Learning the Daily 5 Minutes: Our Weekly Review

If you’ve skimmed ahead, looking down this page, it looks long.
It may be long if you are newly joining us here at Talking Story.

For most of you however, this is a brief review of the highlights of our past week here, for we’ve been in full-on project mode, and you’ll be happy to know I think it’s time we take a break. Breathing space…

Hearts and Flowers

Those who know our Talking Story habits know that we dedicate Saturday mornings to our Weekly Review, for I would be quite the lost soul without them, so let’s review. At the end I will preview what is to come in the next two days leading to our D5M Alpha Challenge.

We have covered a LOT this week. The post contains several reference links, and if you hover your mouse over them I have included post titles to help you where the linked words differ, but if you’ve followed along this week you won’t need to take any of them. (And this really isn’t that long :)

Let’s get started, for it’s Halloween, and chocolate awaits somewhere”

— The month of October marks an annual Ho‘ohana [intentional work strategy] for us called “Sweet Closure.” The goal: We close our year’s projects early so we can fully enjoy the holidays to come for ‘Imi ola [proactively creating our best possible life.]

D5MReDiscover

This year, I declared this final week of October dedicated to a rediscovery of The Daily 5 Minutes, saying:

I can think of no better way to celebrate wrapping up our annual Sweet Closure initiative than with the single best tool a person wanting to “live, work, manage and lead with Aloha” can learn, for in part, Sweet Closure is about getting your focus back on what is essential, and away from what is not.

Here’s why we love the Daily 5 Minutes:

  1. It’s simple (to learn). It’s a new conversation.
  2. It’s easy to do. It happens between two human beings; no software, no hardware.
  3. Once it’s your habit, you can’t fail at it. Your good intention with completely listening to other human beings turns into relationship Aloha which is transformational.

Those are the same reasons (and we went into each in a bit more detail) I push you (and every manager who’ll listen) to try it.

Then we announced a web-based alpha test which would add a virtual learning environment for D5M practitioners and first-time learners, built around peer-to-peer support and encouragement: It is completely free to those of you who participate, and will last for 15 consecutive days, helping you build your own D5M habit in the Managing with Aloha way —with me as your coach.

When the challenge begins on Monday, November 2nd the sign-up will be closed, and those taking the challenge will find they are in a private peer-to-peer coaching group. No observers or lookie-loos; everyone there will be just like you: Committed to giving the Daily 5 Minutes to another person as a listening gift at least once each day for the next 15 days.

You will be able to log your Daily 5 Minutes, and briefly journal your experience, sharing as much or as little as you wish. As your coach, I plan to have a D5M tip-a-day planned for you. I’ve drafted my tips for the first 5-7 days, anticipating that my tips thereafter will be custom crafted for the experience of the group.

I have done this quite a bit on a per workplace basis. This is an alpha in two ways:

  1. For Ruzuku.com
    Their official launch was just announced yesterday: Ruzuku is here. We’ve launched the Ruzuku alpha.
  2. As an open-call for D5M habit-building without company affiliation
    My Managing with Aloha culture coaching provides our value-alignment, and those participating may be adopting the D5M for personal and professional networks outside the workplace.

Next, we set about creating a brand new D5M Resource Page we could use as our one-stop companion once we get into the alpha itself — kind of a cross-referencing index, for when we are in the 15-day alpha test (from November 2 to November 17) life will go on here on Talking Story for those in our Ho‘ohana Community who are not participating (Hey it’s cool, the time may not be right for everyone.)

We have written about The Daily 5 Minutes quite a bit — it works, making it easy to believe in it — and so searching for “the facts ma’am, just the facts” can take you a while (Google Rosa Say Daily 5 Minutes and 92,400 results come up). Editing the fat out of my own writing alone was another reason for the new D5M Resource Page, and on it you will find the basics and a listing of most relevant resource links.

Here is a day-by-day recap:

Monday: The Daily 5 Minutes: An exciting alpha test!
Our alpha announcement included a brief D5M primer.

Tuesday: So, you think you’re approachable huh?
About our Intimidation Factor. We all have one. Problem is, if you are unapproachable, people are not telling you what you need to know. Not all of it.

Wednesday: D5M-ing your Decisions: See with your ears.
In our language of intention, D5M-ing is a listening verb. D5M-ing your Decisions means to blend the Daily 5 Minutes practice of better listening with your decision-making. Can you see with your ears?

Thursday: Ready, set, alpha!
We share a bit more of what you can expect in the alpha with Ruzuku.com.

Friday: The Daily 5 Minutes: How to Get Started

The Daily 5 Minutes will be optimally effective for you if you use the first one you do with someone as a time to set the stage, letting them know what it’s all about. For remember: You have read my articles about it, but chances are they haven’t!

