Blogging.

Blogging is hot. Internet is available to a lot of people and they tend to use it. Not only for social media or playing online games. For many people out there, the internet is used to share their story with the rest of the world. Blogging.

Blogging is popular, many people write blogposts and even more read them. It’s not only because of the internet, that would be to easy. The internet makes it more easy to reach a lot of people with just one click. But the main reason that blogs are rising, is that people love to describe their thoughts and ideas and share them with the world.

Writing is a good way to express yourself. Ofcourse it’s not like talking but when you write with passion, you will notice that people will understand you. Maybe even better than when you talk to someone. Writing has the advantage that you don’t have to repeat yourself everytime. You can write down your idea and share it as many times as you want.

For some people it’s easier to share their ideas from behind their computer. Presenting it on a podium during a TEDx Conference is not for everyone :).

I like to blog. I don’t really know if many people are reading my posts but the comments I get are always positive. You don’t have to share my ideas. You can read them and have your own opinion. That’s the nice thing about blogging. It’s free and everyone can do with it what they want. No obligations and no limits. I wish everything would be like that. Our life would be much simpler.

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Please answer…

…my question. Have you ever neglected to answer someone’s  question? Have you ever asked a question and never received the answer?

I hate it when I don’t get an answer. Is it that difficult to phrase a response? Before you say that you can’t know everything, I am aware of that. I don’t mean you have to give a good answer, but a correct one.

When I ask you if you can help me, you can at least say no when you don’t have the time. I don’t mind. At least I know I have to look for someone else. When I ask you to explain me something and you don’t know what I’m talking about, just say so. I prefer someone who answers that he doesn’t know instead of just ignoring my question.

When you talk face-to-face with other people, they will mostly answer. But the moment you ask your question to two or more people, you are in trouble. Everyone thinks someone else will answer and in the end no one does. Why don’t we have more respect for the one who raises the question? Are we afraid our answer will be wrong? Or maybe it just doesn’t interest us? Nowadays e-mail made this even worse. How many e-mails are send everyday but never get answered? I know, you should not send that question to everyone near you. But just a simple ”Can’t help you.” should do the trick then.

I ask you to please respond to the question, you’ll see that a whole new world will open for you.

Please answer.

Stop calling in your car.

Have you seen them last week? Those driving their car without their hands? You see them everywhere and they do not seem to realize it’s dangerous.

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It’s unbelievable people still do not call handsfree in their car. Carkits, bluetooth, headphones and all the technology that is available and we still risk the lives of the people around us. You’ve got a simple choice: call handsfree in the car or do not call in your car. Simple, isn’t it? I know that carkits and bluetooth are not standard options in a lot of cars and that they cost money. But I am convinced that the life of other people is more valuable. Yes, it’s not only your own life that is in danger. You are not alone on the road and one simple phonecall can ruin someone else his life.

What will it be? Want to keep making phonecalls in the car? Drive to your garage and ask for a carkit or use a Parrot. At least, use you headphones with build in micro. It’s better than nothing. This does not mean that you are safe all the way. The road is still the most important thing in your car along with the people around you.

Do you like to achieve?

I do. Ofcourse I like to. I want to achieve a lot in my life. From being a director of a big company till saving a PDF without margins.

I guess everyone likes to achieve things. It is in the nature of people to hunt for achievements. You want to cook the best dinner, score the winning goal in an important soccergame or just get your room cleaned every week. Achieving something does not always mean that you’ve set a goal for it. It can be as simple as reaching the gas station with no fuel left in the trunk. Maybe you didn’t notice it, but you achieved something by finding this blogpost. It will make you notice your next achievement.

We always strive to get noticed. That’s difficult. Look around you and you know why. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, podcasts, books and a lot of other media make it easy to get noticed. But the overflood of media also make it easy to stay unnoticed (I’ve just read ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World’ by Gary Vaynerchuk). That is why you need to value your own achievements. As little as they are. The social attention does not make your achievement, it only hypes it.

