Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “collaboration”

You have only one try making a great first impression


You have only one try making a great first impression 

Foto credit: Pablo by Buffer

As a rambunctious adolescent I often proclaimed that how I look on the outside should not matter, not in school and definitely not in business. Well, I found out the hardest way that that is wrong. Your dress code does matter like you wouldn’t believe making your first impression on people.

In our society of today where just about anything goes as far as clothes (or the lack thereof), skin and body alterations and accessories etc are concerned you would believe that our outward appearance doesn’t matter much. Well it does. Let me share the experience of an airline pilot. I am paraphrasing what he shared with me while we were waiting at the gate for our flight to take off.

  • “When I wear my uniform everybody wants to talk to me. I can talk to just about everyone, because they want to talk to me.”
  • “Wearing my nice uniform lets me speak to beautiful women that would not give me a second look in my street clothes.”
  • “People assume that because I wear a pilot’s uniform, I belong with the big airline because the plane carries the logo of it. Not so at all, but they assume that anyway.”
  • “Wearing the uniform people are on their best behavior and usually extremely courteous.”
  • “People think just because I wear this pilot uniform that I am more educated than them. Does that really mean that?”
  • “A pilot’s uniform seems to suggest that I make so much more money than the average person. I make less than my brother in-law who is a truck driver. We are essentially on the road the same amount of time and to come to think of it I am just about doing the same job as him.”
  • “Sir, you wear a suit. I would think – just like any other person – that you are quite well educated and that you have a well-paying career.”

Fascinating, huh? Do not get sidetracked by what he said and that some of you may argue that his points of view may be questionable. The bottom line of all the comments is that our outward appearance (dress code) does matter. No matter how right or wrong the position may be, we will always be judged quietly by others. The others are the judge and the jury and the executioner all wrapped up in one.

Is it impossible to regain lost ground and get people beyond our first impression? No it isn’t, but it takes many an interaction to do that and if your first contact is all you’ve got, well, then what are you going to do? All you have is one time making a great first impression.

Ralf

 

PS: Here is a Wall Street Journal article (click here for reading the article) about how appearance doesn’t matter. That is only true when you are part of a tribe and a certain dress code / appearance is expected of you even though it may be viewed as intolerable by another social group.

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Listening to understand – it’s what our country and society needs the most right now


Listening to understand – it’s what our country and society needs the most right now 

Can you hear me now? No, this is not an old commercial for a cell phone company. This is about how we listen to other people. Unfortunately, on average we are very bad listeners. We listen to talk instead of listening to understand.

That is a very important differentiation. We are so filled with so much information and so many opinions that it is just waiting to bubble right out of us. Instead of seeking to really understand the other person, we just cannot wait for the other person to finish such that we can jump in with our stuff. It’s got to be said. Or does it?

Please help stop this craziness. Make a habit to take a deep breath and wait before saying anything when another person is speaking especially in a group of people. Ask yourself if any input of yours will make the others better off. Resist the urge and say nothing if you cannot add value to the conversation. Seek to understand what is being said. More importantly focus on what isn’t being said. Finally, use challenging questions to get information from the others to get to a decent understanding about the issues at hand. Ask questions that cannot be answered with a Yes or No.

Never waste a good chance to really understand another person. All it takes is silence on your part. Whom and when to ask is another line item to think about.

Ralf

I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words


I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

What a double-edged sword this one is. There are only two ways to go about it, I think. On one hand there is not so much what you said but how you said it. If your content does not match your facial expressions, gestures and mimics than don’t be surprised if you’ll find yourself on a person to be avoided list. At a minimum you will be dealing with quite a few conflicts with people who just no longer know how to read you.

The other side of this medal is strictly that you can say what you want and how people understand you is yet another thing. And it does not even matter sometimes what you say and how, you just will never be understood – because the other person may not want to understand you. Prejudice and judgment are a 21st century infliction that probably has never been any worse in history. Social media is not improving this issue either.

The third blow comes in form of you saying one thing and your own actions differ from what you are asking other people to do or not to do. Busted! That is definitely the worst trustbuster. Read about DropBox’s CEO and how this issue snagged him.

How do you keep yourself out of trouble? Do not send out mixed body language messages and make sure your content is on target and professional. There is only so much you can do though. Be natural and honest – if some meanies still do not like you and keep misunderstanding you there is nothing you will be able to do about that. Be yourself. Period.

Ralf

What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge?


What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Mike Rowe is a well-known TV personality (e.g. Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch). As such he also had made a name for himself breaking the college mandate for High School students. He has been promoting blue-collar careers all along. Mike’s own work ethic scholarship program has candidate sign the above-mentioned S.W.E.A.T. pledge. How do you feel about it? See for yourself here: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/skill-work-ethic-arent-taboo/

“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

 

  1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

 

  1. I believe that I am entitledto life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

 

  1. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

 

  1. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

 

  1. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

 

  1. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

 

  1. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

 

  1. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

 

  1. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

 

  1. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

 

  1. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

 

  1. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

 

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

 

Signed_______________________________________ Dated____________________

 

 

There are some folks who feel that this is going too far. Read about an example and Mike’s response here. http://mikerowe.com/2017/05/otwappalledbythesweatpledge/

I am not sure that insisting any new applicants and team members having to sign a document like this will help shape new habits. I have come to accept almost all of his 12 points as my core beliefs and values. I would not tell other people to having to make it their own just by agreeing to them by signing a document. That is so Baby-Boom and GenX like. If we want to make an impact that even Millennials want to buy in on than we have to create a work and school environment that is embracing, meaning demonstrating what is asked for here. That is done by asking questions using full transparency and collaboration – just do not stand in front of them telling them. If this is what new candidates find while attending Mike’s program I think that people have no reason to gripe. What do you think?

Ralf

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