All of us find ignoring feedback quite easy—all too often the source doesn’t really understand the situation, or your intentions, or how different your needs are from others, right? Ignoring results on many psychological assessments or instruments can be easy,…
[Guest post from Ann Holm] Who feels overwhelmed by all of the tips and suggestions out there about how to be more effective in work and in life? Blogs, books, and articles. Recently, I saw an article titled, “100 Questions Every Entrepreneur…
I recently heard of a school district with five hundred initiatives underway right now. They’re proud of it–they’re reaching out to students at risk for dropping out, targeting STEM enrichment, working on literacy, increasing coaching capacity, and so on.
The problem? No change effort can be focused in 500 different directions. Right now, things are falling by the wayside–and the district leadership probably doesn’t know what is and isn’t being done. Somewhere down in the ranks, people are deciding, whether consciously or unconsciously, what they will actually accomplish.
It may be what seems most urgent to them. Or what best fits their current skills. Or what is easiest. Or what the person above them is screaming for.
Chances are, though, it isn’t what the leaders at the top consider most important. Why?
How does a coach measure effectiveness? At the extremes, one can say, “You can’t. The coachee assesses whether he or she is benefiting from your interactions.” Or, “You can. Together we set SMART goals which by definition are measurable.” The…
Last year, I read a book that challenged me at a personal level, Robert Greene’s Mastery. In it, Greene asks, given that so many high-IQ people are pretty much failures at life, what separates the da Vincis and Mozarts–and modern-day examples such as musician John Coltrane, animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, and boxing trainer Freddie Roach–from the pack?
Greene came up with six common factors, all of which should give each one of us to ponder, “Where am I selling my own talents short? What next step would help me make more of the potential I’ve been given? How should I be working harder? Have I searched hard enough to identify the idea/cause/goal that would motivate me to pursue thousands of hours of deliberate practice to reach mastery?” Here are the common factors.
My first reaction? Frustration that threatened to quickly move toward anger. Lucky for me, I didn’t run into the responsible parties while I was discovering what hadn’t been done. If I had, I might have resorted to the kind of blaming tactics that I hope I left behind on the grade school playground!
But something reminded me to ask myself, “What was your part in this problem?” What had I done, or not done, that resulted in their lack of follow-through? As I reflected, I had to admit that I probably hadn’d specifically outlined how a couple of simple actions on their part would not only support my goals but probably improves results for them and for us.
As an old Irish saying puts it,
“Why do we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our good intentions?”
Before being sure that blame rests with the other party, consider
Adult ADHD finally made it into the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, their manual on disorders. It’s estimated it affects 4% of American adults, and that perhaps only 1 in 10 of those affected are properly diagnosed. Untreated, it can harm…
This month’s Scientific American Mind has a quick article on being a better artist (January/February 2014, p. 200) with four easy ways to make sure it’s easy for you to be more creative. How might you
Get outside more. In one measure of creativity, those who went backpacking did 50% better than those who didn’t. It turns out that nature makes us more aware of patterns, forms, and other elements that add to creativity. Oh, and it’s a stress-reducer. Stop telling yourself you don’t have time and get outside to spark better ideas!
Embrace your own weirdness. People who aren’t ashamed of their quirks–who talk to themselves or admit to knowing the name of every Star Trek episode or who have to win a game of Spider Solitaire before opening their research files–come up with more creative ideas.
If you aren’t part of a team with regular meetings, it’s easy to put off making time for networking--especially if, like me, you’re more introverted than extraverted. Yet all of us benefit from hearing others’ perspectives, having our thinking challenged,…
(Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 101)
How about substituting “SMART goals” for management and “being intentional” for leadership in the above quote? Why?
Too often, a goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) but still not the right goal. If you’re setting goals for yourself, or if you’re coaching others, here are three key questions that aid in ensuring that goals intentionally target what is most important, not what your or your client might assume is most important.
- Is this the right goal right now? Leadership is situational. While there are core competencies all leaders need, different ones are more important in some situations than in others. Unfortunately, those new to leadership—or to a given role—may be unaware of priorities they’ve never needed to attend to in the past.