Upset, Hurt….How Can The Scriptures Help?

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Hurt? Upset? …..How Can the Scriptures Help?

Have you ever experienced HURT?

Have you ever been UPSET?

I want you to cast your mind back to a situation in which you were upset or felt hurt. Some of you might not have to go back because you are hurting right now.

I am going to add to your burden, because I am going to suggest that maybe you could have avoided being upset and the hurt that you experienced was unnecessary.

Recently, someone shared with me an issue that could have caused us to be upset and even to experience hurt. My response was to invite them to consider some things that might have produced the situation. I had taken those things into consideration and consequently being upset did not even occur to me.

I had a conversation with another individual who indicated that they were taking care not to get caught up in reacting to what could be seen as disrespectful behaviour from a colleague.

With the exception of those who walk under a halo, from time to time something rubs us the wrong way and we get upset and may even experience hurt feelings.

That said, it is equally true that how we process and file incoming information influences how we relate to others and how we respond to events. What it all boils down to is that the only factors that determine what rubs us the wrong way are the images we play in our heads and the words we frame.

What am I saying?

I am suggesting that your thoughts are the only things that determine whether you are upset or hurt.

To use Rohan’s psychology class example:

If an insane person hurls some really terrible insults at you, would you get upset and feel hurt?

Put the same words in the mouth of your least favoured colleague and……

All that has happened is that you processed the events differently. YOU and only YOU decided to smile in one instance and to fly into a rage in the other.

So who caused you to be upset and hurt? YOU. Single-handedly, all by yourself, working alone, with no outside intervention, in your own wisdom YOU took it up on yourself to be upset and experience hurt.

Why we do that to ourselves is hard to understand.

I want to share with you how the Scriptures and a renewed mind can help you to better manage upset and hurt.

  1. Other’s shoes

Matthew 7:12New International Version (NIV)

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Some of the upset and hurt that we experience can be avoided by making one fundamental adjustment.

The critical change that will make a huge difference in our lives is to “put yourself in the shoes of others”. Before you turn off and think you have been hearing that from childhood, bear with me a little longer.

I am suggesting that you develop the discipline to consistently ponder why the individual did what they did or said what they said BEFORE reacting.

Some of us are far too sensitive and touchy. Our first impulse is to take offence and to feel disrespected. In that state of mind, it is difficult to think objectively and things go downhill from that point.

We all know people with that mentality and relating to them is like walking on eggs. The challenge is that traces of the mindset that leads to that kind of reaction might be more present in us that we realize.

Pause for a while and reflect on some situations in which you have been upset or experienced hurt.

Can you say that you fully explored what could have caused the individual to act the way they did?

Can you say that you treated them the way you would have wanted to be treated?

Give others the benefit of the doubt to reduce upset or hurt.

Our next stop is the role of SELF

  1. Focus on Self

When you think of the hurt you experienced, were you focused on yourself and your needs?

When we focus on ourselves to the exclusion of other considerations, it is easy to find things that are not in sync with where we are mentally. Anything that falls outside of our needs prompts internal conflict which may or may not be expressed.

Supressed conflict often manifests as upset or hurt.

You can reduce the incidence of upset in your life by being more mindful that we need to be inter-dependent.  We have to make sacrifices to support each other.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matt 16:24

Deny SELF and reduce upset.

  1. Pride

We do not like to accept the role of pride in our lives but we have some explaining to do. Why would we feel disrespected because we were not mentioned by name in a speech and others were?

Why else would Donald Trump throw away the advantage of his Convention Speech to return to his childish tracing because Ted Cruz did not endorse him?

Why would we take umbrage to the fact that we were not consulted in the decision making process or invited to the meeting or function?

In those cases, a haughty self-image has got the better of us.

Reduce instances of being upset by accepting that you might be less important in the scheme of things than you think.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18 

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall

Proverbs 16:5

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Solomon was pointing out that the natural progression is for healing to take place. Conflicts should move to resolution …not fester and grow into malice.

Increase humility and reduce hurt.

  1. Low self-esteem

We are not happy accepting that we might have low self-esteem. However, it is an issue for some of us.

People who are lacking in self-confidence tend to attach a negative spin to unfolding events. There is a tendency to think that things are not in their favour. The motive of others is questioned and rarely deemed to be in their best interest.

