[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode #9 – Jason Dykstra

By | Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Old Posts, Platform Building, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Selling for Peace Builders, Storytelling, Strategies, The Future & The Singularity

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 9 – Jason Dykstra, Storyteller, Marketer, Conflict Management Specialist

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Sometimes the host screws up.

He misses the date, misses the appointment, misses the guest entirely. And then he’s gotta say he’s sorry, get the process back on track, and make no excuses.

I had to apologize to our guest today, Jason Dykstra. And while he’s an amenable guy, and things happen (as the bumper sticker points out) the way to run an organization is to almost never make a mistake.

But when you make that mistake, the thing to do is to take responsibility, stand up and say “I screwed this up. There’s no excuses. Please forgive me.”

That gives the other party the option to say no, say yes, or ignores you completely. It also gives them the option to look at your vulnerability, determine your credibility, and to make a decision about you.

Now, if mistakes keep happening, then there’s a pattern of behavior. But a one off, an “almost never happens,” a “rare but not damaging miscalculation” these are forgivable.

What’s not forgivable are mistakes that reveal an ethical, moral, or even spiritual failings.

These are the Jimmy Swaggart level mistakes.

Or more recently, the VW emissions scandals.

Or even the Wells-Fargo “clawback” issues mistakes.

And no amount of apologizing will help sweep away that stain.

Some mistakes, as an old supervisor of mine liked to point out, you can’t come back from.

What does this have to do with mediators building their businesses?

Well, there are mistakes a mediator can come back from.

There are mistakes that reveal a mediators’ patterns of behavior. But when mediators are putting themselves “out there” the possibility for mistakes explodes ten-fold.

And many well-meaning mediators market poorly (or not at all) because of fear of making a mistake.

But, as a mediator who practices what he preaches, Jason will help us walk through all of this today, and more.

Connect with Jason in all the ways you can below:

Website: http://www.jasondyk.com/

Facebook (The L3 Group): https://www.facebook.com/L3GroupTC/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jasondyk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasondyk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasondyk

Twitter (The L3 Group): https://www.twitter.com/thel3group

HIT Piece 11.29.2016

By | Advice, Blog, HIT Pieces, New Posts, Old Posts, Presentations, Speaking, Truth

Sometimes a presentation doesn’t “work.”

Sometimes there’s no connection with the audience.

Sometimes the presenter talks more to themselves than they listen to the crowd.

Sometimes questions aren’t asked (or answered) by the audience or the presenter.

Sometimes there is no active listening on the part of the audience.

Sometimes there is no active listening on the part of the presenter.

Sometimes the content is not what the audience expected.

Sometimes the content is not what the presenter expected.

Sometimes personalities clash.

Sometimes the content is exactly what the audience needs to hear, but not in the way that they need to hear it.

Sometimes the presentation is just a failure, and there’s nothing that the audience (or the presenter) can do at all to “fix” it.

Sometimes trying again, with a different audience, is enough.

 

[Strategy] Why So Few Self-Aware Organizations?

By | Emotional Intelligence, Advice, Blog, Culture, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Mediation, Negotiation, New Posts, Old Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Persuasion, Problem Solving, Relationships, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Workplace, Workplace Development

Organizations, founders, managers, and employees who are self-aware do better than those who aren’t.

This should come as no surprise, but in an economic, social, and even political climate where “knowing thyself” is as mysterious as “knowing thy customers,” it becomes incumbent upon an organization–and the people employed by it–to be self-aware.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What does our organization do here in the world?
    • Why are we doing it?
    • Is what we’re doing useful, not to the market or to our customers, but also to the overall economy?
  • Does our company care?
  • Are we just here to satisfy our shareholders?
  • If our employees don’t care (or do care) why do they care and how do we grow what they care about?
  • What do other people (i.e. the market (fans, customers, clients, shareholders)) think that we do?
    • If there’s a chasm between those two perceptions, how do we cross it, if we want to, or how do we live with it, if we don’t?
  • Are we recruiting, interviewing, and hiring people that are self-aware about why they want to be here?
    • And if we aren’t, how do we get them to leave in a way that honors them and makes space for the kind of people we want to be here?

