What does your comfort zone look like?

Team,

Due to some technical issues, I will not be able to give a full blog to you this morning.  I would like to leave you today, though, with the thoughts that we will explore for a while, starting tomorrow.

When do you feel most comfortable?  Is it when you are in your comfort zone or when you are transitioning from one comfort zone to another?

The experts say we rarely leave our comfort zone of our own accord.  What would cause you to leave your comfort zone?

I will be back tomorrow, and we will look at these in detail.

In the meantime, please use the comments section below to share what your comfort zone looks like and what it would take for you to move to another comfort zone.

 

Balloons

When I was a child at the ripe old age of seven, I had to go one day and get some new shoes. Probably for school. With the help of my mom, I found a great pair of shoes. Then as we checked out, the salesman insisted that I take a balloon. I did not want the balloon.

I did not want a balloon because balloons always broke. It made me sad when they broke. Even then, I knew that taking a balloon would equate to sadness at some soon, but future, point. However, I was encouraged to thank salesman and take the balloon.

I diligently protected the balloon under my overcoat as we walked to my grandparent’s row-house. I made sure the balloon, which came complete with cardboard feet, had a place on an end table where it would not be hurt. And as the night went on, after dinner I wanted to play with the balloon. I did so by pushing it into the air, and then every time it started to fall towards the floor I would tap it with my fingers. It would rise back up a few feet into the air and start the process again. Of course, everybody knows what’s coming up here. In about 15 minutes the balloon popped and with that, started the sadness.

This was not the balloon’s fault that it popped. And just because it popped did not mean I should not have accepted the balloon, because the balloon did bring me joy. Yet, there is a very important lesson between me and the balloon. One that I share today only because it is a good lesson for all of us.

What is the lesson of the balloon you may ask? When you love something, do not hold too tight or it may break. To enjoy a balloon is a great thing. Remember though, the balloon comes with its own needs and circumstances. And, to expect a balloon to be able to thrive outside of its operating parameters is to expect sadness, and sometimes breakage.

People are a lot like balloons. Maybe not quite as fragile, yet you would be surprised. People are also tricky because, in a world of seven billion people, there are actually 7 billion different human operating systems. For in a world of 7 billion, we are all individuals.

This means we have to take care when interacting with other people. We need to know that their parameters are not exactly like ours. They may need, want or desire different things. And, also remember if we hold them to close, care for them too much, or don’t let them breathe in what they need, they, like the balloon may break.

Eye Test Time?

How are your eyes working for you today? I hope they are doing well. We talk about eyes.  We use them so that we can see the things of this world. It is a beautiful gift that should never be taken for granted.

I have come to know some of those with sight problems.  I have learned, those who see best have sometimes lost the mechanics within their own eyes to perform the function of sight. Having eyes to see things makes it easy and at the same time intolerably difficult.

Those without site often see better because they listen and hear and smell nuances and understand smells and laughter. Those with sight impairments have the advantage and ability to use the other senses. These people I talk of are able in their mind to see the good and the bad. We have to admit there is both good and bad in most things around us.

Televisions and radios give us instant access to information. That’s a good. When someone spends all their time sitting in a chair either listening to the radio or watching TV, they miss out on wonderful things around them. They miss these things because the brain has fooled them into thinking they’re actively doing whatever is on the screen.  The truth of the matter is they’re just watching other people pretend to do it.

Cars have good and bad attributes. They get us where we want to go, they can save lives with ambulances. And they bring families closer. On the other hand, think about how many people are killed in car accidents each year. Think of how many kids run away with the use of a car or a ride from someone else. Think of what the cost is for the car,  gas, insurance, and mechanical upkeep. And, think of how often jealousies arise because of somebody wanting a car that’s better than the next person’s car.

There is good to bad in many things. And some things cannot be seen by many, no matter how good their site is. Think of the caring and love of one another. Isn’t that a good thing? Think of people tonight who have food on the street because somebody cared enough to show up and help out complete strangers. Think of those who at their own expense, to fly somewhere and help reconstruct the church after a hurricane. Or help repair the school dormitory after the tornado. Or, jump into a boat and go out on a flooded town to see if their neighbors are all right and if they can help get them to dryer ground. I’m not sure if this type of sight really comes through eyes are not, I know where it comes from though. It comes from the heart. And everyone has one of those.

