Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.
Ouch. Hitting close to the bone here…
Excerpts from the Joseph McCormack’s Book Brief: The Brevity Mandate
“Here are the daunting challenges we all face every day to be heard: Attention spans are in a tailspin. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds and now it’s only eight. Professionals are interrupted 6-7 times an hour, often unable to get back to the task at hand. More than 43% abandon complicated or lengthy emails in the first 30 seconds. And the majority of people admit ignoring half the e-mails they get every day.”
“The more you say, the less people hear”
“The business world today is full of information overload and there is not enough time to sift through it. If you cannot capture people’s attention and deliver your message with brevity, you’ll lose them.”
“The discipline to capture and manage elusive mindshare now shapes and defines professional success. Shorter emails, better organized updates, and tighter and more engaging presentations are immediate indicators that you’ve got what it takes to succeed in an attention economy.”
“Getting to the point is a non-negotiable standard.”
Find book on Amazon here.
How Not to Say The Wrong Thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It’s the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.
…Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.
Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.
When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.”
It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.
It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry. (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)
“Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years? And you still don’t know my name.”
“I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance. Damage done. Twice, in seconds.
Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
“I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”
Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “
Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…
“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.
“…It turns out that when we decide how we feel about someone, we are making not one judgment, but two. The criteria that count are what we call “strength” and “warmth.” Strength is a person’s capacity to make things happen with abilities and force of will. When people project strength, they command our respect. Warmth is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When people project warmth, we like and support them…”
“…While each of us exhibit both strong and warm qualities, the authors found through various studies and research that we often fail to utilize the right amounts of each. This is because, although both strength and warmth are positive traits, they can become negative if not balanced for and catered to your specific situation. Awareness is key. Strength and warmth are controllable traits we use in every interaction we have—via our tone of voice, the words we use, how we stand and walk, what we wear, and even how we cut our hair…”
Read more @ 800ceoread
Find this book @ Amazon
“Not just any talk is conversation; not any talk raises consciousness. Good conversation has an edge: it opens your eyes to something, quickens your ears. And good conversation reverberates: it keeps on talking in your mind later in the day; the next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said. That reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness; your mind’s been moved. You are at another level with your reflections.”
James Hillman (1926 – 2011) was an American psychologist born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He studied at, and then guided studies for, the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, founded a movement toward archetypal psychology and retired into private practice, writing and traveling to lecture, until his death at his home in Thompson, Connecticut on October 27, 2011. After high school, he studied at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for two years. He served in the US Navy Hospital Corps from 1944 to 1946, after which he attended the Sorbonne in Paris, studying English Literature, and Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a degree in mental and moral science in 1950. In 1970, Hillman became editor of Spring Publications, a publishing company devoted to advancing Archetypal Psychology as well as publishing books on mythology, philosophy and art. His magnum opus, Re-visioning Psychology, was written in 1975 and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. (Source: Wiki)
“There it is; the light across the water. Your story. Mine. His. It has to be seen to be believed. And it has to be heard. In the endless babble of narrative, in spite of the daily noise, the story waits to be heard.
Some people say that the best stories have no words. It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.”
- Jeanette Winterson
It was born on Thursday morning. Source, unknown. Lousy night’s sleep. Scratchy throat. Teasing cough. Oh, oh.
By lunch, phlegm was sliding down the nasal passages.
By mid-afternoon, slow ripples…no waves, waves of low level, throbbing migraines.
I skip over major projects. Start pushing off meetings that can be deferred. Manage to creep through the afternoon aimlessly picking at project-lites.
Leave at 5:30. Head home. To rest.
“Starve a cold. Feed a fever.” (Why then, am I sitting at the table eating like a wolf?)
Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu. I roll the shimmering green gel tablets in my palm – calm settles, I pause, and I swallow. (The Nightime, Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching, Stuffyhead, Fever, So-You-Can-Rest Medicine. Yes, as advertised. This sh*t works.) Magic. 30 minutes later, I’m gone. Dream land.
Friday morning. Eyes open. Wary. But feeling rested. Hey, I feel better.
I approach the decision tree. Stay home – contain contamination. Or, Soldier on. Decision? Off to work it is. Real men, work.
