I got an e-newsletter this week. This newsletter usually has a few helpful hints. Probably nothing that I need to risk getting carpal tunnel for, but I sometimes read it.
In this issue, there was a different tone. Not helpful. Not friendly. It wasn’t a business-tips issue. It was an emotion-filled invective citing why we should vote for this person’s candidate. And she announced she would be registering voters. I wonder for whom…
As emotional as that author was in her tone, so was my reaction to it. Is “unsubscribe” an emotion? It was that day.
Made me think about how we come across to people when we are so focused on our own viewpoint that we don’t consider how our message will be received. In a split couple of seconds of reading the newsletter, that author’s credibility was dashed against the rocks. Her likeability and professionalism plummeted. In my opinion.
But isn’t the reader, the listener, the audience’s opinion what we should be guaging when we write and speak?
It’s great that people are passionate about their candidates. But only if they are speaking to someone who is only mildly lukewarm about their own candidates. Otherwise you are in danger of appearing close-minded and unreasonable.
In addition, ignoring the arena in favor of voicing your opinion shows that you are not in control of your emotions. That you have a compulsive need to promote your own view. You need to win and conquer others to your own viewpoint.
For some reason, this whole scenario reminded me of “The Call of the Wild”. When the main character cuts open his dog so he won’t freeze his own hands. Then later he realizes that he only needed to put his hands against the dog. (I remember that from the book. I’m not sure if it was in the film version. Maybe I slept through that. I’m not really a dog person.)
There are ways and places that are better than others. We need to calm down, step back, get perspective, and then act: write, speak, convince, lead, etc.
By the way, having a sense of humor really helps in this type of situation. Practice seeing things in a humorous way, and you can’t NOT see things from a different perspective.
What do you think of that e-newsletter? Who are you voting for? Or shouldn’t I ask?
Grape Friends Wine Festival ——————————————————————————– Check back for updates and more info!
A time to meet new people or connect with old friends that enjoy making, tasting, and talking about wine. Whether you are new to wine or wine making or are seasoned with experience, we hope that you will enjoy a night of celebrating the grape.
If you would like to bring wine for our amateur wine making contest, please bring two bottles of wine per entry so that one can be judged by our judges and the other can be sampled by attendants of the festival. Also bring some of your homemade wine to enjoy with the menu and evening events. No additional charge for wine entries. You can enter as many wines as you wish.
Starts at 5pm
September 27, 2008
Door Prizes and Chinese Auction
Luigi’s Restaurant, Slippery Rock, PA
Appetizers and Buffet style dinner will be provided
Comedian - Trina Hess Magician - Devon Knight
$20 per person
All Tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE
Contact Mark or Joe for Tickets - info below
Luigi’s Restaurant, Slippery Rock, PA
Plan-B Consultants - Safer Home Products Body Beautiful Laser Medi-Spa Windy Hill Wine and Beer Making Supplies
L’uva Bella Winery and Wine Making Supplies North Country Brewing Company Winfield Winery
Oak Spring Winery Porter House Brew Shop Heritage Wine Cellars Stingrays Tanning Salon
Ask us how you can become a sponsor!
Mark Fleis - 724-679-2588 or email@example.com
Joe Dropp - firstname.lastname@example.org
“Everyone hates uncertainty,” someone on a newsradio show said today. But: what if we didn’t hate uncertainty? What if we weren’t afraid of uncertainty?
Would we have more creative solutions to our problems? Would we refrain from panic in times like this? Would we have a clearer focus on the real culprit in such a situation?
Embracing uncertainty has its benefits.
* We gain focus. When we are not attached to a certain outcome, we are not destroyed if that particular outcome isn’t realized. Then we can decide what is our Plan B.
* We can utilize all our tools, skills, and emotions. If we can roll with the punches, we can still get angry, but our anger can be directional, rather than random. Our anger can solve problems, rather than merely unleash emotion.
* We can get creative. If our first choice doesn’t happen, and we’re given something else instead, we have an option. We can exercise our Plan B and start getting used to uncertainty–because this time we are in control of the uncertainty. Then we can begin to dislike uncertainty a little less each time.
There isn’t much funny about what is going on with the banking-and-greed crisis happening these days. But, that’s what humor is all about. No, not banking (look at any comic’s financial statements and you’ll see what I mean).
Humor is all about surprise. Something coming at us from out of left field. Something we weren’t expecting to hear, see, or experience. Sound familiar? Sound like your day?
