Handling a Chaotic Work Environment: How to Prioritize Work and Make Good Decisions Under Pressure

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    Speaker: Chris DeVany

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    Duration: 90 Minutes
    Product Code: 50794
    Level: Intermediate

CEU Approved

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CEU Approved

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This highly interactive webinar offers you and your team an array of practical tools to help you get things done in today's chaotic and constantly changing work environment. You’ll get time management tips and learn practical techniques for making structured decisions even under pressure to earn buy-in from bosses, coworkers and customers.

In a workshop environment, you will participate in valuable exercises utilizing real-world case studies. You'll emerge with an action plan you can use right away to master expanding workloads and complex decisions.


• Are you feeling over tasked, over-worried and overdone?
• Would you like to brush up on your management and delegation skills?
• Could you use a ‘managing multiple priorities effectively refresher’ and some time management tips to help you get a better handle on things?

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, then come laugh, listen and learn as Chris DeVany leads us all through those important topics, key questions and answers we all need to be able to address effectively to improve our communication effectiveness, improve our team members’ and team’s performance, adding to the bottom-line!


Managing Escalating Pressures

• Develop answers to vital questions on managing work pressures and how to make good decisions under pressure
• Use new tools to control stress, reduce backlogs, managing through chaos and redistribute work overloads
• Adopt visual maps that help you stay calm under pressure, while rebuilding confidence and energy
• Collaborate with coworkers to invent shortcuts
• Juggle multiple projects without dropping the ball

Gain Certainty about Priorities

• Prioritize by validity, not by urgency
• Apply three new rules to prioritize your projects
• Make your priorities visible to requesters
• Rank your priorities with the par chart
• Apportion your time between strategic and tactical work
• Start priority negotiations early with requesters

Prevent Collisions among Customers, Internal and External

• Replace three outmoded "rules" of time management
• Adopt two new rules for today’s chaotic conditions
• Learn four strategies to avoid calendar collisions
• Design tools that:

o Educate requesters on "blind risks" in their requests
o Help requesters arrive at your door better prepared
o Create a selective daily action plan
o Match assigned deadlines with actual estimates

Manage Traffic While Meeting Needs

• Outline for a one-page business case: convince others
• New "to-do list": help everyone face reality
• The "dot chart": rechannel interruptions
• Work request validation card: help requesters make a case when seeking your ok
• Quick interim review: correct employee performance shortfalls before they escalate
• Smart subject lines: eliminate the need to open e-mails
• "On the wall" meetings: shorten meeting time—upgrade involvement and improve joint decisions

Communicate Powerfully Despite Pressure

• Employ assertive responses no matter how manipulated or provoked you feel
• Determine the rare occasions when non-assertive or aggressive responses may be advisable
• Decline a request successfully, whether from above, from peers, or from customers
• Use a risk reduction card to encourage requesters to assume their half of any negotiation
• Select final commitments and refine applications for tools introduced today

See How Your Values and Thinking Styles Drive Decisions

• Learn how your values and thinking style drive your decisions
• Apply three survival steps to decisions
• Detect your preferred thinking patterns

Learn the Decision Guide

• Come to see that decision making is a learned skill
• Learn structured decision making examples
• Understand the decision guide format through a demonstration case
• Learn the decision orbit format to generate options for a case

Apply the Decision Guide to Your Own Case

• Form a team to assemble a real-life case using the decision guide
• Complete the decision guide and orbit, step by step
• Demonstrate your case for fellow attendees; collaborate on refining your decisions

See Others on Options

• Use verbal and visual tools to overcome stakeholder resistance
• Take part in role-plays to demonstrate a choice of verbal tools
• Create risk clocks, calendars, or bar charts to educate others about risk escalation
• Learn new processes to gain internal team commitment

Fast Focus Analysis

• Try out fast focus analysis, a tool for making complex decisions with multiple issues and opposing stakeholders


By attending, you will understand how to even more effectively:

• Become more productive by prioritizing work and maintaining focus
• Become a stronger communicator with techniques that enable you to question and clarify priorities
• Make better decisions based on consistently good analysis by using structured decision making examples
• Become more decisive and make better decisions by gleaning the right information and appraising the situation more effectively
• Gain the cooperation of others by communicating the risks and gains of decisions
• Learn stress survival techniques to balance work and life when you must make tough choices


• Senior Vice President
• Vice President
• Executive Director
• Managing Director
• Regional Vice President
• Area Supervisor
• Manager


Years of Experience: 37+ years

Areas of Expertise: Management and Organizational Development

Chris DeVany is the Founder and President of Pinnacle Performance Improvement Worldwide, a firm which focuses on management and organizational development. Pinnacle’s clients include global organizations such as Visa International, Cadence Design Systems, Coca Cola, Sprint, Microsoft, Aviva Insurance, Schlumberger and over 500 other organizations in 22 countries. He has been a consultant to government agencies like the Federal Government of the United States, the Royal Government of Saudi Arabia, Government of Canada, Government of Cayman Islands and Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom.

He has published numerous articles in the fields of surviving mergers and acquisitions, surviving change, project management, management, sales, team-building, leadership, ethics, customer service, diversity and work-life balance. His publications range widely, touching all important aspects, right from ASTD/Performance in Practice to Customer Service Management. His book, “90 Days to a High-Performance Team”, published by McGraw Hill, has helped executives, managers and team leaders improve their performance and professional decisions. Chris has been interviewed for various radio and television programs.

He has assisted organizations in merger, acquisitions and facilitated post-merger and acquisition integration. He has also actively been a mentor in developing project management, sales, customer service and marketing strategies, in-bound and out-bound call center programs, training and development management and new hirees. Fostering corporate growth through creative change and innovative initiatives is his forte! He is a Boston University alumnus, with degrees in management studies and organizational behavior.

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