Business

Why Empathy Matters

Why does it even matter for us to empathize with others?
This past year I had hip surgery. I knew the recovery would take time and be difficult in some aspects, but until I was going through it, I didn’t realize how hard it would be.  For two weeks I couldn’t drive and I never imagined how giving up that freedom could be so life altering.  I hated having to rely on others for every move I wanted to make.  There is so much freedom that comes with a car, and I now fully understand that.
Not only could I not drive for a couple weeks, but I also have a semi constant numbness and pain that I feel in the area around my surgery, and when I do certain movements there is a flash of searing pain.  Now I have not taken pain meds since after the third day of surgery, but going through this experience has helped me understand how people could take those meds longer than they should.  It would be so easy for someone to have this little bit of pain and want it solved through pills.
Since this experience, I can better empathize with others around me.  What I have come to realize is that most of the time we only no a small part of someone’s story.  Before we decide to judge or make a decision about someone, we really need to hear what is going on in their lives.  Showing empathy will further endear you to those you are in a contact with and is a great way to build a foundation that could eventually lead to a great connection.  If you want to build a strong relationship and show someone you really care, it starts with a massive dose of empathy and realizing that we are all in this together.  If you truly want to succeed in business, this is one of those foundational things you need to work on.
Business

How What You Eat Affects Your Business

I think it’s pretty obvious that if you are in an office environment and you eat a helthy diet full of fiber, all that gas may not be the best thing for you.  That my friends is not what we’re talking about, well not entirely.
My question to you is what foods are you eating that are a vice and  are bad for your health in the long run?
For me, it’s sweets.  There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for a delicious sweet. Doesn’t matter if it’s a baked good or my daughters chocolate bunny from Easter.  Side note, the bunny is from  three months ago and she still has not taken a bite, so cool your jets.
Sweets don’t seem like the worst thing, but when you can shovel in hundreds of grams of sugar in an instant… some may say you have an issue.  It’s only in the aftermath that I realize how bad of a decision  it was to add a pound of caramel sauce to my ice cream and have a couple handfuls of chocolates on the side.
When I eat all those sweets, I end up feeling sick and lethargic.  The next day I feel like I have to do twice as much activity or give up sweets for a year to balance off what I just consumed.
When we overconsume whatever our vice is, it affects our general health and I believe we catch more colds and have lest restful sleep.
One phrase that I try and live by that helps me more times than not is “just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.” Just because I can consume enough sweets to make Willy Wanka blush, doesn’t mean I should.  When I live and eat in moderation, I feel better. When I am feeling at my best, I am at my most creative.  When I am rested and feeling fit, I have a better disposition and things seem to go more smoothly.
What we eat affects our health, and our health affects our business in more ways than we could realize.  What more could you have done if you were well rested and had the full capacity of your mind to crush that project?  How many more sales could you have closed if you were at the office instead of taking a sick day because of the sniffles.  If instead of feeling like a “fatty fatty two by four who can’t fit through the kitchen door,” you felt fit and healthy and like you could conquer the world, what more could you have done?
Remember, what you eat and put in your body affects everything.  What vice of yours, that is taking away from your general health and your ability to be the best you at work, do you need to be more mindful of?
Community

Don’t Forget To Celebrate

 

Ceeeeeeeeeeeelebrate good times, COME ON!

If we want our businesses, teams and even our families to have a culture that doesn’t suck, we need to celebrate a little more often.  If we start to celebrate both the big and small victories more often, it starts to build unity and to create stronger bonds with those we work and do life with.

The other day my wife went to my sons parent teacher conference and she was blown away by what the teacher said. (Get ready for some proud parent bragging.)  Our son received glowing remarks in almost all his categories, was called advanced, and the teacher admitted that at times she runs out of activities to do because he whizzes right through them.  Plus, one of the teachers said, “He has my heart.”  I freakin love my son.

This parent teacher conference was on Wednesday, and so on Thursday when I picked him up from school, we went to a local artisan donut shop that is on our way home and picked out some donuts to celebrate. Now I am glad that we got some donuts to celebrate, but many times before and since we have devoured those delicious pastries from heaven we have made sure to tell our son how proud of him that we are and how awesome he is doing at school.  BUT, I have also been abundantly clear with him that as proud as Daddy is with him over this report, I am most proud of him because he is my son.  I want him to know without a shadow of a doubt that I love him and am proud regardless of his accomplishments.

If we want our businesses, teams, and families to have a culture that doesn’t suck, we need to celebrate the junk out of things.  Whether it is a big or small victory, we need to take the time to mention it to the person or persons who accomplished that task.  Forget the fact of whether you are in charge or not, take a moment out of your day, walk up to the person or persons, and say something.  Better yet, celebrate the junk out of that accomplishment because Lord knows we need more of that in our lives.

Who do you know that has done something big or small that you celebrate the junk out of something with?  Got that person in mind… now go ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeelebrate good times, COME ON!

Culture

The Year of ASK Part 3

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the third thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.  If you missed the first post… just click here, and if you missed the second post… click here.

We are finally at the K in the year of ASK.  The K is by far the hardest yet most rewarding step in this whole process.  The K stands for Keep moving forward.  Keep pressing into those relationships we have been building by asking questions and commenting on what we are seeing.  When we ask those questions and focus on the relationship over the opportunity, it starts to shift and shape the culture.  When we comment on things we are seeing others do, those actions, if positive, get repeated or, if negative, stop happening.  

The K is difficult because we want to see instant results, but real culture shifting ideas and actions don’t always happen overnight.  Culture shifting ideas and actions take time.  We need to constantly be pressing into those relationships we are building because we don’t know what is going on in the other persons life.  We don’t know what story they are living and what is happening behind the curtain.

No matter a persons title, position, or circumstance, they have a story that needs to be heard, and the only way to do that is by living out the year or ASK.

Culture

The Year Of Ask Part 1

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the first of three things that we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.

The first thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture is ask questions.  I know this doesn’t seem life altering, but I promise you, the impact of this is a game changer.  When we are intentional about asking those around us pointed questions about life or work, it puts a focus on the relationship.  When people start to understand that you are actually interested in them and in a relationship, a positive shift in the culture starts to take place. 

When asking others questions, you need to implement something that Chick-fil-A, a popular quick service restaurant, does with all of their customer interactions.  When interacting with customers, they use the Core Four.  The Core four are: Eye Contact, Smiling, Speaking Enthusiastically, and Staying Connected.  When you implement the Core Four when asking questions, it actively shows the other person that they are valued.

When those that we work with feel valued, it starts a slow but noticeable shift towards trust.  That trust breeds teamwork, and that teamwork leads to increased productivity and so much more.  I know this little tip seems stupidly simple, but when you focus on the relationship and are intentional with asking your coworkers questions about life or work, the culture starts to shift.