The Matter of Mattering

Some time ago, I moderated a panel with a stellar group of students from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. As I am known to do, I wrote a thank you note (with a little card inside with a second note) to each student. About a week later, I received an email from a student that went on and on and on about the card I sent to him.

I was very curious as to why he had such a strong reaction. This was from a person who is all about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality. One more piece of information about him – he has a great life, home, family, and work.

A few days later, he and I sat down and I asked him about the card. He talked about that it was paper, the message was specific to him, and it was done at all. I wanted to know how it made him feel. He told me that it made him feel like he matters.

What I learned that day is that no matter how much we have in our life, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to know we matter. So let others you care about know they matter to you.

Small action, big potential impact!

Have a great day,
Anita

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Your Not So Big Idea

I was watching a new venture pitch. There was one idea in particular which was good, but didn’t seem big enough to stand on its own. The judges seemed to agree and thought the idea, while not a stand alone product, could be an excellent and profitable feature for a business that already existed.

Watching the pitch team, they seemed split. One part of the group were – “We can do this and the judges don’t see the value – we’ll show them.” The other group were more open to a partnership that could add value to many and make the team a tidy profit.

So with you next idea, project, or pitch – even if it doesn’t seem viable alone, think about how you can team up with others and create something cool and valuable.

Warmly,
Anita

Helping Success

Are you a little or more than a little stuck at the moment? Know you are not alone. We all get there at times – believe me, this is so true.

The question is how to do you move past the block. While it’s simple, it’s rarely easy.

Take a step back and help another person. Think of someone who could benefit from your knowledge, talents, and support to achieve a goal. Then reach out to help the other person – not to fix the person, but to listen, offer guidance, and cheer the person on to greater success.

Warmly,
Anita

Never Help a Friend

Of course, never helping any friend is not a good idea. Yet, it is important to be sure you are not fixing your friend.

Listening, kind encouragement, and support are great to boost a person and help her gain courage, confidence, and resolve. This enables the other person to stand on her own and win – while knowing you are there.

Have a great day,
Anita

Active or Reactive Listening

Listening is a tricky proposition. While we may want to listen and know that we “should”, it’s hard to not want to listen just enough to be able to jump in with a “brilliant” comment, suggestion, or solution. Yet, this type of reactive listening creates a disconnect – and ultimately could lead to all kinds of problems and few. if any solutions.

In a world of divisiveness and negativity, active, caring, and authentic listening is a small thing you can do to build bridges, understanding, and even some positive solutions.

Have a great day,
Anita

Why Apologize

Yesterday I was at work checking in students for a big event. It’s super important that we know who actually attends because it has a broader impact on the students’  careers and lives, When I stopped a student heading to the event to be sure it had checked in, I will admit that I was super assertive and he gave me a really annoyed look.

I didn’t want him to have a negative experience, so later in the day – I found him and apologized. He seemed a bit surprised, but nodded. I then suggested that he connect specifically with one of the volunteers. We both headed to our assigned area and I was glad that I had spoken to him.

When I got up this morning, I had an email from him thanking me for my outreach and asking a question. When I responded, it reminded me that we all want to know that others care. I certainly do and I bet you too as well.

Have a great day and I recommend that you express appreciation – authentically. You will uplift two – the other person and you!

Have a great day,
Anita

Encouragement Can Lead to Discouragement

Encouragement can actually lead to discouragement.

How could that possibly be?

Okay, encouragement isn’t a bad thing. In fact it can be really really good. Yet, it’s incomplete.

For encouragement to be effective it needs to be accompanied by very specific and practical guidance. To be really stellar encouragement, the guidance (of strategics, tactics, and tools) needs to be tailored to the person receiving the encouragement.

Go out and encourage someone today.

Warmly,
Anita

Those Pesky Challenges

Challenges are needed for us to grow – and they are not always fun or pleasant. Yet they are essential. This is true even though my go to reaction to a challenge, especially when it appears to be negative, is to hate it.

Then I pause and ask myself two things: 1. What are the “gifts” in this situation with this person? and 2. How can I (and the other person) be victorious? When I pause, I give myself perspective and the opportunity to learn, grow, and win over myself and the situation.

Warmly,
Anita

Inside Out Success

Many people I work with look for ways to change the people in their lives, the specific circumstances, and the environment. They wish each of those things would suddenly become more helpful, supportive, and positive.

Yet, I’ve never seen it work that way. Success (and happiness) begins on the inside. When we start with ourselves – changing our own behavior first – this leads to changes external to us. It’s not magic, but a function our ability to see more options – in terms of how we think, perceive, and act.

Have a great day,
Anita

The Platinum Rule

It used to be that you treat others the way you wanted to be treated – this was the Golden Rule. Today I learned another “rule” known as the Platinum Rule. With the Platinum Rule – treat others as they want to be treated. This means that you will need to get to know the other person and build at least the beginnings of a relationship. Could be a big win on both sides.

Warmly,
Anita