What’s first…It’s inside us…

What’s first… Solution or safety?

So, you opened that electrical control panel and successfully determined that you have a blown fuse serving one of those 120 volt lines. You’ve got a replacement fuse in your mitt, tools at the ready and you’ve flipped the breaker labeled “dishwasher” to the off position. So, you’re ready to pop out that dead one and replace it, right?
Uh, not so fast bucko!
First, are you really sure that semi-legible penciled in label on the main door’s panel is really correct, or in the years that have gone by perhaps has some enterprising “electrician” altered the connections? Is it possible that breaker now powers a walk-in box, or some other unknown device? So just maybe the next thing to do is take that same voltage tester you used to determine that the fuse was shot and confirm that the power is really off at that machine.
And after you’ve made sure that’s the case, there’s one more thing that you need to do. Either close the main electrical box’s door and put a lock on it or position a trusted person to stand guard next it. Otherwise, while you’re changing that fuse, someone might just come along and flip that breaker back to the on position!
Assuming those steps are taken, NOW you’re ready to pull that old fuse, replace it and then turn everything back on to see if it now runs – and continues to do so for few minutes. Assuming it does, button it up and collect your kudos from the customer. But if that fuse goes south again, you’ve got bigger problems and either need to dig deeper, or back off and call in the cavalry.

It’s inside us… Not outside

There’s a Marine Corp saying that goes, “People won’t care about doing what you ask until they know that you care” (about them). When it comes to managing people, truer words were never uttered. The simple fact is that if the boss displays distain or just plain indifference to us as subordinates, we’ll respond in kind. Another one goes: “You can’t pay people enough to get them to work as hard you might like, but you can get them to do it for a lot less”.
These two are really flip sides of the same coin. If the boss demonstrates genuine care and concern for the folks who work for him and he’s savvy enough to recognize that by being a partner in the task of decision making, real motivation is the result. That’s because motivation is something that flows from within us. It’s not something that can be given or provided externally. All a good boss can do is create an environment where it can flourish.
So, in the event that you’re the boss, here are some things to keep in mind. First, we need to remember that nobody comes to work thinking, “what can I screw up today?” Nope, nearly everyone wants to do a good job. Second, people thrive on positive input and if its’ delivered when it’s deserved it can be a much more powerful influencer than a few dollars … although the extra money doesn’t hurt either!

Next up: Delivering praise and criticism the right way.