One Question You Should Ask Before Making A Decision

Spending the time to answer this question before any decision can’t hurt.

When I heard this question asked by Andy Stanley, I wasn’t prepared for how much this question would infiltrate my thoughts and decisions. The question is becoming one that I am thinking about each time and saying where appropriate. Are you ready to internalize this question?

Andy Stanley put the question in the form of “What would a great leader do?” Replace the word leader with:

  • Employee
  • Friend
  • Husband / Wife
  • Parent
  • And the list goes on:

Maybe you have uncovered the power of this great question, “What would a great (Fill in the Blank) do?” If so, you probably already know the value. For those of you just discovering this question, let me share my thoughts:

There are days when I feel the energy just draining away, being sucked by the power conductors of life.  The pick me up is the knowledge that I am made for a greater purpose.  Reminders such as this video brings perspective towards our eternal existence. How do you get juiced up?

Feedback With Integrity

Take feedback and keep moving forward.  Apply it where it makes sense 

Over the past few days, my inbox has started to fill with requests for feedback from my peers. Interestingly, I don’t know if they personally requested it or if it was requested by their manager. Either way, I am encouraged that I may be able to participate in such a valuable exercise.

However, before I share how I provide feedback, let’s understand the realities of feedback systems.

Setting Expectations for Communications Responses

As I have started thinking about the best ways to communicate, I am realizing that most of my communications problems are self-inflicted.   One of the biggest areas is how I respond. I very rarely respond to text messages, I may read Facebook feeds every couple of days, I am not consistent on mediums such as twitter, and I am too instantaneous on email.

Last week’s email statistics via Delve Analytics

I am not saying that how I respond or interact above is bad, in fact, I would argue that for the most part they are absolutely the right approaches for me. However, there is potentially another person on the back side of the email, text, or post with whom communication happens. My goal now is to set the right expectations with my style of communication.

A Smile is a great conversation starter

When someone smiles at me, I catch myself drawn in and smile back.  Frowns, grimaces, or scowls push me away.  When I walk down the halls at work, I make a practice of smiling at others.  Usually what ensues is a good morning, hello, or how are you doing? Oh by the way, they are smiling back.

Provide Context for the Data

Send the Right Message

Just a bunch of information that makes no sense.  Just like many decks I see with charts.

I am often asked to provide charts of data, tables of information, and bullet point lists though the week. I just put together a basic bar chart in Excel (Select your table and hit the F11 key) a few hours ago. Today’s topic in communication is making sure that the data meets the context of how it is being used.

Meeting Communications

Maybe You Don't Need a Meeting

I am glad these guys were at the meeting.  Mural on board the Pride of America

As I was reviewing the email for the last time in the day, I received four meeting requests, all with no agenda and ambiguous titles. My initial response was to just decline without any reason. After a hard pause, I decided to be more civilized fashion and at least respond with a couple of questions.

Our Non-Verbal Communication Matters

How do you communicate without words?

One day I received feedback after a meeting took place. My manager graciously let me know that my opinions on various topics were well communicated. There was only one problem, I didn’t say a word. My body language, facial expressions, and the way I made eye contact with others was truly transparent and exposed for all to see. I constantly have to work in meetings to make sure that my non-verbal cues are appropriate for the time and location.

The facial expressions and body language tell it all. Luau performance in Kauai.

Lately, I have been spending time observing my behavior and the behavior of others so that I can be more empathetic, respectful, and caring. I have noticed that the non-verbal communications mechanisms we employ sometimes send the loudest message. It is important to recognize how you use these communication styles and be aware of how others may interpret them.