No Neutral Rule

There is no such thing as “not doing anything wrong” on a team or at work. If someone is saying that, they’re probably doing something wrong.

If you are not giving, you are taking away. Energy is a zero sum game.

When you answer, “it’s going”, or “as good as can be expected,” when asked how you are, you are violating the No Neutral rule.

Be mindful of your projected energy.

Cleared for takeoff

Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Then, breathe.

Flight attendants remind us of this every time we get on a plane.

In the case of emergency, or even just to be at your best every day, we should take care of ourselves first.

“Self-care” is a buzzword concept lately, and one that I’ve tended to push aside as too touchy-feeling and not as important as things like planning or assessing results. However, the basics of making others–teams and individuals–better involves having a handle on our own health and well-being.

It’s true. To be a great resource for others we should be at our best. What can you do to make your own situation better, healthier or more clear?

Maybe it’s eating, sleeping, hydrating or something else physical; maybe it’s making time to talk to others or read or just think.  Experiment with doing or not doing things differently and see how you can become a better resource to those around you by having yourself taken care of first.

 

Don’t Forget the Hard Stuff

“It’s going to be even better next year,” is dangerous thinking.

Too often we forget how hard we worked. We forget the struggles and disagreements, the fights, even. We forget the pain of workouts or the disappointments of injuries.

Our brains opt to deemphasize the hard parts and glowingly highlight the good times and success (wow, what fun!).

This is results-focused thinking without any real definition of “better”, or a goal to reach for and the process that it will entail.

We want to feel all of the glory, the excitement, the upsides and the wins.  We want this as individuals and as teams. We love the feeling that success will be easy, but we know better.

It was hard the last time, and it will take a similar bit of hard work the next time. Go.

 

Decide to Decide

Making decisions is much easier if you commit to being a decision-maker.  Telling yourself: “I am a decision-making machine,” will allow you to spend less time on the idea of committing.

Sure, you’ll want to get the facts and weigh the options while you prepare a big decision, but most just need you to say, “yeah, i’m good at picking between the specials on the menu,” or “watch me pick out a shade of white for the ceiling”.

If you can do that–making a reasonable, quick decision often runs no more risk of being wrong than does a protracted process–that you’ll be able to save time and brain power for determining the next steps after that decision.

In coaching there are tons of decisions to be made, and all can be second-guessed later. Usually, the opposite choice could be debated just as much as the one made, if the outcome is not what was hoped.

Taking the time to get the information you need is important, and being committed to being good at the act of decision-making will make it an even better process.

Midseason Form

What’s that?  Is that a good thing–hitting on all cylinders–or is that a stopover to great?  If so, how long will you stay?

Hitting your stride, finding the next gear…if you could quantify (and you should) these things, what would they look like?  How will you know?

Create a measurement systems and practice regular assessment (ask everyone, not just yourself or your leadership) on the way to continuous improvement.

Value the in-between

Two great options: “you can’t go wrong!”, can be paralyzing.  Of course, it’s better to have too many than not enough, but choosing is never easy when we make being right or choosing best a necessary outcome.

Opt to look at is as an opportunity that might be great, likely will be great, make your choice, give it a well planned effort and see what happens.  We so often think we have control over the future–real control–that we neglect to ride the changes and turns that are “what happens”.  We view decisions as going from one clear point in time to another, when it’s the in-between times that really are where the action is.  Our outcomes are made on the path from one defined “place” to another.

Not knowing the future should allow us to stop agonizing (not stop planning, researching or defining great options, just the agonizing) over two great options.  Having to know what’s BEST is an exercise in wasted time and energy.

Celebrate your future, make an informed decision and be okay with not knowing.  For now.

Go!