Friday, April 27, 2012

Left Handed Loser?

My wife and I play racquetball. It’s not much of a contest if I play with my dominant, preferred right hand. So, I’ll play left handed! Then it becomes a contest! I think it strengthens our relationship. We both gain benefits of playing together including health, playfulness and balance. I don’t dominate the game. It’s a win-win for both of us.
I’ve come to realize there are several other benefits for me to playing left handed.
It gets me out of my comfort zone into my learning zone. I get a new perspective. I see the unfolding shots in new way and play differently. Natural moves I took for granted are challenging. When I make a mistake using my left hand, I tend to be more thoughtful in how I might do things differently next time. I fail forward.
By playing left handed, I have to focus and pay more attention. This keeps me in the game. I also have to be more aware of my swing as I tend to be more awkward and take wider swings. 

This style of play reminds me not to take myself so seriously. While winning maybe satisfying, learning and being in relationship has even greater satisfaction. 
Playing with my left hand reminds me that my resources are deeper and broader. Phantom rules get broken as in, “I must play with my right hand!” Or “I can’t play racquetball left handed!” Or “That’s not the right way of playing racquetball.” Or “Racquetball can only played one way.” Or "It's all about winning." It opens the door to possibility thinking including  looking at what else in my life I have a set a pattern and if I were to break it, new opportunities would emerge!
There are health benefits. I know I use more of my brain and give it more of a workout. My left arm is getting more movement thus getting stronger.
Finally, it brings balance into my life. I gets me to live into the ying and yang. It reminds me there is a time for everything and to make time to deepen relationships with others as well as myself.
What is your dominant hand, your preferred way of doing things? What would happen if you tried a new approach, see from a different perspective?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Ten Commandments of Being a Team Member

    1. Thou shall be trusted. This means:
    • You have integrity. You live with integrity. You promote integrity. 
    • You do not make promises you cannot keep. 
    • You keep confidences.
    • You choose to do the right thing over the easy thing.
    • You know what is listed on your resume is the truth and can be verified.

    2. Thou shall know thy strengths and lead accordingly. This means:
    • You also know your weaknesses and are not afraid to admit them.
    • You allow others to lead with their gifts, talents and passions.
    • You empower others.
    • You walk-your-talk and are a role model.
    • You build relationships and network.
    3. Thou shall have a personal vision and thou shall support, believe and promote the team’s vision. This means:    
    • You examine your life, because the unexamined life is not worth living! 
    • You know your core principles. You use your core principles as a foundation to discover your purpose and mission.
    • You know the team’s mission and are inspired by the team’s mission because it is in sync with your personal mission. 
    • You live your mission and the team’s mission.

    4. Thou knows thy customer is actually a guest. This means:
    • You know the guest is ANYONE who relies on your work—including team members as well as those seeking your goods and services.
    • You treat the guest the way you’d treat your mother!
    • You know the way you treat team members has tremendous impact on how you treat others who desire your goods and services.
    • You know that the guest desires to have a great experience and you can choose to give them a great experience!
    • You know that you must strive to bring your best to the team everyday.
    5. Thou shall seek to understand. This means:
    • You are curious. You ask questions, especially, “Tell me more!”
    • You listen more than you talk.
    • You suspend judgment.
    • You avoid assumptions.
    • You deal with change constructively and effectively. You understand that change is an opportunity rather than a problem.
    6. Thou encourages others. This means:
    • You get to know others on the team including how they like to receive praise, where they like to receive praise and when they like to receive praise.
    • You catch people doing the right things and acknowledge their actions.
    • You give away credit.
    • You practice compassion continuously, especially with those who have a lower title and less power than you.
    • You give people your time including your full, undivided attention and don’t one-up them when they tell their story.
    • You are more interested in others than being interesting to others.
    7. Thou shall not triangulate. This means:
    • You meet face-to-face with the person you have a problem or conflict. You do not use email to deal with emotional issues. You don’t go to another team member and spread your problem.
    • You draw upon a neutral third party who can help each side see the other’s point of view.
    • You acknowledge the fear creeping into the relationship and work to find common ground to have a conversation and avoid bad behavior.
    • You avoid being a victim. You recognize the world is not out to get you! 
    • You do not complain or whine especially when things do not go your way. This is wasted energy. You are not an ouch looking for a hurt!
    8. Thou shall not become a workaholic. This means:
    • You have a life and encourage others to have a life.
    • You inspire balance for others.
    9. Thou shall not come to work sick. This means:
    • You cannot be good for the team unless you are good for yourself.
    • You do not spread your illness to others.
    • You prevent becoming sick by sharpening your saw daily including eating well, getting exercise and getting enough sleep.

    10. Thou shall not take thyself so seriously. This means:
    • You do not let shame rule your life. You will make mistakes. It’s a part of being human.
    • You learn from mistakes and failures. They are valuable lessons.
    • You know not to take things personally. It’s not all about you!
    • You learn to laugh at yourself...out loud...loudly...often!