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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Victims of Time…Let's rally against that pathetic Fate!

by Rick Baker
On Aug 5, 2015

Time is not the scourge of us.

We are not pawns to be battered about by heartless Time.

And, Time cannot be our scapegoat or our excuse for lack of success.

Think of the Sun’s role in all of this. Here we are elipsing around that nearby star. Each time we complete an orbit we write off another year…call it 12 months…or 365 days…or 8,760 hours…or about 525,600 minutes…etc.

Without our Sun, Time as we know it would vanish. That considered, rather than blaming Time for our shortcomings, it makes much more sense to blame the Sun...at least for our lack of planning, our lack of action, our lack of results, and our lack of success.

Instead of saying things like, “Sorry, I didn’t have Time” we should be saying things like “Sorry, the Sun made me not do it”.

Yes, clearly, that makes a lot more sense!

 

 

Ears 3.0

by Rick Baker
On Apr 15, 2015

If you force yourself to stop being too busy, get present, and observe others you will notice many people don't listen to most people.

We've all observed people who pretty much don't listen to anyone.

We're all guilty of failing to listen to some people some of the time...despite our efforts to concentrate, from time to time, our minds naturally wander away even while we are standing face to face with some talkers.

If we've taken the time to watch people communicating and think about what we have observed then we know many people don't listen to most people.

If we've not taken the time to watch people and think about it then we are likely one of those too-busy people who don't listen to most people.

If we've not taken the time to 'self-observe' then chances are very good we are one of those people who don't listen to most people.

And...

Overall - people's ability to listen seems to be shrinking exponentially.

If this keeps up there are bound to be some communication changes at our workplaces.

We may experience a new level of future shock...

There could be a wave of ear-testing like we have never experienced.

It is quite possible our policy makers will deliver laws requiring inattentive employees to wear artificial ears.

If we fail to pass the future hearing-standard tests then we too will have to wear artificial ears...at least during our regular working hours.

New-ear industries will spring up...future darlings for the stock markets...celebrated at our tech-innovation incubators, infomercialed on those cable TV channels, and touted by our stock brokers.

 

Yes - it seems we may be entering the new era of Ears 3.0!

Tags:

Communication: Improving Communication | Humour | I'm too busy! - I don't have time!

There’s something about “The Details”

by Rick Baker
On Mar 27, 2015

We’ve all heard that idiom/saying, “the devil is in the detail”. And, we know it means important-troublesome things lurk in the details.

Wikipedia tells us that idiom/saying derives from a predecessor idiom/saying, “God is in the detail”, which [according to Wikipedia] means - whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.

I believe that fascinating fellow James Allen would agree, “God is in the detail”. That would be consistent with his views about work mastery and bliss.

On the other hand, for some reason the saying - “God is in the detail” - was replaced with the current saying, “the devil is in the detail”.

Perhaps, when it comes to sticky idioms, sooner or later the pessimists out-muscle the optimists and positive messages are submerged in negative messages.

Regardless, it seems to me most people have a love-hate relationship with “the details”.

Some related points…

  • Most people love certain details and hate other details.
  • Many people feel work-details should be delegated down the hierarchy.
  • Many people believe positions of power & authority provide excuses for detail avoidance.
  • Many people who side-step the details expect others to delve into those same details.
  • Perfectionists have a troubled & tangled relationship with “the details”.
  • 24 centuries ago an ancient Greek fellow named Euripides said, "Leave no stone unturned." Evidently, he was all for digging into the details. And, that saying has survived the test of time.
  • A century ago, in his classic 'Pushing To The Front', Orison Swett Marden wrote, "Go to the bottom of your business if you would climb to the top. Nothing is small which concerns your business. Master every detail."
  • More recently Steve Jobs said, "This is what customers pay us for - to sweat all these details so it's easy and pleasant for them to use our computers.
Considering all these centuries of talk about the details...

There must be something in 'the details'.
 
 

Perhaps, we should check out the details from time to time.

When you stop and think about it...

by Rick Baker
On Dec 8, 2014

About that decision you just made:

  • What goal were you trying to achieve? 
  • What options did you consider? 
  • How do you know this decision is the best option?

