Showing posts from May, 2020

When You Are Learning To Dance, You Might Step On A Few Toes

The phrase, "I didn't want to step on your toes" has been said a number of times at my work place lately. I find it interesting that in our society we don't seem to care who we offend, but at our jobs we try so hard not to offend we become more passive then we need to be at our job. 
You need to have good working relationships with people so it is right to try not to offend anyone. We don't need to be scared so we aren't doing what we need to though. If we are focused on the same goal, I should never be offended by someone trying to get some work done. 
When you are learning to dance, there is a good chance that you will make the wrong steps, even step on your partners toes once in a while. If you are dancing a cha-cha and your partner is dancing a waltz it is going to be ugly, there is even a chance someone could get hurt. But if you are dancing the same style, your goal is the same. It might be a little rough at first but with practice and learning about each…

So You Don't Agree? Try Anyway

You have likely been in a situation where your boss, teacher, or coach gave you a task or exercise which didn't really make sense. Your first thought is it feels like a waste of time and you immediately gripe to your friends, co-workers, or teammates. None of you can make any sense of it. You believe it will turn out as a disaster and secretly hope the whole thing blows up so you can confirm your dissenting view.

We often don't have control of the things we are assigned, but we are in control of how we react to them. If you don't agree with something, rather than complaining maybe what you need to do is put all of your energy into figuring out how to make it work. It might turn out you were right and it was a disaster, but by putting your energy into making it work you are going to learn more and better understand where things fell apart.

Even when we know something isn't going to work, we try anyway. There is a reason for the assignment you were given, you might not s…

Multi-Sport Athletes And Polymaths

There had been a trend in youth sports I'm happy to see finally start to shift. When I was growing up if you played sports you played many sports, you didn't play just one. There wasn't specializing. Somewhere along the line that changed and if you became good at a sport it became all you did. You have your in season team, your off season traveling team, your camps and workshops. If you wanted to be great you had to have a singular focus.

Today you see more emphasis from college and professional coaches and scouts talking about multi-sport athletes. Most professional drafts have some mention of the percent of first round draft picks who played multiple sports in high school. If you are a great athlete you can still be a kid and try lots of things. You don't need to cut every other thing out of your life if you want to go pro, from the numbers, it seems like that hurts you more than it helps. Which makes sense, because how many kids probably burnt out playing one sport …

The Difference Between Fear And Respect

As we've been in this global shut down for over 2 months now you can tell people are getting restless. We continue to learn more about the disease, how it spreads and how deadly it is, yet we still have much to learn. We don't have a vaccine and won't have one for at least another year, and then the questions will arise on how much testing has been done and how safe it is. There are doubts and questions and endless opinions (oh so many opinions) of people who aren't experts pointing to articles by theoretical experts or actual experts who share their opinions based on what little data they have. Too much of the information we are being fed is meant to generate fear.

The problem that is going on right now is a divide between keeping things shut down for safety and opening things back up to get businesses moving again. The issue is both things are true. The disease is deadly, though not as deadly as once suspected. Just because it isn't as deadly doesn't mean we …

Learn The History Of What You Love

If you are a sports fan you've probably heard about The Last Dance, the documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls currently airing. Anyone who saw Jordan will tell you he is the greatest basketball player to have played the game. That has come under debate recently with many current NBA fans claiming LeBron James is the greatest ever. I'm not hear to debate who is better, what interests me is how much people, especially young people, only know of recent players. It happens in every generation to a degree but I think as time goes by people get less interested in the history of the thing they love. Because of the documentary many people are listing their top 5 or top 10 players of all time, and they are listing Jordan but they are leaving out greats of the past. To appreciate LeBron you need to understand what Jordan did. To appreciate Jordan you have to understand what Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell did before him.

The Obstacles That Block Our Path

If you are in a state of being motivated to start something new, but haven't started it yet, I have a warning for you. You are about to get hit by every obstacle imaginable.

You are wanting to spend some time working on a project around the house, or maybe read a book that has been sitting on your shelf. Some sort of family situation will pop up that consumes your weekends. Back in the day this would have been kids sports and activities, now it might be homework and meal prepping for the week.

You are have an idea you want to put some thoughts together on for work. You get hit with a project, report or presentation that you are spending every extra minute on to get it done on time.

You want to start exercising, you get injured or sick. You want to start eating healthier, someone brings donuts into the office, or worse the employee fun committee plans a potluck/goody day.

The obstacles are real and challenging, but if you want something nobody said it was going to be easy. There is…

Strive To Learn Something In Every Interaction

Learning and teaching. I think most of our interactions with others can be summarized that we are either learning or we are teaching. One is primarily about listening, one is primarily about talking. Of course during a conversation you can flip back and forth between talking and listening. Both are necessary, but which one do you primarily operate from? Where do you naturally go first?

One of my triggers I've developed to help me starts withe the feeling of having to argue more to make a point, or just generally feeling like people aren't getting what I am saying. It is a pretty clear indication I need to stop talking and listen more. I need to go into learning mode so I can understand the other position or what details I'm not understanding. If people aren't getting what I'm saying, and it seems simple, I'm probably missing some details that are making it less clear for others.

The alternative is spending more time coming up with strategies and bullet points o…

Nobody Cares, Work Harder

I'm human. Just like everyone else I can get in those down times where it feels like nothing is going right. There is the ever expanding task list at work and at home. The joy of crossing an item off your list disappears when you realize three new things came in. Dealing with uncertainty and unknowns but trying to move forward. Stressing out about how to figure everything out. Dealing with people and answering questions that do nothing but slow you down.

When you are in these situations many of us feel the need to vent or complain. It can be a good outlet, just letting off steam. But at the end of the day it is up to you to figure out a solution. Sometimes you just need to work harder. Working harder doesn't mean putting more hours in, it means working harder with your mind to find a solution. Work harder at organizing your priorities better. Work harder at delegating things that others can help you with. Work harder at learning to communicate clearly and succinctly. Work hard…