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To be honest with you…

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When someone precedes a comment with “To be honest with you…” do you ever wonder if you should be concerned when they don’t say it?

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Ode to Golf

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In all my years of hacking around golf courses, I’ve had “good” days and ones that weren’t up to my expectations.  This was written after I played a golf tournament which benefited a local charity my partner and I supported annually.  I hadn’t been playing for awhile, and didn’t have a handicap, so they put me in the “calloway” handicap system in which your handicap is determined by your play on the course that day.

I had one of the worst rounds of golf in quite awhile, and was thoroughly disgusted and demoralized by the day.  As we gathered in the clubhouse for the 19th hole, and the scores were posted for the day, I was made aware of my “score” adjusted for my “handicap.”

I won the damn golf tournament–a trophy and along with a new set of golf clubs!

I was so embarrassed by this that I left the tournament early and deputized my partner to collect my winnings.   I was too embarrassed to accept the clubs in person…but not too embarrassed to keep them!

The following is my ignominious paean to the day.

“Of all the rounds of golf I’ve played

Some for good, some for naught

It takes a day of total humiliation

To yield what?

A win of sorts

A material achievement, a prize, a trophy

But upon learning I might

I couldn’t stay

For hey, I didn’t earn it!

I struggled before, and nothing came

I destructed today, and heaven smiled

…and winked, I think.”

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Don’t Rely on Emails for Good Communication

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I was given the following data by a good friend and business consultant, Ron Crough.

  • 6% of the information in communication is conveyed by the actual words themselves.
  • 38% of the information in communication is conveyed by the words and the tone of your voice.
  • 96% of the information in communication is conveyed by the words themselves, the tone of your voice, and your body language.

Why is this important?

In an online world that doesn’t seem to value “face to face” interaction, good communication is a greater challenge.

A good example was my interaction with my ex wife.  I thought that since emotions were pretty raw, it was better to communicate through email, allowing us to convey information without any emotional overtones.  The problem was that in the absence of voice or physical presence, we have a tendency to infer voice and tone, and consequently “hear” things that aren’t there.   We both experienced some emotional reactions to written words, inferring tone that after further discussion we found wasn’t intended and didn’t exist.

The second example is normal daily emails.  Again, in the absence of voice tones and body language, we tend to “hear” the intangibles, often mistakenly.  Thinking we are communicating effectively, we are as often  “mis-communicating”.

Rule of thumb:  the more important the content of the communication, the more important it is to move up the communication ladder, adding voice and physical presence.

In communicating with clients, I2I (Eye to Eye) always yields our best work.

In communicating with co-workers, I2I always offers the best chance for being understood and developing a collaborative work relationship.

Email is great, but we must always recognize its limitations.  In fact, we should almost assume misunderstanding following up important emails  with a more important phone call or visit.

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