Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ouch! whether you know it or not, the majority of times a sentence starts with why...it does comes across to the recipient as aggressive. One way round this is to substitute why for how......it allows you to have a dialogue about the subject.
So state the problem or issue and then ask how this could be resolved, how this could be perceived or what the person is thinking...etc I am not saying ignore the issue but make sure that you are not putting the person on the defensive by opening with "Why?" A conversation with constructive feedback will always win over an argument.....
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It is not what is interesting to you but what is interesting to the other person.
I had asked boring questions...about her mundane life in the home. I forgot the person and what my nana loved to do.....when we are at work how many of us think we are really engaging by asking "How are you today?" or "What did you do this weekend?" then rush to the reason we wanted to talk to them....if that happens to you start humming Danny Boy in your head and think of my Nana ! Standard questions are not engaging they are opening lines..engagement comes when you show interest in the follow up
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
- Relationship building and communication skills. Simply a must.
- Desire to learn - not only skill based but also a never ending curiousity in your company perfromance, your marketplace and your world. Globalisation means that you must understand the underlying trends in the world.
- Self Awareness - understand your strengths and play to them, understand your areas of development and work on them or ensure you fill those gaps by others around you.
- Developer of talent. Think of the companies people want to work for - they all have the ability to get the best out of people...giving them the chance to explore their individuality and yet still feel very much part of the team.
- Diversity of experience and the ability to bring together diverse opinion.
These are by no way the only attributes and I want to give more thought to it and would welcome your comments. Think we need to explore more over the next few weeks....
Monday, March 27, 2006
Now that you have realised how much influence you have, I want you to think about how you want to use that influence.... a smile, a wink, words of encouragement, honest feedback....a "why don't you try that ? Also watch how others influence you and copy. I have been influenced by many people. One is my dad....he always taught me to respect people and to always know that every person is great at something be it parenting, cooking, managing, singing etc Not everyone is great at everything, - to achieve happiness always look for what people excel at and comment on it - play to their strengths. To see the level of attendance at my dads funeral he had found a lot of good in a lot of people....and made people feel special....what a great life achievement. Could people say that you look for the good in people ?
Sunday, March 26, 2006
When I ask you to listen to me and you start by giving me advice, you have not done what I asked, When I ask you to listen to me and you begin by telling me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to solve my problems, you have failed me. Listen ! All I ask is that you listen, not talk or do...just hear me. When you do something for me that I can do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. When you accept as simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational then I can quit trying to convinve you and get about the business of understanding whats behind this irrational feeling.
This week take time to listen - the issue usually lies behind the words. Listening helps you to understand and listening is one of the most motivational aspects of management.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
What is the learning...well the need for direction, gaining trust from your team through successful communication in the past, and indeed knowledge of what is going on around you. Success is up to you...as Rudyard Kiping said " We have 40m reasons for failure but not a single excuse"
I would add think of this in relation to others as well.....allow others to do the same....mistakes help you learn - successful people make plenty they just don't make the same one twice !
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
If you constantly judge yourself against others - in a world as big as this - you will always find someone who can make you "appear" inferior in some way.
So when I say "copy how successful people behave, I want to clarify. I am not saying judge yourself against others....rather in thinking of how you want to improve, of how you want to achieve your personal goals - watch others and learn from them. The only person to judge yourself against, is yourself. Judge how you are progressing against your personal goals.....and enjoy the progress you make...happiness comes from understanding what personal happiness is and continuing to ensure that you stay on that path....and always remember to someone else, you will be one of those people who always are more confident, driving a better car, have a better figure, etc
Here lies John, who passed away
While answering his email one day.
No friend, no child, no loving mate
Could keep poor John from working late.
With each new mail, he worked like hell
To click ”reply” instead of “del.”
A prompt response he’d always give
But somehow he forgot to live.
Got this from http://www.stevepavlina.com
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
This hit a chord with me. In the past I think I have been very driven - because I was brought up to work hard, and I felt that receiving a great salary meant I had to push myself. Now I am starting out on my own and realise the reason why I feel content and as happy as I have ever been, is that I am now following my passion. Doing something I feel I was born to do.....hours fly by because I love what I am doing. I just wish that I had read this book a few years ago and understood the difference between drive and passion ! Ask yourslf one question "What do I care about, and how do I satisfy that need ?" I now firmly believe that if you are not satisfyng or feeding that need, you will not find true happiness.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
So when we delegate or work with others....lets give ourselves one key thought. That task needs to be just slightly stretching their ability...that breeds motivation, breeds engagement and most of all with a sound feedback loop, breeds personal growth....mediocrity will be no more.......
