The Rossiter Report – Volume 3; Number 2 – “Brown Grass – How I Came to See the Light”

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3; Number 2

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

“Brown Grass – How I Came to See the Light”

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“There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.” – Old Proverb –

Gazing out upon the nearly-full tidal pool at the Plum Island Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts on this unseasonably warm, early April day, I see brown. The parking lot in which I sit, writing, is at a slightly higher elevation than the tidal pool and the adjoining fields of marsh grasses. This vantage point affords enough of an aerial view to see partially over the hillocks in the near distance, across the harbor to the towns of Essex and Ipswich on the horizon. This bird’s-eye view (albeit that of a bird perched on a very low tree branch or a parking sign) places my vision above the fields of newly mown marsh grasses to see dozens of acres of brown. Even the tidal pool is cast with brown in the harsh light of the noon sun.

Very few people stop here for more than thirty seconds. To them, it is just a brown and lifeless landscape; boring. The only people who stay for any length of time beyond the thirty second mark are those birdwatchers who stay only long enough to spot (then consequently check-off) a new bird on their list, with no intention of actually observing the bird and getting to know it. What astounds me is the wealth of beauty that this spot possesses and is missed by those who come in search of a pre-determined idea of what is worthy of notice.

A few years ago (wink, wink) when I was eight years old, I ventured into the kitchen after viewing my Saturday morning cartoons and stood next to my mother at the kitchen sink. “Mumma, I’m bored,” I announced. In her characteristic, gentle firmness, yet in an uncharacteristically direct tone, my mother looked down at me (without skipping a beat in the washing of the breakfast dishes) and said, “Cathleen. The only people who get bored are boring people,” returning her gaze to the garden while continuing with the dishes. Not only was I NEVER bored again, but also this experience taught me to seek out continually something new. A treasure or lesson could be waiting for me in the haphazard pattern of a first coat of paint on the front of a dresser; or the way a reed bends and sings in the midst of a storm yet never breaks; or the fact that the overriding expanse of brown before me is, in point of fact, made up of greens, reds, purples, yellows, and blues in myriad variations on a theme.

The same thing is true of the people we hire and the customers who purchase from us. Without the individual talents, viewpoints, and insights each one brings to the table (the painter’s palette, as it were), then the work of art we call our company or team would lack the depth, luster, and uniqueness that makes our work a masterpiece.

Consciousness is a choice. Simply wanting to be aware does not make it happen. One must choose to open one’s eyes and mind. One must choose to see everything, not only what is pleasant or comfortable.

The thing that changed for me on that Saturday morning so many years ago is that I decided to stop refusing to see the world in front of me. I became determined to remain blind no longer. This choice of consciousness has brought a depth, richness, and joy to my life and work that I have carried with me to every aspect of my life, particularly in relation to the people I encounter. I choose to uncover the layers of wealth and richness buried in each person in front of me at any given time so as to bring the very best to the relationship, project, team, or circumstance. In doing so I find no need for the all-too-standard jealousy, defensiveness, and subsequent subterfuge that plagues Cubicle Farms around the world. Allowing for the enrichment of the team with the free-flow of each other’s talents, insights, and experience (as opposed to the general practice of trying to control and suppress it all) creates an infectious dynamic among the team members that creates a pride in the work and an enthusiasm to produce the best; to be a part of the best. I, for one, would much rather spend the 10+ hours each day that I am at work in the quest to produce the best, to be part of the best in a lively, dynamic environment. When one ponders the alternative, which is what one has become all-too-used-to in the working environment, one wonders why one hasn’t seen the light sooner.

 

Copyright © 2014 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

The Rossiter Report – Volume 3: Number 1 – “The Story of the Lovely Little House – A Cautionary Tale”

“The Story of the Lovely Little House – A Cautionary Tale”

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

The Lovely Little House

Once upon a time, there was a lovely little house set on a lovely little lot amid a lovely little garden. The owner worked hard to acquire the land, carefully plan the layout of the house and garden, and paid painstaking attention to detail during the building process. When the house was complete, all the other houses paled in comparison. For a long time, the owner put a great deal of effort into this lovely little house, increasing its value all the while.

After many years of the bliss that comes from careful attention to detail, the owner of this lovely little house began to spend less and less time nurturing his once-beloved asset. The owner began to focus his attention on other, newer acquisitions (of which there were many) that he felt would provide him greater satisfaction. These newer houses were bigger and had all the newest features. Naturally, they were more deserving of his attention, he told himself. Sadly, as the owner continued in his pattern of neglect, the lovely little house set on the lovely little lot amid the lovely little garden began to show the signs of being ignored. Eventually, the owner’s disregard prompted others to take an interest in the once-lovely little house set on the once-lovely little lot amid the once-lovely little garden. These others remembered just how lovely this asset used to be and began to work to acquire it for themselves.

