Tag Archives: connection

Negativity’s Running Mate

Negativity will show itself to be your fear.
Rather than building with encouragement, we see far too many examples where other peoples weakness is the topic.

We can ask – were we made stronger for exposing our fear of connection, our fear of being real?
It is not our best self.

So we should not engage with those operating in that manner other than to assist in stating another method of thought.
They are showing how afraid they are.

That is noticeable.
That helps little to nothing.

Let’s not be controlled by our fear.
Get busy doing what you love and fear subsides.

When you find out that you are afraid of something, an irrational fear, you owe it to yourself to face up to it.

Fear is a weight you feel and have to name before you can unload it.
Call it out to yourself and move forward.

Social Scaling

Social Media Companies get big
because we  want to get big


Connection and sharing is why social media works.
As that was accepted and used it became big business.
Big business has it’s responsibilities.
So do we.


Social Media companies got us to voluntarily grow their base by allowing us to connect with people for free. Smart plan. This is a great thing, and we all knew it. Since about 2004, it was a new method to easily share information in all sorts of ways. It’s fun – we gained a bit of celebrity, having our post up there for all to see. We try to persuade the world to see it our way. We’re little movie stars.


Once that scaled, things began to change. Users egos obfuscated a site’s slow but steady increase in position. By promoting ourselves, we collectively promoted the company. By getting used to it, we couldn’t easily change away from it.


Reaching your friends is the main goal here, isn’t it still? And do we even think to call them? Nowhere near as much as we message them from the site or app.
When a big event in your life happens, it’s about our inner circle first and not all the multitudes of “friends.”


What a company does, we also do


Should we blame the companies without looking at our behavior as well?
We see company changes that slowly remove what we signed up for in our ability to connect as slight betrayals of the original concept. It leaves people feeling misled and manipulated.
Users manipulate too. Users try to get big by posting things that are either larger than life or are otherwise essentially spamming their “friends.” Facebook correctly made changes addressing like-baiting and link-spammers. They are marketing themselves, and often it’s far from the truth.


We’re all people involved in the human dynamic. “The company” is still a collection of individuals. What if we were to choose a company as we would a friend, knowing why we associate with them and keeping that straight.


A good concept grows when it helps people. I support loyalty to the principle of it’s founding. I support finding new ways of getting what you’re after without violating trust. Continued abuses should force us to rethink the support of our choice. Our habits are hard to break. This is counted upon and where the Titanic principle comes into play.


The onus is with us as users and not solely on the social media company.  The benefit of the internet is that we the people get to decide what works. It’s not a company simply putting an ad on TV. Now it’s about connection. And those who do it best, in this era, are and will continue to win.
This connection goes for our personal lives as well.


Shared purpose should have mutual benefits. When a business shifts the shared purpose away from the users, it opens the door for the next idea to come forward. Eventually people move to the next thing that delivers the ideal that a company forgot about.
It was thought that the Titanic was never going to sink. But it did. Errors of buying the sales pitch eventually brought it down.


Would connection to your real friends go away if your social media accounts did? Are you contacting or are you connecting?
Stay invested in connection.


When Communication Is Not

There is flexibility within communication.
Flexibility attempts to reach an understanding of the point.
As long as we are seeking connection.


Flexibility’s opposite is assumption.
That says see it my way.
Assumption is not communication.
It’s closer to direction.
Direction is only half of communication.
Direction without understanding is ineffective.
A lack of understanding is then not really communication at all.


So how do we get one to understand us?


Good communication is two-way input and output
that leads to understanding.
It’s really that simple.

The Sharing of Experience


Sharing is the point where
experience brings value

Knowledge is the learning of information.
What we do with that knowledge is the value of information in our lives.
It may not be as simple as passing the information on to someone, like tutoring or mentoring through a skill. The constant pursuit of knowledge settles us. First because we’re not bored, idle, which leads to problems. More-so because we realize a deeper level of thoughts and see our place in the bigger picture.


Rather than over-valuing ourselves, we seek to settle in to one of the millions of ways we affect others by interacting. We may have an ability to be in conversations on many various topics of discussions with some knowledge on each.
We also may offer many other things by the experience of our settled pursuit of knowledge. Have you ever heard when someone recalls what you once said to them and you are struck by it? You feel the effect of your affect.
The result of gaining experience through knowledge brings the intangible value of connection.


Until the day we die we are growing in many ways.
Most of our body regenerates on a cellular level, we form new pathways in our brains by learning and experiencing.
We are setup to grow.


Growth promotes the learning of information.
Information brings knowledge.
Knowledge promotes action.
Action with knowledge brings experience.
Experience promotes a settled spirit – peace.
Peace brings value.
Value attracts Connection.
Connection brings you to new information where you begin again.
There is the circle.


Information, knowledge, action, experience, peace, value, connection.
The attraction of value draws those seeking any part of it’s process.


Formality Isn’t Polite

Not being polite according to the old standards is sometimes taken as rude

I’m working on it.

