Three Ways To Make a Difference Today
#1. Fuel, manage, and monitor energy, first your own, then others.
You can’t get there with an empty tank. It’s not flashy, but in order to fuel energy in others you need to keep gas in your own tank.
- Engage in meaningful work. Do stuff that matters to you. Energy goes up when you do what matters.
- Do the work that matters most when you’re at your best. The work that matters most is connection, asking questions, and affirming progress.
- Notice the positive attributes of others. Weaknesses grab your attention. Schedule time in the day to say something good to people.
- Turn off electronics. When possible, put your laptop in the closet. Go for a walk and leave your cell phone home.
#2. Show interest in people.
Don’t pry into personal lives, but show interest in people as people by asking questions.
- What got you interested in this work?
- What do others appreciate about you?
- How did you happen to get this job?
- What do you do to relax?
The need to deliver results distracts some leaders from relationship building.
#3. Stay positive.
Don’t minimize challenges in the name of positivity. You look like an idiot if you pretend the house isn’t on fire.
Maximize opportunity and potential. When you’re worried about current challenges, tell the team you’re counting on them.
“I”m counting on you,” is better than, “I’m really worried about this.”
Use inquiry to fuel positivity.
- What do we need to do to move the ball forward?
- What’s preventing us from making this decision right now?
- Would you take on this challenge?
- How can I help?
- What’s next?
Notice when conversations focus on the past, uncontrollable circumstances, or complaints. Find ways to turn people’s attention toward the future.
How might you make a difference today?
Great selections I would add “don’t waste energy, do it right the first time”, which leads to think before you act.
Thanks Tim. Yes. Be slow (Think) in order to be quick (Do it once). I think John Wooden said something like that.
Thanks Dan. Your presentation to our group yesterday was great and your post this morning just puncuated it for me. I lose energy when I’m disconnected… Today’s homework: show interest in people.
Thank you Jim. It was a pleasure to be with you. I appreciate your encouragement. Best wishes as you manage energy. Cheers
” Using inquiry to fuel positivity” is the advice I appreciated most from this post. Takes us from preaching to collaborating and requires a generosity of spirit and an insight into what team members most need : to be appreciated for insights they have. Fostering their openness by asking questions makes sense. Thanks again for super advice Dan . Positively, Pauline
I agree with “using inquiry to fuel positivity”. As someone who continually tries to operationalize the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, this is refreshing to read and be able to share with others. I also love the questions you posted. I also like to use this one, “What about this topic/decision/task that energizes you?”.
Thank Ryan. Great question to add. What energizes you? When are you at your best? What makes this important to you?
Questions that help others reflect are a gift.
Thank Pauline. I appreciate how you associate generosity of spirit with the concept of curiosity. An open heart is part of having open ears.
Great post, Dan!
Showing specific appreciation is key as well. Simply saying, “I appreciate you” is good but leaves much to be desired. If we say, “I appreciate you because you did x, y, and Z” now we have given them very specific affirmation that can lead to repeated action.
Great stuff my man!
Thanks Josh! Yes indeed. When you get specific you let people know you’re paying attention. In the end people feel like they matter.
Powerful message, thanks for sharing 👍👍👍
Great post, thanks Dan.
Reminds me of a friend who likes to look me in the eye and say “*This* is it!”. … This moment!!
Talk to you soon, Sophie ________________________________
Thanks Sophie. You remind me that the only way to change the future is to change today. If we wait for the future to make change then the future is the past.
Dan, this one made me laugh. “Don’t minimize challenges in the name of positivity. You look like an idiot if you pretend the house isn’t on fire.”
I know that idiot and this time it isn’t me. The reason it made me chuckle was because I had to quit as board secretary for a spiritual center. I was too negative because, with my PR and HR experience, I wanted to address the challenges, admit our faults and mistakes, correct them, and rebuild on a foundation of integrity, authenticity, and transparency. That was over a year ago and that center has downsized and moved and so many ministers and practitioners have left; yet the leader remains.
I think even at my densest times…and believe me I can be pretty dense…I think I would notice that all my key people left.
Thanks Connie. Your transparency and candor are wonderful. Thanks for speaking about your self and being candid about reality.
We can’t expect the same people who have caused long-term problems to make changes. We must first acknowledge the problems we have created. Only then can we begin to solve them.