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Self Development

I’m Still Getting Better – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, I shared my son’s thoughts about my continuing to make mistakes.  The focus of Part 2 is recent work at improving my skills.

Last April, as it became clear that COVID was going to be here for a while and I’d have time for deep work, I decided to invest in some training on sales messaging.  I’ve mentioned books by Oren Klaff called Pitch Anything and Flip the Script many times in my What’s Dave Listening To column.  I hadn’t done substantial, deeply focused training in a while, probably because I felt “capable.”  Oren Klaff’s new thinking felt enlightening to me, so I decided that perhaps it was time to dive into it.  I signed up for coaching by Oren’s team, and with their help and I’d estimate about 100 hours of work, I’ve become WAY BETTER and more effective at something I thought I was already pretty good at.

Even with all that work, I still make mistakes, still wish I’d made another edit to a released document (mostly to make it shorter) or had or hadn’t said something.  Overall, I’m encouraged to know that a) I HAVE gotten a LOT better, and b) if I’ve worked this hard to improve, even though I continue to fall short, I’ve gained on “the field.”

 

I’m Still Getting Better – Part 1

Not long ago, I told my older son that I’d thought that by about the time I’d really become an adult, certainly by age 50, I’d be done making big mistakes.  And I really did.  Sure, I knew I’m make small mistakes, overlook things, but when I was in my 20s and 30s, I really thought by the time I was 50 (and more) I’d have figured things out.  My son responded, “Dad, you’re still in the game and the world is still changing.”  Smart, and he’s right.  

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And at the same time I’m still making mistakes, I’m working SMARTER.  Interesting how both can happen concurrently.  Check out what I’m listening to now:  Great at Work, The Hidden Habits of Top Performers, and watch for Part 2 of this post!

It takes discipline to say positive

A crazy fixation I have, and judge as negative, is when people attempt to shape the perceptions of others with denials.  President-elect Biden got the coronavirus vaccine and said, “There’s nothing to worry about.”  OK, that’s not so bad.  Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, upon not getting votes needed for re-election as Speaker during a federal corruption probe said, “This isn’t a withdrawal.”  Let’s use that as an example and come back to Biden.  “This isn’t a withdrawal.”  Really?  What is it?  Whatever – you didn’t win and you won’t.  Why deny what everyone knows – you lost.  Now people think that Madigan lost, AND he’s a liar.  What should Madigan have said?  He still got the most votes, even though not enough so maybe, “OK, my caucus is still considering its best path forward.”   

My point: stating your view as a negative is reflexive.   We want to deny – and that’s not as wise as stopping to think about how to reframe to a positive statement.   

Back to the President-elect.  With more thought was there something positive he could have said about getting the vaccine?  How about, “This is great!  I can focus on the business of the people knowing I and those around me will stay healthy.”   

Avoid the easy negative statement and replace it with something that’s truthful, authentic and positive. 

Not Being a Jerk – Here’s the Feedback

I am easily frustrated by phone trees and “prove-it’s-not-your-own-fault” trouble shooting by cable companies, and others.

My sons criticized me when they heard me exhibiting frustration and being curt with a phone rep, and since then I’ve tried to be nice.  I tell myself, it’s not the rep’s fault that Comcast makes them prove I’m who I am before they will tell me if the internet is out.  My internet has been getting worse and I chatted to see if it could be resolved.  Here’s the end of my last chat exchange.

When the rep thanked me for “remaining so positive,” my heart went out to him – and it still does.  He must take so much grief, and I used to be one who dished it out.  And my internet problem?  I bought new equipment and it works great now.  I guess it wasn’t Comcast’s fault after all (the phone tree still has to go).

 

I’m Like Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons!

I was at the Mumford & Sons concert at Fiddler’s Green and loved seeing the lead guitarist and vocalist, Marcus Mumford, step away from the front of the stage and move to the drums.

He seemed to be having a blast on the drums and it reminded me of my podcasting.  Yes, I have a “main job,” evangelizing for the Colorado Chamber of Commerce.  Podcasting gives me a chance to exercise other talents in a synergistic and joyful way.

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