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Helping You Assess Importance in any Situation

Some Words of Wisdom I've learnt over life: If everything is important you will go insane! We all know co-workers that always attach the urgent flag to their emails. You know, those emails you've learnt to ignore :O) Unfortunately, most all of us have been, and continue to be guilty of seeing everything as important at times in our lives and we do pay a cost.


Some Words of Wisdom I’ve learnt over life:
If everything is important you will go insane!
We all know co-workers that always attach the urgent flag to their emails. You know, those emails you’ve learnt to ignore :O)
Unfortunately, most all of us have been, and continue to be guilty of seeing everything as important at times in our lives and we do pay a cost.
Just like we learn to ignore the emails of people who constantly urgent flag them, our ability to build positive collaborative relationships with those around us is diminished when we inadvertently do the same to others. People will start to tune us out. Our stress levels rise and we begin to burn out.
An Assessment Tool to Define Importance
In any situation I’ve learnt to use the 5 W’s (when, where, why, who, what) and the question How as an assessment tool in helping determine importance.
For example: Bob has been doing a task you’ve assigned him for the past 6 months. Every time you see him doing it you cringe inside because its not the way you would do it. You feel like taking over which wouldn’t help your relationship with Bob or help build his self-esteem. You begin to become hesitant to give him any other tasks.
In this example you are frustrated by Bob’s “HOW” . You don’t like the way Bob is doing something.
To determine the importance of the situation you need to step back and assess the importance of “HOW” by asking some questions:
1) What risks are posed by his way of doing things?
2) Is the WHAT (goal) still being achieved?
3) Is the WHEN (deadline) being honored?
If the way Bob is doing it doesn’t pose any abnormal risks and he’s getting the job done and on time..we really need to step back and question how important our frustration with the “HOW” is. Sometimes breakthroughs are gained through giving people flexibility to experiment with the “How” of something.
The danger is this:
So often Importance is defined by our set of Personal Values.
If you are a perfectionist, Bob will never do a good enough job for you. Your relationships will suffer when your frustrations start to change the tone in which you speak to people around you. Your own health can suffer as you walk around daily in a near constant state of frustration. It is not a sustainable way of managing important.
Importance should be defined through the very specific and measurable goals of your team.
Are the What’s being Met?
Does When they do it really matter?
Does the How they do it matter?
Does the Where they do it matter?
Are your answers based on your own personal values or if you asked the question to others would there be other viewpoints?
There are times when the answer to each one of those questions is important. In Bob’s example, if the ‘How” he did it posed a safety risk, then it would be important that you speak to him about it. But if it didn’t..
As a leader, when team goals are being met, it is powerful to let go and give people flexibility around the How, What, When, Where and Why they do their jobs. Most of you love that flexibility when you’ve been under leadership thats given you it.
Why not do the same to others? Properly defining importance will always save you time and stress. I think you are worth it!
David Benjatschek is “Your Man with the Plan for Better Teams and Better Results”. Based out of Calgary, David trains Emerging Leaders and Supervisors around the globe on managing people. about.me/yourmanwiththeplan


Some Words of Wisdom I’ve learnt over life:
If everything is important you will go insane!
We all know co-workers that always attach the urgent flag to their emails. You know, those emails you’ve learnt to ignore :O)
Unfortunately, most all of us have been, and continue to be guilty of seeing everything as important at times in our lives and we do pay a cost.


David Benjatschek

David Benjatschek

David Benjatschek is a professional business speaker/trainer, motivating audiences across North America. His 15 year career in Oil & Gas primarily focused on the transportation sector. Also an accredited photographer, David is the driving force behind wowtrucks.com and the Wowtrucks® Calendar: Canada's Big Rig Calendar.
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1 Comment » for Helping You Assess Importance in any Situation
  1. The biggest shortcoming any boss can have is the inability to delineate tasks and avoid massive amounts of micro-management. I know I run into this in my department all the time. I want things done a certain way and if they are not up my standards I feel the need to step in. This holds up everything because I’m essentially nullifying the money I’m paying the workers who are being micromanaged.
    It shouldn’t be “If you want something done right, do it yourself” it should be “If you want something done right, hire people capable of doing it correctly.” If this means paying a premium, so be it.

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