Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
- Cary Grant for his enduring friendships, financial frugality and foresightedness
- Audrey Hepburn for her grace and huge heart
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for her fierce privacy and immovable personal boundaries
- Princess Diana for her raw humanitarianism
- Marilyn Monroe for her constant striving to perfect her craft
- Cindy Crawford for her entrepreneurialism and willingness to take professional risks
- Hubert Keller for his tireless enthusiasm and incredible work ethic
- Helen Gurley Brown for her generous career teachings to her own and future generations
- Jim Rohn for his humor and unique way of speaking that conveyed important ideas so simply and clearly
- Diana Vreeland for her boldness and elegant eccentricity
- George Balanchine for his extraordinary creativity
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Students of self-improvement may be familiar with the phrase “What others think of me is none of my business.” This is a great philosophy because even if we twist ourselves into pretzels to people-please, we never can truly control how someone might choose to view us. And we burn ourselves out in the process. I believe that focusing on what I am creating and contributing is a healthier and more productive way to live. I have found that it is also important to let go of the need for others to like what I am writing/thinking, or to look for praise or agreement.
Easier said than done though. There’s this annoying ego that jumps in ascribing meaning to what others say and do about us, and sometimes those thoughts can become really destructive, causing great work to be abandoned, like when Stephen King threw his manuscript of Carrie into the trash. (It was rescued by his wife and became his first big success.)
As an early adopter of Twitter, my policy is to follow back everyone who follows me. I know this is not how everyone uses Twitter and I’m not saying it’s the right way. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but I feel like it is only polite to return a courtesy. To keep my Twitter feed from becoming unmanageable, I just use the Lists feature to pull out the updates I want to be sure to read. It’s no big deal really. But as a company, Twitter doesn’t want its follow/follower ratios to get too unbalanced, so if you follow folks back like I do, you kind of have to go in and unfollow them if they unfollow you so that your account can continue to grow naturally.
I use a website called JustUnfollow.com to accomplish this task. It is also very simple. I sign in with my Twitter account on the JustUnfollow website, it pulls up a list of everyone who has recently unfollowed me and I click unfollow by each one. (Twitter no longer allows bulk unfollows so you have to do it individually.)
Now here’s the unexpected learning I’ve received: I have a lot of followers on Twitter so every week, oodles of people unfollow me. More new people follow me than old ones leave though, so my follower tribe has only ever moved in an upwards direction since I first tweeted back in 2009. And it’s not like the unfollowers are directly tied to what I am sharing either. I can have a day where I get the most retweets and favorites ever and still have plenty of folks say, “No thanks, your stuff is not for me.”
I find it kind of fascinating. It has forced me to adjust my previous belief that if I would just tweet amazing stuff all the time, everyone would always love it. And while it is true that the majority of people do seem to like it, I cannot control those who take offense, choose to weed down the number of people they follow, don’t appreciate my point of view or whatever. My personal Twitter policies have forced me to find a way to become comfortable with processing the steady unfollower stream without it impacting my desire and ability to continue to post what I believe is useful information. In essence, it has thickened my skin.
Thanks to Twitter and my ways of using it, I no longer see rejection as something that must be painful or unpleasant. For a variation on what Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” That’s life. Accept it and move on. I am not suggesting to ignore all negative feedback or that I am absolute in my beliefs. Challenge and dialogue (brief that it may be) can be important. I am still interested in what others choose to share with me, and I am sure most others are too. But it feels very freeing to recognize that everyone has free will, your stuff is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that it’s totally okay. I appreciate people taking the time to check out my contributions and I am in agreement with whatever decisions they then make. Perhaps the next time I visit San Francisco, I will stop in the Twitter corporate headquarters to thank them for teaching me this valuable lesson.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
1. Start with something personal – Telemarketer calls are such a problem these days, people might think you are a spammer if you don’t quickly say your name and why you are calling them. If you don’t know the person well, it’s best to say “Bob, this is Pam Smith, we met at the NAWBO luncheon last Tuesday and you asked me to follow up with you.” Now you can be sure your message will be fully heard.
2. Keep it brief – Everyone is time pressed these days. Voicemail is no place to get into a long story. Just leave the tip of the iceberg and save all the juicy details for when they call you back.
3. Slow down – If you’re at all nervous, there is a natural tendency to rush. It is better to speak slowly and clearly, even if it means you will have to distill your message down to its essence. When you talk too quickly, people often miss what you’re saying.
4. Repeat your callback number – People are often distracted when they’re listening to their voicemail playbacks. Even if you say your number slowly, they may miss some of it. That’s why it’s considerate to repeat it. That way the other person doesn’t have to replay the whole message a second time.
5. If you’re cranky, don’t make phone calls – A person’s energy comes through loud and clear over phone wires, so if you’re having a bad day, focus on other tasks, or watch funny YouTube videos until you shake off your blues.
6. Don’t call and hang up repeatedly – With some phone systems, it creates a voicemail for each call received, even if you don’t speak. If you’re in the habit of calling people repeatedly until they pick up, you may inadvertently create a situation where they have to sit and delete multiple blank messages from you before they can get to their actual voice messages. This does not build goodwill.
7. Script important messages – Certain messages are critical. For these types of messages, it’s a good idea to write down your main points so that you don’t lose your train of thought and ramble. As long as you can sound natural, it’s okay to have some written words to guide you as you leave your message.