I am reading Crucial Conversations–moving very slowly through it and it is excellent. They provide video links to illustrate what they are saying in the text (a bit awkward if you are reading on a kindle) and have even sent me other articles to read. I just finished their Eliminating Cultures of Silence, a position paper by Crucial Conversations and have clipped a number of sections out of it into Evernote. Following are some four reasons they suggest in this paper as to why a culture of silence may exist in your (or in my own) organization.
1. You observe a potential problem, but you figure the possible calamity isn’t a sure thing. It’s not like death or bankruptcy is imminent; they’re just possibilities.
2. Nobody else seems concerned and you don’t want to sound like an alarmist.
3. You figure even if you do speak up, nobody will actually change anything—the organization is too mired in bureaucracy.
4. Finally, it seems like a sure bet that saying something will damage your career. You would be delivering a really unpopular message (“I think you need to re-examine the launch—at the cost of fifty million dollars.” “I think we need to confront the senior execs and maybe send them to jail.” “I think the doctor is wrong and needs to follow my ideas.”). And messengers get shot.
This inability to bring up touchy, controversial, or unpopular issues lies at the heart of every culture of silence.
Which of these is most problematic for you and your organization.
Outstanding post on lessons learned about how to be a better man from the now defunct tv show Friday Night Lights. Here are the main points but read the entire well written article
- Relish the underdog role
- A man needs to come to peace with his father
- Nurture manliness
- A man seeks redemption
- Texas forever (remember your roots would be my paraphrase for those not from Texas)
- A man’s closest ally is his wife
- A man needs a team
- Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose (When you have a clear conscience and play with everything you have, you can never lose)
Here is someone on the road to redemption and I hope he makes it!
If you are a basketball fan, you will remember Dennis Rodman–his defense, his rebounding, his flamboyance! I have not followed his life after basketball but I am guessing that it has been rough–likely much of it self-inflicted. Just watched his rambling acceptance speech into the basketball hall of fame (thanks to the heads up by Jon Acuff at Stuff Christians Like) and I value his honest and hard words about his failure to be a good son, a good husband and a good father–many of these words could be my own as well. How moving to hear him describe the men in his life! I pray that God may give Dennis grace to continue to live a transformed life even as I pray that for myself.
In a most unusual post, Brett and Kate McKay write about how to lose with dignity and celebrate with grace. Beginning with the gracious way the American Civil War ended between Generals Grant and Lee, ending with the victory of Churchill over Chamberlain in 1940 and with American football in between, the Mckay’s come up with the following principles.
Accept responsibility for the loss.
Bow out gracefully.
Acknowledge the winner.
But a failure to acknowledge the victory of your fellow competitor shows a lack of respect for him; a man can be your rival, but you can still admire his courage and his fight, and the fact that on this day, he fought harder. Sulking away also shows a lack of discipline on your part—you are so overwhelmed with anger and grief at your loss that you cannot think of anything else but your own pity. Being able to control your feelings in that moment is the mark of strength and self-control, not to mention perspective.
And in some cases, even support the winner.
Learn from the loss and move on.
Thanks to Tyler Stanton for the link to the following videos
For the foodies in my life
For my fellow global nomads
And finally, for all of us committed to life long learning!
After reading a book summary on Alone Together by Sherry Turkle, I copied a few quotes. I am not saying I agree with everything she writes (especially since I have not read her entire book) but she is touching on some tender topics. Looks to be a helpful analysis along the line of The Shallows. I have some great stories that come to mind after reading her quotes but I better refrain for the sake of my own safety and because I could incriminate myself!
- “In the new etiquette, turning away from those in front of you to answer a mobile phone or respond to a text has become close to the norm. When someone holds a phone, it can be hard to know if you have that person’s attention. A parent, partner, or child glances down and is lost to another place, often without realizing that they have taken leave.” (161) “
- “Texting makes promises that demand: the person will receive the message within seconds and will attend to it immediately. Texting is pressure. “Longed for is the pleasure of full attention, coveted and rare.”
- The new etiquette is efficiency. People reassured at a distance. On the phone they might say too much. Things could get “out of control.” A call feels like an intrusion. (190)
- We send so much and receive so much from so many, that we are ‘consumed with that which we are nourished by.’ (207)
- “Connectivity becomes a craving… We are stimulated by connectivity itself. We learn to require it, even as it depletes us.” (227)
- The cell phones are a symbol of physical and emotional safety. This is a new nonnegotiable: to feel safe, you have to be connected. The phone is comfort.
- “Technology helps us manage life stresses but generates anxieties of its own. The two are often closely linked.” (243)
- As we try to reclaim our concentration, we are literally at war with ourselves. Yet, no matter how difficult, it is time to look again toward the virtues of solitude, deliberateness, and living fully in the moment.” (296)
From Alone Together by Sherry Turkle. Quotes courtesy of book notes at DavidMays.org