Cultural Divide

We are all cultured.

All of us come from a background where there are rules on how to talk, how to dress, how to see the world etc.

Knowing these things allows us to communicate more effectively to someone from another culture.

Here is an example – When an American says how are you doing, it’s flippant, almost directly following hello as a courtesy. In Europe, this is seen as a no-no, as how are you is a very personal question.

Think about that before you engage in long form communication (more than just a hello), what is the culture, how can you learn more about it? It can save you the hassle. 

You don’t want to over communicate in a bad way.

Ask Selfish Questions

Have you asked a question just for you today?

Questions like:

  • What do I have to do to make this happen?
  • So how I understand this is…. is that right?
  • When do I need to show up?

These are ‘selfish’ questions and are great if you feel stuck.

They get you started and help you serve others, even if they are all about you.

Being Simple, Storyful and Specific

‘Simple’ is good. ‘Specific’ is good. ‘Story’ is good. All are best.

  • The fewer words you use to get to a point, the better.
  • Using specifics gives a point a place for it to ‘stand’.
  • Telling a story makes it easier to digest.

When you use those three tactics, every word you use matters. Instead of dancing around the point, you hit it out of the park.

How does this fit with over communicating?

Imagine how much more you could communicate in the same amount of time if you cut “the pork,” used hard numbers, and wrapped it in a story.

Get Rid of Interesting

Our words matter.

When we communicate, our words have some meaning, beyond what we mean them to have.

That is because communication is a two-way exercise. The words that we say don’t only affect the listener, they also have an effect on the speaker as well. A conversation is a living thing, constantly changing both participants. 

That is why we have to choose our words carefully. 

There are several phrases that get in the way of making conversation. In the past, I have covered some like “obviously” and “it’s easier said than done.”

The latest “target” is the word “interesting.”

“Interesting” is a gap word, something used in conversation to break the silence.The word short circuits the moment between two parties, and now the brain fills in the gap.

There lies the trouble, because once something goes into the emotional spin cycle of the brain, you won’t know what comes on the other side.

Better to not use the word, and let the tension set, or even better, over-communicate what you mean.

Quick Exercise:

To see what I mean, the next time you use the word interesting with someone you know, stop them afterwards and see what they think you mean when you say it.

Thank you to Alyse Kalish for her wonderful article that started me down this train of thought. 

Some Ways to Level Up

Two that stand out to me:

  • Putting your nose to the grindstone. Repetiton. In an RPG(Role Playing Game), this is fighting the same type monster for a long time.
  • Going outside your comfort zone. Risk. In an RPG, this is going to a place where there is significant danger.

There are a couple of differences, chiefly preparation.

For the former it’s about steadying one self for the repetition. If one isn’t ready, they get numb, and disaster strikes.

For the latter, it’s painful and if one doesn’t “heal” properly, one won’t make it out. One also has to understand that they are going into it with far more risk. If it isn’t recognized, there is panic, and disaster strikes.

In video games, you are stuck with one choice. In life, you can do both at the same time.

Take advantage.

Win Without Loss?

Volatility is exciting.

Volatility is all the beginner sees. The savageness of a fight, the flash of a dance, the motion in the ocean.

You could triple earnings in the stock market!

One change that happens when someone leaves the amateur ranks is that they finish that sentence.

I could triple your earnings in the stock market, and you can lose three times your earnings too.

Volatility becomes a risk*, and from there, one can choose a better strategy on how to deal with it.

It is the difference between being wowed by the fireworks display to understanding how the act is done.

*I prefer to engage in it to help shape my processes



Give freely.

Give your ideas away, and do so often. Don’t hold on to them.

When you hold on to them, you suffocate them. Talk about them and give them room to breathe. The idea will appreciate it, and often, the people around you will appreciate it as well.

When I say this I often get the response – what if someone steals the idea. My response: so what?

An idea is a point in time. They can’t mimic your executive abilities. They can’t take the map in your head. All they have is a place to start.

By focusing just on the act of “stealing” you’ve stolen something from yourself .You’ve stolen your time, and that is worth far more than an idea.

While you pout, they execute, and those who execute, win.

Connect the Circles

We all know a ton of people

Google Plus, a social media service, has a concept called “circles.”

In them, you would place people of a certain quality.  For example, your brother and sister would go in the “family” circle. The people at your job would go into a “job” circle. So on and so forth.

You could then give each circle a particular update, share particular things, and give priority.  When it first was created, I thought it was a genius idea because that is how my mind worked, compartmentalize and keep people in their circle.

It’s a good way to sort. Not everyone needs to know everything.

With that said, if you notice a connection that can happen from one circle to another, try to connect them.  Bringing someone relevant, with outside eyes can lead to great breakthroughs in their own work.

Maybe they know someone too?