Showing posts with label Genuine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Genuine. Show all posts

August 2, 2019

What's Your Relationship?

This week I learned about the Three Levels of Relationships.

Level 3: Family/Friends
The highest form of a relationship where you are being authentic (i.e. yourself), you share deeply about yourself (thoughts, feelings, desires, mistakes, etc,) and you are vulnerable. 

Level 2: Professionals
The middle level of relationships in which you are seeking to build trust and respect, you share some information (i.e. appropriate), and you expose yourself a little to the other person. 

Level 1: Acquaintances
The most elementary of relationships that is superficial in nature, there is little personal sharing of information (i.e. mostly when you are asked a question and you feel comfortable answering it), and you remain guarded. 

This is a good way to assess your relationships--is it a level 1, 2, or 3 and are you behaving appropriately within that, so that you trust, communicate, and collaborate effectively.  ;-)

(Graphic Credit: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 9, 2018

Why Can't People Be Genuine

Why all the phonies, users, shysters, and scammers out there?

It starts perhaps with that big, warm smile.

Maybe a handshake and hug. 

Perhaps, you even get a kiss or two (it's cultural, I think, LOL).

Colleagues, friends, you're just like family.

Sometimes it's real and you truly found something valuable in your life.

There are good people of soul and conscience out there. 

But other times it's an act, a sham, deception, you're the fool. 

The other person wants something--cash, control, connections.
Oh by the way, can I ask you for just a "little" favor?
You wouldn't mind if...?
Just do XYZ for me, I got your back. 
I see you know so and so, would you introduce me?
I have a great investment opportunity for you, let me tell you all about it.
Sure it's okay and actually wonderful in a real relationship for people to be there for each other and help each others..."that's what [real] friends are for!"

The problem is where the friendship is only about the ask for the benefit of the other and no care for you as a person. 

Then the smile isn't a genuine collegial or friendship one of happiness and outreach. but rather it's upside down to get you to do something legit or illegit for the person pressing their lips up and out into that smile you already know is all about the ask. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 20, 2017

Good Face, Ugly Mask

So many faces, so much phoniness. 

Why can't we just deal with genuine people?

Not like the dummies in this picture. 

Everyone seems to put on a face. 

One person comes in the room, puts on a big smile and then drops it like you do your pants in the bathroom (excuse the comparison).

But it's just so wax!

Another person is talking it up, but you can see just under the thin veneer, they are a boiling powder keg ready to go off. 

Faces are for expression--to feel and to share. 

However, they are used to deceive and fool the world around them.  

Is it a face or a mask.

What's behind it--good or evil?

If you don't look past the superficial then you are the real dummy.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 26, 2016

The Nature of Charisma

So what's with charisma?

Is it like they say, either you have it or you don't?

The power of personality, your energy, your aura, your chemistry, your strength in connecting with others, your ability to influence people and to move them in thought and deed.

Truly, for some people, you would follow them into the battlefield or the boardroom.

And for others, you know they're no good and you'd probably just as soon do the opposite of what they say since you don't believe in them and what they stand for.

Today, I was expecting to see a special chabad Rabbi in Florida, but they were up in NY--I missed them having not seen them for many months.

I was disappointed, even though I really enjoyed the other people and the services that I attended. 

Some people...there is a magic to them...a genuineness, a warmth, a centeredness, with certain integrity, and driven to something greater. 

We need people like this in our life.  

Of course, we have G-d, always.

But we also need other human beings that move us.

People with charisma often make awesome leaders. 

It not about them remember, but rather about the mission they and we are on together. 

And being a mensch to other people. 

A real smile, a warm embrace, a kind word, a caring nature, a giving soul, a person with belief, someone who can inspire and motivate.

These people are rare, but when you find them, they are gems.

They are a blessing among us.

The last thing we need though is a false messiah, but rather the real McCoy to work with us to reach new heights of greatness, achievement, and happiness in life.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 22, 2015

Synagogue Time

So this is an interesting new phenomenon with synagogue. 

Usually, we like to go a little later so that basically we are there for about an hour and a half of services. 

That's about my attention span and then I start to get claustrophobic and antsy. 

(BTW, some friends that go to Church told me that they have the same experience.)

But the last two weeks something changed...(no, not me). 

Last week in Maryland, we went to synagogue and the people were standing in front with the Ark open and I thought wow they are way ahead and are finished with Torah reading and are putting the Torahs away already. 

But after a moment, I realized they were only just taking out the Torahs for the weekly reading, and we were actually earlier than usual. 

When I inquired in synagogue why they were behind schedule, I learned that to get people there for more of the services, they had decided to start later. 

Ah, it's a trick!

This week in Florida, I went to the Chabad shule and we were running late (hey, it's vacation) about 10:45 and thought shule would almost be over, but they were just in the morning prayers still, and there wasn't even a minyan yet.  

Two places, two synagogues, two weeks and they are changing the start times...

Seems smart from their perspective to try and get people there and for more of the services, but for the people who just want to come for a certain amount or parts of the service, isn't this just going to cause people to come even later in an endless cat and mouse game. 

Start later, come later, start later, come later...