Two invitations are covered:

  1. Within a workplace team
  2. Within a personal network

Coming up:

Sunday, November 1st:
There is one more resource article I would like to review before our alpha begins, a fresh update brought over from ManagingwithAloha.com: The Daily 5 Minutes / 9 Questions

Monday, November 2nd:
Our alpha begins! We will kick it off with a very short posting of some final recommendations.

D5Mchallenge

The Daily 5 Minutes: How to Get Started

Preface: We are within a full week dedicated to rediscovering the power of the Daily 5 Minutes. If you are a new arrival to Talking Story, I recommend you start on this page, and then come back here.

D5Mdiscover

The Daily 5 Minutes will be optimally effective for you, if you use the first one you do with someone to prep them. Use it as a time to set the stage for every D5M which may follow, letting them know what it’s all about. For remember:

  • You have read my articles about The Daily 5 Minutes, but chances are they haven’t!
  • Since the other person sets the agenda for the conversation content, they have a role to play, one you must ask them to accept. You do so by making your very first D5M with someone an invitation.
  • The D5M should be a NEW conversation between you, new in both tone and expectation, and not more of the same you have had before.

Let’s refresh our D5M intentions with the basics:

The Daily 5 Minutes (D5M) is a conversation you give to another person, as a gift of your full attention and good intentions. Get language triggers to help you: When you invite them to “Take 5” with you, they should know the conversational agenda is of their choosing, and you are giving them your all-in listening time so they will feel completely heard and valued.

I am going to cover two different kinds of invitations in this posting, and you can choose the one which is best for you. You may end up using both (at different times), for these invitations are tailored to your D5M receivers:

  1. Within a workplace team
  2. Within a personal network

For those who are participating in the D5M challenge/Ruzuku alpha from November 2 through 17, I recommend you focus your habit-building challenge on a team of no more than 5 people. You will still do just one D5M a day, and therefore, by day 15 they will each have had 3 of them, and you can see how it progresses for them ”“ after all, they are creating a new habit too, one of talking to you! So choose the invitation which you feel will work best for the people you have chosen as your D5M receivers and co-builders of the habit.

1. Within a workplace team

A quick and easy way to get your receivers on board, and excited about getting the D5M from you, is to reprint the excerpt within my book Managing with Aloha, and simply share it with them first.

It is just 761 words long (half the size of this blog post);

  1. Ask them to read it
  2. Tell them you would like to try the Daily 5 Minutes, and share your reason why (something as simple as, “I know we both jump into work each day, and probably don’t talk as much as we should, and I want to be sure I never take you for granted.”)
  3. Ask them if they will help you, being willing to be the “talker” so you can be the “listener”
  4. Ask them to begin by thinking up some informal, talk-story conversation topics to have at the ready when you start
  5. Tell them you will look for 5-minute opportunities in the next few weeks which will be convenient for both of you

You need not buy the book: (though I would love that too :) You can find the excerpt right here in the Talking Story archives: The Daily Five Minutes, and here it is in print-ready .pdf format.

Here is the workplace key: The D5M is a new conversation, and not the same old-same old of “Hey, how’s it goin’?” skim-the surface small talk you had before.

2. Within a more personal network

The Managing with Aloha excerpt was written with a likely audience of middle managers in mind. You can use the exact same invitation format covered above if you like, but you may find it gets you into more explaining than you really need to get into, because those in a more personal network have a different relationship with you.

The MWA excerpt does give the impression you are hoping for work-related topics, and that’s great if you are a manager, for it cuts to the chase! However, those in other relationships might struggle with that, getting the impression that coming up with an agenda for you is too much of a stretch, when it really isn’t at all; you just want to give them the gift of your listening attention! The subject matter is actually less relevant (though that is not something you want to say to them!).

So my recommendation is that you skip the printed excerpt altogether, think about your reasons for choosing this person who will be your “talker” in the D5M, and focus on the conversation outcome you are hoping for with them. Put this ”“ all of it, the learning of the D5M, and your habit-building ”“ into your own words, and explain it to them in the way that will best set the stage for you.

For example, it might go something like this” If you read this out loud, you will notice that the dialog takes less than 2 minutes:

“Hey Jen, do you have about 5 minutes for a quick conversation?”

“Yeah sure, what’s up?”

“I’m trying to create a brand new habit that’s designed to help me be a better listener. So I heard about this practice called the Daily 5 Minutes, and I want to try it. Pretty simple. The way it works is that I invite people I care about to have a 5-minute conversation with me when we both have the time free. The ‘daily’ part is habit-building for me, so just once a day with different people, and I’m hoping you’ll be one of those people. That means I’d initiate the Daily 5 Minutes with you about once in a week’s time.”

