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Achieving Excellence

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PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 3:15 pm    Post subject: Achieving Excellence Reply with quote

Achieving Excellence

The Top 10 Tips for Achieving Excellence
Reaching excellence does not mean we must be perfect. It means we strive to use our God-given talents, abilities, and skills in the very best way we have available to us. It means being ahead of the pack by doing that little extra thing.

1. Pour your heart into whatever you do.
Having a passion for what you do is the ultimate key to being successful at it. Half-hearted attempts will ultimately show through as a mediocre effort.

2. Believe that what you do matters and will make a difference.
You don't have to save the world in one stroke, but you can make a difference one person at a time.

3. Do more than you are being compensated to do.
Reaching excellence is about doing what you do anyway, even if you are not receiving remuneration for it. That quality of going the extra mile just because is what will set you apart from similar services/products.

4. After you've done more than you are being compensated for, do it again.
Raise the bar continually. Giving more than you get does come back to you in unexpected ways.

5. Give what you do all you've got.
Delegate the mundane and pay attention to the details that only you can do. Then do it, do it, and do it again.

6. Do the usual in an unusual way.
Develop creative processes. Think out of the box. Let your creativity flow.

7. Customize the delivery of your service.
Customizing to your client's specialized needs, circumstances or situation gives you a lead from the pack. It makes you more memorable to others because you cared about them not just what you're getting from them.

8. Endure through the rough and demanding times.
Getting through the difficult challenges will sharpen your skills and talents. Remember the prize is at the end of the rainbow.

9. Get up close and personal.
Identify with what you do. Make it part of your daily life, part of who you are. Talk it up, show it, give it.

10. Let go of the outcome.
All you can do is the very best you've done. Know you did your very best and that you have created a quality product or service. You are not responsible for how what you've done is received, only for delivering it.

Submitted by Carmen Stine, PhD(c), who can be reached at
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If You Really Want to Achieve Excellence

The ability to listen is a core competency of being a successful human being. It is a major component in our success as parents, managers, spouses, leaders, employees, friends, teachers, students-- There in no role in which listening is not a crucial component. Why is that?

First, if we can discern the key messages from other folks, when we respond, we are responding to the other person--not some fantasy in our heads. This keeps life a lot simpler. Second, if we really listen, we might learn a heck of a lot that is downright useful. And third, when we really hear someone else, we are giving the very precious, but all too rare, gift of being understood. Most of us have at some time experienced the power and relief of being truly heard. This provides a very strong cement for relationships. Yet the ability to listen is in woefully short supply because it is such a difficult skill to master. There are several reasons for this.

First, there often is so much noise in our heads about our own unresolved needs, issues, and conflicts that it is very difficult to put them aside and listen. Sometimes our self-esteem is so fragile that we respond defensively, aggressively or irrelevantly. Second, if we live busy, over-loaded lives, there is often a lot of yammering in our heads about all we need to do. We have great difficulty paying attention. Third, we may be so needy that we do most of the talking. Fourth, we probably have had few role models of people who listen well. And fifth, it is difficult to have much self-awareness about how well we listen. Virtually everybody sees themselves as good listeners.

So how can you find out if you are a good listener? The best way is to ask for feedback from family, friends, and coworkers and be willing to listen to it. Put aside your defensiveness and search for the truth in what these folks are saying. This step takes courage, so pat yourself on your back if you are willing to do it. Start paying attention to where your attention really is when you are supposedly listening to people. Are you really with the person, attempting to "get" what she/he is saying? Or is your mind wandering thinking about something else or planning your response? If you are feeling hurt or anger at what the other person is saying, are you busy trying to defend yourself or attacking the other person? Do you find yourself interrupting people in midsentence?

Be conscious about whether the conversations you have with people are balanced. Or are they mostly about you? What percentage of the time are you talking? If you discover through this self-exploration that you are a good listener, congratulations!!! This is an incredibly hard skill to master. Even though listening is a foundation upon which I have built a very successful career, I, too, often find myself paying attention to the noise in my head, planning my absolutely brilliant response, or responding defensively in emotional conversations. The key to continually improving our listening skills is to develop self-awareness of how we are listening and to work on resolving those areas where we are needy, overloaded, or lack self-esteem. A tall order, but one that will pay off in your success in all the roles of your life.

2000 Ann McAllister, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy or distribute Coaching Notes: Living on Purpose so long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. Ann McAllister, Ph.D., can be contacted at
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