Maybe there are better organs than the eyes to look with.

Learning

I find it amazing what people can do when they put their heads together. Singularly we are but one voice in the wilderness. Yet, put us together, and amazing things can happen. I am working in a multinational class learning to run my business better.  I do this so I can better serve my customers (That’s You.)

We are working to make our businesses better, not for greed, or money, or fame. We are working to make our businesses better so we can reach out and do better for those who need to learn and grow. We each have our own idea of how we can help others.  Working to help others helps make the world a better place. We have people from many countries and continents all working together to better learn our craft.

Our goal is to learn how to develop and maintain a workable business which allows us to keep a flow of both good and goods to others who need the items and education.

The people who are teaching us are smart, energetic and willing to give of themselves and their time to help us to learn these wonderful nuggets of knowledge.

They say that as you rise into space and look down on the earth, you do not recognize borders. You recognize land and sea, clouds and ocean, some rivers and of course the great barrier reef and the great wall of china. You know that there are people down there. It seems to me the more we work with people and the less that we let invisible borders impede the flow of education and knowledge, the better we all will be.

What Are You Saying?

I find it interesting that we have so many ways to communicate and sometimes we don’t even think about our best communication methods.

Some people yell and scream, they get irate and stomp their feet trying to get the point across. Sometimes these people are just disruptive. And sometimes they’re mad at themselves because they can’t figure out why they can’t get people to listen to them.

There are better ways of communication. Some people speak so softly that it pulls you towards them just to be able to hear. This method is actually a better method than yelling or screaming.

I remember seeing an interview with Morgan Freeman where he talked about being up for a role as a tough guy. He had to sit in the waiting room and listen to other actors try out for the part. They yelled and screamed their lines and they were irate and over-the-top. Mr. Freeman did not worry about that, he already knew what worked. When it was his turn to the audition, rather than yelling and screaming, he pulled the co-actor close, placed his hands on the face of the co-actor and spoke softly into the co-actors  ear. This was very effective and won him the role.

When I taught live classes for people who were teaching workers on the assembly line, I used to teach body language which is a great communication device for getting the message across. It’s just that the message that gets across may not always be the one you intended to send. It’s easier to talk nice then and is for the body to hide being anxious or being bored or worried or disdainful or caring or happy or sad. Yet body language is very important because people will read the body language before they hear the words.

As we progressed into communicating with email, the ability to read the body language was not there. This made the information sometimes hard to completely understand because we were so used to having body language as a part of our communication. Using a telephone you could at least hear the inflections and the voice and the emotions that it carried. With only words, communication became harder. Emojis were actually invented to try to help with the meaning of the phraseology in emails and to add some emotion to them. Yet, emojis do not always tell the full story.

Today we have video mail, also looked at as face-to-face conversations. There are Face Time, Skype, and Zoom just to mention a few. As we move more into video chat and face-to-face meetings over the computer, once again body language comes to the forefront.

It looks as though we need to be careful about what the body screams while we are talking softly.

 

 

Be The Person You Want Helping You

Lately, I have read a lot from many entrepreneurs about which is more important, to make a lot of money or to help the client who needs that help?

This is a fair dilemma. If you don’t help people and do good for them or their companies you really can’t make very much money because you will not have many customers. If you spend all your time helping people giving away most of what you do and not making a sufficient income, you will not be able to continue due to a lack of funds.

This reminds me of a similar debate in manufacturing. To provide the customer what they are paying for, the winds need to build quality products. To earn sufficient funds to pay for the lines running, asserting quantity must be built and shipped to the customer.

Poor quantity means not enough product to satisfy the customer or keep the line running. On the other hand, poor quality means returns, reworks, and loss of reputation.

Let’s  look at this in action. You have a young line with new builders who have only the most minimum of training. The manufacturing manager steps on the line and tells everyone they will build and package 350 units by the end of the shift, or else she will find new people to build her computers.

