Parking Lot Full of Ideas

So conducting large meetings is not often easy. 


People have their own concepts as to where they’d like the discussion to go.


Yes, agendas help keep the meeting focused. 


And a good facilitator enforces meeting discipline. 


Some people think that any deviation from the agenda is like taken a sudden left turn or driving off the cliff. 


But you don’t want to throw away the baby with the bath water. 


It’s important to jot down good ideas or follow up questions that come out in the discussion even when they are not immediately relevant. 


That’s where the “Parking Lot” comes into play. 


A flip chart or whiteboard to capture the important thoughts for follow up afterwards. 


While parking lots are needed to take certain things off the table immediately in order to focus on accomplishing the meeting’s objectives, they are not junk yards for people’s input. 


Instead, they are a place to park the stray thoughts and then to actively follow up on these after. 


No question is a dumb one, and no idea isn’t worth considering. 


Parking lots can be full of these and they should be parked and then taken for a spin around the neighborhood.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Anyone Have A Question About This Car?

Yeah, all I can say…

Anyone have a question about this car?


I am pretty sure this car is owned by Matthew Lesko, “The Question Mark Guy.”


Lesko was in a number of commercials and infomercials about asking him how to get free information and grant money from the government. 


He dresses and drives in question marks, and I’ve seen him a number of times around town. Frankly, it’s sort of hard to miss this guy!


His self promotion sort of makes you wonder, if you had to choose just one symbol to wear everywhere to represent you to the world–it could be a punctuation mark or anything else–what would that look like?  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Tongue-Tied Silence

Sometimes in life, people are left tongue-tied. 


Too shocked, shamed, confused, or abused to speak or perhaps to even know what to say anymore. 


Maybe in the face of some horrible things that happen in life, there really are no words.


Instead, the vacant or crazed look in the eyes says it all.


People go through a lot–some of it is inhumane.


Sometimes, only tears can even begin to express what they are feeling. 


I think one thing that is important to do, even when we’re not sure what to say, is to acknowledge that it is okay. 


Silence is often golden. 


Listen more, watch more, feel more, learn more, reflect more. 


Ask more questions. 


Usually, I’m told to ask at least 5 times (i’d say at least 3) to decompose to what is really going on underneath the superficial covers. 

“Tell me more.”
“What else?”
“Can you elaborate?”


Sometimes, people have difficulty getting in touch with their true feelings or accurately diagnosing what’s bothering them.  


It’s more than okay to be thoughtful, be deliberative. 


Words are often cheap, but they shouldn’t be. 


Our words should be truthful, meaningful, insightful, even righteous. 


Take all the time you need, your words are worth it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Is Wisdom?

Wisdom.jpeg

Some thoughts today on what is wisdom:


– Knowing you know nothing–and you can prove it (ah, humility)!


– Knowing when to ask–like the infamous directions when you’re lost or how to use the latest new technology.


– Learning from all others (everyone has something they can teach us).


– Wisdom = Knowledge + Experience (you’ve gotten an inkling about some truth out there, and you’ve had a chance to test it out). 


– Seeing that people’s outer bodies are just the superficial, material cover for their inner souls. 


– Realizing that doing for others is so much more rewarding than doing for ourselves. 


– Following the great truths of morality and responsibility.


– Keen awareness that we are not alone in the universe–G-d is everywhere.


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Purple Hair Day

Purple
This lady in line at Starbucks apparently likes purple, a lot. 

 
It seems a pretty common favorite among many women.
 
One that I know claims she ALWAYS wears something with purple.
 
When I saw her a couple of times seemingly without any purple clothing or accessories, I asked innocently, “So no purple today?”
 
She replied with a big grin, “Oh, it’s there!”
 
Yikes, TMI–don’t ask so many questions. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What A Good Answer Costs You

What A Good Answer Costs You

This was a funny sign that I came across with a colleague of mine.

It’s a price list for answers.

An answer (presumably incorrect) is 75 cents.

A thoughtful answer (but again incorrect) is 1.25.

A bona fide correct answer is $2.15.

The only thing that’s free is getting a dumb look.

I gave the guy $5 and told him to keep the change. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Some Questions To Change Your Life

Some Questions To Change Your Life

If you haven’t seen this, Inc. ran an article (19 February 2013) on “11 Life-Changing Questions You Musk Ask Yourself.

I like the introspective and thoughtful questions posed and believe it’s well worth our time to think about these.

Looking back from your deathbed:
The first three questions (1-3) have to do looking at your life in terms of how you lived your life and how it will be viewed at the end. The point is not what title you achieved (CEO, VP, etc.) or how much money you accumulated in your life, but whose lives you touched and how profoundly.

Working to live:
The next two questions (4-5) have to do with how you earn you keep. I remember learning that life is not about living to work, but rather working to live. Do you work hard and contribute something real and meaningful, and is it something that you can be proud of.

Embrace good change:
There are two question (6-7) then about how you deal with change. When everyday is fundamentally the same and you’re afraid to try new things, then you may very well be stuck in some sort of a rut. If you have the leeway to pick your change–look for ways to change that helps you grow into the person you want to be (and not just changing for changes sake).

Spend your time valuably:
Two questions (8-9) are about that the best things in life cannot be bought–real relationships, good deeds, being a mensch. Your time is your most valuable resource. Flower, candy, gifts are a nice gesture but don’t make up for time invested and well-spent together with those you most deeply care about. Words and gifts are cheap, actions speak louder than words–volumes–about who we really are.

Treat others as G-d’s creatures:
Question 10 points that people are G-d’s precious creatures and the biggest test is how we treat them–do we do it with selfish interest or with empathy, kindess, and charity. I have never understood the many charity dinners and events where people get honored for their giving, rather than the honor being in the act of giving, itself.

Challenge yourself to be more:
The 11th question isn’t about doing scary, stupid things, but rather challenging and pushing yourself to overcome what seems like our innate limitations and instead go beyond (break those barriers!).

While it is tempting to tire, to give up, or to just claim victory, as my grandfather used to say, “There is enough time to sleep after 120.” 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)