Undivided Attention

As humans, one of the greatest gifts we can give others is our undivided attention.  There is little as meaningful as totally focusing on another person and what they are saying or feeling.  Maybe that sounds simple, but consider what it really means.  With deadlines, meetings, email, texts and cell phones, how often do you really give someone your undivided attention? 

It is incredibly easy for our thoughts to drift to something we consider more urgent.  The phone in our pocket or purse is extremely tempting.  Our next meeting or appointment may seem much more important.  Giving someone our attention allows them to speak and truly be heard.  It allows them to feel positive about their relationship with us.  It allows you to focus on what you are being told and learn something from their perspective.  Focusing our attention is a foundational piece of personal relationships. 

This applies to all aspects of our lives.  It is especially true in our leadership roles and is even truer at home with spouses and children!  Try it, you might learn something, and you will be appreciated!


Aim Lower?

Tough circumstances often call for smaller, less lofty goals.  A lot has been made of setting stretch goals both personally and in business.  The theory being that they encourage over-achievement and far reaching success.  In good times, with momentum and confidence that may be true.  In more challenging times when we feel overwhelmed such lofty goals just add to that feeling.  The thing is that the dread is often worse than the dreaded.  We can dread a goal or task so much because of its perceived enormity that we never get started.  The size of the goal can actually cause paralysis and no action is taken at all.  Smaller, manageable, less daunting goals can be confidence builders.  They can be the antidote for the paralysis.  This is certainly true in these difficult times.  Hard times are for maintaining, rebuilding and retrenching.  Stretch goals are not appropriate in these times and can actually prove demoralizing.  It may sound strange to say but…  Pick one thing and aim lower this week.

Happy President’s Day!



Jerry Jeff Walker sings a song entitled Too Old to Change.  I recall being in my mid to late twenties and thinking that song applied to me.  I had this notion that I was who I was and was not likely to change much.  People around me just needed to accept that.  At that point my song title should have been Too Stupid to Change.  We are never too old to change, often just too hard-headed to change.  In fact, we do not grow as people if we do not change.  Life is all about change and how we accept, embrace and adapt to it. 

Don't be too old to change!



I was recently reminded about the lost art of courtesy.  See the definition below:

adjective - Characterized by gracious consideration toward others. 
1: exhibiting courtesy and politeness; "a nice gesture" [synonyms: gracious, nice]
2: characterized by courtesy and gracious good manners.

When was the last time you thought about this word?  More importantly when was the last time you thought about being courteous at work?  Think about it this week.  Consider the words used in the definition, gracious, politeness and good manners.  Being courteous is a really simple behavior that can positively impact relationships in the business world.  It is perhaps even more important at home.  For some reason we can easily forget to be kind and courteous to those we love.  How will you be more courteous this week?