Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Relationship Tip 5 of 7: Effective vs. Efficient

When working to get things done, we usually think in terms of being efficient. How do we use our time, money and resources more efficiently? Being effective usually comes after our efforts at efficiency have failed.

Most of us would like to be both effective and efficient, though at times these are mutually exclusive. I remember it this way: Be efficient with things, be effective with people. We can be efficient in tasks such as making things or completing a project. We can not always be efficient with people because it takes time to build effective relationships and to communicate with understanding.

There is the story about a manager who wanted to be efficient, so he scheduled his daily tasks and allowed 15 minutes to terminate an employee. An hour later he is still talking with the employee. In striving for efficiency, he did not take the time to be effective.

Raising children is another effort where effectiveness is more important than efficiency. It takes much time and energy to be effective with our children, and if we don’t make the effort to be effective in teaching them to make better choices, we can expect to lose much efficiency with them as they mature.

On the other hand, we can be efficient with things. Running errands, making a schedule, housecleaning, cooking and other tasks are often planned and carried out on time. Various processes, procedures and work can be done in a efficient way.

Be efficient with things, be effective with people.

Think of times you have tried to be efficient, but were ineffective. How might you have been more effective?

Watch the video at https://youtu.be/p8Rv1DI7-P0

Monday, November 28, 2016

Relationship Tip 4 of 7: Request vs. Complain (NO Whining!)

Let’s start with a distinction between Complain vs. Whine. Nobody likes to hear whining. When you have a problem or something you want, and nothing can be done about it, it's whining. Like getting caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella—you can make a lot of noise about getting wet, but it just irritates everyone around you.

When something can be done about it, it's a complaint. Let’s take this up a notch.
Complaints usually come across as negatives, and if you are a chronic complainer, you can develop a reputation as being a negative person. For examples: The car is dirty; the report has not been filed yet; your attitude is lousy; there’s not enough money; etc.

Yes, we can see that what you say is true, but what do you want ME to do about it? I have enough complaints of my own without having to trouble myself with yours.

Since response to the complaint requires action, why not make a positive request for the action you want at the start? For examples: When can we get the car washed? Will you ask Terry to file the report? Can you give me some positive suggestions about this? What can we do to get enough money and not go to prison?

The complaint only identifies the problem or what you want. The request starts beyond the complaint towards a solution. Note that the request is not a command, yet it creates a positive response for taking action.

Instead of complaining, play with making requests and see how different it feels and what kind of responses you get. And remember: NO Whining!

See the video at https://youtu.be/LC0vPrXk8F4https://youtu.be/LC0vPrXk8F4

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Relationship Tip 3 of 7: Fact of Life vs. Problem

Continuing with our series of seven distinctions to help improve relationships, everyone has problems at times. A problem is a problem only as long as we can do something about it. When we have done all that we know or that can be done, then that problem becomes a fact of life and we have to live with it.

For example, if I am going bald(er), I can see it as a problem and attempt to keep and restore my hair. If I accept it as a fact of life that I have a shining example of a perfectly shaped head, then I put my resources to use elsewhere and get going with the rest of my life.

Other fact of life examples might include a business that is failing, a terminal illness, growing old, a deeply inked tattoo that can not be removed, or an incompatible relationship.

There are times when we might shift back from fact of life into a problem. If we discover another option, if someone creates a new process or something that might solve our problem, then we would want to explore this and see how it could work for us. If it works—great! If it doesn’t work, then it becomes a fact of life again.

The point where we shift from problem to fact of life can require some painful soul-searching. For example, deciding that growing old is a fact of life can lead some people to live life to its fullest, yet others might struggle with it and eventually give up to old age.

In making this shift from problem to fact of life, we might be able to stop beating ourselves up over what wouldda, couldda, shouldda, might have been, and get on with life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Relationship Tip 2 of 7: Compliment vs. Acknowledgement

Understanding and practicing the difference between Compliment vs. Acknowledgement can make a huge difference in our relationships.

Anyone can give you a compliment after just a few seconds. For example, if you’re playing the piano. I might compliment you by saying something like, “Wow, you play piano really well.” Generally, there is nothing wrong with giving a compliment.

It only takes an extra few seconds to find a deeper truth and, instead of giving a compliment, give an acknowledgement. I might acknowledge the pianist by saying something like, “Wow, you play the piano really well. I can tell you must have put a lot of time and energy into practicing and becoming as fluid as you are on the keyboard.”

Which would you rather receive? To acknowledge someone goes further to communicate you have been paying attention, you have noticed some specifics, and you appreciate the effort. You acknowledge simply by speaking more of the truth that you see.

There are a couple of kinds of acknowledgements you can give. The Conditional Acknowledgement includes an element of measurement or comparison, like, “You’re playing that song so much better today than you did last week.” There are times when an conditional acknowledgement is helpful. Other times, not so much when the acknowledgement can cause hard feelings such as, “You play piano a lot better than Dana, but you still have to catch up to Terry.”

I usually prefer an unconditional acknowledgement that does not include the measurement or comparison elements, simply saying, “Great job on that piano piece you did. I can tell you really put in the time and energy to practice.” I simply state what I perceive without comparing.

Acknowledgements work best when they are truthful, respectful and constructive (TRC). If it’s not truthful, then you won’t trust it. If not respectful, you won’t really hear it. If not constructive, you won’t want to do it. For example, if you mess up your piano piece and someone tells you how great it was, you will not trust the person’s evaluation because you know you messed up (even though you know the person was trying to be supportive).

This brings up another consideration. If you cannot acknowledge the performance or the results of an effort, you can acknowledge the effort: “I know how hard you practiced that song and I could tell how much heart and soul you put into it.”

Acknowledging can be helpful in building and managing relationships. See the difference it can make with your family, friends and colleagues.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/53-bVXqVI60

Monday, November 7, 2016

Relationship Tip 1 of 7: Standards + Boundaries = Integrity

An important part of not getting sloppy with our relationships is expressed in this little formula:

Standards + Boundaries = Integrity

Standards are what you set for the way you want to live. Boundaries are what you set for yourself and other people to maintain your standard. Whenever someone disregards your standards and oversteps your boundaries and you don’t correct that, or when you fail to maintain your own standards and boundaries—you feel out of integrity with yourself, you feel bad, or not right or unfulfilled about it.

My standard: I am nice to animals.
My boundary: I don’t kick my dog.
Your boundary: You don’t kick my dog either.

My standard: I am nice to people.
My boundary: I don’t yell at you.
Your boundary: You don’t get to yell at me either.

Setting a Boundary
Let’s say we are in a conversation that starts getting heated. I might say to you, “I’m uncomfortable with the way you’re raising your voice to me, and if you keep on, I’m going to have to step out until things calm down.”

If you keep raising your voice, then I have to take respectful action and I might say something like, “I need to step out, and I’ll be back when I calm down.” Then I need to step out, and not engage you in any further conversation until I come back. If you call me names or say things to get me re-engaged, it’s best if I not respond because this usually continues the argument in a disrespectful way.

There is a direct connection between standards and boundaries. If you are bothered by someone's behavior, look to see if your boundary or standard has been disrespected or overstepped. Since boundaries and standards always connect, if we can identify one, it usually points to the other. For example, if it upsets you to hear someone yelling at another person, it points back you your boundaries and standards around being nice and respecting other people.

Clarifying our standards and boundaries can add a great deal of space and sanity to our lives. It allows us to set bigger, better boundaries and teach people how to treat us better (so they don't have to guess). Please note that this requires respect from all the people involved, and might not work in abusive situations. 

See the Youtube Video, Click Here.https://youtu.be/GLpf0Q_20Ak