The new people, needing the jobs to support their families and themselves are terrified and start doing whatever they can as fast as they can. Quality inspectors, who work for the manufacturing manager (poor choice in organizational structure) are letting all but the most serious of errors through inspection believing if the units are bad they will fail at the testing stations.

Although it’s a squeaker, the 350 units are built and shipped by the end of the shift. Everybody feels elated. Even the manufacturing manager has something on her face, although it’s not sure if what people saw was a smile, or sneer. Alas, this is just the start of the story and not the happy ending. The units shipped have a myriad of flaws, and the customer believes some units have major flaws which require repair before the units can be sold on the open market.

The 350 questionable units are shipped back to the United States from Europe and with 400 units that were built but not shipped underwent re-inspection and repair. When planning the economics of the line, a re-inspection and repair of units at this magnitude were never contemplated. The factory now has to pay for transportation of units, storage of units, a work crew to inspect and repair units, certification of the work by the customer’s inspectors, and re-shipment back to Europe. This is what we call a hidden factory. It’s not something you plan for your factory to do. Not something you’re going to get paid extra for. It is just a drain on the resources of the factory.

Let’s move this back to our question of the day and are we out to help people, or are we after the big bucks.

If you help someone, hopefully, they tell a friend. And if you help their friend, they’ll tell someone else, maybe two. If you build a quality product and put it in a quality program and charge a fair price, you may go far. Doing good things for people grows a following.   

If your product is filled with errors, grammatical problems, ideas that are irrelevant to the reader you may find items being returned and fees requested to be refunded. That is never a good start and is certainly a bad end.

So, what do you do? Do the best that you can make sure your work is relevant to your customer and you go from there.  And…

Be The Person You Want Helping You.

Talk as Though You’re Saying Nice Things

It’s interesting that we can be the most knowledgeable on the subject. We can be the most caring on the subject. We have desiring compassion and understanding, and we want to act on something. Yet, without good communication and collaboration, we often fail.

Often, we failed because we get too eager and try to do things too fast and in that effort, we end up putting others off rather than bringing them into collaboration.

We are humans. Humans run on emotions. Yes, humans do run on facts, yet often those facts are clouded by emotional and often irrational fears. When dealing with others, a slow and steady approach is better than rushing the other person. The idea, you don’t want to scare them off.

There are ways to talk to people, and there are ways to talk to people. One the best things I learned in my 13 years as an instructor in the classroom is that it is not what you say to people, rather it is how you talk to them. I’m almost embarrassed to tell the way it works.

The trick to having a good tone in the classroom, in the boardroom, on the factory floor, or at the coffee shop, is to speak kindly. That is,  speak in such a way that your puppy dog would stop and listen to you if he or she heard the talk.  The dog would not understand the meaning, just the pleasant tone.

If you can talk in such a way that your dog will stop and listen to you, then people will also stop and listen to you. It is not what you are saying. It is the way you are sending the information. I often practiced my courses with my dog in attendance, and she paid very good attention. I am glad to hear it was not because of the tuna fish sandwich I held in my hand.

The trick is to talk soft, and whatever you’re saying, talk as though you’re saying nice things. If you do this and do not get pushy, people will listen to you.  They listen because they hear empathy.

Another thing to think of is not to make my favorite error. Rush to judgment. It turns out I’m a guy. And guys like to fix things. I’d like to blame it on John Wayne. Unfortunately, I think this goes all the way back to the beginning of mankind. The trick is to stand back and listen, and this is true for both men and women. Listen, have a good understanding, understand the main characters in any situation and what is going on, and then when asked, have a polite recommendation or to.

Now even though the guy thing (above) is something I’ve been able to practice for many years, I recommend listening and learning and then suggesting or helping to act. It is hard, it is frustrating, and it is very necessary. No one will see the situation the same way you will. Because they are using different eyes different knowledge different brains and a different position within any situation.

This is something to think of and something to consider.

I am proud to announce that we have redesigned the http://www.readingsticks.space website. We are putting the final touches on to the website now. You may see it on Wednesday as we perform live testing. And, depending on how the testing goes we will be live, and running either Wednesday or Thursday.

If you’re interested in what I work with and talk about, please come and take a look at the website there are many interesting things.I think you’d like it.

Have a great day.