Nan S. Russell
Author & Speaker

All posts in September, 2015

breakfastOn our first morning of vacation, we were pleased to find open tables when we arrived for breakfast at a popular and highly recommended café. With several people actively filling walk-up specialty coffee orders at the counter, it took several minutes to be acknowledged: “It’ll be about five minutes for a table since the waitress needs to catch up,” a person finally called out in our direction.

Fifteen minutes later we were seated; in another hour our order arrived. What we’d planned as a quick breakfast before heading out to explore the city and its museums turned into a morning event. Our “quick breakfast” took 109 minutes, during which time we were never offered a beverage refill or given a courtesy acknowledgement about why the delays to order, receive food, get the check, and pay the bill.

Since breakfast is commonly a more speedily served and eaten meal, the slowness and customer-abandonment in this highly rated café was at first a surprise and then an annoyance. When the waitress finally brought our check, she (continue reading →)

Winning at Working 

As a colleague of Nan’s I often post here about work and sometimes life. She is on vacation this week, so I offered to write about a recent experience I had. During the summer months I was invited to several large gatherings of friends and family. And, as conversations moved from topic to topic I began to notice a common thread when talk centered on work. There was an overall pall of negativity, a description of constant finger-pointing and general complaining of what’s happening in our workplaces. Perhaps, this sounds familiar?  So, what can YOU do about it? Here are 5 ways to trump negativity:

  • You know those days when everything is going well and you run across that irritable, grumpy person and somehow their mood gets to yours. Your mood is contagious. Your anger, frustration or poor example can rub off on others, too – causing a bit of a domino affect. Likewise, so can your passion, enthusiasm and creativity. Think of your words and actions like germs. They are highly infectious. Model contagious behaviors that ignite and bring the best of yourself to your work and life. And, then watch what happens. yoga-422196_640
  • “Just for today I will be agreeable … I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.” – Al-Anon. Watch what you do and listen to what you say. [This is harder than you think.]
  • Ideas are everywhere. We are bombarded with audio and visual information almost 24/7.  Observe what (continue reading →)

Tips, Today's Workplace 

closetIt wasn’t my husband’s minimized space allocation that elicited my attention; nor the overfilled shelves, stuffed hanging rods, or disappearing floor space. It was the late summer real estate market and the hope of selling our home during peak tourist season when Flathead Valley swells with visitors exploring Glacier National Park. It’s the time of year when first timers to Montana fall in love with what those of us who live here already know – it’s an amazing place.

With every conceivable delay orchestrated during late spring and early summer, I avoided the closet cleaning task for some time. But I had no more excuses and resolving the overflowing problem was required.

I found myself surprised by the (continue reading →)

In the Scheme of Things