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!

4 touch points for more successful meetings


4 touch points for more successful meetings 

Which is more important: Consensus or consent? This is a question that should beg itself to anyone who attends one of many business meetings. Most often, people attempt to reach consensus. A lot of time is spent striving for the all but impossible consensus. Problem with that is that it is a close relative to compromise. I give a little, and you give a little, and voila we have reached a compromise and thus can reach consensus on an issue. The counterproductive result is neither party gets what they really wanted. Perhaps worse, the issue is so watered down that the initial intent is totally missed and the whole team loses.

Why spend the time and energy convincing the others that everyone needs to approve and also needs to like the final result?

  1. It is much better to make your point and see if it can get the majority supporting it. That is best done by the meeting facilitator who lists all the solutions to the issues at hand.
  2. This is followed by putting this list up on e.g. a whiteboard and letting everybody vote for their top three solutions. This way you will shrink down and perhaps consolidate your long list.
  3. Now instead of focusing on getting everybody to give a little to take a little, drive home the point being able to consent to an idea / concept.
  4. Consent is different as it only requires for everyone to be committed to moving ahead with whatever the team finally decides to do.

The fine but important line between consent and consensus is worth hours and oodles of frayed nerves none of which any leader-manager ought to jeopardize in regular business meetings. Don’t settle, but seek consent and commitment to the agreed upon goals. Get involved and make sure your designated meeting facilitator is on board with the concept.

Ralf

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You never know how little it takes making someone’s day


You never know how little it takes making someone’s day 

In the above picture I am holding a convenience store coffee cup that I am sure just about all of you are familiar with. It cannot cost possible more than one Cent or two but to me it is a priceless item that makes me smile every morning that I have time getting myself another one. Sometimes you do not realize how a small gesture of yours can mean so much to the one receiving it, that you may end up getting much more back than you ever invested.

My mom used to visit us from Germany over the summer or the fall and she used to get a royal kick out of getting a coffee in such a paper cup. She giggled like a school girl when she noticed the travel lids that would allow you to travel without spilling the beverage and yet also allowed you to drink it without dribbling all over yourself. I had forgotten about this little cup up until in early 2005 just about a couple of months prior to her way to early death due to esophageal cancer. By that time she had been on chemo and radiation treatments and I had been slated to travel to Germany to visit her in the hospital again. She asked me if I could bring a coffee cup over so. She did not say for what reason, but I gladly complied.

My sister, her children, and I went to visit mom at the hospital right away. Once we got our initial “hellos” out of the way, we went to the cafeteria and that is where I handed her the little Wawa coffee cup. Mom was so overwhelmed with joy that she nearly hugged the stuffing out of me. I had a hard time keeping myself together, but from that moment I could never look at these cups the same way again: This thing meant the world to her as it reminded her of all the great times we had had in the States and for a brief moment in time her life was wonderful and whole again. In the end mom may have lost her battle with cancer back in June of 2005, but thanks to a little cup she is right there with me.

I would like to inspire you to grant small gestures wherever you can, whether they are solicited or your own idea. Make sure that you do not desire to get anything back in return and then just watch what happens. I can make more than just your day.

Ralf

2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend


2 ways of dealing with conversations – brevity is your friend 

People who talk a lot will not give you an order or good service no matter if you are a customer or a sales representative. You are not getting good service or an order when you are speaking with people who talk like waterfalls. Sure it may feel great being around these folks. They make you feel good and the time seems to just fly by. Next thing you know is that you are out of time and under the bottom line there is a whole lot of nothing.

Set yourself a time limit of tolerating the otherwise enjoyable conversation. If you have to get a minimum of progress achieved then stick to getting that done. When should you make an exception? Exceptions are made for folks whom you have met on the account of synchronicity – that is meeting them seemingly coincidently but strangely enough somehow on purpose. One never knows what those conversations lead to. All other conversations you might as well keep as short as you can.

Ralf

4 items that make SMART goals work


4 items that make SMART goals work 

I am going to get a lot of hate mail from life and business coaches about this one, but to me SMART goals are so old school. SMART stands for the goal to have the following characteristics:

  • Specific: Is the goal stated specifically enough that you will know you have reached it?
  • Measurable: Is the goal able to be evaluated, either qualitatively or quantitatively?
  • Attainable: Can the goal be achieved?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with the goals of your company of function?
  • Timed-based: What, specifically, is the target date for its completion?

They do have a place in business, although they should be used sparingly. What is the problem with them? SMART goals are stupid because they are almost exclusively result based focused and very rarely if ever people-focused. People are the ones working on the goals though.

So here is my peace offer to everybody who staunchly insists SMART goals are a must. Because SMART goals are like a boat with no sail, kick your game up with adding a SAIL component to your goals. I recently read about this in Tasha Eurich’s book “Bankable Leadership. In short you help include the people side of your goals like this:

  • Stretch: Is the goal challenging enough to make the person raise their game?
  • Ability: Does the person completing the goal have the ability (or reasonably learn to accomplish it?
  • Importance: Does the goal feel personally important to the person blessed with this goal?
  • Learning: Does the goal help grow their skills in a way that they want to grow them?

Now we have a really powerful goal set because you made it personal to the folks having to worry about executing them. The business of business is business. That is unlikely to change, but businesses cannot function without people. It cannot be ignored that people do business with people. Humans have needs, wants, desires, dreams, and their own goals. Kick up your SMART goals with blowing some wind into SAIL goals.

Ralf

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