Two Gifts: Values and Conversation

I’d like to clear something up if I may, and then I’d like to share a story there has been a lot of discussion about lately ”“ to my delight and gratitude.

Today’s posting will be about two very special gifts: Our values, and our conversations.

Values are universal, and as timeless as laws of nature

I received an email yesterday which asked, “Rosa, how did you come up with the values in Managing with Aloha?” It is a question I get fairly often, usually followed in some form by, “How do I get my boss to come up with the right ones for us?”

The answer is, I didn’t “come up” with them. They already existed, and I chose them. I chose nineteen Hawaiian values for my business model and my working practice, so that those two things would always be value-aligned for me, and for whatever organization I might be charged with being a cultural steward of.

In other words, I designed my work so that my personal values and my business endeavors would be value-aligned. They complement each other in pursuing the same mission and vision.

The answer to the second question, is that your boss can do the same thing. (And you can help.)

I think of my book, Managing with Aloha, as a packaging of lessons learned into a form that we can use in business today, applying them to our practice of self-management and self-leadership. I did not create those nineteen Hawaiian values that I chose to write about within the book; I learned them, and then I applied them to business. They are timeless, universal values which have been around as long as people have walked our islands. Our ancestors lived those values before they named them for us to remember, to learn, and to continue to practice today. They passed them on to us as the beautiful gift they are.

Beach Chair Duo

The second gift has to do with our conversations. It is a daily practice of listening, and it is perfectly suited to what we in Hawai‘i think of as talking story.

The Daily Five Minutes ®

There is only one thing within the Managing with Aloha sensibility for worthwhile work —for that, in one phrase is how I think about the Managing with Aloha philosophy in total— in which I take immense joy knowing that I did have a hand in creating it.

It is not a value, but a daily practice for us to use in the workplace, starting with managers as the “givers of the D5M gift.” Eventually, the Daily Five Minutes ® (D5M for short) becomes practice for everyone in a company, with Alaka‘i managers charged for the on-going best modeling of the practice, however everyone takes their turn at being either giver or a receiver.

I honestly am somewhat embarrassed that counting this one, I have now written 79 posts for Say “Alaka‘i” without mentioning the Daily Five Minutes ®. This being a blog for The Honolulu Advertiser may have something to do with that misstep, for I become very conscious about not promoting my products and services here ”“ quite hard to do sometimes, for as frequent readers have come to know, separating me and my writing from Managing with Aloha has become quite impossible: MWA is my Ho‘ohana. I think of it as my calling.

However I assume you have never read my book, and I write Say “Alaka‘i” as self-contained as I can so you don’t have to, fully aware that this blog should not be an advertisement. I expect the editors here to call me on it immediately if I ever cross that line, and I have asked them to bring it to my attention if I fail to realize I have done so.

The Story of the Daily Five Minutes ®

Recently my email inbox has been hopping with mostly two subjects: One, my post last Thursday on micromanagement really touched some nerves, and two, I published another article this past Sunday about the Daily Five Minutes ® as connected to learning how to listen.

In answering several emails privately I began to blend the two subjects together, and so rather than jump to a new subject today —especially in light of How to Stop Micromanaging Part Two being in the queue for publishing two days from now— I thought I would bring you in the loop with the Daily Five Minutes ® for it is a practice which can help the micromanager immensely: It helps you work on the right things at the right times.

I have published all the how-to connected to the D5M on the web, and you need not spend a single penny for it. You just have to read about it, and then decide to practice it, accepting it as an idea from me which is a gift to you.

  • The story of the D5M is published at Joyful Jubilant Learning: Click to:
    Learning to Listen with the Daily Five Minutes
  • There are links within that post which will lead you to more specifics about the D5M practice itself if you are interested in it.

The conversation there is quite rich, and so I ask you to read the story there rather than me republishing it here, however I would like to add something here which is specific to one of the goals we had for Say “Alakai” in 2009: Remember this?

6. Talking Story Grows Up

‘Talking story’ might be just as important to our Hawai‘i communities as is ‘sense of place’ and our cultural values of Aloha. We have a way of communicating with each other that is an exceptionally positive expectation, unspoken yet pervasive in our islands, and that expectation is this: Create a good relationship first, and do your business transaction second (even those ‘business of life’ transactions) and then that transaction will be good too.

When talking story grows up and really, truly comes to the workplace with us, we will enjoy another kind of evolution, one in the way we communicate with each other and create a larger verbal asset. Our ancestors had a great word for this: They called this ‘asset’ the mo‘ōlelo. Can you imagine how little we would know about our heritage today without it? What is the mo‘ōlelo we have stopped creating for Hawai‘i’s future generations?

From the Archives: The Top 7 Business Themes on my 2009 Wish List.

The Daily Five Minutes ® is one way that “talking story grows up and really, truly comes to the workplace with us.”

The D5M practice is a new conversation

The number one objection I will get from people hearing about The Daily Five Minutes ® for the first time, and hearing that it is a daily practice they will learn, is “But Rosa, I talk to my people every day. We talk story enough.”

No you don’t. I guarantee you, you don’t. Granted, most of us talk TO others, AT others, and even FOR others all the time, but we don’t talk WITH others enough. When those times come up where we know we really need to have a heart to heart with another person, we stutter, stammer, stall, or skip the conversation altogether, hoping it will just go away. And surprise, surprise, it doesn’t.

The Daily Five Minutes ® is a new conversation in which we learn how to listen all over again so that we can communicate better. It can get our island way of talking story to be better than it ever has been before, because over time it vastly improves the circle of comfort and aloha we have for each other. I hope you will take the time to read about it.

In case you missed them, here are the Say “Alaka‘i” discussions we have previously had about talking story:

Let’s talk story.
Any thoughts to share?