Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Soon, Immediately, ASAP or Now?

Which of these would you do first?  What is the difference?

I recently saw these four words on different bullets on the same chart.

As a senior leader, which one do you think I was supposed to react to?  Should I have to assume that “now” is before lunch but “immediately” is sometime afterward?  Or possibly, “ASAP” means today where “soon” is sometime this week?

Communication is hard enough without using words that seem to mean the same thing but don’t.  There is a simple way to avoid this – use a date and/or time.  This is particularly true when you are making commitments, describing risks or asking for help.  Your leaders are pulled in many directions and will react to the requests that are easily understood and input into “their system.”  To be a strong team player, you need to understand the system and fit your needs into it.

Trust me, “soon, immediately, ASAP and now” cannot be calendarized (I did not make up this word, but someone else did).

Do you find yourself or others talking in general terms on exacting topics?  How do you help avoid this pitfall?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Learning does not have to be Grand

“Are you Catholic?” Bala asked.

Experiences around the globe have taught me the “politically correct” sensitivities of the United States are not universally shared.  Religion is a good example. It is common in many places to ask a person their religion, particularly if you think you might have something in common.

So it was that Bala, the driver, asked me if I was Catholic.  He was a kind man and wanted to share his church if I answered yes.  This was in India mind you and Catholics are far from the majority.  Infant JesusChurch (see photo) was in the village of Emjala in an unmapped area of Hyderabad only 3 kilometers from the plant I was visiting. It was not St. Petersburg cathedral, but very interesting and having Bala explaining the details and what takes place here on Sundays in his broken English made it very worthwhile.

Like all major cities, Hyderabad has it big sites – Chowmahalla Palace, the Golkonda Fort and Charminar among them.  I had been there, done that.  The locals said “you have seen it all Mr. John.” It was not so.  This small side trip shows that cultural awareness and learning takes place with every little exposure and each person you meet when you take the time to understand.

What small things are you exposing your team to help their cultural awareness journey?


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