Answering all (or any) of these questions honestly and clearly, requires the courage to speak up, be in the room, stay engaged, and be open to self-critique.

And in case you’re wondering if this all actually works, well here’s a little something to watch

[Opinion] We Get More of What We Reward

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Advice, Blog, Dysfunction, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Old Posts, Organizational Development, Relationships, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Workplace, Workplace Development

When the emotional labor of addressing a dispute with a customer, a client, a co-worker, or a boss, is the work we don’t want to do, we revert to doing the work that makes us the most comfortable.

This is usually the task that we were hired to do in the first place.

A graphic designer, instead of confronting her client with what she knows about design, graphics, colors, and what is appealing to the human eye in practice, rather than in theory, will instead revert to the statement “Well, it’s what the client asked for.” And then do the bare minimum on the project.

A human services professional, instead of respectfully establishing boundaries with a client who has engaged in bad/poor behavior in the past, will allow that client to continue to run roughshod over him. He will revert to the statement “Well, I hope that the client changes this time.” And then he will do the maximum to ensure that the client follows the same rules and policies that didn’t change the client’s behavior before.

A factory worker, instead of confronting co-workers about shoddy work, or not showing up on time, will allow that co-worker to continue the behavior unabated. The worker will shrug her shoulders sagely and think “The boss should do something. After all, it’s not my problem.” And then the worker will start to come in a little bit later, and a little bit later, and a little bit later, until her arrival time matches that of her tardy co-worker.

A manager, instead of engaging in radical self-awareness work and self-confrontation about how they can improve as a leader and manager, will engage in radical “doubling-down” on driving the team forward to accomplish a seemingly unattainable goal. The manager will firmly think “That’s why they’re here. To work and get a paycheck. I have enough responsibilities without babysitting them as well.” And then the manager will make excuses as various members of the team quit, transfer to other parts of the organization, or gradually become “C” players, committed radically to performing just at the average.

The ironclad law of life is that we get more of what we subsidize and we get less of what we tax. When we subsidize laziness, disrespect, cynicism, disappointment, ignorance, appeals to “the rules,” or “the policies” we get more of the same types of behavioral responses in the organizations we seek to lead. When we tax emotional labor, self-awareness, leadership, insight, and open conversation, we get less of the behavioral responses that will raise up our organizations.

And yet, human intuition is to avoid, prevaricate, be selfish, be lazy and ultimately, to do the bare minimum at scale. This is the work—hidden behind the cover of our job/task descriptions—that we think we are hired to do, from founders and managers to employees and interns.

But, what if we’ve intuited the wrong thing?

What if the work that we should be subsidizing is the work that negates the effects of what we think is “natural” and “just the way that it is”?

What if we not only thought differently, but acted differently?

[Opinion] Mental Infrastructure

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Blog, Culture, Education, New Posts, Old Posts, Organizational Development, Persuasion, Problem Solving, Storytelling, Strategies, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Workplace, Workplace Development

There is a lot of mental infrastructure from the Industrial Revolution still laying around.

And most of that infrastructure can be seen on display in organizations:

Employees who are at the bottom of an organizational chart, believing that they are the foundation on which the organization rests, yet feeling as though they are treated as basement dwellers.

Managers and supervisors who are squeezed in the middle, believing that they are the glue that keeps the top of the organization from flying away, and keeps the bottom of the organization in line. Yet the reality is that they are asked to care about something that they did not initially build, and asked to give positive lip service to ideas that they know will have a low chance of success.

Upper management and executives who are at the top of the organizational chart, believing that they deserve the status that they have. And that preserving that status is the only thing that matters. Yet feeling as though they are in a constant battle with forces (i.e. governmental regulations, organizational ennui, etc.) that the people in the organizational chart below them could never possibly understand.

Work matters in the 21st century, because of two reasons:

The first reason is that as the jobs that used be done by humans migrate more and more toward the computer, the mobile phone, and to whatever hardware innovation comes next (probably the cloud, virtual reality, and A.I.) the only question worth answering is: Can a computer do your job?

