Don’t Always Believe What You Think

IMG_3193Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought “what a dink”? And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids. There was just something about them that you didn’t like. I thought that when I first met Morris – Laura’s cat. As a kid growing up I never hung around with cats. We were dog people. All of my friends were dog people. So I never had much use for cats. We all have built-in biases based on our own experiences. We are influenced by what we read, hear and see. So it’s no wonder I never got to know cats. After taking the time to get to know someone have you ever changed your opinion about them? Meeting and getting to know Morris helped me change my opinion about cats.

Worth Remembering … There are things known and there are things unknown. And in between are the doors of perception. – Aldous Huxley.

Perception is your reality. It is whatever you think it is. What you know won’t hurt you. However, the elephant in the room are the things you don’t know. Don’t let your preconceived notions get in the way of the decisions you make. Don’t believe everything you think. Question the status quo. Continue to seek out others who have a different point of view. Empathy, trying to see things from someone else’s point of view will never go out of style. Ask the right questions and really listen to the answers before you act. Have you ever made a decision only to find out that you didn’t have all the facts? Had you had all the facts, you would have made a different decision.

Worth Remembering … One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview – not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. – Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’m a huge fan of the hit musical TV show “The Voice”. I think there is a lesson here that you could use the next time you hire or promote someone. They pick singers from a blind audition. They don’t pick a singer based on their perception of what they think a singer should look like, they pick a singer based on the quality of their voice. The next time you need to hire or promote someone, hire or promote them based on their qualifications not by the colour of their skin or gender. We like what we like and we are more than likely to hire or promote someone who has the same qualities as the kind of person we like. But we know from experience that they don’t always turn out to be the right person for the job we hired them for. The next time you have to make a decision don’t believe everything you think.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an informative and entertaining session on a variety of soft skills topics? Give Brian a call. You won’t be disappointed. To find out more about Brian visit https://briansmithpld.com 

Would You Work For You?

judge-with-gavel1Would you work for you? Would you work for a Boss who belittles you, and berates you in front of your co-workers, instead of behind closed doors? Would you work for a Boss who always needs to be right – even when they are wrong.? Would you work for a Boss who promises you something one day – and then takes it away from you the next? Does this sound all too familiar? Chances are we’ve all worked for a Boss just like that. I believe great Bosses aren’t born – they’re made. If given the chance, what kind of Boss would you be? Take a moment and think about that. If you had to put a list together of the top ten things a great Boss should be – what would you put on your list?

I think a great Boss should be:

  1. Patient: Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or impatient.
  2. Open-minded: Be willing to accept new ideas.
  3. Honest: The quality of being honest.
  4. Empathetic: Show an ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
  5. Flexible: Demonstrate a willingness to change or compromise.
  6. Trustworthy: Have the ability to be relied on, to be honest, or truthful.
  7. Fair: Treat others in a way that is right or reasonable and not allowing personal opinions to influence their judgement.
  8. Consistent: Acting or doing things in the same way over time, especially to be fair or accurate.
  9. Loyal: Give firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or organization.
  10. Compassionate: Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others regardless of their standing or position.

People don’t quit companies – they quit lousy Bosses. Always remember that you get to decide what kind of Boss you want to be. Culture is created from the top down, never the bottom up. Most people, if given a choice, would rather not be the Boss. But everyone gets to decide what kind of Boss they want to follow. Keep that in mind the next time you’re given the opportunity. Be the kind of Boss you’d like to follow. Ask yourself – would you work for you? If the answer is no – then you need to change.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to conduct an in-house training session on soft-skills training or leadership development? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

I’m Guilty As Charged

judge-with-gavel1I should have known better. I have been in the business of managing and leading others in one capacity or another, as a General Manager, College Professor and Management Consultant, for over forty years. In spite of all those years of experience, I committed the number one cardinal sin. I jumped to a conclusion before I had all the facts.  And worse yet, I posted my comment on LinkedIn. The person, who I  offended shall remain nameless, but T.M. knows who he is.  He may not realize it – but the fact that he called me out – reminded me of a valuable lesson that I had obviously forgotten. It’s time for me to step up and do the walk instead of just doing the talk.

Before I act, either verbally or in writing, I am going to step back, take a deep breath and follow these 3 simple rules.

Rule Number One: I am going to assume nothing. I am going to put my brain into gear before I engage my mouth. How often have you said something that you later regretted? How often have you said something that you wish you could take back?

Rule Number Two: I am going to do some research. I am going to take the time to collect all the facts before I act or speak. How often have you made a decision, only to find out it wasn’t the right one because if you knew then, what you know now, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place? How many times has it come around to bite you?

Rule Number Three: I am going to ask myself, how would I feel if someone posted something about me that wasn’t true? Someone who I’ve never met. Someone who didn’t take the time to find out more about me, and what my motives were?

Leaders will make mistakes. All leaders do, and when they do they should own it, apologize for it, learn from it and don’t repeat it. That’s what separates the not-so-good ones from the great ones.  What kind of leader do you want to be?  You get to make a choice, so choose wisely. Others are watching and deciding who they want to follow. If no one is following you, you aren’t leading.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a Professional Speaker or Seminar Leader who can deliver a session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today brian@briansmithpld.com – Visit https://briansmithpld.com to find out what Brian can do for you.

Everyone You Meet is Somebody’s Somebody

secret 5Every Friday night is date night with my 5-year-old grandchild. It’s our time to hang out and do what ever she wants to do. We usually start out at her favorite eatery and end up at the local toy store. I cherish the time we get to spend together. We where enjoying a fun moment when she playfully grabbed my hat and put it on. “Hey Poppa” she said – “I’m you and you are Mr. No Buddy”. It came as a shock to me because I’d never heard her say that before. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard at school. She didn’t realize how hurtful that saying can be.

Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. They are a reflection of the environment around them. Adults, especially parents, need to be mindful of the lessons they are teaching their children. Children aren’t born bullies. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born haters. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born racists. They learn that from others. You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. They take their lead from you.

What lessons are you teaching your child? Are you teaching them to be tolerant, compassionate and respectful of others?  Do they know what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind to others and lead by example? Do they know that everyone you meet is somebody’s somebody? You have a very important job to do. I hope you are up for the task. The next generation of parents are counting on you.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission.  Brian is available for key note speeches or conducting workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com