20 + Ways to Make Difficult Decisions

  1. Consider whether or not you will be able to look proudly into the mirror the next day.
  2. Reflect on past difficult decisions and how you made them. The problems don’t have to be similar for the method to work the same.
  3. Be silent, go inside your mind, your heart, and your gut, and listen to your instincts.
  4. Consider Time Frame: If there is little or not urgency, set aside time to give careful thought to the decision.  The worst thing you can do is act in haste.
  5. Ask yourself, “Who will it affect and what does my heart tell me?”
  6. Imagine having made the decision. If you get a feeling of relief, that’s the way to go, even if it’s coupled with sadness.
  7. Ask yourself, “What is the most pleasurable choice, and where is the most fun?”
  8. Check with your internal compass. How will you feel if you make the decision in one way?  How will you feel if you make the other?
  9. Make mistakes and learn from them. Many people lose valuable opportunities because of indecision, vacillation, and analysis paralysis!   Most decisions can be “unmade” after the fact.   Yes, you may have to label it a mistake – so what?  Everyone makes mistakes.   Yes, sometimes it can be a costly exercise if you make the wrong decision ~ most of these won’t sink the ship.    Just make the decision – then ACT ON IT.
  10. Talk it through with friends. Then after you have gathered as much info as possible, decide and act!
  11. Make a patient effort and have confidence in yourself as decision maker. Whatever choice you make is valid, as you can gain experience and wisdom through any experience, preferred or not.
  12. Let go of fear. Know there is no “right” or “wrong” decision.   Any decision is better than indecision.
  13. Ask yourself three questions before diving into something new or daunting: What’s the worst that can happen? How likely is that to happen? Can you deal with it if it does happen?
  14. Go with your first instinct. In most cases, our first instincts are our best ones.  When we begin to second guess and dwell on decisions that are against our first instinct, it’s usually the wrong way.  That said – most decisions can be reworked if you get feedback that shows you a different direction.  Actions will cause outcomes!
  15. Take a moment to think about the consequences of every course of action, and decide which course will be best for everyone.
  16. Try to see the situation from all angles. Also ask your elders for advice. They are always great sources! Sometimes you need to walk away from the issue for a bit, and then come back for a fresh look.
  17. Remember this quote: “Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.”
  18. If you find that you have to talk yourself into something, it is usually a bad decision. Good decisions usually feel right without much second-guessing.
  19. “Stay in the tension” as long as possible. If none of the choices feel right, consider delaying the decision until you have clarity (be careful not to wait for “certainly” – this is different from clarity and may never show up). Sometimes another option you hadn’t thought of before becomes apparent.
  20. Listen to your emotional instinct. If it feels good, authentically good, then go for it. If it does not use caution and back away.
  21. Take two pieces of paper and write down your options on each. Put them in a hat, close your eyes, and pick one. If you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you know that is the wrong decision to make!
  22. Reflect on past decisions. Good or bad, each teaches a lesson. To learn from your mistakes is key, but don’t forget your triumphs. They are just as important.
  23. Consider Vision, Mission, Purpose, Values and Goals: Whether these are personal or business decisions, your actions should be aligned with all of these things.   Otherwise, you must ask yourself why you are in a decision making moment.  The prerequisite to this is actually knowing and defining your organisation and/or yourself.  Gain awareness.
  24. Consider using decision making strategies or models to help.
    1. SWOT ( Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats)
    2. D’Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats
    3. Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving Matrix (for complex issues)
    4. OODA Loop Model (Observe / Orient / Decide / Act)

Tips for Faster Decision Making

Factual decision making

Our lives are defined by our ability to make decisions. Our careers, relationships, health—anything and everything about our present selves boils down to the decisions we’ve made in the past, yet some of us struggle with decision making. We may have access to data, plenty of options, and generally have everything going for us, but when crunch time rolls around we seize up.  Making a firm commitment to a decision eludes us. Here are a few of the labels that might apply: 

* Over-thinker  * Procrastinator  * Slow to act   * Analysis paralysis  * Perfectionist

Sound familiar?  Have you ever felt like you identified with any of these labels? If so then know that you aren’t alone. There are lots of us who spend too much time thinking about our decisions, and not enough time acting upon them. 

One of the most common complaints from team members and team leaders, in corporate environments, is about decision making.  These complaints can look a lot like knowledge or skill gaps on the surface, though if we dig deeper what we find often is that there is a lack of confidence or a reluctance to engage with decision making. 

