How important is what you are grappling with now? If it’s very important in terms of results it can create for you, and the consequences of not achieving desired outcome are big, then it requires your undivided attention.
Get all the facts on the table to expedite the decision-making and planning process. When you have incomplete information, it takes much longer to decide and plan. If you desire efficiency, avoid discussing outcomes before you have all the facts. If you are meeting to discuss the facts you need, that is fine as long as you are clear of the meeting’s purpose.
Thoroughly preparing for a meeting can greatly enhance the outcome in terms of the overall results.
We all have a tendency to complicate things in our life. When everything seems smooth, you think of something that could complicate things. Why? Because you feel you are getting complacent.
There is the possibility that you may be getting complacent, so how do you draw a line? Go back to your goals and ask are whether you are aligned with them. If you are, then you are not getting complacent.
Regular review of where things are and where you need to go is important to evaluate efficiently and effectively. Having a simple system and structure will help. Avoid complicated systems and structures!
Trust is a powerful word. It begins with trusting yourself. If you cannot trust yourself, it is very hard to trust others.
Why do people not trust themselves? Past failures, lack of discipline and constantly changing the ‘goal posts’ are part of the problem. Upbringing, environment and parental influence also plays a big role. If your upbringing gave you security, unconditional love and positivity, you are more likely to trust yourself. If you were constantly put down and made to feel that you were useless, you will be less likely to trust yourself.
If your upbringing did not help, what is the solution? Remember that the past need not equal the future. There are many examples of people who struggled in the past but recovered to create great successes. Start by creating clarity of what you want and why you want it. Next, act daily towards your goals. Stay focused and do not let yourself stray from where you are going. Evaluate your progress regularly, and be open to constructive feedback from mentors you trust!
We have a perception of life that is not totally accurate. Why? We filter everything that happens around us through a “lens” that we wear, or by a paradigm.
How we see the world is not how the world is, but rather how we are!
“You see but you do not observe” poignantly remarked the late Dr. Covey. One of the most powerful ways to enhance your observation capacity is to begin writing a daily journal.
This process will sharpen your ability to go deeper. For example you will find that you are spending much more time on clients than you are billing them, or short changing your exercise routines, or not walking your talk all the time!
You will be humbled at times with this process, but clarity will be significantly enhanced.
All great leaders have heightened awareness. This one quality will make you stand out!
You can have many obstacles or enemies in life, but when you boil it down to the essence, there is only one obstacle and one enemy. Who? You!
What about you is your enemy? This is a bit complex. First there is your fear. Fear that you cannot do something, or fear that you will fail, or fear of the unknown.
Most fear is an illusion. Once you get all the facts together, you will find that most of what you need to do can be done by breaking your task into many small actionable items.
The other part of your fear comes from unnecessary worrying. My friend Dr. Nido Qubein says “95 % of your worry never comes true.” We worry about so many eventualities which never materialize. And the worst part is, the anxiety and anticipation is more exhausting than the event itself!
Then there is the fear that is rooted in our negative ego. “If I fail people will look down upon me.” When you choose a goal larger than self, you become fearless!
Finally there is the obstacle of not being true to oneself. We live secret lives, avoid the harsh truth, and avoid making hard yet important decisions, justifying that it is not right time to do so. However, the time is always right to do the right thing! You are your biggest obstacle!
There is some merit in being decisive and moving forward. This saves time and allows you to capitalize on the momentum. However, some important decisions require you to take more time with them.
I got tempted to immediately reply to an important proposal and drafted a response. When I showed it to my daughter she thought I had missed the boat completely. It made me realize that I must be overlooking something. So I slept on it.
My decision the next morning was quite different from my initial one. I had had time to reflect deeply and take into consideration a few other angles.
I also learned from this experience the value of considering other people’s views, in this case my daughter’s.
It does not mean that other people are always right. It means that you get the opportunity to evaluate other views before making a final decision. When you have thought it through further, you may chose whether or not to incorporate those views.
If the decision requires an immediate response you may not get the opportunity to ask. On the other hand, people who require immediate responses are not giving you a chance to reflect on the depth of your decision. Are they trying to hide something?
When there is a clear understanding of what needs to be done, you have the foundation to do it. When there is confusion, all or most of the effort can get wasted. This may seems obvious, however, you will be surprised how often this gets overlooked or not done well.
I have seen major reports prepared by very reputable firms only to find out that the clients needs were misunderstood. What? How can that be? Is the client making it up? The point is that the client is dissatisfied!
Spending enough time clarifying needs and expectations can slow things down, however it creates the foundation for a healthy and positive relationship.
Face-to-face communication is of course the most powerful tool because you have the added benefit of watching the body language and seeing any signs of disconnect between the body and what is being communicated. However, once you have had the face-to-face meeting, it is wise to articulate the summary of discussions to ensure universal understanding of the facts.
When communication is done right, you have a solid foundation. When not done right, you will find a lot of wastage.