A Huge Payoff

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

If I pressure you to cut your prices, then you won’t have the resources or motivation to deliver what I need.

If you push me to accept your opinions or directions, how likely am I to bring all of my mind and heart to helping you now and in the future?

If either of us backs down because the fight is too taxing, how many times can we accept the losses before we quit in exhaustion or frustration?

Though time blurs the connection, win-lose and lose-win always lead to lose-lose. So committing to win-win–that is, investing that bit of extra time to understand what makes a win for each other and to put our heads together to find winning solutions–has a rather huge, sustained payoff.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: 阿虎隊長 JAY_4668 via photopin (license)

Swim With  

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

A man I met at a swim meet recently told me something enlightening. Whenever growing swimmers plateau in their performance–unable to go faster in race after race despite the effort–they are fighting the water. Their way of swimming pushes hard against the water and the water always wins.

Same for us.

As leaders who want to grow themselves and their organizations, we get stuck because we are pushing hard against the world and wearing ourselves out with all the effort. Trying to make things happen, trying to get people to do stuff, trying to create joy through outcomes rather than the other way around are how we fight against.

Swimmers get past their plateaus by working with the water not against it. They practice minor adjustments and watch their race times improve. We and our organizations get past frustrating blocks by practicing minor adjustments that have us working with not against.

We seek to understand others and invite them to play win-win. We create joy first and watch the outcomes follow. And we build a mental / emotional environment (essentially believing in others’ abilities and our success before the evidence appears) where great stuff happens with ease.

So much better, yes?

 

In your corner ,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Helene Iracane 2e meeting Masters Henri Théolat, Poitiers via photopin (license)

We Have To Call Them On This Stuff

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 2 min.

Social conventions tell us not to say anything when we witness less-than-effective (or worse!) behaviors such as BS, bad-taste jokes, drama, or poor treatment of others.  We don’t want to add to the problem by kicking up a fuss.

But, good leader (with or without title), we have to call them on this stuff. It’s our job.

Happily, we can do it with a minimum of fuss. The most effective way is to name what we just saw. First, we affirm in our minds that it’s the behavior not the person we want to address. This will help them remain open instead of getting defensive. Next we quietly, calmly name what we saw. Examples: “I notice you haven’t answered the question yet,” or “What you just said was disrespectful,” or “You seem to be reacting strongly.”

Then we let there be silence.

They will either get it and correct things or put up a fight. If they get it, thank them. If they put up a fight and their points are valid, say so: “You bring up a good point. Let’s discuss that next (or offline later).” If they put up a fight and they are just being defensive, say so: “You seem to quite defensive,” or, “I notice you’re putting up a fight instead of addressing the issue I raised.”

It can be uncomfortable, at first, to call out these behaviors. We need to do it anyway.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Ed Yourdon Football: Jets-v-Eagles, Sep 2009 – 29 via photopin (license)

Give Consequences or Explore Them

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

We can give consequences so that people don’t screw up. “If you don’t complete this by Friday, we might as well kiss the Fortuna deal goodbye!” Or, “We really need to cut this check now or it’ll delay the project.” Threats like this can work in the short term. But they will damage trust and discourage future cooperation.

Or we can explore consequences together. “We know what Fortuna has asked for. How much can we deliver by Friday? What happens if we don’t? What else can we do?” It may take longer but we’ll build trust, encourage future cooperation, and probably arrive at better solutions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: nik.golding Looking at me via photopin (license)

What To Do When You’re In The Quick-Fix Trap

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We can get trapped thinking we need a quick fix. Maybe we want a long-standing problem (e.g. not enough sales) to go away (e.g. by hiring someone to take over sales). Or perhaps we hope our problems will go away when someone discovers, picks, or rescues us.

But quick fixes rarely work. They miss what’s really going on.

Our desire for a quick fix masks our real needs: a bit of courage and a new habit or two to get us and our companies where we want to go. We don’t need to be rescued; we need the habit of winning while helping others to win. We don’t need someone take over sales; we need to have the whole company adopt a trustworthy sales process.

Quick fix? Think instead of the underlying habits we really need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit:
Joe Loong
cc

Rock Stars

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

When we are worried about what to say, how someone might react, or how we’ll be judged, we are pointing the camera at ourselves. We get so concerned about our performance that we wreck our ability to perform. This is true most everywhere including marketing, sales, influence, negotiations, and leading.

The antidote is to turn the camera away from us and towards those we want to lead, sell to, influence, etc. We turn our attention toward the others, what they want, and what makes them tick. By getting out of our own way, we become rock stars at understanding their needs and creating win-win solutions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Mia Martins cc

Why Getting Our Way Is Worse Than We Think

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Uncategorized
Reading time: 2 min.

We have generally two ways to get others to do what we want. We can use “get my way” methods or we can go for win-win.

Though we might not like to admit it, we all have our “get my way” methods. We use these mostly under stress and often without knowing it. Common ones include being angry, disappointed, authoritative, aloof, dismissive, ‘right,’ ‘better than,’ or pitiful. We use them because they worked for us in the (distant) past and because we assume that they are the fastest route.

The other way is win-win. Here we insist upon either finding a solution that works for us and them or choosing not to proceed. When we don’t go for win-win it’s because we think that asking them what they think takes too long. Asking them also exposes our ideas to critique and change.

Yet “get my way” only appears faster. And it doesn’t work–not for long, anyway. While the actual transaction may be quite short, “get my way” generates poorer short- and long-term results. How likely, after all, is someone to give us their all when they don’t get a win out of it? They will immediately see our self-orientation and start pulling away. When we use “get my way,” we erode trust and encourage at least reluctant compliance or, at most, rebellion.

Going for win-win works and keeps on working. They will see that engaging with us is pleasant and profitable. They will bring their all. Then they and we will want to sign up for that deal over and over. Merely “getting our way” pales in comparison.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Zaneology cc

This Changes Everything

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Growth, Leading, Success, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Two simple thoughts cause most of the pain and dysfunction we see around us. They are, “We are separate,” and, “There is not enough.”

Consider what would happen if people started believing the opposite: “We are one,” and, “There is more than enough.” How would our own lives change? How would all the nasty, divisive, and fearful politics change? What would become of all the injustices? How much better would our companies and institutions run?  What about rage, war, hunger, poverty, and violence?

Would everyone believing in our unity and abundance solve all the problems? Is it even true that we are one and abundant? Perhaps not. But which is more likely to solve our problems, big and small: believing in our isolation and lack or believing in our unity and abundance?

Right. Good. Off you go. Be this change.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Make no mistake: I advocate no political perspectives. To date, all political approaches have spawned from the thoughts of separation and lack. Just read headlines and history to see it.

 

Today’s photo credit: Oksana cc