Steady downward spiral. Hour by hour deterioration. Popping Sudafed tablets. Phlegm no longer phlegm. Mucous. Vicious type. Sn*t. No longer a gentle slide. Running. [Read more...]
Yesterday. Marathon meeting starting at 8am. A single topic, full day meeting ending at 3pm. Tight agenda on an important subject. Full engagement by all participants. Constructive collaborative discussion. Good meeting. Yes, an Oxymoron.
We finish our working lunch and continue at a workmanlike pace chopping through the agenda. My mind drifts. Back to a moment in 1985. A moment drifting into consciousness hundreds (1000’s?) of times. (Can it really be 28 years ago? You’ve deeply regretted so many other foot-in-mouth-moments. Why does this painful one keep coming back?)
“Patient acceptance is often considered a weak and passive response to problems that we do not have the power or courage to solve. In reality, however, being patient is far from being passive. There is nothing strong or courageous in reacting to hardship or insults with anger – all we are doing is being defeated by our delusions.”
~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (from “How to Solve Our Human Problems”)
Kelsang Gyatso is a Buddhist monk, “meditation master, scholar, and author” of 22 books based on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Tibet in 1931 and ordained at the age of eight. After leaving Tibet, he spent eighteen years in retreat in the Himalayas in India. He subsequently became a teacher and founder of spiritual centers. He retired as General Spiritual Director of the NKT-IKBU in August 2009 but continues to write books and practice materials. (Source: Wiki)
Note to Self: Patience (Still seeking). Acceptance (Try it. Just once.). Delusions (Thank you Monk Master for the ah ha moment.)
I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this. Yes I do.
Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.
If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.
We’re back to work after a wonderful two week siesta with the family. No travel. No stress. Just watching movies, eating and napping sprinkled with a well intentioned but woefully under-executed exercise regimen. Time to shift gears to work-mode. A post I came across during my vacation by Eric Barker @ “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” reminded me of an earlier conversation with a bright (very), ivy league educated, younger colleague. He posed these following questions:
You have achieved modest success in your career, what key learnings can you share? (Modest? Do I ooze underachievement?)
I’m sure you have made mistakes along the way? Would you mind sharing? (Why not start with the wins? Is it that obvious that this captain has weathered too many rough seas?)
Have you made repeated mistakes in the same area and why? (Cringing. How does he know? Do all ex-collegiate hockey players have a reputation of diving into the same scrum and looking for trouble?)
What tips would you share with someone just starting their career? (In contrast to me, that is, one who is just finishing or finished?)
Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life
and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sea and sky?
Why am I afraid to love, I who love?
Why am I afraid, I who am not afraid?
Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity?
Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand?
Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness?
Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship?
Why was I born without a skin? Oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or be touched.”
~ Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays
Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.” His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair. O’Neill wrote only one comedy (Ah, Wilderness!): all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.
He returned home for Thanksgiving. My strapping 6′ 3” son walked into the waiting area. He had grown. Looking down on his Dad from a higher elevation. Adorned with knee length gym shorts. (47F outside.) Sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. Wow. Only a Mother can love this slovenly look. And she does. I let it ride. For about 24 hours. Do you think just maybe you could trim it up? Dad puts up the fences and guardrails. Empathetic Mom breaks ranks. Intuitive Son notices his parents on opposing sides. Mamma’s boy digs in and expects full cover. With leverage waning, I grab the last lifeboat …when one feeds at the trough, respect the farmer. Outcome: No haircut. And, I now have a Son using hair elastics and headbands aka hair accessories.
He returned home for Christmas. There he was waiting for us at the airport terminal. Same knee length ratty gym shorts. (39F outside). Same sorry sweat shirt with hoody. And his hair. All intact. Clothes, hair, shoes…looking matted, dingy and need of a hot shower and wire brush. Mom first. Then, Dad gave his Son a hug. Zeke, electrified, and in the midst of a full head-to-toe body wiggle, finally settled after Eric kneeled down to hug him. Of course, Zeke needed to be part of the greeting party. [Read more...]
My initial reaction to Wendy MacNaughton’s illustration was “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” I let it marinate and then returned to it. My reaction shifted to “please, please, please let it be wrong.”
