I just ran the Steamboat half-marathon this past weekend and had a blast. The half-marathon course starts at around 7,200 feet above sea level and winds through the most beautiful countryside you can imagine into the western style downtown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As I ran through the cheering crowds along the last mile of the course, I was amazed at how much faster I started running. It made me think about the importance of recognition in the work place.
One of the most frustrating experiences I have had when interacting with others is when I receive feedback from someone who decides to use "softeners" instead of being direct in his or her communication. These "softeners" come in the form of:
- saying "we" when you really mean "I"
- using words such as "kinda", "sortof", and "right"
- being indirect in asking for something by saying "would you mind..."
These "softeners" often result in ambiguity and confusion about a person's intent. Effective communicators and influencers, on the other hand:
We had a great three-day leadership development program last week with a group from UCAR. As part of the program, we integrated our Hi-tech Treasure Hunt. Teams navigated through a course with their GPS device, compass, and map, and completed activities related to creating shared values, planning for the future, and understanding personality styles with DiSC.
On May 23, 2009, Melissa Arnot became the first American Woman to summit Mount Everest for the second time. I met her father in a workshop last week, and he was beaming with pride. Melissa's team reached the summit in adverse conditions - conditions that seem to be threatening to end the climbing season on Everest earlier than usual this year.
One of the critical communication breakdowns I see teams make is not providing others with feedback.
For some reason, this is one of the hardest things for people to do in the work place. I am not entirely sure why, except to say that people either don't know how to provide feedback to others, it can be very uncomfortable, or both.
Team members want feedback - both positive and constructive. But it has to be delivered in a timely manner and in a way that is specific enough so that people understand the behaviors that need to be changed.
I was in the Apple Store today. I had a scheduled meeting with a Genius (an Apple tech support guru) at 2:00. You’d never know we were in a recession by the number of people in the store at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Anyway, the Genius who was helping me with my iPhone had a shirt on that said “Not all heroes wear capes.”
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM MDT