Do you ever hear questions like:

  • Where do I find the XXXX?
  • How do I do an ABC transaction?
  • Is it okay if I (insert a simple everyday task here)

If these types of questions (and sometimes interruptions) are a regular part of your day – then you may have some people in your team who have low confidence in decision making.  If you ask these types of questions frequently, especially if you’ve been trained, and on the job for some time, then you could benefit from some decision making practice too! 

Here are some tips to help you or a team member move into a more confident decision making space: 

1. Do The Research – where are the answers?

The first step in quick decision making is to ask yourself. . .

  • If no one else were here right now for me to ask, where could I go to find the answer?
  • Have I exhausted all of the possibilities for looking for the answer myself?
  • What do I need to do to create a place to continue to get these types of answers for myself?

2. Set a time limit for decision making (2 minute rule).

Force yourself to take action through a self-imposed deadline.  The time limit forces you to quickly assess the pros and cons while quickly coming to a decision.  In most cases, it doesn’t have to be 2 minutes.   1-5 minutes will work.  The exception is where you have a customer, or other urgent situation at hand.

3. Think black and white to decide 

Ask yourself the following:  

QUESTION:  If I take this action (or make this decision), and I get it wrong, will that be impossible to live with? If the answer is “NO” – and for day to day tasks and decision – it is likely to be “NO” – then ask the next question.

QUESTION:  What does my gut tell me is the right course of action here?  Get your answer and then ask the final question:

QUESTION:  Does this feel RIGHT or WRONG?

Then act!

4. Decide via Random Choice

Sometimes there are multiple options that we have – and they all seem to have equal value, or a similar outcome.   If this is the case – take these steps.

  1. Get rid of any that seem to have any lesser outcome (the worst of the possibilities)
  2. Write all of the other options down, each on a separate bit of paper – and fold the papers up.  Mix up the pile then pick.
  3. Whatever is written on the paper – take action.

NOTE:  If your gut reaction to the option says don’t, then pick again.

5. Create the REAL Worst Case Scenario (W.C.S)

A fear of failure or making a mistake can stop us from making a decision and taking action.  We may well have created a totally disastrous worst case scenario in our head.  Often what we don’t do is FACTUALLY contemplate a worst case scenarion. 

Imagine this situation: You’ve created a new file that needs to be saved onto the company cloud server.   You know the filing convention, but there is something about this particular file that doesn’t quite fit. Here are some options: 

A:  Ask a team member or your team leader for the answer. 

B:  Make a decision and save the file in the way that you think is the best possible solution for this file. 

W.C.S – for A  (Hey, I asked another team member – and he/she told me what to do.  If it’s wrong, then it’s not my fault).

W.C.S for B: (imagined)OMG!  If I get this wrong, then I’ll lose my job! – or fingers!

W.C.S for B:  (factual).  I will take action and let my Team Leader know what action I’ve taken (so the work is not lost).  If I get this wrong, then my team leader will discuss a better file name.  I can go back and re-save the file with the other name.  I can take notes from the discussion, and learn something. Fingers are intact! Job saved! 

 Final Thoughts. . .

  1. Make a decision and act!  In most situations, it is far better to make a decision than to procrastinate and leave something hanging.   Opportunities can be missed!  Ultimately, this can be more costly than acting and repairing an incorrect decision if needed.
  2. The majority of day to day decisions that we will make in the workplace will have multiple opportunities to be corrected if we get them wrong the first time – and for the most part will have minimal real negative consequence. 
  3. Quick decision making is often equated with leadership skills.  Those who develop this ability and the courage to make decisions and act, are likely to be seen as proactive – and viewed favorably  come promotion time!  

We learn from every decision we make. We learn little from avoiding making a decision (with one exception. . .we may get feedback that shows you that we should have made a decision).

Let us know how these decision making tips work for you or your team members. 

Reflections of the past 2 decades

Reflections of the past 2 Decades . .

If you are reading this blog, then you are likely to be a person who is familiar with Alive & Kicking Solutions and our team.  So I am writing directly to you ~ to share my feelings of gratitude and to say “Thank You for the adventure”!

I am both humbled and excited about the fact that this year represents 20 years of service to people and organisations. It’s truly a privilege to be able to work with the thousands of individuals and the hundreds of organisations who have found our services to be useful in their business and personal lives.

