Communication

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Stoicism at work…

  1. I don’t need to have an opinion about that
  2. Manage my expectations
  3. Never shocked or surprised
  4. Hope for the best, plan for the worst
  5. If it can be taken from me, I don’t truly own it (salary, status, reputation, job, etc)
  6. Don’t speak unless what I’m going to say isn’t better left unsaid
  7. Pick my battles carefully
  8. Know that people don’t make mistakes deliberately
  9. Learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others
  10. Focus my energy on what I have complete control over
  11. Everyone is better than me at something
  12. Focus on the person, not the problem
  13. Know that I could be wrong
  14. Don’t take things personally
  15. Don’t take myself too seriously
  16. Don’t let fear control me
  17. It’s not about me

What’s a number from the list that you’d like to work on more in 2022?

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Never knowing what you’re great at…

We assume that someone who’s great at something knows why they are great at that thing. As a result, we don’t ever tell them.

What’s more likely to be true is that they can’t see themselves like you see them. That you can see that greatness, but they can’t. It’s obvious. But only to you.

Worst case scenario: that person goes through their career never really knowing what they’re truly great at and they live each day believing they aren’t enough.

As leaders we must get into the habit of giving people specific recognition for what they are truly great at. Making sure they know that what they bring is enough.

Pick one person today and go tell them what they’re great at, and why.

They deserve to know.

PS This works ‘up’ the way, too.

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Saying “no” is the outcome of more important work…

I think we all instinctively know that saying yes to everything is a recipe for disaster.

But if you’ve tried to say no more often, you’ll know how difficult it can be to say no and actually feel like you’re doing the right thing for the right reasons.

In short, it’s not just about saying no, it’s about being able to do it and not feel like a dick about it.

We can get inspired when we see someone saying no and doing it well, but what you’re not seeing is the foundational work they did to get there.

So, what is this ‘work’ they’ve done?

  1. They got clear on what’s important to them, and there will be a specific order.
  2. They got clear on their values and principles that help them make choices and decisions.
  3. They got clear on the behaviours that support said values and principles.
  4. They then set clear boundaries that protect and honour those values and principles.
  5. Then they can say no with integrity. Then they can say no without feeling guilty about it. Then they can say no and know that it’s for the best.

This then allows them to spend the time in the areas that are important to them and not spend time in the areas that are not important.

I think most people try to do this almost in reverse…they get excited and romantic about the idea of saying no, and they start trying to say no to things, thinking it’ll immediately improve their life, but the ability to say no and stay within your integrity is the outcome of this important work, not the work itself.

So, if you find that you continually struggle to say no to people, it’s likely because you haven’t followed the steps above.

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Falling in love with feedback

“I love getting feedback…”

Who can honestly say this about themselves?

I certainly want to say this about me. I know that feedback is going to help me, but I don’t know that I love it. I don’t know that I’m all that great at seeking it.

What I do know is this: My ability to seek, receive and use feedback is correlated to the trajectory for success in my career.

This reminds me of a moment when I was in the thick of it as I transitioned from entrepreneur to employee.

Many things changed about my work.

Specifically:

  • I was given a manager
  • I was given a scorecard
  • I was given performance reviews
  • I was given a lot of feedback

A bit of a shock to the system when you’re used to working for yourself!

Early on in this transition I was tasked by my manager to proactively seek feedback from three key cross functional people in the organisation.

(Part of me wishes I figured out this for myself…but therein lies one of the benefits of having a great manager.)

Here are the questions that shaped those conversations:

  1. What’s one thing I do that you believe is helping to contribute to the success of our team?
  2. What’s one thing that I do that you believe is detracting from the success of our team?
  3. What’s something you’d like to see me doing better that you feel will contribute to the success of our team, and ultimately help me to become a more valuable team player?

So, here’s today’s challenge – take these questions, carefully select one key person that will provide you with valuable, direct and honest answers, and maybe you’ll start falling in love with getting feedback.

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