Monday, November 6, 2017

False Choice?

Have you ever fooled yourself into a limited choice?

We fool ourselves endlessly and don't always know it. Narrowed choices that lock us in dispute. There are always other choices. The possibilities are endless. Let go of the tight grip you've got on that goal and another goal will likely appear. Clarify. Expand. Breathe.

We trick ourselves into sacrificing what we really want for something that feels like an obligation. I'm not saying to ditch your responsibilities. Do keep your commitments. Be responsible. Just don't be recklessly limiting in your scope, in your promise, in your possibilities. What if you didn't need to sacrifice what you really want?

What if sacrifice is a false choice?

-- Doug Smith


Saturday, November 4, 2017

What Are You Building A Case For?

Have you ever heard someone argue incessantly in a direction that doesn't seem to make sense? Or maybe they're stacking the evidence so completely one-sidedly that the whole view looks distorted.

We seem to be doing more and more of that these days. Building and defending our own cases to the exclusion of any inquiry. We lack curiosity when it would serve us better than defensiveness.

It's the person complaining about their job: every detail is negative. It's the person attracted to another person: every detail is enticing. It's the political argument with no escape: every point is in opposition.

What case are you building?

That's a question I like to ask when it feels like I'm working cross-purposes to what I really want. Or, when someone else is doing the same thing.

What case are you building?

Is that really what you want? Will that make things better for you, for your team, for the world?

What case are you building?

What if there is a better alternative?

When you find yourself building a case for something, find out if that's really what you want.

After all, the possibilities are endless. No need to lock into a bitter compromise.

-- Doug Smith


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Evolve Your Vision



What's the difference between a mission and a vision?

You'll get different answers to that question. Here's what I think. Your mission is your practice call to action. It's what you are paid to do. It's how you keep your customers happy.

Your vision is bigger. Your vision is largely aspirational, meaning you are not there yet but you aspire to be there. It's something to work toward. It guides your strategy, your goals, your actions. As you get closer to actualizing your vision -- when you become KNOWN for doing that -- it's time to evolve. Evolve your vision so that you can elevate your game. Raise the bar, so you can go far.

Your vision evolves. When has it shifted the most for you and where is it now headed?

Keep growing -- it's our best choice.

-- Doug Smith


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Clarify, Clarify, Clarify

What's your biggest communication mistake?

Mine is often assuming that my message has been understood, or that I understand what someone else is saying when we actually do not have a meeting of the minds. Whatever causes it, assumptions take over and the water gets muddy. Miscommunication creates more miscommunication. We end up getting excited about things that don't matter and forgetting what does.

I've learned to clarify. Clarify the intent. Clarify the meaning. Clarify the context. Clarify the request.

Clarify, clarify, clarify -- the muddy water makes you sick.

Know what you've said is heard, and what you've heard is what was said.

Clarify.

-- Doug Smith


Miscommunication

Miscommunication reverberates a long time.

Do your best to get it right the first time.