The more we can live a humorous lifestyle, the more comfortable we become with uncertainty. Not just the uncertainty of how the punchline will come out. But also how our own personal bottom line will come out.
“Get Your SHINE Together!” even if you’re not sure what that is!
Researchers have found that school leaders do not fail because of a lack of knowledge in their area of specialty. They fail because of a lack of interpersonal skills, accentualted by little or no emotional intelligence. Then they cannot get the best out of people who possess necessary information (Kets de Vries, 1990).
Humor requires taking risks, and avoiding perfectionism. If we fail, we must remember that failing really mean:
Individuals who have a better sense of humor typically are also more accepting of change.
Humor is just like any other leadership device; You need a plan and a reason.
Just do it.
Always look for humorous material to use.
Create an atmosphere of acceptance for humor.
Keep an organized file of material.
For more information, read Jonas (2004), “Secrets of Cconnecting Leadership and Learning with Humor.”
I went to the auto parts store today to get a new oil filter. What I found instead was a new insight. I read from the car booklet where my brother writes the types of oil filters he uses. So I said to the guy behind the counter, “Do you have a NAPA 1394 or a Carquest 85394–either one is fine.”
I was surprised at his response. He lowered his voice, in hushed tones said, “We don’t have Carquest. This is a NAPA store!” I think I offended him. What did I know? I didn’t speak the language of filters and car equpiment. Sure, I have a car, but all I know of it is that it is beige.
On to the smashed can store. Where I discovered some new products. Like the hair net you can wear overnight to make waves. Literally. Or the fake pizza and hot-dogs, made out of marshmallow. I don’t speak those languages either.
Then later tonight, I heard someone use “vibe” as a verb. ”I vibed that he didn’t like me.” From that exchange, I vibed that I need to become more hip.
Maybe the person tweeted that on his Twitter account. At least I speak that language, since I too am one of those Tweeple (you can follow me on trinahess).
These scenarios represented just one day in the life of a quickly-changing world. Where people have different interests, different preferences, even different languages. And if you don’t speak those languages, the other person may take offense at your remarks. How much more important to use our sense of humor, and to recognize the humor styles of other people. To prevent misunderstandings! To de-stress in the midst of all this change! To be able to vibe people to your way of thinking, to “Get Your SHINE Together!”
Comedy and humor are all about change. Creativity. Venturing into the unknown. This is what happened last night during the wind storm. 50 MPH winds. When the power went out, it was not the time to realize that my only light-source–a deer spotlight–was un-charged. So I had to use my cell phone as a flashlight. Which worked well until the cat decided to find a mouse upstairs, bring it downstairs, and let it down on the floor. Somewhere. And it wasn’t a good time to leave my cell phone unattended on the couch as I rushed to let the cat outside, sans mouse in his mouth.
My neighbor was equally creative last night, as he hooked up his generator after the power went out at 9 pm. So that he could watch the rest of the Steeler game. Why bother–we already know who is going to win….
The unknown makes us more creative, because we have to adapt. We have to learn to like pears and apples because their tree branches have all blown down and they are scattered all over the grass.
We have to learn to write short, fast blog entries because each second the computer is on is sucking energy from the generator. Use these instances of the unknown to exercise YOUR creativity and to learn to, “Get Your SHINE Together!”
This week’s installment of Comedy Around The World takes us back to Germany. Here we have a lot of examples of sense of humor or lack thereof…
My classmate Mike was an exchange student in Trier as I was a Praktikantin (intern) at another company in a nearby town. We met often to exchange experiences about the German people, language, and culture.
Mike had called home to tell his mom about the people he’d met, “Herr so-and-so”, “Herr so-and-so”, etc. His mom exclaimed, “Wow! Herr must be a really popular first name in Germany!” Herr means “Mr.”
Mike also told me the stories about crossing the street on the red man (the light that ’says’ “Don’t walk”; or, in German, “Walking ist verboten.”) The natives waited on the sidewalk until the green man ’said’, “Go ahead and walk.” And then they yelled things in German at Mike for being a bad example to the children watching.
I told him about the secretary in the next cubicle from me, who kept referring to me as, “Fraulein.” I took this as an insult, since the proper term for an educated woman is, “Frau”, regardless of her marital status. And, because she kept calling me, “Meine Affe.” Which either meant “little ape” or “A$^$(.”
From these examples, we can see that people really pick up on when you don’t like them! Even if you didn’t understand their foreign (to you) language, you could still pick up on their distaste of you.
But this is good news: You can use this to your advantage when you use your sense of humor. You will be regarded as someone who DOES want to be likeable, who doesn’t tell people mean things to their face, a person who allows people to walk on any color man they wish without judging them.
Just as Mike and my experiences were a palpable example of dislike, we can create a palpable environment of openness, lightness, and–FUN.
“Get Your SHINE Together!” It’s not verboten!
My SHINE System explains how to create an environment that encourages creativity, productivity–and fun. The SHINE System shows us how to work with each other, whether we are different in gender, age, generation, or technological skill level.
That same environment is how business is driving today. How many LinkedIn connections do YOU have? Are YOU on Facebook? Do YOU follow anyone on Twitter? How about TeeBeeDee, Myspace, Plaxo, ideablob?
Each of these social sites are exactly that–social. Not competitive. Not malicious.
They are built to help us share information, make connections, find friends and business associates. The let us have FUN. And in that fun atmosphere, we can do many things that otherwise we may not be motivated to do:
1. We offer our input, without fear of having our ideas stolen.
2. We feel free to ask for advice. The set-up of these sites actually encourages communication and questions among and across its membership.
3. We grow an attitude of service. We want to help others, because people so freely helped us.
This chain of good humor extends outward, when you turn off your computer. This type of social site communication actually is changing the way we relate off-line as well.
What is YOUR social site?
“Get Your SHINE Together!” Literally~!
I remember Victor Borge’s style of exposing perfectionism with his humor. His target was very obvious–classical music and musicians. But when we use our sense of humor, we may run up against other forms of perfectionism. Some that aren’t always so obvious.
We don’t have to alphabetize all our video tapes (I guess now it’s DVD’s). We can leave clothes on the floor without anxiety. We don’t have to put all the dishes in the dishwasher in a certain way. We might even leave dishes in the sink. We’re not perfectionistic. We don’t look like the people who do those things!
But perfectionism can look like a lot of other things:
1. Expectations–about ourselves or others. When these aren’t met, our perfect ideal is demolished. Then we put pressure on ourselves, we take others’ words the wrong way. Chiefly because we are not perfect.
2. Competition. Now we need to fight others in order to achieve our ideal of perfection.
3. Loss of fun. We can’t relax because we’re so focused on the wrong thing. We focus on perfection and miss all the imperfect (yet fun) things going on all around us.
These are just a few of the disguises that perfectionism wears. What are your additions to this list??
What could possibly be so funny about today, the 7th anniversary of our country’s worst terrorist attack? I say–everything. It’s precisely because this day brings back so many bad memories and pain that we should look for funny things all around us. We cannot allow those events to cripple our sense of humor. We have to use our humor to heal.
Today I borrow some advice from Drew Carey, who advised me to write ten new jokes every day. Yes, every day. You think there isn’t that much funny stuff going on around you? There are many sources, including the news.
There was a story on the radio this morning about a 44 year old man in a stand-off near Pittsburgh. I wondered, isn’t there a cut-off age for having a stand-off? 44 just seems to me to be too old, shouldn’t he know better by now? (1). And the news about pig/lipstick. I wrote poignant pig w/lipstick. Not sure what that means, but at 5:30 a.m. it must’ve been pretty funny. And legible. (2).
And, where is PETA in all of this, shouldn’t they be concerned about animal-tested lipstick, etc.? (3). News story about someone from “one of the Carolina’s, I’m not sure which.” That’s how the announcer described the person. I realized how glad I am to be from Pennsylvania. No one can spell it (we just write PA here), sure, but at least there is only one. (4). And Detroit neighborhoods are watching each other’s houses, especially the foreclosed homes. Vandals are stealing the insides especially the copper wires. Why not just have Amish move into the neighborhood, they don’t need that stuff anyway. (5).
People used to wash their kids’ mouths out with soap when they were bad (the kids, not the parents). With Lava soap. Now, though, they would probably have to use Dove body wash and a bath puff. (6). No wonder kids are so bad these days…that stuff probably tastes good. (7). Spray? Oprah? I can’t read it, but I had written, “That’s #10…” So it must’ve been funny at 5:30 a.m. (8). I still remember the Victor Borge show from the other day (9). I remember liking Drew Carey’s show, too (not the Price is Right). (10).
There, I got to ten, and most occurred to me before 6 a.m. while I was still in bed writing in the dark. It’s not difficult to do. You might think, those aren’t all that funny. So what? It’s not FOR you, it’s for me. And your 10 jokes are for YOU. To help YOU heal. Now, how funny is that? (11).
Trina Hess says, Great time to “Get Your SHINE Together!”
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