As I reflect on the past 20 years, I realise what an incredible journey this has been, and I wanted to share some of those musings with you.

The journey began in 1998, in Sydney, with two other business partners.  We were all searching for some way to add value to the lives of others, and to do meaningful work.   Like the growth of a child, the business was in its infancy.   We explored lots of possibilities and business angles – and finally decided that building a company that focused on human interaction would be our best approach.   We had a great many failures in getting started, though we had some critical successes that would see us have the ability to continue on the journey.

Just two years in, we were given the opportunity to provide training and consulting to a company in Western Australia.   This started out as a 6-week contract ~ and ended up evolving into a 14-year relationship.   This is one of the defining chapters in our story!  We realised that our skills and talents lend themselves to long term relationships that would outlast most other consultancies.  This fact remains today as one of our hallmarks and points of difference in our field.   The other differentiating factor became our delivery and consulting style.  The best way to describe it is Edu-tainment! 

We wanted people to FEEL something wonderful.   We wanted to create an EXPERIENCE that would stick with people forever and give them something that could help them in a long-term and sustainable way.

Trust me ~ there is nothing more potent than feedback from a participant who says:  “I was in the hospital having a severe asthma attach, and I remembered some of the relaxation techniques you taught us.  I used it, and it saved my life!”

In 2001, we moved our corporate headquarters from Sydney to the splendour of Western Australia.  We’ve never looked back!  In 2009, I became the sole owner of the Alive & Kicking Solutions, and the other two business partners went on to discover new fields of interest and a new journey for themselves.

From our humble beginnings we began to attract attention overseas. 

To date we have conducted our unique training programs in 7 countries and delivered to well over 50,000 participants.

Not all parts of the journey have been fun and rosy though.  We’ve had some whopping challenges that have seen us come close to folding several times.  What those challenges have given us, though, is wonderful.   We realised that we absolutely had to practice what we preach in order to survive.  We had to handle stress well, we had to be nimble and flexible, we had to learn to change with the times, and we had to really listen to our customers when they said they needed something new and different.

We teach resilience, emotional intelligence, creativity, strategic thinking, communication skills, and we had to be masterful in our own application of all of these things.

Today, we have come into our adulthood!  We are still Alive & Kicking ~ and I can’t wait to see what stories we will have to tell at the ¼ Century mark and beyond!



Fran Berry



4 MORE signs of a Positive Culture

Following on from last weeks post 4 signs of Positive Workplace Culture,  here are 4 MORE signs to look for:

1.  Leadership success is open, discussed and actively planned for 

Leaders are not fearful of others succeeding.  In fact, they encourage it.  They know that a part of their role is to see others exceed their own capabilities and their own position.  They know that when another person excels beyond them, they are truly leading.   Fear is not present in this situation.
What you can DO.
The first thing you can do is to read about top leaders and the habits they have.  One of them is to work on the skills and knowledge of their subordinates and to plan for their own succession.  They trust that new opportunities will open up for them and they help other leaders to succeed.  They groom people to take over their role as quickly as possible.   This gets seen and acknowledged.   Leaders who practice this principle always excel, grow and move up the ranks.   Leaders who hold on tightly to their position and their knowledge get left behind and they get stuck.

Step 1 – create a skills and knowledge matrix for your own role.
Step 2 – share that information with others who are interested in moving into your role.
Step 3 – create a plan for how you will help these people.
Step 4 – Make a plan for YOUR next role – and get active with this plan.

2. Position and Level is inconsequential to productivity.  People communicate and influence Up Down and Sideways!

If your environment is classically hierarchical – then chances are good that your culture will not be as positive as it can be.  When status of position becomes more important and more in focus than productivity, then people will sense this.

What you can DO:

Bring this out into the open and discuss the pros and cons of having a hierarchy.  Discuss the reasons why influencing in all directions is a healthy and positive way of behaving in a modern and contemporary organisation.

Take the lead in encouraging your own subordinates to bring proposals to your attention.  Help them learn to create a solid business case for things they believe will improve the business.

Bring these case studies to your own peers and your up-line managers.  Ask them if they are willing to do the same.


3. People have Courageous Conversations

When I hear people say things like:  “Oh – the CEO was in the elevator with me today and I was terrified to look at her!”   Or, “We can’t do that – the Union will get involved and they won’t even understand that we really are acting in the best interests of the people.”   

