Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chaos Screams: Prioritize!

I'm still looking for someone who can do everything. Every task on their list, every task on their boss's list, every goal in their endless stream of goals.

I still haven't found them.

I'm still looking for the person who can finish everything they've started, who can achieve any goal while tackling all goals, and who never gets nervous in the process.

I still haven't found them.

No one can do everything.

Not even you.

Chaos comes when we try to do everything. Chaos comes when everything looks like it's as important as everything else. Chaos comes, and it screams.

Do you hear the screaming? Do you enjoy the screaming?

Chaos screams! Prioritize.

Prioritize and chaos will settle down.

-- doug smith


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Chaos Cleaner


Life gives us chaos to clean out the unimportant and make room for significance.

-- doug smith


Go Big!

Make sure that your goals for each day give you something to feel good about achieving.

If your goal doesn't make you feel good, it's too small!

-- doug smith


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Clear Enough May Not Be Clear Enough


How clear is your message?

You'll know it's clear when it's understood. You'll know it's understood when your intended audience communicates it back to you, meaning and tone and urgency intact.

Clarity requires constant clarification. Chances are you're not done.

-- doug smith


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Listen Without Judging

Listening seems easy until you try it without judging.

We're trained to judge from an early age. We judge nearly everything. We like it, we don't like it, we have our reasons our logic our standards and so we judge. Like a celebrity judge on a talent show we judge with confidence and assurance that of course we are right and entitled to judge. Completely.

And yet -- what is the point? Do you know anyone who wants your judgement? Do YOU desire anyone else's judgment?

Go ahead and judge if you want to, if you must. Here's what I know: if you truly want to listen, listen without judging. Listen with curiosity, as if you don't know the answer already.

Because maybe, just maybe, you don't.

And, by listening without judgment, you might actually hear.

-- doug smith


Friday, April 6, 2018

Listening Is A Survival Skill

Are you an active listener? An active listener makes listening for understanding the focus of a conversation. You'll have plenty of time to express yourself. First, listen.

Listening is a survival skill.

I have never regretted listening to understand before responding. Plenty of times I have regretted speaking too soon. Listening can keep you out of trouble. That conclusion you jumped to? Perhaps a moment more of listening would have clarified the situation.

That insult you didn't intend? Could more listening have alerted you to a sensitive area in your conversational partner?

That breach of etiquette, that spilling of confidential information, that career limiting rant -- so many communication mistakes can be prevented by curious listening.

If you want to communicate for results, you have to first know what your audience hears. You get there by listening. Listening to the words, the tone, the body language, the in-between-the-lines nuances of emotions.

Listening is a survival skill.  Are you practicing today?

-- doug smith


Thursday, April 5, 2018

There Is More To The Truth

Who knows everything?

I don't know everything, do you?

No one knows everything. Now, before we break out into song, maybe the best thing I can offer on this incomplete version of the truth is this:

No one can tell you your truth, AND your truth alone is incomplete.

It's true for me, it's true for you.  Or, is it?

If you allow your truth to grow, to change, to evolve, it will stop getting in your way and instead will open up more possibilities. And possibilities are the super fuel of success.

-- doug smith


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Start Prioritizing With Your Goals

It feels harder than ever these days to prioritize. We get pulled into so many directions it's hard to know what to do first. Every day feels like life on the edge of (or in the middle of) chaos. What to do?

Common sense says priories. Decide what is most important and focus first on that. Build the future you want by working on it today.

The place to start?

The place to start prioritizing is with your goals. Limit how many you have. Rank the ones you have set by priority, and then focus your efforts accordingly.

We all have to start somewhere. It might as well be with our goals.

-- doug smith


Monday, April 2, 2018

Test Your Assumptions


When was the last time one of your assumptions was wrong?

It's so easy to jump to conclusions. We fill-in-the-blanks so many times in so many ways because it's just part of being human. But, when we assume that things are not going in our favor, when maybe there is no reason to, we do ourselves no service.

This is a picture of a recent training room for one of my workshops. It was day two of the two-day workshop and since the hotel staff had in the past forgotten to unlock the door to my room. I arrived, and sure enough the door was locked. Rather than get upset (something I might have experienced in the past) I calmly contacted the hotel staff and politely, yet assertively, asked to have my door unlocked.

"I can do that, sir," said a polite maintenance gentleman, "but you could also just walk in thru that second, open door..."

"Oh. Gee. Thanks!"

That was just a little embarrassing. Just about fifteen feet from the locked door was an open door. My assumption ("I'm locked out!") was completely incorrect.

I know better. You know better. And yet, every once in a while it is so easy to jump to a conclusion that I do. And often, when you jump to a conclusion, you've fallen into a trap.

Test your assumptions. The answer you're looking for might be right there all along.

-- doug smith