and the ability to believe in yourself and others.

You can demonstrate leadership in every aspect of your life. Do you put the shopping cart back where you got it from? Do you hold up the door for someone who enters the coffee shop behind you? Do you enter the plant/the office by consciously making an effort to say “Good morning”? Do you say “Thank you” on a regular basis for seemingly small and basic tasks (at home and at work)? Do you say “Please” if you want someone to do something (at home and at work)? 

Everything we teach our children often seems to be forgotten in the corporate world. This is an unfortunate result of pressure, stress, frustration and not knowing how to deal with all of that.

Are we trying to save time by cutting out politeness? 

Word of caution: People follow what they see. 

The attitudes and the behaviours you expect from your team members have to be demonstrated by YOU first. Bummer!

Please don’t expect more from others than you are prepared to deliver yourself. Everyone is supposed to play by the same rules. 

I am often amazed how much disrespectful behaviour is tolerated in manufacturing companies only because some people seem to think that people who have seniority and/or great “technical skills” (the skills to do a job) have earned the right to be rude. 

Nobody comes to work to be belittled or yelled at. 

Many times it’s not even what people say but HOW they say it (tone of voice, body language). 

Bullying and disrespectful behaviour in any kind of leadership position (CEO, President, VP, Manager, Supervisor, Area Leader, Team Leader) is something that cannot be tolerated if you would like to build a culture of innovation and excellence. 

Let’s make people aware about the importance of a simple “Hello”, “Please” and “Thank you”. This is such a great start.

It’s the little things along the way that have the greatest impact. 

Let’s pull out all the stops on your road to excellence, shall we? 

Manufacture Your Day by DISCOVERING THIS UNWAVERING TRUTH

I totally know what you’re thinking right now. 

Yeah right, why would I be nice to someone who is rude to me? 

You’re not alone. This would be the reaction of most people. 

Can I provide a different perspective? 

If people are bitter and rude, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Unfortunately this is how they live their life and how they interact with the people around them. These are the people who had hopes and dreams that may not have come true. They may have gone through hardships such as loss of a loved one, financial problems or health challenges. Most of all they feel they have no choice when it comes to improving their personal and/or professional life. 

If people don’t get better by keeping their emotions in check and by learning to control their emotional response, they will become bitter. 

Of course I am also only human and I can get upset when someone is out of control BUT what really helps me is to shift my thought process. 

  • Maybe this person has a terrible family situation. 
  • Maybe he/she just lost a loved one.
  • Maybe he/she just went through a divorce. 
  • Maybe he/she has a sick child at home. 
  • Maybe he/she has a terminal illness.
  • Maybe he/she was bullied as a child.

….. and this list goes on and on. 

Did you know that hurt people hurt people? 

In other words, we don’t know what’s going on in people’s life and we are so easy to judge. 

I encourage you to be kind to unkind people. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer said it best, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

Be kind! It’s good for you and it’s good for the people around you.