These are two types of conversations that indicate fear is present.

Things you can DO

1. Be proactive in having conversations.    If you have a union in or around your organisation – go meet with them regularly.  Find out what’s important to them.  Share with them the things you are doing to make this a great place for the people.  Get to know them well – and they will be more likely to listen and be on your side.

2.  Work toward an open door policy.  If you are a leader – speak with everyone often.  If you have leaders above you – encourage them to come and speak with you and your subordinates regularly.  Invite them to team meetings, invite them to share what’s happening in their world and what concerns them.

3.  Investigate how you and others respond to mistakes.   People often have a fear that any mistake will be dealt with harshly.   Create case studies that examine mistakes and explore ways to learn from them.   Make this public – not publicly embarrassing people who have made mistakes – but create ways to show that you do not CANE people who make mistakes, you help them to learn from them.


4. SIGN – Change Is Welcomed and Spoken About Regularly and Positively

There are two sides to the CHANGE COIN.

People are generally upset when change is thrust upon them – especially if the change must happen rapidly or completely without warning – as in, it’s already happened, like it or lump it!

On the other hand – people are generally happy with change they choose themselves.

In our current environment, change is normal, change is constant, change is rapid, change is expected, change readiness and flexibility and resilience are regarded in high esteem.

This must be programmed into the culture.

What you can DO:

1.     Speak about change often.

2.     Add the issue of CHANGE to your agenda at meetings and team gatherings.  If you do Scrums or huddles – then make change a commonly used term and add it to the content of your meetings.

3.     Engage in Resilience Training.  Get everyone used to the idea that change is good.  Change is always a part of who we are, what we do, and how we do things around here.   Make it known that we hire for people who enjoy and embrace change.   Help them to understand that change is a part of our organisational DNA.  It’s how we roll!

4.     Find and employ strategies that are linked to change.   These include

a.     Communication about change and what is needed.

b.     Models for change

c.     Decision making strategies for times of change

d.     Ways and means of engaging people in change

e.     Times and ways to celebrate successful change processes

f.       Discussions about what has changed, when it changed, how often it changed, how well it changed and what could be done better for the next round of change.




1. Turnover Is Low

Depending on the nature of the job, turnover is often a great indicator of culture.  If the turnover is high – then we would hope that the job role that we are looking at, or the nature of the work would be considered an entry-level job, or a stepping stone to another role.  This would be considered natural and even good attrition ~ as people are progressing through the steps well.

On the other hand, if the department does not consist of entry level or stepping stone types of roles, then this is a strong indicator that the culture of the environment is not a positive one.

I have a great example of this – and I’m actually going to name names here because I think they deserve the accolade for doing things right!   This is the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia, in their Roadside Assistance Team.  To get into this team, someone really has retire to open up a position.  People love the work and the environment.   I know this because of past experience with the individuals in the team.  I recently had a breakdown – and a RACWA team member came to my rescue.  We got into this discussion and the person shared with me how much the job meant and that the team is still the same in regard to culture.

Here are some things you can DO.

  1. DO A CULTURE SURVEY.   Do the survey with people inside and also outside of the environment.   Ask what they think of the culture – what is positive about it     and what is negative.  Please do make sure that you include open frame questions and not just rating scales.  You won’t get much useful information about HOW or WHAT to change with rating scales.
  2. ASK PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR LONG TERM ASPIRATIONS.   Do they see themselves having a career here?  Doing this role?   Where do they want to be in 5 years?  10 years?
  3. DO EXIT INTERVIEWS!  This is critical.  When a person leaves, we want to clearly understand whether we are experiencing “good” attrition or “bad” attrition.   Good attrition could include:
  • When people are “head hunted” away to a higher position that we cannot offer.
  • When a person has a life change (partner getting moved to another country) and they choose to follow that path.
  • When a person has learned all they can learn here – and wants to seek something that we cannot offer.
  1. DO SOME RESEARCH and find out about the average tenure for people in this type of job role or occupation – and then work out what is needed to beat the average!   Let you team know that this is happening – and ask for their input!  Especially if you have people who have already been in the position for more than the average tenure.  Ask them – DIRECTLY – what makes you stay here?


2. You are seen as “an Employer of Choice”

A great sign that you have a positive culture is when people come to you (or to your department, or even to HR) in an unsolicited way.  They specifically request to be interviewed and they leave their CV or Resume with the company, should another role become vacant.   They say things like:  I’ve heard such great things about working for this department – or even this particular person.  I want to be a part of this team!