One day, one of these others came along and acquired the once-lovely little house set upon the once-lovely little lot amid the once-lovely little garden (for much less than the first owner invested) and began to nurture it back to its former glory, adding personal touches along the way. He truly valued this asset as well as all the others he had acquired, treating them all with equal care. As a result of this care, the new owner never lost an asset he did not choose to give up.

Not so for the previous owner.  He spent everything he had trying to acquire new houses to make up for the ones he kept losing because they fell into his cycle of neglect. Sadly, contrary to what a wiser person would have done, he never longed for the lovely little house set on the lovely little lot amid the lovely little garden that had brought him so much pleasure and satisfaction in the beginning. Sadly, he never saw the value in his current possessions; therefore, he never maintained them. In the end, he lost them all.

Copyright © 2014 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Think Tank Tuesday – V1;N3 – Listening and Learning

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Today we think about the critical role that listening plays in our ability to serve those around us. Take time today to think about how well you truly listen to what people are saying, remembering that listening involves more than physically hearing the words that are spoken to you.

Listening involves observing and processing the physical and environmental cues that are being sent to you as well as keeping yourself clear of any hidden agendas you may have set in place for the outcome you are hoping to elicit.

Listening involves learning from past encounters with a person as to how he or she processes information, or the manner in which he or she communicates. Perhaps a person needs only the critical pieces of information in order to come to a decision. Some people need every gory detail to arrive at the same conclusion. Others need time and physical space in order to process, while still others need to work out a solution on their own before to be certain that he or she had fully grasped the situation.

The list is as endless as the stars in the sky because there are so many factors that go into the communication between people. This means that each person needs to remember that what works for us most likely will not work for the person with whom we are communicating.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of your personal agenda for a particular communication to completely destroy effective communication. The presence of an agenda inherently denies communication because the agenda is, in fact, the outcome, therefore, there is no communication. Oftentimes we are not aware that an agenda exists, so when communication breaks down, we are dumbfounded and become frustrated, attributing the breakdown to the other person or people involved.

Paying attention, clearing out all ulterior motives, remembering what we have seen and experienced, and learning to work with the needs of the person in front of us will take the act of communication you are currently experiencing, to a higher level. 

Until the next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Copyright © 2013 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Focus Friday – V2:N2 – Effective Relationship Development with Local Business Owners

Welcome to “Focus Friday”. You are here because you are looking to dramatically improve your Client Relationship skills and are looking for focus for the upcoming week.

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As we reflect upon the week just past, and look to the week ahead, focus on where your relationships stand with other business owners in your area (or other department heads, etc.). Are your dealings with them cordial, frigid, or warm and friendly?  REMEMBER: How you interact with your colleagues and compatriots has a tremendous effect on your ability to do your job and move forward in your business. Keeping your relationships well maintained will catapult you to the success you desire.

Until the next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Copyright © 2013 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Thank You Thursday – V2:N2 – Challenges

Man Concentrating

Welcome to this week’s issue of “Thank You Thursday”. I hope this issue finds that you are well. Today, think about all the challenges you have faced this past week, be it a difficult client, a project that was delayed or derailed, or a week where nothing really seemed to fall into place as easily as it should have. As you review these situations, think about the good things that happened because of, or in spite of, the challenge you were faced with.

Take the time to develop gratitude around the positive events that resulted from the negative events. For example; I recently had difficulty in sending a simple e-mail to a client. The result was that I was forced to look at the e-mail more closely which revealed an error that I was able to correct before the client had seen it. Therefore, an apparent problem actually was a protection for which I am grateful.

Once you begin on the path of gratitude for challenges, you will find that you will no longer see challenges, only opportunities for betterment.

Until the next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Copyright, 2013. All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Think Tank Tuesday – V1;N2 – The Power of Leadership

Power vs. Leadership

In honor of the various Presidents whose Birthdays we celebrate this month, great men and great leaders who truly took their positions seriously, with a full understanding of tremendous responsibility that was placed upon their shoulders to lead an entire nation of people, caring for the welfare of each and all, I think it àpropos to take a solid look at the attitude we have regarding our own positions of leadership.

Are we truly trying to lead the people we are responsible for or are we more concerned about the power we possess? Are we striving to become truly great leaders, or have we become bullies who take pleasure in controlling others and showing our importance through blustering? As this newest February comes to a close in a few short weeks, let’s take this time to grow into our own, personal Oval Office being ever mindful of the privilege and the responsibility that accompanies it. If we feel as though we are lacking the skills or training to handle the responsibility, find a way to obtain the missing components. By becoming a great leader who is focused on bringing out the best in and providing the best for the people in our charge, we create a highly motivated, hard-working team who gives their all for the welfare of all. I can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend the day.

