Blog posts

Perspective, Reflection

Does everything have value?

I had a challenge the other day… Can everything (all diversity, skills, beliefs, etc) be valued? Is that possible? Is that something that is even desirable? Paraphrasing my challenger, he asked, “Can you / do you want to value someone who incorporates extreme techniques?” I understand his challenge. Yet, I still believe that you can and should value everything!

Let me clarify something. I believe there is a difference between valuing something and having something be part of your own personal, core value. I can value someone’s belief regarding Budda even though I do not accept that as part of my core value system. A 5-19-2012 tweet from @leadershipfreak aligns with this idea, “Don’t devalue the values of others when they don’t align.” Additionally, as an organization, I believe you can still value everyone’s skills, beliefs, etc. Yet, that doesn’t mean you adopt everything. Which means, that people who do not hold core values which align personally with the organizational core values may not be good fits for the organization. If someone’s core values are different from mine, I may not be friends with them. However, I can still value their values.

Value all! Appreciate everything people are!


Perceptions – can they be dismissed?


To me a perception is a sense or feeling a person has regarding a situation or person. Now, I will be the first to acknowledge that perceptions can be incorrect. However, does that inaccuracy negate the perception? Just because the intent was not to hurt my feelings, doesn’t change my sense that it did hurt. Just because I see a moose jumping through rings in the clouds and another person sees a giraffe, doesn’t change the fact that I see a jumping moose.

Can someone argue with your perception? I’m not sure. My initial take is “No.” A person can provide facts, context and additional information to work on changing the perception; you can describe the features of the cloud that look like a giraffe to help me see it. But I don’t think you can tell me that it’s wrong that I see a moose. To do so negates me as a person and my independent feelings. To do so devalues my right to see or feel that way.

I think it is a fine line between dismissing a perception versus helping to provide context for adjustment of the perception. The specific words used and many times it may just be the tone in those words. In the cloud scenario, think about these interactions:

Version 1:

Me: Wow, look at that cloud. I think it looks like a moose jumping through rings.
Friend: No, it’s a giraffe.
Me: OK. (in my head, “No, I see a moose!”)

Version 2:

Me: Wow, look at that cloud. I think it looks like a moose jumping through rings.
Friend: Interesting. I think it looks like a giraffe. See that piece right there – that’s the neck.
Me: I guess I could see that too.

Just by telling me “No, it’s a giraffe”=”No, you are wrong” devalues my insight and perspective. By acknowledging my perspective and then offering your perspective, shows that you value my view and want to provide context for your perspective.

What do you think? Are perceptions arguable?

Perspective, Proactive, Reflection

Happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 is my 40th birthday!

I believe that my 40’s will be the best yet! Although I know many new challenges await such as aging parents and my son entering teenage years, I believe I am finally beginning to know what I am supposed to be doing in this life! Not the specifics for each situation which I encounter of course, but the how and why! Making decisions and acting by leading with my purpose and vision. If I stay true to my values, I cannot go wrong! Bad things may will still happen, but I will trust my actions and decisions based upon leading with my true self.

I had an “aha moment” recently … “Living my values authentically is enough!” I am enough! Watch out world!!

Characteristics, Perspective, Proactive, Reflection

Proactiveness: good or bad?

As an educator, I often tell students to “be proactive”! If you have questions, go talk with your professor, ask questions in class, discuss with other students! If you are interested in something, tell others about it, seek to incorporate that into your assignments or your work. Meet new people! Ask why? Work to understand why things are occurring! Challenge the “because” responses! Engage people who think differently than you! Always learn!

Personally, I aim to be proactive. I want to understand how and why things are. I want to push to see if there’s a better way. I do believe this is the way to live life.

However, I reflect and perhaps question my advice and stance on this topic!  Is it a good thing to be proactive? Is proactivenss valued? This reflection really came to me like a slap in the face one day. A student stayed after one of my classes asking questions to better understand some questions I posed to the group during class. At first, I have to admit shamefully, I was annoyed. I needed to get going; couldn’t this student review and think on his own?! In my mind, I was taken aback by my response. Isn’t this what I tell students to do? This student was being proactive – exactly what I want in students, people in general and in myself.

Personally, I have felt the same response that I’m sure my student felt that day. I believe more commonly than not, people do not appreciate proactive people. Some might say proactive people are selfish, demanding, annoying, bossy among other things. Now it is true that you can be proactive in rude and insensitive ways. I am not including those actions in the realm of this discussion, although they do occur commonly.

So, if we take away the “inappropriate” actions, why is there so much resistance to those who are proactive? Is that we are jealous? Maybe we would like to be more that way, but for some reason we’re scared? Are we annoyed because “we would NEVER do that?” We would never approach someone for something like this! Is it that maybe we are really the selfish ones? That we don’t want to see the benefit to the proactive person as well as ourselves? We don’t care what that person does or needs? Maybe it’s all of the above at different times for each of us.

THE CHALLENGE: Regardless of the reactions of others, keep pushing. Be proactive! Others may not understand, but that’s OK. We need to do it for ourselves! Be cognizant that your actions are not intrusive or insensitive, other than that – GET AFTER IT!


Hear my voice!

Today I start a new chapter! A chapter in which I create a new voice for myself. I am gaining trust in my voice and feel it is time to set it for a larger audience to hear! I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and hearing what you have to say! It is time we all acknowledge our voices and hear others’ voices!

I anticipate my blog taking on a variety topics and challenging a few status quos! But hopefully all will connect with my underlying theme of “Everyone Thrives”! I believe this is my “why” in life and I look forward to having this blog reflect my purpose.

Thank you for reading! I appreciate the opportunity to share!

Here’s to the next chapter!!