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Agree First

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When it comes to problem solving, when it comes to change, when it comes to leadership -- agreement is what propels you forward.

Reach agreement on the motivation for your initiative and the rest is scalable details.


-- doug smith


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Connection

  Where does communication start? Before any meaningful message can be shared, before any agreement can be reached, communication starts with connection. Finding a way to share something in common with someone else. Turning toward someone and taking the chance of seeing, hearing, feeling who they are in this moment of time. Communication starts with connection. Connect, and the possibilities are limitless. -- doug smith

Play Fair

We all know the temptation to cut corners, skirt rules, and dance along the line of cheating. But, whatever it takes, however hard it is, it is best to play fair.  When the truth discovers you, let it be a truth worth sharing. Play fair. It does take extra work. It's easy to find people who do not play fair and who seem to be getting ahead. That's not for you. It's much better to feel the complete satisfaction of leading with integrity. If you game the system you ultimately game yourself. Play fair. -- doug smith  

Collecting Problems?

Does it feel like you're collecting problems? One thing leads to another and before you can resolve one issue another pops up?  It's like being in the middle of a movie when you just keep falling deeper into one hole or trap after another. There is usually more than one solution to any problem. If it feels like you're just collecting problems, try collecting solutions instead. You can't have too many solutions, so be generous with your generating. -- doug smith  

Indisputable?

  Everything is open to interpretation. To dispute this is an interpretation. It is, therefore, indisputable. Or is it? Stay curious. Let's see what happens. -- doug smith

Take a Positive Step

Sometimes it's too much to muster up a big effort. Maybe that's when a little effort gets us going. Even the smallest positive effort has a positive impact. Let's start with that. -- doug smith  

Understanding Comes First

A solution posed too soon might just be another version of the problem. It's tempting to rush thru analysis. Tempting, but costly. Few problems are solved until they are truly understood. -- doug smith  

Have You Tested Your Values?

We tend to believe that our values are absolute and true, but to truly know that we need the courage to test them. To withstand resistance and temptation. To try after trying gets hard. Have you tested your values? Have your values been tested? -- doug smith  

Respect

How do you show someone respect? Without it you will find it hard to hold onto any respect of your own. Without it you may even find it hard to get things done. Those who outrank you are much more help to you when you show them respect. Those who report to you are much more motivated when you show them respect. And, those at your level are far more likely to be cooperative and collaborative when you show them respect. Show respect by: listening, without judging speaking truthfully avoiding gossip allowing for disagreement without anger acknowledging rank and authority There are dozens of ways to show respect. What would you add to the list? -- doug smith

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There is usually more glory (and satisfaction) in solving a problem than there is in doing the hard work ahead of time to prevent the problem in the first place. It means paying attention to risk, rather than dismissing it with some wildly optimistic notion that things will stay steady and true and always work out for you. That would be great, but have you considered the potential problems. Potential problems have a way of turning into actual problems. It takes less energy to prevent a problem than to solve it. Why wait? Fun or not, prevention works. -- doug smith

Hard Truths Anyway

There have been times when I was teaching a program called "Communicating With Tact and Diplomacy" when one or more of the participants would tell me "this is my last chance -- HR sent me here to fix me or I'm gone..." How's that for a challenge? Get fixed or get gone. I very often tell people that I can't fix anyone because people are not broken in places I know how to fix. But, that's not a great thing to say to someone who has their working life on the line. It might sound diplomatic, but it is not helpful, and maybe not entirely true. Entirely true? What even does that mean? Isn't something true or NOT? The point is, we do not need to fix anyone in order to help them fix the way they perform. In my classes I do sometimes help people become more diplomatic -- but that is a start, not an end destination. There is something better than diplomacy and that is compassionate truth. It's harder, it takes more time, it's often easily misunders