When is the last time you’ve taken someone to coffee?

Then, helped?

What was the result?

We build community through listening actively, sometimes over the simplest of pretenses.



People Know More & Less About You Than You Think


People around you (trusted advisors, mentors, bosses) tend to know more about you than you think:

  • Who you are
  • What you’ve done
  • How you’ve felt in the past

They know little about:

  • What you are thinking
  • What your plans are
  • How you want to do things, conduct business, uplevel, create/invent/compose?

They are our mistakes, and it is our future.

We hide our decisions from others. We are afraid of our mistakes in the past swallowing up the potential of the future.

“They remember our last mistakes, why even tell them?”

It might sting, and there is something useful in hearing your old mistakes from time to time. You miss out on context by not telling them. The hints to your past are a roadmap to errors in your future. 

Like the Romans who left a slave to say the emperor “you are only a man” after a triumph, sometimes it’s good to get a little dose of someone else’s perception.

They see mistakes you haven’t, and the hints to your past are often a roadmap to errors in your future.

Even if it hurts, the beautiful thing about the future is that is in our hands. 

Most people aren’t out to get you.

If you open yourself up, you’ll find that people are often out to lift you.

Hate-Sharing, Venting, and Keeping the Bad Feeling Alive

Don’t  do it

Yesterday I shared something on Facebook that I didn’t agree with. In my post, I stated that the article below wasn’t good. It was standard, trivial, click bait nonsense. I thought that I was sharing a lesson.

People shared it and I thought I was doing the world some good. I started looking at the shares.

Uh oh. 

People were taking the article as helpful. They didn’t see my warning, they just started sharing.

In my “hate share,” I propagated the article to the world around me. It was a mistake.

Then I realized, we do the same thing when we “vent.” We intend to warn, but when others tell the story, they usually get it wrong. You end up putting people on to something that doesn’t help them grow. They share the click bait and not the warning.

When we “let out steam,” we do so in an emotional state.

This has some after effects:

  • We put the emotion on a treadmill, letting it run around our lives.  Anger doesn’t solve much in such an uncontrolled state, it goes back to “fight or flight.”
  • Introducing something to your social group that doesn’t help them. They might share something from it that wasn’t your intent.

“Venting” doesn’t vent the bad feelings out, it pushes them into other parts of your life.

Connect the Circles

We all know a ton of people

Google Plus, a social media service, has a concept called “circles.”

In them, you place people of a certain quality.  For example, your brother and sister go in the “family” circle. The people at your job  go into a “job” circle. So on and so forth.

You give each circle a particular update, share particular things and give priority.

When it first was created, I thought it was a genius idea because that is how my mind worked, compartmentalize and keep people in their circle.

It’s a good way to sort. Not everyone needs to know everything.

With that said, if you notice a connection that can happen from one circle to another, try to connect them. Bringing someone relevant to you, with the eyes of an outsider, can lead to great breakthroughs in their own work.

Maybe they know someone too? 

Life As Usual Video Blog #9 – Community, Not Views

Every week I do a video blog (of VLOG). This week I talked about the cheapness of views.

When I started this,  I was very scared of putting myself on video, so I got the courage and put myself in the arena, killing a lot of bad self talk.This gives me the chance to work on my communication skills, start a new medium, and experiment!

Once a week, after I have thought about them, I will give them a day here on the blog.

These aren’t just promotion posts (although they are, please watch and share :-) ) I want to take the time to break them down and try to clarify what I want to communicate and the tactical things I learned through doing.

If you enjoyed the video, and if you want to get on the ride, please,subscribe to the YouTube channel, and join the Facebook page where they post every Sunday night.

What I Wanted To Communicate About Community

Views are super cheap. Today if you want, they are available for almost no money. What matters is the ability to connect.

  • A Face In The Crowd syndrome – Content is everywhere. I am not in the views game. Accidentally winning once or twice means nothing. 2005 a million views meant success and fame, now I see, without trying, 20 videos a day with millions of views, all different, all new.
  • Connection – The best thing is connection, a community. Much more worth it to get a one to one connection than a many to one.  I love every person that reads this, and when I get the opportunity to engage via email or social media, not much is better.

What I Learned Doing This Video

  • Felt better using my hands, do it more.
  • Pre production is my next step. How do I improve the content and quality with the preparation
  • I should cut more segments. Easier to edit, and easier to see the bigger picture.

If you enjoyed the video, and if you want to get on the ride, please, subscribe to the YouTube Channel, and join the Facebook page where they post every Sunday night.

Silence Isn’t Golden, Is It?


Silence isn’t golden, right?

Most organizations I’ve seen have rules that reward silence. People discuss things like an open door policy, but in practice, it rarely happens. The idea of more communication ends up on the development plan, discussed in a few emails, and then as work comes in, things return to what they once were.

Why do people say things like that then? Is it because it sounds good? Are people lying when they talk about that?

I don’t think so.

In my experience, teams get the marching orders from the leader. Most of the time, this communication is non verbal. This is counter intuitive at first, until you realize most of the communication we get is nonverbal.

Far too often are we ready to accept the idea that we talk our way through things without some vulnerability some available to lie out on the table and turn it on ourselves.

So, where does vulnerability play into this?

Leaders have to understand that people follow action and the inertia that it creates.  If you want a high level of communication, you lead by example. Poke, prod, emote, discuss, and use any other tool or method to get the people around you talking.

This looks foolish at first, it makes you vulnerable. It’s scary to push the people around you. It also requires some empathy. Press too hard, or the wrong way, and your employees might hate you.

Place to start?

The easiest way to start is to generate an environment where questions aren’t the exception, they are the norm. This starts with you asking questions and soliciting as much as possible.

As scary as it sounds, I am willing to bet that the people around you are itching to answer questions. It is a key way to build trust. Once people trust, communication automatically grows.

Note: Please prepare the people around you on your plan to do this. Nothing breaks trust like “gotcha” questions because they lead to embarrassment. Give out some homework and trust the process.