Friday, March 28, 2008

Crucial Conversations

I took a class this week at work called Crucial Conversations. The instructor stated that this class was a life-skill, not just a work skill. Of all the important lessons taught in the class, I believe that statement was the most important lesson.

In a nutshell, the instructor taught us how to engage in crucial conversations and that we need to engage in crucial conversations.

The class was not about speaking. The class was about getting results; getting the results that you need, which may not be exactly what you thought they were going to be when you started the crucial conversation.

The most important factor in a crucial conversation is dialogue. If two people cannot speak to one another, there is no way that the results are going to be accomplished.

If you ever get the opportunity to take the crucial conversations class, I highly recommend it. If you pay attention and use the tools and experience you gain in the class in your everyday life, you will see changes. I don't guarantee these changes will necessarily be easy, but they should make a positive impact on the big picture.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Engaging in a crucial conversation might be the something needed to make the rest of their day go swimmingly.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Become What You Believe

Have you ever heard the saying self fulfilling prophecy? Most of the time it references or is told about a pessimistic person who bad things happen to. Their woe-is-me attitude quite often causes their problems to come to fruition.

How about if we flip the coin to the other side? Let's make self fulfilling prophecies but let's believe that we are good on the inside, we can do anything if we set our minds to it and good is going to happen.

Believe you are going to do well and there is a good chance of that coming true. Become what you believe. Believe in yourself and that you can do well and you will do well.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It just might be what that someone needs to make them become the success they believe they can be.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dance Like No One's Watching

I can't dance to save my life. Two gifts that God did not bless me with were a good singing voice and good coordination. I tease my daughter by telling her that I can do the white man overbite. But most people let their inner rhythm out when they think they are all alone like the dancing cadet.

Dance like no one's watching to me means not to worry about what people think when you are doing what you like to do.

Going along the same lines, work like you don't need the money. If you have to work, you might as well get paid to do what you like to do. If you won the lottery, and after taking time off to do all the fun things that you would want to do, would you still do the work that you are doing now when you need the money? If not, why not?

The only reason that I can think of for not doing what you currently do, is that you want to do something else as well.

Have a job that you enjoy the tasks that you have to do. Enjoy going to work. It does not mean that work is where you spend all your time, but it should not be a place where you regret going either. If you like what you do, you are going to do a better job at it. Your customers win because they get a better whatever. Your company wins because it keeps its customers happy and gets more business. You win because your company is happy with you and takes good care of you.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as showing them how well (or poorly) you dance and enjoy your job.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Risk vs. Reward

Is the reward worth the risk?

When you are a kid, playing with your friends is probably the most important thing next to Christmas and your birthday.

When you are told not to go outside until your parents come home, but your friends come over and want you to come out and play, you have quite a dilemma on your hands . You have to measure out whether the risk of getting caught (which will probably happen) is worth the reward of playing with your friends outside.

The pure torture. It is a nice day outside and your friends are out playing. If you get caught, you will probably get grounded for at least a couple of days. You have to really figure out if the reward is worth the risk. If it is supposed to rain for the next few days starting tomorrow, the decision is actually pretty easy; play in the sun and then grounded to the indoors when it is raining outside. The reward far outweighs the risk. But if you are supposed to go to a birthday party or to a park tomorrow or this weekend if you are good, the risk probably is not worth the small reward that you get.

If only the adult scenarios were as easy as the ones you faced as a kid.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could make their reward worth the risk.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing is often attributed to Vince Lombardi. The definition of winning is sometimes vague.

Some coaches, parents and players think the score on the scoreboard at the end of the game defines winning. I contend differently.

Your character defines winning in the big picture.

When you leave every bit of energy on the court (or field) at the end of the game you can always walk with your head up high. The final score only determines if you win with grace or lose with dignity.

On the court, you let your game doing the talking. Trash talking is NOT part of the game. If someone else does it to you, you don't have the right to do it back. It takes more character to walk away from the confrontation that it does to join it.

At work, your ideas are not always going to be the ones that are used. If your idea is used, you must help your team to bring it to fruition. If your idea is not selected, you must do all you can to make sure the selected idea is completed.

Character is defined most when you do things for people who can help you least.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It will show your character.


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