Hurt and upset linked to this mindset can be reduced by spending considerable time in mental visualizing exercises. Picture yourself experiencing positive outcomes. Play mental videos of things going well for you. Time and time again see people being kind to you and giving you the respect that you deserve. Above all, know that you are worthy! Increase self-esteem and reduce upset.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

What about Forgiveness?

You notice there is no mention of forgiveness. If there is no offence taken then there is no need for forgiveness.

Are there situations in which there is genuine cause to be upset or to experience hurt?

Yes, but I prefer to pass on some opportunities to be upset.

It gives me peace of mind and enhances my relationships.

Romans 12:18 New International Version (NIV)

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I include myself in that. I want to be at peace with myself and others. Taking offence moves me away from that. Even if I do not raise it with others, I will not be at peace internally. I would rather not take offence in the first place.

In closing, I draw your attention to the Mark 12:28-31

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

This has implications for you. Loving God with all your heart, means being obedient to Him. If you are here and you have not followed His plan for rescuing you from sin, you need to fix that before it is eternally too late. God’s system for rescuing you from eternal damnation includes affirming that Jesus is the Son of God and being immersed in water for the removal of your sins.

The other implication of the passage is the command to love your neighbour as yourself.

If you are firmly grounded in Christ and stay true to these commandments you will experience less hurt and find fewer reasons to be upset.

God bless you!

 

 

 

 

How To Control Your Mind: Are We Too Weak Mentally?

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 Are We Too Weak Mentally?

There is a tendency for us to seek the easy way out. When faced with tough decisions we choose less difficult options. We don’t look forward to struggle, pain and suffering.

Yet: James1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We dread hard times and have grown lax in the use of our minds. We have become loose in our thinking and allowed our minds to be like unbridled wild horses.

James 3: 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

Lessons from breaking in a horse help us to bring our minds under control. A 5-step process is recommended.

  1. Gain trust. Develop a personal relationship with your horse before trying to train him.

Our minds have been dominated by a self-image that we hold to be true.

Spend time discovering on a daily basis who you really are. What interests you, what inspires you, what scares you, what frustrates you, what tempts you, what angers you, what embarrasses you, what prompts you to hide your true feelings?

  1. Practice Safety. You need to be careful around horses.

You are about to discipline a mind that is being influenced by external factors. Don’t get over-confident and careless during the exercise.

Eph 612 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The fact is that you have to contend with external influences in behaviour modification.

  1. Take it one step at a time. Each step has to become a habit before moving on to the next step.

Start gaining control of your mind with micro-steps. Conquer things like forcing yourself to get up to exercise when your body says sleep longer.

Those are the battles that we need to win before we can talk about major behaviour modification. We have to let our bodies know who is calling the shots now.

1Co 9:25 Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, …… 27 I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.  (GNB)

Track down every “can’t be bothered”; “I don’t feel like it”; “It is too much trouble”; “It’s too hard”; and every “I can’t manage it”.

Take one bad habit at a time and work on it until the replacement becomes a habit. Also aspire to develop your mind in new, positive directions. Expand your horizons.

We also have to get our minds ready for the disappointments that we will face:

  • Failed relationships
  • Betrayal
  • Bereavement
  • Financial disaster
  • Major health challenges

Commit now to work on one mind building project over the next 60 days.

  1. Never get angry.

Yelling and beating the horse breaches the trust and bonding.

One huge challenge to behavioural transformation is negative self-talk. An emotional outburst actually reinforces the behaviour.

Instead of “Clumsy!” ask an empowering question: Why do I always take special care on stairs?

Getting angry also causes us to give up in frustration. Be patient. Make progress slowly but steadily.

  1. Reward successes.

Catching people doing the right thing has proven to be more effective in achieving lasting behavioural transformation than looking out for faults.

The same thing happens internally. Celebrate when you get it right. When you get it wrong, gently provide guidance to get back on track.

Tough times require tough minds.

Stop the drift towards minds that are unbridled, lacking in discipline and without direction.

Work to develop one new habit within 60 days.

Master and coach these concepts with our SHRM-accredited Certified Behavioural Coach Award and 3-D Leader Certification: Leading Difficult People programmes. Earn PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certifications.

E-mail: info@infoservonline.com.

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People™ Academy.

