Archive for the ‘Fall’ Category

What Win/Win Really Means

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I remember my surprise the first time I heard the phrase win/win.  I don’t remember where I was, but I do remember the feeling of shock I had at the idea that both participants could be winners at the same time.

I was raised in a very athletic household.  Lots of sports.  Lots of games.  You and your team either won or lost.  It was a zero sum game.  If there was a winner, there had to be a loser. And this is how, subconsciously, I approached life.  If I wasn’t winning, I was losing.  I didn’t know any better.

So, as I wrapped my head around the win/win idea, I must tell you, it was difficult.  What does it mean to have everyone winning?  What does that look like?

If you have these questions, read on for some practical tools to bring this concept into your daily life…

To have everyone win, first you must understand what a win could be for them.  This means you have to actually ask them.  It can be as simple as “what would make this experience a win for you?”  And you have to listen to what they have to say, and really make sure you understand it.

The second thing that’s important is to be as committed to their win as you are to your own win.  This can take some soul-searching, because if you’re anything like me, it goes against all you’ve been taught about winners and losers.  But, once you take on really being as committed to everyone’s win as you are to your own, a big shift will take place.  Your partners and team-mates will feel your commitment, and they will start to match you.

The third concept to take on is something that for me was really life-changing…  Here it is:  If everyone on my team isn’t winning, I’m not winning.  Conversely, if I’m not winning, they aren’t winning.

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The most risky choice is not making one …

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Do you ever find yourself unable to make a decision.  Vacillating between two, three or even more choices?

The choices seem momentous.  Or, maybe they aren’t huge, but you know that each choice has consequences.  Each choice we make takes us down a road, or further down the road that we are on, and you want to make sure it’s the right road!

So, we vacillate back and forth, weighing the options and the risks associated with each one, playing out the possible effects, unable to make up our minds.  Eventually life takes over and we find ourselves on a road of some kind, going somewhere.

I’m here to tell you that the most risky choice is not making one.

Seriously.  Not choosing is choosing.

What’s that, again?

Not choosing is a choice, although we don’t usually think of it that way or treat it that way.

The fallacy is that by not making a choice, we think we are keeping our options open.  We think of this state of being as having power, because we are withholding our commitment.  We think we can bestow our commitment on some choice in the future.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this.  In the natural order of being, certainty trumps uncertainty, commitment and intention trump limbo.

As human beings, we crave commitment and certainty.  We need to know the sun is going to rise in the morning, or we can’t get out of bed, to bring it down to brass tacks.

So, in the absence of you making a choice, let’s be clear, a choice does get made.

What happens is that we allow others’ commitments, intentions and priorities to fill the void left by our own lack of commitment, priority and choice.

By not choosing, we allow others’ priorities to become your own. When you have a choice vacuum, it will get filled by others who have indeed made choices.

So what do you do when you can’t seem to make up your mind? 

First, give yourself a set amount of time.  Give yourself two hours or two days or until the end of the week to make a choice.  The scale and urgency of the choice will dictate how much time you should contemplate it.

Second, solicit input and advice, but do it carefully.  Not everyone is a good person to discuss your choices.  You need supportive confidantes who will also tell you the truth, not what they think you want to hear.

You also don’t need 10 opinions.  Two or three is a good number.  You don’t need to be even more overwhelmed because so many people are weighing in.

Third, make sure you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.  You might want to write down a pro and con list for each option so that you can see it in front of you in black and white.  Often once you do this, the choice becomes obvious.

Fourth, when you reach your deadline, make the best choice you can with the options and information you’ve got.  Commit to your choice and get into action.

Fifth, refrain from second-guessing yourself until you’ve given your choice a chance.  If you’re constantly second-guessing, you aren’t really committing to your choice.

If you find that you can’t seem to stop second-guessing yourself, then use the old time trick.  Give yourself a date at which time you’ll assess and then get back into action.  The assessment date shouldn’t be too soon or too far out.  But if you aren’t sure, then just set a date, and, again, get into action.

Sixth… Be empowered!  It’s your life.  You’re the dog, not the tail.  Have your life instead of your life having you.  You will make mistakes and the “wrong” choice sometimes, but you will have made it.  There is power and freedom in making choices, so embrace it!

Here’s to all your great choices…