+ A pile of shoes

Mindless Shoes

Under the makeshift desk I have set up in the living room is a pile of shoes. Every so often I need to collect them and return them back to the shoe rack where they belong. They clearly accumulate because I kick them off while writing.

The weird thing is …

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Tend and Befriend

I was 0 days old when I first heard the term “tend and befriend” as an alternative stress response to fight or flight. Seriously, though it’s a massive shift – it explains my mama bear complex and honestly makes me feel less “weird.” Check out the podcast below for more shit kicking wisdom.

I think, this idea is something I’ve always known. Having language that fits our experience is empowering and comforting. “Rationality”, is rooted in the need for people to compare notes, to rationalize and make sense of the world by sharing perspectives. We can use more pedagogy that is not rooted in fixed zero-sum thinking.

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Accountability

One of the reasons I write is for the accountability. I’m not claiming that I won’t change my mind. In fact quite the opposite, but I do my best to write what I believe is true, at the time I am writing it. For the most part, I think I do a good job – and while I am open to change, and accounting for more perspectives, at this point my core “truth” is pretty solid.

My friend Bryanda calls it speaking in drafts. I find this iterative approach – to life, relationships and work – works well. I write in drafts. I create in drafts. I live in drafts. I claim nothing other than that I am honestly doing my best, which is better some days than others.

Accountability also comes up in the literature on building trust. I have in the past struggled to tell people in positions of power that I do not trust them. If you’ve ever had to manage someone with low EQ and positional power – you know the feeling of walking on egg shells. Brene Brown has a wonderful check list for diagnosing trust breaches, that I find enormously helpful for articulating and communicating when there has been a breach of trust. B-R-A-V-I-N-G. It’s absolutely worth digging into, but I want to focus on,

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The Joy of Asking WiIw

WiIw or “What if I’m wrong?” Do you ask yourself that question? I do. A lot.

I’m not a masochist. The truth is I don’t like being wrong. More accurately I dislike when know-it-alls point out when I (or my team) have missed something obvious. I’m also not a fan of messing up in public or in front of a client. If we can be open to learning something new and learn a lesson quickly – we can fix it. Boom! Done. That is the joy of asking “what if I’m wrong.”

Once when I switched teams – moving from a group that had a lot of trust and psychological safety to a competitive low trust environment. I was astounded when my annual review came back and I learned that co-workers interpreted this WiIw habit as a lack of confidence. Reporting that it seemed like I doubted myself and everyone.

As it turned out, it was true, I DID lack confidence. I lacked confidence in a culture that was too insecure to question itself or factor in divergent perspectives.

+ credit goes to Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

An Invitation from CAnon

I’m excited to announce that I am working with CAnon – a diverse collective of published authors on a shared world collaborative anthology.  As such I have been authorized to invite others to submit a short story for Volume One of the Ghost Virus. 

What kind of writers are we looking for? A writer who enjoys writing (and reading) character-driven scifi, horror or speculative fiction, can finish a story and is eager to share a fresh perspective. 

Why participate?

Here are some of the reasons those already in the CAnon have chosen to participate. 

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+ Baby Birds

Mind the Click Whirr

I think a lot of about psychological defaults these days. Partly it’s a function of living in the DC-metro area in the middle of an election year – and partly it’s a function of studying leadership and motivation.

The rule of reciprocity…

Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, is one of the best and most recommended book on the topic of persuasion. It’s worth picking up and keeping it as a reference. Fans of the book will recognize the term “click whirr.” The term refers to when a “cue” is initiated and triggers a resulting action. In nature this might be when baby birds chirp and the mother bird nurtures them. As it turns out, it’s not even necessary for the chirp to come from baby birds. Scientists found that a recorded sound of baby birds chirping, coming from from stuffed pole cat (a natural predator) was enough to cue the same behavior in the mama bird.

Humans unfortunately are not immune to similar click whirr effects – one of those you may have experienced in your own life. It happens when someone does you a favor or gives you something and you feel an debt or obligation to return the favor. This is what is known as the rule of reciprocity.

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Writing Advice for Difficult Women

I once asked Joanne Lipman, if writing about hard things, difficult things, things that infuriate you, frustrating things, wrong things … if it ever gets easier. 

I was hoping that she, as a seasoned pro, would give me some cheerful encouragement. I was hoping, I think, for a secret, some magic pill for placing emotions in a jar and carrying on.

But she didn’t have anything like that. Instead she bluntly told me, it doesn’t get easier. Even after so many years, she admits she has to step away sometimes. What keeps her going is to remember why she is writing … who she is helping and the change she wants to effect.