“Um, okay, sure. What do I have to do?”

I start it by simply saying, “Want to take 5?” as an invitation ”“ a kind of language cue, because if it isn’t a good time for you, no problem, just let me know and we’ll try another time. But if you are free then, I turn it over to you: It’s your time to talk to me about anything you want to talk to me about, and I’ll concentrate on listening to you, and responding to you. We both commit to keeping it within the 5 minutes ”“ even if you decide to bring up an issue we need to reach an agreement on.

“Sounds like a plan, I can handle that. And don’t worry, I think I’d go for the light and easy instead of any heavy-duty issues.”

“Well, from what I understand, the 5 minutes and the habit part of it is designed to help people work their way up to quick problem-solving at some point if they need to, but I think there’s a ton of stuff we just never get around to talking about, and this might help us cover it, kinda like killing two birds with one stone. Mostly, I know I can be a better listener than I am.”

“Me too. We’ll help each other with this.”

“Thanks Jen, I really appreciate your helping me. I’m committing to my habit-building in November, so that’s when you can anticipate me extending the first invitation.”

Any other thoughts or questions?

If so, let’s talk story! Comment boxes are open.

Have you signed up for our D5M/Ruzuku alpha test?

If not, catch up on that info here: Ready, set, alpha!
It is completely free to those of you who participate, and will last for 15 consecutive days, helping you build your own D5M habit in the Managing with Aloha way —with me as your coach. Ruzuku provides us with a virtual learning environment built around support and encouragement. You commit to a challenge and then report periodically on your progress all the while supporting and being supported by the community going through the same thing you are.

D5Mchallenge

Here are some bonus links you can check out:

1. Within a workplace team

Lisa Haneberg talks about the value of this in the posting she did at Management Craft: Give an Employee Five Precious Minutes.

Rich Griffith offers some of his experience with the D5M in Daily Five Minutes for your life.

2. Within a personal network

Rick Cecil talks about the value of this in the posting he did for Ruzuku: To be supported, you must first support

Ready, set, alpha!

D5Mdiscover

Sign up for the D5M challenge today!

Are you in?

D5MchallengeSqOn Monday, November 2nd we will be launching a first-ever virtual habit-building challenge designed for The Daily 5 Minutes in partnership with Ruzuku.com. It is completely free to those of you who participate, and will last for 15 consecutive days, helping you build your own D5M habit in the Managing with Aloha way —with me as your coach.

Here is what you can expect:

When the challenge begins on November 2nd the sign-up will be closed, and those taking the challenge will find they are in a private peer-to-peer coaching group. No observers or lookie-loos; everyone there will be just like you: Committed to giving the Daily 5 Minutes to another person as a listening gift at least once each day for the next 15 days.

You will be able to log your Daily 5 Minutes, and briefly journal your experience, sharing as much or as little as you wish.

And that’s where Ruzuku comes in. Ruzuku provides us with a virtual learning environment built around support and encouragement. You commit to a challenge and then report periodically on your progress all the while supporting and being supported by the community going through the same thing you are.

Update: When you register for this challenge with Ruzuku, you will be prompted with a box that asks you why you have decided to accept the challenge. It will be phrased like this:

I will have a D5M conversation to fully value another person, creating and building my D5M habit every day for 15 days because…

I recommend you use this for your own affirmation, one which is a reminder of your personal goal with taking on this challenge: This line is private: You will be the only one able to see this on your dashboard. For instance, I filled mine out to say:

…because I continue to learn from the D5M practice as well; it never gets old because people newly enter my life nearly every day.

I am taking the challenge with you, and I have decided to focus on improving how I start the D5M with people who are in my extended network versus those I work with regularly (and who already are getting their D5M from me regularly, and I from them.)

As your coach, I have a D5M tip-a-day planned for you. I’ve drafted my tips for the first 5 days, anticipating that my tips thereafter will be custom crafted for the experience of the group.

So again, are you in? Sign up here and spread the good word!

Then, continue to check in here each day leading up to November 2nd: Our week-long celebration of helpful posts will continue to build on our Resource Page in preparation.

Tomorrow I will post: The Daily 5 Minutes: How to Get Started

The Daily 5 Minutes will be optimally effective for you if you use the first one you do with someone as a time to set the stage, letting them know what it’s all about. For remember: You have read my articles about it, but chances are they haven’t!

You excited? Me too!