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Family the way God intended

cropped-s004_babykissingman.jpgIf we are to replicate ourselves as Christians and the human race is to continue then we must produce children.

I want to discuss some conditions under which a young man could create and lead a God-serving family.

God prescribed the context in which children are to be produced … a man leaving his mother and father and cleaving to his wife and the two becoming one flesh. (Matt 19:5)

Any other arrangement leads either to a dysfunctional society or the very end of the human race.

I will therefore start the discussion on “Family the way God intended” in the context of marriage and the production and grooming of offspring.

I would suggest that to develop a Christian family you need a devout God-fearing husband and wife.

  1. My first bit of advice then would be choose your partner wisely. A bad marriage is the Christian’s worst nightmare.

Today, young women seem desperate to have their own live dolly. Young men are challenged to resist the widespread promiscuity and pornography around them.  Unfortunately, some of our brothers and sisters are giving in to the temptation and giving Christianity a bad name.

Please note that while a purchaser might be happy to take a spin in the Test Drive/Demo vehicle they want a brand new one when they are ready to purchase.

This is not intended to be an affront to anyone or to condemn the many families that are not designed the way God planned it.

However, the fact is that bearing children outside of marriage is not part of God’s plan for the family.

The response of those who want to remain faithful is to satisfy those needs by seeking refuge in marriage. Who could complain about that?

1 Cor 7: Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

My issue with that is that marriage should not be based solely on satisfying those desires. What happens after you have satisfied the flesh?

You need to ensure that you select a partner that is keenly interested and invested in serving God. That immediately reduces a lot of the friction and distraction that plague marriages.

Family the way God intended it is only possible if your partner will also serve Him.

  1. The next thing that will create the environment for the development and growth of a Christian family is the need for you to be the example.

You have to model what you want your partner and children to be. Taking them to church and Bible Study is fine. But they are more likely to copy what they see you do than follow what they hear in a sermon.

Demonstrate to them what a dynamic prayer life is like. When real pressure reaches you show them that by leaning on the everlasting arms you need not despair. When you celebrate your successes take care to give God the glory and thanks.

Avoid trying to create a fake reality. Let them know when you are challenged.

This might be tricky for some, but I also believe that you should not hide away all your disputes with your spouse. Demonstrate that in real live there are going to be disagreements and show that you are able to resolve them in ways that are pleasing to God.

We have to prepare our families to operate in the world even though they are not of the world.

Some families have the shock of their lives as soon as their children get to an age where they can exercise their independence. Why do so many fall away at university?

Lay a solid foundation based on encouraging independent thought. Teach them to have a questioning mind and to have answers for why they hold things as being true.

But that is for later. Back to the infant stage.

  1. Start early with getting them involved in prayer and worship activities.

Teach them to give thanks for their food even when they can only get out the Amen. Let them experience praying before going to bed.

Take them to church consistently. They don’t miss school neither should they miss worship. As soon as they can recognize words, point out words in the song books. Teach them Christian songs at home.

  1. Feed them on a diet of wholesome entertainment. Show them that the Christian is not condemned to a life of boredom.

Show them that Christians can and do enjoy themselves. If they grow up with good clean fun they will be better able to respond to the stories of secular enjoyment that their friends at school will share.

You do not want them to feel like their friends are out enjoying their young lives and they are shut up in a prison called Christianity.

  1. Create the same excitement about going to Church as you do about starting school or attending some special event
  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people. What kind of friends (“Uncles and Aunties”) are they associating with? Are these people coming by in bathing suits and sand on their feet when you are returning from worship? Is their lifestyle one that you want your children to emulate?

Be overly cautious in who gains access and influence with your family!!! Not just the children but also wife and husband. Hair curling things are happening at the hands of “trusted” friends.

  1. You might have to sever long-standing friendships if they put your family at risk in terms of their relationship with God. Choose who you will serve!

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whoyou will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

 Prepare yourself to offer sound counsel.

Children need answers. Create an environment in which you are one of the first sources of advice and information that they choose.

You do not have to have a doctorate or 12 CXCs. But open your mind to things that matter. Read or listen to trusted sources of information. Know things. Ask questions. Prepare yourself to guide your children as they navigate through life. The scriptures is the greatest guide to successful living. Search it daily for answers.

