Archive for May, 2017

#763 Raising Healthy Tomatoes

Posted by frank May - 30 - 2017 - Tuesday 1 COMMENT

When my tomato plants droop and sag I pick them up and tie them to the support stake. I tried hoping that they’d finally stand up on their own, without my support, but it didn’t work. When they look dry I give them water. I tried just waiting for rain but it’s unreliable and I lost some plants while I waited. If the green coloring of the leaves appears less than vibrant I give the plants some food. I hoped they’d get all they need from the soil and I could save money on fertilizer but I’ve found that when I feed them they thrive and when I don’t they struggle. Sometimes they’re bothered by worms. The worms eat at them. I know this because I can see small signs of the worms; a half-eaten leaf here or a bare stem there. I have to look the individual plants over carefully (the worms are not always easy to find) and remove the worms. I’ve tried leaving them alone or just giving them a cursory look as I go by and removing the obvious worms but that helps only for a moment and when I come back again I find more eaten leaves and bare stems.
What I have learned is that producing good tomatoes takes training, nurturing, support individual attention, and my time and commitment.
The parallels are numerous and obvious. Apply this where you will.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.

#762 Rapport

Posted by frank May - 22 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Rapport precedes so many positive things. Being in rapport with the ticket agent can get you a better seat on your flight. Being in rapport with the store clerk allows you to make a return at 35 days when the policy says 30 days. Being in rapport lets you make easier and more effective corrections with employees and of course, it is essential to making the sale.
The biggest rapport mistakes I see are going too fast and trying too hard.
You’re familiar with the term “Acting out”, yes? This sort of thing happens in adult life too. When a person tries too hard or moves to fast they are often rejected. The rejection may be subtle, but the they feel it. So what do they do? They try harder and go faster as they sense their loss of rapport which, of course, only takes them further out of rapport. The “Acting out” is simply a lack of understanding. They are playing the one card they have and trying to force the rapport rather than slowing down and allowing it to happen.
The fast talking salesman is an archetype that is constantly revisited in movies and literature. People (potential clients) are laying in wait for salespeople to go too fast and try too hard. So much so that we have to be more conscious of, and pay closer attention to, the subtle signs of rapport.
Remember; No one ever said “I hate that guy! All he ever does is listen to me!”

#761 Maximum Wage

Posted by frank May - 15 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

The following is an actual conversation I heard on the subway. Two young men were standing next to me talking about their jobs.
Person A: “For $11.00 an hour you can’t tell me to trim my beard. Maybe for $17.70 but not for no $11.00.”
Person B: “I know. I’m just making a damn sandwich. I ain’t doing surgery or nothing.”
Person A: “I just show up do what I gotta do, put in the time, and get paid. I don’t need nobody telling me about my hair or my beard or my dress code.”
Person B: “Yeah. I get there on time and do the work. Like, what do you want from me?”

The marketplace is, largely self-regulating. It is not infallible; it makes mistakes and over or under pays some people but let’s remember the concept. You don’t get paid $11.00 for an hour. You get paid $11.00 for the value you bring to that hour. The marketplace places value on skills and results and the availability or scarcity of those people who possess the skills and can produce the results. Not everyone can install a toilet for me but most people can make me a sandwich that’s why the plumber gets $200/hour and the sandwich shop guy gets $11.00.
In the end you don’t simply demand more money per hour or believe, like my two young subway riders, that if you were paid more you’d do more. What you do is make yourself more valuable to the marketplace and the marketplace will eventually reward that value.
Remember this old saying: “If you do more than you get paid for eventually you will get paid more for what you do.”
2017 motto: Daily disciplines create desired ou

#760 A Present

Posted by frank May - 8 - 2017 - Monday 1 COMMENT

Being present is a difficult proposition. I witness this all the time. When I am riding the train and we are pulling in to the station people get up and move toward the doors. If the train bogs down for a minute, the phones come out. It’s like we can’t be alone with ourselves for five seconds.
Love and attention is the same thing. Giving yourself over to someone completely; what we call “Up Time” in NLP, denotes love. Now before you think I’m getting all yoga’d up on you let me explain why I used the word love.
When talking to a loved one love means love but let’s use it further. Let’s use love interchangeably with respect, consideration, kindness and goodness. If I’m talking to a coworker, an employee, a store clerk or the mailman, attention means all of those words.
When I am with my two year old grandson he wants ALL of my attention and he chirps and touches me to be sure he has it.
Our phones are like that. So are the ubiquitous TV’s that invade us in the doctors waiting room, the gym, restaurants etc. They try to take us away from our conversations or thoughts. They try to steal our present.
Present requires focus but it’s worth it. My memories of great hunts, great books, and great moments with my family all come from being entirely present and they are what I will remember for life long after I have forgotten the tweet, the text, the newscast or the email icon flashing across my screen insisting, like a two year old, that I stop what I’m doing and pay attention to them.

2017 motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.

#759 I’m in charge here!

Posted by frank May - 1 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Fred never could figure it out. He thought that authority meant authoritarian.
It was a difference he could not grasp. As a newly minted manager Fred assumed he could tell people what to do and they would do it. He never considered that people follow people who lead not people who are in charge.

It takes time to be empathetic and sincerely concerned with others. It does not take time to bark an order.

Fred would turn up his nose whenever he’d hear a manager cajoling an employee into doing a particular task rather than demanding they do it. I remember once calling a dispatcher in our company and asking her to send a technician to a client as his very next call. Fred overheard me asking and said, “You’re the boss! What’s with all the small talk? Just tell her what to do.”

You can be the best and the brightest but people don’t care what you know until they know you care.

Last I heard, Fred is treading water in his career. He manages to get jobs in small middle management roles and looks at those above him with disdain, wondering why he never seems to get there.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes