Archives for the month of: May, 2010

From Seth Godin’s Blog:

The number of people you need to ask for permission keeps going down:

1. Go, make something happen.

2. Do work you’re proud of.

3. Treat people with respect.

4. Make big promises and keep them.

5. Ship it out the door.

When in doubt, see #1.

I just came out of a challenging two-day group facilitation. The group was diverse and didn’t normally work together. We were trying to develop a complex approach for a complex solution to a complex problem. At one checkpoint in the process the group started re-examining a process they just agreed to 15 minutes prior. I didn’t get it at the time, but one of the participants came up to me after the workshop and clarified. He said, “We got stuck there because we each had a different meaning to the terms we were using. We didn’t have a common language.” Gotcha. Lesson learned.

It was hard work to begin with and then got harder because we didn’t stop to agree on how we were using certain terms. Each of us was assuming we understood because we had our own meaning for the term – inside our head.

So next time you think you have agreement do a verbal check on meaning before you move forward.

As a facilitator, I understand the power of a good question. A good question can take a person or group beyond their current thinking and produce incredible results. The opposite is true for a bad question. A bad question can confuse, distract and take them off course resulting in frustration and dysfunction.

When it comes to figuring out what you should be doing with your time right now, next week and next year – a set of good questions is an extremely powerful tool. Here are some to think about:

What should I be doing right now?

  • When I review my action list, what stands out? What draws me in? What am I interested in doing right now?
  • How much time do I have to get a task done?
  • Is there something on my calendar that requires my attention?
  • Do I trust my system right now? Should I spend 15 minutes reviewing?
  • What resources do I have available? I have some calls to make. Do I have the numbers and time to make these calls? If I have research to do, do I have a computer with a connection available?
  • Have I spent some time to reflect on my core set of values? Is what I’m doing right now aligned with these values? If not, what should I start, stop, continue doing to make sure that I’m on track?

What should I be doing next week?

  • Have I done a good review of my inboxes, action lists, calendar, etc.?
  • Is my system up-to-date?
  • What’s on my mind that isn’t captured somewhere?
  • What ideas, crazy or not, do I have that I want captured?
  • What is the status of my projects? What am I waiting for? What are the next actions?

What should I be thinking about for next year?

  • Do I have an up-to-date set of goals? Do I understand them and know what I need to achieve them?
  • Are my goals the right goals for what I want for the future?
  • Are my projects documented and aligned with my goals?
  • Have I spent some time discussing my goals with my partner, coach, mentor, friends?
  • After examining my core values, where are the gaps between how I want to live my life and how I’m living it?