If you are discredited as a source of information – never available, or your constant response is “I don’t know” – then the children will have to look outside exclusively for answers.

You will lose your influence over them. You will only be their parent biologically but not functionally.

But what if you have a mature family that is not operating the way that God intended?

The wife and husband are not seeing eye-to-eye. Grown children have no interest in serving God.

My view is that the Husband has the responsibility as the God-designated head of the household to put things in order. He has to do whatever is necessary to be reconciled to his wife … even sacrificing “being right.”

You should avoid using threats and coercion to bring the children in line. “As long as you are under my roof” only works until they get the first opportunity to move out.

Sit down and listen. What is going on in their minds? What are the issues that they are having? When you know what is going on with them you stand a better chance of being able to find common ground. Imposing your will is not sustainable. You can’t monitor them 24/7/365 and forever.

What if the father is the source of the problems and will not subject himself to the will of God?

That is the biggest threat to the family as God intended it.

In that case, the wife has to assume leadership of the process to create a God-fearing family. Notice the role of Lois and Eunice

2 Tim 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Prov 31: 10A wife of noble character who can find?     She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,   all the days of her life.

1 Peter 3: 1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

If you are hearing my voice, please note that Family the way God intended, is designed to be built around Christian parents. Husbands and wives who have obeyed the Gospel.

They have heard and believed that through the disobedience of man, sin entered the world and condemned mankind to the second death. That Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins through His death and resurrection.

They must decide to change to a life of obedience and to make it known publicly that they accept that Jesus is the son of God. They must then be immersed in baptism for the removal of their sins and arise to walk in the light of God’s word.

Who will make a commitment right now to create a family the way God intended?

Who will start working today to bring their family members to the point of being reconciled with the Almighty God?

Who is ready right now to forsake their life of sin and to wash away their sins in baptism?

Manage Difficult People Challenges with DISCerning Communication

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How To Use DISCerning Communication To Deal With Difficult People Challenges

Here is a different strategy for relating to difficult people.

Firstly, appreciate that many difficult situation challenges are really DISCerning Communication issues. The difficulties are largely a clash of behavioural styles.

When we recognize that difficulties are a conflict of behavioural preferences we are able to apply proven strategies to resolve them. However, if we tie the difficult situation challenges to the individual then it is more challenging to find answers.

A Map of Behavioural Preferences  

Dominance, Inducement, Steadiness and Conscientiousness (DISC)

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To get a better sense of how behavioural styles confuse communication we take a few examples from Dominant Style traits.

Others interpret “Direct” as blunt, undiplomatic and insensitive

“Decisive” gets translated as rash and reluctant to conduct proper analysis

“Independent” is viewed as being selfish and not a team player.

What happens when we use DISCerning Communication?

Let Don represent Dominance and Susan represent Steadiness and examine their perspective on “Direct”.

Johnny (colleague) has a problem with body odour. Don’s approach is to place his arm around Johnny’s shoulder and speak directly to the BO challenge advising that this brand of deodorant could solve the problem.

Susan reflects for a long time on how to get the message across to Johnny without hurting his feelings. Finally, she devices some subtle approach to give Johnny a hint.

Susan thinks Don’s approach is insensitive. It will hurt Johnny’s feeling.

Don thinks Susan’s approach takes forever while she devises her diplomacy. In the end, Johnny might even miss the message.

This brings their communication to a difference of approach rather than a personal issue.

We can disagree but it is on the grounds of approach not annoying personal flaws. We open our minds to the possibility that there may be an alternative point of view. There is a tendency to be less emotional in those circumstances.

Let us review an Inducement-Style case

Team members who have a preference for the I-style are often simultaneously the source of great pleasure and immense frustration.

Reliability is the major issue for others.  “But you said you would……” is a recurring phrase.

Here is a radically different perspective that might save you from pulling out more hair.

Our DISCerning Communication skills inform us that a feature of the I-Style is the desire to please. They seek success with and through people.

Given the need to please others, there is a tendency to say “Yes” readily.

There is also their need for interaction.

Let’s use Ivan as an example. You ask him to do you a favour and he says “Sure.” What are Ivan’s realities?

He has a full time job, is President of his Citizens Association, Vice President with responsibilities for Member Issues at his Service Club, enrolled in evening classes…….. Honestly, where would Ivan find the time to carry out your favour?

