Author Archive for: ‘Leslie Phillips, President & COO’

Start Small & Repeat

I love our mantra, Make a Difference Every Day. I love wearing my MG tee shirt that reminds me to set this daily intention and helps me share the message with everyone around me. And yet, sometimes, I fall into the trap of measuring the difference on the wrong scale. While some days it’s huge — something you plan for, commit to, and do (like organizing a full day of service in your community; helping build a Habitat house, etc.); the rest of the days, it’s not.
 
“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily difference we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
— Marion Wright Edelman
 
And that’s what makes this mindset…and our actions that support it, every day…so magical.

Making the Most of a Bad Situation

Life will always have contrast to it. Day, night. Joy, grief. Beginner, expert. Hot, cold.
Some days we feel like we’re “in the groove” – everything is falling into place and going well. And some days — well — just the opposite.
 
When someone comes to you and says, “this isn’t working, things are bad,” what do you do?
 
From Don’t say ‘it’s not that bad’ to someone who thinks it’s bad:
Say, “you know, you’re right.” And then ask,

  • What’s bad about it? Or, what makes you say that?
  • What decisions/behaviors are making it bad?
  • If it was good, what would it look like?
  •  
    Treat people who think things are bad like intelligent competent team members (because hopefully they are!)

  • Don’t contradict their assessments.
  • Ask for suggestions.
  • Expect them to make things better (share responsibility if it’s warranted).
  • Use “you” and “we” in the steps forward.
  • The Platinum Rule

    “Treat others as you would have them treat you.” That’s a modern adaptation of the Golden Rule and one that we’ve probably heard a number of times throughout our life. It’s an ok model. Certainly better than treating others worse than you would have them treat you. But, this article suggests the Golden Rule doesn’t work as well as we may think.
     
    Why is that ineffective? Because it’s based on just this teeny, tiny assumption that the whole universe wants to be treated the way I want to be treated. That’s not the case. We’ve got to learn how to treat others as they want to be treated, which is the Platinum Rule.
    We all see the world through our own filters. These filters are unique to us and while we know they must exist, most of us are unaware of them as we move through our day to day interactions.
     
    “Filter – shift” is a concept where we learn to recognize our individual filters and shift our behaviors or responses to them (in other words, our bias) so we can be more effective and have better relationships with one another.

    What’s headed for your trash?

    You can be less wasteful. Guaranteed. Wasteful of what, you might ask. Lots of things. But, let’s start with food.
     

    You’ve heard this before: 40% of edible food ends up in the trash. Globally, about 1.3 billion…TONS. So much…it’s hard to even imagine, but let’s try. An average elephant weighs 4 tons. That’s 325 million elephants worth of good food in the trash. Still hard to imagine. The average skyscraper weighs 222 tons. That’s 5,842 skyscrapers. Did that help, or are you still mind-boggled? It’s tempting when we see or hear something that is unsettling to just walk away from it…to try to put it out of our mind because we feel bad about it.
     

    Salt & Straw is a small ice cream shop in Portland, Oregon, and they are whipping up some new flavors using food bound for the trashcan. Get inspired to be less wasteful, to find a way to use ALL of your edible food and to have nearly nothing end up in the trash.

    Superpower

    Guess what leadership “interaction skill” has the most impact on a team member’s job performance…clarifies details?  Encourages involvement? Supports? Develops others’ ideas? No, no, no. And no.
     
    Listens and responds with empathy.

    Yep. That’s it. And it’s a bona fide superpower.
    [It] is not just about being able to see things from another perspective. It’s the cornerstone of teamwork, good innovative design, and smart leadership. It’s about helping others feel heard and understood.
     
    Even Albert Einstein agrees, “empathy is patiently seeing the world through the other person’s eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.”