Until the next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Copyright © 2013 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

The Rossiter Report – Volume 2; Number 1 – “Soul Searching and Transformation”

The Rossiter Report – V2:N1

By Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS

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“Soul Searching and Transformation”

Good Afternoon, Everyone. It is great to be back with you at the relative beginning of this brand new year. As St. Valentine’s Day is a mere few hours away, I am taking this time to talk about the importance of putting into words what it is that makes you so passionate about the work that you do.

As I was meeting earlier today with the owner of a small, but thriving, business (I’ll call him Marc) looking for a way to help him with his staffing issues, I was sensing a high level of frustration with the fact that his staff just does not take pride in their job or the work that they do. Marc is truly passionate about his business and has been so from the start. After twenty years in business, he is continually expanding and is focused on providing the best quality products and service to his customers (whom he views as welcome guests and family), yet he cannot understand why his employees do not see things the way he does, why they will not learn to do the simplest aspects of their job, and why they take no initiative in solving problems. My heart was breaking as I listened to Marc’s dilemma because I knew the solution was so simple (hard work, but simple nonetheless).

How many of you have felt the same way? How many of you wish you knew the magic formula for completely changing people’s attitudes? Well, fret no more. I give you the same advice I gave to Marc. The answer is simple. If you have not taken the time to write (yes, write it down) the reason you are so passionate about your work, your business, and what you envision for your business, then you will not be able to convey that passion properly. In Marc’s case, the unnamed passion turned to frustration at the sight of sloppily done tasks and the general lack of pride and connection he saw in his employees.

Oftentimes, until we dig up the root of our frustration, we actually communicate the opposite of what we intend. In Marc’s case, by not understanding why he is so passionate about his business, he is instead conveying to his employees that he is angry at them all the time. Without being able to articulate what it is he is angry about, his employees can only assume (and we know where that leads) that Marc is angry at them personally. This is a perfect example of why my Three C’s of Superlative Service are invaluable. Unless and until we become Conscious of the world within and around us, we will not develop the Compassion we need to get to the root or core of the person we are dealing with (the passion that is driving them at the particular moment we encounter them), therefore, we are incapable of Communicating the truth of the matter at hand. If we are incapable of communicating, the relationship breaks down.

Another effect of not taking the time to write out what it is you are passionate about in your business, along with the “why” and including your vision for your business, is that this lack of clarity is directly transferred to your employees. What Marc needed to see was that without any clear delineation of (to use real estate as a metaphor) your property lines, your employees do not know where to put their feet. Your employees are left without solid ground upon which to stand, therefore remain adrift and insecure about what is expected of them. This insecurity takes their focus off of serving the customer because they have no clear understanding of what that means in the context of your business.

As the day comes to a close, do yourself a great favor and set aside some time every day (in Marc’s case, someone who is struggling to find time in his day for everything, I suggested taking fifteen minutes each day) to put on paper what it is you love about the work you do and WHY you love each item on your list. The “what” is essential, but the “why” is critical. Without knowing why we do anything, we will never have a full grasp on the “what”. Having had decades of practice in this art, I am able to say with certainty that you will begin to see a change in the people around you and how they relate to you. You will be unconsciously communicating your passion in the proper manner, in a manner that people will finally be able to understand without you having to utter a word (although, once you have the understanding of your passion, you may not be able to keep quiet).

Until next time, I send you all my best wishes.

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Coppyright, 2013 – Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS. All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy, redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Think Tank Tuesday – V1;N1

Think Tank Tuesday

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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Think Tank Tuesday. The purpose of these postings is to give you something to think about in relation to developing relationships with your clients, your colleagues, and your employees. As relationships change, so does the way one approaches them, therefore, as our working environment consists primarily of relationships, it is important to think about how these relationships are evolving and how to deal with the change.

This week’s topic to think about is about leadership. Each of us is a leader regardless of our title. Therefore, think about these words from Theodore Roosevelt:

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

  • How often do we think it is easier to do it ourselves than to let someone else do it? (It may be easier but what is it costing you?)
  • How often do we think that if we “do it all”, we will show how competent we are? (The reality is that you are showing your insecurity and incompetence.)
  • How often do we think people think well of us when we do so? (Having worked under many Micro-Managers, I am able to say that no one thinks well of those who can’t let go and let others do the job.)

Take stock of your answers to these questions and see where you need to improve. Also, look at the effects your behavior is having on your colleagues, clients, employees, and others you deal with each day. It is critical to see how your behavior affects other people, otherwise you have no gauge as to your progress. Put the quote up in your office in a place where you will see it every day, to inspire you to develop a plan for how you will learn to become the leader described in the quote above.

Keep me posted on your progress. Share your thoughts and musings on the topic. Submit a topic for the Think Tank.

Until next time, all my best;

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All rights reserved. It is strictly prohibited to copy,redistribute, republish or modify any materials or software contained on the cerossiterpcs.com website or in subsequent support without the prior written consent of Cathleen E. Rossiter, PCS.

Question of the Week

 

Question of the Week