Clarity, Candor and Courage in Communication

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

Establishing clarity and getting candor are often confused with the use of profanity and “brutal” honesty in communication relationships too often filled with more noise than substance.

There has long been a desire from audiences—whether in a family or on the other end of an email communication—for the clear sending of a meaningful message.

Consumers of messages want clarity in order to understand what the sender is asking and candor in order to determine the appropriate level of transparency and authenticity. Because there is so little direct communication in all manner of relationships, elements and techniques of persuasion from the sender are interpreted by the receiver as lying, obfuscation, and methods of deception.

Transparency and authenticity cannot be replaced by the appearance of courage, which appears when content creators use profanity in the content they produce.

Accountability and responsibility are sometimes abandoned with this approach; and still, in many communications, candor can be preserved with courage, while also getting to the truth.

Which is what every communication is really about; whether it’s an advertising message from a brand or the message a person receives from their ex-partner across a negotiation table.

[Advice] How To “Make A Ruckus”

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

There are two ways to “make a ruckus,” if you want to:

The first way is to be generous, give away your knowledge and spiritual wealth (and maybe even your material wealth if you are led to) and to collaborate with others to use the power you have gained to help others less powerful.

The second way is to race to the bottom on price and cost, worry about the corners and the fractions of an inch, to create/lobby for regulatory environments that favor incumbents, to use power as a weapon and to deny the human individual, and only look at the masses.

One way leads to abundance and an ownership mindset, no matter what environment or context you happen to be in.

One way leads to scarcity of resources and a perpetual employee mindset, no matter what environment or context you happen to be in.

Envy arises in individuals and groups of one mindset when they observe the physical, external manifestations of an internal set of choices.  This feeling of envy, based in fear, clouds judgement, and leads to the false premise behind some conflicts. These conflicts—that are really about mindsets and values rather than about material resources—can almost never be resolved, they can only be engaged with—or moved on from.

If you want to “make a ruckus,” you have to make three decisions first:

  1. What kind of mindset do you want to have?
  2. What kind of environment or context will create the circumstances for acting on that mindset?
  3. What kind of outcomes are you willing to advocate to advance, to protect and to reject?

It’s easy to say “I make a ruckus.” It’s not that easy to do.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Two, Episode #8 – Nicholas Jackson

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Two, Episode #8 – Nicholas Jackson, Children’s Book Illustrator, Artist, Graphic Designer, Man of Faith, Entrepreneur, Thinker & Thought Leader

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Two, Episode #8 – Nicholas Jackson

Let’s talk honestly about the unmentionables.

When I was a child—and then as I transitioned into adolescence—I was warned by my parents to never talk about the three following subjects in “polite” company:

  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Politics

But, as the top of the world has blown off with the presence of social media and with everybody revealing everything from reality shows to magazine covers, no one—at least no celebrity anyway—seems to have time to follow this admonition.

It has almost become de riguer in our culture, and some on both the political right and the political left would claim that we are at the end of Western culture. Because the masses and the audiences seem to favor showing off rather than putting the work into becoming a person of substance.

Substance, some would say, is the appeal of showing up, being committed and consistent—but not if you’re wrong about something. Then, we don’t want commitment and consistency. And you better apologize quickly for being wrong before it gets out to Twitter and social media that you were wrong.

Others would argue that style is more important than substance.

But, for my money, style comes after hard work and is a by product of substance. And my guest today, Nicholas Jackson, is putting the work in and moving slowly and surely towards realizing his own, unique vision.

With substance, clarity and even a style that’s all his own.

Now, on unmentionables.

Look, we’re gonna talk about money on the podcast today.

Making money. Spending money. But most importantly, charging clients’ money.

One of the things that I have said to people in the past is that this work that I do—the corporate training, the consulting and coaching,—is not done for free. This isn’t the March of Dimes (apologies to them, they’re a great organization), and while it may seem that money—as well as sex—is something that the American public—and the marketers relating stories to the American public, seem to be something we can never shut up about, we often still sensationalize “money talk.”

Or maybe we don’t. I don’t know. Nick and I will hash it out in this hour and half long talk.

