The Plate Should be Too Full

Is my plate too full or is your plate too empty?


How often do we hear ‘My plate is too full.” Why would someone think that? Certainly I think it when the many activities converge in the same time span. No doubt, this happens and certainly the plate being full applies. Yet, if this is a regular occurrence then perhaps it is an issue with balance and planning.

For instance, I am involved in work at our charter school organization, a father and husband, a volunteer in local organizations, an assistant scoutmaster, and occasionally a coach. Certainly any one of these could completely consume my time if I allowed it.

Yet, rather than let any one area consume my time, I balance my talents between all of them with the ebb and flow that the schedule and events occur. In Scouts I realized that I wanted to be most involved with high adventure so I backed off of the other activities. Similarly, I realized that I committed to assistant coaching to ensure that the players had a reliable head coach. With my family, I make sure that I have time every day to listen to my children individually. Of course this gets harder as they get older (teenagers:)!

So then the question is whether my plate is too full? Or, should the question be whether your plate is too empty?

You are NOT for Sale

Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. Character is also doing the right thing when someone is looking as well.

The last couple of blogs from Connecting Branches focused on your own value as you perceive them. The questions offered yesterday focused on how you know what your value is. The day before the article outlined how to negotiate from your convictions. This is a huge personal choice that we have to make. As some politicians make promises only to sidestep accountability once elected and hedge fund managers go to jail because of their own moral compasses seeking profits at all costs only you can determine whether you are for sale.

Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. Character is also doing the right thing when someone is looking as well.

  • If you say you will do it do it and if you don’t get it done be honest.
  • If you know you should not do something because it will hurt you, someone else, or something else, don’t do it.
  • You are only as good as your core values.

Together we can turn the tide on cutting corners and have the faith and trust that we will always land on our feet!

How do you Know?

Reflection Wednesday!

How do you know?

How do you know how someone feels?

How do you know what someone is thinking?

How do you know whether you are doing a good or bad job?

How do you know whether or not you are an important member of the human race?

How do you know that your family and friends value you?

How do you know that you value yourself?

How do you know?

Walking the Walk in Negotiating

Keys to negotiation and maintaining self dignity.

I continue to notice how the needs of people rarely completely align with the perceptions of other people around them as issues become more and more tense. What causes tension? Money? Time? Effort? Ability? The art of negotiation is to know who you are and ensure that clarity is established between you and the person that you are having dealings.

All of these cause tension when people are unable to be clear on perception or message delivery. Tension increases as clarity is fogged by personal beliefs, core values, and fears in communication or the message being communicated. Certainly this can be mitigated by having courage and walking the walk.

The six steps to walking the walk to align perceptions even if agreement is not met:
Clearly state your position and if needed the rationale (core value, company policy, or legal precedent)

  1. Clearly offer choices to the ideas that are available and if choices are not available inquire with the other person possible solutions
  2. Reach for the best possible agreement or move the idea forward to be addressed at a later time
  3. Email a follow up to where the discussion ended including what was discussed and what the next steps are for agreement
  4. Follow up the conversation and seek agreement and follow up with an email
  5. Stick to your core values if agreement could not be met with resolution and dignity
  6. Do not yield on the core values, company policy or the legal precedent as an employee or an employer when reaching agreement

Live to see another day¬† because this is only a small blip in your overall life. Truly, which hill are you willing to ‘die’ on? Also, remember that when you make a deal be sure that it is OK to replicate with others because others will certainly find out about it and if it is great they will want it too!









Having Fun Having Work

It seems that we have very serious business to tend to everyday! No doubt, it is important to meet our obligations with fidelity. Yet, is everything you do everyday that important? Is everything you do require an ‘A’ priority? If not, then begin to think about how you are able to squeeze in the joy of living and not just the work of living. It is easy to get hung up on the details but know that those details will be there later today, tomorrow, and even the next day.
The more we are able to pace ourselves the better. I have some simple steps to help you balance your day:

  1. Prioritize what you know makes you satisfied or happy first and if it is first thing in the morning that will make you even more satisfied for the day.
  2. Be sure to have a solid plan for the next two days including family obligations, work obligations, and community obligations and be sure those that need to know know!
  3. Smile more and greet as many people as you can as they may help you with your obligations.
  4. Continue planning ahead.

Have Fun because you will always Have Work!


When things seem Weird

When things seem weird. Are they really weird or just offering me a great variety of the human landscape. Certainly there are things that I would love to see get better for my fellow humans including homelessness, random acts of violence, low self esteem for our youth, and the dynamic of a close and supportive family. Yet, there are great examples of all of these getting better and better because mankind (womankind) is good.

Sure we have conflict but we also have compassion and that is what drives our world. We take care of each other and then those that we take care of will take care of others and so on and so on until we made a human chain of goodness.

Please don’t despair for today because tomorrow brings opportunity. I write in Connecting Branches as I listen to Julia Michaels. Sure she writes about sadness sometimes but every day brings a new day with new opportunities. The best thing that has ever been said to me and is so true, ‘today is the first day of the rest of your life.’ Don’t waste it. Humankind wants you to be a part of the human chain! Things may seem weird but that is human race!

Remaining Balanced!

Keeping your core values and keeping your core friends and family in harmony.

Our ability to manage our internal compass that keeps us rationale with the irrational inputs from external sources is critical to communicating with those that we love and to be honest, those that may not be our favorite people. Certainly we are bombarded by the news, the news of the news, and the analysis of the news of the news. All of this can be daunting and centers on you to be assertive.

First, (1) how do you know your own core values and how do those core values drive your own life? (2) How much do your core values drive your conversations with family and friends? (3) How much does the external noise push the core values out in a more overt way from you to others? (4) Are your core values interfering with your relationships?

Each of the questions build on each other and may, or probably will, create increased tension with friends and family as your core values become overt. What does all of this mean? Truly, in my view, it means remaining balanced because we as individuals can and should control our own core values, maintain our core values, and maintain the relationships that we have with other people that may or may not share our core values.