Nonsense At Work

#95: May 2015 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift

May 2015

Lobby Wrong Chappie, Trust Knocked

Influence effectively by lobbying in the lobby

lobbingOnce upon a time lobbying was not a naughty word. Lobbying was actually quite constructive. I know, because I worked for a successful firm that encouraged lobbying.

So let’s be clear about lobbying. A lobby is the entrance area to a building. And lobbying is the attempt to influence a decision-maker’s point of view. Put lobby and lobbying together and what do we see? Yes! That lobbying should be done in the open, not behind closed doors.

Furthermore, the word lob means to throw, and thus lobbying means to throw ideas at someone. It does not mean to pressure someone into changing a way of thinking.

In the successful firm that I mentioned, executives lobbied brazenly to influence an upcoming decision. But then something amazing happened. After the decision was made, those who lobbied like crazy now worked like crazy to make a success of whatever decision was made.

The way to be all right is to be comfortably wrong

alright-comfortably-wrongYes, I’m sure some of you are not convinced and still believe that lobbying is simply nonsense. Well, nonsense has taught me many useful things. Here’s one that helps to reduce stress. Read carefully.

The way to be right is not to make others wrong. The way to be right is to be all right, as in ‘I’m all right, Jack’.

Our world is constantly changing. Being right is a moment to moment affair.  Right can become wrong as easily as wrong becomes right.

So, I’ve swapped being right for being happy. After all, being right all the time can be so tiring and tiresome.

Here’s how it’s done. Choose to be all right instead of always right. Next, aim to comfortably wrong. When you are wrong, don’t rationalize; apologize and get over it. Then get on with helping others to be right.

Let’s summarize. The way to be all right is to be comfortable with wrong as you help others to be right.

Dirt work makes chappie happy

Dung-beatle-bwBy the way, I am comfortably right when I say that nonsense is a natural, abundant, renewable resource. I realized this when I watched a dung beetle at work in the African bush.

Dung is really just dirt in the making and dirt could make you happy. At least, so think social scientists in Britain. By people I think they mean grownups. We already know that dirt makes children happy.

So far they have evidence that dirt makes mice happy. But to some scientists, a mouse is as good as a people, so they assume that the process involved must be similar in humans. It appears that certain types of dirt stimulate the neurons in the brain that produce serotonin, which influences your mood.

This implies that we will all be happier if we spent more time playing in the dirt.

Would you like to guess what your next team building exercise will involve? Hey, don’t blame me. I’m just the nonsense messenger.

When to mistrust trust at work

trust-team-lifeAnd this messenger wants to warn you about any trust building benefits you might expect from team building.

Our results at work very often depend on the help of others. When this happens, our success becomes interdependent. Obvious, isn’t it?

What is often less obvious is what this interdependency really means. It means that we must be able to rely on others to do as they are told to do and for them to continue to behave as expected.

Trust at work thus involves dependency, reliability and consistency. It means that you are confident that you can depend on others because you believe that they will continue to do as promised and as expected.

However, a common mistake is to expect too much trust at work. Yes, trust others to get their share of the work done, but not with your life.

You will create unexpected nonsense if you demand trust beyond what is needed to achieve team goals in line with your organization’s purpose.

Spring back from knocked into shape and cut down to size

Spring-backLast autumn I watched my wife and two helpers at work in our garden. I watched from a safe distance, from an upstairs window. It looked far too brutal for my liking.

They were grabbing at branches and whacking at beds, knocking Mother Nature into shape and cutting her down to size. When they were done we were left with a rather subdued looking garden. The shrubs and other plants appeared shrunken, as if they wished to hide under a blanket of snow.

But now, with spring here, what a difference. The cut-down-to-size plants are all stretching and reaching for the sky. The knocked-into-shape flower beds are beginning to push their boundaries and borders again.

Oh, to be able to recover like that every time I get knocked into shape and cut down to size.

Wait a minute. Maybe I can. Who said I couldn’t? Not Mother Nature.

Would you like to cut me down to size?

Welcome to our side of the nonsense divide


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