- Deal with feedback at the time - don't delay
- Start by asking if they have the time e.g May I ......
- State the facts and make it relevant to them so start with "When you...
- State the impact by using "Heres what happens.....
- Ask what they can do differently
If they are defensive don't worry, they have still received the feedback ! But be open to any feedeback they give you which may have caused their behavior. Remember, use this for both positive and adjusting feedback.....don't ignore positive improvements. The objective of the process is to help the indivdual not give your views....so keep away from I think, I believe, I have noticed....that is about you not them. You should only refer to actual seen behavior and not hear say. Hope this helps...as you develop your people.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
10 = only ever use 10 slides in a presentation
20= minutes for a presentation and then allow 20 for questions
30=the font size which you should use
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
A teacher asked a class "What colour are apples?" Most said red, others green and one child said white. The teacher explained - you can find red, and green but never white apples. The youngster said "Oh, yes you can look inside".
Wow ! How true is that. I know we are all taught not to judge a book by its cover but in reality we find it hard. Hands up who thought the child was wrong when they said white....hands up who now realises the question was not clear and it was just another persons way of viewing the same thing. It made me also think how much we cover up inside ourselves....do we get so wrapped up with what the world sees that we ignore our "core". Help yourself break habits this weekend...try one thing new - brushing your teeth with your opposite hand.....feel the unease of the change and instead of reverting back to habit...enjoy the strangeness of how it feels. Then Monday....try something new at work !
- You need to explain the inspiration for the idea, decision etc
- Give a general theme of what it is about
- The desired outcome
Most people start and end with (2). People need more, they need you to frame the decision or idea so that they can understand....they might not agree ....but they can understand how you came to this conclusion. This works well when you are presenting to management as well. You never have to be 100% certain - helps if you are not when it is an idea, as people can then add to it - but you do have to be clear with your communication. If not people will fill in the blanks themselves which is dangerous.
Finally,I loved this quote from Steve Henthorn"Learn from the past. Look to the future. Live in the present." Are you living life to the full now....and thinking about your future ?
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Often we get so caught up in the stress of our lives and we just don't see what is around us. This stone was lurking on the canal near where I live...just look, literally a heart of stone! Sometimes when we are down we just don't look hard enough for those magical things...interestingly enough I saw this after meeting 3 old friends who I thought I had lost touch with...it made me smile and reminded me that no matter what you face friends will always see you through....an unusual post but hopefully it will make you smile too
- Personal warmth - a smile as I approach, a welcoming tone.
- Consistency - someone who understands their self and does not have me on edge as I answer the phone or meet them, wondering what their mood will be like...
- Sensitivity towards others feelings and appreciating peoples differences
- The ability to forgive !
- Understanding that humans are not perfect and not judging them for it.
Goethe once said "Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be"
It made me think - the smile is so important. How many times are you stressed or running behind time and you forget to smile. Sometimes thats when the smile is so important - it helps you relax too. For me the sensitivity and the understanding are absolutely vital in dealing with people...if you do not show this on a consistent basis you will never gain the respect that you crave. Anyone like to comment on other traits you need or how a smile helped them through a rough time ?
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Friday, March 03, 2006
Yesterday, I was thinking about ideas. Dec/Jan I had not been as full of ideas as I usually am....then I realised why, I was trying to think of ideas, not solutions...wrong. I then went back to thinking of analogies not ideas. For instance, do you think anyone sat down trying to invent Sky + ? Or do you believe someone looked at what the consumer wants from TV....to watch it when they want to, not when the programs are on, ease of recording etc. Sky + came from looking what the consumer wanted..it was the solution to a consumer problem not an idea in isolation. So in answering what important thing you are going to achieve this year...think about the problems people have in dealing with you....then base the solution around addressing those things.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
- Most important thing I did last year - Grew talent internally and not take the easy route by bringing it in from outside. You do need to allow people to make mistakes but you can measure the success by how little they need you now. So proud of that...proud that I was never scared by it and proud of how people have responded to their opportunity.
- Most important thing I will do this year - I want to help people to achieve their potential. Out there there is a lot of ideas, skill, ability which is either just not recognised or even worse, held back. I want to ensure that this latent talent shines...working on how at the moment and most importantly how I measure it !
Quick thought for the day "Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance" Robert Quillen was right, today show your knowledge not your ignorance.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Two questions to ask yourself and others around you
- What is the most important thing you've done last year ?
- What is the most important thing you'll do next year ?
Let us know what your thoughts are...publish on this blog ....then its public and you have made a commitment to achieving it....I will share mine tomorrow