My three-year-old daughter claims that "she pressed the wrong button" and apologized for making a mistake or making a minor infraction. I don't know about you but I find this to be very apt.
We have a lot of buttons in front of us all the time. We try to press the right button but that doesn't mean that we do it with 100% accuracy. We do the balancing act: searching for understanding in light of uncertainty and complexity, looking for commonalities and broad-based agreements, pursuing the high road.
Understanding the right cues and contexts, and ensuring we practice empathy, active listening, and regard for others is always good at any situation. But sometimes, we misread people and situations, we overreact or become stone-walled, or sometimes react badly with the slightest provocation.
Making mistakes is part of our humanity in the context of many buttons. We have to stop incriminating ourselves, instead treat mistakes as a vehicle for learning and evolution. It is never fatal unless, it becomes an ego issue.
Defiance is better left to more substantive issues of the day.
A couple of weeks ago, we ended up watching some snippets of the famous "Sound of Music" film. My 3-year old daughter couldn't be helped but started singing the songs. I grew up with this film too like many millions of children worldwide.
Being the highest-grossing film of all time, it transcended time, culture, and boundaries and spoke universally to all. Yet, there were definite strategic departures from the real lives of the Von Trapp family.
-They didn't escape from the Nazis as depicted: they boarded a train instead
-Maria was not in love with the Captain;
-There were 10 children but only 7 when they left Austria;
-The Austrians didn't recognize edelweiss as a national flower and so on and so forth.
These ensure that the film is as marketable as possible with the broadest audience particularly, families and children. It was an astounding success in all counts, but the public wasn't really aware and able to distinguish between fact and fiction. To this day, we relished with the saccharine story oblivious to the facts, the former, unfortunately shaping public consciousness up to this day.
Decision-making as we all know, calls for the careful examination of facts to arrive at an outcome that is amenable to all parties concerned. But when the facts that we know were half-truths, the thinking process will be flawed and at worst, the findings will be suspect. When assumptions are not tested and challenged, we go by popular vote or consensus because that is politically correct; we missed out on what provocation and challenge could produce-a deep appreciation of the issues and a more strategic approach to getting to solutions.
The sad reality is the facts are fodders for fiction and fiction mimics reality. But make no mistake, triple-check your facts, weigh in on the evidence, and then move to create a compelling case that eliminates the tendency to do more research or other unnecessary steps.
Why is it that negative critics always dominate the conversation about a brand, company, organization, or product while the rest of the happy, satisfied, and loyal customers are not heard from?
According to a study done in Texas, negative feedback is 11th times likely to be dominant than positive, satisfied comment. This 11 dissatisfied people will then talk to at least 5 (average) other people about their dissatisfaction.
This goes to show that perception is malleable and can be shaped on the basis of who is doing what to whom. Word-of-mouth works if it's positive, it could be fatal if it's negative and totally based on misinformation and has the purpose to damage the reputation of your organization, brand, or products. To say, in this world we live, going viral- can be both a bane and a boon.
The lessons in corporate and management history suggest that we need to take a stock, monitor, evauate, and strategize how we are projecting ourselves out there, what kinds of things are being said about us, and how we can favorably turn those conversations to our favor and advantage.
This is not about propaganda or fake news, this is an honest-to-goodness management of public relations. If you can't control how you want to be perceived, some one will create it for you and that is the least comforting things as an idea.
When was the last time you heard from a delighted customer? Why don't you toot your own horn, and harvest your own successes and achievements. You are not making it up, there is social proof on every thing that you will declare out there. What is worst is that the deluge of uber-the-top negativity has been allowed to poison the minds of those who are just fence-sitters and observers? There is so much on the line here.
That has to stop and you can make concrete, tangible, and long-term commitment to making it work. If you can post your comments on Facebook and Twitter account everyday, you can do more on this area than just being passive and reactive.
I called the bank one day hoping to speak to a banker about my lack of access to my online account.
I called the toll number and I got these options:
Press 1: For banking hours and locations
Press 2: Credit card questions
Press 3: For loans, insurance
Press 4: for other products
Press 5: for loss of card, etc.
Press 6: For online banking
I pressed 6 I got led to a number of options
Please dial your number
Please dial your birth date followed by a # key
Oopps, sorry I didn't get your number, try again.
I tried again and then the line went dead.
Can we just talk to another sane human being who has a moderate level of intelligence, can understand our frustrations, and can handle our issues adequately?
Enough of these robocalls!
A few years ago, I was a victim of the 'management by walking around' practice. Having been a staff myself, it confused me tremendously why management and executives have to do the rounds by walking around, pretending to be really curious and interested of personnel's work. What exactly can be derived by walking around the hall other than disturbing staff' precious time focused on real work and getting into chitchat with those that have nothing to do at the moment.
Visibility is good when there is a strategic purpose to visibility. Visibility alone is nothing.
Creating real genuine interpersonal relations is good but when it gets down to work, your boss is not your friend and vice-versa.
Also, this family vibe in many companies and organizations is also fake. This is not a family relation, this is business and you have a job to do and will get appraise at the next six-month mark.
There is a tremendous waste of monies and time on team building exercises meant to look like everyone is having a happy time, fetching water, building sand castles, catching people up when they fall, rappelling down ravines -all in the name of team work. There is no team work in that superficial encounters.
Real team work is about solving real problems and challenges as a team and experiencing satisfction from joint accomplishments.
He found me cutting some papers for my program activity for children. "This is work," I told him and he said, "good job," and turned around.