Success and Common Sense
Today, I will begin a series of information on the Twelve “C’s” of Success. These elements are universal since they apply to both personal and organizational development. The first is “Common Sense.”
Many people tell me they have common sense – yet are seldom using it, therefore, it is questionable if they really have it. Other people tell me they use common sense, yet, are causing major issues or conflict within their life or organization with little logic or reason behind their actions.
What is common sense?
Common sense is being practical in your approach and being fully aware of the reality of situations. This is reality based without the rose colored glasses that distort the truth or filter real and truthful information out of the picture.
In order to use common sense you must do two things on a regular and continuous basics:
- Get the Facts
First, the term reflection seems to be misunderstood by many people as some “new age thing” since they are not sure how to do it. Okay, there is nothing special or magical about reflection. It is simply the ability to look inwardly and address what is working well and what do I/we need to improve?
Individually, this allows you to realistically look into what is working, what are you doing well, how are you getting your positive results, and what do you need to improve to increase your success, results and abilities? These are designed for simple answers to set you straight on what is working and what needs to improve. Little rocket science is involved – unless you are in fact a rocket scientist.
With an organization, I am curious why there are few periods of reflection regarding the performance of the organization as a whole, departments within the organization, or individual performance within a functional area. The best thing an organization could do is to encourage the use of reflection so people and particularly decision makers would understand what is really happening at all levels of the organization. The interesting factor is that the answers to “what do we need to improve?” would open the door to immediate performance improvement due to the involvement of the people.
Second, getting the facts is part of the Reality Principle. Now this has little in common with the current “reality TV shows” so eliminate those thoughts. The reality principle is all about getting the facts. By facts, I mean the real facts rather than assumptions or “I think it is…” as those are usually based in belief structures rather than facts.
As an individual, the starting point for improving your life and performance is to get the facts regarding what is really happening today. By measuring performance or results using facts, you remove any hint of uncertainty you may have regarding your self assessment. Facts are facts. They lead to the truth whether you like it or not. If you are overweight and the scales tell you are over 300 lbs, then you are truly overweight and no excuses or comments about being big boned will help the situation. Take some time to reflect upon the facts, and then make decisions based upon the facts – to maintain or improve – based upon the facts rather than fantasy.
For the organization, this means having a performance management system that measures performance using facts. This is the time for fact based decisions and choices. I guess, I assume or I hope have little to do with actual facts or standards of performance. It is important to have a system for tracking performance and giving feedback to the people delivering the performance while providing valuable information to the decision makers about performance. The key factor for the decision makers is taking the time to reflect upon the data and determine the cause and effect relationship. Then if they want to change the results (effects) they have time to think about the “real” causes.
There you have the first in the twelve part series on Success using words that begin with the letter C. I would enjoy hearing from you about how you feel about this information, points to add to my thoughts, and of course questions regarding information that you would like to see in future posts.
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