New Day and Decisions

Dec 5 / Joel Medley
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Blog Synposis

With fewer than 30 days before the end of this calendar year, now is the time to pause and reflect on personal and professional goals. Evaluate the progress made. Find the success and shortcomings. Try to understand why for each. With the lessons learned from that process, and the 3 questions provided, you can then prepare goals for 2023!
Several months ago, it happened - a personal situation with a professional application.

At the end of a longer-than-normal workday, I was shutting down the laptop; and my three oldest kids came entered the office with a look of horror on their faces. They proceeded to tell me a mad person was in the driveway demanding to speak with me. I inquired as to why, and they broke eye contact. I re-asked my question with a little more firmness. Finally, one of them spilled the beans – they had been throwing rocks and something might have, possibly (but highly doubtful), could've hit this person's home.

In meeting with this irate neighbor, they were much more direct – your kids were throwing rocks and many of those rocked bounced my garage door. When they stepped outside to tell them to stop, the kids bolted, and they watched which house they ran towards. I thanked them for letting me know and shared I would stop by in a few minutes.

After some “Family Talk Time,” I was able to get to the bottom of this situation – our kids were not throwing AT the house (but at some concrete piping that rested on the property line) and a ricochet was the "cause" of hitting that garage door.  Not great, but better than them just standing there and hurling stones at a home.

All three of them put on their shoes and, together, we went to apologize. This step, more than any other, drove the message home because they had to reflect individually and learned to own their actions. Those new neighbors were gracious. The kiddos received an appropriate consequence for their choices, and we had a great discussion about cause and effect.

Before they went to bed, I gave them 30 minutes to answer three questions:
  1. What results did you receive and how happy are you with them?
  2. What actions did you take to get those outcomes?
  3. In hindsight, how should you have acted differently?

The next morning, at breakfast, we discussed their answers to those questions.  At the end, I shared with them an image similar to the one below:  New Day. New Decisions. New Direction.


Day. | Decisions. | Direction.
We talked about how they earned, through their actions, what the neighbors think about them. Everyone is the ONLY one responsible for that reputation. They are also the ONLY ones that can take steps to change.
This perspective is a central core to self-leadership, and it was a good reminder for me (and maybe you).

Keep this always in your mind, particularly in these circumstances:
    (1) If the design did not turn out as hoped, well, tomorrow is a new day.
    (2) Maybe a deadline was missed because other things got in the way.  Now, there's an opportunity for new decisions related to priorities.
    (3) Perhaps satisfaction ratings from a whole-staff training were lower than anticipated satisfaction, so a chance to use data and create a new direction with that topic is in your future.
    (4) It could even be that students achieved greater than anticipated and others need to know what instructional practices were utilized.

The applications are endless for your personal and professional life!

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