After not seeing someone for a long time, my opening comment used to be ”how are you?” or “how have you been?” But that’s not really what I meant.
It’s not what I meant because it won’t get the response I’m really after.
It kicks in the automatic reply. Worse, if I don’t intend on sticking around for the long version, which tends to come out of people from time to time, I’m looking for a way out. That is also perceived as rude.
It’s not me being honest.
Honesty can be rude sometimes.

People take the ways others go about meeting at the gravitational pull of connection differently.
Some people take offense if it’s not done according to their methods. Others don’t feign connection. Cordial implies one accepted means of friendliness. Being real attempts below the surface level of connection, or acknowledgement without taking time.

Pay attention to just how often we do the traditional in the course of a day. There are countless amounts of standard, automatic, stock sayings and responses we use in society. They are attempts at polite connection. They don’t connect. They don’t connect precisely because of their automation. They kick our minds into the same automated level as our life functions. We don’t think about how we make our hand move or blinking.
At best they can open dialogue by breaking the ice.

Breaking the ice

Below the ice there is a flow of water.
How often do we take the time after breaking though? And couldn’t we circumvent the awkward standards with the courage to be more real in what we say?
My challenge is to re-approach the whole experience.
Often I’ll ask a different question. One that makes people actually answer what I’m after. Maybe “what has happened since I’ve seen you last?” is better, or inquiring more specifically about something you know they are doing. Even a connecting statement like “Hi, great to see you again” is straight forward. It’s an affirming expression with no expectation of cordial, nearly meaningless conversation. Then, if I want to and think you do too, we can eventually find the time to sit down and dig in. That’s what the formality is there to instigate in the first place. Neither approach is that big of a change in practice, yet the difference breaks the standard expectations and, to me anyway, is more real.

With the erosion of social graces to a large degree, held up more culturally in the Midwestern States, it’s more important than ever to find ways to connect by being the example of what we are asking about. Break the mold of conversational automation.
Say something new. On purpose.
Be honest and connect with those you want to be inspired by in any way.
The risk is worth it.

Hard-Wired To Lie Is Only Half True


I’ve heard the argument that kids
don’t need to be taught how to lie.
They know how to inherently.


While true, I still disagree with the premise. At least in part.
In my estimation it’s one-sided.
Where you are on this point speaks to your world view in general.


Children also know how to be honest.
“Out of the mouths of babes.” Kids tell the brutal truth.
So they know how to do that inherently also.
Let’s attempt to keep the scale balanced with the revelation of truth.


Learning to Choose

Kids don’t have the social filters of experience either in lying or truth telling.
Their choice is what we’re talking about.
Kids first learn about truth or lies by testing it out at home or by what they see at home. They want to get a response from the parent. They are seeking engagement.
What is the parent encouraging?
Kids inherently want to connect, to have a bond as they find out about boundaries. They want the safety to push and still come back to everything in their world being ok.
Although they aren’t aware of why, what they are really seeking, with honesty or lies, is the ability to form relationships that help them grow and understand themselves.


Relationships are inherently a good thing, the choice of good ones or bad ones aside.
Isolation is the opposite of relationship.
You send a kid to their room when they do wrong.
A prisoner gets put into isolation as punishment even as he is being isolated from the rest of the world as punishment.


Kids seek relationships first from parents and siblings. Then friends.
They will choose relationships with people. Whether it’s positive or negative probably has more to do with their evaluation of relationships that were established early in their lives. That’s were good parenting comes in.
If you have a relationship with your kids, and you praise honesty and give them good results with honesty, if you teach them the proper boundaries of dishonesty, then you give them tools to form good relationships with later.
Seems obvious, right? Yet there are many to whom it doesn’t seem so, and you know some of them.
Tools, example and proper encouragement are what we can best give, it’s individual choice beyond that.


Kids do indeed know how to lie by nature. That’s true. That is not the argument.
Not enough weight is given to what is taught about connecting and the rewards of being honest. It’s not as concrete. Morality gets its results later. Results from a lie are right now.


Kids will manipulate, we all do.
The balancing of it is the interesting part of the discussion.
I know people who are very in balance with the amount of honesty they have in their life.
They are happy, well-adjusted people. They can handle the down cycles. I’ve seen them get through it.
The argument is in the dominant thought that kids, actually all adults too, fundamentally have the knowledge of how to lie, how to tell the truth, and that their choice is so deep-seeded towards lying that they just can’t help it.
Are adults then perpetuating this programming of how to lie and manipulate by the hierarchical work system and a media culture bent to coerce?


Lying is given far too much attention and leaves negative affects as a result. If given the choice, and we are, who would want negative results? It’s the expectation of your experience. It’s where you place your attention daily by the default of your actions. As in the example where your child comes home with All A’s and one B- and you only focus on what went wrong to get the B rather than praising all they did to get A’s.


If we are given human defaults, abilities, as gifts to use in our lives, we are responsible for strengthening our ability to manage them with ethics.
The following question is – where do we get our ethics from?
If you believe that something is a gift from God, doesn’t that mean we have a responsibility to strengthen it?
Once we have a source for ethics, or a gauge to go by, we still have the hard work of controlling our behavior.
That is the bigger factor in your life towards being successful and impactful.


