Showing posts from March, 2017

How to win when your ideas or goals are being debated

If you're not reading this in Canada (and maybe if you are) you might be surprised to know that our national broadcaster produces a reality tv show based on having 5 celebrities champion 5 books until one is declared "the book Canada needs now). The show is watched by people who read books and by people who would like to read books (if only they had time or liked reading). The format is basically debate followed by a vote to eliminate one book each day.

In many ways, this strikes me as a typical meeting format for deciding how to spend limited resources. People make arguments until someone loses and their budget or their product or their idea gets cut. It's so typical that we rarely wonder if there is another way to arrive at a solution.

If you're engaged in a debate to the death of your idea or your position or your budget, consider these lessons from Canada Reads:

You only have to push a couple of buttons to have people abandon their principles in favour of the win.…

The meaning of an action is the feedback it receives

A pony named Callie and a small horse named Tonto follow each other around small, endless circles. Have you ever had a job like that?
I don't know how the animals feel about it. But I know what they were accomplishing. I put a 5 year old girl on Callie and I knew she was being brave. She really wanted to ride the pony, but ponies are quite large animals when you are 5 years old. Riding the pony wasn't just a treat: it was an accomplishment.
There are days my work can feel like walking in small, endless circles. I keep doing it in the hope that some people will be able to practice being brave and feeling connect to something just big enough and different enough to scare them a little.
In NLP, we say that the meaning of a communication is the feedback it generates. Remember to look for the results before you decide that going in circles means you're not making progress.

What difference does it make when you get in sync?


Self-knowledge: How far have you come in 5 years?

What would you say if you met your past self for a coffee? Of course it would depend on which past self you chose to meet. Perhaps you would chat like old friends and perhaps the conversation would be a little guarded, a little judgemental. How do you feel about the connection you have to the person you were five years ago?

This is me five years ago, reading one of the very first copies of the first printing of my first book. I was really excited. I thought that finally finishing a book would change everything. But it didn't seem to make much difference. The business didn't grow. A few people loved what I had written, but for the most part, life chugged along with the same ups and downs.
Like any dream that doesn't quite live up to our hopes, this one stung a little. I kept meaning to go back and rewrite the book for publication and I kept putting it off. Reading it was hard and I had a lot to do that felt more forward-thinking and more productive. So I kept doing that in…