Tag: Lessons Learned

While I’m thinking about it, I wanted to offer some tips and tricks for trips to Mexico:

  • Find an Oxo (or any Pemex/pharmacia equivalent for that matter) early and often – this will save you loads on common necessities like water or beer (yes – I consider this a “necessity” in Mexico)
  • Bring a small, bright, portable flashlight – it can be very dark at night and if you’re trying to walk around in towns or on your hotel grounds, it can be unfamiliar and intimidating
  • Bugspray and Sunscreen are a “must” – pack these in your checked bag and you’ll thank me later, as sunscreen can be wildly expensive once you’re there, and bugspray is incredibly useful (remember, you’re basically in a jungle)
  • Most alcohol sales in convenience stores only last from 9 AM to 9 PM – so in the event you are the type that likes to have a glass of wine and hang outside after dinner back at the resort – you’ll want to make sure you grab a bottle prior to dinner
  • Many of the restaurants will be (or at least claim to be) cash only – so plan accordingly
  • Thus, cash is king in Mexico – and in most places (shops, restaurants) that can be either American dollars OR Pesos; although I do recommend getting Pesos as many places will not give you a favorable exchange rate if paying in US dollars
  • Local ATM’s are some of the best options to get cash, and I would avoid getting cash or exchanging to Pesos in the US prior to departure – the local ATM’s will dispense at reasonable exchange rates with minimal bank-imposed penalties/fees
  • Politely ask for your check (“la cuenta, por favor”) whenever you are thinking about getting ready to leave, as you will otherwise wait a long time to get it (I am guessing this has something to do with their culture where they do not want to appear to be pushing you out the door – but I don’t know that for sure)
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The restaurants all seemed to have a much greater appreciation for presentation of checks than we do in America.

Til Next Time,

Michael

This phrase is one of my pet peeves. We’re all victim to it, and all ultimately help feed the cycle from time to time when we ourselves aren’t as clear as we should have been.

We must stop the madness, though. Any time you send or receive anything that later has an associated “I’m sorry, I should have been more clear”, it is really nothing more than a glorified waste of time for everyone involved. What it really means is that not only did a sender send something that wasn’t clear, but there was probably some level of interaction, work, or energy dedicated to the poor attempt by at least one other person (hence the confusion). And, ultimately, a need to go back and clarify – ultimately completing an extraneous re-work activity.

How do we battle this? Without stating the obvious (as I did recently – “proper planning prevents poor performance” blah blah), I’d like to suggest a couple ways that I’ve experienced success in eliminating confusion and avoiding “should have been more clear” syndrome:

  1. First, and perhaps most obvious, BE MORE CLEAR: this may seem juvenile of me to say, but let’s be honest – a lot of us suffer from a limited capacity to be clear and concise in our communications (avid followers of the blog probably understand that brevity is not my soul of wit, to pull in a Shakespearian reference)
  2. Second, ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT: this is a little less obvious, but organization of content, whether it’s a presentation or an email, can help quickly and succinctly convey key points or actions you wish others to take (think bullets, numbered lists, etc)
  3. Third, SPEAK WITH PURPOSE: try to eliminate any and all language (whether spoken or typed) that doesn’t help the story you are trying to tell; the words may clutter the recipient’s mind and create confusion on what action they may need to take
  4. Fourth, REINFORCE THE POINT: the saying goes “Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, then tell ’em, then remind them what you told ’em”; in other words, reinforce your message or your “ask”, even going so far as referencing it in your intro and conclusion (in case your message has real estate for these)

At the end of the day, any investment you make on the front end to prepare for well-executed communications, the less time you’ll spend fixing or clarifying on the back end. So make the investment early and often to avoid confusion. And trust me, you’ll find your days are much less filled with “I’m sorry I should have been more clear” emails.

Til Next Time,

Michael

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