Posts Tagged ‘Gold stress’

Thank You For Being Late

November 6th, 2017

That’s actually the title of the latest (and well worth reading) Thomas Friedman book: An Optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of accelerations

In the introduction, and not the theme of the book. Friedman explains how he would often schedule breakfast meetings in Washington, DC. However, his guests would often be 10 to 20 minutes late due to traffic, trouble getting the kids out of the house, or any number of reasons. His response was always: Thank you for being late.

That surprised all the late arrivals, who were rattled and apologetic, and expecting a much different reactions. Friedman explained that it actually created a few minutes for himself. A small block of “found” time to just relax and think. It had given him the time to connect some ideas, to listen in on the people at the next table, or just people-watch.

The first time Friedman wasn’t actually sure he meant it. But the second time he realized that he did. That he enjoyed the few minutes of uninterrupted thinking, and relaxing time. In any (every) chaotic day, it kind of gave him permission to just “slow down” for a bit. When he explained his unusual response to their apology, he started getting quite a few “I know what you mean” responses.

It reduced his stress level and he found (looked for) the value in the breakfast guest being late. Until then, we keep saying “I’m so busy…” as it were some kind of badge of honor, or something to be proud of. Hopefully over a third of the world that’s Gold will try it…who knows – it may help with the daily escalating stress level.

A Significant Gold Curse

September 28th, 2015

After a recent seminar, a Gold lady wanted to ask me why she felt like such a failure: “Sometimes I get so depressed with all the things I haven’t accomplished yet”. What? When she broke it down, her Gold stress was all based on a to-do list she first set for herself when she came to Canada a decade ago: Do this in five years, do this by year seven, get this done, then have this accomplished, and so on.

The scripting she did in the first few months is still depressing her to this day! It’s not just her, it’s almost every Gold scripting decades into the future for their kids, their careers, the money they’ve saved (or not) for retirement, getting their professional designation, upgrading, promotion, and a host of other issues.

The typical Gold black or white mindset, and fixed to do list, can make Golds feel like a failure and become depressing at times. It’s not likely they’ll share that with others, though. Golds tend to be very private, they believe it will probably make them sound like losers, others likely wouldn’t understand, and it’s not like they could do anything about it. So why verbalize it, if there’s nothing to be accomplished by it.

While it’s much easier said than done, it’s really important to stay in the moment. It takes some work, but you need to stop scripting so much so far ahead, in such vivid detail. Yes, you want to plan, but plan things that are within your control! That doesn’t include a lifetime roadmap for your kids and the likes!

The only people who can “make” a script come true are movie producers. They call “cut” and start over and over again until it’s to their liking. That’s not the real world where “stuff” happens! Be aware of what’s within your control to script, what is legitimate planning, and the (many) times when you’re setting yourself up for guaranteed failure! After all, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge when the gift of planning turns to the curse of scripting.
Here is another example: Hi George. I have a girl working for me who heard from her mom that her grandpa had another heart attack. I asked why she wasn’t with him at the hospital? She told me her mom was at grandpas going through his photo collection getting ready for the funeral!! I said to her, but he hasn’t passed away yet?!?! And she replied no, but that her mom is a very “organized” lady and was getting case…. Is that not a somewhat scary definition of a high gold??? Yikes! ( btw, it’s been weeks and her grandpa is still hanging on!!) JB


What Exactly Is Procrastination?

March 4th, 2015

Quite frequently, all four Colors list procrastination on their list of stresses. But, like a lot of other words, it has a very different definition for each Color.

The typical simple definition is to put something off for…later, or whenever. If you choose to put off something until the very last day, you may be standing in a lineup for three hours, instead of the five minutes it would have taken last week. But that’s a choice – your choice – and totally takes away your right to complain about the insane lineup and waste of time. Going at the last minute was a choice. You just need to remember that not making a choice is still a choice!

Procrastination beyond an agreed-to deadline is a problem. Others relied on you, you gave your word, and now it’s fair that other Colors are stressed when you dropped the ball.

But is it procrastination when Greens aren’t making a decision? That often depends on what you want: A quick answer so you don’t label it as procrastination, or the right decision? Greens aren’t really procrastinating – they’re still researching and thinking. That’s quite different from what others think is happening. After they pull the trigger they sure don’t have a problem sticking with a decision and not waffling.

Golds are probably the least likely to procrastinate. It’s on the to-do list, so it needs to get done. Whether it’s unpleasant, a crappy task, or whatever – just do it. But maybe they should delay things every once in a while. When they’re stressed, tired, or in a bad mood, those aren’t the times to deal with something involving people, or anything that’ll take a long time. Better to put it off until tomorrow when they’re in a better state than to stubbornly plow ahead, just because it’s next on the to-do list.

