Learn To Count To Ten

According to Wikipedia patience is the ability to endure difficult circumstances such as perserverence in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is a much needed 21st Century skill. Some have it in spades, others have to work at it. Picking up a 2X4 and smacking someone on the side of the head may not be the way to go when you are frustrated. You need to learn to count to ten.

Worth Remembering … “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle

Do you need to develop more patience? Here are some things to keep in mind.

1 – Expect challenges. Expect delays. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Something will go wrong and when it does, work around it or climb over it.

2 – Go slow to go fast. You don’t want to end up doing things twice. Get all the facts before making a decision, but make a decision in a timely manner. Procrastination is a killer.

3 – Be empathetic. People will make mistakes, everyone does. When things go wrong, fix it, don’t dwell on it.

4 – See the big picture. Don’t get bogged down in the weeds. Keep your eye on the prize. A minor set back is just that. Keep moving forward.

Worth Remembering … “He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

Those that know me best know that patience was never my strong suit. It’s something I have had to work at. I’ve had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion. If you want to be a more effective 21st Century manager or business leader then you need to learn to count to ten.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

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Are You Asking The Right Type of Question?

Are you looking for answers? Not getting the answers you are looking for? Maybe it’s because you aren’t asking the right type of question. If you learn to ask the right type of questions and listen, really listen to the answers, chances are others will tell you everything you need to hear.

Worth Remembering ... “I listen to understand – not necessarily to agree” – Dale Carnegie

Depending on what you want to know, you have four basic types of questions that you can ask.

Open Ended Questions – If you are wanting to promote dialoge then you need to ask an open ended question. Ask a question that requires more than a one word answer from the other person. – Example: “What kind of options are you looking for?”

Closed Questions – When a one word answer will do. A closed question gives the person limited options as to how to respond to your question. – Example: “What colour?”

Clarifying Questions – A non-judgemental question when you want to verify what was said. – Example: “So if I heard you correctly you said …..”

Problem Solving Questions – Sakichi Toyoda, the Japanese Industrialist, inventor, and founder of Toyota Industries, developed the 5 Whys technique. If you are looking to solve a problem try asking “Why”until you discover what problem, or problems need to be solved before you get the desired results. Some solutions may be simple, while others may be more complex. You might uncover more problems then you think you had. – Example: “The shipment didn’t get delivered on time – Why?”

Worth Remembering … “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” – Robert McCloskey

Are you asking the right type of question?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Avoidance Is Not Conflict Resolution

You can’t ignore a conflict in hopes that it will go away. Avoidance is not conflict resolution. Conflict and disagreements are unavoidable. Whenever you have more than one person in the room you’re going to have some type of conflict or disagreement. Two people can’t be expected to agree on everything. When dealt with in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for both parties to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Problem solving is a having the ability to directly and positively face and resolve difficult situations.”

If you are going to resolve it, you must first understand what caused it. Was it competitive feelings, personal jealousy or resentment, the desire to sabotage someone else’s idea, dissension caused by poor listening skills, lack of good communication skills or a lack of trust? Remember – avoidance is not conflict resolution. It is not going to go away by walking away. You need to deal with it.

Here are five things you can do to resolve conflict.

1 – Provide more information to make discussions productive rather than contentious. Lack of information or not the right information could be the reason behind the conflict.

2 – Ask for solutions. I would never let anyone come to me with a problem and not ask them what would they do to resolve it. If their solution sounds reasonable, and is doable, then go with it.

3 – Establish common goals, In the big scheme of things the differences may not be too far apart. You may discover you both want much of the same thing.

4 – Managing your emotions and keeping your ego in check is key to resolving conflict. Make saving the relationship your number one priority.

5 – Do not force a consensus. Develop a plan of action that is right for both parties. Something that you can both live with. Learn to pick your battles. Sometimes the conflict is not worth damaging or destroying a relationship.

Worth Remembering … ” An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My final thought on resolving conflict. We are emotional beings, and sometimes we say things in the heat of the conflict that we wish we could take back. Words are powerful. They can leave an invisible scar. We can use them to build people up or tear them down. Choose your words wisely.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Establishing the T Word

Trust – a five letter word that makes all the difference when managing and leading others. Without trust you won’t be able to do either one very well. Trust doesn’t come automatically just because of the title you’ve been given. You must earn it one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with and interact with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationship and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through before you can establish trust.

Worth Remembering .. “In organizations where people trust and believe in each other, they don’t get into regulating and coercing behaviours. They don’t need a policy for every mistake … people in these trusting environments respond with enormous commitment and creativity.” – Walter Wriston

Step One: Building Rapport. Find out something about the person you are working with other than the work that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like doing in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them about a subject that they like. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to tear down any walls that may exist between you and them. Building rapport will help you do that.

Step Two: Developing Relationships. The second step in establishing trust is to develop a relationship. You can’t have a relationship with anyone unless you have built rapport first. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that clients choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people you work with. People like to work with people they like. If they like you – chances are they will follow you because no one wants to let a friend down.

Step Three: Establishing Respect. The third step to building trust is respect. You won’t respect anyone that you haven’t developed a relationship with first. However, keep in mind that respect is reciprocal – you can’t demand it. Respect is a two-way street. You have to give it to get it – and you have to give it first if you expect to get it back. You may not like or agree with everything that others have to say – but you need to respect the fact they they have a right to express their opinion. You can agree to respectfully disagree.

Worth Remembering … “I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset because from now on I can’t believe you.” – Nietzsche

After respect comes the “T” word – trust. You’ll never trust anyone you don’t respect first. Sometimes managers and leaders need others to take a leap of faith. Sometimes managers and leaders don’t have all the answers and need others to trust them that they have their best interests in mind. If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will have established trust. Without it – you have nothing.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact Brian via email: brian@briansmithpld.com