Of course, when you believe you are too busy you will not stop to think about these sorts of things...you will just continue to 'do stuff'. 

How's that working out for you?

If it's working out well then that's good news.

If it's not working out well, you can consider a different approach...like asking yourself a short series of questions.

For example: 

  • What goal were you trying to achieve? 
  • What options did you consider? 
  • How do you know this decision is the best option?

You too can be too busy

by Rick Baker
On Nov 25, 2014

You too can be too busy.

All you need to do is brainwash yourself.

Keep repeating: "I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too busy".

Neuroscience advancements in the area of neuroplasticity confirm this simple repetition of "I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too busy" will really help you self-brainwash. With science supporting your efforts, indeed, you can experience the realities of an I'm-too-busy life.

So - while you still have some time - get at it.

Don't just give it a little lip service. Dig deep. Repeat, repeat, repeat: "I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too busy".

Don't be shy. Crank up the volume as you share your message with anyone who will listen.

And, there is even more good news. If you want to hasten the onslaught of an altogether I'm-too-busy life, lace your repetitions with powerful emotions...like fear and anxiety. That will ensure you enjoy the full power of self-talk, also known as autosuggestion.

Simply put, the key to becoming too busy is: voice loud, emotional, and repeated proclamations of "I'm too busy, I'm too busy, I'm too busy".

I am confident you will put this I'm-too-busy strategy to good use.

Good luck with it.

You Just Cannot Take Communication for Granted

by Rick Baker
On Nov 20, 2014

People don't express their thoughts as clearly as they think they do.

People don't listen as well as they think they do.

And, to make matters worse, people are born with these brittle, fragile, and unpredictable egos that inject biases and confuse their thoughts.

Egos have a singular strategic initiative: protecting themselves.

Egos have a preferred operating tactic: adjusting thoughts and actions to present the ego-owner in the most-desired manner. This preferred tactic both ‘protects’ and ‘projects’. It protects the ego. It projects an image of the ego-owner. It projects:

  • consciously and unconsciously [in planned and spontaneous ways],
  • in ways that are consistent with the self-image,
  • in ways that promote the self-image, and
  • with extreme bias [using a spectrum of biases/perspective-altering techniques].

So, as people communicate with one another they are guided by these self-serving, brittle, fragile, and unpredictable egos. These egos wander rampant everywhere, protecting themselves and doing the best they can to manipulate others’ perspectives at every opportunity…

…all at the expense of clear and complete communication.

Going back to the initial premise: People don't express their thoughts as clearly as they think they do.

Generally, people don’t know the extent of their biases. That’s the nature of biases. That’s the ‘Catch-22’ of biases. Biases operate at their peak when their owners fail to understand the biases exist. When owners know their biases exist their biases’ power diminishes. When biases are unknown to their owners biases act in accordance with the uncontrolled demands of their owners’ egos […or is it ‘unconscious minds’].

So, often, people think they are communicating one message when in fact their egos are communicating an entirely different message.

And, about the second premise: People don't listen as well as they think they do.

For several reasons, people do not listen well. To name a few:

  • they brainwash themselves into believing they are too busy…providing themselves with a lifetime excuse for not making the effort learn how to listen well,
  • they have never taken the time to work at developing focus or concentration skills, and
  • their egos take over their ears and brains, more or less at will.

About that last point: Consider, for example, you are at a social gathering exchanging pleasantries with one person and a far-more-important person happens to walk near the two of you. You, of course, very quickly tune out the talking person as your brain thinks about the far-more-important newcomer. Why? Why do you do this? While there are a number of possible explanations, you will save time if you check your ego first.

So – that’s the problem, what’s the solution?

The solution rests in the ancient Greek aphorism: “Know Thyself”.

Injecting an ancient word and expanding on one of Covey’s ‘7 Habits’ –

Seek First to Understand Thyself:

  • Only then will you have the ability to keep your ego in check and in balance.
  • Only then will you have the knowledge you need to listen with skill.
  • Only then will you have the knowledge you need to express your thoughts clearly.

#Communication

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