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 “communication”

Do you like miracles? 2 ways initiating your own predictable miracles


Do you like miracles? 2 ways initiating your own predictable miracles 

Miracles occur when needs and solutions converge seemingly serendipitously. Convention says that miracles happen coincidentally. Is there such a thing as coincidence though? Most people just accept a matter as coincidence and do not think twice about it. Really smart folks dig a little deeper and follow up with the people involved. There are an increasing number of people who believe that it may even be possible creating circumstances leading to predictable miracles. Here are two ideas of how you can initiate them.

  1. In order to be able to creating a conduit for needs and solutions to emerge in front of you and still maintaining the element of coincidence (this is truly organic growth), you will first and foremost need to ponder what your purpose is. The moment you ask yourself this question, you will be on the path to a better and brighter future.
    Imagine what gives you energy and what you really want to be and do. Think about your future needs that will help pave the way to get there. Journal about this daily and reflect upon this list frequently. Develop a mental picture what the final result might look like in 9-12 months from now.
  2. Now comes the part that you need to feel comfortable with: Share this picture with acquaintances, friends, co-workers, family, etc. Do this freely. The more you think and talk about it, the more you think and solidify your own mental picture. You become intensely focused on what truly matters to you.
    Make a list of 9-18 people you look up to. Meet with these folks for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Do not ask for favors; ask for them to listen to you and to be candid with their feedback. Share your vision and mission, your purpose freely. Bring the future into the present by bringing it alive. Keep your journal up to date.

Now you have tilled the ground and sowed the seed of synchronicity – that is coincidence at its best. Because you know your intentions and you have shared them, people and opportunities will start crossing your path. This may not happen immediately, but in the long run this is a recipe that you can follow with almost guaranteed success.

What are you waiting for? Give it a go, you cannot lose here and how cool is it to create your own predictable miracles?

Ralf

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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.

Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote


Getting away from micro managers – learn about the antidote 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

There are five key elements to trust: They are sincerity, authenticity, competence, reliability and timely communication. Micro-management is very much at the opposite spectrum of these attributes. Micro managers have the hardest time with especially authenticity and sincerity. But trust is the omnipotent ingredient to leadership. Without trust there cannot be any leadership. Leading people is much more a process than a final result. Trust can only occur when a relationship has been slowly nurtured into existence by long term planning. “Trust is not deserved, it is earned” is what sales consultant and expert Jeffrey Gitomer wrote about trust in his book “Little Teal Book of Trust”. No manager can expect to be trusted just based on a title alone. On the other hand, the manager must trust learn trusting his employees first – only then his direct reports will show the propensity showing trust in a manager.

This process of learning to let go of control and therefore trusting the employee to do a great job takes time and most of all planning on the side of the manager. It is a recurring theme that runs through leadership like a fine red thread: If you want to see a change in others, you must first be willing to change yourself. This is especially true when a micro manager wants for his employees to achieve and learn new skills. It takes ample time to change people and first the manager must first make the commitment to learning just as much and to be patient with his people who probably need some time to achieve these goals. Impatience kills trust in an instant as does not trusting employees enough for placing them on a pro-active training and goal setting time table.

One certain way out of micro managing is to focus on becoming a master communicator. Mistrust leads to issues in the flow of information, because most managers with trust issues would rather keep the information to themselves and not delegate any work either. This is all poison to any organization. It takes a great sense of organizing skills for a manager to find a way out of the downward micro management spiral. Once the manager trusts himself enough to trust others weekly and perhaps even daily scheduled or impromptu meetings with staff helps breaking the mold. Organizing information should automatically trigger the thought of delegating as many day-to-day tasks to employees who either have the skill set or the responsibility to doing them anyway. This shows trust to the employee and can now reciprocate this with the manager who will be able to tend to more managerial tasks – imagine that, more time for organizing things.

Being able to lead people may be something that comes easy to some people. That does not mean average managers or even micro managers cannot improve because they were not born with these skills. Achieving the first step of trusting yourself is most important as it is the jumping board for being able to genuinely apologize for any bad decisions, which in turns provides the necessary feedback to the employees that it is ok to make mistakes. By not including team members in the cause and effect cycle, the managers will most likely promote long term distrust and thus disengage them from team and company goals. The reversal of this issue is just as easy: When making the mistake of not having involved the team in the process, apologize genuinely and timely. It will re-engage people almost in the short and long term.

Finally there is a solid case for developing a sense and company culture of trust. It comes down to the almighty financial rock bottom Dollar. In a recent Gallup poll the cost for lost productivity and employee disengagement has been around $300 billion in the United States of America alone.   Controlling people is all but impossible, but that is not true for controlling the cost and reviewing and managing the engagement and communication with them.

So the simplest way in which to create a trusting work environment is making a list of the worst traits of micro managers you know or experienced. Then start compiling strategies letting you do the opposite of that.

Ralf

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

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