Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Virtual Or Live?

When the Pandemic first hit, most of us made an instantaneous pivot to 100% virtual communication.  We learned how to Zoom, Hangout, Meet in Teams, Circle, and likely live on a half dozen other video-based platforms.  We know "Zoom Fatigue" and we've experienced both really cool moments and likely some dreary ones as well.

So, how then shall we now live?  Here's my going-forward thought:  What if we only do live that which we can't do virtually?  What this means to me:

1.  We maximize our effectiveness in virtual and asynchronous communication.  We develop mastery in remote work. 

2. We learn how to have difficult conversations virtually, and we let go of fears around not being able to connect authentically.

3.  We accept the tremendous gift of time that virtual work has afforded us by reducing all kinds of travel.


4. We master and maximize our live gatherings to focus on HOW we're working together.  We use the time to build relationships, sit around the fire, share a meal,  connect as people first.

I know I have a significant bias here.  I've been pulling people together for meaningful group experiences for a long time and always fight for the relational side of things while my groups typically want to simply focus on the content of their work.  It's okay!  What many are learning is that much of our content work can be done virtually, but you just can't replace the fireside chat on a Zoom screen.

Let's not make it an "either/or" but a "both/and" with the positive intent of maximizing our experience whether it is in virtual space or live.  

What do you think?



Monday, May 24, 2021

Is it Fair?

A million years ago I was invited to join the Rotary Club of Chino, California.  After a couple years I moved to a new town, joined the Club there, served as Club President for a year followed by many years as Club Treasurer.  Rotary was an important part of my early career life and I stayed involved enough to be recognized as “Senior Active” when I was only 42.

 The “Four Way Test” was a key guiding principle in Rotary for all the things we do, think, or say.  “Is it the truth?”  “Is it fair?”  "Will it build goodwill and better friendships?”  And finally, “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”  These all sounded like good questions to ask. 

And then, my two good friends Nate and Kaley Klemp wrote a book, “The 80/80 Marriage” and it challenged my beliefs around the Four Way Test.  When I take a step back and think about it, “Is it Fair?” may not be the best question if the desire is a healthy relationship.  An aspiration of fairness implies a score, a ledger, an accounting.  How do we really do that in relationships?  Does planning and preparing a great meal equate to fairness if the other partner took out the trash, made the bedroom look great, and took care of the bills for the month?  Who knows?  And really, who cares?!

A Big Idea from Kaley and Nate’s book is the idea of radical generosity.  What if instead of fairness, or some sort of 50/50 equation, both people in a relationship aspire to pour in 80%?  How do things change?  To me, it starts with a change in mindset.  It means letting go of fairness as the target and replaces that with a desire to contribute.  I want to contribute to the success of this relationship!  So, “Is it Fair?” can then be replaced with, “What would generosity look like here?” 

What do you think?



Saturday, February 6, 2021

Optimism. Is it good?

I’ve been accused of being an eternal optimist and it occurs to me that I don’t really know what that means!

Is optimism synonymous with a “rose colored glasses” view of the world?  A Pollyanna perspective? The unrealistic or impossible?

Technically, optimism is defined as a hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.”  There is also a broader definition set forth by the 18th Century philosopher Gottfried Leibniz that “this world is the best of all possible worlds” and the belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe.

So, I’ll go with it.  I’m a proud optimist.  Accuse me all day long.  I will find hope in almost any circumstance and I do believe that love wins.

And, I believe that optimism can be learned if we are open to it.  We can choose a victim story of failure and loss, or we can choose a story of openness to learning, self-responsibility, and growth.  I choose the latter.  Are you with me?

Yesterday I was skiing in what I will call “butt cold” conditions.  In fact, my butt was cold!  It was not only snowing but the humidity was higher than normal Colorado conditions and the cold seeped in at every opportunity.  In another time of my life, I would have beat myself up with an old tape, “you suck at being adequately prepared in the outdoors.”  I hadn’t eaten anything in the morning.  The gloves I was wearing were more suited to a sunny spring day than a bitter cold one.  I had tried a different set of leg layers and they didn’t work well.  I could have rolled an old tape of criticism.  Instead, I noticed myself taking a more optimistic view!  “You can keep some hand warmers in your kit bag.”  “You know how to provide fuel for your body.  What can we learn from today?”  “Maybe compression tights aren’t the best base layer on cold days,” and on and on.

When we shift from failure as a total loss to failure or difficulty as a temporary and specific condition, it opens the field up to learn, take responsibility, and make specific changes in our behaviors going forward.  It worked for me yesterday.  And today, I’m staying in by the fire.

More?  Check out this article on Learned Optimism.



Am I Listening?

A while back, someone said to me, “Wow, Vince, you’re such a good listener!”  It made me wonder what it’s like to be a bad listener!  So, I ...