Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sometimes People Just Don't Think...

...about anyone but themselves. They get so wrapped up in what they are doing that they forget to think about others.

This is especially disappointing when it is displayed by someone with responsibility for others. Someone who is "supposed" to be a leader.

Have you ever gotten stranded, forgotten, overlooked, neglected, etc, by someone who was responsible for you? Have you ever had to sit for hours because someone was too self-absorbed to remember to ask a simple question like: "What time do you get in? I know you need a ride and might not want to wait around for another 3 hours for the next do you want to ride with me?"....especially when this same person will expect the one he left behind to be up at 0500hrs....with a mere 3.5 hours of sleep...

Here I sit in just that situation, in a foreign country, and I guess I could get angry and upset. What I really am is disappointed in that person who is supposed to be a supposed to take care of his team. Unfortunately, this is not unusual behavior for this fella and it really is unacceptable that a person with responsibility for others doesn't really step up and look out for his team.

I will remember how this feels and make a personal promise to not be so self-absorbed that I forget about any member of my team.

If you've ever been in my shoes, remember how it feels and make sure you try your best to not make others feel like that. Leaders learn not only by personal experience and mistakes, but also by the mistakes of others. Examples, good and bad, are always worthy of note.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

Not Licensed to Drive
Originally uploaded by claygrl

How do you feel when someone asks you this question:

"What do you think about that?"

I would venture to guess that it feels pretty good when someone take the time to ask for your thoughts on something. Most of the time, it is because the other person values your opinion and your thoughts.

Does that make you feel validated? Does it make you feel important, at least to that person? Does it make you feel like the other person is taking the time to try and understand you?

Covey calls the emotional equivalent to the air we need to breathe is "being understood." Deeply and truly understood. We often take for granted the opinion of others because we know them and think we know how they feel about things, or we don't know them and don't care how they feel about things.

Please remember, dear Leader, how it feels to be validated with that simple question. And then remember to make others feel that way whenever you can.

Take the time to ask "what do you think about that?"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Past "Angry"

It is amazing to me how often people react violently to the thought of change. In my business, I am paid to help people realize that there might be a better way to do something. Often I encounter resistance to the mere thought of doing something differently. And that's okay. It is human nature to be a bit wary about some stranger coming in and telling you, essentially, you're doing it wrong.

"What do you mean I am doing it wrong? I've been doing it this way for 20 years and it hasn't been a problem!"

Working in this area of personal protectiveness is often challenging. I like to engage people in discussions of what they think can be done differently to increase their effectiveness or make their job easier to do. When you have your conversations from someone else's perspective, from their viewpoint, it is often easier to effect change.

There are often many good solutions to a problem. Remember you do not have to be the one to develop the best way. Collaborative discussions on how to improve a process or solve a pressing problem usually result in a better solution that is trusted and supported by the person you are working with.

Even when they look like the charming fella in the picture above the moment you mention "Change."