Wendy MacNaughton. I’m a big fan. She’s an illustrator and graphic journalist with a long list of brand name clients including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NPR and a slew of others. Some of my other favorite illustrations include:
Something so simple. Yet, so true. Yes, it takes time. Yes, an introvert would need to leave the safety of their comfort zone. Making a human connection. I care. You matter. Need to work up to top of the ladder. See full and worthy post from The Chief Happiness Officer:
“Please do not underestimate the effect of something as simple as saying good morning at work. Studies show that when you have a good start to your work day, you’ll typically have a good day. Here’s our easiest and best tip for kicking your work day off with happiness: The Level 5 Good Morning. We call it that because there are several approaches to saying good morning at work:
- Level 0: You ignore people completely
- Level 1: A somewhat unintelligible grunt
- Level 2: Saying good morning without looking at people
- Level 3: Make eye contact as you say good morning
- Level 4: Also say something more than just good morning, e.g. “How are you?” or something more personal.
- Level 5: Also touch the other person – e.g. a handshake or a pat on the shoulder.
At what level are the typical good mornings in your workplace? And what would happen if you took it to level 5?”
Even a dog can learn to do it for Pete’s sake…
This meeting was no different than any other. No different from the hundreds of meetings in the days, the months before. Where I’m on to the next meeting while attending the one in front of me. Meetings with a replicated loop. Mind whirring…processing. Me pushing. Me prodding. Agitating. Me wanting and needing more. Extraction. Creating discomfort. Manufacturing urgency. I’m not looking for you to love me. That’s what your dog is for. This morning, my level of consciousness had been ratcheted up by a few lines from Daniel Bor the night before. And, I roll into the first meeting of the day. I’m listening. I’m watching.
This article by Tim Kreider, Quiet Ones, struck a cord with me. A few excerpts:
…it seems significant that we don’t want things to be quiet, ever, anymore. Stores and restaurants have their ubiquitous Muzak or satellite radio; bars have anywhere between 1 and 17 TVs blaring…ads and 30-second news cycles play on screens in cabs, elevators and restrooms. Even some libraries, whose professional shushers were once celebrated in cartoon and sitcom, now have music and special segregated areas designated for “quiet study,” which is what a library used to be.
…People are louder, too. They complain at length and in detail about their divorces or gallbladders a foot away from you in restaurants. A dreaded Amtrak type is the passenger who commences prattling on her cellphone the instant she sits down and doesn’t hang up until she gets to her stop, unable to bear an undistracted instant in her own company. People practice rap lyrics on the bus or the subway, barking doggerel along with their iPods as though they were alone in the shower. Respecting shared public space is becoming as quaintly archaic as tipping your hat to a lady, now that the concept of public space is as nearly extinct as hats, and ladies. [Read more...]
I get assigned the middle seat on flight to the Midwest.
The Window and Aisle seats are occupied. (< 2 hour flight. No reason to work oneself up. Last post on similar topic was titled Think Small and it came rushing to mind.)
WSM (Window Seat Mate) asks how “the big guy was so lucky to get stuck in the jump seat.” I reply that I’ve had back-to-back storms to thank for the rescheduling. No reaction from WSM.
Our Flight is grounded for a “quick repair.”
I pull out my PC to grind through some emails.
WSM steals one glance at my screen. And then another. And another. And another. And then just stares. (I need to invest in a screen protector to keep out prying eyes. Yet, we can all be forgiven to steal a one quick glance to knock out the curiosity…) However, there has to be an Emily Post rule where 4-5 side glances followed by a protracted stare is over the line.)
“There’s two kinds of people in this world when you boil it all down. You got your talkers and you got your doers. Most people are just talkers. All they got is talk. But when all is said and done, it’s the doers who change this world. And when they do that, they change us, and that’s why we never forget them. So which one are you? Do you just talk about it, or do you stand up and do something about it? Because believe you me, all the rest of it is just coffee house bull$4!+.”
