Archive | July, 2008

Time for An Uncomfortable Conversation

23 Jul

Perhaps you can identify with Danica Patrick in the video above.  This overplayed segment is part funny, part serious, and part encouragement for you.  You could learn something here.  During practice at last Sunday’s race in Ohio, Danica Patrick, arguably the league’s most popular driver, was cutoff numerous times trying to pass Milka Duno, a little known driver. 

A closer look at the video in its entirety(the attached is just the dialogue with bleeps) actually shows Danica throwing up her hands in frustration during the practice session.  Just two women co-workers at work – one frustrated with the other, one confronting the other, one getting a towel in the face – twice.

Question her timing, sure – Danica probably should have waited to confront her, question her but what I love is she did it.  Complete with F-bombs, a "what the hell?", said towel in the face, other co-workers looking on – the bigger picture is beautiful.

I have challenged many of you to do this and while I think Danica’s act is growing tired – this is the third such incident – the point is Danica is happy to go Danica when she sees something she doesn’t like.

Some things to consider when confronting your co-worker, boss, subordinate – (the who, what, when, where, why and how are good here and some closed-end questions below)

Does it really matter?  What is the company policy?  I mean – seriously.  Is this for the greater good or are you just annoyed today?  Is this just about you or the company as a whole?

Would you be better served to just get out of your environment?  Because things really are not going to change.

Is this affecting your health?  family and personal life?   Are they saying things about your demeanor? 

Do you think you have a good shot at influencing change?  Can you build a case or is this just petty crap?

Who should you go to first?  If you don’t feel you have all credibility you need with this situation maybe you need others on board with you.  Are they willing to help?  Do they have your back here?

What should you say and how?

Do you really have the facts straight?  Judgments without facts are gray area and folks that matter may not share your interpretation.

I think perhaps the biggest key to these uncomfortable conversations is your perception of it – if you go looking for a fight – you can probably get one.  If you go in calm and cool, facts straight – you will be fine.  In other words, I think people can be corrected with respect.  You are responsible for their interpretation.

I know you people have issues and I am glad I can be your sounding board, I really am, but if you don’t want to leave your employer maybe it is time you go Danica – or something like that. 


One of the best July 4ths on record

7 Jul

Is there any better American holiday than the 4th of July?  It really is the Thanksgiving of the summer.  The whole fam headed up to Warsaw, Indiana and Winona Lake.  My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a place there and between our family and my wife’s two sister’s families we had just a great time.

Hard not to have fun on a lake, with a nice speed boat, a deluxe pontoon, jet skis, a family corn hole tournament, beverages of choice, family banter, sunscreen, watching your nephews get bounced around on a tube hydroplaning behind the boat at about 55 mph, nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles to handoff, for a brief time(s), your 18 month old terrorist (however cute) to, and more beverages of choice with a lime.

Along with all the fun, were a few real moments of pure relaxation and actual inspiration.  Somehow my brothers-in-law, a family friend and I managed to sneak out to the pontoon just prior to the start of the fireworks over the lake.  Seriously, I have not been on a ton of pontoon boats in my time but in my estimation this thing is basically like a yachtoon – deluxe leather seats, concert speakers, very very nice.

The boat is docked but obviously on the water and I get a great view of the fireworks as I lay back on these seats and listen to patriotic tunes being broadcast from the local radio station.  My only concern is who is going to interrupt this and how long will I get away with this?

The fireworks start – the boom, the flash, the music, the comfort and I just was able to clearly reflect how – I really do not relax enough.  I do not relax enough – this is so nice.  We don’t take the time and we need it. 

My next thought was – this is America right here.  This is the best.  It’s not bad news, cynicism, crime, alleged recession, Obama, McCain, any of that – it is family, fun, and freedom – marked with fireworks.

Look, we have moments of relaxation and we can experience episodes of inspiration but somehow it all ends up worklike to an extent – and that is all good but I want you to try and stop for a minute and look for inspiration through relaxation.  Take the simple times and just reflect, decompress, and soak in the pure joy.  Take something simple serious – for only yourself.  Soon.

I hope you had a great 4th but if you didn’t – go freakin’ relax with intentionality, listen to the Best of Bill Withers, (July 4th is his birthday), have a beverage of your choice, count all your blessings, and feel life.

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