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Monday, January 16, 2012

Daily Lean Tips Edition #25

For my Facebook fans you already know about this great feature. But for those of you that are not connected to A Lean Journey on Facebook or Twitter I post daily a feature I call Lean Tips.  It is meant to be advice, things I learned from experience, and some knowledge tidbits about Lean to help you along your journey.  Another great reason to like A Lean Journey on Facebook.

Here is the next addition of tips from the Facebook page:

Lean Tip #361 - Break large, difficult goals into smaller, manageable goals.

Large, difficult, or complex goals can be both overwhelming and discouraging if progress does not come quickly. The solution to both of these is to break the big goal into smaller goals, actually creating a separate goal for each part. By shelving some of the pieces until a later date, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

Lean Tip #362 - Recognize partial accomplishment, it’s still accomplishment.

Partial accomplishment is still accomplishment. Suppose you're living a sedentary lifestyle and you set a goal to start running 10 miles every week. If you only manage to run eight miles most weeks, then it's important to recognize that this is a huge improvement over running none at all and that you have been much more successful than if you had never set the goal in the first place. Acknowledging partial success is very important if you intend to set challenging or lofty goals.

Lean Tip #363 - Internalize the lesson of perseverance.

It is usually true that something, no matter how difficult, can be done if someone spends enough time trying to do it. If you think of any goal as requiring a finite number of steps (tasks), then each task completed is one step closer toward completion of the goal. Again, the key is often to break the steps down into what may seem to be absurdly simple tasks, but ones that you know you can complete, thereby making measurable progress and establishing forward momentum.

Lean Tip #364 - If you get stuck or stop, just start back up again.

So long as you are working toward your goal and following a plan, you haven't failed. If you stop, just start back up again. And remember, every step forward, every single task you check off as completed is a small accomplishment unto itself. Focus on just taking that next baby step, then the next, then the next. If the tasks are too difficult, then break them down into absurdly simple tasks, ones that you're guaranteed to complete.

Lean Tip #365 - Accept personal responsibility for staying on track.

Accept personal responsibility for staying on track with your goals. It's not up to anyone else, just you. You alone decide what you want to accomplish, and when. Life has a way of distracting us from what we'd like to be doing much of the time.

Lean Tip #366 - The process of reflection can be a powerful process for learning.

The process of thinking about learning - the process of reflection - can be a powerful process for building self-awareness and self-confidence. Reflection increases self-knowledge, better preparing people to make deliberate, well informed choices for their futures.

Lean Tip #367 - Reflection enhances learners' abilities.

Reflection enhances learners' abilities to see connections between various learning contexts (e.g., community, work, and school) and the transferability of their knowledge, skills and attitudes. Reflection involves four main steps:
1. having an experience,
2. thinking about the experience,
3. learning from the experience, and
4. applying what has been learned.

Lean Tip #368 – Your daily activities are a goldmine of knowledge and skills.

Everyday activities provide many opportunities for learning. People often take this learning for granted, because many daily activities are either easy for them or just part of their 'routine.' By reflecting on their daily activities, learners can gain a deeper understanding of the tasks involved, which will reveal knowledge and skills that might otherwise be overlooked.

Lean Tip #369 – Set a path to your goal.

Learning is like a journey and when planning a journey it helps to have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to achieve. You can change/adjust your goals or your path at any time; exciting opportunities could arise that you might not have anticipated before starting on your journey. In any case, moving towards your goal requires you to make choices and then take some steps - even tiny steps - in that direction. Remember "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (Lao-Tzu, 604 BC -531 BC).

Lean Tip #370 – Life’s memorable moments are valuable to our perspective.

Memorable moments can happen at any time in a person's life. These moments occur often when people least expect them and yet can alter a person's life forever. When these moments occur, people often feel that their whole perspective on life has changed; they have a new perspective on themselves and others, as well as things that happen. These memorable moments may be happy or difficult, but are certainly valuable as is revealed through a process of reflection.

Lean Tip #371 - Think Before You Speak.

Know what you want to say and make your point quickly. By doing so, it is more likely that the listener will remember your message. Know why you are having the conversation and what you want to accomplish from it before you begin to speak. If possible, let the other person know the conversation topic in advance, and keep the conversation focused.

Lean Tip #372 - Stop Talking and Listen To Be A Good Communicator.

The best way to be a good communicator is to be a good listener. Think of your conversation as a tennis match, with each person taking turns serving and receiving, or speaking and listening. When it’s your turn to listen, do just that. Give the other party your undivided attention. Don’t think about what you’re going to say next or you may miss something important. When you actively listen, it shows the other person that you value what they have to say.

Lean Tip #373 - Ask Clarifying Questions When Communicating With Others.

To gain the most from any interaction, find out what people want. Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, ask open-ended questions that will give you more insight into their thoughts and feelings. If you aren’t clear on a point they are trying to make, ask for clarification. Then, restate what you heard and ask them to verify that you received their message correctly.

Lean Tip #374 – Be Mindful Of Your Body Language When Communicating.

Studies show that 93% of communication is non-verbal. Make sure you make good eye contact, stand tall, and keep good posture. If you want to let the other person know you agree with them, don’t fold your arms tightly cross your legs or turn your body away from the person. Instead, try to match their body positioning; this indicates silent agreement. Make sure your message and your body language match. If there is any discrepancy, people are more likely to believe what your body language is saying than your words.

Lean Tip #375 - Be Open to New Ideas.

Don’t assume you know everything about a given topic and close off your mind. Instead, relax and allow time to receive vital input from another person. Listen attentively and consider how new ideas may apply to things you already know. If you find someone does know more than you about the topic, don't be afraid to yield control, as the new information can add to your knowledge, encourage you to study further, or even change your mind!

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