|Our first year of home-brewing (each bottle represents a batch of five gallons).|
September 30, 2011
September 27, 2011
September 26, 2011
Q: Can learning the right ways to approach people with requests help people become more assertive? How so? We all hate rocking the boat, but why is it important to stand up for yourself and ask for what you want?
A: We all want to be heard. We don’t even necessarily want to “win” or get our way; we crave being heard and understood. The Earl of Chesterfield is quoted as saying, "Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request." Being able to voice our authentic feelings and desires while at the same time showing respect and empathy for our listeners is incredibly powerful. Continually tamping down on one’s own passion is eventually exhausting and demoralizing.
Q: What are the keys to being a persuasive person - and how is this different from being manipulative?
A: We need to understand that we are primarily communicating because there’s something we want our audience to do. It may be that we want our listener to undertake a different approach to solving a problem, or we want our partner or roommate to take out the garbage, or we want to help a friend feel better – there is an end goal to our communication. Persuasion is not coercion, or manipulation; it’s about moving toward action.
Persuasion is about helping change people’s minds about changing their minds. It’s not about telling people what to do, but facilitating their own discovery of the action and the rewards of taking such action. It’s about engagement, and helping people find meaning, and requires two-way communication. Being effectively persuasive is about respecting how other people see the world.
Q: When trying to get someone to see your side, are there tactics that work across the board, or do you have to know your audience and adjust?
A: I recommend a 3-step process, based on history, experience, and an understanding of the science behind cognition, emotion, and memory. I've trademarked it Heart, Head & Hand™. Heart, Head & Hand™ recommends first establishing a relevant and emotional context for communication, then delivering facts and data, and then asking the audience to take action. The order is crucial.
Q: So how can you read your audience – what should you look for?
A: Start with a clear understanding of what you want your listener to do as a result of your communication. Consider how your listener may need to feel in order to take the desired action. Might you have a story you can share about a time when you felt similarly?
Think, too, about where your work and concerns overlap with your audience’s work and concerns. Draw a Venn diagram and map it out. Seeing it visually can provide insight, and thus confidence.
Q: How important is confidence in being persuasive? How can you exude confidence without seeming cocky or arrogant?
A: Too often, we fail to show up, to show emotion, to show passion and desire. Showing passion is crucial to successfully moving listeners to action, and to making change happen. In a professional setting, passion and emotion need not translate as emotional. Emotion, in a professional setting, means delivering your information, and your request for change, with passion and confidence, and within a context that the audience finds meaningful.
September 24, 2011
The family and escorts exited the plane, and the passengers followed, silently. And although it was midnight, and the plane had been delayed for two hours, most of us then gathered at the windows of the terminal, observing the military ceremony on the wet tarmac below. We watched in silence as soldiers stood patiently in formation and at attention for what seemed like 10 minutes, with the American and military flags. The coffin was carried off the plane by six soldiers, the soldiers on either side of the procession saluted, the coffin passed the family, and the soldier was placed into a hearse. Passengers surrounding me quietly wept.
Silently, we left the terminal. Upon descending to baggage claim, some passengers were met by a family hugging a soldier in fatigues, accompanied by signs reading, "Welcome back home to our brave soldier." This soldier had been on another flight.
Until the flight attendant's announcement, I hadn't yet thought yesterday about the wars American is fighting. I am honored and humbled to have witnessed the ceremony for this fallen soldier, and to do so with my fellow passengers on that fight. We are all interconnected.
September 21, 2011
September 20, 2011
September 17, 2011
"I saw my father with his eyes closed, basking in the early sun, sipping a cup of strong black coffee."
- from "Pecans" by Connie Wanek in her book "On Speaking Terms" (2010) from Copper Canyon Press."A place is both itselfand what we make of it, as we are ourselvesand what a place makes of us."
September 14, 2011
September 13, 2011
September 12, 2011
"In sum, bodies have brains. People have minds."
