Smooth seas never made skillful sailors.
Month: June 2020
Popular opinion over fact
One of the biggest societal challenges that emerges as a result of a world influenced by social media is the consistent triumph of popular opinion over facts or well researched ones.
The challenge for those who deal with facts, thoughtful opinions, or (gasp) research is that the only way to be heard now is to improve their ability to sound popular.
And, that is a skill set that is generally not correlated with their existing strengths.
Three elements of situational feedback
Most situational feedback we receive has three elements –
1. Our behavior in the situation
2. Past perception of our behavior that might have resurfaced in this situation
3. The intent and insecurities of the person giving the feedback
Situational feedback is the most helpful variant of feedback as the giver focuses on a concrete situation.
But, such feedback – as helpful as it usually is – still has more to it than just your behavior in that situation. Past perceptions and the intent and insecurities of the giver all play roles to varying degrees.
And, understanding this helps us become better receivers and givers of situational feedback.
Trust and vulnerability to the actions of someone else
“Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.” | Charles Feltman
We are trusted by others when they choose to make themselves vulnerable to our actions – this happens when they share confidential information, care for us, place their reputation on the line, or express thoughts and emotions that matter to them.
And, we earn or lose this trust by virtue of how carefully or carelessly we deal with what they’ve placed in our care.
6 questions for the next 6 months
I don’t think COVID-19 is going to change everything and usher in a remote-only future of work. While folks smarter than me seem to be making decisions that would lead us to believe as much, I think some of these decisions are reactionary.
There is no question however that it is going to change a lot. And, the longer we live outside of “normal” circumstances, the more change we will see.
As it is certain that we’re in it for the next 6 months (at least) and as we’ve been fortunate to have a bit of bandwidth after pre-schools reopened in our area, here are 6 questions I’m asking myself –
1. What improvements do I need to make in my work-from-home set up? (Specifically, are there any obvious upgrades that need to be made – workspace, webcam, accessories, etc.?)
2. How can I ensure I’m investing in relationships vs. simply reaping the benefits of prior relationships?
3. How can I build the right fitness systems/habits at home?
4. How can I read more?
5. How can I eat better?
6. How should my weekdays be structured?
No answers yet. But, here’s to arriving at those in time…
Power and friendship – seeing what we seek
Louis Litt : Get the f- You read “Lord of the Rings”?
Jessica Pearson : Four times. I mean, it is about power.
Louis Litt : That’s funny. I always thought it was about friendship.
I recently caught this exchange on the show “Suits.” Jessica Pearson’s character is that of a career woman who cares about her firm above everything else.
Louis, on the other hand, is a fellow partner who is an emotional hot head on a perennial search for friendship.
What’s telling about the exchange is that they both reflected on the “Lord of the Rings” and saw what they seek the most.
Daily demonstration of courage
A powerful daily demonstration of courage is owning up to mistakes we make.
PS: I started with a five paragraph version of this post and eventually whittled it all down to one line as it was the best way to do justice to what I was trying to say. Less is often more.. and hard to do.
Oogway on Destiny
“One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” | Master Oogway
Smart work and hard work
There’s a small group of people in most classes and organization who have the smarts to consistently figure out the smart way of getting a job done.
They see the system, figure out the right place to apply the effort, do it with intensity, and get it done.
I have marveled at their ability over the years.
And, I’ve also learnt that I’m not one of them.
My learning, as a result, has been that smart work and hard work are inextricably linked. And, as I can’t count on figuring out the smart path when I’m trying something new, I know I need to count on doing the work.
And, often, doing a lot of it.
After a few cycles of hard work and reflection, it becomes easier to figure out the smart way to get it done.
But, there’s no shortcut to those cycles of hard work.
At least there hasn’t been for me.
Folks who know better
It is amazing how much progress we can make by learning to habitually look for and ask folks who know better.