No Is Not A Negative

I have begun to understand something new. If I need more time, I can put some things off. Okay, so that’s not the new part, I have done that for years. What I’m beginning to find out is that if I put things off, eventually they will come back, and I will have to do them anyway. And when I finally have to face them, I find myself under even more pressure to complete the items I have put off plus all the new demands that have come into my life.

So, what’s the trick? Sorry, no gimmicks. The only thing I have gained is the understanding that I need to do things as they are due and not put them off. Putting things off only asks for more grief. Instead of putting things off, use a two-letter word at the very beginning.

Everyone likes to be popular and to be so, we quite often feel we have to tell people what they want to hear. What do most people want to hear? Yes. Just think about that for a second. How many people come in and ask you a question hoping you’re going to say no and leave excitedly when you do tell them no? No may not be the most popular word, yet it could be the most honest.

To use the no word you have to understand what your time constraints are, what your job is, and what the positive and negative would be for taking on additional work which belongs to someone else. Quite often, with a person leaning over your desk and expecting a yes, it is hard to calculate the positives and negatives. That’s why they didn’t just send you an email. I think the best answer at that moment is, “Let me check my schedule to see if I can do you the best job I possibly can for you, and I will get back to you.”

Actually, take the time to see how busy you are with your work. Calculate the standing of the person who asked and what positives and negatives they could do for you. And then give them an honest answer.

I cannot tell you the right or wrong thing to say. I can only tell you that if you have time and can do a favor for someone you believe would repay that favor in the future, helping out could be a good move. If you have enough to do already and the person is just trying to put off their work onto you make sure you are able to do your best with your work. And no may be the most appropriate answer.

However you give the answer, be honest and genuine. No can be as good an answer as yes depending upon how you hand it back to the requester. In doing so, give them good suggestions. Offer to get back with them if your workload changes. Give ideas for others who may be able to help. Show interest in their work and check back in with them from time to time to see how things are going.

We are all a team. Dedication to the team starts with ensuring you can do your job to the best of your ability.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Can You Help Yourself?

This is a fair question, and we would like to think that yes, we can take care of ourselves and help ourselves when we get into a pinch. Everyone wants to look as though he or she is in control. And sometimes we are willing to put on false airs to pretend everything is okay.

Pretending everything is okay, though, just doesn’t help as things start to stack up against us. As problems and worries stack up, we end up having tunnel vision and lose sight of the full picture, especially solutions. It’s hard to see anything except for the problems.

This is the best time to have someone else in our corner that we can turn to for help. Working with someone else is often essential because, we see in a nearsighted fashion, often being able to identify problems and not able to tell whether there even real or not. With someone else by our side, they may be able to look a little more far afield, and they are much more likely to be able to see in a 360-degree range. They can help us decipher what the real problems are and even help find ways to overcome them.

This person could be an accountability partner, a mentor, or a life coach. It is better to have someone that we talk to on a recurring basis who knows us. If we only show up and talk to someone when we’ve got a problem and are worried or scared, it is much harder for them to help because they don’t know the whole us.

Even having a life coach and spending $70 once or twice a month to meet and discuss plans for the future is well worth the money. Just by being able to talk to someone else you can often hear what works and what won’t. Discussing concerns and problems has a magical way of reducing stress and worry on us. And by thinking things through, we could probably even save more than what the coach costs just by being able to discuss things in advance and have someone else to help you find solutions.

I have come to learn that having a coach, a mentor, or someone else who work with and be honest with me is an excellent idea.

Thanks for being with me today, I look forward to being with you again tomorrow.

Community

Lately, it seems the country is caught between floods and fires. Here in the Springs, we had terrible smoke and haze on Sunday from the fires in California Oregon, and even locally in Woodland Park. Monday, we had heavy afternoon storms that caused some of the worst flooding in the last few years. The water came down Ute pass and through Manitou Springs.

The mess left from hail, which was more than ankle-deep, and the gunk from the stream overflowing, brought the small tourist town to a standstill. The next morning civic togetherness was in full demonstration as many people in town showed up to help clean up the mess. It would take a few days to get the Town back up and running again. And, of course, the loss due to property damage and lack of tourist trade will set the town back.

The most helpful thing to come from this is the fact that even with the property damage, interruptions to routines, and loss of business, the entire community came together to help each other and clean up the mess. The town stood together to ensure everyone was safe and could recover from this devastation. Manitou Springs once again is a positive role model of a southwestern community.

This is one more occurrence that makes me step back and ask myself, “What have I done for others lately?”