September 11, 2011
"I need a t to give me time–- from "Scrabble" by Connie Wanek in her book "On Speaking Terms" (2010) from Copper Canyon Press.
a p and I'd have help.
It's the story of my life,
rearranging assets and coming up shor."
September 10, 2011
- from "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Connie Wanek in her book "On Speaking Terms" (2010) from Copper Canyon Press."People grew bored waiting for Moses, too—some never liked him anyway,another Mr. Know-It-All,and why so assured after forty yearsof wrong turns? And what made so many womenlook at him that way?"
- A section heading from (page 168 of the 2011 paperback edition of) Prof. György Buzsáki's 2006 book "Rhythms of the Brain".
"Oscillatory Synchrony Is Energetically Cheap"
September 9, 2011
"We'd tried the music first, so it seemed only reasonable to start things roundabout, putting the dance first. Later, when thinking-caps were used, it became evident that underneath both music and dance was a common suport: time. This partial truth would have been hard to come by for a choreographer, due partly to the multiplicity of elements in the theatrical dance and due for the rest to the fact that analytical thought in the field of the dance was centered formerly on the problem of notation. Music, on the other hand, was, in those days, a relatively simple art: a succession of pitches in a measured space of time. ... All one had to do was establish a time-structure. Neither music or dance would be first: both would go along in the same boat. Circumstances – a time, a place – would bring them together. We've paid our bills and the President's been elected. Now we get down to business. ... The time-structures we made fell apart: our need faded, so that aesthetic terms have totally disappeared from our language. Balance, harmony, counterpoint, form."
September 4, 2011
Nikon doesn't want to sell you our favorite lens.
Here are four snaps, one from each of the Four Cities of the T.U.M.:
|Frogwater onstage at Milwaukee Brewing.|
STEVENS POINT, WISCONSIN
|On our favorite feedlot.|
|Sharing dessert with Mark Mitton at the Duluth Grill.|
Atop the Foshay Tower.
We love this lens. If you want a fast prime that is at least normal, but you don't want to go any wider than necessary (and if you're not willing to lug around a boat-anchor), this is it. And, as such things go, it's actually inexpensive. However, Nikon doesn't really want you to buy one.
When you go to the Nikon USA website, and select "lenses", you get a lens splashpage asking you to choose between lens categories. It appears that these optical devices now come in categories, called "Travel and Landscape Lenses", "People and Events Lenses", & "Sports and Action Lenses":
But here's the thing – No matter which category you choose, you will not find the 35mm f/2! It's not under any of the categories. You can find it only if you click on the small "Show all lenses" link on the lens splashpage.
To be sure, Nikon makes this lens, and sells this lens. But do they really want to? Or, would they rather that you buy something else – something more expensive?
"Doris Dennison had been born Doris Suckling. That was why she changed her name. Her step-brother, Peter, on the other hand, took the name she discarded. Peter Suckling had been born Peter Perfect."
September 3, 2011
"Though my debts are heavy- from "Honey" by Connie Wanek in her book "On Speaking Terms" (2010) from Copper Canyon Press.
honey would pay them all.
Honey heals, honey mends.
A spoon takes more than it can hold
without reproach. A knife plunges deep,
but does no injury."
"The Indians long ago knew that Music was going on permanently and that hearing it was like looking out a window at a landscape which didn't stop when one turned away."
September 2, 2011
"Our Western education teaches us caution. And so we hesitate before crossing the great waters. We wouldn't want, would we, to throw ourselves away? Realizing we might have been elected President of the United States, we want somehow to settle for a life not too ignoble. Well, there's always Madison Avenue. And it needs us to keep itself going."
September 1, 2011
"In the absence of inhibition, any external input, weak or strong, would generate more or less the same one-way pattern, an avalanche of excitation involving the whole population.""Without inhibition and dedicated interneurons, excitatory circuits cannot accomplish anything useful."
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