Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for October, 2009

Have you asked anyone to share their reality with you lately?

We live in the city, and when we take a quiet walk at night, the glimpse of flickering lights and movement in each house window profoundly reminds me of the simultaneous realities taking place only 50 feet apart from one another.

I see this as a metaphor for how simultaneous realities may also reside among the people we meet or associate with at work.

When experiencing frustrations, conflict, or a lack of clear communications, we often make assumptions and judge others based on how we see the situation within our own reality.

Reaching out to others for clarification, and probing to understand someone else’s reality, can be very powerful in breaking down barriers, building relationships, and minimizing conflict at work.

If we continue to remind ourselves that our reality or world-view may not be that of our neighbors or our co-workers, perhaps we’ll continue to see the benefit of sharing ours and learning more about theirs.

Are you solution–oriented or problem-centered?

Whether you’re an executive, a manager, or an individual contributor—if you want to increase your odds for gaining support and/or approval towards a change strategy, be sure that your recommendation is presented as a full-blown solution versus a complaint.

Problem-centered complainers bring a problem to the table, and offer verbal criticism about what isn’t getting done, or “should” be done. They seldom generate results while the problem remains a problem.

Effective professionals prepare and document a recommended plan of action, and include a role for themselves as part of their proposed solution. This approach generates respect and maximizes a person’s or team’s ability to be heard, and impact change.

You’re probably well aware of the amount of time and effort it will take to prepare and propose a full-blown solution to an existing problem or issue that you know needs attention. You may have a choice as to whether you get involved in the process. Or, it may be a requirement of your role. Either way, are you ready to take on the challenge of truly making a difference?