Check out all the places below that you can connect to Nick as he makes money, doing highly valuable, substantive and meaningful work that matters:

Nicholas Jackson Illustration: http://www.nicholasjackson.net/

Nicholas Jackson on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicholasjacksonartdesign/

Nicholas Jackson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickjjackson

Hire Nicholas Jackson here: http://www.hireanillustrator.com/i/author/nicholas-jackson/

Read his Interview w/Freelance Fuse here: http://freelancefuse.net/2010/08/nicholas-jackson-how-his-drawing-allows-for-his-freelancing-lifestyle/

[Opinion] The Decay of Power

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Old Posts

Everyone “knows” what “it” is, but we often confuse the outcomes of “it” with the source of “it.”

Everyone “knows” that “it” is shifting geographically, technologically, morally, ethically, physically, mentally and spiritually, but no one “knows” why this shift is happening at this moment in our global historical consciousness.

Everyone “knows” that “it” is what makes “the world go around” but no one can really describe why “it” has so much ability to make things happen.

Everyone “agrees” that “something” must be “done” by people with more of “it” than themselves, but no one can successfully articulate why those with more of “it” would do “something” more with “it” than what they are already doing–or not doing.

Everyone “knows” that corporations, big businesses, governments, nonprofit organizations, parents, school systems, and even banks have too much of “it.”

Everyone also “knows” that the people who operate at the top of those organizational structures feel more and more under siege everyday as they look around and see “it” evaporating away from the siloes they’ve built to protect, use and exploit “it.”

Power is a curious thing. As it decays and moves, from one geographic or generational “space” to another, the fear of losing “it” (or the fear of gaining “it”) drives more conflicts than ever before.

Everyone (the royal “we”) “knows” what to do about that shift and how to resolve that fear, but, apart from talking in coffee shops, writing blog posts, or creating long form journalistic critiques of “it,” no one really has a clue about how—and why—this shift is happening.

But when a state of influence, such as power, which is so often confused with its outcomes (money is an outcome of power, not power itself), is seen to be decaying before everyone’s very eyes, the fear of loss—and the accompanying panic—generates a focus on escape and hiding.

Which is why, in conflict scenarios, whether between a husband and a wife or between a student loan holder and a bank lender, the energy that should be expended on getting to resolution, is instead expended on getting to escape, using power as a weapon, and/or hiding from the consequences of bad/poor behavior.

Which, of course, “everyone” can see…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] On Distributing a Podcast

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts, The Earbud_U Podcast

The issue with creating podcast content is the same issue that is apparent with all content creation: distribution is at the core of getting listener attention.

Just creating content is not enough—as is endlessly pointed out in blogs, essays and articles—there has to be a system created to make sure that the content gets from where it is, to the audience who needs to consume it.

Podcast content—or any other type of audio content—must have a distribution ecosystem arranged beforehand in order to be successful. In the case of The Earbud_U Podcast, our distribution system is as follows:

ITunes, Stitcher, The Blubrry Store, Player.FM and Google Play Music Store: These platforms are not places we built, but they act as locations for the audience to listen to the podcast, or subscribe.

The Earbud_U Podcast Page, RSS Feed, email list: These are platforms that are owned, rather than rented from other owners as the platforms above are, and as they are owned, they are the platforms that require the most attention from both the creator and the audience to grow.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +, Instagram: These platforms are really for the marketing of the audio content, rather than acting as the location where content is located (similar to ITunes or Stitcher), or acting as the location where further “upselling” can happen (similar to The Earbud_U Podcast page). The content has to be marketed and driving the audience toward the content is the purpose of these social media networks.

Throughout any distribution system, is the possibility of feedback from the audience to the creator. Many podcast creators and producers have lamented the fact that there is little feedback available from the audience in regards to their content creation efforts (other than through downloads); though audience ratings on ITunes, and tracking page visits through Google Analytics, is a good start.

There are many issues with distributing podcast content. And with 250,000 podcasts, the distribution game is the one to be focused on after the content creation process is over.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] Marketing for the Peace Builder IV

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts

There are three questions that the savvy peace builder should focus on when developing a marketing plan:

Whom do we serve?

This question can be answered with surveys and other formal and informal means. The question is not focused on the peace builder’s skill sets and where they’re comfortable. Instead the question focuses on the target audience for products, services, processes and philosophies. The question seems simple, but when the answer in the peace builder’s mind comes back as “everybody” there needs to be a deeper, more disciplined dive into the question from the target’s perspective.

Why do we serve them?