I'm no Rabbi, but how about a serious focused service--ONE solid hour (plus)--full of REAL kavanah (concentration), meaning, and sincerity, and everyone comes on time?

Start on time, come on time--really pray (no talking please)!

And still plenty of time for socializing and bonding after services at the yummy Kiddish. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Brian Smithson)
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March 11, 2014

Be, Be Yourself

I thought this was a cute sign in the elevator at Safeway. 

"Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken."

Why they put this up in a supermarket, I don't really know. 

Anyway, gotta hate phonies, kiss-ups, and B.S. artists--in the store or out. 

My wife's grandfather used to say, "What comes from the heart, goes to the heart"--I really like that!

An ounce of sincerity is worth more than a ton of faking it--even if you're a good fake. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 20, 2013

The Nomination Effect

For some people they say that flattery gets you everywhere and it can be true.

Who doesn’t like to hear good things about themselves and their work?

It fills the WIIFM need in all of us (What’s In It For me)—by providing for recognition and seeming purpose. 

Some people know how to use this --how to take advantage of others by “cozying up to them” and telling them how wonderful they are.

As they say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!”

This is one of the marketing techniques--not really ethical--being used by some “event planners” to lure people to their conferences, meetings, and events. 

They do this by not only showcasing the events great speakers, relevant and important topics, beautiful venue etc., but also by telling people they’ve been nominated for some prestigious award. 

And it’s hard to tell which are real and which are fake.

The Nomination Effect (my term) is when event planners tell multiple people that they have been nominated for an award simply as a way to get them to come to an event they otherwise would not necessarily attend.

This plays to the ego of some execs by saying “somebody nominated you”—but there are few or no specifics.

And because so many execs get beaten up all the time at work, it’s certainly great to hear something positive. Plus it could be an easy way for some to add a nice credential to their resumes. 

It’s all fine and good when it’s true and deserved for a job well done!

But some event planners misuse this to lure people to events and try to get a “30 minute call” with you to pick your brains for the event—what topics are hot, who are some good speakers, do you know any vendors that would like to sponsor it?

But when it's just an "in" with people who may never otherwise give them “the time of day,” because of the important work they do, their genuinely busy schedules, and frankly because they are people they just don’t even know.  

But the idea of The Nomination Effect is to tell execs that they can win an award at the event and how great they are so hopefully they will be putty in their hands and shell out money, time, and information to perhaps unreliable people.

Part of the scam is that the award winners aren’t announced until the event itself, so you must come—and pay first!

They tell the same line to the other nominees—maybe 5, 10, 25, 50 other people—or everyone they want to sign up—who knows.

This social phenomenon is enough to reel in many to pay for and attend events that may not be all that intellectually or socially enticing otherwise. 

Here are the things I look for:

- People that seem genuine and not like car salesmen.
- Those with an affiliation to a well-established organization in the field.
- Nominations for actual contributions or achievements, rather than vague undertakings.
- Something on LinkedIn and/or the web that shows credentials and successful events prior tied to advancing the field, and not just making money.

A well-deserved award for hard-working professionals is something for all of us to celebrate.

But that’s different than promotional events and false—yet flattering kudos to manipulate lots of busy people. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to PennStateNews)
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August 10, 2012

Friends or Foes

People are amazing creatures--they can be sincere and trustworthy or phoney and users.  How do you tell them apart?

I learned in enterprise architecture and information architecture that information is power and currency--i.e. that those who have it rule and those who know how to get it--are the kingpins.

They may get information legitimately through research, study, reading, review, and working with others or they may cozy up to others illegitimately, to more to the point--find out "what's going on?" what have they heard. or "what's the real scoop?" 

In some cases, it is merely benign networking and that is a healthy thing--or as they say, "it's not what you know, but who you know." 

But in other cases, some people may take it too far, and literally prey on others when they are vulnerable, trusting, or simply let their guard down. 

We spend a lot of our waking hours in the office , and therefore people's social needs manifest in work friendships, confiding in others, going out for a coffee, lunch, drinks, etc. 

However, at work, people are also competitive and can be ruthless in getting what they want, making themselves look good, badmouthing others, going for that "gotcha", and even stealing other people's ideas and hard work--now where did they leave that notebook?

So when you tell an associate something--are they trustworthy with your feelings, experiences, information tidbits or will they take what you share and use it for their own ends?

There are a lot of good, decent people out there, but unfortunately, not all of people are.

Is their face for real or a poker face?  Are they playing on your side or playing you?  Will they come to your aid at the moment of truth or use the opportunity to thrust the blade through your back.  

My father used to joke about some people being two-faced, and then why would they choose that (ugly) one that they have on. :-)

I always learned talk is cheap and actions speak volumes. So when someone asks about your latest project, your kids, or ailing parents--is it from someone who genuinely gives a hoot or from someone who'd like to get you off guard, even for that split second.

In the military, this would be related to psychological operations (PsyOps)--getting into the other's person's head, figuring out what makes them tick, and then using that to extract intelligence or inflict mental and emotional "blows."