Here are some things you can DO to become an Employer of Choice.

  1. Ask your current team members what would have to happen in order for them to invite their friends and relatives to join this team?  What would make the culture and working experience so good that they would love to share this with the people who are really important in their lives?
  2. Go to other working environments and ask them about what makes a culture a good one – and what would make them want to leave?  What would make them want to stay?  NOTE:  I think you will be surprised to find that money is rarely the main motivator!
  3. Run a Culture Workshop with your team.   During this workshop, ask for the team’s input about what could be done to make this specific environment different in a positive way?   What could we do to have FUN every day?  What could we do that would have people excited about coming to work?  What things could we do to make a difference for people here / now?
  4. Use an iWAM profile for all people and all roles.   This particular recommendation is unique in that I am recommending a specific profiling device.  This device is the iWAM.  It stands for Inventory of Workplace Attitudes and Motivations.   The device is exceptionally specific to details about working environments.  It is very flexible and can be used in so many ways.  Most interesting about this profile is that it can be used as a modeling device.  You can model a person or a role – and then recruit to match what has been modeled!

If you want more information about the iWAM profile and how it can be used, please contact me directly.  I will also give you a download as part of this session so you can read more about the profile.

3. People Feel Good and they naturally SMILE when they walk into your space

Culture is Palpable – it can be felt, seen, touched. When I walk into an environment, I can often “FEEL” the vibe of the place.  Culture is palpable!  I specifically look for expressions on faces, body posture of people in the environment, signs on the walls, and general sense of energy in the place.  Culture can absolutely be seen, heard and felt.  There are so many signs – if one is only open to looking for them.   The challenges is that we are often blinded by what we are a regular part of.  It’s time to get the blinders off – and sometimes we need some outside input for this!

Here are some things you can DO.

  1. SMILE A LOT!  Speak with your team about smiling.  Encourage smiling many times during the day.  Give your team members some interesting information about the chemical processes that happen when a person smiles!

    Psychology today has a great blog that speaks about the neurotransmitters that are released by the brain every time we smile.

    Here’s another link to an article about mirror neurons.  Mirror Neurons take input from outside sources and reflect that input internally.  This is why we have reactions to things we see and hear.  If you see a person accidentally stub their toe, you may flinch in response.  This is your mirror neurons in action.   This is cause of empathy for others.

    A Smile will very likely cause others to smile in return.  The opposite is also true.  If we are frowning or showing a look of worry or consternation – that will likely be reflected in others as well.

  2. CHOOSE YOUR ENERGY LEVEL!   If you want for others to have “high energy” – then choose that energy level yourself.  Walk a bit quicker.   Speak a bit more quickly than usual (unless you are already a very fast speaker – then don’t).  Show your excitement and invigoration for things.   Get a bit more animated that you might normally do.   Again, the mirror neurons will respond in others.
  3. PRAISE PUBLICLY!   Give lots of regular praise.  Do so in a place where others hear this happening.  Give THANKS for things people do regularly.  If a person cleans something up – verbalise your thanks – even if this is a part of his/her job!  Verbalise the positive things regularly and encourage others to do so as well.  This can alo be translated into verbally remembering special occasions.  Announce people’s birthdays (if people are happy for this to happen).  Announce people’s work anniversaries, announce special accomplishments – EXAMPLE: If a person has just completed a learning module and is on the path for a higher level of learning or growth!


4. People do not engage in Gossip or Rumour Mongering

Time to Obliterate Gossip – Through Widescale Implementation of the Socratic Rule of 3.
A lot of environments have a negative and tarnished culture because of rampant gossip and rumour mongering.  My suggestion is to be a staunch ambassador for the Socratic Rule of 3 Test before saying things:   Here is a story to share with you to illustrate this.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”Soctrates test of three

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”

“Test of Three?”

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say. The first test is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No”  the man said, “actually I just heard about It.”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

Socrates continued. “You may still pass though, because there is a third test – the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”









Thoughts on leadership and the concept of “Already Always.”

I’ve just come back from a government Service Design Summit in Sydney. 

The topic of this conference was all about creating new service strategies.  The people attending were top leaders from Federal, State and Local government agencies, and they were sharing case study after case study on how they have, and how they plan to, build better and more contemporary service provision for their customers. 

