Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for May, 2008

A useless activity…..

Worry. Worry about what you said or did. Worry about what you’re going to say or do. Worry about what others are experiencing, or what your or others’ actions may generate in outcomes or judgments.

We all find ourselves worrying from time to time as part of the human condition. But I’m beginning to internalize the understanding that worry is one of those things that simply does not, and will not, benefit a situation, person or event. Personally and professionally, when I’m in touch with this understanding, it’s a gift. 

Activities that may be more useful in our professional lives—that may minimize negative outcomes and therefore minimize worry—might include: making the effort to better understand a person or situation before acting; anticipating and preparing for desirable and/or undesirable outcomes; being better prepared for communications; and acknowledging one’s own part in less than desirable outcomes then swiftly moving forward with well thought out and inclusive solutions. 

Eliminating worry is unrealistic. Minimizing worry is within our reach. Here’s to peace of mind.


Six Times—Six Different Ways

Think about a time when you’ve felt that you carefully and clearly communicated an important change strategy to an individual, a team, or your organization. Have you ever experienced someone challenging you soon afterward with a question about something that was already well clarified in that communication? Have you found yourself wondering why, if they read your message, they didn’t “get it”?

I first heard the term—six times, six different ways—from the facilitator of a change management workshop years ago. He suggested that in order for people to internalize or “get” a communicated message of any significant or complex nature, they need to hear it six times, six different ways.

I find this especially true when the communications reflect changes or strategies that may have a significant impact on individuals or teams within an organization.

Examples of six different ways might include: a formal presentation; an email summary; reiteration in a newsletter or org chart; a letter from the president; a casual follow up conversation; and perhaps an effort by first-level managers to provide an opportunity for discussion in smaller staff meetings.

So the next time you find yourself having to communicate significant organizational news or changes, remember what it may take to be heard.