August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Pitchers in baseball spend years perfecting their delivery. The smallest tweak in the delivery can make a huge impact, both positive and negative, in the pitcher’s success. Most changes are intentional. For example, Ryan Dempster, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, developed a “tell” in his delivery. Something that he was doing in his delivery told the batter the pitch he was going to throw. In 2008 he changed his delivery to eliminate the tell. That season, he went on to have the best record and ERA of his career.
The same inverse impact (small tweak makes a huge impact) can happen in business on any given day. The reaction and response from whom you communicate with can be drastically altered depending on the delivery of your communication.
I experience this at least on a weekly basis. Someone will talk to me venting about something someone else said. When I hear the story, it is usually not the words that peaked the ire of the person on the receiving end of the communication, but the tone, body language, enthusiasm (or lack of) or even the word or words that were emphasized in the communication that seem to have caused the problems. In other words, the delivery.
It is hard to do, but we must think about how our communications will be received or interpreted before they are delivered. Email communication is a bit easier to proof-read and revise if need be. Verbal conversation is much more difficult and yet much more important. I am not saying you need to be nice all the time. Instead, be intentional. Be intentional in your tone, in your word choice, in your strength and your choice of method (email, verbal or something else). Be in control and never out of control of your communication delivery. If you intend to be nice in your communication, great. But if the situation calls for stern, hard or aggressive, the delivery of the communication needs to intentionally reflect that.
Think before you speak. Proof-read before you send. Using these two simple ideas will help you get the intended reactions from those with whom you communicate.
Keep your eyes open. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
Inspiration for this writing came from many of my associates at Group Delphi and others in the business community in Fort Wayne with whom I speak periodically about business management challenges.
July 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Sometimes we all need to stop, regroup and recharge our professional batteries. I was at a Cubs game on July 15, 2011. Carlos Marmol came into the game with a two-run lead in the 9th inning. He was only able to get one out before he was pulled and replaced by another reliever to finish out the game. Marmol was very inconsistent and unable to pitch strikes. The team manager, Mike Quade, asked Carlos Marmol to take the weekend off to regroup and regain his exceptional ability to get outs at the end of the game.
There are times when we all need to regroup and regain our passion for our work. I experienced this first hand. The first part of my “down time” I went to see the Cubs victory I briefly described above. The rest of my time was been spent by the water swimming, fishing, having a few adult beverages and Listening to the Quiet.
The Quiet. It is something many of us have never experienced or have not realized the experience. If you know this expience, you know what I will attempt to describe.
Sitting outside, many times you hear birds chirping, kids playing and lawn mowers roaring. Imagine if all of those sounds went away – or at least two of the three. All that remains is the Quiet, true quiet.
If you have experienced Quiet, you know what is meant by the saying “silence is deafening”. Phones are not ringing and business associates are not asking questions. Quiet. What happens next is up to you and is the most important. Your mind begins to wander and/or wonder. This is always important regardless of the profession you are in. You begin thinking about life’s challenges and how to resolve those challenges. It is also a great time to generate ideas for the next blog you write.
In addition to providing high-quality think-time, the Quiet allows you to do the opposite – think about nothing. Thinking about nothing provides a relief of stress and improves your overall emotional well being. It other words’ it recharges your emotional batteries.
I have found it very difficult, but vitally important to take a break from the always on, always connected life. Make the time to do nothing and listen to the quiet. How long has it been since you have Listened to the Quiet?
Keep your eyes open. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
Inspiration for this writing came from my dad. He always reminds me to take some time off from the fast-paced world of business and enjoy doing nothing.
July 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
I have wondered and have been asked why I want to blog. Part of me wants to do so because all of the cool kids are blogging. We all try to be cool or important and I have always heard “you are who you hang with” – a cool kid.
In the beginning of my contemplation about blogging, my fear was not having a topic to write about. As I thought about topics, I began to see more and more topics that came in sudden spurts and they came from areas I never expected. Some came from conversations with friends in the business community as well as fellow associates at Group Delphi in both our Fort Wayne location and our Alameda location. Other topics came from watching and coaching the sporting events my kids have played.
Regardless of the topic source, I feel like blogging will force me to think about how and why I feel the way I do about the topics. At the minimum, writing this blog will make me a better parent, businessman, and friend. If I am lucky, this blog will be influential and possibly inspiring to others.
Please feel free to add your feedback on this or any of my posts.