When the “yes” answers to that question outstrip the “no” answers, the Industrial Revolution based infrastructure of our assumptions, ideas, and even opinions, about work will change. If they don’t, if we bitterly cling to past notions, continually hag-ridden by reimagining a past to which we cannot return, we will fail to take advantage of the positive parts of our remaining mental maps for a future we cannot fully predict.

The second reason is that as individuals and companies become human centered rather than technology centered, the only things that matter are the Long Tail, emotional intelligence, leadership ability, courage, and resilience. Organizations of the past century said that those traits weren’t that important in light of where your job was placed on an organizational chart. But that is no longer true.

The work that matters will be that which values these traits above all else. And there are some fields (the human services most of all) that are poised to take advantage of this shift in what is valuable in the future, from what was valued in the past.

The infrastructure that needs to be torn down the most is in the minds of employees, managers, executives and others.

The true tragedy is that the demolition work is plentiful, but the workers are few.

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 8 – Jaimee Dorris, Web Personality, Creative, Entrepreneur

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Old Posts, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 8 – Jaimee Dorris, Web Personality, Creative, Entrepreneur

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Living out loud in the American South.

Incongruity. Building for the future. Making a plan and executing. Pivoting into something else. Building a brand that lasts.

Our guest today, Jaimee Dorris, wants everybody on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to know her name. And she’ll get there. By building a stage, one audience member at a time.

The idea of “build it and they will come” is as old as—well—advertising itself.  But it doesn’t happen overnight. And that’s where the personality of an entrepreneur really has to kick in. To double-down, not on failure, but on success. And to turn seeming “dead-ends” into profitable streets that link engaged audience members to a much larger story.

This is not a political podcast, and you all don’t really care about what my personal political positions are, but…

In light of recent electoral events in United States, this interview stands as both a beacon of hope for those who are looking for hope and it stands as a refutation of realities for others.

And in a political world where it appears that the fundamentals under girding the process were changed…well…fundamentally this year, our interview is a reminder that all has not quite changed just yet.

What has happened is that, as my grandmother would say, things have become sharpened— that is, further revealed—and in that process of revelation, we must all look at ourselves closer than we ever have before.

We must examine our motives, our thoughts, our inner drives, and our outer limits, in order to build the best, most worthy, selves that we can in this challenging—and changing—new world.

That revelation should bring us all the hope we need.

Alright. Well that’s it…. Let’s get into it!

Connect with Jaimee in all the ways you can below:

Website (Home of the MS Congeniality Show!): http://www.jaimeedorris.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrsjaimeed

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHxKWvXbQeWaTyKMZjHBbKw

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimee-dorris-63064914

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrsjaimeed

[Opinion] Live with the Outcome of the Vote

By | Emotional Intelligence, Active Listening, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Culture, Media, Negotiation, New Posts, Old Posts, Persuasion, Reconciliation, Relationships, Social, Social Communication, Social Media, Storytelling, Stress

Tomorrow in the United States, is election day.

There is, during local, state, and national elections, the usual appeals to get people to engage in phone calling for candidates, rallies, polling, and all the other “get out the vote” parts of an election campaign.

The appeals come from the idea that it is easy to convince people not to vote; thus, by getting in their face with constant appeals to participate in all aspects of the voting process (from planting a yard sign to actually voting) the candidates hope to ensure that people are persuaded to vote.

This is all well and good. But towards the end of an elections cycle, such appeals can rise to the level of farce.

What’s far more important is how candidates, and their supporters, live with the outcome of an election.

Candidates and supporters don’t need to be told how to get out the vote.

Candidates and supporters need to be told how to live with outcomes they might not like.

Or that they might have voted against.

This ability to deal with outcomes that are not voted for, without engaging in disruptive revolution, is a fixture of the United States electoral process, because of how the electoral process is designed via the Constitution: A candidate and their ideas may be popular, but if there isn’t enough support from populations in states with a high number of electoral votes, then the candidate loses.

Being a popular loser is something that past candidates have some experience with at the national level in the United States, and because of this two-tiered system, the electoral process has always been relatively free from the chicanery and corruption that sometimes rules in plurality, or parliamentary based systems.

