Photo by Quinten deGraaf Today the Senate will have a hearing that will explore an allegation by Christine Ford involving Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Did you know you have something in common with them that you should think about as you listen to their testimony? More about that in a moment. One of my favorite writers is Malcolm Gladwell and now he has a podcast called Revisionist History, which I highly recommend. Recently he did two podcasts that focused on human memory and how flawed it is. One podcast called Free Brian Williams is quite remarkable. In this podcast [...]
It was two weeks with no hot water in our house and I was frustrated. Almost as frustrated as when I play golf. Two service techs had just left after their third visit and supposedly just diagnosed the final problem. The “on-demand” hot water unit needed an air-pressure control that, of course, they did not have in stock – it would have to be ordered from the manufacturer. And they had already put us through this process when they replaced the other part that was supposed to fix the problem. I needed to talk with a supervisor – someone who [...]
Last week I saw this recurring behavior, again. And, every time I see it, I recognize it as a symptom of a supervisor who is avoiding conflict. It is something all supervisors, including me, have done at some point in our careers. What was it? It was a “training” for a whole team of mostly experienced, competent people on a topic that only one person was deficient. As I looked around at the faces of the people in the group, I saw each person become more and more disengaged. It was a waste of valuable time. A few years ago [...]
Feedback is tricky business. For it to work effectively both the receiver and the giver have to be fully engaged. And we have to watch out for how our unconscious self can derail the process. Last week I was introduced to a feedback term called switchtracking on a fairly new podcast called the Hidden Brain (Episode 1, September 2015 ) hosted by Shankar Vedantam. Vedantam is a science correspondant on NPR and usually reports on human behavior and the social sciences. Switchtracking. The term switchtracking is described by author Sheila Heen as the process most receivers of feedback begin when [...]
On Sunday night I settled down to do some reading. I picked-up my i-Phone to shut it down and there were three e-mails showing. I usually hit delete-delete-delete and deal with them in the morning. Unfortunately, though, I could see the first few words of one of the e-mails and I thought “urghhhh.” Have you ever had that happen to you? The next day I was talking with someone else who was wrestling with a similar situation, although it was a voice mail. This person asked me how I deal with these types of situations. And this is what I [...]
Steve Wood discusses the "Christmas truce" from World War I in 1914 and the lessons in cooperation that can be drawn from it.