My mana‘o [The Backstory of this posting]
We are celebrating a week dedicated to The Daily 5 Minutes in wrapping up our annual October initiative, Sweet Closure, and in preparation for an exciting new program which starts November 2nd. If you are newly arriving at Talking Story, you can catch up here:

  1. The Daily 5 Minutes: An exciting alpha test!
  2. So, you think you’re approachable huh?
  3. D5M-ing your Decisions: See with your ears.
  4. The Daily 5 Minutes: Your Talking Story Resource Page.

D5Mchallenge

D5M-ing your Decisions: See with your ears

In our language of intention, D5M-ing is a listening verb.
D5M-ing your Decisions means to blend the Daily 5 Minutes practice of better listening with your decision-making.

Can you see with your ears?

It’s a phrase my dad taught me when I was a very young manager, asking me to keep it in mind now that I was a boss. He asked it in the way that dads will ‘ask’ you to do something.

The lesson was about Ha‘aha‘a, the Hawaiian value of humility. My dad was thoroughly convinced that if I learned about humility I’d know all I needed to know, for it would teach me everything else.

Dad knew I was fiercely independent and horrendously stubborn when I was a young manager. He felt partly responsible that I was, for he had taught me to rule my siblings with the toughest love possible while he and my mom were at work and my brothers and sister were left in my charge. I’m the eldest of five children, and my three brothers were as wild and unpredictable as boys could be. Dad felt it important that I stood by my decisions with them for consistency’s sake, and so I would be more confident, believing in myself when no adults were around (which was the rule and not the exception).

The humility lesson he taught me went something like this; I am paraphrasing, though all these years later I can still hear his voice. He said the words slowly to be sure I heard him clearly.

“Rosa, managers who are humble are the ones other people will work hard for. A humble manager listens really well. She asks the people reporting to her what they think, and why, and what they would do about things.

You don’t need to have all the answers; your job is to find them. And people who can’t learn to be humble have a hard time learning where to look for those answers. Sometimes things are right there in front of them, and they don’t even see.

Humble managers see with their ears, not with their eyes.”

He would patiently explain that it had been different between me and my brothers; that the people I managed had to be treated like adults, and not like children, even when they were resisting being adults. My dad believed that the workplace was an adult place, and it needed to have a grown-up dignity to it. He believed that the workplace could, and should be where we learned from each other.

My dad was right.

We don’t have all the answers; we find them.
We also find stories.

If I did anything right at all during my early years as a manager, I obeyed my dad: I asked people what they thought, and I listened as they gave me the answers I needed to find, or newly create together with them.

Over the years, my employees willingly became my living laboratory for the evolution of Managing with Aloha as a values-based sculptor of healthy workplace cultures. They gave me their complete trust during times I had not even earned it yet, mostly because I would listen to them, and learn what I needed to know. My workplace coaching and cultural reinventions today, and my unshakable belief that we CAN turn work into a labor of joy simply would not have taken shape without all my staff had taught me, starting with their willingness to talk to me openly and honestly when I simply invited them to, an invitation which would become known as The Daily 5 Minutes.

I also discovered that people didn’t just have the answers I needed; they had entire stories about them. As a good manager ”“ as a decently considerate human being ”“ I had to arrive at my best decisions having seen and having heard the whole story. Their whole story.

People surround us, waiting for us to interview them, and ask them questions about what is most important to them, and why. Their stories give us context, and more importantly, their stories give us the experiences and emotion that will contribute to better decisions. “Emotional intelligence” gives us intellectual honesty.

The people around us have the potential to be the best teachers we have ever had. They are open books which are not just past tense, written with the wealth of their past experiences; they continue to be vibrantly alive, perpetually thinking, and willing to share their thinking with us, wrapped in both the simplicity and complexity of that beautiful weaving of belief and conviction we in Hawai‘i call their mana‘o. All we have to do is ask.

But do we? Sincerely, and genuinely ready to listen as patiently and completely as need be?

That is what the Daily 5 Minutes helps us do. And that is why it is the best communication habit we can have.

D5Mdiscover

My mana‘o [The Backstory of this posting]
We are celebrating a week dedicated to The Daily 5 Minutes in wrapping up our annual October initiative, Sweet Closure, and in preparation for an exciting new program which starts November 2nd. If you are newly arriving at Talking Story, you can catch up here:

  1. The Daily 5 Minutes: An exciting alpha test!
  2. So, you think you’re approachable huh?
  3. The Daily 5 Minutes: Your Talking Story Resource Page.

UPDATE:

Take 5 Listening ChallengeOur 1st Ruzuku alpha is now complete! Read about our results, and get up to date with the news about our next two challenges:
The D5M Ruzuku Report (and 2 New Challenges!)

The next one will begin on Monday, November 30th and remains free of charge only during this period of alpha testing.

Photo Credit: What did you say??? by law keven on Flickr