ATLC #07 – Tell us a story!

The only thing more interesting than a story about another person is a story about our own self.

Why is this so?

self-promotionBecause, naturally, most of us are more interested in reading about ourselves than reading a condensed history of the ten most famous people who ever lived.

This is the natural way of human behaviour and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this is suddenly about to change.

DFQ #07:
In 100 words or less, post a story about yourself.

Focus on your Top Strength from DFQ#6 and think of an amusing story that illustrates, or derives from, your top strength.

As you think about this story, recall some details about the setting, the people involved, the provocation and the ‘punch line’ or the outcome.

Don’t feel the need to interpret the story or comment too much on it–just tell it!

We are your devoted audience. Make it a good one 🙂

(NOTE: I realise this is a bit like karaoke and asks you to step-up. But if this DFQ is not for you, no problem,  just skip it.  All SOT training (even leadership training) is opt-in/opt-out).

324 thoughts on “ATLC #07 – Tell us a story!

  1. my strength is the ability to listen intently,one of the draw backs of this skill is that some clients will use me as a sounding board for their problems.i am often refered to as dr phil because my clients will tell me all their problems and are maybe looking for answers from me.just because I can listen it may not mean I have the answers to help them with their problems and some times I find myself giving advice about something I have no knowledge about .

  2. My top strength as well as weakness would be my tenacity. We recently had a situation where one of the team had suggested a new approach to a solution. Initially he was shot down in flames. The business did not think we had time to look at this new thing. I argued that the team should be allowed at least a little bit of time to experiment and prove that what was being suggested was a better way to go. A CVS to BVS End result we are now in the process of implementing that new solution and everyone who has seen it so far loves it. Sometimes fighting for what you believe is worthwhile proves to be worthwhile.

  3. Rafting down a river with all of the NZ managers a few year back going down the Rapids and flying out the boat when it kicked me out floating down the river watching every one laugh there heads off

  4. Slowly but surely gaining the respect of my peers and superiors and working my way up in my role to become their equal and friend while getting to know and bring up others in the same way through positive encouragement and making sure everyone who works with me loves their job.

  5. My strength was persistance and I’m unsure of any real comedic value in any story I have about persistance. However, I have been able to achieve some pretty good things in work, life and sports by sticking at the task and getting to where you want to be no matter how long it takes. I live by a simple strategy. Choose what you want, set some goals/steps to tick off on the way to getting it, and don’t stop until you’ve owned it!

  6. My Top strength was gratitude. On a train in Berlin a quite a few years back I thought I would play the dumb farm boy and not “punch” my Metro card through the machine, therefore giving me free transport around the German City. There just so happened to be a random ticket check at the next stop by 3 heavily armed German police with sharp bitter accents holding back German Shepperds on steroids that appeared to be starving for farm-boy meat. My stomach prised it’s way out through my bum, leapt out of the train and ran off, leaving the rest of me to deal with the gestapo. I was hauled into the tiny train ticket office and given a crash course on how tickets are used in Germany, then released to the free world to continue on my and search for my stomach… Gratitude became important to me on that day, along with my next top strength of Honesty & integrity. I don’t take trains anymore…

  7. Kindness being my strength brings to mind when I was on crowded tram a couple of years ago and offered my seat to an elderly woman. She thanked me and we began to talk about the footy and then some of days past when she was younger etc. Her stories were hilarious and for old bird she certainly told a cracking yarn. A reward to an otherwise dreary trip for simply offering a seat.

  8. The top strength I would like to talk about me with is my ability now and before the SOT to be able to sit back and see the bigger picture. A colleague of mine is very quick to fly off the handle. While he does this and yells and screams allot, I have the time to look at the situation and then try and explain in a different way because most times they haven’t taken in all the information

  9. My top strength was creativity.
    I believe that my creative side has helped me a lot with my career by allowing me to see the Bigger picture in most situations. I have setup a couple of stores from scratch, my first in a rural area which at the time was secluded from most other branch’s in our network. My Creative side allowed me to work on ways we were going to approach the local (and not so local) customer base and move them from what was their current supplier to reece. Quite a challenge I can assure you, especially when the customers already had long standing relationships with their current supplies.

