Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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 asked some folks.  Here are some headlines for what I have learned about Egregiously Bad Listening:

  • I’m here to Fix You.  (No matter what you say, I have the solution.)
  • Make it All About Me.  (You think you have it bad!  Let me tell you about my life…)
  • Should on You.  (You shouldn’t feel that way!  You shouldn’t think that!  There is something wrong with you!)
  • Isn’t that Sweet?  (You obviously don’t understand what’s really going on).

 And the list could go on.

 I tend to know that I am listening by what comes out of my mouth after the speaker finishes.  There’s a good chance I’ve been listening well when my response starts with any of these phrases:

  • "It sounds like you…”
  • “It makes sense that you would feel…”
  • “Let me see if I’m understanding you…”

 I can also check!  “Did I get that right?”

 What do you think?



Sunday, May 1, 2022

What Picture Are They Holding of You?

During a recent forum retreat I shared about a relationship that has had its ups and downs in my life.  It's been a long time since I've felt close and comfortable with the person in question.  Even though I was noting some recent interactions that were very positive, I was reluctant to determine that the relationship was "close."

A member in the group asked me a question that struck a chord.  "Vince, it sounds like you are assuming that the other person is holding an old picture of you.  It doesn't sound like you've let their perceptions of you evolve.  I wonder what picture they are holding of you today?"

What?!?  Let me unpack this.

Sometimes, when I am believing something to be true (in this case, how I am being viewed by someone), no amount of contrary evidence can alter the belief.  I cling to the certainty of my belief.  On the other hand, when I'm open to challenging the long-held belief, all the evidence can be put in the balance and I can choose a new belief.  I teach this stuff!  Damn.

Another opportunity to have a look, let go, accept myself, update the belief, and continue the journey.



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What does the Label Say?

Labels are powerful.  On a cereal box, they tell you what’s inside.  On a person, it’s a different story.

Sometimes labels can build us up.  Empower us.  Help us to believe in ourselves and our capacities.  But sometimes, labels tear us down.  Make us small.  Both kinds tend to stick.
 “I'm selfish.”
"I'm not a good friend."
“I'm lazy.”
These are the labels people tell me they live with.  Yuck!  When confronted with an old label, I almost always ask “Where did you learn that?” and then get ready for a story from long ago that certainly may have had some truth in that moment, but has little to do with the person standing before me.

The “I'm Selfish” one really kills me.  People with this label suffer under an onslaught of internal judgment and criticism.  And the sad part?  Even if they do something totally self-less, altruistic, kind, or nice, they are immediately subject to an internal message that says, “Oh, that’s good.  You’ve put on a nice show today.  But don’t forget, you’re selfish.”  It can be very difficult to let go of old labels.

I like the idea of self-definition.  I think it’s a good idea to get curious about our labels, our identities, and be conscious of which to keep and which to let go of.  It’s a choice.  Much of our identity is given to us… gender, family of origin, specific wiring, gifts, and talents.  But, an awful lot of our identity is also given to us by imperfect people in very imperfect ways.  But guess what?  You can give an old or untrue identity back.  You don’t have to keep it.  You can let it go.  Peel the label off the box and make a new one.  

Sunday, January 30, 2022

What are You Reading?


A million years ago, a colleague admonished a group of us that "YOU MUST READ TO LEAD."  I put that in all caps because he was a really big guy with a powerful presence.  In any event, I took his comment to heart and remember it all these years later.  

I get asked the question regularly, "So, what are you reading Vince?"  And, while I comment about books here and there, I've never done a "Top 5", so here you go:

1. "15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:  A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success."  Okay.  I read this one a long time ago (2016) but it continues to guide the way I think and approach life every day.   The idea of continually shifting to a place of maturity, curiosity, openness, candor, and 100% responsibility is simply foundational to my life.  You can learn more at www.conscious.is.  Buy the book though. 

2. "The 100-Year Life:  Living and Working in an Age of Longevity"  A really good read (maybe the individual case studies are a bit long).  The Big Idea is to decouple ourselves from the conventional three-stage life (childhood, work, retirement) and embrace a much broader definition of the tangible and intangible assets we hope to derive and deploy during our stay here.  A cool diagnostic is available at the 100-Year Life website.

3. "Waking Up:  8 Questions That Will Shift Your Life (Or Help You Do Nothing)"  Someone shared the story once of being reluctant to vote for themselves in an elementary school student council election.  The teacher admonished that is was perfectly appropriate to vote for yourself!  And, the individual won by one vote.  In any event, you likely know that I wrote this one.   Think of it as a three-hour coffee together.  AND, I think "Unpacking Anything" and "Getting to a Conscious Commitment" is solid and worth having in your toolbelt.  

4. "The 80/80 Marriage:  A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship"  This one was actually published in 2021.  Nate and Kaley open up all kinds of great territory to move from a doctrine of fairness in relationship to one of radical generosity.  I did a blog post a few months ago when it came out.  Get it.

5. Anything by Simon Sinek or Brene Brown.  Simon's "Leaders Eat Last" pairs well with any of his videos on the "Circle of Safety", "Start with Why" or any of his other big ideas.  And Brene' continues to knock it out of the park with her podcasts and published books. 

Is there more?  Sure.  Drop me a note at vince@corsarodevelopment.com  with any specific genre request or question.  Happy to share.



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 ...