In law enforcement, perhaps the equivalent would be the old "good cop, bad cop" routine--where one person offers you some cold water or a cigarette and tells you everything will be alright, while the other person slams the table, yells, threatens, and says "your going to be going away for a long time."

There are lots of ways to get into a person's head, under their skin, and get to that valuable information--without going to the levels of physical, "torture" techniques, some of which have since been generally outlawed such as waterboarding.

So which people that you deal with are good, genuine, helpful, and have integrity, and which are selfish, nasty, and cruel?

It is definitely a challenge day-in and day-out to tell who is who--and you shouldn't let the bad apples out there, ruin your trust in all people--you just have to make sure to look beyond the veneer--to see if the other person is more friend or foe.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to BlueRidgeKitties)

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July 6, 2012

TED For Everyone

The New Yorker (9 July 2012) has an article on TED Talks. 

TED stands for Technology/Entertainment/Design and is a conference venue for some of the most magnificent speakers.

Just looking at some of TED's "most popular this month"--turn to TED if you want to hear about:

- Information being collected about you on the web
- How through vulnerability, we can empathize, belong, and love
- Whether through evolution our kids will be different than us
- Ways to prepare for Alzheimer disease
- New ideas for cleaning up oil spills
- How schools kill creativity
- The talents and abilities of introverts
- How to inspire and be a great leader 


TED is literally a world of information and it is presented in a high quality way.

Almost anyone would be floored by the honor to present at TED.

Talking at TED means not only that you have something important to say, but that you can pull-off saying it the right way. 

What makes TED lectures great though (and viewed 800 million times so far) maybe also makes them more than a little sterile.

Firstly, the 4-day TED conference itself is only for special people--admission starts at $7,500 and no that does not include lodging and travel, and you have to have an "invitation"--posh posh--to attend. 

Then, the actual presentations are "closely governed"--speakers are carefully sought out and vetted, material that is counterintuitive is of interest, and "TED's eye for theatre...[with] vigilance about immersion and control" are a strong part of the showmanship. 

However, while on one hand, these things perhaps are a hugh part of the TED success--wash, rinse, repeat--on the other hand, it also makes for a feel that is very scripted, uniform, almost molded. 

The New Yorker article even describes how the speakers practice again and again--repeating their monologues hundreds of times and to whoever will listen. There is essentially nothing impromptu, ad-libbed, or in a sense real about the entertainment-aspect of what you are watching and listening to. 

While the information seems to always be great--the presentation with the speaker, sound, lights, slide show, audience shots, etc.--comes across like a row of identically-built houses in a development. 

Each "house" (or presentation in this case) may be filled with interesting people, things, and love, but on the outside, as one of my friends says--they are identical, so that coming home after a long day at work, you almost don't know at times which row house is yours anymore. 

If TED ever did a lecture on how they could improve TED. these would be some of my suggestions (and there is no gloss here):

- Open it to everyone--Restricting TED to invitation-only is elitist and maybe worse. Opening TED to more people to attend, learn, and enjoy--let's everyone have an opportunity to benefit--regardless of who you are or where you come from.

- Diversify the speakers--It is nice to have scientists and entrepreneurs and stars present at TED, but it would be even nicer to have regular, common people too. Everyone has a story to tell--whether or not you have a Ph.D. or run your own company. While it is great to learn from the "experts," it would be fascinating to hear from everyday people on their challenges and how they deal with them and overcome them or not. Just as an example, regularly, I see an incredible homeless lady on the street in DC--yes, well-dressed, talkative, polite--and I would want to hear how she ended up where she is and how she copes and survives her experiences on the street everyday. The point it that every person is a world onto themselves and worth hearing about--the key is how to get the experiences, the feelings, and the lessons learned. 

- Genuine, less scripted speeches--Part of good entertainment is making it real, but when it is just another (over-)rehearsed performance, the speakers seem almost robotic. Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear human beings talk in a more relaxed and yes, genuine-way about very important human topics of significance to us all? Right now, people crave information --heck, it's the information age and nice informative lectures are racking up the views, but at some point soon, people are going to want and expect more.

- Shake it up with the venue--TED is conservative extraordinaire. The one (or occasionally two or three) speakers on the stage, the dark background and spotlighted speaker, the PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, the dangling microphone, the opening applause, the slow and methodical speech--yes TED is "ideas that inspire," but it is also a venue that bores. Perhaps, if you are an avid conference attendee and like the routine, copy-cat set-ups, you feel at home in TED.  But why not let people talk here, there, and everywhere--let someone speak on the street, in a park, on a ship, or even parachuting off a plane.  How about someone on the International Space Station?  Or on the front lines in a major military engagement. People have a lot to say and where they say it--says a lot about them and adds to their message. A stage is a stage. Even a snake-oil salesman has a soapbox. 

Not to be confused with TED, there are TEDx events--"TED-like" that are organized by volunteers on a community-level, a "do-it-yourself TED" that is occurring at a "global rate of about five per day"--and these come closer to the open ideal, but still more can be done to make TED itself an organization where truly ideas come from all people, for all people.

While TED's brand is exclusive and valuable--perhaps more important is education that is valuable for the masses.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Juhan Sonin)

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