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.

 

 

In the Eye of the Beholder

Everybody looks for perfection in the world. Yet finding perfection is tough. Perfection is found in the eye of the beholder. And therefore, it would be very hard to find two ideas of perfection which are the same. It reminds me of the speech from John F. Kennedy who said,” We do these things not because they are easy, we do these and other things because they are hard.”

People like the idea of heading towards perfection, because they look at perfection as black and white. Yet we do not live in a world which lends itself to black-and-white. Rather, the world looks upon all things in unlimited hues, shades, dynamic colors, and variables. What is perfection? That depends, and it is up to each one of us to decide what that meaning is for us.

This week, we will talk about perfection, versus reliability, versus sustainability, versus the ultimate, versus the needed.

I promised to keep this short. And I will.

For today, think of your ideas perfection, and how often you truly achieve it.

And Yet I Wondered

As I drove to work today, I passed the high school. I noticed an old man, sitting on the corner by the high school, looking tired and dejected. Next to him was an old baby carriage which held all his earthly possessions piled high, covered over with blankets and tarps, all in a heap just about as tall as he was. It made me wonder.

I went on to work. After a while got up to stretch my legs. I walked out to the corner of the block. A crew of construction workers was digging up the street to replace the storm drains. The storm drains had not been replaced in over 100 years and were well in need of the updating. I watched the crew as they tore the road apart. They had the sidewalks close in two directions, denying people from my corner the chance to cross the street. And, they were dismantling the traffic light base. It made me wonder.

On the way back to my office, I said hello to a lady who was walking by. She stopped and talked with me for a few moments. We talked about the way the town used to look.

We talked about the pride of keeping up with infrastructure. We discussed the copper thefts of the decade ago when thieves stole cable to many of the streetlights. We talked about how copper was so valuable to someone that sprinkler systems and copper statues were stolen. Even air conditioner condensers were stolen from the backs of buildings because of the copper tubing inside. We agreed that we had a great new counsel who would help us to bring the city back to its greatness.

And yet, I wondered.

I wonder how we can build a better  infrastructure.  How we can balance the care of material things and the care of people. I wonder why people end up on the street pushing an old basket of worldly possessions, because I seem to see them more and more.

I also wonder why people would be so destitute, they would be willing to steal electrified copper wire, providing electricity to street lights which are a safety concern of all of us. I wonder why as we build our infrastructure renewing it and keeping the city current and beautiful, we still have those whose life is so difficult and are so far out of touch.

It is said the poor will be with us always. This is true. And yet, we must understand that society is caught in lockstep. The height of society can only go as high as the lowest member of society can allow. For society to climb a ladder and go higher, the least of society must be able to move up the ladder an equal distance. If this does not happen, growth stops, everyone stagnates, and entropy enters the mix as the society starts to crumble.

Today, I still wonder. What can we do as a society to elevate the poorest and lowest among us so that we may pave the way and climb higher? I also wonder if we do not take on the challenge to raise the least of society how will we ever climb higher. I also wonder as we start to crumble, what will the entropy look like.

Please add your ideas and thoughts to this blog.  Thank you for reading.

 

Love is a human trait

Love is a human trait.  Being loved in return proves success at being human. Not everyone gets to experience being loved. However, for those who do there is no better feeling in the entire world. Love is something that is fleeting, emotional, and full of risk. Love is also something which may stand the test of time, or be gone five minutes from now.

At its essence, love is. And, is given unconditionally. 

The why is rarely the same from individual to individual.  Often love evolves as small isolated actions are recognized and brought into a gestalt focus. Although almost impossible to define, the entire experience is undeniable to those who experience the actions.

If you do not identify the experience from another, it does not necessarily mean love is not there.  It only means the reception may be poor or not focused.  For some reason, and managed by higher forces in the universe, love is there for most.  The strange thing is that love almost never happens where we expect it to. 

The scariest part of love, it is quiet.  To experience love you need to open yourself to emotional dangers.  Becoming defenseless to any danger is not a normal human trait.  Not knowing the outcome to be positive or negative, each party stands in emotional danger.  True love is best taken slowly and built layer upon layer.

Love builds the bonds over time that are stronger than any other substance known today.  Love is more precious than gold or jewels.  Mainly because love is so much harder to find and flourish.

For all the hazards and pitfalls of the trail to real love, there is nothing like it and nothing better anywhere.

I highly recommend it.

Planning

Have you ever noticed how frustrating it gets when your plans don’t go the way you expect them to go?  Have you ever gotten frustrated to the point where you cannot figure out how you got to where you are, no idea of how to get back on track, and just want to quit and hide?

