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Building Community Through Better Relationships

Whose Ways Are The Best Ways?

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Wisdom comes from good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from mistakes. Mistakes come from bad judgment. ~Chinese proverb
A young student sternly resisted coaching that emphasized him improving his discipline. Stereotypicaly, the youth smugly proclaimed that the old ways do not work anymore. The hilarious irony is that preceding generations said the exact same thing! The best practices of any particular generation over another generation are irrelevant. Maturity emphasizes wisdom. Youth worships innovation. Both perspectives are right, and self-serving. Wisdom is slow and innovation is reckless. Unfortunately, the two perspectives rarely align. Nevertheless, progress continues. Yet, how do these opposites manage to coexist?

Wisdom
Maturity brings a sense of deliberation. A student boastfully tells his teacher that his programmable calculator can solve the math problem. The teacher emphasizes the importance of thinking. The student’s priority is the right answer. The teacher wants students to understand the principle because students will need to apply earlier principles to learn new ones. The student wants to get his A so that he can he can enjoy his rewards for good grades. Regardless of which approach prevails, the point is to align goals. Wisdom is an accumulation of knowledge and experiences. It involves success and struggle. Each generation endures struggle. Developing the tools to engage and overcome struggle is essential to growth. Shortcuts are great until someone needs a bridge to go farther.

Innovation
However, innovation creates bridges. Applying tools and experiences that result in unprecedented thinking solves future problems. Most certainly, the past clearly teaches that the future presents new problems. However, innovation results from making mistakes and correcting them. It rewards taking established knowledge and improving it. No one gets an iPhone without someone first having a Palm Pilot. Mistakes are learning opportunities. Judgment can only be developed through trial error. Innovation provides new advancements, yet fundamentally they produce new problems that must be solved. Recklessly pursuing progress without embracing the obstacles along the way leads to ignoring the lessons that set the foundation. Skyscrapers are not built from the top down.

Takeaways
Ultimately, learn the rules and then break them! Mistakes are opportunities to do it better. Upon making enough mistakes, the result can be a better opportunity. Viagra was a failed attempt for a better drug in treating high blood pressure and a certain heart condition. But, the pursuit of perfection could have easily stopped Viagara’s other benefits from ever being realized. Nevertheless, pursue the right answer. Also, pursue the knowledge that accompanies it. Accept the wisdom of earlier lessons, and their mistakes. Embrace the new knowledge that results, as well as the pain of failure. Coaching facilitates this purpose. The old ways may or may not be best, but they provide the path to using experience for the greater good. Learn. Fail. Grow. Repeat.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

 

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November 15, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Broke It Better

Miles & Herbie

“I played something that was technically wrong…” as shared by legendary jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock, referencing a performance with mercurial jazz giant, Miles Davis. Hancock continued “… I thought I had just destroyed everything. Miles played some notes and he made my chord right. I judged what I had played; Miles didn’t.” Despite his immense talent, Hancock was upset after making a musical mistake despite the piece’s complexity. Equally, he was concerned about the error’s consequences in front of a notoriously exacting taskmaster. But Davis methodically approached Hancock in the middle of the song, before an enormous crowd, then used his horn and moved the music back on track. The outcome was better. This is pure leadership!

Reason for Being Here
Every contributor has a specific purpose. Whether overseeing a complex international operation, or being that guy where “You had one job to do!”, acknowledge the reason for the selection. Sometimes the reason is simply availability. Then, be available. Other times, it is specific set of skills the very few people possess. Nevertheless, embrace the fact that additional gifts can be applied to the most basic responsibility. If the role involves managing others to achieve specific goals, then enforce the processes. If the role includes leading other leaders, then articulate strategy and expected outcomes.

In all situations, specify necessary skills to accomplish the assignment, then permit unique imagination. Leaders prepare for unexpected contingencies by being alert and receptive to innovating for better outcomes. Embrace unforseen possibilities in pursuing goals. Mistakes happen. Creativity corrects them. Value all contributions and deploy them with a singular focus on success.

Contribute Unique Gifts
After accepting an assignment and launching its execution, prepare to deploy all available assets in accomplishing the task. Expect to manage contingencies. A business task force may require a marketing expert. Instead of grabbing the nearest MBA, identify a proven problem solver. Effective leaders identify the most effective option for specific tasks. A proven problem solver with marketing experience, and an MBA should do the trick.

Bring them on board with clear expectations of maximizing their gifts. The most obscure life experiences have value. Great leaders inspire followers to exceed their individual expectations. Transcendent experiences result when every contributor brings all their attributes and is ready to contribute them. According to Shakespeare, “Some people are born great, other people have greatness thrust upon them.” Don’t be that guy who is unprepared to deliver when greatness is thrust upon him.

Conclusion
Returning to Miles Davis’ intervention, his correction produced a more innovative and musically interesting results. Hancock was relieved and Davis seized another opportunity to demonstrate his immense genius. Davis affirmed Hancock’s reason for being there while simultaneously validating his enormous talent.

Too often, in the eagerness to contribute, the journey’s purpose gets lost. While the destination is important, identify other benefits within the mission. Pursue goals with intense focus and attention, yet seize growth opportunities. Unexpected detours occur. Still, pay attention to the journey. The experience is equally important as the accomplishment. Embrace errors. Then, learn from and build upon the genius of innovative solutions. The result invariably leads to improved processes benefitting future accomplishments. But first, break it better!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

 

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Train Up A Teen

SEL Child

Mark Twain said, “When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the knot hole, until he reaches 16…at which time you plug the hole.” The Old Testament raises the issue of disobedient children. And, today because we have the internet and artificial intelligence, children are supposed to know better and be more obedient. Regardless, where the blame lies across generations for children, teens and young adults are still reluctant to accept advice and wisdom from their elders. Instead of yelling louder, perhaps authority figures should listen more. Equally important, they should listen earlier. And, that listening from authority figures begins with parents, teachers, and youth leaders. By modeling listening behaviors, young people will be more likely to apply listening skills. Too often, youth cannot hear words from adults because their actions are too loud.

Engage
Dialogue by definition is bilateral. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a tactic that develops young people by cultivating specific communication tools. This tactic delivers tools to young people to articulate their pain. A straightforward example is the focus on bullying. SEL provides tools to help process the blizzard of emotions and destructive behaviors associated with youth aggression. Power, control, frustration are all elements of bullying. By engaging youngsters they have opportunities to begin processing root causes of these activities. Furthermore, they gain insight to their consequences.

To promote growth, authority figures must acknowledge and accept the privilege to teach, guide and mentor young people. Too often teachers assume they are right because they have spoken. Through emotionally connecting with young learners, teachers forge a path for truth to emerge. They earn the privilege to be right upon achieving awareness that students received the information. Fundamentally, engagement establishes an emotional connection that results in communicating information to a listener equipped to process it.

Respond
Assuming authority figures know best is a slippery slope, especially when interacting with young learners. Responding with right answers is too simplistic. Assuming away the learners’ emotional state because rational facts are presented is a disservice. Treating academic facts as irrefutable truths compounds the problem. Instructors ignore their learners’ emotional filters at their own peril. Students cannot accept facts if they do not trust their source. More importantly, they cannot respond properly to new information without an emotional connection to the facts. If the communication filter is clogged with learners’ confusion, pain, insecurity and hopelessness, then the facts never reach their understanding.

Pressures to understanding, embedded in young people, have changed dramatically in the last generation. Today’s adult parents of school age children are too old to have been cyber-bullied in elementary school. The argument that bullying is bullying is the equivalent of saying that a library’s card catalog has the same research capacity as Google. Sensitivity to the differences in acquiring and processing information is essential to communicating and educating. Teachers who exercise insight to students’ social-emotional needs have a tremendous advantage in conveying information. Developing and exercising abilities to identify and respond to felt needs is an advantage resulting in better learners.

Takeaway
Training young people to learn and apply their knowledge productively is an old priority. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”, is a lesson from Proverbs 22:6 (English Standard Version). Communicate, listen, respond, listen some more. Listening is not the pause while waiting for the next turn to talk. Empower students to process information that they receive, not just accept the authority’s experience as the only option. Even if the authority’s path is best, it does not necessarily reflect the individual youngster’s reality. Teaching is empowering learning to occur; it is not spewing knowledge. Learning socially, emotionally and intellectually requires delivering knowledge using proper tools so that intelligence transfers. The youngsters’ ability to progress and function depends on it.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Coach Really Play?

Coach Denzell

An old mentor often reminded, “Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and skill.” Players, clients, mentees are routinely curious about their coaches’ actual skill level. Young talent wants to know whether the person responsible for developing their talent actually has talent. Anyone can read a book, or watch a video, and claim knowledge. But, is their knowledge even relevant? Ultimately, rising superstars ask the wrong question. It is not, “Did Coach ever play?”. The question is does the coach have the skill and knowledge to maximize emerging talent.

Skill
Competitors who enjoy early success quickly recognize their own greatness. Unfortunately, they often blur the lines between their greatness and potential. They confuse a few accomplishments with enduring success. While their peers rave about their awesomeness and unlimited ceiling, these young superstars miss the point that ongoing skill development is necessary to maintain their status. Typically, outstanding performance for a season, a quarter, or a project quickly forecasts to legendary careers. What could go wrong?

The challenge is that over-hyped skill lacks perspective. Successful coaches, through wisdom, are exceptionally aware of perspective. Self-absorbed greatness never acknowledges the competitor obsessively training in the shadows. The district’s top performer often ignores the fact that several other districts exists that also have top performers. An effective coach acknowledges true competition and provides training in anticipation of unseen threats. Often, great coaches possess surprising skill level because that is the foundation for their superior insight.

Knowledge
Because effective coaches have earned the scar tissue to deliver essential knowledge and wisdom, they exercise the ability to enhance their protégé’s skills, discipline and perspective. Knowledge is not necessarily knowing more. It is not necessarily doing more. It is often knowing how to access it, then knowing how to deploy it. Effective coaching impacts performance through growing the mental aspects. Great coaches prepare competitors better against what they do not know, not through praise for what they have already done. The coach’s demonstrated skill is secondary.

For the protégé, improving their approach to their craft is more important than pure talent. Preparation and execution drive enduring results. Great coaches are experts at delivering knowledge so that it is received. Websites can provide instruction on sales professionals effectively overcoming objections. YouTube videos can demonstrate how a quarterback should read a defense. But, the right coach delivers clarity to anticipate sales objections and earn trust before problems emerge. Or, he explains what the defense leaves exposed upon committing to the first two offensive options.

Takeaway
Ultimately, effective coaching prepares the protégé for success in competition. The fundamental goal remains the same regardless of the playing field – outperform the opponent. Mistaking natural talent for ongoing excellence is a common flaw. Continuous preparation using all available resources is a recipe for success. Equating great coaching with great skill sets is fundamentally flawed logic. The value in coaching is insight, not past accolades. Nevertheless, fully expect that superior coaches have at some point, been high performers in their discipline. More importantly, be sure that they meet an individual, explicit developmental need. Whether athletic endeavors or business performance, coaches prepare protégés for battles that they may not know are coming, let alone prepared to win them. Coaches develop results. Find one that fulfills that function!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intense Fellowship

Intense fellowship

Two people entrenched in a relationship with a strong faith-based foundation always achieve peaceful resolutions. Their love for each other and their commitment to their spiritual connection prevents anger and aggression. Then, their human emotions get involved and their faith-based engagement turns into an ugly argument! While the opening story plays very well on Sunday morning, make no mistake this is an argument. So, how did their personal, compassionate foundation escalate to the point that their relationship to each other and their higher power became compromised?