The bottom line is that people using the I-Style have a tendency to over-commit.  Their desire to please and to connect makes them want to serve. We poke fun at Ivan by noting that when he says “Consider it done”, he instantly considers it as having been done.

How does DISCerning Communication help?

  1. Take care to have Ivan clarify if his response is Yes (meaning I would like to help) or a genuine commitment to completing your task.
  2. Discuss implementation so that the issue is moved from the surface.
  3. Establish deadlines.
  4. Put reminders in place.
  5. Monitor progress.

DISCerning Communication makes a difference.

 

These principles are also incorporated in our 3-D Leader Certification: Leading Difficult People program.

SHRMThe program is accredited by SHRM and offers 16 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP certifications. It involves over 16 facilitator-led, interactive hours of coaching plus 12 months of access to Online Courseware, e-Mail Consultation, Webinars and an exclusive Facebook Community.

Learn more at info[at]swpacademy.com

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy.

 

 

How To Be More DISCerning With Others

 

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My 2+ granddaughter makes it clear when I can sing along and when I am to be silent. I discern that compliance is required.

Discernment enhances inter-personal relations and effective leadership. This is wrapped up in an approach that I call DISCerning Communication.

The concept incorporates behavioural preferences.  Questions about the value and validity of classifying behavioural styles have been raised.

Reference to an analogy of clothing preferences puts the issue into correct perspective. In reality, behavioural preferences are directly equivalent to our taste in clothes. We can put on or take off shades at will. At the same time, our library of photos will reveal a shade preference.

I have a preference for wearing blue. However, a pitfall would be to label me as a blue-shirt man. I am not wed to blue and wear other colours.

It is beneficial for the clothing store owner to know that there are people who have a preference for blue so as stock accessories and variations to satisfy them. However, it would be an error to confine their dealings with me to only items of blue. I might be seeking to diversify my wardrobe or could be encouraged to try on something new.

The fundamental principle is the need to separate the behaviour from the person.

The store owner should handle demonstrated blue shirt preference by showing things that go along with blue shirts. However, she should treat theindividual with an open mind, not knowing what they might want this time. Once the customer indicates a preference then the owner should roll out the things that are best suited to that style.

This approach dramatically improves the capacity of the store owner to satisfy customers. She identifies the cross-section of preferences that she will serve and works out how to best serve the needs of each preference. She does not need to be concerned that customers might have complex tastes. She focuses on learning to discern when a preference that she has classified is displayed and roll out her tested strategy for satisfying the identified needs.

Now, it could be that in a single encounter, the customer displays different – even conflicting – preferences. That is fine. Be clear about which preference is being addressed at any point in time and present the solution that meets those needs. Then move to the next.

The challenge we have created with behavioural classifications comes from the need to affix labels on others. The store staff says here comes blue-preference Trevor and shuts down every other expectation of my behaviour. Then when I am drawn to the flaming red turtleneck there is shock and their faith in the classification concept is dented. Focus on behaviours not on individuals!

Properly defined the behavioural classifications are consistent. People are not. Learn to identify behaviours and how best to respond to or manage them and life’s journey is a lot easier to navigate.

Step 1: Master the descriptors of the classification framework such that you can distinguish among behaviours (not people!).

Step 2: Learn how to get best results in relating to each category in the framework.

Step 3: Discern when each category is being displayed and apply the ideal strategy from Step 2.

That is the real value of behavioural classifications – facilitating inter-personal relationships. Stapling types as labels on the foreheads of others is misuse.

Avoid relying on “He is X”; “You are Y”; “I am Z” use of classifications!

Inserting the word using  makes all the difference in the world. “He is using X” alerts me to use X appropriate responses. I am also open to the possibility that he could shift to using Z at any time and I am flexible to apply suitable Z strategies.

However, the question remains: Is the store owner who invests in having customers fill out a questionnaire that highlights their preferences wasting time and money?

Not at all and here is why.

The store owner soon realizes that the range of preferences could be reduced to a manageable number of classifications. For simplicity here, she realizes that at its core her customers have a prevailing preference for variations of red, yellow, green, blue.

She uses that understanding to learn everything about relating to the nuances of each category (colour) and meeting their needs. She figures that showing blue might attract my interest but the minute I signal I am into red today, she rolls out her red sales plan.

