As Barbara would say, it’s all about the “context.”
I have learned that if someone asks me “How’s your job going?”, they don’t necessarily need to hear the gory details, the highs, the lows, the frustrations and delights, if they happen to be my financial adviser who just wants to know how long I plan to stay in this position at this salary!
Sorry, Chris! Next time, I’ll save the deets for my peeps!
I learned a new phrase! Thanks, Alexis, for thinking of me. I guess.
Geoff learned and taught me: “Never invest in a business that you would not enjoy running yourself. You just might have to do that.”
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Click here to read the entire commencement speech at Stanford in 2005, and to see the video.
I learned many many lessons over a few short weeks.
One of them is that I don’t have to assume the level of panic of another person.
But then Andy taught me that if you don’t acknowledge the panic of the other person, it can just increase their panic, and their need to get you to see the gravity of the situation.
I have learned, much more than once, that if you have bad news for work customers, make a phone call! If you don’t reach you person, just keep playing phone tag until you connect.
An email just has way too much potential to be misinterpreted, forwarded, both.
You might think it’s the other way around (I did!), but with a call you get to hear the questions and concerns, and address them on the spot.
I am also learning not to kick myself (for very long) when I get it wrong and have to learn something again (and again).
I have learned that there are industries, or cities, or a combination of the two, in which people routinely get their BIRTHDAY OFF WITH PAY!
Who knew this?
I once had a CIO who had a five core principles of business and one of them was “Fail Early”. I learn this lesson over and over.
The entire Agile software development process is based on this. I’ve often seen the success of showing early results “Is this what you meant?” to get a Yes, or way more importantly, a No. So easy to change course early, if you just get that feedback! So much harder if not.
Nowhere, perhaps, is this more applicable than to driving when lost! Why not find out if I am or I am not where I think I am, way before I go even farther in the wrong direction?
In my car, I have two separate devices to tell me how lost I am, and to get me found. Sure, they don’t always work in the wilds of the places I drive, but they definitely don’t work when I don’t ask them!
It’s nice to putter around back roads when that’s the intention. But I’ve learned (or I’m fixin’ to learn) that when I am really trying to get somewhere, it’s important to know if I’m driving in the right direction. Or not.
Michelle learned this at a Project Management Meeting:
How to deal with someone who disrupts your meeting by ranting and raving and screaming: Do nothing. Meet the outburst with silence. And then change the subject entirely (“How about those Sox?”) and move on.
I can picture this, but I need you all to try it and let me know how it works!
I just learned a valuable lesson from a distant colleague: In the face of unrelenting criticism for a specific deed (or lack thereof), just confess and get on with things.
We were on our way to spending approximately forever, with 50+ people on the call, on the reasons why something wasn’t done. Then E (let’s call her E) said “Hey – that’s on my list and I haven’t done it yet. My bad. I’ll get to it as soon as I can” and the discussion was OVER. The reasons really didn’t matter. And on to other things.