Archive

Category Archives for "Find a better best"
1

Quick Update

First off, if you’re not watching Dynamics Fortnight Fridays, you’re missing out. It’s a bi-weekly (fortnightly, and no, not that Fortnite) streaming video about what’s new and interesting with Dynamics. It covers notable news, important blog posts, and has some live discussion about Customer Engagement, Finance, Operations, and the tools related to business applications. No, I’m not being asked to promote this…but I definitely want to (it’s great!).

Podcasting Updates

On Implement This, we discussed Rollup Fields. They’re useful in a good handful of situations and we chat about some of the more common ones, as well as some that are a little more off the beaten path.
We also covered Queues, Queue Management, and Routing Rules in Dynamics 365. They’re part of the standard service capabilities but many folks I’ve chatted with recently weren’t very familiar with them. I also worked with a prospect who was looking to custom-build what the Dynamics platform already handles out of the box.
On ProdCast, Joel and I revisit the topic of effective email with Improve Your Email Response Rate. This time I wanted to make sure we cover how to guard against non-responsive email recipients. It’s all about creating a Default Action…and building it into your email.
ProdCast also gets influenced by my personal life this month. My wife and I recently had a son, so I’m taking off an extended time from work for Parental Bonding. As part of this, I’m exploring productivity at home. We also chat about Google Maps Timeline, which I find to be fun and sometimes pathetic to look back at.

Business Applications Community

Microsoft Inspire is this month (f.k.a. Worldwide Partner Conference), and I’ll be in Vegas for some Microsoft-y training and I’ll also have the opportunity to attend Inspire events as well. Drop me a line if you’re going–I’d love to catch up!
I confirmed that I’ll be putting my presenter hat on to discuss Queues, Queue Management, and Routing Rules as part of the Virtual Service Summer Camp. If you want a sneak preview, check out the Podcast episode that Britta and I just released.

Microsoft Power Platform FTW

Before our son was born, my wife, Jess, had been frustrated with the pregnancy app options on her phone, specifically when it comes to tracking contractions. The biggest hassle for her was the lack of simple notification–everything drives you into the app. I leveraged the “Power Platform” through the tools of Flow, Model Driven PowerApps, and a physical Flic button to build a solution that worked great for her. It was literally what she used to determine when to say “I think it’s time”. If I can find the time I’ll pull together a blog post, video, or make it a podcast topic.

ProdCast: Procrastination vs. Patience

Have you ever had a situation where a little delay makes the difference between an “important request” and “never mind…”? Joel and I talk about walking that fine line on using procrastination as a tool to see whether some tasks may not be worth acting on ASAP.

http://prodcast.libsyn.com/prodcast-15-procrastination-vs-patience

Subscribe to the Podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | RSS

Secrets to Getting Stuff Done – Prove Your Competence by Saying No

If you’re like me, when someone starts talking about a new project, you get excited and might want to get involved. This is a great quality, which has served me well both personally and professionally, and something that I never want to lose.

Unfortunately, this tendency can have some unexpected side effects, like overextending yourself. About five and a half years ago, I had put entirely too much on my plate at work and it was really difficult to deal with.

One of the contributing factors was that I worried that if I said no to a project, I felt like the person asking (usually my boss or someone senior to me in the organization) might think I declined because I lacked the skill or ability to do the work. In other words, I was worried they might think I was incompetent.

In hindsight the exact opposite was true.

Getting stuff done (the important stuff) means something else probably won’t happen

How many times have you found yourself saying something like:

  • There aren’t enough hours in the day…
  • I wish I had time to learn that…
  • If only I could find the time to…

Nobody wants to be in that kind of situation because it means that there’s something you really want to be doing, but you can’t. I focus a lot of effort on using my time on the things that are most important. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day (and only 168 hours in a week).

I can hear you saying “OK, sure Matt, only spend time on what’s important. But that’s easier said than done. Especially when my boss might think I’m not carrying my load if I can’t take on this new project or task.”

That’s a fair point, however, test my logic in the following scenarios.

Which situation actually makes you look incompetent?

Let’s consider two different people, Mark and Sara, who are each asked by their boss to help out with a project.

  • Mark says yes to everything. He knows he is capable and wants to prove that to his boss. He was already overloaded with projects, so what’s one more project in the queue. He misses commitments because he has too many. People think he must be competent because he said he’ll do everything, but proves to be incompetent because he’s not delivering
  • Sara often says yes, but also sometimes says no. She is capable but wants to make sure she can focus and follow through. She delivers on commitments because she’s not getting crossed up in too many things. People might think she is incompetent because she said no, but her track record of getting stuff done proves otherwise.

Who do you think looks incompetent, Mark or Sara?

Whether you say yes or no, there’s always a risk that someone might think that you’re incapable or even incompetent. Let them think whatever they want to but prove yourself and your personal brand by meeting the commitments you make. Your track record is an objective scorecard that you can reference back to.

Careful! I’m not suggesting that “no” is a get out of jail free card

Quite the contrary.

Doing work. Doing good work. Taking on projects that are new and challenging, or that will take learning on your part. These are all part of growing your career. Saying no, and especially saying no “the wrong way” can make you seem difficult to work with or unwilling to cooperate. This is potentially dangerous territory to wander into.

I say this because there’s a temptation when you’re learning to say no to misuse this developing skill. It may not even be a conscious thing. It’s an easy trap–in fact, it’s natural. If you’ve ever talked with a two-year-old who learned to use the word no, you know how they tend to go overboard.

What I am saying is that saying no in the right situations will help make sure you’re able to focus on getting stuff done. In the long run, this will lead to people seeing your competence because you do the stuff you say you’re going to do and they also don’t mistakenly assume you’re going to do everything that comes your way.

Final thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve actually been quite guilty of saying yes to too many things. I rather enjoy the challenge of completing a lot of stuff that I’ve committed to. However, I’ve seen the dark side that can include late nights, exhaustion, and stress that doesn’t need to be there. In those times I realized how much additional risk of seeming incompetent came because I committed to a project that I didn’t have the bandwidth to take on.

I’ve worked hard to develop the skill of managing this particular risk and I highly encourage you to do the same. One of the first places I recommend starting is in situations like the ones above, where you’re saying yes for the wrong reasons.

Do you agree that saying no can prove your competence? Let me know in the comments below.

Announcing ProdCast – the Personal Productivity Podcast

I’ve teamed up with my co-worker and friend Joel Lindstrom to create a bi-weekly podcast on personal productivity, called ProdCast (Productivity Cast). The topics we’re planning to cover are very much in line with the topics of many blog posts here at Connecting the Data–the apps, systems, and strategies that help with personal productivity and time management.

In the first episode, we discuss the format and direction of the show. Along the way, we cover a couple of tips from my recent Skype for Business e-book release.

You can subscribe on iTunes right now or listen to the latest episodes on the web at prodcast.show. We’re joining up with the crm.audio podcast network–so if you’re already subscribed to the CRM Audio podcast you’ll see ProdCast in your feed automatically as well.

 

via ProdCast 1: What is productivity

 

 

>