Don’t feel bad we all get that way. We look at others on an outing, on a Saturday afternoon, and they look so much in control. We had problems with the store being out of what we wanted to buy, the kids having problems and being fussy in the car, or pets who decide they want to play chase and tag with you and run out the gate just as everybody’s getting into the car.

What do we do about our plans going wrong?  We learn to laugh a little. We understand these things happen. And, not to get upset every time something doesn’t go the way we desire.

Now you’re starting to think, “How did the pros do it?”  As a retired Master Sergeant, I’m here to tell you, there is no corporation better planning than the US military.  And yet, everyone in the US military who has ever been part of building a plan can tell you one thing, plans will generally fall apart with the first enemy contact.

You think I’m kidding you. I assure you I am not. We all develop our plans.  We plan the best we can.  We work with all our prayers, talismans, and other rituals to ensure things go right. And yet, in the end, there is always something that goes awry.

The question becomes, “Why do we do all of the work if we know at some point it will fall apart?”  The answer is simple, knowing that things will generally fall apart, you plan anyway. In that planning, you are continuously looking for the what-ifs, the contingents, the “if this” happens I will “do that.”

I’m not saying that you’re going to get lucky, although sometimes luck is involved. I’m not saying that you will think of absolutely everything. It’s rare. What I’m saying is, the more you plan, and the more you look at the contingencies, the better you will understand.

In understanding, you will see strong spots and weak spots. Having a heads up on strong and weak areas will make your decisions during the execution of the plan much better.  The decisions and changes are now based on what you learned during your preparation. What I’d like to suggest is make the best plans possible.

Every time I plan I know the plan won’t run as predicted. I do not know exactly what will happen to change the plan. I do know what options are available, and I can make much better’s decisions.

Ever planned, and the preparations made changes and decisions easier to make?  If you would like to share something about how planning saved the day when plans went awry, Please, give us a response and tell us what happened.

You Will Realize It When…

We own our fate. All the good and all the bad. Even when we feel not in control, we are responsible for ourselves.  We have family, friends, bosses, co-workers and support staff.  They truly help. No one is an Island. And everyone counts on others in their lives to help them win the day.

Yet in the hand, each of us needs to stand and deliver. The fighter in the ring, the lecturer, the course designer, the salesman, the Bartender, the cook, the secretary, the flight attendant, the doctor, the Explorer, the entrepreneur, and thousands of others, all have support staff either up or down the chain. And, they all have their moments where they put everything on the line.

Should we fear this and try to change it? Do we need to go to two-person integrity? Should we give up and hide? We know all the answers to these are no, of course not.

As much as we enjoy the comradery and support of those around us, those we love, and those we hold dear, what we do when we stand alone actually is a large part of making us who we are.

Be generous and share your wins with all those around you. Even if you’re a pilot that just flew the perfect mission, remember that you would have never gotten the plane off the ground if it wasn’t for some airman ensuring the air in the Planes tires was correct.

How alone are we in the world? Imagine the realization of the fighter pilot who, while walking out to his aircraft, is thrown a set of keys from an airman who says, “Well sir, if you bring her back I’ll fix her up again.”

Yet when standing there alone, you may find that the spirit of everyone who has gone before you, the essence of your coworkers and the love of your family surrounds you in knowledge, comfort, and love.

Are You Looking in the Right Direction?

We all seem to be in search of something. Moreover, there are many people out there who are willing to lead us on that search in exchange, in exchange for something they want. They may want money or attention, or understanding or belief they are doing good or fulfilling some purpose. They do want something.

The question is, do those offering you guidance understand what you are looking for and can they really provide what you are need requires?

I find it interesting that our eyes set at the front of our body on the high ground and focus outwards. Unless you look in the mirror, you do not see an image of yourself, and it is hard to see what goes on behind the eyes. You have to look around look behind you again more mirrors with images.

The question I have today is, ‘Are you looking in the right place?’ Or, are you running all over the place looking here and looking there for answers? Do you seek things in many places, yet, never seem to be able to find them? Do the claims of others somehow generally leave you short of where you want to be, feeling somehow less, and somehow again without.

There is another place you can look. The place is one of the hardest to look and yet one of the easiest to get. You need to look within yourself.

Is there anybody who knows you better than you do? Who knows what you want? You do. Who knows what you like and don’t like? You do. Who knows how far you are willing to go to get something done, and done the way you want it done? Oh yeah, that is you. Okay

Reach out to the world to collaborate, to communicate, to solve technical issues, and to learn new ideas. Never let others tell you who you are or who you should be throwing a strong keep.

Would you like to discuss the idea of internal growth?  Please leave a comment. You can always reach me at mikeb@readingsticks.space