Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Do you interrupt when you don't "get it"?

Ever been in a meeting where someone used some jargon where you had no idea what they were saying?

When it's a topic you don't know well, or one you feel you SHOULD know well, sometimes it may feel more uncomfortable to say anything. You probably want to say something, you get anxious, but you let it go. Maybe it snowballs because the topic or phrase or idea comes up again and now it's even harder to interrupt.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Many times if you don't "get it", there is someone else in the room who may not either. Sometimes, surprisingly, that may be someone more experienced. Or it may be the "newbie" but they'll love you for it.

It models the behavior for everyone else. People feel empowered when they feel like they can ask "dumb questions" (which really aren't dumb) and group trust can increase.

Communicating "I am not following" or "I did not understand that" may feel like admitting a vulnerability, but that admitting can be a sign of strength, a sign of leadership, and make your meeting more productive for everyone.

One last point. Consider THANKING your colleagues when they do the same to you, letting you know they don't "get" something you have said. Reinforce the positive team behavior.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Decision making is overrated?

We all come across a few crucial times in our life where we feel we have a SIGNIFICANT decision to be made, where our decision will have a major impact on our future. We also face other decisions every single day. If you are an accountant, you are a knowledge worker, and you are paid to make knowledge based decisions. But sometimes we overvalue the importance of many of the decisions we have to make.

Here is what you can do to make decision making less important: DECIDE that you are going to do everything you can do to make it the "right" decision.

You see, you might have to decide between A and B, but it's what you do afterwards in many cases that can make one decision a good one. In fact, maybe either decision "could" be good because you decide to intentionally do what you can to make it a good one.

Make your decisions the right one ... after you have made them!