UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Outwork The Next Guy

running uphill

Two hikers walking in the woods come across a large bear playing with her cubs. Mama bear roars at the hikers! While both hikers try to remain calm, one hiker reaches into his bag and slowly pulls out his sneakers. Mama bear roars again while deciding whether to maul the intruders or just scare the people. The second hiker whispers, “You will never outrun that bear.” As the first hiker finishes tying his second shoe he quietly responds, “I don’t have to outrun the bear; I only need to outrun you!” The first hiker clearly understood what many competitors miss. He does not have to defeat all competitors, he just needs to outwork the next guy.

Be Prepared
“Fortune favors the prepared mind”, according to Louis Pasteur. Preparation comes before success alphabetically and procedurally. Who really packs tennis shoes to go hiking? Preparation is not a singular event. It is a habit; a mindset! Obsessive preparation halts progress. Everything is planned and nothing happens. But, purposefully planning to win works.

Effective preparation begins with the end in mind. Defining goals is a great start. Defining success is another essential element. If the plan is weight loss, then identify a target amount. If the goal is to earn a million dollars annually, then personal results dictate earning $500 per hour for a plan to work 40 hours per week and enjoy two weeks vacation. Setting goals, creating a plan, and executing that plan is essential to success. Unfortunately, performance does not occur in a vacuum. Achieving lofty goals demands outworking others.

Get Started
“A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.”, according to Lao Tzu. So, what’s the first step? In academic settings, students receive a syllabus which outlines class expectations and guidance for how grades are calculated. Reading the syllabus is a great way to get started toward earning an A. Competitive athletes start preparing for the next season after a brief period of rest and healing, by targeting specific skills to improve. At that performance level, the competition is particularly fierce, leaving little room for backsliding.

But, preparation is just the start. Next, repetition becomes the focus. Identifying areas of improvement is useless without dedicated skill development working toward progress. High performance results from preparing, starting, and executing. Each step closes the gap toward the goal. Measure progress. Keep score. Tenaciously work toward specific metrics to stay ahead of the competition. And, if progress is unsatisfactory, then reevaluate preparation and the plan. Confirm that the stated target is the desired outcome. Changing routines for better results is allowed.

Back to the hikers, packing sneakers in the bag was a great idea. However, if the hiker was grossly out of shape, escaping the bear is futile. Good preparation without dedication toward improvement leads to being mauled by a bear. Prepare, start, execute! Regarding results, consistency applies equally to collegiate athletes and second grade students; the same for social workers and CEOs. Most importantly, collaborating with the other guy that you outrun, elevates both of your performance. Iron sharpens iron. And, if you are both prepared, then get started, and execute with excellence, you both may outrun the bear!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Run To The Battle

David_and_Goliath

“He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” This is undoubtedly the most idiotic advice ever offered!! Never, is the point to reward cowards. To the contrary, in combat or conflict, preparation and bravery are typically rewarded. In the epic battle of David and Goliath confidence and belief won the fight. Whether the battle is physical, emotional, or spiritual, strength begins within each individual fighter before engagement starts. What happens before the battle is equally important to the results, as what happens in it. So, what happens when someone runs away?

Feel the Fear
Upon entering a conflict, fear, apprehension, and anxiety are normal emotions. Once the clash starts, managing those emotions are very important for success. When the choice is fight or flight, flight does not end the skirmish. Once you begin running, there is a good chance you will never stop. Very little keeps the aggressor from chasing.

The alternative is to acknowledge the fear, embrace the fear, feel the fear. Labelling FEAR as False Expectation Appearing Real is comforting. In the heat of battle when the aggressor is displaying superior firepower, “True” takes over “False” in the acronym! Nevertheless, proper preparation and training before engaging in the battle offers certain advantages, particularly mental advantages. Feel the fear is accepting the reality. Preparing ahead to be aggressive and to plan contingencies creates a competitive edge. “Fortune favors the prepared mind!” is legitimate advice during conflicts!