The thing that drives the difficulty in living with the outcome is partially the media. We get the media system that we have built, and in the United States, it is a system based on short attention spans, emotional hijacking, and spreading of rumor as fact.

But we allowed that system to be built.

The other thing that increasingly drives anger, and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes, is the fact that as the United States has become more fractured in its media consumption of facts, there has been the corresponding rise of tribal like behavior. This type of behavior, instigated by a click happy media structure, creates a perfect storm of disaffection and unrest, that goes beyond the outcomes of election days.

And it will go beyond Tuesday as well.

[Strategy] Crossing the Chasm for the Peacebuilder

By | Emotional Intelligence, Blog, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Ebooks, Education, Marketing for Peace Builders, New Posts, Old Posts, Selling for Peace Builders, Strategies, Strategy, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Training, Website, Workshop

For the innovative peacebuilder, the truly important switch must happen in how thinking about products and services cross the chasm.

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Most of the time, processes (such as mediation, negotiation, or dispute resolution) are confused with products.

A process is, in essence, a service.

Sure, there are sometimes opportunities to grow a process past a service and into a product, but this is rare.

The idea that content focused around “how-to” can be a product, is supported by the digital reality we live in now. With digital platforms, developing digital components for processes we already think of as services, should become second nature.

But for many it hasn’t.

At least not yet.

There are four ways to cross the chasm in thinking, from a strong consideration and focus on services, to a strong consideration and focus on products.

  • Deep listening requires surveying clients (formally and informally), compiling that data, and executing on the results of that listening. By the way, deep listening is beyond active listening, and is something that peacebuilders are increasingly seeing as a tactic for clients at the table.
  • Deep understanding is the corollary to deep listening. Deep understanding requires accepting that crossing the chasm is the only way to scale. Plus, it requires accepting that one-offs, workshops, seminars, and more of the traditional ways of engaging with audiences, clients, and scaling a “lifestyle” business, have changed irrevocably.
  • Deep advice requires accessing the wisdom contained in the organizations peacebuilders may already be working in. It also requires listening to, and reading, advice that comes from non-traditional places. Accessing, and considering deep advice is strategic and tactical. Deep advice not only comes from outside the box, but also it comes from looking in another box entirely.
  • Deep courage is the last way to cross the chasm. Execution is about courage, and many of the reasons that serve to “stall out” the crossings peacebuilders attempt, is less about not doing the other three things listed above, but is more about the lack of courage to pull the trigger and execute on a truly scary idea.

Philosophy first, tactics second, and courage always to change how peacebuilding happens in our digital world.

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode #7 – Darren MacDonald

By | Blog, Earbud_U Podcast, Earbud_U!, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation, Old Posts, Persuasion, Podcast Archives, Podcast Episode, Problem Solving, Relationships, Selling for Peace Builders, Storytelling, Technology, The Future & The Singularity, Virtue, Website

[Podcast] Earbud_U, Season Four, Episode # 7 – Darren MacDonald, Investor, Film/Movie Buff, World Traveler, Local Raconteur

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Movies are the stories of our lives.

Our guest today on the show, Darren MacDonald, is a local venture capital investor, film buff, and world traveler.  This is the follow-up to episode #6 featuring Darren’s unique, humorous and engaging point of view.

In this episode, Darren talks about the power of film to cut through to the heart of stories. We cover all the films that came out last year, and have a spirited discussion about who killed Han Solo.

Considering that for a moment, here’s an existential question:

If your child had gone over to the side of evil would you be able to stop them, or would the love that you feel for them—the parental bond you have—cause you to give your life for them?

Yeah. Like I said, film has the power to cut through the muck and ask—and answer—the questions that matter.

Connect with Darren through all the ways you can below:

Check out our first interview with Darren here: http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/blog/earbud_u/earbud_u-episode-1-darren-macdonald/

Follow Darren on Twitter: https://twitter.com/upwordz

Connect with Darren on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenmacdonald/

Connect with the Southern Tier Capital Fund: http://stcfny.com/

Connect with the Southern Tier Capital Fund on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stcapitalfund