This is a simple, yet really powerful lesson I picked up several years ago from a Podcast I really enjoy: Manager Tools. It is never too late to say “Thank You”.
If someone did something that stays with you, even years later, it is not too late to send them a simple note expressing your gratitude. And the structure can be so simple:
Thank you for _______.
It really impacted me by _______.
Email is okay. A written note on a real piece of paper, with a pen, is even better. Sign it. Mail it.
A simple thank you can be very meaningful and requires a relatively small amount of effort.
We all build a history of interacting with people. We hear each other talk about our jobs, and form an understanding of what others do. Over time, we develop “recipes” for how to navigate standard conversation. You form a scenario in your mind and then envision people completing the process. What does it mean to check out groceries in the checkout lane? You have a sense of it – you’ve seen it done. Maybe you’ve even done it yourself and remember what it was like. There are throw away lines for how you handle the interaction.
We all do this – build up scenarios and then respond to them as if they are reality. I would challenge you to probing deeper and getting more from others than a reflection of your preconceived constructs. To truly understand how people accomplish interactions, ask them about it and then listen. It is this second portion which can present a challenge to many people. Leaving room in the conversation for the other person to contribute significantly. We are so ready to respond, we forget to listen.
In order to hear what the other person is saying, you have to listen. If you truly listen, it is amazing what you can hear.
Team Building: Starts with “trust”. Building mutual trust is the key for building and sustaining relationships in business and in your personal life. Trust, is a mutual concern. Each person has to be interested in what happens to the other.
From the Book: Building Team Power; How to Unleash the Collaborative Genius of Teams for Increased Engagement, Productivity and Results; by Thomas A. Kayser. He writes about the three C’s that make you trustworthy:
Character: You will do what you say you will do.
Competence: You can do what you promise to do.
Communication: You will share information openly and honestly.
Building trust among a team includes seeking and acting on inputs, keeping promises and commitments, listening to and valuing what one another says even when you are not in agreement.
Trust grows when communication is based on sincere give and take without fear of personal reprisals.
Food for Thought~
Social Media. Facebook. Twitter. Podcasts. Video Podcasts. Television Networks. Newspapers. Pintrest. In 6 months we’ll be adding the next great thing to the list.
All these things are built on the same principle: Content producers create something and then distribute it to those who are interested in consuming that content. The model has changed in recent decades, and we are consistently being told the next new mode of delivery will change everything, making content more meaningful to the consumer. Better targeting of consumers. Higher quality content delivered in new and different contexts (think Netflix on your phone).
The core is always the same – produce content people are interested in and you’ll build a following. When you run a blog, consist content is critical to the success (however you define success for a blog) of the adventure. If you craft 5-6 creative / funny / engaging blog entries in the first few weeks, and then don’t publish anything for a couple months, you’re likely to drop potential followers.
In the world of podcasting, the term podfading is the kiss of death. Unpredictable, inconsistent, irregular publication schedules drain the energy from your audience. Why would they keep coming back? For that matter, why do you go back and visit the same sites on a regular basis? Because you want to re-read the same article for the ump-teenth time? And what about the quality of the content? It also needs to be predictable and consistent – sporadic gold sprinkled among a bunch of re-posts or re-tweets is much harder to find for the potential audience.
You can spend a great many hours (days / weeks) dealing with style issues and color schemes and platform discussions. People aren’t there for those things. They are giving up their time and eyeballs in order to consume content. Do you really care what the NBC logo looks like while you’re watching 30 Rock or Parenthood? All you want is for the popup messages for Chicago Fire to go away, because it is distracting from….. That’s right, the content you’re trying to consume.
When you Google something, you know what the sponsored areas look like and you avoid them, diving directly for your content.
There is an easy rule to follow when producing content: Content Rules.
Smart phones are great. We are connected to our email, websites, social networking, and all kinds of data pretty much where ever we go, whenever we want it. They are great devices and it is hard to remember when we didn’t have them. Think about the hours (days?) some people can spend playing something like Angry Birds, or that new killer app for their phone. Watch your fellow drivers on the road and see how many have a device up to their ear. You can see smart phone use anywhere you look.
This always connected state is great for connecting to the broader world, but it comes with a price. While you’re connected you are, at some level, disengaged from your immediate surroundings. This disengagement is what makes driving while on the phone so dangerous (even if you use a hands free setup). Some of your attention is on your conversation instead of what is right in front of you. We’ve all heard this, but where is the concrete action you can take?
Reserve some time each day to disconnect from your technology. Not just putting it down, but turning it off. Dedicate some time to either yourself, or spending time with those around you. If you simply put the device down, you still hear it go off when something happens. Even if you put it in vibrate mode, you know it happens. Turn the device off and step away from it in order to give your full attention to something. This doesn’t have to be days at a time – an hour here or there. Is there really anything so critical you can’t be away for 60 minutes?
Pull out a book.
Have dinner with friends / family.
Get on the treadmill.
Walk around the neighborhood.
Do a craft project.
There is plenty of time to respond to a mail, or get 3 stars on level 13-2. Give your full attention to an activity everyday. Turn off that shiny new phone, at least for a bit.