Help Me to Help You

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To encourage someone to improve, let’s ask for their help.

First, we make it clear why it’s important to us. Next, we acknowledge how difficult the current situation must be for them. (Example: “It’s gotta be stressful to deal with all the blowback when you miss a deadline.”) Then we help them explore why they–for strictly their own reasons–might want to change. Once they are on board, we can talk about how they might go about improving and how we might help.

Far better than hoping, ignoring, and demanding, ya?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: kennethkonica IMG_8659 via photopin (license)


The Best Way to Receive Criticism

Posted Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Like buffaloes walking toward storms to reduce the duration of their exposure, we can best weather criticisms by heading right for them.

Try this. Ask the people who matter in your career (and life) what they think you do well and what you could improve. Thank them for their candor. After gathering their input, select just one thing to work on. Then go back and ask these people who matter for ideas and tips about how you can improve this one thing. Respond simply, “Thank you,” to each suggestion. Put into use the best ideas you hear. Check in again with the people who matter once every 6 weeks or so to ask about your progress and their further insights.

Exposing ourselves to criticism and asking people who matter their opinions about how we might improve feels uncomfortable and vulnerable, yes? In fact, seeking criticism and suggestions like this usually improves people’s opinions of us. Soon, we will have improved and they will know it.


In your corner,


PS: People who matter include peers, clients, bosses, friends, family, and (bonus points if you use them) enemies.


Today’s photo credit: Wise Old Bison, Yellowstone, 2011 via photopin cc


Where The Fault Really Lies

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
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Part of our job as leaders (with or without title) is to find things that need improvement. We look for whatever keeps going wrong or for whatever could simply be done better.

In our seeking, let’s remember that we all have a tendency to overestimate the other person’s fault in any matter. We also underestimate our own contributions to the problem. And we totally miss that the biggest culprits by far are not them, not us, but the current rules, processes, and systems.

Let’s hold off asking “who” questions before we have asked all the “how” questions.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Un Milonguero Mejicano via photopin cc