  10. I once had a customer working 2 hours out of town, where the wrong goods were sent by one our manufacturers. He was very upset , I let him get it out, he kept going , then I cut him off after 5 minutes of fury, and cut to the chase , and asked the question, “what would fix this situation for you right now ” . He stopped in his tracks , and said oh, well if you could send me 10 clips , I could move on with the job- complete change of attitude . I then used our network to get the goods to him within the hour. My ability to not buy in to the current argument and look outside to a better solution helped , and we went on to a fruitful relationship, and avoided an argument that would cost business. Prudence and ability to see a B V S was a winner in this situation.

  11. Resilience.
    I have a habit of taking in more than I should. I once took on a new job role shortly after I had commenced a university masters. At many points along the two year journey I had been tempted to give up on the masters however I was lucky to be surrounded by very supportive family and friends who offered me support.
    Most importantly I found that pushing through the pain when it is at its highest is when the most amazing and satisfying things happen.
    It is this lesson that I carry with me whenever I’m feeling the pain of something very difficult to complete.

  12. I have found you need to be a door stop for all slamming doors, but one time I knew less or equal to the tradesman using a testing tool. He complained that we had sold him a lemon, but I show a interest in his what hiss trouble was. Then I thought hang on maybe the battery are dead, so I open it up to check. the batteries had a thin piece of plastic between the contacts. So then I got the device going and I was a hero in the eyes of the customer. But I never told him about the piece of plastic, so he felt good about it & so did I .

  13. Try it you might like it.

    I have been known not be great at change or embracing something new. I was asked by a friend recently to take up an new sporting hobby and its one that I have always been against. Once I got started I and love doing the new hobby, after that I needed to wear/adopt some apparel which I stated I would never do and once again – I have done it. Like green eggs and Ham – try it and you might like it – say I do like green eggs and ham.

  14. Give it a Go – Be in it to win it.

    It’s always been a philosophy that I’ve lived by. You have to try something at least once before making a decision if it’s right for you. I decided I wanted to start running- distance running. I slowly built up. 1 km run, 1km walk, 2 km run, 2 km walk etc etc. I entered fun runs and built my distance up until I reached 10kms. My goal was the Run For Kids in Melbourne. A distance of 14.9 kms. I made it! At the end of the race my name was pulled out of the hat and I won a car…..yes a car! From that point on I entered many competitions and kept winning. Wii Fit, Weekend in Lorne, Case of wine, the Easter raffle. Just step outside your comfort zone and give it a go. You never know what rewards wait for you.

  15. Welcome to the story of me. Unlike what the ATLC say I do not like talking and hearing stories about myself or others. The true virtue is to shut-up and listen to people that have something to say that either engages or educates you. Everyone else is just wasting your precious short time on this planet and should be avoided at all costs. Be humble, honest and true to ones self and you will go along way and remember what I heard along time ago “… It is not your bosses job to make you Rich… ” It is the roll of management to get the most out of their employees for as little as possible.

  16. On booking my last holiday my wife laughed as being cautious is one of my major strengths. I always check and double check over everything to get a full understanding. After an in depth conversation with my wife believing I was wrong in which I didn’t believe. I proceeded to look into the paperwork provided by our agent and proved myself right after asking them numerous understanding questions. I found we had been over charged $650. My wife still did not acknowledge me being right but continues to laugh at my cautious ways in which avoid mistakes and being taken for a ride.

  17. I’ve always tried to go a little further, do a little extra, just to improve incrementally. I’ve applied this to my new found obsession with golf. Lessons, driving ranges and a handicap are now a part of my world. My frustration did boil over at one stage and I took it out on my wedge after an absolute stinker of a shot. Needless to say I had to take the club in for repair, a job I had kept quiet from the wife because of the look I would receive.
    Walking to Drummonds with the club in two bits, who should drive past with a friendly toot and a wave? The wife!. I eventually received the look.

  18. Upon taking up a meditation course for the 2nd time in my life, I was determined to be focussed and successful unlike my first attempt. 3/4 of the way into the course we were required to practice mantras as part of the meditation. Most people feel quite uncomfortable as it takes them out of their comfort zone. This time I was confident and determined to deliver the mantras loud and consistently. I achieved my goal while others sat in silence with their meditation. Post the class I was informed that these mantras were to be done in silence via inner vibration rather than external vibrations. Very entertaining for all involved. The meditation was successful even though I didn’t follow the same process as every other person.

