The basics are simple, but . . .

Feedback is good and helpful–even if it isn’t always easy to take.
It’s nice to hear people tell me they read my column. They also say sometimes it’s difficult to understand; the concepts are too “high-falutin.”
(Maybe that’s not a word to write but I’ll bet you know what I mean better than I do!)
So this column is about something special that definitely will bring about better futures to those who do it. A warning, though–it’s simple but not easy!
First the background. At Quetico Centre, we offer leadership and team building seminars. They address a wide range of work issues, as well as concerns in community service and family life.
Success means that people leave knowing a lot more, they get practical answers to real issues, and they gain inspiration and energy.
To keep current on important learning issues and for my own development, I watch training videos, listen to taped lectures, read books, and attend workshops myself. Recent topics included conflict management, stress reduction, assertiveness, and product and service quality.
They all had something in common. I passed it on in a workshop, and will do so here.
The most often stated personal learning objectives from last week’s Innovative Leadership Seminar at Quetico Centre follow. Some may be of special interest to you.
•How to be
–a better leader
–a better supervisor
–a stronger team player
–more assertive
–less stressed
•How to give better customer service
•How to solve problems faster, and for good.
And the answers? Remember “simple, but not easy?” These were the common themes I passed on and from my own recent learning:
1. Tell the truth
2. Take responsibility
3. Co-operate
What do you think–would they make people better as leaders, supervisors, team players, etc.? Would these three actions reduce stress? Would they solve or even prevent problems?
Also, are they the first parenting lessons you tried to teach your child? The timeless principles we all mean to live by, but don’t?
#1 may be most obvious. Be honest. Deliver what you promise. Tell what you know. Express what you really believe.
And don’t withhold your feedback–candour need not be cruel.
#2 includes substituting action for complaints. Even if it wasn’t your mistake, correct it if you can. Whatever bugs you, set it straight or change your attitude about it.
#3 means meeting others more than halfway. It’s going the extra mile, being kind, pitching in, helping out.
A lot of techniques and methods boil down to these three things. For example, if you take responsibility, you are suddenly empowered!
If a relationship is not working out and you are honest with yourself about it, you can likely reduce the stress it causes you.
These are simple enough to keep in mind but they are a challenge to do. Yet they can serve us well right now, and for the future.
Linda Wiens is a student of the future, organization advisor, workshop facilitator, author, editor, and president of Quetico Centre.
Comments? E-mail linda@queticocentre.com1

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