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 tag “collaboration”

Stop to Think – How to save your career and life

Stop to Think – How to save your career and life 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

It was just yesterday when my son and I helped clear storm damaged trees and bushes away at our local Scout camp. I noticed the sign on the chipper: Stop to think! There are so many dangerous areas and devices on this thing and when you are busy to feed this beast you will get hurt if you do not slow yourself down to think about a safer way putting material into the hungry and eager jaws of the chipper.

It is an ingenuous sign that I wished would be affixed to the rearview mirror of your car, or even as a sign put on your desk. We get triggered so easily into actions we later regret dearly. Road rage can only happen when you let your lizard brain engage into fight, flee, or freeze mode. Same at work were we may easily get engaged into a battle of wits with a co-worker just because we don’t give ourselves enough time to think about a more thoughtful response. We duke it out with our spouses when certain trigger words or actions happen.

We are not our thoughts. A thought is a thought and we control our thoughts. We have to make an active choice how we want to think about any situation though. Oftentimes there is no right or wrong, but there is a better or best way to handle any situation. That can only work if you stop and give yourself plenty of time to think about your choices. That will save your life and limbs working with a tree chipper as it does in all other aspects of your life.

Stop to think!



1 way how to turn a bad conversation into a positive one

1 way how to turn a bad conversation into a positive one 

Most conversations go awry when one person starts to use an accusatory tone. This can sound like this: “You always ignore me”, “You never consider my opinion”, or “Can you ever plan ahead?”

This kind of lingo can start a downward spiral of events. For one using “you” in this context typically is like poking your finger in the other person’s chest. Always, never, ever, etc, are rather strong words and most likely were not meant literally. Once offended the other person may start fighting back. And why not? After all, “always”, “never”, “ever” are very rarely true in the literal sense. The moment the other person also starts throwing similar sentences the other way, a battle of the minds will typically ensue. Even worse are those people of us who say such things to intentionally hurt and drawing pleasure from putting their friends, family, co-workers, employees, etc. down.

So, how can you turn this situation around? A way out is using the expression of feelings rather than using accusatory statements. If you can express how certain behaviors hurt you and how they make you feel, it is typically much easier for the other party to understand what has led to the issue in the first place. Also, the other person’s mental shutters and personal defense system are not engaged and a much more sincere and genuine conversation can happen.

So what could the sentences above sound like? Let’s try this: “When you do not pay attention to me while I am speaking with you makes me feel sad and undervalued.”, “Sometimes I feel like my opinion is not valued at all; it makes me feel ignored”, “Whenever you do not plan ahead I feel like you do not value my time and my day ends up in chaos”.

See the difference? Emphasis lies in expression how a certain behavior makes you feel and how it affects you. This is the way how to keep the conversation at a really professional and factual level. It does not offend and is not intended to make you get even with the other person. A much more fruitful discussion can result. Have fun trying it out.


3 elements of powerful decision making

3 elements of powerful decision making 

We make so many decisions every day that we can barely recall them all. Then there are these decisions that keep us up at night. That is because we have someone or something that we really want to pursue; it feels right and we so want to make progress and yet we do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Makes for a terrible night of uneasy sleep, huh? When we are really infatuated with an idea, chances are we may be making a really risky decision that we will regret later on. Never making a decision is just as bad. The older we get we make decisions more and more with our intellect. It is however heavily influenced by historical events because we want to limit our pain that comes from having made a poor decision.

So what can we do?

The secret of powerful decision making lies in the power of three: Intellect, Heart, and Instinct. What I mean by that is creating your version of a decision balance sheet. It is divided in these three main categories.

Typically, your first response to any given decision you have to make is taking you down the right path. Make a note of what that is. This is the first reaction to a decision you are facing. Now enter what your heart – meaning compassion, empathy, love, passion, etc – tries telling you. Now reflect on what your intellect is telling you. In other words you are breaking up your decision tree to a more manageable decision tripod.

Resist the urge to the extent possible arguing your way to a result you wanted to get to from the get go. Instead, start with your question that keeps you up first. Then follow your answers to all three main criteria. Finally round it all up with pondering if and how your decision will still look like in 2 to 5 years from now. Is it long term sustainable? How much fun will this by in the long run?

Sure, I did almost forget including the element of fun and excitement. Keep that in balance with the risk you are willing to take and you will start sleeping much better. Happy pondering.


1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing

1 occasion when tunnel vision is actually a good thing 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Usually tunnel vision has a bad connotation. I claim there is a good version of it. This is happening when you are part of a really deep, meaningful, and thus genuine dialog with another person, or a group of people.

Have you ever caught yourself having a conversation with someone at e.g. a restaurant and at the end you finally notice that the patrons have long gone, but you had not noticed that? In fact, you may not have noticed what your waiter looked like, and that literally hours had passed you by. That is what I call positive tunnel vision.

Part of it is that your mind is deeply in thought about what is said and you keenly focus on your dialog with your partner(s). It is fun to partake in the discussion and you mutually benefit from what you talk about.

A key area of this is not only fun, but very fulfilling: Dates. Have you ever noticed how fast times flies right on by you and you do not notice anything but your date? How can this get any better than this? Make good use of times like these ones.

Another good sign that you have had such a genuine discussion is that you may feel exhausted. It takes a lot of energy out of you when you are totally present and in the moment. That is even more so a good reason to be really picky about with whom you have a chat like this.

It is always a great idea to think about how much of a time limit you want to give yourself. Also, think about what you want to get out of a conversation at a minimum; you do not want to come out of a meeting with no tangible outcome. For example, a list of topics you wanted to cover. So much energy and time should not go in vain.

Tunnel vision is a loss of peripheral vision – you focus on the middle and notice nothing around it. Sometimes this can be really bad, but at the same time it can be good because you can focus all of your attention on your conversation partners. The latter can be very rewarding and provide the discussion partner with long-term mutual benefits. Here is to a new year with many opportunities to having such meaningful conversations.


Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: