Sometimes we have objectives that elude us over a long period of time. When this happens, we usually remain unaware of the situation, until by "happenstance" the question arises: "Why haven't I accomplished that?" Here are some of the "answers" that enable continuation of the status quo.
- Something came up and I put everything else on hold.
- I made progress, but then I came to where I didn't know what to do.
- I came to where I had to make a choice, and I couldn't make up my mind.
- I came to where I had to make a choice, and I chose another path, which now seems to be a mistake, but I can't fix it right now.
- I can see how to get something like what I want, but it isn't exactly right, so I'm waiting.
- I found something really interesting to do, and that got me off track, but I'm back now.
- I've had a lot on my plate, but I plan to get moving now.
- I have a lot on my plate right now, but I plan to get moving soon.
- I think I'll be having a lot on my plate soon, but I plan to get moving after that.
- It looks like changes are coming, and I might get what I want without having to do anything, so I'm waiting.
- Somebody needed my help and I had to give her (him) all my attention.
- To make progress, I'd have to give up what I'm doing, and since I like what I'm doing OK, it seems too risky.
- Somebody I respect advised me to give it up.
- Somebody I don't respect advised me to give it up, but since even an idiot can be right once in a while, I gave it up.
- I noticed that someone else is much further along, and it seemed like I would probably lose out, so I gave up.
- I can see how to get
something like what
I want, but it isn't
exactly right, so I'm waitingIt looked like there would be a big obstacle a few months (years) down the road, so I'm waiting to see if I can find a way around.
- I heard there would be a better opportunity someday, so I decided to wait.
- It does look good, but there are some serious problems with it, so I'm going slow.
- They told me it was a done deal, and I had a lock on it, so I waited for the announcement, and then it went to someone else. Now I'm just disgusted.
- If I go for it and I fail, I'll lose credibility and then I'll never be able to get what I want ever again.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Astonishing Successes
- When we have successes that surprise us, we do feel good, but beyond that, our reactions are sometimes
self-defeating. What happens when we experience unanticipated success, and how can we handle it better?
- Accepting Reality
- Those with organizational power can sometimes forget that their power is limited to the organization.
Achieving high levels of organizational and personal performance requires a clear sense of those limits.
- Still More Things I've Learned Along the Way
- When I have an important insight, or when I'm taught a lesson, I write it down. Here's another batch
from my personal collection.
- Disjoint Awareness: Assessment
- When collaborators misunderstand each other's work and intentions, they're at risk of inadvertently
interfering with each other. Three causes of misunderstandings are complexity, specialization, and rapid
- Flexible Queue Management
- In meetings of 5-30 participants, managing the queue of contributors can be challenging. A strict first-in-first-out
order can cause confusion and waste time if important contributions are delayed. Some meetings need
more flexible queue management.
See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness for more related articles.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming December 7: Reaching Agreements in Technological Contexts
- Reaching consensus in technological contexts presents special challenges. Problems can arise from interactions between the technological elements of the issue at hand, and the social dynamics of the group addressing that issue. Here are three examples. Available here and by RSS on December 7.
- And on December 14: Straw Man Variants
- The straw man fallacy is a famous rhetorical fallacy. Using it distorts debate and can lead groups to reach faulty conclusions. It's ad readily recognized, but it has some variants that are more difficult to spot. When unnoticed, trouble looms. Available here and by RSS on December 14.
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