  19. I was heading out to a camping trip with some friends a year after I’d finished Uni. They’d usually go the same time of the year each year but I couldn’t go because my Uni exams were always on. So this is the first time in a while. I was tutoring high school maths and one of my students wanted a call before their exam. We were in between mountains so there wasn’t any phone reception. I thought I’d be “kind” by leaving the group and go for a jog up the mountain. As I was jogging I got the biggest freight as a 2m black snake was now 3m in front of me. I knew it was scared of me but in the moment I forgot all about that. It slithered away and I was able to make the phone call. Perhaps my shakiness passed on to the student. He didn’t do very well after all.

  20. Before attending medical school in South Dakota, I was a graduate student in the University of Nebraska. During this time, I was working and making money, enough to support myself. However, after I got accepted to medical school, I had to move to a new state and start a new life. I had to do everything on my own since I did not know anyone in South Dakota. The school work was demanding to say the least and with no friends or family in the frigid winter of South Dakota I was beginning to question the wisdom of attending medical school at that time. While I was struggling to find my place in this unfamiliar environment the school’s financial office notified me that I owed them $16000 for tuition and other expenses that had to be paid within the next 2 weeks or I will be kicked out of the school. I remember driving back to Nebraska one night to bring the rest of my belonging back to my new living quarters. In that long, lonely drive I was thinking to myself that this is something that I wanted to do for a long time, so I was going to give myself only 4 weeks in medical school and to see what happened after that. If I can survive the medical school for 4 weeks I was going to stay put, otherwise I was going to quit medical school and go back to Nebraska to my old job. After that I asked god if this is something that he wants me to do, he is got to help me with this because I have no idea how I am going to pay for medical school. A couple of days later I got a call from the financial aid office that I was approved for a loan and I was to come to their office right away and pick up my check. I was very excited to hear this because at that time money was very tight. I went to the office thinking that I am going to get a big fat check. It was a big check alright, for exactly $16000. After I signed the paperwork the financial aid officer promptly notified me that I had to sign that, check back to the school for my past due tuition and expenses. So, I did not get that big payday that day, but I was able to pay the school and decided to stay in school despite all the challenges and difficulties.

  21. Love of learning and curiosity can sometimes distract a person’s attention from their own self interest.

    A number of years ago I decided to move into new premises which involved entering into an informal sub-lease with the occupant who was an accountant. After I moved in, the accountant asked me for a contribution toward his bond which I paid. A number of years later the accountant got into financial difficulty and had to negotiate his departure from the office. He reminded me of the bond contribution which I had totally forgotten about. I was able to factor the contribution into my negotiations with him. After the accountant had left I mentioned the bond contribution to the landlord who advised me that he had never received a bond from the accountant.

  22. I was 10 years old and I was designated by my teacher as a “kawan” leader of the Grade 4 boy scouts. As the kawan leader, I carry the yellow flag of the kawan. There where about 120 boy scouts who were under the kawan. One day, we were marching through a mountain near the beach. The destination point was a bit far and we have been walking for over an hour – tired and hungry under a searing sun. I was at the lead of that procession when I realized that the march was already broken. Some kids were tired and slow. Some stopped. If the situation continues, some kids would be left behind and because the trail was not clearly marked, might even get lost. I sprung into action. I went back to to the tail of the march and directed the other boy scouts to walk faster and connect with the main group. I ran to the front to give instructions to slow down and went back to the en end to egg my fellow students to keep up. I was doing this back and forth for several times until we all reached the camp site. I was too exhausted when we reached the camp site. I sat at the corner of the camp, drank some water and watched the boy scouts play. I was too exhausted but I was happy.

  23. As the youngest PR manager in the region, I was once confronted by my MD about an error in an article. He came straight at me, fuming mad and demanded somebody’s head. It was my first time encountering such anger and, despite the fear, I automatically took responsibility for the error as I was the leader of my team. He eventually calmed down after we explored ways to handle the error and get back to the reporter with a correction. I didn’t realise my team heard the whole event and it made us closer and more effective. That day I learned that despite facing anger and being fearful, a leader must first and foremost take full responsibility and protect his or her team. The second learning was that errors are not always as dramatic as they first appear and can be fixed with the proper relaxed attention and decision. It’s more important to pick yourself up and fix the error than to go on a rampage. That MD and I are still friends decades later.

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