Know More About Your Important Tools

Opaque Markers on Black Card Stock – Words: Vincent Van Gogh

I have several different journals and notebooks that I use to “play” with color and words. I finished filling one last week and started a new one yesterday. The paper is black card stock and that requires opaque inks and markers. To better understand how the ink and paper would interact I created this diagram of each color. I like how the colors present and look forward to playing more with my new art supplies.

When we take on a challenge, we need to be sure we understand the tools with which we will be working. Be it paper and markers, people and places, software or fabrics. Whatever it is we hope to build and develop there are always going to be tools involved. The more we know about them the better. That means instead of diving right in we need to give ourselves time to learn, understand and above all else read the instructions. Not everything is as it appears so it is up to us to gain the knowledge needed to best move forward with what we have been given.

Of all the things we will work with, people can be the most difficult to know or understand. The most valuable asset any business or project has is it’s people. The more time we spend getting to know and understand those people the more likely we are headed towards success. It is when we fail to invest time to get to know how people think, work, react, and communicate that we thwart our own efforts. Charging right in may feel energizing yet it also has the power to turn off or offend everyone in the room. It takes time, lots of time, one on one time to get to know who knows what, who does what, who is the best at this and that and who is the one really doing the work. Smoke and mirrors aside, people can fool us if we do not take time to evaluate their work product and character. One great lunch does not an understanding create.

Somewhere in our own past people took the time to get to know us. They asked open ended questions, they listened more than they talked, and they worked hard to understand what was important to us and how we could, would contribute to the overall goal. Now may be the time when you need to reciprocate those same investments into the people on your team, on your committee, or moving into your neighborhood. It is the people, the most important tool in our life, that will help us reach our own best self. Take time today to get to know at least one of those people in your own life.

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