The beauty of behaviour-based discernment is that the owner has the flexibility to deal effectively with both old and new customers. She discerns what’s going on with each customer in this moment and acts accordingly. DISCerning Communication works!

Next time, we discuss the value of  behavioural classification frameworks in leading others.

 

Ask about the SHRM-accredited 3-D Leader Certification: Dealing with Difficult People. Earn SHRM Professional Development Credits.

The next cohort of the ICF/SHRM accredited Certified Behavioural Coach Award is January 2016.

E-mail: info[at]swpacademy.com

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy which is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM Certifications.

How To Avoid Costly Mistakes: Top 3 Causes

 

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“But I thought….” is the lead-in to millions of lost strands of hair and even more dollars. Re-work challenges real work for primacy.

Why is it so difficult to give and receive instructions?

The ability to give instructions that get it done, when the task is to be done, in the way it should be done escapes even seasoned leaders.

I have distilled 3 recurring factors that disrupt the giving and receiving of instructions. Working on reducing their impact will bring greater peace of mind and reduce re-work losses significantly.

#3. Different starting points

I land at the Miami Airport and go to pick up my rented car. I ask for instructions as to how to reach my destination. Detailed instructions are given – Exit # off I-95 and the lane to take on nearing the Exit.

I get in the car and after circling the airport twice, I return to the parking lot and seek instructions as to how to get on to I-95.

The agent thought I knew how to navigate from the parking lot on to I-95 and I was too ignorant to realize the difficulty.

Assuming that the person receiving the instruction is further ahead of where they are in reality is a major cause of frustrating mistakes and failed attempts. Hubby bought the wrong brand – shucks!

The added problem is that this often takes place in situations where there is a need for urgency.

Beware “Go now!” … “Do now!” Mistakes lurk behind them.

Darling, run to the store and buy some salt. Now honey!

Oh, no what is this …you know we only use sea salt!

You assumed incorrectly.

The messenger is advised to break speed records to get a bid in before the deadline. His attempts at seeking clarification are rebuffed with the call for immediate action. Go now!

He does get to the building in time but the 15 minutes it takes to find the right bid box causes him to miss the deadline. The dispatchers failed to start where he was. The things he wanted clarified were blocked by the deceitfulness of urgency and wrong assumptions.

Solution: Make no assumptions. Correction – assume that the person receiving the instruction is clueless and needs to be guided from appropriate starting points. Treat urgent situations with caution… they mask costly mistakes.

#2: “I got it!”

Without giving away too much about an instructive exercise from our Time & Task Management workshops, I watched the equivalent of the following play out as a senior professional gave instructions to a colleague:

Giver: “Go to the left”

Receiver: Voices “Left” but moves to the right

Giver: “Move forward”

Receiver: “Forward” but moves backward.

This actually happened and I share why.

I presented an outcome that should achieve and demonstrated one way to get there. One person was designated to give instructions to their partner with backs turned. No questions were allowed.

The receiver had a clear picture of the procedure that I used and was replicating that even while acknowledging in words the contrary instructions being given. He knew what to do and stopped listening.

Failure to listen effectively causes many costly mistakes. Hearing is not equal to listening.

Solution: Engage in meaningful two-way exchanges of information until you are convinced that the instructions have been received without distortion. Monitoring execution is also critical.

#1. Failure to follow procedure

Nadad and Abihu grew up in the temple as sons of Aaron – the High Priest. They would have witnessed countless sacrifices and would have been trained how to offer sacrifices. Yet, they departed from established procedure and lost their lives. (Bible – Leviticus 10)

User error is a primary cause of costly mistakes – despite manuals and training.

Solution: Seek ways to make adjustments to SYSTEMS that reduce user error.

Examples: Insert verification processes or use physical devices. Align that with improved training, monitoring and supervision. Increasing penalties is also a deterrent.

Register now for the SHRM-accredited 3-D Leader Certification: Leading Difficult People or our on-demand “Time & Task Management” course. E-mail: info[at]swpacademy.com

 

The next cohort of the ICF-accredited Certified Behavioral Coach Award starts in January 2017.

E-mail: info[at]swpacademy.com

Trevor E S Smith is a Behaviour Modification Coach with the Success with People Academy, Extended DISC/FinxS.  The Success with People Academy is recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM Certifications.

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