First World Problems (WT453)

First World Problems (WT453)

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WT 453 First world problems

This week I had to catch myself. 

I found myself whinging and complaining because I had to organise to pack and move out of where we were living and wait for a week before taking delivery of our motorhome.

“This is placing so much pressure on me,” I complained to Ross.

“I was expecting to carry food from the fridge in the home to the fridge in the motorhome. I was expecting to take my clothes out of the wardrobe and hang them up in the motorhome, not to have to organise and pack for the motorhome, storage and the leadership program we’re running in Canberra during March.”

I was feeling very sorry for myself and annoyed and disappointed with the dealership and the real estate agency.

I wasn’t walking my talk and as a friend reminded me last week, “Practice what you preach and breathe.”

So I did.

My understanding of how things work from all of the personal development work I have done over the years, is that I am a co-creator. There is no point blaming others because I too am responsible.

On some level, I have created this situation.

When things like this happen, I ask myself, “What am I thinking or doing that has created this?”

As soon as I take responsibility for what is happening in my life, things change.

We had no shortage of offers from friends offering us to stay at their places, whilst we are technically homeless this week.  Thank you friends.

Whilst living in chaos this week, I couldn’t find my makeup and I certainly didn’t have an iron, so I turned up for a meeting looking and feeling very dishevelled and a little embarrassed, until I realised what I had manifested.

This was the start of my new life and my new career. It’s no secret that I don’t like wearing makeup and I prefer to dress casually, and here was the universe delivering exactly what I wanted.

So I have pulled myself into gear, accepted that I am responsible and am getting on with things. These are first world problems. I do have a roof over my head, I do have people who care about me, I do have enough to eat, I am not living in a war zone and I have work and income.

How about you? Are you stressing out over first world problems and perhaps not taking responsibility for your part in the situation? If so, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.

Let’s be grateful for what we do have.

I appreciate you reading these thoughts every week. Thank you.

And just one more tip. I often use Hoóponopono (ancient Hawaiian clearing technique) to clear myself and the planet by reciting the following phrases over and over (in any order).

I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. 

Essentially what you are saying is “I love the universe and people. I’m sorry for my part in creating this situation, even though I may not know consciously what my part is. Please forgive me to the universe and thank you for the forgiveness.”  You can Google it and learn more. It’s fascinating and it works, whether you believe in it or not.

Thank you. I love you.

Give Them a Project (WT452)

Give Them a Project (WT452)

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WT 452 Give them a project

Many workplaces use the word “team” to describe their employees or various divisions within their companies and yet what they really have is a group of individuals.

A team works together to achieve a common goal. Individuals within a group work towards achieving their own results.

This week in our leadership experience, the participants experienced what it is like to become a team.

At the end of each session, participants are given homework to do; some complete the homework and some do not. Those who don’t complete the homework cause the group to “fail”.

In the initial stages, participants are concerned with their own success until they understand that their contribution or lack thereof affects everyone.

The way to move a group of individuals to become a team is to give them a project.

Years ago, a psychology experiment was conducted in America where school buddies were separated and placed into different groups at a summer camp. The groups were then manipulated and influenced to the point where the original school buddies no longer liked each other. The camp leaders and psychologists could not let the children return home with a dislike for their friends so they came up with a project which required ALL of the groups to participate to solve the problem.

As the groups worked with each other to solve the problem and complete the project, the relationships began to mend and the entire group became a team.

In our leadership experience, one person stepped up and took the lead, which the others were happy to follow. (As a sidebar, they learned that their people are looking for leadership and are happy to be led.)

There was a flurry of emails, phone calls and text messages as group members worked together to pass the assignment.

If you’re finding that your “team” is really operating as a group of individuals, reflect on the instructions you are giving, as well as the tasks.  Are the tasks set up for individual performance or is there a common goal the “team” are working towards?

If you want your people to work as a team, give them a common project or goal to achieve.

Information or Transformation (WT451)

Information or Transformation (WT451)

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WT 451 Information or Transformation

This week I contracted to another training company to deliver a course on Business Etiquette. 

The course was written by the training company and was to be delivered to government employees. 

It was a fantastic opportunity for me because it helped me to understand that my calling in life, my passion, is to help those who want transformation, not simply information. 

My leadership experience, Leading Yourself and Leading Others, provides numerous opportunities for participants to become more self aware as well as gain skills to improve communication and understand people. 

