Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “social media”

Listening to understand – it’s what our country and society needs the most right now


Listening to understand – it’s what our country and society needs the most right now 

Can you hear me now? No, this is not an old commercial for a cell phone company. This is about how we listen to other people. Unfortunately, on average we are very bad listeners. We listen to talk instead of listening to understand.

That is a very important differentiation. We are so filled with so much information and so many opinions that it is just waiting to bubble right out of us. Instead of seeking to really understand the other person, we just cannot wait for the other person to finish such that we can jump in with our stuff. It’s got to be said. Or does it?

Please help stop this craziness. Make a habit to take a deep breath and wait before saying anything when another person is speaking especially in a group of people. Ask yourself if any input of yours will make the others better off. Resist the urge and say nothing if you cannot add value to the conversation. Seek to understand what is being said. More importantly focus on what isn’t being said. Finally, use challenging questions to get information from the others to get to a decent understanding about the issues at hand. Ask questions that cannot be answered with a Yes or No.

Never waste a good chance to really understand another person. All it takes is silence on your part. Whom and when to ask is another line item to think about.

Ralf

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Revenge of the Ugh people


Revenge of the Ugh people 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

“Ugh”. That is how many social media posts start. The people who author these type of posts try venting about another day or situation having gone awry. Does this help them any? I doubt it, but it is almost like they are getting a quiet revenge in on the people who read this. Anyone who reads it gets invited to drift – the post has their full attention and it may make you respond to it, or at a minimum it can get you all stirred up. All of a sudden their Ugh-day turns into yours as well.

Bottom line is that after all the “Ugh-ing” is said and done you are still no better off than before. I even argue this kind of mental griping does the opposite. Nothing positive can come out of moping around like this. You are not your thoughts; you have a choice to think a different thought. I am not inviting you to go around Pollyanna style and ignoring may be happening right under your nose. I am inviting you to not participate in this negative practice carpet bombing us with one “Ugh” after the other. Instead focus on the things that you can impact and you will find that there is a lot more control over the things that you may realize. Instead of “Ugh” say “Isn’t that fascinating” and then put the odds in your favor and to stay positive on and off social media.

Ralf

Ready for a laugh? Humor is when you can laugh anyway


Ready for a laugh? Humor is when you can laugh anyway Smaller FB

Do not take yourself too seriously and laugh often and hard. That is my basic recommendation and I have a natural talent for providing the situations that let me and others laugh – hard. Yes, I know this is a lot harder to put into daily practice because so many events seem to be outside the things we can affect and they seem to happen to us rather than you being able to do anything about it. Well, it comes down to using your power of choice and actively choose looking at events at a different light even if you have to laugh / smile later. This has key health benefits besides being a great stress buster.

Take for instance the one time when I hurried through the Memphis airport and I went to the rest room. As I was sitting in the stall I was looking down to my right and my left and to my surprise I was looking at high heel pumps. In my rush I had mistakenly gone into the ladies room. When the voices disappeared in the room I bolted out of the room and even managed getting to my flight on time. That was embarrassing but nowadays this story makes me laugh any time that I think about it.

Not too long ago I brought my kids along for a car service appointment. They wanted to stay in the car and I allowed it. I watched them go up on the car lift while the tech started working on the vehicle. Unfortunately, I had managed to come in around lunch time and the tech promptly took off enjoying his lunch break. Both kids started panicking in the back of the car and I could do nothing about it until the tech came back from lunch. That was not fun for anyone.

Many years ago I ended up forgetting that the local river had flooded and I turned my old car into the floating pontoon because I went over a berm way too fast and could not brake in time. It did not float for long but I did manage to get the car back out of the river. One thing that amazes me to this day is how fast the water went into the car, but how much of it stayed inside. I had to drill holes into the rocker panels in order to finally drain it all. Unfortunately, in the wintry months following the incident I had to scrape the windows on the outside and inside. Now this story makes me smile, which back then I was not laughing much at all.

Laughter is therapeutic in more ways than one. It takes for you to just starting to pay attention for the things that you can provide for yourself or the ones that happen around you. Funny self-depreciating humor provides you also with great ice breakers for social events and especially when you are in sales or a public speaker.

Have fun having fun,

Ralf

Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again?


Breaking news – But who is putting them back together again? pablo-5

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Isn’t it amazing how fast we get news now? Social media made it possible. Wherever we go we get to know tons of information about anything ranging from gossip to disasters. Difficult part is that we consume this like fast food: Snag it, bag it, consume it, and move on. The more we hear the same stuff it becomes “fact”. But is that the Truth?

There are multiple issues with how we get news and how they are being prepared. For one, most events are oriented towards local and national acts of violence, only the most significant national and international events, and not to forget sports.

Then the reporting very rarely spends any significant time to review issues in depth. It tailors to ever so short attention spans. That is why I compare it to getting spoon fed with fast food: A brief rush that lasts about only as long as we get our next dose of it. Unfortunately, there seems to never be a shortage of rather useless news that TV and other print and online news sources jump on for our next dose.

What is especially sad is that it takes only a little effort to go after more useful information. Nothing new here – it is not impossible to get to better quality news. It is too bad that it does take a little more effort though. Are you willing though to make that little extra effort? In highly politicized times like this it is easier than ever to lose our bearing. What is really bad is that we no longer congregate in small or larger communities like we used to just 20 years ago.

I can only recommend a small habit change with a pretty big impact: Check out a few online and / or print resources every day that you that are quite a bit different from your usual sources. Give this a try at least once a week. Really cool are online sources like Deutsche Welle – DW, BBC or similar sources. Not only do you get a more international look at news, but you typically get a more in depth look at things that our media here do not take a close look at. It is all about getting a better – meaning broader – perspective.

Remember that just consuming raw news (I am including our social media updates here as well) is one thing, but allowing time for folks to better prepare them for you and for you taking the time to digest it properly is really where you should make the difference. Nothing is worse than to be un- or under informed; wait, perhaps outright incorrect information can be worse.

For printed resources perhaps Time, Wall Street Journal etc are best (even these guys have online presences too).

Bottom line is that you owe yourself a greater variety of news. The more you know, the better the decision you can make because of it. We have been given the most powerful tools on this planet by being human: We have the power of choice and the knowledge what is the right (or better) thing to do. Let’s put this to good use by starting with solid and correct information. Otherwise, we will fall victim to yet another case of garbage in-garbage out symptom. That can lead for you to become the next breaking news.

Ralf

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