It’s advice I come back to quite often. 

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Photo by Pereanu Sebastian on Unsplash

Rational Thoughts

I was reading Ezra Klein’s “Why We’re Polarized” and I came across a lovely idea, which is that we are not meant to be rational by ourselves. Put another way we are stronger when we take in and listen to multiple points of view. This is certainly something I have found to be true. Recently someone pointed out the root “rational” is “ratio” – which implies both comparison and balance. I like the idea of revealing the truth by comparing notes, or our various versions of reality.

As to ascertaining the a rational balance, whenever I work with statistical ratios and percentages, I’m also mindful of how slippery they can be. Change can happen in either numerator or denominator (or both), and big changes can be obscured in the resulting ratio. So-called rationality is rooted in a lot of obscured assumptions. It makes sense to check the default paradigm and the legitimacy of any comparison – before venturing a guess as to what is and what is not rational.

… and of course there is also the matter of what happens at the margins.

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Being Skeptically Open

“There is a saying in the Tibetan scriptures: “Knowledge must be burned, hammered, and beaten like pure gold. Then one can wear it as an ornament.” So when you receive spiritual instruction from the hands of another, you do not take it uncritically, but you burn it, you hammer it, you beat it, until the bright, dignified color of gold appears. Then you craft it into an ornament, whatever design you like, and you put it on.”

― Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

I re-discovered this quote this morning, after writing a very similar, although far less poetic, guideline for a workshop I’m facilitating this afternoon. This quote embodies FLOW and the state of navigating the balanced peak as well as the notion that knowledge must be APPLIED, molded, tested, conformed, and explored to suit our own needs.

It also demonstrates that flow is everywhere we are, we just have to look.

Photo by Robert van der Sluijs on Unsplash

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DC Start-Up Week 2020

Thanks for attending my DC Start-Up Week Presentation.
>>> Here is a copy of the presentation.

Staying connected.

First – Email me directly to enter the raffle for my book, Applied Flow: Stop Burnout. Be Awesome.

Please note: I will NOT be adding you to my email newsletter – because I get WAY too many newsletters and imagine you do to. I might send you a follow up note now and again – if it’s annoying just tell me. It’s cool, I 100% get it and I’ll remove you.

>>> Link to the book on Amazon – Nerd Alert: there is a psychologically related reason it is priced at $5.01

If you want to keep up with my writing and other projects…

Professionally the best way to reach me is LinkedIn. Please send me a note in your connection request. Not only am I more likely to accept your request, later on we can quickly remember that we met during DC Start-Up Week!! #oldpeoplememoryhacks

You can also follow this blog and if you like nerdy cartoons, find me on instagram.

Upcoming Events I’m Excited To Host…

+ October 1 – Creative Mornings Field Trip – Finding Your Unique Flow
Register with Creative Mornings

+ October 31 – C.Anon – Collaborative Fiction Workshop
Link Coming Soon on Eventbrite

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6 Things Tony Robbins Does In His Virtual Workshop That Are 100% Worth Copying

Love him or hate him, Tony Robbins knows how to put on a show. I recently watched, well more like participated in, a 5-day challenge he hosted and found myself fascinated not only by WHAT he said but HOW he said it.

He Executes Really Really Well.

Many of these concepts, we all may know – but probably aren’t DOING as well as he does or with as much confidence. Granted, he has a lot of practice, is a voracious learner and has a machine behind his work. Still there are a lot of things even solopreneurs can all do. As I prepare for my own DC Start-Up week presentation, below or six things I am keeping in mind.

Continue reading “6 Things Tony Robbins Does In His Virtual Workshop That Are 100% Worth Copying”
+ Lego Knight versus Sneaker

“An I for an I” – Separating Intention and Impact.

I first heard the term “micro-moments” from Arianna Huffington a few months back during Power to Fly’s 2020 Diversity Summit. It immediately reminded me of how companies like, SYPartners use “micro-actions” to mitigate “micro-aggressions.”

When Less is More 

As an entrepreneur and process geek, I’m always looking for the minimal viable product, i.e. the MVP, the smallest iteration that will move the ball forward. Also, as a Gen-Xer, it reminds me of Tori Amos’s amazing album, “Little Earthquakes” and mitigating long term risk – all good things.  Putting this into practice lead me to create this tool for my clients, colleagues and family, which I call.

“Swapping an I for an I”

This tool refers to unpacking the gap that often exists between “I-mpact” and “I-ntention.” It’s a useful device in moments of conflict where offense has been taken, either by you or the other person.

Continue reading ““An I for an I” – Separating Intention and Impact.”