Thursday, February 25, 2010

My day was "Very Busy"

Ever get asked how your day was and your answer is dominated by the word "busy". What does busy mean to you? For some answering you were very busy is not the same as answering you were very "productive". In fact they may feel VERY different.

Busy might mean: lots of calls, lots of emails, lots of fires to put out, lots of switching from task to task, lots of ideas floating through your mind, lots of talking about acting on things, etc. In short it means you had a lot going on but it does not necessarily mean you had a lot getting done.

If you feel "productive", however it may be more about making tough decisions, completing something that had been hovering, finally acting instead of talking, and yes, generally, completing more work.

Busy might mean opening more things, productive might mean closing more things. Busy might mean more YESes, productive might mean more NOs. Busy might mean more plans, productive might mean less plans but more prioritization. Busy might mean more more, productive might actually mean less.

Lastly, despite the fact that world might not be cooperating with you at all times, it's important to remember that most of your day is really about the choices you make and control.....

Is being and feeling productive really a choice and do you control all the things that go into feeling productive? If you say yes, you will probably be right and if you say no, you will probably be right also. So how will you describe your day tomorrow?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Relationship Responsibility

How are you taking responsibility for your relationships?

Let's focus on "work" relationships for now (though all of this will apply to all your relationships).

When you look back many years from now, how do you want to look back on your relationships?

Think about it this way, when it is time for you look back at your career or a certain job, how do your relationships help? How do your relationships feel? How much of YOUR success is based on relationships?

Now here is such an obvious reminder - your relationships are developing with every passing moment. Every encounter. Every discussion.

Some simple questions to help in a more "day-to-day" way, especially when you feel REAL busy:

How do others feel about themselves when they leave your presence?
How are others reminded (this afternoon!) about how you feel about your relationships?

You OWN your relationship if you take responsibility for them, so what is it going to be?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Action compliments are nice, but "YOU" compliments ROCK!

We have all probably heard that compliments can be more powerful when you provide detail.

So "I like your tie" is nice, but "I like your tie and how it matches your eyes" will be more memorable (though possibly corny and in some cases be viewed as a pick-up line!)

So "the workpaper you prepared was well done" is nice, but "the workpaper you prepared was great, especially the way you linked the results of the analytical procedures performed in revenues to the related expense accounts."

Providing more detail makes a compliment more memorable and people will know better what kind of "actions" to repeat.

BUT there are also other types of compliments, those that may be harder to pick out and those that will be less common, but can be VERY powerful. These are "YOU" compliments.

What are "YOU" compliments? I distinguish "you" from "action" compliments because action compliments describe specific actions a person did, where as "you compliments" go beyond that and provide more about what level that person has achieved.

Let me give you some examples. Notice these comments are NOT necessarily specific, but they are about the other person. (They may in fact elicit follow up questions from the person being complimented.) They are, however, loaded. They make the receiver of the comment think about their contribution...

"I like the way you approached the meeting this morning. You brought your best self and your attitude rubbed off on others."

"I was surprised by how well you handled that criticism from Ted. Most people would have just fired back and fought him, but you are at another level now in the way you lead others."

These "YOU" comments make people ponder where they are, where they have been, and in short they allow people some time and space to feel proud about their growth. When you can do that more often, when you can just be on the look-out more often to uncover these "YOU" compliments, WATCH OUT for the kind of empowering environment you help create based on how people will respond!