Getting Over Yourself

November 28, 2012

When did “you’re welcome” become “no problem?”

Filed under: Tips — Barbara Rocha @ 10:36 am
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Please. Practice saying “you’re welcome.” When I thank someone, it’s sometimes just a social nicety to keep things easy. And when they answer, “no problem” it’s annoying. Because they often haven’t really done anything. And it totally changes the dynamic in almost every situation. I heard my granddaughter say it to someone the other day and I’m pretty sure that what she meant was, “I didn’t really want to be here and do that for you, but don’t lose any sleep over it.”

“No problem” often just puts the other person in a lesser position. I’m sure that many times that person isn’t really thinking — they’re just giving a robotic answer. So, if I had my druthers, I’d rather have a robotic, “you’re welcome.”

And along those same lines, listen when people are being interviewed and the interviewer says, “thank you.” The majority of the time, the person being interviewed also says, “thank you.” I’ve noticed that when they say, “you’re welcome,” I like it better. Now, if they were promoting a book, or in some other way benefited from the interview, perhaps “thank you,” is appropriate. But when their role was to offer their expertise, then “you’re welcome,” seems more appropriate.

But wait, there’s more. A somewhat related topic is whether to say “thank you” when you finish giving a speech. If you’re going to say it, you should have a reason and not just have it be a knee-jerk reaction to finishing or because you don’t have an actual close and want your audience to know you’re through. Those are not good reasons for finishing that way. And if you do say it, be sure you’ve let your point sink in before you say it. Otherwise, you’ve just stepped on the point you wanted to make and weakened the impact.

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Ice cream trucks playing Christmas carols?

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 10:24 am
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While visiting my daughter in the desert, I heard an ice cream truck playing, “Silent Night.” When I mentioned it to my daughter, at first she didn’t get my point–because there’s nothing odd about having an ice cream truck making its rounds in November if the temperature is in the 80s. I noticed it because to me it was an anomaly.

Even so when you’re speaking: If you say what they expect to hear they’re less likely to listen. So, your opening needs to surprise them–and that depends on who your audience is as to what will seem unusual enough for them to stop texting or stop thinking about the next meeting. It doesn’t have to be wild, it just needs to be different (as well as appropriate.)

November 16, 2012

Was it advertising or body language that lost Romney the election?

It’s interesting to hear pundits hang the loss on the lost opportunity early on to answer the negative ads with ads of his own.

Here’s just one more research result that shows how powerful an influence appearance is on our election choices.

http://www.caltech.edu/content/caltech-led-researchers-find-negative-cues-appearance-alone-matter-real-elections
We really don’t like to think we’re that shallow, but apparently we are. While there are many positive aspects to Romney’s physical appearance, he has several mannerisms that just don’t jibe with our inner expectation of what a President should look like. I mentioned before the coy way he tucks his head and looks up (something that worked well for Princess Di, but not for a presidential candidate). He stopped it during the debates, but there it was front and center when he conceded the election, as well as his habit of taking steps that are just a bit too small for his size.
These may be a mark of a really nice guy, but they’re not indications of strength (I’m talking about how we emotionally respond, not about whether or not he actually is strong), and not what we expect a President to look like.
And my point is? My point is that you may be the greatest person in the world at what you do, but sadly, people won’t find you credible if you distract them with your body language.

What good is a TV in your survivalist retreat?

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 12:28 pm
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Am I missing something? If the world implodes (or explodes) enough so that you need to use your stored food, water, and safe shelter, what will be on TV? A survivalist proudly showed the reporter his hideaway complete with food,  large screen TV and comfy couch “so he could watch football” if it became necessary to use the shelter.

So, if you see something I don’t about this, please help me out. Because I’d think if things were that bad there wouldn’t be many football games to watch on TV.

This is the kind of thing that if you put in a speech, you’d have to connect a whole lot of dots to not leave people as confused on this as I am at this moment.

November 5, 2012

How much power does a President have to keep promises?

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 11:49 am
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I don’t quarrel with candidates making promises to the electorate. At the very least some of them give you an idea of what’s important to them–or to their followers. But I do have a problem with climbing all over whoever the President is for not fulfilling all of them. Too many surprises await a President upon taking over the office.

With the best of intentions, George W. Bush was blindsided in moving forward with his big ideas by the attacks on September 11. And, I believe Barack Obama thought he could bring down the unemployment rate until the reality of the actual condition of our economic situation became clear.

Not only that, you have the extreme edges of your own party insisting that you add to the gridlock and not willing to support you, as well as the extreme edges of the other party vilifying you. It’s a wonder anyone wants the job and that anything gets done.

I think most of the people who seek the office really want America to be “all that [it] can be.” And if all those adamant about getting their own way would be willing to get some of their way and cede some, we might actually make progress. The President is only one-third of the equation, and often taking the “bully pulpit” is the most powerful part of the job.

Whoever wins tomorrow, it’s going to be a squeaker (from all appearances). And things will go better if we don’t all implode over not getting our own way.

November 1, 2012

Is your vote based on rationality or emotion?

According to Aristotle (who was big into rhetoric), people make up their minds based on emotion and justify it with the facts. So, it’s no wonder that polls show that people vote for
the person they feel most comfortable with.

A study by Albert Mehrabian shows that your appearance and various aspects of your voice carry more weight than the actual content.

Mitt Romney has smoothed out some of his bumps beginning with his performance in the first debate, and President Obama has begun to sound a bit more tense. Changes that may be a factor in the changes in the polls.

Perhaps the best way to remove the personality characteristics from our voting choice would be to read their speeches and interviews rather than watch and listen.

If John Kennedy was seen to win his debate with Richard Nixon by those who were watching on TV and Nixon was considered the winner by those listening, there must be something to this.

Knowledge is power. It’s good to be aware of what moves us to act.

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