At times some of the activities can feel confronting and participants don’t always “like” me or the feedback they are exposed to. 

At the end of the experience though, most participants express their gratitude for the transformation. To be clear, transformation in this context is what happens in the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. It’s the process of change and the outcome. 

Transformation is different to information. “Information applies to facts told, read, or communicated that may be unorganized and even unrelated. Knowledge is an organized body of information.” (www.Dictionary.com) 

I can give you information such as The ABC of Business Etiquette: Appearance, Behaviour and Communication, but it’s up to you to do something with that information. 

For me the greatest joy is working with people who want to learn and grow; people who are open and willing to change; people who want the feedback. Remember, you can’t see the label from inside the jar. 

Teaching Business Etiquette using a powerpoint presentation instead of my standard colourful flipcharts was difficult for me. I was also limited in the number of activities I could do and the room was arranged differently to the format I like to use and not all of the participants were excited to be there. 

Doing the training according to someone else’s rules afforded me the opportunity to reflect on what it is I do and how much I love working with those who keen and interested and excited to learn and grow. 

Ah. It feels so good to be so clear about my mission. 

How about you?  Are you clear or do you need to do something else to find out exactly what it is you do and don’t want to do. 

If you’re up for the challenge and want to step up to lead yourself and others, I’ll be holding a second program in Newcastle in April. The early bird price finishes on 21st February. For more information go to https://www.shirleydalton.com/leading-yourself-leading-others-2019-2.

Is it Lack of Care or Lack of Training (WT450)

Is it Lack of Care or Lack of Training (WT450)

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WT500 Make Me Feel Welcome

How we communicate in business and in life determines the results we get.

As leaders, it’s our job to ensure that we train our teams to support them to do their work.

This week I found myself reflecting on some communication I experienced with a property officer. 

As we prepare to move out, ready for our next big adventure in our motorhome, I asked if we needed to do anything to apply for our bond. We had been leasing premises in Newcastle since our return from the USA because we still had a goal of travelling.

I was stunned at the response I received. “No, we will release the bond to you once we are happy with the property.”

Wow! I reacted to this. Am I being too sensitive?  

On another occasion she informed me that I had to ensure that when she came to do the final inspection, that the property had to be brought back to the condition that it was in when we moved in.

“Really. Excuse me.”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this.

I felt like I was being treated like someone who had trashed the house.

Was it lack of care on her part, or lack of training?

Her communication did nothing to foster a good relationship with me and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that company.

As it turns out, her boss, a director of the company will be conducting the final inspection which will give me the opportunity to provide feedback.

Thinking about your workplace, are you aware of the communication between your people and your customers? Are you confident that the communication follows your policies and procedures? Have you trained your people? What would your customers say about their interaction with your people?

Would they be wondering if it’s lack of care or lack of training?

It’s All in the Asking (WT449)

It’s All in the Asking (WT449)

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WT 449 It's all in the asking

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not the best negotiator when it comes to getting a “good deal”. 

I tend to accept the price that I’ve been given when I want to purchase or sell something. 

I expect and believe that the person I am buying from or selling to, has the same values as me, which tends to make me quite naïve at times. 

At the end of February we will be taking possession of our Motorhome, affectionately named Contessa, to start our journey to live and work around Australia for the next few years. 

This meant we had to say goodbye to Connie, my beloved Lexus E350. 

It was a tearful day for me as I left Connie with her new owner. 

Here’s what I learned: 

I had an amount in my mind that I wanted to get for Connie. 

The offer I received was lower than this, not by much, but still lower.

My experience has also shown me that the first offer you get, whether that be for a car or house, etc. is often the best offer, so I was conflicted about what to do.

I shared the offer with Ross who immediately suggested I ask for more.

I didn’t know how to. I didn’t know the words to use. I didn’t know what to say.

Eventually I crafted an email and asked if we could agree on the revised figure, and if so, I would arrange to deliver Connie. 

To my surprise and delight they agreed.

Wow! It’s all in the asking. 

Lesson number 1 – be okay with asking. 

Lesson number 2 – be mindful of the language you use to ask. 

This little experience has motivated and inspired me and given me confidence. 

I still have a lot to learn and practice and I share this story with you to encourage you, if you need it, to be ok with asking. 

After all, if the answer is “No’, you are no worse off.

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