Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 5, Issue 42;   October 19, 2005: Some Things I've Learned Along the Way

Some Things I've Learned Along the Way

by

When I have an important insight, I write it down in a little notebook. Here are some items from my personal collection.

Insights can be really helpful, especially when we face challenges. When I seek advice from those I respect, I often have that forehead-slapping moment where I think, "I knew that!" or "Duh!". When that happens I write down what I just learned. Here's some of what I've come up with.

  • Good enough usually is.
  • When I want to feel good, I ask myself what I want. I'm the world's expert on Me.
  • There's good news and there's bad news. Sometimes the hard part is figuring out which is which. Sometimes the same news is both.
  • A happy dogPeople tend to believe they know what other people are thinking.
  • I can't possibly know what you're thinking. Mastering ESP is still on my To Do list.
  • Whenever I make a mistake, I remind myself that I probably didn't invent that particular way to goof up.
  • Nodding understandingly goes a long way, but only if you actually do understand.
  • The nastiest thing about nasty problems is not that they don't go away when you refuse to deal with them. It's that they get worse.
  • If you don't have a plan you can't follow it.
  • Plan for today first. Planning for the distant future is worth less the more distant the future is.
  • Kids know way more
    than they get credit
    for. Way more.
    Most people do their best. When it seems otherwise, maybe you just don't get it.
  • Kids know way more than they get credit for. Way more.
  • Deceiving others is difficult, especially if they're your kids.
  • Dogs never ask you how you're doing because they already know.
  • What fits for me might not fit for you. What fits for you might not fit for me.
  • When someone speaks from the heart, listen to the beat.
  • Experience eventually leads to wisdom. Some people require more experiences than others.
  • That voice in your head that tells you you're messed up is usually coming from the part that's the most messed up.
  • Feeling embarrassed is a waste. Most people are too busy worrying about themselves to notice.
  • Speaking your own No is more powerful than repeating anybody else's Yes.
  • If you don't like your choices, choose to look for more choices.
  • Even though you know your favorite flavor of ice cream, try one of the others now and then.
  • It's a lot easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
  • Attributing significance or intention to other people's mistakes is often a mistake.
  • Lots of people have been through really terrible things that they don't talk about. It's safest to assume that everyone deserves your respect and admiration.
  • You don't always get back what you give. But since we can't really measure that, feeling slighted might be unwise.
  • A human being is a wonder. You are a human being.

I could go on, but maybe you're wondering what your own list would look like if you wrote it down. You can find out.  Next in this series Go to top Top  Next issue: Dealing with Deadlock  Next Issue

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When we bias organizational decisions to manage our personal risks, we're sometimes acting ethically — and sometimes not. What can we do to limit personal risk management?
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Some entries from my personal collection of useful and not-so-useful insights.

See also Ethics at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

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Controlling meeting blowhards is difficult enough in face-to-face meetings, but virtual meetings present next-level problems, because techniques that work face-to-face are unavailable. Here are eight tactics for controlling virtual blowhards. Available here and by RSS on March 29.
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Ramblers are people who can't get to the point. They ramble, they get lost in detail, and listeners can't follow their logic, if there is any. How can you deal with ramblers while maintaining civility and decorum? Available here and by RSS on April 5.

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