Image Credit: FatmohnScoop
I’ve been watching the debates and the bad actors in government. I’ve concluded that I’m a master compromiser when compared to this crowd. Then the mirror swings around and hits me on the forehead. See the chart below. Here’s Michael Brown’s 4-box on Compromise. I have no idea what “TKI” and “MBTI” stand for. Check out his full post on the theory behind it – I’ll let you hash that out with Michael and his high brow intellectual friends. I just wanted (needed) to get to the bottom line – how do I score? (Yes, it is always about the score. Yes, it is.) See the arrow pointing to my position. (And no one was looking when I nudged the star over to the right with some elbow grease. Hey, at least I’m not in the bottom right, right?. Poets/Artists, save your breath. I’m immune to the beatings on my lack of sensitivity on this topic.)
Then coincidently (by now you know there are no coincidences on my ride), I trip into the answer…
You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Other related Kafka posts:
“Forget what you’ve heard about first impressions; it’s the last impressions that count. Last impressions — whether they’re with customer service, an online shopping experience, or a blind date — are the ones we remember. They’re the ones that keep us coming back. But there’s one kind of final impression that people seem to forget. The closing line of email — that line that you write before you type your name — has been all but forgotten. Go take a look at your inbox: you might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines when writing email. This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to use an automatic closing line attached to their email signature file…If a closing line can be so meaningful, so important, why are emailers squandering the opportunity, putting no thought in the closing? Time, perhaps, iPhone-finger exhaustion, multi-tasking – they’re all possible excuses. And many times, acceptable ones. We can’t be expected to neatly tie up every email every time. But once in a while, it would be delightful if people applied the same sincerity to the last impressions that we do to first ones.”
As mass producer of emails, this email & chart left its mark…
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
“I’m not fascinated by people who smile all the time. What I find interesting is the way people look when they are lost in thought, when their face becomes angry or serious, when they bite their lip, the way they glance, the way they look down when they walk, when they are alone and smoking a cigarette, when they smirk, the way they half smile, the way they try and hold back tears, the way when their face says they want to say something but can’t, the way they look at someone they want or love… I love the way people look when they do these things. It’s… beautiful.”
Sorry, can’t stop laughing.
Yes! This is so me…(Hopefully, perceived with the constructive element.)
Credit: Hugh McLeod @ Gapingvoid.com
- Waiting For The Karma Truck: “You Want To Talk Leadership? Talk to the Hand“
- Execupundit.com: “The Success/Failure Index”
- The Atlantic: “Why Women Can’t Still Have It All” (THNQ Rina)
- Penelope Trunk: “Marissa Mayer Becomes CEO of Yahoo and Proves Women Cannot Have It All“)
- Image Dynamics: “Where Are You on The Ego Elevator” (THNQ George P)
- Nicholas Bate: “Excellence 7 x 4“.
- Broadside: “What’s your personal brand?“
- David Pollay: “The Law of the Garbage Truck“ (THNQ Ed O)
ME: 6am. I cranked up my morning reading and scanned to find Kristin’s new post Play the Tape Through. Play the Tape Through. Play the tape through. Repeating the mantra in my head like a stylus stuck in a groove of a RCA gramophone. Shrieking again and again.
KRISTIN: “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences… -Dr. Phil.” It sounds so simple, but most people, myself included, have acted without stopping to play the tape through at one time or another- if not over and over again. Picture having a video tape of all your thoughts and actions and the consequences of those thoughts and actions. It is my guess that a whole lot of people would think twice if they could view the tape before ever acting in the first place.
ME: Roll the tape back. Way back. The play ends. Referees are on high alert…scanning the ice looking for trouble. Who’s the player who retaliates after the whistle blows? Who’s the one taking the extra shot? Who loses control? Satisfaction for 3 seconds. Then off to the penalty box. Some things never change.
Source: radandiknowit via nevver
- Nothing is small or petty in this life…
- I’ll tell you another secret, this one for your own good…
- Burn down that house…
- Be jaded and sneery and think the world is a razor blade of anger and pain…
- Nothing more beautiful than…
- You are a never-ending, always unfolding Being…
- Most of us stand poised of brilliance, but…
- Most people only exist, never truly are at all…
- The law of life is this: All things both good and evil are constructed from an image held in mind
- You do not achieve your goals simply by wanting it…