Sometimes It’s Just HARD!

Apparently the last post sharing my near-death experience during that less than half mile run was somewhat amusing… Not only did I receive a few direct email responses about the humor folks were able to find in my stupidity, I heard Cindy laughing uncontrollably from the other side of the house as she read it. I suppose she’s earned the right to laugh at me since she had a front row seat when it happens, and she’s tolerated so many similar instances!

So that was clearly an example setting an unrealistic goal that I was in no way prepared to even come close to achieving, but there are times where sticking with even the best laid plans to reach modest goals can get incredibly hard. In each of the last few posts on this topic, I’ve continued to call attention to the importance of consistency. I won’t be varying from that here either! 

I learned about habits more than twenty years ago through the work I was doing with behavior-based safety. Sure, I...

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Maybe Not Slow, But Definitely Steady!

First off, let me apologize for the last post. I had no intention of pushing anyone to break any New Year’s resolutions so early on by sharing how little will power I have when it comes to greasy pizza. Judging by a few of the replies I received, I may have been a bit too graphic…

As I closed that post though, I referenced the old fable so many of us have heard about the tortoise and the hare. The hare gets a blazing start, runs way ahead of the tortoise, then decides there’s time for a nap since the tortoise is so far behind. The tortoise keeps moving, ever so slowly, and eventually passes the sleeping hare to win the race. It's a cute story for sure, but it’s not so cute when it matches our own behavior!

I’ll emphasize here again, I’m not knocking the importance of setting goals and working to press forward toward them. But if we give it all we have out of the gate, and the changes we’re attempting to make (like cutting out every bit of...

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Control the Effort We Put In!

As we consider each area that we can take responsibility for controlling that we’ve worked through to this point, there’s one thing that ties back to every single one… And without being very intentional about how we control this final thing, the control we’ve assumed for each of the others is likely to have a very limited impact!

In the last post, I referenced reaching out to the manager of the company to provide a heads up about our friend’s experience. I shared that he took responsibility for the issue, even though it wasn’t something that he had any direct contact with. I also mentioned that he asked me to pass along an apology on his behalf, which I did. 

Here’s where that final thing we need to control comes into play....

In his role, and with the issues that industry has dealt with over the last several months, he has an incredibly full schedule and I believe he works extremely hard. As Cindy and I teach on the 3 R’s and...

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Controlled Response

In working through the importance of controlling our delivery in the last post, I stopped just short of detailing the scenario in question. Without going into specifics and tossing anyone under the proverbial bus, I’ll touch on that briefly now as it tees up the topic we’ll look at this time…

A business associate who was doing some work for a friend we referred to them had been asked to make a few changes in some documentation. In a normal world, those changes may realistically take an hour or two to get knocked out. The request was made on Dec 1. On Dec 14 or so, our friend was told that the changes still weren’t complete but would be no later than Dec 21. That day came and went without the changes being made. On Dec 23, our friend received an email saying that the person responsible for making the changes had decided to close their office until Jan 4 without providing any detail on when the changes would actually get some attention.

Hey, I get it....

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Controlled Delivery

When I made the last post, I thought we’d be turning the page from Controlling What We Can Control and looking at an entirely different topic when we picked things up again. As Cindy and I discussed a few recent scenarios where we had referred family members to a few different business associates, it became clear that there were indeed a few more things that each of us can control on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the places we had referred business to had not done that…

Before I go on, please understand that this and the next few posts aren’t to slander anyone specific, but to illustrate the importance of controlling the things we can control when so much of the world we live in seems like it’s spinning out of control. (If you don’t think things are spinning out of control, GOOD FOR YOU! You’ve clearly not bought into the nonsense the media is shoveling…)

The other thing I’ll stress before diving into today’s topic is that...

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Clear Instructions to Finish What They Started

As we look at this group that represents the final 25% of our equation, it’s unlikely that quality will be the issue. The folks with this Reserved and Task-Oriented behavioral style are very CONSCIENTIOUS about performing everything they do with accuracy and precision. The work that they do nearly always follows a very organized process.

That said, their CAUTIOUS approach can sometimes cause them to put too much time into an amount of detail that may not be necessary. Where the DRIVEN folks we looked at as we started this process are more likely to charge forward toward the finish line without bothering to read the instructions (yep, that’s me…), our CONTEMPLATIVE team members tend to process all the information they can get their hands on before moving forward…

Regardless of the issue we need to address with someone who’s primary style is more CAREFUL, we should be prepared to provide them with very clear instructions on what needs to be done in...

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You’re Amazing! And You Can Be Even Better!

As we move from the DRIVEN folks we looked at last time who only make up about 10% of the population to this next group who are just as Fast-Paced and make up around 30% of everyone we’ll ever interact with, there are some very key differences we need to consider as we prepare to have a candid conversation!

While the individuals with the last primary behavioral style we looked at tend to lock onto the task at hand, our more INTERACTIVE team members will typically be more focused on the people who are involved than just what needs to be done. Their INFLUENTIAL nature is great for rallying the team together, but it can also lead them to get INVOLVED in more things that could ever possibly have time to see through.

This INSPIRING group loves to be in the spotlight any time they have a chance, and the perceptive their team members have of them is extremely important to them! While they truly feed off INITIATING fun activities for the groups they’re a part of, looking bad in...

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Firm Guidance for More Effective Action

Through the last several posts, we’ve taken a hard look at just how important it is to have candid conversations with our team members when they’re not keeping it between the ditches rather than ducking the issue and hoping things will get better on their own. While we’ve looked at some very specific examples of what works, and some that just don’t, there’s one more thing we can do to increase the effectiveness of those often difficult conversations!

In a LinkedIn article I published recently called How THEY Want to Be Treated, I touched on how much The Platinum Rule applies in these situations. If you’ve been reading these posts for more than a few weeks, you know where that reference will lead us over the next few. If that’s not ringing any bells and you think that was just another one of my grammatical errors, put The Platinum Rule in the search box here on our blog and you’ll find all you need to get up to speed in a hurry…

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You Always Knew Where You Stood...

It was probably 2003 or 2004, when I was walking through a fairly secluded part of the facility I worked in and a friend pulled me aside to ask “Was that guy who just came through that Terry guy? I hear he’s a real &#%[email protected]!” I confirmed that it had indeed been Terry and asked what the issue was. Terry and I, along with a few other safety team members, were doing a walk-through of that entire area to identify at-risk behaviors with hopes of addressing them and preventing potential injuries. He told me that Terry had gotten on him about not wearing safety glasses, something that was in fact required in the area where he was working.

Later that morning, I was able to catch up with Terry to get his version of the story. Terry explained that the fellow who stopped me, a long term employee and all around great guy, was fastening a banding strap around a box and had his safety glasses resting on top of his head. Terry simply tapped the side of his own safety glasses as...

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But I Don’t Even Smoke?

A little over twenty years ago, a friend of mine was promoted from his role as a machine operator in the department we worked in to supervising that same department on an off shift. In those days, even the night shift crew had a ton of seniority and experience. That company had a much deserved reputation for being one of the best employers in the area… I had been there for two years or so and was still one of the newest people in the building!

While nearly everyone had significant experience, I’m not suggesting that everyone was actively engaged and working to exceed expectations like we’ve been discussing through the last few posts… In fact, one of the most senior guys on the shift, although being a true master of his craft, was about as actively disengaged as anyone I’ve ever seen!

Let’s pretend his name was Tim… Tim was a smoker. Before I move on, this isn’t meant as a shot at anyone who smokes - it’s just the story I...

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