Pre-wired is a starting point.
The result of our lives is something we have to jump into and engage with.
That is connection and that’s the truth.


Scanning For Connection

Our attention spans have been shortened.
We live in a soundbite culture now.
We scan content, looking for a something to grab our attention.
What’s beyond the headline or the first few lines?


Compounding Connection

The things under the surface are what you build value upon.
The depth in the seeking, required to get to the multi-faceted source is what allows you to know what’s real amidst consideration of all the sides available.
That is the complexity of the human dynamic.
Enclosed in there is the main point, the honey of the beehive,
with all the stinging protection of vulnerability keeping us from it.
Through that work, is where real connection occurs.


Connection is allowing however. Even far less deep methods still form something
foundational to bind to. Connection on any level is what can change people.
It’s levels of depth hold it’s value.
Value is worth it’s price – but only those willing to pursue it and give some of their own value in return will find parts of the whole to lift them.
That lift is unimaginable until you find it, and then, realizing it’s ability, you work to find more small parts to propel you to great places you didn’t know of.


Once you find a person’s headline, and it brings you to their first few lines,
decide to connect.
It always has worth and you’ll seek it more.
Bits of what we all seek are in there.


The Face Of The Company


Smiling is Branding

You work so hard to build your brand.
People connect with Pepsi over Coke or Adidas over Nike or Hellmann’s Mayo over Miracle Whip, and so on.
That simple declaration takes time to build into loyalty.
It involves repeated good performance out of which you build trust to connect with.
And with one bad experience it can be gone.

Perception Spreads

The perception of a company is delivered by the employee who is paid the least on the front line. Or possibly a person who has so much authority, they may not hold the company’s  ethical standard. This is the one employee who is in direct communication with the first people to interact with your brand and, in many cases, also the most often. They may be a person who is overlooked, undervalued, overvalued or unqualified for the job without developed personal and relational skills to match the ethos the business stands on.

What skills are actually required in these positions? Is customer relations regarded highly in the abilities of the job description? How does a company empower those in such a position to handle the variables of the situations they face? Is there a gauge as to when they can be trusted to represent those values?  Is there authority to match the responsibility?
What is the value of a great impression?

Balance Sheets Don’t Determine Value

It’s the intangibles that can cost us the most.
The problem is that we don’t even know their real cost because loss of trust or lack of connection to the product or service doesn’t make it to the balance sheet.
The subtext of these questions posed is getting at how to determine real value.

We spend so much energy on the numbers.
Numbers do tell a story. They can tell many stories.
They have their place. Of course you must be profitable.
The numbers, however, are not the sole reason to make a decision.

Just as in your personal life, values determine the results.
Philosophies make determinations, value judgements.
The choices made become easier when their reasoning is understood and when they fit the philosophy. Profit then, is the reward for serving the needs of your philosophy internally, which correctly made it all the way to your customer, who interacted with it externally by a purchase that connected them to your company.
No profit, no company.
No philosophy, no trust. Soon, no customers.
No company.

Are you in business to help those who use the product or service or is it simply to provide a living for yourself?
It’s worth noting that helping your customers provides both.

Do you prefer to do business with those who meet your needs, big or small?
You have a reaction when customer service is there to really help you, and not just cite company policy that might not make sense in a given situation? Conversely, the company who doesn’t seem to care when dealing with you is poorly remembered,
likely costing future business. Again, not making the balance sheet.
Even attention to the situation, while not being able to fully accommodate, can be a well respected effort.
That small amount of extra attention is real marketing. It’s the intangible cost of keeping a customer.

You Are the Brand

Business is business – an adage that is now old and from the industrial age. It began it’s exit in the information age. It is now gone, although most don’t realize we’ve moved on yet.  We are now in what Seth Godin calls “the connection economy.” He puts more succinctly what I believe to be true. Business is personal because it always ends with connection between people. Be intentional by thinking about things that are beyond what the businesses rules and standards say. They are always subject to more information for the possibility of change. Change can always refine a philosophy.

Think for yourself. Know your philosophy.
That is the heart of your product and your difference in the marketplace.



There’s a lot of insecurity in vulnerability


To be vulnerable means to expose yourself, to be open.
It is the metaphor of standing onstage naked.
Stripped bare, you have nothing to hide behind.


People don’t like the feeling.
Either one.
So they avoid it.

By pushing through it:
  • your mistakes sharpen your focus
  • your insecurity begins to fade
  • your vulnerability moves into a refining stage
    • of your skills
    • of your craft
    • of your personality
  • you can find what’s really, uniquely, you
  • your honesty will separate you from the crowd
  • you let people know there’s only one you
  • Your life takes on new hope


That’s where connection happens.
That’s where careers are made.
That’s when you become content along your way.
You focus on productive things far more.


We’ll always have that voice in our heads,
telling us what we’re not.

It brings modesty if it stays small.
It’s debilitating if it gets big.


The fight to push through it gets better
each step along the way.
It’s always got tough spots.
That’s why pushing through is worth it –
because of the other end.

Be vulnerable.
Push yourself past it.