Do It Anyway
Regardless of the fear, the time for battle arrives. Another comforting thought is that the other party may be fearful, as well. Nevertheless, a better tactic is to assume the role of aggressor. In boxing, this approach is known as “a puncher’s chance”. In academia, the term is “lucky guess”. In all cases taking action at the point of conflict provides an opportunity for victory. If nothing else, try!

Most importantly, prepare for the possibility of competition. Have a plan just in case. The element of surprise is a powerful ally. Take a chance. Above all, take action! When the threat becomes imminent, attack.” Do it anyway”, naturally follows “feel the fear”. Prior preparation facilitates the courage necessary for winning. Preparation also strengthens the element of surprise. Doing it anyway quickly seizes the advantage and takes the fight to the opponent!

Running to the battle means the threat is in front. It demonstrates assumed confidence. It leads others to feed off that confidence. It does not guarantee victory. Chances are the other guy can fight, too. But, when running to the battle, a sudden, surprising show of courage can be disorienting. Opportunity emerges to dictate terms of the conflict. As Edgar Albert Guest’s poem, “See It Through” says, “When you’re up against a trouble, Meet it squarely face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your feet and take a brace.” Seize the moment. Take the fight to the competition. More than clichés, these tactics are engrained in winners. Claim the victory before the battle starts. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcommunicate

Dysfunction Overcommunicate workplace-bullying-1

How many relationships turn for the worse because someone else does not communicate enough? Organizationally, romantically, relationship dynamics work the same. A listener checks out, then the speaker overcompensates. The opposite of overcommunicate is not under-communicate. Overcommunication’s opposite is disinterest! Considering that Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s legendary research states that up to 93% of emotional communication is non-verbal, overcommunicating requires two parties to be over-exposed to language, tone, and visual cues in a conversation. Consequently, in the time for a listener to roll their eyes, communication has smashed into a roadblock. One gas-face, or daydream, during a discussion and communication suffers. Overcommunication? How about at the beginning paying attention explicitly and implicitly to what is said?

Lack of Respect
Across groups and organizations too often co-workers suffer from self-absorption. Typical they feel that they are under-challenged and definitely under-paid. They do not respect their role, or their superiors in too many instances. According to comedian George Carlin, “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.” Purpose is an afterthought.

Overcommunication typically occurs after the lack of communication has created an impasse. Lack of respect precedes the lack of communication. Regardless of the relationship’s structure, people pay attention to people whom they respect. No respect leads to minimal communication. Lips move. The other party nods during pauses. The verbal affirmation, meaningful response, or insightful questions that are signs that communication transpired is missing. Consequently, understanding is absent. Communication does not occur and respect is doomed!

Lack of Care
Unwillingness to care creates a similar dysfunction. Communication fails, then overcommunication seeks to fill the gap. The classic story of the aloof teenager being scolded in high school illustrates this point. The teacher accurately, but poorly worded, berates the disengaged teenager for not paying attention. “Child, what is wrong with you? Are you ignorant, or apathetic?” Then, the teenager makes eye contact with the teacher long enough to respond: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Not caring has deeper ramifications than lack of respect. Without respect, acknowledgment can still occur. Not caring creates an emotional vacuum. Overcoming the emotional void that leads to overcommunication is nearly impossible. Overcommunication results from an overcompensating mechanism from a prior lack of communication. Without caring, an individual will not even fake a relationship. Consequently, communication fails to launch. Overcompensation to enforce the point results. Overcommunication starts. It does not matter.

When poor communication fundamentals invade any relationship’s or organization’s culture, accountability falters and performance erodes. The following office sign summarizes this phenomenon: “Helen Waite takes care of such problems. If you have a problem go to Hell-En Wait!” But, to save this environment, communication has to be prioritized at every level of interaction. Fundamentals, like listening, seeking clarification, and acknowledging common understanding, have to be practiced repeatedly and routinely. Communication starts with respect and accelerates with caring. So, when does overcommunicating intercede? It does not! Overcommunication is a compensating behavior. Get it right the first time. Listen and seek understanding! Then cooperate. That is how functional people operate.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments