UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Head Down, Eyes Up

Head Down Eyes Up

Too many young people use images to inflict pain and despair. Furthermore, institutions often perpetuate images that discourage overcoming such crippling emotions. Imagine a young man of color with his head buried on a desk. He could easily be reflecting his manhood’s institutionalized destruction. However, the same image could easily be illustrating the convergence of great purpose connecting to great outcomes. Specifically, this gratifying image reveals a young man preparing for his SAT Exam approximately four weeks before accepting a full basketball scholarship which became available upon receiving his final score.

Know Your History
His academics were questionable largely because his environment and expectations were stereotypically assigned to him. He possessed exceptional athletic talent. Still, that narrative fit a convenient stereotype. However, when his basketball coach boldly approached a special tutor with a proprietary SAT preparation program, stereotypical walls were threatened. The coach knew of the tutor’s success in increasing SAT performance with high school students. The coach also believed in the player’s heart that wanted to decimate stereotypes of academically underperforming athletes. The coach needed to facilitate an environment that illuminated that stereotype’s foolishness.

In arguably the coach’s greatest recruitment job, he explained to the tutor why he would deliver a seven-week program in three weeks and achieve significant results. First, the coach dismissed other unflattering labels that had been assigned to the kid. He emphasized the player’s unyielding tenacity. The coach then assured the tutor that he had the singular voice who could reach and teach this student-athlete. So, when other “authority figures” explained to the kid that boys from his part of town do not go to college, the tutor simply moved his mindset to a different location! The student was no longer home; he was on the road to college basketball! The tutor’s Social Emotional Learning experience interceded to challenge the young athlete to grab new tools to make constructive decisions for better outcomes in a new psychological environment.

Make A Solution
Coach G! SAT Training program clearly had the academic tools available for a successful outcome. However, building trust as the right authority figure to guide the youth in the right direction was more challenging. But again, Social Emotional Learning skills provided a path to encourage confidence and competence. Where slow academic progress created sympathy, the new learning environment embraced empathy. Creating conversations about the feelings of academic success quickly led to sharing a common desire to succeed. The goal was less about academic success and more about achieving a goal of a better life.

As the academic learning continued, his emotional strength grew. The student’s concern of sacrificing his present for an unknown future disappeared as his comprehensive learning embraced new realities featuring life-affirming outcomes. As the student further acknowledged an encouraging ear, he became more intentional in sharing what he knew and what else he intended to learn. His new learning community emphasized accomplishment, instead of judgment. Most importantly, as the test date drew closer, he equated his success with better life choices. He encountered an authority figure who cared how he felt and supported his choice for an improved self-image.

Takeaway
The student realized that his college aspirations required more perseverance than intellect. Athletically, he brought a strong sense of tenacity and desire with him. He then channeled those attributes to help close the knowledge gap with new peers. By building skills based on tenacity, outcomes and self-worth, the young man learned to set personal goals pointing to positive outcomes which he personally desired. He envisioned, embraced, and engaged his future, while owning the outcomes with the support of wise counsel. In short, the image of the jock with his head down transformed to reflect purpose with emotional maturity. More importantly when his head rises up, he sees a future where he possesses tools and maturity to create achievement as he sees fit.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more about social emotional learning (and even donate) go to TYRS.org (link)

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October 19, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Problems? I Have Puzzles

Quincy Jones Diverse Humble Band

Legendary music producer and epically cool dude, Quincy Jones, once quoted, “I don’t have problems. I have puzzles.” Considering the 27 Grammy awards he has earned over his 50+ year music career across genres, personalities and time periods, he has solved a lot of puzzles. Formal education did not give him the ability to solve problems or puzzles; he has no earned degrees. Yet, his unceasing approach toward education and innovation clearly reveals his enormous learning capacity. So, how does a young overachiever replicate any portion of Jones’ success? What tools are available to equip the next legend to promote selfless collaboration and excellence?

Building Blocks
Foundationally, Jones is a lifelong learner who seizes learning opportunities everywhere. He travels globally. And, he refuses to define himself into any genre or stereotype. To benefit from assorted experiences, Jones constantly embraces interactions with enormous empathy and curiosity. He sees other emotional viewpoints. Through constantly embracing diverse interactions, an inquisitive nature, and ongoing practice, Jones builds enduring relationships and curiosity which contributes to his leadership and innovation.

To apply this skill to youth, first establish a culture that encourages interactions with people outside immediate social circles, ethnic backgrounds, or demographic profiles. Create environments where social tensions and conflicts can be intentionally discussed without forcing resolution. Support listening to other perspectives with the expectation of understanding instead of winning arguments. Advance these practices within an environment of empathy and mature guidance. Help create a community of collaborators, not alpha dogs. Emphasizing commonalities through open discussion and shared experiences provides the final building block.

Building Leaders
Another essential component of Jones’ broad success is his ability to nurture leaders. In the studio, he is known for empowering, corralling and liberating talent. By not entering the studio acting entitled to the alpha role, Jones approaches the environment collaboratively, and then persuades other alpha dogs to follow him. Leadership is much more powerful when followers select the head. Dominant personalities still maintain their dignity as leaders and essential contributors. Yet, Jones’ skill includes persuasion to use superior talent to strengthen the group deliberately. If this developed skill can win over prima donnas like Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra, it can work in any community.

In building leaders, the most necessary skill is to value followers. In community building, that priority means influencers need to develop skills to listen empathetically, as well as to communicate prioritized team goals. Furthermore, adult leaders who demonstrate an “I know better because I am older” attitude will eventually recognize that approach worked poorly in their generation, and most likely in the generation before theirs. Sharing responsibilities, in conjunction with opportunities to succeed and fail, builds strength and resilience in adversity. At that point, youth are equipped to solve puzzles. Also, big problem gets managed because smaller tasks that initially created the monster are resolved.

Takeaways
Building skills that emphasize empathy, values and legacy encourage human development by rewarding individuals in ways that they specifically own. Listening to the team’s desires and personal objectives helps leaders identify proper rewards for contributors to the communal good. That skill requires listening with hearts, as well as ears. The resulting legacy relies on learners accepting that today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s results. All these moving parts result in complex puzzles. But, when communally valued tools and reduced egos drive each step, using heads and hearts to solve puzzles becomes much easier than solving bigger problems birthed from uncontrollable egos. This approach has worked in Quincy Jones’ orchestras. It will work in developing nearby communities.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more – and even contribute/ donate – go to www.TYRS.org

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Your Value?

UA1 Community Center Value - 4

Finding people and organizations to pour into needy children and their communities is easy. Delivering meaningful progress in improving communities is much, much harder. Too many social initiatives proclaim to save underserved communities! Upon securing enough attention, these advocates shout louder about creating environments to improve everything that is ruining that community. Once the audience gets large enough, then references about returning to days-gone-by to build a better community overwhelms the emotions of any baby boomer with selective memories. Nevertheless, for building better communities, start with functional communities comprised of respectful people. But, what does that even look like?

Faith
Common beliefs regarding right and wrong is a logical starting place. While faith discussions quickly deteriorate into religious differences, constructive alternatives focus on observing faith as belief in a common set of ideals. Before religious conversion, common understanding is required. Otherwise, it is called a crusade and people die! Regardless, communication facilitates faith. In building a functional community, common values emerge to lead to agreement on the fundamentals for a better environment. Results require a structure that equips young and old with tools to reach common beliefs to benefit the community.

Growth
Community growth is a reasonable outcome for community improvements. Beyond wishes for prosperity, growth works well as a stepping stone to better communities. Additionally, economic development and education are often reasonable indicators for growth. But, those attributes also imply finite resources. In a community where numerous people will ultimately co-exist, not everyone will have equal access to resources. Too many communities and their residents believe, “I can only have more, if someone else has less.” To contradict such limiting beliefs, adults must demonstrate the ability and capacity to share to establish an example for the younger people. While advocating communal sharing of resources is most likely unreasonable, creating environments and safe spaces for people to exchange ideas and common experiences starts the path to trust. And best of all, when common experiences start to be shared in the spirit of having more, it is a short leap for shared trust to manifest additional community resources. Then, sharing objects logically results in sharing emotional well-being aspirations.

Legacy
As these first two legs establish a foundation of beliefs and common experiences, the third leg secures the community’s mutual improvement through background and attitudes. Spending one Saturday afternoon with a neighbor to check the box for community activity is clearly counterproductive. However, start connecting with hello. Then, have two adults from different families actually observe their children together sharing positive experiences. Parents can even set the example. The kids can keep their own toys, just acknowledge their time together. In this case, legacy can mean transferring knowledge from one generation to the next, or simply transferring examples from one grade to the next inside the same family. Socially, children learn from their siblings and immediate environment, as much as from their parents. A focus on growth through legacy allows for youngsters to benefit deliberately from their elders.

So, what is your value? Start with creating capacity and structure to continue important work in building better people inside communities. Consequently, these better people will be equipped to demonstrate faith, growth and legacy so that the community progresses toward delivering a vibrant, compassionate and enduring culture leading to better livelihoods in the future. Specifically, value is not necessarily an amount in this context, it is interpersonal assets building better people and communities. Teach tools, like empathy, to improve emotional character which results in improving the community’s quality of life. Then, despite communities’ previous perceptions, residents benefit from owning their individual self-improvement.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more (and even donate) go to TYRS.org

July 22, 2018 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Character Are You?

Diverse Teen Leaders Group

Great stories rely on great characters! Particularly, the young, and young at heart, connect with certain stories because they emotionally identify with specific characters. Whether a given character fills the role of hero, villain, buddy, moral compass, or narrator, their connectivity reveals relationships. Ultimately, these relationships become the foundation of a specific group, community, or culture. Whether characters are real, or make-believe, individuals identify with certain roles and embody the character in personal scenarios. It is perfectly normal, and healthy, for a kid to pretend to be a favorite superhero! So, which characters reflect the virtues that a defined community wishes to perpetuate? Furthermore, how does a community encourage realistic social growth as a result of stories and characters that its members embrace?

Collaborative Community
A community inherently reflects the living, breathing characteristics of its people. In building community, characters inevitably interact, whether positively or negatively. The deeper the characters, the deeper the stories, and consequently the deeper the community. To maximize everyone’s benefit, the community’s assorted members must communally and collectively reveal the story. The hard part is introducing the tools and framework for effective collaboration.

For starters, fundamental communication skills like listening, reflecting and sharing are required. Embracing emotions like empathy and compassion helps, too. While the community’s leadership my set the tone, the rank and file perpetuate the environment. The skills associated with developing the emotional foundation must be regularly communicated and reinforced for success. For example, children that engage in group activities that feature positive interactions benefit the most upon modeling behaviors that facilitate additional positive interactions. Fundamentally, developing and exercising teamwork equips collaborative communities to grow individuals’ progress.

Inspiring Individuals
Unsurprisingly, teamwork and collaborative progress require intentional effort by the community and its leadership. Cooperation, empathy, and measurable results are all admirable characteristics for developing better connected communities. To ignite such productive traits, a results-oriented culture must emerge that celebrates individual contributions for the common good. These character victories then become part of the community’s stories. This process leads to establishing heroes who are necessary for any great story.

These heroes emerge as they demonstrate characteristics that the developing community admires. Conversely, villains appear as personalities that seek to disrupt the growth. Comic relief characters add levity to activities that progress toward desired outcomes. The voice of reason perpetuates the logic that guides functional communities. Besides revealing characteristics that contribute to communal traits, these roles combine perspectives and skills to reach optimal resolutions. Ultimately, building community requires balanced and cooperative interactions for success.

Takeaways
While observing children seems easy, improving their behavior with better experiential examples is hard. The same is true for adults. To create a great story, complex characters must be faithful to roles that the community recognizes. Every community member adopts a role that contributes to establishing that community. By selecting, inspiring and rewarding more positive characters, the community promotes positive traits in its environment. The result is better contributors, and more importantly, better leaders.

Nevertheless, protagonists and antagonists are too simple to describe evolving characters in complex stories. Good guys, bad guys, anti-heroes, and corrupt authority figures now dynamically blend together depending on circumstances. The greater good no longer provides a simple foundation with regards to delivering more functional societies. The challenge is developing positive characters that contribute to their defined community, who then create even better stories as future leaders. So, what character are you? The more important question is: what characters are developing in your story to create more effective and productive communities?

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more (and even donate) go to TYRS.org

July 11, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What You Think You See

Demonstration against G8 Summit in Le Havre

“What you think you see is not really what you see!” is a personal favorite quote from the Los Angeles Riots. A juror first uttered the words following the verdict, and the words dramatically resurfaced after the actual rioting began. For this purpose, the idea is not political, racial, or legal. The quote focuses on mindset! What a juror first said to justify her de-sensitized perspective of police brutality, morphed to articulate an individualized, alternate set of facts. A looter re-introduced the statement to explain her participation in the ensuing devastation. She clearly presented her personal interpretation of facts. She owned her narrative!

Perception
Amazingly, different people can experience the exact same event, at the exact same time and leave with completely different interpretations of what happened. Whether it is a physical vantage point, a cultural lens, or personal history that filters information, every individual singularly experiences any given event. This revelation becomes particularly important when birthing a movement to launch change.

Facts matter, but interpretation and coinciding actions drives activity. Consequently, to facilitate effective change, events must impact perception. What people say is important, but what people hear is more important! Consequently, to create lasting impact in any given situation, the narrative must benefit listeners. Effective speakers coordinate their own best interest to persuade understanding of their broad audience. Everyone receives a slightly distinctive message. But, aligning aggregate received messages with the speakers’ vision facilitates change.

Influence
Creating social movements require delivering a narrative in which others will subscribe. Foundationally, a singular, communal truth relies on aligning individual perspectives toward the desired message. Progress results from conveying a viewpoint that empowers different perspectives to arrive at a similar conclusion. Consider two travelers on a road trip approaching a gas station late at night. The driver suggests filling up the tank. That traveler sees a chance to swap drivers so that she can rest. The other traveler sees the opportunity to load up on snacks because they still have more driving to do. In one stop, they both gladly meet their fundamental needs. The result is a trip that continues on time and with reduced anxiety.

Aligning points of view impacts goalsetting, as well as the ability to achieve results. A point of view also dictates how success is measured. Consequently, upon understanding various perspectives and their stake in the outcome, crafting a message that appeals to multiple parties gets easier. Effective narratives successfully rally followers to make their individual contributions as part of a greater good. Essentially, each individual works toward what they really want to see. And, these individuals purse their agenda under the covering of communal and aligned efforts.

Takeaways
To achieve communal goals, articulate clearly the desired results that benefit individuals. Furthermore, individuals must contribute individual narratives which will align with the framework that delivers desired results. Goals do not have to be admirable, conventional, or reasonable. They have to be perceived as attainable! Individuals perceive relevance to the extent that their contribution advances their individual agenda. Unfortunately, that mindset opens the door to manipulation by someone with a grander vision and a more convincing narrative. Essentially, “Anyone can get what they want as long as they help enough other people get what they want.” The risk is succumbing to another’s agenda. To contribute to a bigger cause, own your narrative. Be ready to live with the results.

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

December 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , | 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

Run To The Battle

David_and_Goliath

“He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.” This is undoubtedly the most idiotic advice ever offered!! Never, is the point to reward cowards. To the contrary, in combat or conflict, preparation and bravery are typically rewarded. In the epic battle of David and Goliath confidence and belief won the fight. Whether the battle is physical, emotional, or spiritual, strength begins within each individual fighter before engagement starts. What happens before the battle is equally important to the results, as what happens in it. So, what happens when someone runs away?

Feel the Fear
Upon entering a conflict, fear, apprehension, and anxiety are normal emotions. Once the clash starts, managing those emotions are very important for success. When the choice is fight or flight, flight does not end the skirmish. Once you begin running, there is a good chance you will never stop. Very little keeps the aggressor from chasing.

The alternative is to acknowledge the fear, embrace the fear, feel the fear. Labelling FEAR as False Expectation Appearing Real is comforting. In the heat of battle when the aggressor is displaying superior firepower, “True” takes over “False” in the acronym! Nevertheless, proper preparation and training before engaging in the battle offers certain advantages, particularly mental advantages. Feel the fear is accepting the reality. Preparing ahead to be aggressive and to plan contingencies creates a competitive edge. “Fortune favors the prepared mind!” is legitimate advice during conflicts!

Do It Anyway
Regardless of the fear, the time for battle arrives. Another comforting thought is that the other party may be fearful, as well. Nevertheless, a better tactic is to assume the role of aggressor. In boxing, this approach is known as “a puncher’s chance”. In academia, the term is “lucky guess”. In all cases taking action at the point of conflict provides an opportunity for victory. If nothing else, try!

Most importantly, prepare for the possibility of competition. Have a plan just in case. The element of surprise is a powerful ally. Take a chance. Above all, take action! When the threat becomes imminent, attack.” Do it anyway”, naturally follows “feel the fear”. Prior preparation facilitates the courage necessary for winning. Preparation also strengthens the element of surprise. Doing it anyway quickly seizes the advantage and takes the fight to the opponent!

Running to the battle means the threat is in front. It demonstrates assumed confidence. It leads others to feed off that confidence. It does not guarantee victory. Chances are the other guy can fight, too. But, when running to the battle, a sudden, surprising show of courage can be disorienting. Opportunity emerges to dictate terms of the conflict. As Edgar Albert Guest’s poem, “See It Through” says, “When you’re up against a trouble, Meet it squarely face to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your feet and take a brace.” Seize the moment. Take the fight to the competition. More than clichés, these tactics are engrained in winners. Claim the victory before the battle starts. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | 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