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Intellectual Health Food

by Randall Craig on August 19, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Learning, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: , , ,

Where did you pick up your current attitude to learning? The quick answer is your friends, family, school, and work colleagues. Looking more widely, you probably were influenced by TV, movies, your favorite author, and the culture in general.

Too often, it is mindless TV shows, complaining friends and family, and your day-to-day work responsibilities. What type of intellectual nutrition are you currently eating? You can’t change what you are, but you can change what you become. Here are some “health food” ideas for your mind:

  • Read a challenging non-fiction book. It can be history, science, philosophy, or a business best-seller. Even better, join a book club where the books are discussed with others.
  • Attend a lecture (or lecture series): This can be on any particular topic, so long as it challenges you to think.
  • Widen your perspective: Visit the local museum or art gallery, and book a guided tour.
  • Travel to another country on vacation, instead of the usual spots
  • Learn another language.
  • Sign up for a personal interest course or a professional certification.

While these types of activities can have a profound impact on you as an individual, they will also impact your work performance – and your personal relationships.

This week’s action item: We always consider “Junk food” as undesirable, yet we often feed our mind with nothing better. This week, swap the bad for the good. Add one (good) thing to your list of to-do’s, and choose one (bad) thing to drop.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

Alternative options

by Randall Craig on August 12, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Miscellaneous

Tagged as: , , ,

At any point in your life, have you ever found yourself backed into a corner, uncertain how you were going to proceed? It may have been a tough client, a project gone awry, a personal relationship gone sour, or maybe a financial crisis. When this happens, there are a number of common responses, some helpful, and others which are not.

Good responses:

  • Take personal responsibility, and be accountable for the situation. Admit that you’re wrong, and take your lumps as early as possible.
  • Let those impacted know as early as possible. (Especially your manager or clients.)
  • Reach out to colleagues, friends, and family for support.

Bad responses:

  • Compromise values: If you compromise your values, then you’ve “re-set” people’s expectations of what you would be willing to do in the future. Changing your values to get out of a tough spot might seem like an easy fix, but a reputation for dubious ethics will stick with you forever.
  • Be too easy to please. When this happens, you appear desperate. Others will be tempted to take advantage of the situation.

Of course, the best protection against tough situations is to avoid them altogether. Yet if we avoid all challenges, we will never grow. It is these experiences that strengthen us for even greater challenges, increase our value in the job market, and increase our personal equity with friends and family.

This week’s action item: Each day we are faced with situations that require our input. This week, before reacting to a tough situation, consider your options: what is the impact of each alternative? How might each impact your reputation over the longer term? Choosing an option from a list of alternatives will always produce better results than a decision made in haste.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com