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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Seven Steps To Handling Any Situation Effectively

Dave Pollard writes about conditioning the Left and Right brained behaviour:

Work Management Attribute Left-Brainers(LB) Right-Brainers(RB)
Favoured Communication Medium - Presentation(LB) Hand-Outs(RB)
Measure of Personal Success Authority(LB) Freedom (RB)
Preferred Worktool Type Machine-Assisted (Toys, Gadgets) Manual (Sensory)(RB)
Learning Style Study, Analyze(LB) Observe
Work Tasks Communication Style Tell, Impose, Assign(LB) Ask, Request, Collaborate (RB)
Work Assistance Style Direct, Instruct, Top-Down(LB) Offer, Suggest, Peer Assist(RB)
Leadership Style Command & Control(LB) Enable, Empower, Trust(RB)
Method of Evaluating Skills Tested Demonstrated(LB)
When Tasks are Done As Scheduled(LB) As Needed(RB)
How Plans are Documented Formal Plan(LB) Messages (Improvisation)(RB)

( Via Cindy) Catchphrase for right-brainers (which we both are) to use in managing: Observe, Ask, Offer. Here's how she put it:
Observe: Allow peers to observe peers. Everyone likes to help and be helped. It takes far less time than creating manuals and documents no one will read or use.

Ask: What truly annoys you on a daily basis? What would help or hinder your production? What makes you happy? If x tool were available would you be inclined to use it? Why or why not? How could this work better? Sometimes you need to go through an iterative, intuitive process to get intelligent answers when you ask: People often don't know what the answer is, they only know the problem.

Offer: Offer solutions that work for you but don't assume they will work for everyone and thereby mandate their use. Make tools, programs and activities that suit different work and learning styles and make them optional.

Dave wriites upon usage for the last few days and it's got him through some challenging business meetings, a personal family crisis, and a couple of stressful situations, with flying colours:

Sense, Self-control, Understand, Question, Imagine, Offer, Collaborate

(or, in French, where the words are more nuanced yet less ambiguous: Sentir, Se Commander, Comprendre, Poser, Imaginer, Offrir, Collaborer).
Observe, listen, pay attention, focus, open up your senses, perceive everything that has a bearing on the issue at hand. Connect.
Self-control: Don't prejudge or jump to conclusions. Don't lose your cool. Focus.
Understand: Make sure you have the facts and appreciate the context. Things are the way they are for a reason. Know what that reason is. Sympathize.
Question: Ask, don't tell. Challenge. Think critically.
Imagine: Picture, hear, feel what could be. Be visionary. Every problem is an opportunity. Anything is possible.
Offer: Consider. Give something away. Create options, new avenues to explore. Suggest possibilities. Lend a hand. Help.
Collaborate: Create something together. Solve a problem with a collective answer better than any set of individual answers. Learn to yield, to build on, to bridge, to adapt your thinking.
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