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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Curiosity bolsters self-confidence.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 5, 2016

Curiosity opens the door to alternative realities: this is discovered when you are curious, when you ask questions and when you listen to other people's self-stories. 

When people see your [sincere] curiosity at play, most will reciprocate and share their realities with you - realities that are as true and accurate as yours...but, often, remarkably different than yours. 

There are, of course, other ways to learn about other people's realities. We live in the age of The Internet of Things and enormous volumes of information are available online. Consider Facebook and Twitter. These two online social media venues offer insight into people’s realities, or at least insight into the way they want to present their 'realities' to you in pictures and stories. 

To really get a full perspective on other people's realities it is better to interact with them face-to-face. Have real conversations. And to maximize those conversations, it is best to be curious and to ask good questions then observe and listen intently. 

Give people plenty of time to share their stories with you.

Curiosity is an innate talent. We all possess it. At least, at one time when we were young we certainly did.

Curiosity is also a learned skill. 

If life experiences have beaten curiosity out of you – don’t give up. Your curiosity can be resurrected. Your curiosity can also be enhanced so it will become a lifelong tool. Curiosity will help you understand other people in ‘your world’. Curiosity will allow you to understand how you differ from other people in very fundamental ways. And curiosity will help you understand why other people disagree with your views and sometimes refuse to embrace your views. As you gain understanding of the differences, the knowledge you gain will build your self-confidence. 

When you understand your perspectives differ from other people’s perspectives, you have the ability to construct your messages in ways that do not threaten other people’s perspectives. At the same time the messages embedded in your questions will help others understand your views. In effect, communication preparation – question preparation – is the key to building both self-confidence and personal relationships. Choose to deliver your viewpoints in ways that will be understood [questions] rather than in ways that will be poorly received [instructions]. When you develop skill in this area you will grow self-confidence. 


About Todd Henry's 3 Types of Work & 4 Worker Profiles

by Rick Baker
On Jul 5, 2016

Todd Henry presents a very helpful way to think about work and the types of work people favour.

This perspective on work and workers' natural preferences can be used to complement the wisdom embedded in Gallup's Talents and Strengths tools. Of course, for Gallup, 'Developer' has a different meaning.

An introduction to Todd Henry's thinking

Your Peace of Mind ...&...Your Character

by Rick Baker
On May 23, 2016

There's a sweet spot where your thoughts & actions, your talents & strengths, and your values & virtues align and overlap.

This sweet spot is the place where your peace of mind lives. For many people, peace of mind is hard to find...like that tiny font in a sweet spot.

Here's the picture:


Other people can sense but not really feel or see your peace of mind. Other people cannot truly know your thoughts. AT best, other people can guess your talents and your values. However, they can and do observe your actions and make conclusions about your virtues, values, talents, strengths, and thoughts. They sum all these things up very quickly and, in a word, they call them your character. This all starts with first impressions, which get corrected each time you perform and they observe new actions. And, in their minds, you character remains fragile...slow to build and quick to demolish. Their minds are harsh judges, always opining on your actions. And, again, their opinion of your character can easily sustain damage and permanent injury.

Your character, as they decide it,  becomes the framework they use to determine the nature of the relationship they will [or will not] have with you. 

Here's the picture:

Of course, you have a biased view of these aspects of your peace of mind and your character...as do others who observe you.

When the going gets tough...

by Rick Baker
On Apr 28, 2016

When the going gets tough...

When you are all stressed out because the work ahead looks so daunting...

When your spirit is weakened...

...review your key talents and areas of strength. Think about your past successes and why & how you brought them about. Why was the success important to you? Does the work ahead share any common ground with the work already successfully completed?

...remember babies learn to walk one small step at a time. Think about major challenges you faced in the past and the small steps you took when you needed to get beyond the big obstacles. How did you select then focus on those small steps?

...take a short time out and countdown with 10 slow breaths. As your mind quietens, think about a time when doom and gloom scenarios seemed imminent then as time passed those problem scenarios did not happen.

Consider the possibility - this present problem too shall disappear in time.

Values, talents, achievements...and peace of mind.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 25, 2016

Values and talents make a powerful mix when combined with goals and persistence. To put this in perspective: there's an important linkage between personal values and individual talents. Values provide the moral compass, which includes the setting of rules (whether formal or subliminal) around behaviour and expectations of 'fair play' by/from others. Talents, when given opportunity, combine with knowledge and skill-practice to create personal strengths. 

Groups of people - teams, communities, societies - have the ability to excel when the personal values of the individuals align. Obviously, alignment doesn't mean 100% consistency and agreement, however, it does mean general acceptance and habits that conform to written or unwritten rules/laws/codes of conduct. 

Groups of people - teams, communities, societies - have the ability to excel when the personal talents of individuals 'feed off' one another...with the strengths of individuals compensating for the weaknesses of other individuals and the strengths of individuals amplifying one another to create results often described as 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts'.

When both values and talents align and are coupled with a strong desire to achieve and persistent can-do mindsets, excellent performance follows. When the four attributes [values, talents, desire to achieve, & persistent focus and effort] are combined an interesting phenomenon visits - people naturally make more-positive use of heir stress energy.  That phenomenon results in peace of mind. 

Got No Time & Ineptitude

by Rick Baker
On Apr 22, 2016

Many people believe they have no time because they think they are far too busy. Since we all have the same amount of time each minute/hour/day, when people feel/think they don’t have enough time they are experiencing a flawed mindset. Actually, these people do have time and their mindset is clouded by some form of ineptitude. Sometimes it's their ineptitude...their inability to identify their talents and use their talents to perform their work. Sometimes it's the ineptitude of people they work with...again, the problem often boils down to a mismatch between talents and work tasks.

If the people are bosses then they can't blame others...they have to accept the fact their ineptitude is the source of the problem [and the cause of the alleged shortage of time]. 

Herein lies a Catch-22. People get so busy 'in their minds' they have no time to address their own ineptitude or anyone else's.  When this problem takes full hold, their too-busy mindsets fuel their ineptitudes and their ineptitudes fuel their too-busy mindsets. The result is a never ending cycle - a shrinking spiral -of work, busyness, stress, and distress...in a paycheck-to-paycheck business environment...[if business is doing that well]. 

When I hear people complain about poor business practices at their company, I know they believe they are too busy. 

When I hear people complain about being too busy, I know their company is experiencing poor business practices. 

Busyness and Ineptitude: These things regularly travel hand in hand, creating a tightly-clutched Catch-22. To excel, people need break the Catch-22 by doing at least one of two actions:

#1 - stop saying & thinking "I am too busy" and

#2 - start injecting better goals, better procedures & better disciplines into their business practices. 


Of the above 2 actions, #1 is the easier starting point.

But, what if people try #1 and cannot do it... 




I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | STRENGTHS: People-Focused for Success

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