Argument
In the spirit of professed morality, intense fellowship is a wonderful euphemism. Highly charged disagreements may stem from any number of issues that attack couples. Friction results from carnal, financial, or social disconnection. Regardless, of professed faith-based commitments, communication breakdowns occur. Even beloved children’s behavior can ignite relationship explosions.

Nevertheless, disagreements must be addressed. Ignoring core issues or burying them under a cloak of religious doctrine only nourishes the seeds of destruction. Neither party feels better. The conflict simply festers and begins to attack other parts of the relationship. A social problem that is treated with retail therapy evolves into a financial problem. Intense fellowship only works when that approach is taken literally. Both parties honestly engage the conflict with raw emotions and expectations for common ground. Specific reasons may escalate the intensity. Still, identify the core issue and engage it. The ultimate goal focuses on preserving the relationship’s dignity.

Relationship
By keeping the relationship at the forefront, navigating intense fellowship has hope. Equally important, a path to resolution can surface. Removing the emotion from the equation, is a simple solution, Unfortunately, it is minimally effective. The emotion is what brings meaning to the relationship. Whether it is love of money, love of family, love of self, or even a common enemy, emotion cannot be assumed away. Whether managing the conflict requires reconciling faith, values, or matters of conscience, embrace the necessity of emotion. It is not leaving. Do not pretend that it will.

Upon establishing the emotional foundation, then address the intensity. Honor the other sides’ passion. Identify the non-negotiables. Understand what is really wrong on each side. Is there ignorance concerning key elements of the issue? Or, is apathy concerning the other side’s perspective the battleground. Genuinely explore the ignorance or apathy question, because “I don’t know and I don’t care” is not a helpful attitude! Prioritize the connection and the morals that hold it together.

Takeaway
When intense fellowship properly runs its course, the intensity subsides. The fellowship endures. Maintaining relationship is the foremost goal. Once the relationship collapses under the argument’s weight, the only two choices are abandon or rebuild. Truly consider whether the point that led to the intense fellowship is the final battleground. Regardless of specific beliefs, intense fellowship tests both sides’ positions and values. Before winning arguments at all costs be sure of the willingness to collect the broken pieces. Beware of scorched earth victories. Winning the war means rebuilding the defeated lands. With regards to individuals or community, reconciliation reinforces the priority of fellowship in the first place.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

September 6, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Make the Call

Business Storytelling

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” Pathetic talking heads spew this cliché to advocate the virtues of networking! Supporting this madness are countless “thinkers” increasing social media contacts to justify claims of being connectors. Professionals seeking help need more “doers” and fewer “thinkers”. Networking means serving, and consequently human contact. Serving another person’s needs demands contact with other people. It eventually requires people exchanging ideas. Fundamentally, doing a favor, performing a service, or connecting colleagues, depends on establishing communication. Simply, someone must make the call.

I Know A Guy
Continuing with mindless clichés, claims to know someone who can solve someone else ’s problem have become laughable. Nowadays, knowing a guy can mean having attended a prestigious kindergarten with Ms. CEO, or just started following this individual on Instagram upon seeing their “sick pics in Vegas” after they spoke at last week’s conference. Regardless, the implication screams “shallow relationship”. Knowledge is good, but genuine relationship is better.

Someone with a need, whether a referral or a recommendation, truly requires connectivity. The request implies personal closeness. “I know a guy” only suggests awareness. Awareness does not solve problems any more than driving past Krispy Kreme (and that cursed red light) delivers weight loss! To serve a colleague’s need, understand the specific request. Probe for the pain’s core and the desired remedy. Then, seek a solution through personal connectivity. Profiles, handles and email addresses are irrelevant. Leveraging an established relationship to propel another one initiates the process.

The Guy Knows Me
To maximize the ability to help another, the connection should be selfless. Bragging about the depth and breadth of a network typically minimizes the ability to serve and solve. Possessing a network that features influencers and problem solvers who want to help, maximizes value. “The Guy Knows Me” communcates that the network has willing individuals who accomplish goals. Such relationship’s foundation features a history of trustworthy performance that benefitted both parties. “The Guy” has tremendous incentive to cooperate. They already know the benefits resulting from helping. It has happened before.

At the core, networking represents accumulated social capital from investing in favors and generating strong returns based on execution. Generating such returns require active and personal effort. Connecting a colleague with a need to a professional with a personal incentive to help, leads to a genuine effort for success. Beyond having lots of followers, is having the right followers. Ask favors from someone who can deliver results, and who wants to deliver results for the person asking. Productive professional relationships commonly have this dynamic.

Takeaway
Actually, the initial, pathetic talking head is not absolutely wrong. The speaker simply finished their slightly disjointed thought too quickly. “It is not what you know; it is not who you know; it is who knows you!” When requesting a referral or favor, be sure to ask the professional who knows someone significant that wants to help. Such networking contacts are in demand because they deliver. These relationships drive results. Value these relationships and actively look to reciprocate. All contacts are not created equal. It truly matters “who knows you.”

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcoming Labels

Lady Label

Ice cream is smooth, creamy and delicious because of milk fat. The more the better; but only to a certain limit! To ice cream fanatics is 10% the right amount? Is 20% too much? Great ice cream is a taste of Heaven. However, clogging your arteries produces a different type of Heavenly experience. Labels tell you how much fat is in a particular ice cream serving. Yet, they tend to be confusing and do not necessarily contribute to better decisions. Labels allow people to be lazy and simplistic in interpreting the world around them. And, if simple product labels mislead people from positive outcomes, imagine how far off track labels lead when involving people and all their complexity.

Be Unique
According to highly-acclaimed motivational speaker, Les Brown, “If you hold on to your limitations, you get to keep them.” Once people allow themselves to accept labels that others impose on them, that person has embraced limits. In their efforts to fit in, they have allowed others to categorize them. Individual contributors reveal strength through their personal attributes. Succumbing to an imposed label results in forfeiting their individuality. They have accepted and owned others’ generic limitations.

However, by claiming their individuality anyone can declare their personhood. They can project uniqueness and complexity. The smart child aspires to become a doctor, because loving parents convince them that smart kids grow up to be doctors. But in the child’s uniqueness, she gravitates toward groundbreaking research in impoverished communities. Damn the comforts of a conventional practice. Furthermore, the doctor develops her personal passion as a jazz guitarist. She now gets to perform on weekends! No labels, no limits!

Be Remarkable
Legendary basketball coach, John Wooden proclaimed, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do!” His no-nonsense, folksy approach turned an intellectually interesting university on the edge of the country into an unprecedented powerhouse. By sticking to his obsessive principles and routines, this rural Indiana native became a Los Angeles luminary without changing his character one bit. Coach Wooden developed and inspired award-winning NBA all-stars, authors, actors, orthopedists, attorneys, and entrepreneurs… so much for dumb jocks!

Excellence is specifically a byproduct of results. Individuals who stand tall on their own convictions make the masses uncomfortable. However, the masses by definition disdain distinction. They exist inside of standard labels. Champions on the other hand are singular. A new champion is crowned after every season or event. They ascend above conformity. Being remarkable defies labels. Champions literally outperform the masses.

Takeaway
Labels are designed to categorize items. Labels are placed on products specifically to identify and group them distinctly from other products. A favorite consumer brand may transcend generations within a family because of comfort and familiarity. Conversely, new and exciting consumer experiences happen daily as people experiment with new ideas and products. Unique styles and remarkable appearances encourage trial and error; which in turn results in breakthroughs. Enjoy pursuing personal success by being true to an inner compass that avoids the tried and true. Experiment and innovate. Overcome imposed labels. Embrace personal greatness.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naughty Manager

Old School Manager

Bad managers aren’t born. They are made. Unfortunately, they are often made very early in life. Unlike genuine leaders who continuously evolve and grow, immature managers get some authority and park. It is not really the managers’ fault that they were made that way. It is totally their fault that they refused to acquire skills and evolve to the point they develop team members. Consequently, they fail to deliver sustainable results. Their small mindedness is evident in their behavior, motivation and lackluster productivity. Leaders take responsibility for their teams’ results. Mangers should aspire to assume responsibility for others, as opposed to barking about their authority and whining about their lack of respect.

Old School Guy
“I’m just an old school guy. That is how I came up in the business.” is a common statement by stagnant managers. What that really means is that they are old and lazy. You don’t want to work to improve. You don’t want to be held accountable for progress. Progress requires learning skills. It also requires accepting responsibility for better communications. Old School Guy complains that no one listens. He is oblivious to demonstrating respect or earning it with people skills.

When results become a problem, discipline is the default. Teams do not produce for Old School Guy because they do not like him! While this manager quickly points to his 20 years experience in the business, his more mature superiors regretfully recognize that he really had one year’s experience 20 times! But like any naughty child, opportunities to learn to improve happen. If only he grasped the opportunities to learn. If only….

New School Results
Communication, inclusion, dialogue are not fads. Results emerge by getting colleagues to buy into both vision and goals, then working hard toward metrics. Being the boss is not most important. Delivering results is. Communication requires listening first. As a leader, authority means having the last word. Is the first one necessary, too? For leaders who listen poorly, practice using phrases like: why do you think that?; what have you seen work in this situation?; how would your idea impact your direct reports? The magic happens when the leader embraces the silence after the question and listens!

Better questions yield better answers. Honest dialogue cultivates better solutions. Ask any child, the threat of pain promotes additional lying. Remove the pain through open, pre-emptive dialogue and more honesty results. Subordinates tend to respond better when they are genuinely heard. As a leader, make the decision. Also, consider other perspectives. Disregard the team’s input long enough and leaders will have no followers. And, a parade leader without a marching band is just someone with a stick taking a walk.

Ironically, the beauty of team success is that when it happens, enough credit is available to share. This by no means suggests rewards are distributed equally. It means the team wins. Nevertheless, mistakes happen. All knowledge does not reside in the masses. Bad decisions occur. Naughty managers start blaming everyone else in those times. However, according to leadership expert, John Maxwell, “Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.” Leaders stand tall with integrity in tough times when that attribute is most valuable. No excuses. No threats. Just clear direction and accountability. Seize opportunity to lead. Or, just pout alone with no other toys to abuse!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 2, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overcommunicate

Dysfunction Overcommunicate workplace-bullying-1

How many relationships turn for the worse because someone else does not communicate enough? Organizationally, romantically, relationship dynamics work the same. A listener checks out, then the speaker overcompensates. The opposite of overcommunicate is not under-communicate. Overcommunication’s opposite is disinterest! Considering that Dr. Albert Mehrabian’s legendary research states that up to 93% of emotional communication is non-verbal, overcommunicating requires two parties to be over-exposed to language, tone, and visual cues in a conversation. Consequently, in the time for a listener to roll their eyes, communication has smashed into a roadblock. One gas-face, or daydream, during a discussion and communication suffers. Overcommunication? How about at the beginning paying attention explicitly and implicitly to what is said?

Lack of Respect
Across groups and organizations too often co-workers suffer from self-absorption. Typical they feel that they are under-challenged and definitely under-paid. They do not respect their role, or their superiors in too many instances. According to comedian George Carlin, “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.” Purpose is an afterthought.

Overcommunication typically occurs after the lack of communication has created an impasse. Lack of respect precedes the lack of communication. Regardless of the relationship’s structure, people pay attention to people whom they respect. No respect leads to minimal communication. Lips move. The other party nods during pauses. The verbal affirmation, meaningful response, or insightful questions that are signs that communication transpired is missing. Consequently, understanding is absent. Communication does not occur and respect is doomed!

