Back in the Electronic Age

I often make a joke about what would happen if all of our modern electronics suddenly stop working. Do you know what would happen? We would be thrown back all the way to the 1970s.

Some people feel that modern electronics is more of a hindrance than it is a convenience. I was able to decide for myself this week as my incredible four-year-old phone’s battery died. As I began to miss important calls, and meetings with my accountability coach, I started to feel the years melting backward.

 Four years is not a long time, yet I started by looking at getting a new phone. Because I was in the middle of a plan change, I was not authorized to purchase a new phone online. I was told to go to a local store.

I went to a store in the mall, and the clerk advised me to go to the repair center for a new battery. The repair center was amazed that the phone’s battery had lasted the four years and they asked me what I wanted to do. It turns out four-year-old phone batteries are not always available, even at the repair center.

The people at the repair center were very kind though.  They checked out my account online and helped guide me to a phone that would do what I needed and fit into my limited budget.  They made the transition fast and even transferred my apps and data from my old phone to my new one. 

I truly appreciated the folks who helped me, and I am in a far better place than I was two days ago.  For now, I am comfortably back in the electronic age and ready to move forward into Tomorrowland.

If you have a chance, please give me a call.

I hope we can be together again tomorrow.

 

Slow Down

For a time, when I served in the Air Force, I worked for great Chief Master Sergeant. He worked very hard both completing a mission of vital importance, and training those who worked for him to be better workers, and better leaders.

The Chief always said one thing I never understood at the time. When people would miss a deadline, including myself, he would tell us we had to slow down. At that time, I did not understand the concept of slowing down. If I was missing deadlines, I felt I needed to speed up. It took me years to appreciate his wisdom in the statement of slowing down. And, today I know it.

The idea of slowing down is not one of ignoring what needs to be done. Slowing down means taking the time to do things right. To slow down correctly, you need to know the importance of each task you take on. And, allocate the proper time to those things that are important and must be done within a set timetable.

 Will some things still not get done? Probably. Yet, knowing that gives us choices to make. The first choice, is this something I should do or is it better delegated to someone else? Is this time sensitive? If so, have I been given enough time to complete it. If not, have I asked for more time?

I understand now that slowing down doesn’t mean doing less. Instead, it’s doing the things that must be done, wisely. And, always ensuring you have the time and resources to complete any task you undertake.

Thank you for being with me today. Hope you’re here again tomorrow.

Talking to Others

Did you know that you can say just about anything to just about anyone and have it well received? Absolutely true.

It is not what you say, instead of how you say it.  I have taught so many classes and given so many line training sessions in my career that I have learned how to do this.

No one can run into a strange situation with a bunch of strangers, just say something and expect them to understand and agree with what you are saying. You need to be a known quantity who cares for and respects your audience.

I think it’s time I told you the secret, and also let you in on a secret of mine.

There is a tone that you can use when speaking to people. It’s the same tone that you use when you talk to a puppy dog. If you want a puppy dog to pay attention you have to speak to the dog nicely. You need a calm voice and an easy-going cadence. We start off telling the puppy dog that it is a good dog and you know that it is doing good things.

When you first start doing this do not go over and try to pet the puppy dog. That is how people end up with the nickname lefty. Rather, talk nicely to the puppy dog, and fairly soon it will come to you and nuzzle your hand for a pet or lick your hand. I usually speak to puppy dogs through a fence. When I do so, at some point, whether it is 10 minutes or 10 days, the puppy dog will put its front paws up on the fence, and then I can cautiously offer it my hand.

The same is true with humans. Talk to them nicely, tell them you appreciate what they do, let them know you’re here to help and give them enough space that they feel comfortable. Use the same calm voice and consistency. Understand their problems and explain that you are here to help them.

The humans probably will not lick your hand. If they do, it may be the time to involve HR. You will be able to tell you are making a good impression on the humans when they start trusting you enough to ask why, or they start to participate in the activities.

For you, this is a learned activity. The more you work on the way you talk, the easier it will become. Like everything else, start slowly at first and build upon your successes.

My secret? I used to be very embarrassed to tell people they needed to talk to other people like they should talk to puppy dogs. Actually, I got that wrong. You should talk to puppy dogs like you should talk to other people.

Collaberate Within

Good morning.

I have a great question for you this morning. What have you done lately for the person in the mirror?

Have you sat down and had an honest talk with the person? That’s right, the one in the mirror.

In here worried that somebody is going to consider you certifiable when they find you talking to that person in the mirror, do when you’re alone. Do it in the morning when you first get up, or in the evening before you go to bed. Point is to compare with that person and do it often.

Why? Only you truly know how you feel. Only you really know what you think. And only you, are the person who can make this happen, for you.

Yes, to make things happen on the follow-through, you need to reach out to everyone you can think of who may be a stakeholder or part of what you want to do and where you want to go. Only you can start the way and keep the ball rolling and be the primary guide through its journey to a successful conclusion.

Everybody has people who can help them. Sometimes when you start doing even know who those people are going to be. Yet, they are out there, and as you open up about your work, you will find them and sometimes they will find you. The thing is if you’re not out there trying, they will not know to come to your basement and seek you out.

You need to go forth in good faith and demonstrate the path you walk. For as you do, you will find many footsteps both seen and unseen walking with you.

ENOUGH

What we are doing in our schools today is giving voice to those who for one reason or another wish to disrupt our system of life in our country. As we broadcast and focus on each terrorist act within school systems, we give other want-to-be terrorists a platform on which to terrorize us.

One and the only thing that I see the latest school got right is that the students themselves have had enough of this. The students stood up and said this must stop.  And yes, indeed it must.  The students are doing this the right way by working with their legislatures.

 I trained with the M 22, which is the equivalent of the AR 15. I was lucky enough as a Cold War warrior, never to have to fire it in anger. And yet I cannot believe today that someone needs to have this warrior style weapon to hunt, they are embarrassing themselves.

If you can’t shoot a duck or a deer with a shotgun because it doesn’t hold enough shells, you should be denied a weapon on that fact alone. If you need 30 round clips to keep varmints from digging up your garden, you should really be shopping in the fresh vegetable aisle at your local grocery store. While you’re there, if you’re actually using that big clip to get the duck or the deer, we suggest a quick detour over to the meat counter. Think of what you’ll save in ammunition.

I agree with those on The Hill who said these weapons of war are not needed for our day-to-day lives. We know this because we’ve seen other countries where heavy weaponry is part of their day-to-day life. We see these countries almost nightly on the news. What countries do you see on the news with which have their citizens walking around with AK-47’s, RPG’s, and heavy caliber machine guns? Their cities and Villages sure look worse for the wear and tear on them.  Is that what we want for our country? To live in the rubble?

Allow me to ask a question for you to think on today.

What came first the weapon, or the war?

 

Please write a comment and tell me what you think.

 

Ask

Thank you for spending some time with me today.

It never hurts to ask. And if you are hurting it is the perfect time to ask. So many things that get tied up in bureaucratic red tape and waiting to go through the endless line of paperwork or sitting in an in-basket somewhere waiting for overworked people to find the time to approve or decline and pass on can be handled swiftly and efficiently by merely asking the question.

Actually, those handling the paperwork appreciate a kind question being asked. The decision makers get to connect with the end-user of whatever the request is. They also can see their actions and motion actually helping a fellow human being. Asking the question makes everyone feel involved on a human scale.

If you asked the question, whether the answer is exactly what you wanted, or not, at least you know the question was considered and weighed, and a valid action was given. And you know, that at least your voice was heard in the making of that decision. It is better to stand up and ask than it is to just let the system run, and then gripe about the decisions for a long time to come.

Is there anything you would like to ask me?

How to Prioritize Danger

As humans, we often fear or panic over things which may happen in the future and for which there is no evidence at the moment. The lights might be turned off because ‘The utility bill is due at the end of the month.’ Or, ‘Southern Colorado might have a blizzard in a week, so we need to go to the store and stock up on everything right now.’ Or, ‘There was a bump in the road, I need to go back and look right now. Because someone may have gotten hurt and I may have hit them without ever seeing them.’ I won’t say that any of these things will never come to fruition. However, the odds are very favorable that none of these ever really will.

Is it wise to take precautionary measures? Yes. Is it a good thing to panic over things that have little chance of happening? Not so much. And yet, to the person having the panic attack, it is very real, and drastic measures must be immediately taken. How do you help this person down from near hysteria?

Start by talking to them calmly and ask them if they see anything within a 3 inch to a 6-inch radius around their body that poses an immediate danger. The answer is usually no. If there is, help the person to decide if it is a real danger or only a perceived possibility.

Next, ask them if there is anything within 18 inches of their body threatening danger. Again this usually has a negative response and follow-through is the same as the paragraph above. Next question, is there anything in the room that’s an obvious threat. From there go to the block and then the neighborhood.

You can go as far as you need to with this. Usually by the time you get to the neighborhood, the person you’re talking with starts to understand and feels better. Just because somebody occasionally feels overly upset about something, does that not mean that they have a medical or mental problem. Given the right circumstances, anyone may show this type of fear. If this is a full-time ongoing problem, the person may want to speak with a professional about it. If not, make it one less thing to worry about.