I look forward to this post every month. It is a great idea - with five days left in the month, write down the five things you learned during the month. Here's my top five from April:
1. People Make Decisions Based On Feelings, Not Facts.
Jim Hensen, CEO of Mara Gateway, says the following: "I am not suggesting for a moment that you ignore or dismiss the facts. But if you want to elevate your effectiveness as a negotiator - a key attribute of a strong leader - find some common ground or a way to bond with the person with whom you are negotiating. In the case of competitive negotiations where other individuals or parties are competing with you for what you are attempting to achieve, a personal relationship with the person you are negotiating with will give you a competitive edge."
This has helped me tremendously. I realize that in the midst of a disagreement, I need to begin with areas we DO agree on.
2. I Am Recommitted To Developing My Strengths.
I am a BIG advocate of strengths training. I quickly jumped on the Marcus Buckingham bandwagon a few years back. Throughout that process, I discovered that I had strengths in the areas of strategic thinking, learning, creating/crafting ideas, intellectual activity, and maximizing situations.
I am relearning and continuing to develop these strengths through a new learning project called Learn To Lead With Your Strengths. This project utilizes Buckingham's latest book, Go Put Your Strengths To Work. It is a collaborative effort, hosted on Joyful Jubilant Learning.
3. Assessment Is An Ongoing Process.
I recently developed a 4 S's approach (watch for an upcoming blog post) to assessing my workload and programs that I'm a part of. Basically, I run everything through a quick checklist:
» Is this something I should STOP?
» Is this something that should STAY the same?
» Is this something I should STIR up?
» Is there something I should START?
Each of these help me to organize and think BIG PICTURE with the things I'm involved with and providing leadership for.
4. Better Gmail Is A SUPERB Add-on If You Use Gmail.
Created by the folks at Lifehacker.com, this is what you can expect: To save you the time, I've compiled the best Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail into one handy Firefox extension, called Better Gmail. After the jump, put your Gmail on steroids with Better Gmail.
Love it. Love it. Love it.
5. I Realized That Certain To-Do's Make Me Feel Successful.
Sometimes, I'll get to the end of my day and feel like I was successful. There are certain things that I do that give me that feeling. So I want to do more of those things.
If you'd like to read more about this concept and see my list, you can go to my article on What Makes A Day Successful.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Are you growing and learning something new every month?
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: What did you learn last month?
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Student Leadership Trainer & Tool Maker