Lack of Care
Unwillingness to care creates a similar dysfunction. Communication fails, then overcommunication seeks to fill the gap. The classic story of the aloof teenager being scolded in high school illustrates this point. The teacher accurately, but poorly worded, berates the disengaged teenager for not paying attention. “Child, what is wrong with you? Are you ignorant, or apathetic?” Then, the teenager makes eye contact with the teacher long enough to respond: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Not caring has deeper ramifications than lack of respect. Without respect, acknowledgment can still occur. Not caring creates an emotional vacuum. Overcoming the emotional void that leads to overcommunication is nearly impossible. Overcommunication results from an overcompensating mechanism from a prior lack of communication. Without caring, an individual will not even fake a relationship. Consequently, communication fails to launch. Overcompensation to enforce the point results. Overcommunication starts. It does not matter.

When poor communication fundamentals invade any relationship’s or organization’s culture, accountability falters and performance erodes. The following office sign summarizes this phenomenon: “Helen Waite takes care of such problems. If you have a problem go to Hell-En Wait!” But, to save this environment, communication has to be prioritized at every level of interaction. Fundamentals, like listening, seeking clarification, and acknowledging common understanding, have to be practiced repeatedly and routinely. Communication starts with respect and accelerates with caring. So, when does overcommunicating intercede? It does not! Overcommunication is a compensating behavior. Get it right the first time. Listen and seek understanding! Then cooperate. That is how functional people operate.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

They’re Following Me

Following Me

Consequences for children are the dreadful results they endure following bad decisions. The consequences may be spending time in their room without any electronic devices. Or, they may have to endure hard labor like loading the dish washer, or scrubbing the bathroom. However, what happens when a naughty parent exercises bad decisions? Worse yet, what happens to the adult when no evidence exists of their destructive decisions. The guilt from the crime exists and it has places to hide. Or, does it?

New Location
Poor behavior can be masked, covered, cleaned, even pardoned. But, it does not truly go away until it is released. While a child has authority figures that are positioned to dispense punishment, the authority figure can often conveniently pardon themselves without pain. Grown-up problems can be secretly masked with addictive substances, or intellectually justified with twisted logic. They can be compartmentalized by blaming extraordinary pressures, or unfair expectations. Unfortunately, the new psychological location for the problem does not really move the problem. The problem’s location is not the issue. It follows the perpetrator everywhere. Resolving guilt associated with the issue is the only available relief. Grown-up problems cannot be sent to their rooms. And, they definitely cannot be swept under the rug.

New Attitude
Promises to change behaviors regularly fall short. Internal promises to do better is merely a larger, well-organized trunk to hide the problem unsuccessfully. Relief only comes with a new attitude. Furthermore, the new attitude needs new behaviors to accompany it. Many grown-up missteps are addressed with therapy, or accountability. A new attitude targeting specific priorities and decisions are the only path to true relief. Whether the attitude now highlights forgiveness, regret, or rehabilitation, the change must occur at the point of individual decision. Grown-up problems are often hard to forgive; they are often harder to forget. But, new attitudes leading to better behaviors demonstrate pathways to problem ownership. Problems ranging from blatant lying to infidelity to substance abuse accompany incredibly deep wounds. But, an improved attitude coinciding with life-affirming behaviors uproot destructive problems from a bad location to an open environment. Then, they can be exposed, addressed and ultimately defeated.

Moving grown-up issues to a new location does not achieve resolution. They follow you. Only addressing the problem from an emotional level leads to resolution. Even without a conscience weighing down the individual following harmful decisions, the resultant cover-up comes with significant gravity. Nevertheless, a changed mind, or a new attitude, creates a mindset where genuine reform can happen. Then, healing has a chance. Better choices and behaviors reflect the next step. The process requires much more than surviving the night without video games or a smart phone. But, the longevity and productivity associated with emotional health lasts much longer. A new attitude resulting in better behavior clearly sets the example for genuine rehabilitation, particularly when a child chooses to break family rules. Furthermore, the corrected attitude happens earlier, as opposed to the problem growing into the next generation.

 
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment