February 26, 2015

Is No The Appropriate Response?

As a leader, how often do you race to the “no” before looking closer at the situation? Conversely, how often do you say “yes” by rote? I often ask business and community leaders what their organizations do and stand for, then dig deeper to find what they won’t stand for which garners some interesting responses.

For example; Will you do anything for revenue? Would you risk your company’s reputation by lying to a customer? Could you sleep soundly at night knowing your products harm people?

Closer to a Yes?

If you’re in sales, you know the infinite pain of a prospect who won’t get past maybe. Some may think maybe is closer to yes but it’s actually closer to avoidance which dies a painful death on its way to no. Often they don’t know how to say no so they hope it just goes away. Often a fast no is far better than a long maybe.

No could be suitable if it comprises your business principles while it might be premature if you encourage new and fresh ideas from your team. Sometimes no is easier than explaining why. Sometimes no can be an appropriate response and is a complete sentence, but are we using it properly?

That’s the real question.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

February 23, 2015

Not-So-Common Sense of Communication

I seem to be having a lot of conversations about communication these days. We have devices glued to our hands and laptops within reach so it gives us the impression we are connected but how well are we communicating?

I’ve been studying the concept of processing verses quick responses and though it is new learning for me, it’s quite effective. Taking a breath before hitting send, walking away for an hour to re-think the response, calling them back after some deliberation, all seem to be quite helpful.

That's not what I meant!

We know text and email are the worst possible ways we can communicate. Tone and intent are lost, people (me included) respond too quickly, and we have created an instant no patience society where we are expected to fire back ideas and responses with very little time to think.

The key to any relationship, team, company, or venture, is communication yet we are getting worse at it. Look at the last 10 emails you sent or received. Think back to the last time (probably within the last few days) you had to explain what you meant or re-send another note to clarify through electronic media.

Hang on a sec!

I am awful at taking time to think before sending. So here's what I'm going to try this week,  you may want to as well. Take another thirty seconds – which will feel like an eternity – before you send any text or email responses for one day. It’s like changing your diet or breaking a bad habit, it will take some practice.

If your entire team tries it for a week, imagine how better you will communicate.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

February 20, 2015

I Am Grateful

It's often said when you're stuck or feel down, helping someone less fortunate can be the biggest gift for both of you. No matter your religion or cultural background, there are points in your life when you have felt beaten down and sad.

Those are the times to take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the things that are going well. You may not think it's a long list but if you let your mind go, be kind to you, and think deep, you will find it. And it might just change your life.

Here's my list for today.

I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for my loving family.
I am grateful for wonderful friends who are family. I am grateful for food in my belly.

I am grateful for the ability to help others. I am grateful for collaboration.
I am grateful for a vast network of people to explore new and exciting ideas.

I am grateful for chocolate. I am grateful for all of my senses and physical abilities.

I am grateful for music. I am grateful for the ability to live in a cool town.
I am grateful for a charmed life. I am grateful for creativity.

I am grateful for the desire and chance to do something bigger than me.
I am grateful for a great home, I am grateful for now. I am grateful for freedom.

I am grateful for my passion for cooking. I am grateful for learning my lesson.

I am grateful for a remarkable group of colleagues around the world.
I am grateful for curiosity. I am grateful for sharing. I am grateful for coffee.

I am grateful for being able to give back. I am grateful for perspective.
I am grateful for possibilities. I am grateful for the ability to share this with you.

I am grateful for the blessing of a clever mind. I am grateful for compassion.

Your turn.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Profit

February 17, 2015

Work Life Energy Balance

We’ve heard it for decades – we need a healthy balance between work and life. Family, sports, hobbies, down time, relaxing, all the stuff we enjoy doing outside of work are some of the reasons we go to work so we can afford the luxury of such activities.

We’re all going to die so there’s no sense immersing ourselves in a work-work imbalance. If you are working long hours at a job you hate, it’s time to look hard at alternatives. That is no way to live.

But as we struggle with the boundaries between work and our lives, Nigel Marsh shares some ideas of how we can tackle this critical issue.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Progress

TED | Nigel Marsh

February 10, 2015

Making Assumptions

My grade 10 history teacher proclaimed there is no such thing as an unbiased opinion. News agencies have purported they are your source for the real stories void of any slant or partiality. Marketing companies create campaigns to convince us this is the best product there ever has existed in that category. Leaders espouse open collaboration whilst showing clear favoritism to some employees. We all do it even though we may claim to be unbiased.

So when two people are having a conversation – they begin with their own bias, opinion, and experience. It doesn’t start on even footing. You and I may think we agree on something but there are nuances that we may not discuss. And if we continue to make them along the way, in short order, we could be far apart from each other because we make assumptions we’re on the same proverbial page.

No Expectations

I have a friend who says he goes into every situation with no expectations. It sounds like a great idea. You go in not imagining an outcome and no one gets hurt. Easy peasy. But he does presume to be respected and trusted so can he really have no expectations? Of course not.

In a team environment, making assumptions can be dangerous as well. But it is difficult to keep that in check if you have been working together for a while. There’s a dance and an unspoken language amongst a group that forms over time. So if you do regular check-ins with each other, it can open up an even stronger collaborative situation.

I have opinions, you have biases, and we all have our own view. Instead of making the assumption we see things the same way, if we simply ask each other, we may discover a better way of looking at the world.

But that’s just my opinion.
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Progress

February 7, 2015

Whiskey is a Tool

Everything we create begins with an idea. And once that idea is shared, it can grow into the cure of a disease, a new business, tools to help us build things, and entire cultures and habits.

Nate Garvis shares his thoughts on how ideas, tools, and laws could create better culture and common good.

Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Progress

TED | Ted Garvis

February 4, 2015

1100 Reasons

Not that you would care all that much, but this represents the 1100th post on this site since it launched in April 2008. I’m often asked why I publish here so often and it began as a test to see if I could stick with something for the long-term and simply share ideas. As I close in on seven years of writing and publishing, I can say the reasons are the same today as they were back then.

Whether it’s you and your mom reading it, or in the case of this site, readers from over 190 countries popping in once in a while, find your reason and create. Give yourself the space to think. Allow your ideas to flow even if you share them with no one.

I won’t list 1100 reasons of course, but after seven years here’s a list of 11 reasons – in no specific order – why I continue to publish every few days.

• Discovering how you think
Growing real friendships and professional relationships
• Trusting and sharing ideas
Finding a creative outlet
• Gaining valuable insight and feedback from readers
Staying disciplined to keep writing
• Meeting people I would never have met otherwise in ten lifetimes
Receiving calls from publishers on book ideas
• Discovering how I think
Pushing myself to search for new concepts and material
• Become a better writer (still a long way to go!)

Thanks for dropping by and don’t ever apologize for your ideas and if you feel the urge, share them with us.

We’ll be glad you did!
Kneale Mann | People + Priority = Progress

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