It was fascinating and wonderful to witness that, in my opinion, we have some awesome forward thinking people in our government agencies who realise that the world is changing and that the service provision of the past 5 decades is no longer good enough. 

There were several common threads in all of the 20 or so presentations. 

The one that stuck out for me more than any other was the issue of culture.   These leaders all agreed that the culture inside the organisation was the most important factor for success in the implementation of new service design.  If the people were not on board – and living the values and maintaining a positive and productive culture, then the work would likely be for naught.

In all of the presentations, the leaders spoke about how leaders needed to show up for their people.   This reflected the content of my first session on “Being”.   In that session I introduced the Be/Do/Have model – and we addressed some of the ways of being that are critical for success in any organisation.

While we also agreed that there is a shared responsibility for all people to “be” in certain ways – it is also true that people will emulate the leader and others around them.

This triggered a memory about a very poignant learning that I had some years ago.

I learned about the concept of “Already Always.”   Already always is a perception that we have about ourselves – and it stems from our beliefs, our values, our upbringing, our past, our habits and our current situations.  For example, if I have a belief about myself that “I AM a Good Listener” – then I may show up in a state of “already always listening.” 

The problem with already always listening – is that the only thing or person that I am already always listening to is myself.  When I’m in a conversation with someone – my inner voice is likely to begin responding well before the other person is done speaking.  This negates true listening.   One possible result of this inner voice is that I may interrupt the other person.  That is a sign of already always listening.

If I am absolutely honest with myself – I would make statements like: 

I value the skill of great listening.

Great listening involves allowing the other person to truly speak, and be heard, and my role is to “be” there fully and not need to respond, not need to attend to my own thoughts, not need to have my voice heard quickly and loudly in response to the other person, not need to judge what is being said.

The truth of the matter is:  Sometimes I do great listening, and sometimes I really don’t!

Yesterday was a classic example of this.  I was on the phone to one of my team – and she patiently listened while I shared my experiences of the past several days.  I then asked her about her week – and about 30 seconds in, she said something that brought an interesting thought into my head.  Instead of holding that, and truly allowing her to share her experiences with me – I completely interrupted her.  She paused, and let me finish – then attempted to continue on again.  I interrupted her AGAIN!

This time I became aware of who I was being.  I became conscious of the behaviour and the damaging effect that I could be having on this wonderful person who is working so hard to build the business.

I was, in fact, already always listening.  My perception was not my reality!

This is one of the things that, as a leader, I am constantly working on.  How I am being will impact what I am doing.   What I do – will in turn – impact the results that I get.  How I show up will regularly influence how my team member show up.

Let me give you one more example of Already Always. . .

I value “working” in general.  My work is my passion – and I truly love what I do.  I would prefer to be working than just about any other activity.  As a result of this – I often work very early in the morning, very late at night – and on weekends.

One of my team members once said to me – Fran, because you are often sending emails at 1:00am – and on the weekends, I feel that you are expecting that we are always working, and that you expect us to put in all of the extra hours that you do.

It dawned on me that my connection to:  Be accountable, be productive, be available, Be prompt, and Be a Role Model – was showing up for my team in some negative ways.  Even though my intention was more about honouring my own passion and my own working style, my team members were taking this as an unrealistic expectation.  I now needed to Be a Better Open Communicator.   I realised that I was in a state of Already Always Communicating Well.  The remedy – have some regular conversations around expectations – and working styles.

I’m hoping that you had a look at the Be/Do/Have Questionnaire that was offered previously – and I’d like to invite you go back to that document.  There is a space for comments.  This is an opportunity for you to challenge you states of Already Always.  Challenge your perceptions versus reality.

Let’s take #11 for example.  Be Positive. 

What are the signs that you may be Already Always Positive?   Could it be that the reality is that sometimes I am positive and sometimes and I am negative and sometimes I am neutral?  When am I positive, When am I negative – and what are the causes of each of these states?  When does my team really need for me to be positive?  Are there times when a healthy dose of pessimism or scepticism is a good thing?  Do I ever show up as a “dream stealer” for any of my team members?  If so, what causes this?

Needless to say – the process that I am suggesting here is one of deep thought and introspection. 

The more I know myself – the more I am able to choose who I am being.  The more I choose who I need to be – the more control I will have over my behaviours from moment to moment.