Building Community Through Better Relationships

That is The Question

Question Marks

Questions are powerful!! Effective sales people use them effectively. Cheesy pick-up artists use them poorly. They appear in casual conversation. They indicate a challenge to be resolved, or overcome. They lead to measurable results with the potential to multiply value in organizational endeavors and personal relationships. Let’s look at three questions demonstrating escalating value and power.

How Are You?
This query represents the most basic greeting and conveys pitifully little power. Automatically, most people mindlessly respond, “Fine how are you?” Upon closer inspection, neither party really heard the question. Furthermore, neither really heard the answer! “How are you?” is polite, but is otherwise useless. It is absent of sincerity. Additionally, when someone answers this harmless question sincerely, the questioner tends to get uncomfortable. Consequently, genuine and effective communicators must strike this questions from their speech habits. It adds no value at best. It demonstrates total disregard for a listener’s time and attention, at worst.

How Can I Help?
This question offers more sincerity and a hint of originality. In the event that the asker is sincere, then the potential for creating value has been introduced. Asking to help suggests the willingness, and implies the ability, to contribute. Provided that the responder genuinely has the skills, the opportunity to solve a problem can now be negotiated. The question is not a cliché. It connotes reaching out in trust. Once someone shares a problem, whether for empathy or for resolution, a foundation is established. From a foundation of trust many obstacles can be engaged and eliminated. We have moved up the power scale.

How Do We Get This Done?
This question leads straight to the power of questions. Logically, questions begat answers. Solutions are the point. Therefore, any question that directs toward achieving a specific solution conveys authority and strength. Any plan, strategy, or action that works toward getting something done is typically a worthwhile endeavor. “How do we get this done” launches the journey toward a desired result. So, anyone ready to work toward and achieve a specific goal needs to be armed with this question. Then, carefully consider the response.

Whether striving for goals involving business success, educational achievement, or social progress, pay attention to the questions that are part of reaching the solution. Weak questions have their place in polite conversation. But regarding actual achievement, intentional, strong questions drive results. So, what do you want to achieve? Identify strong, solution-based questions, then go discover the answers. Your success depends on it!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond



April 29, 2015 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Need Your Contribution!


A charismatic leader purposefully walks among a group of subordinates, then sternly declares to them all, “I need your contribution!” Leaders often ask for someone’s contribution when what they really mean is “work harder and get done what I want accomplished”. In a classroom setting, “I need your contribution” means that a student needs to add to the discussion or solution. In both cases, an authority figure wants to extract more effort for better results. But, what if the statement implied a sincere desire for the leader to get a personalized contribution for the follower’s benefit?

In a certain group setting, Meagan wanted to contribute badly. The results-focused leader seized the opportunity to allow Meagan to demonstrate her expertise. She performed the required task with excellence! Unfortunately, her contribution only marginally contributed to the group’s efforts. The leader still needed better results. He needed the entire group to contribute. As it turns out, Meagan’s contribution empowered her peers to perform more enthusiastically. They added unique skills and solutions to the group’s challenges. They innovated, they collaborated, and they shared in the group’s progress. And, eventually they all added their piece to the group’s success.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” ~Lao-Tzu. Typically, “I need your contribution” exposes an authority figure as condescending. When presented in a progressive tone, the same sentence empowers a team to bring individual talents for their communal benefit. Optimally, “I need your contribution” means that each person claims their purpose. Everyone must perform their purpose for everyone to benefit. A title does not reflect expertise. However, it does reflect responsibility. Leaders are responsible for results. The wise ones take full advantage of every resource to achieve them.

Leaders don’t need to make their teams better. Leaders need them to be better. To encourage teams to want high performance, the motivation must first come from within each team member. Groups that are empowered with skills (training) and encouraged to contribute for their own communal benefit (purpose) will be much more effective than any leader using a carrot, stick, or other incentive. Effective leaders need their Meagan’s contribution in order to generate the results that the whole group expects and deserves. Essentially, they need Meagan’s courage so that everyone else will contribute and exponentially raise the collective bar. Then, everyone benefits.

Reflect on your organizations, teams, and groups. What are you truly trying to accomplish? Does each individual member feel the need to contribute? Is the leader really willing to accept the group’s contributions? Confident leaders “need your contribution” for both their individual and all contributors’ benefit. An effective leader’s objective is delivering results, not hoarding accolades. Share the accolades, earn the results. Remember to say thank you!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal Of Hunter & Beyond
Thank You MM!

April 13, 2015 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Passing Through

Too many people go through life just passing through. They neither contribute, nor take away too much. They don’t disrupt the status quo. They exist. Then, they no longer matter.

My friend, Bill, told me how he unceasingly seeks to help others. His occupation requires him to help people manage very personal issues and he makes a good living. He offers his expertise. He shares his resources. Ultimately, Bill solves problems. He refuses to live just passing through. He positions himself so that life passes through him!

Although Bill requires a specialized skill set to perform his job, his extraordinary performance has little to do with a singularly unique talent. Basically, Bill cares about people… a lot! Like a farmer cares about his land, his crops, and his livestock, Bill cares about his profession, his contacts, his prospects and his clients. He invests time in understanding them all. He sows seeds in them to increase their understanding. He also invests time in them to make sure their needs are met in other parts of their lives. If Bill knows a resource who can help someone with any problem, he connects that someone with the solution. Consequently, he generates tons of trust and lots of favors. In essence, Bill serves as a pass through for his clients and connections to achieve a more satisfying life.

While Bill easily identifies resources to help his clients and connections achieve their goals, he clearly understands that he must satisfy his own needs. The favors that he so easily brokers require constant care and cultivation so that they meet everyone’s needs. Even in sharing his time and attention, Bill is aware that he creates value for others. He does not keep score on who he helps and who owes him favors. But, he is aware that by regularly sharing, he constantly generates opportunities returning back to him. Consequently because Bill sows so aggressively, he has no problem successfully reaping. Because favors, value and goodwill flow through him, he has earned the right to partake in the bounty. Not only does Bill reap, but his connections are eager to return the benefits that he has provided for them. As highly valued favors pass through Bill to others, more opportunities pass back to him.

Ultimately, Bill creates value because he is ready to contribute. Legendary columnist, Dear Abby once advised, “The getting is in the giving”. To appreciate fully this belief, people yearning for success must accept the challenge to find their individual gift. Furthermore, they must share it purposefully and powerfully to contribute to other’s well-being.

However, you must not humbly wait for reciprocity. Instead, be intentional to extract value from what you create. Reap what you have sown. It’s OK to receive. Just being willing to deposit first. Put your skills, relationships, and resources to work. Accept the withdrawals and the resultant interest! You earn that privilege by generously passing through more value for as many people as you can. Now, that is success!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

April 6, 2015 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , | 2 Comments