Adonis Diaries

Power of “First time I did this… First time I experienced that”. And Stop whinning…

Posted on: June 23, 2013

Power of “First time I did this… First time I experienced that”

Perseverance is the learning process of trying again a “first time experience”, until the experience is satisfactory.

You can never know how it might turn out: Do not waste a satisfying first time experience.

You can change someone by helping him do something they haven’t done before, and monitor that his first  experience was a success story.

You remember the people who helped you do things you’d never done. First times transform us. Talking is good; doing is better.

Dan Rockwell posted:

Incremental or radical:

Skill development is incremental, one practice built on another. And  there’s nothing like the first time you led a meeting, ran a project, fired an employee, or gave a presentation. It radically changed you.

Successful leaders enable firsts in others.

Examples of Powerful firsts:

  1. Propel your assistants on their journey. Connect this “new thing” to their big picture.
  2. Include pushing. Let them know you believe in them while you’re pushing them out of the nest. Kick, don’t coddle. Admittedly, finding the right amount of push requires skill. (Watch the eagles kicking their one-year old to fly away from the nest)
  3. Create fear and stress. Reaching high is hard. (And reading to an audience)
  4. Involve stumbling. If they get it right the first time, it was too easy.(Or maybe this was not a first time?)
  5. After stumbles, give stew-time. Don’t rush in like momma. Set up debrief meetings a day or two after their first.
  6. Focus on being as well as doing. Ask, “How are you becoming who you want to be?” (Actions are the best responses?)
  7. Require improvement opportunities. Give second and third chances.

Someone gave you first-opportunities that changed you. Return the favor – change others – by giving them their firsts.

What firsts changed you?

Do not be a whiners in the workplace about teammates and other managers. Be the catalyst for first timers.

Reminds me of kids in the backseat. “He touched me!”

  • “Bob spoke harshly to me.”
  • “Mary’s clothing is too casual.”
  • “Bill Doesn’t like me.”
  • “Mary plays favorites.”

You ask, “Did you say something?”

They say, “No. I couldn’t do that.”

Whining may seem small but it’s big.

Whiners, who don’t own and express opinions and concerns, are organizational dead-weight. Complaints about others are the tip of the iceberg.

They won’t provide independent, controversial, or contradictory options, in public. They go along but whine behind the scenes. They:

  1. Destroy open communication
  2. Drain energy.
  3. Undermine team culture.
  4. Weaken relationships.

5 Reasons whiners come to you:

  1. They want you to handle it for them – fear and irresponsible.
  2. You’re sympathetic and they want support – whiner.
  3. They’re undermining others – power and position.
  4. It’s not their place, they believe, to say anything – confused and lack of ownership.
  5. They don’t know what to do – unskilled.

Anonymity breeds irresponsibility.

Fear and irresponsibility often prevent whiners from speaking up (#1). Chronic whiners, on the other hand, consistently undermine others (#3).

Responding to whining about others:

The critical moment is when you realize they don’t want to personally address their complaint. Five options:

  1. Explore. “What makes you feel that way? What happened?”
  2. Contradict. “Mary’s clothing isn’t too casual.”
  3. Support. “I know what you mean. Bob seems to like Sally the best.”
  4. Challenge. “You need to say something to your boss.”
  5. Solve. “I’ll speak to your boss.”

Other responses to whining about others:

  1. Ask, “What would you like me to do?”
  2. I’ll help you formulate an approach, if you don’t know what to say.
  3. I won’t listen to this complaint until you speak to them.
  4. Let’s call Mary and clear the air right now.

What impact does whining have on your organization?

What are useful responses to whining about others?

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June 2013

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