Last week I created a document in Microsoft Word (Yes, I know I shouldn’t…) and wanted to save this as a PDF. Unfortunately the PDF contained an annoying margin at the bottom I wanted to get rid of. Several Google searches and experiments later I still got the margin and I felt bad. How stupid could I be? I went to bed and started with fresh energy the next day but without luck. Until I was reading a blogpost from David Sparks. Watching his screencast just gave me a final idea: remove my printer from my MacBook Air. Guess what?! The margins were gone. It felt like such a big deal and I was really happy. It costed me two evenings but it was worth it. I smiled for the rest of the evening and was able to send the document.

This was just an example of how simple an achievement can be. We often neglect this legal drug but it really can motivate you. You should use this whenever you can. Having it difficult or struggling with a project? Use your imagination and look for your achievements. It will help you to get on and reach that big achievement everyone dreams about!

Your most important value.

What is the most important value of your company? Resources, customers, money… All possible answers but not what I want to hear.

When you ask this question to the people around you, a lot of them will tell you that the customer is your most important asset. And ofcourse, that is a valid answer. Without customers, your company cannot survive or has no reason of existence. So whatever your product may be, you should spend a lot of your time making your customer happy.

But what if you would ask this question to the company itself? What would their answer be? I always remember the New Years’ reception where the CEO thanks his people for their work and all they do for the company. In addition, he says that his employees are very important to him. Without them, he wouldn’t have made it. Nice words, but does he mean it? I do think so. Yes, I really believe that the CEO means every word he says. It sounds crazy but most of the time he started at the same level as us and worked his way up. So he knows what it is to work hard while his CEO is giving interviews on TV.

But my question is why the CEO waits for New Year to thank his employees? During the year, there are plenty occasions to thank the people who work hard every day to serve the customer. What I see is that management thanks management during the year. Interviews, kick-offs, press-meetings are stuffed with names from directors, managers and projectleaders. Those people earn enough and get their attention also when you don’t mention them. You should not misunderstand me, I have a great respect for those people and for what they do. At least, most of the time. But please, don’t thank them all the time. Instead, thank the people who aren’t in the spotlight. Those people that take care of the things everyone forget. Those people that get up at night to check everything is running and help the customer if he’s in trouble.

To be honest, I am a bit frustrated about this topic. Too many times this year, I’ve been in a ’Thank you Management show’. Manager A thanks manager B for the succesful cooperation and manager B thanks projectleaders X, Y and Z for their effort. And to make it even worse, they put pictures of those people on the slides?! Sometimes I think it is a game where managers keep rankings about who’s name is mentioned the most… When I am in such a presentation, I’m always wondering whether I am the only one who wants his name mentioned instead of my director’s name. And if my name is on the slide, would I still be complaining? I am convinced I will. And if not so, I ask you to notify me. To wake me up, because the most important value of a company are the people that work there.

So please mangement, thank your people and value them every day.

People are like angry wolves.

People are like angry wolves

When was the last time you helped someone? When was the last time you helped someone without fearing he would return the next day with the same question?

 
People always want more and they want it quicker. When someone asks me to help him, I always intend to do so. Just because it is in my nature, as is with many people.
That is a good thing, I think. They thank me for helping them out and it only took me 15 minutes to make him happy. Yes, I did it. Back to my own work.
The next day is passing by and there he is: ”You did a great job yesterday, can you help me out with something else?” What do you answer? Happy to be appreciated you accept to help so: ”What can I do for you?”
What do you think the guy will ask next? Well it’s simple, he will ask the same as before but two times as difficult and of course in the same timespan. That is not what I wanted. Can I still get out, or should I just make the best of it and be smarter next time? Most of us will take the second choice and go for it. But they will keep in mind this lesson. Next time someone asks to help, they will ask something in return. They will ask for something to make up for the time they lost.
Time lost for helping someone else? Yes, indeed. People will feel it that way. It is a human reaction. Some of us will resist and continue to help people without return. Is it wrong to ask something in return? No! Is it wrong to ask someone for help? No! What to do then? When I ask something I try to help the other person as much as possible with my own question. I’ll try to provide them something in return. I will ask if he can show me how I can do it myself. So people are like angry wolves. They will distrust someone who asks for help, they will always ask for more but eventually they will live together and sort it out.
 
I will continue to help other people. Do you?

 

What can you do about it?

  • Be respectful when you reach out for help by engaging yourself. You ask for help, you are not delegating tasks.
  • Continue to help people by explaining how they can do it themselves.