The Orange impatience hates it when others delay them. But they don’t consider it an issue to put something off for a while. They’re always multi-tasking and finishing this one thing will get done…just not right now. Is it procrastinating when the deadline hasn’t come, or is it just working on different priorities? Missing a deadline is procrastinating, but to Oranges, anything up to that point is just re-arranging priorities.

There’s also a difference between procrastination and indecisive. I would suggest that indecisive comes in two forms:
‘People indecisive’ is when someone is not comfortable making a decision because of a fear that they’ll offend someone (hello Blues?). Where do you want to go for lunch? No, were do you want to go?

‘Solo indecisive’ is just someone who can’t make up their mind without anyone else around. It drives me crazy when someone comes into a mostly empty restaurant and walks (or has the hostess walk them) through the entire place because they can’t decide where to sit.

No, You’re Not Late – You’re Rude & Selfish

March 4th, 2015

Yikes! That’s pretty direct…The headline comes from a story by Greg Savage, the founder of Firebrand and four hugely successful staffing businesses. The link to his full article is below, but here are some of his points that most frustrated Golds certainly share:

-It’s not about ‘fashionable’ or ‘generational.’ It’s about basic manners and respect.

A 9 AM meeting, for some people, means the general vicinity. Like 9:30…People drift in at 9:10 or 9:20. They smile at the waiting group, totally unconcerned others have been there since 8:55, prepared and ready to start. 10 people kept waiting for 20 minutes by some selfish brat is actually 20 minutes x 10, which is three hours wasted! By you! How much has that cost the business? Can I send you an invoice?

For dinner I was meeting two couples. I arrived at two minutes to eight for an 8 PM reservation. At 8:20 I was on my second glass of wine. At 8:30 I got a text saying ‘on the way.’ We were seated at 8:45!! There was not even an attempted excuse from either couple who seemed oblivious that I may have got there at the agreed time!

It’s not that we lead ‘busy lives.’ That’s a given…we all do. It’s a copout to use that as an excuse. Some people no longer even pretend that your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems a text or email that they’re late somehow means they’re no longer late. Rubbish! They’re rude and inconsiderate.

Am I ever late? Sure, sometimes. That’s inevitable even with the best intentions I’m taking about people who are routinely late… in fact – never on time. I consider serial lateness a character flaw which I take into account when promoting, hiring, and who to count on as real friends. It’s THAT important.

A Few Christmas Season Insights

November 17th, 2014

Golds: The 12 days of Christmas are NOT: planning, worrying, baking, cleaning, wrapping, etc. They’re about enjoying the season. Find some Blue friends and they’ll re-teach you the real meaning of the season. Or your Orange buddies who know that it’s the 12 days of parties!

Your Orange partner: As you know, they’ll likely go shopping on the 22nd or 23rd of December since they live for right now. If you (likely) don’t want a giftcard, give them a specific list of what you want. Include the name and address of the store with the description and the store’s stock number! That way they just have to find someone to pull them and pay. It’s a win-win: You’ll get what you want and it’ll be Orange-friendly shopping.

Buying for Greens: Sorry, you don’t know the ‘perfect’ presents that Greens really want, and have been thinking about and researching for months. If you search the newsletter archive for “Green kids” or “Green presents” you’ll find a lot of previous stories. Greens are the only Color that’s actually quite OK with giftcards. It’ll allow THEM to find the perfect present. When in doubt: Ask them – they’re fine with that and it’ll prevent presents that are way off track.

Blues love presents that come from the heart, and are specifically for them. That does not include kitchen presents – sorry. They’ll smile and thank you – but you’re way off the mark. If a present can be used by the whole family, it misses the mark. Sure, your Blue partner may want a new blender, but that isn’t a present from the heart.

A Subconscious Gold Challenge

January 26th, 2014

For every Color, it pays to be prepared for…whatever. For Golds, however, it’s essentially mandatory and part of their DNA. As a result, when Golds mess up or forget something, it’s not likely to ever happen a second time.

If that decision happens to be about making mistakes, maybe that’s a good thing. Mess up, learn the lesson, and don’t repeat the same error twice. At that point, it’s a matter of always checking and double checking…and lots of pre-emptive worrying.

However, Golds can also make some lifetime decisions based on one incident that becomes self defeating for decades to come. In those cases, Golds should try again…and again…

Steve got thrown under the bus by a former boss over something that went pretty bad, but not due to Steve’s work. That was the day Steve decided to never really trust a manager again…He’s changed companies now, but his black or white mindset follows that decision to this day.

Cory has always helped other parents drive their kids from here to there without question. The one time she actually asked another parent to drive her daughter home after band practice, that parent couldn’t do it. It was hard enough to ask for help (as any Gold will tell you,) but since that day five years ago, she hasn’t asked again.

If your first Color is Gold, be honest: What’s something (maybe very subconscious) that left such a strong impression or scar tissue that you resolved to never do, ask, offer, trust, or say again, or always do, because of one instance in your past? It’s important to think of it, and to re-visit it! After all, you can’t change what you don’t know or acknowledge.