May 2013

Memorial Day.

Chances are, you have plans. Hopefully, they’re awesome plans. They may involve family, friends, food. Fun.

But here’s the kicker. Your day is scheduled.

And yes, these are the by-products of our scheduled life: Preparatory duties and a sense of obligation and social pressure and stress.
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A greeting is a marvelous blast of social energy, right?

Well, it ought to be. Reality is a lot more complex.

How are you? This simple question creates instant social dilemmas.

Judith Jamison, one of the all-time great American dancers and for many years the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, has a strong opinion about this question: (more…)

Admit it – you’ve had the thought.

“I hate business dinners,” George Brinkman said to me. I was startled by the ferocity with which George uttered these words. George is a highly seasoned business executive, after all – a Fortune 500 guy with a keen mind. Funny, sharp. The sort of fellow who talks well, really well.

And George attends lots and lots of such dinners.

“I hate the moment when we run out of things to say,” George added. There was a long, pregnant pause. “And that moment always comes …”
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You know the conference call that drones on and on? The meeting that’s chock full of updates you’re not the least bit interested in?

You want to stay engaged. You do, you really do. But darn, it’s hard.

Try fiddle/scribble/doodle/dawdle.

If you’ve attended a training program and had a really fine facilitator, chances are she gave you some toys to play with. It’s the same principle. Malcolm Knowles, the grandfather of andragogy (the study of how adults learn), postulates that as adults, we’re used to being active. When this urge is squelched – as in a seemingly unending meeting of any kind – our mental and physical energy will be quickly squelched, as well. We check out.

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