July 25, 2017

What's Your Story?

We love stories. They give our lives perspective. They help give context to concepts we share. If we can present a new idea that resonates with the audience, it holds more credibility. But if I share an idea with you, you don’t just digest what I'm saying; your beliefs, perceptions, and point of view come into play. Your experience and bias is always part of the equation.

The same happens with team culture. If you work in an environment that encourages sales at all costs but you prefer building relationships first, your time will be challenged. Those who measure success solely by financial gain may tell you to just make more calls because their perspective is relationships are a numbers game.

It’s the way we do it around here

If your leadership style is to give a good portion of your time to help the development of your people to in turn grow the bottom line; someone who tells you the best way to motivate people is through fear, will be a recipe for conflict.

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful. They feed our narrative, perspective, and beliefs. They can become our truth regardless of reality or facts. And it gets even trickier when you have culture comprised of people from different points of view, demographics, or psychographics. This is not to suggest teams succeed when everyone thinks the same way - just the opposite - but if we become rigid, we can close ourselves off from even better ideas.

The stories we embrace can also get in our way.

July 19, 2017

Only Seven?

Communication is at the cornerstone of our lives. We email, text, phone, meet, talk, and connect because we have an inherent need to belong. And there are countless studies out there that point to the way we receive communication.

One of the most adopted and accepted appeared in a book by Albert Mehrabian entitled Silent Messages. His research found that the person receiving our messages gives 55% of their attention on our body language and eye contact, 38% to our tone, and just 7% to our words. So how we say it carries more weight than what we say.

What do you mean?

It becomes even trickier with the myriad technology and platforms we use to communicate. This explains a lot of misunderstood emails which we've all received and sent. Sometimes a simple :-) can save a lot of grief.

According to Mehrabian and many others, non-verbal cues carry 93% of the weight of any communication. So if you’re in a leadership role, think about how that can help you strengthen or hinder the culture in your business.

Something to gesture about.

July 15, 2017

Wanna Create Some Trouble?

Mignon McLaughlin was an American journalist and author. In the 1950s she began publishing aphorisms - a pithy observation that contains a general truth. My favorite was; "Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers."

We do look at those who blazed a path before us with admiration but how often do we grasp the uphill climb each had to endure? It's not easy to share a new idea until it’s adopted by others. But without the bravery to share it, the idea goes nowhere.

Lead first

Leonardo da Vinci, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie, Elon Musk, Susan B. Anthony, Les Paul, Sally Ride, Louis Pasteur, Kathryn Bigelow, Thomas Edison, Margaret Thatcher, Johannes Gutenberg, Florence Nightingale, Alfred Nobel, Steve Jobs, the list goes on and on. These people didn't play it safe but they certainly didn't succeed without struggles.

Doing what is safe and what others may agree with is adhering to a matrix each of us hold as a manufactured line that’s not to be crossed. We've all done it.

Are You Ready?

You're sitting on an idea right now that you keep trying to find the guts to share. It's not easy, we all know. But it's necessary to fight those fears and doubts or you might end up being - to paraphrase McLaughlin's quote - a dead conformist.

Let's take one small step this week toward sharing our ideas, pushing ourselves past our fears, and seeing what happens. Regret is a horrible emotion we have all experienced.

It's even worse than failure.

July 12, 2017

Time Off. Phone Off.

It's summer in North America. The pace is a bit more friendly or collaborative or something I can't quite put said finger on. We are all still working hard but it feels less cumbersome when we don't have eight feet of snow to get through on our way to work.

And yes, we are all taking some time here and there to get a break. I've tried quite unsuccessfully not to check my phone for an entire day and lasted maybe a few hours. But wWhat would happen if you didn't check email for a day or attend a meeting tomorrow or not return that call until next week?

The sun will come up, life will go on, and in fact, you may even be more rested and sharper to deal with deadlines after some time away. So cheers to our vacation. We can reconnect when we get back.

July 8, 2017

What Makes You Happy?

Make more money, have more time, buy more things, all seem to be what we think are linked to happiness. Matt Killingsworth has been studying what makes us happy.

It's not what you may think.


July 4, 2017

Less Might be More

Fulfil more. Take less. Focus more. Talk less. Start more. Eat less. Laugh more. Work less. Give more. Regret less. See more. Ignore less. Progress more. Criticize less. Invent more. Renounce less. Embrace more. Spend less. Share more. Measure less.

Move more. Envy less. Sing more. Cling less. Accomplish more. Show less. Complain less. Live more. Compare less. Contribute more. Annoy less. Enjoy more. Worry less.

Listen more. Waste less. Smile more. Own less. Learn more. Say less. Help more. Use less. Connect more. Stop less. Play more. Hope less. Communicate more. Skim less.

Thank more. Fret less. View more. Reflect less. Originate more. Copy less.

Collaborate more. Upset less. Dream more. Irritate less. Write more. Doubt less. Read more. Whine less. Accomplish more. Drink less. Love more. Meet less.

Do less and enjoy more.

July 1, 2017

Oh Canada – You're 150!

Today is Canada’s 150th birthday. I was born in this wonderful country and proud to call it my home. Our second official language is French but most of us don’t speak it. Most French speaking Canadians live in areas such as New Brunswick and Quebec though the majority of government jobs require you to be bilingual.

Canada is the most multicultural country on the planet. There are over 150 registered languages in this country; which means fabulous restaurants and culture to sample!

Some other Canada fun facts...

Canada’s name comes from a St. Lawrence Iroquoian word, kanata, which means village or settlement. A sofa is a couch. We have butter tarts, clamato juice, and ketchup chips. This country has the longest coastline in the world, about 243,000 kilometers or about 150,000 miles in length.

Canada has the fourth lowest population density index in the world with just over 36 million people in the second largest country in the world by land mass – 9.9 million square kilometers or 3.8 million square miles.

Silverware is cutlery. Canada is in the top five producing countries of gold, copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, and natural gas. Soda is referred to as pop.

Basketball was invented by Canadian James Naismith. No we don't live in igloos and we do have running water and paved roads. When someone says thank-you, we do not reply; uh huh, cheers, or no worries; we simply say you're welcome.

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks!
© Kneale Mann knealemann@gmail.com people + priority = profit
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