This question focuses on the four areas that many peace builders (and many entrepreneurs, business owners, and other self-starters) forget, because it is a question that delves into the culture of the marketing, the branding and the project that a peace builder wants to develop. The four areas are mission, vision, and goals. The mission describes what you want the project to accomplish, vision describes where you want the project to wind up, and goals describe the ways you will get there. The last area is the trickiest, because values—if only written down and not lived—can act as a boundary or act as rocket fuel. Either way, if they aren’t articulated, the peace builder may forget them and grab at whatever revenue generating idea comes along, in effect diluting their brand promise, distracting themselves, and ultimately going out of business.

How do we delight them?

This question really is the one that focuses on the savvy peace builder as a person who can delight, rather than as a widget (or a cog) in an industrialized, productized process. This is the question where the peace builder’s strengths, interests and passions can freely reign, to create a product, process, service or philosophy that the target market wants and that they can deliver successfully and generate revenues at the same time. Asking this question (and answering it well) can make all the difference between a peace builder who “burns out” after sustained people work, and the peace builder who stays engaged with learning and developing year-on-year.

Developing a marketing plan can seem like a waste of time, but answering these three questions places the core of the plan under the peace builder’s control and make the development process smoother. In addition, commitment, consistency and persistence become reinforced through an engaging plan for marketing peaceful solutions to conflicts.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] The Other 95%

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts

The people who start a project and eventually have the ability to finish a project—whether it’s a project to build peace in their lives, their neighborhoods, their families or their organizations—are in the low numbers.

This is because starting is easy (we celebrate starting school, starting a new job, starting a marriage) and comes with great fanfare, but finishing is hard and comes with…somewhat less fanfare.

The numbers of people who start and then finish are staggeringly low:

95% of people never start anything. They are your traditional organizational followers, employees, managers and supervisors. They are useful for scaling the project, managing the tasks, keeping the project in a static place, and creating just enough friction to keep everything interesting.

5% of people are starters. They are the traditional entrepreneurs, founders, visionaries and they exist in all realms, from academia all the way to religion. They are the “ruckus makers,” the risk takers, the adventurers, the explorers and they are the ones that the 95% laud, but are also secretly envious of.

However, of the 5% who start a project, 99% of that 5% fail, and their definition of failure will vary along a continuum, extending from “The idea was too early” to “The idea was too late” and every gray area in between.

1% of the people who start a project, succeed to the end. Again, definitions of success will vary greatly along a wide continuum, but the people who built, explored, started and finished, have created the opportunities and spaces for the other 95% to succeed to their own level.

There’s a lot of talk about the gap between the “wealthiest 1%” and “the 99%” in America (and worldwide) these days. There’s a lot of concern that the gap will grow and millions of bytes of data are being created to cobble together arguments, theses, and proposals about what to do to “fix” this gap.

But the fact of the matter is, the gap that no one wants to address is the motivation gap—the gap that exists between the 95% who never start and the 5% who do. A gap in motivation, discipline, courage, acknowledgement, support, belief, discipline and drive.

And addressing the presence of that gap requires 100% of us to answer the question: “What motivates me to start, or not to start, the project I’ve been dreaming about?”

Only individuals can answer that question, person by person, quietly, deep in their own hearts.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Strategy] The Temptation at Mass

By | Jesan Sorrells Blog, Marketing for Peace Builders, Old Posts

When you build a product, create a service or develop a process, the temptation (whether at scale or not) is to pursue the acceptance of the masses and be for everybody.

When building, (and planning to build) the discipline is to be targeted and to pursue the special and the narrow—the long tail in essence.

The primary drivers for pursuing the acceptance of the masses at scale are fear, desperation and greed:

  • For money
  • For prestige
  • For status
  • For power

The fact of the matter is, the myth of mass acceptance as being the “golden ticket” to profitability over the long-term has been exploded by the presence—and the influence—of the most dominate communication tool yes invented by man—the Internet. Sure, there will be blips of products, services, and process, that will appear to catch the masses attention, but in reality, the mass effect is dying a hard death. As audience attention becomes harder and harder to contain and obtain at mass, the benefits of a product, service or process being for “everybody” erodes under the weight of mediocrity, ineffectiveness and banality.

For the peace builder, if the processes, services, products, and philosophies that you provide are not for “everybody” in conflict, the real discipline is in developing your own emotional and psychological responses to what that means, and then methodically acting on them.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/