Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Assertive, as opposed to aggressive or passive behaviour, is essential for any manager who wants to get things agreed and done while maintaining good relationships with those around them. Read more...
It's early morning, and the sunrise is spectacular.
I am watching the bright pink clouds move slowly behind the silhouette of a tree in my garden.
A family of squirrels live in that tree, in an old bird's nest they have converted into a home.
One of the squirrels came out on a branch, and without hesitation, leapt the gap to the next tree, grabbed onto a thin branch, and proceeded from there to breakfast in the neighbour's pine tree.
Then a second squirrel made the same journey with just as much panache.
I was struck by their confidence in doing something that to me looked difficult and dangerous.
Have you ever watched someone who was good at something, and wish you were that good?
How do you think they got that good?
Did they do it like the squirrels? Watch others, start small, start easy, practice every day, and learn from the occasional fall?
What skill that others do well do you want to get good at?
What are you going to do about it today?
Oh no! Not again :-(
Another question from someone who could have figured it out for themselves and instead they come and ask me.
I inwardly sigh and give them the answer... again.
I'll be honest, it does give my ego a boost, but there must be a better way.
Sometimes they need my expertise. I get that. But all the other times, maybe I am spoon-feeding them too much? Maybe asking me is too easy? Maybe they need to learn to hold their own spoon? Or maybe the consequences of them making a mistake are too high, so they need reassurance or protection? Maybe they think I am micro-managing and that I need to be in the loop? Maybe it's something else?
I wonder what it is that encourages this behaviour?
The next time I will ask them... "What do think the answer is?" "How could you find this out for yourself?" "Have you looked on the XYZ system?" "Why ask me when the answer is available on the XYZ system?" "What will you do the next time you have a similar question?"
I am curious to find out what answers I get!
A survey in the US in 2016 asked if people would rather 'achieve great things or be happy'. 81% said they would rather be happy, 13% opted for doing great things and 6% seemed daunted by the question and weren't sure.
At the start of a New Year, how would you answer that question?
Perhaps more importantly...
What do you imagine when you think of being happy?
What does happy mean to you?
Is it a state of mind? Is it a way of being? Is it an emotion? Is it a permanent happy grin? Is it absence of the opposite, whatever that is to you?
What causes happiness?
Is it people in your life? Is it what you possess? Is it what you have done? Is it what you are doing? Is it what you are planning to do? All of the above? Something else?
Indeed, is there even a direct cause? That is, can you seek happiness directly, or is it a by-product of life when lived a certain way?
We say we want to be happy.
Fine - you have a goal, happiness. What is it?!
Oh... and also, how will you know you have achieved that goal?
Here is a little task for you... Ask your friends. What are their answers to these questions?
We are welcoming in 2021 with perhaps more uncertainty than any other year in recent memory.
What is your intention for this year?
You do have one, even if it is just a default intention that you have not thought about.
Your intention, thought about or not, will tend to drive what you do and therefore what you get during 2021.
Is it... ...to survive? ...to keep doing the same stuff? ...to do different stuff? ...to change in some way? ...to learn something? ...to fall in love? ...to move on? ...to grow?
What is it?
It seems to me that your intention is your starting point for the year, so it is worth thinking about it.
Giving it some thought is better than just leaving things up to chance don't you think?
So, grab your favourite drink and sit for a while to contemplate your intention for 2021 and the things you can do that might coax that intention into reality.
Thank you for reading my weekly missive. I hope it has been of some help during these most strange, and for many, stressful times.
Instead of me writing a tip for you, stop for a moment and think about what you most need to hear right now.
What could someone say to you that would help you the most?
Close your eyes and imagine a calm voice full of certainty telling this to you as you sit and listen with acceptance.
How do you feel?
Now, what do those around you need to hear from you right now?
Let’s all be here for each other now and over the coming year.
Stay safe and well ?
Marketing is often misunderstood! It's important in all areas of the business, including L&D.
How to get better results for you and your team? The 50 Essential Tips for Managers booklet provides helpful tips and advice on key areas of effective management.